During my pregnancy I didn’t mind buying new jeans. Especially after end of the first trimester. No more rubber bands to hold my cute, pre-pregnancy skinny jeans closed.Those cute demi panel jeans carried me through my entire pregnancy. By the end of second trimester, they were cute AND necessary since my growing son needed more room. A full panel of elastic over a burgeoning belly was not exactly sexy, but it was a necessity, and soon the demi panel was lost under the watermelon belly I was growing.
As I neared my third trimester, a co-worker told me not to expect a flat stomach after birth. She simply said not to expect my body to ever be the same. At 37 years old, and before getting pregnant, I had started to experience my body rebelling when trying to lose weight or tone up with exercising, but I was always able to maintain. I listened to her words and filed them in my memory bank…of things that would NOT happen to me.
When I delivered I may have weighed around 174 lbs. I use “may have” because I don’t know what I weighed and stopped listening after ‘174’. My pre-pregnancy weight was 134 lbs and at that weight I was diligently working out so I could get down to 130 lbs. Now I was at 174 lbs! Whether trying to lose four pounds or forty plus pounds, I knew losing the weight was a must. Surely, I thought to myself, when I deliver a lot of that weight will easily come off!
Leaving the hospital I still looked six months pregnant, but I gave myself a break. I just had a baby! I figured I would lose weight breastfeeding, but two months later my stomach looked as if I were 5.5 months pregnant. Tormented by my squishy belly, flabby derrière, and thunder thighs, I did something drastic. I pulled out my pre-pregnancy skinny jeans. I sat there staring at my size 7 juniors jeans. Please don’t judge; buying jeans is torturous and those junior jeans fit nicely when I bought them several years earlier. C’mon we all have that one pair of trustworthy go to jeans we love 🙂
So there they were. My pre-pregnancy skinny jeans. So soft. So cute. Like memory foam pillows designed to fit my body, my curves, my booty, ahhhhhh! I put them against my new post-pregnancy body. One thigh could have fit the entire pair! What the friggin’ hell was this! My Body, where did you go? I did not even bother trying to put them on. I quickly hung them back in my closet and put on my size 12 jeans. Perhaps giving up Nutella at 3am while feeding my baby would help me fit into those skinny jeans one day.
I read somewhere that if it takes nine months to create a tiny human and put on weight doing so, it will take that much time to lose it. However, there are those women blessed with fabulous genes that lose it in less than four months. Clearly I was not one of those women. Another article said to ask one’s own mother about their post-pregnancy body, but my mother is deceased. I recall her body not being toned and she had big hips. She was 5’5 and fluctuated around 130lbs. She had me at age 41, and I was 37 when I had my son. So I did not have a clue what my post-pregnancy body was going to be like.
By the time my son was four months old I didn’t look pregnant anymore, as long as I wasn’t naked. I can’t say I got to that point with diet and exercise. That’s just not who I am. My work-outs consisted of carrying the car seat in and out of the house, carrying my son when he cried, and forgetting to eat. I was a size 10 and could finally fit into a flowing pre-pregnancy shirt because my breasts had shrunk. Yes, that’s where I lost most of the weight. However, my pre-pregnancy skinny jeans still taunted me.
Finally, when my son was 9 months old, and with a lot of tugging, jumping, and sweating, the jeans were finally on! I couldn’t walk, had camel toe, and my calves were losing circulation, but they were on! My stomach was not only a muffin top, but was a donut on top of the muffin with a third roll right under my bra. I was a virtual pastry shop thanks to my skinny jeans. Off they went, crumpled on the floor…in a pile right next to all the hair I was losing.
At my son’s first birthday party everyone said how fabulous I looked. “Good for you. You lost all the pregnancy weight!” By that point, I had. By that point I appropriately fit into my fabulous skinny jeans. However, I was dehydrated, groggy and likely undernourished, but yes I was 130 lbs. Hmmmmm…but why am I having heart palpitations?
After weeks of ignoring heart palpitations, I decided to go to the doctor. I wore my pre-pregnancy skinny jeans. The doctor reviewed my diet and exercise regime. Let’s say I got lectured on both. Fortunately, the heart palpitations were due to too much caffeine from coffee and chocolate, but I fit my pre-pregnancy skinny jeans! “Who cares!?”, my body was telling me. “You are a schmuck! Come on get healthy!” So I did.
My son is now two. I am maintaining my pre-pregnancy weight for the most part. I could push myself harder to reach and maintain that target goal at all times. Instead, I now focus on cardio and weights and being healthy. I have come to the realization that strengthening myself is more important than whether or not I fit into skinny jeans. Speaking of my pre-pregnancy skinny jeans, the knee split open during a mommy date 🙂 Oh well, they are currently my back up pair of jeans. Now I pick a pair of jeans based on whether I can run after, scoop up, and cuddle my little boy with ease…Yes? OK I shall wear you! No? Off you go into the donation pile!
Mary Ellen Guadagno is a stay at home mom to an adorable, sweet, rebellious, occasional anarchist, also referred to as her two year old son. Mary Ellen is a bilingual mental health therapist on hiatus while she raises her son. She has learned work experience and theory are not applicable when her toddler screams no or rattles mama a million times a minute. Being a wife and mother are by far the most challenging and worthwhile experiences in her life.
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