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On Missing Pregnancy

January 31, 2016

There are some women who openly hate being pregnant.

You know who you are.

Some women, on the other hand, love being pregnant.  I’ve always counted myself firmly in that camp.  I mean, other than not being able to drink a half a bottle of wine every evening after a long day of Lila’s 3 year-old shenanigans.  That kind of sucked.  And yeah, your back hurts and you aren’t sleeping well and your feet are swollen.

But.

You get to wear super cute maternity clothes—and who cares how big you look in them?!  When I’m not pregnant, there would never be a day when I would wake up and think, “I’m going to try to emphasize my stomach in my outfit choice today.”  But when I’m pregnant?  Bring on the horizontal stripes, y’all.  ‘Cause that bump is effing cute.  And people love it—people are so nice to you when you’re pregnant!  Strangers on the street give you big smiles (and occasional high fives—true story).  People want to help you ALL THE TIME—you don’t have to move anything, lift anything—you really don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.  You get treated like a fucking queen.   All people want you to do is eat and take naps.  And you know what?  You’re maintaining the existence of the human race.  So you kind of feel like they’re right to treat you that way.

And then you have the baby.  And all that comes to a crumbling, horrifying halt.

You know what’s super cute?  A pregnant lady who’s all glowy and happy and excited about life.

You know what isn’t cute?  A new mom who hasn’t slept in weeks and reeks of spit up and has consumed so much coffee that her hair is shaking.  If you make eye contact with her, she’s equally likely to slap you, start weeping, or give you a hug and talk about how miraculous life is.  And then she’ll kind of fall asleep in the middle of the conversation, because she’s mastered the art of sleeping anytime a spare minute presents itself:

 

And your post-partum body?  Listen, I loved my big pregnant belly—yes, you grow and grow and grow, and by the end you’re huge, but that belly?  It’s taut.

After you give birth, you go from this:

Image result for balloon

to this:

Image result for deflated balloon

Your stomach looks like Benjamin Button’s face, okay?

So to get rid of that Benjamin Button stomach, you gotta go to the gym.  When you’re pregnant, literally just getting to the gym feels like an accomplishment—even if you just do some light stretching, people give you encouragement.  If you walk on the treadmill for twenty minutes, people act like you just ran the fucking Boston Marathon.  But walking for twenty minutes…that’s not going to get rid of Benjamin Button Belly.  But doing what it takes to get rid of it?

After giving birth and waiting six weeks (okay, eight…okay, twelve) to get back in the gym, you’re like:

Because you don’t have any cardio stamina:

and you definitely don’t have any muscle strength:

…and frankly, you’d just rather be sleeping. 

But you’re so sick of only being able to wear clothing that doesn’t involve buttons or zippers.  You want to lose the baby weight.  So maybe diet is the way to go?  Except that during pregnancy, your metabolism is on fire—remember that whole “growing a human” thing you got going on?

Afterwards, especially if you’re not breastfeeding, it’s like all you have to do is look at a cookie and you gain a pound. All that food you indulged in during pregnancy?

Kiss it goodbye.

Seriously, having to eat like a regular human being again is one of the worst parts about not being pregnant anymore.

The truth is, of course, that not being pregnant is also wonderful.  Because you finally have your little human in your arms:

IMG_2740

And one day you’ll sleep again. And your clothes will fit.  And you’ll be able to exercise without feeling like you’re two seconds away from keeling over and dying.

One day, that will happen.  But today is not that day.

So until then, you just have to fake it…

which is the ultimate skill of motherhood.  Winking smile

12 Comments leave one →
  1. January 31, 2016 5:15 pm

    This post is amazing

  2. January 31, 2016 9:08 pm

    This made me laugh out loud!! So true! My postpartum struggle back into fitness was sabotaged by a severe ankle sprain at 12 weeks, just when I was finally getting myself motivated to ACTUALLY do something… I was like “oh well, guess I just have to sit on the couch some more.” 😀

    • February 1, 2016 2:38 pm

      Oh no! I had a similar thing happen (but nothing as bad as an ankle sprain) when I got sick right when we got back after the new year. I was so motivated, and then I got super-sick and it’s still kind of hanging on, so I’m finding it really hard to find that motivation again. Ugh.

  3. Crystal R permalink
    January 31, 2016 11:54 pm

    Women keep telling me that the belly bounces back wayyyyyy slower with the second pregnancy. I am going to enjoy these last 13 weeks of pregnant belly because I remember the deflated tire that hung around the first time and I am dreading this second round of deflated flat belly tire so much!!

    • February 1, 2016 2:37 pm

      Yeah, I think that’s true. I keep thinking, “Wasn’t I back in my regular clothes at this point last time?!” Of course, it also helped that it was late spring/summer, so getting out and being active was a lot easier. But yeah, I finally went to the Gap yesterday and bought a pair of size-up pants, because I’m so sick of my maternity jeans still being the only pants that I can wear!

  4. ginger635 permalink
    February 1, 2016 1:27 pm

    You get that love of pregnancy from me. Of course, it helps that I felt wonderful during my pregnancies; my hair was thick, my nails grew like crazy, and I just loved the anticipation! Afterward, you’re right, it’s A LOT of work! But the payoff is that sweet baby and all the fun stuff that comes with that. And, trust me, your body does eventually shrink back to normal. Of course, then you turn 60 and that’s a whole other blog post that I don’t want to talk about!

    • February 1, 2016 2:30 pm

      Maybe you can do a guest post about menopause? 😉

  5. Emily S. permalink
    February 1, 2016 2:23 pm

    After 8 months, I still sometimes think, “Why aren’t strangers nice anymore?” before I realize I’m not big and pregnant, and that’s why.
    I joined Weight Watchers last week. My excuse had been breastfeeding, but turns out they can accommodate that, so no more excuses. Ugh. I don’t think it will fix the fact that I probably will never look good in pencil skirts again, even with Spanx, but here’s trying.

    • February 1, 2016 2:30 pm

      Hahaha, I’m the same way. Sometimes if I carry the baby around I’ll still get a smile. Forewarning: when you’re walking around with a toddler, people usually just look at you with pity. As well they should. 😉

      Good luck with WW!

  6. February 3, 2016 1:39 pm

    I’m not going to lie, after our next baby I think I’ll be a bit depressed knowing I won’t ever be pregnant again (two and done for us!). This last year and a half I’ve been dreaming of the day I get pregnant again, because like you, I LOVE IT!

  7. February 4, 2016 6:07 am

    Reading this mildly makes me feel ok about getting pregnant in the next few years. I’m terrified but this post was funny. So thumbs up! (and hi! after a good while)

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