When I learned I was pregnant last November, three thoughts immediately popped into my head:
1) Please let the baby be healthy;
2) Please give me the strength to give up my extra-extra-large daily latte;
3) Please don’t let my ass become extra-extra-large.
To those who declare you shouldn’t worry about weight when you’re with child, I would like to respectfully say, “Oh, puh-lease.” Very few women, pregnant or not, are immune to societal pressures and vanity. Those who are immune…? Well, I’m sure they are having a good ol’ time chowing down on carbs at the nunnery. (And let’s be honest: Even sisters probably secretly want to cut a slim figure in their habits.)
Despite my own habit (see what I did there?) of gorging on Ben & Jerry’s during my pregnancy, I did try to eat a balanced diet — for every pint of frozen yogurt I had, I made sure to give up an apple and bowl of broccoli! — and ended up gaining only 21 pounds. Shocking, considering I had gained the Freshman FIFTY at college and don’t exactly have the metabolism of a hummingbird.
“It really is shocking,” my mom agreed, kindly noting that she fully expected me to become a beached whale based on past experience.
So, after popping out a nearly eight-pound baby and a ton o’ bodily fluids (a delicious visual, I know), I lost 15 of those 21 pounds after only three days and was at my pre-pregnancy weight by the end of the first week. Crazy, I know.
WOW! WOO-HOO! I’m ready for my Us Weekly “How I Got My Body Back!” cover!
I should have kept the receipt for my original body because the one that was returned to me…? Is NOT the same. Okay, sure, I was expecting my stomach to resemble a deflated balloon. And I knew my breasts would overtake Mt. Everest as the biggest peaks above sea level. (Truly… as much time as I spend coaxing the baby back to sleep, I spend even MORE time coaxing my boobs back into my bra.) But when I tried on my pre-pregnancy clothes, ecstatic to be reunited with my old wardrobe, I noticed something was “off.” My cute dresses no longer looked so cute. Only some of my jeans fit. Buttons scoffed at me as I attempted to close them. Yes! They scoffed!
What the hell, I thought to myself. I’ve lost the weight. SO WHY HAS MY WARDROBE TURNED ON ME?
I peered into the mirror. And… it struck me.
“Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Who’s the HIPPIEST of them all?”
Dear god. My body had come down with an alarming case of THE SPREAD! The Hip Spread, that is. Where there were once normal-sized hips, there was… is… now a set the size of a double-wide trailer. Sure, they had to grow to accommodate the birth of Miss Skye. But c’mon…! These aren’t just “good birthin’ hips,” as Mr. Candy is so fond of saying. They are wide enough to carry most of Wall Street across the East River to Long Island. This, I was not expecting.
The good news is my baby is happy and healthy (knock on wood a million times over), and I was strong enough to forgo the extra-extra-large lattes for nine months. (And after only eight months of withdrawal shakes!) I also realize how very lucky I am to have dropped the weight so quickly — and I remain hopeful that Father Time, with the help of a mean, overzealous spinning instructor, will one day return my original hips, for which I have a newfound respect. (I will never disparage them again! I promise!)
And if not…?
I can always start charging New York commuters for the ride. Cha-ching!