Posted by Duff

Dear Women Who Left the Hospital In Pre-Pregnancy Jeans:

STOP TELLING PREGNANT WOMEN. When you make us feel bad, we’ll be less likely to award you a medal.

None of us is immune to body issues. A baby is a beautiful blessing, and I will never stop feeling fortunate that I have one healthy child and (they tell me) another on the way. I know how lucky I am to share my uterus with my children and have felt them moving and growing and wonder who I will be meeting at the end of the ride.

Maybe I am naturally slim, maybe I’m not. Whatever the case, I’ve gone through several periods in my life where I had a daily date with a pint of ice cream and it was normal to eat past ‘full’.  I watched the scale climb and shopped for larger sizes, baby NOT on board. I saw dimples in places you shouldn’t see dimples.

I see them again, now, despite surprising self-control against cravings and following rules like “don’t drink your calories” and “frequent small, healthy meals”.  It brings back memories of feeling less than comfortable in my skin, but knowing I could change that.

I find myself in a place where it’s not wise to cut calories further. My hips have widened, as they should. They NEED to. My body is storing the extra it requires to support breastfeeding. It KNOWS what it’s doing. I’m not going to mess with that, even though it causes me stress to watch the bar on the scale move further and further to the right. I could turn away during my weigh-ins and let my chart bear a secret number, but I don’t. I have to know. And what I know is I’m on track to gain the same amount of weight as last time. Exactly.

Somehow, it just feels like more.

There is no way in hell I’m getting into my pre-pregnancy jeans before the clock chimes 2010.  It took nearly a year last time, and I’m a realist.

Acceptance and logic aside, I’ll be sad when my life-giving baby belly has done its job and instead of carrying sweet MC around in my mid-section, I’ll be sporting The Pooch.  At that point, anyone with the cajones to remind me they wore their pre-jeans immediately is not welcome within earshot.

Recommended alternative comments:

“You look fantastic.”

“Your baby is beautiful.”

“You’re such a good mother.”

“What a well-behaved Dervish you have. Such an excellent big sister.”

“Here are some things I’d like to do to help. And I left food in the fridge.”

“Don’t get up. You need to rest.”

I may seem mild-mannered now, but hand me a newborn and crank up the hormones, and I can hold my own.

P.S. Muffin-top is only an appropriate term to toss in my direction if you’re referring to freshly-baked pastry you’ve brought and recommend that I eat to maintain my strength.

Please note that this post and its related postscript is not directed at my husband, a huge fan of pregnancy and the pregnant form, who has been quite generous in his compliments of late.  This is what we call ‘laying groundwork’.