Shames and Small Victories

Prior to this pregnancy, I had a pair of jeans I’d refer to as “my fat jeans”. I know I’m not the only one who has them. They’re the pair of jeans you can always count on to fit on your most uncomfortable days when you want a little more freedom, but otherwise wore a belt that barely helped keep them up. I’m not ashamed to admit that every day since coming home from the hospital that I try on this trustworthy pair of jeans just to see if today will be the day. So far, none has been “the day”.

I still use my maternity pillow, that lovely little “comma” shaped Boppy that helped me sleep when I was at my fattest point. I haven’t decided if I’m ever going to stop cuddling with that thing at nighttime, it’s incredibly comfortable. Admitting that is less embarrassing than my next point. One month later, I’m still wearing my maternity pants. Not the ones from the early pregnancy, but the one pair that fit me at the end when I was incredibly huge. I’m not wearing them because they’re more comfortable than any other pair I own. No, I’m wearing them because they are the only ones I can squeeze over my “still recovering” body. (Somehow that sounds better than saying “fat”.)

Then a few days ago I did have a small victory. I pulled out a pair of maternity pants from earlier in the pregnancy. (It should be noted, I was in them very early in the pregnancy. So early that it was really embarrassing.) This pair came from around the middle of it, and as sad as it seems this was a huge moment for me. So huge, I texted my husband saying “I was able to squeeze my postpartum butt in my skinnier pregger jeans. I’m moving up in the world”. It’s the little things that matter. Maybe next I can try squeezing myself in one of my pre-pregnancy shirts, because I’m still wearing my maternity shirts too. I even managed to look slimmer in a picture taken this weekend of me, my husband and the eldest boy out pumpkin picking with friends. These are my small victories that make me happy.

We’re not all celebrities that can buy all the best healthy foods and have personal trainers that can make us a twig again a week after giving birth. Most of us are looking at ourselves a month later going “really? I still look this big?” while comparing ourselves to Jessica Alba after her children. I do still try on those fat pants every day hoping, and I admit shamefully that every centimeter I manage to pull them up further from the previous week feels like a Super Bowl win to me. When you spend your day covered in godknowswhatevercamefromsomebodypartofthebaby, with tousled hair tossed up in the best ponytail you can manage with one hand since a visit to get it cut seems so far away, you take these small victories.

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