Friday, February 25, 2011


Ok, so at first the idea of a whole post about my belly was a little weird to me. Like I don't post a ton of facebook statuses about breastfeeding, or DB's poops, or what I did within the first 2 hours of waking. I just think there are some things that you, my readers, don't really need or want to know! I just keep thinking about my belly, and what I start to think about, I start to think of writing about. It dawned on me in my think think thinking that this isn't about my belly, its more about self-image. And THAT is something I can write on.

Before DB, I had a decent body. Other people seemed to think it was great! I didn't. I just didn't like how I looked, with the exception of a brief period (after a hard-fought weight loss) from around November 2009 onward. We got pregnant February of 2010. Prior to that, I fluctuated weight, and I wasn't ever really thrilled with my body, but I didn't really feel like I needed to hide out in swimsuit weather. I just donned my two-piece (and a biscuit??) and off I went. Even after I felt good about my shape that November, I still had nagging doubts and thoughts that just wouldn't go away. I just wasn't really "proud" of my body. I spent a large amount of time jealous of other women (or more often, teen girls) who had what I wanted: THAT body. This was all before baby.

Now my body's a wreck. A really hot mess. Sometimes my boobs are different sizes, by a lot. I resist the urge to squish my hand into my stomach like a memory foam mattress, though that's about what the consistency reminds me of, and the stretch marks running down my belly, around my killed dead belly button, and across my newly hugenized hips are proof enough that you can make indentions, and they stay a LOT longer than a hand print in memory foam. It's certainly nothing you'd say was ready for swimsuit or lingere modeling, but that's ok with me, because those aren't jobs I hold, I'm just a mommy. And now I LOVE my body.

Don't get me wrong, I still want to lose some more of the baby weight, and I'd love to be a little more toned. Its really been a strange journey from there to here. I hear some women say they want their pre-baby body back. I can relate, kinda. But one thing's for sure, I don't want my pre-baby body image back. Weird or not, I feel like my body accomplished something, and this, plus that precious, puking, giggling, chunk of cuteness sleeping over there is the result.

Some of this may be because The Hero and I walked a long path of infertility together on our way to here. I really thought, somewhat naively, I suppose, that you pulled the goalie and BAM, you're so knocked up! That's what you learn in health class, right? And there's all those people with "oops" babies, too. Well, I guess it does work that way for some, for some it takes a little longer, and for some, well, it takes a lot longer and a little help. The testing began! The Hero is cleared as having fantastic swimmers, the problems are with me! Oh great, not only to I have like a whole 5 extra pounds of insecurity around my middle, now my body is failing me from the inside too. That's how I felt, like I was being failed. Not only that, I felt like I was failing The Hero, and even, at some of the darker points, my parents, who would be fantastic grandparents if only I weren't failing so epically.

I know that's not quite fair, nor is it the bigger picture, but we're not discussing how things are, we're discussing how things are in my head. If you're like me, or if you're human, you know that things in your head don't always reflect clearly things in reality. I felt like my body was a massive failure. Then the day we were waiting and hoping for finally came. I peed on the magical sticks that had driven me into the arms of chocolate and wine on many previous occasions, and lo and behold, a magical second line. B. F. P. (Big Fat Postitive, Big F****** Positive, you get the gist) I was immediately on the quest for a bigger belly. Bugging The Hero constantly to feel my tummy, did anything feel different? Hours of inspection in front of the mirror, suck it in, let it out, repeat. Finally, it happened, I was noticeably a different shape! Hooray! Then I was a much larger shape. Then I was shapes I didn't think could happen. Then I was shapes covered in a pattern of lines. There were tears. Tears over the shapes, tears over the marks, tears over the sheer uncomfortable puffiness of the whole thing. The Hero was supportive, or terrified by the hormonal whale on the couch and mimicked support to avoid being screamed at and then eaten. Either way, it was nice, but I felt sore, huge, and hideous.I felt like I'd be that way forever.

Well, like all things (good or otherwise) it came to an end, or a beginning, depending on your perspective. DB was here, and I still looked pregnant (WHAT?? yes, you'll still look pregnant, but only for a little while), more tears. Then I deflated and looked even worse than when I still looked pregnant. Grass was not greener. Proceed with the wallowing in self-pity. Lightbulb! My body had accomplished something! Something epic, monumental, awesome! This didn't hit me after labor, or at the end of a long pregnancy, it was weeks later, but it hit me. My body was no longer a failure, and this was indelible proof. DB will grow up, I won't always get to wake up right next to him, but I will always wake up in this skin, and now I have his little signature there, a reminder of accomplishment and love.

Fortunately The Hero doesn't mind the changes, he's even admired the stretch marks as looking "cool" and "like a phoenix and flames" (that does sound pretty cool, I have to admit), but now I'm accepting them too. I can honestly say that while I still have insecurities sometimes, I feel better about my body than I have in years. I can't wait for swimsuit weather, but not to show off my body, just because the sunshine will feel so good, and I can't wait to show DB the beach. I'll be there, but I won't be focusing on other people's bodies. I'll be focusing on my life, and how it's changed me, and I'm loving it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things!

 Its like Oprah! Only I'm not giving you any of these things.  And these companies probably won't benefit too much from my recommendations. Ok, so I guess its nothing like Oprah. I'm alright with that. Anyway, baby stuff. The stuff part of a new baby is a booming business. Everyone has really pricey things you absolutely need before you welcome your new bundle into the world. Babies really don't need any of these, but these are things we really love having to help out!

The Moby Wrap!
We love love love this thing! We have an Ergo too, but I just prefer the Moby at this stage. I can put it on when we leave the house, drive with it on, etc. and not take it off til we're home, or leave it on at home too! Around the house I can get chores done when he just doesn't want to be put down, and it gives me two hands. Out and about I don't look like I'm backpacking at the mall, it's almost chic. Some people are even surprised he's there when he's napping. I've heard several "Oh, there's a baby!" when he's finally spotted. Wearing him out keeps me from having to haul his bucket in and out of the car and stores, especially cramped for space older buildings in the city and again, leaves me with 2 hands for shopping and errand running. It's machine washable and DB thinks its super comfortable.

"Tim" our Cloud b Twilight Turtle!
We use Tim every single night! He was a total life-saver when we were up every 2 hours for changing and nursing., I only wish we had him from the very beginning. It's way cool, it clearly projects constellationson the ceiling and walls, and the shell glows enough to see what you're doing, but not enough to wake the baby, making it easier to transition back to sleep. I also really like that when you turn it on, it doesn't shock your eyes painfully, its easy to fall asleep with it on, and it can be clicked back off, or it shuts off via timer after about 45 minutes, so you don't have to get back up to shut it off. Also, it projects in 3 colors, so you aren't stuck with the same old thing, even if you're incredibly sleep deprived. DB loves looking at the stars while we rock to sleep at night.

The Woombie!
We registered for a few other swaddling products, and its a good thing we did, because it just so happens our little DB is a light sleeper with impressively powerful and control-free arm movements. He will wake himself up by jumping violently and then becoming very upset. We loved the ones we had, they were less expensive, and they did a great job, but had some drawbacks, like DB's hands would work out the middle, or he couldn't move his arms at all, even to stretch a little, so we had to re-swaddle every few hours. Then I bit the bullet and bought the woombie. Best. Decision. Ever. It does cost a little more, but I think its worth every penny! First, it has two zippers, so you can unzip from the bottom and leave the arms swaddled for a swaddled diaper change! *score!* Second, its all super stretchy, so DB can stretch his limbs gently, without waking, and the woombie just snuggles his arms back to him in whatever position he chooses, so he feels safe but can still move. Bonus: They're Velcro free! I'm a big fan of Velcro free, to avoid crazy baby clothing laundry chains. Worth every penny! 

The Nap Nanny! (*kinda*)
Ok, kinda tricky, this one. Let me start by saying I'm loving having this! We've been fighting some reflux issues with DB, and this keeps him upright but lets his tummy stretch out. For the first time I'm able to sit him down for more than 5 minutes without him going into screaming hysterics and spitting up all over! That being said, I don't think I'd pay full price for it. I mean, I'm a penny pincher, but I think this is over the top expensive! So I guess the bottom line is, I recommend the product, but try and snag one used! We got ours off Craigslist for almost 30% of the original price, and it was very lightly used. 


Thursday, February 3, 2011


I've been thinking recently, now that most of the postpartum hormones have evened out, about my marriage. It's strange, now, seeing how things have changed. Before we had DB, I knew things would be different, but I guess I couldn't really figure out how. Its the how that is the hard part. I miss dates, evenings to just do whatever we wanted with no interruption, the ability to eat meals at the same time instead of tag-team face stuffing. I miss these things but I don't feel this "empty" that I was expecting. I wish there were romance, I wish I had the energy (or arms, since we share a family bed half the time) to snuggle The Hero more at night, I wish I had the time to fix my hair and pick out an Outfit (yes, it deserves a capital O) in the morning so I looked nice when The Hero comes home, but in reality I'm lucky to shower, much less primp, and I'm usually covered in spit, medicine, puke, and milk. Even with all this, its really cool to see how DB's arrival and difficult first months have changed our relationship, in good ways.

  There's less arguing about things that really don't matter. Maybe because we don't have the energy, or a combo of that and we have more things that DO matter to handle. There's more time laughing and talking to DB, sharing his tiny milestones for the day, and bedtime stories, so the time lost playing video games really isn't too bad. There's this incredible sense of accomplishment, even when I feel like I got nothing done for the day, because as a team we have a happy smiling baby who is currently giggling at filling up his diaper yet again.

  I know we need time for just each other, and as DB gets older that will be easier. For now I'm just pleasantly surprised. I miss my husband as I used to know him, but not like heartbreaky miss, just more nostalgic, like missing the car I had in college. I don't want it back exactly like it used to be, I'm just pleasantly surprised how our relationship is now, and I'm not stressing over what it will be like in the future, near or distant. I'm just going with the evolution.