Pregnancy induced the Stay-Puft marshmallow man physique, as it seems do to most of us. The marshmallow man didn't seem to give a shit that I gained a healthy and modest amount of weight, he was still live and in person. After Jude's birth there was a brief period of continued pudgy before– POW! I started dropping weight faster than a soap opera star. I bless the breastfeeding gods in all their glory but also holy hell was that a dramatic transition, from elephant to skeletor. I came out the other side shell shocked. As our breastfeeding days waxed and waned 19 months later I gained back some, lost some again, gained back some. I never knew from week to week which body I'd wake up to. Who was this new person and when the hell was this going to stop? Which pants will fit today? Identity crisis, I had it.
What I didn't grasp before was that pregnancy doesn't just make you 'fat' for a while. Your pelvis can shift, your ribcage can expand, your feet can grow. It can change everything from the shape of your ass to your posture and allergies and hair– permanently. There's a good chance that the woman you wake up to three months postpartum will be forever different than the one you went in with. They aren't always bad changes, or even noticeable to most observers, but there they are. We are physically marked by pregnancy and birth and some of us get luckier than others.
Recently things around here have plateaued and my heart says thank you, homeostasis has been reachieved. My body may not be perfect (cue run around the block) but I'm generally happy. Most importantly: it seems to be here to stay. Finally, finally, I've had the chance to start getting reacquainted with my new self. It's a breath of fresh air. You may say she's always a woman to me but it's hard to feel like a woman when your body belongs to a stranger. Unless you're into that. Weirdo.
In a bold move that was long, long, long, long overdue I bought myself some new trapper keepers for my sweater kittens last week. Oh, BRAS! I needed them like Bill Paxton needs a punch in the throat. I had been skating by all this time with a single faded tattered bra I bought when I was 8 months pregnant. Logic dictates that the bra that fits you at 8 months pregnant will absolutely not fit you at 26 months postpartum but my stubbornness and thriftiness and the all-around body chaos situation put me off the idea of replacing it until, well, just now really. It was time.
After trying on pretty much every style and every size in the store I felt defeated. Or rather, deflated. It was as if I had been transplanted back to middle school and the days of very first horribly-fitting training bras. The only one left on my stack was a neon pink shiny contraption from the juniors section which, I mean really, is not a place I belong anymore. After the humiliating blows I had already suffered, including that the dressing room smelled like a toilet for some reason, I had nothing to lose besides another few moments of poop smell. Chin up and teeth gritted I strapped that horrible shiny pink junior's section sucker on and wouldn't you know it... magic happened. My up top looked downright sprightly– I was in high school all over again.
I WANT TEN OF THESE. VA-VA-VOOM! I don't even care that it only comes in hot pink and lime green, personal sacrifices can be made for the betterment of society. Never again will I underestimate the importance of proper undergarments on the psyche.
I'm a brand new girl.