When I was 15 weeks pregnant, I excitedly forced my husband to drive me to Grande Prairie to buy my first pair of maternity pants to accommodate my now-showing and ever-growing bump. When I walked in to the store, I was pleasantly surprised to see that pregnant women weren’t subjected to the emotional warfare that is jeans sizing; instead, they were simply small, medium, large and extra-large. And I was smaller than I thought! But the pleasantries didn’t stop there.
When I pulled on that first pair, I was amazed. Maternity pants, the stretchy ones that roll right up to your bra, are the single most comfortable thing I have ever worn. No buttons digging in to my belly, no metal thingamajigs stirring up my nickel allergy, and absolutely no concern about my underwear (or worse) hanging out when I had to squat down to take a photo to accompany one of my stories. I couldn’t understand why maternity pants weren’t the norm; surely, all women would love these as much as me. Now, I get it.
Baby K turned two months old yesterday, and I’m still wearing the maternity pants. And you know what? I no longer feel comfortable. I feel like a slob. Kind of like those people who wear sweat pants everywhere.
This feeling is what drove me to the very back of my closet, where I found a stack of pre-pregnancy jeans that I spent the next hour trying my hardest to fit my post-pregnancy butt in to. Then I spent the next hour pouting when I just couldn’t make it fit.
I was fortunate (and very careful) in my pregnancy, and consequently did not gain a crazy amount of weight. I was right in the healthy 25-35 pound range. However, only 7 pounds of that was baby and maybe another 10 pounds of it was water and other crap that came out when Baby K did. The other 20 pounds are still there, and are the source of my increased jean size. When I went to buy a new pair of jeans to get me through until I can fit in to my pre-jeans again, the new size nearly set me to tears and it was still causing a muffin top.
Though it may sound it, I’m not overly upset by the fact that my body isn’t the same. It’s actually kind of a badge of honor – I grew and pushed a human out of me, what have you done lately? I’m upset by the idea that I’m not doing anything to change it right now, and I’m not working hard to take care of my body like I should.
Before Baby K, I dieted. I exercised every now and then. But, I didn’t beat myself up when the pounds didn’t come off or I got winded climbing a hill. In fact, I made excuses and down-played how unhealthy I was. However, knowing what we do about childhood obesity and the impact that parents have on their children’s healthy habits, I know there is a lot more at stake now.
Kids will do what you do, not necessarily what you say. So, if I continue to sit on the couch and watch 4 hours of television every night, so will Baby K as she gets older. But if I take her for walks, enroll us in swimming lessons and let her watch me play soccer as part of a team, she is likely to continue that pattern as she grows. Studies have shown that children are twice as likely to be active if their mothers are, and six times more likely if both their parents are active.
I’m also increasingly aware that if I don’t kick the weight to the curb before my next pregnancy (likely in a year or two), I am more likely to have a troublesome pregnancy and less likely to ever lose the weight.
I’ve started baby and me yoga, have bathing suits ready for mom and tot swim time as soon as Baby K can hold her head up and have taken a walk through the community forest with my husband and her nearly every day this week.
My pre-pregnancy jeans are now hanging on my wall where I can see them every day so I know what I’m working towards as a starting goal. And that little girl that lights up my days? She’s a reminder of just how important it really is.