The extra stuff.

Royal baby has arrived! That means Kate had about five minutes of peace before people started talking about her post baby body. I recently read an article, accompanied by pictures of “things Kate wouldn’t be wearing after baby.” One of the garments was that fishnet/underwear thing that she wore at a fashion show in university. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that she wouldn’t have been wearing that ever again, baby or no baby. Most of the other items were cocktail dresses. So Kate isn’t going to be wearing a short, low-cut cocktail dress again in the near future? SHE’S BUSY WITH OTHER SHIT RIGHT NOW.

I don’t doubt that Kate will be the most stylish, well-dressed post-partum royal that the world has ever seen. (Sorry Di, but you looked like a member of the Lollipop Guild in your post-partum clothing.) She has already made an indelible impression on the world by revealing her real, un-Spanx-ed tummy, which made me like her even more. I have hope that Kate might change the way that the world thinks about post-partum bodies.

I hope that she gets all the time she needs to inhale that new baby smell and nibble those new baby toes. Let the girl wear some comfy pants and enjoy her baby for a few months.

Yes, I know that Kate had a hair and make-up team to get her ready for the big reveal, and she was wearing a custom designer dress. If I knew that literally MILLIONS of people were going to be looking at me, I would have done the same thing. I have a friend whose sister (not a Duchess) got a professional blow-out and a manicure before her scheduled c-section – how brilliant! I haven’t seen the pictures, but I’m told that she looked fabulous in them. I looked like a deflated balloon/dishrag in my first post-baby photos.

I truly cannot grasp the circus surrounding celebrities getting their figures back after giving birth. Is this a real concern? I mean, these are professional good-looking people. They are paid to be thin and attractive. They have staff who cook their meals and babysit their kids while they spend time with their personal trainers. The number of celebrities who don’t get their old bodies back after birth is staggeringly low.

Why doesn’t anyone worry about how motherhood might affect their work? No one ever said, “Reese Witherspoon just had a baby. Will she be too tired to continue running her production company? Will she still have time to contribute to her charitable activities? Is she going to lose her sense of humour after scooping crap out of the bathtub with her bare hand three nights in a row?” As long as she sheds that unsightly weight, it doesn’t really matter if she can’t find the energy to keep up at work. 

I will admit that I only gained about 22 pounds when I was pregnant. (Nina weighed 8 pounds at birth). I put my pre-baby pants back on a week after she was born. (Aside: I also touched my toes several hundred times just because I could.) I don’t have the experience of trying to recover a slender body and get back into size 26 skinny jeans. I don’t know what it feels like to mourn the departure of a lithe, sexy pre-baby body and try to come to terms with a mom body. My body, aside from the forty or so weeks of pregnant wierdness, probably looks pretty much the same to most people.

Before you think I’m bragging, I should say a few things. Firstly, I was fat before I got pregnant, so there was no celeb-rag worthy before-and-after shot to be had. By the end, my abdomen was much bigger (natch) but I didn’t even go up a bra size.  Second, my OB hated fat people, and he wasn’t shy about making me feel like a monster, which meant that I did very little of the “eating for two” that many pregnant women do. In fact, I scrutinized every bite that went into my mouth, often to the point of madness, and spent a lot of time riding my excercycle and weeping. And third, I got my old pants on, but my shirts have never, ever fit me the same way.

My weight is the same, but I ended up with a lot of….extra stuff. Is that the right word? Bulging spots that weren’t there before. A TON of stretch marks. A patch of abdomen that has no feeling. And a tiny pink scar. (Seriously, it is so small I can’t believe a human being came out of there?!)

Oh. And my daughter. Who hugs me and calls Spongebob “Nutbob” and loves mangoes and gives awesome high-fives.  Why are we in such a hurry to erase the evidence of making our children? I sometimes catch myself moaning over my extra stuff, and I remind myself that I have no idea what the people listening to me might be going through. There are a lot of women who struggle with infertility and baby loss, who would gladly trade their flat stomachs for a little person like mine.

I don’t want my daughter to think that I regret having her just because it made my body look and feel different. I want her to know that my body did an amazing thing by making her, and one that I constantly remind myself not to take for granted.


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