Monday, July 23, 2012

Bouncing Back from Babies



Having spent the last three years either pregnant or breastfeeding, my body is finally getting a break from all this baby business. And it turns out that carrying, delivering, and nursing two infants back-to-back has had some lasting effects on the old bod. I won’t go too far into the gritty details, but let’s just say some contents have definitely shifted during flight.

This look pretty much says it all
My breasts have had the wildest ride in all this. When Mike married me, I was a cute A-cup (what my sister so lovingly called my “little chicken cutlets”). That was before my boobs were commissioned and put to work, at which point they gradually swelled to a full C-cup in order to feed one baby after another. Even still, I relished my time in the Big Boobs Club. It was like being granted access into an elite group I’d only ever envied from the outside. Now I was in, and loving every minute. It goes without saying that this time was short lived. Now that my little one is approaching her toddler years, it’s as if someone has taken a pin and let all the air out of my once-perky parts. I’m learning to come to terms with deflated breasts that are back in A-cups, as well as a belly button that permanently looks like it’s frowning. 

Part of my birthday present from Mike was a Victoria’s Secret card, which I swiftly redeemed for some new bras. I heaved my double stroller into the shop, passing the delicate lacy combinations that would have driven my husband crazy, only I couldn’t bring myself to try them on. It just felt too silly – was I really going to where that in between Gymboree and grocery shopping? Instead I made for the dressing room with kids in tow, opting for two sensible cotton bras and some no-frills underwear. While trying them on, I couldn’t help but examine my reflection. There I stood in my beaten black yoga pants (mind you, I haven't done yoga since 2005), and what I saw was a sloppy mom holding cotton underpants. What the hell had happened to me?

Mike, on the contrary, seems somehow to get better and better looking with each new kid we have. The physical wear and tear of having young children – the tousled hair, the scruffy face, the wrinkled clothes (he’s kidding himself if he thinks I’m ironing), the tired eyes – he wears it all with a kind of casual, effortless masculinity. While I’m at war with varicose veins and a gradually sagging ass, my husband’s post-baby body exudes nothing but youthful sex appeal. It is maddening, to say the least.

Remarkably, my husband insists that he’s the schlub, the one who’s let himself go since having kids. I guess it goes to show how becoming a parent does something to your own self-perception. Even still, when you’ve been with someone for the better part of a decade (and that person has literally watched you give birth. Twice.) you have to count yourself lucky if they’re still interested in making out with you. Somehow Mike is, cotton underpants and all.


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