To understand any of this, you need to understand what I look like pregnant. Not that I’m pregnant at this moment. At this moment I just look like...
I’m getting ahead of myself.
I was never one of those pregnant women who generated a modest little bump for a few months and then produced a 5-pound baby with a modest little flourish.
No, when I was pregnant I looked like something out of “Star Wars.” And when I say “Star Wars,” I don’t mean Princess Leia in her metal bikini. I don’t even mean Darth Vader (I’m saving that for menopause).
I mean that by the third trimester I was doing a very plausible Jabba the Hutt impersonation. I was so big that once, when I was hustling my seven-months-sized keister to my office phone, my boss wryly commented, “Don’t run, Elizabeth; it shakes the building so.”
And it wasn’t like gravy cravings made me eat an entire Golden Corral. I was taking reasonable care of myself, but let’s face it: some women are born to be Jabba, and some women have Jabba-ness thrust upon them.
On the other side of the delivery room, recovering from the stress of creating and then evacuating another human being from your own body is a straightforward process, but not quick. The cleanup is on the approximate scale as cleaning up after Hurricane Sandy: basic services are restored, but it’s gonna take a while to get the power back on and the Lincoln Tunnel cleaned out.
So it’s with alarm that I watch the growing trend/pressure/insanity of watching celebrity new moms and gauging how long it takes them to get back to a size zero. Miranda Kerr (simultaneously a Victoria’s Secret model and new mom herself) took time out from her busy day recently to inform us that a new mom “doesn’t have to let herself go.”
Oh, sweet relief! Without her sage advice, we would have just looked around and said, “Hey! I think I’ll wear sweatpants for the rest of my life!”
That’s a lot of pressure on the rest of us. And when I say “us,” I mean new moms, and the rest of us who have older children and are still trying get back into a size I-don’t-want-to-divulge. If I’m supposed to be a size zero three weeks after the baby is born I’m here to tell you that I am woefully behind the curve here (HE’S 15, OK? MY ‘BABY’ IS 15. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?).
You “let yourself go” because you’re not paid to work out for a living, and you “let yourself go” because you’re not married to a millionaire movie star so you have to go back to work when the baby’s six weeks old and you can barely squeeze in an hour of sleep, much less become one with your Crossfit instructor.
If you want to start working out three days after giving birth so you can be a size zero again, knock yourself out. Feel free to come over with a few of your closest friends and you can see how many of you can stuff yourselves into a pair of my pants.
NOTE: I promised myself I’d write this without using the word “episiotomy” once, and I did!
• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Elizabeth Evans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.