Friday, June 18, 2010

A Woman in her Thirties is Allowed a Breakdown

I have been struggling with how to begin this post. Every time I begin, I hear the voices of women in their thirties (and twenties, and forties) gagging and sighing in disgust. There is nothing more annoying than a woman in her thirties who has never really struggled with weight to complain about putting on a few during pregnancy, right? To you who know me in the physical sense, commence eye-rolling now. I will take it like a woman.

The reality is this: my clothes don't fit. Like at all. My tops, my jeans, my capris. None of them. I have spent the last few weeks shoving myself into my old clothes, convinced my Bella Band would be enough, but the truth is that it's not. I have put on 10 pounds so far, and no, that is not earth-shattering, but 10 pounds on 5'2 is more than 10 pounds on 5'9. Especially when eight of those ten pounds is in one's boobs and the other two is in one's butt.

Last Sunday I decided to do some cleaning. I was going to organize my clothes into three piles:

1. Donate
2. Can't wear now, but will wear after the arrival of Chewy
3. Can still wear.

Sound strategy, right? Except this is what I came up with:
The piles went something like this, respectively:

1. I might still squeeze into these for another month
2. What was I thinking?
3. With the right tailoring...
4. Yeah, I'll never wear these again
5. It depends on how far my hips spread
6. It depends on how desperate I am
7. Do pregnant women wear button downs?
8. I will never need to look this cute again

You see where I'm going with this.

What does a woman in her thirties do when faced with this dilemma? I have no flipping idea. So I did the only thing I could think to do: I cried.

L found me with my head in my hands, bawling like a big fat baby. 'But you're pregnant,' he said, which is true. 'But that's not the point,' I wailed. I had no idea what the point was. All I felt in that moment was that my life as I'd always known it was over, my body was no longer mine, and it would never look the same again. And for a woman in her thirties who has always thought of herself as not caught up in physical appearances, that realization was brutal.

I did two things this week that made me feel better. One-- I went to prenatal yoga. I loved every minute of it, even the endless downward dogs. I will blog about this later ('Send looooove to your baby....'). And two-- I bought five maternity shirts at a second hand store down the road. I have no idea why I waited this long to be comfortable. So--phew-- life is back to good.

I always thought that a woman who laments her pregnancy isn't ready for motherhood. How can you be sad about the loss of your youth (or at least the feeling of your youth) and overjoyed with the miracle of life at the same time? But I know now that this, just like all things, is not quite so simple. A woman in her thirties can break down and be fulfilled, all at the same time.


  1. And there is hope. My 5'0" frame gained over half my body weight with my first. Went from 95-145. But after 3 weeks of nursing, I fit back into EVERYTHING. Still, a breakdown is perfectly acceptable.

  2. I hated it when I couldn't fit into my jeans any more. :) Don't sweat the small things cause when you have little chewy in your hands you wont even remember caring about things like cloths because there will be spit up and all kinds of gooey un-washable things on you. All that being said the love you will feel from that little squirmy worm will make you understand the important beautiful simple things in life and luckily non of that has to do with weight or clothes. Just the adoring eyes of your baby as it smiles at you.

    p.s don't you love my run on sentences?

  3. First, it's okay to want to never talk to Heather again because she fit into her clothes after 3 weeks.

    Second, be assured that both you and Larry will understand the feeling Tage is talking about (and that L will love your body that much more when it's all over because of what it is capable of.)

    Love you. Love L. Love Chewy.

  4. At least preggo clothes no longer involve peter pan collars and enormous bows in odd places. You can dress cute and be pregnant at the same time, and not cute like a 3yo dresses, either.

  5. Yep, you just about summed it up. I think this is the worst part.

  6. I know others who have had the same experience as Heather. In fact, one woman I know is now *thinner* than she was pre-pregnancy due to nursing.

    That said, I can totally relate. Only the baby making me fat is my food blog, which I'm unable to nurse.

    Hugs to you, my gorgeous sister-in-law.

  7. Maybe... just maybe... it's okay to lament the loss of youth AND joyous over the miracle of life. Instead of either/or... I like the idea that you can feel BOTH.

    As for you being fat... consider my eye-rolling FULLY commenced. (along with a big hug and a totally supportive smile!)

    I wish I had the excuse of the miracle of life... lol.

  8. This IS the worst part - you are about to enter the BEST part. At about the 5 month mark, when you are really showing and look obviously pregnant, you don't care about looking fat. I PROMISE. Because you look pregnant. It's the is she/isn't she stage that sucks when you don't have the right clothes (and just to warn you, the last month when even maternity clothes don't fit... that's not fun either. Thank god for yoga pants!!) And yes, more preganancy clothes! It's worth the money.

  9. So right there with you. When I finally went through my clothes while I was pregnant with Cadence I put everything I loved into containers called pre-pregnancy clothes (including my first and only pair of 7 jeans I bought one month prior to conception). It was SO depressing when I was still wearing maternity clothes 2-3, 4 months after she was born. Then I tried to squeeze into the pre-preggo clothes around x-mas time and still couldn't. Finally broke down and bought new stuff that actually fit me. Fabulous. And excuse for NEW clothes!

    And now, two babies and 20 - 25 extra pounds later, I'll get back there eventally, but its just not as important!