Trying to find maternity clothes that don't make you look like a beached whale (though you likely still feel like a beached whale no matter what you're wearing) are often hard to come by during pregnancy. The advertising makes the women look all easy-bake-oven cute, but when you put it on you look more like those giant ovens they have in the restaurant industry.
My pregnancy had two phases of maternity clothes. The normal first batch I bought when I started showing, all excited when I couldn't button my jeans anymore. And the second batch, after I no longer fit into even the largest maternity clothes I already had, after we found out there were two babies in there (at 22 weeks!!!) and decided bigger clothes were definitely needed.
I carried my boys to 40 weeks and 2 days, so I was huge by the time I gave birth and pretty much only fit into stretch pants and pajamas and one pair of super big maternity jeans, but I had two babies in me, so I had an excuse.
I'm not usually one to stress about weight; I generally trust that eating healthy and staying active will keep my body the right size for me. I rarely step on the scale as I don't believe pounds are the best way to measure one's health. That being said, my weight has not changed since a few weeks post-partum. I lost a ton of weight just by giving birth to two healthy full-term babies (at 5 lbs 10 oz and 6 lb 15 oz, plus the placentas, I had a lot of baby in there), but the rest of it, which I naively assumed would just fall off as I ran around chasing and nursing two babies, has stuck around to the pound.
Which is frustrating, but at the end of the day, whatever, right?
Well, I just started taking domperidone to help with some nursing issues we've been struggling with. It boosts milk production substantially and that is really important to me; however, the only real side effect is weight gain. I haven't gained any weight on the scale, but I have gotten bigger. I haven't been able to fit into any pre-partum clothes since giving birth, but now I don't even fit into the maternity clothes I was wearing at 40 weeks pregnant with twins. No joke.
When your hair looks so ratty a bird probably wouldn't even touch it for its nest and you have been living in your pajamas for a few months, taking a shower is like winning the lottery. You think of all the things you can do now that you are clean - all the fresh clean clothes you can wear, the earrings rusting next to the necklaces just waiting to be worn and the lipstick you haven't opened in what seems like decades. When you can't fit into any of those fresh clean clothes, not even the extra huge maternity ones you've put in a pile in the corner of your closet, and you have to climb back into the gross milk- and spit-up-encrusted pajamas you've been wearing for your babies' entire lives, life sucks. (Ok, that's a slight exaggeration; I have a few pajamas in rotation...)
I'm starting to worry that my babies will think this is what I look like. This scraggly disheveled stick-figure drawing version of myself. The cartoon version of me that is always wearing the same damn outfit, looking strung out with huge bags under my eyes and a rat's nest on top of my head. I'm sick of it.
So yesterday I decided things need to change.
It starts with Baron Baptiste's 40 Days to Personal Revolution, but with a few added challenges of my own. The basic idea of his program (which I highly highly recommend to anyone looking for a good jumping off point for change) is that it takes 40 days for something to become habit. By making every effort to meditate, practice yoga and be present in my actions every day for six weeks, the goal is for it to become second nature by the end. He lays out what to focus on during meditation every week, what yoga sequence to follow and how to be mindful in your every day activities.
I'm not hoping that by the end I will magically have reached my pre-pregnancy weight. Let's be honest; I'm not sure I will ever weigh as little again in my life, but that's fine. My hope is that this will initiate a change in my general hygiene and self-care. That instead of grabbing whatever snacky foods I can (say, two packs of licorice and a box of crackers) and calling it dinner I will consciously make myself a healthy meal and sit down to eat it (sitting on the bed doesn't count), because it's better for my children to see healthy eating habits but moreso because I deserve to be taken care of.
That instead of throwing on the same aerobics-era leggings with the hole in the butt and ratty sweatshirt with a broken zipper I will actually get dressed in the morning even if I don't intend to leave the house, because those stretch pants probably need a good wash but moreso because I deserve to be taken care of.
That instead of calling the bajillion times I walk up and down the stairs or pick up one or both of the boys or do contortionist-style moves trying to breastfeed or wear them at the same time, I will actually do some form of physical exercise for myself, not as a byproduct of my daily routine but purposefully, because my boys should grow up understanding that healthy daily physical activity is fun but moreso because I deserve to be taken care of.
That I will brush my hair (and teeth! - gross that I have to make that a rule, I know) and wear lipstick and at least one piece of jewelry daily not because make-up or material things make you beautiful (or that outer beauty is all that matters in the world, or matters at all if you really get right down to it) but because quite frankly when all you do all day is take care of two very demanding little people, you have to rely on the little things to feel taken care of yourself. And I deserve to be taken care of, damnit!
And maybe as an added bonus, by the end of this whole personal revolution I will be able to fit into something other than pajamas and anything with "stretch" in the description; or if not, I will be at peace enough with myself not to let it bother me. Either way will suit me just fine.
Here's to a shiny, buffed up version of new-maman-me! Wish me luck! I sure as hell deserve it.