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Weighing in on The Weight

Pregnancy Weight

It occurred to me recently that weight gain during pregnancy has turned into another way for women to judge women. In high school we had the SATs, and as news moms we have pregnancy weight: how much you gain during, and how fast you lose it afterwards. And every woman knows exactly how much she gained and how long it took to lose. There are those that say, “Oh, I don’t know, I don’t really remember…” but I don’t believe them. For me personally, I bombed on both.

Maybe bombed is a bit of a strong word to use. I am eternally grateful, of course, for my healthy and happy bouncing baby girl turned feisty toddler. But I didn’t fall into the recommended weight, gaining about 50 pounds. I became pregnant as a size four and filled out to a pregnant size fourteen and beyond, where the clothes stopped using numbers and would simply state: Maternity XXL. Part of me was thankful that I didn’t continue to rise in the ranks, and part of me was flabbergasted I had busted out (literally and figuratively) of the number system altogether. Even now, I shake my head in disbelief. But such is life when you’re growing a human being.

And then, my baby has arrived! And it was T-minus how many weeks until I was supposed to fit into my skinny jeans, like Gwenyth Paltrow or Denise Richards did. I would mention Nicole Richie, but then I’d get really depressed. I seriously thought it could happen to me — that with enough determination and will power I would be back into my Lucky’s in no time. But the myth was shattered very soon after I realized that even though I wasn’t pregnant, I would proceed to look pregnant for at least the next two months. Forget about being large and in charge (which I also was), I actually looked like I was four months along. My waist didn’t show up for a long time; I didn’t know if she was ever going to appear again. That was a downer, and I would often reach for a bag of chips to commiserate. What did it matter now anyway, right?

After eighteen months (yup, I said eighteen) I was finally able to get back into my size four Lucky’s. And they look pretty good too. I now feel like the slim, fit active mom whose weight “just fell off” from all her motherly duties. I sometimes get looks from other mothers asking how I do it, and I always make sure to answer them truthfully: “Well I was quite heavy for some time, and it look me about a year and half to lose it all. I was the chubbiest version of me for a while.” And a response I received recently from a warm, kind and attractive mother of two: “Well I don’t believe you.”

This woman who questioned me — she’s very pretty and she has a lovely figure. And she’s very, very wealthy. The extreme kind of wealth we see from Hollywood types: houses and drivers and exotic vacations. And she has two adorable children. She has the world at her fingertips, and yet it seemed she has trouble wrapping her head around her own maternity weight adventures. Who says the richest 1% can’t relate to the rest of us? It turns out motherhood is the ultimate bonding experience and when it comes to weight, we’ve all been there.

Author: Amy


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