Ah the postpartum body…
What a horrifying vessel.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. It just grew a person. What a magical, wonderful, machine.
It’s still horrifying.
As you rifle through your closet muttering, “What to wear? What to wear?” You realize there’s nothing in there that will fit your floppy-post-pregnant-but-still-looks-pregnant-but-not-in-a-cute-pregnant-sort-of-way body. You daydream about the day Liz Lange comes out with a flattering postpartum clothing line. You could be in the catalogue. If catalogues still existed. You consider writing her a letter, but then you realize that would be stupid because she will NEVER put out a flattering postpartum clothing line because there is NOTHING that looks flattering on a postpartum body. NOTHING.
So instead you just wear your jammies. Every. Day.
Well…you might resort to wearing your jammies everyday…but I don’t.
Instead, I choose to work my fleece one-piece bunny costume into my wardrobe rotation. Don’t judge. It’s comfy and it fits (sort of). It’s also seasonally appropriate…at least for a few more days. Plus I look awesome in pink. And hey, I wasn’t nicknamed ‘Fleesa’ in university for nothing.
On the outside of the pink bunny costume, I look fairly recognizable. My face, neck and hands (the only body parts exposed from the suit) have barely been affected by the trauma of childbirth. Do not be fooled though, because underneath the pink bunny costume there’s a different story—a story of mushy skin, left over linea nigra and so many stretch marks I could understudy for the California Raisins.
I know, I know. ‘Stretch marks the spot’ where my baby’s tiny foot dug into my ribcage, where his little heal pushed against my bladder. ‘Stretch marks the spot’ where his bum and back nudged my belly button, and where his knee prodded my side. Every mark is a reminder he grew from a tiny mass of cells into this fat little baby before me. Every line on my body is a keepsake shouting, “Hey you?! You grew him!” Me. I did that. That nose, those fingers, all that hair…I made that. I’m neat.
So why can’t I just welcome my new body and admire it for what it has done?
Because I also know that ‘stretch marks the spot’ where I made love to Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Fudge ice cream every single night for nine straight months in a row. And all that grew out of that love affair were some muffin tops and some back fat.
So if you see a California Raisin in a pink fleece bunny suit jogging down the highway, wave, because it’s me. And the only place ‘stretch marks the spot’ from now on is where I pull my spandex tights up over my muffin tops and my lycra sports bra down over my back fat so I can go for said run without tearing the arse right out of my bunny suit.
Because then I’d REALLY have nothing to wear.