21 February 2006

self portrait tuesday #22 (all of me)



I'm still wearing my old maternity underwear. which, is not so much a big deal but ezra turns two this june. most women who have just given birth are dying to slap on 'real' underwear just as soon as it's humanly possible. honestly, I don't even think I stopped wearing them between carrying ava and ezra. it's all about security and comfort. these cheapo 'motherhood maternity' briefs (size large, natch) are just so roomy and forgiving that I cannot bare to place them on the b-team. instead, they proudly take their place each week in the starting line-up, a-team (all the way) and will not be sitting the bench anytime soon.

I even swiped those weird stretchy ace bandage-like postpartum things that they give you to wear right after you deliver. I grabbed as many as I could before nurse ratchett could catch me and I think I'd wear them (if any were left in my hidden stash). it's just that after they cut you open a couple of times to pull babies out of you, you feel strangely protective of that area. and I've spent a lifetime developing core strength (if you study dance, it goes way beyond the joy of a flat belly that you can bounce quarters off of). I took great pride in the fact that I'd built for myself an incredibly strong center from which I could move with great power and fluidity. then they cut you, people. and in an instant, it's gone. of course, the trade-off is phenomenal: yes, they slice you open, but then they put little people in your shaky arms that go onto become avas and ezras. I swear, I'd endure a thousand belly slicings for those two fantastic creatures. still, the power that you have come to know and love is (temporarily) gone and all of the sudden, you cry each time you have to use your abdominals to even sit up from the couch. I spent a lot of time sobbing in the bathroom, grieving the loss of those muscles, my belly, my core strength. it hasn't even been flat since high school but that was never as important to me as how strong I was. slipping into the giant-sized chalky black cotton maternity underwear always made me feel just a little bit better, a little more optimistic-- not unlike a nice cup of tea would. and what would they say if my beloved maternity underwear could talk? surely, they would whisper. (come on now/ don't be so hard on yourself/ it will all come back to you/ until then, let me comfort you with my soft polycotton blend and gentle elastic/ go ahead, pull me all the way up to your chin if you want/ I've got plenty of give/ and will always be here when you need some extra space). yes, I'm quite sure I heard them say these things to me on more than one occasion. postpartum hormones are crazy like that. and I know I might be able to get the same feelings from a brand new pair of the best granny underpants that money could buy but please-- the maternity ones have seen battle. I respect that.

I will also admit that I'm a little uncomfortable with how well the maternity underwear still fits me. meaning, there's still a mountain of work to do, baby fat to be lost and more core-strengthening to be done. I'm not a total freak, though-- I do have a couple of fancy frilly pairs in rotation, a couple of normal styles to rock from time to time. and I wouldn't refuse a shopping spree at la perla either. but for now, my scarred-up belly needs the comfort and familiarity of old friends.

(more truth can be found here and here)

24 comments:

  1. very nice, alluring photo! and I love the way speak about the precious underwear we wear to the nubs while pregnant. they have been thru quite a lot, and get to know us very well. so a big hurrah from me to the a-team. and a very revealing self portrait.

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  2. what a great post. And i could cry happy relating tears when i read it. I wear my maternity thongs... how funny is that :) I don't think i'll ever stop wearing them. i like them too much. HA.

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  3. And here I've been avoiding even trying out these undies for fear of being to square. You may have talked me into picking up a backage next time I'm at Motherhood.

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  4. Wow. Thank you for baring your soul. It took a lot to write about your skivvies...yes? You're so cool - even your maternity undies have mod, retro styling.

    Also, thank you for teaching me about a world I will never know: the pain and loss involved with a cesarean. Wow...I have so much respect for mothers. Maybe I'll try to impregnate a lesbian later in life (haha), so I can experience the amazement involved in seeing your own little genetic creation running around. Who knows, maybe I'd be a good "drop in" Dad...and maybe my boyfriend could come too and help our surrogate couple change the diapers - just kidding... ; >

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  5. you have such a good way of making us post pregnant moms feel better. loved the way your undies whisper to you! so very coaxingly too. so funny! coming from the c-club as well i sobbed many times myself whenever i looked in that direction. thanks for sharing.

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  6. Thank you SO very much for this post. I'm so hard on myself about my body and yet, I too have that same scar (only I couldn't bear it a second time, not after what I went thru).
    And girlfriend, my pregnancy panties NEVER were that cute although I totally relate to those stretchy, meshy boy shorty things from the hospital. If underwear manufacturer's took THOSE as a mock-up they'd be minting $$!

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  7. thanks for the great laugh! Even though I've gotten about 8 pounds off my post Eden bod, I still wear the same size undies. I don't think all that "elastin" that makes your pelvis spread out ever went away. It's just awesome that after your body changes so much, your husband loves you all the more. I know I can say that about mine, and Ward sounds like a mighty good man too.

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  8. Hey, I think those are pretty cute panties. I was the opposite -- I refused to wear maternity panties while pregnant and I stretched out all of my good undies. My big problem now is giving up the nursing bra...

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  9. Thank you for being so real! I can not relate to the motherhood experience...but it's good to know that when that time comes...I will have a lot of people to lean on! I sure am learning A LOT that I would have NEVER thought of!

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  10. Excellent self-portrait! Respect the panties that have seen battle. Right on.

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  11. So sweet, Andrea.

    "Go ahead and pull me up to your chin" - hhaha.

    I think you're making the maternity chones look punk. Leather cuff, polka shirt, high-waisted black undies . . . Work them grannypanties, mama!

    I was the type that wouldn't leave the hospital without a girdle -- what a eef'ing outrageous word, "girdle." Anyway, I was like, Hell no, duct tape my organs back together, let's get this skin in there, Ok . . .set (gasp). Not sure if it really did anything, but mentally I felt better AND it gave me reasons to wear a corset (much better word) everyday.

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  12. cool photo. oh, the love-hate relationships we have with our bodies.

    It's funny, because the only time I've ever really liked my body was when I was pregnant. I never let my husband touch my belly at other times, and when I was pregnant it was such a nice feeling to have his hands there, when we spooned at night ...

    I liked my pregnant belly so much I just wore my normal undies and let them sit right under my bump! But I will say that I've been wearing the same white cotton ones for around a century, and just last week my (normally uber-complacent) husband started throwing some of them away at laundry time. LOL. Think he's trying to tell me something ;-)

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  13. I'm not a mom, but I've got the hips ready whenever I am and I do know that I'll take the boy-short (plain ole cotton or lacy do) anyday over the more threadbare skimpy kind. I prefer that comfort on the inside.

    you - mama - and your beauty is too legit.

    x

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  14. I'm not pregnant, but you make the pregnant undies sound so good - I just might start wearing them early.

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  15. those are sure cuter than any maternity panties i ever had!!! and oh yes, they cut me open too, and i remember it well. it sucks when laughing kills you.

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  16. Love how you love your lovliness :)

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  17. OH i adored this post. I loved that you became the voice of the underware. I loved that you had so many brilliantly funny & delightful things to say about their comfort and history. And it made me feel so good because at least half of my underware belongs to that category as well. Especially bras. I have hideous bras, but they're really comfy.

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  18. andrea.... wow girl... done only as YOU could do this.... security. loaded word.... strength in various forms... my mind whirs and my heart thanks you!

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  19. I love your refreshingly honest posts. I wish more blogs were like this one.

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  20. oh yeah--i'm all about the comfort, too....and they're black...i'm mean come on, that's sexy, right??!! you get some points for that!

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  21. Mandy just asked me the other day how long after Leo's birth does she have to wait before she can stop wearing maternity clothes. One of her favorite pair of jeans is the maternity pair with the big stretchy front...

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  22. Great post Andrea. Funny timing, my son is 6 months old now and I just threw all of my maternity undies aways, like, 2 days ago. I need new, keeps me young (yeah, in my head anyway).

    Love, Beth

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  23. this post made me laugh & smile. oh, the power of the internet. thank you for sharing.

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  24. ROFLMAO, what a wonderful world we live in, that i can sit in Australia at almost midnight and wander about the world and stumble upon the justification and thought process of a woman and her undies ..............LOL, so freakin funny!
    TFS......truly

    hehhehhe
    Jules : )

    Aussie translation: UNDIES -pronounced... uundeez. ...... AKA underpants, underwear, knickers

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