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)