Friday, March 6, 2009

Baby Belly

So the other day I was having a "bad body day." You know, the kind of day when you catch a glimpse of yourself in a mirror or store window and you realize that you're wearing unflattering pants or your hair has been sticking up for hours. Well, I caught a glimpse of something every mother dreads - muffin top.

Don't get me wrong, I'm EXTREMELY grateful that I've been able to lose most of the weight from both pregnancies. But a number on a scale does not reflect the amount of damage done during pregnancy. To add to my insecurity, Emerson has decided that playing with my belly is a fun new activity. He randomly walks up behind me, pulls up my shirt and starts to poke, squish, pinch and even pull my skin out several inches (to my amazement and horror). The other day he kissed it as if it still had a baby inside. Between that and the stretch marks that decency won't allow me to show, it's a daily reminder that things just aint what they used to be.

Just when I was feeling at the peak of my muffin-top despair, I got online and saw this post from Her Bad Mother: Truthiness in Muffin-Top Portraiture

AHH, honesty. Inspired, I decided it was time to accept my own flab fate and add to her collection of bellies (admittedly, I chose muffin-top restricting pants for these pictures. The poor lighting is a result of a crappy camera.)

Before Emerson was born, I realized that of all the joys and woes of pregnancy, what I thought about most was the loss of sexiness. Sure, my husband still thought I was sexy at my biggest, and I suppose I was in a certain "fertility goddess" sort of way. But I realized that in recent years, the importance of being sexy and turning heads had sunk somewhere deep into my psyche. During both pregnancies, I dreamed about living the life of a Victoria's Secret model - strutting around my mansion in expensive lingerie and randomly posing with mid-orgasmic expressions on my face. Unfortunately, even postpartum, high heels and teddies are not conducive to changing diapers or running to the grocery store.

After Emerson was born, I was able to at least wear feminine clothes and make-up again after a few weeks. And with the help of lots of walking and Stroller Strides classes twice a week, I was back to my old shape by the end of the year. This time around, however, wearing makeup has become the exception rather than the rule and exercise? Well, let's just say that's not going to happen until I come out of winter hibernation.

Some mommy friends and I were talking the other day about bodies and we agreed that the best way to feel good about your body is to get pregnant. Once you get huge, you realize you never should have complained about how you looked before! Even more than that, though, motherhood is a physical act. It causes sagging, pooching, aching muscles, sore nipples, pinched back nerves and the occasional noise-induced headache.

But it also causes the kind of love that literally makes your heart ache. It's a head full of baby hair nestled into your neck. It's a toddler who wraps his arms and legs tight around your body and won't let go. It's spinning till you're both dizzy, baby drool running down your arm, or hearing a squeaky "ma ma."

So for that I guess I can forget about my illogical desire to please men and instead focus on making good memories for two little boys. And someday - when I catch a rare moment of alone time - I'll strut around in lingerie...just for me.

How my belly spends most of its days - and these are NOT muffin-top restricting pants obviously.
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Amanda Finlayson said...

You should see my muffin top. . . . And I haven't had a baby yet!! :) You look fantastic silly.

Casey said...

I think you look great for having two kids. I wish I looked like that after my second. You should really see me now after my fourth, very scary!

Wendy said...

Cassi. That. Is not. A. Muffin-Top.
...although I don't wish to invalidate your angst...

Cassi said...

Ha, thanks ladies! I wore the best pants possible so I was technically cheating, but thanks for the boost. :)

Shantana Sheree said...

You mean there's a NAME for this? Brilliant!

I've been struggling with this phenomenon on the whole package - looking more and more like a "Mom", someone that gets called "Lady" by retail sales people. Practical haircut. Sensible shoes. Snot smears on my pants. I never had the temptress look, and never really wanted it - but sometimes, I dream of strutting around in the lingerie too :-)