I broke down and bought the M coat several weeks ago. On sale. And, I have to say, I love it. Truly.
Gaining weight has never been my favourite thing.
And watching the numbers on the scale go up and up and up makes me nauseous (as if I need more of that!)
But, I have to admit there is some comfort in packing on the pounds. For a woman in her early thirties, pregnancy is probably one of the only socially acceptable occasions to bulk up.
"This is your time! Eat what you want! Enjoy it! everyone says, when I whine about getting double butt, flabby arms and thunder thighs. "You're not fat," they say. "You're pregnant!"
A rabid worker-outer and compulsive watcher of what I ate pre-pregnancy, just letting myself indulge feels sinful. And I just can't allow myself to gorge on chocolate or Dairy Queen or stuff my face with hamburgers.
But I've agreed to compromise. No more denying myself what I want. For the first time in my life I'm allowing myself to order poutine. And finish it. To buy fish and chips at Chippys and only share a little. Not much!
I feel liberated. I feel like shouting "woman power" from the top of a building or a light standard (if only I could climb!).
"And you seem in control," my old friend Daniel told me recently (he didn't know about the light standard idea). "You're not like holding a hoagie in one hand, a blackberry in the other hand and whining like nuts." (he may be commenting on other aspects of me as well, but anywho...)
Slowly, I'm coming to terms with my new shape - just as I may start to look like a marshmallow!
Bring it on!
A few weeks ago I was covering a story about a teenager who'd been stabbed in the stomach in the cafeteria of his high school (he has since made a full recovery). While reporting on this story I found myself in a hospital room with all five of his sisters.
All of them were pretty, thin, tall and a few were pregnant.
One woman, who was seven months along and said she was having twins, spontaneously lifted up her shirt when there was a moment's calm in the room. She grabbed a bottle from her purse, squeezed a stream of translucent liquid into her hand and rubbed it all over her belly.
"Olive oil," she said, responding to the quizzical look on my face.
"Like extra virgin olive oil?" I asked. "Like the kind I put on my salad?"
"Yup," she said.
"Why are you doing that?" I had to know.
"Do I have stretch marks?" she asked me.
"No!" I said.
"There you go," she answered.
Who knew? I've always knew about vinegar and its many uses. Same with the smell fighting power of baking soda, which is also used to make cake (I am not a baker, can you tell?)
But, olive oil to prevent stretch marks?? That's definitely a new one.
I can't say I've raided my kitchen cabinet just yet..... but I'm thinking about it!
I know I'm obsessing - but I just can't get off this pregnancy clothing issue. In my opinion, the whole thing is a sham.
Yes, there are some brands of pants that have the stretchy waist and are made of elasticized material. Okay, some shirts are longer in the front and gather at the sides. Fine, tights have a tummy window that are soft on the belly.
But, the rest of the clothes - loose fitting sweater dresses, expensive turtle necks from stores like Belly, on Mount Pleasant, and Kick , on Eglinton Ave., are just regular brands with a heftier price tag.
And, I was told at Belly just this weekend that it's impossible to get my size in almost anything because fall merchandise came in a while ago and now its all gone.
This makes no sense. You can't shop early as a pregnant woman - you have no idea how you'll look, how your butt will balloon or whether all the fat will migrate to your arms or thighs.
And, stores like that attract skinny women, who don't look pregnant.
When I was at Belly this Sunday, a tall (about eight feet), toothpick of a woman who looked one month pregnant (or less) was cooing at herself in the mirror and checking out her butt in a pair of, what else - skinny pregnancy jeans (a ridiculous contradiction in terms, if you ask me).
"Look," my mom said. "She looks so cute in those jeans."
"Of course she does," I yelled. "She's not pregnant."
"I am," the woman answered with a scowl.
"Oh please," I snorted in return.
My mother, embarrassed, apologized for my outburst with her eyes. And then said "she's not taking well to this gaining weight thing," to the salesperson, in reference to my crustiness.
Well, I just don't think barely pregnant women who weigh less than the fetus they're carrying should be allowed to shop next to rotund turkey-like women, such as myself.
Admittedly, I've had a long day at work and I'm tired and hormonal. But come on - I thought pregnancy was a time to embrace bigness?? But how can I do that when even pregnancy stores aren't a safe zone??
Time for bed.
The first time you do something it's always tough. I snow ploughed myself into other toddlers on the bunny slope the first time I went skiing. I sat shyly in the corner my first day of Grade 1, hoping no one would see me, or god forbid ask me a question. My first time with a guy - that was no fun at all - memorable, but no fun at all.
My first time buying pregnancy clothes: maybe not the worst thing ever, but it didn't go very well and I ended up leaving the store, Kick maternity on Eglinton Ave., just west of Avenue Road, with a pair of non-maternity leggings and nothing more.
The upside is that I did learn what "pop" means. The salesperson had to explain it to me over and over, after every time I said something like: "I can't buy these, they're too big" or "when the hell can I start purchasing clothes that zip up?" or "why do I feel like Steve Urkel?"
"Well," she said, getting increasingly frustrated each time, "you haven't popped yet."
I've heard the term, a lot, but until this weekend I didn't understand that to "pop," the salesgirl explained, means to be the same size in the morning as in the evening - when the late day bloat sticks around. Forever.
For first time preggers, such as myself, that may not happen till six months. Sheesh!
So, I did what I usually do when shopping for clothes that don't fit (until now it's been jeans). I threw a tantrum. A quiet one, just in the dressing room by myself to ensure I could return to the store without feeling like the salesperson put my face on a dartboard in the back room.
And I left with my leggings. At least they don't need to zip up!
I have no doubt my friends were hiding pregnancy details from me - all part of their elaborate plans to get to me to give in, take the plunge and get pregnant.
And it worked. Until now, I had no idea what odd things could become of a woman's body these nine months. And beyond.
The weight gain I was prepared for (somewhat). But, I could never have anticipated what a colleague told me the other day.
"My feet grew a whole size and a half," she said. "I still can't fit into my pre-pregnancy shoes!"
She had children a few years ago.
That's the last thing I could have anticipated. And I have such cute shoes! What a cruel joke.
What evolutionary benefit could bigger feet possibly confer on a mother? Extra balance??
Phooey. What's next? Don't tell me my boobs will get smaller once I breastfeed!
Mornings, for me, have always been a race out the door. Today was no different - except now that I'm pregnant (see the first of my weekly columns), I'm slower. A lot slower. And, indecisive - especially about what to wear. It seems my choices lately have become ever so limited.
Usually light-headed first thing in the a.m., I stare up (lying on the floor of my closet, of course) at all the clothes I've accumulated over the last few years and try to figure out what will fit.
My pants don't. They won't zip up. My shirts are too tight. Even if I do get the buttons to close, they'll pop open later, like when I'm interviewing the police chief or something (it's happened. Thank god I was able to slip away and do them up before anyone noticed).
But, I'm not big enough to buy maternity clothes. I call this stage body purgatory. Too big, yet still to small. And I can't bring myself to spend money on regular clothes that I'll grow out of in two weeks. Call me cheap. I can take it.
So, I've resigned myself to just looking odd. I refuse to buy a belly band, those giant lycra belts that are supposed to keep one's pants up, so I just wear long tops to cover the open zippers.
And, I refuse to take off a trapeze-like jacket that one friend said is starting to look like Linus' blanket.
I'm waiting to "pop" as one woman put it. That moment when I finally look pregnant, rather than just plumpy. Someone please tell me that happens soon!