Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
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Thursday
Aug272009

Weaning

I know I've mentioned this before but I feel compelled to do so again. Specifically today. It will make sense as you near the end of this post. My boss reads this blog. So does my other boss. Boss Lady and The Manager. Manager McManagerson as I call him when he really rides his managerial horse. Hello there guys! The reason I bring this up is because this is one of Those Posts. The ones that make you uncomfortable, especially you Mr. McManagerson. You are in grave danger of learning Too Much About me if you scroll down even just a bit further. Consider yourselves warned.

It's hard to contemplate but it's something I know I have to do. I can't keep on like this forever. Admittedly it's got to end sooner or later and it might as well be now. Let the weaning begin.

So I'm boxing up all my maternity shirts.

Oh! You thought I was talking about breastfeeding. No, no. That's long over. I was referring to my addiction to maternity shirts. As sure as Bret Michaels will strum Every Rose Has Its Thorn on yet another season of Rock of Love, you'll find me lounging in a maternity shirt. I must wean myself off their comfort and admirable ability to hide my mid-section. It's going to be so hard!

It started innocently enough. YOU try wearing a skinny tee postpartum! What used to grace my hips as delicately as a lover's kiss, accentuating my waist in the tenderest of ways, now rides up my belly like a horny teenage boy's groping hand, slicing uncomfortably into my billowy muffin tops.

Skin like rising bread dough.

Every morning I wake up and head downstai-- well duh, of course I wake up else I'd still be sleeping now. What I mean to say is every morning after I get out of bed I trot downstairs for a weigh-in. Did I tell you I gained 51 pounds while pregnant? I gained a whole other person! Like, I gained Mary-Kate Olsen!

Where was I? Oh yes, The Weigh-In.

It's been a long road, these past seven months. I shed 25 pounds pretty quickly. No surprise there because just before I gave birth my feet were swollen so big they looked like they belonged on a victim of the gout. Incidentally, whatever you do, don't type gout into Google images. Those pictures hurt my feelings! So yeah. 25 pounds were expedited from my 5'4 frame and I hovered around 155 for a time. Those were good times to be sure. After abstaining from my best friend Corona for nearly a year I got a little crazy there for a while every night after Miss Violet had retired to her sleeping quarters. But my drinking like an insecure sorority sister at The Frat Party of the Year leveled off and I slowly but surely made my way to 147 without so much as a work-out. And so began the vacillating 140's. 142 was a good day and 149 had me curled in a fetal position clutching maternity shirts every morning when it came time to get ready for work. They not only hide bread dough skins, they're also good for nose blowing after a good cry.

Eventually I clawed my way into the 130's. Not by working out, mind you, because that would require... work. These past two months have been all about the 130's. There was that one beautiful day; the sun winked at me, birds were chirping, squirrels paused in their scurrying to wave hello, butterflies flitted about like cartoon characters and I hit 132. I immediately began trying on every pair of jeans I ever owned only to take a gander in the mirror and realize that even though I weighed close to my pre-baby weight, my body? It done changed fer good. I agreed with myself to just fuck it all off and swaddle myself in my old friends, The Maternity Shirts, lying to myself about their cuteness and flowy-ness. Really I just looked like a tent in jeans. 132 back to 137 to 134 and back to 139 then down to 135 again.

This morning, lo and behold, I was down to 133. And there was much rejoicing. That's just eight pounds over my pre-baby weight! Even though I knew better I reached for the jeans. The barometer jeans.

This is what motherhood looks like Also? What's with the new bellybutton flap? Jesus. It looks like it can nearly talk.

Nice try but it's just not happening,folks. And now I'm hungry for fresh baked bread. Or muffin tops. I'm okay with it, though. That saggy tummy was the roof over my little girl's head for the first nine months of her existence. The place she called home. From sea monkey to sea horse, tadpole to little peanut. She lived and breathed and sucked her thumb and thumped on my innards from there, behind the tightly stretched skin. She listened to me laugh, cry and retch. Lots and lots of retching. So yeah. I'll take it. Also? Had I worn these jeans to work the button would likely have gnawed through my stomach and severed my spinal cord when I sat down at my desk. As I like walking, I'll stick to the bigger jeans, thank you very much. But maybe, just maybe, I can wean myself off the "cute" maternity shirts (the lies we tell ourselves) and show this saggy rack off again.