Dressing my Postpartum Body, AKA Learning to Laugh at Myself

My daughter was born three months ago, and while my figure is still miles away from where I’d like it to be, it generally doesn’t bother me too much. My body’s most important purpose right now is nourishing her, and if that means some parts are softer and other parts are *ahem* bigger than I would otherwise like them to be, that is just fine.

But accepting my new body and dressing it are two entirely different things.

We are going out of town this week, my first time traveling since Ellie was born. It dawned on me the other day that a vacation means I am going to be out and about and interacting with other people for a solid week and a half. Not to mention, this trip revolves around two very important family events: a graduation and a wedding. The take away? My daily uniform of yoga pants and David’s shirts isn’t going to cut it.

I surveyed my current wardrobe and discovered I had approximately three shirts and one pair of pants that actually fit me. So, birthday money in hand, David, Ellie and I hit the mall!

I was pleasantly surprised by my jean size and not too upset by the new size large shirts I had to purchase to replace my smalls and mediums.

The real adventure came when I went bra shopping.

We got off the elevator on the third floor of Nordstrom where a young, slim sales associate greeted me. She was absolutely adorable and could not have been more than 20 years old. I told her I was looking for a nursing bra but had no idea of my size. She took me back to get measured.

*jaw drop*

You guys. Not cool.

I’m not going to divulge the details, but let’s just say it’s an embarrassingly large size.

The sales associate left the room and returned with two bras for me to try on.

“These are the only nursing bras we had in *insert ungodly size here*.”

I turned around and came face to face with two of the largest, matronly looking bras I have ever seen. Whatever. If they fit and get the job done, I guess I can’t complain.

I was pleasantly surprised when I tried one on. It may have been ugly as sin, but it was definitely comfortable.

Young, skinny sales associate came back in to check the fit, and the following conversation ensued:

Sales Associate: “Well, it looks like it fits pretty well. But… is your right side your smaller side? That cup isn’t fitting as well.”

Me: “It’s currently my smaller side because it’s the side my daughter just nursed on.”

Cue uncomfortable silence and an absolutely horrified look from the sales associate.

“… oh…”

Awesome.

I was tempted to menacingly whisper “this is your future” but decided against it.

Then, to add insult to injury, my body decided to revolt.

That’s right, I leaked all over my yet to be purchased new bra as I was trying it on.

That’s right.

All over.

As I was still trying it on.

Once again, awesome.

Ironically, before leaving for this shopping trip I thought to myself how great it was that I had yet to experience one of those embarrassing leaky boobs in public scenarios.

Serves me right for being cocky.

This is Pregnancy

This post is dedicated to all the amazing women who were real with me about what I was getting myself into. You are my heroes. Seriously.

Now that our pregnancy is public, the number one question I am (understandably) asked is “How are you feeling?” And honestly, now that I’m in my second trimester, I’m feeling pretty good! But the first trimester… that was an entirely different story.

I made a promise to myself during fertility treatments that I when I became pregnant I would not complain about my symptoms, no matter how bad they were. I know all too well that many women would sacrifice just about anything for the blessing of being able to carry a child. In honor of them, and my own journey, I have been determined to ride out the difficult parts of pregnancy with positivity and grace.

However, in some situations, there is nothing wrong with telling it like it is. So ladies (or gentlemen who happen to be reading this), in the spirit of encouragement and camaraderie let me tell you, pregnancy is not all sunshine and rainbows.

Lest you be fooled by what I like to call the “perfect preggo” whose pictures we often see floating around Instagram, let me give you a small glimpse of what my first three months were like.

Parks and Rec

My workout routine was the first thing to go, followed closely by my ability to eat anything that remotely resembled healthy food. I didn’t do my hair or wear make-up. Ever. Attempting to shower on a somewhat regular basis and put on clean, matching clothes became a monumental task; as did driving, walking, running errands, doing housework, talking to people, and showing up for work on time. If I was fully clothed, smelling alright, and not throwing up it was a good day.

Insane nausea and fatigue ruled all. Pre-pregnancy Kendra harshly judged pregnant Kendra on a daily basis, but sick and tired pregnant Kendra could have cared less.

There is one incident in particular that I think perfectly captures the “glamour” of this stage. SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t like reading stories that involve throw up, stop now. You have been warned.

One morning smack dab in the middle of my first trimester, David was getting ready for work and therefore occupying our only bathroom. I was in the middle of my own morning routine: lying in bed taking deep breaths while waiting for my anti-nausea medicine to take effect. (Can I get an “amen” for Zofran?) Delaney, our unsuspecting bulldog, was sleeping on her bed in our room.

All of a sudden, a swift and fierce wave of nausea hit; unfortunately this was going to be a day where Zofran did mercifully little to control my symptoms. I jumped out of bed and sprinted towards the closed door of our bathroom. Delaney, thinking this was a signal to play, ran ahead of me and jumped up on the front of my legs. The epic nausea, closed bathroom door, and bulldog delay were the perfect storm. I lost it. EVERYWHERE. Right there in my hallway.

Delaney fled to safety and poor David opened the door a second later to find me kneeling in a gigantic mess, still very much in the middle of getting sick. He gently ushered me into the bathroom and began cleaning up. A couple minutes later, while I was still huddled over the toilet, I heard him say “Aw, bulldog, she got you too.”

You guys, I threw up on my dog. This is pregnancy.

Granted, I have had a harder introduction to pregnancy than a lot of women. I know my “morning” (read: all day) sickness was on the severe end of the scale. I even ended up in the hospital for fluids after an extremely bad bought of nausea left me dangerously dehydrated.

So, if you are reading this and have not experienced pregnancy for yourself, don’t let me scare you. I just want to provide a little levity and encouragement so you don’t feel bad if you don’t live up to the myth of the woman with an easy breezy pregnancy. One day you can say to yourself, “at least I didn’t throw up on my dog like that one chick.”

And if you happen to be one of those aforementioned “perfect preggos” then more power to you! Please, share your secrets with the rest of us.