Saturday, 19 February 2011

Silence of the Sisterhood - part 8 - The Betrayal of The Body

The Betrayal of the Body

The body is an amazing thing, it must be, to create an entire life out of a few cells.

So why then does it feel the need to be such a complete bastard to the woman it expects to nurture and nourish life’s greatest miracle ?

The only advantage was that by the time I was 4 months pregnant I had lost over a stone from all the puking and not eating.  A marvellous head start, it meant there would be at least one photo of me with cheekbones during my pregnancy.

We managed to go out for a meal on Christmas Eve and I got to wear my new floaty chiffony blouse and feel like a nice pregnant woman for the first time.  Yes, you could tell it was a bump not a bulge, and it looked cute, sexy and .. well how only Rachel in Friends looked when she was pregnant.

So the sisterhood, they ask you whether you are wearing maternity clothes yet – women are naturally jealous; they only want to check that you got fat before they did – and you say no, but you need to, cos you’ve just about vaporised the elastic on the only pair of jogging bottoms you will admit to owning.   So they nod and agree you need to get some maternity clothes.
Do they tell you where to buy them from ?   No, cos with a bit of misdirection, you might look like your maternity clothes came from Millets, but without the tent poles, and then they can gloat about their greater maternal elegance.

Do they explain that just as with normal clothes, the sizes differ from shop to shop ? Do they point out that the clothes can’t be tumble-tried or that underwear only comes in white ?

No, no and do they bollocks !!

So, excited by the thought of being able to wear elasticated trousers without shame (cos there’s room for more food, assuming you can eat) you toddle off and start your new quest.  Except here’s the catch, the first great unspoken moment of pregnancy.  You are at the point of your pregnancy where your proper clothes don’t fit but the maternity clothes are too big. 

How funny is that ?

Not very.  So you try a smaller size, but that’s futile cos your fat thighs won’t fit into anything less than the proper size.  So you curse out loud and throw a little foot stomp (the house speciality) but what d’you know, that makes no difference at all.

Now if you’re below average size – a 12 or even an 8 – I guess its simple to just buy size 16 clothes and look glam.  When you already were a size 16, there’s not much up-scope, most shops being allergic to carrying clothes with bigger numbers on them. 

So you take a deep breath and you march inside and lo and behold, although you have always sneered at them, they come up trumps.  You vow to love them forever for not sneering at bigger girls.

Yup, thank heavens for Evans.

Of course, this is only a holding measure.  Amazingly, the baby seems to grow once a week.  Every Friday I suddenly seem bigger.  So one Friday we go and get me some proper maternity trousers before we head over to Pizza Hut.  Once there, Shaun forces me to change out of my current trousers, which, after all, have performed a heroic 4 week tour of duty, and into the new ones, which hopefully have buttons I can actually button.

So after ordering my meal (food rapidly re-establishing itself as life’s number one priority) I hasten to the ladies and slow change into my stretchy elasticated holy Lycra’d jeans.  The fit is so comfortable it’s like great sex – effortless and how it’s meant to be.  I turn to admire my newly secured bump and gasp.  What the sisterhood don’t tell you is that maternity trousers instantly make you look twice as pregnant as you were.

Still, I am in a brief positive stage.  I feel aglow (albeit with low wattage) and proud of my body for the first time in my life; this will go down in history as the only time I have ever displayed rather than hidden my stomach or had a positive body image.

I walked into the toilets but waddle out.  I get to our table and find Shaun collapsed with laughter at my instant transformation to Weeble.  It’s important during pregnancy to have the love and support of a partner.

I resolve to place a Wanted ad in the local paper in the morning.

Inevitably you get even bigger, and I mean seriously bigger.  One week your bump’s level with your breasts, and the next its left them in the slip stream like Michael Schumacher off the starting grid.  You expect stretch marks (although the sisterhood remain remarkably quiet on whether they got them and what cream they used on them) but you don’t expect them to itch.  (Sisters didn’t mention that either). 

You try cooling lotions, moisturising lotions, extra moisturising lotions, we’re so moist you can safely drink us lotions, nice smelling lotions, nasty smelling lotions (no pain, no gain, right?) but nothing really soothes that watermelon red itch.  And let’s face it, nothing in the world is going to soothe it when you’ve got a 7pound baby using it as a foothold to get a more comfy position. 

Memo to baby: mummy’s skin is delicate.  If you don’t know what delicate means, let’s discuss it when I cross my legs as your head’s coming out.

The worst moment – the full-blown tantrum, scream and scream until I’m sick moment – occurs sometime in the 7th month.  Yes I have grown, but it is all baby, all front.  From the back I look exactly the same (even though yes, for all I know, this may be code for “from the back you still look like the baby hippo you’ve always resembled”) but from the side I no longer occupy one mirror.  So we’re off to the hospital for about the 6th scan of the pregnancy and I put my favourite maternity trousers on, the combats, and …..


The bastards will not button up.  No way no way no way.

Yes way. 

So how fat do you have to be exactly to outgrow maternity trousers ?  Maybe there’s just not enough elastic in the world to accommodate my pregnancy. 

Maybe I should just succumb and buy a kaftan right now.

Isn’t there a Millets in town ?

I have found some extremely elasticated trousers and I guard them with my life.  They are more precious to me than air, water, or my unborn pain-in-the-ass but oh-she’s-worth-it baby.  I sleep with one eye open to make sure some evil gremlin doesn’t come and shrink them in the night.  They fit me, and right now that means more to me than winning the lottery or having sex ever again.

Unfortunately they are made of very shiny stretchy material (not so good with the only available in white maternity knickers) and if I want to repulse Shaun, all I have to do is tuck my T-shirt inside them and I look like Tweedle-Dum after he has eaten Tweedle-Dee.

When it’s cold out my trousers aren’t thick enough, but I don’t care cos they fit.

When it’s too hot out, my trousers could do with being shorter, but I don’t care cos they fit.

When they are in the washing machine, I maintain a candlelit vigil and pray for their safe return.

Dammit, they fit.

Before Beth arrives, I want to know exactly what I weigh and measure so that I have a starting point for when the Great Weight Loss Crusade begins.
Today I weighed myself.  It’s a good job the scales are near the sink, because I needed something to lean on till the shock wore off.

3 stones on, 4 if you count the head start the puking gave me.

I now weigh so much I could fling Giant Haystacks off the other end of a see-saw.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blogging tips