Looking Good: Pregnant and Pospartum Bellies

Why, oh why, is it such a big deal when a pregnant woman poses nude?

Although I don’t have time for reading magazines (unless I need a distraction in a waiting room), I check out the cover to know all that I need to know about which celebrities are getting a divorce, which celebrities I have never heard of, and which celebrities made a million dollars selling their baby’s first photo. Although I am a prude about being sexy, magazine covers are not shy about selling what sells; sex. If it’s not a celebrity baby’s first photo on the cover, you can bet it is a sexy celebrity showing some skin. Combine the two and you get a pregnant celebrity posing nude.

I was 11 years old when Demi Moore posed on the cover of Vanity Fair in 1991. Let me do the math for you, I’m gonna be 32 this year. I didn’t understand ‘pregnancy’ back then and thought it was gross. I hoped that when I had children, there would be another way to do it that wouldn’t involve a big round belly. Big round bellies were for Santa Clause.

During the first 7 months of my pregnancy, I looked bloated like I usually do. I was relieved when my belly got bigger and I no longer had to endure stares from people trying to determine if I was pregnant or not. If you’ve got an Etsy shop, perhaps you could make a t-shirt that takes the guess work out of it; This isn’t a belly full of Doritos, I have a person growing inside of me.

I gained 35 pounds during pregnancy and it was all belly. Big belly. BIG belly. It was like an uneven shelf and I used it as such. When I was sitting behind by desk, I had to slide my chair back further as pregnancy progressed. I realized something wonderful was happening.

I DON’T HAVE TO SUCK MY STOMACH IN!

Whenever I posed for pictures, I could turn to the side and let my belly stick out. Whenever I wore a form fitting fabrics, I didn’t need to wear a jacket to cover my belly. Whenever I wore pants my belly could just hang over the top. Oh, glory! There was no more pretending to be a smaller size I wasn’t. I was pregnant and proud!

My boobs went from big to biggerer and I have no idea what my legs looked like down there. Also big I think. I eventually lost track of my belly button too. Gone! Things were just big. This was my body and I was growing a baby! YAY!

Dramatic re-enactment of what my cover might have looked like. Does my face look model-moody or just moody?

Alas, magazines did not offer me compensation for posing nude during my pregnancy. If they had, I would have enthusiastically accepted. I have never in my life been so proud of my body. So confident in my shape. The ‘pregnancy glow’ must be caused by confidence and comfort in the curvy shape that results from growing people.

It is a shame that only hours after giving birth, I was wondering why my stomach didn’t look much smaller than it was when there was still a baby in there. It made me sad that when I left the hospital my shirt was tighter and my maternity pants were still very necessary.

A postpartum celebrity posing nude before the personal trainers and chefs get them back into shape would be a nice reality to show on a magazine cover. Pregnant bellies are wonderful, but what happens to our bodies after babies are born is equally as dramatic. But ‘reality’ means something very different when a celebrity is marketing or exploiting themselves. It would be nice to see a celebrity stepping forward to showcase a sagging belly, swollen breasts, and a sleep deprived facial expression. They would have the enthusiastic support of this mommy!

Please vote for Mommy Huh daily… and from your smart phones too!

Jeans: The Mom Kind and the Skinny

Like any conversation about a controversial topic, it’s best just to get to the point and say it.

Let’s talk about ‘skinny jeans.’

I imagine your reaction is a lot like mine has been since women rightfully or wrongfully started wearing skinny jeans. I was wowed with my own brain power when I vowed never-ever to wear skinny jeans quicker than you can shake a stick at the time-space continuum. If you don’t speak nerd like I do, that means it’s really fast.

Purchasing jeans has always been one of my least favorite things to purchase. Yes, worse than bathing suits. You can cover up a bathing suit but you might look a little strange wearing pants on top of your jeans. Also, you have to take off your shoes when trying on jeans which feels too much like commitment. All this drama just for an average pair of jeans without any features like boot cut or slim.

"I'm not a woman anymore, I'm a mom."

I thought as a mom fashion was supposed to get easy… as in you no longer have any time for fashion and you let your personal style go in favor of comfort, convenience, and budget. I also thought that they made a special kind of jean for moms that wasn’t skinny, had full coverage for the bottom half, and came with roomy features like pleats and elastic waistbands. Now they have things called jeggings, pajama jeans, and skinny jeans. I just dare you to tell me which of those three words sounds good.

My personal experience with skinny jeans began the same way many other life changing experiences began; with a great pair of boots. I longed for something a little prettier than the snow boots I wear when I think nobody will notice.I found a great pair of boots and had visions of adorable outfits and a strut in my step.

The reality of skinny jeans became apparent after I realized I had neglected my new boots because I had no way to showcase them. After my husband suggested I get a pair of skinny jeans, I asked him why I bothered to marry him. Nonetheless, there was no denying or ignoring the fact that my husband had just suggested I go shopping. So I did.

Obviously this story has a happy ending. It did involve shopping after all. Indeed, I found a pair of skinny jeans the looked good, felt good, and was an excellent price. Let me highlight a few things I learned about skinny jeans:

I'm brave enough to wear skinny jeans and share a picture of them with you.

 

1. Skinny jeans are made of countless fabric blends, washes, and colors. Find the pair that looks best of your frame!

2. Don’t be a grumpy old-fashioned woman like me. Trying new things can be scary, but it can also be refreshing. I can’t tell you how many times I have ignored a trend only to love it later.

3. Skinny jeans CAN be comfortable!

4. Skinny jeans can be slimming and you shouldn’t be afraid to flaunt your mommy curves.

As a working mom, my look is limited to the constraints of time and budget. Working Mom Style highlights simple ways to make a fashion statement. If you’re a corporate mom or a SAHM, these tips and tricks can work for you too!

Follow my Working-Mom-Style Board on Pinterest or follow me on Twitter @DCWorkingMommy for style tips that can work for any mom!

 

 

 

Top 10 Baby Myths

I was the first of my family and friends to have a baby last year during the baby boom. Cousins were pregnant, co-workers were pregnant, friends were pregnant, even famous people who are significantly older than me were pregnant. I began to suspect babies aren’t really made the way my mother told me. I think sometimes you can get pregnant from drinking water.

Mother & Baby

Facebook status updates were dominated by pregnancy announcements, OB-GYN appointment updates (3cm, holla!), it’s a girl/boy, and eventually something like OMG GET THIS BABY OUT! But there was nothing better than the ‘Our baby arrived yesterday weighing in at so many pounds so many ounces. Mother and baby are doing well.’

In my first post, I described the importance of talking to other moms as I prepared for baby. But as the first to deliver last year, I had other pregnancy newcomers asking me for advice, guidance, and honesty about what really happens.

One mom shared a motherhood secret that I always share with other moms: People will always tell you how to parent, but just parent the way YOU want to!

Is your mind blown?

But along with the good advice, there were a lot of myths.

Top 10 Baby Myths

(In no particular order)

1. Drink raspberry herbal tea to induce labor: Didn’t work for me and my frequent urination became more frequent (and urgent) urination. On a happy note, this was a delicious myth.

2. Breastfeeding is natural and your body will know what to do: Sort of true. I was misled with this one. My body and baby knew what to do but I certainly didn’t. I expected to wake up one morning and be a breastfeeding expert but it just doesn’t happen that way.

3. When you’re pregnant, you’re eating for two: Technically yes, but that doesn’t mean you need to eat double the portions. It’s nothing more than increasing your calorie intake. Have to admit, I still used it as an excuse when I wanted second helpings.

4. Weather and lunar phases cause women to go into labor: Every time someone mentioned a full moon or snowstorm approaching last winter, I had my hospital bag ready. But no amount of gravitational pull or barometric pressure started my labor.

5. Don’t cut the baby’s hair until they are 1 year old: I’m calling my mom out on this one. She mentioned it casually last year and I have been afraid to cut his hair ever since. (Note: Baby is now 1 year old and I have myself to blame for not cutting his hair yet)

6. Pregnant women are clumsier: No, I’m mostly just clumsy all the time.

7. Treat for stretch marks BEFORE you get them: I always intended to prevent stretch marks, but never really did anything about it. But no stretch marks on me! Only thing on my belly is a pretty little scar where I had my c-section.

8. Have sex to induce labor: If you can mange with a large belly and aching back, give it a try. Once baby arrives, your sleep deprivation and hormones could make it difficult.

9. Walk to induce labor: I would call this one mostly true. My strongest contractions were always after or during my daily walks.

10. Heartburn during pregnancy means your baby will born with lots of hair: So not true. I have been treated for severe heartburn since my early 20’s and my baby was born with nothing more than a little fuzz.

I am no medical expert, just a first-time mom sharing what didn’t work for me personally. It is important to remember that no two pregnancies, babies, or moms are alike. Keep that in mind when cross your cousin of the Christmas card list because the herbal tea didn’t work for you.

What myths and superstitions did or didn’t work for you?

Mom-Zombies Wear Aprons

I have a lot of things in my house that serve no purpose.I have them simply because I can. They might have been a good bargain or a well intentioned gift, but they serve no purpose in my life. Bath loofahs are a good example. I probably have 10, am always acquiring more, but never-ever use them.

I can take little credit for the meals which are prepared in our house. My husband is chef. I am cooking-assistant (yes, that’s what he really calls me). I peel potatoes, chop onions, boil water, or any combination of the three. The U.S. Navy might call that punishment, but we call that family time. And considering the food and money we save by me not burning it, we call that efficient too.

Despite my non-existent cooking skills, I like being in the kitchen and enjoy my role as cooking-assistant. Family time, remember? My husband occasionally wears an apron that we got as a wedding gift. It’s a tasteful grilling apron but without a zany one liner about grilling. It just has stripes. As cooking-assistant, I thought it was only right if I had an apron too.

So I made one… Like with a sewing machine… First sewing project… I think you have a good visual now of a misshaped pocket, uneven ties, and more loose threads than your toddler can count. Yeah, that’s my homemade apron you’ve just imagined.

I totally forget my apron exists except on the rare occasion when my husband remembers to wear his. Then I remember to wear mine.

My apron really isn’t good for anything. Except this…

Halloween 2010: 7 months pregnant

Apron + zombie make up + pregnant lady = pregnant lady wearing an apron and zombie make-up

Aprons aren’t just for cooking, ladies!

At least mine isn’t.

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AMAZON.com: That’s Not Your Mommy Anymore: A Zombie Tale

I’m Gonna Be a What: Accepting Motherhood

One of the absolute best moments of my entire life was the moment I saw my son for the first time. Of course it was! My entire life would never be the same.

But months before the birth of our son, an unexpected moment made me realize how my life was about to change.

I was 5 months pregnant before two tests confirmed our family would be growing. It wasn’t a dramatic I-Didn’t-Know-I-Was-Pregnant (on TLC) moment, just a surprise that I had a difficult time accepting. Babies happened to other people, not me! It was my cool-headed husband who broke the news to my family. I couldn’t get a word out between my sobs.

Over the past five years I have had multiple surgeries ranging from removing ribs to a disc replacement. I was enjoying the summer of 2010, feeling better than I had for years and living virtually pain free. When a co-worker in my office announced she was pregnant, she experienced every symptom in the book. I, on the other hand, was eating better, losing weight, exercising sporadically, and feeling awesome. You can imagine my surprise when I discovered not only was I pregnant, but I was almost 3 months further along than my co-worker.

My first OB-GYN appointment, we got our first look at the baby and discovered the sex. Things were happening very quickly. I grabbed a copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting and made a major to-do list. I only had 4 months to mentally, emotionally, and physically prepare for a baby.

I had a difficult time imagining myself as a mom. Even weeks later, I couldn’t believe it had happened. A great network of moms offered advice and helped me prepare. They all told me about how quickly babies outgrow clothes and that I should try to get some secondhand. My cousin, who had a boy, offered me an entire wardrobe which I gratefully accepted. After all, apart from diapers, I had no idea what babies wore.

My mother and I were sorting through the clothes when I finally realized and embraced what was happening. The moment I saw the smallest clothes, I imagined them on my little boy. Suddenly, motherhood was real. It was really abstract understanding what was in my belly, but the clothes made it all seem real. Very suddenly, I was excited and looking forward to being a mom.

I wouldn’t call myself Super-Mom, but having a happy and healthy son makes me believe I’m doing something right. I credit that strange moment of sorting through clothes as the moment motherhood slapped me in the face.

I certainly needed that.

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First Year in Pictures

Gallery

This gallery contains 16 photos.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this blog post has 14,000. My son’s first year told through pictures. Happy Birthday, son! ❤

The Sisterhood of Mommy Groups

Over the weekend I celebrated half a dozen holidays with my mommy group before our schedules become jammed with parties, frantic shopping, and other festive activities. Despite my bad attitude on Saturday (sleeping in was disappointing), I put on my best holiday sweater and told my husband I would be back soon enough.

In what I consider my “old age,” I enjoy being close to only a few proven individuals, most of which I am conveniently related to by blood or marriage. I haven’t seen my phone-chatting, center-of-attention, weekend-will-be-awful-if-I-don’t-go-out self in 7 or 8 years.

But after a few months of feeling lonely and misunderstood with motherhood, I decided to reach out to other moms in the area. I joined a few mommy-groups and liked the idea of what they offered, but was left disappointed and unsatisfied.  As a mother who works full-time, 10 am play dates are not possible. I was gently (and not-so-gently) removed from a few groups and once again on my own. Thankfully, as my son got older and our routines started working, I felt like I had earned my badge of motherhood and a group wasn’t really necessary.

But with his development came the next issue; friends. As an only child in an old, rural community, my son had little to no exposure to other kids. Although I no longer felt lonely for myself, I started feeling lonely for him.

Perfect timing when a new group started in our area for working moms. Reluctant and nervous as I was, I attended the first meeting and breathed a sigh of mommy-relief. It was wonderful to see my son playing and baby-babbling with other kids. But as much as I enjoyed seeing my son have a good time, I realized I was too.

A few fun-filled play dates and meet-ups later, we gathered on Saturday for a mom’s only lunch; no children, highchairs, or puffed cereal at this meeting. Just moms and child-driven conversation. 3 hours later, it seemed we all got text messages at the same time from significant others and babysitters wondering how much longer the lunch would be. Reluctantly, we all said our goodbyes and shared well wishes for the holidays.

Although we have never discussed it, I’m sure this special group of mommies feels the same way I do. We are all comforted to know there are others just like us; astonished at how much a diaper can leak (where does it all come from?) or stressed and irritable like our teething children. We are always proud to share helpful tips with one another and seek ideas from the group when it seems like nothing else is working. And who besides a mom to better listen to, and appreciate, our endless stories of motherhood?

At last, after many years of being content with my wonderful circle of friends, I have started drawing a new circle of moms like me.

It makes me smile to think that my son is drawing his first circle too.

If you are looking for a mommy group (or some other common interest group) in your area, check out meetup.com