Wal-Mart isn’t someplace I normally associate with life-changing moments. Although if you’re going to have a public freakout Wallyworld does have a lot to recommend it: Not only can you buy tranquilizers, Natural Calm and fuzzy socks (just me?) but it seems like there are always a bunch of people around to call 911 if you actually make good on your promise to pass out. Yet when I decided to start hyperventilating, I went into the bathroom to hide. Nothing like a public restroom to guide you! Instead of two-roads-diverging-in-a-yellow-wood ambiance, I had two stalls in a peeling yellow bathroom. (If you mis-read that as “peeing” know that’s how I first typed it. I’m not sure I was wrong either way.)
Guiltily I took the bigger stall, the one with the large blue disabled placard on the front, because, by golly, I needed my space — if not for my person, at least for my huge emotions. Plus I was the only person in the bathroom. And I was totally prepared to bolt out with my pants around my ankles should I hear a wheelchair rolling in. Promise.
I was all set to hate Sharny Kieser, I’ll admit it. I first came across her and her bikini pictures in an article declaring that moms should schedule a post-natal bikini shoot to have something to motivate them to not gain a ton of weight during pregnancy and to lose it all lickety-split afterwards. And she did say all that. Apparently she’s a personal trainer in Australia and she used the bikini pics motivation for herself and recommends it to her clients. Which… eh, didn’t we discuss this to death with the whole Fit Mom controversy? I mean, if you’re looking to provoke people Maria “What’s your excuse” Kang did it way better.
But the more I read up about Sharny, the more some of her message started to resonate with me. Not the part about pressuring moms to lose weight the second they pop the bun out of the oven (I still think that sucks and we should focus on helping new moms become confident moms, not skinny moms) but the part where she tells women to be proud of their post-baby bodies.
I love that Pregnant Barbie’s stomach is really just the top to a Silly Putty egg. And hey, she’s already prepared for birth with her mesh panties!
This week I wrote a lot about how to prepare for pregnancy for Shape mag’s site. I got to talk to a bunch of experts about lady business, one of my fave subjects and even learned a few things which would come in handy if I was going to get pregnant again which, knock on wood, will not be happening again. (Just for the record, we’re way smarter about birth control than just knocking on wood.) So if you want solid advice from vetted experts and stuff go read my article over there. But if you want the advice for prepping your body for pregnancy that no one will tell you, well that’s why I’m here.
Charlotte’s 13 totally random, not fact-checked, hopefully hilarious tips to prepare for pregnancy and children:
– Start carrying a water bottle so that when your breast milk unexpectedly lets down you can splash your whole chest with water and pretend you just finished a really great workout and are not, in fact, turning into a human geyser.
When I first saw this picture of Lea-Ann Ellison doing CrossFit a mere two weeks before her due date my initial thought was man, I miss my pregnancy boobs. (That’s about all I miss about pregnancy though. Okay, the boobs and the weird alien kicks that felt like my babies were doing slow-motion roundhouses. For me, just thinking about my pregnancies makes me hot and nauseous. Apparently I’m a sympathetic puker… with myself.)
The longer I looked at Ellison’s many impressive pictures, the more conflicted I became. The truth is that I don’t know how to feel about her being pregnant and doing CrossFit because I still don’t know I feel about me being pregnant and doing CrossFit (and kickboxing and weight lifting and running and a number of other intense exercises).
Pregnancy is not an illness. It’s a motto we hear thrown around a lot these days and while they’re quite correct – there’s nothing pathological about gestating – let’s not pretend that pregnancy doesn’t massively (hah!) change things in your body. At least it did for me:
There are lots of things no one tells you about childbirth. Like, for instance, that all that push-push-PUSH!-ing can give you hemorrhoids and break blood vessels in your eyes. (Because looking more tired and uncomfortable is exactly what every new mom needs, right?) Another fun tip? By the end of those 9 months not even maternity clothes fit well and you’ll be stuck wearing your husband’s basketball shorts and oversized Pac-Man tee for weeks, including to church. (And by “you” I mean “me”.) But one thing that really surprised me about birthing babies is how even after the wee one has exploded out of your nethers, you still look, well, pregnant.
After the birth of my first son, I remember sitting on the bed and poking my newly post-partum stomach. At first it was out of habit and I panicked briefly because I couldn’t get the baby to move… until he cried from the bassinet and reminded me he was an outsider now. But then it was because my stomach literally moved like a bowl full of jelly. I was Santa, you guys! But with a whole new meaning for “red suit”! And my stomach stayed that way – an oddly distended jiggly cavern with my organs still stuffed in inappropriate places as if decorated by a Feng Shui artist who hates people – for several weeks.
Gwen Stefani with 4-month-old Zuma Nesta Rock. If this is “gross, big and uncool” sign me up! No seriously, I want those arms SO bad!
Gwen Stefani is hot. I think everyone, regardless of gender or orientation, can agree on this one. I have long loved the blond bindi-sporting No Doubt singer – their Tragic Kingdom album is still in my top ten list of albums that most affected me – so I was a little torn when I came across this quote from an interview she did with contactmusic.com:
“I hadn’t planned on doing a tour; I’d had Zuma, I felt so gross – I got so big and felt so out of touch and not cool. I was trying to write this cool record and nothing came out.”