The Fantasy of Postpartum Style

I came home from the hospital 22 pounds lighter than when I'd given birth, but that didn't mean my pre-pregnancy jeans buttoned.

It's important to know that this is not exactly typical in pregnancy. As of writing this, I'm a mere 2 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. As it turned out, I'd been gaining water weight for a majority of my pregnancy (suggesting preeclampsia without ever actually showing any symptoms), meaning that the minute I wasn't pregnant anymore, all that water had to go somewhere.

The entire time I was pregnant, I fantasized about what I would wear post-pregnancy: chic striped shirts and jeans for walks in the park, cute sweaters and boots. I pinned outfits on Polyvore. I spent hours looking at boots, measuring my calves (which were bloated with fluid, little did I know), and excitedly looking forward everything I thought I would wear once I actually gave birth. Part of me knew that I wouldn't just automatically shrink back to how I looked before, but having no experience with a postpartum body, I couldn't imagine any other world. 

But one month postpartum and I'm still dressing, essentially, the same exact way I dressed during pregnancy. I have made little discernible change in my wardrobe, aside from the fact that 1) my shoes fit and 2) my clothes are a little (or in some cases, a lot) more comfy now. I also spend about half of my day pumping and feeding Forrest, which means that my clothes require me to be able to easily take my shirt off and that they are covered in milk at least part of the time. I only recently wore jeans for the first time since giving birth and that's only because I bought a new pair. But, typically, day-to-day I wear a tank top and sweatpants. 

It was very easy to imagine that, the minute I had Forrest, my life would transform back into the life I'd always known: I'd dress the same ways, do the same things, and have time for everything I'd ever done before. In these first few hectic days, I've found myself briefly wondering what, exactly, I've gotten myself into. Am I insane? Why did I ever think I could handle this?

The first few weeks of having a baby are, ultimately, about survival: you do what you have to to get through the day, whether that means not showering for four days, wearing the same tank top, or carrying your baby around near constantly because they won't sleep otherwise. Survival, strangely enough, doesn't really include dressing in all the things you fantasized about wearing. 

That doesn't mean there aren't opportunities for style in the early months. One of the best things new parents can do is take some time for themselves. At least once a week, my mom will watch Forrest while Danny and I go out to dinner or go grocery shopping. It gives us a chance to dress and act like humans again... as well as to eat a full meal with both hands. Often, days where Danny and I go out, even for an hour, on our own are the days that I shower, do my hair, and put on normal clothes. A month ago, I never would have walked out the door with primer, foundation, and mascara, but I frequently find myself heading to pediatrician appointments in yesterday's make up. 

Style is something that will always be incredibly important to me as a person. I love dressing up, creating outfits, and thinking of new ways to wear things. But as a new mom, it's just not a priority... and that's ok.