Whenever a group conversation pivots to the topic of pregnancy and baby weight, my close friend from college, Kara quickly jumps in to speak for me and report on my postpartum body situation. She exclaims still with utter disbelief all these years later, “Rach wore a belt to her son’s bris.”
It’s true. Eight days after I gave birth to my first child, I put on my favorite black pre-pregnancy wide leg pants from Banana Republic, and looped this belt through each and every belt hole. It’s technically a scarf – an Hermes one that my grandmother had given to me before she died. I thought it would be nice to have her there with me that day around my waist (sorry I actually had a waist) when my baby was circumcised, named for my late grandfather and then put down for a well-deserved nap as friends and family ate bagels, nova and whitefish in our kitchen.
I don’t remember a lot about that traumatic (obviously more so for my son than me) day, but I do remember people commenting about how quickly I had lost the weight.
“How big was the baby?”
“Are those your real pants?”
“Wait. Are you wearing a belt?”
In retrospect, the belt was overkill. I could have gone with a long flowy top and leggings hiding my freakishly too quickly bounced back to normal postpartum body.
I’d say the baby weight came off so fast for a few reasons: First of all, the baby wasn’t that big coming into the world at just over six pounds. My mother was very sick then – battling an aggressive cancer, and I was very worried about her. When I worry, I don’t eat so much, and I guess I burn a lot of calories doing all that worrying. Genes played a part of course in that I am built like my father who has been tall and thin his whole life. I have noticed lately though that he’s developing a bit of a gut so there’s that.
I am throwing up in my mouth just a little as I write this next part but yes I have been known on occasion to forget to eat. I know. You are done. You hate me. I’d hate me too if I were you. But before you go and hate and judge, please consider the following.
I have bad teeth. You know when you go to the dentist for your cleaning and he says “All looks good. See you in six months.”? I don’t. That’s never happened to me. My dental visits require ex-rays from uncomfortable angles, new appointments to schedule new fillings and repair old ones. I’ve had multiple root canals, a bridge built between two teeth and a new fake tooth implanted into my mouth. All this work requires hours and hours spent in the chair with a Hannibal Lecter type mouth guard gagging me as the dentist goes to town on my bad teeth.
My skin burns. I was that kid you saw at the beach with a t-shirt hanging down over top her whole bathing suit. This was way before they invented those cute UVB protective swim tops. I wore a fully non-waterproof shirt to swim in the ocean and pool all day. Then I had to keep the wet shirt on when I came out of the water. That shirt never dried – ever. When I became a teenager and hence too cool and stupid to wear a shirt or sunscreen to the beach, my skin burned – badly. It burned so much during one Florida spring break visit that my whole face blistered. I spent the rest of the trip indoors with a giant Band-Aid on my chin.
My hair is gray. I started noticing traces of gray in my lightish brown hair back when I was in college. My mother, who never went gray, suggested I highlight it. So I did. Soon after that I became a frosted blonde from over dosing on highlights in trying to hide my pre-mature gray hair. Picture a wanna be Farrah Fawcett head of hair on top of a pale freckled face. It wasn’t working. By the time I hit 30, I was coloring my whole head of hair every three weeks. On the plus side, I got to spend a lot of time with some lovely older ladies at the hair salon under those space like dryer heads.
I also have really bad handwriting. I am a klutz. I can’t function after 9:30pm during the week. I talk too fast. I repeat myself. I assume people know what I am talking about when they clearly have no idea and I’m always five to ten minutes late.
But yes I did wear a belt to my son’s bris. I’m sorry.