In my richly imagined fantasy life I will give birth to this baby and despite gaining over 30 lbs and despite having a 5th c-section and despite the fact that my only form of exercise for 9 months has been lifting food to my mouth…I will miraculously shrink overnight into the body I had when I was 30.
Using the powers of “The Secret” I have begun visualizing myself lean and toned while holding a newborn child - like a Madonna in a half shirt. I picture flab free thighs, flap-free arms and a bottom that doesn’t look like a lunch sack full of mashed potatoes. I am determined to be the Dale Carnegie of post-partum. I have freed my mind from all negative thoughts (i.e. those that involve exercise videos and calorie counting) and have instead filled it with images of me pushing a Silver Cross stroller in heels and a dress with an impossibly narrow waist.
This works until I happen to walk naked past the full length mirror in our bedroom and catch a glimpse of the moon-bounce that is my current pre-natal physique. (Who invented the full length mirror you ask? I assure you it was not a pregnant lady. It was for sure those good-gened skinny folk who are captivated by their own slender ankles and spider vein-free upper legs. Jerks.)
After using Lamaze techniques to breathe through the pain of accepting my current body image, I realize that getting back to a pre-mom body in my case will take will-power, dedication, a team of skilled plastic surgeons and any gimmick out there that could offer me a glimmer of false hope. It’s shortly after having realizations like those that I end up ordering stuff like this:
Exhibit A: The “Original” Belly Bandit:
I mean, you got to love this thing based on packaging and graphics alone because clearly, this product will miraculously transform your mountainous pregnancy middle into Kiera Knightly’s waist in well, any of those period movies of hers where she’s a size -2.
And if you don’t believe the adorable silhouettes, just turn the box! Look! A real, live model!
Here’s the money shot! The top picture is a belly in its first week post delivery. Let me interject here that I already hate this girl. I don’t think my belly looked that good pre-motherhood. Period. The photo below is the same belly a mere 6 weeks past delivery after using the Belly Bandit. It’s a miracle!
Frankly, if I ended up with the “before” picture, I’d be happy. End of story. In fact, I’d be wearing a tube top home from the hospital. But alas, after 5 c-sections, there’s no product out there (that doesn’t include a scalpel) which will transform my belly into something even remotely resembling either photo on this box. Picture if you will a deflated balloon. Got it? Okay, now picture that balloon flabby, and with stretch marks. Horrifying, isn’t it?
The Belly Bandit is recommended by “Beverly Hills top OB/GYN Jay Goldberg, M.D.” Well of course it is. If you are giving birth in Beverly Hills I don’t even think you use your own body, you have a stunt double deliver your baby, thus sparing yourself from the pain and humiliation of procreation’s cruel cycle. Lesson learned. Don’t give birth in the Midwest.
Oh and in case you are wondering, “What is this miracle Belly Bandit and how does it work?” I will tell you that it is basically a sturdy Ace bandage that you wear Velcro-ed around your middle for at least 6 weeks. It’s the modern girl’s version of your grandma’s girdle.
Yes, I may mock the Belly Bandit but doggone it, my belly and I have dreams just like everybody else. So we are going to suck it in, strap it on and pretend, if only for a moment that we are Brooke Burke, doing the Mambo in a bra top just seconds after delivery.
As for the hips and thighs…I’m afraid they might be all on their own.
And just because, here’s a recent photo of my youngest punk who reminds me that in some ways, all this maternal sacrifice is worth it. Who needs a tankini when you can look at this?
I’m going to make sure he’s securely strapped to my thighs at all times. Cuteness trumps cellulite every time