(My) pants on the ground

pantsAs R trekked to the car with the loot we’d plucked from the hospital my bags, I got dressed.

Despite heavy, labor-inducing pitocin that had my legs looking a bit like Gwenyth Paltrow’s character in “Shallow Hal,” my jeans buttoned.

Take that doctor-who-suggested-I-was-gaining-too-quick-during-pregnancy.

Or not.

I was stopped mid relief-exhale as the waistband sliced into my stomach, cutting off my circulation like a tourniquet. The side seam pressed into my legs, branding me with stitch marks. Not only did I feel uncomfortable, I didn’t look so good, either. My once-baggy boyfriend jeans had become sausage casings skinny jeans.

This wasn’t supposed to happen.

“You’ll look five months pregnant after giving birth,” my friends had said when giving me the 48-hour postpartum 4-1-1 and coaching me on what to bring to the hospital to wear home.

They lied.

But here I was with nothing but some too-tight denim or the pajamas I’d worn the past three days. I debated coercing one of my favorite nurses (Emily or Alisha) into snagging me some scrubs, but figured bribery and coercion were not good (early) examples for CB.

paltrowAll along, I wanted to wear sweats postpartum (lululemon and I had became BFFs those last six months), but ruled that out after seeing the photo of my mom on the way home with me. She was all 1970s calendar girl, dolled up in bellbottoms, a floral blouse and “proper” hair and makeup.

The hair and makeup were out for me (I haven’t bothered with that since my Giuliana meeting), but I could manage the apparel part, or so I thought.

Right around the time I readied my “go bag,” I’d packed the jeans I’d (comfortably) worn into the summer, a loose-fitting silk blouse, leather jacket, cashmere scarf and Coach flats (I know, I know, that’s the last time leather, cashmere or silk will be part of my wardrobe for many years) for my hospital-departure photo shoot.

I was going to look good, I thought, when I posed for the picture I’d post to Facebook show my daughter decades from now. But wincing ain’t pretty, and that’s just what I did as we said good-bye to the nurses. By the time we got to the car, I was nauseous from the pressure on my stomach.

“Are you OK,” asked R, as he secured C’s car seat into the base.

“Yes, I’m fine. I just want to get home. I’ve been here for days.”

“You look … uncomfortable. I can tell there’s something wrong.”

“Well, my pants are a little tight,” I admitted.

He suggested I unbutton them on the ride home (after giving me a lecture on how the flyover to the parking garage at St. Peter’s was not a runway and I should’ve worn true maternity jeans).

“It’s not like anyone can see you in the back seat,” he pointed out, shutting the door and returning the wheelchair we’d used to carry out a week’s worth of diapers, wipes and the like.

By the time we were out of the parking garage, the pants were unzipped.

As we pulled onto I-85, I was sweating, and feeling faint. Not sure what else to do, I wriggled my jeans down around my hips and asked R if there was any water in the car.

I pulled up the navigation on my phone. I needed to know just how much longer this pain was going to last.

Eight miles till home.

I couldn’t make it, but I had a plan.

After some obligatory grunting, I was good.

“What’s going on back there,” asked R, not taking his eyes off the road.

“Nothing,” I said, my voice strained. “We’re fine.”

“I can tell you’re up to something,” he said.

Once in the garage, he opened the backdoor to let us out.

“Are you serious,” he asked, as I slid out of the car and shuffled past him, pants around my ankles like shackles.

“Can you grab her, please” I asked, ignoring the inquiry. “I need to slip into something more comfortable.”

12 thoughts on “(My) pants on the ground

  1. Dina

    Ha ha that’s awesome! Giving birth is a great excuse to live in sweats…feel free to indulge for as long as you can swing it. 😎

  2. Casey Hutchinson

    I love this so much. I couldn’t wear the shoes I had brought since my feet, ankles, and legs were so swollen- I walked out in my neon green slippers! Glad you’re all happy, healthy, and well.

  3. Rachel

    I’m so glad you are back to writing!! It’s been a long few weeks without you! This post has me smiling so much!

  4. Sue

    I can somewhat relate….I had female surgery and went to the hospital in my tight jeans. Well, I did not know they would inflate my abdomen todo the laparoscopy so uh oh…the jeans were very tight. I did the same thing…unbutton and eventual removal!

    Hope you and the family are doing great!!! 🙂

  5. Steph

    I admire you for trying – I still can’t fit in the last pair of non-maternity jeans I wore (at around 4 months pregnant I think) and it’s been nearly 5 months since the birth. My hips feel like they’re not even mine!

  6. Heather W

    You’re a better woman than me. I most definitely wore home sweatpants. After 3 nights there, I wasn’t fooling around. I wanted home.

    Ps — I wonder if your Alisha was the same one I had, who was also my favorite.

  7. Rachel

    Missed your writing so much and glad to see you back. Someday soon those jeans will fit again. Some of my friends make the birthing process and first days with baby seem so perfect and magical. Reading your true account of the ride home made me laugh and that is much more memorable!

  8. Montreal Photo Chick

    So happy you have keyboard at hand again. Your story is more precious than a photo of everyone leaving (with their pants on). And, you are about five years away from cashmere, I actualy have really old but still nice Cashmere sweaters just for wearing at home with kids. Put on those Lulu’s and give that baby kisses for us!


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