Sunday, June 21, 2009

An Incredible Journey

Did I fool you? Did you think this post was going to be about my labor? Or about how amazing pregnancy has been? That perhaps I'd finally speak fondly -- or at least humbly -- about the power and natural beauty of the human body and spirit, as it magically reveals itself through nine months of gestation?

Ha ha, no.

(Especially not at 39 weeks when my mini-watermelon spends her days head-butting my bladder and the act of inhaling and exhaling is like performing an ab workout.)

No. Labor is not imminent. In fact, there are zero signs so far. I've always thought she would be at least a little late, so I really don't expect her to arrive before her due date of Thursday.

Anyway. This post is about, well...

Do you know what I did last weekend? I went to a wedding wearing pantyhose.

Wait, hold on. Let me write that again in case you didn't fully appreciate the gravity of my words: WEARING PANTYHOSE. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

You wanna marvel at the human condition circa ready-to-pop pregnant? Watch an otherwise already uncoordinated pregnant lady attempt to shower, shave her legs, and get herself into pantyhose. Because THAT is an incredible journey if ever there was one.

I don't want to get too graphic (I think my photo below is graphic enough to last us the rest of my pregnancy, yeah?), but let's just say that currently, my access to areas of my body below my knees is rather limited. Putting pants on requires a lot of blind stepping, mashing, grabbing, wobbling, and -- ultimately -- LOLing at myself. Because I miss the holes a lot.

So, since about the 6-month pregnancy mark, I haven't been too concerned with shaving my legs. (Pregnant ladies, I'm not alone in that, right?)

But last weekend I had to go to a wedding, and the only dress I have that I fit into is knee-length, and I realized that presented quite a problem. I can't very well show up at a wedding with leg hair so long it flaps in the wind.

And leg hair was only half my problem. I know that it's not necessary to look tan all the time anymore, that milky-white skin is perfectly attractive, that bare legs in June are totally acceptable. But, let's be honest here. My legs are so pale they're practically blue. And rather splotchy. (Why? From what? I have no idea. Bad skin has plagued me all my life. In the last five years, my legs -- one of my only body parts I never felt self-conscious about -- have developed random red spots and pronounced veins. I keep telling them I'm 34 not 84, but my legs don't listen.)

So I couldn't do it. I couldn't show up at this wedding with camouflaged-by-Sherwood-Forest legs, and I couldn't show up with blinded-by-the-glare-pale(-except-where-totally-discolored) legs, either. I had to shave them, and I had to cover them.

Sometimes being a woman is really stupid.

The fact that I didn't kill myself during the shaving process is testament NOT to my coordination, but to my knowing myself really well. First of all, I had Ish on stand-by, keeping watch to make sure if I fell over or maimed myself with my Venus razor, he'd spring into action immediately.

I started off by trying to use the built-in ledge in our stand-up shower. I mean, that's what it's there for, right? But it turns out that having all this baby stuff in the way not only makes it difficult to reach your ankles, but also REALLY messes with your center of gravity.

Eventually, I gave up and decided To hell with it and sat my ass down. In the stand-up shower.

I sat Indian-style. And sideways. And both knees up, and one up/one down, and quite possibly developed a few new poses that either Tyra or a Pilates instructor would be impressed with. It took a LONG time.

Now, I won't lie to you. I was damn PROUD of myself for having done it. I even felt a bit sexy when I dried off and moisturized. (Well, sure, I only moisturized where I could reach, but still; every little bit helps).

So after the shaving ordeal -- which I should also mention involved having to figure out how to stand back up again in the shower, an event which took great patience and humility -- I got dressed. I did my makeup and hair and packed for the drive to the city and prepped what I needed and made sure everything was done before conceding that it was time to try and fit myself into the largest sized pantyhose I could find at the store.

I realize I should have searched for maternity pantyhose online and purchased them well in advance, but I didn't think that far ahead.

Anyway. The process began as it always does. Getting my feet into them wasn't SO so bad. I'd scrunched up the hose (as you do) so they could unfurl as I stretched them over my legs. The only difference between this unfurling process and all others is that I didn't so much do it from a sitting position as from a rolled-onto-my-back-on-the-bed position.

Oh, it didn't start out that way. I tried to sit on the bed and bring my hands and feet together, but I nearly fell head-first onto the carpet. So then I kind of had to let my body do what it needed to do in order to allow hand-feet contact. Turns out, when you sit on the bed and bend your knees and let your body go, you roll over backwards. (Or at least, I roll over backwards.)

Forgive me for not having the energy to draw this, but please just picture:

Me, in full makeup and curled and tousled hair, rolled onto my back on the bed, my dress hiked up to expose my rear-end, my giant belly impeding my every move, my legs flailing in the air -- knees bent and OPEN, the only comfortable position I could manage -- while I try not ONLY to "catch" my feet in the bottom of the hose, but to not snag them in any way.

When I managed, somehow, to get the hose as far as my knees, I sat up again. Exhausted.

At that point, I felt like I needed to set up base camp, like I was halfway up a mountain climb. I adjusted each leg, so that the nylons weren't twisted or bunched. I smoothed my dress and hair. I caught my breath.

I stood up.

I then commenced with the shimmying.

At first, it was the usual pantyhose dance. Up a little on the left, up a little on the right, left, right, left, right, till the waistband gets to just under the butt. (Did I mention how being a woman is sometimes stupid?)

Then we got to a critical juncture. I decided I'd hike the (reinforced, I'm no fool) "waist panel" over my ass first, before trying to get it over my frontal mass. Because, I reasoned, my backside is currently smaller than my front side (for like, the first time EVER) and I figured that getting the waistband up and over my ass would help keep it in place as I tried for the front.

Whereas if I tried to get the front up first, the whole thing would certainly just snap back down again before I'd have time to reach around and pull the waistband up over my butt.

So with my butt covered and the waistband in place, albeit precariously positioned, I pulled the front of the waist panel up.

And realized that no amount of modern engineering could have made this work.

I don't think they make a pantyhose waist panel large enough to stretch comfortably all the way up and out to where my belly button is currently located. Perhaps it's physically impossible to create such a thing, or perhaps the pantyhose engineers of the world think that pregnant women -- especially chubby ones -- would never be stupid enough to try and fit themselves into such antiquated funnels of misogyny. Who's to say.

But since not wearing pantyhose was not an option, I soon realized I had, basically, two choices.

Choice A: I could try to convince the pantyhose to stay as far up my front baby bump as possible. This might require constant vigilance and adjustment, but the upshot is that I could convince myself that the pantyhose actually sort of "fit." Downside: any lack of vigilance on my part would result in the waistline rolling down again. Possibly as far as my thighs if I tried anything tricky, like dancing.

Choice B: Understand that there is no physical way for hose to stay up, so just keep them under the baby bump in front. Upshot: would not require constant adjusting. Downside: uncomfortable, because the waistline of the hose in front would be buried under my flap of tummy/pouch - possibly irretrievably so. Also, since the hose are up past the butt on the back end, they're effectively sitting at a 45-degree slope. That can't be good for the longevity of the hose.

I opted for A. Maybe if I gave them time to "stretch" they would give up and hold me in?

I hoped so. I hoped the long car ride would be just the ticket. I carefully positioned myself in the car, and we headed for the event.

An hour later we arrived at the wedding. The drive hadn't required too much movement and the hose felt like they'd basically stayed in place, so I was thinking that maybe they had stretched enough to stay put.

Of course, the moment I stood up out of the car, I immediately felt my pantyhose roooooolllllllllling all the way down in front and in back. I rushed myself to the ladies' room as elegantly as possible, which is to say "not elegantly at all," seeing as I basically had to waddle like a penguin to avoid having the hose roll any further down, like, say, past my hemline.

In the ladies' room, I took great pains to adjust myself from toe to waistband and, still set on Option A (more out of stubborn determination than rational thinking), spent the rest of the event with my arms firmly planted on my sides to try and keep the pantyhose waistband up.

I was not successful.

The battle raged until it was time for us to leave. I can't tell you how many times I lost track of what conversation was happening because I was focused so intently on trying to catch my waistband and re-roll it upwards in a breezy fashion.

But you better believe that when we got into the car to go home, I pulled those suckers off as quickly as I could. It was dark, and we were on the highway, and I don't know how completely batshit crazy I must have looked, contorting myself and shimmying this way and that, pregnant and seatbelted in, but it was totally worth it.

And now I'm not sure how to end this entry. There isn't really a lesson to be learned, because most people wouldn't have been as stupid as I was in the first place. I guess next time I'm in the position of having to expose my legs while pregnant, I will either rethink dress pants, or invest in professional spray-on tanning.

One incredible journey is enough.



p.s. I know I'm not posting that often, but I am rather active on Twitter, and relatively active on Facebook. In case you're looking for labor updates, that is.

24 comments:

  1. a search i never thought i'd do... maternity pantyhose. too little too late, i know. but who knew it even existed!

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  2. Well, at least I've stopped snorting. And crying.

    This may be one of the funniest things I've ever read.

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  3. omg. posts like this are why I fell in love with this blog in the first place. You are so good at writing. And not taking yourself seriously.

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  4. I'm with the others...OMG...that was so funny. Was Ish rolling on the floor laughing while you were floundering around. I don't think we must have gone anywhere when I was pregnant for it seems like years. They didn't make plus size pantyhose then.

    When your girl arrives please drop by here and let us know how it all went. Hopefully it will be as funny as this.

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  5. Oh....they make maternity spanx, now if that isn't sort of weird.

    http://www.amazon.com/Spanx-Mama-Maternity-Pantyhose/dp/B000IN3R22

    Just in case you need a laugh. I wonder how one determines the size they need. Hmm..

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  6. if only there were video...

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  7. Is it wrong that I couldn't stop picturing Kafka's Gregor? I hope not.

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  8. You are brave. Also, maybe a little nuts. But this post made it totally worth it. For us at least.

    Twitter is a great distraction during labor, by the way. I made it through about eleven hours unmedicated last night between Facebook mobile and Twitterberry.

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  9. Hilarious. I don't have to worry about being pregnant, but I am also whiter than white and when I have to wear a dress (I went to a wedding last week too) I use spray-on panty-hose. You can get it at any CVS or Walgreens, and they have a variety of shades. No wrestling with pantyhose and it's waaaaay cheaper than maintaining a spray tan

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  10. OMG, spray-on pantyhose? Anonymous, I love you. Must get! I am decidedly NOT pregnant and I cannot even face the average size pantyhose I would have to wear to work. The only thing worse than pantyhose is an outfit-mandated strapless bra for the larger-than-B-cup set. I hope Kristy's newlywed friends appreciate what she had to go through!

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  11. Tip for next time: THIGH HIGHS.
    But that wouldn't have contributed half as well to your great post!

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  12. I heart you Kristy! Thanks for the laugh!

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  13. i wish there were video to go along with this! Did you ever consider thigh-highs??

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  14. Just My Size has excellent thigh highs. Very cheap and available at WalGreens (etc) and they STAY UP! And I'm sure Ish would agree to help you get them on...wink wink.

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  15. I haven't worn pantyhose in years. The thought makes me shudder.

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  16. As a pregnant woman, for the 3rd time, I so understand the shaving dilema. I'm facing it, too. Men don't get it. And the pantyhose thing, you're much braver than I. I went to a wedding this weekend and showed off my bright white legs. My mom tried to reassure me that it doesn't matter what pregnant women are wearing, everyone loves them anyway. So I went with it. And I survived, without the pantyhose. Good for you to be so strong! I'd have ripped them off when I get to the bathroom!
    Keep us updated on the baby news. You're going to be a great mother! Enquiring minds want to know.

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  17. I think I just peed my pants reading this one.
    Bravo, Kristy. Great post. Someday I hope to buy you a cocktail. When it's allowed and all.

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  18. Ha ha.. great story, brilliantly told.

    I'm 28 weeks and you're making me nervous about getting through the summer... perhaps I should start educating my husband about leg-shaving now, while I can still reach to fix the mess he makes as a learner!

    Good luck with the final stretch :)

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  19. Oh man, how true it is.

    If only we could have gotten you some thigh-highs! Of course, those will just roll down too. God, what is it about pregnancy that causes that horrific roll?! And it really does feel like they roll to the point of no return when they get to that underpouch smellyplace!

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  20. Not for nothing, but the Venus line, particularly the Embrace has this cool thumb pad at end of the razor handle and you can totally hold it just by that - one finger and a thumb - helps reach areas you have difficulties with. I work for Venus and have read testimonials from pregnant consumers who swear by the agility of the Venus (well, as agile as a razor can be). Thought, if you felt inspired pre-labor to try it again, you might apprecaite the tip. :)

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  21. I hate pantyhose with a undying passion. I will do almost anything to avoid wearing it. But I love it when you wear pantyhose because, between this post and the one where you got a hole in your hose, it results in the most hilarious posts. Thanks for the laughs.

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  22. I can totally feel your pain! I've had the "roll downwards" begin during conversations and all I could think was shut up, shut up....I've gotta get out of here! It's a completely miserable feeling...and hiliariously described!

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  23. Love to read your article, am 39 weeks pregnant and in home am feeling very bore while searching week 39 pregnancy information I came through this site.

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