Pre-pregnancy jeans and newborn hats

Happy September! It’s been crickets around here lately, because Asher and I got to spend some time at a beach house down in Long Beach Island and I left my computer behind! Unfortunately Dave didn’t get to come with us, because he was home waving his fingers over his keyboard and making magic things happen. He tells me about his work all the time, and I still manage to have absolutely no idea what he does because it all just sounds like Swahili to me.

It was actually pretty cold while we were in LBI, hence the layers of fleece and wool in this photo:

“Mama, what exactly are we doing out here? It was warm inside, and there were snacks!”

And those layers are what I’d like to talk about today. First of all, you see that hat? There’s a story behind that hat. My wonderful and extremely talented friend April made it, in a class at The Blue Purl that she and I were supposed to take together…and which I, in my pregnancy-brain haze, COMPLETELY forgot about! She ended up texting me 15 minutes into the first class asking if I was coming, to which I was like, coming to what? So, because I was too spazzed out to even write down a multi-week class on my calendar, Asher got a hat–he’s lucky I have such good friends! It’s a gorgeous yarn (Madeline Tosh, I think!) that has lots of flecks of color in it, so it’s masculine without being just straight blue.

I knew it was going to be chilly when I was packing for our trip, so I decided to bring that hat along. It kept Asher’s little head warm throughout his first several months of life, when it was just so cold and damp all the time…he even wore it home from the hospital!

Stick a fork in me, I’m done.

And therein lies the problem. This gorgeous hat is newborn size. It was big on him for so long because he was born quite tiny, but I failed to account for how much his head has grown in the months since it got warm enough to ditch wearing a hat…and his head has grown a lot.

Yeah, we’re not getting another winter out of this one!

Sigh. I guess April will just have to make him a bigger one (wink wink)!

Speaking of things that are tighter than they once were…those are my pre-pregnancy jeans you see in that first photo. Now, I fit back into them by the time Asher was 3 weeks old, a meaningless feat that, at the time, felt like I had won an Olympic medal. However, they have since been put in Time Out for saying rude things about my body. I really don’t know how they managed to sneak into my bag, but in packing up the 7,364,129 things needed to take an 8-month old child away from home for more than 4 minutes, they got in when I wasn’t looking.

The jeans fit. They zip and button just fine, and I can even sit down in them…but they went in Time Out anyway, because they seem to feel that my body should still be shaped like it was before carrying and delivering a miracle, and insist on pinching and poking until they get their wish. If we can get up close and personal for a second here, I actually weigh less now than I did when I got pregnant…but the skin on my stomach is looser, my rib cage is wider, and I still have to get up almost every night no matter how much I dehydrate myself before bed.

Having a baby changed me, body and soul. Elizabeth Stone says that to have a child is to have your heart walk around outside your body, and she is spot-on–everything about me feels more vulnerable now, in part because I know there is so much I can’t protect Asher from, no matter how hard I try. But I also feel that my edges are softer than they used to be, that I am faster to empathize and to at least try to understand, because I’m practicing for the day that this tiny little person will need me to do both…probably in spades.

In many ways I’m still the person I was before Asher came rushing into the world; the basic shape remains the same. But the details are slightly different, and I see no point in trying to pretend otherwise, in trying to force myself into ways of being that don’t lay quite right anymore. So, my schedule looks different, my hair is longer so I can get it up and away from grabbing baby hands, my days are primarily spent pouring into my two guys instead of trying to save the world, and I don’t wear the pre-pregnancy jeans. In the future some, or even all, of these things will certainly change yet again, but this is where I am today…and honestly? I like the new jeans better anyway.

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