My wedding dress is too tight. Still.
I expected it to be too tight for a while. I bought it several years ago, before I got pregnant with Kai. I then proceeded to gain some weight before attempting to get pregnant, and it’s not all come off yet. I am roughly 8 lbs from where I was when it fit. Makes sense, then, that I can’t zip it all the way up.
No, the odd thing is that it does fit around my waist, which is where I expected it to be too tight. I still have some extra pounds, and extra skin, encircling my midsection. The dress is a vintage ballgown from the 30s: The waist is high, and snug, and mine these days is neither. That I can zip the dress over my waist is a minor miracle.
Where the zipper sticks is my back. A little above my waist, a little below my bra. My chest is slightly larger than normal still, because I am breastfeeding, but the zipper doesn’t even make it up that high, so I can’t blame the milk. I have a little loose skin over my chest these days; perhaps that is the issue. Or maybe my ribs have expanded a little.
Pregnancy is transformative, in more ways that one. I expected sagging breasts, stretch marks, livid scars, because that’s what you see when you look at post-pregnancy photos. Other than some barely detectable saggage related to the aforementioned loose skin, I have none of those things. My abdomen could be mistaken for that of a childless woman, if not a childless me; I even have to squint to find my c-section scar these days, and I see none of the drastic alterations other women have posted photos of. It would appear that I came through two pregnancies mostly unscathed.
But my body has changed shape.
I used to have a pear- to hourglass-shaped figure. Small but rounded bust, wasp waist, round hips. Now I’m more of a…banana. My bust (the milkless side, anyway) is smaller than it’s been since junior high. My hips are broader, but my is butt flat. My waist, once barely dips in from my ribs. I’m just kind of…flat, all over. It’s not the same body anymore. No amount of weight loss is going to change that.
In the creation and incubation of my children, my physical makeup was altered. Not merely the size and location of my fat deposits, but the very bones of me.
That’s not the only thing they’ve changed, of course. But it’s one I continually find surprising.
I suppose I shouldn’t have bought the dress when I did. Because I immediately realized that if I wanted to have a second kid, I should do that first. There are no age limits on marriage, but the eggs do start to go bad after a while. So I put the wedding planning on hold while we tried to get pregnant, tried to stay pregnant, then rode the pregnant-newborn-baby-toddler wave for a couple of years. Now, finally, I am back to start position: Planning a wedding.
And cannot fit into my dress.
In my defense, I didn’t change all that much after Anya was born. I was back in my normal clothes at 6 weeks, and other than my brand-new scar and some barely noticeable sagging, I looked no different. So I didn’t realize a second pregnancy would unhinge things as it did.
Oh, I suppose there is still time for small miracles. We aren’t planning on getting married until next fall; perhaps my body will continue metamorphosing until I am once again able to fit into the bodice. If not, perhaps I can find a talented seamstress who can tweak it to make it fit me, or find a corset or something to squish me into it.
Or…I may need to buy a new dress.
If I do, that’s fine, too. I don’t mind buying a new gown to honor my new body. It may not be the body I set out to have, but I’m awfully pleased by the catalysts, so I can’t complain. (Much.)