My best friend, Ellen, is one of those style conscious and savvy people. Ellen always looks like a fashion plate, even on a 'bad' day. At 2 am after 18 straight hours of scrapbooking she looks at least 40% better than me. And that was before I had triplets. Thanks to her I have a delightful collection of high heel shoes from varying department stores and boutiques in the shopping mecca that is San Francisco's Union Square. She encouraged me to step out of my box and buy patterned shoes, brightly colored shoes, unusual looking shoes, all of which I was scared to try before. I took great pride in my shoe collection and the fact that even though i was 7 years older than her, she would be seen in public with me and actually approved of some of my ensembles.
See? Me in Vegas purchasing very nice shoes!
But then came triplets. Oh, heck, even before the pregnancy I'd given up. Fertility treatments make you swell up like an opossum on the side of the road and feel just as lively. What part of gigantic ovaries is supposed to make you feel young and hip? Jabbing yourself with a needle 6 times a day, creating bruises all around your midsection is also not good for self esteem. Considering you need to pinch an inch of fat so that you can stick that needle into it it's no surprise that I became highly aware of my 'extra storage.' Meanwhile, your ego has already been crushed by the fact that your woman parts are dysfunctional in the first place. I never knew how important my ovaries were to me until I was told they were failing.
So then we move on to a triplet pregnancy. I don't probably have to mention that one shows by about week 6 like you're already in the second trimester. If you're lucky enough not to get stretch marks on your stomach, they'll find other outlets, like your thighs, on which to express their artistic talents. But worst of all, but only for the lucky ones, you'll get to enjoy elephant leg syndrome. At week 13 I made the mistake of being on my feet all day. My left leg, which was clearly jealous of my uterus, grew a size or two larger, by which I mean huge. What type of fashionable shoe do you think fits an elephant foot? Manolos? I don't think so. It seemed my daughter, barely past reptile stage in utero, was already coveting my shoe collection. It was she who was pressing her skull into the very veins or lymph nodes required to drain said elephant leg of fluid. Goodness knows she wouldn't want me to wear those shoes out before she's a teenager. No doubt they'll be back in style then.
Poor Ellen, she now had to appear in public with a woman in flip flops and ill fitting maternity clothes. As she will be the first to say, flip flops anywhere but on the beach are a no no. Go argue with her if you disagree, you'll find her quite unflappable (ha ha) on that point, just check out her blog. However, she gracefully allowed me a flip flop exemption. She didn't really give me an exemption to wear maternity clothes with stains on the front from typical pregnancy food spillage, nor did she grant me an exemption from actually trying to look good, but apparently she forbore. I imagine she thought I'd snap out of it once I lost my pregnancy weight.
You know you wanted to see the picture so don't cringe. It was only 75 lbs!
I figured that I'd snap out of it too. I also figured that my feet would fit back into my awesome collection of shoes still gathering dust in the guest closet. What I didn't figure on was that even though I lost my 'baby weight' of 75lbs within the first month after delivery, I would then decide to eat my way back half way while attempting to care for 3 infants alone. No, I never figured I would find that the only way to survive triplet infancy was with approximately 3000 calories of chocolate, chips, fried foods and ice cream on top of the three meals a day of 'quality food' I also shoveled in. Oh, who's kidding whom, I ate constantly. I walked those babies over to the convenience store, the Starbucks, the deli and the taco stand daily. Yes, one might think that walking them would counteract the eating, but I'm not actually kidding about how many calories per day I was consuming. My old college habit of miniature reeses peanutbutter cups and diet coke as a balanced meal came blasting back out of the past. Heck, I even smoked a few cigarettes a day (outside!) just to keep from screaming insanity. I was desperate.
And this woman (me) who had worked out until practically the day she gave birth did what? She then delegated the walking of the babies to a morning nanny. When she wasn't running errands for the house she lay in bed attempting to sleep. She lay on the couch stuffing quesadillas in her face. She napped in the recliner! I went full stop on movement, reserving all energy for baby care. I can now report with authority that it does NOT take 5000 calories a day to take care of triplets for 20 hours a day. I don't care if they cry all night. The calories in/calories out thing was a wee tad favoring the 'in'. And you know what else gets fat when you do? Your feet. Try as I might I was like Cinderella's evil stepsisters trying to cram my feet back into those lovely shoes in my closet. Would Ellen give me an exemption to wear flip flops post pregnancy because she pitied my lack of sleep and control? I think not. I'm pretty sure the whole world looks at me with pity when they seem me in flip flops, stained shirt, ragged pony tail, bags under my eyes, jeans busting from the strain and a Starbucks in one hand.
Thankfully she hasn't dumped me yet. So here I sit, 2 months into boot camp, which my 15 month old triplets only let me attend 3 times a week no matter how hard I try to train them to sleep through the night. I just finished my Costco package of Reeses, just came home from my Saturday 'date breakfast' with my husband having consumed pancakes, sausage and 2 eggs, and I ask you, what do I have left?
Right, a closet full of useless shoes. Almost all of which Ellen wants.
Ellen, pretending to covet baby, but thinking about shoes.