The pre-baby jeans

Is there anything more satisfying than feeling great in your jeans? I’m pretty sure we’re all the same, or many of us are, in that we feel most confident when we’re able to slip into our favourite pair of denims. For me anyway, it seems to be a reflection of where I am in life generally.

Last year, right about the time I fell pregnant with Kittie) January 2018), I was feeling great. Family life was perfect, work and freelancing was good, I was eating well and exercising regularly, and sleep was a good 8 hours every night. I was a standard size 12 and was feeling comfortable and confident in my clothes, particularly in my new jeans, a pair of cropped flares from Topshop. They were a new style for me and I felt ready to try them out; a mid-rise, they buttoned up over my tummy with space to tuck in a thick jumper but without being loose with just a t-shirt. My bum felt sculpted, my legs felt slim, and they were just super comfy while feeling stylish in an effortless way.

Fast forward a year and baby Kittie had arrived and was two months old and, let me tell you, those jeans were a distant memory. I remember trying on my pre-baby jeans a hot minute after she was born and they wouldn’t even go over my thighs. I knew that weight loss was necessary but I also knew it would take time. I decided to use both the scales and those jeans as an indication of how far I had to go to get back to a healthy size for me.

I tried the jeans on again after four of five months of having had Kits. They went up this time, but the button was an inch or two away from the hole. No chance it was doing up, even with the help of a coat hanger like that woman in the Special K advert. (Now I think about it, how weird is that? Has anyone ever done that? I mean, seriously – who does that? How is coat hanger going to help!) It was depressing and even though my heart knew I shouldn’t put such pressure on myself, my head was wishing I looked and felt better.

Then, in May, Kittie had turned six months old. I had lost all but 10lbs of the extra weight. Did I dare try them on yet? Of course I did – I was desperate to wear something other than my black skinnies which I’d bought in a larger size at Christmastime.

Not only did the jeans go up and over my hips, they DID UP! HALLELUJAH, the button was CLOSED! I could barely breathe but they were shut. The podge-y tummy was muffin-topping its way out of the waistband but those pre-baby jeans were closed and I could leave the house in them (for an hour at a time or I would struggle to breathe, and I might have experienced tummy cramps but let’s not get into that…).

It’s now the middle of July and Kittie is eight and a half months old. The jeans still go up and do up and the muffin top isn’t as obvious as it was a month ago, and these are all signs that I’m slowly heading along the right path. The jeans, the ones that were an indicator of my size and therefore my health (this is all in relation to my own body and my understanding of my body – this is not a post about what is the wrong and right size or weight, just purely about my own body) were telling me that I was losing the weight and I was doing it over time, the healthiest way. They’re still not perfect – I’m so self conscious of my tummy even though I am in awe of what it has done – but it’s getting there.

The saying goes ‘it takes 9 months to grow a baby so allow 9 months to recover’ and it’s so true. It took me a year after Nathan was born to feel my best in those jeans and it’s going to take a year with Kittie too. The point isn’t to try and be your best self all the time, but to be your best self when the time is right – so many factors influence our bodies, from babies and other major lifestyle changes to work, exercise and food, hormones and even how many social events or travel we have on.

There is no right way to be, but we all know what is right for ourselves. And I’m pretty sure that our jeans know too.


I’m wearing:
Top, Primark; jeans, Topshop (Dree); sunglasses, New Look at ASOS; bag, charity shop; trainers, Superga; necklace, Nell and Digby.
Location: McManus Gallery, Dundee.
Images: Kris Miller.

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