From Bejiggly to Bellefit (GIVEAWAY ALERT!!!)

During pregnancy, you spend 9 months (or an eternity if you are April the giraffe) watching your body expand in ways you didn’t think possible.

With both of my pregnancies I pretty much peed on a stick and as soon as the tests were positive, I had offensively huge boobs, my waist was gone, and the “birthing hips” emerged.

girls

Approximately 7 months

I’m also petite, ringing in at a whopping 5 foot 1, so there’s only so much real estate on my body. I tend to show later – like after 18/20 weeks, but once that happens I basically can’t breathe because my stomach is up to my throat.

With my first pregnancy, eight plus years ago, I gained a total of 25 pounds and hung on to the last 8-10 pounds for about a year. I blame it on living in Boston at the time and needing insulation from the cold. I knew nothing of post-partum girdles and corsets back then. Nothing.

My most recent pregnancy was MUCH different. First of all, I was 39 and I honestly feared how my “advanced maternal age” would affect weight gain and weight loss. Plus, at 32 weeks I got thrown for a loop when I was put on bedrest for the remainder of my pregnancy because of some spotting. Up until that point, I clocked an hour on the treadmill (just walking) every. damn. day…trying to maintain an active lifestyle.

Still, with life as a mom, running a very energetic 8-yr-old from school, to dance, to playdates, etc., coupled with a two hospital visits, a first trimester of dry heaving and puking, and a dash of someone looking down on me saying, “she’s been through the ringer…let’s throw her a bone”, I only managed to gain a total of 18 pounds and still birthed a healthy, 8-pound, baby girl.

9 months

I had the balls to allow a film crew in my house to film something for our alma mater (Go Gators) at nine months preggo, even though it’s a known thing that the camera adds 10 pounds.

All of that being said, I turned 40 just two weeks after delivering, and that was looming in the back of my head. EVERYTHING is harder when you’re older, including losing baby weight. Thankfully, you lose a significant amount on the table, which provides a nice running start. But then this thing happens to your body. In minutes you go from having a hard round belly filled with a baby, to an empty one that is so bejiggly (don’t fake the funk, mamas), that you don’t even know what to do with it. And it happens no matter how much weight you’ve gained. It can be a confidence killer.

This is where I discovered the magic of Bellefit. And it is magic, IF you use it as directed.

I received a bundle, which contained a dual-closure girdle and a corset. The website is great and walks you through exactly what size to order, but I did speak with a real person because I was cocky and thought I for sure would need a small. Pffft. Spoiler alert – I was wrong.

bellefitJPG

With this bundle, you get two sizes so that you basically ease into wearing it and tighten it as you go along. So I started with a large girdle and worked my down to the medium corset. I had no idea how long it would take to see results, nor when I should tighten things up, so I just went with what felt right. I began wearing it the day I was discharged from the hospital (two days postpartum), from the moment I woke up to the second I went to bed. I did not sleep in it (although some people do). There’s also an accompanying free app that helps track progress. (Sidenote: My phone used to be filled with nothing but an iTunes account brimming with 90s hip-hop and multiple photo filter apps to give the appearance of Botox. Now it’s filled with apps to track baby weight loss, the last time I fed my child, and live baby monitor feeds.)

Then….when I had a photographer in my home to do a newborn shoot/family photos seven days after delivery, something happened that rocked my world. I took my favorite AG skinny jeans out of my closet and had a stare down with them. In my head, this voice was saying, “Back away from the skinny jeans…you are only setting yourself up for disappointment.” But I flicked that voice off and started one leg at a time…fast like pulling off a band aid. And…They. Effing. Fit. No shimmying, no lying on the bed, nada. They slid right on like I hadn’t skipped a beat and I wanted to cry.

skinny jeans

That’s when I started to do measurements. I’ve never been one to weigh myself or attach a number to anything physically, because it messes with my sanity. I much prefer to judge how I’m doing based on how I feel, look and how my clothes fit. So busting out the measuring tape and scale was out of character for me, but I felt like I needed cold, hard, quantifiable evidence that this was really happening. It went something like this…

11 days pp

one month pp

2 months pp

Here are some other deets and a timeline for my experience.

2/8/17: (two days postpartum) I started wearing the dual-closure girdle on the looser hooks. You will have to lie down to get it closed at first, and it is tight. But not debilitating tight. It actually feels really good and supportive keeping you all sucked in. It feels good from a posture perspective too.

My experience was definitely faster than I anticipated. On day 4, I no longer had to lie down to get it closed. That was so motivating, I did the jig in front of my mirror.

2/18/17: Graduated to tighter hooks on dual-closure girdle without lying down!

3/6/17: (one month postpartum) This is when I measured my hips. At 39 weeks pregnant, my hips were 41 inches. At one month postpartum, wearing Bellefit, I was at 38 inches and graduated to the medium corset on the looser hooks. And hips don’t lie…ask Shakira.

3/25/17: Graduated to tighter hooks on corset and continue to wear it presently and track my progress.

Guys, even my newborn can’t believe it!

sienna

A few more things to know.

This is NOT one of those Kardashian-esque waist trainers. It’s a legit post-partum support system made of medical grade materials.

I wear Bellefit like its my religion. It’s the first thing I put on when I wake up, after I pee holding one child with the other one yelling at me to pour her milk. I am better at sticking to my Bellefit regimen than I am at remembering if I brushed my teeth or put on deodorant before I head to the carpool line (#newmomprobs).

Speaking of peeing…In the interest of full disclosure, I am telling you now to allot time to get the hooks undone before you have to pee. Even if you are the queen of kegels, sometimes you are ready to pee before you realize it. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about, mamas.

*****GIVEAWAY TIME!!!*****

Bellefit is, without question, one of my favorite things on the planet and their customer service is just as good as their products. They’re supportive and knowledgable and, such an awesome company. So awesome, as a matter of fact, that they are allowing me to give away a Bellefit bundle (1 Bellefit Corset & 1 Bellefit Dual-Closure Girdle, retail price $254!) to one lucky reader!

bundle

To enter, head over to my Instagram (@whineandcheezits) and follow the directions on the post there. It will be the one with the picture from this post of me wearing my skinny jeans and shocked look, because I live for that picture and that moment.

You can also receive $20 off your Bellefit order, using the promo code RACHEL20. So really, everyone is a winner!! Use this link to order >> https://www.bellefit.com/a/6/

The Bellefit Bundle giveaway is open through Friday, April 14th and the winner will be announced on Instagram shortly after.

Good luck!!

Bellefit Postpartum Girdles and Corsets

The TRUTH about Pregnancy

truth

So, a while back I penned a brief blog post about some of the perils of pregnancy. But as I approach the finish line of my second pregnancy, I’m reminded about all of the things (really gross things), that most women don’t discuss. And I still don’t get why.

I mean, women are worse than men in terms of the things we talk about (at least my girlfriends are), so why are people so coy to talk about what happens to a woman’s body during pregnancy and labor.

Eff that!

Remember when I posted on Facebook asking for your gross stories? Well, I took them and wrapped them into a disgusting little package with a cute little bow for my latest Huffington Post story.

Read it, share it, own it.

You can click any of the links in this post or use this link>> http://huff.to/2jhI6rW

Just remember to always keep it real mamas!

 

The Good, Bad and Ugly of Childbirth

Before I delivered my daughter, my mom would tell me having her wisdom teeth out was more painful than childbirth.

Liar.

She admitted AFTER I had my daughter, that she lied because she didn’t want me to be scared. Well, you know what’s worse than being scared? Being completely mentally unprepared about what happens when you have a child.

omg

Is it amazing to bring a child into this world? 100% ! But there are so many things that happen to your body before, during and after labor, that are just effing gross and weird. I mean c’mon – the National Geographic nipples, the black line down the middle of your stomach, should I keep going?

However, for some reason, many women like to pretend it’s ALL like a magical scene out of a Disney movie where birds are chirping on the windowsill and some perfect blonde lass is baking perfect cherry pies while she sings and folds laundry (sidenote: if you sing while folding laundry you might need your head checked.)

Cinderella-623

When friends became pregnant after me and asked questions…I did NOT lie. But, first I would ask if they really wanted the truth or if they wanted to play the bullshit game a lot of other women like to play. If they opted for the truth, I gave it to them. Hard. It’s that same motivation that had me jump on possible little inclusion in a recent story for The Berry about real childbirth experiences (definitely click that link to see the full story – there are some GREAT quotes from other moms just like me giving honest and hilarious accounts of their experiences). My quote sums up a portion of my childbirth story…but not nearly all of it.

My child was 6 days late and while overall I had a great pregnancy, in those final weeks, I literally wanted to punch everyone who said things like, “Hmmmm. No baby, yet?”. I would go to my OBGYN appts begging and pleading and crying for him to put me out of my misery and induce me (that’s what I get for delivering in Boston. In South Florida they don’t give a shit and actually schedule C-sections based on hair appointments. I suppose I should be thankful, even though I was completely over it). And on the night before I was to be induced, she finally decided to make her own entrance.

I knew I wanted an epidural the second I peed on a pregnancy test and it was positive. There was no question in my mind.

epi

 

Kudos to you ladies who do it sans drugs but that is not my thing. And while the drugs curtailed the excruciating contractions that literally took my breath away and made me feel like I was about to involuntarily reenact “that” scene from Alien, the same cannot be said for the delivery part. It effing hurts, you guys. Yes it’s worth it. But it hurts.

Plus, since I was in a teaching hospital, the medical students and residents have to learn using someone’s vagina, and mine was apparently one of them. Every so often the door would open and an attending physician would say, “Is it ok for (insert one of who knows how many med student’s names) to check you?”

Sure! Welcome to the party. I was like the pregnant Oprah but instead of giving out cars, it was more like, “YOU get to see how dilated I am!” “”YOU get to see how dilated I am!”Annnnnnnd “YOU get to see how dilated I am!” “Someone’s having a baaaaaaaaabyyyyyyyyyyyy!”

After 12ish hours of labor (which actually is not a lot, for you novices), while I was pushing and nothing was really happening, they started whispering about a C-section. I was like…no effing way. I didn’t just go through 12 hours of labor to get gutted like a fish. Something inside of me took over and I literally became superhuman. That kid was out in 20/30 mins.

All I remember, other than looking into her amazing eyes, is that I was FREEZING and shivering like I was standing in a blizzard, naked. I also remember that all I wanted was an ice-cold fountain diet coke, since I did not have one for 9 months. That was my first post-baby drink and it was glorious.

All of the pain, anxiety and weirdness was worth it a gazillion times over. All I’m asking is why don’t we talk openly about it? I love a good surprise, but when it involves X-files level shit and my body, a little heads-up would have been nice.