fashion Are jeans a symbol of control in postpartum? Jade Fox

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Note: This article discusses body image, if you feel triggered by this subject then feel free to skip.

If you have ever felt uncomfortable about your body, you’re not alone.

I’m yet to meet a woman who is unscathed by diet culture. At the time of writing this, I’m 23 weeks pregnant. My feelings towards my body fluctuate between admiration and unease. Even as I sit at my desk, I’m charmed by the little flutters I can feel yet physically uncomfortable by what I have ignorantly chosen to wear. 

My protruding belly is pressed heavily against the hair tie that is so desperately clasping my jeans together. I should just give up my Levi’s and button flies altogether, but I won’t—not yet.

I have an attachment to this particular pair of no-stretch straight-legged jeans. I have worn these in the four years leading up to this pregnancy, and though it is inevitable that they will no longer fit, this is a palpable reminder of what’s coming.

That things, not even my body, would be the same again. As with my first pregnancy, the lovestruck feeling of growing life inside of my body is enough to free me, at least in fleeting moments, from the prison of my own mind.

I know I will eventually give into elastic waist pants, but it is the overwhelming thoughts of my postpartum self that consume me. I can still so viscerally remember trying to squeeze into my old jeans at 6 weeks postpartum. Only to be floored by the reality that they would not budge past my thighs. My body was still swollen and leaking, yet I was chasing my old self.