Partum Me?! A Tale of Two Dresses

By Laura |

partum me mama buttonWhen I got married, nearly five years ago, I had worked hard to lose nearly 50 lbs.  I didn’t really do it just for the wedding, but it was a nice extra bit of motivation.  However, by the time my wedding day rolled around, the weight had already started to pile back on.  It was a familiar scenario for me.  For years, I had lost that same 50 lbs only to reach a certain point at which the scale would start to tip back in the opposite direction through no fault of my own.  I would scramble to change my diet, switch up my workouts, and do anything I could to keep the inevitable from happening.  It wasn’t until just this past year that I finally gained control over that constant cycle with a diagnosis of insulin resistance that explained why I had to maintain two wardrobes – one for each end of my weight spectrum.

I love dresses.  Part of it is a love of fashionable lady-like frocks.  But to be honest, it’s mostly laziness.  A pretty dress, a nice pair of heels, and a cool statement necklace make an instant, easy outfit.  In my closet I have two sets of dresses – the slim pretty fashionable ones and the sacks.  When we decided we were ready to have children, I was still barely clinging to that first set of dresses but quickly had to move into the other side of the closet when I had to go on mild fertility drugs that caused not-so-mild and instant weight gain.  Just before my short fertility adventure began, I took advantage of a Banana Republic dress sale and purchased two gorgeous dresses at a steep discount which were unwearable by the time they showed up on my doorstep.  They’ve hung in my closet, the only two items with the tags still on, for nearly three years; beautiful reminders of a carefully curated wardrobe that I might never wear again.

Very early this morning, I rushed around to get dressed before catching a train to New York for work.  One of those BR dresses – a beautiful olive wrap dress with a draped top and tulip skirt – caught my eye.  I’ve tried it on a couple times since I started losing weight after getting on the right medications for my IR and returning to the yoga and gym workouts that I’d missed as a crazed new mom. Each time I tried, it had never fit…

…until this morning.

I couldn’t quite believe it as I wrapped the dress around my waist and found that it buttoned easily on the inside and then pulled the other side around the front to snap the outside closure without having to tug it at all.  It draped perfectly without needing to be “arranged.”  Maybe it was the sleep deprivation of getting up at the crack of dawn to catch that train, but I shed a tear as I stared into the mirror at the image of me…in that dress.

The other dress I purchased that day so many years ago is a gorgeous silk sheath with a modern gray and white pattern and puffy sleeves.  It doesn’t quite fit just yet, but this morning made me realize that it will and soon.  So now my tale of two dresses is no longer the pretty vs. the sack.  It is just the pretty.  This weekend, the sacks will finally go into storage where they belong, to await their only possible rebirth as maternity wear if/when we decide to give Charlie a little brother or sister.

Throughout my journey to take control of my weight and health, I’ve maintained the mantra that I’m doing it both for me and for my family.  And I am.  But the pretty dresses?  They are all about me.  And the me that slipped into that draped wrap this morning was a very, very happy me.



Laura is mommy to Charlie, who was born in April 2011. If you are in Philadelphia and spot a woman on the bus who is balancing an active toddler and the largest canvas tote that L.L. Bean makes, you've probably spotted her. Always up for a challenge, Laura enjoys her day job as a fundraiser, cooking healthy meals at home for her family, and her new workout hobby - running.

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  1. 1.
    Vickie Couturier

    good for you kiddo! Ive got a closet full of so many sizes I could start a store,,I keep hoping an praying I can get into them again on my way back down

  2. 2.
    joanna garcia

    YAY!! congrats i have a bunch of stuff hanging like that in my closet! what an accomplishment!

  3. 3.
    teresa herrera-honores

    OMG awesome!! thats the best feeling ever!!! i am striving to enter some dresses also!

  4. 4.

    Well Done!!!
    I slipped up health-wise this past year so I have a closet full to work back into now!

  5. 5.

    Hooray! Doesn’t it feel good to understand what your own body needs?

  6. 6.
    Lia M

    Congrats on the dress fitting! Size aside, just getting to wear a pretty thing that makes you feel good is ALWAYS great. ^^ Also, I’m glad you’ve found ways to manage your health, poor dear. That must have been rough on you for more than weight reasons. Human bodies are just crazy, no?

  7. 7.

    love weddings … hated trying to lose weight to fit into my dress… but worked out great…this has not always happened in my favor

  8. 8.
    Janet W.

    Good for you! If a specific event helps you to keep motivation, that’s fine. But you know in the end it’s for YOU!

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