Letting Myself Go

Last week I was forced to venture out to the mall in search of moisturizer. My previous moisturizer was nearly gone, and, thanks to pregnancy, had lost its effectiveness anyway. My skin is normally sensitive and dry, so I sought out the help of my reliable Origins counter in Macy’s.

The young sales woman (maybe 18 or 19?) approached me as I was looking over the available choices. “Can I help you with something today?”

“Yes, I’m looking for a new moisturizer. My old one isn’t working well anymore.”

“OK, no problem! What’s your skin type? Oily? Dry?”


The confused look on her face made it clear she had never been in my condition before. “Uh, pregnant?”

“Yes, pregnant. My skin is currently highly sensitive, oily at times, dry at other times, and generally unpredictable.”

She took a deep breath. “Wow, really?” I could see she still didn’t quite understand.

“Yep, it’s like condensing an entire adolescence into 9 months.”

“Ooooohh, OK.” There we go – I managed to find something she could relate it to.

I had clearly stumped the poor girl, so we decided to just look at the ingredients list on each moisturizer together to find the one least likely to make me break out in red patches. Knowing that any choice was a risk, she thought it best to send me home with some free samples to try out first before committing to any single product.

I’m encountering the same problem with shampoo, also. They don’t make shampoo for pregnant hair. I see shampoo for dry or damaged hair, oily hair, colored hair, etc., but nothing that is for “hair that is lifeless, oily at the roots but dry near the ends, and prone to change without warning”.

I’m still wondering when I’m supposed to get that “glow” of pregnancy. Right now my hair is flat and dull (but growing rapidly, just to make sure any cut loses its style in a week or less), my skin alternates between a snowstorm of dry flakes and erupting mountain-sized zits, and my waist has officially given notice and called it quits. I only hope my waist will once again forgive me and come back again after this baby is born.

A lot of this is very similar to my pregnancy with Cordy, only about a month ahead of schedule. Just like last time, I have yet to gain a pound with this pregnancy (still down a few from my starting weight, in fact), yet somehow my butt is twice as big. It’s clear the laws of physics don’t apply to pregnancy, for how can a body part expand to double its size without a single pound gained, and with no visible loss anywhere else? Are my fat cells filling with air? Surely there is no biological need for this, right?

Luckily, stretch pants are available, and for that I am thankful. Hell, Old Navy even shrinks their sizes so I can feel good wearing a L or an XL. I’ve never been into high fashion, so I feel no shame at all in wearing stretch pants every single day. And I now have stretch pants to fit nearly every occasion: shiny, smooth, and silky stretch pants for work, cotton stretch pants for everyday wear, and one old pair with a big hole in the thigh for wearing around the house. Pair them with a long tunic top for work, or a sweatshirt for home, and voila! Easy, comfortable maternity clothing.

Of course, with all of these changes to my body, people wonder why I don’t have any pictures of myself pregnant. I have two pictures total from being pregnant with Cordy, and they were taken at the same time, two weeks before my c-section. But this time, I’ve decided I’m going to take more pictures, at least to show off the pregnant belly growth. Just don’t hold it against me if I leave my face out of the picture, at least until I find a moisturizer that works.

(No, there’s no belly picture yet. Maybe in a week or two, once the belly starts to protrude more so I don’t look like I just have a beer gut.)

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  1. Ain’t pregnancy grand? I always hated my hair – it has never been the same since the birth of my 1st child.

    Looking forward to the belly shots. I have none of my second, and only about 3 of my first. I wisdh I had at least taken one of the second pregnancy, although nothing needs to remind me of how miserable I was.

  2. I looked like shit during my pregnancy.

  3. Hee hee hee. Pregnant skin. Pregnant hair. You know, you DO grow a whole lot more hair while you’re pregnant. So maybe your hairs are actually having little baby hairs! ha ha!

  4. You probably scared the girl for life. She’ll never have kids now. 🙂

  5. Mrs. Chicken says:

    You are making it easy for me to put off No. 2! 🙂

    Hope you feel that fabled glow soon.

  6. I never got the pregnancy glow, either. I had zits all the time and looked like I had been up for 3 days straight. I wonder why it skips some people?

    I am totally with you on the shampoo for pregnant hair! You should pitch the idea to Suave or something!

  7. Wow, well … I guess Origins doesn’t spend much time thinking about where people originate! Haha, I kill me.

    Honestly, just keep repeating … it will all be over soon … and then back to normal! But it sucks. I hope your skin decides to cooperate soon.

  8. I’m still convinced that myth of the pregnancy glow was just that, a myth! We only glowed because we were sweaty and our faces were oily.

  9. for me, the glow was nausea. i hear you on the gigantic ass thing too. ah, pregnancy.

    oh, and mm – you were a very beautiful pregnant lady. i have the pictures to prove it.

  10. reddragonsangel says:

    I am sorry to hear that you are having such troubles, I thought I was the only woman in the world that loved being pregnant but hated how I looked- and to be really honest- after my 2nd baby- I have never been the same- I mean you start to “show” like 5 seconds after conception and then it’s all downhill from there, and sadly- My poor poor body and hair/skin has never been the same- but honest! she is totally worht it- please don’t hae me for being the bearer of the bad news that you may not EVER have a waist again, but you might always have a big pair of boobies and “breeder hips” – lol! I am sure you are beautifully pregnant you just don’t realize it yet- you need to have a spa day or something… that always made me feel better! I too avoided pictures AT ALL COSTS…you are not alone- thank goodness-!! 🙂

  11. If it makes you feel any better, I look like I’ve let myself go constantly and I’m not pregnant! I am seriously wishing I were so I’d have half and excuse!

  12. Uncooperative hair, skin, and the body in general….oh yes, I remember it well.
    The only thing that worked for me was Mary Kay Timewise cleanser,and two step moisturizer. I thought it was a miracle drug.Seriously. Oh, and they make a microderm abrasion cleanser that will give you a glow after scrubbing for a few minutes. Of course, that’s probably because it’s scrubbing the skin right off your face, but hey, it looks good, so why not? 🙂

  13. Hey. I think you need to invent a new skin type.

    Oily Normal Pregnant


  14. Aussie Dual Personality Shampoo and conditioner. Specifically for oily roots and dry ends. Found it while pregnant and fell in love. Still using it happily.

    I’ve always loved their line of stuff! Scrunch spray was essential to my late 80’s early 90’s big hair days. 🙂


  15. Wow, that is a really excellent analogy: pregnancy is condensing adolescence into 9 months…

    I hope you found some good Origins stuff. I love them. And you’re especially deserving of good products while pregnant, I think.

  16. MommyWithAttitude says:

    They say that girls steal your beauty so maybe you’re having a girl… However, I looked (and felt) like holy hell during both of my pregnancies… both boys. So maybe not. But at least pregnancy ends some day!

  17. I think you are on to something … I totally would have bought a pregnancy-formulated moisturizer or shampoo when I was preggers.

  18. With Aveline, my skin errupted into by far the worst acne I had ever had. My husband got me that stuff Jessica Simpson hawks on tv. I was mortified.

    With Scarlett, my skin was so dry. My arms got incredibly itchy and so did my scalp.

    I couldn’t have had two more different pregnancies. Now I have two insanely different children. I wonder if there is a correlation.

    When do we discover the sex? January?