She just had a baby
six weeks ago. That’s what I’m thinking to myself as I’m watching Gwen (as if she needs a last name) Stefani singing “Hollaback Girl” during a
surprise visit to the Coachella Music Festival. There’s Gwen, looking svelte,
stylish and downright glowing just six weeks after having her third child.
Six weeks after birthing a human person out of my lady
business, I was not dancing and singing on stage in front of thousands of fans.
Six weeks out, I was still sitting on ice cubes and wondering if my stitches had
already come out.
And since Gwen was Coachella-ready so soon after having
birth and I wasn’t, I’ve made some assumptions about other things we don’t have
in common. Here’s what I assume Gwen’s mom-life is like versus mine. And, yes, since I have a total talent crush on
Gwen, I’m assuming everything she does is fabulous. Even having babies.
GWEN: Svelte with
just a tiny bump, Gwen’s hubby Gavin lovingly tells her she’s “tits on two
sticks” because she’s barely gained a pound. Her pregnancy cravings include
kale, spinach and cooked cabbage. A few people tell her she’s lost weight
during pregnancy. Coincidentally, Gwen goes down a size in jeans while
pregnant. By her ninth month, she ‘s wearing the same size jeans she
did in 4th grade.
ME: At seven weeks pregnant with my second child, I’m
asked by a stranger if I’m due the following month. For my birthday, my husband
gives me a gym membership and suggests, “Maybe you should cut back on the
Cheetos.” My pregnancy cravings include
“sharing size” bags of potato chips, which I eat by myself.
GWEN: On the way
to Pilates, Gwen feels a little funny and heads toward the hospital. She delivers
her own baby on the way, but still makes it to Pilates on time.
ME: As I go into
labor, I scream, “I’m going to die” and beg for an immediate epidural. The
anesthesiologist declines my request since I’m not actually in labor. It turns
out I just have gas.
Baby Apollo is already sleeping through the night and speaks two languages.
Bringing the Baby
GWEN: All of
Gwen’s famous friends want to come over and meet baby Apollo, so Gwen cooks an
Italian dinner for 60 friends the night the baby comes home. Bono and Mick Jagger
take turns singing lullabies while President Obama swaddles the baby.
ME: Home from the
hospital for 10 minutes, I quickly realize I have no idea what I’m doing and
am concerned I’ll break my baby. I call the hospital and ask if they’ll let me
come back. They think I’m kidding and quickly hang up.
2 Weeks After the
Baby Comes Home:
GWEN: Baby Apollo is already sleeping through the
night and speaks two languages. Gwen is
back to her pre-baby weight and is asked to be on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
ME: I’m thrilled
because my baby is now sleeping for two hours at a time, which gives me just
enough time to finish nothing. I still look pregnant, and the bagger at the
grocery store asks me when I’m due.
4 Weeks After the
Baby Comes Home:
GWEN: Baby Apollo
is already on solids and looking like he’ll be walking soon! He’s also
mastered sign language and shows a talent for the piano. Gwen’s thrilled, since she’ll be going on tour
soon and needs someone on keyboards.
ME: I have mastitis for the third time and only one
of my boobs makes milk. I have new facial hair, which makes up for the hair my
baby lost right after he got a serious case of cradle cap and baby acne. Nasty.
6 Weeks After the
Baby Comes Home:
GWEN: Gwen makes
a surprise visit to Coachella to sing with Pharrell. She looks and sounds
amazing while she struts her stuff in 5-inch heals.
ME: I’m still sitting on ice cubes since my lady
stuff hasn’t gotten over birthing a human. I’m still in maternity jeans, which
are now feeling snug. Turns out all those books that say you need to eat more
to breast-feed are B.S.
I meet another new mom who comments that I’m making it all
look easy. I confess it’s all a cover and I’m technically barely keeping things
together. It occurs to me that every mom looks together on the outside while
inside she feels like she’s held together with chewing gum. So kudos to Gwen
for making parenting seem like a breeze when technically, it’s bananas.