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Gwen Stefani & Me

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.

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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.

Labor and Delivery:

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 Home:

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.

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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. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

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