“Will you be one of my bridesmaids?” my future sister-in-law asked as she presented me with a Tiffany blue luggage tag with the question inscribed inside.
“Of course!!” I replied giving her a huge hug.
“It’s going to be a June wedding on Cape Cod,” she said.
My husband was presented with a “Will you be my Best Man?” momento and our two year old daughter was asked to be the Flower Girl. Our whole little family is in the wedding party! This is awesome! We had nine months until the wedding, but we were obviously super pumped for my brother’s East Coast wedding by the sea. My new sister-in-law ordered all of the bridesmaid dresses (How nice is that!). We bought all three of our plane tickets to Boston (and a car rental to the Cape).
The following week, I felt nauseous.
I took a pregnancy test.
Two minutes later: PREGNANT
Commence the morning (all day) sickness…
In the fog of nausea, I started to put together the logistics puzzle. Wait, when am I due? It must be May. It has to be May. Ok, this will work. Baby pops out in May, and then we travel to Boston a month later. It’s not ideal, but it will all work out.
I had to wait a couple of weeks until my first doctor’s appointment, so my husband and I kept the big secret to ourselves.
So, our doctor confirmed, and we were all smiles seeing the first ultrasound. Then she said the news I was panicking about.
“Your baby is due, June 2.”
Of course I’m so excited for Baby #2, but my mind is racing trying to calculate how old the baby will be when we get on a plane June 22nd. And how in the world am I going to fit into a bridesmaid dress??
Anyway, so my pregnancy went pretty smooth, but of course, there wasn’t a birthday on the due date, or the day after, or several days after. This little girl was in no rush to make her debut. Then, the evening of June 7th, we got to meet her.
Yes, this now meant I was getting on a plane to the East Coast two weeks postpartum, with a two-week old newborn. Yikes. That big adventure gets its own story!
At about eight months pregnant I started to process what my body would fit into. My sister-in-law is amazing, and she kept saying, “Wear whatever you want.” “It doesn’t matter.”
I called Anthropologie to see if I could exchange her tea-length, sea foam green dress. They discontinued it. I looked on Ebay for the dress in a much bigger size…nothing. Craigslist….nothing. Facebook Marketplace…nada. Then, I started to look for dresses in a similar color.
Bingo. Pea in the Pod had a maternity dress in the same exact color!! Done.
I packed both dresses (the original and my new maternity lifesaver) in my suitcase. Just for fun, the day before the wedding, I tried on the original bridesmaid dress. What a joke that was. I couldn’t get the side zipper past my hip line. And above the hips? I’m just not going to go there…
Ok, so the wedding day was here, and the Pea in the Pod dress was on my completely out of whack body. My face was swollen, and of course, I still looked pregnant. Alas, this whole time I was so concerned about how a dress would fit me that I forgot to even consider one other thing: My postpartum feet. Yes, this is a thing.
I had packed a pair of nude color heels that I’ve worn to several weddings prior. So of course I put them in my suitcase, next to my total score of a flowing maternity dress I found. I began to slip my tired feet into my trusty shoes, and ugh. The pregnancy, the traveling, the summer Massachusetts humidity…my feet were squashed. My toes were squished and my feet muffin-topped over the sides of my delicate heels. Lovely. Ok, I can definitely go barefoot during the reception, but I had to make this work for the ceremony.
And yet another lovely side effect to my postpartum self…my balance. Oh my goodness, wearing heels two weeks after delivering a baby should be a challenge on Survivor! I felt like I had vertigo and was going to topple over at any moment.
And here we go…..I was so sleep deprived that I have no memory of the song played while we all walked down the aisle. I grabbed onto my brother’s dear friend who walked with me. We started our march. My feet burned, my puffy face tried to smile, and my body was dreaming of a spacious hooded sweatshirt.
We turned the corner, and wobble, stumble, crack! My imbalanced body and feet stopped working together, and I went down. Not all the way to the ground thank goodness, but enough for a few audience members to gasp. Picking myself up required all the strength I had. Now add red face to my postpartum self. I hope everyone here knows I just had a baby, so I get a hall pass from this embarrassment. With an even tighter grip on my groomsman, I made it to my spot under the altar.
The exchange of rings, and a big kiss later, it was time to make the long walk back down the aisle. I stared ahead of the journey in front of me. I grabbed my partner’s arm, reached down, and peeled off each shoe from my suffocated feet. I sunk down five inches, and, “ahhh”. I walked barefoot all the way to the open bar.