I always had nice legs, even when I was heavier, my legs still looked great. I relied on my legs as my winning body part. My tummy has never been flat, my arms are chubby and my boobs are a mere b cup, but my legs were nicely toned and always smooth. Until I got pregnant.
Suddenly I had great boobs, but something started happening from my hips down, I got huge. I honestly think half of my weight gain was in my belly and the other half was in my poor legs. One afternoon about seven months in, I made mistake of wearing a skirt on my daily walk. It was warm out and I hadn't thought of the consequences. I wasn't used to my thights making out as I walked and by the time I reached my house they were chaffed, large raised angry red streaks that burned like crazy. Lucky me, I had experienced this on a particularly chubby summer when I was dragged around Boston by my mother who was looking for Paul Revere or something, so I knew what to do. I applied some baby butt paste to the raw skin and and it was healed by morning. My self esteem however, was still pretty chaffed.
It got worse once I bought a full length mirror. My once smooth brown shapely legs were now pasty lumpy limbs that looked like they had been squeezed into too small sausage casings. They weren't even white, they were a sickly oatmeal color speckled with purple. My knees disappeared into my plump thighs and I had a large vericose vein to the left of the right kneecap. Spider veins showed in whispy little patches on my shins and calves. My legs, were ugly.
I feel like I need to point out that I had an extremely easy pregnancy, I should be grateful that I just had ugly legs instead of unbearable morning sickness or gestational diabetes. Now that the weight is slowly coming off, my legs have begun to shrink. They still look pretty gross though. I recently went through all my non maternity clothes and gazed
longingly at all my mini skirts. I fear they are doomed to stay in the bottom drawer for the next couple years until I decide to give them away to someone younger with nice tan toned legs. Maybe I'm too old for them anyway.
On top of now being unattractive, my legs hurt. They ached from being swollen and supporting my growing belly. If you happen to be in the same boat, here are a couple of things that gave me relief.
Long relaxing soaks in the tub with a cup of epsom salt added to the water, the salt is supposed to reduce swelling and baths are supposed to help draw out retained water in your body. I also added about two tablespoons of almond oil to the bathwater as well, it moisturized my skin and just made bathtime feel a little more luxurious. You can get an eight ounce bottle for about three dollars at most natural food stores.
Pedicures are amazing, although my feet and ankles never became swollen it was still heavenly to have them massaged and pampered. Most places also give calf massages and that alone was worth the money. I have never been one to pay someone to paint my toenails, but this was my one indulgance during my pregnancy. Now that Kitty is here, I fantasize about pedicures, it's going to be awhile before I get another one I'm sure.
Something I wish I had discovered while pregnant is Burts Bees Mama Bee Leg & Foot Creme. I used some recently and it is extremely relieving on my still swollen limbs. It has peppermint oil and rosemary leaf extract and is delightfully tingly and cool about five minutes after it is applied. The only downside is that it smells how I imagine a hospital in the 1920's must have smelled. I can't explain it better than that, go buy a tube, you'll get what I'm saying. It might also be irritating to you if you are sensitive to peppermint oil. I was surprised by how intense it was, my eyes stung a bit for just a minute, then I was totally paranoid about getting any on Kitty...but still worth it just for how refreshing it is.
As the weather has become warmer and warmer I am still suffering from the chubby chaffing, I have been told I will get used to it. My reply to that was, "I better not get used to it." So here's hoping my legs someday return to their former loveliness, preferably by Septemeber because I have two weddings to attend and the dresses I purchased for the occasions are on the shorter side. That is, if I even fit into the dresses by then, but that is another blog entirely.