Easy Postpartum Halloween Costumes


The internet abounds with ideas for cute Halloween costumes – for pregnant ladies. But if you’re due just before the big costume party, a little more creativity is required.Here are nine costumes you can rock immediately postpartum with little to no effort.

1. Zombie

No makeup required! You already have the gray skin, bloodshot eyes, and dark circles to pull it off. The stained, ill-fitting clothing that you are already wearing will really finish off the look. Stumble (or limp) around aimlessly with a vacant look in your eyes to truly scare those around you.

2. Stripper

If you can time it so that your milk comes in right as it’s time to party, you might be able to pull this costume off like never before. And you don’t even have to get dressed! Like you were planning on it anyway. Of course, once those super-grande knockers make their debut, you will be too sore to cover them up with anything that would make it legal for you to go out in public. And wearing pasties will leave at least one person in your life sorely disappointed.

3. Shadow

Aww, would you look at the baby! So beautiful! So sweet! So picture perfect! Um, but what is that dark figure hovering in the background? It’s The Shadow (dun dun dunnnn!). Where the baby goes, the shadow goes. No matter where innocent bystanders (or not-so-innocent great aunts who haven’t washed their hands since coming into the house) are standing – its gaze follows. Quick, someone try to snatch the baby away so we can snap a picture without it in the background.

4. Water Fountain

Think a plump and curvy Roman Goddess fountain in an Italian piazza. You’re already mostly naked, with just a sheet covering half your breasts in case your mother-in-law walks in. Without that pregnancy glow, your skin looks stony-gray already. And to really finish off the look, you’re leaking fluids all over the place! From your eyes to your boobs, you’ve got the waterworks down.

5. Throw Pillow

You spend so much time on the couch feeding the little one that you might as well become part of it. Plus, you’re pleasantly soft and squishy, a fact any older children you might have are constantly reminding you of. So just fade back into the décor, and hopefully close your eyes for a minute or two.

6. Frankenstein’s Monster

Have you recently been torn apart and stitched back together? Do you feel vaguely undead? Are you not quite sure if any of your body parts are actually where they are supposed to be anymore? Are you a sickly shade of green? Perfect! You’ve already got all the makings of Frankenstein’s Monster, no bolts-in-the-neck required. Please delegate handing out any Halloween candy to someone who can formulate full sentences easily, lest you start scaring the villagers.

7. Pregnant Lady

Well, you’ve still got the belly. And for whatever reason, people think that bump is way cuter the day before you deliver than they do the day after. There’s no reason to stop flaunting it. Proudly get a little extra use out of those maternity clothes you are wearing anyway. So slap on some makeup (remember when you cared about that?), brush your hair, and tell people that the baby you’re carrying around is one you are just borrowing for practice.

8. Nothing

Let’s be honest – you’re turning off the lights and cursing anyone who rings your doorbell Halloween night. Maybe you’ll make it to a costume party next year.

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Before you begin


Little one, I have a few things I would like to tell you before you begin. 

You will happen soon, I know. I don’t much understand, or probably believe in, fatalism or determinism or pre-ordination or other fancy terms I vaguely remember from philosophy classes. But at some point, the future will become the past. And then, there will have been a finite number of days between this one and the one you were born. 

I will go through a certain number of contractions before you enter this world. I will remind myself of that as they pass. Each pain is one I can check off and never have to live through again. 

And there will be a number of breaths you take on this earth. Millions of billions of trillions I assume. I’m sure there’s a way to calculate an estimate but the thought is too painful and so I won’t. 

I do have a few hopes for those breaths you take. And for the ones your brothers are taking now. They are only a few steps ahead of you. 

I hope you fall in love. I personally have enjoyed the marriage-and-babies path, but the world is large and there is much to fall in love with. So find a passion – art, earth, music, beauty – and love it. But I will caution you – true love is born in service. Whether it be to your spouse or children or cause, you must give yourself over if you want to fall in love.

I hope you know that there are things I want to do in addition to being your mother. I’m not saying besides, or other than. And when you find someone or something you wish to serve and love completely, I hope you stay yourself as well.

I don’t just want you to be happy. I hear it all the time, “I just want my kids to be happy.” I certainly hope that you experience happiness, an abundance of it. But happiness is too often brief and shallow. 

Instead, I hope you are fulfilled.

I hope you are passionate.

I hope you are good, and kind, and just. 

I hope you leave me one day. Your oldest brother likes to tell me he never wants to leave me and that when I’m old, he will take care of me just like Grandma takes care of Great-Grandma. And I love it and it makes me smile, but I hope he is wrong. The world is wonderful and it is large and I can’t wait to hear your stories of adventures I could have only ever dreamed of. 

I hope you are wrong. One of the best things I have ever been in my life is wrong. Of course, we are all wrong many times over, but it is in realizing that we grow. Relatedly, I hope you forgive me for the many times I will be wrong. It is inevitable, my dear, and I hope my mistakes will only serve to make you a better and stronger person. 

I hope you know how much I love you. It is an impossible ask, because you won’t know until you find something to love as deeply as I love you. And even then, you will be looking ahead and not behind. So I suppose it will just be my little secret, a secret you may share one day. 

These are things I hope you know, before you even begin. 

Pins and Needles


I’m 38 weeks pregnant, and sitting on pins and needles.

I didn’t want to make the same mistake I made last time, when my son showed up a month before he was due. I wasn’t ready, and was left scrambling when we brought him home. 

This time came with additional complications that could have resulted in another premature birth. I figured it would be best to avoid a repeat performance. So the bag has been packed for over a month now. The box of newborn clothes retrieved from the basement, washed, and put away. Diapers purchased and tucked in a corner.

And I’m just here, sitting on pins and needles. 

Every time my back aches, I wonder, “Is this it?” Every time I feel a tad off, or a little more tired than usual, I convince myself that it must be time. Week after week ticks by – 35, 36, 37. I know I’m supposed to be happy to still be pregnant.

But I thought I’d have my baby by now.

Pins and needles.

My hands keep finding something to do. I finish sewing a baby blanket. The boys need new winter hats. Baby will need a Christmas stocking, too.  The kids should get some new pillowcases. My husband finds sewing pins sticking out of the carpet. This is not ideal when we have young children, he reminds me. He buys me new knitting needles.  I cast on a new project, wondering if I will finish before the baby comes. 

I hope not. 

Pins and needles.

I wonder how many pins and needles of my own I’m going to need to get through this. My OB celebrated each milestone with me. The “you won’t need to get life-flighted to another city if you go into labor” milestone. The “we won’t try to stop your labor” milestone. The “baby is full-term” milestone. I know how lucky I am.

And I know that the whole thing is mostly safe, mostly uneventful, mostly routine. 

Mostly.

I also know I’m about to walk through death in order to bring new life into the world.

Pins and needles.

I know life is about to get a whole lot harder, which makes me wonder why I am rushing to get there. I can’t sleep now, and I won’t sleep then. I worry now, and I’ll worry then. Right now, life is quiet for a beat. 

But I’m sitting on pins and needles. 

Superheroes


Another day. 

Another day when tragedy pours from my phone and the radio and the TV and I have to try and silence it all so they don’t hear. 

Because I’ve spent the day with two superheroes who have no idea about the real-life villains wrecking havoc in Gotham today. They wear capes made out of blankets I swaddled them in as babies and underwear imprinted with their own heroes and jump off the couch. I keep telling them to stop jumping off the couch but they say they have to save people and I know we all need saving so I let them. 

They still fight, of course. They fight because neither of them wants to play the bad guy and of course they both want there to be a bad guy to fight so they can win. 

I wonder when we stop worrying about whether or not we get to be the hero and when we start worrying about whether or not we will be the victim. 

All they want to do is save someone.  I throw their stuffed animals around the living room and tell the super heroes to go save that monkey balanced precariously on the back of the rocking chair. After that game ends they come to me for more, expecting me to produce more real comic book life scenarios. All I know from comic books is trains frequently speed off towards broken bridges and cable cars are apt to dangle over rivers, but those are two situations that are hard to re-create in a living room. 

Because what might be harder than actually saving someone is figuring out how to do it. We don’t know if it has to do with better legislation or just being better people to each other. But either way we decide that it would be too hard to try and so we just keep doing nothing. 

It snowed all day and I kept thinking what a lovely day it would be to go in to labor. I think I just wanted an excuse to stare at the snow as it fell, instead of staring at my phone as the death toll rose. A little distraction.

But no. Another day. 

Superheroes are brave. They have to be to wear their underwear on the outside of their pants. They have to be brave once they figure out the truth about Gotham city. They have to be, if they want to save the world.