My Cirque du Soleil Audition


The residents of Fordeville are on Flu Lockdown after my son was diagnosed over the weekend.  Since he has sneezed on me no fewer than 487 times in the last week, it’s only a matter of time before I get it.  So, as a warm-up to my clearly impending misery, let me tell you about another form of torture I experienced just before lockdown.

In a few weeks, I’m attending a very nice event that requires me to dress up.  Usually, I embrace something like this.  It gives me an opportunity to go shopping and find something to wear.  And even shower.

It’s a little different at 20 weeks pregnant.  My options are far more limited.  I mean, I don’t want to spend much money on something that will fit me for all of four days.  As for going the Duchess Kate route and famously re-purposing something I already own — well, I don’t think my yoga pants are acceptable, even in a bedazzled state.  And I’m saving my muumuu debut for the town pool at about 38 weeks pregnant.

So I was pleasantly surprised to find a simple, elegant — and of course, black — maternity dress that I felt comfortable in, yet was not shaped like something out of the Breaking Amish Mother-To-Be Collection.


Having completed my purchase, I felt victorious and relieved.  And then, I saw them.  On my way out of the store — on the rack out of the corner of my eye.

Maternity Spanx.

At first, I was confused.  I mean, what’s the point?   There’s no pulling in this stomach, at least not without industrial or surgical equipment.

But, ever the curious consumer {and clearly stalling to drag out my alone time in the mall}, I took a closer look.

Hmmm.  Why, yes, I would like to pull in my bottom and streamline my legs — all while giving my growing mid-section some forgiving room for expansion.

In what I can only describe as a second trimester moment of low blood sugar, I was sold.  I purchased the Maternity Spanx.

Anxious to witness their slimming effects, I immediately took them out of the package when I got home.  I began to try them on.

After gently sliding them over my hands, I wondered if maybe I purchased the wrong size.  I  mean, I’m no stranger to regular Spanx, but these — they seemed awfully restrictive.  Like barbed wire.

I checked the package.  Nope, I had the right size.  And so I started again, gathering them carefully around my ankles.  The trip from big toe to ankle took about six minutes.

Wow, I had a long way to go.  I checked my calendar to make sure I didn’t have to be anywhere for the next 25 minutes.  Did I have anything on the stove that could burn while I’m trapped in this compromising, chain-gang-like position?

I continued.

By the time the Maternity Spanx were up to my knees, I was winded.  Yes, my legs were slimmer, but I was concerned about my circulation.  I wondered if I should talk to my OB about this before proceeding.  Or maybe a hematologist.

The knee-to-hip journey was perhaps the most challenging.  Now, I work out about three times a week, and yet this task had me in a full sweat.  In fact, I only have to exercise twice this week after the calories I burned in my Maternity Spanx application.  And I feel I’ve earned that extra cookie, if not an alternate spot on the US Women’s Gymnastics team.  Better yet, I think I have just mastered the audition process for Cirque du Soleil.

My God, this was exhausting.  Despite leveraging my years of intensive ballet training, I. just. couldn’t. get. these. things. all. the. way. on.  And where was that bottle of water I swore I had on my nightstand?

Finally, success!  The Maternity Spanx were fully in place.  I took a minute to rest from the cardio impact of my efforts and regroup.   Once I adjusted to the lack of oxygen flowing to my brain, I thought the result was pretty good.  I looked at least eight ounces lighter than I did half an hour ago, when I began this P90X situation.

After all that, I considered just sleeping in them, as I was far too exhausted by the thought of reversing the process.

Thinking ahead to the lovely event I’m attending, the fate of my Maternity Spanx is unclear.  I hate to waste the money I spent on them, but I’m just not sure I can repeat this exercise in torture.  Plus, it would cost even more to have the ER cut me out of them if necessary.  Do you think my co-pay would cover that?

But, then again, looking eight ounces lighter is appealing in my current state.  Maybe I’ll take what I can get — even if I can’t get up from my seat without medical assistance, just for the night.



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  1. Eight ounces lighter – hahaha! Seriously, what IS the point of maternity Spanx? I can see maybe wanting to make your butt or legs look slimmer, but the tummy is the adorable part of pregnancy.

    And I think you’ve touched on a good point – maybe that IS how those Cirque du Soleil performers train.

    • fordeville says:

      If it’s not in their training regimen now, it totally should be. I was one trapeze shy of a Vegas-worthy performance.

  2. I’m going to blame sleep deprivation for this purchase. Spanx are impossible to get on properly without a baby in the belly. Now go return those things before you hurt yourself getting into them again.

  3. HouseTalkN says:

    HAHAHA! That sounds exhausting! I say that getting into spanx looks like two pigs fighting in a blanket! Good luck!

  4. Becky says:

    Side-splittingly hilarious per usual, Kim. I don’t anticipate another pregnancy in my own life but will make a concerted effort to avoid maternity Spanx at all costs. My son’s classroom is on the 4th floor and that daily trek is already testing my cardiac/lung capacity. Thanks for taking one for the team and test driving these for women everywhere. xo

  5. Anna says:

    honestly, maternity spanx shouldn’t even be legal. and to think they maybe weren’t even invented by a man – that makes it even worse!

    • fordeville says:

      Years from now, we’ll see one of those cheap, late-night infomercials from a shady lawyer putting together a Maternity Spanx class action suit. “Do you or someone you know have long-term circulatory damage from Maternity Spanx?”

  6. God, I’m exhausted just reading it. Maybe you could just wear them around your ankles like compression socks and get a longer dress?

  7. Meredith says:

    Ha! Okay, so here’s the good news. If you find yourself getting bored during the pregnancy, you now have a new hobby. Devote all those nasty extra minutes to grabbing the world record in speedy spanx dressing. You’ve got this in the bag.

  8. Hehehe!! I can’t believe this is a real product!! This post is too funny – thanks for sharing!!

  9. Ha! You are brave or crazy for trying Spanx while preggo. Or maybe both.

    Return them! What’s the point? We’re supposed to be gloriously round when we’re with child, right?! 😉

  10. Reb says:

    Hysterical! That is my experience with non maternity Spanx. It’s actually my current workout regimen. And…. We’re going to Disney in march!!

  11. oh boy can i relate. thank you so much for making me laugh !

    • fordeville says:

      Please tell me that by “relate,” you mean you also purchased this product. Otherwise, I’m the only dumbass who almost sustained serious injury from Spanx.

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