I got cocky. I admit it. I’d see friends or women in my Mommy FB Group complaining and showing off their swollen feet with ankles blending into calves and their feet like marshmallows and I’d think to myself, “Oh thank God my feet are normal.”
Over the summer, my feet started to swell a little. I laughed it off, thinking it was just because of the heat wave we were having, but slowly and surely, the swelling got worse. I started noticing creases on the upper part of my feet, wondering what they were until shockingly I realized they were from the rolls that were forming where my ankle ended and my foot began….once an ankle, now a dreaded “cankle.”
In the last few weeks, it has gotten worse. I’ll wake up with my feet appearing normal and by lunch time the swelling starts to set in. By 5PM, I am wondering whose feet I am looking at and wondering how my shoes aren’t busting apart from the amount of swelling pressing against the straps of my sandals.
One pair of sandals. I was down to one pair of rubber, $7.99 pink sandals that are basically a flip flop with an ankle strap. I thought they had some “pizazz” when I bought them back in June because they were adorned with a strip of rhinestones. It’s now early September and the strip of rhinestones are buckling at the sides of the straps, coming unglued and threatening to fall off the shoe at any moment. The once pink rubber sole is now stained with black from the concrete and other wear and tear that comes with being the only shoe that fits.
My feet no longer even fit in the sandals. I guess you could say “my foot runneth over”. My heels hang off the back of the sandals and rub on everything. I’ve developed cracked heels and the skin on the bottom of my feet are constantly dirty and rough. I am no longer able to bend down and try to moisturize or pumice the cracks away. I even tried going for a pedicure. The poor woman who had to handle my feet (if you can even call them that anymore) went deep into her drawer of tools and pulled out what I literally think was a cheese grater and used it on my feet to my sheer embarrassment (and fascination).
That didn’t last long though, cut to two weeks later and I’m sitting on the edge of the bathtub with my foot propped up on my husband’s knee while he puts all his muscle into using a pumice stone to remove the dead skin cells off the bottom of my mammoth feet. I bet when he said “for better or for worse” he could not have pictured this image in his wildest dreams.
One morning I wake up to see the air had turned brisker, perhaps the weather gods heard the Pumpkin Spice Latte came out early at Starbucks and decided this was their cue to start the Fall weather. Perfect, cooler temperatures would mean my feet would swell less right? No. Somehow they started swelling even more. Now they’re swollen, cold and look ridiculous in sandals when it is not warm anymore.
No problem, I said to myself, getting cocky again. I’ll just stop at Walmart and get some cheap flats in a bigger size that I can wear until the baby comes. After a long day of work, I haul my pregnant self and elephant feet to Walmart. The only place on the planet where I can walk with elephant feet and feel better about myself just by looking at the clientele.
I waddle over the to the shoe section and stare at size 9 shoes. I was an 8.5, so a 9 should be fine…I try on a few pairs and realize that these don’t work…at all. Same with the 9.5s and the 10s. After fifteen minutes of trying on shoes, I’m sweaty, hungry, I need to pee and I feel defeated.
I leave Walmart and drive across the parking lot to Payless Shoes. My feet have now swollen even worse from trying to ram them into flats that were not made to accommodate my feet in their current state. This time I head right to the 9.5 sizes and start there. I see a cute pair of boots, attempt to slip them on….no luck. I end up finding a pair of flats that I can squeeze my feet into but the swollen tissue begins to envelope the shoe itself and overtake it. I now understand the perils of Kim Kardashian that time she tried to rock ankle strap heels while pregnant.
Eventually, I see a pair of flats in a wide width that are really flexible and even tout a “comfort insole.” Being a shoe connoisseur, it absolutely pains me to buy a shoe that has a selling feature of a comfort insole, but its desperate times people. Now completely sweaty, even more hungry, my hair somehow incredibly disheveled and my breathing laboured from trying to bend down and put shoes on my feet with my giant 33 week belly in the way, I head to the cash register.
The cashier, who seems oblivious to my plight, exclaims, “Oh! All the shoes are buy one, get one half price! Do you want to go look for another pair?” I could tell her about how I was just in the back corner of the store, losing what little dignity I had left as I tried to cram my hot dog feet into shoe after shoe. I could tell her that I am sweating like I just finished a cardio class from the mere act of trying to bend over. I could tell her how my feet used to be a lean size 8.5 and are barely holding on at 9.5. Instead, I just say no thanks, pay for my shoes and waddle to my car, clutching my new shoes as if they were made of pure gold and knowing that I will wear them every single day for the next 45 days until my baby comes and my feet return to their former selves. So my friends, if the shoe fits….buy it.