I am not one of those cute pregnant women who, from behind, you can’t even tell are pregnant. I am one of those women who got asked when I’m due three months before I actually conceived. Neighbors I’d meet in my elevator would ask my due date, look me up and down, and then remark in horror “But that’s still four months away!” My friends suggested that perhaps dressing like an actual expecting woman would make me feel better.
I had reached a point where the only clothes that fit me were my Patrick Swayze “Double Deuce” t-shirt (which my husband requested I stop wearing to bed because it made his dreams uncomfortable) and a shirt my sister-in-law got me that says “Does This Baby Make Me Look Fat?” Neither option is appropriate to wear to work. Or a social event. It was time to explore my options.
I find it very hard to spend money on things I will only use for a short amount of time (snack foods and gym membership notwithstanding). Ideally I’d love to purchase cute non-maternity clothes that I could continue to wear post-baby. And considering my pre-baby style could best be described as “casual casualness,” how hard could it be?
In a fit of self-denial, I stumbled in to Forever 21. This place had some nice maxi-dresses that, on me, made excellent maternity t-shirts. However, I was starting to feel like a bull in a china shop. I needed to head to a more welcoming place, a place with crackers and water, and the only free bathroom in Midtown…
Destination: Maternity! After prolonging the inevitable, it was time to buy maternity pants. For the past few weeks, I’d been pulling a move called the “Thanksgiving” (leaving my pants unbuttoned and wearing a long t-shirt over it), and the one pair of maternity pants I had from my previous pregnancy was worn down in the thighs (my husband informed me that, contrary to popular belief, crotchless maternity pants were not hot).
The dressing rooms came equipped with a fake pregnancy bump to simulate the fit of pants when you’re farther along (although I preferred putting the fake bump under my chin to see how clothes would fit me if I had a goiter). The 22-year old male dressing room attendant informed me the $300 jeans I was trying on made me look “fabulous in all the right ways,” which I interpreted to mean “25 lbs lighter and a head-turner at the local discothèque.” On further inspection, I think he was definitely trying to up-sell me. So I purchased the $30 jeans, which had the designer’s signature stitched over the back pocket, Cabbage-Patch style, and ended two inches above my socks.
Armed with my new purchases and a new confidence, I walked past the Rosie Pope line, and the heels-clad Heidi Klum cut-out. I ignored the skinny jeans with tummy panels, the empire-waisted halter tops, and the wide-toed stiletto boots. I returned home, put on my jogging pants and my husband’s Superman hoodie, and headed out for a night on the town.