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Aug 6 / Caro

Clothing Meltdown

My maternity jeans don’t fit.

Seriously. The first pair of maternity jeans that I bought no longer feel like the most comfortable jeans in the world . The elasticated band now rolls down under my bump and digs in when I sit down.

I have some more generous maternity jeans with a really big jersey panel that pulls right over the top of the bump. A few weeks ago they looked like a saggy sack of potatoes. Now they fit pretty well. The only problem is, they don’t have pockets. Neither do the comfy black linen trousers I have, or the yoga style pants that I like to wear around the house. That’s a problem because all the high waists mean I don’t have a proper wasitband either. All of which means I have nowhere to put my pump on a day to day basis.

I can still stuff it in my bra, but I don’t find that the most convenient for everyday wear, and especially now that I’m in non-wired maternity bras that simply don’t feel like they support my breasts as robustly, never mind a pump as well. The sock trick isn’t working so well as bending down to retrieve it is beginning to get uncomfortable and will only grow more difficult in the next three months.

I’ve had to resort to stuffing the pump just inside the jersey waistbands of my clothes. The trouble with this is that it shows as an awkward bump sticking out of my hip or sticking out of my… well, my other bump! And it absolutely does my head in to have it fall to the floor every time I visit the toilet or when I get undressed. It even works its way out after I’ve been sitting down, or if I walk too fast. My days are punctuated by the sound of my pump crashing to the floor.

This week, I had an absolute meltdown. Nothing seemed to fit right. Nothing seemed to look right. I feel uncomfortable, and an awkward shape without the pump getting in the way as well. Even without that, my T-shirts have all begun riding up and exposing the bottom of my bump. For some reason tops that ride up are on my list of most annoying things. The feel of the waistband sitting where it shouldn’t really grates on me. I don’t own any light cardigans that even remotely cover me, and although several of my jumpers and sweatshirts still fit, I’m worried about irreversibly stretching them as I get bigger.

There were quite a lot of tears. I shouted at Ian that I’d never look attractive or feel comfortable again. I felt angry because buying new maternity clothes isn’t even easy, as well as being expensive. There are so few high street shops that stock maternity lines and virtually everywhere expects you to order online. I’m usually quite happy to order clothes online. I know my size and how clothes from different shops fit me. But how an earth can I be expected to shop for this unfamiliar, distorted body without being able to try things on?

Ian, with his characteristic patience suggested that we go shopping today. With my characteristic stubborn anger I moaned how pointless it would be, and how I didn’t want to spend loads of money on clothes to wear for just a few months. I was convinced I’d still feel fat and frumpy and would never find anything to fit my new awkward shape. Fortunately I was wrong. After some internet research, we discovered that the branches of Next and Dorothy Perkins at Lakeside Shopping Centre stocked their maternity lines. And I was convinced to take the trip up there as we needed to go to Ikea anyway to check out furniture for our loft room. (Which incidentally is becoming fairly urgent to find as we need adequate bookshelves to enable us to remove the remaining boxes from what will be Flangelina’s room and get them unpacked.)

I was happy ecstatic to find a really comfy pair of jeans that actually work with my shape in Next. And better yet, I got them in a size 12. Pre-maternity I’d often end up in a 14 to allow enough room for my hips and bottom. Because the cut of maternity jeans is necessarily generous in these areas, I fit in to my true size! And even more importantly, they have pockets! In fact my rant yesterday about maternity trousers never having pockets seems ill judged now as every pair I looked at today came complete with pockets! Dorothy Perkins proved a good shop too as they had a Buy One get One Free offer on, so I picked up some proper maternity T-Shirts, and finally we stopped by Primark, whose T-Shirts this season are cut very long, so by buying a size 16 I could get good coverage of the bump. Oh, and found a nice long, loose cardi too.

Ian took out his card to pay in each shop, and told me that it didn’t really matter what we spent on maternity clothes that I’d possibly only wear for a few months. It was worth it for me to be comfortable and happy. Which is just another reason that I love him.

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