Clothes shopping was always fun for me. I loved searching for a good bargain at a vintage shop and I knew that whatever was on the rack would fit. I didn’t have to worry about it being too small or too tight in the chest, stomach, hips…. I was confident in my body shape and size so if something didn’t fit, I didn’t sweat it. That all changed when I started to show. I was likely the only one who though I was showing, but I was blatantly growing a protective layer of fat like a bear preparing for hibernation. To me, it was obvious that I was pregnant, but to the rest of the world I was simply getting fat, letting myself go after marriage, eating too much, exercising too little. Ugh!
One day, I looked in my closet to put something on. I pulled on a skirt only to realize that I couldn’t quite zipper it up. I quickly pulled it off and tried another with little success. Finally, after tears streaming down my cheeks, I grabbed a pair of shorts that were always just a little bit too big, except this time they just fit. Next came searching for a top to match my tight fitting shorts. If my butt was two inches larger, my boobs were twice that! Absolutely nothing worked. I ended up with a huge pile of clothes on the floor and I sat down on top of them to cry while wearing only a pair of shorts and a bra that my boobs flowed over the edge. I’d wanted to be pregnant for so long and it was a dream come true, but not fitting in anything that I owned was a nightmare beyond my imagination. I had clothes that I wore for five years because I’d always been the same size. Everything has changed, including my emotional stability.
Then, I needed to buy a dress for my sister-in-law’s wedding and the nightmare continued. Two weeks before the wedding, I bought a dress that seemed to hid my ever-growing belly and my ample breasts. It had ruching around my “pregnant” areas and I felt confident wearing it. It was the first time in months that I looked good, in my eyes, and I was excited about the wedding. I was flying home to eastern Canada three days before the big event and packing everything the day before the flight was easy. I only owned a few outfits that fit me properly so I thew them into a bag.
I knew the weight gain continued so I wanted to try on the dress one last time before the journey home. I COULDN’T EVEN GET IT OVER MY CHEST! With both arms and my head already in, I was stuck. It wouldn’t go back over my shoulders and it wouldn’t go down over my boobs. The tears came again as I flopped to the floor and sobbed.
Ok! What are you going to do? You need to calm down. You’re stuck in a friggin’ dress and you’re home alone.
I leaned forward until I could step on the dress and pulled with my feet. With my arms over my head and the pressure of my feet, and my fat a**, on the dress, I was finally set free. I had no time to buy a new dress and panic set in.
I’ve since learned some valuable lessons:
1. Everyone in your family thinks you are the most beautiful and radiant you’ve ever been. They are not just saying it to make you feel better; they truly believe it and see you in a different light.
2. The key to shopping at this point is comfort. I bought comfy tank tops, drawstring pants, and sun dresses. Sun dresses are your best friend. They hide everything except “fat face”, which also happens early in pregnancy.
3. Buy bigger clothes! Don’t be disillusioned; if it fits now, it may not fit in a week.
4. Maternity clothes are expensive. If you can get away with a comfy dress from Old Navy, go with that. You can only wear it for a short time anyway.
5. If you get to the point where nothing you own fits and you find yourself crying on the pile of clothes, don’t fret; you are not the only one who is experiencing this humiliation.
6. If all else fails, buy a MUUMUU and wear it with pride for you are pregnant and you left your shame and humiliation at your first doctor’s appointment.