What are you wearing today?

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Categories Mommy Issues, PregnancyTags

Our two little girls are now 13 months old.  A lot has happened in our lives since they were conceived almost two years ago. And, a lot has happened to my body in that time.  During my pregnancy I gained almost 70 lbs, which was more than half of my body weight before pregnancy. I’ve also lost about 65 lbs of my pregnancy weight, so I’m almost back to my “normal” weight.  The result of all that weight gain and loss has been boxes of clothes in a wide range of sizes.  So, one of my tasks for myself this week was to go through my clothes and get rid of the ones that don’t fit anymore (I’ve also been doing this with kids clothes so we’ve got bags and boxes of clothes all over the place).  All of this got me thinking about clothes and pregnancy…

Here are some of the types of clothes you might encounter in your pregnancy:

First, you wear the “early” pregnancy clothes. This is when you are feeling bloated and uncomfortable in regular clothes, but it is still way too early to tell anyone you are pregnant or to start wearing maternity clothes.  If this is your second pregnancy and a multiple pregnancy, like in my case, this stage starts within a couple of weeks of finding out you’re pregnant.

Next come the “look-at-me-I’m-pregnant” maternity clothes.  You go on your first shopping trip to buy maternity clothes. You are excited about being pregnant and can’t wait to let everyone know. You buy the cute maternity tops and low-rise pants.  If you’re daring, you try them on at the store wearing the pillow around your stomach to show how they’ll look further along in your pregnancy. Depending on your budget, you may also have some “hand-me-down” maternity clothes. These are the maternity clothes that you get from friends and family who have had babies.  They might not be quite your style, but you probably can’t afford a whole new wardrobe, especially if your pregnancy will take you through more than one season.

Eventually, you realize you have to get some “I-have-to-buy-what?!” maternity clothes. These are the clothes you buy when you discover that your normal underwear is just not going to keep fitting through your pregnancy, even if you buy the next size bigger.  The same with bras, and socks, if your feet swell.  They are ridiculously expensive and you can’t imagine what you’ll do with them after your pregnancy.

At some point, fashion sense doesn’t matter and you want the “I-just-want-to-be-comfortable” maternity clothes.  No, these are the clothes that aren’t particularly stylish or suitable for wearing to work, but they are the only comfortable clothes you have.  They include the XL t-shirts from your partner and the maternity sundresses you wish you could wear every day.

If you’re having multiples, you’ll get to the point where you nee the “please-I’ll-take-whatever-you-have” maternity clothes.  These are the clothes you beg, borrow and steal from anyone, anywhere when you discover at 6 months you’ve outgrown all your maternity pants. When your size small maternity clothes don’t fit so you borrow some size large pants from a friend in hopes they’ll fit you a few more months.

As the seasons change, you realize you need some “I’ve-been-avoiding-buying-these” maternity clothes like a winter coat when it snows in October and you can’t avoid going outside for the next three months. You try to get by with wearing the “I-just-want-to-be-comfortable” maternity sweater, but it just isn’t warm enough. You also get stubborn about the “I-refuse-to-buy-these” maternity clothes, which include new winter boots that will fit your swollen feet.  You can make do with the “improvised” maternity clothes by unlacing your hiking boots, and wearing them if you absolutely have to leave the house.

Then your babies are born, and you need a whole new wardrobe. To start with, you wear the “yes-these-are-still-maternity” outfits.  They seem a little baggy right now, and after 4 or 5 months, you’re really tired of wearing them, but you don’t have the time or energy to go shopping with your newborn babies. You also wear the “easy-access” nursing tops so you can discreetly breastfeed those hungry babies anywhere.  After a while, you give up on worrying about discretion because, face it, you’re breastfeeding nearly all the time.

After a while, you realize the maternity clothes are too big but you’re still a long way from fitting in your regular clothes.  You treat yourself to a shopping trip, but you only buy “causal-mom” clothes like active wear (i.e. sweat pants), jeans and t-shirts because you rarely leave the house, and they’ll just get spit up on them anyway.

Eventually, you decide you need some nice clothes or else you’ll go crazy.  So, you head out to a sale or a consignment store and buy a couple of nice outfits.  You wear them whenever you get the chance, but every time you put them on, they feel a little bigger.  After a few times, you realize they are starting to get too big, too.

When you go back to work, you realize you have to abandon the jeans, sweats and t-shirts and wear “real” clothes again. So, you pull out your early pregnancy clothes almost fit again.  By now, it has been over a year since you’ve seen these clothes, so it is like having new clothes, sort of.  But, you’re also really used to wearing comfy loungewear, and dressing up takes way more time in the morning.

Hooray! Finally, you realize you can squeeze in to your “normal” clothes again. Your pre-pregnancy clothes don’t quite fit the same way. Your hips are a little wider, your chest is a little bigger, your feet are a little wider… You start to get dressed every morning in an assortment of clothes that are a little too big and a little too small.

Then you finally take on the task of sorting through all these clothes and figuring out what can stay, what has to go (sell, donate, give away, throw away), and what you’ll store in case you need it again some day. You have to give up the sweater that lost most of the buttons when you stretched it over your giant belly.  You have say good bye to the sweat pants that fit you through your whole pregnancy when you undid the drawstring all the way.  You get to say good riddance to the nursing tops and the pregnancy underwear. And you can probably justify spending your birthday money on a few pieces to update your “I’m-a-busy-mom” wardrobe.

Any fashion advice for a pregnant mom of multiples? Or a new mom with multiples who’s heard it is “9 months on and 9 months off”?

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8 thoughts on “What are you wearing today?”

  1. This is SO spot on. I am currently in the last stage, where I finally accept that most of these clothes will never fit again. Ever. Even though I am back to pre-pg weight, my hips will never get any smaller, and that skin is never going away.

    Thank god for consignment stores.

  2. I spent the majority of my twin pregnancy on bedrest, and it was summer for the ending of it, so mostly I wore tank tops that didn’t cover my belly and whatever bottoms would fit since I was just in bed LOL
    I did have a few giant tank sundresses that doubled as nightgowns once I was admitted to the hospital for bedrest, since they covered more of me, and were so very comfy.
    .-= Jayme´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday. =-.

  3. Thats a lot of different stages, but so true! By the end of my twin pregnancy I had about 5 things that I could actually fit into, all veeeery stretchy. I am finally getting rid all of the old maternity things at 20 months postpartum and it feels great! But even though I am back to my same weight (took me about 16 months both times), most of my prepreg clothes don’t fit — the pants are too low rise or just not quite right in the hips/tummy, and all the shirts are too short. Ah well. Time to go shopping!
    .-= Kristin´s last blog ..A Post About Puke =-.

  4. Wishing I was back to my pre-preg weight! I still have a good 15 lbs on me which I just can’t get rid of me for the life of me! I am hoping someday when I know I’m done having babies and really buckle down on the working out and eating right. But for now I have bought several wardrobes since finding out I was pregnant!

  5. Haha! Too funny.

    I do have to say, for those newly pregnant women who might be reading this, that everyone doesn’t hit ALL of these stages. I didn’t buy a new winter coat (just couldn’t button the bottom two buttons at the end—until my water broke, and then I could again), my shoes continued to fit and so did the maternity pants I bought early on. My recommendation, by the maternity pants that are low-rise, with a huge band of elastic around them—they can just go under your belly, and fit you the whole time.

    Now bras on the other hand….I couldn’t squeeze into those after about 8 weeks. And then when you have them? It’s all new bras again! And then when you stop BFing….new bras again. The bra industry really wins here.

  6. This is so true! I found what worked the best for me were yoga pants (which I was able to wear throughout my whole twin pregnancy) and men’s thermal long underwear tops. I’d buy them in tall and they covered my belly up until the very end of my pregnancy. There was nothing attractive about them but it was winter in RI when my babies came so it did the trick. I found the same outfit to work postpartum, too. My babies are 11 months and I’m about 10 pounds heavier than I want to be but I’m generally back into my “regular” clothes. Luckily (?), my hips were already big to begin with!
    .-= Samantha´s last blog ..Goodbye =-.

  7. By the time the weather turned cold here, I was already on bed rest. So I just bought some really big men’s flannel pjs and some large women’s jogging pants. I had one pair of jeans with the big belly panel. Always swore I would never get those, but by that time my belly needed all the support it could get.

    I never bought a coat, I layered a tank top, t-shirt, sweater, and jacket. It was bulky, but I could take things off when I got hot.

    I have lost all of my pregnancy weight +10lbs, but I still have a hard time fitting into clothes. My pre-preg pants are too big, I’m constantly pulling them up because I have no butt now. The next size down is too small because I have all this icky belly skin.
    .-= Melanie´s last blog ..No Shoes! =-.

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