Pregnancy: The Forgotten Awkward Phase
by Amy Myers
Weeks fifteen and sixteen are what I like to call the puberty of my pregnancy. I’m in an awkward phase. Much like a twelve year old with gangly limbs and weirdo hair, I look … well … strange.
The belly is there. I know it, my husband knows it, and now strangers know it. I just think the strangers are a bit confused as to what the belly actually consists of. It might be baby, might be fat, might be a wadded up blanket. No one knows for sure, mostly because I am dressed like a blind person. A blind person who reached into her crazy, overweight sister’s closet.
I mostly blame the size of the clothes. Too large for my regular pants, I’ve been climbing into my tent-sized maternity jeans, which are super comfy. And super big. So big in fact I could smuggle food for six in front of my stomach.
This brings me to the pouch. The dreaded span of stretchy fabric that reaches across the waist allowing for adjustable comfort for all stages of pregnancy. While a great idea and very handy in preventing bankruptcy due to skyrocketing denim demands, not the best for shirts that don’t extend half way down to your knees. Now, the geniuses that run Baby Momma Clothes Inc. have a solution. Pregnant lady tops.
Pregnant lady tops come in three basic styles. The first are the adorable, hippy, flowy tops with empire waistlines. They are made of cotton/hemp/some other natural fiber. I have several of these and adore them. I had to buy mediums because my breasts have grown to gigantic proportions and are only supposed to get bigger. I don’t fit in them with full luscious capacity now, but will someday. When I grow up.
The second kind is the office friendly, button down, tied in the back number. Some have ruffles, some have stripes, some are dolled up with pleats, but all scream “What? I can still run the Scottsdale office/get you the McKenzie brief/land the Happy Time Baby account!” I have many of these, but again, not the greatest fit due to expectant breasts that have yet to materialize.
The third top is a hybrid of the two. These are the tops that are flowy but also have a tie so you can wear them for as long as you like. They are by far the most practical and most flattering.
I have one of these tops. Just the one. This, of course, makes a ton of sense as these are clearly the most practical. Now, granted, there are other tops out there, tops not produced by Baby Momma with which you can supplement your shrinking wardrobe. These include the following categories:
1. Old XL concert T-shirts you bought in college. Before you were pregnant these were known as night shirts … they have recently been promoted.
2. You husband’s T-shirts. He got you into this mess; therefore you are welcome to any and all of his clothing.
3. Short dresses. These are no longer dresses, they are now longish shirts. They have undergone a similar job change as Old XL concert T-shirt. For them it was more a lateral move.
The benefit to these clothes is that you already own them. The drawbacks include the fact that you’re wearing what used to be your pajamas outside. It’s a win some, lose some scenario. I think that when I wear something from one of these categories I look more crazy than when I wear an ill fitting outfit from the maternity side of my closet.
It boils down to this; when I wear my too big clothes this is what people must see when I walk down the street. A woman with strangely fitting pants which she may be using to shoplift frozen turkeys, wearing a large ill fitting blouse that has room for several more handfuls of breast than she actually has. When I wear my pre-pregnancy clothes they see a woman wearing a dress with pants. Or pajamas with pants.
I think my sensitivity to this subject has a good deal to do with the current focus on beauty in pregnancy. Designer clothes just for preggers, a million magazines, constant rumors about some mythical glow … it all adds up to a bad case of pregnancy envy. I desperately want to be one of these happy, perfectly round ladies with skinny legs and pants with buttons. Where do you even buy maternity pants with buttons? See what a pregnancy fashion loser I am? I don’t even know where to buy pants with buttons anymore! That shouldn’t be something that gives a grown woman pause! Especially not one who is about to be responsible for dressing another human being.
I had thought that I would love the look of being pregnant, the adorable belly, the loss of worry as my size expanded, the knowing smiles from strangers. No one talks about the awkward stage and that’s not fair. Someone should be thoughtful enough to pull all us women together and announce that there will be a three to four week period where we will not look normal nor will we look pregnant. We will just look fat and confused. People will probably laugh at the clothes you wear and assume you go home at night and eat pounds of fudge. Your waistline with disappear so your jeans will be out, but your belly isn’t huge so you’ll be hiking up your maternity capris every six seconds. Good luck!
It takes a lot not feel discouraged during this stage of pregnancy and I want to end this article on a high note. If you’re really feeling low, take a shower, do your hair or at least brush your hair, and throw on some makeup. Think of it like changing the sheets on a bed. The frame and mattress don’t shift but the whole bed just feels better. And if you really want a boost, try to get your husband to have sex with you. If he’s anything like my husband, he’s so excited to be propositioned he’ll not only run up the stairs but he’ll carry you on his back. And if none of these little suggestions work, remember this, you’re pregnant. Cut yourself some slack. Do what I can’t do and just let it go. The clothes will fit, your belly will grow, and you won’t have to wear you pajamas forever. Unless you want to.
But please don’t. It’s not a good look for you.