Every morning before work has become more of a challenge. There I stand, naked, in my closet, searching through all of the clothing I own for anything that might fit around my waist. I think I own maybe two pairs of pants that have elastic waistbands. I have a few loose-fitting dresses which are not very flattering. I think one of them may have really served as a potato sack at one point. Unfortunately, a lot of the closet has been abandoned. Even worse, I'm simply not allowed to wear tank tops and yoga pants or pajamas to work - bureaucratic control freaks!
My beloved friend, Kim, gave me some hand-me-down maternity clothes. She also had twins, so when I hold up one of the pairs of pants she wore towards the end of her pregnancy, I look a little like the Subway guy. So I wandered into my first maternity store last weekend. It's a bit overwhelming. I've never been one to admit that I have a tummy and have taken great pride in the periods when I did not. So to walk into a clothing store, look at a salesperson, and say, "Hi, I'm pregnant. I don't look it yet but I'm apparently growing because nothing fits" is a big deal. Thank heavens for nice sales people who I think took pity on my ignorance. I have never seen so many different kinds of pants. Pants with panels, pants with adjustable straps (I'm sure that's not the right word), pants with more elastic than should be allowed. I opted for normal-looking pants; that is, pants with a normal button and fly. None of that panel stuff or little straps on each side you can tighten or loosen. And I found some cute little tops, nothing form fitting so I can let my belly hang out (since it seems harder and harder to suck it in!). I also bought some interesting little contraption called a Belly Belt, which essentially allows me to wander through my day with my fly undone without the fear that my pants will fall down!
They truly had everything, including lingerie. I know bigger bras are in my future; unfortunately for the maternity store, I like pretty colors and pretty patterns and I like for everything to match. Their lingerie color was limited to white (which the, sperm donor points out, might not be appropriate because it is now clear that I am no longer a virgin). They sold MANY varieties of underwear. I thought there was simply "underwear for pregnant women" which would resemble granny panties, only bigger. I was greatly relieved to see thongs for pregnant women (since I am a thong girl), however I'm a little skeptical about the one-size-fits-all thong. The little store also sold all of these skin care products, seemingly intended to prevent stretch marks. Does any of this really work?? All of the bottles of lotion gave instructions to apply three times per day. That seems a bit excessive to me and I suspect a good "let's scare them into buying this" scheme. I went to my normal skin products store a few days before this maternity store adventure, and they recommended something I already had at home - I figure I'll try this first.
I do feel like a cult member (do you hear chants of "one of us, one of us"?). As I was paying for my new better-fitting clothes, I was placed on the mailing list for the store, was provided with two free issues of a parenting magazine, and was given a gift bag filled with samples and coupons. It was as though the little maternity store was the welcoming committee and I was the new neighbor. Sometimes I do feel as though we have joined a new segment of society, like we are in the upper echelon. But we are simply doing what most people do: procreate and become parents. Interesting how that felt as though it required a membership.