Before getting pregnant (how many of my posts have this phrase in them?) I hadn’t really thought about the practicalities of clothing yourself while pregnant. I mean, sure, I’d noticed that you change shape and obviously I’d walked past maternity stands in the shop (in fact, they seemed to be everywhere a couple of years ago?). But I’d never really seen pregnant women running around covering themselves with leaves to stay warm and I’d always assumed those with their bump proudly hanging out in a teeny tiny top which probably didn’t even fit them before they were up the duff were doing so purely of their own choosing. Now, I pity all fellow preggos.
My first foray into maternity clothing came very early on, about seven weeks into my pregnancy. I had what one would call a ‘massive bloated belly’ and therefore couldn’t fit into any of my jeans. No bother I thought, I’ll buy jeans now and then I’ll get loads of wear out of them before baby. So I purchased a pair of ‘under bump’ jeans – first big error right there. In the shop they felt and looked okay, for about ten seconds when I first wore them they were okay, all of the times I’ve tried with them since have been horrendous (ie I have to pull them up about even seven milliseconds). Maybe I’m an odd shape (one of my many worries includes if my baby’s going to come out all bulgy in weird places cause my bump certainly isn’t smooth and perfectly rounded), maybe it’s just me but I cannot get the buggers to stay where I want them to be. I’ve now banished them to the top of the wardrobe and feel a bit angry every time I catch sight of them (so as not to leave you on a sad note jeans-wise, I’ve recently bought two over-the-bump pairs from the same shop and I love them! Total comfort).
Aside from one pair of maternity leggings, in the intervening weeks I’ve basically been squeezing myself into my normal leggings with long tops, hoping for good enough weather to wear an empire line dress and ignoring the fact jeans exist. But then about two weeks ago, Dylan pointed out the baby had far more clothes than I did and, especially given our upcoming holiday, perhaps buying some clothing for myself might be in order (other options included stitching together many of her tiny clothes or reverting to ‘leaf style’ as mentioned above). Easy I thought. Not so. WHERE are the maternity clothes? Granted, I haven’t gone to any major cities to try and find some. But the town I live in has a massive shopping centre and loads of surrounding retail parks and there’s hardly a stitch. There’s a Mothercare and about one rail in H&M but aside from that I really can’t see anything. I’ve reverted to shopping online which isn’t my favourite thing – I want to go into a shop, try stuff on and buy it in the knowledge it fits okay. Even then it’s been hit and miss and although I’ve now got a few lovely dresses to take on holiday (which I’ll share soon) I currently have no shorts and time is running out!
I just can’t understand this lack of maternity-wear out there (and some of the stuff when you do find it is extortionate, maybe I’m a cheapskate but the idea of paying close to £50 for shorts I might get three months’ wear out of isn’t on) – do retailers not ever go out and see how many pregnant people there are in this world? Why has no one set up a maternity-only shop where we can all relish in the sight of comfy waistbands and extra material? We’re already putting up with swelling, sickness, aches and pains and the prospect of a small person emerging from our hoo-ha – why can’t we have nice clothes during this process?!
Please do share if you have any tips for maternity wear…or if you just want a bit of a grumble like me!
Harriet and bump x