Too fat to be Pregnant
Written by Jocelyn Brewer from Mama’s Style
First… I’ve always been “big”. Second… maybe I always will be. Third… I’ve pretty much accepted it. We knew (or rather my husband was told) that we were going to start a family as soon as we were married, so we were over the moon to be pregnant four months later.
I thought “wonderful… I can eat what I want and I won’t need to hold in my tummy”.
I was blessed to have a very easy pregnancy… a little morning sickness in the first 12 weeks and annoying heartburn towards the end. Unfortunately I soon found out that the hardest part of my pregnancy was finding maternity clothes that fit me.
While my size 10 co-worker had a cute wee bump by 12 weeks, mine was barely noticeable at 20 weeks. My tummy was firm, but it hadn’t really “grown”… I just looked like I’d eaten all the mince pies.
Eventually my normal clothes became too uncomfortable, so rather excitedly off to the maternity shops I went. I really can’t tell you how much of a fraud I felt walking into a maternity shop without a noticeable bump. In fact, I wasn’t surprised that the staff didn’t offer their help. After the fourth shop didn’t stock maternity wear in my size I was detecting a pattern, and getting right tetchy about it. I went home empty handed.
Miss size 10 suggested buying normal clothes in larger sizes. Tip: telling an already large girl to “just buy bigger sizes” is not clever! Then there’s the cost of getting the sleeves and hems adjusted (another bug bear of mine). The other suggestion was to wear hubby’s clothes… umm no thank you. We’re talking about a typical Kiwi bloke who wears jeans and t-shirts, year round. Plus he’s a big bloke. My other problem was that I worked in a corporate office so I needed smart clothes. I couldn’t get away with sweat pants and oversize shirts.
I was starting to wonder if I’d ever find clothes to fit. I decided to bite the bullet and visited one of the “fancy” maternity shops, thinking they might have a better size selection. Oh dear… I was wrong. I could just get the largest sized jeans and trousers on, but they were so tight I was walking like I’d just dismounted a horse. I was convinced they were designed by someone who wasn’t aware that mostwomen have THIGHS! Of course their tops didn’t fit either (broad Kiwi shoulders and chunky upper arms thank you very much). I did spot a skirt in a garish print that had good stretch so I grabbed it, but after wearing it for a day I realised a plus size girl should probably stick to over the belly clothes. Great… my choices were officially down to zero.
I thought “I’m too fat to be pregnant”. Was that the day I cried? I can’t remember.
Online now seemed my only hope. Once again… disappointment. When I finally did find my size it wasn’t actually anything I could bring myself to wear. Why couldn’t plus size be stylish? After all, I’d been told that maternity wear had moved on from ugly tent tops, moo-moo dresses and trackies? If it had moved on, it hadn’t moved on much for us plus size girls. I looked at overseas sites but the exchange rate, shipping costs and not being able to easily exchange items shoo-ed me away. I managed to find some jeans, black pants, some skirts and empire tops from a well known auction site and pretty much lived in them. Ironically most of the items were from overseas brands. I made do with what I had and accepted that I wouldn’t be wearing my “normal” tops after the baby arrived as they had been stretched beyond their limits.
That was my first experience with maternity clothes.
My second experience was much the same, except I was no longer working in an office so I was able to spend most days in jeans and t-shirts. Soon enough I needed to replace my jeans, so optimistically I went back to the maternity shops. Maybe things had changed in two years and bigger sizes were now available?
The usual suspects still didn’t have jeans that fit, so I decided to try the expensive store again. While trying on a pair of the biggest sized jeans, I noticed the side seams had both popped (obviously I wasn’t the only big girl desperately looking for jeans). I went to a chain store nearly every week for three months hoping to find a pair of over-belly jeans without success. Most of that pregnancy was spent in two pairs of black trousers.
Who decided that pregnant women only want to wear black? Why during one of the happiest times in my life did I have to look like I was going to a funeral? Do they think women are embarrassed by their baby bumps and want to hide their gorgeous new shape beneath slimming black?
Anyway, that was my search for plus size maternity clothes. I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences.
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