Today I want to share with you a very private and very personal story that I will never forget. The topic? The first time I went maternity shopping! It’s amazing to me (as I’m on my second pregnancy) that I have quickly forgotten the pain of child birth and the agony of a pregnancy (such is biology!) yet after 2.5 years, I have still not forgotten this experience:
Let me help you set the stage – The time? May 2011. Me? 2 months pregnant. I can tell you now that I didn’t even know what being pregnant was at only 2 months during my first time around but I remember, I was very excited. My husband and I were walking around a mall in NJ and we happened to stroll past a Motherhood Maternity. My eyes kind of twinkled. My hubs saw the spark. “We can go in sweetie if you want to look around,” he offered. (Afterall, he was excited too – we were having a baby!!) I wanted to go in but the truth was I didn’t know if it was appropriate for me to go look around. “I don’t even look pregnant, ” I thought. “What exactly should I be buying?” I wondered. But I did want to go inside and see what this next stage of my life – and my body – offered.
Now, to be honest, I just went in to look around. But what happened? I spent 3 hours in the store. I was so excited and so overwhelmed by the possibility of what I would look like as the months progressed that I tried on everything I liked, everything that I thought would be a good deal and more. After 20 minutes my hubs left to go get a coffee; he could see that I already had the saleswoman start a dressing room of over 20 articles of clothing. With a supportive kiss on the cheek he said, “I would like to go get some coffee. Would you be okay if I left for a moment? Do you want anything?” Aw – so sweet, right? But all I could think was, “I’M PREGNANT!!!! Sure.” Looking back on the day, I kind of feel bad for the fellow. I mean, here he was trying to be all cute and supportive but it wind up consuming – unexpectedly – our entire day.
So what happened after he left? I went bonkers in the dressing room. First I found the fake belly that you can use to see how you will look when pregnant and I spent 5 minutes figuring out how to put it on. Then I spent the next 20 minutes trying on tops and realizing, “Um. This doesn’t look good.” Then I tried on pants (I always hate trying on pants … you have to take your shoes off, your socks go up and down repeatedly, etc.). But the pants were a pleasant surprise: for the first time in a few weeks, my hips were comfortable. So I set aside 2 pairs of pants at what I thought was a good price. Then I used those pants as the base for the rest of the tops, pajamas, bras and other maternity items that were bursting through the dressing room seams. My husband came back 30 minutes later – I think he thought I’d be at the register by now – but instead it turned into this:
“Can you see if this comes in a different size?”, “Do you like this?”, “Does this make me look fat?” Yup – the poor guy got stuck; helpful and supportive busy-bee in a woman’s world. I couldn’t see any eye-rolling but I know it was not what he expected for his day. (By the way – when I asked him if something made me look fat, for any male readers, here was the good answer: “It makes you look pregnant.”)
Eventually I was exhausted. I think I was about an 90 minutes into the whole experience when I realized I needed to sit down and I almost cried. Why? I can’t even tell you. That’s just the fun of being pregnant. Sometimes you cry for no reason. I wasn’t sad. But I wasn’t happy. I was overwhelmed. And alone. My husband was great but let’s be real: he’s a man. He didn’t get it. I was internally struggling: Should I buy these clothes now? What if I’m buying the wrong thing? What if I’m getting too excited about clothes and something happens to the baby?” My train of thoughts ran on. With the lack of activity, my husband opened the curtain, “You okay in there?” I shed a tear. We talked. He gave me a hug and got me some water and then I went on my way trying on the final batch of clothes – trying on each item with and without the belly. Moving the belly up in some shirts. Then down. Then to the side (just in case); making sure I was happy with all the items I had ‘finalized.’ My end thought? I’d keep the tags on until I needed the clothes and worst case scenario, I’d return anything I didn’t need. Then my hubs helped me proceed to the check-out counter with gobs and gobs of I don’t even know what. By the time we paid and had bags in hand, it was three hours later.
Would you say that was a successful experience? I don’t know. I think I used almost all the clothes. Now I’m on my second pregnancy and I’m barely using any of them. But the one thing I learned is this: trying on maternity clothes is a big deal. And it’s special! Especially the first time around. THIS is why I sell maternity clothes. Because I think all pregnant women should look and feel special and I think the road to that ability should be as smooth as possible. Pregnancy – even the best ones – are difficult. Your hormones are beyond your control. Your body is beyond your control. Only fellow women can understand the emotions and thoughts, etc. God bless to each of the baby daddies who have held a hand, fetched nursing tops and more but if you’re pregnant in Pittsburgh, do yourself a favor: CALL ME! (Or email) I can help you figure out what you need, what you don’t need and how we can spread your maternity wardrobe into all aspects of your life including additional pregnancies, your professional career and more.
COMING SOON TO THE BLOG: What a maternity concierge appointment looks like and the premise behind Maternity Girl inventory. Until then dear readers: HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Now don’t you ALL wish you had maternity pants for Thursday (Men – maybe your ladies will let you borrow some. Your secrets will be safe with me.) Gobble gobble!