Dropping three hundred dollars on three items of maternity wear was simply not an option. Dropping thirty dollars on three items of maternity wear was not an option either. I knew that I would wear these outfits for a few months at most, so I wanted to spend as little as possible on this temporary wardrobe. I wanted to be stylish, but I had to find a way to do it on a shoestring budget. I opted to scour the thrift shops for used clothing I could tolerate.
Just a few short weeks after I took the home test, I found that my jeans were already tight. My solution was to wear loose fitting bib overalls. It felt weird to sport such a casual outfit while teaching in such a formal environment, but the college didn’t pay me enough to buy professional outfits. If they wanted me to dress better, they were going to have to pay me better. My students didn’t seem to mind and since I was teaching a late night and early Saturday morning, none of my peers were around to gossip about me behind my aching back.
My mother-in-law purchased a box of maternity clothes at a yard sale and gave them to me at my early baby shower. I was just four months along when I returned home for a visit and shower. Since we didn’t know the sex, most of our relatives bought us neutral clothes. The clothes for me felt nearly as neutral. They were not in the line of the old-fashioned muumuu, but they weren’t particularly flattering either. The clothes were from the eighties and nineties—at least 10 years out of date. I wore several of the nicer shirts towards the end of my pregnancy, but some of the bulkier or stretched out items remained in the box I received them in.
During the summer months, I wore shorts with elastic bands and over-sized t-shirts. When I had to dress for work, I wore a pair of slacks with an elastic band and a nice top. Around six months or so, I began to wear actual maternity clothes. I had a couple of short sleeve shirts and couple of long sleeve shirts I alternated between according to the weather.
Since I gained most of my weight in the summer months, I grew used to wearing my Teva Hiking sandals. They had elastic bands and I could adjust them as my feet swelled. It wasn’t until I had to put on my tennis shoes again in month six that I realized how much my feet had swollen. I couldn’t put my tennis shoes on, not without it hurting a great deal. I resorted to wearing the sandles even when they didn’t go with my outfit. No one cared or at least no one cared to comment on my lack of fashion.
After I had my daughter, I was hoping to return to my regular clothes. Ha! I was sorely mistaken about that. I had to wear elastic band pants and jeans for a few months after I gave birth. I expected that I drop my weight at faster than I did. It was my impression that you dropped most of it right away and then the lingering pounds were what were difficult to get rid of. No one told me that you look like you are still pregnant for at least a couple of weeks after the birth and that dropping the weight takes a lot of time. It is a long, slow process.
One of the things many women consider a pregnancy perk is pregnancy boobs. Mine were just the right size—not too big and not too small. Then they started getting bigger and bigger. The bigger they got, the more they got in my way. I am not sure why anyone would actually pay to enlarge theirs, at least not beyond the C cup size.
It was a hot summer day and I decided to wear one of my favorite dresses to work. Normally it is cool without being too terribly revealing. When I put it on that morning, the last thing I thought about was how it fit me different in one particular area. Shortly after I arrived at work, I was called into my boss’s office. She kindly asked me to put a sweater on over my dress, as it was calling attention to my chest. Blushing, I apologized and said I would gladly put a sweater on. She was worried that the teenage boys I sometimes tutored would be distracted from their lessons. I muttered that I wasn’t used to how things fit since I got pregnant. She smiled and dismissed me. I put on my sweater, embarrassed that I had dressed indecently enough to be noticed. I never wear revealing clothing, so I was not used to people noticing my breasts.