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Triathlete Blog

Destinations: Maternity Clothes

By May 3, 2010July 20th, 2015No Comments

I need new clothes. New shirts, new pants, new underwear – all of it, new. Pregnancy is hell on your wardrobe. In fact, when you get pregnant, after week 16 take all of your old wardrobe, box it up and pray that you get to see it again. Bury it with a statue of St. Joseph just to be safe.

There is no physical way possible to squeeze into what you used to wear once you are into the third trimester. Oh, I thought it wouldn’t happen to me. I thought, but I’m small, I won’t show that much. Bullshit. Watermelon, snake who ate a goat, waiting for the rest of the planets to orbit around me are all terms that have been used to describe the current state of my belly. Give me 7 months in pregnancy and now I’m convinced that I’m going to get bigger than anyone else because where the hell else is the baby going to go! I’m a frontloaded machine right now. Loaded with about 25 extra pounds of…good god I don’t even know what any more. All I know is that if I don’t buy new clothes I’m going to have to start walking around naked.

Which reminds me – you should also remove all mirrors from your bathroom after week 24.

I’ve joined the flub flub club. There is no place where it doesn’t live on my body right now. It’s there. I showed it all to Chris the other night and rather than giving the correct answer – I don’t see anything – he said, it will come off, you’ll see!


My old pants go up to about mid thigh when they stop at the major barricade of flub that has settled around my hips. Either that or my pelvis is migrating outside its current zip code. In any case, the old pants no longer fit this new body. What used to be “big” capris on me are now calf sleeves.

…approaching compression calf sleeves.

Speaking of compression, is it possible for your entire body to turn into a cankle? Does Skins sell a whole body compression sock? Something I can crawl into before bed like a sleeping bag that sucks out the 10 pounds of edema that find their way into my thighs by the end of every day?

As you can imagine, just getting dressed every day for ANY thing is now complicated. Pajamas, workout clothes, real life clothes – there’s a lot of stuff in my closet that no longer fits. I realized I was in trouble when my mom asked me if I was going to wear the same pair of pants for the next 3 months. AND WHAT IF I DO! You see, I have two pairs of maternity pants because I’ve been reluctant to go shopping for a maternity wardrobe. Shopping for new clothes, clothes that I might only wear for the next few months, seems so…do I really have to do this?

FINE. I’ll go.

On Saturday night, Chris politely offered (was coerced) to join me at the outlet mall. We were going shopping. For a new summer maternity wardrobe. The most frustrating thing about shopping when pregnant is that you never know. I bought some clothes back in week 20 thinking I would be a certain size. Turns out I am now bigger than that size. And those clothes fit for about 1 week. You just don’t know what size you’ll be or where the extra size will go on your body.

Lucky for me the outlet mall has a maternity store, Destination Maternity. Is this really a destination or more like a state you find yourself in after a night of too much to drinking on a Wednesday night which makes you think THIS is what I get for drinking on a weeknight! THIS! I arrive a destination maternity to find it chock full of all those weird things that pregnant women wear.

May I ask WHO out there is walking around in a t-shirt that reads “I love my bump, my bump, my lovely baby bump.” WHO ARE YOU!?

But all of those weird things – the shirts with the bunched up material sides or empire waists, those are the same things that now fit me. The funny pants with the panel that goes up over your belly. The same panel I looked at during week 16 and thought to myself there is no way I will ever wear that.

I’m wearing it now. And let me say – I highly recommend those pants. It’s like having a little girdle around your belly and holds the belly button in tight.

Let’s talk about maternity pants. YES, we have to! Maternity pants come in four sizes – small, medium, large, extra large. Can you see the irony in that? How can you be huge but still small. And how many babies does it take to put you into an extra large? How can it be that I am a … medium?

I go to try on the pants and see something hanging from the hook on the wall. What on earth is that – a black pillow with Velcro bands. Is this like a pillow you can attach to your hand in case you need to sit down in the dressing room for a nap? I mean, I know we as pregnant women are tired but that sounds….wait a minute….I realize what it is. It is a baby bump. You strap it around your stomach via Velcro bands to see what you’ll look like in a few weeks.

What if the Velcro bands won’t even go around me? What does that mean? Is that how you get into the extra large pants?

Underwear is next. I won’t go into too much detail but let me just say nothing makes you feel more like a wideload than the day you put on your underwear and think to yourself – oh, they must have shrunk in the dryer. Then you remember you line dry your underwear. The only thing shrinking is your….your….there’s nothing that shrinks on you in pregnancy. Let me assure you of that.

BRAS! I grab a size bigger than my old size and think – this will do! I get into the dressing room and can’t get it to fasten around my back. This will not do! The number 36 is now in my vocabulary. I come out of the store and tell Chris my new size and he starts looking for the extra four inches on my back. It’s not back there! Turn me around – those extra four inches are in my chest. And is it possible that my chest is growing into my armpit? Pretty soon I’m going to have those flabby triceps that wave when I wave my arm!

And when I do, will someone please WAVE BACK AT ME & MY TRICEPS!

Last week I also discovered that I need new workout clothes. Actually, someone pointed this out to me. I was in the locker room when my belly popped out from under my shirt and someone said “time for a new shirt?”

How I wish I could walk around the world telling people when THEY need new clothes!

I’ve been holding out on the workout clothes because…they are damn expensive! It’s bad enough that maternity pants can run upwards of $90. Add to that new running shorts, new tops, new jog bras, new swimsuit, that doesn’t even include the cycling gear. Which is the most expensive! You thought the baby was expensive. Try reoutfitting yourself. Every 4 weeks!

Someone suggested I start wearing my husband’s running shorts. There are a lot of things I will share with my husband. Food. A toothbrush. A towel. However I will not share running shorts. First of all, if you are a runner you know that bad things – VERY BAD THINGS – can happen in running shorts. Let me paint the picture: hot day, running low on water, 90 minutes into the run, too many gels, no bathroom in sight. Second of all, need I remind the world that my husband has a “history” with workout shorts?


I’ll take my chances with wearing my old shorts until at least 6 inches of crack are exposed thank you.

I bought a new swimsuit the other day. I’ve gone up three sizes. THREE SIZES! I feel most vulnerable in the pool. And the strangest thing is that in the pool everyone seems to be very comfortable with talking about my size. On one hand, you have someone tell you that you look great, cute, not that big! And then 20 minutes later someone else tells you – wow, you went from being really small to really huge. It’s the schizophrenia of feedback that you get from everyone else that totally baffles me about pregnancy. No other condition in life would generate this much talk about how you look. Good or bad.

To sum up, everything is getting better and the only thing getting smaller? My clothes. My hope that I will ever be the person I once was or how I once looked – you get farther away from it and think…will I ever get back there. And, if so, how? Where will I find the time? How about the willpower or even the energy?

A few weeks ago I was swimming with a woman with 5 kids under the age of 8. She’s a few years younger than me. She looks amazing. Seeing her reminded me that if you want to get back, you will get back. I see my friends who are fitter now and faster – if you want to get fit and fast, you’ll get there. If you want something bad enough, you’ll work at, you’ll find the time, your drive for it will be the energy you need.

I’m there. Really. Can we get a head start now? Must we go through the next 11 weeks? I feel like I’m at mile 80 of a 100 mile ride. So close to being done but depending on the wind and the hills – still so far away. Could be less than an hour left of riding. Maybe more. Could end up being overdue which would be like getting to the 100 mile mark and finding out you still have 14 more to go like that one year on Ragbrai where I found myself desperate in a Kum n’ Go with a can of cream soda and peanut butter crackers cursing Iowa for failing in basic math.

And let me just say that if I go past 40 weeks I’m going to need someone to buy me the shirt that says I love my baby bump.

In case I forget.