Maternity Smarty Pants

During this pregnancy, I’ve been reading about how some women starting to show their bump around 6 months into their pregnancy. And then there’s my experience. Let me tell you that I welcomed my maternity pants – at week 9. Terry cloth, stretch with a demi band, thank you, Motherhood Maternity. They felt oh-so-wonderful the moment I slipped them on even if I was embarrassed to answer the question “So how far along are you?”

So fast forward, week 16 and I finally go to Century 21 Department Store in downtown Manhattan to find the perfect maternity jeans for less than $25. Can it be done, I pondered as I gingerly browsed the denim rack where the cheapest skinny cut maternity jeans were $54? Afterall, this was the heavenly place where I famously scored a $700 Theory purse for 75% off.

If you’ve been slumming around in yoga pants, anything stretchy, then you also know that getting maternity jeans is a big deal. I mean big deal in terms of fashion, money and comfort. Everything I’ve been reading online says I don’t need to spend a fortune on a whole new wardrobe. But they forget to tell you that eventually, wearing stretchy pants every day takes a toll on your mind.

Fine $54, if you have my size, I’ll take them but of course, they don’t have my size 14 in maternity jeans. You know how it goes, you shop for one thing and before you know it, you’ve compromised at a high price for something you never would have considered in your right mind. Maybe I’ll just be that pregnant girl who only wears dresses from February 10 till July 26?

Just as I resolved to find some black stretchy pants, I stumbled upon some affordable jeans in my size. You’d think this is the best part of my story, right? It’s not – the best part was getting to try on the jeans with the 7 month belly belt in the maternity fitting room. This is where it totally became real: there will be a day when I will be o-b-v-i-o-u-s-l-y pregnant. You see right now, at 17 weeks, I know I’m pregnant, but somehow my brain hasn’t completely and fully realized it, if that makes any sense. (Maybe when people start giving up their subway seat for me, it will hit me?) My mind is excited for Gracie to be born but can’t really understand what it’s going to be like when it actually happens.

Essayist Rebecca Solnit once wrote about desire and she questioned how we can truly know we desire something if we’ve never experienced it. So how can I know I will love Hawaii if I’ve never been there? How do I know I will love being a mom if I’ve never experienced being a mom? She calls this stepping into the unknown [with complete admirable and sometimes comical faith]. I think about Solnit when I am soooooooo excited about something that I’ve yet to experience; you know the sooooooo achiness and pining that we experienced as kids. Whether it was for Christmas to come or for a birthday to roll around, there was extreme excitement. That’s how I feel now: I’m soooooooo excited for Gracie to be here that I just-can’t-wait-any-longer. Yet I have to wait and in maternity pants, nonetheless. I just want what I want n-o-w.

So back to buying maternity pants. It was an awful experience between sizing, color options and finding the right price. Just as I typed that I realized that’s no different than any clothes shopping experience. Well except for one thing, there aren’t expert bloggers out there reminding you that you’ll only be wearing these jeans for 5 months tops so don’t spend a whole lotta money on your jeans!

Sometimes it is just about buying pants but as a writer and observer, I’m gonna say that it’s more than that. For me and maybe lotsa other first-time-moms-to-be, this is a real moment in seeing our bodies change into something like me+. So if you catch yourself lost in a moment, looking at the mirror as you try on maternity jeans and you use your x-ray vision to imagine your baby in your belly, then know you’re absolutely changing, ready to jump into Solnit’s unknown.

I scored maternity jeans at C21 for $15!