I believe in Maternity Jeans. They are an underrated and underused miracle of modern fashion.
I jumped into the world of maternity pants early because with a twin pregnancy, I was unable to button my jeans at about 10 weeks. The first time I went to Pea in the Pod and slipped into a pair of those pants that look like normal jeans but have an oh-so-comfortable stretchy waistband, I was in heaven. Now, I need to confess that I have always been adverse to pants with buttons (the reason that yoga pants and maxi dresses are basically my uniform.) Seriously, my husband can attest to this, every time I sat down I would subtly reach under the table and unbutton my jeans and then button them back up before I stood.
I refused to go full pajama jean (although I did consider it) but then I discovered maternity pants. The magical thing about them (besides no buttons) is that they fit when you are at your skinny weight and also fit when your stomach is a huge beach ball. At the end of my pregnancy, I was wearing XXL maternity tops and even those were too tight, but my amazing jeans still fit.
I had a c-section with the twins and then a hysterectomy 6 weeks later (see Brief Timeline of Crazy for reference) so I continued to wear the stretchy top jeans for months after pregnancy. I was “lucky” to loose the baby weight fairly quickly due to the awesomely fun combo pack of breastfeeding twins and an increasingly worsening flare of ulcerative colitis. But still I held onto my “magic pants.” About 8 months after having the girls, my husband finally staged an intervention and I tearfully gave away my stacks of maternity clothes and started wearing my old jeans again. Sigh.
Flash forward to February 2014. I had just had an operation to remove my colon and was fitted with an oh-so-stylish ileostomy bag. For those of you who don’t know what this is, essentially I had a piece of my small intestine sticking out of my stomach and a sticky bag thing that I put around it to catch stool while I healed enough to go back into surgery and have my newly created j-pouch (kinda like a fake mini-colon made out of small intestine) reattached. Now, please stop with the fawning over me here, yes my life is glamorous, I know you want to be me, but that is not the point of this particular post.
It was difficult to wear pants while I had the bag and then one day I had a stroke of brilliance (seriously I think a lightbulb went on over my head.) So back I went to the maternity store. I grabbed several pairs of jeans and began trying them on. They were as comfy as I remembered and were perfect to stretch over the ostomy bag. If you are woman with any type of ostomy, please consider getting some. They don’t dig into the bag, they go all the way over it and provide an extra layer of protection, and they help keep it flat so it doesn’t show under clothes!
I gleefully made my way over to the buy the pants and this was my conversation with the lady at checkout:
Her: Nice choices. When are you due?
Me: Oh, I’m not pregnant.
Her: I’m sorry, will you be needing a gift reciept?
Me: No thanks
At this point the woman gets an obviously puzzled look on her face, so I decide to have a little fun. I lean in and say very mysteriously, “I need them for medical reasons.” And then happily leave her stumped trying to figure out what kind of medical condition would cause a skinny, non-preggo girl to need maternity pants!
The pants served me well during the months that I had an ostomy bag and the months after surgery when my belly was still far too tender to wear anything else. And then I got to a place where I could totally wear normal jeans again. I started to think that maternity pants and I had a good run, but it was time to give them up. But then I thought… F that! I have been through so much in the past few years, if I want to wear maternity pants for the rest of my life I am going to.
If people think I’m weird, oh well, wouldn’t be the first time. As women, we are so often putting fashion before comfort, but here’s a chance to wear something comfortable and cute!
Never been pregnant? So what! There is no law saying you have to be a slave to the jeans button, pregnant women don’t have exclusive rights to maternity clothes. I say we stop calling them maternity jeans and start calling them “Happy Pants.” Hey, I know a lot of men who would probably love some stretchy topped jeans- no more unbuttoning at Thanksgiving, you can still eat as much as you want without wearing sweats. Happy Pants for Everyone!!!
So if you see me out and about in jeans, you can give me a little wink, cause you know “Natalie’s Secret.” Those sexy designer pants I’m wearing go all the way up to my boobs and I am proud of it!