I have long had an idea of what I wanted to do with my very first pay cheque. I was going to spend it frivolously just once and buy myself new clothes and shoes. I pictured a few pairs of ridiculous but beautiful "work" shoes, some Country Road pants and shirts that I have looked at before but put back because of their price tag. I really wanted a Charlie Brown wraparound dress too. My inlaws always give DJs vouchers for Christmas and that, combined with my CC vouchers AND an income had me dizzy with possibility. Add in post Christmas sales and there was a veritable orgy to be had.
Except of course, I went and got pregnant.
Maternity shopping has come a long way since I had the Elfling. Back then almost none of the retail stores stocked anything in maternity, it was all polyester (because pregnancy is a time when you don't sweat) and seemed to assume that impregnation turned you into a lobotomised soccer mom in training. Fine if you like capris in awful see through white bengaline and tents (there was even one store trying to hock maternity overalls) but otherwise you were an enigma. One sales assistant almost quivered with shock when I asked about maternity "work clothes", stuttering a little as she questioned what I meant... "you know, for working, like in the city" I tried helpfully if ineloquently. Where I was summarily shown the single black tent that they stocked. Um, no.
Today, being nearly 19 weeks and feeling like I have finally popped, I ventured into one of the new maternity stores that has popped up around our fair city. To my relief there were colours other than beige, cream and baby pink, but unfortunately I see the soccer mom "style" is still pretty prevalent. I am not a t-shirt and capris wearer in my off time and I really don't think it would be suitable work attire. The helpful assistant eventually came over to see what I was after and her face fell when I mentioned the "w" word again. "We don't have a lot" she mentioned helpfully, but did say that she hoped there would be more next season. She then did the practised up and down gaze and asked what size I was.
Answering "12/14 I think" I gathered an armful of both sizes and headed for the change rooms. Where I was reminded that maternity clothes are nothing if not generous - nothing in Sz 14 fit at all and most of the 12s were roomy. I walked out in one untentlike ensemble and did the usual - hoik up the pants a bit and check that it's not pulling over the boobs etc. The sales assistant advised me to check the waistband of the pants as "once you hit the second trimester you will notice how low your belly will pop". I don't think she believed me when I said that I was 19 weeks. When I tried on the next outfit she told me I didn't look pregnant at all. Which is one of those comments that is both flattering and hideous at the same time. Do I just look fat? Or do I look exceptionally thin? Is it a compliment or is she implying that there's something wrong with my baby?
After half an hour and half the shop though I walked away with a pair of pants and 3 shirts and felt reasonably happy. The clothes aren't overtly maternity and are of the flowy type, though somehow deviating from "tent". I prefer fitted though so will have to keep looking. I also tried on about 50 pairs of shoes in DJs and bought 3 (2 for work and 1 pretty) so felt thoroughly spoiled.
I'm still a bit sad about the Charlie Brown - it was even on sale today in my size - reduced to $60.