Why do pants always lead to a nervous breakdown?

We have a pants situation.

On Wednesday I fit quite comfortably into a pair of 14s at Old Navy.  By Thursday night wearing them put weird pressure over my uterus.  It was really, really uncomfortable.  The problem is my 16s are falling off still.

Awkward and tremendously embarrassing solution?

Maternity pants. At 6.5 weeks. And yes, I was coerced in to wearing a baby bump. With a college football jersey and no shoes. This picture is all kinds of classy! And I'm pouting because I was forced to pose.

It’s not that I actually need maternity pants, it’s that I’m between sizes and wearing tight pants really hurts (and makes me nervous for the baby).  Maternity pants have a big elastic panel so they aren’t pressing on my abdomen and they stay up.  It’s actually almost like not wearing pants at all (and you all know how I feel about wearing pants).  Can’t wait for Thanksgiving dinner in these bad boys!

Anywhoodle, the maternity store made me try on the pants with a 7 month baby bump.  Did not like.  I have some body image issues (obviously), and just felt really unattractive and ridiculous.  I am so, so thankful for this pregnancy, but I’m really struggling with going from trying to lose weight to feeling bloated and expecting a massive gain in girth.  I need to get my mind set in a new way and it’s very hard to wake up one morning and do that.  And I can tell I’m still in the dieting mindset because I’m having trouble forcing myself to eat “unhealthy” food even when it’s all I can keep down.  I feel guilty about my eating and I shouldn’t because it isn’t about me or my waistline anymore.

I should probably confess here that I’ve struggled with disordered eating since puberty.  My veganism in college was really just way to mask not eating.  I do not and never have had a healthy relationship with food, my body has never been good enough for me (even as a size 5), and while I can logically see the problems with all of this, I can’t quite figure out how to fix it.  Somehow I was better able to accept myself at this size, but dieting for the past few months made me hate my body again.  As I lost weight, I became more and more dissatisfied with how I looked.  And it never occurred to me that I was walking that scary line between healthy living and disordered eating.  This is a problem I should have acknowledged and dealt with before getting pregnant, but I don’t think I realized how bad my thinking had gotten until I actually sat down to write this.

Well, that wasn’t where I thought this post was going.  Anyways, I think I probably need to get back in to therapy, but my crap insurance isn’t going to allow for that.  Apparently if I have an obstetrician appointment the same day as another appointment they will only pay for one of them.  Umm, glad to know I can never see another doctor during this pregnancy in case of another emergency visit to the OB.  That sounds totally reasonable insurance company.

Sad platypus. Let's pretend this actually fits here because the picture amuses me.

Oops, still angry, sorry about that.  Back on topic, most of my baby related growth has been up top.  You probably can’t tell in the picture, but I needed an F cup at 4 weeks.  Now I need a G, which isn’t even stocked at our local maternity store.  Any suggestions on finding good bras in large sizes?  I won’t be sad if they are nursing bras since I may be able to use them at that point.  Anyways, while my breasts may soon be able to break off and become their own country, they do make me feel pregnant, which is tremendously exciting.

Do you like your body?   I feel like most women are never satisfied, which is sad.  I also feel like I am a tremendous asshole for worrying about how I look when I’m lucky enough to even be pregnant, but I also feel like I’m probably not the only pregnant woman to struggle with pre-existing body image problems.  I think once I actually look pregnant and don’t just have cotton strapped on my waist I’ll feel a lot better.

In the mean time, I’m going to focus on making sure the little tadpole is getting enough to eat because it really stopped being about me all the time weeks ago.  I think I need to give myself permission to not worry about how I look and love my body for supporting a baby, because that’s really a lot more special than a lot of people ever seem to realize.  And truthfully, writing about it makes it so much easier to release the bad feelings and move on to more important things like sleeping.

But, umm, maternity pants really are THAT comfortable.  It’s the second best thing to not wearing pants at all.


About Sarah S @RunningOnWords

Married 20-something in flux and trying to cope by running and occasionally crafting.
This entry was posted in Food, Pregnancy. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Why do pants always lead to a nervous breakdown?

  1. Kara says:

    I miss maternity pants so much. Man, they’re awesome. As soon as I see that pink line again, I’m busting them back out.

    No help for the bra issue, I’m in the itty bitty club, even when nursing I stayed within sizes sold at Victoria’s Secret.

    You’ll go through an awkward “Do I look fat or pregnant” phase, but once you start really showing, you’ll like it a lot more. People hold doors for you and let you cut in line at bathrooms. Also, no one judges you for asking for extra pickles.

  2. aprilvak says:

    Bras. Do you have a Cititrends or another store that caters to women of color in your area? That’s where I get my bras, because they tend to favor the larger sizes and they’re reasonably priced, which is probably good for you since you don’t know how much use you’ll get out of any given size, right?

    Body. I never had a huge problem with body image before TTC, but now I think most of my negativity stems from my weight being an outward sign of what’s wrong with my insides.

    Pants. I’m determined my next pair will be maternity pants. I hope something works or it’s a warm winter, because I desperately need some new pants, lol.

  3. Megan says:

    I can imagine that I’ll be going through very similar feelings when/if I get pregnant. It’s going to be very hard to see the scale creeping up when I’ve worked so long and so hard to make it come down. But you have to focus on the growing baby, and not worry about yourself, keep your body as healthy as possible for you baby.

  4. Abby says:

    You’ve made me excited to have a baby, just to get to try these pants 🙂

  5. Jennifer says:

    Honestly, I think it’s hard to grow up in this culture and NOT have body image issues. I used to wish my thighs were thinner all the time (sometimes I still do), and during college, when I was especially lonely and bored, I counted calories religiously. The really sad part? I don’t think I’ve ever weighed over 100 pounds. I threw out the scale, stopped eating meat for completely unrelated reasons, focused on eating whole foods in whatever quantity I was hungry for them, and haven’t looked back (though I still feel panicky and unhappy when my jeans are tight after I pull them off the line). I’ve never had an outright eating disorder, but I’m not sure I can say that I’m totally happy with my body, either.

    I find that skirts and dresses are way more comfortable than jeans. I’m wearing one of my favorites today, a long sage green knit skirt that feels kind of like I never had to get out of bed this morning. 🙂

  6. Kate says:


    Also, pants are just…hard. I try never to wear them. Which is totally unrealistic. I own approximately 20 pairs and about 3 fit me in a way that I feel safe wearing the house in. There are others that “fit” but I have to do the tug and tuck or worse, the “these are too big even with a belt but…yeah” thing.

    Lately I’ve found myself going to your idea of having a mantra. I totally bojangled the under armour motto “protect this house” into “protect this dress” cause I bought a new dress for my cousin’s wedding and I’m going to look awesome in it in 2 weeks. I’m betting you could totally roll with something way less creepy than “protect this baby” – unless that’s your thing : )

  7. Katy says:

    I think all owmen struggle with weight and body issues. At every size. It’s like you said about not liking what you looked like even when you were a size 5. I struggle with that a whole bunch. It’s reallt difficult for me, and I know I’m not alone in that.

    But good on you for trying to focus on what’s the bigger picture (healthy baby!) even when it’s so difficult for you. So many people think these body image feelings can just be turned off with the flip of a switch. If only. If only.

  8. pawsitivelife says:

    I go away for a tiny little while and I come back to you being preggers! Congratulations!!!!! Why would you even consider wearing pants while pregnant? Perfect opportunity for a mumu! Love the baby bump! HA!

  9. You are absolutely right about loving your body for growing (yes, babies are grown) and taking care of a little baby! I see so many women on a daily basis who do not appreciate that AT ALL and they should not be carrying children, in my opinion. It is truly a gift, and I definitely know you treat it as such – because it is! I can’t wait to be on this journey with you and learn even more about babies – maybe we will have one someday!

    Body issues? Yeah. I pretty much hate the way I look most of the time. I know it is not healthy.

  10. Sam says:

    pants are seriously dumb. whenever i’m pregnant, i think i’ll just do elasticated everything for the entire 9 months (plus however long i still feel squishy post birth).

    it is hard to get out of that negative mindset. we all do it and it is just plain dumb. you’re so right, your body is AMAZING for carrying and caring for a child. praying for this pregnancy for you!!

  11. I don’t think any of us are totally happy with our bodies ever, all we can do is learn to be happy with what we’ve got.

    We as women have the awesome power to create and house another little life within us and I think that’s so freaking cool. Our bodies are amazing and tough! Who gives a crap if we have a loose skin on our tummies or stretch marks on our arms? I try to look at it this way: In the grand scheme of things, having a flat tummy or less stretch marks isn’t going to change my life but staying healthy and fit will change my life. 🙂

  12. Totally understand the body issue. I had the same problem. It’s hard to force yourself to be the incubator and not worry about it.

    Bra issue – consider the bra extensions. It gives you 2 extra inches in the bra, for only a few dollars, instead of a whole new set of bras. That helped me extend the life of my bras without paying lots of money.

  13. Oh – forgot to say….LOVE THE PLATYPUS! That needs to be your facebook photo. Just sayin’.

  14. Belly bands! Sorry if anyone said it already…NUTHIN like unbuttoning your pants and throwing on a belly band!

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