17 weeks, I think (I’m not keeping very good track), and I’m at the fat stage. I’ve gained six pounds. When I dress for work, I don’t think people can tell that I’m pregnant, but I still walk around with the extra six pounds, which must show in some way. On weekends, when I wear more form-fitting clothes, I feel like I have a bit of a rubber tire hanging from my belly. I know this is normal for some people (I carry my excess weight elsewhere) and I imagine some people just think I have a belly, as well as hips and thighs.
It’s an uncomfortable stage, in which I can still fit into many of my usual clothes, but I’m finding myself much more comfortable in one size up.
During my first pregnancy, my sister-in-law recommended buying larger sized clothes rather than maternity clothes. At the time, I didn’t listen. I found the prospect of buying bigger clothes depressing. Maternity clothes were for a reason – maternity – then I could go back to normal.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t as easy as I imagined. The first maternity clothes I bought, when I about in this stage, I quickly grew out of and had to replace. Then there was a long and painful period after the birth in which I was far from fitting in my normal clothes. So I continued to wear maternity clothes, which feels discouraging months after the birth.
This time around, I bought a few pieces in the size larger than I usually wear, and I collected a few more pieces from freecycle. I’m grateful to have a little bit more flexibility in first moving up a little bit, then eventually transitioning to maternity wear (which I haven’t done yet, but imagine is in my near future). I think it will also be helpful in what I’ve heard called the fourth trimester.
In the meantime, my appetite has suddenly strengthened, I’m gaining weight, and I’m feeling fat. It’s time to prioritize exercise and to remember that while there are benefits to being clearly pregnant vs. fat, a couple months from now I’ll probably look back fondly upon this time.