I spent a small portion of the weekend doing something I’ve put off for far too long:
Why is shopping for jeans so hard??? As I was in the dressing room trying on, I was trying to remember the last time I shopped for a pair of jeans, and suddenly I remembered the details and the emotions like it had just happened yesterday:
It was when we were going through fertility treatments, and I was recovering from OHSS, waiting to be able to schedule our frozen transfer. I’d gained about 15 pounds in the year and a half that we’d been undergoing fertility treatments, and not a single pair of my jeans fit me. I still had them folded on a shelf in the closet, hoping I’d fit into them again one day, but in reality, they were sizes too small. I’d been living in leggings, stretchy maxi skirts, and mostly… yoga pants. I had always loved shopping for clothes, been content with my body, and confident in my style. But infertility changed that.
During this particular season of our infertility journey, I was feeling like crap in every way: feeling like crap physically, and still visibly swollen from hyper stimulation (I looked at least six months pregnant when, in fact, I was not pregnant at all.) I felt miserable about my weight and the way I looked, and I felt defeated at not having been able to have a fresh transfer as we’d planned.
My mom was visiting. She was a lifesaver when I was so sick and hyper stimulated, and spent as much time with me as possible. In spite of my barely being able to stand up straight (if you’ve experienced a severe case of OHSS, you know exactly what I mean!) She took me jean shopping, knowing I needed to something to improve my outlook on life, and to improve the way I felt about my physical appearance.
I ended up walking out of the store with a pair of jeans that were a full size bigger than I ever thought I would need.
But I felt good in them. They weren’t squeezing my guts out. I could bend over, sit down, and move comfortably, because they actually fit. Were they bigger than I wished I needed? Absolutely. Am I glad I bought them anyway? Absolutely.
When you are going through infertility, something in you begins to feel unwomanly and unattractive. Or maybe you haven’t experienced this, but I sure have! And this feeling multiplied when we began pursuing fertility treatments, and I began slowly packing on the pounds.
I spent over a year
and a half letting fertility treatments be my excuse for living in ratty yoga pants that I’d had since college, squeezing into jeans that were a size (or two or three) too small, and covering my muffin top with shirts that were sizes too big.
Then my mom got me off my deathbed (I seriously thought I was going to die from some sort of bodily explosion.) She took me jean shopping, and made me realize it was time to regain control of my closet, and to get a grip already.
So, here are my tips on dressing for fertility treatments:
- Buy a nice pair of yoga pants- If you plan on wearing yoga pants multiple times throughout your week, buy a pair of two that fit well. Toss our your old pair with holes and paint stains in them (or put them away for your next painting project.)
- Buy a pair of jeans that you feel great in. If you’re like me, you keep telling yourself you’ll fit into your size two jeans again one day. Maybe you will, but probably not while you’re going through fertility treatments, and probably not while you’re pregnant. So indulge yourself, and buy at least one pair of jeans that fit well, regardless of the size on the tag.
- Maxi dresses and skirts are your friends- I wore these things like crazy when we were prepping for IVF. They are as comfy as a pair of sweats, but way cuter. Plus, they make all those ultrasounds a little easier. Instead of having to take off an entire pair of pants, all you have to do is hike your skirt up! Still awkward and uncomfortable, but a little less so. (until you’ve gone through it several times, at which point you lose all sense of modesty.)
- Invest in several tunics- Just like flowing maxi skirts are your friends, so are tunics. They are not form-fitting, so if you have packed on a few pounds, you don’t feel like you have to suck your tummy in quite so much in these things.Wearing a tunic is kind of like wearing an oversized t-shirt, but at least a tunic makes you look like you care. It also makes you feel a lot prettier than you do when you give up and wear your husband’s t-shirts!
- Wear pretty pajamas- For me, not feeling pretty really took a toll on the physical aspects of mine and Andrew’s marriage (you can read more about that here.) Spending a little money on some comfy, pretty, jambes actually does a lot to boost self esteem! (Soma Intimates is one of my favorite stores for nice pajamas.)
My body is so much different than it ever has been. Fertility treatments, hyper stimulation, more treatments, and then pregnancy….
It’s so easy to dwell on everything that is wrong with my body, but what about everything that is right?
My body has endured so much over the past several years: fertility treatments, hyper stimulation, more treatments, and then pregnancy. Oh, and then actually GIVING BIRTH.
God created us so beautifully. Our bodies are so resilient, and so creatively made.
Our bodies are amazing.
And they should be treated accordingly.