Okay, it should probably have been my first clue that something was up when I realised my clothes were getting a little tight around the chest. Admittedly, I hadn't measured myself for nearly a year by then but having just come from a trip abroad, I figured, "Oh, it's travel fat."
Right. Of course it was.
Naturally I was dismayed to find that I gained weight after our trip to Ireland. You could say that I was very much relieved to find out it wasn't simple weight gain that happened.
I'd heard that first time mothers don't start showing until late in the second trimester which I took as a sign that I can slack off on the attire adjustment. A very foolish assumption since nature dictates that, despite the lack of obvious outward signs of pregnancy, the body does begin changing, beginning with chest expansion and the loss of a waistline.
Dealing with the clothes was easy. If the zip didn't zip, it was set aside. Immediately, my repertoire of jeans, shorts, and half my skirts were out of the running. Thankfully, even before pregnancy, I did take to a good deal of maternity dresses I saw on sale at the department store--the colours and prints were so pretty!--giving me a fair head start, plus, shirred maxi dresses have become a lazy day wardrobe staple.
Oh but the worst cut of all: underwear.
Yep, a year after I'd celebrated finding my perfect match in Marks & Spencer, I found myself in search of a brand new support system. Again.
I found one match in the M&S Maternity Line but the styles were limited and to be honest, the stitching made me feel like I'd gone back to the 50s with the silhouette it gave me. I love the 50s for the clothes but not necessarily the shapes.
Enter Multiply.com and this particular online store: Mama.Baby.Love. Oh of course there are a lot of others out there but this was the first one I discovered with the widest range of options. And that's what I like most: having lots of options, especially since it's an online store.
I ordered two items: the Fabulous Mom Sleep Bra, and the Blissful Babes Bandeau.
I wanted to open the package immediately after I'd gotten it, but we were due to leave the house and I wouldn't have had the time to try the items on or take photos which I really wanted to do.
So when we got home from the day's errands, and after I'd had my dinner, I began unwrapping the day's best treat.
For those who might be wondering, yes, that is my cat on the bed, eyeing the plastic bag as though I'd mistakenly claimed something of hers to be mine. To be honest, I had to ask my husband to distract her several times during the course of taking pictures of the products so that she wouldn't a) get in the way of the shot and b) damage the products.
I love you, my little black snow kitten (her name is Yuki), but those are mommy's things, not yours.
Thanks to her daddy, it failed. But not before I captured her stretching out her little paws to hook both items and draw them closer to her.
Pet parents, believe me: most cats will never outgrow wanting to play with plastic bags. It will be up to your vigilance to stop them from suffocating in these things.
Anyway, first product up: the Fabulous Mom Sleep Bra.
Looks like an ordinary racer-back, non-underwire bra--feels like second skin.
The material is so thin that I have no idea how it gives just the right support for bedtime. And because of the thin material, it's very cool and comfy to sleep in--definitely much better than attempting to sleep in my M&S nursing bras. (And they don't offer the right nighttime support either, despite being excellent for when I'm up and about.)
It doesn't look like a nursing bra at all, but it is. The cups pull down easily and comfortably whether it's the front or rear bit and, anticipating the lack of two free hands when the time to nurse comes along, it's easily done with one hand.
The straps are wide and hold the breasts up to where they should be (aesthetically, I read somewhere that the height of the nipple should be in line with the midpoint of your upper arm) and the garter band stays put whichever way you stretch and/or move.
If you're wondering how I know all this when I've just received the package, it's because I made sure to try out both items as soon as I'd opened the package to check in case there was a need to exchange either of them for a different size or product.
You will, of course, want to give this a wash before really wearing it. ^_~
I honestly think that this is pure genius. It actually makes me want to try and see if I can modify the bandeau tube top I already own so it becomes a nursing bandeau as well.
But of course we all know my sewing skill = zip. And I'll likely damage pretty much everything.
Anyway, back to this one.
I took a huge risk with this one, mainly because under normal circumstances, my sizing is already kind of iffy. A little deviant from the average for my build, if you will.
But Jenny of Mama.Baby.Love. said it's very stretchy and I'd had experience with this type of bandeau before (see above). So I decided to take a chance.
First of all, let me show you why this bandeau is so cool.
As with the regular bandeaus say, from Genevieve Gozum or YRYS, this comes with padding. Not to increase size but to cover up what ought decently be covered up. (See left image.) On the right side, you'll see the plus, as illustrated by my slipping the padding underneath the inner part of the bandeau.
Yep. Cut-outs. Meaning yes, this is definitely a bandeau that can be used for nursing. I figure, paired with the Transition Tubes (also by Blissful Babes) this will turn any regular shirt or top into a nursing top. Win. Win.
Okay, the fit: super comfortable. Or maybe I'm saying that because I'm used to wearing bandeau tops. Admittedly, it felt strange to have to arrange it so that everything was where it was supposed to. Truthfully, I felt a little naked. But again, thinking forward, it still has that one-hand manipulation going for it, and despite the feeling of nakedness, future use says "Quit complaining; it's functional."
I can't say I'd wear this beyond my nursing period, but if I'm to use most of the tops I already own well into my nursing period, then a little bit of sweet sacrifice would be in order, correct? So I think I'll be ordering more of this, and the above sleep bra, from Jenny.
Note: This latter product and the Transition Tube are also available via Indigo Baby, though I got mine from Mama.Baby.Love. I'm not trying to pit one against the other; I'm merely saying that there is at least one source aside from the one I used. At the time of posting, Mama.Baby.Love. is the only local online reseller that I know of who stocks Fabulous Mom.
As always, any new information regarding these products (other resellers and whatnot) are welcome. ^_^