Monday, March 31, 2008

Modesty for Mama, please.

I did better this morning. I was awake at 6:23, which, had I actually continued with the openeing of my eyes and rolled out of bed, would have made my goal of 6:30. Alas, no. I rolled away from the clock, pulled the blanket snugly up to my chin and settled back in for another 9 minutes. Rats. But today I was downstairs by 6:40, and that was after having made the bed.


I am the sort of person who, upon hearing really good news, has a hard time keeping a lid on it. I guess growing up with not a lot of good news much of the time makes me that way. Or maybe it's the delight I feel when I see joy on the face of another person. Or maybe it's just a gift from God and I should stop analyzing it.

When I took my pregnancy test last Monday and saw that it was a faint line that I nearly went blind in order to see, I was happy. Only happy. Because, I reasoned, this cycle is the first after our loss, and there's a chance this is not what it looks like. I called my friend Mary anyway. Mary has the sense to be wisely happy--the kind of happy that isn't jumping up and down screaming, hauling out the helium-filled mylar balloons. Mary's response was something along the lines of, "That's great, that's really great. Are you going to test again tomorrow?" This is the wisdom that comes from a mom with a heart open to life, like mine, but who has also survived miscarriage, like me. Her caution was well warranted and much appreciated.

Tuesday was another story. When I calld Mary on Tuesday and said,"This line is fat, Mary! This is no shadow!" then Mary sounded like she wanted to grab those balloons. And that was ok--because I did, too! There was no hesitation this time, no thought that my body might be playing tricks.

Now it's time to prepare. Early? Well, probably. Because we chart my cycle very carefully, we know that we are four weeks, one day into this pregnancy. We're due in early December. That's a long time to prepare, I suppose, but prepare I must. First things first: I must be sure that I have the clothing I need to get to the end.

I think this is a normal woman thing. We see an occasion on the horizon, we buy appropriate attire. Going to a special dinner? Buy a pretty dress. Going on an anniversary date? Buy some spiffy new shoes. Planning on gaining 35 pounds and more inches than are on that tape measure? Go maternity shopping!

Now, there's really not much to buy. I have a friend who just brought me two boxes of clothes, and another friend who's due in May and has declared herself done with children--she said I could just keep her clothes. This is very kind. They are both dear. But there is one item that I don't suppose I'll find in either collection, and that is a Long Black Skirt.

I found the Long Black Skirt that I love at Dress Barn. It's cut well, it drapes nicely, it's unbelievably comfortable, and it hits about four inches above my ankles. I love it because it's incredibly modest, so when I sit on the floor (anywhere) to chat or change a diaper, there is absolutely no chance of flashing anything at anyone. This is of the utmost importance to me.

I had found the Long Black Skirt's maternity twin on a website, but it was $30, and I was hoping to save a few bucks. Ah, the frugal life. Since I'm always reasoning things out, I reasoned that to buy the kind and quantity of fabric I'd need, along with the notions and pattern, I'd be spending that much anyway. I absolutely refuse to alter the Long Black Skirt, because I will eventually be smaller than a baby elephant and will need to wear it again. And to buy another Long Black Skirt to alter would, again, be just as expensive (and more bothersome, for Pete's sake!) than just buying the one online. But there was a chance that I could find something on clearance at Motherhood, right? It's the end of winter. They want to rid themselves of all things long and warm to make way for light and breezy.

The problem is, they do not carry long and warm. If pants are what you want, that's great. They have pants. They have polyester and microfiber and terry and denim, and probably twelve other kinds. But skirts? Oh heavens, no. Since I was wearing the Long Black Skirt yesterday, I merely motioned to it and asked, "Do you happen to carry anything close to this?" I was given a look of absolute disdain. Ugh. How dowdy. So frumpy. I was informed that they do carry skirts, but they're just a little shorter. OK, I thought, a little shorter might not be so bad. It can be a little shorter and still be modest.

It turns out that "a little shorter" really meant "not even to the knee." When I said, "Oh, that's just not long enough for me, thanks," the look of disdain gained animation and I believe she may actually have laughed when I turned to leave. Not that I care. But I'm not lowering my standards just because that's what's available. Look, sister, I've had four babies and am already getting the poof of proof of number five. This body, in the first place, is only for the eyes of my husband, and in the second place, is most decidedly NOT for public viewing!

I amazes and astounds me that there are so few choices in maternity wear out there. No. It doesn't amaze me, really. When you look at how fashion has changed, how we are encouraged to show as much skin as possible all the time, it really doesn't come as a surprise that the options are so limited. For Pete's sake, there's actually a book called Stop Dressing Your 6-Year-Old Like a Skank. (not a word I'd ever use by choice, thanks.) Modesty, save for what seems to be a small segment of the population, has been put quietly in the corner.

I firmly believe that the pregnant body is absolutely beautiful. It's sacred. There's a miracle taking place in the body of every pregnant woman--we're partnering with God in an act of creation, and that in itself is nearly sacramental. So why should I dress my pregnant body in a way that is disrespectful? There are ways to cover my body that are fashionable that still show dignity and self-respect. (Not to mention respect for my husband.) I don't need the flesh of my expanding belly to show in order for people to appreciate the loveliness of pregnancy. They're going to know, for Pete's sake.

I will be purchasing the Twin of the Long Black Skirt. Shipping, shmipping. Modesty comes first.

I wish Dress Barn sold a maternity line. They'd make a fortune.


Jenni said...

I'm glad you decided to order the skirt! I absolutely agree w/ your buying vs. sewing assessment. It's ridiculous that we can't save money that way anymore.

And the skank factor for maternity wear is just as bad as the rest of fashion these days, I agree!

Mary said...

What an amazing modern day cyber version of a baby book journal--beginning with the incredible excitement you felt the moment you knew that God had blessed you again with another arrow in your quiver! What an impressive blog; what an impressive Mom/Wife; what an impressive friend; what an impressive person you are Laura!!!
Big Hugs, Your Friend Mary

Monica Rose Freng said...

Lovely blog :) Cannot wait to dig into the rest of it (and four months should definitely keep me busy!!)
You are a true inspiration to live virtuously and femininely.

I loved the part about the black skirt vs. fabric. A constant dilemna in my head when walking through stores. "But for that price? ... I could just make it." Thank goodness for 50% coupons at JoAnns. hehe

p.s. and YAY for think lines on the P.T. !! (we did it twice too)