This post is completely irrelevant if you aren't interested in boob sizes during pregnancy and the awfulness of maternity bras.
I hate the fact that I'm still looking fat rather than pregnant. I told someone at work I was pregnant this week. I knew she'd had lots of fertility treatment and a miscarriage before she stopped trying, and I wanted her to know early. So I sent her an email, and she just came by to congratulate me, she was very sweet. She also said she'd looked at me in the bathroom early this week and thought, "Wow, Thalia is really piling on the weight, she must be in the middle of treatment." Great, huh? I know I have just gained too much weight - my face is fat. I also know that now is not the right time to worry about it, rather just to get on with the pregnancy and try not to pig out too much, but a lifetime obsession is hard to let go of.
But most importantly, my breasts are now really huge. I am blessed, even when not pregnant, with big, yet unevenly sized breasts. The uneven sizing amuses my husband no end, but was the source of much teasing through my teenage years, particularly after the school doctor at my medical, aged 15, with 2 other girls in the room and 2 more out in the corridor, cupped my breasts and said "does it bother you that this one is bigger than the other?" and then, despite my stupified silence and bright red face, continued to show me how to stuff one bra cup with tissues. Yes, great doctor, huh? I started early on that theme.
When I am slim and fit, I wear a 34C bra. Just before I got pregnant, I was wearing a 36D. After a few weeks of pregnancy it became clear I was no longer either of these sizes. Yet I waited for ages to get a pregnancy bra, despite the fact that the received wisdom (and we all know how correct that stuff always is) says that (i) your breasts do most of the growing for the whole pregnancy in the first three months, and (ii) you must UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES wear an underwired bra once you are pregnant AS IT WILL RUIN YOUR BREASTS FOR BREASTFEEDING and is generally A REALLY BAD THING. Of course I waited. I used an old 38C bra because nothing else fitted, and yes, it was underwired. And no, it wasn't really comfortable and didn't really fit, but at least it wasn't clearly too small.
Why wait? First because of the general fear that it was all going to go wrong, and why tempt fate, and second because I'm too lazy to make the time to go and get fitted, but I felt I needed to start with a fitting as I no longer had any idea what size I was. Eventually, about 3 weeks ago, I nipped into a well known London department store to get measured. I'd previously had very good measuring experiences there. But not this time. The first fitter was a woman who arrived in the changing room just as a client called me. I asked her to wait for a second, and she stomped off saying it would be some time before she came back. After I'd finished talking to the client (don't ask) I then went looking for some more help. Eventually a child showed up. She seemed confident enough, so I let her get measuring. She initially told me I was a 36DD which didn't seem unreasonable, and went off to find some bras. They were all un-underwired. They were all astonishingly uncomfortable and unsupportive. Given as how I haven't worn a non-underwired bra since I was about 15 (see above) I couldn't really remember if this is just how they were, so I asked her if this was all I had to look forward to. "Don't ask me," she said, "this is the first fitting I've ever done." Aha. At the look on my face she went off to find someone more experienced.
Someone more experienced showed up, looked at me in the 36DDs and announced I needed a 38DD to allow for growth. She came back with one, yes one, and told me it was the only choice. The sides came up well into my armpits, and the cups came back covering my whole breast, including the whole of my cleavage. Put it this way, any v-necked top I own suddenly became unwearable. I felt like my maiden aunt Maud. No I don't have a maiden aunt Maud, but you can imagine the underwear, no?
Given that was apparently my only choice, I bought it. At least it wasn't expensive. But after 1 day of wearing it and enduring gales of laughter from my suddently not-terribly-supportive spouse, I decided it was unacceptable, and decided to try department store #2. Department store #2 was in fact the site of my magical, life transforming bra experience when I wandered in, age 18, for a new bra, and was accosted by an elderly lady who insisted on measuring me, and uttered the immortal words, "My dear, you aren't a 36C, you are a 34DD!" and thereby changed my life for the good. I hadn't realised until then that bras didn't have to hurt you. Anyway, of course the experience this time was not so good. Another child came to wait on me, this time wearing a full headscarf. I wondered at how she felt about naked breasts, but she didn't seem phased, so I decided not to be. I told her my dilemma. She measured, and hmmed, and came back with a 36E. E!! And no, it wasn't comfortable, but at least it wasn't like wearing armour, and goodness sake it only cost £10 so I bought 3. It was, of course, my only choice from their entire lingerie department.
So I started wearing that one. And I discovered the problem with a non-underwired bra if you have big bazongas, is that it's really just not possible to be supportive enough. By mid afternoon the sides are kind of gapping, and it rides up at the back, and it just doesn't look pretty. So I searched some more and found a site providing pretty bras for pregnancy and maternity. I ordered 2 in a 36DD (they don't do Es, and how much difference could it make, really?). They arrived, and were too small in multiple dimensions. So I sent them back in exchange for 38DDs. Which arrived. And fitted, and looked really pretty. And were comfortable! I was overjoyed. I wore bra #1 the next day. And discovered that pretty doesn't really cut it if bras don't contain your boobs. It turns out that low cut bras are not possible at this point as my larger breast just simply kept falling out of the cup all day. So it was goodbye to that bra. The other one was cut higher. So I wore it triumphantly for about 3 days. And then suddenly my larger breast was suddenly too big for that cup. It poked out and did that double boob thing that Trinny and Susannah go on about. Uncomfortable and unfortunately visible through clothing. Basically, my boobs grew a size in about 3 days.
So the pretty, expensive bras are no more, and my only option is the £10 itchy ones from department store #2. They do fit, and they do contain the breasts, but they are just fundamentally a disappointing piece of clothing. And I hate to think what is yet in store, if they can grow a size in 3 days, I'm sure there is more to come.