Friday, March 13, 2015

_The Hancock News_ Column-- March 4, 2015

Sisterhood of the Maternity Pants

My friend and I lead different lives. She is a successful career woman; I am a stay-at-home mother with below average housekeeping skills. Her children go to school; my children are homeschooled. She’s a sports fan; I enjoy taking a nap during Sunday afternoon football. She can do taxes; I can’t even think about doing taxes without severe anxiety. 

We do share common ground. We are both pastors’ wives. Our husbands are close, and our children play together nicely with almost no fighting.

We also share a deeper bond-- the best pair of jeans ever. You see, my friend and I wear close to the same size, and when she knew she would be having no more children, she passed on all of her maternity clothes to me.

In this wardrobe was a pair of jeans so amazingly comfortable that she later admitted she almost kept them for herself. The look and the fit is perfect for all stages of pregnancy, and there’s just the right amount of stretch to ensure comfort. Over the years, that pair of maternity pants has become one of my favorite possessions of all time.

I’ve worn those Levi’s through three pregnancies. Now we are expecting our seventh baby, and a couple of weeks ago I did a little happy dance as I pulled those jeans on for the first time. Wearing them lifted my spirits, despite my expanding waistline and the nausea that is now my constant companion.

But jeans don’t last forever. During my last pregnancy, they suffered what looks like a small pick on the left front pocket. When I saw it, I panicked and maybe crossed over the line into Crazyville.

I called Levi’s customer service line to ask where they sold their maternity jeans. I was told they no longer make maternity clothes, but I didn’t give up.

“Is it possible you have some left over and  packed away in a warehouse somewhere?” I asked hopefully, and then I strained my eyes to read off any identifying marks on the faded tags inside the pants. The representative suggested I search online at eBay, and after urging her to pass on to her superiors that they would probably make millions of women happy by reviving their maternity line, I thanked her and hung up.

That kind, kind customer service representative didn’t make fun of me outright, and for that I’m thankful because, after a bit of time to put things in perspective, I now realize exactly how desperate and nutty I must have sounded.

When I told the whole story to my friend who’d gifted me with these perfect pants, when I opened up, admitting my desperation and craziness, she laughed. But she wasn’t laughing at me, she was laughing with me because she understood exactly how I felt about those jeans we’d shared. She could see herself doing the exact same thing if she were in my situation. We laughed so hard we cried. Now that’s real friendship!

These days I have an aversion to even thinking about cooking. During the first trimester I avoid grocery stores and meal planning. 

I do have some cravings. When my husband made pork ribs, I just had to have a vinegar BBQ sauce for it. My son mixed up this recipe for me, and since then I’ve actually eaten spoonfuls of it for a snack and splashed it generously on slices of pizza. I know, I know-- pregnant ladies eat strange things; at least it’s not ice cream with pickles.

Vinegar BBQ Sauce

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
3/4 cup cold water
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. hot pepper flakes
1 1/2 Tbsp. coarse salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together until sugar and salt are dissolved. This can be stored for a long time in the refrigerator and is wonderful on pork.

I store it in a squirt bottle, but a jar would be fine, too.

*This post has been shared at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth for The Art of Home-Making Monday.


  1. I love that you called customer service and made your request known! You are the type of woman that would definitely be a friend of mine if we lived close by... And our husbands would forever be smiling :) Thanks for sharing your fun story on the Art of Home-Making Mondays. I enjoyed reading this.

  2. You're welcome, JES. Thank you for hosting. I enjoy having so many posts highlighted that might be of interest to me.