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Spanky Pants

I remember very well the first time I laid eyes on a pair of pregnancy panties. I was watching the movie She’s Having a Baby and they did a humorous montage of how life changed with her pregnancy. As Kevin Bacon folded laundry, he held up a pair of delicate, lacy, obviously pre-pregnancy panties. He then held up a pair of those ginormous, white cotton, high-waisted pregnancy undies. You know exactly the kind I’m talking about – those shapeless, unattractive underpants that we used to call spanky pants as kids; the kind Mary Catherine Gallagher wore on Saturday Night Live. The message was obvious – pretty underwear is a thing of the past once you get pregnant.

I vowed that this would not be me.

So when I became pregnant with Maddie, I had this underlying fear that at some point the pregnancy police was going to come along, wrestle me to the ground, and force me into a pair of spanky pants. “You’re going to be a mother! Shame on you! Where’s your granny panties?” That sort of thing.

Fortunately for me, I had a little expert help. While buying a new bra to accommodate my expanding rib cage (ok, and weight gain), I discovered the sales clerk had recently had a baby. After asking what she wore during her pregnancy, I discovered she never changed underwear styles – she wore exactly the same thing she’d worn her whole adult life.

And that’s what I did.

Now, to be fair, I should reveal at this time that I wear thongs (TMI for the male relatives, I know). I wear them exclusively, and only one kind – On Gossamer’s Hip-G Thongs. And I discovered that this is exactly what the saleswoman wears, as well. So I’m not advocating you continue trying to squeeze yourself into those bikini briefs – let’s be real for a second. I’m just trying to tell you that you don’t have to dive into the ugly world of polyester high-waist panties just because you’re fertile!

The On Gossamers work because they’re lower cut, and they don’t have a hard band of elastic around them so you don’t feel that uncomfortable cutting-into-the-belly sensation. And since I like pregnancy pants that ride below the belly rather than above it, these work fashion-wise also. They were comfortable for me my entire pregnancy, and I felt a tiny triumph of holding fast to at least one pre-pregnancy piece of clothing.

And in the interest of full disclosure, I should also tell you that I ended up finding a style of maternity underwear that I didn’t hate – Motherhood Maternity’s bikini panties. I bought a couple packs of those later in the pregnancy and found them comfortable enough – no digging into my butt cheeks or riding up. I was incredibly grateful for them post-pregnancy, when you’re wearing those maxi pads the size of small canoes. Even though they were low-cut, they didn’t bother my c-section incision and they made me feel more comfy than trying to squeeze my still super-sized ass into the few pairs of regular panties I have in my drawer. I also understand Liz Lange makes nice maternity thongs, though I’ve not tried them personally.

Why am I writing about this now? Well, I’m hitting that point where you stop feeling like your round belly is cool or cute and you start thinking, “Dear God, how much bigger can it get?” One of the only benefits of getting such a large stomach, in fact, is that it makes those two friction sticks rubbing together (also known as thighs) look positively svelte in comparison. So as I outgrow some of my “barely showing” maternity pants and move into the “give it up now” stage, I’m comforted that at least I’m still wearing my favorite pair of undies – the ones with the pretty orange butterfly on them.

No spanky pants for this lady.


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