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I’m Going to be a Bridesmaid, but I’m Still Breastfeeding . . . HELP!

I was honored to be asked to stand with my friend at her wedding this fall.

Then five seconds later, I realized, I have to wear a bridesmaid dress next to other women who haven’t had babies and who aren’t currently breastfeeding. Oh dear!

So, I ordered my J. Crew bridesmaid dress–a silk taffeta chocolate number that’s strapless, corseted, high waisted, and it has three-inch pleats around the skirt which hits just above the knee. When I placed my order, the super-friendly person on the other end of the phone kindly told me I was between two sizes for the bust measurements. Oh dear!

Since I’m expecting my bust to get smaller as opposed to larger five months from now, I went with the smaller size. BIG mistake.

The dress arrived and I snapped and zipped it up after sucking in my ribs, turning slightly blue, and wishing I hadn’t had that slice of carrot cake over the weekend. The look on Steve’s face told me how I looked before he actually opened his mouth and said, “Woah.” It wasn’t a good, “woah” as in “woah! She’s Hot!” It was as in “woah, you paid for that?!”

I quickly ran into the bathroom to look in the mirror which only revealed what I looked like from the waist up. The corset lines were bunchy, and I barely had enough bust to hold up the dress. But, I felt like I needed to fidget with it to keep hoisting it up. That’ll be a lovely image at a wedding: me grabbing the top edge of the dress, pulling it up, and wriggling around to stay put. Oh dear!

Then, I ran into another room that had a slightly bigger mirror to get the full effect of the dress in its entirety.

Oh . . . my . . . Goodness! Look at my butt! It looks sooooo BIG. Like a bumblebee butt. Like Calvin’s bohemoth cloth diapered bottom at nighttime.

Three-inch waistline pleats on someone who actually has curves, well, let’s just say they parachute and magnify exactly what you don’t want them to.

I actually called two girlfriends (both of whom are moms and former brides and bridesmaids).

What do I do? I don’t want to be bridesmaidzilla, but I really can’t be seen in this . . . in public (heck, I think it made Steve gag in the bedroom!) I don’t want to complain to the bride, but I don’t know what to say if she asks me what I think about it.

I’m typically a straight arrow when it comes to my opinion about something. If I don’t like something, it’s no mystery. I do my best to be diplomatic, but I felt like I was in the midst of a frock tragedy. Overwhelming encouragement from my girlfriends was unanimously the same:

Well, Dolly, the bride’s gonna look very beautiful standing next to you. After all, that’s what it’s all about . . . the bride!

I know that doesn’t sound like the best pick-me-up of encouragement, let’s face it, it was girlfriend-speak for “suck it up, sistah!”  But, it was actually what I needed to hear. I chuckled as one of my friends related her bridesmaid horror stories . . . from the ugly dress to the horrible haircut and dye job.  Perhaps I can have one of those funny stories to tell . . . one day soon!

On Saturday, I tried on the dress for my sis-in-law, a.k.a. seamstress extraordinaire.  When it comes to voicing her opinion, she’s like me and Steve. If it looks like I’m wearing a burlap sack that’s cinched too tight, then, she’ll tell me. She suggested I take a photo of myself in it and send it to the bride and tell her, “You want me to wear THIS?!?”. Interesting idea. I wasn’t about to take my chances having THAT PHOTO accessible on the internet. No way!

My nine-year-old niece was just as informative,

That dress does NOT look good on you. It’s so short and little. My [twelve-year-old] sister could wear it!

So, this is what I did. In a moment of desperation, I called the bride.  She didn’t answer her phone. “Whew!” I felt relieved, and I didn’t leave a message.  She called back later and immediately asked if I’d received the dress.

Me: “Yes”

Bride: “What do you think?”

Me: “Well . . . it’s kinda funny, actually. When I called, they said I was between sizes. I went with the smaller size thinking I’d be slimmer by September rather than fuller. That probably wasn’t the right decision.”

Bride: “My other bridesmaid is a size 0 or 2. She ordered a larger size . . . a 4, and it looks great on her!”

(Me thinking to myself) “Oh dear! I’m standing next to someone at the wedding who’s got the same waistline as my 7-month old!  She went up 1 to 2 sizes to get a 4. If I order a larger size, it may fit better, but I’ll look like I’m wearing a tent!”

Bride: “You know, that particular dress runs small. You could exchange it for the next size up and it would probably look great.”

(Me thinking to myself): “Doubtful, but I need to just go with the wedding flow and make the best of this situation”

Me: “Uhm. Okay. Yeah, I’ll call ’em.”

So, I called J. Crew and spoke with a God-send of a sales rep, Tina. She has 5 kids. While nursing, she was a bridesmaid in 3 weddings. Tina could totally relate to what I was going through.

Tina: “I’ve been there. You get all frustrated about the number of the size because it’s a number bigger than what you used to wear, and then you get self-consious about it.  And, you feel like you never really know when you’re going to lose the rest of that baby weight. Also, while you’re nursing, you don’t know if your breasts will get smaller later. It’s so hard to figure out what you need to buy now (while it’s available) that will look beautiful on you several months down the road.”

Tina had somehow managed to read my mind.

OK, so I won’t relate the entire 30 minute phone-order-exchange conversation. But, I will mention that Tina should be recognized as J. Crew’s Sales Representative of the Year because of her amazing ability to read the mind of a breastfeeding woman who’s trying to buy a bridesmaid dress.  Nursing women who are in weddings need an empathetic ear paired with sales knowledge.  Need a bridesmaid dress?  Call J. Crew.  Ask for Tina, because she’s THE WOMAN! She got me through this.

I ordered the next size up because 2 sizes up would just swallow me. She told me what strapless bra to buy, where to buy it, and when it would go on sale (this particular bra company is not co-owned by J. Crew . . . she was just being extremely helpful). Tina even mentioned that if I leaked, since I’m a nursing mom, that milk stains would look like grease spots on the breast areas of the silk taffeta. She recommended nursing pads. She was even going to allow me to keep both dress sizes until right before the wedding, and then simply return the other and get credited back the amount (typical returns must be done within 60 days–she was extending it for 5 months). This was a super mom making my life and dress decisions so much easier.

I’ll receive the dress tomorrow. The exchange was done and J. Crew is eating the shipping. I haven’t even received it yet, however, after speaking with Tina, I’m full of hope and promise that perhaps even I can pull off this dress at the wedding and look . . . GOOD!

Weekly Baby Health News

A Breastfeeding Hero

A Chinese policewoman in Chengdu is breastfeeding 9 babies according to The Citizen.  She recently had her own baby, but she’s also helping to feed the babies of 3 women who were too traumatized from the earthquake to continue nursing, and she’s feeding 5 orphaned babies who don’t have access to powdered milk in the orphanage. 

Infant Vaccines Produce Autism Symptoms in Primates (U of Pittsburgh Study)

According to Medical News Today, when giving infant primates the same vaccines recommended for human newborns by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), autism-like symptoms were exhibited.  This article revealed that vaccine-safety studies are usually conducted prior to use in humans.  However, the current childhood regimen has never been done.  In this case, generations of American children have been unwilling subjects for future generations of children.  I hope shedding more light on vaccines and their effects just increases parents awareness so that they don’t blindly follow recommendations for introducing foreign substances into the body (especially of a young infant) without first doing some research.  On that end, I hope public awareness about vaccines increases tremendously.  These findings most certainly have made the CDC and AAP aware and concerned about the effects of their vaccine recommendations in the past few decades.

Posts Soon to Post

A couple nights ago, I was awake in the wee hours of the morning (imagine that?!) and I started thinking about different topics I wanted to write about.  I’ve had post ideas before, but somehow the daily requisites of mommydom prevent me from ever actualizing those writings.  But, I’ll jot them down now as more of an outline from which I hope to refer in the near future . . . because to me, this is exciting stuff.

  • Breastfeeding vs. Formula Feeding and prematurely introducing solid foods and the correlation with adult onset food allergies, obesity, and other trends in health problems.  This is more of a hypothesis rather than the basis for an article (thus far), but at least I’d be interested in writing about the psychology and cultural trends of breastfeeding vs. formula feeding over the past 4 generations of moms
  • Traveling with a baby: what’s a safety concern and what’s really unnecessary worry because it won’t matter anyway when the metal hits the tarmac.
  • Baby foods: do they really put secret flour-based fillers in those manufactured baby foods?  If you make your own food at home, do you really need to add oils and vitamins to the foods?  How can you be sure your baby is getting the best and recommended nutrition?
  • My birth story.  It’s 5 months past due, but I thought now might be a great time to share it, especially since Mother’s Day is coming soon.

So, stay tuned as I tease out these ideas in my mind, do some research and fact-finding, and I’ll tell it like it is.

Peace in the Middle East.

Breastfeeding Awareness

An article featured in Medical News Today discusses why breastfeeding within the first hour of life is important for the baby’s survival and health. Read more here.

Additionally, Pediatrics Journal published an article on how delayed breastfeeding increases risk of infant mortality. Read the abstract here.