It took over two years to come to terms with the reality. I hoped and prayed that as time went on, something magical would happen. Wishing for a sudden reduction and I would wake to less ‘swollenness’. I suffered nearly in silence with the hopes of returning to my pre-pregnancy size. Unfortunately, that day never came. After 14 months of unanswered prayers, I made the heartbreaking decision to rid myself of over 50 pairs of shoes. They didn’t fit and would never fit. The decision meant ridding myself of over 10 years of a well-stocked shoe collection. It reflected years of cute dresses, nice work clothes, and stylish clothes for various occasions. Oh, the consequences of pregnancy… expensive consequences.
I decided to donate my shoes to Dress for Success – Houston. I knew they would end up with women who would wear them proudly. But it didn’t make the experience less traumatic. On donation day, I stood in the closet by myself on the stepstool pulling shoes down from the shelf. I tried on different pairs hoping for an exception. Maybe one would fit? What about the loafers that were roomier and seemed to have extra space, maybe they would fit. I stood, slipped my foot in, and felt my toes curling to fit. I tried on the cute ones that were open and strappy. Maybe I could get away with keeping them. My big toe dipped over the front edge of the shoe. They definitely didn’t fit either. After a few more failed attempts, I gave up. I packed the shoes up silently, sadly, begrudgingly. In my most dramatic internal voice, I asked myself, “Would I ever have cute shoes again? How would I rebuild from this moment?”
Oh, the freaking consequences of pregnancy… The shoes I have now are not quite as cute (How’s that for honesty?). I’m in a completely different phase of my life than the shoes I donated. They reflect a mom vibe. Something to easily slip on and keep up with active twins in tow. Now when I buy shoes, I generally opt for comfort above all. I don’t go to as many places that require heels. I work from home now and need a less extensive collection of ‘work’ shoes. I have more sandals that can be worn year around. It’s less club scene and more wine bar scene. Long flowy dresses over form fitted attire. More Athleta less Express.
I wasn’t prepared for this consequence. No one told me that it could happen. My foot grew a whole size and not many people knew. Was it shame? Was I too busy keeping kids alive and healthy to discuss it? So, I’m sharing this secret – shouting from the front of the stage – this is something that happens and it’s okay! What comes behind your empty shelves may not be what was there before, but it will reflect the you, that you are now. And that may be a better thing.
Places to Donate or Recycle Clothes and Shoes
…when you can no longer deny the consequences of pregnancy