What Should I Replace My Engagement Ring with While I’m Pregnant?
Pregnancy isn’t just a matter of a growing belly; it resizes the body down to your fingers and your toes. You’re glad that strangers aren’t reaching out to pat your swollen digits and asking how far along you are. You’re grateful that no one is staring at your knuckles and telling you why they think you are carrying a boy.
But even if your hands have been spared unwelcome attention, they haven’t escaped the effects of your pregnancy. Your engagement ring currently feels less like a symbol of your love and more like an additional reminder that you’re pregnant.
You don’t really need reminders that you are pregnant, thank you very much. Your bladder and an extended family of “nutritional experts” are all over that task. You aren’t required to keep wearing a painfully tight ring any more than you are required to drink your well-meaning neighbor’s mystery smoothies.
However, whether you are waiting to pick a date for your wedding or you just celebrated a big anniversary, this truly feels like a time when you want as much symbolic affirmation as you can get. Just not at the cost of losing circulation in your finger. So what are your replacement options?
Same Look Different Size
You could look for a ring that is essentially just a size or two up. Most women who experience a change in ring size do so between weeks 20 and 30 of the pregnancy. So if you are already feeling swelling by week 20, take the ring off before it gets stuck. And then select something about two sizes bigger — or even two and a half sizes if you are headed toward the warm summer months when your finger might swell naturally.
If you really like the look of the ring that you have, pick a similar style. Seek out the same cushion engagement ring, but with a bit of buffer in terms of size and affordability. That way, in the event that the increase in ring size remains permanent — which isn’t the most common, but isn’t uncommon — you have something that you really like.
And if you very quickly return to normal, you haven’t spent too much on your backup — which you should definitely hold on to. Remember, it is always easier to size a ring down than up, so if you feel the ring getting a bit snug, better to err on the side of it being a bit loose than the other way around.
Chance to Do Something Different
Or you could use this opportunity to explore a different style. Perhaps the engagement ring was a surprise. Or maybe you’ve been surprised to discover that what you want from a ring was different from what you expected even before you were expecting. If so, this is your chance to go for something that is a better fit stylistically, even if your ring size is in dramatic flux.
This could eventually replace the current ring if you’d like to get it resized later, or this could be a pregnancy treat. You’ve become a bit more daring and decadent when it comes to desserts, so why not apply the same logic to that luxurious pear-shaped number?
You can also use the ring as something that marks the upcoming birth in a special way, by incorporating the baby’s birthstone. Just be careful about committing to a birthstone if the due date isn’t squarely in the middle of the month since due dates are only about 4% accurate.
If you’ve been given some heirloom jewelry, this might be the time to swap some in a way that ties the generations together, without committing to that piece as the main thing. Get a third wedding band to celebrate the new addition to your family — ring stacks are very in right now.
But even if you go one size up, that might not fix the comfort issue since swelling can be a bit unpredictable. Not to mention it might not be a size issue but a sensitivity issue — your skin can be especially sensitive during pregnancy, so if a metal ring is an irritant, it might be time to give silicone wedding ring sets a whirl.
Ring on the Necklace
There are ways to remove the ring’s constricting presence from your finger but still have it on hand. If you’d like, you can hang it around your neck. That’s not really how rings are meant to be worn, of course. The most famous person to wear a ring around his neck was Frodo Baggins, and he only did it because wearing it on his finger broadcast his location to unfriendly ringwraiths.
People also sometimes choose to wear the ring of a deceased spouse or parent on a necklace, so that can sometimes muddle the messaging. But plenty of married women also keep their rings near their hearts in that fashion, and pregnancy fashion is all about what works best for you!
Don’t be afraid to take things month by month. There are going to be a lot of unexpected changes, and you will drive yourself crazy trying to predict every permutation. So don’t feel pressured to buy the wardrobe/gear that you might never use. By the same token, cut yourself some slack if you have to make a sudden addition or if you guess wrong based on some advanced research.
And if you end up having to set aside the ring for a few days — in a safe place! — while you think through your options, you aren’t letting anybody down. Your whole body testifies to your level of commitment.
Want to read more about Engagement rings? Check out our post about emerald cut engagement rings when diamonds just aren’t enough…