When a high school friend learned that Lori Farrell was having a baby girl, she gave Farrell a giant box of gently used baby clothes and gear. Little did she know, her generosity would turn into a viral moment for the soon-to-be first-time mom.
As Farrell organized the bag, she discovered a cute black-and-white striped piece of material. Farrell knew it wasn’t a baby swaddler or baby clothing, so she thought it was a maternity skirt. When the weather warmed up, she wore it to work. It seemed a little odd, though — the tag was in the front, for example. But it felt comfortable, and she was covered.
“I call my mom every day on my way to work, and I was joking about it: ‘That thing that Miranda gave me, it is quite possible that I am wearing something that isn’t a skirt,’” Farrell, 32, of Raleigh, North Carolina, told TODAY.
Farrell’s mom wondered why her daughter wore it if she didn't know what it was.
“She was making fun of me,” Farrell recalled.
So when she reached work, she decided to search for the brand online. It turns out the company does not make clothes. But it does make car seat covers.
“The car seat cover with the stripes is the one that came up first. I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, that’s what I am wearing,’” Farrell, who shared it on Facebook with a message of encouragement, said.
“If you feel like a failure today, just know that I wore a car seat cover a friend gave me because I thought it was a skirt,” she wrote.
Farrell thought few people would be interested. She was stunned that 58,000 people reacted to it and it had been shared 65,000 times.
“I thought a few people might get a good laugh. I like to share my embarrassing moments, because I think they’re hilarious. But it really shocked me,” she said. “Ninety-five percent of people have been laughing at me and telling me that I rocked it and they appreciate it.”
Some people have criticized her, saying things like pregnant woman shouldn’t would wear stripes (“That is all they sell,” she noted) or that her friends are mean for not telling her she looked terrible. But for the most part, people related to Farrell, who is due in June.
“People have done similar things,” she said. “Everybody does something completely stupid once in a while, and there is no need to be embarrassed about it.”
Though she’s not sure if she’ll get a chance to use the cover with the baby because she’ll be born in the summer, Farrell does know that she won’t make the same mistake twice.
“I don’t plan on wearing that again,” she said.
This story was originally published Feb. 20, 2019.