So a few folks have asked for a little post over here about my “maternity style” which makes me laugh because I’m not a stylish prego gal. I’m one of those moms with dog hair on my shirt and half of a sandwich inexplicably stuck to the back of my leg whether I’m pregnant or not (as a sidenote, I’m very popular with both Burger and Clara for exactly this reason).
But I thought I’d humor you guys and just share more of a quick recap about how I get through being pregnant without spending an arm and a leg in the hopes that perhaps someone else out there will benefit from my love of Old Navy maternity jeans and big earrings to distract from my puffy pregnant face. So here’s my must-have pregnancy clothing list:
1. Old Navy maternity jeans. I like the full belly panel ones, because they just make my bump feel more supported (it’s a comfort thing). For my pregnancy with Clara I bought one pair that took me all the way through my pregnancy (from about 14 weeks to delivery day). Those babies stretch. So far with this pregnancy I’ve had one pair as well (I sprung for a new pair so they wouldn’t be stretched out) and they’re doing me right again. So I think it’s safe to say that they’re my favorite budget-friendly maternity solution.
2. A bra extender. This is a weird one, but later on in my pregnancy with Clara I learned that Target sold these little extender tabs that can be hooked right onto your bra hooks (they sell them with 2 eye-hooks or 3 of them, near the gel shoe inserts and stockings) and they make your bra a little wider around the ribs. I’m not sure about you guys, but my ribs expand like crazy when I’m pregnant, so it’s a super easy fix to allow my bras to work throughout pregnancy, and then I can pop the extenders off and wear them normally again when my ribs go back to where they belong (assuming they do this time… it took about 6 months after having Clara but they did last time).
3. Various stretchy shirts. This is an obvious one, but I love cotton because it’s comfortable and I’m generally a fan of v-necks (short girls with short necks hear my cry, v-necks are elongation devices!). So I have a bunch in a few colors (although the black ones are clearly my favorite). Some of them are made in the maternity department at Target or Old Navy, but many of them are just larger sizes from the regular departments at those two stores (or occasionally from the Gap or Banana clearance rack).
4. Big ol’ earrings. These are a favorite when I’m pregnant or not, but they seem especially comforting when I’m in the last trimester and my face puffs up and I want something (anything) to hide behind. A nice big and colorful pair of earrings might not be a full-on masquerade ball mask (which would probably hide more of the puff) but they make me feel a little less like people are staring at my puffiness or my tired eyes and a little more like they’re doing me a solid by whispering “don’t look there, LOOK HERE! Ooh yes, SHINNNNY! Keep your eyes on the EARRINGS!”
5. A simple pair of slip on flats. This pregnancy my staples have been some cute little leopard flats by Sam Edelman that I found at DSW for $39 a few months before I even got pregnant. And with Clara they were some cute little black patent leather flats by Steve Madden. Otherwise I’m tempted to flip and flap my way around town in flip-flops all the time, which feels a little bit weird (especially when it’s winter). So having some cute little go-to flats make me feel like I’m a little more pulled together, even if I do unknowingly have a hunk of granola bar stuck to the back of my arm. Oh but when I’m on my feet all day it’s nice to have some added arch support, so I might go for Puma sneakers if we’re running around all day or if we’re on-site at the showhouse (which is kind of a mud pit) for example.
Here are some old bump photos from when I was carrying Clara, and all the jeans were that very same Old Navy pair I mentioned. All of the shirts were from Old Navy or Target from the not-maternity section (they were just larger and stretchy) except for the last one with the dots (which was from the Banana Outlet, but also from their non-maternity section). Oh and that pink dress was from Target, but was a maternity dress. It’s nice to have one or two of those just for events where jeans wouldn’t be the best call. They can actually be crazy comfy like a big ol’ muumuu.
I’m probably forgetting ten million things, but I thought those were some basic things that help me get through being pregnant without dumping tons of money into clothes that I’ll only get to wear for a few more months while bowing to the porcelain throne (yes, that’s still happening, but this little bun of ours is so darn cute and wiggly that I can’t even be mad). What about you guys. What do you love when you’re prego? Do you have any favorite low-budget “cheater” finds (like bra extenders instead of buying all new bras)?
Some people have been asking for a little update on how I’m feeling and how this pregnancy is going, so I thought a quick Young House Life check-in would be fun. The short answer is that I’m so excited about this little bun (as are John and of course Clara, who tells anyone who’ll listen that she’s going to be a big sister). Burger seems ambivalent at this point, but I’m sure when a kid with sticky crumb-dropping hands comes along he’ll be elated too.
It took me a long time to feel ready to carry a child again (more on that here), and it took us longer to get pregnant this time than it did last time, but over that span of time it feels like things have changed – in a slow but very sweet way. I’m a lot more at peace with the idea of being pregnant than I thought I might ever be (a few years ago that concept had me choking back anxiety-riddled tears). So when people ask me how I knew I was ready to try again after such a traumatic birth, the honest answer is really that over time my feelings of excitement and hope over-rode those feelings of terror and fear. They’re still there, but they’re not nearly as big and scary as they once were. So my advice would be to wait to see if the fear ever gets outweighed by joy, excitement, or hope and that might be a nice sign. It certainly didn’t happen overnight for me (Clara will be almost four when this kiddo comes along) but I’m finally in that place I hoped to be someday. I’m thrilled. I’m thankful. And I’m ready for this crazy ride, even if it might be nail-biting at times.
As for the physical stuff, I’m feeling kicks which instantly make me smile, and my energy level seems to be picking back up too, at least for the moment, which is really nice. According to the docs, who have a close eye on everything, the bun and I are both doing well, which is amazing and oh-so-comforting to hear. Honestly, just feeling a kick here and there makes me breathe a sigh of relief, so although I’m still dealing with some pretty annoying all-day sickness, I generally just feel thankful to be carrying a healthy bun. In the good news column of Barfyville, it’s not as severe as it was (without getting too graphic, I probably toss my cookies around 30% less than I did a few weeks ago, although I’m still running to the bathroom multiple times a day) so I feel like it might be slowly beginning to taper off. It ended at around 17 weeks with Clara, so although I’ve recently passed that mark, I’m hopeful that in another week or two it’ll just flip off like a switch, which is what happened last time around.
When it comes to finding out the sex, thanks to the office being closed for Thanksgiving, we have to wait another week, so we won’t find out until early December – but as soon as we do (and we tell our friends and family) we can’t wait to share the news with you guys and start thinking about nursery stuff! Oh man, just typing that makes me excited. I’m doing the same thing I did when I was pregnant with Clara, which is that I’ll see a date of something (like an expiration date on the milk or a date of when a movie comes out in a commercial) and if it’s after the ultrasound date in December my brain says “Wahoo! We should know what this bun is by then!” Of course this baby has already been notorious for not giving the techs a clear shot at things they need during ultrasounds (when they want measurements of certain areas I’ve had to do jumping jacks, roll back and forth, and run down the hall – sometimes even then only to hear “nope, didn’t work”). But we’ve never left without finally getting what we needed in the end, so I’m hopeful that the bun will cooperate and we’ll (eventually) get a clear shot.
So that’s about all the news I have for you guys. Thanks for asking how I’m feeling and offering various nausea tips (I’ve tried virtually all of them to no avail, but it was nice to have different suggestions to explore). And thanks for all the well wishes and the kind words about this pregnancy. It really is amazing to be carrying a little baby around in my belly, and when the doubt or fear creeps in it’s nice to be able to remind myself that so many people are out there sending such good thoughts our way.