Showing posts with label Maternity Fashion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Maternity Fashion. Show all posts

A Commentary On Postpartum Shopping



Postpartum Shopping, how do I loathe thee!  Let me count the ways.

Do you remember on What Not To Wear, how Stacy and Clinton found that mom of x-number of kids who got all frumpy, and during the wardrobe trashing session they found that she was still wearing maternity pants when her child was two or three years old?  For the first time I understand that lady, and I fear I could become her.

Right now I have exactly three pairs of jeans that fit me.  One of pair are really no longer flattering on me and generally not fit to be seen in public.  One pair fits wonderfully (thank goodness) and are a wide-leg bootcut.  One pair are my skinny maternity jeans.

And that's it.

I might be able to get away with the one pair of wide-leg jeans until I can squeeze back into my regular pants again, but the problem is that this doesn't work with a lot of my wardrobe.  I basically learned how to dress in part from What Not To Wear, and I remember all the tips for how to pick flattering clothes that hide the not-so-favorite parts of your body.  Well, after five kids, let's just say my stomach will never be the same, and I'm okay with that.  I do have skinny arms and thinner legs, so what I usually do is wear skinny pants, and long shirts with a flowy or semi-loose fit through the torso.  Then I do a handy little half-tuck into the front of my pants, or a nice knot on the side of the shirt, and wholla!  I camouflage that little post baby-flab around the middle.  

For this look to work though, I need a good pair of skinny jeans.  A lot of my looser-fitting shirts are too voluminous to wear with my one pair of wider-legged jeans.  And you might remember that my only pair of skinny jeans that currently fit are maternity pants, which aside from being maternity pants, are not so good for tucking.

I will not be that lady who wears maternity pants too long.  Stacy and Clinton are echoing in my brain.

So, last Friday I packed up all five kids and headed to the mall.  I needed to make a return anyway, and I thought, why not see if I can find a pair of skinny jeans while I'm there?  It should be easy!  In and out.

I probably should have recorded some Instagram Story videos for you all while I was out, because it's been a while since I shopped like that, and I have thoughts.  Here is what I would have said if I had been shopping with a good friend by my side.

1. First, we stop at the front of JCPenny to return a sweater I decided I didn't want.  We have to wait a while because the line is long and there are only two store clerks.  I spot some velvet ribbon choker necklaces next to the line, which catch my eye.  I pick one up and turn it around and realize there is no necklace clasp in the back.  It is literally just a velvet ribbon tied onto a piece of cardboard for $7. Let's just put aside the fact that I could buy the exact same piece of ribbon at Joann's for a dollar and take note of the fact that this is a very dangerous style.  Yes, let's just tell young girls that it's a good idea to tie something around their neck in such a way that any psychotic adolescent or serial killer could just give a good yank and choke her to death!  Am I the only one who sees a problem with this?  I don't even tie my scarves around my neck in a way that would make it easier for some stranger to choke me.  Safety first.  You never know when you might come across a psychopath. 

2.  We make the return and head to the back of the store, where the brand that looks most like my style resides.  I look around and grab a few pairs of skinny jeans.  Plus, you know, a sweater or two.  We head to the dressing room, and I have the kids sit right outside the door.  Note to self: bring the iPad loaded with a movie next time.  I hand them my phone so they can play a game instead.

3. I forgot how awful postpartum jeans shopping is for my self esteem.  On the plus side, I only have to go one size up from my previous size.

4. I try on about 10 pairs of jeans three different times, while calling out every 60 seconds or so to make sure none of my children have wandered off.  If there is one thing I picked up from Stacy and Clinton, it's to dress the body you have, not the body you want or think you might have someday, but that's kind of hard to do when you know that you're going to get skinnier as things shift back over the next few months.  I'm kicking myself again for getting rid of my size-too-big jeans that I wore after previous babies.  I should have hung onto those last year instead of purging my closet!  Then I wouldn't be here sucking air in to button a pair of pants because I know I should buy the tightest pair I can so I can get the most use out of them while losing the baby weight.

5.  When did low rise jeans go out of style?  Seriously, when?  I haven't had to buy jeans in a while, and it's like a whole new world.  All I can find are mid or high-rise jeans.  They are all hitting me right in the middle of the post-baby flab, which 1) is uncomfortable, and 2) is super unflattering.  Maybe if I wear a smoothing undergarment...

6.  I try on the most promising pair of denim again and sit down for a second.  That's when I remember why I always buy low-rise jeans.  My stomach pooches out where the jeans should be sucking it in, and there is a funny wrinkle in the crotch.  No.  Oh no.  It's the return of the 1980's style mom jean!  Who decided bringing back high-rise jeans was a good idea?  Because these are all basically high-rise jeans to me, even the "mid-rise" jeans.  High-rise is the new mid-rise, and I've never met a pair of high-rise jeans that didn't look funny on me when I sit down.  Is this the best we can do now?  Haven't we grown beyond 80's jeans as a society?  What is happening!

7.  I chuck all the jeans and decide to try another store.  Maybe H&M.  That's where I got my (great) pair of maternity pants after all.  Why can't I just wear my maternity pants again?  Oh yeah, Stacy and Clinton come back to remind me.  I head across the mall with my brood trailing behind me.  Georgie is thankfully sleeping like an angel through all this.

8. H&M has the same problem.  I grab a pair of "shaping" "mid-rise" jeans that look suspiciously like the high-rise denim I just left behind.  Then I find one pair of low-rise pants buried in the racks.  Hooray!  Off to the dressing room.

9. All duds.  Not only do we have the same funny-looking-when-I-sit problem, but I realize H&M's target audience (at least for jeans) may be slightly younger than me now (scary), and the difference between jeans geared toward juniors and jeans geared toward misses are how they make your derriere look.  I don't want to draw undo attention to my derriere, thank you.  So even the low-rise pants are a no.

10.  I realize that the aforementioned "mid-rise" skinny jeans at JCPenney may be my best bet after all.  They were better than the H&M jeans, and they were cheap since JCPenney was having a big 60% off sale.

11.  I buy the JCPenney jeans.  They are only transition jeans after all. 



On the plus side, I found four tops and a skirt (remember, 60% off!) on my quest to find ONE pair of jeans.  Insert sigh.  At least my top half will look good.  Cross your fingers for me that I can actually fit into my collection of low-rise jeans at some point in the future (or tell me where you've bought flattering jeans recently!), because otherwise the future of denim is looking pretty bleak for me.

Georgiana On The Inside


It's hard sometimes, looking back on a pregnancy and knowing it was probably your last.  My fifth pregnancy seemed a little surreal from the start, when I was surprised by the news of it, and as my belly started to get bigger, and as she kicked her little feet against my belly.  I had a hard time believing that I was really getting to do this again, grow a little life one more time.  I tried to hang on to all the details so I could remember every second, but it all went by way too fast.

I am so grateful for the accessibility of pictures now, because as I hold my beautiful, squirming, dark-haired Georgiana Bea, I can still look back at these maternity pictures too and remember that she used to be so tiny, tucked away in my belly.  This same little girl who I will get to know better and better, who I get to watch grow on the outside now - she is the same little one who grew my belly for nine months, the same one who I saw flickering on an ultrasound when she was no bigger than an aspen leaf, the same little one who turned that second line pink.

What a miracle life is, and I am so thankful that the Lord worked it out so that we could have a part in it, from shaking hands holding a pregnancy test to tiny hands holding my finger to everything the future holds for my little girl.























Thanks to my dear friend, Danae, for taking our maternity pictures again!  I was so excited we got to do it in the fall this time.  Dream maternity session during my favorite season?  Check.

Uncomfortable - 38 Weeks (Baby #5)



Well, this baby is throwing me for a loop!

Remember how I said in my last update that I was mostly comfortable?  That changed pretty quickly over the last couple weeks.  Permit me a brief list of my aches and pains:

-My hips have been killing me.  There is so much pressure down there when I am on my feet for too long, plus I've had days where I feel like my hip is actually going to pop out of joint.  Ouch!

-The round ligament pain has picked up quite a bit, and a couple times I thought I tore something, it hurt so badly.

-I actually pulled a muscle in my stomach.  I now cannot bend down to pick something up off the floor without a muscle pain on the upper left part of my belly.   I was actually kind of worried that I gave myself a hernia there somehow, but I'm thinking it's probably just a pulled abdominal muscle.  I'm going to ask my doctor this week.

-The Braxton Hicks contractions are getting more uncomfortable the bigger I get.

-I can't recline anymore because it's too uncomfortable.  When I lean back on the couch or in bed in a reclining position, it feels like her head is pushing against my tailbone.  This makes me think she is facing the wrong direction (toward my front instead of facing my back), and I hope she turns around the right way before labor starts!  I've had back labor before, and it's not fun.

-I actually had a day, right after I posted my last update, where I had some false labor - I was cramping at intervals for a couple hours.  I could tell they weren't actual contractions and my body was just practicing, but they still were so uncomfortable.

(Please don't laugh at how many times I wrote "uncomfortable" just now.)



Despite all those aches and pains in my belly and pelvis, Baby Girl is actually not yet engaged.  There have been times when there was so much pressure on my cervix area that I was sure I must have some dilating happening, but at my appointment last week I was barely dilated to 1 cm, and not effaced at all.  I am anticipating at this point that we will definitely make it to 40 weeks, but I also said two weeks ago that I was feeling really comfortable, and now look at me.  We'll see what happens!

Are We Ready?

I have a few little last minute things that I'd like to get accomplished before she arrives...but I've been mostly putting them off.  All the big things are done, and we are mostly ready to go, so my motivation to complete the final details is a little lacking at the moment.  My focus has been mainly on making sure the house is as spotless as possible, especially before we leave the house for the day, just in case she decides to come when I'm not expecting.  



Derek has really been my hero on this front lately too.  He has put up with all my silly requests for help because he knows how uncomfortable I am, but he has also gone above and beyond the call of duty.  Last week he scrubbed the bathroom and kitchen floors with a toothbrush - a toothbrush! - and I didn't even ask him to do it!  I had resigned myself to the fact that the floors were not going to be spotless because I was definitely not going to crawl around on all fours in my current state, but he surprised me by doing it himself, and I have to say, it's so much nicer to walk around barefoot now!  I have a sweet husband.

The kids still ask me occasionally when the baby will come.  The other day Clyde asked "Is the baby coming today?" in his cute little toddler voice.  When I said no, he said "Oh, she's coming tomorrow?"  They are excited, but I think they are also starting to think she's taking forever and I hear the hint of exasperation when they ask "How many more days now?"  Especially when I have to say I don't know!



About Baby

She still moves quite a lot, and I love feeling her tiny legs and feet through my belly!  She seems to be liking to interact with my hand a little bit more, instead of just trying to kick my fingers away. But I can also tell she has slowed down a bit over the last couple weeks - I'm hoping this means she is developing some good sleeping patterns.  The one good thing about going to 40 weeks, if we do, is that I do believe that later babies are better sleepers - at least it's been true in our experience so far.   

At this point I am starting to really look forward to having her here, and seeing what she looks like.  I'm also so curious to see her personality!  I have a feeling all my girls are going to be on the spunky side.  I can't wait to see her little face.

I'm keeping myself busy with a few hobby projects, which I'll probably write about soon, and also trying to sneak in as many days of homeschooling as I can before she arrives so we can take a nice long break.  As slowly as the days seem to drag by sometimes, it's still crazy to think that in a matter of days, most likely down into the teens and soon single digits, we'll have a baby!




Mostly Comfortable - 36 Weeks (Baby #5)



I am happy to report that the hospital bag is packed!

Mostly.  There are a few things, like my hair straightener, that will have to be thrown into the bag whenever I happen to go into labor, but other than that, it's packed.

It was kind of weird packing the hospital bag this time around, because I still am kind of in denial that I have less than a month until this baby gets here.  How did this pregnancy go by so fast?  I still think it's a bit surreal that we are having a fifth baby.  I'm a mom of five babies.  I will have five children trailing after me in the grocery store for the next decade.  It's kind of cool!



How We're Doing

As far as symptoms go, I am feeling pretty good in general.  I did have pretty bad sciatic nerve pain the other night, and I had to lay on the floor and have Derek help me rotate my knees from side to side so I could actually put weight on my left leg.  I really need to get to the chiropractor this week.  

I also have had insane heartburn, and I may have taken more than the recommended amount of Tums a couple days in a row last week.  When I realized what I did and told Derek, he may have threatened to take my Tums away.  Surely "overdosing" on Tums can't cause much damage, right?


She seems to be fine in there anyway - she still moves constantly.  With all my other babies I remember at least once worrying that they were not okay in there because I hadn't felt them move in a while - this baby girl has not given me the opportunity to worry about her at all, at least not yet.  Sometimes I'll just be standing in line or at the kitchen counter, and I won't really feel her kicking, but I'll look down at my belly and I can see her rolling around in there.  This girl is rarely still.

Despite having sciatic nerve pain and the worst heartburn I've ever had, this pregnancy is such a breeze compared to the last one that I am feeling really optimistic right now.  Clarice was breech or transverse most of my pregnancy, and her placenta was anterior, and I'm convinced those things made her pregnancy a lot harder on me.  I just remember being D.O.N.E. at this point last pregnancy, but I am feeling really good this time, like I could go late again and be okay as long as I kept myself busy.



I feel pretty comfortable most of the time, and I actually feel pretty small for 36 weeks, despite my standard answer to "How are you feeling?" being "Big."  Baby has dropped, and the stomach is mostly out front and not pressing on my ribs anymore, so in comparison to other pregnancies I feel pretty cute still, and I can still move around pretty easily.  

Early?  Late?

I am really trying not to think she is coming early, because that is part of what made going late last time so tortuous...but I can't help it, there is still a small part of me that is hoping she'll come a little before her due date.  

To combat this, I have set up a couple "rewards" for myself for the last couple weeks of pregnancy.  If I make it to 38.5 weeks, I'll buy the fall ankle booties I've been eyeing.  And if I make it to a day before my due date, I'm hoping to be able to go see "Murder On The Orient Express" when it comes out on November 10th (if you have not read that book, you have to - it's a classic).  I don't have any rewards for if I go past my due date, but I'll set one up later if I think I'll need it to keep my waiting attitude positive.  I wouldn't say I'm impatient quite yet, but I am getting pretty excited to have her here!



What's Next?

I have a doctor's appointment next week, the first one where they will check my cervix.  I'll probably put an update on Instagram after my appointment, so follow me there!  If I'm only at 1 cm or less, I'm anticipating I'll make it to 40 weeks.  If I'm dilated more than that, there is a possibility she may come a bit sooner.

Derek will be hunting next week though, so let's just all pray that I don't go into labor while he's out traipsing through the woods, shall we?  I do think we'll be okay though.  I don't think she'll come before November.

(Me and the biggest sister!)


My Pre-Baby To Do List


Note: I received the top in these photos for free in collaboration with PinkBlush!  All opinions are my own.

Every pregnancy the last couple months are full of to-do's, and I tend to get a little...tense.  I always feel bad for my poor family, because the nesting takes over a little and I occasionally (way too frequently) break down in tears because something is not getting done when I thought it would (thanks, hormones).  This time around is no different, though I have gotten a head start on the to-do list so it feels more manageable that it has in the past!

I thought I'd share a few of the things that I've had on my to-do list for the last few weeks (so I've already crossed a couple off - hooray!).  My goal is to get all of these (except the last one) done by 37 weeks so I don't have to stress too much at the end of this pregnancy.  That gives me 3.5 weeks - I think that's doable!

Get maternity photos taken.  Check!  Last weekend we ventured out into the rain (yes, rain) with my dear friend and photographer Danae.  She thought we could still get some good pictures in between rain showers, and I was praying we wouldn't get soaked.  I think the Lord held off the rain just for us! I'm pretty excited to see the end results!

Get some new maternity wardrobe basics. Check!  Up until this fall I have been mostly wearing things I already have, non-maternity clothes with a few new maternity pieces mixed in... but I have reached the point where I definitely need maternity clothes now.  There isn't much left in my non-maternity wardrobe that looks right.





My maternity basics were especially looking a little ratty after being put through so many pregnancies over the last seven years, so I decided it was time for some new ones.  To me, maternity wardrobe basics are: a good pair of jeans, a black shirt, and a white shirt.  I can do a lot with those items by adding different accessories, layers, etc!

PinkBlush has been my go-to for cute maternity clothes this pregnancy, and the last basic item I checked off my list was this white long-sleeve dolman shirt from PinkBlush. I'll be getting a lot of use out of it for the next two months until baby arrives!  The material of this shirt is perfect, it's lightweight without being see-through (I didn't even have to wear a layering tank underneath).  I'll be able to incorporate it into a bunch of outfits with different scarves and accessories, and I love how the dolman sleeves give it a little extra style beyond just being another white shirt!




On to the rest of my list!  These are the things that I still need to accomplish.

Clean out kitchen cupboards.  Half-check.  I haven't done a thorough purge of the kitchen cupboards for at least two years...maybe even three and a half (I don't know how I'm going to stay motivated to do these types of chores when I no longer have a nesting urge every couple years to push me through it). I should add a kitchen deep clean to the rotation more often, because it's sad to see the food items we waste because they were pushed into the corner of a kitchen cupboard until we forgot about them and they expired.  I'm halfway through cleaning out the kitchen as I type this.

Deep clean the bathrooms.  To clarify, I do clean my bathrooms frequently, lest you get the wrong idea - but by deep-clean, I mean take everything out of the cabinets, wipe everything down, get rid of the half-empty toiletries we don't use, and scrub every nook and cranny.

Write labels for Christmas cards/birth announcements.  Sending out Christmas cards is very important to me, so I didn't want to let it slide just because I am having a baby right before the Christmas season.  I want to at least get the addresses written out on mailing labels, so I can just stick them to the envelope when we actually get our Christmas cards...and I'm thinking about trying to tackle creating an address spreadsheet so I don't have to keep writing out addresses every year.  We'll see what I have time for.

Finish Christmas shopping.  Half-check.  I do not want to do Christmas shopping with a new baby - the Christmas season can get stressful enough for me as it is, so I am trying to take some pressure off myself by getting ahead of the game with shopping.  We mostly got this done with our Christmas-shopping date a couple weeks ago (which you may have seen on Instagram)!  I just need to buy things for Derek and pick up a few things for our extended family.  I was hoping to have all presents bought and wrapped by now, but I can't find any Christmas wrapping paper anywhere!  Sheesh, it's almost October, people.

Pack my hospital bag.  I keep alternating between thinking that I have plenty of time to get a bag packed, and having extremely uncomfortable days when I am sure the baby is going to come early.  I should probably just get a bag going so I don't have to worry about it anymore.  I need to buy a couple more items for our hospital stay (post coming on what things I think are worth buying for a hospital bag), and then I can check this one off the list.

Finish 72 days of homeschool.  To be completely realistic, I am not sure this is going to happen.  I need to stay pregnant almost to 40 weeks without any off days to get this many days checked off before baby comes, so if it doesn't happen I'm not going to be stressed about it.  But if we can hit 72 days, we'll only have 100 days of school to do in the second half of the year, which seems like a reasonable, not-too-stressful amount to accomplish with a new baby!



There is a little part of me that likes having the due date deadline for to-do's.  I wish I was internally motivated to accomplish things, but I'm just not - I do so much better with a deadline!  Tell me I'm not the only one?

A Nursery Reveal Of Sorts (And 30 Weeks - Baby #5)



These last couple weeks of pregnancy have been some of the more uncomfortable weeks so far.  But there have definitely been some fun things too!  Let's start with discomforts first.

Uncomfortable Symptoms

The heartburn that I mentioned a couple weeks ago has persisted and possibly even gotten worse.  I still wake up sometimes in the middle of the night because of it - and I ran through all my packs of Rolaids, so I think it's time to take a trip to the store for some Tums.  I am convinced that this means Baby Girl will be totally bald, because the inverse of the heartburn/hair myth seems to be true for my babies so far.  More heartburn = less hair. If she's going to be bald, I'm glad she's a girl, because I can still dress up her cute little peach fuzz with bows!



I've also had some very pesky rib pain show up in the last couple weeks, and I haven't really known what to do about it.  Every evening the last rib on my left side aches horribly, and no position seems to help it except stretching out as much as possible on my bed or the couch.  I finally looked up some stretches for rib pain last night, and a couple of those also seem to provide some relief.  I'm sure I look like I'm in the early stages of labor though, crossing my arms over my head and leaning against a wall.  Hopefully I won't ever have to resort to doing my stretches in public.



I've also felt some pelvic pressure, which you would think would mean that baby is low and there would be less rib pain - but it's not working out that way so far!  I think my body is just trying to get ready for the big event.



Fun Stuff

On to some fun things!  First, Baby Girl has been moving like crazy lately!  I am just sure one of these days some random person in the grocery store is going to comment on my belly jumping around.  I tried to get a video of it the other day, but it's like she can sense when I hit the "record" button, and she stops.  She also doesn't seem to like it when I poke at her (I can almost always find little hard spots through my skin - limbs or her bum, I'm sure).  She moves away and then kicks at my fingers.




Labor Day weekend I was in a nesting mood, and I sorted through all our baby girl clothes and our hand-me-downs, washed everything, and organized the things we can use in the nursery.  I also finished the baby's quilt, we moved Clarice up to Gwen's room, and I set up the nursery.  So we're pretty much ready to go now, except for a few items that I need to purchase (a spare crib sheet, bottles, muslin swaddle blankets, baby book, and a going-home outfit for baby).

I felt so sad to move Clarice out of her room.  She did not do great the first night in a toddler bed, in a new room no less.  She cried off and on for a couple hours, but I knew from previous experience that we just needed to hang tough, because as soon as she had time to adjust to the change we'd have no problems at all.  I was right!  She finally seemed to realize that Gwen was in the room with her, and that this whole sharing a room thing could be fun!  The next night she actually cried when she thought Derek was going to put her back in her old room, and she's been doing great ever since.

I always have intentions of taking fancy room pictures and sharing an official "nursery reveal" post, but let's face it, that hasn't happened with the last two kids.  Taking room pictures honestly stresses me out.  It's so hard to get good light, to get a good feel for the whole room, and to get satisfactory pictures of the details...and then that's a lot of pictures to sort through and edit and compile into a pinterest-worthy post.  So I'm going with the "done is better than perfect" motto, so you all get some mediocre phone photos!  At least people can see what the room looks like this time.









 


I'm pretty satisfied with the way it turned out (even though it's not completely done - still need to hang that chalkboard above the crib).  Here are the details (a couple affiliate links below):

-Baby Quilt and crib skirt - I made it, and it was one of the easiest quilts I've done since I went with big blocks of fabric!

-Mobile - Amazon

-Chalkboard - I get paranoid about the weight and cutting capability of things I put above the crib, in the event that it would fall - I pretty much rule out anything heavy and any frames with glass, which limits my options quite a bit.  So this "chalkboard" is actually posterboard that I painted with chalkboard paint (or rather, Derek painted it). I'm going to glue some hardware on the back to hang it, and use my chalk markers to write something on it eventually.

-Various vases and toucan pillow - Joann's

-Poppy muslin blanket - Spearmint Love

-Letterboard - Amazon


Now I just need to figure out what to put on that letter board! 

I have another doctor's appointment next week, so the next update should have more items of interest...stay tuned!



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