Pregnancy Related Reads

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You may recall me saying in my second trimester recap that reading anything about pregnancy had not been my cup of tea but once we started prenatal classes I felt much more inspired to read up on everything I could. Here is what I’ve read so far and my thoughts on each selection:

Books:

What to Expect When You’re Expecting

My mom got me a copy of this book soon after we announced and in the early stages of my pregnancy I found it very alarming to read. There were too many extra possible problems that it alerted me to and as a notorious over thinker I didn’t need extra reason to worry. Later in my pregnancy I’ve found it much less upsetting to read. I also like that there is detailed information about labour and delivery, breastfeeding and postpartum care that will be nice to have on hand.

Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding

This book is amazing and so helpful. I truly felt like it taught me a lot. I understand the importance of breastfeeding and wasn’t needing to be sold on that, but I did find a lot of practical advice and troubleshooting tips that I hope will be helpful after I deliver should we run into any issues with breastfeeding.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

I struggled with this one, especially after loving Ina May’s breastfeeding book so much. The first half of the book is full of all natural birth stories, none of which happened in a traditional hospital setting and so I found that hard to relate to. The second half of the book has some good, encouraging info, particularly about the ability for us to birth naturally but some of the chapters were just weird. An entire chapter dedicated to “sphincter law” and another on “orgasmic birth” left me skeptical. I also found the information on medical interventions such as C-section, episiotomy and epidural VERY biased and as my personal goal is to go into my delivery with an open mind, I found her strong opinions discouraging. I didn’t end up finishing this one.

The Mindful Mom-to-Be

This is the best book I’ve read during my pregnancy and I wish I’d found it right at the beginning, as it is broken down into chapters month by month. I loved the voice of the author, and found that she gave advice in a gentle, nonjudgmental way. The book includes exercises, meditations, DIY’s, recipes and some great tips I plan to use during my labour and delivery.

The Honest Life

This book isn’t a pregnancy or motherhood read specifically but it includes chapters on pregnancy and lots of helpful information regarding chemicals in the home and healthier alternatives. I started to pay much more attention to these things once I became pregnant and I wish I had found this book sooner when I started to eliminate these things in our home.

Articles:

Baby on a Budget: What Do You Really Need?

This helped me from going crazy when shopping for baby. So. Many. Options.

The Joy of Having Boys

The comments on this one are great, too.

10 Tips for a Mindful Birth

I LOVED this article and found it very encouraging and enlightening.

That One Time I Made Ten Million Freezer Meals, Part One and Two

I’ve read Jessica’s blog forever and found these tips helpful for planning some freezer meals.

Also:

Something else that helped me was reading the manual for our hospital’s labour and delivery unit specifically. As lovely as it is to read about home births and birthing centers, I need to be realistic about what my birth experience will look like in the specific hospital I plan to deliver in. In addition to prenatal classes and a hospital tour, I’ve thoroughly read up on my hospital’s policies and procedures and found that very comforting just to have a better idea of what to expect.

What was your favourite pregnancy related read? I still have some time for more!

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Spring 2017 Capsule Wardrobe

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Let’s talk capsules! I haven’t shared one here since last spring/summer. Last fall, I had just purchased a few new things and then realized that much of it wouldn’t fit for long because I was expecting. I returned what I had purchased as none of it would be pregnancy friendly and cobbled together a little capsule with my existing clothing that had room to grow. Then I did a small shop at Thyme Maternity at the end of 2016 and that has gotten me through until this point.

As I am due at the beginning of June I knew that I needed a few easy warm weather pieces that are still work friendly to get me through until I deliver. My plan was to choose things that fit well now, can transition me through the end of my pregnancy and then into the postpartum period. I understand that this post will not apply to everyone but I think it’s important to show how useful a capsule wardrobe can be no matter where you are in life. This is a really different capsule for me to put together and I’m excited about the challenge. I’m also looking forward to the simplicity of using a capsule when I’m way too tired/overwhelmed to think about outfits with a new baby. I always feel my best when I feel put together so I’m hoping if I plan some easy options now that will help me through the shock of new motherhood.

A different approach this time around; this capsule will include three very different components:

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Core Closet

  • Casual Dresses
  • Leggings
  • Super Stretchy Jeans
  • Tunic Tops
  • A Light Cardigan
  • My Fave Jean Jacket

In short: things I’ve always loved and know I will wear, that wash well and are unfussy. With an ever-changing body this is not the time to take fashion risks. I do need these pieces to get me through my last month or so of work before maternity leave starts so that had to be considered also. Example: that midi dress above is a non-maternity one but I just wore it to our Easter gathering over my third trimester bump and it worked great.

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Lounge Wear

  • House Dresses
  • Light Robes
  • Pajama Sets

Nothing groundbreaking, just things that will be comfortable and easy for nursing at home but will also be semi-presentable in front of guests if necessary. I haven’t ever focused on these items as part of a capsule but I know I’ll be glad to have them in this new season of life. Example: Tom bought me that beautiful (non-maternity) robe above and I’ve been wearing it since earlier in my pregnancy. I’m hoping it will help inject some glam into things when I haven’t washed my hair in a week and am covered in spit up.

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Active Wear

  • Compression Capris
  • Basic Tanks
  • Printed Leggings
  • A Hoodie or Sweatshirt

This is a component that I plan to finalize when I’m a month or two postpartum; a fun little active wear capsule so I can feel put together while casually dressed. I am also hoping this motivates me to get outside with baby. I’m giving birth at the beginning of summer and I want to take full advantage of that. Example: this distressed blue sweatshirt was a recent Minot find (also non-maternity) and I’ve been wearing it a TON. I know it will work well post-baby and can be worn so many ways.

Some key traits in all of the pieces I looked for:

  • Ease of wash and wear
  • Flattering and forgiving on my changing body
  • Nursing friendly
  • Silhouettes that will work with a bump and without

The biggest thing I’ve learned when dressing for pregnancy is that you probably don’t need to invest in an entire maternity wardrobe. Obviously this will depend on your style, size and shape pre-pregnancy but I’ve found that because I wore a lot of flow-y silhouettes and empire waist dresses those things have been easier to make work throughout. I also love knowing that I can keep wearing my new favourites after baby comes. All the items pictured above are non-maternity and I’ve been wearing them at eight months pregnant so I hope that encourages you if you find traditional maternity clothes lacking, as I did.

That’s about it! I’ve been doing capsules for two years now and I’m still amazed at how much I’ve learned from this practice. It has simplified my life, streamlined my closet and ended my impulsive shopping habits.  I don’t remember the last time I made a clothing purchase I’ve regretted because I truly know what I will wear and what I won’t and that feels like a huge win to me.

Do you capsule? I’d love to hear your tips!

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A Spring Bucket List

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Admittedly, this kind of feels like “Bucket List: Before Baby Comes Edition”. Trying to fit in those last tasks and enjoy our last couple of months before life gets turned upside down, in the best way possible. Here are some things I’m going to be working on:

 

Sew a dress.

This tutorial inspires me.

 

Finish our baby shopping list.

Not too much more to do!

 

Make art for the baby’s room.

We want to make a special piece with our little boy in mind.

 

Give the condo a good deep clean.

I want things to be in good order so I can take everything in this summer.

 

Choose an epic cake recipe for my 30th birthday.

And make it for myself. I have my eye on something from Momofuku.

 

Do a huge donation run.

Making room for onesies and receiving blankets in our drawers.

 

Plan a bunch of freezer meals for when baby comes.

I have always dreamed of doing this, as ridiculous as that sounds.

 

Nap whenever I want, because I hear time is limited.

I have become an excellent napper these last months, if I do say so myself.

 

Make something with rhubarb in it. 

I always crave it this time of year. This recipe piqued my interest.

 

Plan something for our first wedding anniversary.

Or maybe we’ll just have a baby that day?!

 

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The Second Trimester

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I cannot BELIEVE my second trimester is ending. I remember being five weeks pregnant and feeling like double digits were so far away. Recently I commented on being six months along and I thought Tom was going to have a heart attack. Turns out, saying how many weeks along I am hasn’t been registering for him but hearing that I’m six months pregnant = shit’s getting real.

So, remember how I felt awful my entire first trimester? Around 14 weeks I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel and started feeling like myself again. Most of my food aversions are gone now, and my appetite was back in time for Christmas which was a relief. That said, I’m still taking Diclectin. Every time I try to wean off, I become terribly ill and completely miserable. Recently I saw an article about Diclectin having a placebo effect and not being effective. I laughed out loud when I saw it. I don’t even have to tell Tom when I’ve tried to take a lower dose because he can tell a marked departure in how I’m feeling. I’ve had some guilt about this but it’s proven to be necessary for me. It’s what’s kept me eating well and even enjoying my pregnancy this last while and I figure happy mom = happy baby.

As my belly grew bigger I did a little shopping at Thyme Maternity. These jeans are awesome. That said, I’ve always been more into flow-y tops and leggings so I’ve been able to transition most of my pre-pregnancy wardrobe fairly easily.

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I’m sleeping really well most of the time, all thanks to my Snoogle. I am obsessed with this thing and absolutely think it’s worth the money. That furry guy above really likes to curl up in it each morning after I get out of bed and it’s still warm. I will be so sad to put it away after the baby comes, although I’m sure Tom will be glad to get more of the bed back.

One of my favourite things is hearing the heartbeat in the doctor’s office at my checkups. We didn’t get to hear it at either of my ultrasounds so Tommy hadn’t heard it yet and was super disappointed. I was able to record it at my last checkup and sent it to him on Valentine’s Day. We also look forward to the weekly update on my Bump app and seeing how big the baby is and how he’s developing.

I definitely relate to the second trimester being the “honeymoon phase” of pregnancy. I chopped my hair off at 19 weeks which really helped give me a little confidence boost, especially because my skin has never looked so awful on a regular basis. In terms of mood, I’m definitely weepier than I’ve ever been, over happy and sad things. Also, pretty sure that baby brain has kicked in. I recently spent 10 minutes trying to figure out why the blender wouldn’t work. Tom finally came over to help and pointed out that it may blend things better if I put the blade attachment in the jug. *Face palm*.

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I’ve been doing a ton of research on the necessities and we have everything mostly decided on. Everyone kept telling me that boy clothes are disappointing, but I have to say I disagree. I’ve found so many adorable things and if anything, I have to be careful not to overdo it. I love going through his little wardrobe and imagining how he’ll look in the things we’ve bought him so far. It’s such a strange and magical thing, anticipating meeting this little person who you already love but have never met.

I love to read and always thought I’d read a ton of pregnancy books, but I quickly learned to read NOTHING unless I have a specific question. I have yet to find a book that doesn’t make me overthink everything so ignorance has been bliss thus far.

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Things I love to eat: overnight oats; I have them almost every day for breakfast; bananas, and fruit in general, peanut butter, and burgers. I want red meat a lot lately, which is odd for me. The other day I made a meatloaf because I wanted one so badly. I don’t remember the last time I had it but it hit the spot. Weirdest cravings: a hot dog, Velveeta Shells and Cheese and Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls. Basically, any nostalgic junk food. Luckily those types of things are a one and done, because, yikes. Also, I can’t live without sparkling water. It helps my indigestion so much.

I’ve hated coffee my whole pregnancy but have really missed tea. I found a few varieties at David’s that don’t have any herbs and I’ve enjoyed drinking those once in a while. If you’re curious, the flavors are: Birthday Cake, Movie Night, Green & Fruity and Strawberry Shake.

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I’ve been feeling lots of movement for several weeks now and Tom has felt it too which has been so fun. The baby always moves a lot right before bed and I love to relax and feel him do his thing before we go to sleep.

We start prenatal classes right away! Super excited for those. And scared to learn more about how the baby has to come out of me at some point.

Bring it on, third trimester!

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