A couple weeks ago, the topic of my weekly Facebook Live Playgroup was “Shake Off The Mom Frump” with my dear friend Tiffany Reese. (If you missed it, you should give it a watch. Tiff and I share all our fav. mom beauty products.) Recently, I got an email from a pregnant mom who was wondering if I had any similar tips for getting through early pregnancy frump.
My Stitch Fix maternity boxes have progressively been getting better and better. This is my experience with them in general- the more feedback you give, and the longer your stylist gets to know you, the better it gets.
This time the lovely Layla (my stylist who is the absolute best ever) totally nailed it, and I kept all 5 pieces. Wanna see?
I love how colorful this box was! And so many great pieces that are cool enough for this blazing hot Texas summer, but also great layering pieces for the cooler months, too. Plus, lots of stuff that will still work the few months after baby is born. (Scott is dying over our half pressure washed driveway. He might have asked me to photoshop that out.)
Healdsburg short sleeve boatneck knit top- $54
This top is not something I’d spend $54 on, but since I decided to keep all 5 pieces, the 25% discount made it worth it. It’s super long and stretchy. The material is super soft without being too sheer. I loved the print, and think it will look great under a long cardigan this fall. I paired this with a pair of underbelly blue denim shorts I got from a local boutique during my last pregnancy, and my Minnetonka mocs.
Lottie pleated maternity blouse- $64
I’m loving tops that are a little more flowy this time around. I also think this will be comfy under a loose sweater later this year. Plus, the buttons on the top half mean I can probably breastfeed in this pretty easily after baby is born. I’m wearing my favorite Mossimo jogging denim shorts from Target’s juniors section- not maternity, just sized up. Then I threw on some silver slides from a Stitchfix box earlier this year.
Dorianna maternity cropped skinny jeans – $98
Alma maternity knit top – $44
Bryson kimono – $48
The trifecta! This kimono was the first thing I pulled out of the box, and I was SO happy with it before I even put it on. It dresses up any t-shirt and shorts this summer, and will be a great staple next spring to throw on over nursing tanks. I hope to get a couple more.
The stretchy knit top is very similar to the blue patterned one above, in that it’s a bit more than I’d typically spend on a maternity t-shirt. But, the fit is so nice, it’s long, and stretchy and soft. The discount made it easy to say yes.
These jeans! Okay, so I can’t wear them too much right now, but they’ve made it out to dinner on me once, and they are super comfy. I love that they are an unusual color. Best part, though, is they are full belly panel and will make an awesome 4th trimester piece after baby is born this winter.
When you’re stocking up on maternity clothes, always keep that 4th trimester in mind! What tops are breastfeeding friendly (if you plan to do so)? What can you throw over a nursing tank? What pants will give you enough stretch and coverage for that shrinking, but still jiggly belly? It can be hard to do because you’re mostly pregnant in the opposite season, but basic layers are a good place to start.
I’ll probably take a bit of a break from maternity fixes until the weather starts to cool down. I’ve got a really nice summer wardrobe now with the help of my last 3 boxes. Want to see my last two? They’re both in this post.
When I finally opened the enormous plastic tub full of all my maternity clothes after Scott retrieved it from the attic, I turned to him and said, “Yeah… this isn’t going to work. None of this is going to work.” I guess I forgot how really awful 95% of it was.
To be fair, some of it wasn’t really awful almost 9 years ago when I first bought it. NINE. YEARS. AGO.
But some of it has always been awful, and I just… I don’t want to spend my last pregnancy (no SERIOUSLY THIS IS IT) in awful maternity clothes. So I saved the few staples that still functioned and looked good, and donated the rest.
Now I have a pretty trim selection, but I am enjoying filling it in with pieces I really love. I may have to wash those pieces every week, but dammit, I love them.
Part of my new maternity wardrobe includes 5 pieces I’ve received from 2 Stitch Fix boxes, and I’m going to share those below. Everything I’m wearing from SF is a size medium/8. All SF links are affiliate.
My first maternity box wasn’t a home run, but it brought me two pieces that I was super happy to keep. The first, the black dress I’m wearing above, is by Loveappella and was $88. I wore this last week in Santa Fe (where this picture was taken- at the El Dorado hotel) for my Keynote speech at the Type A conference.
Here’s a different view:
I love the subtle ruching on the sides and that it’s lightly lined. It’s a substantial dress that is perfect for dressy occasions.
The second piece from my first box are these Kut From The Kloth distressed denim shorts for $68. The are an under belly panel, and crazy comfy with plenty of room to grow.
I’ve paired them with this amazzzzzing flowy black top by Daniel Rainn (the Ivanova Maternity Blouse for $68) from my 2nd box. It is so boho and soft, but also a great summer staple. Seriously obsessed. I’ll take this in 3 more colors, please.
Note: The thing about my first box is they sent me to a special “maternity” stylist. I’m sure she’s lovely at what she does. She did send me two pieces I instantly fell in love with. But my regular stylist? I’ve been with her for a year and a half. I love her. I never want her to leave me. She gets me.
So I got her back for my 2nd box, and I knew she was the one who picked everything before I even looked at the note!
So, all that is to say if you have a stylist you really super love, leave a note saying you don’t want to be passed off to the maternity team. I think/hope that will keep you with them.
Anyway, back to the clothes. Those shorts are actually denim jogging shorts from the juniors section at Target. Yes, they have an elastic waistband. I heart them. (And bought them a size up – L – so I have room to grow this summer.)
The top is Misimu Maternity Ravenscroft Split Neck Blouse for $48. I love how long it is! I specifically kept it because it’s plenty cool for the summer, but will also look adorable with a cardigan over it this fall.
The final piece I kept from my second box is this navy blue Eight Sixty Gabre Eyelet Knit Maternity Dress for $88. Another super comfy piece that also looks professional when dressed up. I have quite a few work related trips coming up, so this will be in heavy rotation. Once it gets chilly, I can throw some leggings under it.
Now, if you’re balking at the prices, let me say a few things.
- There’s no way I could afford to fill out my whole maternity wardrobe at these price points. I have a lot of basics from Target, for sure.
- I enjoy Stitch Fix not because it’s a “bargain” but because I don’t have to shop for myself. Seriously, I am not a fan.
- I guarantee you I wouldn’t have picked most of these pieces for myself. That’s why I love having a stylist that pushes the envelope for me. Keep in mind that Stitch Fix is a styling service. (More on why I’m ok with Sitch Fix’s prices here.)
I’ve been using Stitch Fix for over 2 years now. I rarely blog about it because my real life reality is that I’m rarely dressed with hair and makeup done at a time when I can get my husband to take pictures of me. Most of the time, when I look like this, we are running late to something and I’m lucky to make it there without someone spilling their snack/juice on me.
Over the last couple years, though, Stitch Fix has helped me find my style! I mean, I had no idea I even had one. Now, nearly every single piece in my (very scaled down and minimized) wardrobe is from them. I’m a huge fan, and I’m SO happy their maternity selection seems to be just as awesome.
Okay. I’m sorry. I’m a slacker. I’m lazy. I’m overwhelmed. I’m tired. I’m bitchy. I’m cranky. I constantly think I have to pee only to discover that I really don’t have to pee even though I feel like I’m about to piss my pants. That last part mainly happens at night in the middle of really good dreams and deep sleep, which I think contributes greatly to the cranky and bitchy part. So there…there are my excuses for not blogging in so long. The crazy thing about this blog is I feel like it’s a friend I haven’t talked on the phone to in so long that I keep putting off the next phone conversation, not because I don’t miss them and have tons to tell them, but because I don’t have the energy to tell them all that stuff since it’s been so long. You know what I mean? So I’m going to try to get as much out in the most concise manner possible in this entry. These are all things I’ve thought I should write about in depth on here over the last month. Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version:
1. Maternity clothes continue to suck ass and should really be disposable. I am now back to grandpa butt syndrome because my belly has become too big to hold up these elastic waists comfortably. I must say I would prefer that all my pants have waists that come up to my boobs to avoid this, but since I thought that was oh so uncool when I went on my early maternity clothes shopping sprees, I am stuck with all these under the belly or mid belly styles that do nothing but cut off circulation to my crotch or sag off my butt so bad it looks like I just dropped a load….or delivered the baby in my underwear.
I am also constantly walking around with giant grease stains on the front of whatever shirt I choose to wear. It seems I am a walking pregnancy cliche. I can not eat ANYTHING without spilling or dribbling it all down the front of me. It inevitably always stains and makes me grateful that most of my maternity tops were $12 at Target….about as close to disposable as you can get. Let me know, please, if you see any plastic toss-away maternity tops. Or perhaps I should just invest in a very large bib. I’m sure I could find one with a Lobster on it at some local dive of a surf and turf shack.
2. The state of my boobs – dismal. I can’t even express to you how weird my nipples look. They are huge. As of this morning, I guess they’ve started practicing production because I woke up with a perfect circle of wetness right over my right nipple. If only I could believe that that was a strategically placed drop of drool. It is also very weird to feel your boobs and the top of your belly touch. I now have boob cleavage in three places.
3. Stretchmarks, I haz them. Luckily most of them have appeared on my boobs, which surprisingly didn’t upset me that much – those babies are shot anyway. However, I have noticed the beginnings of at least two on my lower stomach recently and have gone from a girl who thought, “Who the hell needs to rub cream all over their stomach. If you’re going to get them, you’re going to get them. What can you do?” To a girl who ran out to CVS to buy a special $11 bottle of oil that claims to be made specifically to reduce and eliminate the appearance of stretchmarks and have been feverishly applying it twice a day, praying it’s my miracle.
4. My son is developing quite nicely. He is probably close to 4 lbs or more now, and he is definitely getting stronger. So strong that he is finally able to penetrate my anterior placenta with his kicks and bumps. I’m finally able to feel movement outside of my stomach and by my belly button in addition to the kicks and jabs I always felt up top and way down low. Another sign he’s right on track is I can feel hiccups! Yup. Apparently babies practice hiccuping. I can not tell you why. All I know is the other night I was wondering why my ass was pulsating. I thought I must be sitting on a giant, throbbing vein. Turns out…not a pulsating vein in my ass…it was my kid’s hiccups. It’s actually very good news to have butt hiccups. That means he is head down! Which leads me to…
5. The baby, as of my last appointment, is in great position. He is head down, butt under my ribs, feet pointed toward my hips. Lock and load, baby! This pleases me greatly and I hope he decides that’s a comfortable enough position to stay in until his grand exit into the world. See, as much as I had an irrational fear of conehead babies and still do think that c-section babies have the most beautiful round precious heads, I do not want a round headed c-section baby. I want a smooshed, pointy headed, wrinkly baby, as long as that means he can come out of me without major surgery.
6. Gastric bypass surgery must suck. I’m convinced I am suffering some of the same side effects. I am starving. My body tells me to eat..EAT A LOT. I do. Then I regret it. It never seems to make it all the way down without wanting to choose the path of least resistance and come back up. I have woken up several times in the middle of the night gagging on dinner from hours before. Of course, I never throw up, which I think would make me feel a lot better most of the time. For some reason my body has this extreme aversion to throwing up and will rarely let me do it, even if I’m encouraging it. I also am experiencing a ton of acid reflux lately. I forgot to bring my Tums to work with me the other day and wanted so badly to ask the first pregnant lady I saw if I could have some of hers. Unfortunately, it was a slow business day and I had to sit in misery until I could run home at my lunch break. And do not worry…I can be trusted with Tums again. I respect their power and never exceed the maximum allowed dosage ; )
Well, that’s all the time I have for the pregnancy updates. My 3 1/2 year old niece is still living with us, and that’s enough for a whole other blog. She has settled in nicely and is looking forward to being the “cousin sister”. She came up with that all on her own. I told my husband we should have a shirt printed for her that says “I’m the Big Cousin Sister” for her to wear to the hospital. I can only imagine what the nurses will think of our family tree. Surely they will think we drove all the way in from West Virginia for the birth.
31 weeks 3 days
A reader made a very valid comment on my post below, and it occurred to me that I really only do provide a slice of what it is like for ME to be pregnant here. I would hate for everyone to think I spend the whole time obsessing over the destruction of my body, or that I’m not genuinely and extremely excited about being pregnant and becoming a mom in less that 6 months (holy cow….less than 6 months!). From day one of this blog, I’ve used it as an outlet for those not so “normal” pregnancy thoughts and fears. The ones that hardly anyone ever tells you you will feel or have. While I have no problems telling the people in my life, close or strangers, how wonderful this whole journey is, it’s a little harder to admit that I *occasionally* freak out about some of these things. From my viewpoint, society places so much emphasis on how pregnancy is supposed to be one of the most amazing times in your life and that you’re supposed to cherish each and every minute of it. It starts to make you feel a little guilty when you don’t.
Please, please don’t think that just because I vent about those things here, that I don’t wake up every day thanking God to be experiencing all this and pray every night that I will be able to continue to keep my baby safe and healthy. As much as I hated morning sickness, sometimes I wish it would come back because at least then I knew my baby was most likely healthy. Now that I’ve grown out of that stage, the days that I feel so absolutely fantastic I’m terrified that something is wrong. I know that I am so incredibly lucky to have conceived so quickly and to not have experienced a loss. I can not imagine the pain and heartache some couples experience in trying to conceive, and I never intend to take away from the blessing that getting pregnant is by venting about these things.
So to give you all a peek into what the rest of my pregnancy thoughts are, here are some things I LOVE about being pregnant:
1. I love watching my belly grow! I have always been so self conscious about my tummy. I never could achieve those tight abs that would make me look good in a bikini (although, I have this fantasy that after pregnancy something about my body will change and I will finally get my flat tummy – ha!), but now I embrace my little pooch and love to watch it get bigger. I show it off to my husband every night by lifting up my shirt and standing sideways in between him and the TV. “Look at how big I’m getting!” He just laughs.
2. I love pants with elastic waists. I have mentioned my struggle with clothes on here before, but even though the pants may not always fit just right, the elastic waists are amazing! I’m going to be the most comfy person at Thanksgiving : )
3. I love the anticipation of what is coming next. I read my weekly emails about what the baby is developing this week and am so amazed at how quickly it grows. I can’t wait to find out if it’s a boy or girl and love to have conversations with my husband about what we think it is and how we think it will look. I love laying still at night and trying to determine if what I feel rumbling around in my belly is dinner or the baby, and can’t wait for the day I finally get a fat kick in the ribs or a punch in the belly button.
4. I love how this has brought me and my husband so much closer together, and we were pretty close to begin with! He really is so amazing and I’m so lucky to have someone as involved as he is. As much as I complain about his OCD tendencies and his constant watch over my food intake, I know he only does it out of love. He’s been nothing but supportive and has taken more than his fair share from me. He is going to be the best dad, and that makes me love him even more.
5. I love the thought of beginning a new stage in my life. I know it will change me, it will change my priorities. Things will never be the same, and I can’t wait! I know I will most likely look back on a lot of the stuff I’ve blogged about and think completely different about it because I’ll have a whole new set of eyes to view everything with. I look forward to meeting my baby and delighting in the small achievements. I can’t wait to see their first smile and their first steps. I can’t wait to see a carseat in the back of my Jeep.
Of course, this isn’t an exclusive list. Just a few of the things I can think of off the top of my head. I just wanted to take the time to clarify that I really do love being pregnant (most of the time) and am grateful for every crazy/sane thought I have because I know they would never even occur to me if I wasn’t lucky enough to be going through all of this.
14 weeks 4 days