Maternity wear - Le Tote

Maternity Wear for the Working Mom-to-Be

Maternity wear.  Something I knew close to nothing about prior to getting pregnant.  My knowledge pretty much extended to my coworker Erin’s pregnancy wardrobe.

Good thing I’m a quick learner with friends who are willing to help a girl out!

My maternity wear situation involved having the right clothing for work as well as the weekends.  With that being said, I depended on a few different sources to clothe my pregnant self…

LE TOTE

Starting at the end of February/early March, I subscribed to Le Tote after seeing how much Erin loved her experience with the company.  Le Tote is an online maternity (and non-maternity) wear rental service, and it’s pretty awesome.  There are also options to pair clothing with accessories if that’s more your thing.

For $69 a month, I chose to receive four pieces of clothing (tops, sweaters, dresses, pants, etc.) in every tote.  Once I wear everything as many times as I want, I send it back using the prepaid envelope from Le Tote, pick my next pieces, and wait for the next tote.  There are no limits to the number of totes you receive every month. It’s just a matter of how long you keep each individual one (shipping takes about two days).  And get this, you don’t have to wash anything (major perk)!

Personally, when I weighed out buying a work appropriate maternity wardrobe versus subscribing to Le Tote, Le Tote won!  It’s a fun treat for me to look forward to, and it gives me access to lots of different styles and options I wouldn’t otherwise have.

The only con to Le Tote is their sizing, specifically in the petite department.  Some pieces, even when I picked XS’, would be too big.  A little annoying when you only get four pieces to start with!

Other than that, I would sign up for this service all over again given the choice.

Maternity wear - Le Tote

Dress – Le Tote

Dress – Le Tote; Jean jacket – Loft (non-maternity)

Top – Le Tote; Pants – Motherhood Maternity

Dress – Le Tote

TARGET

I personally didn’t buy too many maternity pieces from Target, but it’s a great/affordable option.  If you’re looking for more casual clothing, I would check out a few different local stores.  I quickly learned that the Target in the city isn’t the same as the one in the suburbs.  I was blown away by how different the one by my friend Thea is.  So many more options…the burbs for the win!

DESTINATION MATERNITY

Speaking of the burbs, I went shopping with Thea back in February, and we stopped by the local Destination Maternity.  This store carries both the Motherhood Maternity and the Pea in the Pod lines.  I bought a few different basic pieces here and have no regrets – a pair of jeans, a pair of black work pants, and a casual top from the Motherhood Maternity line and two nicer tops from the more expensive Pea in the Pod line.

maternity wear

Top – Target; Jean jacket – Loft (non-maternity); Pants – Motherhood Maternity

PINK BLUSH MATERNITY

Pink Blush Maternity is an online retailer that sells super cute maternity wear.  I bought a few dresses from here and love them all!  Everything is pretty much true to size and fairly affordable.  I found this to be a great option for special occasion pieces like baby showers.

scottsdale babymoon

Dress – Pink Blush; Jean Jacket – Loft (non-maternity)

Chicago baby shower

Dress – Pink Blush

EXISTING NON-MATERNITY CLOTHES

Other than the above, I also regularly wear a few of my flowy non-maternity tops.  Don’t forget the pieces you already own!

So there you have it, the maternity wear that kept this working mom-to-be somewhat stylish (and clothed!) for the majority of this pregnancy.

The third trimester in all it's glory

The Third Trimester in All It’s Glory

The title of this post is colored with sarcasm.  While the third trimester is a special one (the light is dimly visible!), it’s much harder than I personally thought it would be (especially from around 32 weeks onward)!

Of course, every woman and pregnancy is different, but if I had to sum up the past few weeks in one word, it would be uncomfortable.  However, before we go down that road, let me share some of the highlights.

Third trimester highlights

  • With every passing day, we’re closer to meeting our little guy.  It’s probably the hormones, but I literally tear up every time I think about holding/seeing him for the first time!
  • Over the past few weeks, Baby K has gone from kicking/punching to rolling around.  At first, it felt a little strange, but now I look forward to experiencing his new moves.  It’s one of the coolest feelings ever.  I still can’t believe there’s a little human growing inside of me!
  • Organizing all of the baby stuff we bought/were gifted was a lot of fun.  We’re a little behind on the nursery front, but we figure our little guy won’t be too mad about that!  We’ll get to it sooner than later.

Annnd…that’s pretty much it.  Ha!

The third trimester in all it's glory

Third trimester uncomfortableness

  • Quality sleep is pretty much nonexistent.  On any given night, I wake up to use the bathroom four to seven times.  Or I wake up and stare at the ceiling unable to go back to sleep.  Or the baby decides he wants to beat around like a drum, so his movement wakes me up.  Fun times!  Because of this, naps, especially weekend naps, are a very real thing.  For example, I took three three hour naps over the course of this past weekend. While this should be a highlight, every long nap leaves me feeling a tad bit guilty.  There’s still so much to do!
  • Third trimester hunger is a beast.  Over the past few weeks, I can’t seem to eat enough.  BUT, most foods give me heartburn.  It’s very much a double edged sword!
  • Calf cramps creep up on me a couple times a week.  And boy are they painful!  My biggest fear to date was experiencing a calf cramp when Vishnu wasn’t home.  And guess what?  It happened this past Friday night when he was working an overnight shift.  I remembered some of the tips he shared and all ended up ok, but it hurt so bad!
  • Swollen legs, ankles, and feet are the norm around here.  Elevating my feet, drinking lots of water, and wearing compression socks helps, but on some days it’s just unavoidable and scary looking!
  • Lower back pain now occurs more during the day versus solely at night.  Standing for too long or sitting the wrong way will almost always bring on uncomfortable pangs of pain.
  • Bending over for any reason whatsoever is an Olympic feat in and of itself and requires a ton of effort.  Putting on anything other than slip on shoes…forget about it!   I actually freaked out about hurting the baby from bending over.  But after Googling and reading multiple sources, I learned you can’t hurt the baby from tying your shoes or picking something up off the floor.  Phew!
  • My memory is shot.  You guys, I couldn’t remember my OBGYN’s name for the life of me the other day.  Unless I write it down, there are no guarantees.
  • My regular exercise routine has officially been interrupted.  I went from five heart pumping workouts a week to lots of walking, some weights, and maybe a couple of prenatal workouts (BodyFit by Amy of course!).  On days where a scheduled workout just isn’t doable, I try to walk to and from work (~2.4 miles total).  As it’s always been, staying active is my ultimate goal!
  • I’m a little all over the place emotionally.  Just ask Vishnu!  Literally anything can set me off.  I mean, I teared up at the national anthem during the NBA finals.  I also don’t feel ready, even though I know anything we do from now until the delivery is a bonus.  My mama friends tell me I’ll never truly feel ready, and while it helps to hear that, I often get emotional because I’m overwhelmed.  Unlike anything else I/we have taken on thus far, this is one life change we can’t 100% anticipate or plan for.  Super exciting and nerve-racking at the same time!  The one thought that always helps is thinking about how people have been at this whole parenting thing for thousands of years.  Can’t be that hard, right?!  Humor me!

Obviously, I’ve painted a grim picture.  My excitement about being pregnant and meeting our little guy far exceeds any of the above.  In fact, I’d go through it all again if I had to!  But that doesn’t equal rainbows and unicorns.  Almost every pregnant woman will tell you the last few weeks feel like years!  And it’s so true because you’re uncomfortable in most every way possible.  A very small price to pay though!  And if I’m being honest, my overall pregnancy symptoms have been fairly mild compared to some.

But for the sake of keeping it real, you have this post with all of my third trimester thoughts and experiences (so far…#36weeks!).  You’re welcome!

Compression socks pregnancy

Alleviating Swollen Pregnancy Feet and Back Pain

Looking back on the past 34 weeks, I really can’t complain too much.  No morning sickness, no food aversions, no headaches, etc.  Just a growing belly.

With that being said, a growing pregnant belly can and does pose a couple of challenges – lower back pain and swollen feet/ankles being two big ones. Both of which are super common and nothing to write home about if you know what I mean.

Before I share more about a couple of products that are truly helping to alleviate my back pain and swelling, please note that any and all symptoms should be discussed with your doctor.  Pregnancy is not the time to self-diagnose.

Swollen Pregnancy Feet

Ok, so I didn’t self-diagnose, but when my feet first started swelling, I did ask Vishnu what he thought.  He said to bring it up at my next prenatal appointment and to start wearing compression socks in the meantime.  Of course, me being me, I didn’t rush to Amazon to buy said socks.  When I was still complaining about the on again off again swelling, Vishnu took matters into his own hands and bought me not one, not two, but SIX pairs of socks!

Compression socks pregnancy

While they’re definitely not super stylish, I can honestly say that these socks have alleviated my swollen feet and ankles.  Trust me, I’ve put the compression socks theory to the test.  For example, I forgot to take them with me to Atlanta and my feet were swollen for the duration of my trip.  Not fun at all!  I didn’t make that mistake when we went to Scottsdale and took all six pairs with me!  Annnnd…no swollen feet…at all!   Similar situations have happened locally where I sometimes forget to wear the socks, and I end up with elephant feet.  But take the same situation + compression socks and no swelling.  Good call, Vishnu, good call!

Pregnancy Back Pain

My back pain started fairly early on but usually only reared its ugly head at night.  I tried everything to help lower the pain and increase my sleep – a pregnancy pillow, extra regular pillows…everything.

Once again, Vishnu told me to talk to my doctor about the pain and also suggested that I start wearing a maternity belt in the meantime.  What a genius!  This belt helps with my nighttime back pain and also helps alleviate the pain that’s started popping up while doing normal household things. In fact, I don’t think I could’ve made it through our move without it.  While my body ached afterwards, my back was ok!

maternity belt

I have a feeling this belt is going to be my BFF for the next 6ish weeks as my nighttime back pain starts to dissipate (it’s actually getting better!) and my daytime back pain revs up.

All I can say is HOME STRETCHHHHHHHHHHHH!  We’re almost at the finish line!

What I Think of My Pregnant Body

What I Think of My Pregnant Body

What I think of my pregnant body.  Whew, what a loaded title, huh?!

With that, I’m not going to hold back with this post.  I’ve been formulating it in my head for a while now, and I figure it’s time to get my honest thoughts out there.  Get ready for some realness, and please note that the following is 100% my story (because every pregnant woman and her pregnancy are different).

First and foremost, I want to start off by saying that I’m beyond grateful for my body and what it’s accomplished over the past 8.5 months.  On the flip side, the changes that come with this territory haven’t always been easy to swallow.  Oh, and we can’t forget about the hormones!

What I Think of My Pregnant Body

Let me explain…

The Past

Long time readers know I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs when it comes to body image issues.  Let’s just say I haven’t always been so body positive with myself.  Like a lot of women, I tend to scrutinize and criticize more than love.  For the sake of this post, let’s say this mindset is my set-point.

The First Few Months

When I first learned I was pregnant, I was obviously over-the-moon.  But pretty soon, the reality that my body was going to change (A LOT) set in. I’m not proud to admit it, but given my ever-evolving relationship with my body, I thought about the changes more than I should have.  In fact, I had a few emotional breakdowns (my poor husband!) where I cried about my clothes not fitting, my thighs/arms/you name it getting bigger, etc.  Don’t get me wrong.  I wasn’t naive.  I knew how lucky I was to even be pregnant, and I also knew that pregnancy equaled change.  It was just a tough pill to swallow at first.

My dissatisfaction lasted through the first few weeks of my second trimester…until my belly really started to ‘pop.’  For some reason, seeing my stomach go from this roundish shape to an actual round pregnant belly turned on a switch in my head.  It sounds so bizarre, but most every negative thought disappeared over time.  Instead, I was filled with extreme gratitude for what my body, the one I’ve had a love/hate relationship with for so long, could do and was doing.  Growing a freaking human!  I finally realized what a miracle all of this was and haven’t looked back since.

I should also mention that I thought it would take Vishnu and I a lot longer to get pregnant than it did (for many reasons I won’t go into right now).  I was prepared to have to wait and potentially use medical interventions to get us to the finish line. But God/the Universe had different plans for us…and here we are.  Because of this, part of me feels very selfish for my preliminary focus and thoughts.  But at the end of the day, I’m just glad I got to a positive space where I smile bigger than I ever have when I glance in the mirror.

Present Day

So yes, while my thoughts have evolved with time, I can truly say that I’ve never been prouder of my body and happier with the way it looks.

In fact, when I now think about all the changes it’s gone through, I’m that much more excited about bringing our little guy into this world because it’s this very body that’s going to do so much of the necessary work it takes to raise a healthy baby.  This body is going to feed (hopefully!), carry, play with, embrace, snuggle with, and most importantly, love [with every fiber of its being] our little guy.

Regardless of my past, I’ll always be thankful for the changes I’ve experienced and will likely continue experiencing because they serve as a reminder of this crazy miraculous nine month journey that I wouldn’t trade for the world.  Let’s consider this my new (and improved!) set-point.

For anyone experiencing similar emotions and thoughts, please know you’re not alone.  Pregnancy is an absolutely beautiful thing, but it’s also hard in so many ways.  At the end of the day, you and your body are are miracle workers, and all of these changes will soon be worth their weight in gold (and so much more)!