Getting comfortable while pregnant was always an issue for me. I remember always rotating my body, trying to distribute the weight, sitting up, lying back down, elevating my swollen legs/feet/ankles…. sound familiar?
Bump Nest™ now makes the most amazing body pillow- pregnant or not, you will love wrapping your legs around this pillow! And my favorite thing about their body pillows (other than solving the “getting comfy” issue) is that they come in the most BEAUTIFUL machine washable pillow cases. I have the Golden Bloom case on my body pillow right now. (it makes my bedroom look really cute!)
P.S. All Bump Nest™ Body Pillows are now available at SpearmintLOVE.com
I got to know french beauty Chloé Fleury this month through Instagram: @chloefleury. Her maternity style is just perfection… sweet, sexy, flawlessly put together; but not in a way like she is trying too hard. Know what I mean?
I asked Chloé if she’d share some of the photos shot by Sarah Wert of Modern Kids Photography as well as a few details about her pregnancy. So, in her own words: (if only we could actually hear that french/american accent!)
…I am wearing a dress from Free People and shoes from Swedish Hasbeens, my bracelet is a vintage Zuni cuff and I bought the pompoms basket in NY a few years ago, I can’t remember where.
I am a french illustrator and I’ve been living in San Francisco for almost 5 years.
My due date is august 15th and I am having a girl. My biggest food cravings are fruits, ice-creams and chocolate (but I’ve always been addicted to chocolate). I really enjoyed being pregnant! I think it’s a magical moment where I’ve been feeling more creative than ever and wanting to learn new things/techniques, go to workshops…
I am finally learning how to knit! I’ve wanted to learn for years, it’s so nice to have knitting projects now for my baby, I’ve made blankets, pillows, beanie…next project are baby booties ;)
I had so much fun decorating the room, shopping for her closet.
The first trimester was hard because of nausea and anxiety to lose the baby, all the tests you have to do for genetic disease and toxoplasmosis…In the first trimester it’s like you don’t allow yourself to be too excited about it because if something goes wrong and it doesn’t feel real yet. But at 4 months and half when I learned about the sex and got all the results back I finally started to enjoy it and be super happy about it and more relax. I bought her first little dress and then was so obsessed with shopping for her, I spent so much time online, mostly Etsy for elements of decors in the nursery.
As for my style, I’ve always loved fashion, colors and playing with accessorizes. So I’ve done it even more while pregnant. I didn’t buy a lot of maternity clothes, just a couple of pants. I am wearing more dresses and I love it. It’s like I dare even more to wear accessorizes like hats, braid my hairs…
As much as I can’t wait to meet my baby girl I feel like I might miss being pregnant. It’s such a beautiful thing, the most magical experience. Feeling her kick for the first time was fantastic! I think I am lucky because when I talk with friends who are pregnant or had babies, some of them really didn’t enjoy being pregnant, had no fun at all. I’d say from 4 and half to 7 and half months, I was like in my bubble, so happy and glowing, and focus on the baby and didn’t care about the rest, nothing else matters. I am now 4 weeks before my due date and really impatient and excited and a little bit scared of course. It’s hard to live far from my family but I am lucky to have many friends here pregnant or with kids already so I don’t feel lost in this adventure ;)
Recently I stumbled upon a blog, called Fancy Tree House. She is an online vintage shop owner and a mother of adorable baby girl, Goldie. I kept reading her past posts and fell in love with her maternity style. When I was pregnant, I tended toward wearing darker color, such as black, navy and grey since I thought those colors made me look skinnier. Coury did not hesitate to wear bright colorful colors and to mix and match colors like yellow & hot pink and red & orange! I was so inspired by her style, it made me want to be pregnant again.
Also check out the nursery she put together for Goldie! So cute!
The picture above was from when I was 38 week pregnant! Now my daughter is 20 month old, it feels like it was ages ago!
This blue dress was my vintage find from “Sanbiki no Koneko” (three kittens) in Shimokitazawa in Tokyo. I bought it for 600 yen (about 6 bucks). I really liked the bat sleeves, and elastic waist, so I decided to take this home with me.
One problem with the dress was that it was too long for my liking, down to mid calf level. I decided to hem it shorter. But, having learned the lesson from my hemming experience of this polka dot dress, I decided to readjust my approach to hemming. If you hem a dress or skirt in the traditional way while you are in your third trimester, the center front of the skirt will raise more than expected because of the big belly.
So, this time I cut the front center of the dress 3 inches longer than the side and back.
Doing this will make allowance for the expanding pregnancy belly and make it so that the dress will not rise too high.
I struggled so much with what to wear while I was pregnant, but of course, now that I’m not any more, I keep seeing great, easy, comfortable but chic pregnancy clothes!
I love this pregnancy outfit with a dressed down maxi skirt and layers. I think Hillary Duff’s look is super cute and looks so comfy and practical.
Here’s how I would do it:
- The Ultimate Cardigan by Hatch Collection. A wrap/shawl-style cardigan is the best thing to have around with a newborn (PERFECT as a cover for nursing on the go!) so why not invest in a pretty one while you’re pregnant. This one by Hatch Collection is cashmere and it looks gorgeous.
- Foldover Maxi Skirt by Asos. I think you could dress this skirt up or down throughout your pregnancy and really get a ton of use out of it. It’s on sale too!
- Maternity Scoop Neck Vest by TopShop. Some of my best maternity buys while I was pregnant with Louis were from TopShop (here are some of the pieces I loved the most) and this tank looks like it has a great shape
- Diane von Furstenberg Zebra Ballet Flats. Flats are a (pregnant) girl’s best friend and these ones from DvF would be super cute with jeans too!
- Quilted Shopper by Zara. You’re going to be lugging around a huge diaper bag everywhere you go for a looong time, so enjoy some funner bags while you still can! This one is big enough to carry the essentials even if you have a toddler to take of while you’re pregers.
- Rhinestone Bangles by Isharya. Bangles are cute but not very practical with a newborn – wear them now!
I remember how maddening the “2 week wait” was when we were trying to get pregnant- for many months, I spent those two weeks completely preoccupied, driving myself nuts. I was wasting multiple pregnancy tests that I knew were too early to be accurate, googling and over analyzing every possible sign and symptom, making solemn promises to myself and to Mr. Floret Cadet to stop doing these things, and beating myself up when I inevitably broke them.
So during this “two week wait” before my due date when the baby could come any time (but might not come for almost a month still?!?!?!), I was determined to find a more mellow way to handle the uncertainty- especially because I’m out on maternity leave and knew how easily I could spiral when left home alone with just google and the dog for companionship all day! ; )
Here are some of the ways I’ve been staying sane:
Doing all of the things that drove me wild with jealousy when I was working full time
I’ve been to the Tuesday afternoon farmer’s market, the 11:30 am Wednesday Yoga class, the mid-afternoon pedicure appointment, and Costco when the lines are at their shortest- all of the things that I used to go wild with curiosity / jealousy knowing people with flexible work schedules could do during the weeks. It may only be for a two week period that I can join their ranks (solo at least), but I’ve been having lots of fun interloping!
Making a list – and then putting it away
As much as I knew I didn’t want to be commuting and working until I went into labor, I was really nervous about getting bored or feeling worthless while on the pre-baby part of maternity leave. I made a LONG list of things to do to stave off these feelings- it was color coded and had lots of subheadings : ) The first couple of days of leave, I kept it out and was gunning to get as many things checked off each day as I could. Then I just put it away. Now I know it’s there if I actually do get bored, which so far has only happened once!
Having Things To Look Forward To
Even though we can’t make a lot of firm plans, Mr Floret Cadet and I have tried to set it up so that we have things to look forward to each week no matter what. There are halloween parties coming up this weekend, and either we will get fun costumes at the last minute and go to them, or we’ll have a baby by then. My birthday is next Tuesday, and either we’ll be at one last fancy dinner, or we’ll have a baby by then. There’s a concert on my due date that I would die to go to, and though we aren’t going to buy tickets in advance, we will either get them on Stub Hub that day and have an awesome last date….or, have a baby.
Any day the baby wants to come, great – we’re ready! But any day she doesn’t, we’re one day closer to going to that last rowdy Halloween party, that last fancy birthday dinner, or concert on Leonard Cohen’s last tour. And that’s exciting too (though ok, not nearly as exciting ; )
Letting go of my ego
It’s really refreshing (and ok, humbling) for me to stare down a blank calendar, or say things like “literally any time next week works for me except for Wednesday afternoon when I go to the doctor.” For the next two weeks, I’m automatically the one who can drive to you, stay flexible, or handle mundane tasks because I have nothing much else going on. I’m trying to embrace it!
Doing whatever it takes to sleep well
Now I see why the last month of pregnancy is classified as a disability by the state! Nothing about my pregnancy is complicated, but like most people in the final weeks, I just hurt all over by the end of every day and have an impossible time finding a comfortable position or getting uninterrupted sleep.
It now takes a village of products and rituals to get me to sleep at night- a hot bath, a heating pad on my lower back, all five of my pillows in their special configuration, and lately, Tylenol PM. I struggled with that one for a while – even though I’d been told throughout my pregnancy that it was safe (and it was specifically recommended to me to take at night to fight nausea), I’ve been really keen to avoid any and all drugs during this pregnancy. Mr Floret Cadet is stubborn like this too, and even before I was pregnant I could feel him silently judging me if I ever took anything to sleep or for a cold ; )
So at first I was just caving and popping the Tylenol PM out of sheer desperation at 3 AM when I hadn’t gotten a single wink yet. But then it worked SO well. For the first time in weeks, I was sleeping comfortably and for several hours at a time. And at a certain point I realized that being well rested and functional the day I go into labor is more important than being tough and not relying on over the counter drugs to sleep during these last couple of weeks. Heck, it might even give me the stamina to avoid some of the drugs I’m really hoping to avoid in labor, so no more martyr complex here!
Getting on a new schedule
I’ve been thinking and reading a lot about whether I want to try to get our baby on a “parent-led” schedule, a “baby-led” schedule, or a combination schedule after she arrives. And I feel like I’ve gotten a little sneak preview of how a combination schedule can work these past couple of weeks, with “the pregnancy” standing in for the baby. For the week when it was totally up to the pregnancy, I would eat a small early dinner, go to bed from 10 – 1, wake up starving at 1 and stay up until 3 eating a midnight snack and taking a second hot bath, wake up starving at 6:30 and eat my first breakfast, go back to sleep at 7:30 and sleep for as long as I could, and then carry on from there.
Well in an effort to mesh up a little better with Mr Floret Cadet’s schedule (and the schedule of most of the rest of the world), I’ve nudged a little bit and we now have a compromise- I snack right before a later bedtime at 11 to try to avoid the midnight hunger pangs, take that tylenol PM when I need to, try my hardest to self soothe and fall back asleep without a bath if I wake up in the middle of the night (but get up if I’m not succeeding), rise at 7:30 to eat breakfast with my husband, and then nap from 9 – 11 to make up for any rocky sleep. It’s working well.
This gives me confidence that I’ll be able to do the same when the baby comes, without following any expert guidelines to a tee. The baby’s needs will always come first, but I know there will be little things we can do to help her rhythms adjust to our night and day times, or to help her learn to connect sleep cycles, so we’re not completely beholden to a schedule that doesn’t work for us on a long term basis.
Ignoring false labor
I have been having false labor (several hour stretches of contractions that *seemed* to be regular enough that they were worthy of timing) at least once a week for about a month already and I have finally learned to just ignore them. When I’d time them or otherwise put them to the “tests” they give you (do they slow down when you get up and walk around?), they always intensified and spiraled into an “oh my god, is this it?!” evening that made it really hard for me to sleep. But then always totally subsided when I did finally get some rest.
Of course we’ve all been cautioned by the stories about people who barely felt their contractions, didn’t even think to start timing them, and almost didn’t make it to the hospital in time. But those are really rare, especially for first timers, and as my midwife always reminds me, no one sleeps through active labor and misses the birth of their baby (even if they’ve taken Tylenol PM ; ) So when in doubt, I always just use everything in my arsenal to try to knock myself out, rather than using everything in my arsenal to observe my contractions or symptoms. One of these days, nothing will work, and then I’ll know it’s really time to pay attention!
Not Gathering Useless Information
I am 38.5 weeks pregnant and I have no idea if I’m at all dialated, effaced, or at what station the baby rests in my pelvis. This is because my midwife will check these things if a patient is dying of curiosity, but she doesn’t check as a matter of routine. She believes in gathering information if it’s actionable or if you have a reason to think something is abnormal, but not gathering it just to gather it. And this has been so great for me. A quick google check confirmed her opinion that the info about how dialated or effaced you are doesn’t mean much at all- some women walk around for 3 weeks 3 or more centimeters dialated before they go into labor, or conversely they don’t dialate at all until they’re in active labor. She feels that if it makes you feel empowered to know facts like this, go for it, but that depending on your personality type, it’s just as liable to give you false hope that something is happening soon, or discourage you when labor might actually be just around the corner. I decided my personality probably falls into the second category (I will read too much into it and have more useless google ammunition), so I have elected not to get checked.
Once again, I’m trusting that when I’m in active labor, I will know it, and until then, I just need to rely on these survival strategies to stay sane!
When I was a pregnant, I had a hard time finding a cute and comfortable maternity clothes at local stores available around my place. Most of them were too shapeless for my test, making me look like I was wearing a big garbage bag. So I either wore regular non-maternity clothes and cinch the waist (or the skinniest part above the belly) using a sash or a belt, or made my own clothes. Megan Nielsen, an Australian clothing designer, offers several different maternity sewing patterns, so you can create your own maternity clothes! Her design is cute, and sure to flatter the maternity figure. I’ve used her wrapped maternity top sewing pattern, and modified into a dress. You can see my variation on my blog, here!
Even though it’s not actually that long ago that I finished nursing Little A (just eightish months ago), I was wondering if it would be a similar experience nursing this time around, or if it would be different – maybe even harder? So I was happy to find that it really is just like riding a bike.
Baby L was just as quick to latch on and get into as Little A was and I was happy to find it was less painful for those first couple of weeks than it was last time. Luckily, both of my babies have been great nursers, since they both had a lot of weight to gain in their first days, weeks and months. Alec because he lost a ton of weight in his first days, and Louis because he was born teeny tiny.
Producing enough milk is something that I think all mothers think about, especially in the beginning. And I was determined to be more conscious of my production this time around, knowing that it would be harder to think of myself with two little ones around. I would also like to be able to build up a better freezer stash of pumped milk to last through weaning this time. For me, this simply means making sure I am getting enough nutritious food to eat and that I am staying really really hydrated. Also, I am eating lactation cookies like it’s my job.
Lactation cookies are built on the concept of “galactogogues” – substances that promote lactation by increasing milk supply. I think they work. Here is my recipe for lactation cookies. Have a couple with a glass of milk and enjoy!
- 6 tablespoons water
- 4 tablespoons flaxseed meal (Also known as Linseed meal) – found it at Whole Foods
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons of brewers yeast – Whole Foods
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
- Mix flax seed and water and let stand for 5ish minutes
- Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs, vanilla and flax/water mixture.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, brewers yeast and cinnamon and add it to the rest.
- Stir in chocolate and oats
- Spoon onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 mins, just until golden brown. They’ll firm up once they are cool. (Makes 4-6 dozen depending on how big you make them)
Hello all! Today I wanted to show you the trick I used when I was pregnant to wear non-maternity skirt as a maternity dress. This is the skirt I scored for $6 at a thrift shop. Although I was 34 week pregnant, and the skirt would obviously not fit, I found this bright orange skirt with yellow and teal tulip print so cute, and I had to grab it.
The skirt waist measures out as 66cm. My trick is to make a loop with an elastic band, and attach it to the skirt using safety pin. I threw on a cardigan to hide the opening part in the back. I felt like I’m wearing a moo moo with just that, so I added a belt under bust. Now I have a baby doll style dress:)
I’m currently off working on artwork for the opening of my Etsy shop and have some fabulous guest bloggers filling in for me over on my blog, with two cats, so I thought I’d share a few of my favorite past children’s posts with you this week:
Children’s Party Ideas:
Having Violet taught me that giving birth is full of twists and turns (both literally and figuratively). No matter how much you may wish it, you cannot ‘plan’ your experience. With that said, writing out my birth preferences really helped me to better understand the labor and delivery process and the decisions that I had to make during it. Here are a few of my top tips for writing a birth plan (along with a few photos from Violet’s birth):
1. The most important thing is to choose the right birthing attendant. I think this is really difficult to do, because even if you find the perfect obstetrician or midwife they are often part of a larger practice and may not be the person on call when you are in labor. I got lucky and my favorite midwife was able to deliver Violet, but I could have gotten any doctor in the practice and there were a few that I was not a huge fan of to say the least.
2. Keep your birth plan short and to the point. No busy doctor or nurse wants to read a ten page diatribe. Bullet points are your friend in this case. Keep your plan to one page if at all possible.
3. Make sure you understand everything that you write down. Don’t just copy and paste something that you find on the internet, although pre-written plans can be a good starting point.
4. Share your plan with your birthing attendant well in advance. Not only will it give your doctor or midwife a chance to read over your plan at a time when things are more low key, you will also find out in advance if they disagree with any of your choices. This actually happened to me. Although I had chosen a midwife, the practice she belonged to preferred patients to meet with as many doctors and midwives as possible, as any of them could be on call to deliver my baby. One of the doctors read over my plan and basically told me that he doesn’t really ‘do’ birth plans. He does things the way he wants to and that’s that. Needless to say I was counting my blessings when he didn’t show up to deliver Violet.
5. Stay flexible. Every labor and birth experience is different. Realize that anything can happen and it will save you from a lot of disappointment later. Definitely don’t let anyone bully you into a choice that you aren’t comfortable with, but do what is best for the health and safety of you and your baby.
While I was researching options for my birth preferences online, I came across these amazing how to posts written by a labor & delivery nurse
I also really like a few points made on this site:
A birth plan will NOT:
1. Change your health care provider’s style of practice, personality or protocols
2. Script the nature of your labor.
3. Ensure you have a satisfying labor.
In my case my midwife followed my birth ‘plan’ as closely as possible, but I’m glad that I remained flexible throughout the process. A few of my main preferences were:
- No offering pain medication (I was open to getting an epidural, but wanted to request it on my own rather than feeling pressured into it)
- No episiotomy
- Nurse as soon as possible after the birth
- No pacifiers, bottles, or formula
And here’s what happened in actuality:
- Although my midwife did not offer me pain medication, the nurses did (and frequently).
- I did not receive an episiotomy and I did tear naturally (ouch!)
- I did not get to breastfeed until a few days after giving birth, as Violet aspirated meconium and was taken almost immediately to the NICU. I did, however, pump and she was given my pumped milk through a feeding tube. Read about my first experience with a breast pump here. (Double ouch!)
- Violet was given a pacifier fairly quickly after birth. Before I even arrived at the NICU one of those little orange gumdrops was popped into her mouth. Luckily it didn’t impede breastfeeding in any way, but I’ll admit I was pretty annoyed. She was not, however, given a bottle or formula.
The next time around, I think the only change I would make is to choose a midwife at a smaller practice. Although I got lucky with Violet’s birth, the next time I could easily get the jerk who ‘does what he wants’. Did you have a birth plan when you were in labor? If so, what was your experience?
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