Category: Pregnancy Stuff
Until you have a baby, you really don’t realize just how much your body goes through. And as many stories as you may hear and as much as your friends may tell you, everyone is different and everyone’s experience varies. Thankfully, my experience was way less scary than I had imagined and although I can say I feel like I had a relatively easy experience, the maintenance you have to go through after labor was something I really had no clue about. From squirt bottles (given to me at the hospital) to belly wraps, there were quite a few items I’d never heard anyone mention. Below are some of the items that helped with the (vaginal) recovery process and helped ease the beginning stages of nursing, both of which occur simultaneously.
I think these would also make a thoughtful care package for any girlfriends.
1. soothies - stick these in the freezer first and they’ll provide a cooling relief for sore and cracked nipples.
2. maxi pads – feels like your period comes into full effect, so you’ll need these for at least a week after labor.
3. tucks – apply one pad onto your maxi and it helps relieve discomfort.
4. motrin – for cramps, especially when your first begin to nurse.
5. lanolin – ouch. Again, for sore and cracked nipples. I applied this after every breastfeed.
6. nursing cover – baby feeds every 2-3 hours and with the amount of guests you’ll have visiting, this covers you up if you’re modest. I sure am. I have this exact one but I also found this one that is super stylish.
7. nursing pads – I went through these like crazy in the beginning. I was leaking a lot and these help absorb leakage and keep your bras from getting dirty extra fast. These are washable but I used the disposable kind.
8. nursing bras and 9 – you’ll need a few. Comfort is key. I much prefer the kind with no underwire. You’ll also need a few. I thought I could get by on a couple. I had to send my husband out to purchase more.
10. nipple shields – I had cracked nipples and it hurt when it was time to pull back the bra for nursing so I tucked these into my bra to keep from that skin to bra contact.
11. belly bandit – I live in this! I still wear it. I want to feel that support and feel like my stomach and hips are shrinking back into place. If there is one thing you purchase off this list, this is my number one recommendation.
It’s so much to deal with all at once, and now that I went through childbirth and feel like I’m 90% back to myself again, I truly feel like a champ. And to anyone who is on their way to motherhood, best of luck and hope this little round up helps you.
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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 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!
I am now well into my third trimester with baby #2 and still struggling to find my fashion groove! On Friday I had two highly-anticipated packages arrive. One from J. Crew with three pair of Cece ballet flats and one from Hatch Collection with two dresses and a jumpsuit. Five of the six pieces have moved into my closet and I’m hoping they will save my summer from a pregnancy-fashion perspective!
I have two pairs of J. Crew Cece ballet flats from before and I always get compliments on them (especially the suede ones in “flame”). I have problems with SPD (symphysis pubic dysfunction) so I’m completely banned from high heels for the duration of my pregnancy and only get to wear anything other than proper running shoes for special occasions. I’m short so my (fairly extensive) shoe collection is mostly made up of really high heels so I needed a few pairs of flats to dress up some outfits for summer. I got the Cece ballet flats in sapphire suede, tawny sand leather, and gold brocade.
I couldn’t resist Hatch Collection’s gorgeous pieces, and I ended up ordering three of them, partly hoping that not all would work out as they are definitely not cheap. I’ll be keeping The Jumper in charcoal silk and The Slouch Dress in cobalt silk. I think (but it’s hard to be sure) that both of these will work even post-pregnancy (though definitely not while breastfeeding which is such a shame).
I have at least two events to attend this week and a couple next week and I am hoping that the Hatch pieces will work for all of these. This evening I’ll be wearing the slouch dress (to a very un-slouchy reception). The dress code is summer elegant but I’m not sure the weather will cooperate. I’ll probably pair it with a double-front blazer from 5th Avenue Shoe Repair, Jeffrey Campbell patent fleur de lis flats (or the new gold ballet flats to make things feel a little more summery), a chunky gold necklace made out of gold chains from my mother’s family or dangly gold earrings, and a Madonna for H&M black patent leather clutch.
And tomorrow I think I will debut the jumper at a less formal family reception. I’ll probably pair it with a cute little cream Club Monaco blazer with asymmetrical zipper and shoulder pads that I’ve had since right before Little A was born and maybe the new blue ballet flats. I’ll have Little A with me (what will he wear??) so I’ll be carrying my diaper bag…
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:
NO, i am not pregnant! but i know a lot of you that are right now. so, i thought i would post a few foods that helped with mine. my first pregnancy i had it BAD. with my son i had very little.
feel free to add your morning sickness foods/tricks.
i think it was the texture and the chewing that was somewhat soothing!
a great comfort food. i could finish off the entire box in one sitting- no problem!
sometimes i would eat 2 or 3 of these for breakfast. so sweet and delicious!
i prefer red, but any kind of gatorade was refreshing without making me nauseous (plain water made me so sick!)
they just soaked up the swirling acid in my stomach
i just discovered a must read blog for all of you pregnant ladies! Jen is about to become a first time mama (literally, her baby should be here any day now!)…and she writes a very informative blog with all kinds of info for pregnant women. check out mommybrainjen.blogspot.com.
i love her hospital bag list (i wish i would have had this before i had my baby):
1) Labour Bag:
Slippers and a housecoat for walking around the hospital
Socks to keep your feet warm
An old nightie to wear during delivery (or wear a hospital gown)
Toiletries – lip balm, headbands, hair elastics, etc.
Digital camera (don’t forget to charge your battery)
Your birth plan (discussed in my next Baby Prep post)
Snacks and drinks for your hubby/labour partner.
Hard candy for a dry mouth – I bought Jolly Ranchers, YUM!
Your health card and insurance information
Sweater for hubby – room gets cool as Momma gets hot!
2) Post-Delivery Bag:
2 nursing bras (bras can be properly sized after 36 weeks)
12 breast pads for when your milk comes in
24 Sanitary/maternity pads – supplied by some hospitals (IWK)
2-3 nighties – easy for beastfeeding and allows easy access for nurses to check your vajajay!
Lots of old undies (your “period panties”) – as many as you have!
Toiletries – everything you need for a 2-3 night stay
PJs and change of clothes for Dad (if he’ll be staying with you)
Calling card and phone numbers of family/friends
Money – for snacks, parking ($35 parking @ IWK), etc.
2 pillows in coloured pillow cases- extra for you and hubby
Pens for completing post-delivery paper work
Going home outfit – something loose and comfy. You aren’t leaving the hospital as Giselle Bundchen!
3) Baby’s Bag:
12 newborn diapers OR 3 dozen if hospital doesn’t supply diapers.
Diaper cream – vaseline, zincofax, etc.
3 onesies and 3 sleepers
2 receiving blankets (warm blankets if winter)
Take home outfit
2 pairs socks or booties and a hat (season dependent)
Pack 2-3 separate bags. When you arrive at the hospital, you’ll only need your labour bag. Leave your post-delivery and baby bags in the car until you are moved to the recovery room. Also, give your health card, etc. to your hubby and leave your purse at home. You don’t need to worry about losing your purse!
We leave our packed bags in the car so when “it’s time” we only have to worry about getting ourselves to the hospital!
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