don’t you just love “dos and don’ts” lists? i sure DO! ha ha. oh i crack myself up. pregnancy is a funny time in one’s life. it is as if your body is truly not your own. and of course i mean that literally, since you are sharing your epidermis (and stretching it…way way out), organs, blood, food and just about everything else that makes your body tick with a teeny little bambino. so in having gone around this merry go round twice now, i thought i would compile my own personal “dos and don’ts” of pregnancy. and keep in mind, this is just my personal list…i know everybody has their own experiences, but here is what i found to be true in my own. here goes.
let’s start with fashion why don’t we?
DO: buy clothes at your favorite stores (if it’s hanging on the sale rack, you get bonus points) in bigger sizes. maternity clothes are a RIP. OFF. and you can only wear them when you are knocked up. styles today are so very conducive to pregnant people! long hemlines on shirts, flowy cuts and fabrics, and seams underneath the bustline. take advantage of this, ladies! my favorite haunts to cruise the sales rack for bigger items to wear during pregnancy are anthropologie (i love anthro, but let’s face it…a lot of their clothes could double as maternity any day of the week and twice on sunday), banana republic (incredible sales racks! i wear a loose black silk shirt in a larger size that i picked up there for like $7 all the time) and the department stores are great too. also, stock up on dresses…towards the end, pants become increasingly uncomfortable, especially when you’re sitting for an extended period of time (i.e. if you work behind a desk)…and you will only want to wear dresses. i am in that mode now and if you see me two days in a row – i will probably be wearing the same dress. true story. these are desperate times people – 8.5 months pregnant in summer in georgia. oy.
ok, so here is some pictoral evidence of my “normal people” clothes that i can wear when expecting.
this lilly pulitzer dress (i’m wearing it…on the very left, with all of the other knocked up gals at kanda’s baby shower) was a sale rack find and is a go-to for me and several prego friends who have borrowed it! the cut of it is just perfect for a belly and it’s a nice material (unlike the cheapo viscose/jersey blend that makes most maternity clothes so…special) so you feel like you’re wearing a real dress.
this shirt i wore at rush’s birthday celebration is rebecca taylor (neimans sale rack, holla!), around the same size i usually wear, and makes me feel actually cute with a ginormous belly…and you bet your bottom dollar i’ll get a ton of use out of it after the baby too.
anthro sale rack purchase (two years ago when i was pregnant with rush). love wearing this with some denim trousers i have from gap maternity. it fits well into the 8th month, which is saying a lot for a non-maternity item.
recent (maybe 2-3 weeks ago?) anthro sale rack purchase. wore this to a charity event with rbb weekend before last. the dress came with a cute red slip – way too small for the LARGE AND IN CHARGE bump – but i just interchanged it for a similar colored long long camisole…bingo! i already have a couple of belts in mind i’m going to cinch it with once that baby evacuates.
btw, have y’all caught on that i don’t buy anything at full price? i never met a sales rack i didn’t like.
DON’T: buy a bunch of expensive maternity clothes. i’m talking to you, pea in the pod. gap maternity is where i get all of my real maternity pants and shirts. i do have one pair of seven for all mankind maternity jeans (xmas gift from rbb when i was pregnant with rush…he understands a gal’s need for designer jeans, love that!) and wear them a ton, especially after the baby. and sometimes when i want to eat a lot (just kidding…kind of).
DO: self tan. it is one thing to be 30+ lbs. heavier than you usually are; it’s quite another to be PASTY and 30+ lbs. heavier than you usually are. get thee a spray tan or self-tanner, it will boost your self-confidence and make you feel skinnier! my favorite self-tanner is st. tropez. it’s scary dark when it comes out of the tube, but works like a charm.
DON’T: spend a lot of dough on the stretch marks cream. i used mine religiously during my pregnancy with rush and got them anyway. i think you are predestined to get them based on your genetic makeup…so if your mom got them, you probably will too. and for me…bye bye bikinis. been fun!
DON’T: read ‘what to expect when you’re expecting.’ that book still gives me shivers…it will scare the pants off of you. and who needs that?!
DO: go for walks as much as you can stand to. it will make you feel more energized and fresh air can’t be beat. but make sure to bring lots of water with you.
DON’T: kill yourself working out. in the girlfriend’s guide to pregnancy, vicki tells you that she was pregnant four times – and compared all of her pregnancies, weight-wise. in her first pregnancy, she ate everything in sight, and then with her fourth she says (and i believe her) that she was so busy she forgot to eat – and gained the same amount of weight with each pregnancy. i could say the same thing – when i was pregnant with rush, i was seeing a trainer (obvi a different place and time – i can’t tell you the last time i lifted anything heavier than a can of tomatoes or my toddler) and tried to eat super healthy. this time – not so much. it’s too hot to walk on a regular basis and i have been MAJORLY indulging in all things sweet, everywhere, all the time. at my 30 week doctor’s appointment, i weighed the exact same thing that i did last pregnancy at 30 weeks. i think everyone’s body is predisposed to gain a certain amount of weight regardless – so have a little FUN why don’t you. when else would it be appropriate to eat an entire double doozie in one sitting?!
btw, i had one two days ago. it was soooo good.
DO: design a gender-neutral nursery – even if you know what you are having. and i don’t mean definitely positively gender-neutral like all green and yellow, just a color palette you wouldn’t hate to use if you did have another baby of a different sex down the road.
let me tell you a little story. when i was pregnant with rush, we did not know he was going to be a boy. thus, we were going to do a gender-neutral nursery regardless. i opened up the pages of domino, took one look at jenna lyons’ yellow, black and white nursery and was done. can you blame me? how fab!
i had never had a lot of black in my decor scheme and was craving a little bit of the drama that it brings, and the yellow served as a great pop of bright color that i loved. i bought jenna’s same bedding and set about putting the room in motion, searching high and low for just the perfect dresser / changing table, getting custom cushions and pillows made for the rocking chair, finding just the right paint color, artwork, draperies, i could go on and on. it was SO FUN to put together and i still love the final result.
this is how it looked in our old abode. i would show you what it looks like in our new house, but oh wait – it’s not done yet. poor second child.
okay, now fast forward two years and some change and LLP is due in two short weeks. since rush is now two and very much a big boy, he is moving into his toddler bedroom, which i wanted to put just as much effort into as i did the nursery. and, you kind of have to – it’s not like any other room that you’ve had in your house before, so it requires some attention…plus, he is going to be in this room as-is for a good 8-10 years, maybe more? so i want it to be nice. here is my long-winded point – there is NO WAY i would have the energy / funds / focus to decorate this toddler bedroom AND another nursery in case we had a girl (like if we knew the gender or something crazy like that) at the same time. plus, crib bedding is just not something you want to go long on. you only use it for a couple of years and the nice sets are pretty steep. i cannot tell you how thrilled i am that the nursery is pretty much on auto-pilot – it’s a huge relief to not have to worry about that. and that is my little story….putting the soapbox away :)
DON’T: overlook what your parents or in-laws might have kept from your childhood that you can reuse in your nursery. the rocking chair in our nursery is the same one that my parents used when we were all little. it is so special to rock rush in that same chair…
me as a porker bambino. and see, i’ve always been a bulldog.
rush at 4 months in the same chair wearing my favorite – kissy kissy!
and plus, it saved us lots of dough on a glider!
DO: as much as you can to prepare for the baby and the nursery in the 2nd trimester. you just never know how the 3rd is going to go…you could end up on bedrest, having the baby early, feeling like *&$)….and the 2nd trimester is the golden stage of pregnancy. you feel good, have energy and can still lift things without grunting.
DON’T: prepare a birth plan. again – you just never ever know how things are going to go, so don’t set yourself up for a big letdown when the baby isn’t born exactly the way you planned. as for me, i didn’t do any sort of birth plan, and was glad i didn’t because of the way my delivery turned out. (well, and my doctor and l&d nurse started making fun of some recent patient who had in her birth plan that she wanted to deliver on all fours…) it was funny; i was in the dimly lit l&d room all day ‘laboring’ and they had a tv where you could set the channel on a music station. so i thought “cool, i’ll have this baby come into the world listening to classical music; s/he’ll be so smart and cultured from the beginning” (what a nut. i know. i was drugged up btw.) well, after pushing for 2.5 hours to no avail, a failed vacuum attempt (which by the way is a medieval torture device), i was whisked off to the bright-as-a-landing-strip operating room where they were playing rap music. swear. luckily i hadn’t really attached myself to the scenario in the l&d room because it sure didn’t happen! my point is, don’t set yourself up to be disappointed. don’t go into labor with any expectations or trying to plan it…because you can’t. babies have minds of their own and they all have their own agenda of how they’ll come into this world!
DO: bring baby clothes to the hospital. i don’t know what i was thinking – i wasn’t – but the only outfit provided for the baby by the hospital is a shirt and as many diapers as s/he can dirty up. it’s a good thing that we lived across the street from the hospital at the time and that i had pre-washed all of the clothes – we needed them! and, might want to pack some newborn size diapers to bring along. our hospital only carried size 1s and they were a little large on rush’s 7 lb. 12 oz. tush…newborns were so much more snug!
DON’T: bring cute clothes or pajamas to wear while you’re in the hospital. this one i borrowed from vicki iovine…but after giving birth, you are going to just…um…need changes of clothes regularly for various reasons that you’ll find out about in due time, and why mess up your good stuff? that’s what the standard issue gowns are for! maybe pack a bathrobe but that’s it. oh, and a nice going home outfit (but definitely comprised of maternity clothes…chances are you are NOT going to be that 1 in a million [gazillion?] person who struts out of the hospital in their skinny, pre-pregnancy jeans). this outfit will be well-documented so make sure you like it! and, as hard as it may be to round brush and straight-iron your hair (especially if you had a c-section) and also apply a full face of makeup, DO IT on the day you leave the hospital. you will seriously look at those photographs for years on end and you’ll want to look presentable!
DO: stay in the hospital as long as they will let you…or as long as your insurance will allow you to do so. with a c-section, i know it’s four nights, and i believe it’s two nights with a regular birth. i never understand why people choose to leave early – sure it’s nice to sleep in your own bed, but when you’re at the hospital, you can send your baby to the nursery and get a good night’s rest…have three meals made and delivered to you every day…and most importantly, there are nurses there 24/7 to answer any and all questions you have!! man, i’m looking forward to my stay. it will feel like a vacation! home will always be there and trust me, you’ll see PLENTY of it in the coming months. take your coat off, get a fresh hospital gown and stay awhile!
DON’T: forget to have your mom’s number on speed dial. for obvious reasons.
DO: realize you are a ROCK STAR for birthing a child, any way you do it! it’s no small feat and they don’t call it labor for nuthin’. pat yourself on the back and pour a stiff cocktail (finally!!!!) upon arriving home with your new addition. and remember the rule…best time to booze is when you’re nursing :)
got any tips of your own? would love to hear them!!