The Eight Best Things I Bought For my Pregnancy

by - Wednesday, November 05, 2014

 I wrote almost this entire blog and then something horrible happened with blogger, and the vast majority of it disappeared. So if you taste some bitterness on this, it isn't toward pregnancy goods, it is toward that evil blogger and the missing first draft of this.

I am going to write a few blogs on what I learned being pregnant before I am crabby prego or my brain completely melts away. All in all, I really liked being pregnant, and I admittedly had a very easy pregnancy. Nowadays, you can go pretty crazy with the pregnancy gear and get ups, and the truth of it is you probably don't need most of it. My biggest advice is to buy things as you need them, because somebody can tell you that you can't live without a body pillow or one of those support belts or their nausea relief. But there is a very good chance that you can totally live without those things, because each woman gets her own handfull of weirdness, so what they need might be useless to you.

That being said, these are the things I am most glad I bought:

1. Burt's Bees Belly Butter and Rose Hipseed Oil- People will tell you again and again that there is nothing you can do about stretch marks (making this kind of stuff essentially useless). Who cares. Putting this lotion on my stomach after showers and before bed kept the whole area feeling soft and comfortable on the skin level (I also never got a stretch mark, but I won't argue correlation here). One of those weird things is that your stomach can get really itchy, but I think this helped keep me from scratching or feeling gross.  So I cannot guarantee you a stretch mark-free stomach (supposedly slow weight gain is the best you can do for that), but it will feel nicer!

2. Pea in a Pod Skinny Jeans- I read about these jeans on another blog (I am trying to find it to give her her propers), and they were my big splurge. I definitely got my money's worth, because I wore these puppies all the time. I have one other pair that my Mom gave me, and they are pretty nice, but these jeans are incredibly comfy, cover my belly so I never have to worry about hanging out, and look good with everything. It's hard to know what to go big on, but a pair of jeans isn't a bad choice, because you know you will wear them a lot.  I love these maternity jeans.

3. Belts- When our moms were pregnant with us, it was still expected that you cover your belly up. They rocked a lot of mumus. My mom even bought me a loosey goosey dress to wear. I love that the "cover this all up" style is out, because I think pretty much every woman (person for that matter) looks best when they are showing off the parts of themselves that they love. From early on through the whole shebang, one of the best choices I made was belting this business and creating a waist. These two pictures are only a month apart, and even though I definitely did get bigger, I think the belt is actually doing the majority of the work. Just go stretchy (so you can use it and stay comfortable) and medium to big (because small ones start to look like they are being eaten by your giant chesticles by the end). It's one of the only accessories that can carry you through the whole path, so you get a lot for your money.

4. Summer Sanders (and her Sister-in-law) Baby Workout and Baby Yoga- If you can exercise, I recommend it, because it really can help you feel good (not just surviving). I expected to take Aqua Zumba, but it was not in the stars, so I landed in Baby Yoga. I am no yoga champion (the very sweet teacher has to fix me every time and I HATE downward dog), so I look like a loser for an hour, and then a crazy person for the last 15 minutes while I cry through the savasana (???) business. I still love it.  I would still recommend it to anyone going through pregnancy, because it feels so good to stay active if you can. I can still tie my shoes and paint my own toenails and can feel the good kind of sore. Not to mention, I have met lots of other women going through the same thing, which is good because the whole event can feel pretty isolating.

If you can't fit a class into your budget or schedule, a video like Summer Sanders can move you through the trimesters I started on some other video where the woman looked like a real housewife wearing lingerie, and I think what we were doing was pilates? It was like horrible, painful nothing for an hour. I hated it. Why would you want to do any exercise that gives you lots of time to think about how exercise is the worst? On the other hand, Summer and her sister-in-law (did she mention Carrie is her sister-in-law) have delightfully dorky and awkward banter, are always encouraging and positive (they even give you water breaks!), and have a catchphrase so bad that Summer often forgets it. I highly recommend this video, even if I do miss Beto and Gina.

5. Netflix- Ok, maybe we didn't get this specifically for our pregnancy, but it has been a big help on these long weekends where we mostly chill at home trying to get things done. I just feel less open to new things, so binge watching good old things has become a real comfort in a weird way.

6.Sarah Blakely Understuff- Spanx for pregnant women is just the worst, most sexist and self-loathing concept in the world (and really totally unnecessary- first the belly is too small for the attention, then it is far too powerful to be tamed). Yet, I will swear by them. In fact, if I got pregnant again, I would probably buy more. Why? Two reasons. First, even if you don't gain a lot of weight in the hips, your knees to belly button are going through some stuff. One of the harshest realities you face is that you may not be able to walk 5 miles in a day like you did before without your flesh having an epic battle with itself. There is a reason that pregos really commit to leggings, but in the summer it is too hot for that, so these can make a world of difference keeping those pesky thighs in their own space.

More importantly, somebody decided that stretch jersey dresses (like this one, which I really liked from Ingrid and Isabel but you can find a lot more reasonable off of Amazon) are just what every pregnant body needs.Eh, I certainly won't knock showing off those curvy bodies, but I am not sure clingy is needed by anyone, and these dresses can really put you on display. This kind of understuff can help you to avoid embarrassing yourself. Because nothing says "Oh yeah, my mom jeans are at home" like super visible panty line. Sarah Blakely's Assets line for pregnant women isn't overly spanxy and stay comfy all day.

7. Gap Leggings- Once it gets cooler, you can get a lot more mileage out of the same clothes if you can transition summer things into fall. Nothing does this more effortlessly than a good pair of leggings, and these ones, from the Gap, are my favorite. To be clear, these are not pants. Leggings are not pants. And I don't care how much of a miracle factory your vagina is, cover up your business. Feelings on this issue vary, but I love full paneled stuff, because they don't roll down and they just make me feel more in my clothes. These are also really comfy, like a t-shirt for your legs. I did not love most of the other Gap pregnancy stuff (made me look square), but these are worth the buy (and they are on sale!).

8. A Babymoon- I wrote a whole blog about this, because I really think this is that important. You don't have to spend a bunch of money- be a tourist in your own hometown or build a fort in your own house, but make a fun plan and execute it. The most important thing is to take a big break from thinking and talking about baby to do something fun and just about the two of you. The whole pregnancy period can feel like you are waiting, counting down to something, but it is good to enjoy this time (however you do that) too. I know the babymoon is a very recent trend, but it is a damn good idea (plus, who doesn't love an excuse to have an adventure?).

Four Things You can Probably Wait On

1. Yoga Pants- Can't we all decide not to be that person? If you aren't exercising, then how many exercise/athletic pants could you possibly need? Even if you do wear a lot of loungewear at the very end, I found that my regular pants fit just fine under my belly (as do my maxi skirts), so there was no reason to spend money here. Even if you stretch out your current gym pants, it is probably a better investment to buy yourself new ones post-pregnancy than tobuy a bunch of pregnancy stuff you can't use again.

2. Bras- I also found that I could get away with the bras from my curvier stages before. If you can hold out until the end, when you will have to get nursing bras anyway (just buy the nursing ones and skip having a variety of regular nunja-wear in all sorts of sizes). Again, it doesn't always play out that way, but I would wait until you need them to buy them- this is a really hard thing to estimate ahead of time.

3. Things that Just Aren't Your Style- You will see a bunch of the same things in various places over and over, and you will convince yourself you need one. I ended up with more than one black dress, because it just seems like one of those things you need. Eh, it was probably a dumb purchase. I thought I would wear them more to work at the gallery, but just like when I am not a backwards camel, I mostly pick the things I love (which are colorful and printed). I could have gotten away with just the one grey or just the one black dress. Yeah, the rules change slightly for maternity clothes, but mostly what your style is won't. Don't talk yourself into things or go overly neutral if that is just not you.

4. Coats- Even if you are due in February and March, and therefore will spend your curvier months in colder weather, mostly your old coats left open will do the trick. The same goes for a lot of your cardigans or blazers. You are a walking oven anyway, so you may not be cold, even if you are usually the one shivering. Big scarf, open coat, you are good.

Honorary Mention: A body pillow (wait and see if you need it, pregnant sleep isn't always the nightmare it is chalked up to be, especially if you were a side sleeper already), pregnancy belts (I have yet to hear someone say they absolutely loved theirs), or any kind of massager (tennis balls. All you need is a tennis ball and a wall).

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