Feel Chic

Less than 12 weeks into my pregnancy my pants were snug and a little bump was beginning to form.  It happens at different stages for every pregnant woman.  Some women show early, like I did, and for some it takes longer.  Regardless of when it happens be assured it will happen.  You will realize that your regular clothes no longer fit and that my fellow mommas-to be- is a sad, sad, day.

But don’t despair, maternity fashion has come a LONG, LONG, way.  So take being pregnant as an opportunity to flaunt your growing belly.  It’s the one time in your life when a big tummy is socially acceptable so don’t be afraid to show it off.  Unfortunately, showing off the bump and building a pregnancy wardrobe can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be.  Here is what I did to manage the cost.

  1. Invest in denim – My initial splurge item was a pair of Citizen’s maternity jeans (I ordered mine from Amazon).  I wore them throughout my pregnancy and felt stylish and chic every single time.  Jeans are available at every price point from a range of stores but in my opinion if you invest in a good pair of jeans you will be happy through out your pregnancy.
  2. Get the basics (and get them at Target).  Right after the maternity jeans, my next purchases were t-shirts and tank tops from the maternity section at Target.  The t-shirts and tanks are soft and stretchy, perfect for your changing body.  Oh, and they are very reasonably priced.  I bought a white, black and grey tank and a black and white t-shirt.  These five items paired with almost everything.  Secret – I might keep wearing them after pregnancy they are that great.
  3. Leggings – My favorite pair of leggings are the Hue leggings at Nordstrom.  They sell a maternity version but I just bought the regular version. While I saved my leggings for the third trimester they are wearable throughout as they are soft, comfy and give lots of room for your expanding belly.
  4. Maxi Dresses – Whomever invited the maxi dress had pregnant women in mind.  They are comfortable and open which helps in the more uncomfortable stages of pregnancy.  Remember, you don’t need a maternity maxi dress but you might need one a size larger than your normal size. Get a couple, you won’t regret it.
  5. Regular clothes in bigger sizes – I won’t be pregnant forever but I may be a bit larger than I want to be for more than just nine months.  With that in mind I bought a few stylish pieces on sale at Nordstrom Rack one size bigger than my regular size and couldn’t be happier.  I also bought a dress from the Women’s Plus section at Target and it was ADORABLE.  These pieces will not only serve me during my pregnancy but should work in the months thereafter when I am trying to get back to my normal weight.
  6. Bra extenders – Most of the first and second trimester, I thought I needed new bras but then I discovered bra extenders at Target and my world changed. I just added these to my existing bras and voila they fit my growing chest perfectly.  New nursing bras are needed before baby arrives but the advice I received was to wait until week 37 to purchase as your breasts will continue to grow until baby arrives and thereafter.
  7. And if you still need to splurge, like I did, find a maternity clothing boutique and indulge yourself.  I found Mom’s The Word in Palo Alto, CA.  They have adorable clothes and everything felt soft and fabulous on my skin.  From there I purchased two body hugging maternity dresses and a couple of tops that will work during pregnancy and while I am breastfeeding.  I also did a splurge on a maternity pencil skirt from Nordstrom that worked great when I needed business professional attire.

To sum it up some splurge items are not only okay but are very needed to make you feel fabulous (like denim and one or two body hugging style dresses) but focus on the basics (t-shirts, tanks, leggings) in wearable colors at reasonable prices.  Try to buy regular clothes in a size larger so you can keep wearing them after pregnancy and don’t forget to go shopping in your own closet to find wearable pieces you can pair with your new tanks and tees.

Happy shopping mommas-to-be.

Gender Reveal – Desi Style

This week I am talking about our decision to not find out the gender of the baby.  The most interesting, and possibly stereotypical, reaction I received was from the fearless, opinion sharing, knower of all things- the Indian Aunties .  Top to bottom, when an Indian Aunty  who saw me heard that I was having a baby they would take one look at me and say “I think it’s a boy.”

Boys were the cherished gender in traditional Indian culture (and in many other cultures across the world).  The desire for a boy came from a very practical place.  In many countries, the transfer of land could only go to a son.  Before the era of the retirement homes (which were virtually unheard of in India until recently), it was a son and his new family who would care for parents into their old age.  Girls, while loved, were considered burdensome because someday they would need to be married and would move far away from the family.  Not to mention that in many parts of India to marry a daughter required a substantial dowry.

While Indian culture has come a very long way and many of the boy/girl stereotypes have largely disappeared, there is still something lingering in the culture that wants or esteems boys.  It is deeply rooted and it comes from an honestly good place.

So when I hear the Indian Aunties tell me it will be a boy, I just take it as a pre-arrival blessing for a healthy, happy baby that will be a wonderful addition to our family (even though I am secretly rooting for a girl).

Gender Reveal? Not For Us, Thanks.

When you are about 20 weeks pregnant you can find out the gender of your baby.  This is a milestone in the pregnancy as many expectant parents cannot handle the suspense of not knowing if it is a boy or a girl brewing in the belly.

From the moment I found out I was pregnant, one of my first thoughts was that I did not want to know the gender of the baby.  I wanted to not only keep it a surprise from other people but I also wanted to keep it a surprise from ourselves.  My overall philosophy around baby was to not over think the stage of pregnancy I was in and not to contemplate the stages of pregnancy that were to come. I needed to know the basics but I didn’t want to wind myself up with so much information that I became obsessive or over worried about any step in the process.

To that end, I didn’t know what knowing the gender would do for me.  Yes, perhaps I could buy more gender specific clothing.  Perhaps I could paint the baby’s room various shades of pink or blue.  But something deep down inside of me just did not want to know.  Rather, I preferred to be subject to what once was life’s biggest mystery.

My Leading Man on the other hand was keen to find out.  The day of our 20 week appointment, where the Doctor does a full look at the anatomy and reveals the gender, he says to me “Just think about it.”  Well I had already thought about it and had a strong feeling that I did not want to know. Luckily he went along with it.

Fortunately, the baby also cooperated.  It was tumbling around in the belly during the entire appointment.  So much so, we couldn’t even get a good picture of our bundle of joy.  The Doctor said “good thing you don’t want to know the gender because I wouldn’t be able to tell you with how much this baby is moving.”

Good work baby!  Now we will all find out together when you pop into this world.