Pick a Great Doctor

Picking a Doctor to deliver your baby is an important decision.  Not only will he or she (hopefully) be there for the actual delivery.  This is someone who you will be meeting frequently throughout your pregnancy so having a certain level of comfort and confidence with your physician is very important.  In my case, my insurance changed right around the time I found out I was pregnant.  So I had to find a new doctor whether I wanted to or not.  I used recommendations of others who recently delivered or those who were newly pregnant.

The first recommendation I received turned out to be the Doctor I chose.  Why did I pick him, you ask?  First, I loved his calm, all-knowing mannerism.  He was very practical, pleasant and I knew would sooth my nerves no matter how the pregnancy went.  I also loved that he personally delivered his patient’s babies (this I learned was not the case with many other providers where whatever doctor is on call will do that duty). My doctor also had a five-star rating on yelp and within a few minutes of meeting him I knew that was very well deserved.

Fortunately, my pregnancy has gone smoothly but as I approach delivery I am feeling in very good hands with my doctor. Many different scenarios in delivery can occur and I know whatever happens he will give me the right advice and guide the birth of my baby in the right direction.

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.

Reading Time!

Yes, I am the New Indian Mom that wanted to keep myself from knowing too much or reading too much about pregnancy and raising children in hopes of keeping myself sane and not overly obsessed during my pregnancy.  But with all the changes my body was experiences I knew pretty early on that I needed at least a baseline understanding of what was going to happen over the next nine months. So I hit the virtual book store (sadly it is hard to find a real book store these days) to find a few baby books to guide me through my pregnancy.

Here are some of my favorites:

 The first book that I purchased upon finding out I was pregnant was The Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy.  After the first few chapters, I found this book too medical and not relatable.  A friend hearing my less than stellar assessment of my first pregnancy book purchase gave me her copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting and I am so happy she did.  This book was easy to read and had a good balance of medical jargon and everyday language to explain how the baby is growing and how I can expect my body to change week over week.  It is written in an accessible way and supported my goal of not over-obsessing.  I read only the part of the book that related to my week of pregnancy and never read ahead, until I hit my third trimester (yes, I am in my 3rd-tri already).  Upon beginning the third trimester and realizing the finish line was near, I did read ahead in the book just to know what to expect if baby came early. I think I trained myself so well in the first and second trimesters that reading ahead did not freak me out or cause me to obsess, which was great (even when I read the dreaded labor and delivery chapter).

The second book that I highly recommend is The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy.  This was given as a gift from another dear friend and mom of two adorable girls.  This is by far the best book in my collection.  It leaves the medical mumbo jumbo to the doctors and talks more about the experience of being pregnant the way only your girlfriends’ can,  at least, the ones who’ve been through the “exhilaration and exhaustion, the agony and ecstasy of pregnancy”.  It’s funny, witty, and as real as it gets.  If you are expecting and haven’t picked up this book yet – do so now!  It is great and I savored each and every word as if it were written just for me.  I think you might feel the same.

Besides the baby books, it’s good to keep some non-baby related books by your bedside too. You will need something to distract you from the pregnancy and sometimes a gripping novel or some trashy gossip magazines do the trick.

Are you expecting a baby soon or have you had one recently?  What were your favorite books to read while pregnant?

 

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 Backlash

My Leading Man and I thought our decision to not find out the gender of our baby would just be our mystery to deal with.  Boy, where we WRONG.

EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE had an opinion to give us on why we should be finding out.  By EVERYONE I mean not only future Grandparents – they were down right angry at us and to this day think we know and are just not telling them – but friends, co-workers, and most baffling of them all, down right strangers.

As most pregnant women know, strangers have no problem coming up to you at a restaurant, in a store, at the mall, at the movies and virtually any other place where your ballooning belly is visible to them and wanting to ask you about your pregnancy.

Question #1 – When are you due? 

Question #2- What are you having?

For me, the positive inquiry ended with question #2.

The look of horror and disbelief when you reveal that you are choosing not to find out if it is a boy or a girl was shocking the first handful of times it happened.  Eventually I got used to it.  The most popular follow on questions people would ask me were:

Well how will you buy it clothes? 

“How will you decorate the nursery?”

“How will you decide on a shower theme?”

“So you want to be unprepared for baby?”

And so on and so forth. Some days I found it beyond irritating to deal with these inquisitions (and trust me they happened almost every time I was in public).  Other days, I found it amusing because I knew what slew of questions were about to come my way.

The baby will have tiny little outfits and they will be adorable (they will just be neutral in color).  The nursery is in progress and in my opinion looks fabulous (yes, there will be a future post on this soon).  We had two baby showers and both went off without a hitch (more on that soon too).  And as for being unprepared, knowing the gender would not help me be a more prepared parent. For me, it would lead to more confusion, stress and obsession about how to raise a Little Miss or a Little Mister.

While there are times when I want to know and I am beyond curious to find out, keeping it a mystery has been a wonderful part of our personal journey.

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.

The First Trimester

Almost the same day that I found out we were expecting our first child, I begin to experience the dreaded morning sickness.  However, in my case, it wasn’t morning sickness but late afternoon/early evening sickness.  I cannot say how my sickness compares to other pregnant women.  All I know is that for me it was overwhelming and exhausting.

I was one of those people who prior to becoming pregnant can count on one hand the number of times I had a cough or a cold.  I enjoyed good health my entire life.  So imagine my shock and complete inability to cope once baby started to make its presence known in my body.  The nauseous feeling was overwhelming and made the afternoons and early evenings adventurous to say the least.  I never knew how bad it would be but most days were pretty darn bad.

In the first trimester I lost seven pounds as I simply couldn’t keep anything down.  While feeling so sick, I was working full-time and trying to disguise my pregnancy from colleagues. No easy feat when I had to run out of  afternoon meetings to the restroom to deal with my severe nausea or had to pull over the car on the drive home to vomit.

During one particularly rough weekend, I started crying and told My Leading Man that his child was trying to kill me.  “Now what kind of mother says that?”  he retorted.  “Many probably think it but probably don’t say it out loud” I shouted back.

And so it went for twelve long weeks.