Although I spent 39 of the 52 weeks of 2012 pregnant (and even fewer if you only count the portion spent dressing around a big pregnant belly), it challenged me to think outside of my comfort zone, emphasize and deemphasize my growing stomach (depending on the context and my mood), focus on comfort even more so than usual, and strive to stay true to my sense of style. But there were plenty of outfits that I really liked that I wore in the period before I was pregnant and before I was showing. Here are my favorites from 2012 (with favorite pregnant outfits to come!):
I am excited to hopefully get to repeat the above sometime soon! Although my body is different now, I think I can make at least some of the items work. The variable of nursing will be a challenge (and my current bustline means things fit very differently on top at the moment) but I am game for trying.
December 30, 2012
December 29, 2012
For those of you who celebrate Christmas, my greetings are belated. But I've spent the last week or so being occupied by the exciting task of introducing extended family and friends to the little one. I hope you have/had a wonderful holiday and wish you a very happy New Year. I will be back this week with my favorite outfits of 2012, a few more reviews, and recent outfits.
December 21, 2012
I wore this Three Seasons Maternity dress to Thanksgiving dinner(s) with our families. It was comfortable and cute enough that I decided to snap some photos. I've been wearing this dress a lot postpartum because of the nursing-friendly neckline.
For sizing reference, Three Seasons Maternity runs a bit small. I am wearing an XL which is for length more than anything else. The larges that I tried in this brand were too short for my third trimester belly. XL solved the length issue nicely. There are a lot of cute options on Amazon and ebay that are very reasonably priced. If you're a fan of prints this brand offers a lot of simple dresses in vibrant printed fabrics. This brand goes on sale pretty quickly too. I managed to get this dress for 50% off retail (which was already a good deal, in my opinion).
Three Seasons Maternity dress from Amazon
Assets Mama tights
December 17, 2012
Of course, some people are easier to buy for than others. And in my life, the men in particular can be tough gift nuts to crack. Chris has very discerning tastes so while I know him well and enjoy the challenge of coming up with ideas, I also toil over what to buy for him. My dad and brother are the other two people in my life that give me the most gift giving block. Thankfully my brother usually gives me an idea directly. My dad always says he doesn't need or want anything (and he means it!) but I still like finding something small.
One gift idea I had a few years ago for Chris was to upgrade the tools and products he uses for shaving. So when P&G and Blogher recruited bloggers to write about the deals being offered on The Art of Shaving website, I was happy to oblige.
There are a number of coupon codes available to make their very fancy shaving gift sets a bit more affordable!
Free Ground shipping and $15 off your purchase of any The Art of Shaving Full Size Kit, until 12/30/12 with Promo Code: 15offFSK.
20% off your purchase of The Perfect Shave Solution. Valid unitl 12/30 No code needed. Discount automatically applied at checkout when you purchase a full size Pre Shave, a full size Shaving Cream or soap and bowl, Shaving Brush, Razor and After Shave.
Free Ground Shipping and 10% off ProGlide Power Save Set, through 12/30/12 Promo code: 10PowerShave.
December 16, 2012
I didn't change it up for campus because if I'm seeing a totally different crop of people I don't tend to mess with what works.
I bought this Pea in the Pod abstract rose print dress in gently used condition from ebay. One of the benefits of maternity clothing being a part of a temporary wardrobe is that a fantastic resale market exists to help you score deals during and (if you choose and/or if you don't think you'll need the clothes again) help you recoup some of the funds you spent after. I am not planning to part with any of my maternity pieces just yet because I still feel sentimental attachment to them and I also plan to re-wear things during my postpartum times. But that the resale potential exists is comforting.
For size reference, I am wearing a large. I have read and agree with the consensus that A Pea in the Pod runs a bit smaller than other maternity lines. The large fit me nicely up until the very end of pregnancy, as I wore this dress to dinner during week 38. Apologies for the blurry indoor photos. Daylight savings time combined with a busy work schedule to make me unable to catch any good natural light.
Pea in the Pod dress
Assets Maternity tights
Streets Ahead bow belt (non maternity)
December 12, 2012
My very sweet mother-in-law gifted to Chris and me the opportunity to have Emilia photographed as a newborn by one of her coworkers who also has a side business as a photographer (Keja Photography). We hoped to get a few family shots while the photographer was in our home because ... we don't often have photographers in our home. So just 6 days postpartum, I found myself facing the conundrum of dressing my new mom body for the camera. Thankfully, my ankles decided to come back to me that morning and I was generally feeling on the mend. Of course we were both pretty sleep deprived. Chris and I hadn't slept much in the hospital due to adrenaline, interruptions, and the tasks of taking care of a new baby. By the time we got home, things weren't much different. But I grabbed one of my favorite maternity dresses (by Maternal America), put on some make up, and smiled for the camera. The baby was a total trooper and slept through most of the pictures. My mom and mother-in-law played dutiful photo assistants.
Although it is easy in this new state of physical transition to be critical of myself, I'm glad I decided to be photographed. A few months ago I read an article by Allison Tate about keeping mothers in photos... she writes that so often moms of all ages shy away from having their picture taken, lamenting x, y, or z random self-critiqued aspect of their physical appearance. The results are that negative self-talk becomes normalized (further) and children wind up with fewer photos of their mothers throughout life. I didn't want to capitulate to the temptations of bashing my post-baby body, even if it feels very unfamiliar to me and (similar to pregnancy) brings its own set of physical discomforts.
Like anyone else, I have good and bad body image days. This was true before and during pregnancy, as I am sure it will be now that I'm postpartum. I will say that during pregnancy it felt as though my pangs over body image were amplified in part due to the unknown and uncontrollable aspects of inhabiting a pregnant body. But no matter how critical I felt toward the end and how unfamiliar my postpartum body feels to me currently, I am determined to embrace positivity and cut myself some slack for my daughter, if not for myself. It's hard enough to grow up weathering the pervasive social expectations heaped on women and girls without also hearing it from one's parents.
Besides, this body grew and nourished my eventual child. Knowing that, I can't knock it too hard!
December 10, 2012
Two weeks ago, I finally met the tiny creature responsible for all the anticipation, excitement, and heartburn that I've felt since last March. And I find her to be totally fascinating. Of course, I'm biased.
I want to be clear that I have no intentions for the scope of this blog to shift. But my changing shape and the variable of nursing have introduced new wardrobe challenges that will be addressed here. In the meanwhile I figured I should introduce my daughter. More photos will be shared on my pregnancy/parenting blog.
December 04, 2012
I have a lot of maternity style outfits and brand reviews to get through on here but am a little busier than usual. So I wanted to share my outfit of the night I went into labor.
Target fox sweater dress (knockoff of this)
Maternity Tights by Assets
Baby Emilia Irene is doing well. Although I'm tired, same goes for me. I'll be sharing photos soon enough.