This blog is dedicated to all my “skinny jeans”…

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I have to assume it’s common at 9+ months pregnant to have dreams about wearing clothes you haven’t been able to wear in months right? (Let’s just say it is and that my latest fantasy wouldn’t be considered “weird” at all)… This isn’t like a sex fantasy it’s like, a fashion fantasy. It’s been a reoccurring dream I’ve been having lately where I get to open up my drawer of skinny jeans, pick any pair I want, put them on, zip them up with ease, button the button around my waist and then in an effortless and carefree way, toss on a heal, pick a fabulous top that doesn’t require a bra with the letter G or F on the tag, grab my beautiful baby, put her in the stroller (and yes she looks fabulous in this dream too- totally baby-chic in a little onesie someone got us that has “Je t’aime” written on it, a baby denim pant and adorable little booties) and off I go for some kind of cat walk like walk down the street, smiling at her sweet face the entire way). Total fashion fantasy pregnancy dream.

(Note: picture above is of me and one of my dearest friends Alex aka my “gay husband” who’s soon to be a “guncle” (gay uncle) to our little one. He’s also the most stylish man and I happen to be wearing my ultimate favorite skinny jeans (that I also was wearing when I met my husband for the first time so they’re extra special ones). I’m wearing vintage Gucci heals and some top that doesn’t matter- it’s all about those jeans!)

So when will I be back in these favorite jeans? The answer is simple- I have no idea! Also, it doesn’t really matter. The baby weight we gain WILL come off eventually and the jeans will be back in rotation but who knows when or how long it’ll take. So this brings me to the “why” of this blog. Why the hell am I sharing my weird jean fantasy and talking about skinny jeans right now? Simple- because the issue of pregnancy weight gain and post pregnancy weight loss is on all our minds but mostly- it’s in our faces! We preggo ladies can’t get away from reading about or hearing about the latest celebrity or model who just gave birth then walked the Victoria Secret runway 2 months later, or who “bounced back after baby” in what seems like a miraculous amount of time only to look almost better than she did before she got knocked up! What the hell? How do these women do this? More important- holy sh-t that’s a lot of pressure society- thanks a lot! Jeez!

Let me shed some light on at least part of this. I have worked in fashion in my past and have known plenty of models, actresses, and socialites over the years. I know what their lifestyles can be like, some of the secrets they have about pregnancy (I will share in a moment) and also the fact that financially, many of them can afford things that 99% of women on this planet can not (personal chef, personal trainer, nutritionist, tons of help at home, etc).

The bottom line is this: do NOT compare yourself to anyone but yourself! It’s one of the hardest things to do as a woman who lives in our society bombarded by images and stories that are meant to make us feel like poop and teach the men in our society that we should be super-human and that what is beautiful is something that most of us can’t possibly attain with out being unhealthy in some way. Not to get on a soap box here but I think it’s SO important when nearing the end of pregnancy and looking ahead to the next phase, to try to be kind to ourselves and realistic.

During my pregnancy I have been taken back by the number of comments I’ve received about the size of my bump or questions about my weight gain. I’ve spoken with pregnant friends and all of us have had the same experiences. This only reinforces that our pregnancy weight gain or weight loss post baby, should be a personal thing. The truth is that just as every woman’s body is different, so is every woman’s pregnancy. My pregnancy is totally different than my friend’s. Each of them has had their own personal struggles just as I have had mine and none of us share the exact same experience so why would we share the same weight gain or loss?

Health plays a part in all of this too don’t forget. For example I haven’t been able to work out for months now aside from the occasional prenatal yoga class because working out was triggering my pregnancy migraines. So, I had to stop. I went from lot’s of activity to very little and for months, of course that will play a role in how my body looks, feels, what I weigh or perhaps even how I bounce back after child birth. Only time will tell. So, how do I feel reading about pregnant women being super active while I’ve been laid up on the couch more than I’d like to remember these past nine months? A little jealous but then I remind myself- that’s their pregnancy journey and I can’t compare myself to it.

So if you’re pregnant and looking at what society’s images and stories are telling you, I urge you to shut the magazine, turn off the TV, close your Facebook feed and do something that makes YOU feel good about you. Or meditate and feel your beautiful baby growing inside you and focus on what this is all about. It helps and it brings you back to the center of all this- you are creating LIFE. There’s no size or weight range or activity level that has anything to do with this- just your body doing something miracle-like and it’s perfect, just as it is.

Now just because you shouldn’t compare yourself to the latest pregnant celeb doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to know about a couple tricks they use to get their bodies back fast. I will now share two of them with you. And yes, I am planning on doing both of these things so I will also try to report back on how it worked out for my body after baby (at some point).

1. The Belly Bandit– This belly wrap is considered the best out there and they make different versions of it for different needs. I will be using the one designed for mom’s who’ve had c-sections as it will best suit my needs. I would suggest you look through the website and learn about why compression is so wonderful and which one is best for you. The bottom line here is that by wearing a wrap you will help your uterus go back to it’s normal size much faster than it otherwise would. There’s also a ton of support for your back and stomach muscles here and as far as I’m concerned, there is no reason not to try this! I already have mine so I can get in it as soon as possible after birth!

2. ShrinkxHips– Many pregnant women’s hips have shifted and widened in order to allow for space to hold the baby. This is another wrap made to help your hips go back to their normal size. I’m going to try it with the Belly Bandit and see if it works. I’m not sure I’ll wear both but if I can, I will. It also will depend on my c-section recovery. If one of these goes out the door for me it’ll be this one but I plan on trying. I have it ready to go when I’m ready. I also have purchased this company’s C-Panty made for women who are recovering from c-sections, like myself. Looking forward to reporting back on all of these!

The other secrets these women in the media have are the amount of help they have around them and the resources they have to get back in shape like their life depends on it. Remember, for many of these women their career does depend on their body looking a certain way. Chances are, yours does not. So, give yourself a break! Just focus on taking care of your baby with all the love and attention you have to give and also being GOOD to yourself! Eat healthy and balanced, drink lots of water and do what you can with what you have to work with! I know I will be recovering from a c-section and so my jumping back into my work out routines will not be on the same timeline as my friends who are having natural childbirth. That’s okay! It’s all good! I will do what I can and keep my focus on taking care of me so I can take the best care of my little girl.

The skinny jeans in my fashion fantasy may collect some more dust and that’s all right with me. The most important thing is that I am the best for my baby and that means being kind to myself so I can show her from day one what’s important and being “perfect” by what society shows us, is not it. Being HAPPY, is. Happy, is beautiful!!!! (And it’s sexy too)! 😉

Note: If you’re struggling with how to answer questions about your pregnancy weight gain or if you feel someone is out of line, judging, or upsetting you about your body during this time, try these answers on for size:

* That’s personal and what’s important is that my baby is healthy. 

* I don’t discuss my weight with people. I’m sure you don’t either. (Smile)

* Thank you for the concern with my pregnancy. Let’s talk about how excited I am to have this baby!

* You think my bump is (too small/too big)?! That’s so interesting! I think it’s my perfect bump! (Laugh it off and rub your perfect bump!)

*No I’m not worried about loosing my pregnancy weight. All I care about is that my baby is healthy! 

I urge you to try to change how much focus is on the weight and body issues around pregnancy and postpartum loss by changing the conversation. Re-direct it back to what’s important- the baby’s health and yours. One woman at a time, perhaps we can nudge our way through what society is feeding us so that it’ll be different for our daughters!

 

 

Bring On The Stretching But Not The Stretch Marks!

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I’ve been asked many times what I’m doing to protect against stretch marks. Well first of all we should all understand that there’s only so much you can do to protect your skin from getting stretch marks because much of this will depend on your genetics. Chances are if your mom got them you might be prone to them too. That said there is no reason not to try with all your might to avoid them. One of the things that will most certainly help is not to gain too much weight too fast. It’s important to have a steady weight gain while pregnant and that will not only be healthy for you and baby but also it will allow your skin to stretch slowly. Other than that all I can say is lube it up!!! (Not that kind of lube)!

Here’s what I’m obsessed with and using diligently every day!

#1 Coconut Oil

If you’re like me and have sensitive skin you will love coconut oil. It’s SO calming to the skin, feels luxurious going on and lasts the whole day or night. I also put some in my hair before bed too as a conditioning treatment if I’m going to wash my hair in the morning. I’m loving the coconut oil from head to toe! Note #1: When you’re rubbing it on your body, make sure to really take your time with it and even it out everywhere. Get all the areas you can think of- it’s totally safe for the entire body. My husband always comments on how amazing I smell after I’ve had my coconut oil moment. Note #2: For sensitive/painful nipples this works wonders and my friends who are nursing tell me this is so helpful on nipples when nursing so I’m happy to share that with you although I’m not there yet! Soon enough!

The benefits of coconut oil go on and on it’s good for your insides and your outsides. I have some in the kitchen to cook with and some that’s in the bathroom for my moments of massaging my growing baby belly and body. Ladies, it’s nice to use that time to talk to your baby, embrace your new body and all the changes happening to you. Let go of any stress or concerns you’re feeling. Use the massage time to focus on loving yourself and that beautiful baby you’re growing inside. Lately when I do this, I can feel her flutter around and it’s just the most amazing thing. They respond to touch, sound and love even now.

#2 Mama Mio Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Butter

I did a ton of research when I found out I was pregnant to figure out which cream or lotion or potion I should use to avoid stretch marks. This is something I decided to start a regular daily regime with right away and before my belly even started to grow. Clearly I’m taking this quite seriously. I also realize that despite my efforts, I might get stretch marks anyway and if I do- I will embrace them because I got them from making our child inside my body. Buuuuuut….I’m doing all I can do avoid. So, Mama Mio Tummy Rub by far got the best reviews out there. I’ve been using it this entire time and I do just love it. As you can see with #1 I am using coconut oil as well. So what I do is I use the coconut oil all over and the Mama Mio Tummy Rub only around my belly and hips. It feels and smells wonderful and I plan to continue this all the way through and then when I’m on the other side and trying to get my body back.

#3 Mama Mio Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Oil

This oil is awesome but it also feels a bit more like oil than let’s say, the coconut oil I’m using. So, I have used this sparingly and only when I feel my skin is itchy (which will happen as your skin is stretching) or dry. I have a feeling as I start to stretch more and grow more I will add this oil into the mix even more and probably only on “problem areas” such as oh let’s see….my belly! Oh shoot I can’t call that area a “problem!” You know what I mean!

The bottom line on avoiding stretch marks is to try your best but also embrace reality. If you get them, you get them and you can wear em’ like a badge of mama honor and love them when you look at the smiling face of the baby you carried. Also, if you’re like me and you love being naked a little coconut and tummy rub secret- it makes your body look quite stunning right after massage time. And hey- if I do get stretch marks I’ll still dance around and want to enjoy being naked with those puppies on my body. I’ll be a mom and that’s frickin’ sexy! Own it ladies! Use these moments to love and embrace what’s going on. It’s beautiful, it’s a miracle and it can be sexy as hell if you let it be baby.