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!

 

 

Organizing for Peace

hanging to dry
If you are my mom, this photo is making you cry for the 2nd time. If you’re anyone other than my mom you’re probably wondering what’s going on here? So, this is the beginning of my “organizing for peace” project at home. What you see here are blankets, swaddle blankets, cloth bibs, onesies, baby tights, tiny newborn hats and socks and the sweetest little baby girl dresses I’ve ever seen, all hanging in my laundry room to air dry after their first non-toxic, delicate wash. We’ve been so blessed to have received all these things as gifts as well as some gorgeous hand-me-downs from a dear friend. Our little one is going to be snuggled, swaddled and dressed in some lovely items thanks to the kindness of others. We’re so touched. So, what is this organizing for peace concept and what the hell am I talking about? I’ll explain…

Through out my life I watched my mom organize, plan and multitask like no one I’ve ever seen– with ease. I was always there by her side as her little helper (and later as her actual more capable helper) to assist in whatever she was putting together. My mom organized huge charity galas and philanthropic events, political fundraisers and business events. She organized amazing birthday parties for family and friends, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs for us and even friend’s kids and family holidays. She had dinner parties all the time and with all this always going on, she organized and cooked dinner for our family almost every single night too. I learned from watching the master! Sure, I learned how to put events together, how to party plan well, how to raise money for good causes, how to manage to cook dinner while putting together 5 other things with out getting stressed out. All wonderful lessons but the most important lesson of all- I learned how to celebrate life.

Through all this organizing and multitasking, the underlying theme for every single thing was celebration of something positive. Brining joy into people’s lives through celebration and togetherness and making people happy. This was and IS my mom’s artistic gift. I’ve never met anyone who does it like she does. I feel I too got that gift although I am no where near a master like she is but, it’s kinda…”my thang.” I love getting people together. I love to celebrate life and make a point of letting the happy times shine bright in my life because there are most certainly, so many hard and sad times too.

So here I am, having a baby with the man of my dreams. The happiest time of my life. Not the easiest, but the happiest. We’re now 27 weeks pregnant and we’ve got about 12 weeks until I give birth. I’ve been told by many and I understand why, to have everything I need to have done, done 1 month before I’m supposed to give birth. This is to allow for (God forbid) an early birth taking place or bed rest, etc. So to me this REALLY means I have 8 weeks or so to get to a point where everything is done and I can just focus on resting up for baby girl’s arrival into our world. Now let me just say that my way is not for everyone, just as your way isn’t necessarily for me. This is just my space to share with you what I’m doing and if you find it helpful- then that makes me so happy! If you don’t agree with my style or do not find it helpful then that’s a-okay too! To each his own! There’s NO one size fits all way to do life, pregnancy or motherhood. Can I get a right on???!!! Okay so now that I’ve said THAT…here’s what I’m doing…

Organization = Peacefulness: When something this big, this life changing is about to happen- I want to be as prepared and organized about it as I can. I find this creates a peacefulness within me and thus a peacefulness around me. I believe our home is at peace when I create that peace (not just the candles lit and incense burning kind of peace- although I do that too). I believe my husband feels more relaxed when he gets home to a clean, organized home with a happy and mellow vibe no matter what his day was like. I believe I wake up feeling calm when I have put to rest all things I could the day before to create a new, fresh start to the new day. I also feel calm when I know what I need to do this day and feel I can achieve my goals. Organization is the first step to creating calm. Knowing what I need to do and then calmly, with out stress or sense of urgency, getting it done. It’s not hard to do and it feels quite good.

Make a list: I make a list of all the things I need to do to prepare for baby’s arrival and give myself plenty of time to accomplish this list (factoring in the days I do not feel well because I have many of them). If there are items on the list that require my husband’s involvement I create a separate list for him and clearly outline when I’d love for those things to be done. This makes it easy for him to help me and then he can feel good about creating the peace too!

Thank people in real time: When I get a gift for the baby or for us I add the detail of the gift to my list of thank-you’s and then immediately write that person a thank you note and send it (I’ve opted to go “green” with my thank-you’s and use www.punchbowl.com to send them out. They’re cute, I can get them done fast while doing 8 other things on my computer and people seem to love them.

Create One Registry: I used www.myregistry.com because you can add many different registries to it and combine them (although mine is mostly amazon.com) but your friends and family only have to deal with one link. It’s very user friendly for them. I use this for myself too. I have talked to new moms, read books, blogs, done tons of research all to figure out what we need and want. I added items to my registry that I will go and buy for us in the end if they’re not gifted. This way I have a solid and ongoing list of all the stuff I’ve learned we’d want or need. It keeps me organized and is easy for others who are sweet enough to treat us to things.

Nursery: A work in peaceful progress: As furniture, gifts and what not for the baby’s room and for the baby herself have arrived, I’ve been putting them in her nursery and closing the door. I haven’t really gone in that room until this past weekend, in order to begin my process. First I went through and opened all the things that require cleaning before touching her newborn baby skin. I put them in a laundry bag and set them aside. Then, I moved all the items in boxes that do not need to be dealt with right now against one wall. After that I vacuumed the room, cleaned and disinfected everything (including door knobs and windows, closet rods, etc. I used non-toxic and baby safe cleaning products to do so. After that, I put on a shelf in the closet some items that can be dealt with a little later (once I have a dresser and drawers to put things in, counter top space, etc) or things I don’t want sitting on the floor. This includes mom/dad’s diaper bags (which are so cute and we can’t wait to use)!

nursery boxes in a corner

mom:dad diaper bags in closet

 

 

 

 

 

The nursery chair was delivered already so I cleaned and vacuumed it and then sat and rested for a moment. This was a LOT of work. I spent hours doing all this. When you’re pregnant doing things like this can take a lot out of you. This ONLY reinforces my reasoning to do it NOW and not wait until I’m 8 months and huge and stressing. No thank you!

Stokke high chair box

nursery chair

The high chair we picked out is the Stokke….I put the accessories with it all together and this is one of the “dad to assemble” items that can wait. Other dad to assemble items include the crib and eventually there will be a changing table and dresser. These will all get done by the one month away mark for total peacefulness but are not on the “do right now” list as they don’t involve ME. The things that involve me need to get done sooner than later and while I’m having some feel good get sh-t done days!

Next I took my closet organizers that say 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, etc. 0-3 months and hangers closetand soft velvet pink baby girl hangers and got the closet set up for clothes. I did 2 loads of laundry using Honest detergent and no dryer sheets (you never know if you’re baby will react to those fibers so it’s best to go with out them). I hung what needed to air dry and otherwise did a low heat, delicate dryer setting for the rest. Then I folded everything that doesn’t have a home yet (because they require drawers) and put them in a large garbage bag. This way, they are clean, folded and ready to be put away when the dresser arrives and is assembled. Easy breezy. The rest, I began to hang up in order of sizing and as we get more things, I will just follow the same program as it comes. I cried only 4 times while folding baby blankets, baby socks, onesies, hanging up little dresses. Thank you pregnancy hormones for always keepin’ it real!!! 🙂 Finishing this nursery set up step felt SO good. I got much accomplished and am excited for next steps!

closet shot 3

closet shot 2

 

 

 

 

 

closet shot 1

closet filling up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note on our nursery: This room will be a shoe-free-dog-free-sickness-free-stress and drama-free zone. That means, our sweet dog and her hair- not allowed. Take your shoes off before entering. Please don’t come in here if you are fighting or have a cold (in fact don’t come over period no offense). If you are bringing any drama to our life or stress leave it at the door baby. This is the peace-zone and I want our baby to feel it and become it. I think it’s important to set up these concepts before the baby comes and agree with them as a couple because it’s realistic to imagine times where we’ll have to check each other on this or even….stand tall as a couple and just say “no” together, for the sake of our baby. Organizing for peace isn’t just about making lists or cleaning honey…so much more!!!

The Hospital Bag (mine and hers): I haven’t packed these yet. It’s still too early for me. But…it’s on my list and it will be packed before that month away date you betcha! I found this awesome list to help me pack mine and so I thought I’d share it with you!

My Bag:
1. Robe and towels, wash cloths
2. Shampoo, conditioner and soap, skin care products, etc.
3. Toothbrush and tooth paste
4. Make up, hair ties, hair stuff, ect. Don’t forget there will be people coming to visit and you may feel like looking a little nicer. (Or not but nice to have the stuff in case)
5. Pillow and soft and warm blanket
6. Ipod/music for delivery (for us it will be Bob Marley/Reggae mix from our wedding)
7. Sweats/lounge outfit, nursing/sleep bras and underwear
8. Socks and slippers
9. Going home outfit
10. Healthy snacks and water bottles
11. Pads for vaginal bleeding (can occur even w/c-section births so be prepared)
A note of what to grab on the way out:
-Camera
-Cell Phone and charger
-Computer and charger
Baby’s Bag:
1. 4 Receiving blankets
2. 2-3 Soft Blankets
3. Breastfeeding pillow
5.  The diaper bag: Pre-stocked with wipes and diapers of your choice, cream for diaper rash, etc.
6. 3-4 Burp Cloths
7. Breast Pump/nursing pads: The hospital will have both of these, as well, but it is something I would prefer to use my own of.
8. Bottle: Just in case breast feeding as issues you don’t want to be stuck with out getting the baby your milk ASAP
9. Nursing Cream
10. Baby Hat/Beanie: You need to keep the little ones head nice and warm
11. Socks: Also need to keep their little piggies warm!
12: Mittens: To keep them from scratching their poor little faces.
13. Pajamas/clothing: The hospital gives you a white onsies and that is it. So if you want your baby to wear anything else you better bring it!
14. Going home outfit! You know this is going to be photographed right? Right! I can’t wait to pick this out!
Be Ready Then Rest: There is nothing I find wrong with being totally ready, set, put away, cleaned and organized for our daughter’s arrival 4 weeks before she’s supposed to come. If I have learned anything from my pregnancy it’s that the fantasy isn’t always the reality. Just because I WANT to have 12 weeks of being able to put stuff together and get sorted out- doesn’t mean I WILL have that. I don’t feel great, I haven’t and who knows- it could get worse! So to be ready and have an extra 4 weeks to just rest and “be” before she comes…is 100% perfect and CALM to me.
An interesting side note on this entire concept is that being Jewish, there is a very “old school” and superstitious way of looking at this process which I am acutely aware of. This is, not to do anything until the baby is actually born and okay. There are variations on this but the most extreme one is to not bring anything into the home until the baby arrives because God forbid, the baby dies during birth (I know, gasp- hard to even type those words but THIS is where all this came from and I get it- the death of baby and mom was more common way back when and there were reasons for some of these beliefs and practices (but not in today’s world). So to me- the person who celebrates life every chance I get, who desires a totally peaceful, zen-like, calm space for her baby to come home to, who wants the people IN our home to be peaceful too, who believes organization leads to peacefulness….to me- this actually feels toxic, negative and kind of wrong. That’s just ME though- it may feel totally right for YOU! And you know, someday I hope my daughter will get to have a baby and she’ll decide what she wants to do and how she wants it to be done and I will support her choices and do whatever I can do to make her life happier, easier and more peaceful. Isn’t that my job? I’m her mommy. My job starts now and I’m doing all I can in the way I feel is right, to do a good job for her.
Oh, and btw, I am Jewish so yes, I have asked myself…what would I do God forbid something bad were to happen and all this is set up and done? You know, then I’ll deal with it then. But there’s no room in my body for negative thoughts because guess what? I’m growing a human. This little girl is inside me and I believe she gets all the energy good or bad that I give her. Also, thank God so far everything with her has checked out perfectly and so there’s currently no sign to worry about a thing. But do I worry? Sure I do. Just not too much because I also trust in the universe and God and in myself and even, in her, that it’s all going to be okay in the…
beginning.
With love and peacefulness I’m signing off to go organize a dinner while I clean the house because we’ve got new friends coming over and I think it’s time to celebrate some life!!!

 

 

 

Getting ready for the best part…Making a baby!

1329697687758_4339331You’ve probably heard this saying; people talking about getting pregnant saying “we pulled the goalie” to start trying. Well, I’m stealing it and rolling with it even though I’m not really a fan of hockey and could probably come up with something more unique. Ah well. So yes, we had a goalie and that goalie needed to be pulled to TTC. I had a Mirena IUD that needed to be removed. I’m not a big fan of pain but for some reason I chose to book my IUD removal the same week as my wisdom teeth removal! I think at the moment I was thinking just get it all done fast but whoa momma! That was one helluvah week! Why am I talking about this? Because if you want to get pregnant and you have an IUD that needs to be removed, it’s possible your body will need a month or two (1-2 menstrual cycles) to regroup from having the IUD in. I don’t recommend TTC until you let your body heal first. Go for some condoms they won’t kill you. Or if you go unprotected just please keep this in mind. The same goes for going off the pill I would assume although I didn’t go through that so I’d ask your doctor.

Once you’ve removed the goalie and you’re body is ready to rock then do what we did… JUST HAVE FUN! Do not stress! Do not obsess over your baby tracker AP that you bought for your iphone that tells you what days you are fertile or ovulating. Just glance at it here and there to know where you may be at (these things aren’t foolproof) and then just go and get busy with your partner and enjoy this time. I can honestly tell you there is nothing more connected and sexier than making love with your person, trying to make a baby. It’s the most beautiful thing ever. Or at least, it was for us. And on that note…DO NOT GOOGLE! Don’t Google things like “when should we have sex to get pregnant?” You will find a million things that will only confuse you and take the sexy away from the process. My advice? Just have a lot of sex and make sure to have sex every day around your ovulation. My doctor told me this so I will pass it on to you:

Cycle day #1= you get your period (so you count from that day).

Have Sex on days: 10,12,14,16. She says she swears by it!

Here are a couple more notes on the TTC fun part:

  1. Do not use lube it kills sperm as does saliva so try to get naturally turned on.
  2. Doing yoga style shoulder or head stands after sex while TTC isn’t proven to work but if you’re flexible and strong enough it can’t hurt (I totally did it and it caused many laughter filled moments in our post sexy time).
  3. If you get your period and you’re TTC…do not stress out just keep HAVING FUN with it. Stress makes your fertility poop out which is the opposite of what you want! It’s only time to be concerned if it’s nearing one year or if you have other medical issues (which you should talk to your OB about before you start TTC).
  4. Your partner might be a little nervous at first- this is normal. The reality is we all spend our entire adult lives trying NOT to get pregnant and here we are all of a sudden trying TO get pregnant. It’s a little bit mind-blowing. That said once he/she’s come to grips with that and they’re all in…that’s where it gets really fun, special and HOT! See I told you pregnancy nerds are hot!