And just like that… I was almost due with a little bundle of baby. Nine months have flashed by, the unyielding force of time making me, yet again, wonder how it all goes by so fast. This is a bit of a lengthy post, so if you just want to get to “what on Earth do I buy in the second half of pregnancy,” just scroll down past the next section. However, if you’re curious / nosy (I love me some tea), grab a cuppa and join me for a little friend chat.
LIFE UPDATE: GOIN’ BREECH
The past few months have, undoubtedly, been some of our best — and some of our most stressful. In between trying to figure out our new life back in London (click here if you want to see what I’m talking about), trying to figure out MY CAREER (who knows), and trying to grow a tiny human, we’ve also been trying to live our lives the best we can. This involves seeing friends every evening almost daily, small weekend trips, fun activities, and just attempting to enjoy life to the fullest before Baby D Date.
However, as usual, we completely underestimated how much time it takes to get a house setup. Unless you are the type whom doesn’t care about interiors — or whom doesn’t care about buying fewer but better — it takes time to find the right products for your home. You don’t want to buy for the sake of it; but also, you hate living in mess. And, my friends, we’ve been in “that zone” for what seems like FOREVER. We (and the rest of the UK) have also been plagued by fuel shortages, all retail with staff shortages, global supply shortages, and we’ve faced delay after delay for everything we do decide upon.
So between doing all the stuff, therefore with no time, but needing time, here at W&S we’ve felt a little… stuck.
So, with a backdrop of all of that, let’s talk more about pregnancy.
While all this was happening, we also found out our Little Guy is breech. At first, this was not a big deal — “Oh, there’s plenty of time for him to turn, don’t fret just yet” — which as the weeks progressed, turned into slightly narrowed eyes, a thin-lipped frown. Because this little guy, despite all my best efforts, was not budging.
I should also point out that, a few times, midwives thought he had turned, leaving us feeling elated that my (hours and hours of) exercises, appointments, and the like, were paying off. But each time, a scan showed he hadn’t remotely moved.
This is a very quick summary of what’s been going on, as I don’t want to share it all on The Internets, and trust me, no one wants to read it all. But now, nearing to Due Date and a declaration from a doctor that “your baby has wedged his bum into your pelvis and is not moving” — I’ve admitted defeat on Little Guy’s stubbornness.
So where does that leave us? A planned C-section. Which, to be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about it all. I had always imagined a tough but positive water birth, something to look back at and feel strong about. Not that I am one of those crunchy granola types whom insist on pain-free labours (whatever floats your boat) and only thinks pushing a baby out of a vagina is ‘natural’ (all births are natural, for the love of God). But, considering how relatively boring our pregnancy has been thus far, I just never considered a C Section. I’ve spent the past few months dedicating hours and hours to learning how to achieve that elusive ‘positive natural birth.’
Now? I may never go into actual labour. Which, considering everything we’ve gone through learning about labour, is just crazy.
So here we are, and that is what’s been going on. It’s why I haven’t been as active across social and blogging, and why I’ve retreated a little in my shell lately.
NOW, onto what you are here for: THE POINT OF THE POST.
THE PRODUCTS THAT HELPED ME THROUGH PREGNANCY: WEEKS 20-40
NON-MATERNITY, BUMP-FRIENDLY DRESSES — I’m sorry to say, but most maternity clothes are pretty terrible. All I want is normal, non-maternity clothes that are bump friendly, so I can be my Sustainable Self and wear them well past nine months. Much to my dress-hating chagrin, that means dresses, and luckily for me, I was pregnant mostly through the summer months. My go-to for comfy day dressing so far has either been loose, flowy cotton numbers (such as this one from Matteau*, which I wore 1-2 times weekly), or ribbed, body-con maxi dresses (if I was pregnant in the winter, this is the one I’d be going for*). I also love this dress from & Other Stories*, which was my ‘fancy dress’ for the 3rd trimester, and is breastfeeding friendly for after.
As a side note: as someone who never, ever paid attention to this shopping matter before, let me just say. It is so helpful when clothing brands have a ‘bump friendly’ category on their website. It just makes having to sort through website after website of clothing so much easier. And the thing is — very few of them do. Please, brands for women, take heed and help an already-frazzled pregnant lady out.
A SECOND PREGNANCY PILLOW — I quickly learned that I needed a U shaped pillow to also support my back at night. Don’t get me wrong; I still love my bbhugme pregnancy pillow*. But I now mostly use this downstairs on the sofa, whereas at night, I needed something that didn’t just fall off the bed. I ordered this one from Kally Sleep. And while it’s not the best quality pillow in the world (the bbhugme beats this one by a mile), it’s been great for keeping me hugged and supported at night.
H&M MATERNITY RANGE — When not getting my usual clothing to work (see my Maternity Capsule Wardrobe post here), I was trying to find any maternity-specific items that would fit. And boy, let me tell you; I must have tried them all. I tried to order from sustainable brands, from local brands, from more well-known maternity brands. But do you know what? H&M by far fit me the best. I tried to only stick with their Conscious Line (a bit of greenwashing, but hey, at least it’s mostly recycled materials and organic cotton!).
Some of my favourite picks: this sweater set (pants* and sweater*), perfect for winter. This Maternity Sweatshirt*, which looks great over their leggings*. And this striped shirt*, which is the perfect throw-on-over-the-bump top.
A PHYSIOTHERAPIST — As my pregnancy progressed, so did my pains. Namely, I ended up with some of the worst glute muscle pain in the world (note to self: next time getting pregnant, actually, you know, work out). While the actual baby was fine, and my nausea, and everything else, the glute pain made life nearly unbearable. I couldn’t walk; I couldn’t sleep; and I couldn’t even shift positions on the sofa easily! A physiotherapist massing the muscles alleviated not all, but most of the pain, allowing me to feel somewhat like my normal self. My advice? If you have the means, and you have any pregnancy-related niggle, get theeself to a physio. (I used Q Sports Physio in London, and they were brilliant).
J BRAND MATERNITY JEANS & PAIGE MATERNITY JEANS — I wore 2 pairs of jeans on repeat throughout my pregnancy, and unlike most of the other pregnant people I knew, I was able to wear them throughout the entire 3rd trimester. Yes, they are expensive. But I plan on using them for postpartum, for my next (hopefully!) pregnancy, and be damned, for Thanksgiving. The J Brand Maternity Skinnies are lower and my go-to for long walks or even date night. The Paige Maternity ones are cooler, more modern, sit higher on the waist, and pair brilliantly with sweaters.
AND FINALLY… GOODBYE FOR NOW!
This is my last post before signing off for a bit. I realize that I am, very obviously, missing my A/W Capsule Wardrobe post that I was so, so desperate to finish before signing off for maternity leave. The problem is — I am pregnant, I am barely getting dressed, and I am about to be wearing nothing but nursing-friendly clothing for some time. I just haven’t, well, bought (or researched) much for Autumn or Winter. I really tried to put something together, but what I just found was I was picking stuff. Not really honing in a cohesive, sustainable, keep-forever kind of wardrobe. Because it’s not where my mind is right now, frankly. And the result was something rushed, mediocre, and not what I think readers come here to find.
So, I am holding off producing it, for now. My (optimistic!) plan is to come back to it for a day sometime in the next few weeks and produce something worthwhile.
But if I don’t? Sigh. One thing I’ve already learned about motherhood, without even becoming a mom yet: sometimes, you have to let things go. And, if you’re lucky, by letting those go, you gain something beautiful in return.
Other than the above, in terms of maternity leave, I plan to trickle in content come the new year, with my ‘keeping in touch’ days.’
Until then, my dear, dear W&S readers. Have the most beautiful Autumn. The most restful Holiday season. And the happiest, most fulfilling new year.