Hospital Bag Question

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY, Q of the week

As I am working on the list for my hospital bag, I thought I’d ask you about some of the items you took to the hospital and found useful.

A random comment will win a Cranberry Red Balloon CD of children’s music (US only)

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Hospital Bag Question

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

Baby Showers? No! Baby Parties? Hell yeah!

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in My Pregnancy, Q of the week

 

I’ve had a few people ask me about my baby shower, so I thought I’d tell you my stance on them.

I am not crazy about baby showers. I think they can be boring and lame. And yes, you get gifts and stuff, but honestly, all the people who care about us and Alexis, know we’re registered on Amazon and would get/have gotten us a gift anyways. And I’m not concerned about missing out on a few cheap onesies. What I am concerned about, however, is having a good time with my friends and family while celebrating this new life. It seems silly to gather up all the girls BEFORE you have the baby to celebrate said baby. And what about the boys, too? I have guyfriends who I would love to share this celebration with. So pretty much from the very beginning, I was determined NOT to have a baby shower, but to have a baby party, instead. One that would be co-ed, that would be fun, and not about opening gifts and playing silly games. And more importantly one that would happen AFTER Alexis arrives, because the celebration is in HER honor. That way all my friends and extended family can meet her, rather than fly down just to sit there and look at my big belly with a big smile.

That being said, if you still live in the same place you grew up in, with your whole family and all  your friends right by your side, sure – have a girls- only baby shower, if that’s what you want. But when half of your friends and family have to fly down to attend that baby shower, I feel it’s more appropriate to have them make that trip to see something other than my cute belly.

{photo from our last All White New Year’s party}

Oh and let’s not forget the selfish aspect of it all, I WANT TO ENJOY IT TOO. And I will only be able to fully enjoy the food and the company, if I am feeling well and fit and beautiful, rather than heartburny, tired and big.  So there you have it. No baby shower while pregnant, but YES to a big baby party once Alexis is here.

Question for you : When would be the safest time for Alexis ( from the germ exposure and immune system standpoint) to have that baby party? I don’t want to wait till she’s 6 months old, but I am not sure if it’s safe for her to have that many visitors before? Thoughts?

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Baby Showers? No! Baby Parties? Hell yeah!

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Maternity and Non-Maternity Clothing

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Daily, My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY FASHION, Q of the week

My Journey to finding comfortable and stylish maternity clothes.
Chapter 1: Buying non-maternity clothes for maternity wear.

 

{above: maternity style shoot we did for one of the Selfie Saturday.
These photos were taken by my hubby.
I posted the ones I took on my photography blog here.
Note: the dress is not that see-through.
I pulled the lining up to let the light come through and show the shape of my baby belly}

Those that have been following me from the beginning might remember that I started this pregnancy with a massive aversion to maternity clothes. As a newly pregnant girl who likes to look cute, I just couldn’t come to terms with the fact that being pregnant had to mean suddenly having to buy clothes at Old Navy or something equally tragic. And while some might argue that Old Navy isn’t the epitome of cheap unattractive clothing, their maternity line is definitely nausea inducing. {note: I do have admit that Old Navy has improved greatly since last time I’ve been to their store/website, which was about 5 years ago, but their maternity line is still pretty horrible).

So not knowing any better ( and I’m sure it’s going to be a recurrent theme, now that I’m on my way to mommyhood) I swore to NEVER buy/wear maternity clothes, except for when absolutely necessary. I figured I’d continue to wear my pre-pregnancy clothing as long as I can and then buy only a few pieces.

So I was pretty excited to buy a few non-maternity items in my “new” size that I can hopefully wear post-partum. One morning while obsessively checking the new “offerings” at MYHABIT ( a 50-70% off designer and non-designer sale site by Amazon), because the damn things sell out faster than Zulily, I saw a maternity line as one of their sales. I don’t even remember the name of the line, but it was cheap enough and I was curious enough to try it out. So I quickly added a few items to my cart and hit check out.

To make a long story short, I had to return 4 out of 6 items. Why? Because it was exactly what I expected. The pattern that I thought “maybe maybe maybe” could be cute in person was, in fact, exactly what makes maternity clothing so horrible. The shorts that I assumed just looked “funky” on the model were, in fact, the typical “mom shorts”. The dresses made me look like a whale, a whale covered with the most unattractive old lady pattern.

So needless to say, this cemented my decision to NEVER EVER look at maternity clothing again :)

Fast forward to today, and I gotta tell you, I did manage to find a FEW maternity clothing companies that I actually get excited about! And I finally see the reason to buy actual maternity clothes, especially if you’re working during pregnancy. I cannot wait to hold a few giveaways for all your pregnant and TTCing readers and share these discoveries with you.  So stay tuned!

But for now, I’d like to show you, guys, what I bought on my quest to find non-maternity maternity appropriate attire.

Before we proceed, I have to tell you, I’m obsessed with dresses. When I go shopping, I buy dresses. I don’t know, whether it’s my lack of styling abilities or the girl within me but dresses are my favorite things to wear. They’re comfy, easy to put on, and easy to match up, no mess and easy to fit in when you’re pregnant ( seems like easy is what I am digging these days). So you’ll be seeing a lot of dresses here. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

 

Dress #1:

Ok, this is not an everyday dress by any stretch imagination. My hubby bought it for my birthday for several reasons.

  1. I LOVED IT and showed it to him ( and he actually remembered)
  2. It’s so feminine…
  3. It will accommodate my growing belly


Once I received the dress, I quickly realized that there will be very few occasions where I’ll get to wear this one during pregnancy and only with leggings, but it doesn’t mean I don’t still love it. And the bonus is I’ll be definitely wearing it post-partum.

Dress #2

You’ve seen a little bit of this one before. My friend Elena sent me a gift card to VS for my birthday and I bought two non-maternity dresses that I’ll be able to wear during pregnancy.  This was one of them.

Dress # 3

The other dress I bought with the gift card. I don’t tend to wear things that hang or slouch, but  this was too perfect for my future belly. It is actually hot pink ( you can’t tell in this light)

Dress #4

You saw this dress in our GENDER REVEAL VIDEO. I didn’t particularly like this dress online, but I ordered it because it was LITERALLY THE ONLY LIGHT PINK DRESS I could find. I needed a soft pink dress ( for a girl) and my husband wore light blue ( for a boy) to go the ultrasound. And for some reason, this is not the season for soft pink. I ordered 3 different dresses online and had them delivered and then sent them back, before I finally got this one the day of the ultrasound. It was good enough and I was desperate enough, so I kept it. All in all, I think it’s kind of cute and girlie.

Dress #5:

Are we seeing a pattern here? A lot of red, right? Why am I drawn to red all of a sudden? I don’t know, probably compensating for lack of stylish clothes that fits.
So super cute dress… very loose  and romantic. I love it.

Dress #6

My favorite non-maternity dress, because it’s comfy enough to ALMOST feel like one designed for pregnant women.

Dress #7

Last one I promise! This is an actual maternity dress ( the one I bought from MYHABIT). It has a nice feel and is big and roomy. I figured when I get really big it might come in handy.

Maternity Shirt:

My second maternity item. I feels like a normal shirt, so at least I can wear it post-partum as well. The fabric is really soft and I like the feel of a simply tank with a few frills.

Non-maternity shirt and jeans :

Shirt: After ordering it, I realized i had a similar shirt from a NYC designer I worked for who paid me in clothes (yeah, how fair is that?), but yellow is just such an irresistible color, I HAD to keep it. It makes me happy.

Jeans: I got these as a part of a non-maternity order, they were cheap- I figured I’d throw them in, for the time when I am so big  I need them or so cold I have to wear them.
So maternity jeans, huh? I’ve heard a lot about them! I gotta tell you though…. Do you think it’d be weird if I wore them when I am not pregnant?… and… Why don’t they make jeans with stretchy bands for non-pregnant people?

More red:

You’ve seen this before in my 20 week post. I bought 4 pairs of leggings of different colors and they’re just so much fun to wear. I wear them mostly at home, but once it gets colder, I’ll be layering them with a whole bunch of things.

And finally,

a ton of stretchy long tank tops. I love how they hug my belly and how they look on a pregnant body.  I am lucky to be in South Florida, so I get to wear these tank tops pretty much year round. I know most of you aren’t in the same climate, so I’ll be writing about really nice maternity options for colder climates and different lifestyles.
I feel there will be fewer options, the bigger I get and the colder it gets and I will have to make new purchases and re-assess my maternity clothing status. And I have to tell you that after trying out some true maternity clothing designed to be comfortable and stylish and support my growing belly, I am starting to come around on this whole “no maternity clothes” issue.

UPDATE: As some of you pointed out, none of these options are breasfeeding friendly ( except for a dress or two), which is not something I even thought about in early pregnancy when I was buying these. I’m definitely planning on breastfeeding and have found a few companies with great  maternity outfits for that make nursing easy.

I can’t wait to write more about it and, like I mentioned before, we’ll be having a few maternity giveaways, so don’t forget to subscribe (on the sidebar) and if you want to make sure you stay in touch and get all the updates, LIKE our Facebook Page {I’ve been a lot more active on it lately}

So today’s question for you:

WHAT IS THE ONE MATERNITY ITEM THAT YOU COULD (HAVE) REALLY USE(D) ?

AND WHAT IS THE HARDEST MATERNITY ITEM TO FIND?

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Maternity and Non-Maternity Clothing

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Kids TV and Books + Question

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY, Q of the week

After reading a few books about brain development in the first 5 years, I became determined NOT to expose our child to any TV (even so-called educational DVDs) before age 2. That’s what most baby books recommend and the research is pretty strong on it. I had no problem with that since we don’t watch TV at home either ( we do watch series and movies that we get from Netflix in our movie room, but never actual mindless cable TV) and just sold our 60 inch TV because we hadn’t turned it on for 2 years, so it was just a waste of space. Once our baby turns 2 or so, we’ll be doing family time with movies and select cartoons, but I cannot stand having a non-stop TV running in the living room ( and I am sooooo sooo lucky my husband agrees, because I know most guys do the whole “zombied out in front of the TV” thing)

However, what DID bother me about not doing any TV time before age of 2 is that I wouldn’t be able to expose our baby to  Disney characters and stories. Being Disneyworld and Universal fanatics that we are, even since before we got pregnant, we would daydream about one day taking our own kid to the parks and enjoying the parks with them on a completely different level. We often talk about where we’d go and what rides we would take him/her on and what characters they’d see.

So in my head I struggled against doing the right thing and not having any TV exposure before two and at the same time giving our baby the joy that cartoons and characters and storylines bring.

So today as I was going through Zulily’s book sale, something ridiculously simple dawned on me:

OF COURSE, I CAN EXPOSE OUR BABY TO DISNEY CHARACTERS! THROUGH BOOKS!


Its so simple but it never occurred to me that there ARE books based on Disney and Universal cartoons. They are bright, colorful and FUN! And most importantly, they will foster interaction and language development, all without any need to resort to TVs.

I’m just really so excited about it that I had to write a post ( which I will try to do more of- short posts like this).
I love books and I cannot wait to start buying some! Yeek- I’m going to go look for them right now :)

So speaking of books, which books did your newborns like? I have no idea where or how to find books acceptable for newborns and infants, but I do want to read from birth ( I read Russian fairy-tales out loud since the baby can hear now, but I’d like to find something appropriate in English, as well as Spanish)

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Kids TV and Books + Question

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Photo pretties + Preggo Question

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in photo, Q of the week

I feel this blog doesn’t get enough photography, which is understandable, since this is a pregnancy blog ( for now).

But I am and always have been obsessed with photos and if  I didn’t have a dedicated photo blog, you’d see an overwhelming amount of photos here.

Sometimes, though, I feel that this blog doesn’t get enough prettiness. I personally like reading blogs with photos, or some illustrations, even if it’s a bit unrelated- I’m a very visual person. Once there is an actual baby to photograph, you’ll see a lot of goodness here, but right now the weekly belly photos are the only thing that makes sense.

So maybe I’ll be adding just a few photos to some posts, random ones…

And right now I wanted to share this photo ( as I am editing our Universal photos that I posted here and will be posting more a bit later as well)

Also, Jessica from Welch Grape Juice blog asked me to post this question, since many of you seem to be knowledgable and experienced about all things baby.

What are some really fun ways of telling family about your pregnancy?

 Personal experiences? Things you always wanted to do- every answer is welcome!

And maybe I’ll use those for our next baby…

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Photo pretties + Preggo Question

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Stretchmarks- Question of the Week

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in My Pregnancy, Q of the week

As I am getting closer to the time when my belly is going to start to REALLY grow, I am more and more freaked out about the possiblity of stretchmarks.

I’ve been doing the Vit.E/oil routine since before I got pregnant, I drink plenty of water, my weight gain has been gradual so far. But I know there’s only so much we can all do to prevent/avoid stretchmarks. My mom claims she had no stretchmarks until she got much older, but I am not sure that maybe she  is forgetting it. My sis definitely had stretchmarks (different fathers).


The reason why it would bother me so much is because my stomach is the ONE thing I could never complain about. I could take or leave my other body parts and features, but I love/loved my stomach. It needed NO maintenance whatsoever, it was always flat as a board ( except for when I was bloated), always muscular, even had a 4 pack look at the time when I was modeling.

So it was the one thing that was perfect and needed no work. I would just HATE to lose that. I’m also a total bikini wearer, I despise tankini, and don’t care much for one pieces. It would just suck big time to have to wear one piece from now on, or to feel self-consious about the stretchmarks ( which I will).

So I guess, what I am wondering is this:

IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE WHO AVOIDED GETTING STRETCHMARKS?

And what do you contribute it to?

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Stretchmarks- Question of the Week

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

Tuesday Pregnancy Question – Pets and Infants

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Msc, My Pregnancy, Pre-CONCEPTION, Q of the week

As most of you know, I have three cats and the question has been floating in my head for a while:

HOW DID YOUR PETS REACT TO YOUR NEW BABY?

Our cats are super curious when it comes to new things or rooms that tend to stay closed for a long time. Our future nursery is the only room in the house that hasn’t been used, since we’ve always known it’d be turned into a nursery eventually. So we keep some boxes and furniture there, along with some files- so it’s basically a storage room. It generally stays closed. But the second we go in there to find something, all three cats launch themselves into the opening of the door and proceed to sniff everything out.

I realize that after some time in that room, they’d get bored. But the day we bring a new baby into our house with its new baby smell, the cats will go crazy, I know it.

I assume it’s not really safe to let a cat sit/lie/sleep in the baby’s crib. I haven’t done much research about infants yet, mostly just pre-pregnancy and pregnancy itself.  But it makes sense that you wouldn’t want pet hair and their bodies anywhere near the baby in the first few months, right?

Any experience you’d like to share about your new baby and your pets? Their reaction, their incessant need to be in the baby’s crib/bassinet? What did you do to prevent that? And also once your baby was able to sit and play, how did they interact with the pets?

I’d love to hear your stories!

Kittah licked me

Oh and I am sorry I haven’t been to all of your blogs recently. I am going to catch up today.

Also I will be making a BOOK PAGE, where I’ll psot a list of all the pre-conception and pregnancy books I’ve read or am reading for those who might be interested. It should be quite an interesting list.

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Tuesday Pregnancy Question – Pets and Infants

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TUESDAY PREGNANCY QUESTION #4

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Msc, Pre-CONCEPTION, Q of the week

How and when did you find out about your pregnancy?

What were your first emotions? How did you tell your husband/boyfriend?

Feel free to link up to a story on your blog – I love reading those!

My one and only experience with pregnancy tests happened just this month.

In the beginning of the month, right after my ovulation, we figured we’d finally ditch the condoms since my April ovulation has passed, so next time it comes around we’re good to go. No need for birth control anymore.
It was scary and exciting at the same time, because I’ve been on the pill for 8 years and then used barrier methods for the last three months as we were getting ready. For 8 years every time we had sex, I’d always have this fear of pregnancy. My mind would always rush to “Did i take the pill?”

Now we have decided that it is ok but my mind hasn’t been exactly clued in.  Both hubby and I had this nervous laugh as we were going at it :) lol

But you know, we both knew that I can’t get pregnant since it was past my ovulation. Everything was fine, until about 7 days later I got some spotting ( implantation spotting, anyone?), so I went back to look at my BBT chart and realized that possibly we might have done it closer to the big O than we thought. I shrugged that off and we spent the next few days having fun in Orlando. Until this one evening when i got a really strong wave of nausea that wouldn’t go away for a day ( I don’t normally get nauseous for no reason)

Hubby insisted that we go into Walgreens and buy a pregnancy test ( MY VERY FIRST ONE IN MY WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE), because if I were in fact pregnant, he’d drive me straight home rather than spend the night at his mom’s house and then go to Disney the next day. {The reason for that is that we feel very strongly about the fact that during the first 2 trimesters the baby is very vulnerable to all sorts of germs and infections and disruptions and that we’d rather shield it from anything and everything possible since we are able to do that, while the brain and the neural tube develops along with other organs, because any little mess up could result in things like dyslexia, ADD, personality disorders, learning disorders and etc. So my first two trimesters will be a super quiet, calm time without exposure to germs or toxins.}

I really loved that he took it so seriously that he wanted to drive me home if we got the BFP ( big fat positive). I was ready to say: “I’m not pregnant, let’s just wait until I get my period” and continue having fun. But he was really serious about it, which I love ( considering I am the one who is usually all about making everything perfect).

The funny part was that it mattered to me WHERE I’d take the test. I didn’t want it to be a hotel room, or someone else’s house. I wanted it to be in something that’s ours. I was ready to pee on a stick in our car :) But then figured I wasn’t really pregnant, so there was no need be picky about a place to get a big fat negative.

So that was my one and only experience with pregnancy tests, but I absolutely LOVED how protective of me and the baby my husband got.

Update: Sorry if I didn’t make it clear, but I was NOT pregnant. We definitely missed the ovulation date and all is good. Now starts the real deal- the TTCing.

Looking forward to reading your REAL stories about how you found out

 

and while you’re at it, can I get a quick vote, please? Press thumbs up to vote!

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: TUESDAY PREGNANCY QUESTION #4

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Tuesday Pregnancy Question #3

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Pre-CONCEPTION, Q of the week

This one I am asking for a friend of mine! I hope there’re girls out there who have had some kind of experience with this.

BREECH BABIES

Does anyone have stories of breech babies before delivery that either got flipped over manually or on their own or didn’t change their position?

Basically, any experience in that matter than you had or know of?

My neighbor’s kid is breech and she’s doing everything she can imagine to get her to flip over. She’s stressing over it quite a bit, just like we all would, so I’d love to get some positive experiences as well real ones too.

Thanks, guys! Your answers are always the best!

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Tuesday Pregnancy Question #3

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

Tuesday Pregnancy Question #2

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Msc, Pre-CONCEPTION, Q of the week

I had an amazing amount of response on the last pregnancy question. I really appreciate all of your answers. I loved reading all the details. It’s amazing how much more helpful just hearing other experiences is than reading books ( though I will continue going through my 20 pregnancy books stacked on my bedside table ). Thank you all so much.
I hope you’ll get to share your opinion and experience on this week’s question.

DID YOU WAIT THE THREE MONTHS TO TELL THE WORLD ABOUT YOUR PREGNANCY?
WHAT WERE YOUR REASONS? OR WHY NOT?


Since the miscarriage risk is pretty high in the first trimester, I find a lot of women waiting it out until they tell people they are pregnant.
I’m not superstitious, I am not worried about jinxing or anything other silly stuff. I think the motivation for most women to wait is so that they didn’t have to deal with questions if anything goes wrong.I am not a secretive person at all. When it comes to my life, there’s pretty much nothing that I keep to myself. I like sharing, and I really hate the feeling of keeping something from people unless there’s a really good reason.

My instinct is that I should not wait to tell for a few reasons:
1. This is a pregnancy blog, therefore it’d seem silly to wait out three months before writing anything
2. All my friends and family know we’re going to be TTCing, because they’ve been asking about when we’ll have babies for 8 years now
3. I seem to be mentally prepared for a good posibility of a miscarriage, so if it does happen, I’d rather have the support (i think?)
4. I don’t think I can keep something like that to ourselves.
5. I want to be able to “acknowledge” the baby right away, and that’d be harder if I am keeping it a secret.

So I’d love to hear what you think, what your experience have been, what decision you made and why and how did you feel afterwards. Basically, any words of wisdom would be appreciated.
Who knows maybe you say something that I didn’t even think of and would totally make up my mind.

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Tuesday Pregnancy Question #2

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