Here we are at the end of the month, and what a month it’s been – despite the fact that I stayed closer to home than I have for most of the year. But I kicked it off with a big announcement, and you may very well feel like I’ve talked about nothing since. In which case... you might want to sit out for this month’s favorite things.
Why? It’s an all-maternity August edition of favorite things, that’s why. I’ve kept my mouth shut about some of my favorite things during the last few months’ list because seeeecret pregnancy, and now it’s time to spill. Today: a roundup of my favorite things when one is gestating another human being!
Sorting onesies: how I now spend Friday nights
Over the last
Reading (and listening to)...
Hands down, THE BEST pregnancy-related thing I’ve read is Emily Oster’s Expecting Better. This book, written by an economics professor (who can analyze stats and write about medicine from an outsider perspective), makes virtually no proscriptions for pregnant women. Instead, it takes some of the common concerns about pregnancy – can I drink coffee? should I get an epidural? – and discusses what the scientific literature says about them. Oster then allows the reader to make her (or his, I suppose) own decisions given the best available literature. Considering I PubMed my pregnancy concerns before turning to Google, this book was PERFECT for me. I’d encourage every woman who is or wants to be pregnant to pick up a copy (mine came from the library).
I have several more books to tackle in the near-future: the infamous Happiest Baby on the Block, two books on breastfeeding, and the quintessential What to Expect books. I’ll save those for the second-half pregnancy favorite things roundup!
For more week-to-week happenings, I’ve subscribed to BabyCenter’s newsletter like every other pregnant lady in the world. It’s... ok. The “news” doesn’t always apply to me, but it has decent trivia and pictures. For a more enjoyable read, I like Amalah’s Zero to Forty column. I read it back when she was pregnant with Ezra (who just started kindergarten, whoa!), but it’s obviously a better read now. And somehow, her writing makes me feel much more normal about being barfy or sleepy or pudgy than BabyCenter’s ever does.
For more-pictures-less-words, this BuzzFeed roundup of pregnancy and parenting infographics has been informative... I think? Of course, I recognize that BuzzFeed is not the pinnacle of educated wisdom (did you see that I routinely search scientific journals to learn about my pregnancy?) but it did introduce me to some things I didn’t even know I’d want to know about.
And finally... once I hit 21 weeks, I allowed myself to re-listen to RadioLab’s 23 weeks, 6 days episode. It is amazing. It’d been on my mind for weeks, but I knew it was a bad idea to listen to it again too early. I couldn’t quite make myself wait until 24 weeks, but it’s an incredible story to hear right when my baby was just about that age. (And if you’re not there yet, for the love of God, wait until you are before you press play.)
Maternity clothes. I have so many feeeeelings about maternity clothes. In my head, pregnant women started to show around their fourth or fifth month, but I felt like my belly was already starting to show by ten weeks. I even sent Mr. P this photo one morning to be like OMG MY COWORKERS ARE TOTALLY GONNA KNOW I’M PREGNANT BECAUSE LOOK AT THAT BABY BUMP ALL POKING OUT.
Of course, to that I now say: HA! Hahahaha. *head pat*
Still, I think there is absolutely no shame in going ahead and buying maternity pants as early as you dang feel like it. Might as well get your money’s worth, right?! I bought this pair from Old Navy at ten weeks, and three more pairs (these, these, and a pair similar to these from Target) around fifteen weeks.
The Target ones fit my figure a bit better, so I usually go for those before the Old Navy pair. But for all, I went for FULL PANEL – yes, the panel itself is weird and ugly, but full panel provides so much more support! And zero muffin top! They’ve fit me for the last several months, and I think they’ll fit to the bitter end. Given the choice between maternity pants or MacGyvering my pants with a rubber band and my inherited Bella Band, I consider every pair of maternity pants money well spent. On comfort and confidence and dignity.
When it came to clothes inspiration, I was super fortunate that my favorite style blogger (and the only one I read regularly) became pregnant a few months before me. I’ve love love LOVED Audrey at Putting Me Together for a while now, and her tips for maternity wardrobe are tops. She’s great all the time, so even if you’re not currently expecting or have no plans to make a baby, you might want to add her to your usual reads!
Feeling better with...
I already told you I was fortunate to be well enough to travel during my first trimester, but unfortunate to still be nauseated for two months. The only thing that helped? Brach’s lemon candies.
I found them at my local CVS, and I feel like I ate them constantly. Their nausea-abating effects were far better than anything else I tried, which might be due to the fact that you actually have to suck on them (according to my doctor, the act of suckling itself can counteract nausea – though I found peppermint candies to be awful, just awful). Your pregnancy-related-nausea mileage may vary, but these were a godsend for me.
I also told you that interacting with other people was one of my least favorite parts of being pregnant. Part of it is that not enough people follow the suggestions in this Cracked article. It was posted after I’d had a particularly grumpy day, and reading it was a breath of fresh air – I wasn’t crazy for wanting to talk about things other than pregnancy, or for wishing people would stop trying to touch my belly!
they didn't sit on a bicycle pump, and they're really not amused.
They just find it easier to smile and laugh than punch you in the face right now.”
I know I’ve broken a few of those rules in the past, so let’s all give it a good read and make the pregnant ladies of the world a bit happier.
And finally... pregnancy is a good time for Allie Brosh to remind you that sometimes days just go like this. It happens to everyone, pregnant or not. And that’s ok.
I said “shopping” and not “buying” because, well, we basically inherited the world’s greatest baby haul. But there are a few extra things we need or honestly just want, so we made a couple of registries. (No, I will not link them here, partly because that feels douchey but also because of privacy + real names + blah blah etc.)
You guys, registering is hard. Taking so much time to look up safety info and comparison-price is only part of the problem. The great catch-22 is that you don’t know what you need until you’ve had a baby, at which point people already bought you stuff which may or may not be useless. The internet tries to be helpful, but I found Stefanie at Brooklyn Limestone to be my biggest go-to for what to prioritize and what to leave behind (maybe).
Or maybe I just want to listen to her because I’ve fallen desperately in love with a ridiculously priced stroller and she kinda justifies it. Not sure yet.
Speaking of acquiring new things, Baby P is already the lucky recipient of a few gifts from sweet friends and family! Like this Jellycat owl from his cousin...
And practically a library from my Minneapolis friend H, as well as Lil’ C and her Swiss Mister.
And of all the things I’ve loved in this pregnancy thus far... these are definitely the things I treasure the most.