The Home Stretch.

Heads up: there’s a giveaway still raging on yesterday’s #minimagpie post for these Sweet N Swag infant mocs!  Just leave a comment + follow me on Insta and you’ll be entered!

So, #Minimagie threw us for a loop when she decided to flip around to a breech position (head up instead of head down) in week 36.  It’s not safe to deliver a breech baby, so I’m having a scheduled c-section instead (P.S. — to those mamas in the know, I did learn all about ECV and “spinning babies,” but, the short story is, I’m having a scheduled c-section unless she decides to turn herself around in the next two weeks, of which there is about a 5% chance.  And, not to be a negative nelly, but the likelihood of having a breech baby in the first place is like 3%, so I’m not particularly bullish when it comes to the odds playing in my favor.  #Donttakemegambling).

I am proud (?) that my first reaction was one of acceptance.  The very first thought that came to mind was: “Well, little lady, if this is the most complicated part of this pregnancy, you are one lucky SOB.”  (Maybe this gives you a sense for the level of anxiety I’ve had around this pregnancy–I have been frustratingly convinced that something is going to go wrong at every turn.)

But, once I’d wrapped my mind around the news, I felt an alien sense of disappointment creep in–disappointment tinged with a bit of…shame (?).  I know these emotions are illogical.  My brain (and everyone else around me) was quick to shush them, but there they were: bald, earnest, unabashed at their own presence.  Though I wasn’t excited to go through the pain of labor, I also saw it as a rite of passage, a monumental moment of bonding and transition with both my daughter and my husband.  I realized I’d been excited about the prospect of counting contractions and rushing off nervously to the hospital and of proving to myself and my husband that I could do this thing.  Little me!

Not to mention the fact that I’m pretty terrified at the whole prospect of a c-section (to state the obvious: you’re awake…while they cut you open), and at the prospect of recovery from a c-section (gone are my dreams of getting back into an exercise regimen in relatively short order — likely a pipe dream in and of itself anyway).

In short, I had a little bit of a tough time reconciling myself to this news.  On the one hand, I kept reminding myself that the goal is not to experience childbirth.  The goal is to deliver a healthy baby safely and, if possible, with as much comfort as can be afforded.  And, I also hear a stern internal voice saying: “Just think of all the women who would go to extraordinary lengths to have a child in any possible permutation of conception, gestation, or delivery.  And here you are whimpering about the way you are able to bring her into the world. Just go with it.”  On the other hand, in the spirit of making space for my emotions–I couldn’t ignore the fact that I was crestfallen.

The beautiful silver lining to all of this is that I talked it over with my mother, my sisters and sister-in-law, and several very dear friends and was reminded of how insanely fortunate I am to be surrounded by a tribe of strong, smart, caring women, all of whom listened intently, helped me see the many positives, and (gently) reminded me to keep a sense of perspective.  (For example: I get to have my doctor (if I were to go into labor at any time, any of the doctors could be on call)!  I know exactly when my daughter is coming!  Perhaps most exciting, my mom will now BE here in Chicago when she’s born!  She lives in D.C. so she had been planning to fly up whenever she heard the good word, but now she’ll BE there!  With me!)

Now that I’ve had a week to digest, I realize that I reacted so strongly because of the sudden change in direction, the unexpected change in plans.  Though I’ve gotten better at living in a state of irresolution through the founding of my own business, and though I’ve been consciously trying to channel a “go with the flow” mentality for the past 9 months, the news overwhelmed me so close to the finish line.  I’d mentally configured what birth might be like, and — whoosh — it was gone.  In reflecting on this, though, I realize this is actually a gorgeous note-to-self, especially on the precipice of a major life transition: a reminder to greet life changes with equanimity–or to strive to.  And to lean on the many incredible women around me in order to get there.

So, you know.  Dory and stuff.  Keep on swimming, keep on swimming…these 10 things are making me happy today:

Caveat: don’t worry; this post won’t be all about maternity stuff for those not at this stage of life yet, but, pick #1 is, so you might wanna skip to the next if it’s N/A.

OK, the very last items on my #minimagpie shopping list were some nursing tanks/tops.  I don’t want to overbuy in this department because I’m trying my hardest not to set crazy expectations (who knows what will happen and I’ve heard so many women struggle with nursing — also, given the recent c-section news, some of the toiletry and recovery items I’d rushed out to buy on the good word of friends are sorta moot, and I don’t want to wind up in the same sitch), and I also know that your body changes in size a lot very quickly, BUT.  I have to have a few on hand.  (I mentioned this previously, but I picked up this nursing bra in the pink and this nursing bra in the black to start with and will then see which I like and figure out what else I need as I go.)

Can I just say something, for posterity, mainly because I’m feeling like a grouchy mcgroucherson today?  Why are 99% of maternity and nursing clothes so freaking ugly?  Like, a few sources recommended the brand Leading Lady for nursing tanks and my eyes boggled out of my head in displeasure.  The neckline is so unflatteringly high.  Even on the model, the tank looks somehow simultaneously stretched and gape-y.  I know that some of this stuff has to be about function and you don’t want your ta-tas akimbo while you’re nursing, but PUHLEASE, can’t someone think about form and function?!  (This is also my only gripe with my favorite maternity/nursing jams from Cosabella — and P.S., more maternity must-haves here.  In general, they are a cloud of heaven–the softest cotton in the drapiest of cuts.  I literally can’t wait until it’s an appropriate time to put them on each night.  But, the tank top it comes with is so weirdly gaping and unflattering.  It’s SO comfortable (just barely skimming over your belly), but I’m always happy I have the little robe thing to wear over it because…I’m pretty vain and it don’t look great.)

So, this was my charming headspace as I searched around for nursing tanks at 4:30 AM the other morning.  Luckily, I found a handful of pieces that passed my oddly stringent standards for nursing tanks:

+Ingrid + Isabel’s seamless maternity tank ($50).  I like the “v,” I like the fitted-ness, I like the length, and I like the (relative) thin-ness of the straps.  You should see the straps on some of these nursing tanks.  They’re horrifying.  They look like an orthopedic contraption.  Like something a 105 year old woman would need to hold herself in place.

+I also snapped up one of these tanks from Cake ($55).  It got very good reviews and I liked the scoopneck.  It just looks well-constructed.

+Finally, I got one of these Rosie Pope tanks ($28).  The main attraction for me is the thin-ness of the straps.  I do wish all of these brands made tanks in more colors–like, can’t a girl get a blush pink or a stripe or something?  SRSLY.

+I also seriously considered this Yummie Tummie nursing tank ($68).  The neckline is a little high for my taste, but I liked the length and it looks like it holds you in nicely.  Still, close to $70 for a tank felt a little rich for my blood.

+The two others I considered briefly were this Target style ($20 — available, for once, in a multitude of colors! and recommended by a few blogs I consulted) and this Gap style ($22).  But, I have had hit-or-miss experiences with the quality of Target’s stuff, and the latter just looks so ill-fitting in the picture (amirite?), and also, in my state of irrational irritation, it was bothering me that I would have to pay $7 shipping on a $22 tank.  Which is extra irrational because it would wind up being the same as the starting price of the Rosie Pope tank…but, ya know.

ingrid and isabel maternity nursing tank

P.S.  I also came across the brand Boob (ha!) for nursing wear while researching.  Kind of a clever design, and I like all the happy stripe colors this top (on sale!) comes in.

P.P.S.  Also a part of the hunt: I found these cute little short nursing jams ($38) that I had to have.

Turning topics entirely, OMG.  Have you heard of the brand Brother Vellies?!  It’s recently spawned a cult following among fashion’s most in-the-know (Eva Chen is often a harbinger for hipness, IMO, and she’s worn a few pairs of their shoes).  I love the back-story for the company: inspired by traditional African footwear, the founder, Aurora James (how chic is her Insta?!), launched the label with the goal of creating and sustaining artisanal jobs within Africa.   I’m especially smitten with her Burkina slides ($285).  (I also like these lace-up sandal variations.)

the fashion magpie brother vellies burkina slides 1 the fashion magpie brother vellies burkina slides 1 the fashion magpie brother vellies burkina slides 1 the fashion magpie brother vellies burkina slides 1

A lot of chic peas have been spotted in their marabou fluffy slides, which I’m still warming to.  Very Cher from Clueless.

Oh, and also on the topic of loud and trendy footwear: remember when I swooned over those pearl-encrusted Miu Miu slides in my street style roundup?  Get a pair of lookalikes for only $37 here.

Lisi Lerch has long been queen of the preppy earring game, especially with these tassels ($98), a more affordable way to achieve the Oscar de la Renta look.  I am really loving their new slender-hooped Kate statement earrings, though ($68), especially in the cotton candy pink color.


the fashion magpie kate lisi lerch earrings the fashion magpie kate lisi lerch earrings

the fashion magpie kate lisi lerch earrings

Would look amazing with this pretty gingham maxi ($80).

I am OBSESSED with these denim overalls ($148) from Madewell, and I live for the styling in these pics.  That voluminous top looks so amazing with them!  That wild hair!  Those shades!  And that drop hem!  SO right now.  I know some of you may be thinking that joveralls are a little…juvenile?  But they can look SO adorable when styled casually for the weekend.  I have a pair in white that I wore all last summer, usually with a striped tee underneath, and also a distressed pair of joverall shorts that I love to throw over a bikini.  I feel like these might be a new mom’s best friend.  Unfussy, comfortable, but a little edgy-chic.

(You can also get the look for less with this $40 steal-of-a-pair.)

the fashion magpie madewell overalls the fashion magpie madewell overalls 3 the fashion magpie madewell overalls 2

Tibi has released a variety of variations on its tie sleeve shift over the past few seasons — love this OTS style ($395) and this cold-shoulder style ($395), too, and love all the street style stars in them, as shown below. (Also, is this not the most perfect dress for a bride-to-be?!)  BUT, good news for my fellow bargain-hunters: Nordstrom carries a super-cute lookalike style for $129, and I NEED it in that shell pink color!  So perfect and so versatile — appropriate for work or weekend.  In a similar vein, this tie-wrist Ann Taylor top ($79) is calling my name.the fashion magpie tibi tie sleeve 1 the fashion magpie tibi tie sleeve 2 the fashion magpie tibi tie sleeve 2 the fashion magpie tibi tie sleeve 2

New haircare line Ouai has been cultivating quite the celebrity following.  Founded by celebrated hair stylist (to the Kardashian tribe and others) Jen Atkin, this stuff has been popping up all over.  (Even the brand’s Instagram account is cool.)  As I’m just about to finish my bottle of Davines Oi hair oil (obsessed with that stuff), I’m intrigued by this hair oil ($28), but may start with this repair hair kit ($25) so I can test a few different products at once.  I’m especially interested in the hair masque.

Guys.  These customizable hats from Born + Made are too good ($120).  So amazing for a little engagement shoot or a bachelorette party or honeymoon…or, really, any ol’ day at the beach.  They’re HAND-customized (!) with glued sequins, and you can choose any saying you want.  (You can also add ribbons, pom poms, and fringe if you’re going maximalista.)

I am head over heels for these chic little Loeffler Randall slides ($325).  That ruffle!  The suede!  And that low heel is so RN.  I feel like LR is always just a little bit ahead of the curve on stylish footwear — far enough ahead that it feels edgy, but not so far ahead that you’ll feel weird in it.

the fashion magpie loeffler randall ruffle sandal the fashion magpie loeffler randall ruffle sandal

The cheekiest little pillows ($97 for Pop Fizz Clink; $64 for XOXO)  from Etsy storefront Alexandra Ferguson.  Also love this one, and these customizable zip code ones are kinda fun, too.

the fashion magpie pop fizz clink pillow the fashion magpie alexandra ferguson xoxo pink pillow

These “orb” dining chairs from West Elm ($249) are the coolest.  I am pretty much obsessed.

the fashion magpie orb west elm chair the fashion magpie orb west elm chair

Finally, a couple of other epic finds for the week:

+Love the volume and detailing on this Anthro blouse ($98).

+Chic way to store your business cards ($30) — incidentally, a good gift for someone who’s just received a promotion or landed a new job.

+I cannot say no to a big ol’ bow, and this clutch ($59) is calling my name.

+Speaking of bows, love the bow accents on this cute gray sweater ($98).

+This floral top was just re-stocked after I’d been stalking it for weeks ($85) — the CUTEST way to get that floral look I’ve been all about.

+PS — More good good in Le Shop.

 

 

 

 

14 Comments

  1. You’ve received some lovely support so I will just pop in and say that as a c-section veteran, they get a real bad rap. Mine was unexpected, but I took the mindset of “Whatever is best for her is best for the two of us” and voila! Out she came. You will be in excellent hands – much more care and arms around you in that room than a regular delivery room and you will have the dedicated support of your anesthesiologist who will be right there with you, explaining what’s happening, what to expect. I promise you’ll be just fine – all three of you!

    As for recovery, mine was a piece of cake. I stuck to the advil regimen vs. the hard drugs and had a very easy time – and I was back to my pre-preg weight faster than my vaginal delivery friends. #miraclesdohappen

    Have faith and trust – all will be well! Cannot wait to hear your news xxx

    1. Thanks, Lara! This is a lovely bit of encouragement as I head into the final stretch. So good to hear about your experience! Thanks for sharing. xoxox

  2. Oh sweet woman- thank you for this blog! I just had my son via unexpected early c section, and I have truly felt so ashamed at it… for no reason. Well, no there is a reason– I would text friends to let them know he had arrived, and would immediately get asked: so did you do it natural?

    In fact, this pregnancy wasn’t conceived naturally, and yet I felt as though I was immediately being judged for my effort (or lack thereof) even to the end.

    Thank you for being honest and open, I feel I have a friend in this process!

    For me what helped was having cute *dress* PJ with nursing friendly tops. I felt pretty, I didn’t have to worry about a band on my incision, and it worked for nursing.

    I too was scared that a c section would compromise nursing (in fact, I took hours to recover so missed the initial “window” for first latch), but guess what, just a day later and he is eating wonderfully. Don’t get discouraged either way ❤ God is with you always. I will pray for you and MM!

    (also: tmi but ask for stool softener and don’t be afraid to walk when the nurse clears you to do so!! Verrry helpful to walk! Take your pain pills like 25 min before getting up)

    1. BUNNY! 1) This sweet note made my day; thank YOU for making me feel less alone. I completely understand how you are feeling. 2) BUT, more importantly, congratulations!!! You DID it! You brought this sweet little boy into the world! Welcome Mini! So happy for you and the little one. 3) Thank you for all of the helpful tips and advice. Not TMI — so helpful to set realistic expectations and have these little nuggets of practical wisdom in my back pocket. Thinking of you during these early days!

  3. I’ve recommended Ruth Crilly’s blog before, The Uphill, but if you aren’t following there are posts related to this. Her first baby was breech, delivered via an emergency c section. She just had her second, via a planned c section and she talks about feeling a degree of guilt over not getting to experience a vaginal chidbirth. She also has some posts on what it’s like post c section.
    Best of luck to your little family.

    1. YES! Xena, I’ve been meaning to write you — I read her blog religiously now (thank you so much for the introduction). You were absolutely right: so frank, so candid. I found her thoughts on this front helpful in making me feel less alone in these strange, conflicting emotions. xxx

  4. All the feels on this! I felt guilty when I had to have an emergency c-section. I felt like my body failed me and I was cheated of a “real labor” experience. When I heard my son cry for the first time, all of those feelings disappeared. The baby is the light at the end of the tunnel!

    While the labor experience is different, the recovery process makes us c-section Mamas warriors! The first 3 days were the hardest for me. I’m stubborn and didn’t want to take the strong pain medication. A few tips from my experience:
    -Don’t be afraid to take the pain meds (wish I would have to stay on top of the pain more)
    – Pack comfy pjs. You won’t want anything tight against your incision. Underwear included!
    – Ask the nurses and lactation consultants on positions to nurse the baby that won’t press on your stomach.
    – Get up and try to walk around a little every day. (Really helped with the gas pains and speeds up recovery)
    – Don’t be afraid to ask for help. My mom stayed with me a week after and I couldn’t have survived without her help.
    – And finally, get a Belly Bandit (or something similar). I wore that for almost 3 weeks and it helped strengthen my core and relieve pain.

    Every day gets easier! Thanks to modern medicine your scar will be easily hidden and you’ll be able to wear bikinis again if you please!

    If you need advice from a fellow c-section mama, just shout! Another perk is c-section babies are born with perfect little heads! Can’t wait to see mini magpie!

    1. Thanks, Kelsey — good reminder to keep my eyes on the prize (aka, minimagpie herself, ha!) These are really helpful tips, too. Where did you find “comfy underwear” out of curiosity?? Ha. I got some of these Rosie Pope ones (http://rstyle.me/n/cfiymvyjd) and they are really comfortable right now but I’m having a hard time imagining underwear that aren’t snug-fitting. Or do you mean those famed mesh ones they give you at the hospital? xoxo

    2. To my honest, I used the mesh ones the whole time I was in the hospital and the first 2 days at home. They didn’t come close to my incision which made me feel more comfortable. After that, I wore pretty high waisted Hanes underwear I found on Amazon. They are the most granny-looking panties I could find lol. I think after 2 ish weeks I was back in normal underwear without any discomfort.

  5. You are always so spot on in your observations! I too was so appalled by the complete lack of style and non-depressing options in the nursing garb department. FWIW, I was happy with the Target bravado line- which you can also get on Amazon and avoid the shipping charges…I also wore my normal Theory Len tubular tank tops as “nursing” tanks- really any tank can be nursing if you wear a nursing bra underneath!

    Best of luck these last few weeks!!!

    1. Thanks, Daphne! This is REALLY good insight. I just added one of the Target Bravado ones to my next Prime order. (AmazonPrime is my best friend and worst enemy.) xoxo

  6. I hear you on the thoughts about c-sections. I had 2 because of major complications and still feel at times that I missed that rite of passage simply because I don’t have the story chronicling the hours of pushing and counting contractions. But, at the end of the day, as long as the baby (and mom!) is healthy, it doesn’t matter how it arrives.

    If your hospital offers this, ask about a “family centered” c-section. In this practice, they do things like a clear curtain so you can watch the birth, they have an extra nurse in the OR so you can do skin-to-skin immediately after. I had this with my second, not my first, and it was a welcome change. Took the sterility and removed feeling I had out of the process.

    Something I wasn’t prepared for because no one told me: you’ll have a delay in getting to hold her, which for me, was devastating. But, it makes the moment when you finally do so much sweeter.

    From my experience c-section recoveries were easier than some of my friends that had normal deliveries. As much as it kills you, get up and walk, as much as you can, as soon as you can. With my second, I walked twice as much as I did the first time and bounced back so much faster.

    Best of luck!

    1. Thank you so much for this incredibly thoughtful note, Jen. Really helpful. One thing I’ve realized is how important expectation-setting is in this whole maternity game, so thanks for helping me calibrate them, and for making me feel so un-alone in this! xoxox

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