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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.)
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.
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.
These “orb” dining chairs from West Elm ($249) are the coolest. I am pretty much obsessed.
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).
+PS — More good good in Le Shop.