Y’all are too much.
I received so many thoughtful and kind notes, comments, emails, and texts in reaction to my conflicting web of thoughts on my scheduled c-section, including several texts from friends who shared that they’d run through similar ranges of emotions with their own c-sections. I’m humbled, inspired, and feeling like I can take on this procedure (and the world, come to think of it) with your words in my back pocket.
Among other things:
+A high school classmate I haven’t spoken with in years wrote me with the following stirring words of encouragement: “My son was also breech, and I tried everything to flip him (ECV, chiropractor, acupuncture, inversions)…and no dice. C-section recovery was challenging and you’ll continue to go through a million emotions about missing out on “regular” childbirth. Like you said, though, create space for them!”
+A former colleague brought me to tears with the most generous of notes, in which she wrote, among other elegant and moving things: “Through good or bad, women are the custodians of this monumental thing, and it bonds us together in the most beautiful and unexpected ways. Your post this morning was so brilliantly reflective, so full of honesty and hope…One of my favorite aspects of today’s post was your celebration of, in your words, being surrounded by a tribe of strong, smart, caring women. I’m also positive that you’re about to introduce to the world a next generation woman of substance.” The biggest, deepest thank you to this beautiful woman for writing me this beautiful note!
Your generosity of spirit and gentleness of tone in responding to my (potentially overly-self-involved) reflection on the late-in-the-game change-in-delivery-plans highlighted something important I’ve had occasion to marinate on over the course of this pregnancy: how supportive and empathetic women are when talking about this experience. Sure, I’ve had my fair share of unsolicited and annoying commentary (I really don’t care to hear anyone else tell me about how much my life is about to change and never go back to the way it was before), but I have to say: writ large, I have been incredibly moved by the kindness and solicitude of strangers and loved ones alike.
It’s been refreshing after feeling quite the opposite when it came to building our business. A lot of entrepreneurs liken starting a business to having a child. But I found that my entrepreneurial endeavors led me to be a more self-reliant, skeptical, even cynical type of person. I learned that very few people truly want to help you out and that there is no such thing as a free lunch. It’s not that I think people are inherently ill-willed or evil–in fact, most folks I encountered (and continue to encounter) in the business world are benevolent and good-natured–but they are acting out of self-interest, and, frankly, for good reason: they are out to maximize profit, are held accountable for achieving specific KPIs, and only have so many hours in the day. So you do the math in terms of how much time you think people are able to allocate to helping someone else out. (And then there’s a whole category of what I will frankly call “the entrepreneur landscape bottom-feeders”: people who literally prey on the entrepreneur, sucking the little capital and energy they have left in order to sell some sort of shady service, i.e., “you need my sales consulting” or “join my incubator and I’ll help you grow your business…just give me 20% equity or $10K to do it.” For those starting out: be very leery of people selling you services as an entrepreneur.)
With this pregnancy, on the flipside, I’ve been moved on so many occasions by casual, genuine, un-selfish gestures of concern and empathy: the Starbucks barista who wrote me a little note of good luck and congratulations on the side of my cup; the sweet old proprietress of a Polish restaurant we went to, who squealed with joy when she saw my pregnant belly; the many, many thoughtful notes and comments on this blog from so many of you; the countless texts and phone calls from my closest friends inquiring after my well-being.
And then there was one day a few weeks ago–the day I found out #minimagpie was breech and felt totally overwhelmed and confused–when my father-in-law sent me a completely unsolicited text, without yet knowing the news we’d just learned: “Hang in there, Jen.” Just a fleeting thought that had crossed his mind. I imagined him sitting in his den on his computer, a Heineken in hand, as he is wont to do in the evenings, and taking the time to send me a sweet little note of encouragement out of the blue.
So, yah. I haven’t even met #minimagpie yet, but I already feel like my heart has expanded 2534 times since she entered my life. (And I’m definitely ready for her.)
Feeling all the feels…and now, sharing all my latest finds pour le bebe:
I was slightly horrified by the look of this pumping bra ($31), which I ordered on the good word of several other moms and blogs. Even in the pale pink color, it’s just scary to look at. I know, I know. These things aren’t about style; they’re function-first. But still. I was SO excited to discover a new start-up called Ollie Gray (founded by a former Lululemon-er!) that has designed a very smart, very chic hands-free pumping and nursing bra ($68), thanks to the very same high school classmate I mentioned at the start of this post (thank you, C!) They call it “the anywhere bra” because it’s meant to be appropriate for work, sleep, and even exercise, and it negates the need for multiple bra types. I also love the patterns!!!!
One item I read that a few moms have found extremely helpful during the early months is a nightlight–not so much for their babies, but for middle-of-the-night feedings, so you can nurse without turning on the garish overhead light. I recently came across the Hatch Baby Rest ($59), a combination night light, sound machine, and “OK-to-wake indicator” controlled by your smartphone. (You can also get the cute patterned covers shown below to add a little style to the equation for $12.) Definitely on my radar. (And check out all of the Hatch products while you’re at it — lots of smart techie things for the new mom.)
P.S. — Looking for a simpler nightlight with fewer bells + whistles? This one ($15) came recommended for having a soft glow and being appropriate for the little one’s nursery once you’re through the co-sleeping days. I also thought this cloud one was TOO CUTE ($13).
P.P.S. — I purchased this Jonathan Adler giraffe wall nighlight for the #minimagpie nursery, and it is…adorable. And very well-made — I think it might be porcelain? I wasn’t sure what it was made of, but it definitely ain’t plastic. You can also swivel the plug so that the giraffe faces the right side up regardless of which direction your outlet is facing, which I thought was so smart and thoughtful. I love a well-designed product. And wouldn’t you be annoyed if your giraffe was sideways? If $48 for a nightlight feels outrageous (it is), I thought this elephant one ($10) was precious, too.
This bib ($14). I don’t know what it is about it, but I need it.
One of my favorite beauty lines, Chantecaille (I love their rose face oil and rosewater spray), recently came out with a collection of baby care products that reportedly smell amazing and are incredibly gentle. I am in love with the packaging alone. (Face lotion — $48; hair + body wash — $49; body lotion — $55).
And while we’re on the topic of baby cosmetics, I recently heard good things about the organic baby skincare products from the company behind the Sophie La Girafe infant toy ($24), which is, apparently, great for a trillion reasons (lots of different textures for baby to chew on, different parts to grab onto, great visual contrast, a squeaky sound for developing reflexes, etc.) I want to start with this “starter kit”/sampler ($24).
I am planning on heading back to D.C. for the wedding of my lovely friend Alison Kenworthy (whom I featured as my inaugural woman of substance) in June, and it’s made me realize that a few of the “baby travel” purchases I’d put off making may need to be made sooner than later. For example, we did not yet purchase the Nuna Sena pack n play that we registered for (full registry here), and I don’t have a travel stroller. Although–#mini will still be too little for one of those, I guess. I suppose we go without? And wear her? So much to learn, people. But, I have already mentally dog-eared an umbrella stroller for when the time comes: The MacLaren Triumph ($224). The editors of The Nighlight, a blog all about “the best baby stuff” (my other favorite resource for baby gear is Lucie’s List), raved about The Triumph as THE best umbrella stroller on the market and I’m totally sold. Plus, that rad racing green color?! So cool and unexpected. Also gorgine in the red.
The teethers from LouLou Lollipop are SO adorable. I especially love this ice cream cone one ($12). (They’re also BPA-, Phthalates-, Lead-, Cadmium- and PVC-free, and can be popped in the freezer for extra teething comfort.)
In colors, it reminded me of this precious Rosie Pope infant outfit ($42) I came across recently…and, just like that, visions of a summer ice cream social flitted through my mind…
And, speaking of summer, for slightly older little girls: how adorable is this watermelon-print bathing suit for a little lass ($55), from line Snapper Rock?! Also love this brushstroke print style. Feels like it was meant to be worn with these precious Ipanema sandals ($23).
Though we went with Phil + Ted’s Jetson-esque high-chair ($119) — I liked the modern style and its collapsibility (you can fold it and stuff it in a closet) — I recently read a lot of good things about the Baby Bjorn high chair ($198+ depending on color). Apparently easy to clean, and the design is amazing.
These infant toothbrushes ($5) are just too freaking cute. I first saw this on an Instastory from a fellow blogger (SomethingNavy) — she was using it with her daughter, Ruby. I’m not a doctor, but based on what I’ve read, you’re supposed to start using a soft toothbrush with a tiny tiny dab of toothpaste on it once babies start teething (check with your doctor pleeeeaaaase), and this little banana seems like the best implement for the job.
More #MiniMagpie Shopping Picks…
+These little loafers for a little boy ($20) are too freaking cute.
+Monogrammed knee-high socks for a little girl ($17)?!?! Are you kidding me?!?!?
+I read about this “Breathe Balm” ($14) as a healthier, organic alternative to Vicks’ Vaporub for congested little ones.
P.S. — Lest you think I’ve forgotten, I know I owe you the third part of the #minimagpie wardrobe series, and that will come soon. I’ve already covered the DixieBaby vibe (southern belle) and the Hipstababy vibe (urban hip baby), so next will be Eurobaby.