The Fashion Magpie Lusting After

Lusting After…

First and foremost, since we canceled our trip to Tuscany this summer, I’m now laser-focused on plans for a trip back to to the Hamptons with my sister and brother-in-law and our best friends. We are currently mapping out logistics, but I’m hoping to get a house for a week or maybe even 10 days this summer and take a big, deep breather outside of the city a few weeks after baby boy is born. I’ll be sleepless and bleary-eyed, but at least it will be against the backdrop of a Hamptons summer — and, with any luck, laying poolside for long stretches of it. I’m particularly keen on this bucolic dream because last Wednesday night, micro was moving in the most uncomfortable and strenuous of ways and I’m 90% certain he flipped from head-down to breech. I can feel his head in my ribs (a sensation I recall strongly from the final few weeks of mini’s pregnancy) and am fairly confident it’s his feet I feel spiraling around at the base of my abdomen. Both of my babies have also hiccuped a lot in utero and I can feel that the hiccups are coming from the top of my stomach now, too, whereas just a week ago, I’d felt them lower down. I have an appointment this week, so we shall see if my suspicions are correct, and I know we still have time for another somersault into the correct position anyway, but as I lay there, intensely uncomfortable, I felt horribly down. I have been hoping to avoid a second c-section but it wasn’t until I sat up in bed, processing the fact that a c-section could well be imminent (virtually no practitioners will deliver a breech baby vaginally — it’s not considered safe), that I faced this aspiration head-on. I struggled to figure out how I’d manage a recovery with a very active two-year-old at home — especially when Mr. Magpie will have a max of three weeks of paternity leave, and it took me a solid month to feel I was “back on my feet.” And I also realized that there is still a part of me — despite having maneuvered through the process of accepting my first c-section and ultimately coming to terms with it — that feels like I need to experience labor the traditional way, and that I’ll always feel a bit like an outsider to the conventional matrescence experience without it. Illogically (?), I find something virtuous and intentional about a vaginal delivery. A friend of mine — with no mal intent, I know — told me at one point before the birth of her son, “Oh, maybe I’ll just schedule a c-section and dodge the bullet.” Just schedule a c-section. Dodge the bullet. I grimaced, for two reasons: there is nothing easy about a c-section (going through it, or recovering from it) and yet I kind of knew what she meant, because it’s still, irrationally and against all odds, how I think of it sometimes. And I apologize to the many mothers out there who have had c-sections and feel completely differently about the process; please know I am simply sharing my candid and completely baseless emotions on the topic and that, having lived through a c-section myself, I also know that it’s far from “an easy way out” of labor. But there it was: how I truly felt.

The following day, I waddled around in extreme discomfort. Bending over was painful. All of the kicks at the base of my belly sent me straight back to the “lightening crotch” I experienced for months with mini. And the weight of this new information — that a repeat c-section might be highly likely — bore down on me. I had plans to take in the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Whitney at 2 P.M. and I debated canceling them when I took Tilly on her midday walk and found myself inching along at the pace of a snail, wiping tears out of my eyes for no good reason. I longed to call my mother but knew I would just silently sob on my side of the phone — and I didn’t feel up to the histrionics, especially while stumbling through Central Park. Besides, I knew what she would say: you can’t worry about this; you have time. This is God’s plan. You’ll be fine. You don’t even know for sure yet! More than that, I didn’t want to let myself have a public pity party in the face of an otherwise easy and straight-forward pregnancy.

So instead, I touched up my makeup, took a deep breath, and reminded myself that the point is not to experience labor; it’s to bring a child into the world, and as safely as possible. I also told myself: you’ve survived one c-section and you can do it again. And, as a dear friend told me: “It’s the devil you know.” Yes. Yes. Yes.

The trip down to Meatpacking proved to be something of a mistake; I was still highly uncomfortable and it was one of those New York days where you see a little too much on the Subway. (Some days, it’s easier to brush off the weird encounters; other days, you want to shower and meditate and never go below ground again. This day fell into the latter category.) Beyond that, the Whitney was disgustingly overcrowded. My friend and I had bought timed tickets to the exhibit (which was in its final week of showing), but it was so packed that we could hardly see the artwork. Lingering in front of any curatorial placard was an exercise in patience, as oblivious museum-goers would cut in front of us, or back into us, or barrel into our personal space. I was grateful for the distraction of friendship and art (though the experience also confirmed that I am not a fan of Andy Warhol), but I left the excursion depleted.

I sent myself to bed at 8:30 P.M. that evening after a hot shower and a huge bowl of orecchiette with broccoli rabe and sausage (thank you, Mr. Magpie) and when I woke up the next morning, it was as if God had erased — or at least temporarily hushed — every agony and anxiety from my mind. My first thought was: “I feel better today.” My second: “I’m going to focus on planning our trip to the Hamptons.” In place of the begrudging attitude I’d borne the previous day was a sense of lightness and acceptance, a tone I am now pinning to the dream of our intended summer getaway in Sag Harbor.

So, here we are. Somewhere between tearful waddles and a poolside nap in the Hamptons. And with us are a couple of other beautiful finds for summer…

Charlotte Olympia for Emilia Wickstead Mules.

There is simply not much to say besides — I need these shoes to find their way into my closet. I am dreaming of wearing them with everything from on-trend white cropped denim to feminine sundresses.

Pepa & Company Children’s Dresses.

I mean — can you EVEN?! I want them all! I put these dresses on par with the stunning pieces from La Stupenderia (<<I shared a great source for discounted La Stupenderia pieces last week, but should have also mentioned that The Tot also carries select pieces and this one is on sale!)

Personalized Lingua Franca Sweater.

Beyond chic. So cute for a honeymooner in autumn or spring, or a woman who has been married almost nine years (nine years in August?! How can that be!)

Aerin Candle.

Wanting to usher in spring with this pretty gardenia scent.

Pam Munson Plaid Tote.

I own this sweet tote so it’s not so much a lust list item anymore — but I have been wearing it everywhere, and I envision it will accompany me to The Hamptons! It’s a great size (not too big, not too small). I wish the handles were more practical but it’s not a bad option if I have the stroller. It’s made in a wipeable fabric and it goes with EVERYTHING I WANT TO WEAR RIGHT NOW. Love.

Gal Meets Glam Daisy Dress.

I love the cut, print, length, and especially the sleeves on this ladylike number.

Floral Sezane Sweater.

This should have made its way into my “transition to spring” roundup of sweaters, but alas. Better late than never. How adorable?!

Shashi Barbados Earrings.

I love the look of these chic hoops (under $50!). The vibe coordinates perfectly with so many of the ladylike, floral looks I’m after right now.

Ice Cream Hair Clips.

For mini! How cute are these clips?! Especially with a Sal & Pimenta ice cream print swimsuit. (Or get the look for less with this Old Navy rash guard.)

Panama Hat.

Love this one with the pink grosgrain! A great way to distract from tired mom eyes.

Floral Burnout Blouse.

This $49 steal would be so perfect with white jeans.

So many pretty finds for spring.

Also ordering another pair of these maternity pajamas (on sale! — I know I’m in the home stretch but these are virtually the only thing I’m comfortable in, with the exception of this $16 jersey dress, which I wear CONSTANTLY AND IT FEELS LIKE A DREAM), daydreaming about anything with a scalloped edge (love this jumpsuit for post-partum me, this floral dress for pregnant me, this gorgeous bedding as a contender for mini’s “big girl” bed, and this dress for mini), and patiently waiting for these $25 steals to be re-stocked in my pixie foot size. Might throw this basket into the Target shopping cart when they do.

P.S. I loved re-reading my thoughts on the last few weeks of my pregnancy with mini.

P.P.S. What makes you laugh? On the flipside: this has made me cry about fifteen different times.


  1. I’m feeling for you — it sounds like such a stressful time, and I see your comment that micro is, indeed, breech. It is hard to have things out of your control, but I am sending you my best wishes for a safe delivery, healthy baby, and swift recovery. My own mom had 4 C-sections (!), 2 emergency and 2 scheduled. She also struggled with not ever having the chance to deliver vaginally, but the most important thing is that she made it through each birth and delivered four healthy babies. I am so glad you have such a strong support system to help you get through it! Know that we are pulling for you 🙂

    P.S. I almost went to the Whitney to see the Warhol exhibit on the same day last week! So glad I didn’t end up going — I’m not the biggest Warhol fan, either, so I’m glad I didn’t go as the crowds would have driven me nuts.

    1. Hi! So inspiring to hear your mom’s story. I have to think about all the many women who have done this many times more than me — such a great source fo encouragement.

      Yes, glad you skipped the Whitney. I was honestly underwhelmed by the exhibit itself, too — it was touted for having a particularly expansive collection of Warhols but I felt like I’d seen most of the pieces already and the other ones were a bit less interesting to me, at least. Eh.


  2. oh Jen, what a worry! Your feelings about the unknown are valid. As you and others have pointed out, challenges abound with both a vaginal and a C-section birth. Hopefully either will bring your son into the world in a way that is safest for him and for you. It’s really hard to not have control over this situation. I have had two of my three births (all C sections) NOT go according to “plan.” Like, at all. And one, my 2nd C-section, was wonderful and I was able to feel like myself quickly, and give of my time and love to my children readily. I wish that for you. But know that if this birth does not go how you wish it will, that is OK too. My best piece of advice is to rally your troops and set up your support systems, so that if you need some extra time to heal, physically AND emotionally, you can do so!

    1. Bless you, Anna — both for validating how I’m feeling and reminding me of why this has been so emotionally taxing: “it’s really hard not to have control over this situation.” I think that at heart I’m grappling with that aspect the most. I want to be able to mentally prepare for one or the other, but it’s a fool’s errand. Besides, can you really prepare for either? No. Anyway, thanks for writing in and I appreciate the advice on rallying troops. I actually just came back from the doctor. Baby boy is in fact breech. Still time to flip but…I’m…not optimistic? Anyway, my mom said she’d plan to come up once we schedule a date for the c-section, and I have my sister close by, too. Going to lean hard on both of them. xoxoxo

  3. I have been having a lot of discussions about birth the past few weeks, it seems that every single person I know has recently conceived. They all have different ideals of what they should do versus what will realistically happen, some gasp and scoff at the idea of not delivering vaginally, some insist they will only do it naturally (no pain medication whatsoever), and some are already scheduling their C Section date. I always listen intently, but my advice is always the same: Childbirth is no time to be a hero. It is a strenuous and stressful situation on your body and the baby’s, so however the doctor needs to deliver your baby safely, is how it will work out. I am not pregnant, and I have never had children, so I may not know much, but I think quieting your angst over what’s to come is the only way to get through it. You always seem to find the brightness in any situation, and I know everything will work out exactly how it should.

    1. Thank you so much, Nicole, for this thoughtful entreaty. You are so right, with one potential revision: “You will be a hero no matter what childbirth looks like.”

      Thanks for the words of affirmation and encouragement! xxx

  4. Oh Jen, I can feel your agony in your words- I hope you get some
    reassurance at the doctor, although we know our bodies so well that your instincts are probably right. I just wanted to say that I had a pretty challenging recovery from a vaginal birth, even with only a minor tear. Its so hard to sit in particular positions when you are jumping up and down to grab and nurse a baby, and I was also stubborn about wanting to walk more than I should, so I had some stitches tear and had to start the healing process over. (you’re welcome for all these visuals, internet!) It was about six weeks before I felt truly normal again, whereas I had two friends with c-sections who had a tough, intense first two weeks but were on the mend faster than I was. All a way to say that recovering from a vaginal birth comes with its own challenges too, which I realize as I type isn’t a particularly encouraging a statement, but just trying to say that giving birth however you slice it is a quite an experience for our bodies and there is no such a thing as the easy way out! Thanks for sharing these vulnerable moments with us that truly every expecting mom experiences- sending you good vibes for a correctly positioned micro!

    P.S. I have a friend who swears that handstands in the pool flipped her baby at 36 weeks!

    1. Hi friend! You are so right. There is no easy way out and no guarantee that either method will be more/less challenging in terms of recovery. Your stitches…! Ahhh, you are so strong and brave. That sounds horrible.

      I think the main thing I am trying to channel is acceptance. Go.with.the.flow. It will all pan out as it should, and we are strong, and we will make it to the other end and then forget about it within the span of a few months.


  5. Hi — I love your eye and/or take on most things in life. I hate to circle back to the baby and the breech position issue, but one of my kiddos was breech and I had a procedure called a version where they give you an epidural and manipulate the baby back into a head down position. It sounds somewhat stressful in that if at any point the baby appears to be under duress, you will deliver the baby that day. But, in my case, it was super easy and my husband and I went out for a nice lunch after. Perhaps its something you can use to help counter your thoughts re: a second c-section: )

    1. Hi Molly! Thanks so much for writing in on this. YES, I am seriously considering a version this go around. One of the doctors in my practice expressed some hesitancy about it, i.e., since this would be a second breech baby, there could be a good physical reason why the babies both decide it’s more comfortable to be in the upright position, and that the likelihood he would flip back is probably considerable. But. I am giving it a lot of thought this time…

      Thanks for writing in and reminding me that there are other recourses! Have also heard all kinds of things help — accupuncture, swimming, various positions, etc. Will exhaust more of these on this go around if he is, in fact, breech!


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