Sitting in Our Tree

dressing the bump

2nd Pregnancy Must-Haves

pregnancy, dressing the bump, styleKelsey Bethune

Unlike Crew, Baby #2 was very much planned & was supposed to be my fall baby, since the internet & all my doctors & every single friend had informed me that it would probably take at least 3-4 months to get pregnant. It did not. We know how much of a blessing this is, I promise! But it was not my favorite moment to stand in the bathroom calculating weeks & arriving at the “August” answer to the due date question.

We moved to our current home on Capitol Hill in the dead of last summer… Almost exactly a year ago, actually. I have a very vivid memory of deciding to bravely take on a new playground as Crew & I learned our new stomping grounds last August, & feeling attacked by the oppressive heat on our walk home. Shade didn’t help - All I could smell was hot asphalt as Crew begged to be carried because the stroller was making his back so hot. THESE WERE THE MEMORIES playing through my mind as the midwife confirmed my due date at 7 weeks.

HOWEVER! In a very strange turn of events, I actually haven’t hated this summer pregnancy. In a lot ways, it’s been a LOT easier than being in late pregnancy over the winter months. Crew arrived the same weekend that spring arrived back in 2017, so it was cold & blustery & grey leading up to his arrival. I found myself needing a lot more clothing & buying a lot of maternity clothes that didn’t even fit that well on sale to accommodate the weather & made me even more self-conscious of my burgeoning body than I already was.

This summer pregnancy has yes, been very hot. But my body type has been loving wearing simple body con dresses, & I just generally appreciate some sunkissed tint to my skin & summer blonde hair, leaving me feeling, dare I say, like a pregnant goddess. EVEN WITH the weight gain & swollen EVERYTHING. Because don’t get me wrong, it’s all swollen. My calves somehow getting the worst of it. If nothing else, just the ability to wear sandals instead of closed toe, snow-friendly boots with these pregnant feet has swayed me towards being a summer pregnancy kinda gal.

The second time around has been easier (aside from the nausea that lasted from Week 3-18, after not having ANY nausea with Crew), largely in part to knowing what to expect, partially because my body knows what’s going on, & the rest because of the items on the list below. It’s a short list, but it’s how I’m surviving.

 
2ndpregnancymusthaves.jpg
 


1. Boppy Wedge Pillow - Listen, I swore up & down that for any consecutive pregnancies, I was going to get one of those giant pregnancy pillows because sleeping became SO hard in my 3rd trimester with Crew. Well, I got one. But it was just too much. I used it once & never reached for it again. I’ve found that this little guy ( a saving grace the first time around, also) paired with one pillow between my legs (starting around 36 weeks when pelvic discomfort started kicking in) & two throw/swaddle sized blankets (because you can manipulate their shape) are all I need for good sleep. But this leads me to my second must-have…

2. Mama Bird Prenatal Vitamins - This is a different vitamin than I took with Crew, so we’ll see which kid is smarter ;) I’ve really enjoyed this brand. They still have that classic, weird prenatal pill odor, but I was able to get past it even with the fiercest of nausea in 1st/2nd trimester.

3. A prenatal chiropractor - This is something that is definitely an added expense, but we went into this pregnancy knowing I was going to start going around 24 weeks & planned thusly. I’m so mad I suffered through my discomfort with Crew’s pregnancy thinking that was just the way things are. I have never been to a chiropractor before, but it makes all the sense in the world to get your spine & pelvis adjusted during the chaotic body changes of pregnancy. It has helped with my sciatic pain (hi, carrying a toddler & a belly around), my heartburn (since baby is sitting lower), my sleeping comfort & some nerve pain I’ve had in my ribs. MOSTLY, I am going to help get baby in the best position possible for a VBAC, & am fortunate to be seeing a chiro that essentially specializes in that. Anywho. It’s great. Save your pennies. See a prenatal chiro.

4. Tinted SPF Moisturizer - I spent ooooone weekend outside for my only Tart wedding of the spring, & came home with all sorts of lovely melasma spots on my face. They get darker eeeeevery time Crew & I spend an afternoon outside, IT’S GREAT. Adding spf to my daily makeup routine has been the only thing to keep it somewhat at bay - For some reason, I’m great at remembering to put sunscreen on my toddler, but not on myself when we got out for the day.

5. Nugget/Chicklet/Whatever You Want to Call It Ice - I mean, there is something special about chipped ice during pregnancy, but I don’t know how I’d be surviving without this stuff at 38 weeks pregnant with a 112 degree heat index this weekend. PRO TIP: Chick-fil-a sells 5 lb. bags of their nugget ice for $1.50. A DOLLAR FIFTY. So, I go once a week. It keeps me cooled down, feels like a treat & ALSO keeps me hydrated. 10/10 recommend.

6. Maternity Shapewear Shorts - This is 100% about summer, not about shapewear. My thighs like to pledge themselves in solidarity with my belly & get REAL swollen during pregnancy, so these shorts have been a chafing prevention godsend. I seriously should probably own 6 pairs for how often I wear them, since I’m living in dresses/skirts. Highly recommend a black & a nude pair.

Honorable mentions: Daniel Tiger for keeping a toddler entertained when I simply cannottttttt go outside, my wonderful heating pad, city splash pads, & Trader Joe’s mango mochi.


The other upside to summer pregnancy has been the ease of the capsule wardrobe. Looking back at this blog post made my head spin… Because I truly just needed more clothes in those winter months. There were dressy holiday parties, & all kinds of crazy weather, & coats &… Bleh. Have not had to mess with that this time around & it’s been great.

I’ve pretty much dedicated myself to dresses since the spring, with some non-maternity clothes, a pair of maternity overalls & leftover maternity skinnies from Crew’s pregnancy filling in the blanks. These are the three pieces I’ve bought for this pregnancy:

 
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1. Black Bodycon Dress - Many, many people raved to me about Storq’s maternity t-shirt dress, and I NEARLY bit the bullet & paid the hefty price tag… But thankfully, I had a ludic moment & realized how insane that amount was for a dress built for a pregnant body & ordered this Old Navy tshirt dress. It’s been GREAT. Super flattering, goes on sale frequently, not too thick for summer heat. Highly recommend.

2. Grey Sleeveless Bodycon Dress - Same thing here, except this somehow looks WAY better in real life than on this model. I don’t know why hers is so weirdly baggy, but this is my favorite thing to wear day to day. If I could do it again, I’d order at least two more colors… Or maybe just another grey one because #sweat.

3. Black Pencil Skirt - My other on rotation outfit is this pencil skirt with either a knotted tank top/tee or a cropped tee. I also have a random mustard midi skirt from Forever 21 circa 2014 that I can pair with the same tops, & it seems to make people think I dressed up when I wear either of these. It’s a great little trick for someone who most certainly did not dress up.

I think that’s it! In putting this together, I really am grateful for the ease of this summer pregnancy & how little it’s required. Less has been WAY more with a two-year-old to follow around, even if that still somehow hasn’t reduced my pregnancy weight gain at all somehow. Rude. Any other favorite summer pregnancy must haves? Leave a comment!

maternity style guide

dressing the bump, pregnancy, styleKelsey Bethune1 Comment

tee: Nom Maternity | maternity jeans: Old Navy | booties: Madewell

We're somehow coming up on the final month of this pregnancy starting in March... WHAT! I've been asked by a few people about favorite maternity brands & pregnancy clothing options recently, so I figured I'd put some of my maternity thoughts all in one place.

Be ye warned that I didn't start wearing any maternity specific clothes until about 20 weeks, which was right at the beginning of cold weather, so consider this a fall/winter wardrobe. Additionally, let's keep in mind that I consider myself to be the ultimate pear shape, so my sartorial decisions are guided thusly.

 
 

Swing tops: These guys are great for my work-from-home days, when I can pair a swing top with leggings. Also great with a pair of skinnies, a top layer, & a heeled boot - The heel being super important because #thighs. Never flats, since the flare at the bottom of the shirt can accentuate my hip/thigh zone. I have about 4-5 of these guys, as they were a pre-pregnancy favorite (from Urban Outfitters & Target).
Turtlenecks: I've always known that tight was going to be the right choice for me during pregnancy, & having a staple 3-4 turtlenecks has been crucial for a dressier look, when paired with black denim & a pump or d'orsay flat.
Boat necks: Showing off some collarbone has been a nice way to remind myself that I have bones in my upper body, as things have filled out over the past few months. Nice & tight, these have also paired well with a third piece AND a coat. I have 2 of these in my closet.
Long camis: When all my shirts suddenly started showing off some belly, I came SO close to buying that black maternity cami at Target for $20 out of desperation. But I held off & found myself at H&M, where I got a super long black, grey & white cami for $6 each from their basics line. If you're wearing a full panel maternity jeans, you can for sure get by without this, but even at that, I don't love the faux button on the jeans showing & prefer to cover that up. Those three colors have been all I've needed.
Sweatshirts: I got a couple of these simple crew neck sweatshirts during my stylist days at Madewell, & I've really loved have them as a cropped look during pregnancy. Paired with sneakers & a baseball cap, this is as close as I get to a farmer's market look.
V-necks: I don't need to explain this. Paired with boyfriend jeans or skinnies or even a stretchy pencil skirt, these are a staple that I would potentially buy the maternity version of now that the bump is bigger.

Other notes:

  • I've made it through this entire pregnancy without purchasing a maternity top. These are all just tops from my pre-pregnancy wardrobe or tops I purchased from favorite shops.
  • However! I wish I would have invested in a white maternity button down early on in bump-dom. My regular button downs didn't last very long & I'm too close to the finish line now to justify buying one, but I'd like the option to layer with sweaters/sweatshirts this late in pregnancy.
  • I personally have stayed away from sweaters in these later months, since they just come off as bulky & unflattering on me. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to stay away from long turtleneck sweaters and knotted scarves, just due to my personal style preferences.
 
 

Long Sweaters: Much like swing tops, I've had to be a little careful here, depending on where the sweater length lands on my legs, but paired with a tighter shirt (usually a boatneck) & flat boots, this has been a pretty active go-to look for me. I've got about 4 of these in neutral or winter colors in my closet.
Duster: I only have a couple of these, but my dusters are a light knit & have been nice especially in late pregnancy when my internal temperature sits firmly at BURNING HOT every moment of the day. I'm more willing to pair these with looser shirts underneath since the length is more elongating on my legs.
Denim jackets: I have two denim jackets & one denim vest in my closet (again, thank you Madewell days) - One of my jackets is shorter, the other longer with distressing. I've found the shorter jean jacket to be my go-to, as it just seems to hit a more flattering spot when paired with dresses or longer shirts/sweaters.

Other notes:

  • I believe with all of my heart that a black leather jacket would have been CRUCIAL for my maternity pregnancy style. Next pregnancy?? Putting it in writing. Ya hear me, universe???
  • Blanket scarves have also been my saving grace, & I DID purchase this grey H&M coat on sale a few sizes up so I could zip up on the coldest & windiest of days. (I'm secretly hoping I can get it tailored for next winter, it's kinda great.) This winter has been INSANELY mild (it's 72 degrees today!) so there's only been a handful of days that it's been miserable outside.
 
 

Black skinnies: Madewell announced their maternity denim line LITERALLY four days after I found out I was pregnant, & you bet I hopped on board that train. I went with their black frost skinny jeans since these are some of my favorites for normal wear, but they now also have a really cute demi-boot cut available. I do advise getting these pretty early on so that the denim can grow with you as you fill out, & also going ahead & ordering your regular size & one size up. (Online returns are easiest to do in-store.) I'm right between two sizes in Madewell jeans, & since I ordered a little late (20 weeks) & after a 1st trimester of craving carbs, the larger size ended up being right for me.
Distressed blue skinnies: I found a pair of these on sale at H&M & it's been a really nice fit in my wardrobe. The style I got from H&M is really soft & pretty broken in, so these have been great for a casual look, with some distressing to help me feel mildly edgy... An important thing at 8 months pregnant ;) I also have a 2nd pair of distressed denim in black from H&M that I got on sale for $20.
Grey skinnies: As seen in the first photo of this post! Okay, to be completely honest, my grey skinnies are from Old Navy & I sorta loathe them. I can't wear Old Navy jeans when I'm not pregnant, which is probably a pretty good indicator that they won't be a good maternity fit. They're way too stretchy, & even wearing as small as a size 2, they require a belt & don't feel like they hold my leg shape very well. (I got them on sale, so I don't lose sleep over this.) But! I get THE MOST compliments & "where did you get those??" about these grey jeans, so the color, not the brand, made the list!
Black leggings: I've never identified as a leggings girl nor did I think so much of my maternity style would be defined by them, buuuuuut c'est la vie. Unless I'm leaving the apartment, I'm wearing leggings. I ordered a pair of Blanqi leggings pretty early on & snagged a second pair during an amazing Black Friday sale. I've really loved these leggings, as they don't collect lint & have a silky enough texture that they dress up really well. The belly coverage is seamless, which is great compared to my Target maternity leggings that have weird ribbing on either side of my belly. Combined with my two Target maternity leggings, I have 4 pairs of black leggings in my closet & it gets me through the week!

Other notes:

  • So you may have noticed that pants are where I've invested with my maternity wardrobe. They're also the only articles of clothing that I've found I needed to purchase actual maternity items. You just can't fake pants fitting. In all, I own four pairs of denim, four pairs of leggings.
  • When you're shopping maternity denim, you're going to pick between full panel & side panel jeans. I have two pairs of each, & I definitely prefer the side panel. I haven't had any issues with the full panel fabric falling down or anything (both from H&M), but it just feels bulky & unnecessary when I've got a long cami option to go under my shirts. The LAST thing I want is to feel bulkier than I already do. Side panels have been the way to go for me, though I do recommend not being tempted to use belt loops as handles. Cough.
  • Doing it again, I'll invest in a pair of maternity boyfriend jeans. I just never found a pair that I liked in stores, & honestly, ordering multiple sizes online from some place like ASOS just seemed so dramatic. Next time around, I'll have a good base with my current options that I'll have some energy to invest in shopping for boyjeans.
 
 

Midi dresses: THIS was unexpected, since pre-pregnancy, I always felt like midi just weirdly emphasized my calves & hips. But! Midi dresses have been my go-to dress length during this pregnancy, since the midi length paired with a heeled boot has somehow been the most flattering semi-dressy silhouette for me. Forever21 has been a GREAT option for some cheaaap jersey dresses that don't need to last more than a couple months... Which is what Forever21 does best right? This is what you'll find me in on most of these abnormally warm days between now & D-day.
T-shirt dresses: These guys got me through those awkward is-she-or-isn't-she pregnancy months leading up to a fully obvious bump. I wore a lot of these to my old part-time job, so I had a healthy stash from Old Navy, Gap, J. Crew & Madewell. They're a little awkward now with a bigger bump, since they pull tight across my back/butt.
Fit & flare dresses: I've worn these more often than I thought I would, especially when paired with leggings? Like, what? But for event days with Tart or a midwife appointment, this has been a pretty big staple for me. On warmish days, I'll opt for tights over leggings, & the real trick is a waistline that can sit over the bump without getting too short in the front. Not the edgiest of looks, but a staple nonetheless.

Other notes:

  • While I've been able to make it through with my pre-pregnancy dress options, it was pretty crucial to have my black jumpsuit from Hatch throughout the winter & its more formal events. From networking events to Christmas Eve to a funeral, my jumpsuit got way more use than I anticipated it would. I received it as part of Hatch's ambassador program, which was the only way it found its way into my closet, but if you are expecting a fall/winter pregnancy, I highly recommend investing in a jumpsuit!
  • I am wearing a maternity dress from ASOS for our baby shower this weekend - SO affordable & SUCH pretty options, if you're in the market for actual maternity dresses.

Phew! That took way longer than I thought it would, but of course it did. Hopefully this is helpful information! The end of pregnancy is getting so close for me that I've already moved on to nursing tops & belly bands, but there is certainly still more growing ahead of me in the next few weeks. Will the leggings be upped to 6? Honestly, it's likely. Happy baby growing, mamas!

Maternity shops to check out: (& don't forget to keep an eye on the sale sections!)ASOS MaternityOld Navy MaternityH&M MaternityMadewell Maternity DenimHatch*Pink Blush*Nom Maternity*Bae the LabelLegoeAmore & GraceRipe MaternityA Pea in the Pod *indicates companies I've partnered with, but honestly are really great

dressing the bump - 30 weeks

dressing the bump, pregnancyKelsey BethuneComment

beanie: jared's (Zara) | coat: H&M (similar)| maternity denim: H&M | shoes: Vans via Madewell

GREAT NEWS: thus far, I have yet to buy a single maternity item at full price.  Going into a cold weather pregnancy, I was super nervous that my wardrobe was going to get pricey, since I couldn't just rely on the flowy dresses of spring/summer pregnancies. Turns out, maternity clothes are perpetually on sale, if you're paying attention.This makes sense to me since seasons are fleeting in both temperature and styles, so I'm sure stores have to keep new product continually moving. FYI for any other DC locals, I was told that H&M stores in the District do not stock maternity items except for online returns, which are almost exclusively then placed on the sales rack. I've found two (of my four) pairs of maternity jeans on the sales rack at the H&M in Georgetown, both times at least $10 cheaper than the online sale price. Let your inner scavenger shine, mamas. Otherwise, the stores in VA do carry maternity, if you ever find yourself at Tyson's, etc.

Otherwise, while I'm normally SO ANNOYED when spring clothing starts showing up in January, I was banking on it this year, since my ever-growing tum officially outgrew my winter coat's zipper. I thought for a minute that I could get away with just wearing my coat open with a blanket scarf, & I do!, but all it took was one windy, frigid day & I knew I needed something that I could zip during my commutes around the city. Thankfully, since I can always rely on H&M's shoulder/sleeve to body/waist ratio to be completely off, I was able to find a coat 5 sizes up from what I usually wear, marked down to 70% off its original price. The sleeves are a little large & long, much to my clothier husband's chagrin, but it's otherwise everything I need. It comfortably zips now, so fingers crossed we can get through February together.

All in all, I feel like my pregnancy wardrobe is pretty well rounded now. With a final purchase of $20 H&M distressed blue denim, my actual "maternity" purchases have been limited to just pants & leggings. My shirts & dresses have mostly been items I already owned or purchased with pre & post natal fit in mind. Once I get a little bigger, I'll report back with full list of my pregnancy wardrobe. Someone wants to read that, right?

So, there's my little 30 week check-in! We have our maternity photos next week, & after that, I've given the bump permission to get as large & in charge as it wants. But until Tuesday, a manageable sized bump & some warm-ish January weather is aaaaaall I'm asking for.

PREGNANCY, AMIRIGHT?

xx

Dressing the Bump - 28 Weeks

dressing the bump, pregnancyKelsey BethuneComment

turtleneck: Old Navy | maternity jeans: Madewell | oxford: Madewell

Happy third trimester to us! Also, happy this-apartment-is-big-enough-to-stay-inside-for-outfit-photos to me & my trusty photographer that was almost late for work because of me!

I can't believe the words "third trimester" apply to me & this bump. I fell asleep to baby hiccups last night & woke up to a bouncing baby this morning (at 4am, but that's fine), & realized I can already barely remember what it was like to just barely be able to feel movement back on our anniversary trip, laying on my stomach to apply pressure to feel the tiniest flutters. I can also barely remember what it was like to lay on my stomach.

In celebration of entering the 7th month of pregnancy, I thought I'd share some fun facts about this little journey, mostly for Future Kelsey, & the rest for those of you who aren't sick of reading the words "bump," "baby," & "pregnancy" coming from me.

  • This baby was a surprise. If you had asked me about babies any time in 2016 leading up to August 4th, I would have said, "We think we might maybe start trying next year possibly maybe. Maybe." Of course, the timing has been perfect & God knew it had to be a surprise or else I never would have thought the stars were aligned just perfectly enough.
  • Ask me sometime about my experience purchasing my first pregnancy test ever. It's a good one, involving expensive paper towels and the nosiest CVS cashier ever, because of course.
  • I got to plot all day while I was at my part time job about how to tell Jared about the baby. Longest day EVER. I ended up leaving post its from our mailbox, up the stairs to our front door that started with "Jared & Kelsey, sitting in a tree..." & ending with "then comes..." on our front door. I still can't watch the video I secretly took of him opening the door without weeping. It was a great day.
  • If baby's birth date is in fact in April, it will be the first April baby on either side of our immediate families.
  • Oooo. Remember that part that I was like, "YEAH, we're for SURE gonna tell you what the baby is once I figure out how!" a few posts back? I lied. We told just enough people the baby's gender to decide we didn't like telling people. It's always been our plan to keep our babies' gender a surprise until they're born, but I thought it would be really hard to keep it to ourselves after how hard it was to not tell people I was pregnant. Turns out, it's really not that hard to refer to the baby as... the baby.
  • I've been very lucky with pregnancy symptoms, with fatigue being the real killer 1st trimester (like, asleep on the couch for the night at 7pm) & headaches following me around in 2nd trimester. I had soooome nausea between weeks 8-12, which really only snuck up if I didn't eat often enough. Heartburn is my current plague, with things like, oh you know, granola bars, bread &, I'm not kidding you, a cup of ice setting it off. Super great. My hair has definitely seemed greasier during pregnancy (a fact I had to prove to myself by cutting faux bangs) & my skin has been way more dramatic than ever, which they say to expect if you usually have well-behaved skin. I did find out recently that I am, in fact, NOT genetically predisposed to stretch marks, so fingers crossed...
  • I've so far had two cravings: Fresh pineapple & cauliflower. Both lasted about a week, but I can still go for either of those things at any time of day. Seriously, any time.
  • On the other hand, I haven't been able to eat corn tortillas, pulled pork or cilantro since I was about 6 weeks pregnant, when I assumed I could eat our staple meal of homemade carnitas tacos with Jared & his sister & found out two bites in that it was a no go. Jared's heart is broken, but I'm SURE I'll come back around to them. Probably.
  • A fall/winter pregnancy has been lovely, though wearing jeans while sitting & pregnant is a special form of torture.
  • Gush Alert: If you know him, this won't surprise you, but I can't even find the words to describe how incredible Jared has been throughout this entire pregnancy. He's 15 steps ahead of me at all times, & has somehow managed to make up for my lack of energy/mental capacity/strength by 100x. It's been a truly amazing thing to witness him become a dad, even in these months leading up to sleepless nights & newborn snuggles.

I'm sure there are more fun facts, but the one thing I didn't mention is the pregnancy brain that is hitting me HARD. I forgot my wallet when I went to the grocery store the other night, & yesterday had to google search "guest for gifts at wedding" because I could not think of the words "wedding favors" on my own. & I'm a wedding planner. So. There's that.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

xx, kelsey

25 Weeks - Dressing the Bump with Hatch

dressing the bump, styleKelsey Bethune1 Comment

jumpsuit: c/o HATCH, The Emmanuelle Jumpsuit in Black | heels: Madewell | lips: NYX Liquid Suede in Orange County

Back at it again with Hatch & this incredible black jumpsuit. Apologies for the 2984798 photos, but I really wanted to show how it looks with & without bump, since I have high hopes of wearing this silk piece of heaven as often as possible, even post-baby. This makes black jumpsuit #3 for my closet, & not even a bladder with a baby jumping (trampolining, really) all over it can talk me out of wearing a one-piece. Hatch has done it again with bringing all the modern, chic vibes to mama style. I wore this jumpsuit twice, once with the tie above the bump & once below, making two completely different looks with one simple switch of the sash. Hurry, hurry - This puppy is on final sale!

I have been out of town for nearly three weeks, starting with Tart events & ending, sadly, with a lot of traveling for my grandmother’s funeral. It was wonderful to spend time with family, reflecting on my beautiful grandma’s life & being together, which is all she ever wanted. The last week has definitely been a blur.

I’m back in DC now, wishing I could be taking in holiday goodness like City Center (pictured above), but instead up to my ears in boxes, cleaning supplies & paperwork as we prepare to move to a new apartment in the city. All. The. Things. I have so much to do but honestly would rather be wearing this jumpsuit, on the couch, drinking sparkling apple cider that I’m pretending is champagne, ignoring it all. It’s so strange that our last baby-less Christmas is going to be such a non-traditional. chaotic one, but hey! What has been NORMAL about this year, anyway? Wake me up on December 29th, when all our things are in our nearly-twice-as-large apartment.

Back to packing our little life up. There's approximately two necklaces & one paper notebook I'm especially excited to see turn up... Hopefully. Also, my blow dryer blew its last breath this morning (BEFORE my bangs were dried, OF COURSE), so at this rate, I'll just be able to throw everything away as I go instead of packing it. *face palm* I'll be okay guys, really. REALLY.

xx