1. My friend is pregnant and I wanted to give her a gift to help celebrate? What do you suggest?
I would first off give her words. Be excited for her and let her know you’re always there to help if needed. If you’re a mom as well this will come easy. If you’re not a mom just be excited for her and the baby. Change in lifestyle as a new mom is different. You enter a new life stage. It’s helpful to know that those friends who aren’t moms will still want to come around. If you are a mom, be a listening ear. If she asks you for advice or questions then proceed forward with answers, but don’t just lay out you’re whole story to her. She will be swamped with emotions and fears at first. There will be a time and place to share your story to her.
If she is a gift lover then by all means a gift is nice to have. I would suggest waiting to give her anything once she passes that threshold aka “safe zone.” I think once she knows the gender of the baby, things are pretty smooth sailing from there. You just don’t want to give her a gift too early because things can happen.
If you feel the need to do something for her to celebrate then go out for a dinner date or a girls day at the spa. Just don’t gift anything tangeable right away.
2. What are some maternity clothing must haves?
There’s so much out there that isn’t really needed. I was pregnant mostly during the fall and winter. I lived in leggings and a comfy top. The biggest thing is you want to be comfortable and confident. Your body goes under a lot of changes, which can be hard. Dressing to make yourself feel good is so important, especially in the beginning when no one knows you’re pregnant.
Getting a new bra is a must, your breast will change in size and shape. You want to be comfortable. Wearing your old bras and panties are just a big no no! Take my word. I really loved this bra my entire pregnancy.
Maternity clothing is really dependent upon your lifestyle! If you work in the corporate environment, of course my favorite purchases won’t be yours. I’ll just share my favorite basics I picked up and what I lived in.
These jeans and leggings (here and here too), these basic shirts paired with a cardigan and just about any pair of sneakers.
4. How did you prepare for baby?
There are so many different sites that will tell you a hundred and two things you should do to prepare for baby! Don’t stress yourself out with a to-do list and a million books to read because we all know sometimes those lists can get out of hand. I did 5 practical things at the end of my pregnancy to prepare for his arrival:
- Finished up to-do list. I finished up my own personal to-do list, made sure to send out shower thank you notes, made an updated address list for birth announcements, packed my hospital bag and washed his clothing.
- I deep cleaned our house! Colin definitely helped because by 36 weeks I couldn’t do the basics, so needless to say I couldn’t clean baseboards. A lot of girls will splurge on a cleaning service while they are in the hospital which I think is brilliant! I wanted to come home to a clean house after birth so I was thankful Colin was more than happy to help me clean.
- I decluttered. Having a baby means baby items take over the home! I decluttered everything from my files to every closet because I knew we didn’t need excess in our home. I’m SO glad I did this, because almost 2 weeks into having a newborn I already feel like baby items are taking over the house.
- I stocked the fridge and freezer. I tried to prep some crock pot meals and have those ready to go. I knew I could go into labor at anytime after 37 weeks, so I made sure to go weekly and stock up on non-perishable items that we would need. I also stocked up on paper supplies because I didn’t want to be running out of paper towels or needed to wash dishes constantly. Amazon or curbside pick up is so helpful!
- Watched videos from Taking Cara Babies. We watched the videos together and I took notes. It was super helpful to make us feel confident and ready to take on this little life!
5. What is the best advice you received during pregnancy?
I’ve heard a lot of advice from moms. Probably because I’m friends mostly with moms. Personally, having friends who are already moms is a HUGE deal. You need a support system, especially if you don’t have family around you like us.
- Pray for your little one every day.
- Don’t compare yourself to others.
- Every baby is different and so is every pregnancy.
- People will say things to you that are just RUDE and selfish. You need to learn to try to push it one ear out the other. I didn’t do that and I took things too personally.
- Social media doesn’t share the full story. You might think a new mom or a mom to be has it all together. She doesn’t!! Social media doesn’t tell the whole story.
6. How did I not worry or be anxious at the beginning in regards to the fear of a miscarriage?
This one is hard. It’s easy to settle in fear and believe your fears. The biggest advice I have is to know you’re not in control. The sooner I could get my mind wrapped around that I have no control, only God, then I was in a better place. Of course miscarriages are extremely hard and no one wishes to go through it. I can’t go into what it’s like because I never been there. I will say I had fear of it. Prayer is so powerful! Trusting the Lord and knowing he has a plan and is in control is key.
For those who are struggling with this fear or this fear is your reality, just know I’m praying for you and God has you in his hands.
7. How did you stay active during pregnancy?
I’m going to be real honest. The first trimester was hard for me. I was always tired and sleeping a ton. It was during the summer months and I had the time off. I found myself being more lazy than usual. Looking back I wish I moved or got up and going more. I tell myself, I’m going a HUMAN! That takes a lot of work. It’s completely normal to change your fitness routine because ideally you should!
The second trimester was easier in regards to finding a workout routine. I told myself to do three solid workouts a week. Setting that goal made me feel accomplished. I will say, teaching kindergarten all day is a workout alone. Attending a workout class or doing a workout video (Tone It Up) helped me a ton! They offer pregnancy friendly workouts.
Into the third trimester it was harder to move like I used to. The pelvic pressure and heaviness of carrying the baby was HARD. Just showing up and doing something made me feel accomplished. It might be the littlest thing, but at least I felt good for just going. Giving myself grace wasn’t easy, but I tried. Some days you’ll feel powerful and other days you’ll feel like a slug. That’s just part of it. If you follow any pregnant fitness ladies, don’t compare yourself or wish you were like them. Everybody is different with pregnancy. I know some who are still running and I couldn’t even try!
My advice is to set a goal for yourself and let that goal be your own! Whether it be walking around the neighborhood, doing yoga, meditating, doing a workout class, just make it your own!
If y’all have any other questions, I’m an open book & would love to connect. Plus, sometimes these questions can help you- not to compare just to help!
Love from Texas,