Shopbop Sale – Pregnancy Style

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Shopbop is having a sale starting Tuesday March 3, 2015 6:30AM EST to Sunday March 8, 2015 4:00AM EST

15% with purchase over $250
20% with purchase over $500
25% with purchase over $1000

For these currently expecting, this is a good time to splurge on some key investment maternity wear.  Figuring out “cool” things to wear while pregnant was both fun and frustrating.  I managed to get by with buying only 5 or 6 actual “maternity” items and mostly wore the drapey, loose clothes I already owned.  Thank god “slouchy” is still on trend!  My splurge items ended up being black skinny jeans, which I wore several times a week.

Of the maternity items I bought, I found most of them on Shopbop.  They have an actual maternity section with NORMAL looking clothes on their site, which was really nice.  These were the things I ended up buying:

 

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Citizens of Humanity Avedon Skinny Maternity Jeans – I was initially resistant to “full panel” maternity pants because….I mean, look at them.  So gross, right?  Well, turns out, that panel is the most comfortable thing to wear when your belly REALLY starts to show.  They keep your pants up and it’s especially comfortable if you have a desk job that requires you to be sitting for long periods of time.  The soft, stretchy material of these COH jeans were really great too.

Splendid Maternity Fit Tank Dress – I loved this dress and wore it so many times, both alone and layered with different tops and outerwear.  One of my favorite things about being pregnant was being able to wear bodycon dresses!  It’s the one time you actually WANT your clothes to touch your stomach – it actually looked more flattering that way.  Awesome.  The material of this dress was soft and not too thin for the amount of stretch it had.  You can totally wear this dress even if you’re not pregnant.  There’s none of that weird side ruching that a lot of maternity dresses have.  It just looks like a normal, black tank dress.

DL1967 Angel Maternity Ankle Jeans – So these jeans were the first pair of maternity pants I bought.  I liked them because they didn’t look like maternity pants since they just had the elastic panels on the side, instead of a full panel.  They totally look and fit like normal jeans.  I initially thought I’d wear the hell out of them, but actually only wore them for about a month before my belly got so big that the jeans got uncomfortable.  That’s when I learned the ways of the gross FULL PANEL maternity jeans (see above).

BUT!  I don’t regret these jeans and actually learned to love them AFTER giving birth because these are the only jeans that I currently fit!  After you give birth, you unfortunately do not go immediately back to your pre-pregnancy weight, and DEFINITELY do not go back to your pre-pregnancy body.  So weird and mushy in random places. =(  I gained 45 lbs throughout my pregnancy and when I left the hospital, I was down 10 lbs.  ONLY 10 LBS.  Yes, the cruel reality is that you still look pregnant after you give birth and continue to do so for a while.  These jeans ended up being perfect for that weird in-between period when you don’t fit your maternity jeans anymore, but also don’t fit your pre-pregnancy jeans.  So I ended up being able to wear these jeans until I was about 5-6 months pregnant, couldn’t wear them after that, but then am wearing them currently at 1 month postpartum and counting.

 

Welcome, Lilou

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Lilou Tran Phan
01.25.15
6lb 6oz, 19.25 inches

 

Photo Jan 29, 5 10 00 PM

It’s been a month since Lilou arrived and I figure I should get to recording her birth story while it’s still fresh in my mind!  But first – the name Lilou.  Husband and I had narrowed down our list of names to about 3 or 4 names and Lou was at the top of my list.  I liked the French sound to it and how it was slightly masculine but still sweetly feminine.  I even liked how it could sound like the name of a janitor….but also the name of a cool French girl (e.g., Lou Doillon).  Husband then suggested Lilou, a similar French name, but also the name of a character in The Fifth Element.  Yes, Milla Jovovich’s character in that sci-fi movie with Bruce Willis and Chris Tucker.  So Lilou it was – or Lou for short.  But really, we’ve still been mostly calling her Beet.

Photo Jan 29, 5 09 48 PMI woke up on a Saturday morning not really feeling any different.  I had been having braxton hicks contractions daily my entire third trimester, and that day was no different.  At that point, I had gained 45 pounds and was waddling around with some back pain, but pretty much able to go about with my normal activities.  We met up May and Calvin for dinner at a Salvadoran restaurant for pupusas and plantains. By the time we got home at 7pm, I commented to Tu that it seemed like my contractions seemed to be getting more frequent.  They still felt the same – like tightening, but not at all painful – but seemed to be occurring more often.  We used the contraction counter function on one of my pregnancy apps and saw that they were coming about every 10-15 minutes.  The hospital had told us that they generally won’t admit you into labor & delivery until your contractions are 5 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute each, for an hour.  We were still a ways off, so we settled on the couch and watched TV.  Pretty soon, the contractions started getting closer together and more intense, 7-10 minutes apart.  I called my OB/GYN and she told me that if I was able to call her and talk to her normally on the phone, the contractions probably weren’t strong enough.  ”YOU’LL KNOW when they’re real contractions.”  She said she wouldn’t be surprised to hear from me in a couple hours, but to sit tight until the contractions were closer together.  Eventually, at midnight, we decided to turn in and go to bed.

I woke up at 2am because the contractions were definitely starting to feel less like tightening and more like actual pain.  They were still only occurring every 10 minutes, so I tried to sleep through it, but that ended up being impossible.  I’d squeeze my eyes shut through each contraction, breathing through the pressure, but every time the pain would subside and I would fall asleep, another contraction would hit 10 minutes later, waking me up.  I laid in bed like that until 6am.

In the morning, Husband said we should just go to the hospital, but I was afraid they’d just send us home since the contractions wouldn’t get any closer together than 7-10 minutes apart.  By then, the pain was getting more and more intense, where I couldn’t even respond to Husband’s questions if a contraction was in progress because my eyes were closed and I was trying to breathe through my nose and out my mouth.  Husband suggested taking a walk to see if we could speed things along, so we took a morning walk with the dogs.  When we got home, I finally agreed to go to the hospital because it was starting to hurt so much.  Let’s just hope that we hit 5 minutes apart by the time we get there!

In triage, they hooked me up to the monitors and checked my dilation and turns out, I was already dilated almost 6cm (you start pushing at 10cm).  I was admitted at around 11am and they told me I’d probably be delivery by the late afternoon.  OMGOMGOMG.

Photo Jan 27, 2 06 27 PMWould I be wanting an epidural, the nurse asked?  Oh HELLS yes.  I want all the drugs, all the doctors, and all the computers.  No at-home-water-birth-midwifery for this pregnant lady.  And let me tell you, an epidural is the BEST EVER.  We had the whole afternoon of contractions ahead of us to wait for me to be dilated enough to start pushing, but surprisingly, it ended up being REALLY pleasant.  It was a sunny Sunday afternoon, we had a big private room with a window view of Mount Ranier, and it was just a really nice, chill afternoon.  Husband and I hung out and talked, watched tv, had lunch, took naps.  Again, epidural = best thing ever.  I was having contractions every 3 minutes and I slept through all of them.  In fact, those naps were some of the best sleep I’d had my entire pregnancy.  I FEEL NOTHING.  So good.

At around 4pm, they told me that Beet was in position, but that she had turned “sunny side up” to a posterior position, where she was face up looking up towards my belly button.  The ideal position for an easier delivery would be for her to be facing my spine, so the next 2 hours were spent with the doctor trying to turn Beet while she was still inside me, and me laying in different positions to get Beet to turn on her own.  Like a good girl, when the doctor checked me again, Beet was in the correct anterior position and we were ready to get this baby out of me!

I remember the transition to the “pushing” stage being a lot more casual and fast than I anticipated.  It was literally like, ok why don’t you start pushing.  Oh, what, like…now?  Yep!  Oh, ok.  Like….just start pushing?  Yep!  No curtains pulling, getting out stirrups, doctors with masks, or anything.  Just grab your knees and push!

Based on movies and tv, I thought the “pushing” stage was like, CONSTANT PUSHING UNTIL BABBY POPS OUT.  Well, in reality, you only push for maybe a minute when you are actually having a contraction.  Then you rest for a couple minutes until the next contraction comes and then you start pushing again.  So I was having this conversation with the doctor about how I went to law school *OK READY TO PUSH?  PUSHPUSHPUSHPUSHPUSH JUST A LITTLE BIT MORRRREEE OK* and then I practiced for about 5 years doing tax law *OK READY TO GO AGAIN?  PUSHPUSHPUSHPUSHPUSHHHH OK* and then we moved to Seattle and I decided to leave law and go into retail operations *OK HERE COMES ANOTHER CONTRACTION PUSHPUSHPUSHPUSHPUSH* and I’m now working at a store called Moorea Seal down in Belltown on 3rd.

Now I had told Husband from the beginning of my pregnancy that he would not be allowed down past my waist during delivery.  Because I imagined it would be looking ALL KINDS OF CRAZY down there.  But when Beet started to crown, the doctor exclaimed, “Oh my god, she has so much hair!  So cute!  Tu, you gotta see this!”  So Tu WENT DOWN THERE AND LOOKED.  He reported back that the doctor was twirling Beet’s hair with her fingers and that it in fact did not look as crazy as I probably imagined.

“Do you want to see?” the doctor asked.  ”We can bring our a mirror.  Sometimes it helps with the pushing to see.”

“Umm….” Even though Husband had already looked, I wasn’t sure if i was ready to see.  If there was ever a THINGS YOU CANNOT UNSEE situation, this would be a big one.

“It really doesn’t look that crazy,” Husband assured me.

So they wheeled out a tall mirror and set it up next to the doctor and you know what – they were right.  It really wasn’t that crazy.  I was expecting a horrific scene of blood and fluids and poop (oh god).  But I didn’t see any of that, thank god.  And I totally COULD see the top of her head, which was kind of crazy.

“Do you want to reach down and feel her head?” the doctor asked.

So I did and felt her tiny little head of hair.  It was kind of unreal, feeling this foreign thing that was completely separate from your own body, and yet still very connected.

“Alright, one more big push!”

In seconds, I felt her being pulled out and immediately heard her cries.  The nurse put Beet on my chest right way and I remember that “oh my god” moment as I cupped her tiny head in my hand.  SHE’S REAL.  AND SHE’S RIGHT HERE.

Photo Jan 30, 12 01 59 PM

 

I ended up being in labor for about 24 hours, but only pushed for about 30 minutes.  All in all, labor and delivery was a really good experience for me.  I remember thinking afterwards, I could totally do this again!  The RECOVERY afterwards, on the other hand.  TOTALLY DIFFERENT STORY.  Recovery was SO MUCH worse than actually birthing the baby.  I won’t go into specifics, but there are definite consequences to having a fast pushing stage.  I tried to be a hero and not take any of the painkillers that my OB/GYN offered, only to call my OB/GYN 4 days later asking about that Percocet she mentioned earlier?  Besides epidurals, I highly recommend alternating some Perkies in with the rotation of Ibuprofen you’ll be on postpartum.  It makes life SO much less terrible.  Because having to get up every 1.5 hours to feed a newborn when your vagina feels like it’s going to fall out is kind of the worst.

Recovery aside, one of my favorite memories so far was that first week home.  We had no visitors yet, no parents in from out of town.  Husband was home that week on paternity leave, so it was just our new little family – me, Husband, Beet, and the dogs.  It was so quiet and peaceful, especially since Beet was still a super sleepy newborn.  It truly felt magical and I didn’t want it to end.  To those expecting little ones in the future, I’m so excited for you to be able to experience this special time.  Definitely a time I’ll always remember.

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Beet is a little over a month old now and we are settling into our roles as parents.  I still can’t believe that this thing is mine.  Or that I have to take care of this thing.  FOREVER.  I have moments where I forget that I own this organism and am responsible for its life.  Like, I’m not just babysitting her. This job, in fact, DOES NOT END.  Yes, it’s overwhelming at times, and yes, it feels like I’ve cried more times this past month than I have in the past 10 years, but it’s also fun.  You surprise yourself with how much you’re willing to do and forgo for this tiny creature.  And I hear it only gets better from here.

 

Nursery

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Babyletto cribLand of Nod fitted crib sheetFerm Living wall decals

Beet’s nursery is coming together! It’s been so fun decorating the room and it’s becoming my favorite room in the house. I’ve never envisioned my hypothetical nursery to be very “kid-ish,” and I figure if I’m going to be the one who is spending the most time in that room, I might as well make it a room that I enjoy being in. BEET WON’T EVEN CARE, ANYWAY, RIGHT?  But I think she will like it. =)

The room is mostly all black and white, with pops of color coming from her toys and mobiles.  Both of the mobiles were independently given to us as gifts from my friends Moorea and Jenny.  My friends know me so well!  We hung one over the crib and the other over the changing table.

The framed Robyn+Royksopp concert poster was from a show here in Seattle this past June.  Beet’s first concert, when she was about 9 weeks along in-utero!  The “Oh Whale” print was a gift from May and the “Oh Baby” print is from calligrapher Jenny Highsmith.  My sister drew the adorable “Heart Skipped a Beet” print.

I’m 38+ weeks today, so I have less than 2 weeks until Beet is here.  AAAAH COMING SO SOON.

8 Months

Photo Dec 30, 9 16 10 PM

5 weeks to 35 weeks

Well, whadya know, I’m 8 months pregnant and Beet’s on her way here in 4 weeks! OR LESS!

I had the intent to document my pregnancy on the blog this entire time, complete with symptoms, thoughts, and cute pregnant belly photos, but in reality, I didn’t have the motivation to put together cute outfits or interesting blog posts. I’d see all these cute pregnant ladies on Instagram and I’d be like, maybe I should wear a dress tomorrow! Inevitably, I’d end up wearing black leggings, a black slouchy tshirt, and black ankle boots. Sometimes a grey slouchy shirt.

So here’s a nice documentation of my bump progress! Everyone likes grids of photos, right? As of today, I’ve gained about 40 pounds. 40 POUNDS. At the beginning of my pregnancy, my doctor told me she’d like to see me gain about 30 pounds, sooooo…… *shrug* I’m eating pretty healthy (minimal junk/processed food, fresh fruits and vegetables everyday, only water) and actually not eating significantly more than what I usually eat, so despite my initial horror at climbing scale numbers, I’m trying to remind myself that it’s just my body doing what it needs to do to grow a tiny human inside of it.

2nd trimester was pretty great, as was the better part of 3rd trimester. I had energy, a cute-sized bump, clear skin, and generally good moods. I still could only sleep about 6 hours a night, but I was sleeping the whole way through and not waking up every couple of hours, which was an improvement. The only minor hiccup was that during my anatomy ultrasound at 20 weeks, they found that I had a shortened cervix. As your pregnancy progresses, the length of your cervix shortens until the time you give birth, at which time your cervix becomes paper thin. At 20 weeks, your cervix should be about 4.0-4.5 cm long. At 20 weeks, mine was measuring 2.5 cm., which put me at risk of going into preterm labor. SCARY because at 20 weeks, the fetus wouldn’t be viable outside the womb yet if I were to go into labor that early. Usually, most women are prescribed to be on bedrest at this point, but my doctor just told me to “take it easy” and prescribed progesterone to stabilize the shortening. Luckily, subsequent monitoring didn’t show any further shortening and my pregnancy continued on without bedrest or early appearances by Beet.

3rd trimester has really flown by! It started off pretty great, but now that I’m finishing up my last month, it’s starting to get pretty uncomfortable! Carrying around this extra weight really puts a strain on your back and I can’t be out and about or on my feet for more than a couple hours without my back starting to hurt – which is pretty annoying. I’ve never had heartburn before, but now, I find myself waking up in the middle of the night coughing and choking on stomach acid. It tastes like your threw up in your mouth with hot, burning barf. So you know, really delicious. Turning and changing positions while sleeping is now a pretty big ordeal, which means waking up several times a night. One major development this trimester was the onset of Braxton Hicks contractions, or as Husband like to call them, “Toni Braxtons.” They call these “practice contractions” where your uterus sporadically contracts and tightens in preparation for the real thing. Unlike what happened on FRIENDS when Rachel got Braxton Hicks and went to the hospital because they hurt so much, mine haven’t hurt and are mostly just uncomfortable since your belly basically gets rock hard for about a minute at a time. It’s not uncommon to get them randomly, but pretty much since my 3rd trimester started, I’ve been getting Braxton Hicks all day, everyday. I get them more frequently when I’m on my feet and walking a lot, when I go from sitting to standing and vice versa, if I carry stuff, and at night when I’m just sitting on the couch. Not painful, but as Beet gets bigger and bigger, every once in a while, she feels like she’s going to fall out of me.

So I’m now at the point where I’m excited for Beet to come out, but at the same time, I want to keep her with me where she’s nice and safe for as long as possible. BECAUSE ONCE SHE’S OUT, THERE’S NO GOING BACK.

20 Down, 20 To Go

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Lululemon dress (similar here), Urban Outfitters vest (similar here), Alexander Wang shoes, Baleen Necklace (similar here)

First outfit post in MONTHS.  I’ve finally past the point of ambiguous “fat or pregnant?” and little Beet is now a proper baby bump.  I’m still managing to (literally) squeeze by with my normal clothes, but as soon as the weather gets colder, I think I’ll have to give in and buy at least one pair of [black] maternity jeans.  Until then, this dress has been one of my favorites.  It’s the Noir Dress from Lululemon (not on the website, but still in stores) and was a gift from my sweet mother-in-law.  I did size up to a 6 to accommodate the growing bump, but it has a great thick stretch all over, so I think I’ll be able to wear it for at least another month or two.  Also, TECHNICALLY NOT MATERNITY CLOTHES, so that’s nice.

This week marks the official halfway point of my pregnancy!  So crazy.  It’s simultaneously gone by REALLY slow and REALLY fast at the same time.  I had my anatomy scan on Monday and we found out that we’re having a GIRL!  As my sister dubbed, she’ll be a HEAD BEET IN CHARGE.  #HBIC

Here’s Beet drinking and hiccuping amniotic fluid.  She’s so cute.