Wednesday, November 26, 2008

maternity denim--or how to drive yourself crazy

i've been feeling really frustrated with my bella band denim solution. even with my jeans completely unzipped, i'm incredibly uncomfortable. i thought i could make it through these 40 weeks without spending money on maternity denim, but i can't take it anymore.

here's a tutorial for DIY maternity jeans if you're handy with a sewing machine. a stretchy pair of regular jeans will probably work best since you need to shimmy and tug to get them on over your hips.

since i don't even own a sewing machine, i decided to try my low-budget options first. i went to gap maternity and tried on these roll panel straight-leg jeans and was shocked to find myself looking 10 years older. i blame it on the roomy seat and thighs. i also tried on jeans at motherhood maternity, which carries full-panel denim for only $40, but they made me look even worse.

so this morning i went downtown to a pea in the pod, which carries designer maternity denim ($180-230). i tried on 7 for all mankind's straight leg jeans and was in heaven (well, my standards have been lowered somewhat, since i really hate fading and whiskering). not only is the full panel really comfortable, but i looked *almost* like my regular self.

so, now what? i guess i'll keep an eye out for ebay listings in my size, and maybe there will be a few online post-thanksgiving sales. but spending $200 for a pair of jeans i'm only going to wear for three months? sigh.

a few thoughts on maternity wardrobe shopping:
* don't go overboard and buy too much during the first 20 weeks. who knows how much weight you're going to gain, and where it's going to be distributed.
* retailers recommend that you buy maternity denim in 1-3 sizes larger than you normally wear, but this all depends on weight gain. i still fit into my regular size, but i would have been really annoyed with myself if i had purchased either my usual size or 2 sizes up earlier on and then discovered that it no longer fits. the bella band works fine until the moment when it doesn't.
* don't compromise on style or give in too quickly, but know that comfort will ultimately drive your purchases. even though i'm really frustrated and uncomfortable right now, i refuse to pay full price. if this means wearing dresses and skirts for a few weeks until i figure it out, i'm sure i'll survive.
* as mark bittman, the minimalist, says, "When you need it you’ll know you’ll need it."

glucose screening test alternatives

for all of you planning on becoming pregnant, i just wanted to mention that you should ask your midwife or doctor if you can substitute the sugary day-glo orange drink with jelly beans. i ate 28 jelly belly beans within 5 minutes, 45 minutes before my blood test, and felt just fine afterward.

two reasons for the jelly bean alternative:
1. some women apparently have bad reactions to the orange drink (nausea, sugar crash, etc). this might be because they drank it on an empty stomach. i recommend protein-rich food beforehand like eggs rather than carbs or sugars.
2. although eating that many jelly beans in 5 minutes requires a lot of will power (my jaw started to hurt after 3 minutes of chewing), this is so much more fun than drinking something that looks like it could glow in the dark.

apparently my score suggests hypoglycemia. that means i have low blood sugar. i just checked some of the symptoms, because i love doing that:
  • hunger (yep)
  • shakiness
  • nervousness (yep)
  • sweating
  • dizziness or light-headedness (yep)
  • sleepiness (yep)
  • confusion
  • difficulty speaking
  • anxiety (yep)
  • weakness (yep)
  • crying out or having nightmares (yep)
  • finding pajamas or sheets damp from perspiration
  • feeling tired, irritable, or confused after waking up (yep)
the best thing about lists of symptoms is that they're often so general that a hypochondriac like me can have a field day with them.

moral of the story: eat smaller quantities more frequently.

Monday, November 17, 2008

knitted baby mocs

oh my god.
will someone make these for me?
or maybe i should figure it out for myself.

i've already decided to devote January and February to knitting, crocheting, and other nesting activities, since i'm sure i'll be too brain-dead to write.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


top: week 10
bottom: week 25

weight gain is a super tricky issue during pregnancy. it's like you're either gaining too much or too little, never the 'right' amount. every pregnancy is different, and just because you gain more or less than the recommended amount doesn't mean you're going to have a larger or smaller baby.

i've gained 6 pounds so far, but my recommended minimum weight gain is 14 pounds by 25 weeks. even though people often remark on how 'small' i am, i feel like i'm exactly the right size for me. as someone who still jogs 2-3 times a week, bicycles to school, and does yoga every few nights, it isn't surprising that my metabolism has kept up with my body's new demands. contrary to popular belief, you only need to add 300 calories a day beginning in the second trimester. i do this (more or less) by eating more yogurt, cheese, tofu, and fruit shakes. i have no food cravings, although i've been eating more meat lately. matthew has also been trying to wean me off white flour breads.

weight is one of those unavoidable issues. it's hard not to compare weight gain or belly size, but ultimately, your body knows what it's doing. when i'm hungry, i eat (easier said than done when you're nauseated for 4 months). in general, my life hasn't changed very much. i've always indulged in a brownie or two because 1) it makes me happy, 2) i'm fairly active, 3) i don't let it become a daily habit.

sure, there are days when i feel annoyed because it's so difficult to dress myself now that the weather is getting colder. i am not your poster child for pregnancy. the nausea, skin problems, hair loss, back pain, and mood swings aren't exactly endearing. but the things that i thought would really bother me, like weight gain or stretch marks, haven't really been an issue. one thing i've learned is to stop believing i know what's going on with my life. i've surprised myself in so many ways since june. and for a control-freak who micromanages everything, that's a good thing.

Monday, November 3, 2008

new silhouette, no. 1

for the past two years i've been buying loose boxy tunics, tops, and dresses, thinking that they would be perfect maternity options. and it's true that pretty much everything that i own (except for pants and skirts) will fit for most of the pregnancy. but i've since learned that i lack the height to pull off these now that i'm rounder. the belt is my new best friend, and the shorter the skirt or dress, the better.

i don't really want to spend money on maternity clothing, and i've never cared for spandex in my tops, but i think i look best with form-fitting stretchy tops with ruching like this isabella oliver kimono t-shirt. i would never wear anything this tight except as an undershirt before because it made me feel bigger than i am, but nowadays i feel rotund without that definition. go figure!

oh, and those leggings i mentioned the other day? i've discovered that i can fold the waistband over my unbuttoned skirt. i'll probably wear them as long underwear under my jeans, too, which means i won't have to wear the bella band as often. the other big problem with the bella band is that the back rides up, exposing my lower back if i'm not careful.

turtle and her favorite lena corwin pillows.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

puffer vest = bad idea

i keep scolding matthew for taking such unflattering photos of me, especially now, but i think what's more problematic than the camera angle is the puffer vest. slouching doesn't help, either. good posture not only makes for a happy baby, but it also prevents me from looking like a garden gnome. anyway. clearly i need to retire the vest for the next 5 or 6 months....

by the way, my jeans are held up by the sheer elastic strength of the bella band. unfortunately, this stretchy piece of fabric is more like practicing triage than anything else. yes, it allows me to avoid buying maternity denim, but it also means that i have to periodically hike up my pants because the seat starts sagging almost immediately. i'm only 24 weeks, so imagine how difficult it's going to be in a month.

my new wardrobe solution is to focus on skirts, tunics, and dresses. unfortunately, maternity tights and leggings aren't very comfortable either. sometimes i look at myself in my underthings and think that i might as well throw in the towel and wear a unitard.

anyway, the makers of the bella band have just come out with a new line called 'essentials.' i ordered a pair of their leggings, and as less-than-perfect as the bella band is, these are amazing. soft, supportive, and not too constrictive at the waistband. i would buy a back-up pair, except they cost $52 and are out of stock.

i also highly recommend american apparel's foldover jersey yoga pants for slouching around the house. i only wish they offered them as leggings, too.

ok, back to more mid-semester grading madness. i have to go to houston on friday for a conference, which means my paper needs to be in better shape than it is. the other thing about being pregnant and working non-stop is that i've been fighting an uphill battle against fatigue since week 6. i won't go into the details of why i think caffeine in small amounts is safe (some people get really worked up about this), but i really really need my daily cup of tea in order to function.