Sitting in Our Tree

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.


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:


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!