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!

Hospital Bag Essentials

baby, pregnancyKelsey BethuneComment

weekender: Madewell | robe: Plum Pretty Sugar | nursing dress: Loyal Hana

Still waiting on a baby around here, so I figured I would go ahead & share what's in our hospital bag since I've got the time! Post-baby edits in italics! 

Water bottle- Bringing my trusty BKR bottle, at least in the car for the drive over... It's rather large but I shattered my smaller glass bottle at my last midwife appointment (RIP), so this guy might stay in the car. -- This did indeed stay in the car.
Coconut water - This always made me feel better when I had terrible cramps, so I figure that might apply here, too!
Pillow & blanket - A lot of my friends have recommended bringing an extra blanket because of room temperature, but I am also a freak that would rather bring my own bedding to hotels. Sleeping on mystery pillows also really skeeves me out, so these are two things I WISH I could leave at home, but must have. I've read to make sure you bring a colored or patterned pillow case so you don't forget this when you pack up! -- Next time around, I'd bring TWO blankets from home - One for labor & one for the post-labor hospital stay.
Extra bag - Saw this on a couple different hospital bag guides, mostly for the extra things the hospital gives you to take home, & any gifts that friends/family bring by. -- We brought a reusable grocery sized bag & could have used another, believe it or not!
Toiletries -  Glasses, contact stuff, deodorant, brush, travel shampoo/conditioner, straightener, face wipes, chapstick, hair band, basic makeup, dry shampoo, lotion, toothbrush/toothpaste
Mama care - I'm bringing this cream & this spray.
Perfume - This sounds so silly but I have a super strong pension for scent memory, & I want to attach a smell to the first couple days of newborn wonder.
Phone & phone charger - I have every intention of Jared being in charge of contraction tracking on his phone, so once labor starts, the plan is to pack up my phone & charger in my bag.

Big, cozy socks - This is the one thing I've heard over & over from friends with babies!
Open front pajamas - I found some button down sleep tops at TJ Maxx for ~$12 -- For the record, open front was way less important than LOOSE. Next time around, I'll probably just stick to loose swing top tees.
Robe - I've been so excited to wear my Plum Pretty Sugar robe for baby time since I got it 5 years ago, & I think it's going to be really lovely to wear something pretty after giving birth.
Black undies - This has been a big recommendation, too. I picked up a cheap pack of black granny panties from H&M that I can toss as needed. -- I didn't end up using these until I got home
Flip flops - I hate being barefoot, period, so when people recommend things like flip flops, I listen.
Slippers - Aside from ^^, this is also just a comfort measure for me.
Belly support band - For after labor. I went with this one based on reviews, but Zulily has had a bunch of deals for these so check that site frequently! I'm excited because the one I got is three separate pieces, & I've heard that the hips wrap feels SO good after birth. -- Also didn't use until we were home
Nursing bra & nursing pads - I've heard & read mixed reviews on whether I'll actually need these IN the hospital (assuming we only have a 2 day stay), but I have this bra & these pads in my bag, just in case. -- Bra, yes. Pads weren't necessary until I got home & my milk came in.
Maternity leggings - They say you leave the hospital with about a 6 month pregnant tum, so I'm bringing my favorite Blanqi leggings to wear when we head home.
Loyal Hana nursing dress - I am SO excited about this dress. It's comfortable (I wore it at 8.5 months pregnant for a Tart wedding & it was GREAT) AND nursing accessible AND so chic.
Oversized sweater - This was a doula recommendation, so you bet this got packed. -- Bring two!
Some extra clothes - I packed just a few extra oversized shirts, leggings & my white slip on Vans as comfortable options. Who KNOWS what will feel comfortable?? I want options ;) -- Options were a good call! 

Carseat - Can't leave with a baby without it! We have this carseat & were able to schedule an appointment to get it installed at our local police station, which was lovely in this city hustle & bustle!
Swaddle blankets - I'm bringing two.
Onesies - I'm probably overpacking here, but I have 4 onesies packed, heh. It's April in DC, & the weather is bonkers, so I have long sleeve AND short sleeve kimono onesies in the bag.
Hats- I am bound & determined to keep that awful pink & blue hospital cap away from my baby's head. I'm bringing two hats, but one is a bonnet for our going home outfit.
Mittens - Based on recommendations from friends! -- Didn't NEED these, used them maybe twice?
Socks - Of the tiniest H&M variety. Too cute.
Going home outfit - I am so positive that our going home outfit is going to be waaaay way too big for baby, but... We're going to try to make it work.
Footprint paper- Some people bring a baby book but I am not even pretending that I would keep up with a baby book, so I don't have one. Instead, I got handmade paper off Etsy & am bringing that to have them stamp little footprints on. I'm not even sure I'll do anything with this, but I'd rather have it than not, & having this framed is a way more realistic option for me. -- They didn't footprint him in the hospital so we did this when we got home.

Birth Plan - We're super excited to be at a very "baby friendly" hospital, where a lot of the natural birth practices that would typically go on our birth plan are already standard procedure. But! We still put a plan together, & I found this site & this site to be very helpful guides as we talked through what we wanted to include.
Maternity registration paperwork - Read this stuff then read it again. I revisited the website our hospital has set up & realized I'd missed a step, then in reading the paperwork found a document that required witness signatures from people other than relatives or hospital employees! We would have been up a creek, so definitely knock this task out of the way while you have time.
Insurance & ID Playlists - Our doula recommended putting together three different hospital playlists: 1) A fierce playlist (lots of Beyonce) 2) A chillout playlist (lots of Feist) & 3) an instrumental playlist (lots of the Pride & Prejudice soundtrack) -- My labor was a little crazy so we didn't use these until AFTER baby was born, but it was REALLY sweet to have playing as soon as we were post-delivery & throughout our stay.
Bluetooth speaker - We have this one packed in Jared's bag. -- Super glad we had this for the post baby stay.
Go-time last minute packing list - Let's be honest, I'm not packing my makeup or toiletries because I'm still using them. I wrote out everything that needs to be gathered once we're getting close to leaving for the hospital so Jared can either help me pack up or do it completely on his own while I get through... Whatever I'm going through ;) This includes things like water for the car, my favorite chapstick from my purse, and some treats that are staying in the car until we've got a baby.

The most helpful guides I found on Pinterest all included post-hospital notes about what was actually useful, what was missing, & what could have stayed at home, so I'll plan to revisit once this baby has made its big debut. (Soon. Hopefully.) -- The only thing I can think to add was that Jared ended up bringing his laptop for work & it was SO great to have that around to watch Netflix before & after! 

Come oooooon, baby!

pregnancy essentials

pregnancyKelsey Bethune3 Comments

As this pregnancy winds down (/picks up??), I've already started reminiscing about this little journey, starting with maternity clothes & now with the things that got me through pregnancy. I'm a chronic Googler/researcher about all things in life, so pregnancy has been 40% reading reviews on Amazon, 40% perusing guides on Pinterest & 20% outsourcing recommendation via social media. When you put those things together, you get this little list of my Top 10 Pregnancy Lifesavers.


  1. Papaya tablets - Heartburn has been one of my very few pregnancy gripes since 2nd trimester, & papaya tablets have been super helpful. I've tried apple cider vinegar & just straight up alka selzter chewables, but papaya tablets or a small cup of cottage cheese (believe it or not) are the only two things that have truly helped.
  2. Prenatals - I switched between a few types of prenatals in the beginning before landing on Vitamin Code's prenatals with Nordic Naturals Omega-3 supplements. The smells are minimal & the doses are reasonable - Another type I tried had 13 different pills to take! YEESH.
  3. Lavender Essential Oil - To be completely honest, I have not been bitten by the essential oils bug, but! Lavender & peppermint oils have been a staple in my life for the past few years for headaches & stomach drama. Lavender oil has been a savior for 2nd trimester headaches & 3rd trimester sleep issues.
  4. Oils & butters - Again, tried a few different things over the course of this pregnancy, & these two have been my favorites. I use the L'occitane butter for my belly & the Vitamin E oil for belly & chest. So far, no stretch marks at 37 weeks soooo... Fingers crossed. I don't know how much of that is these products vs. genetics. The next 3 weeks is the scariest, since this belly seems to keep wanting to grow.
  5. Hydration - I am very terrible at staying hydrated, so drinking water was the biggest life change I really had to force upon myself when I found out I was pregnant. (Well, that & actually eating breakfast.) The first thing I did was order a 1 liter bottle from BKR, & this has been crucial for me to keep track of whether or not I've had enough water in a day, since I know I need to drink at least 2 full bottles a day. I usually shoot for 3. Coconut water is also my favorite for a quick quench, especially on days that Tart has events or I've got a long walking commute around the city.
  6. Tea - Coffee has been a huge contributor to my heartburn, so I've been drinking more tea than coffee this pregnancy. I love our local tea vendor's Vanilla Cream Rooibus, but now that I'm full term, I've moved to a nightly cup of Raspberry Leaf Tea, per my midwives' instructions. Not super flavorful... But I'll let you know if it seems to affect labor like the comments section on Amazon would have you believe ;) *Tea is hot topic (pun intended) when it comes to pregnancy, so chat with your healthcare provider before you listen to me.
  7. Books - I've tried to not inundate myself with too much information about childbirth & parenting techniques, since I really want to just follow my body's lead for labor & trust Jared's & my instincts when it comes to parenting, so these are the only three books I've read so far. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth was highly recommended by my midwives, & the insight from the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding was a great resource, if not a little overwhelming without having a baby around to put into practice what you're reading. I loved Bringing Up Bébé & will definitely be revisiting it as baby gets older. I have a couple more books on sleep that I want to read between now & 2 months post-partum, so I'll report back if they're practical!
  8. Amazon Prime - This goes without saying, but Amazon Prime is pretty much my life force at this point. Whether it's baby registry or help-I-need-sleep-NOW, Kindle book, or realistic prices on prenatals, we're probably expecting at least two packages a week. I can't imagine this is going to slow down once there's a new little human to figure out how to care for... So, all hail Amazon Prime. No, I'm not being paid to say this. I should be.
  9. Comfort - Pretty much as soon as 3rd trimester hit, my belly grew exponentially & sleeping on my left side was suddenly uncomfortable from the weight of my belly twisting my spine towards the mattress & pulling my shoulders & hips forward. It was really painful! This wedge pillow from Boppy is $13 & has been such a help. Just a tiny support under my belly or sometimes under my back, & voila - SLEEP. It's also not a pregnancy essentials list unless I advocate prenatal yoga, but hear me out. I've never been to a yoga class & I don't super love it the way I should as a proper millennial, but my other pregnancy gripe has been one particularly sore rib - I think there might be a pinched nerve from growing to make room for baby. Yoga stretches & Jared massaging it have seriously been the only things that have kept the rib pain at bay.
  10. Apps - There's a million & four apps out there for pregnancy, & every single one of them has a perk that another doesn't. I really loved Glow Nurture during the phase of my pregnancy that I couldn't feel baby yet, & it has a fun bump tracking feature, along with a daily tip about you & baby (but avoid the forums at all costs... Yikes). Ovia just has a cute baby size feature that compares baby to a Parisian bakery pastry (impractical but adorable), along with some good articles & videos that pop up. As I've got further into my pregnancy, The Bump is really the only app I check often for baby size estimates. **I should also note that the Relax Melodies App has been an essential for sleeping. I've had this app for years, but combining pregnancy's oft light sleep with apartment radiators clanking or the occasional snoring husband has made this app crucial! You can mix your own white noise sounds, which is perfect for someone like me that sits somewhere on the low end of the misophonia scale. (Self diagnosed, I should add.)

Some things for next time: A 2nd pregnancy is like, HA! to me right now, but assuming that subsides, there are a few things that I rationalized not spending money on, but in retrospect, would have been helpful. Next time, I'll prioritize getting fitted for a comfortable bra at the beginning of 2nd trimester. Though I ended up buying some sale bras in larger sizes at H&M, I think their fit has contributed to some of my rib pain. I'll also invest in that crazy pillow everyone tells you to get but I was like pffttttt, I can make do. I get it now. That shape seems like it would fix all my problems. Lastly, hopefully next time around, we'll be in a financial place that I can invest in a pre-natal fitness class of some sort. I'd love to do barre or pilates or cycling... I'm just really terrible at self motivating when it comes to exercise, so a class setting would be ideal to stay active throughout pregnancy.

Phew! It's basically the final countdown, guys! I'll be back with my hospital bag essentials once I, you know, put it together. I'm a little bit in denial that this is all happening so fast, honestly. There is still so much to do! I was just trying to explain to Jared how it's so bittersweet to be this close to the end. Sure, it's nearly impossible to get comfortable & even walking is... weird... But pregnancy is such a secret club. I'm surrounded by pregnant friends (& now a sister!) & it's been such fun to share this whole experience for the first time. I'm sure parenting is a whole new level of membership with handshakes & t-shirts & knowing looks. But all I can do is soak up these final weeks where I'm NOT counting down to baby (I won't be antsy until April 2nd), & keep getting things ready around here. Three weeks is NOTHIN'! EEK.

Have a great weekend!


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

maternity photos with annamarie akins photography

baby, pregnancyKelsey Bethune2 Comments

Photos by Annamarie Akins Photography Blue dress: H&M | Taupe Dress c/o Pink Blush: Mocha Draped 3/4 Sleeve Maternity Maxi Dress

I wasn't sure I wanted maternity photos, to be completely honest. I wasn't sure if they could be done without being cheesy. The maternity photo shoots I have seen & loved seemed to capture a glow & beauty that I wasn't sure I'd exude. Jared helped me realize that I would regret it so much if we didn't do what we could to capture this short chapter in our parenting adventure... & he was so right. All it took was finding the perfect person to do the job, & we were so blessed to for schedules & weather & everything to align with having the amazing Annamarie Akins Photography take these precious photos for us.

I've had the privilege of working with Annamarie in various capacities via Tart over the last couple years, & she has become such a dear friend. There is no one else that could have photographed this bump with such grace & delicateness. We are overwhelmed with so much love for this baby, & Annamarie knew exactly how to capture our current state of love, anticipation, & joy. Although, let's be honest, it's not hard to get Jared smiling these days. Already such a good (& dapper) papa.

With maternity photos checked off the pre-baby to do list, we are just one step closer to holding this little one in our arms. Even though I'm already more excited for photos with baby in them instead of a bump, w e will absolutely treasure these photos for the rest of our lives. Thank-you, Annamarie! Go check out this lovely lady's work & for heaven's sake, locals, have her take your photos!