It's just your baby...

IMG_4525I was asked recently why having a natural birth was so important to me... I knew I had a reason. I knew I did. But in the moment it took me a while to gather my thoughts, let's blame it on preggo brain... I started writing this more as a way to organize my inner monologue and thought it could maybe help someone, so there you go.

I never for a second considered having an epidural or any kind of pain meds during labor. I fully realize that they are a marvel of modern medicine, but it never even crossed my mind. My mom had natural births. My 2 best friends had natural births. I hate pain, but I believe in the power of my own body. So with my first son it never even presented itself as an option. I told friends "if I change my mind during labor, then I will" but I only said that to make people feel better. I knew I wasn't going to. I knew it. I also, through much research, found myself constantly seeing connections between interventions such as inducing and epidurals and the slippery slope leading to stalled labors and emergency C sections... Ummmm, no thank you.
With that decided, I begin to pray every day. Every time I was in the car or waiting for the doctor. I prayed and prayed and prayed. I prayed for all the specifics of my labor. I wanted an 8 hour labor (I was a realist). I wanted to go into labor at night so the midwife would be at the hospital. And I wanted to use zero pain intervention. The power of prayer is strong because I had all of my prayers answered. Did it hurt?! Like a son of a bitch. Did I survive it?! Absolutely, like a boss. Would I change a thing?! Never. The second my baby was on my chest the work was forgotten and I had literally had control of my entire labor and birth. I didn't have doctors telling me when to push. I knew. My body knew. I was so focused I had no time to worry or stall my labor. I was in it 100% and that control was just beautiful.
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So back to my answer. I had a natural birth because I was meant to. That may sound silly, but it was all I needed to know. Now with my second baby due in just 9 weeks I'm facing these questions and decisions all over again. And I've found myself giving advice, offering opinions [when asked] and my main point to those asking is know WHY you want it and don't allow yourself or others to think otherwise. Surround yourself with people who support and believe in you and your body. You need to know you can and will get through labor. You need to remember with each contraction that is just your baby making his way to you. You need to know that it's the most beautiful and primal thing you can ever do. You need to know the amazing power you possess.
Now, sometimes medical intervention is absolutely necessary and praise The Lord for doctors and midwives who know what they are doing, but I would just ask you to know your options. Don't just accept everything you are told. Be educated. Trust your instincts. Take classes. Hire a Doula. Watch documentaries. Be involved in your birth story no matter what path you choose!

The Long and Short of it

DSC_0912-(ZF-8413-57929-1-015)DSC_0913-(ZF-8413-57929-1-016) DSC_0910-(ZF-8413-57929-1-013) DSC_0906-(ZF-8413-57929-1-011) DSC_0911-(ZF-8413-57929-1-014)Images via Kelsey Erin | [sweater] Free People [skirt] Hand me down from my sister [sandals] Sam Edelman, I love these [jewels] Sea & Cake, Betsy & Iya, Lenny and Eva, Alex and Ani, Dogearred, and a bunch of random others

First off, I had pink hair!!!! It's been 15 years in the making, but I finally put some pink in my locks! Such a rebel. Yes, you can barely tell in these photos and that was sorta the point and it's pretty much completely gone now. Next time I will go brighter, but I wanted a kiss of pastel pink to make me feel like the cool mom I am… cause I am soooo not a regular mom…

CoolMomvia

So here's my final maternity fashion post! I can't believe I'm no longer pregnant… It's amazing how that happens… I have never been much for maxi skirts on me before pregnancy. Honestly, even as a self proclaimed stylist I find them very difficult to dress. I love layers and the whole rocker thing, so I find it hard to layer on a maxi without looking like a full on hobo. Well with as hot as it's been, pants and shorts are just a hell no and if you don't want to purchase maternity clothes you are left with maxi skirts and maxi dresses. This skirt was lovingly passed down from my sister, I stretch it out pretty badly every time I wear it, but luckily it always shrinks back. If you've never visited my sister's store's site you totally should, you can find it here. Super cute, super affordable. I have also had a ton of luck with Nordstrom Racks maxi skirt selection and for the price you can't beat it. I don't plan on wearing these much post baby, so I really didn't want to spend a fortune. I've tried to keep my maxi's fun and patterned and pair them with a ton of boho accessories. I threw on whatever rings still fit my sausage fingers and as many dainty gold necklaces as my sweaty body can handle [little did I know that wasn't going to go away after Rocco's birth]. My makeup these days, as you can see, is barely there. If I can cover redness and the bags under my eyes than I am totes winning at life! Who's ready for Fall/Winter!? #ThisGirl

DSC_0914-(ZF-8413-57929-1-017)My favorite mini. This chick knows how to pose!

Clothes I Can't Live Without These Days…

Preggo Pieces 2.001[1] [2] [3] [4]

So these days it's not particularly easy to dress myself in super cute clothes all the time, but I do what I can. I'm 8 and a half months pregnant in the dead of summer in Southern California and all I can say is that I would really like to just walk around naked all the time with a cooling towel and a fan. I honestly would prefer to never leave my house, but alas that is not a realistic dream.

When it comes to preggo fashion the 4 pieces above are about the only things I've bought "maternity" and I love them all! The jeans were a great purchase until about 6 months when the average temp began to hoover in the high 80's, but for the fall/winter you absolutely must buy a few pairs! JBrand are so pricey, but I tell you they are amazing and they don't look a bit like maternity! Love that. Now shorts, I've tried a few pairs and the ones I liked the most are shockingly Jessica Simpson. I know, right!? They are super comfy and look really stylish! Fab. I've bought a few colors of this dress and it's great for layering with a kimono, I feel cute and they were super cheap. Winning. I also bought a similar baseball tee and I love it! I probably didn't need to buy maternity, but I love that the hem curves and that it's a bit longer. So those are my 4 maternity pieces.

Preggo Pieces.001[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

I honestly think it's completely possible to not buy a single maternity piece when you are pregnant in the summer. So really what I've been sticking to are maxi dresses, leggings, and tshirts. Boom. I have found that you usually can wear your same size or just one size up in more body conscious pieces. The key to wearing non-maternity clothes is material, gotta have some stretch! I've bought a ton of maxis and really found that they are easiest thing to throw on when you are just hot and tired and feel like someone punched you in the vag. Gap, Old Navy, and Nordstrom Rack have been my go to shops for dresses. I refuse to spend a ton of money on anything I can't be sure will fit after Rocco joins the world. Even with the heat I have been wearing leggings and my go to are the high-low pant for Lululemon which are just so crazy, comfy and make you feel super skinny! I also have a pair of liquid leggings similar to the pair above that I absolutely love for a night out! I think they look so cool with a bump. I am obsessed with v-neck tees from JCrew, I went up a size and they have lasted through out my whole pregnancy! Finally, I invested in a crazy comfy pair of leopard sneakers. Chic mom shoes, if you will... I will, thank you very much!

What are your go-to preggo pieces!?!? Do you buy a ton of maternity items or prefer to stick to adaptable regular clothes!?

Earth Goddess

DSC_0145-(ZF-7445-37833-1-002) DSC_0143-(ZF-7445-37833-1-004)photos by Kelsey Erin Photography | [dress] from Metaphor in Vista [headband] Anthro this is similar [bracelets] Lenny & Eva Ali and Alex Honesty

Hello 33 weeks!!! Say whaaaaaa!?!?! Can you believe it? 'lieve it!?!?!? I can't! Rocco is on his way to the world people! The Captain and I are just getting so stinking excited because it's definitely getting really real. All that second trimester energy is officially peace'd out and now I just want to take naps and eat waffles and avocado rolls. I am forcing myself to go on walks and do my Tracy dvds as often as my poor lil' hips can take it!! I have to admit much to my dismay I HATE wearing clothes these days. I love clothes!!!! But alas, I don't want to wear anything and the idea of jeans or pants in this summer soCal heat is just cray. I am living in maxi dresses and skirts. I found this one at a spectacular little boutique, Metaphor, in downtown Vista which is between San Marcos and Oceanside San Diego peeps. I have managed to only purchase 5 items that are actually maternity throughout this pregnancy and I think I've managed to look pretty cute!!! So, I'll be talking about my favorite preggo clothes next week!! Stay tuned!

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Lotsa Leopard

DSC_0030-(ZF-7445-37833-1-022)DSC_0036-(ZF-7445-37833-1-026) DSC_0028-(ZF-7445-37833-1-021) DSC_0033-(ZF-7445-37833-1-023) DSC_0035-(ZF-7445-37833-1-025)photos by Kelsey Erin Photography | [dress] BCBG [ring] Besty & Iya

As if being pregnant could stop me form wearing leopard, pssssshhhhhhh! I can't help it. My love for leopard knows no bounds. This kid better like leopard too because he's gonna be forced to wear some bad ass leopard moccasins and leggings. Hipster Baby in the making. Dreams coming true. I found this dress at a BCBG outlet for 32 bucks. It is made from the most perfect stretch jersey and it's lined so the fabric never looks thin around my growing tummy. I've been able to wear this dress throughout all trimesters and for that reason it's been sorta my fave purchase thus far. Hitting 32 weeks is pretty crazy, 8 weeks until due date!!!! I mean, look at that BELLY!!!! Just so super excited!!!! Peace, Love & Leopard.

Baby Shower Fab

DSC_0072-(ZF-7445-37833-1-016) DSC_0075-(ZF-7445-37833-1-014) DSC_0067-(ZF-7445-37833-1-015)DSC_0042-(ZF-7445-37833-1-020) DSC_0052-(ZF-7445-37833-1-018)Photos via Kelsey Erin Photography | [dress] hand me down from Kohls, I love this and this and this [shoes] ancient Steve Maddens, these are totes fabulous! [necklace] Sea & Cake 

I was able to make a trip back to Georgia in late May to visit all my family and see all my best peeps and also to have my Filipino baby shower. I don't know if you know this, but The Captain is Filipino. I have Filipino family. It's like My Big Fat Greek Wedding except with more gambling and roasted pig. The shower was more entertaining than I can possibly describe to you! From the limitless questions to the very anatomically correct Asian baby boy figure adorning my super non-vegan cake, seriously. It was a hoot. I am truly blessed and Rocco was sufficiently showered with gifts!!! I wore this adorable Kohls dress that was passed to me by a recently preggs buddy. I am obsessed with it. I wish it was still available online so you all could buy it!!! I think this is the perfect preggo dress. It's form fitting, but not skin tight and it's long enough that, as you grow, you don't start to worry about showing your lady bits. The pattern is pretty magical and it's from Kohls!!! Kohls?!?! I linked to a few super cute tank dresses from various inexpensive stores that are great for showing off your belly and staying cool when it's hotter than the surface of the sun outside. My shoes are super comfy, stable, and ancient, but those I posted are equally fab, they might not be as stable as mine if you are preggo… these might be a better option! I know they are high, but they are super comfy. I still wear mine!! Swearsies.

photo 1[In Georgia, with my beautiful mom, Sandy Nana, my gorgeous sister, and then my super cute self. Look how tiny my tummy was!? How long ago was this? Have I doubled in size?!?! Ay yi yi.]

photo 2[Yes, that's exactly what you think it is. A baby statue with a penis and a USMC tattoo… No words. Side note: I ate like 30 veggie lumpia]

photo 3[Lolo and I comparing bellies.]

The Most Important Meal of the Day

photoSo you hear this your whole life and for all the preggos out there breakfast can seem like the greatest meal you've ever had in your life!!! If you are anything like me, you are thrilled to wake up in the morning because that means you can eat!!! This little boy keeps me hungry ALL. THE. TIME. and I want ALL. THE. FOOD. I try to start my day off with a healthy, filling choice to set me on the right path for the rest of the day. Now, I'm super lucky that I wasn't crazy sick for the first trimester, Praise The Lord. I did indeed have plenty of nauseous days in the early weeks and I found that eating a small, balanced breakfast actually helped keep the tummy troubles at bay. So anywhozzle, here are a few of my favorite bfast meals. photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 copy photo 3 photo 4 photo 5 copy photo 5 photoSo you can see a lot of the same basic ideas repeated and with slight variations. First off, lotsa fruit. I'm not picky. Strawberries, blueberries, oranges, bananas, plums… you name it! So on top of being full of vitamins and nutrients, hello vitamin c, potassium, and folic acid, fruit is full of fiber which is important all the time, but especially whilst pregnant. Can anyone say hemorrhoids!?!? Sound awful?! Getcha fiber. Secondly, I usually have walnuts, nature's best plant based source of omega-3's, a B vitamin cray important during pregnancy. They are are also pumped full of protein and fiber. Same with sunflower seeds packed full of  B vitamins, folate, and a host of other wonderful health benefits with little fat. Every once in a while, I'll have a soy yogurt with granola, walnuts, and shredded coconut. Yum. I've even made breakfast ice-cream. Yes, it's green. Throw a frozen banana, handful of greens, and a splash of almond milk into a blender and top with pepitas and shredded coconut. YUM. I'm not a huge toast person, but when I do I love Ezekiel bread toasted and spread with some all-natural almond butter! I also had a kick of the McDougall Right Foods oatmeal cups. So easy!!! Pop them in the microwave with some water and boom. Done. I forgo the sugar packet and add a touch of maple syrup, some nuts or seeds and berries. Talk about starting the morning right!  And because it can't hurt, I sometimes add a cup of fortified almond milk or orange juice. Hope this inspires you to have yummy plant based breakfasts that are good for you and your little nugget!!!

Seeing Stripes

Blissful Outfits - 10 Blissful Outfits - 11 Blissful Outfits - 13 photos via Kelsey Erin Photography | [shirt] Audrey from Mimi & Red [tank] Lizard Thicket [jeans] JBrand maternity [scarf] Urban Outfitter [loafers] old Shoemint, I'm digging this pair!

I am the strange type of person who loves fashion yet craves comfort. It's a delicate balance… And now that not much of my clothing denim fits, thanks Baby, I am finding it more complicated to dress stylishly without resorting to exclusively wearing yoga pants. I refuse! So here's one things folks don't tell you about being preggs. You think oh, I'll just wear my normal clothes until BAM I'm a cute little mama rocking maxi dresses and friggin' elastic waistbands. Lies. There's the dreaded in-between where it just looks like straight up muffin top! You can still mostly button your skinny jeans, but as the hours pass they get tighter and tighter, by noon you have to unbutton them to eat and by 4pm, forget that shit, you are having to unbutton your pants just to stand. TO STAND. WTF!!?! So I found that at around the 3 month mark, I had given up on about 90% of my pants/shorts. Note: I can still rock my Paige Jimmy Jimmy boyfriend jeans[they are on sale], I love them!! They say you can tie a hair tie around your button and keep your wardrobe longer… I couldn't do it. They also make something called a belly band, but I haven't read overwhelmingly positive reviews on any of them. Honestly, I'm like, dude, give it up, your pants don' t fit. You're growing a human, it's allowed! Buy a pair of maternity jeans** already!

I find that dealing with the is she pregnant or did she just eat a MASSIVE burrito stage is to wear huge flowy tops, see here, here, here, and here. Luckily, I adore baggy tops, so I am hoping to get through the majority of pregnancy without purchasing many "maternity" items. Much like everyday, if you are going to wear baggy loose tops, you MUST pair them with a skinny bottom! Those proportions will keep you from feeling frumpy!

Blissful Outfits - 16 Blissful Outfits - 17**I gave in and bought a pair of J Brand maternity skinnies and I think they are brilliant. I was looking into the side cutout maternity pants, but found that I really preferred the full panel. It feels like it's sucking everything in which I love! It's all personal preference. They are astronomically expensive so definitely check out eBay before your fork over so much $$$. I am looking at them as an investment, I will live in these jeans for nearly 9 months and hell, I now have a solid pair of Thanksgiving pants for LIFE. #Winning

This is Happening!

Fruit Baby 2nd Draft.001photos by Kelsey Erin Photography  [be sure to check out her awesome new site!| impregnating by The Captain

SURPRISE!!! The Captain and I will be welcoming a baby BOY in early October!! I'm gonna get so massive!! This is epically strange for me, as I was always that person saying I would never spawn. I mean kids are so loud and needy and messy and expensive and messy… but all I can say is they are also hilarious, magical, precious, smell like heaven [sometimes] and yes, loud and needy and messy and expensive and so freaking messy. We are so excited to meet this little weirdo!! I mean, the kid has no hope with us as parents! So, as this is a lifestyle blog and my lifestyle is 'bout to get a little cray, I hope you will all be along for the journey! I want to share my preggo stories in a way that do not constantly induce eye rolling, but actually make you laugh!  We are gonna talk about maternity fashion that doesn't break the bank, what a vegan preggo eats, what baby shit you actually need, how to design a baby room that kicks ass etc, etc. It should be fun! I feel like every person on the planet is pregnant these days [color me unoriginal] but I am so hoping this will be a place where nice folks can come together and have some real talk about all kinds of shenanigans. Now, for those of you without little monsters, do not despair! This blog is still about living blissfully and happily, so please don't run for the hills, it's not contagious… that I know of…