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2014/11/11 / Shanan

THE HOME STRETCH

I haven’t written much about this second pregnancy on the blog; although not for any particular reason that I can think of. It seems like babies are good for business (so to speak) but I just couldn’t get it together to document or share, and didn’t want to beat myself up for that.

Now this mysterious creature is due in 10 days, and I’m finally winding down with my design work and random nesting projects, and am finding that my mornings (while Theo is in school) are becoming pretty quiet. So, now I’ve started to reflect on the time ahead more and more.

I think you can kind of ignore being pregnant for the majority of the gestation (especially when it’s not your first baby) and then all of a sudden the prospect of actually giving birth and meeting and caring for this new little person begins to feel real and tangible, and you freak out a bit. Or maybe that’s just me? Our household is kind of baby-crazy at the moment and we are all so excited to finally have the baby in our lives. I’ve been looking back at pictures of Theo when she was just a few days old and it seems miraculous and impossible how teeny she was. But in those quiet moments alone, I wonder, “will I really be able do this again?”

Will I be strong enough to have another natural birth? Can I cope with having a newborn and a three year old, together, and still retain some semblance of my own identity? Will I be a good mother? What will happen with my work (and what do I want my work to actually be, moving forward? That’s a big one)? Will anybody still want to hang out with us?

And most of the time, I know the answer is hell YES I can pull off all of this. But I need to be my own cheerleader and champion and remind myself in a daily-affirmation type of way, in order to really keep it together. Admittedly, it’s not the route I generally take, but sometimes you just have to embrace the Ina-May-Gaskin-rock-star-goddess-within and go with it. And I’m in the home stretch.

Image above: It is clearly illogical to covet a baby spoon as much as I do this one. Silver seahorse and oyster spoon by Flotsam & Jetsam, available from Catbird.

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2013/07/10 / Shanan

WHAT TO WEAR WHEN YOU’RE PREGNANT (…OR NOT), PART 2

I think I promised a follow-up to this first pregnancy wardrobe post like two weeks ago.  Oops.  I’m not a machine, guys.

As I mentioned before, I chose to stow away all my pants for the duration of my pregnancy (and for about a year afterwards).  Plain and simple, they made me feel bad about my shape.  I breastfed like a m*therf*cker but that post-baby weight did not exactly ‘melt’ off the way everyone said it would.

Do you know what made me feel really, really good, though?  This dress.  It’s from Montreal-based label Complex Geometries and was purchased when I was about four months along.  I hope the designer wouldn’t shift uncomfortably in his seat hearing his pieces being touted as maternity wear.  But.  It has a fantastic drape; and it can be worn a bunch of different ways.  Picture in your mind the most perfect cool-girl t-shirt, then spin it into a fashion-forward but also really forgiving, easy-to-throw-on dress.  There – you’re done.

I wore this throughout my pregnancy and I’m still wearing it two years later.  And without fail, it always garners questions and compliments (most recently a woman spotted me in a Canadian Tire and beelined through the store to ask where it came from.  Truth be told the whole scenario was a little weird).

Image above: the Choke dress via Complex Geometries website (they have e-commerce).

ps. How amazing would their Slab tank be, too (below)?  Love the styling.  This one’s available via the Totokaelo site.

slab tank complex geometries maternity totokaelo

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2013/06/27 / Shanan

WHAT TO WEAR WHEN YOU’RE PREGNANT, PART 1

Let’s set the record straight – I’m not pregnant again.  But I do have a number of friends who ARE for the first time (yay!), and one in particular who has appealed to me for help with dressing her growing bump and changing frame.  Specifically she’s asked for one really comfy, really chic, really wearable dress option.

Pregnancy is bizarre.  One of my main challenges was being able to dress and look like ‘myself.’  I wanted to feel stylish, and not be stuck in weird stretch fabrics and cuts that I never ever would have worn otherwise.  In other words, I didn’t really want to wear maternity clothes.

So… I didn’t.  I decided early on that the whole maternity pants/belly band thing wasn’t for me, and just stopped wearing pants altogether and went with dresses around the clock.  I bought a few inexpensive pieces from some of the chain stores, looking for empire waist silhouettes or straight cuts that I could belt or tie above the belly.  I just bought the next size or few up (depending on the dress) in regular clothing sizes.

I rounded up some not-actually-maternity options above and tried to keep them all relatively affordable.  Know that whatever you end up wearing, you’ll probably want to burn most of your ‘maternity’ wardrobe post-gestation, so check yourself before you wreck yourself, you know what I mean? (If you do have extra money that you haven’t already spent on newborn sailor suits, you can go directly to the Hatch Collection website)

Note that I haven’t personally test-driven any of these dresses but they should all be relatively safe bets, and will at least give you an idea of what to look for.

1. Printed v-neck dress, Gap.  Seriously, check out the striped version in side-view and tell me this dress wasn’t built for pregnant women.

2. V-neck dress, H&M.  Rowr.

3. Heritage animal-print dress, Banana Republic.  Not totally my cup of tea but style it right and it gets a pass.

4. Silk waterfall dress, Madewell.  Chic, really versatile (get those shoes, too).

5. Printed dress, Zara.  The hemline is a little short but let’s face facts, you’re probably not an Amazonian model so it could work on you.

6. Solid wrap dress, Gap.  I admit, the wrap dress is a bit of a snoozer for me but it’s definitely office-appropriate, the v-neck will highlight your burgeoning assets, etc.

7. Eagle print dress, Zara.  Maybe?

8. Frances watercolour floral dress, J. Crew.  This one is a total dream but WHOA sorry I just noticed the price tag.  Still love it, though.

9. Wilfred Bisous dress, Aritzia.  Zou bisou bisou, baby.

Go forth, shop, and most of all, be kind to yourself.  I’ll put together another post next week that features my one truly favourite dress for pregnancy (and beyond) if you’re looking to rock a slightly edgier style.