PREGNANCY FAVORITES, ROUND TWO

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This pregnancy, to put it mildly, has not been easy for me. It’s felt like one very long road. And we’re still very much in it. I know that the difficult things are where we grow the most, and I know that the end result, a baby, a precious life, is so worth it. While challenging, there are a few items that are helping me through it. These are some things I’m liking this time around.

Collagen. How I make my decaf lattes into essentially a protein shake (10 grams!) with this. I even took the travel sticks with me on our babymoon to Arizona, that’s how committed I am. I add it to my milk frother and blend the collagen and the nut milk together, and it makes the creamiest, foamiest, protein-packed lattes.

You may remember from my stories a while back that I started making my own almond milk and was officially converted. The process in my blender became a little time consuming and tedious, and I ended up just buying it more often out of convenience. I recently discovered the Almond Cow, and it eliminates the straining step, and clean up is so much easier than with the cheesecloths I was using. So thrilled to have an easier solution for fresh, plant-based milks. Use code ALLIESEIDEL for $15 off and free shipping.

Nordic Naturals. My go-to for omega three’s. I like their Prenatal and Postnatal formulas, and we will be using their Baby Vitamin D Drops again with this baby.

Water bottle. Any will do. I’ve thrown this one around for three years and while pricey, I still love it.

I finally found a natural nail polish I like. Intended for kids, it’s non-toxic and free of fumes and chemicals, which I especially appreciate in pregnancy. It’s not as long lasting as the chemical formulas, so I use the base and top coat and sealer to gain a few extra days.

My mom got me these slippers while I was on bed rest and they are life changing. They run small, size up for the best fit.

Still my favorite maternity jeans.

Making sparkling water at home with this on repeat.

I have worn this every day for about a week now. Possibly the best maternity dress ever made, the fabric and fit is amazing.

Loving these! Hoping they make your pregnancies (or just daily life!) a little easier too.

Shared in partnership with Almond Cow, Vital Proteins, and Nordic Naturals. Some links are affiliate. All words and opinions are my own.

PREGNANCY SAFE 5 MINUTE MAKEUP ROUTINE

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I’ve gradually become more and more aware of the things I put in/on my body in terms of chemical exposure, and exponentially more so when I’m pregnant. (Read about my first launch into more natural products in this post here and with my first pregnancy here.)

I recently discovered a new-to-me line of natural mineral makeup, safe for pregnancy. Since discovering the Think Dirty App, I check the ratings on my most of products there, and these have all received ratings of “clean” (app not sponsored, just like it). They have a luxury feel, while still being natural and affordable. This is what I’m wearing on my face this pregnancy:

I start with the Flawless Finish Cream Foundation with the High Def Buki Brush. I wear the Spice color and it’s a perfect match, warming my skin tone just slightly but still blending evenly into my pale winter skin. I like that the coverage is sheer but buildable, covering what I want but also looking very makeup-free. I’ve also been surprised at how well it wears - staying on all day even while working and chasing a toddler.

I am a big blush person. I like a flushed glow, so I apply the Multi Purpose Powder in Pink Parfait with the Petite Face Brush as a base and I layer Baked Blush Berry Blast over the top. It’s shimmery but not shiny, and I am a big fan. Since we live in Seattle and hardly see sun this time of year, I apply the Pressed Bronzer in Fiji just below the blush and near my temples and I blend it all together with the Chisel and Blend Brush. There is a tutorial for how to shade and contour more in depth here.

There are three Multi Purpose Powders I like: Moonless Night, Brazilian Brown, and White Diamond. They can be used interchangeably, but I use Moonless Night as an eyeliner with the Angle Eye Liner Brush (thanks to a tip from a makeup artist that powder eyeliner is longer-wearing than waxy sticks), and Brazilian Brown as a brow filler with the same brush. I am back to my DIY lash extensions, so I don’t bother with mascara and find that I don’t need the extra definition of eyeshadow, both saving me precious morning minutes. For an all over face highlighter I swipe White Diamond across the apples of my cheeks and down the bridge of my nose for that extra “pregnancy glow.”

I don’t wear lipstick everyday, but for a date or special occasion I like Pur’ Lips Lipstick in Champagne on Ice. It’s a great natural-looking mauve-pink. A safe lipstick formula is especially important, as we accidentally swallow so much of what’s on our lips, not to mention absorb it topically.

When we welcome this next baby, I anticipate hardly doing anything to my face during that time (which is also a reason why I love eyelash extensions for the newborn weeks) but I could see myself just keeping my favorites - the cream foundation and shimmer baked blush - as my two-minute makeup routine. Streamlining everything is the name of the game during that season, while also feeling more like yourself again and looking slightly more well-rested than you actually are.

Love these! Glad to have found them.

Shared in partnership with Rejuva Minerals. Not a sponsored post.

THINGS I HEARD WHILE PREGNANT

Photo: Meredith Bacon

I stumbled on this blog post recently, written while I was Very Pregnant. I never published it at the time, and then I had a baby, and then 6 months later here we are, but I loved the words and the message and wanted to share it.

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I didn't start showing until very late in my pregnancy (thank you, first baby) and no one even mentioned or commented on my pregnancy publicly until I was about 28 weeks along.

At first it was pretty innocent, mostly "Congratulations! How are you feeling?" Or, "When are you due? Do you know what you're having?" followed by mostly sweet stories of their own pregnancies, or if I was really lucky, their horrible/dramatic/awful birth stories, and other pleasant, encouraging things to tell an expectant mother.

Around 30 weeks, the comments started to shift from people sharing their own stories to their thoughts on how I was doing as a pregnant person.

All in the same week I heard: "Oh my gosh you're so BIG!" and two separate instances of "How far along are you?" And when I'd answer, they'd follow up with a "Oh wow, you look so much farther along than that!"

Oh wow is right.

My sister in law told me the only appropriate response in that situation is, "Thanks! You too!"

I was shocked, and truthfully, very unsure of how to respond.

Do I agree? Disagree? Blame it on a big lunch/lots of water/pregnancy bloat/etc etc, or share that actually, I feel even bigger than I look (which is obviously whale-status and maybe not even possible considering the level of commentary I was receiving)? Or do I simply confirm the small detail that I was, in fact, pregnant?

I was dumbfounded.

I developed a strategy for whenever I heard strange comments (and there were many). I'd immediately smile and/or laugh, graciously deflect and say "I knowwww!" (why was I trying to make them feel better?) and attempt to shift the conversation as quickly as I could. A part of me just really wanted to respond with, "I'm actually not 29 weeks like I just said, I'm 42 weeks! I'm like, totally overdue and am actually on my way to the hospital right now to deliver triplets!"

I felt like I needed a statement that extreme because it was the only way I could rationalize how BIG I was - surely I wasn't just carrying one child, surely I wasn't that few weeks along.

But yes, it was only one child.

And yes, I was that "few" weeks along.

It was so strange to me that suddenly, it was acceptable for anyone - friends/strangers/family/my grocery store clerk to comment on the size of my body, of all things, and not just a neutral comment, but on how large I was. This is still totally bizarre to me and I can't think of any other situation in life when people feel that it is ok to comment on how alarming your body size is, to your face, publicly.

After looking back and chatting with friends, I realize this is just kind of what comes with the territory of being pregnant. By some stroke of luck, I ended up with a fast metabolism and come from a thin framed family, which I realize is like winning the lottery for some women who would give anything for my jean size. I remember the feeling of being "too big" though, and the comments that came with it. During that time it was hard for me to remember the purpose of being so large: that my body was growing me a healthy baby. The shocking and off-handed comments were a glimpse into the shame-land that so many women live in daily, and a sad distraction from all the good my body was doing for me.

The appropriate response to someone who is Very Pregnant is this: "You look beautiful. Congratulations." Anything else is unhelpful at best and scarring at worst. Our words are powerful; let's make sure we choose them wisely.