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Fashion, Pregnancy

Maternity Capsule Wardrobe

January 27, 2017

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During Ainsley’s pregnancy I sincerely wish someone had sat me down and told me this piece of advice: When it comes to shopping for maternity clothes, buy high quality, classic pieces that you love and that make you feel great. Invest in a capsule wardrobe now and you won’t regret it.

You see, I got trapped into the idea that pregnancy is only nine months. Why spend money on clothes you will only wear for a short period of time, right? Wrong. If you hate what you wear during those nine months, if your clothes aren’t cut well and don’t make you feel and look good, it will feel like nine years. Truth.

If you plan to have more than one kiddo, I promise you won’t regret it. I didn’t do this and I sincerely wish I would have. I’m convinced that while some of the items listed below are pretty expensive, I would have actually spent less in the long term by really curating a capsule wardrobe for pregnancy. Since we hope to have one or two more kiddos down the line, I’m thinking of doing this for the remainder of this pregnancy in hopes that I’ll get plenty of use out of my clothes down the road.

When selecting the items listed below I picked quite a few pieces that were designed to be worn during and after pregnancy, hence the large number of Hatch pieces that I’ve suggested. I have a few friends who own clothing from them and they have said that their Hatch items have gotten wear long after baby has arrived, which I love!

I also avoided most tops with any obvious rouching on the sides, as that just screams “maternity!” and you will never wear those items after you have baby, even if you do have a bump after delivery.

Oh, and on the subject of seasonality, I tried to keep that in mind as well. By selecting slightly lighter weight dresses and tops you should be able to get wear out of them in any season. Pair your tops with an open cardigan or utility jacket in the winter and wear them alone in the warmer months. Chances are if you’re pregnant during the winter you will run a little warmer, anyway. The same holds true for dresses! You will, of course, need to invest in some seasonal items – a maternity winter coat, perhaps, or an extra maxi dress or swimsuit, but I tried to just cover the basics here.

TOPS 

1. Classic Striped Top :: Hatch The Bateau Striped Top 
2. Basic White Dress Shirt :: Hatch The Classic White
3. Chambray Shirt or Tunic :: Old Navy Maternity Chambray Pullover 
4. Tunic-Length Top (either sweater weight for winter or lighter weight for summer)
2. Well-Cut Basic Top :: Hatch The Everyday Top

JACKETS & CARDIGANS
1. Basic Layering Cardigan :: Liz Lange Maternity Open Layering Cardigan
2. Military/Cargo Jacket :: Gap Maternity Utility Jacket 

DRESSES
1. Dressy Day-To-Night Style :: Hatch The Tulip Dress 
2. Casual Everyday Style Dress :: Hatch The Shirt Dress or The Afternoon Dress

JEANS 
1. Skinny Jeans You Absolutely Love :: AG Stella Maternity Skinny Jeans

BASICS
1. Basic Layering Tanks in Black, White and Grey :: Liz Lange Maternity Tanks
2. Basic Maternity Leggings in Black and/or Grey :: Gap Maternity Pure Body Low Rise Leggings
3. Basic Layering T’s and Shirts :: Liz Lange Maternity V-Neck Tee or Long Sleeve Shirt

Family, Pregnancy

My Prenatal Supplement Routine // What + Why

January 25, 2017

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I posted a photo to Instagram the other day sharing the little handful of vitamins and supplements I take on the regular when I’m pregnant. This routine varies slightly from when I’m not pregnant, and I got a lot of questions about what and why I take each supplement. While I’m the first to say that I’m not an expert on the topic, I’ve done my fair share of research and feel this is a good, well-rounded fit for me while pregnant. As always, consult your doctor when debating any chances in supplements, especially while pregnant, as recommendations can vary from person to person!

1. Metanx/L-Methyl-B Tabs (generic)
I’ve talked a lot about the benefits of avoiding folic acid and choosing methylated folate a number of times on the blog. You can read some of my reasons for avoiding folic acid and MTHFR here. In short, after our second loss I found out that my body doesn’t process folic acid (a synthetic form of folate) because of something called MTHFR. During my pregnancy with Ainsley my doctor and I agreed that I could and perhaps should take Metanx, a prescription form of methylated folate and B-vitamins. I’m taking the generic this pregnancy because it’s quite a bit more affordable. For information on the generic, you can read more here.

2. Iron
During Ainsley’s pregnancy, when I was about 18 weeks pregnant, I starting getting the worst headaches. I’ve always been prone to the occasional headache, but these were entirely different. After doing some research, I found that it could be because of an iron deficiency. Your blood volume increases 30-50% during pregnancy, which can lead to low iron levels and even anemia. Since I don’t eat much, if any, red meat, I figured it could be contributing to my headaches so I started and iron supplement and boom! My headaches were gone shortly after. I started an iron supplement while trying to get pregnant this time around and haven’t stopped since. If you want more on symptoms of iron deficiency while pregnant, I found this article helpful.

3. Baby Aspirin
Please hear me out when I say that this isn’t a recommendation for everyone during pregnancy. Taking a daily baby aspirin during Ainsley’s pregnancy, and this pregnancy, is a decision that my doctor and I made together based on my history of miscarriage and I’ve continued to do in this pregnancy for the same reason. Taking baby aspirin isn’t recommended in a normal pregnancy with no history of other issues, so I would caution against doing so without your doctor’s advice. I talk a little more about why we decided to take baby aspirin in this post from the archives.

4. Magnesium
I’ve seen stats that somewhere between 65-90% of the American population is low in magnesium. Crazy, right? This is a new addition to my prenatal supplement routine during this pregnancy, and I’m so glad I decided to start taking it. Magnesium has been shown to help reduce constipation, ease muscle cramps/twitches and I swear that it’s helped me have more restful sleep this time around, something I really struggled with during Ainsley’s pregnancy.

5. Probiotic
I haven’t done enough research on particular probiotics to really recommend one over the other, so I will leave the particular brand I take out of this post. I started taking a probiotic last year because Ainsley and I had been SO sick all winter and after countless antibiotics and three rounds of the stomach flu, my gut was totally wrecked. I’ve been focusing this year on repairing my gut, which includes eating more fermented food and taking a probiotic. It seems to be working thus far!

6. Fish Oil
Taking the right, high-quality Omega-3 supplement can be really beneficial if you’re not getting enough sources from food, which I know that I don’t. We don’t have enough access to quality fish, and while we do get frozen wild salmon from Costco that we eat occasionally, our local grocery stores are lacking in the seafood selection so we eat less fish that I would like. I take OmegaBrite if you’re curious! Not the cheapest but worth every penny, in my opinion. Also, someone brought to my attention that their anesthesiologist said during their first pregnancy that they didn’t love when women take fish oil supplements, but the American Pregnancy Association gives it a thumbs up.

And that’s it! I’m sure that I will get questions about why I don’t take a prenatal. I’ve decided not to because I am getting a lot of my nutrients, including the very important folic acid, in the vitamins and supplements above. Additionally, I usually have a Vega Protein & Greens smoothie every day and eat a lot of fruits and veggies throughout the day so I felt that taking a prenatal at this point would be overkill. If you are looking for a quality prenatal, I would recommend Garden of Life Once Daily Prenatal or Seeking Health Optimal Prenatal, both of which I’ve used and really like/trust.

Madison

Family, Pregnancy

Baby Hofmeyer #2 is a….

January 9, 2017

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GIRL! We are shocked (both of us thought it was a boy) and really, really excited to welcome another little lady into our growing family. I get all teary eyed thinking about Ainsley having a sister to share so many wonderful memories with in the years to come. Although she doesn’t quite understand yet, I keep assuring her that this is the best news of her little life. She keeps running around the house saying, “Baby Margaret!” (all you Daniel Tiger watching moms will appreciate that…)

Since I’ve gone 22 weeks without much of a real pregnancy update, I thought it was high time I did a little mid-pregnancy update for those of you who are curious. I have looked back at my updates from Ainsley’s pregnancy a handful of times and always like comparing this pregnancy to her pregnancy. I really wish I had done more frequent updates this time around.

HOW FAR ALONG? 22 weeks 1 day

FEELING: Lots of kicks! I started feeling pretty consistent kicks around 20 weeks, with a few occasional kicks around 18 or 19 weeks. I really thought I would feel kicks sooner the second time around, but that wasn’t the case. These days little lady is moving all the time.

As for me, I’m feeling pretty good! I’ve been generally sicker this pregnancy than with Ainsley and I’m convinced I’m never really going to feel truly “great” this time around. While I can’t say I’m consistently nauseous these days, it still hits me from time to time and I still have a hard time finding foods that really sound good to eat.

Thanks to consistent workouts, I’m feeling more in shape this time around and more like myself than I think I did with Ainsley, but the pesky groin pain I experienced with my last pregnancy is beginning to bother me again. Regular trips to the chiropractor and lots of stretching will hopefully get me through the rest of this pregnancy relatively comfortably.

WEIGHT GAIN: I gained 10 pounds during the first trimester alone, but the weight gain really slowed down after that. As of 21 weeks, I was up 15 pounds.

CRAVING: Nothing, really! Food generally doesn’t sound good or bad to me right now, and my appetite has slowed down significantly from the first trimester. I still really love orange juice, specifically mixed with sparkling water, apple cider vinegar and stevia. I really can’t stand sugar this time around, and every time I eat something sugary it makes me feel ill, so I’ve been steering clear as much as possible.

DOING: Work on the nursery! Well, just starting to plan for the nursery, really, but the room is cleared out and we have moved Ainsley’s dresser into the baby’s room since Ainsley doesn’t need it anymore. We’ve ordered a crib and have a rug and that’s about it so far.

We’re also renovating the basement and moving my office in to the basement since this baby is taking over my former office, so I’ll have a new dedicated space to work downstairs, which I’m super excited about!

Madison

Pregnancy

Working Out While Pregnant // Second Trimester Edition

December 30, 2016

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*I am not a medical professional and this post should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before beginning any fitness program, especially during pregnancy. 

Hello! It’s me again. I feel like I’ve gone into a sort of blog hiatus of sorts, with my website crashing right before Thanksgiving, taking it out of commission for two weeks, and then the holidays and getting sick right after Christmas. Well, needless to say that I’m looking forward to a fresh start in January. Anyone else?

The other day I was looking back at my pregnancy updates from when I was pregnant with Ainsley, and I’m embarrassed that I haven’t done any pregnancy updates with this baby. Things are still going well, and we have our big ultrasound next week Tuesday. We are not planning on finding out the gender this time around – we’ll see if we stick to our plan when we are actually at the appointment.

I’ve gotten quite a few questions this pregnancy about workouts and what I’ve been doing to stay active. Since it’s been a while since I last updated about pregnancy fitness, I thought I would clue you in to what’s been going on over here.

FIRST TRIMESTER

As most of you know, I took a very conservative approach to working out with Ainsley’s pregnancy. I mainly walked a lot on the treadmill and did very light weights. While my weight gain was right in the middle of the recommended average, I didn’t feel great during her pregnancy. I had a lot of groin pain through most of the pregnancy and generally didn’t feel like myself because I wasn’t sweating and working out like usual.

This time around I battled a lot of the same fears during the first trimester. I was probably in the best shape of my life before getting pregnant this time and working out quite vigorously most days, so I certainly scaled back my workouts to accommodate both the nausea and the delicate nature of the first trimester. That said, I didn’t let exercise take a back-burner. I stuck to a lot of my favorite Beachbody workouts online, doing modifiers as necessary, as well as long walks, occasional jogs and plenty of pilates.

SECOND TRIMESTER 

Once the second trimester hit, I felt more peace about working out. Something about knowing that I had made it through the first 12 weeks really gave me the confidence to boost the intensity of my workouts a bit while also being mindful of the fact that I’m pregnant.

I’ve continued to work out most days of the week, reminding myself that it’s only going to get harder as I get larger if I don’t work out now. It also helps me to think about pregnancy as a time to prepare my body for child birth to the best of my ability. Child birth is taxing physically, as is recovery, so thinking about training my body for what is to come has helped put exercise into proper perspective and encouraged me to keep up the hard work.

My favorite workouts right now are mainly Beachbody workouts. I use the Beachbody On Demand online through my sister-in-law, Amber, and have some purchased programs as well.

My Favorites
21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme // I do these videos the most frequently. I really love that they are a nice mix of challenging while also providing modifiers as necessary. I’m modifying now to avoid lying on my back and modifying some of the abdominal exercises, but otherwise I find them to be pretty pregnancy-friendly.

Core De Force // Also on Beachbody, I was hesitant to try this series of videos because I thought it would be too challenging for pregnancy, but they’ve been a fun addition to my workouts and I hardly feel like I’m working out at all!

22 Minute Hard Corps // I’ve loved these short and sweet workouts for quite a while and find that they are almost all still very friendly for pregnancy with few modifications needed. Plus, they are only 22 minutes!

Other Workouts
Crossfit // I’ve just started to go again on the weekends with Joe and am happy to be back. I find that I need to do a LOT of modifications to make the workouts pregnancy friendly, but Joe is patient and everyone is really supportive so that helps. Plus, it’s always a great workout.

Walking // Since the weather has been cold I haven’t done nearly as much walking as before, but when it’s nice I find it’s great exercise and always feels good on my body.

Pilates, Yoga, Stretching // Usually I just find a good video online. It feels good to stay flexible and put plenty of focus on mobility while pregnant.

What’s Off The Table?
Running // As much as I would love for running to work for me while pregnant, it just doesn’t. I have tried a couple times and it just doesn’t sit well with my pregnant body. Thanks to regular chiropractic care, the groin pain I experienced with Ainsley is almost non-existent this time around, but running seems to trigger it for days afterward. I’m totally okay with leaving running off the table for now and resuming once I am cleared to exercise after baby arrives.

So there you have it! I think more than anything, staying active has really helped me to continue to feel like “me” when so many things about me are changing. It’s always challenging to see your body change in such major ways during pregnancy but knowing that I’m doing my part to stay fit and active puts my mind in the right place to handle all the changes coming my way.

Madison

Pregnancy

Oh, baby!

October 18, 2016

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Because I know not all of you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, I should start by saying that yesterday we made it internet official and announced that we are cautiously, hopefully anticipating the arrival of another little one in May.

It’s been an incredibly fearful first trimester, complete will tearful calls to the doctor, late night worrying and lots and lots of prayers. Maybe pleading would be a better way to describe my prayers? Lord, please deal kindly with us. Please have it be your will that we could welcome this little life into our family here on earth. Thank you for the gift of this pregnancy. Please forgive me for my fears, doubts and lack of trust.

There really are no words to truly explain how difficult this has been, yet how thankful and hopeful I feel. Pregnancy after a miscarriage is a uniquely fear-inducing experience, when you have no idea how your little one is doing in there, yet your heart is planning and preparing with every day that goes by.

Someone asked me after I announced if I would be able to share some of my tips for surviving the first trimester after experiencing pregnancy loss. Oh, dear friend, I wish I could share words of wisdom, but if you had been a fly on the wall of our house the last 10 weeks then you would know that I have no answers. I’ve been right there with you, scared and fearful and hoping for the best.

I recently learned during our most recent appointment that I’ll be treated like a normal OB patient. Nothing about me or my pregnancies seems normal to me, but I’m digesting what it will look like to go through a pregnancy without a thousand ultrasounds to reassure me every step of the way. To have everything look good enough to be considered normal is, of course, a blessing, but I have to admit that I do miss the added reassurance of seeing that little baby every couple of weeks like we did with Ainsley.

Since I know you’re a praying group, I’ll continue to ask for prayers of support and encouragement as we walk this road. Your prayers for the continued health and development of this baby would be so greatly appreciated.

Madison

A few other, lighter, questions that I’ve answered below:

How are you feeling?
Horrible! Or, I should say, typical. I’ve been sicker than I was with Ainsley, which is a little bit reassuring. I’ve been avoiding foods like coffee but haven’t had any really strong aversions other than sweet food almost always sounds horrible and I can’t stomach the idea of my daily smoothie that I used to love. I’ll eat anything slathered in salsa and sour cream and I’m still happy to eat vegetables, which is very welcome this time around!

How far along are you?
10 1/2 weeks

When are you due?
May 14th

Gender predictions?
None! And we don’t intend to find out this time around. 🙂

Maternity clothes?
Not yet! Although I’m counting it a miracle every day my non-maternity jeans still button. I have a feeling my days are limited.

Exercise?
I’ve been exercising, following the 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme videos this trimester. I’ve still felt good enough to get in a workout most days, and I’ve also been getting lots of long walks in with Ainsley and Joe. Because of my fears during the first trimester, I’ve been choosing to stick with low impact workouts, doing some modifiers on the videos and completely giving up running and my weekend Cross Fit with Joe. I’ve missed really strenuous workouts and sweat sessions, but I’m happy to do it for this baby!