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    Fashion

    Maternity Fashion Tips: Saving Money by Turning Everyday Fashion into Maternity Fashion

    One thing I’ve learned working in the fashion retail industry while being pregnant is how to be fashion savvy without having to sacrifice comfort or money on maternity clothes that you will only wear a couple of months. Here are six everyday fashion must haves every woman needs to have in their closet that will help them get through their pregnancy without investing in maternity wear.

    1. Thanksgiving Jeans – Invest in jeans a size too big that you can grow into, whether you want to be comfortable having a real baby or a food baby. When I found out I was pregnant I bought a pair of light and dark low rise Daytrip skinny from Buckle, and a pair of Flying Monkey Boyfriend Jeans. They were less than $60 and I wore them through my whole pregnancy and are still some of my favorite comfy jeans to lounge around or run errands in post pregnancy. Another great tip to grow in your jeans through your pregnancy is using the hair tie jeans trick to hold them up.

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    2. Casual Pants – versatile, fun, comfy, and fashionable. There are so many styles out there you can dress it up or dress it down for whatever occasion. In the picture below I was a little daring at 17 weeks showing off my bump in a crop top and aztec printed pants from the Buckle.

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    3. Flowy tops – Invest in tops that are longer and non form fitting. Not only can you grow in these tops, but they are great to pair up with skinny jeans or leggings as well, which brings us to our next must have.

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    4. Leggings – Every girl has leggings, and now they come in all different prints and patterns you can really have fun with them.  Casual or dressy they will become your best friend in your last trimester. Below are black leggings I bought at Victoria Secret to wear to the gym before I was pregnant. They actually looked really cute dressed up with my flowy BKE Red top and Just Fab boots.

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    5. Dresses – They are the best when showing off that baby bump. They were also great in hiding my swollen cankles during my last few weeks of my pregnancy when the only shoes my big swollen feet could fit in were slippers and flip flops.

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    6. Extra Long tank tops – Last but not least extra long tank tops. They are the best layering piece under all those shirts that maybe too little but you are still determined to wear so you can show off your bump. By my third trimester I refused to buy any new clothes. I had only a couple weeks left and I was going to make my tops fit, hence my awesome fashion statement below. Like I said there’s nothing extra long tank tops can’t help. 😉

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    So remember ladies, save your money, and invest in fashion pieces that you can wear before, during, and after your pregnancy. With these 6 key pieces in your wardrobe, you may never have to spend a dime on maternity clothes.

    <3 Dawn

    Family

    Jayden’s Birth Story

    Jayden's Birth Story

    One hundred jumping jacks and seventeen hours of labor later, on January, 19, 2015 at 6:08pm my son made his debut into this world. I had been planning and anticipating for this day to come, and though it didn’t go as I had planned or be what I expected, it was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

    It was early Sunday morning when I noticed my mucus plug had been released. At that point I was 40 weeks and 3 days over due and any kind of progress was happy news to my ears. I had been waiting for what it seemed like forever for the arrival of our baby. My patience had grown thin and I was growing more and more hopeless that this baby would never arrive.

    Later that day I decided to go for a walk with my sister around the mall to get things moving, and when we got home I took a recommendation from a friend and added a hundred jumping jacks. It wasn’t until 1 am in the morning did I start having contractions along with a bloody show to compliment it. It started 10 minute apart like mild cramping, but by 6am they were 6 minutes apart and getting progressively worse and more painful. I remember the only relief I had through my contractions was petting my cat Sasha and counting down the minute. When my contractions reached 5 minutes apart my husband and I decided to go to the hospital.

    When we reached the hospital we received promising news we would be meeting our son before dinner time that day if not sooner. I was still able to walk through my labor but after being up all night I was beginning to tire and between contractions I would nod off because I was so tired. At 8am I was only 3cm dilated our doctor came in and gave me an option to break my water to speed up the process. I hastily agreed to the procedure. Even though I had wanted a natural birth, seven hours of labor had tested my patience and I was ready to get this baby out.

    If there was one thing I wish I had done different it would have been that decision right there. No sooner after they broke my water my labor pains intensified a hundred times worse. I was 4 minutes between contractions with a minute long contraction. By 10am, after 2 hours of labor with my water broken I was ready to either kill everyone in the room, or pull my hair out. I knew at the time I couldn’t go any longer without an epidural. I still wanted my husband alive, and I still wanted to have hair by the end of this so I finally gave in. I remember that moment that epidural was put inside me, I felt like I was in heaven. Within minutes I passed out, and the last thing I remember was me thanking the anesthesiologist and telling him he was an angel.

    Five hours later I woke up, refreshed with the biggest smile on my face. Both me and my husband had taken a little nap and we both felt rested after a long night of laboring. Shortly after I woke up the nurse checked me and gave me good news that I was 9cm dilated and almost ready to push. There was a tiny upper lip of the cervix that was still left that we had to push through before we started the final birth pushing. I remember my legs were numb and not feeling any pain down there. It was the best feeling in the world, but it made it harder for me to push because I couldn’t feel myself pushing. I remember just imagining myself pooping when I was pushing and just hoping I was doing it right.

    Finally after getting through the little bit of cervix I had left, it was time to do my final pushing. My husband was doing such a great job coaching and helping me through the process. He kept the mood light in the room with his jokes. My doctor brought the mirror out so I could see myself push. It helped me out so much to see my progression when I push. I remember the moment I saw his hair and his head peaking through it gave me such an adrenaline rush. When the nurse asked me if I had one push left I remember screaming, “I have two!” That final push when his head came out and the doctor pulled the rest of his body out was probably one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I was in disbelief. I just couldn’t believe I had carried such a precious human being.

    My husband was able to cut his umbilical cord and be there for the cleaning. I remember the moment they put him in my arms I was over joyed. He was more than I could have ever imagined. After the delivery I only had a minor tear and some stitches. The recovery process went very well with little complications. I did have a slight fever through the delivery so my baby and I had to be on a 48 hr watch just to make sure everything was ok. Overall I was very pleased with how everything went. I couldn’t have asked for a better hospital, nurse, doctor, and support staff. I commend those who’ve had natural births and hope one day I will be able to do the same. My first was a great learning experience, and I’m so glad I get to share it with ya’ll.

    ? Dawn

    Jayden's Birth Story Jayden's Birth Story

     

    Family

    40 weeks and 2 days later….

    As I walked to the checkout line, waiting to make my purchase, I stared enviously at the lady ahead of me with her cute baby boy in tow. I was 40 weeks past due and walking and shopping was one of my favorite things to do to pass the time. I was ready for my baby to come into this world, and as a first time mom, patience was not on my side. I never felt so envious like this before. At first I was excited and appreciative of all the new moms out there with their babies, knowing I would soon be one of them. But now wherever I looked, in the grocery store, at the mall, on Facebook, Instagram, all I saw was what I was missing out on. I know statistically 40% of first time mothers deliver after their expected due date. But like most first time moms, we all secretly hope to be in the other 60% who have their babies earlier or on time.

    Earlier this week I had embarked on an experiment of 10 days and 10 ways of naturally inducing labor. I tried everything:
    1. squating
    2. eating pineapples
    3. drinking raspberry tea
    4. walking
    5. Eating spicy foods
    6. Dancing
    7. Bouncing on an exercise ball
    8. Massage
    9. Stairs
    10. Sex
    I was hopeful I would be one of those success stories you read on pregnancy websites where it worked for them, but yet no baby for me.

    It’s hard not to compare yourself to others, even though you know no two pregnancies are alike. I had to accept that the most natural thing in the world, and one of the biggest gifts God could give you has no due date. He will come when he is ready, not when you are ready. It’s a lesson that not only you will have to learn and accept now but in the future in all stage of your child’s life. We can only do our best and give our best as parents, but ultimately he will be who he wants to be in his on time and in his own ways. It’s funny how even at the earliest stages of conception, God has already given us lessons and insights on the future of the gift that we shall receive.

    So as I sit here patiently waiting, tired, anxious, with mix feelings, I am one thing above all and that is grateful. Because if there’s one thing I can 100% bet on is that we can’t be pregnant forever! And whether it be a day or a week from now, I will wait for this blessing to arrive, because in the end I know he will be worth every minute.

    <3 Dawn P. Darnell

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