Sunday, March 25, 2018

Athleisure Weekend Look!

Hello from 38 + weeks preggo! How is that possible?! Where did the last 8.5 months go?!  Yesterday was the first day of my spring break, and Mike and I have been completing all the tasks we should have probably done months ago-- lol! But, it's good to check things off our lists. I am getting more and more mobile with every day thanks to my incredible chiropractor, Dr. Hart. I did laundry yesterday for the first time in about 4 weeks (Mike has done it all while I have been having trouble with the stairs, since our washer and dryer is in the basement). I *might* be nesting, as I found it totally necessary to wash all the blankets in our house and all the covers of the pillows on the couch. HA!! 

I wanted to talk about this go-to outfit I have been wearing on weekends since feeling better. (When I was in so much pain/immobile, I just stayed in my jammies all day. It feels good to get into some more normal, albeit athleisure, clothes again). This outfit was from last weekend when I made it out for the first time in 3 weeks (!) for something other than the OB, chiro or work. I went to lunch with my two girlfriends, Becky and Olivia, at Moveable Feast. IDK if you've been, but OMG, you must go!!!!! The food is incredible. I usually get their quesadillas and some sort of salad (current fave is the brussels/grapefruit/pomegranate). Then, I end it with their HOMEMADE OREO!!!!  You guys, it is lifechanging. FOR REAL. 

The best part of vests while preggo is that they don't have to zip! So, I can still wear non-maternity puffers with ease! Fun puffers of the moment:

Obsessed with the New Balance tennies. The comfort level is insane! I sized up to an 8.5 from my usual 8 in these rose gold/navy ones from J. Crew. The new colors of the New Balance 520 and 574 versions are adorable! 

Also, I died over these New Balance Glitter Punk shoes:

And, in case you have an extra $300 lying around, these Swarovski-encrusted New Balance tennies are the stuff of dreams!!! 

Real talk: I have gained 40 lbs+ in my pregnancy, and they have fit from the beginning until now. I literally just wore these to the chiropractor Friday at 38 weeks. Haha! 

I sized up to a 6 while I was pregnant because the Aligns do tend to run slightly big. I got a 4 before pregnancy, and they were just fine. They are super high-waisted, and they stay up over the bump. 

I can't explain to you how comfortable and SOFT they are!! You need a pair in your life, NOW.  I like the ankle length ones, but I also have the capris (21 inches). The full length ones (28 inches) are great if you're taller or like to wear them under your heels at Pure Barre, pilates or yoga. I am wearing the ankle (25 inches) length, and this is how they fit if you're about 5'6 like me. 

So, after my three weeks of harrowing pain, I got this in the mail from my mom. It's the most gorgeous color in real life! She has the same one! What a cute note, right??? It made me so happy! I haven't stopped wearing it since. More in this size just came out. Here are my faves:

Feeling sad that I won't be in Florida this spring break (for the first time, literally, in 8 years), but for the best reason ever!! I wonder if baby boy will wait until April 6 to make his debut? My coworkers think it will happen over break... we shall see!!!! 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Pop of Color Blazer (non-maternity) + a 37 week Bumpdate!

Ahhhh!! Finally starting the post on a happier note! I can walk again! Without crutches and without the excruciating pain I had been experiencing for over two weeks. The sciatica is under control, and I couldn't be more grateful to God and the best chiropractor ever (shout out to Hart Chiropractics in Geneva-- omg, Dr. Hart has literally saved my life and made me be able to walk again).  My friends and family have been so amazing about checking in and bringing over treats to lift my spirit. I am so grateful.

Last I had written, two Saturdays ago, I had tried physical therapy for my debilitating sciatica. After the 2nd session, the physical therapist canceled the rest of our sessions and said there was nothing she could do because it was in my bones not my muscles. I left the PT bawling-- how could I make it through 4 more weeks of that pain? I couldn't walk, couldn't turn over in bed, couldn't get dressed, couldn't go up stairs, without Mike's help. Every step I took while teaching caused me to wince.

I tried a pregnancy belt (to lift baby up and to have my back stop swaying and crushing my sciatic nerve), I tried sitting on a tennis ball, I tried rolling it out with a roller, and I tried a pre-natal swimming class to get him to move (which ended up with me in tears because I couldn't find an elevator in the fitness building. What a mess!).  Then I got into a chiropractor. For a week, he tried everything. Without an MRI or x-ray, there's a lot of detective work that goes into figuring out low back/sciatic pain. I got a pre-natal massage (ended up having to stop because I got so light-headed/nauseous/dizzy) to try to work through the pain. Dr. Hart also taped me with Kinesio tape this week, which I think has helped, too! Something finally clicked on Wednesday this week. I finally could walk a little better, and I didn't need my crutches to get from my car into school. Things have improved little by little each day! I keep icing and stretching!

I am definitely not back to normal, but you guys, I truly was in such a bad place for two weeks with this pain. I have never felt pain like this in my entire 31 years of living. I do not wish this upon anyone! It was to the point where my OB was talking about bed rest if the issue didn't improve by Friday (yesterday), I had spoken to HR at work about beginning my maternity leave early, and I had been researching short term disability. It was so devastating.

The good news through this all was the baby was still moving and grooving just fine! He was not affected by my pain at all-- thank God!  Mike was (and continues to be) a saint. He helped me dress, shower, walk from the bed to the bathroom, get up our stairs, get in and out of the car, etc. He cooked and cleaned and took care of the dogs non-stop for all this time. I literally do not know what I would've done without him.

On Tuesday this week, I had a little fall after my chiro appointment. I sit on an exercise ball to help the pain, and when I went to get a refill of my cereal (lol), the ball rolled away, and I had no idea. I sat back down-- hard-- and fell on my back/butt.  I was home alone because it was just before 5 pm, and I called my OB. She wanted me to go to the hospital at Delnor (where I'm delivering) to labor/delivery just to be sure my water didn't break/to monitor the baby.

I drove myself over to the hospital (lol, I don't know why I didn't call any of my friends?! Wasn't thinking straight), and got checked in. They were all soooo kind. I couldn't even get my birth date or last name out of my mouth without bawling (I was so scared I had hurt the babe), but everyone was kind as could be.  They hooked me up to the fetal heart rate monitor, and baby boy was healthy as ever. Mike arrived shortly after, and they did an ultrasound to check the placenta (still totally fine), and they tested to be sure my water didn't break. It hadn't! Thank God all around. They wanted to keep me there 4 hours to monitor, so we did that.

Overall, everything is turning out okay. Just knowing our baby is healthy is getting me through. Also, knowing he is coming within the next 3 weeks is a gift from God. I can't wait to just hold him. He will be so resilient after all he has been through, too!

Now, to the fun stuff! The pop of color blazers that you need in your closet right now! I apologize for the mirror selfies-- these final weeks of pregnancy make it a lot harder to stay in normal clothes past getting home at 4 pm every day. It's always a good day when I'm in jammies by 4 pm. LOL

This blazer was purchased about 4 years ago from Nordstroms, but they have since released new colors! I love blazers in pregnancy, as I can still wear them open with a maternity tank underneath. This was perfect for a dress-down St. Patty's Day themed Friday.

This Missguided green blazer is under $60 and the same color/style as mine! 

My shoes are my go-to sparkly Tory Burch flats. They're still soooo comfortable, even 37+ weeks preggo! Also, these were purchased in 2012 (I know this because I was still living in Chicago! lol). 

My go-to gold monogram necklace: Moon and Lola. I have the gold script one (size medium), and then I have an acrylic one (also medium) that I love just as much. I also have the mirrored one (with my new monogram!), in a size large. Obsessed with Moon and Lola! 

My earrings are super old Stella and Dot (probably circa 2010, as I was still living in the city haha!). But here are some equally fab ones!

More blazers I am drooling over right now:

my all-time favorite of the moment: this. Peplum!!!! Currently 40% off! Down to $70.

I hope you are all having a great St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Gilded Dress-- Maternity and Non-Maternity Options!

It seems like every week I go to write a blog post, I have an ailment to share! haha! Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer! This week it has been debilitating sciatica pain. Shooting pains down my leg :( which is apparently quite common in the later months of pregnancy. I am 35 weeks pregnant today, and I just got home from the physical therapist. I have some exercises and stretches to try, but she basically said to stay off my feet as much as possible this weekend. Ah. It has been a very hard week! Teaching is not conducive to being seated :( but, it could be so much worse. I could have pain like this chronically, or it could be something worse affecting the baby, so I really need to just be grateful it's not like that. Any other readers experience the excruciating pain of sciatica? I feel for you! On a lighter note, though, I have a fun gilded dress to share from last weekend (pre-pain), and I will link non-maternity options, too! Let's get to the happier side of Belle On Trend: the clothes! 

These pics were taken right before we went to our favorite (chain) restaurant-- Cooper's Hawk
Have you been? The Mexican drunken shrimp and southwest egg rolls are the BEST apps ever! We ate sooooo much last weekend. I was starving-- haha! We had two pretzel breads, too, hahaha. I think the waiter was like, "this girl loves food". I hope he realized I was preggo and not just a hungry, hungry hippo. 

I got the gnocchi carbonara. To die for. Then we split the Reese skillet cookie. Amazeeeee! I have never had a bad meal there. You might remember my sister and mom hosted my baby shower there a couple weekends ago. We are wine club members, so we racked up a lot of points from the shower. We like to go about 1x a month for tastings and picking up our 2 bottles a month. Of course that has slowed down since July, but Mike can still imbibe with a free DD-- haha! 

My watch: 

My earrings are old, but similar options here:

The dress: 
only $37!  I am in a medium, for reference. 

Pink Blush always has sitewide sales! When I got this dress, everything was 30% off. I originally ordered it for my friend Olivia's "goodbye to my roaring 20s" birthday party, but it didn't arrive in time. If you need something in a hurry, I would spend the $5 for the expedited shipping. 

Bella wanted to be involved in the shoot! haha! 

My Toms booties:

My red lip:

More gilded dresses-- non-maternity! 

I wanted to thank everyone so much for the kind words about my last blog post.  I was so nervous to share the hardships of our journey with the "blog-o-sphere", but I am so grateful I did. So many friends from high school and college came forward to share their similar struggles or thank me for being open and honest. I do think it helps to know that other people have had trying times throughout pregnancy. Just know: you aren't alone if your pregnancy hasn't been as beautiful/effortless as the Bump's Instagram page, haha!!