I always thought by my third kid I’d have this pregnancy thing down. I’d already have all the clothing, my body would know what it was doing, and I would be used to the sickness/exhaustion/hormones too. But that so isn’t the case! I don’t know if I’ve been hit with the “wild card” third pregnancy that so many women talk about, or I have just forgotten what it’s like since there are 3 years between this pregnancy and my daughter. Either way, to say that this pregnancy has kicked my butt would be an understatement. It also hasn’t been that frugal…
The morning sickness was much worse, and lasted longer than previous pregnancies. We saved money on food since I wasn’t eating much, but had the extra cost of ginger pills to ease the nausea.
My iron has been super low, which I never dealt with before, so I’ve been even more tired. Plus this lowers my immune system, so when I haven’t been throwing up, I am trying to clear my sinuses. We have now spent a small fortune on different types of iron supplements, but that’s an extra cost we are willing to take. And along with the bulk packs of tissues, being tired and sick has led to more convenient/prepared meals and takeout, which gets expensive.
Life is busier with two other kids too, and I’m finding it hard to keep up! Thank goodness for our giant calendar on the fridge, and understanding friends and family when I completely forget about something. But this also means that sometimes I am picking up a gift, or planning a special meal at the last-minute, and not always getting the best deals on the required items.
Now that I am 6.5 months along, things are settling down with the morning sickness, finally, and my energy is starting to come back thanks to a new liquid iron supplement. The sunshine and warmer weather are helping too, with just generally feeling better and being happier. But feeling better also means I’m eating more, lots more, so our grocery bill is higher than normal, but that’s to be expected when pregnant. Thankfully the warmer weather means we are able to walk to school more, saving a bit of money on gas for the van, since during the winter we drove nearly every day.
Another change is how I have been dressing. I didn’t buy many maternity clothes the first time around; I worked in an office so my mom made me a few skirts, and empire waist tops were trendy so I kept wearing them; I only ever bought 2 or 3 actual maternity tops. With #2, I was a stay at home mom who didn’t go out much, so I lived in yoga pants and leggings. I picked up a few new tops, and one actual pair of maternity pants, and stuck to skirts and dresses once I was nearing the end and it was summer time. This time around, I have already acquired 3 new pairs of maternity pants (all bought on sale at great prices), and a couple tops too. I feel like I care about how I look now more than ever before, and I love putting cute outfits together even if it’s just to drop my son at school and run errands. Of course there are days when it’s nothing more than yoga pants and a tee, but most days I make an effort, and I love getting dressed up for Mass each Sunday too! So I thought I would share some of my favourite outfits so far and some tips on how to keep a stylish bump on a budget. If you want to follow along a little more, you can follow me on Instagram (I keep my account private, but don’t let that stop you from requesting to follow me). Thanks to a new iPhone and Instagram, I have been taking loads of pictures this pregnancy:
Tip #1 - Wear your regular clothes as long as possible. Keep comfort in mind, and don’t stretch things out to the point you ruin them, but wearing your favourite pieces can help improve your mood when you are feeling awful those first few months. Leggings and sweater dresses and comfy tops are great options, but your regular pants can fit too by wearing a Bella Band with your pants (a comfy cotton band that allows you to leave your pants unbuttoned and unzipped, without falling down!) Also going up a size in regular clothes might help, since you’ll probably gain weight in your butt/hips/thighs before your bump shows, and you will wear those postpartum too.
Tip #2 – Mix and match your maternity clothes with none maternity clothes. When you do buy maternity pants, buy basics that you know you can wear to all different occasions, and ones that will work with tops you already have. Yes, those olive green skinnies are kinda trendy, but I wear them nearly everyday, and I dress them up for Mass, or dress them down for running errands. Plus, I got them on sale from a great maternity store for only $35! All the tops pictured above were bought on sale from regular stores (Walmart, Old Navy, and H&M), mixing and matching with basic cardigans I’ve had for years. You don’t have to jump in to the maternity clothes full force and never turn back to regular clothes.
Tip #3 – Jersey is your new best friend. Two words: cotton jersey. It’s basically the best fabric ever! Super comfy, super soft, and so very forgiving when pregnant. The above outfits have a navy non maternity skirt that is cotton jersey (from Reitmans), and a light blue non maternity cotton jersey top (from RW & Co). Stretchy and they wash well, and any piece that is that soft will become a favourite in your wardrobe. Stretch in general is important when looking for comfy clothes, and I have found that a few maternity tops I have bought in the past didn’t stretch enough, only allowing me to wear them for a short time. The stretchier the fabric, the longer into your pregnancy you can wear it.
Tip #4 - Accessorize! Thankfully, accessories aren’t maternity wear, and can be worn before, during and after being pregnant. Scarfs, cardigans, necklaces are all great options for pulling an outfit together anytime, but can make you feel extra special on a pregnant day when maybe you aren’t feeling the most beautiful. And get colourful and patterned accessories! Putting on a basic pair of pants and a plain tee might seem sloppy and boring until you add a printed scarf or cardigan, or a bold necklace. And they don’t have to cost you a ton either, so many stores offer great pieces in the $10 or less range!
Now that the weather is finally warming up, I can’t wait to add cute blazers and jackets to my outfits, instead of winter coats. And lots more skirts and dresses (so happy maxi skirts are still kinda trendy), since those are super comfy when pregnant! I also love how many affordable options there are out there when it comes to maternity clothing now, but do watch the quality. That item that is on sale or from a cheaper store might seem like a great buy, but if you can’t wear it your entire pregnancy, or it looks ragged after several washes and you won’t wear it in another pregnancy, it wasn’t a good deal. I’m personally not a fan of investment pieces when it comes to maternity clothes, though I do know many women who use that to justify those $200 maternity jeans. The cut of those jeans might not be in style when you are pregnant again, so don’t get too caught up in that idea. Try to find the balance between quality and price. It can be done ladies! Even with 3 new pairs of pants, and a few tops too, the total is only a little more than $100! Pretty good, considering you can easily spend that on 1 single item.