Finding Maternity Clothes I Actually Want to Wear

Finding Maternity Clothes I Actually Want to Wear!  | RaisingArrows.net - it has gotten so hard to find decent maternity clothes - here are a few suggestions of where to look!I’ve been pregnant a few times.  13 to be exact.  I’m currently working on my 9th full term baby, so to say my maternity clothes are worn out would be an understatement.
Early on in this pregnancy, I went through my Maternity Tub and realized a lot of my clothes just weren’t worth keeping anymore.  I got rid of a lot (except for that pair of denim capris with the embellished edges that are literally falling apart, but I just can’t bring myself to admit it…).

However, getting rid of a lot means you have to look for replacements.  I quickly found out that was no small feat.

I tried the local thrift store first.  I’ll be honest…I blew in there on a whim right before I was due to hop a plane to Nashville.  I had 30 minutes to spare and basically grabbed things off the rack that “looked” like they would fit, bought them without trying them on, and headed out the door, stashing them in the back of the van until I got home from my trip.  That, my friends is NOT the way to shop.  However, I made a return trip to the thrift store a few weeks later and let’s just say that trying things on did not net me a thing to wear, but it did spare me the financial setback.

#MaternityClothesFailNumber1

Next, I tried an online second hand shop.  Everything I ordered had to be returned.

#MaternityClothesFailNumber2

I briefly looked at a shop in the local mall.  “Briefly” being the operative word.  It was readily apparent NOTHING there was going to be my taste or my fit.  I’m just not that into tight and low cut, and I really don’t need any help accentuating my baby belly, thank you very much.

#MaternityClothesFailNumber3

But, all hope was not lost!  I did end up finding Maternity Clothes Success!  I managed to snag some great deals on some great clothes that actually fit and that I actually WANT to wear!  While I know we all have different tastes and requirements and budgets, I wanted to pass along the places I found and things I purchased that have been worth the search.

Finding Maternity Clothes I Actually Want to Wear!  Ideas for where to shoot + a coupon code to one of my favorites! | RaisingArrows.net

Finding Maternity Clothes That are Budget Friendly and Modest

1.  Take care of the maternity clothes you have.  I don’t want to go on without saying this, mainly because I am the worst about this!  Wear an apron.  Wash the clothes correctly.  Use stain remover.  Don’t dry them until you have the stains out.  Store them properly.  Be nice to your maternity clothes and they will last you a lot longer.  (Amy, I’m talking to you.)

2.  Buy quality when you can.  I’m going to share with you a couple of ways to do this.  (don’t miss the coupon!)  First of all, you can save up and buy a staple item (I’m talking pants, jeans, or skirts) that will hold up well and go with a myriad of outfits.  For me, this has been Style J maternity skirts and the Rainbow Maternity skirt from Deborah & Co.

Finding Maternity Clothes I Actually Want to Wear - Rainbow Maternity Skirt (with discount coupon!) | RaisingArrows.net

Use Coupon Code:

RA10OFF

for 10% off your Deborah & Co. Order through September 30!

Secondly, you can look for good brand name maternity clothes at online second hand shops like ThredUP.  I will admit, I was scared of ThredUP.  First of all, I had no idea how it worked, and secondly, it seemed about as risky as me walking into the thrift store and pulling things off the rack without trying them on.  And remember, my last online second-hand shopping excursion had me sending everything back.  But, I learned a few things that helped make the experience a very good one!  (The shirt at the top of this post was one of my purchases!)

*Read the Material section.  Thankfully, ThredUP gives the fabric makeup of each garment.  If it says Spandex, I run the other way.  That basically means it will hug every curve of my body.  And yes, even 2% Spandex will do that.  Really think through what kinds of fabrics you like, and don’t buy something you hate thinking it will be ok.

*Look for well known brands and/or brands of maternity clothes you own and love.  Pay attention to what is in your closet and go on a hunt for those brands.  Also, look for well known (and expensive) brands that you may not have tried in the past.  These tend to be of better quality and will last you a lot longer.  Getting them at a fraction of the cost is a blast!

*Use the brand’s website to check sizes.  ThredUP will give you a size, but if you aren’t sure if that is your size in that particular brand, check it against what the original website says.

Free shipping on all orders over $50 (before tax or discount).

3.  Use layering to “fix” any fit issues.  This is the first pregnancy I feel I’ve finally gotten the hang of layering.  It has become my new best friend!  I think you’ll agree…

Favorite Layering Technique #1:

Tank HalfTees

Finding Maternity Clothes I Actually Want to Wear - Use Layering with HalfTees (coupon code included) | RaisingArrows.net

I bought my first Tank HalfTee from Deborah & Co. to use for nursing my last little one because Caroline (the owner of Deborah & Co.) told me how wonderful they were.  They were great, but it was during this pregnancy that I really fell in love with them!

14 weeks with Baby #9

See the white peeking out from the top of this shirt?  That’s a HalfTee.  That shirt is WAY too low cut without the tank.  This happens a lot to me because I have to buy XLarge maternity tops to accommodate my diastasis recti pregnant belly.  Using a HalfTee to layer makes any low cut maternity shirt you might own or buy plenty modest.

And I just found out Caroline has stocked BROWN HalfTees!  I’m going to be using my own coupon code to buy more of these!

Here’s that code again:

RA10OFF

for 10% off your Deborah & Co. Order through September 30!

Favorite Layering Technique #2:

Undercover Mama Nursing Tanks

Finding Maternity Clothes I Actually Want to Wear - Undercover Mama Nursing Tanks to use as layering (+ coupon code) | RaisingArrows.net

Yes, you read that right – nursing tanks.  Here’s the thing – Undercover Mama tanks are LONG.  While this drives some people crazy, I like it!  It means PLENTY of coverage for my expanding belly.  It also means a shirt that is maybe a bit see-through becomes perfectly acceptable when paired with a tank.  Yes, you can buy maternity tanks, but why not go ahead and get a tank that will carry you through after baby is born.  I also pair mine with a HalfTee when I have a shirt that is both see-through AND too low cut.  (You can purchase Undercover Mama tanks from Deborah & Co. using that same coupon code!)

Favorite Layering Technique #3:

Belly Bands

Finding Maternity Clothes I Actually Want to Wear - Belly Bands for layering | RaisingArrows.net

 I never have liked the below-the-belly maternity pants and skirts.  I can’t hold them up.  Truth be told, sometimes I can’t even hold up the regular over-the-belly ones!  That’s where belly bands come in!  Just about any brand will work – I have a coupon code for a couple of free ones (you pay shipping) on the ones from BellyButtonBand.com

RAISINGARROWS9

And here’s something new I’m trying this pregnancy…using 2 belly bands to help support my belly.  This was an idea from a reader, and I think she may be on to something!  I’m planning to bind my belly as soon as this baby is born (my OB has already put a plan in place to make sure this happens), but using 2 of these belly bands during pregnancy will hopefully offer some much needed support as well.

and finally…

4.  Find a friend to share with.  Sometimes this is easy and sometimes not.  I’ve had pregnancies where this worked out great because my friends weren’t pregnant at the same time or the same season, and other pregnancies where we were all pregnant at the exact same time.  But, if you can, find a friend who is a similar size and share maternity clothes.  (Make sure you mark your clothes with some sort of distinguishing mark on the tag so you return the right clothes!)  Just remember to take good care of her clothes (see #1)!

Have suggestions for finding maternity clothes
that are great deals and a great fit?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

Week 26 Pregnancy Update

baby developmentWe’re getting close to the 3rd trimester – can you believe it?!

I’m still feeling really great – which is a huge blessing! The weather is starting to get that crisp Fall feeling! Ty and I took a trip with two of our little boys to a local apple orchard to pick up cider and see if they had any seconds ready. Seconds are #2 apples that don’t quite make the “cut”, but aren’t bad enough to be cider apples. We can get them for about $20 a bushel, and they are perfectly fine for the things we use them for.

This week, I’m experimenting with some “alternative” Thanksgiving foods to see if any are worth using this year.  Many of the ones I’m using are from this ebook:

The Sweeter Side of Candida

and this post:

Trim Healthy Mama Thanksgiving Recipes

I really don’t want to go into the holiday season tanked up on sugar.  I want to enjoy a few sugary traditions here and there without feeling like all we’ve had is sugar and carbs.  I can also tell the carbs and sugar I do eat don’t seem to be metabolizing well for me.  I end up feeling icky, so I’d prefer to avoid them as much as possible.

This past week, several in our family had colds – including me.  It’s been ages since anyone here has had a cold.  Thankfully, I only had a sore throat for a couple of days and then all was well.  My 13 year old wondered how I could be so sick and keep going as if I wasn’t sick.  I told her that’s what mamas do.  I don’t know any mothers who stop their lives for a cold – do you?

Baby is nice and active these days, and I think lying transverse breech – at least it feels like I have little hands in one hip and little feet in the other!  I snapped a quick pic with my phone on the way to church last night, so you’d have some sort of 26 week photo.  Blessed to have our van is back up and running with new tires to boot!  Have a blessed week!

Week 26 Pregnancy Update | RaisingArrows.net

Week 25 Pregnancy Update

baby development

This week was a little good and a little bad.

First, the good – the weather cooled down!  I have a friend who says my love of Fall is “inspiring.”  Our whole family is enamored with Fall.  In fact, all you have to do is spend a little time following my Pinterest account to see just how much we enjoy Fall!  I’m pinning things and preparing for crafts and snacks and other Autumnish things.  (yeah, I just made up that word ;) )

Autumn Pinterest board - Week 25 pregnancy update means we are gearing up for Fall! | RaisingArrows.net

OK, so the bad news…

The fuel pump in our van went out.  Suddenly.  One day I noticed it seemed to be cutting out every so often.  The next day it wouldn’t turn over.  Thankfully, we didn’t get stranded anywhere but our own driveway, but let me tell you, being without a vehicle and living as far out in the country as we do has been a bit on the difficult side.  Thankfully, Ty works in the city and has access to just about everything we need.

Oh, and a fuel pump on a 15 passenger van?  Not cheap.  Just in case you were wondering.

In baby news, I received a box of maternity clothes from ThreadUp this past week!  That was soooo exciting!  I was in desperate need of some new maternity clothes!  I’ll be posting more about some of the maternity finds I’ve managed to come across this pregnancy in a subsequent post.

Week 25 Pregnancy Update | RaisingArrows.net

I’ve been feeling really good and sleeping well too!  I do have to rest during the day, but I see this season in my life as God-given rest.  I’m not good at slowing myself down, so God gives me little blessings to slow me down. ;)

So, how are all my pregnant friends doing?  Is it cool yet where you live?

Week 24 Pregnancy Update

baby developmentAccording to my baby ticker, baby is putting on some fat!  I’m hoping I’m not putting on fat!  My OB appointment last week went really well, but next month is my Gestational Diabetes test.  Last baby, I flunked the 1 hour for the first time.  I am trying to watch my sugars and not have that happen again!

Trim Healthy Mama has definitely become a big part of my pregnancy.  One of my favorite breakfasts are the Trim Healthy Mama Pancakes topped with either Greek yogurt or Strawberry Chia Jam.  My girls had to make a jam to work toward their jelly making badge in Keepers of the Faith, so that is the one we chose, since we’ve been canning plenty of sugar-laden plum jelly these days.  In fact, yesterday alone, I canned 44 jars of jelly!  YIKES!  Here’s a photo of me stirring and stirring that beautiful plum jelly…

Stirring Plum Jelly at 24 weeks pregnant | RaisingArrows.net

So, yeah…back to the sugar-free kind of jam:  It was super easy to do and tastes really great!  You definitely should give it a try!

We had company this weekend as I’m sure many of you did as well.  These particular friends always come and help us finish out little (or big) household projects.  This time we recovered dining room chairs and barstools that were absolutely embarrassing, fixed an off-balance fan, a sink that wasn’t draining right, and a bazillion other little projects!  We are very lucky to have friends like this because frankly, if they didn’t come visit NONE of these things would ever get done!

And finally in this week’s news, I’m missing my biggest helper, my 16 year old son.  He’s gone down to help my mom.  Whenever Blake is gone, we see on a very small scale what it will be like when he is no longer living here.  That’s the thing about babies…they grow up.  And one day, they are no longer under your care.  *sigh*

Here’s a little nostalgia from Ty’s first deployment when Blake was only 3:

Ty's first deployment

Hug those babies tight!

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month | RaisingArrows.netCarrying a new little life is such a blessing!  Every pregnancy, I try to find ways to celebrate the new life within.  Despite morning sickness, aches and pains, and fears, it is important to me to try to find even the tiniest of ways to celebrate these amazing months I have been blessed with.  Today, I want to share with you some of these the celebrations!

I’ve put together a Celebrating Pregnancy printable to print off and keep handy throughout your pregnancy.  I’ve also included links and other ideas below that show these celebrations in action!

Month 1:
Learn a New Skill

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 1:  Learn a New Skill (post includes tons of ideas and a FREE printable!) | RaisingArrows.netMost women don’t even know they are pregnant at this point, so purposefully celebrating your pregnancy will be a tad bit difficult.  However, if you are planning to become pregnant (and even if you are not!), this is a great time to celebrate by learning a new skill that has “baby inclinations”.  Think quilting, diaper making, crocheting or knitting, cake decorating or scrapbooking.  Craftsy.com has some great online classes you can take, or ask another crafty friend to walk you through the process!

Month 2:
Host a Freezer Meal Party

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 2:  Host a Freezer Meal Party!  (post includes tons of ideas & a FREE printable!) | RaisingArrows.netYou’ve had the excitement of seeing that pregnancy test turn positive, now what?  Most women deal with some sort of “slow down” in their life in the first trimester, either due to morning sickness or exhaustion or other factors.  Month 2 (before you start this slow down) is a great time to have a Freezer Meal Party!  These meals are not for when the baby is born, but rather for the days when you are just too tired or too sick to cook in the first trimester.

Freezer Meal Party Pinterest Board
Organizing a Freezer Meal Party with Friends
Host a Slow Cooker Freezer Meal Party
Freezer to Slow Cooker Printable Menu

Month 3:
Luxuriate

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 3:  Luxuriate (post included tons of ideas + a FREE printable!) | RaisingArrows.netYou are probably still not feeling your best, so now is the perfect time to do some at-home pampering.  I enjoy long Epsom salt baths with candles and music, followed by some yummy smelling lotion.  A really luxurious bath product is Philosophy Cinnamon Buns Bath Gel (don’t croak when you see the price – it is worth every penny – as long as you keep it out of the reach of little hands!).  Be sure to go with smells that do not bother you.  Sniff them in the store before you buy!  Light the candles, slip into a nice, warm bath, and turn on your favorite music.

As for music, listen to something that relaxes you.  A new feature from Amazon that I am really enjoying is Amazon Prime Music.  There is a huge list of FREE albums/songs that you can listen to from your phone, tablet, or computer.  I really like piano music and Enya, so I have a lot of Enya’s albums in the my list as well as The Piano Guys and George Winston.  All you have to do is download the app and start searching for your favorites!

Month 4:
Enjoy Nature

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 4:  Enjoy Nature (post includes tons of ideas + FREE printable) | RaisingArrows.netNow that you are starting to feel better, it’s time to soak up some nature and take time to reflect and look forward.  Think about the past several months, plan for the next several.  Talk to baby.  Pray.  Really take the time to see the world around you.  Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, the trees, the flowers, the intricate details of creation.  You and your baby are a part of that amazing gift of creation.  Don’t squander the time.

Month 5:
Plan Date Nights and Outings with Your Spouse

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 5:  Plan Date Nights and Outings with your Spouse (post includes tons a ideas + FREE printable) | RaisingArrows.net

You’re feeling that 2nd Trimester awesomeness, so take advantage of it!  Sit down with your spouse and plan out some fun outings and date nights.  Go to places you haven’t been before.  Take a day trip, or even an overnight excursion!  Talk about baby plans, and relish your time!

Month 6:
Buy (or Make) Something New For You

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 6:  Buy (or Make) Something New for You ( post includes tons of ideas + FREE printable) | RaisingArrows.net

Now is the time to indulge that ever-expanding belly with something new!  If you are super-crafty, you can make something, but I prefer to purchase something instead.  I typically end up purchasing maternity clothes, but whatever you choose, make it something you can use NOW.  I would encourage you to buy at least one piece that is brand new and super nice because you will have it for years (and babies) to come.

Rainbow Maternity Skirt - Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 6 My favorite purchase this time around was a Rainbow Denim Maternity Skirt from Deborah & Co.  (Today through Labor Day, you can use code: LABORDAY5 to get $5 off any $50 order and orders of $100 or more receive a FREE SCARF included in their package!  Scarves are one of my favorite maternity accessories! Click HERE to start shopping!)

Month 7:
Do Something Nice for Yourself

Celebrating pregnancy Month by Month - Month 7:  Do Something Nice for Yourself (post includes tons of ideas + FREE printable) | RaisingArrows.netWhat is that one thing you would really like to do, but just don’t seem to do for yourself?  Is it a new haircut?  Maybe a massage?  Perhaps it is a piece of jewelry to celebrate your pregnancy?  This month do something fun that is just for you!

Due Date Jewelry
Coming Soon Necklace
Ring My Neck – necklace for when your ring no longer fits
Massage & Pregnancy article

Month 8:
Buy (or Make) Something New for Baby

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 8:  Buy (or make) Something New for Baby (post includes tons of resources + FREE printable) | RaisingArrows.net

Even if you don’t know baby’s gender, you can purchase something this month that is just for baby.  This is my 9th baby, but I still feel it is super important to get something that is just for THIS baby.  One thing I’ve done this time around is order several products from Mother’s Lounge.  I have a coupon code that will get you these products FREE FOR SHIPPING!

RAISINGARROWS9
is the code and the products you can get include:

nursing pillow from NursingPillow.com
baby leggings from BabyLeggings.com
baby sling from SevenSlings.com
car seat cover from CarseatCanopy.com
nursing cover from UdderCovers.com

(You can use the code on each site!)

Month 9:  
Host a Baby Tea or Another Freezer Meal Party

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 9:  Host a Baby Tea or Another Freezer Meal Party (post includes tons of ideas + FREE printable) | RaisingArrows.net

A Baby Tea isn’t like hosting your own baby shower, but more like hosting a tea party with your girlfriends.  It’s not about gifts, but about swapping birth stories and encouragement and savoring those final days of pregnancy.

Sample Baby Tea Menu:
Red Raspberry Tea
Mini Baby Rattle Cupcakes (or keep it simple and just have mini cupcakes)
Onesie Sugar Cookies
Baby Bib Petite Sandwiches

Have a basket with slips of paper for everyone to write favorite labor verses and well wishes for the new baby.

Labor & Delivery Verses
Scripture Meditations for the Overdue Mama
Scriptural Encouragement for Preparing & Giving Birth

If you aren’t wanting to do a Baby Tea, then how about another Freezer Meal Party to put away meals for after baby arrives?  Enjoy the time with friends and family!

DOWNLOAD CELEBRATING YOUR PREGNANCY MONTH BY MONTH PRINTABLE!


Celebrating Pregnancy
Trimester by Trimester

I also wanted to include some Trimester by Trimester ideas for you since babies are unpredictable and can often come before 9 months or well after 9 months.

1st Trimester Ideas:

Come up with a fun way to announce your pregnancy to your husband, your children, your extended family and friends.

Get a basket and keep lots of fruit on hand in the basket for easy snacks and great nutritional value.  Treat yourself to some fruits you haven’t tried before.

Watch baby shows on television or online.

Make freezer meals for those days when you aren’t feeling up to cooking.

Read my Ultimate Guide to Morning Sickness – just in case ;)

Start a Pregnancy Journal.

Take long baths.

Play relaxing music.

Make a Baby Ticker to put in your emails, on your blog, or to post to social media.  Here’s mine:

baby development

2nd Trimester Ideas:

Get outside and enjoy nature.

Plan some time with your spouse.

Buy some new or new-to-you maternity clothes.

Have fun trying to predict baby’s gender.

Get a massage.

Get a manicure or pedicure or both.

Play music for baby.

Talk to baby and relish this time.

Plan some fun activities to do with your other children.

3rd Trimester Ideas:

Make a Daily Final Countdown.

Make a list of things you need for baby.

Make a list of things you need to take to the hospital.

Get the baby things ready and create a precious space just for baby (no matter how small it may be).

Buy something new for baby.

Make something for baby.

Host a low-key tea party with your friends and family.

My Pregnancy & Babies board on Pinterest

Pregnancy & Babies board on Pinterest - Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month | RaisingArrows.net

 Have a blessed 9 months!

Week 23 Pregnancy Update

baby development
This past week has felt very busy, but a good busy. Because of the Simplified Organization eCourse, I’ve been steadily working through the difficult areas of our home with my husband and children. There are boxes my husband is going through that haven’t been gone through in several moves!  It feels so good to be finding homes for everything!

We also had our carpets cleaned by a friend from church who does that type of thing professionally.  When we moved into this rental, the carpets had been “cleaned”, but sadly, I think our landlords got taken by whatever company was doing the job because the job was not done.  The carpets look so much better now!

I was so thankful that we were already well on our way through the decluttering and organizing process when we had the carpets cleaned because moving furniture and other items was not nearly the chore it would have been had nothing had a home.

Now, everything feels fresh for baby’s arrival…even though we are still 4 months out!

I have a doctor’s appointment this week.  Many of you know from previous pregnancies that we travel quite a distance to go to an obstetrician who will VBAC me.  I am a VBA2C (Vaginal Birth After 2 Cesareans), so not many doctors will even see me.  (You can read my Birthing Story HERE.)

I always look forward to my appointments because they help to mark the time until baby arrives.  We have also been blessed with doctors who are more like friends than doctors.  And of course, the windshield time driving the distance to the appointment with Ty is always welcome. :)

A couple of pregnancy-related things I’ve noticed this past week…
1.  If I don’t take my magnesium, I get Restless Legs something fierce.
2.  I am having pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel this pregnancy.

Both of these things I’ve had in the past to varying degrees.  The carpal tunnel actually started following my 2nd child’s birth.  My family doctor at the time informed me that pregnancy hormones will create carpal tunnel like issues that eventually resolve themselves.  Sure enough, a few months later, the symptoms were gone.

This time around, the symptoms started coming on this past week – 22 weeks.  Any repetitive motion tends to aggravate it.  My best tip is to pretend you have a rubber band strung between your thumb and pinky and stretch your hand in and out to relieve the tingling.  It always makes me very grateful I only have to deal with this during pregnancy.  I feel for the people who deal with this all time.

Restless Legs (RLS) is much the same way.  There are people who deal with this condition outside of pregnancy.  I know mine has a stopping point no matter how crazy I feel.  For those who live with it day in and day out, I would highly suggest looking into a magnesium deficiency.

I don’t have any decent photos from this past week because I was too busy working on the house, but you can imagine me with my hair piled on top of my head, humming to The Piano Guys, with tomato-stained hands sifting through years of junk in boxes we keep moving form house to house!

Have a blessed and productive week!