To Vogue or Bust A travel, fashion and lifestyle blog for the modern worldly woman. Thu, 25 Mar 2021 19:51:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 To Vogue or Bust 32 32 Nursing-Friendly Style Tips Thu, 25 Mar 2021 19:48:14 +0000 I keep promising myself that I’ll start wearing clothes that I like no matter whether they’re nursing-friendly or not, but the few times I’ve broken them out I’ve honestly pretty…

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Nursing friendly style

I keep promising myself that I’ll start wearing clothes that I like no matter whether they’re nursing-friendly or not, but the few times I’ve broken them out I’ve honestly pretty immediately regretted it (or at least, instantly regretted it once I had to nurse outside and struggling with whatever I was wearing). I’m sure this isn’t for forever (particularly since Cal will one day transition to mixed feeling as I get closer and closer to normal work hours, and then eventually completely wean off of breastfeeding altogether!), but for now, it’s just worth it to make sure everything I wear is nursing-friendly because it’s something I just do so constantly for the time being. This is one look I feel like I’ve been wearing on repeat lately—it’s comfy, cute and there’s endless variations of it! We’re still waiting on spring to fully arrive here in Vancouver (the flowers are starting to pop but still pretty chilly out) but this is something that could transition so easily into then as well (will make notes of how to do that below!).

The Bottoms

I believe in celebrating and accepting your body wherever it’s at, but I also think it’s as harmful to beat yourself up for the changes in your body postpartum as it is to beat yourself up for also not quite feeling comfortable yet.

I have no problem going on the record and saying right now, I’m not totally comfortable in my body yet. And that is NORMAL and also OKAY. I’m accepting and celebrating it for all that it’s done, but it still doesn’t quite feel like me and I’m still getting used to some of the new softness I have (while also keeping in mind that my body is still transitioning too, and being open to it kind of redefining its strength and curves in new ways as I keep working out more and letting it come back down from pregnancy). So if I don’t want to have my belly exposed to the world when I’m nursing outside, that’s not only my prerogative, but a totally understandable feeling. I feel like we have so much pressure to either bounce back or to fully celebrate where our bodies are at, but it’s a process.

Long story short, I’m not wearing low-rise anything right now. I’m just not comfortable with my tummy exposed while I’m nursing and don’t feel like I have to make any body positivity apologies about that—I am proud of my body and beyond appreciative of it, but I’m just not there yet with my tummy and that’s also cool. 

High-waisted leggings have been worn on repeat, particularly because most of my days involve some sort of activity (whether that’s walking, a quick workout squeezed between naps, or even doing some weighted squats and lunges on the fly with my cutest little 16 lb weight [Cal]). 

I recently got a pair of Silver Teaspoon baggy denim—really feeling anything with a boyfriend, baggier silhouette right now, particularly this drawstring style that this Aussie brand does so well! 

Another high-waisted option beyond skinny jeans (which I still wear all the time too, my “dressed up” look these days sadly) are high-waisted culottes, or any other wide-legged silhouette! They can be beyond comfortable and they’re such a gorgeous piece for spring/summer instead of wearing jeans constantly. Find one with a drawstring or elasticized waist and it’s seriously the comfiest piece for postpartum style and so nursing-friendly!

How to wear a skirt set in free people by To Vogue or Bust

Heading into spring, I love the idea of a hippie maxi skirt too. I have shorter legs so usually don’t opt for them because I sometimes feel like it can shrink my bottom half, but I’ve found a great visual hack with wearing them with slits or an asymmetrical hemline—it just seems to help create a longer line. I got a matching set from TIARE HAWAII recently and it’s going to be so perfect, and the top is elasticized so really easy to whip it out (really, the only way to describe nursing on the fly) so easily.

The Tops

Let’s just have a moment for crop tops. They pair so beautifully with every bottom detailed above and they make it so, so easy to nurse! No having to hoist up a chunky or long piece, no risk of clothing falling on baby’s face while the poor thing’s trying to nurse, just easy peasy. You can honestly go so many ways—I’m a huge fan of Honeydew Intimates for loungewear in general, and their waffle knit cropped sweater is a new fave of mine. I’ve got about 4 of these waffle thermal cropped sweaters and keep steadily building my cropped sweater collection postpartum.

While it’s chilly, two other awesome sweater options you might not think about that are actually clutch for nursing is a sweater with a really deep V-neck (again, no other way to describe it other than whipping it out, but this time from the top) and also cardigans! If you have a belted cardigan, you can even just adjust a bit to allow for minimal exposure if it’s cold out or if you’re more comfortable being more covered up while nursing outside.

I got a Vitamin A oversized button-down shirt and I’m obsessed with it. I somehow had like no button-down tops when Cal first came earth-side and wanted something that would give me lots of use, so this top not only looks great with denim right now (particularly with skinny jeans or leather leggings to balance out the more voluminous proportion on top), but I can wear it as a beach coverup during the summer! Anything menswear-inspired when it comes to button-downs, breezy blouses, etc are so amazing. Just keep in mind that you may leak a bit or have some spit up, so maybe opt out of the silk for now!

But one thing that really helps make just about any top manageable is whether or not it’s elasticized. It’s just the rigidity of some tops or way too much fabric that make it harder with nursing (i.e. a huge oversized chunky knit or a bustier-style top that zips up in the back). I feel like oddly there’s more flexibility with tops than with bottoms, or at the very least if you want a bit of coverage that’s the case.

The Outerwear

How to wear a plaid shirt in Gentle Fawn blouse, Hudson Jeans skinny jeans, Aritzia bega bag, Aritzia trench coat, Urban Outfitters ankle boots, Leah Alexandra jewelry, Daniel Wellington watch

This is something you might not think factors into nursing much and admittedly it’s less of a concern, but I have found some pieces are a bit easier for nursing than others. For now while it’s cold, I actually find teddy coats to be unbelievable—easy access, keeps you and baby warm, not rigid, etc.

Trench coats are also amazing because again, there’s not a lot of zippers or fastenings to have to worry about. Moto jackets also make for easy access! As temps warm up, a coatigan is another amazing option, as well as shirt jackets which is majorly trending for this spring/summer!

And of course, having a good nursing bra is key, and if you really don’t want to be exposed at all you can wear a nursing camisole under any look and you’re fully covered!

The Dresses/Jumpsuits

Aritzia jumpsuit, Herschel hip pack

Finally, dresses and jumpsuits! If you can pull it down comfortably, you’re in business. Seriously, I feel like henley necklines are going to be clutch once I get into my dresses again, but even a jumpsuit like the one pictured here would totally work for nursing! Anything with an elasticized bustline and you’re in business too. I honestly feel like these are going to be the easiest options but still feel like I’m waiting on bare leg weather! Brands like Free People, Splendid and TIARE HAWAII make a ton of great options!

I feel like I’ve never used the word access more in my life but honestly, I think I feed Cal 6ish times a day so it’s something that I do so constantly and access is important! It’s just one more stressor to mum life if you make the clothing element more difficult than you need to! I am super excited to share more spring style soon, just waiting on the temperatures to properly warm up a bit more! 

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The Fourth Trimester Thu, 18 Mar 2021 23:15:11 +0000 I’ve been sitting on this post for a long time and keep rewriting it and rewriting it because the further I get away from the “fourth trimester” (as it’s called),…

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I’ve been sitting on this post for a long time and keep rewriting it and rewriting it because the further I get away from the “fourth trimester” (as it’s called), the more I reflect on this post and feel like wow…this sounds intense. Like…should I maybe lighten the mood here a bit? Is this too much? And like every mum before me, I don’t want to unnecessarily terrify or scare a mum-to-be! I know what it’s like to be pregnant and looking ahead and feeling nervous for everything to come.

Also, I have this thing where just about every memory I have gets the rose-coloured-glasses effect in retrospect, so it’s really hard to imagine there was a time when I was crying most days or struggling so much since for the most part, I’m truly having an unbelievably amazing time these days (if exhausting…Cal decided he now knows how to crawl backwards, has gotten his first front two teeth, is pulling himself up to sitting, etc, all at the tender age of 4.5 months old, so life has been go-go-go to say the least). Since about 6 weeks on (I don’t know why but 6 weeks and it’s like a light switch was flipped on), life with my little boy has just gotten sweeter and sweeter. Honestly, I could never imagine how much fun it’d be, how much I’d laugh, how sweet the snuggles are and how much my love just continues to grow for him to the point that my chest physically feels like it’s splitting open.

Finally, I’ve kind of waffled on this post because my memory of this time has gotten very, very foggy. And for good reason…the early days are hard! I think your body and your mind loosen their grip on the harder parts as time goes on because it doesn’t really serve you to hold onto them. Oddly, I remember my labour perfectly (that was one part I thought I’d forget) but yeah, I’m really starting to lose the memories of those first few weeks. I fortunately kept pretty good records and journaled that time or wrote drafts of this post, so I want to just bite the bullet and share these memories as they were captured for the most part but in the form of some takeaways and reflections that I could’ve really used at the time. This is a bit of a jumbled post so bear with me but I hope it really helps someone in the early days or who’s pregnant looking ahead! And I say this at the end but if you read nothing else, please just hear this…

You may find the fourth trimester and newborn life comes easily to you, and if that’s the case, that is so, so amazing. But if it doesn’t, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I think this stage of babyhood is designed to be hard for a reason…through baptism by fire, you come out the other side at lightning speed a more confident, capable and attuned mum. If you feel like you’re struggling or if you’re crying in the shower or if you can’t remember the last time you felt well-rested, please know that so, so, so many other mums are going through this right alongside you (even if they’re not saying it) and most importantly, know it’s temporary. Know it gets unbelievably better. From one mum to the next, seriously…you’ve got this!

It’s hard (for most people)…

Listen, I’m not being negative here. It is not negative to state that this is going to be hard…it’s just a fact. I want to get this one out of the way because I think it is suuuuuuch bullshit that as a new mum, 95% of what I saw shared online was exclusively about the magic of these early days. There are going to be amazing, magical moments, and those will outweigh the negative ones (particularly in retrospect). But these early days are hard, and I don’t want to say anything to the contrary to try to not scare someone or whatever. That would be doing a disservice to them because honestly, we as women are so, so tough. We can do hard. Pregnancy, labour & nursing aside, we also get our periods every month and still manage to live our lives and kick ass in workout classes and get paid and meet up with friends and travel the world. And we get this EVERY MONTH. So women can manage hard…we are able to do incredibly physically and mentally challenging things that straight up, no guy would ever be able to do.

So when you only see people talk about the magical, uplifting parts of motherhood and wonder if you’re struggling more than you should, if you’re some random outlier and wondering why it’s coming easily to everyone else, etc. NO. It is hard! I feel like this obsession with only sharing the good invalidates the whole spectrum of motherhood…the hard parts are necessary, and I think to some extent, actually beneficial in the long run. I honestly think it’s so hard at the beginning so that you become a more attuned parent more quickly. You’re still learning about your baby, they’re still getting to know you, you have to learn a whole new set of skills that if you’re a first-time parent, you couldn’t possibly, possibly ever know. That stuff only comes from experience and getting your hands dirty (literally, dirty…Cal has quite the explosive little bum, so I would know), and I think it’s so hard that you’re forced to 100% commit fully to it. This dedication pays off though because all of a sudden you find yourself on the other end of it really fairly quickly, anticipating your baby’s needs like a pro, developing a magic bag of tricks and skills to soothe and entertain, and all in all, you discover you know your baby more than anyone else in the world.

Having said that, one caveat because I don’t want to invalidate anyone’s experience. You may have friends or see some people on Instagram say that the beginning was easy, or that it came naturally to them, or that they haven’t experienced any hardship. Or this may be you! First off, I do think there are some people who do just find the newborn stage comes easily to them, and I don’t want to take that away from them or insinuate that that’s not their truth, because some people are just lucky or this period is just a better fit for them. But while I’m not invalidating their experience at all, I think it’s important to note that by and large, the people who don’t really struggle are unicorns. I think there is a handful of these lucky few, and then many more who feel pressure to not complain about something as magical as welcoming a baby into the world (and I’m saying that with zero judgment…I found myself feeling like I needed to censor my “complaining” sometimes because at times it’d be met with replies that felt somewhat deflective, so I totally get the general social pressure to not complain).

But there’s a difference between complaining and explaining. Objectively, having a baby is an incredibly hard thing to do. And attaching any shame to expressing that in a healthy way is so awful and unfair to maternal health, mentally and physically. So yes, it’s hard and we are made to do this and you have got this…but also know it’s okay (more than okay) to share the hard parts with your people and to vent (and if you feel a lack of support there or feel like you need more support, to find the right support for you…I saw the same counsellor through my pregnancy and postpartum, and she has been an incredible asset to me).

…it’s so hard, but it’s magical

I’ll tell you right now with zero shame that I prefer this stage of babyhood 5000000% more than I do the newborn stage. Everyone’s different and some people really love when they just have the newborn cuddles around the clock and that the more active their baby gets the harder it is, or they struggle with the baby stage altogether and are much happier with toddlerhood, etc. Everyone’s different and so everyone will find a different stage resonates with them most. I am a very energetic person generally so I find this stage to be super fun, and am so grateful I have such an active little baby who challenges me somehow already to keep up with him! He’s so much fun and I can not stress enough (because I feel like I have general skepticism about people talking about their experiences now that I’ve been through it, so know this is my truth!), this stage of babyhood exceeds all my wildest expectations, I am having the best time of my life, even as exhausting as it is.

But while I prefer this stage so much more, the newborn stage does have its own special kind magic, one of total wonder when time and life does this massive shift as your whole world reorients around this new little one. Your heart and mind and life basically shatter into a million pieces in the most beautiful way in those first few days, as these pieces are stirred up in the tornado of newborn life and eventually settle, all swirling around your precious new focal point.

I don’t have many regrets but one thing I wish I could change was how much space I gave for doubt and worry. I was constantly worried if I was doing things the right way, if I was doing okay, if I was going to be a good mum, etc. I wish instead I had embraced the mess more and just accepted that I was going to muddle and mistake my way through this part and that that was just fine, engraving all those moments when Cal needed me most in my memory as I went along (the good and the hard parts). Apparently babies don’t actually view their bodies as separate from their mums, which is the most beautiful thing…how magical to have been someone’s home for 9-10 months and for them to still see you as home afterwards! Unless you have more kids, that’s really just a once in a lifetime experience (and even then, it’s only ever once in a lifetime with that particular baby). It won’t last forever, for better or worse, so don’t doubt yourself, don’t worry, just know you’re going to work through this stage at your own pace and that as it is you were already meant to be the best mum to this little one, but with each passing day you’re only getting more and more synched to one another too.

So yes it’s hard, yes there will be some tough times and you wonder how long they’ll last for, but in those moments there is so much beauty because this is when your baby needs you most desperately. I had expectations before Cal came to maintain work, to get back to 5x workouts a week once I was cleared to workout again, to see my friends/family and maintain a pretty hopping social life (or as much as I could given COVID), etc. Once I really embraced that I had to just be present for him for a little bit and drop everything else (think that happened around 5-6 weeks, which is when I really felt like I had a turning point in general), I loosened on all of those other expectations and really just kept remembering that these magical moments of him needing me to feel safe & nourished will one day end (or at the very least, he will be much, much more self-sufficient). You’ll have your whole life to do x y z, but soak in these moments with your teeny tiny one when they really and truly are that teeny and tiny. You won’t be thinking of the missed workouts or the work you left on the table 50 years from now, but you will desperately hold onto every magical memory you have of the one(s) you love most.

Recovery will happen but it may take longer than you thought

I had a really straightforward pregnancy, a really straightforward (and fast) labour and really straightforward recovery. I literally couldn’t have wished for anything better than what I got…seriously I got so lucky. But even with everything going so well, recovery took some time…in fact, much more time than I anticipated. I thought I’d be itching to get out for a walk as soon as possible and particularly since I’d been so active throughout my pregnancy, it was hard to believe that all because of labour and just ooooone day of pushing out this baby, my body would need that much time to recover (sometimes, I worry about my logic). But straight up, even with a really great labour, it’s a pretty big event for your body. It’s pretty incredible to see just how amazingly it recovers actually, but I underestimated the recovery process. Add in the fact that we have a 4th level condo with no elevator to contend with, and I really was surprised to find myself not caring at all about getting out for a looooong time. I think my first walk was 8 days in and I just went around the block. A couple days later I shuffled along the Seawall but kept it short, and up until 3 weeks I just kept extending the distance bit by bit. Oddly, around 3 weeks it was like a switch flipped and then all of a sudden one day I could just walk the same as I always did and was itching to get back to my workouts…it was like I made some sort of massive leap in my recovery overnight. But I’m really, really grateful I was so patient and compassionate to myself leading up to that because I think that made all the difference in my healing.

Also, things no one tells you about…you don’t get to rest at the hospital! Or at least, I didn’t. I delivered Cal in the evening and by the time I’d showered, had one last snuggle with my new baby and had my first post-labour meal (the shittiest pizza ever), it was almost 2AM and I was like GOODNIIIIIIGHT this new mama is ready for a nice 8 hour sleep, time for some serious R&R after all the hard work of, you know, pushing a baby out. I’m not sure what I was thinking but sure enough, I was shaken awake like an hour into my sleep by a nurse to get my temperature taken and some other vitals and let me tell you, I was pretty miserable about it. I figured this was just the first night protocol plus the fact that I delivered after the 24 hour window of my waters breaking so thought it’d be better maybe the next night but no, then you hit the second night and the baby starts cluster feeding and if you’re like me, you’re both struggling with how to figure out nursing. So pretty much you just pushed a baby out of your vagina or had a C-section, you’re still bleeding, your body is all inflamed & swollen, you haven’t taken a sip of water in hours and you’re literally at a loss for how to do anything (to illustrate how little we knew, they had to show us how to hold Cal in the hospital)…and you also don’t really get to sleep. 

But again, kind of the theme of this whole post…it’s tough but you’re tougher. Your body is a pretty amazing thing and even while running on little sleep and feeling exhausted, bit by bit you’ll feel more and more like yourself. By all means, take the time you can to nap when family visits or get your partner to give you breaks, but even if you find yourself not getting that time or support, know that your body will still recover and you’ll slowly but surely catch up on sleep. Do what you can to nourish and rest (see my postpartum recovery checklist) but you will be okay and believe it or not, soon enough you’ll be out living your life like normal, pre-pregnancy times (but with a baby, of course) and it’ll be hard to imagine just how recently you were in recovery.

Prep for nursing

Again, want to share this part not to scare but to inform. People build up labour as the scary part and for some, it can admittedly be a bit traumatic or scary if things take a turn. But I did want to share Cal’s birth story because for me, it was very, very positive. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in one go, but I did it, it was manageable, I breathed my way through it and I remember standing in the shower that night while Matt cuddled Cal and just being like…wow. I’m such a badass. How the fuck did I do that. I am truly amazing. Then I just smiled at myself in the mirror and admired myself for awhile longer, went to sleep and then got woken up an hour later, as mentioned above.

I do want to acknowledge that I was very, very lucky and that a lot of people experience longer, harder or more traumatic births…but the fact is, for all of us it starts and it stops in a fairly short window of time compared to nursing (they literally won’t allow you to exceed a certain window of time). All that to say, do prep work for labour & delivery 100%, but know it’s just one moment, and usually just one day (or two, at most a few). Nursing will be days upon days, and it’s something you can’t take a break from if you’re trying to breastfeed your baby for a multitude of reasons…they need the milk, you need to keep your supply up, you need to learn, baby needs to learn how to latch, etc.

To put it simply and kind of bluntly, nursing was extremely painful for me at first. Like a certain toe-curling type of pain I can’t really describe properly. But please hear this part: I’m now 4 months in and Cal is still exclusively breastfed and barring some recent pain from him working around his new little teeth (like little shark teeth honestly, they’re so sharp!) it is such a beautiful and special experience now. I’m not just saying that to assuage any fears. It’s true. I love it. Every night I nurse him in side lying position and his warm little body is right next to mine and he puts his hand up on my chest and I breathe in his scent and kiss his head. It’s the most special part of every day. I am a firm, firm believer that fed is best but if you want to nurse, know that it does get better. And if you’re at the very beginning and you’re like holy hell when does this improve, know that there’s a general turning point at 3 weeks for most of us…my pain lasted longer than that but I did notice a massive improvement and reduction in pain around then. 

Having said all that, I wish that in addition to the hours I spent learning hypnobirthing and all the baby prep courses I took, I put in a bit more time to do a breastfeeding course, sourced a lactation consultant to get in right as soon as I was home from the hospital (not 6 weeks in like I did) and just read more accounts of what was normal for breastfeeding.

Like I said before, it’s a disservice to all our fellow women to cloud the realities of postpartum experience in false positivity because we are strong and we can do really hard things.

I would’ve tried to nurse because it was something I wanted to do no matter what, even if I knew it’d be really, really hard. So I just want to be honest about it. When I posted about how much I was struggling to my stories, I was shocked to be flooded with hundreds of messages from other mums who’d struggled massively at the beginning (so many also comforting me with assurances that they’re further along and love it, same as how I feel now). “Why didn’t people talk about this?! Why didn’t anyone warn me?” was all that went through my mind when I finally realized how common this was. 

So again, I’m not trying to scare (I feel like I can’t repeat that enough) but I want to urge you to get support in this area and give yourself lots and lots of grace while you and baby figure this out if you decide to nurse. I feel like there’s a difference between panicking and preparing, and I just want any fellow mum or mum-to-be to know what to prep for. And if nursing doesn’t work for you, then great! Formula is amazing. I’m likely going to start supplementing with some formula as my mum is taking on a childcare role in addition to my MIL so I’ll be able to get back to work more days and longer hours, and pumping that much just isn’t sustainable for me. But I honestly wanted to stick with breastfeeding and keep my supply up not for any other reason other than I just wanted the ease of being able to feed whenever and wherever since I tend to be outside and all over the place every day, and cart Cal along with me (I’m also supremely lazy so didn’t want to contend with lots of bottles). That’s the only reason. Nutrition-wise, your baby will be covered either way.

Give yourself 3 feel-good anchors a day

Time basically enters a vortex with a newborn. In those first few weeks, you’ll just find each day bleeding into one another, which is kind of the beauty of that time too but it can also make you start to feel a bit unhinged.

Whatever it is, have 3 feel-good things that you do for yourself or maybe with your partner that will punctuate every day so that you break up your days a bit. For me, it was getting outside (even if it meant my patio in the first week or so before I was out walking again), having a shower and watching Parks & Rec (and when we were done that, we watched Chuck, and then it was the holidays so we watched Christmas movies). Some days were a mess and I wouldn’t get in the shower or whatever, but by and large in those early days I mostly managed to do all 3 every single day.

Some other ideas might be taking 5 minutes to journal, doing some yoga (whatever you can do given the stage of recovery you’re at), FaceTiming a loved one or chatting on the phone, meditating, doing a facial or other skincare self-care, gardening or even cleaning if you’re a neat freak who somehow gets pleasure out of tidying (not me, our place is a mess constantly). This is one thing I think I did right, and one I’m so grateful for because I feel like it set a tone for me moving forward. I show up 100% for this kid as the go-to parent during the week and I love every minute of being with him, but I feel like I’m pretty good at taking my moments to get a workout in, to pretty much tell Matt on weekends “nope, that’s you bud” if Cal’s fussing and step away to watch Real Housewives or something, my mum and MIL will be providing childcare soon (my MIL currently does but I’ll have a couple added days of support with my mum in the fold soon) so I’m also really excited to be getting back to work since I’ve had to reduce my workload so much lately and that’s been hard on me. Long story short, I had a couple pangs of guilt at the beginning but now I get it…happy, thriving, fulfilled mummy makes for a happier household in general. So I commit to doing what feels good for me, and can be pretty bossy sometimes when it comes to claiming that time but could care less! It’s critical (and Matt gets it and is great about it too).

Take a lot of pictures & shoot a lot of videos

Because if you’re like me, you’ll put the baby down, take a moment to pour a glass of wine and think “yes, now finally time for a little me time and to just unwind from the day” and then promptly pull out your phone and go down a wormhole of pictures and vides of your little angel until you go to sleep. I know, I’m such a loser. Obsessed doesn’t even begin to describe it (have you…seen Cal?! I know he’s mine but my gawd what a beauty). All these pictures and videos will not only help you remember times that can get preeeeetty foggy on you pretty quickly, but they’ll also serve to remind you of how strong you are, how you pulled through, how you found those moments of peace or beauty or even quiet in the midst of so much chaos, just you and your little wee one. Babies change so, so quickly. It’s almost heartbreaking actually, or at the very least I don’t think there is a truer application of the word “bittersweet” than to this period of life. You want to see your baby grow and change and develop and thrive, but they grow in such leaps and bounds that day-to-day, your baby isn’t the same baby he/she was the day before. Pictures and videos are the only way of capturing and freezing these moments. And you’ll want to revisit them, even if the newborn days weren’t the easiest for you. 

Wow, okay that’s it! I hope that this wasn’t as “intense” as I was worried it’d be. My aim in being honest about those early days is always, always, always to inform and empower so that you can prep appropriately…I just want to do my part to make sure no new mum is caught unawares and wondering what the hell is happening and if she’s normal and googling everything wondering if she’s okay. Hopefully, if you’re expecting or thinking about it for down the road (or even currently in the early days), this post just helps you realize that everything you’re going through is normal, that generations upon generations of women have gone through the same thing (even the things that seem particularly alarming, like intrusive thoughts, middle-of-the-night panics, soaking your bed with night sweats…all VERY normal, but also very scary when they happen).

It can be a very tough period for some people (a lot of people, really) but it’s temporary. Honestly, a bit too temporary. As I mentioned, time doesn’t follow its usual rhythm during the fourth trimester. It’s like a whirlpool and after feeling sucked into it for some time spinning around the same cycle endlessly circling what can at times feel like a drowning point, all of a sudden you’ll find yourself spat out of it and settling into a more sustainable rhythm, with a baby that you know inside and out and with both of you thriving. You’ll feel more well rested. You’ll maybe even be back to some regular exercise. You’ll see your friends. You’ll have a cocktail. You’ll do your hair and makeup just to go to the grocery store. You’ll pack up and go on a trip (our first one this weekend!). You’ll enter a new normal and it’ll be so much sweeter, so much better, so much more colourful with your new one in tow.

And again: You. Are. Not. Alone. One thing I’m so grateful for is that in addition to my amazing friends, when I shared my struggles online at the beginning and felt really vulnerable and raw in that moment, I connected with the most amazing community of women via my IG and I feel like I’ve got these unbelievable online friends now, many who are at roughly the same stages timeline-wise as me. I’m happy I was vulnerable because it rewarded me with the most amazing sense of connectivity and community, so please, if you ever feel like you’re alone in the ups and downs of motherhood, if you don’t want to reach out to anyone in your own circle, reach out to me! You’ve got this.

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8 Trends I’m Wearing This Spring Wed, 24 Feb 2021 22:37:23 +0000 If you’ve been reading or following along either before or since Cal was born, you know that I basically on loop keep saying that time is flying by way too…

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If you’ve been reading or following along either before or since Cal was born, you know that I basically on loop keep saying that time is flying by way too quickly for me, but seriously…how is it March in a mere days?! We are officially heading into spring in a few weeks’ time, and being on the West Coast here we get a bit of an earlier taste of spring since we have such mild winters. I keep seeing more crocuses and snow drops breaking through the ground, there’s that sweet scent in the air and I find myself dropping one layer when out for my walks as the temperatures steadily start climbing up and the sun’s rays become stronger.

You’d think that between being a new mum and this pandemic still raging on I wouldn’t be that keen to get dressed up these days, but actually I’m finding I’m just so, so sick of the same uniform every day (leggings, nursing camisole, sweater and sneakers/ankle boots) and really looking forward to spring style and shedding all these winter layers!

I wanted to share 10 spring trends to look forward to and super easy ways to incorporate them into your looks even as we still deal with cooler temps and ease our way into spring (before the glorious sartorial sweet spot of April 25th of course, forever made famous by this).

Trench Coat

How to wear a trench coat this fall in Aritzia by To Vogue or Bust

I am so indebted to my winter coats for getting me through the winter warmly every year and particularly this year, allowing me to get out every day to walk my angel boy no matter what the elements are (and being in Vancouver, that can often mean a lot of rain) but I am honestly beyond excited to ditch them for the year and start wearing some cuter, lighter and less bulky styles. Trench coats are my forever favourite. They’re such a classic silhouette but the iterations of them are endless (silk, wool, etc) and while I always opt for a neutral tone for max wearability, there are some gorgeous colour options if you want something with a bit more statement.

Menswear-Inspired Shirt

To Vogue or Bust shares fall 2016 trend tips in a White and Warren cashmere cardigan, Peau de Loup oxford shirt, Mavi skinny jeans, Aritzia bega bag, Daniel Wellington watch and Nine West leopard heels

A button-down menswear-inspired shirt is actually the most amazing all-in-one, and this oversized silhouette is also really trending for spring. It’s perfect for nursing, it’s comfy so we’re not sacrificing comfort at all (key for postpartum life, WFH life, etc), it doubles as an amazing cover-up in the summer, depending on the length you can play around with it as a tunic, dress, top, etc, it’s perennially stylish and sexy and unbelievably versatile. It’s also something I don’t currently have in my closet shockingly! Before Cal came I did a huge purge of so many things in my closet including all my older button-downs that I just wasn’t feeling so looking ahead to spring/summer, I’m stocking up on some lighter weight options (like cotton, linen, etc) so that I have some longer wear with them!


I feel like I went through a vest phase and then just stopped wearing them altogether but it’s really a piece I want to incorporate more into my closet! Not only does it add so much depth and a cool layering effect, but it’s also a super functional piece for spring transitional style as temps are usually still a bit chillier but you’re not needing a full coat (or at the very least, a heavyweight coat!). I’m into any texture, weight or tone with this, but really particularly feeling a more menswear-driven vest or one with sleeker lines. So many gorgeous options here.

Bold Florals

Floral dress for fall

I usually go for more delicate florals but I love the more oversized, punchier florals I’m seeing for spring. I feel like especially after the year plus change we’ve all had, we need these bright, happy prints in our lives right now! Just an FYI but a new-to-me brand that literally has every print I’m coveting this spring (floral included, but also a ton of other ones like a banana bunch sweater that I desperately need) is FARM Rio, a Rio de Janeiro based brand that I’m obsessed with! Just ordered some new pieces so can’t wait to adventure out of my neutral ground a bit and style up some of their pieces soon!


I feel like saying you’re looking forward to khaki or softer neutrals is as much a given for spring trends as florals are, but it’s a tried-and-true seasonal trend for a reason. I’m not really someone who gravitates towards black as it is but even if I was, I feel like we’re all always desperately craving more lightness, airiness, etc around this time of the year. I’m really having a moment with khaki in general, and not just pants…think blazers, incorporating the tone in accessories/tops, even swimwear (check out Shopbop’s The Swim Shop for more ideas)! I just think it’s a forgotten basic sometimes that can actually be done in such a chic way.

Wide Legged Bottoms

Speaking of not sacrificing comfort for style, I’m behind the wide legged trend in a big way. Whether it’s a wide legged trouser or flared jeans, it’s a ’70s trend I’ll always embrace. It works for all body types and is super flattering, nipping in at your smallest part and skimming over your lower half. So many gorgeous denim options here in the Denim For Days roundup!

Matching Sets

How to wear matching set in free people polka dot by To Vogue or Bust

I honestly live for matching sets and love that specific to activewear or loungewear, they’re such a big thing now. As much as I’m getting excited to get out and wear real clothes again and style up my looks for a myriad of reasons (postpartum being just one of them…I feel like if anything it’s more the general feeling that we don’t have as many reasons to dress up these days that if anything makes me want to find reasons to even more!), I am still mostly living in active/loungewear so having more dressed up iterations of my day-to-day looks is key. So many gorgeous matching set options here.

Woven Pieces

Whether that’s a market net bag or even something more structured (I feel like Cult Gaia always has gorgeous options…I have their bamboo Ark bag and I am obsessed with it. Whether it’s a market bag or a woven top or even woven sling backs, just a little slice of summer to introduce now!

So many gorgeous new arrivals at Shopbop as always if you’re in the shopping mood! I love looking at ways of reworking my existing wardrobe and treating myself to a couple new pieces very season, it just helps

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Postpartum Essentials Checklist Tue, 09 Feb 2021 23:22:48 +0000 I’m starting to already get hazy on the postpartum days so want to share as much as I can about what you need, what it’s like, etc before my brain…

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baby photography

I’m starting to already get hazy on the postpartum days so want to share as much as I can about what you need, what it’s like, etc before my brain apparently blocks it out entirely. It’s funny because while most people seem to block out or forget their labour, I remember mine perfectly…it’s the early postpartum days that I’m really having trouble remembering well now! When I look back they feel like such a blur so want to try to encapsulate and capture those memories while I can. These are all things that I was either super grateful I had or that I rushed out to get out of desperation so trust me when I say these were all truly essentials for me! I’ve linked each piece for you to shop below! Don’t forget to save my pin below as well, you can either save it to Pinterest for reference or print it off!


  • Sitz Bath Satchels—I had a box from Earth Mama and I loved these so, so much. I healed really quickly (I had second degree tears) and I credit that to rest/nutrition but also really good hygiene and treating myself to one of these usually once a day in the first week or so. The hospital should provide a sitz bath insert but if they don’t you can find one here.
  • Peri Bottle—the hospital should also provide this but if they don’t, the Frida Baby one is amazing. These double afterwards as amazing bath streams for baby! Matt’s paranoid about getting water in Cal’s ears (apparently Matt had them constantly as a baby/kid) so precision spraying during bath time seems to help settle his nerves about that.
  • Donut—I wish I had this donut I ended up ordering urgently when I got home at the hospital! If you have a vaginal birth especially, you need this…it just helps cushion and protect that whole area. In hospital, it would have been fantastic on the hard bed. I used this for a few weeks postpartum and it really helped keep that area free from friction during the many, many hours of nursing. It’s $15. Get it.
  • Step Stool—you might not need this depending on how your place is set up, but we have a big step over our tub to get into the shower, our bed is quite high, I found it helpful for nursing because of the donut and height of our couch, etc. However you deliver a step stool will just help you from making any big moves and protect your pelvis.
  • Depends—they’ll give you these mesh granny panties at the hospital but you’ll want Depends or some sort of other adult diapers as well. I found I was in these for a couple weeks then transitioned to leakproof underwear (more on those in a second).
  • Natural Pads—for when your bleeding slows, these are great.
  • Lanolin Cream—I used this lanolin cream for nipple recovery and it definitely helped, but the thing that really helped my nipples was…
  • Silverette Cupsthese nipple cups aren’t cheap but they’re worth it…I’d go so far as to say it’s worth having these as part of your kit right off the bat, and not waiting to see if you get nipple damage or not. When all else failed these helped heal my nipples. I even had that medicated ointment but other than getting a lactation consultant in to help with latch, it was the cups that really did the trick and helped heal my nipples so that I could get to pain-free nursing faster.
  • Heat Wrap—for your boobs, for your back/shoulders from nursing pain, for cramps (fun fact, you get contractions as your uterus shrinks back down!), etc. A multi-function one like this is perfect.


  • Nursing Bras—my favourites are from Bravado (I love the ballet one, the pump-friendly one and this is my go-to, it’s the most “normal” bra out of all three so wear it most day-to-day) and Knix.
  • Nursing Camisoles—I picked up some from Old Navy though they really bagged out on me quickly…I’ve heard really good things about these as well.
  • Leakproof Underwear—Knix coming in hot with the most amazing leakproof underwear, and ones that I can wear afterwards for my period when it returns too! Love the no-waste element of this too.
  • Comfy Shorts—the postpartum night sweats and just all in all weird ass temperature regulation is so real, so do yourself a favour and opt for comfy shorts for nighttime. Even when the temps dipped, I still ran so warm at night that I was grateful for something breezier even though I usually like to be a bit more warmly dressed at night. These are a great 2-pack option!
  • Scrunchies—yup, even if you’re not a scrunchy person, your hair is just going to be up so, so much that you might as well protect it. Love the luxury but also the hair-saving elements of a silk scrunchy


  • Witch Hazel—have this on hand to mix into your peri bottle, or make padsicles (just use natural pads and soak in witch hazel, freeze and then defrost for 10-15 before putting on for 10-15 minutes). I have Thayer’s on hand always anyway for my face so nice to have something more multipurpose you can use after postpartum recovery too!
  • A Good Cream—your skin will likely go through a bit of a rollercoaster postpartum. I found mind got really, really dry…make sure you have a nice cream or oil to take care of your skin, and a good hand cream to just unwind with. This La Roche Posay cream is a really good one that won’t irritate your (likely already wonky) skin!
  • A Natural Deodorant—yup, postpartum stinkiness is real. I was tempted to just use a drugstore one I found in our toiletry cupboard but I’ve been natural for so long I just had to find a new natural deodorant that actually worked more effectively. I’ve been using Routine and I find it actually works! Baby is just so near your armpit and especially if you’re nursing, consuming in trace elements everything you put on or in your body, so if you can might be worth trying to make the switch to natural even if you’re dealing with heightened BO postpartum (which I was surprised to find soooooo many other people did too when I shared that I did in my stories!).
  • Colace (or any kind of stool softener)—please, please don’t think you won’t need this. Not to get TMI but I usually need no help in this area, I am very regular. I was very proud of myself because my first dreaded poop seemed to come easily enough and I proudly told my midwives all about it while I was still at the hospital, but then when I got home it took me about 3 weeks to start going again on a daily basis like I usually do. It’s not just about your fear about going…all your internal organs go through a lot of squishing and cramping during pregnancy, but they all get a little bit traumatized too from the birth experience. So long story short (sorry, did not mean to go on that long but clearly very passionate about regular pooping) make sure you have some Colace.
  • Pain Medication—if you had a pretty straightforward experience, then probably just Advil & Tylenol. If you need anything stronger, the hospital will provide it (and they do provide a bit of both the standard pain relief as well, but you’ll need more for after). Work towards reducing the amount over time but don’t skip this, it is pretty key.
  • *Updated to include Hemorrhoid Cream—I never used this (I did have my first ever hemorrhoid according to my midwives but it seemed to go away quickly?). The hospital will likely give you some but if not you can get some standard Anusol ointment.


  • Pump—either rent one or buy, but have your pump ready if you plan to nurse. I really struggled to get a good latch for Cal so my midwives wanted me to pump to stimulate my milk coming in. Now I have an oversupply issue which I have for months but in those early days, it was critical to pump to get that milk in so speaking from my own experience, I’d say make sure you have on on hand. I have the Medela Freestyle and really like it for the most part.
  • Haaka—now he’s way too active and kicks it off, but in the early days my Haaka worked amazingly for catching let down on the other breast, and was also key when I was engorged as it would help drain the breast a bit (particularly helpful for when my lactation consultant got me to only feed one side at a time so that I wouldn’t be in discomfort until the next feed).
  • A Nursing Pillow—I only use mine now maybe once a day when I remember to get it (I just prop my elbow up on a pillow usually, or we side-lie feed a lot) but my Boppy was glued to me in those early days. Have also heard great things about My Brest Friend.
  • Burp Cloths—Cal hardly spits up actually which is lucky (he’s more of the explosive poop variety, seems to prefer making a mess out of that end rather than spit up or puking) but when he does it’s key to have this on hand, and now that he’s drooling like a literal faucet I just use this to mop it up when I forgot to put a bib on him. Our favourites are these super soft muslin ones from Tanasa.
  • Nursing Padsthese are great disposable ones and I also love the ones from Bravado that you can wash and reuse. I don’t use these at all anymore but for early days when your supply is getting established and you might be dealing with oversupply or leaking, so key!


  • A Good Water Bottle or Cup With Straw—I love my Minimal bottle but I know a lot of people love the plastic cups with straws! It’s so, so easy to forget to drink your water but really try.
  • Reusable Straws—whether you opt for a bottle or a straw with lid/cup for water, you’ll still want some reusable straws (we have these silicone ones and I love them) because whether it’s a smoothie, soda water, juice, etc, I did most of my hydrating while nursing and I just got too sketched with the idea of holding the cup right over his head. These let me hold my glass to the side and sip quickly and safely!
  • Freezer-Friendly Snacks & Meals—so, so, so important. If people offer to bring you food and ask what you’d like, ask for anything and everything that you can freeze and ideally eat handheld. Good ideas are breakfast cookies, muffins, burritos, etc. Personally, I’d say hold off on the lactation cookies until your milk comes in—I’ve had so much milk all this time and when it first came in, I was having about 5 lactation cookies a day (mostly because they were so tasty) and my boobs literally felt like they were made of cement. So by all means get the ingredients but maybe wait to see what your supply is like because apparently the cookies can have quite a powerful effect!
  • Portable Charger—yes, turn off your phone and be in the moment with your baby. But the fact is, especially in those early, early days, you’re basically glued to them trying to sort out nursing, watching them, and just in general wanting to capture every moment in photo or video form. Have a portable charger that you can keep your phone hooked into so that you don’t miss a thing and so that yes, you get a chance to maybe mindlessly swipe Instagram or shop on your phone because sometimes you need to just turn off the old brain for a second.
  • Yeti—whether you opt for a smaller Rambler size or the taller tumbler, I use both every single day for my hot water and lemon and my coffee. Whether it’s to keep your drinks warm or cold, it will become a fixture for you.
  • Seventh Generation Dish Soap—I don’t know what it is but this gets out like any stain. One of you recommended Seventh Generation Dish Soap to me when I had a breast milk stain on the couch and I’ll forever be grateful to whoever it was…whether it’s breast milk, a poop explosion, etc, I treat it right away with this and some water and use as much scrubbing with a dish cloth as I can depending on the fabric and it gets out eeeeeverything. 

I hope this helps you guys! One last word of advice is take any and all support that you can, especially during such strange times when you might not have your usual village available to you. Accept all food (freeze it if your fridge is full), if someone offers to clean your place, say yes, etc. Do anything you can to not only make your recovery and healing easier, but to free up time so that you and your partner can just soak in and adjust to those early days. As hard as those early days were for me, I look back on them with a lot of joy and see the beauty in the mess at the time. One of the only things I wish I’d done more of was to have just prepped a bit better ahead of time so that I was able to better relax! But you’ve got this! 3 months in, it only gets better and better.

pin me

postpartum recovery list

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The 5 Postpartum Style Essentials I Wear Most Mon, 25 Jan 2021 19:25:45 +0000 I can not believe I’m officially 13 weeks postpartum as of today! Time has honestly flown by—I’ve never experienced such a vortex-like period in my entire life when days bleed…

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I can not believe I’m officially 13 weeks postpartum as of today! Time has honestly flown by—I’ve never experienced such a vortex-like period in my entire life when days bleed together and everything speeds by, but the good and the hard parts have all been so fleeting and I’m wishing I could freeze time (or at the very least, slow it down) lately. Ever since 8 weeks especially I feel like I’ve started to get my bearings so much more and it’s been so amazing getting back to my life but with my new little angel sidekick along for the ride with me…whether that’s going for brunch, our long weekend walks, even hanging with friends (now physically distanced of course, but still) it just feels so much sweeter doing it all with him and as special as those first weeks are, I really feel so happy and more like myself in this new phase of babyhood since the beginning as amazing as it is is also really hard and just a huge learning curve (more on that in another post soon).

Aritzia Stedman Coat, White + Warren Cashmere Scarf

One thing that’s been interesting is not only getting back to my clothes that I had benched during my pregnancy, but actually having to reconfigure my style juuuust a little bit to work with my life now (which means a bit of shopping for me, so I can’t complain)! My outfits used to be dictated just by whatever I felt like wearing that day and accounting for the weather, but now I have to take everything else into consideration and really feel like I’m set (but hopefully, a bit stylish too!) before I leave the door with him.

Whether that’s being able to nurse comfortably, the risk I want to take with spit-up, being able to bend down and lift him or the stroller up easily, etc, my outfits need to be pretty heavy on the comfort and functionality front but I also still want to look cute.

So many of you guys asked me to share my postpartum style tips (I hate when bloggers say that but truly, you guys asked!) so I wanted to share some of my current postpartum style faves today. What’s nice is that none of these are “nursing” specific pieces like nursing camisoles or whatever—I 100% wear nursing bras every day (tons of cute maternity clothing options here), but other than that my outfits are basically always just normal clothes that I’ve just chosen strategically to work in this new season of my life! 

Cashmere beanie

The Cropped Thermal or Sweater

I got the cutest waffle thermal recently (anyone else obsessed with waffle knit texture in general these days?) and I am so in love with it, I’ve gone ahead and gotten a few more already—for nursing it’s perfect since there’s so much less fabric to have to wrangle with (I’ve had a couple long sweater moments when I’m rolling and rolling and rolling up the fabric, pinning it under my chin and hoping it doesn’t all unravel on Cal), and it works so well with the high-waisted jeans or leggings I’m wearing these days on repeat. I’ve really gotten used to feeding out in the open with him (you kind of have to during the pandemic, right?) and so I love that this keeps me warm and covered for the most part and is also super convenient—just lift up slightly and Cal has easy access to his meals. Plus, it’s just so cozy and warm right now! Whether it’s a cotton-weight thermal or a cashmere sweater, it’s a cut I’m really living for. So many gorgeous sweaters & knits options here, and Shopbop currently has a Weekend Retreat edit that has so many other cozy options!

Postpartum Style

The High-Waisted Leggings & Jeans

I already loved this silhouette pre-pregnancy as it’s always suited my figure best, but high-waisted jeans are absolutely indispensable now. Like the crop tops, it’s the perfect combo of comfort, style and also a bit of concealment (not so much for modesty’s sake, but for warmth because I’m feeding  outside in the cold constantly these days) that is so key for nursing. Stretch is key, not just as your body transitions back postpartum but also because nursing and having a baby in general are both very physically demanding things and no one’s got time for rigid denim! I probably drop into a low sumo squat at least 50 times a day…it’s just not worth a split in the seam of your jeans. I’m also constantly in leggings and activewear features super prominently in my wardrobe (that was the case pre-pregnancy too!). I remember discovering Sweaty Betty when I’d visit my sister in London & so excited to see Shopbop carrying this gorge activewear brand now! Need all the loungewear pieces especially. This active edit also has so many other amazing brands & pieces…when you’re in activewear as much as I am, you need all the options!

Aritzia Stedman Coat
Vancouver beaches

Cozy Accessories

I literally spend so much of my time outside doing walks these days, I almost feel like I’ve been spending more of my waking hours outside than in (even when it’s raining…just feel like after the first few weeks of being cozied up inside I got claustrophobic and want to be out all the time now!). I just find being outside lots makes for a happier baby and just as importantly, a much happier mum. With the pandemic making it hard to still connect indoors with a lot of loved ones, getting that time to connect outside is so key for my happiness and it’s also such an amazing way to ease back into being active at the beginning too. Being a wintertime first-time mummy, having a roster of chic beanies, scarves and gloves is so key since that’s where I’m most able to add a bit of style to my outfits. This White + Warren cashmere travel wrap is an absolute obsession of mine right now (and always is, these have been forever staples of mine), but the pastel camo is the dreamiest thing ever and if you do want to cover up, it serves as the chicest nursing cover ever (just make sure it’s out of the firing range of any spit up if you need to burp your baby, it’s far too luxe to get any spit up on it!). I also am obsessed with any chic beanies right now—they just add so much beautiful texture to a look, and more importantly, so critical from a comfort standpoint when it’s cold out! Same with mittens—I have two different pairs I’ve been wearing on repeat, and whether it’s big fluffy mittens or sleeker gloves, they are so critical for pushing around the stroller right now. I made the mistake of not having cute gloves/mittens at the beginning and my hands suffered for it! So many more winter accessories options here.

Kitsilano beach Vancouver

Walk-Friendly Boots

I can not stress enough that having some cozy but cute ankle boots is so key during the winter months and during motherhood in general. I love wearing my sneakers (I love APL’s especially), but it’s too chilly in the winter to get by with just them. I’ve been wearing my Blundstones a ton but also love Dr. Marten’s—and when we get proper snow, I’m in my Sorels! Just make sure that whatever you invest in is something that you can spend hours walking in comfortably because our bodies already go through so much carrying, delivering and then carrying baby again, it’s just not worth messing up your back or hips. Living on the Seawall too and in a neighbourhood notorious for uneven pavement surfaces and unplowed roads, it’s so key to have boots with really strong grip on them for both my safety and Cal’s, so I’m always on the hunt for really quality, comfortable and durable boots!

Aritzia coat

Basic, Warm Coats

There was a time that I’d really play around with my outerwear more but as mentioned, having a baby is really quite physically demanding! You’re picking them up off the ground, you’re carrying strollers, you’re wearing baby in a carrier, you’re swinging them down to feed, you’re pushing a stroller up a hill, etc, etc. I’ve been so grateful to be getting back to my workouts a few times a week but honestly, just taking care of a baby in and of itself is a serious workout. So function has become really, really important to me…is it warm, is it cozy, is it something I can move in. And, of course, is it cute. These are the things I value way above pure style factor now, so that means I’m more often than not opting for puffers, rain coats, sleek wool coats, etc. I 100% will wear something like a teddy coat again one day soon because you’ve still got to live your life (I actually have a whole photo shoot planned with my fave teddy coat since Cal will officially fit into his bear onesie soon enough and obviously we have to be twins) but for day-to-day wear, it’s all about the strong, reliable but stylish basics. A neutral wool coat like this is an easy win for what I call my “dressed up” look these days (so…just anything that actually buttons up) as it goes with any denim rinse and pairs so beautifully with all my accessories (but is also super, super functional and basic). But honesty, most days I live in my activewear and I’m looking to a cozy puffer or a lined raincoat that will keep me warm and cozy. My key tips is to look for pieces that you can wear open easily if you want to wear baby in a carrier, that offers room in the shoulders to allow you to lift and carry and move easily and that’ll go with your key colours easily! 

I’m going to be sharing more postpartum style tips over the coming months but more than anything, I’m just excited to get back to doing style content in general! Truly, just about any outfit can be mum-friendly, it’s just during this early season of motherhood when your body is still changing and you’re really just calibrating to the physical demands of it all that I think it’s worth just investing a bit more and being slightly more strategic in your style choices so that you get the best of all worlds (comfort, ease and style!). Any experienced mamas, were there any style pieces you couldn’t get enough of? Let me know in the comments below!

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My Hospital Bag Checklist: What We Actually Used Tue, 15 Dec 2020 19:35:09 +0000 When we first came home with Cal, I felt oddly energetic…the first week or two I felt like I had this random backlog of energy and got out a few…

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When we first came home with Cal, I felt oddly energetic…the first week or two I felt like I had this random backlog of energy and got out a few posts right away, quickly jotting down my plans to get new posts up in the following week or two as well. My expectation was that I would be able to do that consistently moving forward but uuuuh…clearly I was dead wrong about what  life with a newborn would be like. Sleep deprivation catches up with you fast (for me it all came to a peak at week 5, but has gotten better since then), babies develop quickly and start requiring more time and energy (I just thought he was a big sleeper at first [which he actually is but not the constant sleeping like he did in the first two weeks!]…all of a sudden you find yourself at week 3 and they get bored fast!) and to put it simply, you have to show up & deliver for a role you’ve never experienced before & couldn’t have ever really prepared for. It’s been the most unbelievably magical and amazing time of my life and also the most challenging and non-stop, full-on thing I’ve ever done. And all set in the landscape of the pandemic with less support than I’d usually have!

Anyway, all that to say, I needed a little hiatus from the blog for a bit for a multitude of reasons, sleep deprivation and nursing, diapies, etc among them, but I’ve gotta say that for my own sense of sanity I’m really excited to start getting back to creating again, sharing more content and just getting back to my life a bit! It’s all just been a question of phasing things back in…the first thing we got back to was our long walks again, then we got our space in order(ish), I just got cleared to work out again so I’m getting back to that and now I really want to get back to doing something that brings me a lot of joy, which is creating visually and via writing. Anyhoo, I want to start with wrapping up one post you guys wanted a two-parter for—our hospital checklist! Here’s the original checklist I shared before I went into labour (Cal’s birth story here as well) and wanted to share what I actually used, and a few things I wish I’d packed! Here’s the original list with notes for each item below. 


  • TENS machine—oh my God yes—this was key. Start it the second your labour starts and use it until it becomes more of a distraction than an asset (or you get into the tub). This is the one I got.
  • Flameless (battery-operated) candles—yes! Setting a soothing, calm mood was everything for us and everyone who came into our suite commented on the soft mood the candles gave. These are the ones I got. A bonus is that we’ve been using them a ton over the holidays now for all our tea light votives!
  • Fairy lights—no—it was just unnecessary with the candles but would be nice to have to or an either or type thing if you already have fairy lights!
  • Bluetooth portable speaker—a huge yes! Having music was everything. We listened to it in the couple of days recovering at the hospital too.
  • Camera + memory cards—yes but very minimally—I’d say just make sure your phone is charged up if you want pics.
  • Extra long charging cables—huge yes!
  • Portable chargers—also a big yes.
  • A little bottle of Stress Release by Saje (you can’t use aromatherapy [like a room spray or diffuser] at BC Women’s because of allergy concerns, but we were told if it’s sealed you can wave it under the mum’s nose quickly)—never used it
  • Lots of snacks: coconut water, crackers, dried fruit + nuts, dark chocolate, etc—also a huge yes—while you can order food into BC Women’s or in non-COVID times, have your people drop off food for you, if you deliver later in the evening or in the middle of the early morning, you need those snacks on hand. Also, your body is so discombobulated after birth you just need to nourish it and it’s also key for your birth partner to stay fuelled up!
  • Affirmation cards (made them myself…mine aren’t very woo-woo, they’re more just like “This is temporary” “You are strong & baby is strong” “Each contraction brings me closer to baby” i.e. pretty straightforward but I think effective for me!)—no I didn’t use them during birth (it all happened too fast) but I’d still recommend doing this and writing them down or just looking at them in the final stage of your pregnancy because it really helped me get into the right headspace.
  • A few crystals (because at the end of the day, I am a bit of a hippie after all)—I didn’t take these out (I’ll never forget Matt asking me if I wanted them in the room as I dilated 6cm in the space of minutes, so not exactly keen on a convo at that point) but I like carrying them anyway! I always carry some when I’m travelling. It just feels like a bit of a talisman.
  • A few copies of our Birth Preferences doc—we never passed it off to anyone because with our healthcare system and the way it worked for me with my midwife group, we’d had all these conversations already and they were there to advocate for me with anyone else who would’ve been part of our birth process (just our amazing nurse in the end)
  • Online but a shared Google Drive Folder with a special copy of our birth preferences for Matt (with details like the unlock code for my phone, reminders of the app [Freya] we’re using for contraction timing + meditations, our secret word/process for when to take me seriously if I ask for pain relief, etc), our standard Birth Preferences doc, our Baby Prep course book & our Hypnobirthing prep course, meditation MP3’s—never used any of these but I did use the Freya app during early labour 
  • Tablet stocked up with Netflix downloads, movies, etc + charging cable—never had time to watch a movie


  • Bathing suit for the birthing pool—no I literally just waltzed in in my sports bra I was so desperate for the tub at that point! I would’ve just gone naked but couldn’t be bothered to take off my sports bra at that point. Have a top to wear but don’t worry about a full cute suit…you won’t be thinking about it at the time and you obviously won’t need the bottoms!
  • Non-slip comfy slippers—√
  • Flip flops (for both getting in/out of the pool & for showers)—√
  • 2 sets of warm, non-slip socks (packed the ones I use for Pilates/Barre)—I didn’t use the ones for barre but I ended up getting those really ugly but cozy fuzzy ones with grippy pads you can get from Old Navy or wherever and they were the best
  • 2 sets of nursing PJ’s—√
  • 2 nursing bras—√ (just one but we weren’t there for long)
  • 2 sweaters (cardigans for nursing if you have them are ideal)—√ it was chilly in there! 
  • 2 leggings/sweats —√ 
  • 2 nursing-friendly tanks or shirts—√
  • A big knit blanket—yes this is clutch—it’s chilly in the hospital and it’s a really easy one to wash. Brought a big fleece one I slept with!
  • Boppy nursing pillow—no—honestly, the nursing part was not a great experience for me at the hospital & even though I asked for a lactation consultant, one was never sent to me. I’ll always be forever grateful to BC Women’s for in general such an amazing experience but the nursing advice was not ideal for me. I was told only people really struggling would get them but quite frankly, nursing was and has still been a challenge for me! He feeds beautifully but I’ve been dealing with pain on a pretty continuous basis (it’s improved a lot but it’s still there). Biggest advice I give for nursing is to find one trusted source to contact ASAP (whether it’s your midwife or a lactation consultant) so you have one set of tips and advice so you get set right away.
  • Haaka breast pump (not sure how much I’ll need this but want the lactation consultant to help show me how to use it)—same thing, never used it, never had a chance to chat with a consultant. I love it now though when I remember to use it. My milk came in around 3-4 days at which point I was already discharged!
  • 3 pairs of big pantaloons, aka underwear—I used one pair on the way home but the hospital does give you these big mesh underwear that are awesome
  • Nursing pads—no—your milk likely won’t come in while you’re in hospital and even if it does, you likely won’t need these! I have an oversupply issue (so do leak regularly) and still don’t usually use nursing pads unless I’m going braless and just wearing a tank with a shelf bra.
  • Black out sleep masks (for both of us actually)—huge yes
  • Noise-cancelling headphones—never actually used these but I’d still recommend packing them!
  • I packed a few pads/Depends as well as my peri bottle but the hospital should have all of these on hand, at least here in BC! Packed them just in case.—no, hospital had all of these!


  • 2 outfit sets + socks + underwear—√
  • Trunks for the birthing pool—no, never got in with me but should still pack if you’re going to do a birth pool as part of your labour or delivery experience
  • Flip flops—yes he had one shower while we were there poor guy!
  • 2 pairs of PJ’s—he just wore his boxers and a T-shirt



  • Contacts—yes! I thought I’d maybe just be in glasses but it was nice to throw in my contacts
  • Glasses—yes—especially in the middle of the night
  • Toothbrush + toothpaste—√
  • Face wash + moisturizer—√
  • Body wash + moisturizer—√
  • Shampoo + conditioner—√
  • Nipple cream—no! The hospital provided a little tube of lanolin but honestly, he didn’t feed much to begin with and we really struggled to get a good latch in those first couple days at the hospital (and the first day home, aka the hardest day of my life when he was desperate for food and we just couldn’t get latched properly…so grateful our midwives came the next day to help us)
  • Comb/brush—√
  • Deodorant—√
  • A little bit of makeup, literally a BB cream, blush stick, mascara & tinted lip balm (very much doubt I’ll use it but you never know, maybe I’ll want to do myself up for some pics!)—uh…no


  • 2 swaddles—nope. The hospital provided swaddles when we were there to keep him warm so ours stayed packed away the whole time. We just took one out to cover him on the drive home so I’d say one would be more than enough
  • 1 thicker blanket—just for the drive home
  • 3 sets of outfits (have a couple in NB size & 1 in 0-3 month size depending on how big he is!)—we only used one outfit on the way home, but I stick by my advice to pack some options! One piece of advice: even if they’re telling you your baby is in the 80th, 90th percentile during your scans (as they did with Cal)…get some NB clothing. He was actually in NB sizes until he was about 3-4 weeks old and we had to do a mad dash to get some more since we only packed one NB onesie. If you’re worried about it being wasteful, enlist friends or fam who’ve already had babies and just use their pre-loved pieces! It is true they’re in them for only a short period of time but Cal was 7lb 10oz (so not a tiny baby) & we definitely needed those NB outfits for a good long time (in fact, he still fits into a couple of the Kyte ones that stretch more so we’re trying to get the last bit of use out of them right now even though he’s pretty solidly in 0-3 now!).
  • 2 little beanies—no! We’ve discovered with beanies especially the sizing seems to run really large so that they can fit 0-6 months, so we just used the little tube ones the hospital provides. Would still be good to pack one but most hospitals will have them and they’ll fit their teeny tiny heads.
  • 2 pairs of socks—no
  • 2 pairs of mittens—yes, but a word of caution here: we were paranoid about his hands getting cold and about him scratching his face ’cause his nails were sharp right away, so we kept him in these little no-scratch gloves 24/7 for the first few days. He ended up rubbing his face raw (it settled down within a day once we took his gloves off) but a little nail scratch will heal faster than a rash. Just invest in an electric nail filer from the get go, something I wish we’d done!
  • 1 going-home cozy outfit: a knit cardigan, knit pants & knit booties—no. The nurse said it was too bulky for him to wear in the car seat so he just wore his onesie home.
  • 1 car seat (the Nuna Pipa, all installed in our car)—√
  • 1 cozy bunting in case it’s chilly—no
  • Soothers + diaper cream (hospital should have both but just in case—I was advised to put a bunch of diaper cream on his bum before we head home so that his merconium doesn’t stick so much to his little bungus when he finally expels it, if he doesn’t prematurely)—no. He didn’t use soothers until he was 3 weeks old and they have cream at the hospital.
  • A little “hello world” wooden disc for pics—no. I used this for his announcement photo that I shot once we were home but honestly, the lighting was pretty shit at the hospital so this is the time for grainy phone pics you’ll cherish forever but that aren’t maybe framers (though you may get lucky with better lighting).


So these were things I thought I’d like to pack but didn’t because of COVID…I’ll let you know below if I really missed it or not!

  • 2 pillows with brightly coloured pillowcases (to distinguish them from the hospital pillows)—√ we did end up packing these after I got a few concerned messages from you guys! And they were key. Even with COVID, just pack them since the hospital ones are truly not great. 
  • 2 towels (heard the hospital ones are tiny & scratchy but have a sense I’ll just want to dry off and jump right into my PJ’s anyway)—I don’t know if it comes from my years as a swimmer & towelling off fast or what but I’m not precious about towels. We just used theirs and honestly, COVID or not I would’ve been fine with their towels you kind of are just eager to get cozy and back in your bed!
  • A robe—I think it would’ve been nice to have & I have the nicest fleecy one but just another bulky item to add & need to wash so decided to forego it—so this is one I would’ve liked! It would’ve just been nice to lounge around in and it’s an easy one to wash too.


Finally, a few things I wish I would’ve packed or did pack and didn’t include in my original list!

  • bellies inc. The Ab SystemI packed this & I’m so glad I did! I put on my belly band basically right away! I’ve become decreasingly diligent about wearing it but really wore it as much as I could in the first few weeks and I think it helped because any diastasis recti I had seems to have resolved itself, I got checked for my 6 week appointment this last week and pretty much all good! Think it really helped knit everything back together.
  • more snacks, specifically more fluids—something I wish I’d packed more of! I wish I had more coconut water specifically. You get super, super dehydrated from labour & delivery, I needed all the rehydration I could get.
  • peri donut—not sure if this is the right term for it but get a donut cushion! I got this cheapo one for $15 after we got home and wish I’d had it sooner. I had a really great delivery and some very minor and straightforward tearing, and I still needed this bad boy for a couple weeks, but when I really needed it was immediately after delivery. I went into it all thinking that I’d see “how bad” my situation was (lolz)…I don’t want to speak for everyone but even if things go really, really well, I think you still want one of these. Also, not surprisingly, hospital beds aren’t exactly the coziest things and my whole downstairs area could’ve greatly benefited from this out the gate.

Other than that, given that I wasn’t at the hospital for very long I was more than happy with what I’d packed! One more tip I’d have is to maybe make sure you have another support person (a family member or friend) who can be on speed dial just in case you have a longer stay than you anticipated—hard with COVID right now I know but it’ll just give you that peace of mind to know that someone can head over ASAP with anything else you need instead of stressing about it leading up to such a big event. But long story short, pack all your comfiest things, don’t short change yourself on the postpartum comforts & stock up as much as you can on treats, snacks & hydration!

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5 Style Essentials For New Mums Sun, 29 Nov 2020 19:45:30 +0000 It’s been just over 4 weeks now of heaven with Cal and every day we somehow manage to fall more in love with him. He’s becoming more & more his…

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newborn photography

It’s been just over 4 weeks now of heaven with Cal and every day we somehow manage to fall more in love with him. He’s becoming more & more his own little human which is so amazing to see – it’s insane how little glimmers of their personalities come out so early on! He’s just so sweet and beautiful and funny and curious, we are so smitten.

But as magical as they are, these new parent days are also extremely exhausting. A lot of the first little bit is just about learning how to basically rejig and restructure your whole life, which is obviously a bit of an adjustment to say the least! Especially this year being such a bizarre year and the pandemic keeping family away, there’s also not the usual in-person postpartum support – my family hasn’t been able to come into our place for the last few weeks and I’m lucky if I see them even once a week outside (though I’m so thankful for my in-law’s, who we can still see in person and who have been such incredible support to us), and know I’m not alone in this new mum life this year and the unique challenges it presents. So while I’m obviously biased being a new mum, gotta say that if you know of a new mama in your life, spoil her this holiday season (or if you are one, spoil yourself!). Self-care and treating yourself isn’t a selfish thing that takes away from your little one – now more than ever it’s an actual necessity, because being pregnant, being a new parent, planning for a family or dealing with a fertility journey etc are all huge things to deal with on their own but this year in particular the weight of these changes is just felt more intensely.

Shopbop is having an unreal sale right now for this Black Friday weekend – you can take 20% off on orders $200+, so definitely recommend shopping there while the sale is on for any of these style musts!

Chic Pyjama Set

I stocked up on a ton of PJ sets before Cal arrived and am so happy I did – you spend so much time at home feeding (seriously, I’d say more than half my waking hours feel like they’re dedicated to feeding these days) but it can get a bit depressing wearing ugly PJ’s day in day out. My fave label so far has been Honeydew Intimates I’ve gotten two of their same set in different colours along with some more bottoms I have been wearing on repeat. I’m going to invest in more cute PJ’s though along with just some more loungewear I can wear both in and out of the house! Can guarantee that any new mama would be into this which is why I put it top of the list. Speaking of loungewear, there’s a whole section in Shopbop’s sale dedicated just to that – The Cozy Shop edit!

Luxe Sheet Set

Did I mention you spend a lot of time in bed? Sadly, not too much of that is spent catching up on zzz’s. It seems we actually have a pretty good sleeper on our hands (gave us a 5 hour stretch last night which I think is good for 4 weeks?) but the sleep deprivation is still very real. Trying to remember to make my bed and investing in new sheets and a gorge duvet cover has made a world of difference. I love White Terry as an amazing Canadian-based option.

Cute Winter Accessories

I’m still waiting to get cleared to work out again (that’ll be after my 6 week appointment!) but have just been doing some light core activations at home until then. Really, my main source of activity and the serious sanity saviour right now has been getting out for long walks again in the brisk cold air. Somehow November came and went in the blink of an eye (well not somehow really…guess it makes perfect sense why all of November would be a quick blur to me!) so we’re officially in winter just about and I need to bundle up accordingly. Cute winter accessories like a luxe beanie or mitten set (or a gorgeous scarf or wrap – you likely already know White + Warren is a forever fave of mine for cashmere if cashmere rocks your world too!) will keep a new mama feeling chic even if the rest of her outfit is whatever she rolled out of bed with. Believe me, I’ve been there already – think there have been a couple times I’ve just kept rocking the same nursing tank for a 2 day streak. I am really looking forward to investing in some new activewear too to get me excited to get back into my routine again (well, at home though…let me know if you have any home fitness apps or programs you love!). So many cute leggings to shop from here, and so many currently on sale!

Nursing-Friendly Pieces

To that end, while every new mum will likely have a 5-pack of basic, boring tanks stashed away, being gifted a really quality nursing tank she can wear out and about without feeling like she needs to cover it up. I have a Knix tank I love but I’ve yet to try out anything from HATCH and have heard nothing but good things so want to give some of their tanks or bras a go (lots of other gorgeous maternity and nursing options here)!

Belt Bag

I feel like I’ve never been more conscious of making things in hands reach or aiming to make things hands-free in my life – your hands are literally full all the time. In addition to my Beluga Baby wrap which is a lifesaver for working or doing errands at home while baby-wearing (along with being great for walks!) I pretty much exclusively wear a belt bag out now when we’re going for a walk or running errands. I just need everything to be that much more accessible! So many cute belt bag options in the Shopbop promo here! If you want a baby bag too (which you will need), you can find them here (we have the Herschel Sprout and love it)!

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Callum’s Birth Story Fri, 13 Nov 2020 21:15:20 +0000 As I sit here with Callum strapped to my chest rocking away in my rocking chair, I honestly am having a hard time believing that just over two weeks ago…

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Callum's birth story

As I sit here with Callum strapped to my chest rocking away in my rocking chair, I honestly am having a hard time believing that just over two weeks ago he was still in my belly. I remember just wondering who was in there and who we’d be meeting—I’d felt bonded to this little squirmer from the get-go but there was still that question & that unknown that nagged at me, especially at the end of my pregnancy when our due date neared.

Now that he’s arrived, I can say with 1000% confidence I can’t imagine our little one being anyone else—he is such a special, beautiful angel and we feel immeasurably lucky. Both of us just can’t believe we made him and that somehow this little miracle is now ours.

I’m so excited to share his birth story today because much like him so far, it was a really beautiful and calm experience (for the most part, obviously…it did involve pushing a baby out of my vagina so not entirely zen the whole time). It’s really, really rare to get roughly the birth plan you wanted and mine was really close, and as you’ll see as I share my story, I also had the most amazing team from Matt to my midwives to the delivery nurse, so while postpartum is definitely a tough (but magical) period, I feel so, so lucky for the labour and delivery experience I had and hope that in sharing this novel of a story, it helps anyone else who’s preparing for their own delivery in any way!


So just in case any of you are new here, a little background on my pregnancy! In general, my pregnancy was really amazing. It was very straightforward and other than the odd hiccup here and there (rib pain, heartburn, etc) I was very active and mobile right up until the end (more about my prenatal fitness here). I actually walked 20K steps every day for a few days leading up to my waters breaking so if you could walk a baby out, pretty sure I did! To prep for labour, I did prenatal workout programs in addition to swimming and keeping up with my usual strength training (though modified slightly) up until I was about 32 weeks, when I tapered off and started just doing more prenatal mobility and walking a ton. To prep mentally, around 28 weeks I got The Positive Birth Company’s hypnobirthing digital pack (which I’d really recommend doing regardless of the type of birth you want—whether it’s a c-section, water birth, etc, the tools in it helped me so massively I couldn’t urge you enough to do it!) and practiced visualization, imagining both my ideal birth (an unmedicated water birth) and also how I’d like any other situations to go (a c-section, needing an epidural, failure to progress, etc). Matt did the digital pack with me too which was amazing. Him being involved in the experience was really key because he was able to cue me to techniques when I was in the zone during labour, so grateful he did it with me!

Everything seemed to be going swimmingly until I went in for my 39 week appointment (alone at this point because of COVID—for awhile partners were allowed to attend appointments again but that stopped right around 36 weeks). My midwife said baby was posterior & mentioned we may want to look into a few options in case he doesn’t turn in time for labour. Induction & pain relief were both mentioned & even though I’d visualized what I wanted for both situations, that didn’t stop me from bawling my eyes out in public as I walked home on the Seawall afterwards. But I made it my mission to do everything I could to move him so I did a TON of Spinning Babies, crab walking up our stairs to offset my pelvis (we’re the top level of our condo unit with no elevator so fortunately stairs were always there for the taking), rocking constantly on my birthing ball, bouncing around to whatever was playing on the speaker, never reclining, sleeping only on my left side, etc. It must’ve all worked or my very early contractions may have turned him because when I got checked when I finally went into labour he’d most definitely gotten himself into the right position, the little angel!


I’d always thought I’d have an earlier baby but after my birth date guesses came and went and my family continued to remind me that we were all late babies so he probably would be too, I kind of came to peace with the fact that he’d be a November baby. I was still moving & feeling great so as my due date approached I actually oddly felt more and more relaxed about him just coming whenever he wanted to come as I felt like I could really wait it out quite comfortably, and I think that coming to peace & relaxing was what actually helped set the stage for him to come! In our hypnobirthing course they always talk about getting the oxytocin flowing and I definitely was in a happy, good, calm place. The night my waters broke, Matt and I went for a beautiful sunset walk to Granville Island and back and talked about just that—how ready we were but also how content we were to wait for him to arrive when he wanted to, and making plans for the following weekend to do a day trip and keep me distracted and happy. I felt so calm & centred & felt so much peace looking out at the sunset that night—I’ll always remember it.

Vancouver sunset
The night my waters broke

We came home & decided to keep up our new hobby of watching the stupidest funny movies to keep that oxytocin going. For whatever reason that meant our double feature that evening was Ali G Indahouse & This Is The End. About 30 minutes into This Is The End right around where Micheal Cera slaps Rihanna’s ass, I felt a really weird movement that I’d never felt before. Cal had been crazy active the entire pregnancy (I swear he legit cracked one of my ribs with a kick in the middle of the night once around 32 weeks, I woke up screaming), but this was a novel movement that felt odd and different. I was lying on my left side watching this stupid movie and he was in a very controlled way stretching his foot into my right upper abdomen in long, slow kicks. It almost felt like he was carefully pushing a pedal down—these were not his random, instinctive kicks but what felt like a very precise movement (clearly, he was ready to exit his lair). I’d barely gotten out “this feels weird” to Matt when I felt a bit of a trickle. I ran to the toilet and lo and behold, sure enough my waters had broken—a steady trickle started and I screamed for Matt. Surprisingly, despite feeling so calm and ready earlier I just stared at him in panic and yelled “I’M NOT READY,” followed immediately by “Ali G can’t be the last thing I watch before I go into labour” while in tears, which he laughed at but I was very sincere about. Once my initial adrenaline rush and panic had settled down though, sure enough I got into the zone, called my midwives and started mentally preparing myself. They urged me to try to sleep through the night and to relax so somehow or another I actually fell asleep pretty immediately after that (just showered & for some reason gave myself a pedicure first, was very concerned about making a positive first impression for the baby).

Waking up in the morning though and realizing I’d had at best just mild period cramps throughout the night, I started feeling a bit nervous because I knew the clock was ticking now that my waters had broken (they want you to deliver within 24 hours or have to introduce interventions as the risk of infection is higher after that window) and that quite a bit of time had already elapsed since my waters had broken. We called our midwives who expressed gratitude at allowing both them and us to sleep through the night and they assured us there was still lots of time, that they’d be by soon & give me a “midwives cocktail” to help induce labour and in the meantime, I should just keep doing my stairs, moving around & getting ready.

I had some very minor period cramps during this time, though they did follow a bit of a pattern which was encouraging—15 or so minutes apart but they had very clear build-ups and so I practiced my up breathing (a hypnobirthing technique) just to prep for the contractions to follow. My midwives showed up shortly afterwards (around noon), took a feel and confirmed baby was just about where they’d want him position-wise. They checked my waters and confirmed that everything looked good and that my waters were clear, then helped us whip up this cocktail, which contained verbena, mango juice, almond butter, castor oil and water. It. Was. Gross. But I chugged it down and they left us enough of everything to make a second round if needed for around 4PM. I was told to keep moving (which is all I’d been doing all morning) so after making sure I wouldn’t shit my pants (a potential side effect of the cocktail), we walked to Granville Island to get lunch. It was a gorgeous day and I wanted to be distracted anyway so it felt so good to get outside and not be stressing about time passing in our apartment. 

Vancouver Seawall
Our walk to the island

I didn’t really feel anything on the walk to the island, but by the time we got our sandwiches, I started feeling the beginnings of proper early labour. My contractions were very mild and manageable so we kept enjoying the sunshine and eating, but by the time we started walking home I had to stop every 2 minutes or so for contractions that were building in power (apparently a neighbour tried to talk to us and Matt had to like sign language to him to please carry on while I leant against a tree). When we were home, I was actually psyched—I was ready for this and I was managing well and I had this weird nostalgic feeling for swim meets, runs, etc. In other words, this was an athletic event I felt like I’d trained for, had tools for and had prepared for—I was ready to go and to do my best. We put on my birth beats playlist (lots of reggae, Jack Johnson, etc), got a few different props ready for me to cycle through positions (we had the birthing ball in the bedroom for me to lean against the bed, a pillow next to an ottoman to get in a leant over position, etc) and Matt brought down our bags to the car and made sure we were all packed. My midwife had urged me to put on the TENS machine we’d got (a must for labour!) as soon as I felt like labour had properly started and I’m glad she gave us that advice because it really helped me just get in the zone and have something to do when contractions started up (I’d just boost it a bit). 

The Freya app (which is a The Positive Birth Company app, another labour must) said I was in established labour around 3PM but all of a sudden, just before 4 my contractions started tapering off and then effectively died off, and all of us (midwives included) were a bit concerned since I’d be coming up to my 24 hour window since my waters broke the evening prior in a matter of hours. In a panic we made an emergency appointment for induction acupuncture and we were also told to drink the second round of cocktail at 4PM which I was a bit nervous about because I’d heard these induction cocktails could lead to really intense/frequent contractions but I just wanted to make sure baby was safe so chugged this witch’s brew down and then all of a sudden everything flipped (and needless to say, the induction acu appointment was cancelled as quickly as it’d been booked).


My contractions ramped up very, very quickly and I was having them about 1 minute apart, maybe 2 minutes max at some points. They were building in intensity but as they did I started getting more and more in the zone. Matt fashioned a weird headband out of a ripped shirt of his so that I could keep an ice pack on my head, I found a prayer position propped up on an ottoman that felt good and just didn’t move for a bit. I thought I’d want to move through positions continuously to distract myself but it was easier to just stay put, particularly because I wasn’t really getting breaks between contractions (usually they should be coming every few minutes, not every minute). The up breathing was a lifesaver because I just didn’t really have any breaks and it would’ve been so easy to panic at this point but I just kept myself in the zone and finally around 5:30 I got Matt to call the midwives and let them know we’d need to meet at the hospital as soon as we could.

They told us to hold off until 6:30 since they were having a shift change at the time and it’d be easier to carry on with the one midwife, along with a midwife student who’d basically act as another support person which I was happy about. I absolutely love the midwife who was going to be on shift then (though I loved all of our midwives, we were part of a team unit) so I was really glad and having a clear timeframe to work with helped too. We fortunately only live a 5-10 minute drive from the hospital so I somehow made it to 6:15 and we got in the car. I was so scared for the drive as I’d heard the bumps and turns can be brutal when you’re in labour but actually, the change of scenery helped my contractions slow down a bit and allowed me to get examined a bit more comfortably once we got in. I was shocked to find out I was only 3cm but since I’d read so many stories in the private FB group for the hypnobirthing program I was in that were very similar (and often still resulted in fast labours), I didn’t let it bother me too much and just kept focusing on the breathing. My midwife told us to go for an hour long walk around the hospital and I’d say this was one of the hardest parts—my contractions immediately started ramping up once I got off the table and it was scary not knowing if I’d be allowed to stay or get sent home with what felt like very alarming power and frequency of contractions at this point. The area we could walk in felt super eerie and deserted (which looking back was maybe a good thing) but I just kept shuffling along the cafeteria area with contractions happening every minute. Matt was literally an angel sent from heaven above during all of this, he knew just how to soothe me and just kept telling me how much he loves me/how proud of me he was, which I think was really the most helpful thing he could do for me. 

That hour went by in a fast blur and we got checked again—I had only dilated to 4cm. At this point, I didn’t feel discouraged per se but I knew it was time to look into different options because I never wanted to stick to an unmedicated birth just to say I did it. I’d been dealing with very, very strong contractions a minute apart for well over a few hours and knew that this was unsustainable. I’d always been open to pain relief if I needed it so told my midwives I would be needing an epidural once we got up to the labour & delivery unit and they promised they’d get that arranged for me. A positive birth for me at this point meant not putting myself through a level of suffering that could be managed, so I felt good about this decision and also proud of myself for what I’d done up until this point. Everyone was on the same page and we made our way upstairs to the birthing units, with me stopping now constantly to breathe through contractions (one time I did this right next to a swinging door and Matt had to field it while people came in and out to make sure the door wouldn’t hit me, bless him).


Birth pool
A snap of our birth pool all set up our midwife managed to take so I’d remember this moment!

Our unit was beautiful, super spacious & complete with a tub—seriously, we are so lucky to live where we do & that I got to deliver at BC Women’s. Matt immediately set to work putting out our flameless candles, getting our speaker set up, etc while our midwife (and amazing midwife student, who basically functioned as a doula which was awesome) set up the bath and soothed me, all while getting the cannula set up in my hand. They wanted to get me in the bath just to help with pain relief while we waited for the anesthesiologist to get to our suite and while I was at this point very anxious for an epidural, I had also initially wanted to have a water birth so getting a bit of time in the tub also made me happy. Getting into the bath was the most instantaneous amazing relief, but unfortunately a very short lasting relief! I’ll never forget this momentary sense of peace as the candles flickered, my relaxing playlist played in the background and I had that first amazing sensation of warmth & weightlessness as I lay back in the water, followed almost immediately by the sudden feeling that things were going very, very sideways. I suddenly felt this buckling sensation as if baby was kicking upwards (again in that controlled way, not in the more spastic, reflexive way I’d felt through my pregnancy) and my entire abdomen hardened, with this weird, foreign feeling pressure building in my pelvis. I immediately started panicking about wanting to poop & though I’d say I’m usually actually a pretty uninhibited/vocal person and not afraid to be heard, I got very, very quiet and scared. They plied me with gas & air to help me breathe but I took one or two breath cycles with it (registering quickly with sadness that it did nothing for me, I was hoping I’d be one of the lucky ones who got all loopy from it) before pretty much dropping it to the side of the tub and apparently very quietly just whispering to Matt “need epidural now.” I got out of the tub and Matt held me as I retreated to the darkest corner of the washroom that I could find to hide (crazy how we act just like other mammals in labour during these moments!) & all I remember is trying to stay very calm while also clearly communicating that shit was going down & that they need to act fast, aka to help me NOW. It all just felt very, very urgent. 

The midwives & our awesome delivery nurse meanwhile had convened & they told me later that they were wondering if I was transitioning (the hiding is apparently a telltale sign) but thought I couldn’t possibly be because I was making no noise and was too calm (speaking of telltale signs, seems like this is one for hypnobirthing!). During that time I found my voice again and started calling from my corner of the washroom in desperation as I sat on the toilet “I need to poop, please just let me okay!” and being almost in tears about how unfair it was that no one would let me poop, but by the time they’d come to check in on me and discuss next steps, my pooping mania had been taken over by that first overwhelming urge to push. I was quickly checked on the bed and they discovered I’d dilated in 10-15 minutes from 4 to 10 cm, so no wonder I was not feeling so in control—I had been in transition! The epidural was cancelled, I was told that the baby was coming & just everything flipped so quickly, I didn’t have time to really process it. My amazing midwife assured me if I wanted pain relief they could still find options, but something changed when they told me I was fully dilated and I just was ready to go.

I initially started down breathing (another hypnobirthing technique) while holding the back of the bed in an upright position, but between Matt accidentally leaning on the controls again and again (making it recline while I was pushing, he’s still mortified by this but I think it’s hilarious, I hardly remember it) and just struggling to make a lot of progress in this position, they got me on my side holding up one leg. Hilariously, the only thing I’d written very definitively in my birth preferences was that I under no circumstances wanted to be on my back, but eventually that’s where I ended up and honestly, it was fine. It was just the best position for me and allowed me to actually push more effectively oddly. Another example of not getting too married to any one idea!

I didn’t know what time it was but my midwives mentioned we were past the 24 hour cycle by now so I really needed to focus on getting him out. I had almost been cocky going into second stage (the pushing part) because being athletic and someone who had worked so hard on my fitness through my pregnancy, I thought this would be the easy part for me, especially with all the core and pelvic work I’d done. Nope! I had a really hard time opening up and little guy’s head kept bobbing in and out, which was good in that it helped stretch everything but it got to the point where I could tell they were starting to get a bit more anxious about getting his head out. They set up a mirror to motivate me but incidentally, the way it was set I couldn’t actually see my vag just my butthole. After being so anxious about pooping, at the very least I could be assured I did during delivery because I saw the nurse cleaning me at least 3 times, so that was nice. 

Finally, they said they’d need to use a vacuum soon and bring in an obstetrician if I couldn’t get his head fully out on the next few pushes. That was all the motivation I needed and I just trusted them fully when they told me what to do and really gave in to my body at this point (because part of me the whole time was still like “well this is weird”—none of it feels normal, yet it all felt very natural). Once I’d silenced the unhelpful rational part of my brain and just leant into what my body told me to do, things progressed quickly—I gave it my all for the next 3 pushes (and by my all, I mean literally my all…it was all-consuming) and needed a lot of active coaching and encouragement from my amazing team but it was exactly what I needed. Baby’s head came out on the second or third push, and his whole body slipped out on the next push, all 7lb 10 oz of his perfect little self.

I was so relieved and just overwhelmed with how surreal & insane it was when they propped him up for me to take him in. He was just beautiful and so calm—everyone in the room commented on how chill he was, along with his luscious lips (their words verbatim not mine, though I’d have to agree). My cord was a bit short so he had to kind of snuggle my tummy while they got me to actively push out my placenta 30 minutes later (I didn’t get any more contractions after I delivered our angel so had to literally push into my bum to get it out), all while shaking uncontrollably from the adrenaline coursing through my body. Matt snipped the cord and I finally got to snuggle our baby up on my chest. I got assessed and since little guy had come out with a Superman pose with his fist next to his face, had a very “straightforward” (as they said) second degree tear. They stitched me up with some local anaesthetic and at this point I had a couple huffs of gas & air for the stitching process, but it was honestly all fine and not particularly painful. 


Some time during this period I was finally able to position Callum to look up at me and I’ll never forget him calmly just staring right into my eyes, straight into my soul—the only other time I’d had an experience like this was when my beloved childhood dog Bailey was about to pass away and he’d fixed his eyes on me unblinkingly for what felt like an eternity with so much love and peace in his eyes. I realized afterwards it was him saying goodbye because he died days later. I know with full certainty that that was Bailey’s way of saying he loved me and saying bye for now and I’ll never forget it. And I know just as certainly when Cal fixed his eyes on mine that it was his way of saying hello, and him taking in that I was his mummy who’d been carrying him all this time. I’ll never, ever forget it. 

I also knew in that moment that the name I’d wanted all this time and had been holding near & dear to my heart was most definitely his. He was absolutely my little Cal Pal and I said “he’s Callum” to Matt, remembering to say it as soon as I could after delivery so Matt would feel more compelled to agree since he’d be beholden to me for pushing the baby out (joking but not really). Fortunately, Matt had loved the name all along and agreed wholeheartedly that this was our Callum. It took us a few more days to settle on a middle name but we got there soon enough (we gave him the middle name Elliott in honour of Matt’s late grandpa, who was very clearly so in love with Matt from the home video footage Matt’s parents had found and that we got to watch later in our pregnancy). 

One of our first selfies together

Around 3AM when everyone had left and I’d showered and came out to see our baby getting skin-to-skin with Matt, I just felt like I was in another dimension in both the most amazing and trippiest way possible. I couldn’t believe I’d done it and that I’d given birth to our son basically completely unmedicated. Everything had happened so quickly and it’d all been such a whirlwind and all of a sudden we had our baby. I had really wanted an epidural for some time during the labour process (well, by some time I mean an hour or two…the whole labour happened so quickly) so the realization that I’d never even taken so much as a Tylenol kind of slowly dawned on me. It wasn’t that one way or another was more ideal, but I felt immediately so grateful I’d taken the hypnobirthing course and done the work because it had helped me deliver unmedicated in a calm way and I know I wouldn’t have been able to (mostly) keep my cool as well as I had if it hadn’t been for that.

And then everything else started coming back to me in fragments. I’ve seen Matt cry maybe 3 times over our whole nearly 13 year relationship so it was also really special to remember him crying during labour (not that I get joy out of him sobbing, but kind of did in this instance). He said after the fact that he was just so overwhelmed with how proud of me he was but I’m also so proud of him. We kept joking throughout the pregnancy that he was my doula but truth be told, being pregnant and giving birth during the pandemic is no joke and we had decided to just be a team of two and not book a doula in case regulations changed again. He really stepped up to the challenge and was so amazing to me throughout the whole process, both during pregnancy, during labour, postpartum and I’m sure beyond. A little side note, but I thought for sure I’d scream at him and want to kill him at some point during labour but that never happened—I was always just nestled towards him and he was constantly in my ear encouraging me the whole time. Our midwife snapped some really special pictures and you can see it in all the snaps, he’s just leant over me and keeping me going. I felt like we were such a team and I was just so grateful to him for his support—this whole experience has made me feel like our love and partnership is stronger than it has ever been, and we’ve had to rely on each other more than ever. 

Little snuggz

Back to that night though, the rest of that first night at the hospital was such a blur. Because we’d gone past the 24 hour window (but by only an hour, gah!) we needed more frequent monitoring (well, Cal did) so we really barely slept as it felt like people were in and out of our room fairly constantly. I vaguely remember registering that the nurses changed here and there but mostly just felt like I was in this upside down hazy murky world in between check-ups, cuddles and trying to get our latch right (though he barely wanted to feed, very common in the first 24 hours when the poor babies are exhausted from making their arrival earth-side). We ordered pizza from one of the only places in the area open around 3:30AM and for some reason I craved a Coke—usually a sure sign that I’m majorly depleted ‘cause I don’t love pop usually, it’s usually a sign I have heat exhaustion while travelling if I’m asking for one actually. But the next day when we all woke up I’d say postpartum recovery really properly started and it’s just been a process of all of us getting to know each other and falling more and more in love every day, while also just going through the process of recovering too. 

The next day in the new uniform for the next few days: nursing bra, hospital diapers, belly band & hair up in a scrunchie.

I’m only just over two weeks postpartum so I feel like I’m still in the thick of it, but one thing’s for certain: we couldn’t have been luckier with my pregnancy, couldn’t have been luckier with our labour & delivery and couldn’t have been luckier with our team, but more than anything, we couldn’t be luckier to have our angel boy (or our “beautiful boy” as we call him most often, this kid is going to be so vain one day if we don’t start controlling ourselves). He’s been very, very easy on his incompetent parents (and I don’t mean that in a self-deprecating way—they literally had to show us how to hold a newborn in the hospital, and I’m fairly certain I’ve still messed that up since we’ve been home). He is very easily soothed, he lets us put him down which is amazing and his cries are even cute (we just call them his “ole’s” because he just mostly goes “Ole, Ole, Ole” when he’s hungry). Haters will say they’re gas smiles but we’re both fairly certain we’ve gotten the first glimmers of smiles while he’s become more alert and interacted with us more and more. We’re just both so hopelessly in love with our beautiful angel and while postpartum recovery isn’t easy (more on that in another post soon), it’s all felt worth it for these moments of bliss with him. 

Based off of my very personal experience (remembering that this is just what I went through and not a sweeping recommendation for everyone), here are some takeaways from my labour & delivery experience:

I’d recommend doing some sort of mental prep & breath work, whether that’s meditating, hypnobirthing, yoga, etc. It helped me more than anything.

Thinking through & visualizing all potential eventualities helped me feel positive & not despair or panic throughout labour. Knowing no matter what things will be okay & not getting married to one idea are both key.

You obviously can’t control another person, but getting your birth partner on the same page as far as techniques & walking through birth preferences with them was (for me) very important. But ultimately, I think the best thing a birth partner can do is to advocate for you, encourage you and remind you that they love & support you.

Having a plan for early labour helps you feel some level of control over the experience. I knew I wanted Parks & Rec on in the background, some music that always reminds me of happy times, certain foods that comfort me, breath work to rely on, etc. It all immediately got me in the zone.

Remember that you can do this. That millions of women have done this. Have some mantras. During early labour, I would inhale & exhale out different words like “Calm,” “Strong,” etc. I had all these different affirmations I wanted to use once we were at the hospital but by then I just needed a lifeline to ground me so just kept repeating to myself “I can do this.” And I did! 

baby blanket
Our beautiful boy

Thanks for getting this far if you’re still reading this absolute novel of a post! But I wanted to write it in its entirety because this story and experience has been so special to me. I feel so lucky and I’m just so grateful. I have found postpartum to be much more challenging than both my birth experience & pregnancy, but every day it’s getting better which is also so encouraging. I find a lot of the labour & delivery prep I did is still getting used now, whether it’s up breathing during latches (it’s getting so much better for me but initially, the first minute or two of latching on during breastfeeding was indescribably painful for me), having a mantra (for me it’s been “every day & in every way I’m getting better & better”) and remembering yet again, that I can do this just like so many other women have before me. I honestly hardly know what’s going on in the world but from what I have seen it seems like we’re in a pretty serious second wave now of COVID—I hope you’re all staying safe & doing well! For those of you who are pregnant or newly postpartum and dealing with these new restrictions (which has been personally really hard for me as my parents had to go back to work and can’t come by anymore)—sending so much love your way & know that you’ve got this.

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Callum Wed, 11 Nov 2020 21:03:34 +0000 Callum Elliott Born October 26, 2020 10:35PM in Vancouver, Canada 7lb 10 oz Please welcome our little angel Callum Elliott, or Cal Pal as we like to call him. Cal…

The post Callum appeared first on To Vogue or Bust.

Newborn photography

Callum Elliott

Born October 26, 2020 10:35PM in Vancouver, Canada

7lb 10 oz

Please welcome our little angel Callum Elliott, or Cal Pal as we like to call him. Cal came into this world with a calm and serene expression on his face on a beautiful October evening, taking us all by surprise since we’d officially given up on an earlier arrival and expected him to be past due. We feel blessed & lucky beyond words to be his parents. While we’re clearly biased, he is so perfect in our eyes. He is so beautiful and sweet and somehow already makes us laugh. I have so much to share and will be in the coming weeks as I continue to get my footing (we’re only 2 weeks in, after all) but hope you join us in welcoming this sweet boy to the world. We can’t wait to be his guides on this journey through life, and so excited for our biggest and most beautiful adventure yet.

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10 Essentials to Have For Baby’s Arrival Fri, 23 Oct 2020 17:20:05 +0000 It’s pretty surreal looking at my pregnancy progress tracker & seeing the percentage left in tiny, single digit numbers (think we have 2% left now). I’ve been saying it basically…

The post 10 Essentials to Have For Baby’s Arrival appeared first on To Vogue or Bust.

Pre washing newborn clothes

It’s pretty surreal looking at my pregnancy progress tracker & seeing the percentage left in tiny, single digit numbers (think we have 2% left now). I’ve been saying it basically from the get-go and even now at the tail end when you’d expect that time would’ve slowed down, for whatever reason it still feels like it’s going at lightning speed for me. While it feels like we’ve been busy at work in our place and getting ready for at least the last couple of months, I’m grateful to still have  a few tasks left to do and things to pick up in these last few weeks (or days, depending on when he comes!) because it’s helped keep me busy and distracted!

Ivory Snow reviews

Wanted to touch base on some essentials today that you need in case you’re trying to tend to the must-have’s and must-do’s, either in your last little stretch of pregnancy like me or if you’re ahead of the game and getting to all of this months beforehand! Or of course if you’re just planning for the future—I’m still shocked by how very little I knew about babies, pregnancy & just what the preparation would entail (nothing too daunting or big, just not anything I really expected!). 

Ivory Snow Stage 1: Newborn Laundry Detergent

I’m so excited to be partnered with Ivory Snow both before and after baby’s arrival as it is the #1 recommended laundry detergent by pediatricians and dermatologists. I had no idea about pre-washing before becoming pregnant, and even less knowledge about why it’s important to use specific detergent for a newborn’s delicate skin.

pre washing baby clothes
Ivory Snow Detergent

Ivory Snow is hypoallergenic and has a detergent for every stage of baby’s life, from newborn to active baby as they get older and more mobile (and their clothes get very likely dirtier & dirtier from more exploration and introducing solids into their diet!). The smell is quite literally heaven. I’ve had very limited newborn exposure (though lots of baby exposure, just don’t know that I’ve ever actually held a brand-new baby) but something about this scent already reminds me of him and of that soft newborn baby scent you always hear about.

Newborn Baby Essentials

Pre-washing is something that makes total sense but just wasn’t something even on my radar before becoming pregnant. Obviously, you’re going to be a laundry machine in the days that follow baby’s arrival, but making sure all their adorable, teeny-tiny clothes & accessories are clean is one less thing to do before they come. It’s also unexpectedly been the most lovely little ritual—I’ve done maybe 7 loads already (this kid has a lot of clothes) and it’s just a really special, loving moment to fold the Ivory Snow scented onesies and tiny pants and swaddles and bibs up in anticipation of his arrival, imaging him in them so, so soon. I’ve felt pretty bonded to this little jolly jumper in my belly for pretty much the whole pregnancy, but it just makes it all feel more real and makes me that much more excited/bonded to him.

Ivory Snow Newborn Detergent

I had extremely sensitive skin as a baby (and still do) and have always been eczema-prone (seriously, there are some very scary rash pictures of me as a 6 month old) so knowing this is formulated to be exceedingly gentle on newborn skin while also being insanely effective when it comes to cleaning and stain-busting is such a relief. Learn more about Ivory Snow’s product range here and if you want to try Ivory Snow Stage 1: Newborn baby detergent for yourself, click here!

Zipper Onesies 

Speaking of pre-washing, I feel already like I’ve washed countless onesies…when I asked you guys on stories way earlier in my pregnancy as to what you’d recommend for baby apparel, the consensus was loud & clear: zippered onesies! I do have some with snaps (usually reserved for the more special looks, like a couple nicer onesies or bodysuits that I want to snap pics of him in or to go meet his new aunts, uncles, pals, etc in) but by & large his entire wardrobe is mainly comprised of super soft, zippered onesies, which between friends & my amazing online community, sound like they’re by far the easier option for those late night changes and whatnot. I got as many fold-over mitten and either footed or fold-over footsies ones as I could as well for the 0-3 month age when he not only can’t control his reflexes (so may scratch his little angel face), but it’ll also be the coldest time of the year so the extra warmth for his teeny hands and feet will be so needed! You guys also really suggested two-way zippers which we also tried to stock up on! Helps so that you can just zip up for changes without having to take baby out fully and expose them to the cold.


This one came up a lot too and again, looking at me as a baby (with drool pouring out of my mouth & a steadily reddening rash developing around my chin and neck as a result), I just want to plan for another drooler and have these on hand as much as possible! I’d really suggest looking into bib-burping cloth hybrids (that you can unclip and toss over your shoulder when burping, then clip back up around baby’s neck) just because I’m all for multi-function products! At any rate, this should help protect baby’s clothes so that you can cut back on outfit changes if they tend to spit up or drool a ton (which let’s face it, most babies do).

Newborn Baby Clothes

Muslin Swaddles

I don’t know why I’m so obsessed with swaddles but it’s become a weird fixation of mine over the pregnancy and in addition to being gifted so many beautiful swaddles, find myself just picking the odd one up here and there once every other week or so (for, like, the last few months so you do the math). I do feel like especially as newborns, babies live in them whether it’s for soothing or naps or whatever else. They also are such multi-function pieces, whether it’s draped over their bouncer or lounger to save from spit-up messes or as a little privacy shield draped over their strollers. 

Fleece Booties

This one’s for fall/winter babies but these came so highly recommended because they actually strap on really securely (so the constant cycle of losing little shoes/socks shouldn’t happen with these strap-on options) and are so warm that even if your onesie only has a fold-over mitten option (which I’ve noticed a lot do—personally feel like they should have fold-over for both hands and feet if they’re going to include it at all!) then your little one’s feet will stay warm & toasty. All of the above I pre-washed with Ivory Snow! I’ve found it’s easiest to just wash all on cold and hang to dry since most baby clothes dry really quickly and I want them to be in mint condition when he comes! Now all of his things have this addictive smell and are ready & waiting for him to come home.

Babybjorn Bouncer


Moving on from apparel options, any friends who have a bouncer have said it’s such a godsend. I’m kind of readying myself for a baby who wants to be held or tended to all the time based off of his general energy levels in utero and the stories I’ve heard both about Matt and I as a baby (especially Matt, for such a low-key guy now he sure sounds like he was an exceptionally high-maintenance baby) so in addition to having options to keep him on me a lot (getting to those in a second), I think something like a bouncer will help keep him comfy & near us but allow us to get some hands-free work done sometimes, whether that’s actual work (since I’m not really taking a full-blown maternity leave) or household chores. Also a really easy-to-pack option to bring him over to grandparents and the like as well.

Best strollers of 2020

Stroller + Car Seat System

This is a big and very obvious one! Even though I’m planning on mostly using the carrier (I just like the idea of having him right on me, especially at the beginning) you do need a great stroller. We love ours and are so excited for our first family Seawall walk together! Feel like it’s especially necessary when you’re out running errands because it not only offers tons of storage (for groceries or other things you pick up), but it allows baby to nap or chill in its own space if you’re out for brunch or taking a load off at a cafe. We also have our amazing car seat all set to go that works seamlessly with this stroller and the car seat is officially all set up (a requirement most hospitals have before you can get discharged!).


We have both a more heavy-duty carrier that buckles up and a swaddle-style one that I’m planning on using more at home if he doesn’t want to get put down. I’d personally recommend both because while an ergonomic option is key for those long walks, I can’t imagine wearing one all day around the house would be the comfiest option between the buckles and straps. 

Pre washing baby clothes


It’s generally recommended that baby sleeps nearby in a bassinet for the first stage of life, basically until they start getting more mobility or outgrow their bassinet. We’ve had ours set up next to our bed for the last couple of months which, if you’re planning on having baby in the same room as you, I’d recommend doing because it’s one less big change in your space or bed routine to have to adjust to! Feel very used to the bassinet next to my side now (though think it will still be a bit of a surreal shock having a baby actually in it soon enough!). We’ve got all his fitted sheets washed with Ivory Snow and one already on the mattress!

Diaper Genie reviews

A Change Station

Since we’re staying in our 1-bedroom apartment a bit longer and were really intent on not making the space feel too cluttered (I get claustrophobic easily so hate feeling like things are piling up all over the place, which is hard to not do when you’re in a small space!), we didn’t get a dedicated change table but actually just integrated a changing station into a pre-existing piece of furniture we had and I think it’s going to work well! It’s a storage console that’s behind our couch (one of my top tips for small space living: use blocked visual space for added storage, this console holds so much) and we basically just cleared out 3 units of storage in it for his toiletries, diapers, changing pad, etc. We’ll likely keep the changing pad out on top of the unit since we’ll be doing so many changes (and are also new to changing, so don’t want to add an extra step every time as we’re early on in our learning curve!) but whenever we have company or want to tidy up the space, can just wipe down and put away the mat in its dedicated little space. We also have our diaper pail stowed away next to a bookcase so it’s basically hidden from view as well! You get creative and strategic with less space to work with, and honestly we feel like we have all of our essentials (and more) but our space has never actually felt airier and more organized thanks to all of our intense nesting and planning. 

What to do before baby is born

Hope this helps you guys hone in on the essentials you need to welcome baby to the world! I’m obviously no expert yet as we’re still waiting on the little one, but I do know that we feel way more ready than I anticipated and I really credit that to just giving in to the nesting urge and making that a priority a bit earlier on. I’ve been really lucky to still be very mobile even at this stage of my pregnancy, but it was absolutely easier to get on all fours and pull stuff out from under the bed earlier on so glad we began the whole process earlier so that I can just focus on doing the little organizing and cleaning tasks now, including my fave aforementioned task: cleaning & putting away all his adorable little clothes, sheets, accessories, swaddles and even some toys that can get washed to make sure it’s all ready for your little angel with Ivory Snow!

This post was created in partnership with Ivory Snow but all opinions are my own

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