*notcot in me , 17:20

Mother’s Day 2019: pre-baby stuff- 05.12.19


UPDATE Oct 2019 - Our little NOTbaby is 4 months old now! For those who have asked, I’ve put together a NOTbaby List of products that have worked out well for us from Pregnancy to Baby (and will keep updating as we progress!) - It’s an Amazon affiliate storefront, because we’ve been using Amazon Prime a lot for the convenience during exhaustion! The tiny % of affiliate revenue that comes from any shopping through the NOTbaby List will go towards diapers and more baby goods!

Ooh it has been a while - nearly a year and a half of resisting internet brain dumps and oversharing. So i figured, today is as good a day as any to give things a try and see how it still feels… after all, i feel like there’s a basketball in my belly and typing seems better than waddling about. In a nutshell, NOTCOT.org is still where i’ve been sharing random inspiration daily (and it too has had some changes), Shawn and i are still a pair of creative junkies (though we’ve been channeling our creative energies towards secret projects!) and we’ve since gotten married and have a baby boy on the way (he could pop out any day now? or maybe a month from now?)… and the biggest shift has ultimately been taking (giving myself?) time away from oversharing on the internet after a decade and a half or so to finding the headspace to reassess where i’m at and what i want next!

All in all, i’m now 36 weeks pregnant with a belly that looks like it engulfed a basketball, and from what i hear… going through labor and raising a newborn will produce some fantastic chemicals that may make one crazy enough to consider going through this whole pregnancy process AGAIN… so before that happens, it seemed like a good time to round up some thoughts, products, and other silliness before i forget it all!

Pregnancy! OMG! Note to self, if i try to do this again any time soon… phew! What a physical and emotional adventure it has been. I’ve definitely learned more about my internal organs than ever before: where they are (or were), how far they can move (and smoosh), and i’ve definitely gained a new appreciation for all that they do! It’s been like a freaky science experiment every time i look in the mirror to see how far things can grow and shift… and STRETCH. The feeling of a growing alien being inside of me getting bigger and stronger and far more active every day is indescribably bizarre. This little guy is STRONG. As for the emotional… turns out even the worst PMS is nothing. The rapidity with which mood swings will throw your brain around will give you (and anyone nearby) whiplash… but it’s a good time to work on your mindful, meditative ‘brain over chemicals’ skills - especially with no external chemical vices for a year or so!

Code Name: Venom. Yup, that’s one of his many names through this process. Probably my earliest and favorite one… watch the movie… you know that booming voice inside Tom Hardy’s head as he ravages the fridge (and trash) saying “FOOOOOOOOOD”? That’s what i heard all first trimester as the insatiable hunger would kick in at any time of day/night.

Baby goods + gear + registries + baby showers + all that… We’ve been all about LESS IS MORE. And the more modular/versatile the better. Especially when you have no idea what will happen, what the baby will like, how big/small it will be, and realizing how quickly it goes through things! Also in the time of Amazon Prime and so much on demand delivery, do you really need to hoard ahead of time? Just about anything you could need or want can arrive or be tracked down quickly, or definitely show up within 2 days! (Particularly in a big city!) Also, we’re all about saving money for when the kid is mature enough to appreciate/enjoy/understand things! If we’re buying silly baby goods to please us adults, we might as well buy things that REALLY make us happy - NOW! (Basically, months of an empty luxurious nursery does nothing for me… where’s the instant gratification in that?)

PRODUCTS! Here are the things that have helped me survive the last 8.5 months… (Other than Shawn, who has been an incredible partner through every minute of this process, and has gained some impressive culinary skills along the way! And Bucky, who is basically the sweetest therapy dog - though skeptical when the baby kicked him through my belly.) I’ve been tempted to write posts about them earlier, but wanted to get further along and see how they really held up first… So since we’re nearly at the finish line (as far as the pregnancy phase anyhow), seemed safe enough to share!

bbhugme.jpg BBHUGME PREGNANCY PILLOW - if i had to pick ONE thing, this would be it. In fact even non-pregnant people should have one. IT IS THAT GOOD. In a nutshell, it’s incredibly versatile for every phase (pregnancy, nursing, baby hang out, teething), feels incredible, and the quality of design and materials are fantastic. The interior reminds me of those stretchy and squishy pillows filled with tiny foamy pellets (just like those japanese mogu/brookstone föm pillows.) It’s Norwegian, but DHL’d its way to Los Angeles in 5 days!

babypod.jpg The detailed version? It doesn’t take up more space than adding another adult in your bed. (Seriously, have you SEEN how hideous and huge most pregnancy pillows are? And felt how terrible the covers and fill are?) When not pregnant, it’s so comfortable in a U shape to prop yourself up in bed to read or watch tv, and apparently people’s kids steal them as bed bumpers later on too. When pregnant and growing, at every stage it adapts to your curves, keeps your knees separated and your belly supported as needed, especially since you can slide the silicone pebbles to adjust the density to your liking (which keeps evolving!) When SUPER pregnant, you can make it into a big donut and go belly down (like those prenatal massage setups) which has been life changing this week, especially for my back! When nursing it can be looped around you (whether you’re the mom or dad!) to support the baby. Instead of buying a boppy or other baby pillow, you can loop it and let the baby hang out in it, and also put the pillow in the Baby Pod Cover. And the silicone pebbles can be used as teethers!

pregteas.jpg HERBAL TEAS! Everyone responds differently to different things… and somehow my body has done really well with herbs from High Garden Tea in Nashville, TN (We swear by their Detox and Sleepy Teas and always have some in the pantry… it is also the loveliest little shop if you’re ever in town!) During this process i’ve used their Fertility Tea and Mother Nature Tea and so far so good… The other absolute life saver has been Earth Mama Organics’ Heartburn Tea - better than tums and all the other goods i tried at the drugstore. It’s been magical.

libby-preg.jpg OVERDRIVE/THE LIBBY APP & LAPL - Having the Libby App in conjunction with the Los Angeles Public Library e-Media resources has opened up SO many options, and helped me devour far more Pregnancy, Birthing, and Baby books than i would have were i to have bought them all. From skimming some out of curiosity, to diving deep into others i never expected to love, it’s helped me stay far more informed than simply letting Dr. Google take over the process. (Also, when bored and resting, i’ve also borrowed far too many books and magazines here too!)

beauty-preg.jpg SKINCARE SAVIORS - The dryness and itchiness of an ever stretching belly is no joke. So far, the things that have saved me the most (fingers crossed for these final few weeks and how it turns out after! Also, keep in mind, stretch marks can have a lot to do with genetics!) have been to exfoliate and moisturize regularly! My combo: Aesop Redemption Body Scrub (The smell is also so calming!) followed by Weleda Stretch Mark Massage Oil. As for the hormonal madness of pregnancy that can wreak havoc like no other… i’ve been surprised how well my sensitive skin has been responding to the (what i initially thought was over-hyped) Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum.

applewatch.jpg APPLE WATCH 4 - Firstly, pregnancy brain is real. It’s embarrassing, and i tried to deny it for a while, but i’m really just not always ME when i’m pregnant. Emotional roller coaster aside - i space out, forget why i walked into a room, misplace my phone/glasses/keys/etc more, and other such ridiculousness. Secondly, i never thought i’d be an Apple Watch kind of person. But it has been so so useful. I can Walkie-Talkie Shawn at any moment… even if he’s a few rooms away or in the garage! I am less likely to miss a text message or phone call (even when i don’t know with absolute certainty where my phone is?) I can time my tea that is steeping and actually drink it before it has been sitting for hours until i happen to walk through the kitchen again! The activity monitor can help me track how many steps i’ve taken! The only hard part about the watch? Remembering to charge it at night and put it on in the morning… on the days i can conquer that, it’s been pretty great.

AS FOR THINGS TO COME… here are our baby-prep basics (and some fun stuff) that we’ve started to accumulate as we get ready for the baby… maybe more to come about some of these later on as we fully try them out?


P.S. FYI - I don’t plan on turning into a mommy blogger any time soon.

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