Life With The Libbys | My Pregnancy Journey and Maternity Photos & Film
Now that our Baby Grey is already 6 months (HOW) I'm finally getting around to sharing our maternity photos & film. My pregnancy honestly went by so quick. I think it was a combination of being one of the busiest seasons of my life as well as a very easy and healthy pregnancy.
Along with the photos & film, I also wanted to share not only some of my favorite things for pregnancy but also our preconception journey to get here. If this is not your cup of tea - totally get it, keep scrolling or just ex out. But I found when we were thinking about starting a family there was little to no resources on preconception. It's as if we spend our whole life up until this point to avoid pregnancy that when it comes time to actually have a baby no one really prepares us for what that looks like. I feel like I need to start by saying, I'm no expert. Not a fertility specialist, nurse, or anything even close to the medical field. I'm just a new mom who dives head first into anything she's passionate about and tries to soak up as much information as possible to be as prepared mentally & physically as I can be.
Obviously one of the first steps I took was getting off birth control. It was so wild to me that I had been on the pill since such a young age and never really questioned the side effects it was having on my body. I started by reading the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility. This took me back to the basics of my cycle and taught me so much about not only timing for conception but also how to prevent it. It's definitely a must read if you're getting off birth control and unsure of where to start. I used the resources in this book to track my cycle by taking my basal body temperature among other symptoms. A lot of my other friends also use Natural Cycles which is essentially the same thing.
One of my favorite nutritionist to follow is Kelly Levesque. She wrote Body Love and is famous for her Fab Four approach to eating - I've been following her approach for the past few years and it's changed the way I think about food for fuel. I took her Fab 4 Pregnancy Course prior to getting pregnant and also found the following podcasts with her super eye opening...
I highly recommend taking a listen and following along with the guests she has on these podcasts. One of the biggest takeaways I learned was to start preparing your body for pregnancy before actually getting pregnant. For me, this meant cleaning up not only my diet but also our home and skincare, to set ourselves up for a greater chance of success. I wanted to give us the best opportunity at having the most healthy baby we could.
A few additional books I stumbled upon were...
Once we decided we were ready to start a family we used these Ovulation Test Strips in conjunction with tracking my cycle. This can be a lot - but for me, the more information the better. If you know me, I'm not really a "go with the flow" kind of girl. A lot of people take the approach when starting a family "if it happens it happens" which is SO great. However, with us both being self employed in a seasonal business, we wanted to do everything we could to try to plan to have our baby in the off season. Not only so that we could work (nobody is paying for my maternity leave) and not have to miss out on any of our commitments but also to maximize time at home with the baby before heading back to work.
We are extremely grateful that a combination of all of these things as well as maybe just some good luck - blessed us with a beautiful, healthy, baby girl in November 2021.
Once we got pregnant, I was honestly a little burnt out from all the reading and podcast listening. I just wanted to enjoy being pregnant. But as I mentioned before, I'm an all in, full passion, kind of person and I wanted to approach pregnancy and motherhood the same way. The responsibility of growing and raising a tiny human is something I wanted to do with great care and to the best of my ability. Here are some things I found helpful during my pregnancy as well as things I did during pregnancy to prepare for postpartum and bringing baby home...
Book: Expecting Better (my favorite pregnancy book because it was research driven and allows you to make the decision of what's best for you with all the facts laid out)
Book: Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (definitely more of a "breast is best" approach which I don't always agree with but I found some of the information helpful and just took nuggets of information)
Courses: Karing for Postpartum - one of the absolute best resources! Just following Karrie on Instagram you will learn SO much.We both took her Infant Care and Breastfeeding courses towards the end of my pregnancy.
Preggie Pops - I was lucky enough to not have crazy morning sickness but I struggled with some food aversions and queasiness. These seemed to help.
Barefaced Skincare - The symptom I struggled with the worst during pregnancy and postpartum was hormonal acne. I always have had clear skin so this was really hard for me. I tried to "suck it up" during pregnancy trying to be grateful that it was my worst symptom but honestly it sucks. And it got worse postpartum and I was really struggling with my appearance. I found Barefaced postpartum and WISH I found it earlier because they have a whole section of pregnancy/nursing safe products that actually work (thank you Karrie for the recommendation
Rent The Runway for my growing/changing body. But you probably already knew that :)
LuluLemon Align Leggings & Bike Shorts - lived in my normal size high rise leggings & bike shorts throughout my entire pregnancy. I didn't have to size up and they never lost their stretch.
Full Well Prenatal - This was a recommendation from Kelly's Fab 4 Pregnancy Course. They now offer men's vitamins too which is awesome! Men's health is just as important when preparing for conception.
For the body & bump I used Summer Friday's Babymoon Belly Balm & Honest Belly Oil / Bump Butter & Drunk Elephant Body Scrub. I was lucky enough to not have any stretch marks but I think I have my Momma and good genetics to thank for that vs. products. However keeping tight skin hydrated can never hurt.
The Sculpt Society - Lucky enough that the owner of TSS was pregnant around the same time as me and created an entire pregnancy safe workout videos. She also has postpartum ones which is great too!
Jibe Cycling - I was able to continue spinning a few times a week and it was the perfect pair with the at home sculpt classes. I was able to spin with small modifications until about 34 weeks then I started to become uncomfortable.
Jade Integrated Health - With a referral from my doctor I was able to do pelvic floor physical therapy. This was more preventative and proactive for me and I'm so glad I did it. They even do an at home visit 1-2 weeks after you're home. This was wonderful for pregnancy & postpartum. They also offer prenatal yoga too.
Coastal Women's Healthcare - Finding the right provider for you is such a personal decision. The best way is honestly through referrals but I really enjoyed my experience at Coastal if anyone is looking for a provider. I also think it's important to remember you can switch yours during your pregnancy if it's not the right fit.
LMNT - stay hydrated!
Pregnancy Pillow - Took up our entire california king bed but worth it.
I know this post is a little more personal than most but I honestly wish I had more information like this available when I was pregnant or thinking about starting a family. So if anything I hope it just gives a few people some small takeaways that are helpful.
I know a big part of pregnancy is preparing for bringing baby home. I'll be putting together an early postpartum and our first 6 month favorites for baby soon!
Photos taken by Mackenzie Lamoureux
Film created by OTD Collective