The Holidays – A time for great surprises!

Long before I ever had a baby, I used to think about ways I would tell my husband I was pregnant. The top of my revelation list was baby socks … I planned to buy 2 dozen and basically take over his entire sock drawer so he could open it to say, “What are all these socks?” or “What are all these socks doing in here?” I would either look at him coyly, or reply, “What are all those socks?” or “I’ve stocked up because we’re going to need them.” or “Whoops! Wrong drawer!” etc. I thought about this a lot (can’t you tell? ;)). When the time came, it didn’t happen anything like I planned (but that’s another story).

When I was pregnant a second time, it was even less fun and uneventful than the first time around. By then, we had been together so long that I couldn’t even unwrap the pregnancy test without detection. He thought I was in the bathroom for a long time. He heard a wrapper. I stepped out and he said, “So are you pregnant?” Romantic. Right?

But the feelings of fun and excitement (and sometimes stress and worry!) about a pending pregnancy have not departed from my heart. Every time I get to share in the giddy excitement of a new pregnancy or share in the joy of a “pregnancy reveal” – especially in surprise form – my heart beats a little faster. I have no impending announcement myself but I can’t turn my mind off of the many, fun ways people could share their news of a pregnancy:

The Maternity Girl Idea Board for Announcing a Pregnancy During the Holidays


Maternity Girl sells new and resale maternity and nursing apparel. She also provides styling services for maternity and breastfeeding photoshoots and rents maternity dresses in the Pittsburgh area. If you’re interested in purchasing items, you can check out her online store (a project still in the works), sign up for a Mama’s MilkBox (a nursing apparel subscription service) or send her a message to make an appointment.

 

A Holiday Gift for Moms and Moms-to-Be

Gift-giving for new and repeat Moms isn’t necessarily that hard: a massage, a cleaning service gift certificate, a baby-sitter, a Maternity Girl gift certificate, jewelry, watching the baby/children for 5 (or more!) minutes so Mom can go to the bathroom in peace (you’re supposed to NOT call her or ask questions while she’s in there), etc. But giving a gift that Mom will truly enjoy, that she didn’t think of herself, that also costs less than $15? Here ya go:

Born Free Nighty Night [Nursing] Light:

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I was turned on to this product via a Mom client who has been using it and she tells me it’s amazing.

You’ll notice I put the “nursing” portion of the product title in brackets … that’s because I think this product can be used by all Moms. Being awake with a baby at night isn’t just about breastfeeding – there’s also bottle feeding and diaper changes and, quite frankly, the baby that just wants to be awake. Of course we try to encourage babies to NOT be awake by keeping the lights dim, but sometimes it’s so dim you can miss a smear of poop – or even worse – get it on your hand while wiping … and neither of those is fun. Hence this light!

So if you’ve been thinking about fun stocking stuffers or something for Mom that she wouldn’t even think of herself, check this item out!

Happy Holidays!

Elena

The Facebook Black Market

If you didn’t already know, let me be the first to tell you that there are several sub-layers of e-commerce that exist on Facebook. There are groups. Hundreds. Probably even thousands (or more!) of groups in which people “B/S/T” (Buy-Sell-Trade) or “FSOT” (For Sale Or Trade) and gosh knows what else. In Pittsburgh, baby and kid items resale is hugely popular. A couple of the Moms’ groups that I’m in are also very active (and helpful!) with ‘Mom inquiries’ so when I was pondering about what type of hip-sling to acquire for my very-attached-to-me-baby, I decided to pose the question to a group.

The feedback was very helpful. At first. I basically wanted to know, “Is there anything better or less expensive than this fancy $100 (minimum) Sakura Bloom that I keep seeing all over the place?” My baby loves being carried but my arms, back and other carriers (Ergo and Moby) were not great for what I currently needed.

First, I learned you can actually use the Ergo on your hip (and this was before noon! I felt so accomplished with this tidbit even if I did nothing else all day!) but I tried it as soon as a few Moms told me about it and still it didn’t seem to work for me (the straps seemed to hit my baby in the face and she was trying to crawl out … I think she thought this new “hold” was a game). Then, as the responses poured in, I learned about 10 others brands/types of carriers that I had never even heard of, which, according to each Mom, was awesome and potentially just as expensive so I was back to square one. I was on the verge of getting ready to research each and all but then another Mom chimed in, “I tried the Sakura. Twice. And it wasn’t for me.” That comment just set me on the path back to the Sakura (another Mom told me it was her favorite but she didn’t buy because of the cost) – so I asked the Mom who had tried it but didn’t like it, “Would you be willing to sell it?” She was!

So she and I decided to meet later today at a half-way point (which I am still eternally grateful for) and I suggested we meet in front of an LA Fitness that “I constantly drive by which always seems to have an empty parking lot.”

With baby in tow and a little bit of excitement for what I anticipate will be the greatest carrier of all time [I’m dedicated to the task and don’t mind having to use it 15 times before I fall in love], I set off for what would be the world’s busiest LA Fitness parking lot (duh! I drive around during the day, when people work, and am home, feeding kids, when most people go to the gym!”

But no worries … her “big black truck” was already parked in front of the LA Fitness with hazard lights on. Let me set the scene further … it is raining, dark and my baby is crying in her car-seat …

As such, I walk around to the sidewalk, grab the baby carrier (I don’t want to leave the baby crying in the car!) and head over to the big, black truck. I stand next to the passenger side window. And wave. The woman waves back. After a few seconds, I wave again. She rolls down the window. “Hi!” I say, “I’m here for the Sakura Bloom.” She looks at me like I have 4 heads. “I’m sorry?” she asks. So I confirm, “The sakura bloom. From facebook!” She gazes at me. And then, someone appearing to be her teenage daughter, pushes past me to rush into the car from the rain. “Oh, I’m sorry. I thought you were the woman from Facebook who I am meeting. I am meeting someone here to purchase a Sakura bloom [her eyes look scared] – the baby sling.” “Ok!” she says as she closes the window. And then she drives away. And then my baby starts wailing again and all I can think is, “Oh my god. I think she thinks I was meeting someone to purchase drugs! [I did have cash in hand] I think she thinks “Sakura Bloom” is some kind of code for some street drug! She’s probably driving home telling her daughter,’whatever you do, don’t ever try Sakura Bloom.'”

I rush to put the pissed-off baby back in the car and out of the rain. I am a little embarrassed. Very humored. I’m also partially afraid someone saw the whole scene and is going to call the cops saying, “There is a Mom outside the gym, trying to buy drugs and she has her baby with her!”

The whole thing has my mind racing while I laugh and think about whether or not people use their babies to cover a drug ring (probably – I watch tv sometimes) and then suddenly my facebook seller pulls up behind my car. She gets out (I wasn’t about to get out a second time!) and we exchange a giggle as I tell her that previously I knocked on some stranger’s window and I’m pretty sure that lady thinks “Sakura Bloom” is code for drugs. This all happened a few hours ago but I still think it’s pretty funny so even though I should be sleeping now, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share something that might make a pregnant woman pee in her pants. Maybe I’m also secretly hoping that the Mom with the teenage daughter will see this blog post and it will confirm that I do not buy or use street drugs? Maybe. But I mean, she’s clearly of the generation in which “baby slings” barely existed (I think her teen was 15?) so who knows. (A girl can dream, right?)

As for the Sakura? I don’t know yet. I was too tired to look at videos, read pamphlets and play with my real-life-baby-doll. I’ll get back to you on that some other day 😉


Maternity Girl sells new and resale maternity and nursing apparel in Pittsburgh. She also rents maternity dresses (locally) and provides styling services for maternity and breastfeeding photoshoots. Maternity Girl is the creator of Mama’s MilkBox – a nursing apparel subscription service; it’s where fashion and function meet for a heck of a lot of fun! If you want to see what she’s up to now, be sure to “Like” her on Facebook!

What does a stylist do?

I bet a lot of people wonder: what exactly does a stylist do? My short answer would be: whatever it takes to make you look amazing. From conversing weeks before your photoshoot to discuss what outfit(s) you will wear and the type of moment you would like to capture down to reminding you to get your nails done (if you like painted piggies) and fixing your hair on the day of your shoot, the role of a stylist is almost that of a ghost, but can be found so clearly in the image of your final photos.

I could go on and on about what I do as a stylist (I like to think I also decrease the stress in my clients’ lives) but I am so fortunate that Sandy of Red Lotus Photography actually caught me in action so here, I’ll just show you:

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Maternity Girl sells new and resale maternity and nursing apparel in Pittsburgh. She also offers styling services for maternity and breastfeeding photoshoots. If you’re interested in working with Elena for your next photoshoot, please send your inquiry to: maternitygirl@yahoo.com. Elena has worked with many different photographers and has many styling packages available ranging from outfit selection only to day-of assistance. For some final photos in which Maternity Girl did the styling, please check out her Facebook album by CLICKING HERE

Breastfeeding Photos – next year’s holiday card!

Are breastfeeding photos the new holiday card? Probably not. But it’s definitely an up and coming genre – you know, like a maternity photoshoot, newborn photoshoot or family photoshoot – all the things people flock to due. I’m excited to be a part of this process of the changing times. People don’t think twice when they remember to schedule a family photoshoot for holiday cards but rarely does a Mom think – or more importantly do – a photoshoot of one of the things that takes up a significant part of her life while her child is a baby.

I personally scheduled a breastfeeding photoshoot during a “crisis” when I didn’t think my little one and I would make it to my 1 year breastfeeding goal. I was on the verge of an emotional breakdown and just wanted proof – something beyond my sleep-deprived memory – that indeed I did breastfeed my child and it was beautiful. The finished product was indeed so beautiful [you can go see for yourself] that it re-energized my breastfeeding spirit. Further, it made me call Sandy of Red Lotus Photography to say, “We have to do a bunch of mini sessions – Moms NEED this!”

And so we did!

Sandy just finished sending off all the photos to the lovely Mamas who signed up and guess what? They’ve agreed to let me share some with you!

I debated for quite a few hours about how to share these (my favorites) … a blog post a day? This one post with an in depth commentary about each Mama and their beautiful baby/babies? Should I include details about why these are my favorite? Nah. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? All I can say is that this photoshoot was one of my favorites:

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Readers – what do you think?

And okay, just a little commentary … one of the Mamas actually breastfed her twins. TWINS! Exciting, right? Dad was actually in attendance so I encouraged him to step into the frame. A lot of people think breastfeeding is about Mom and baby (or babies!) but I like to think that behind every successful Mom and baby breastfeeding team there is also a really good support network which often includes Dads. If these photos are about capturing real life, how could we not include Dad, right?

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Just writing this post almost has me in tears; I’m having flashbacks to the fun and beauty of this day. It was such a privilege to be a part of such a special treat for these Moms.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these photos just as much as I enjoy sharing them!


Maternity Girl sells new and resale maternity and nursing apparel in Pittsburgh, PA via private appointment, Moms markets and trunk shows. She also styles for photoshoots and rents maternity dresses (in Pittsburgh only). Her newest (and most popular item) is called Mama’s MilkBox – it’s a nursing apparel subscription service for Moms who want to look good and feel good all while feeding the baby. To see what’s new, you should definitely check out her Facebook page and for fun, look at her maternity and nursing musings.