Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.

Stages of Maternity Dressing


Stage 1: Excitement

In this stage, the pregnant person in question (from here on out referred to as the preggo) makes a trip to a maternity store with her mom or BFF to strap on the fake belly and try on maternity wear. Though giggling and having fun, she doesn’t really believe that she will ever require that much fabric to cover her ass belly. She buys a few things and secretly tries them on at home every weekend while stuffing a pillow under her shirt, marveling at the sheer volume of fabric.

Stage 2: Denial

While there is some excitement to wear some of the new maternity wear for some outward manifestation of all that is happening inside of the preggo, there is a prideful streak demanding that she must continue to wear her regular clothes for as long as possible. It doesn’t matter that the moment she steps in the house, she changes into sweatpants and a big t-shirt because she can’t breath anymore in her regular clothes – the point is that she can still fit into her jeans.

Stage 3: Grudging acceptance

Finally, the need for comfort overrides vanity. Either fat clothes or small maternity clothes start making it into the wardrobe rotation. The preggo will often grab the excess fabric and tell her husband how ridiculous she looks but that nothing else is comfortable anymore. Despite some annoyance over her less than fashionable feeling, the preggo is loving the elastic waistbands that allow her to breath again! She will spend time each day struggling to come up with a comfortable and still somewhat stylish wardrobe choice. She worries that people will think she is fat rather than pregnant.

Stage 4: Surprise

Suddenly, the preggo realizes that the maternity clothes don’t look quite so ridiculous anymore. Did that bump appear overnight? It wasn’t there yesterday! The preggo is proud to show off her bump now that it is more obvious her new girth wasn’t just a result of too many pasta with cream sauce dinners. The maternity wear fits pretty well during this stage and the preggo works to continue to feel pretty while pregnant.

Stage 5: Disbelief

One day the preggo realizes that those shirts she used to think were ridiculously big are getting a little snug. How is that possible? Did they shrink in the dryer? Last week, they fit just fine. The preggo can’t believe that she could be outgrowing her maternity wear.

Stage 6: Anger

The preggo’s maternity wardrobe keeps shrinking as she finds more items that no longer fit her very pregnant self. She is on the fence about adding some additional pieces or just muddling through the next 2 months because she doesn’t want to buy anymore maternity wear. She is secretly convinced that she can’t possibly get any larger at this point because there is no room in her abdomen left for growth. At this point, fashion has gone out the window as has comfort (because comfort is only found in clothing items the preggo wouldn’t wear outside of the house). The preggo is looking for items that fit and things that sort of match.

Stage 7: Apathy

This stage is characterized by the maternity wardrobe consisting of 3 bottoms and 2 tops that fit reasonably well. The preggo’s criteria for getting dressed each day is does it cover the belly completely (she wonders when all of her shirts got so short)? If yes, does it at least not clash horribly? If so, the preggo wears it. There is no thought to fashion or even looking good. It is all about covering the enormous belly and getting through the day.

posted under Pregnancy | 15 Comments »

Dresser Quest 2008


Yes, I am really going to spend an entire post ranting writing about trying to buy Tessa a dresser. My blog = my ramblings. This is what my life has been reduced to – obsessing over a dresser.

I have been searching for a dresser for Tessa for 4 months. We are trying to be a bit frugal so going out and buying a new one was a last resort. (My husband is completely out of touch with reality when it comes to furniture prices. He doesn’t blink at $1000 for computer equipment but $300 for a furniture item makes him clutch his chest.) There were a couple at Ikea that would have worked logistically and financially but the closest Ikea is Atlanta and the cost of driving 3 hours in the big SUV and the angst a day trip to Ikea would have caused Steve would have lessened the savings. (I swear he moved me to a state with no Ikea on purpose.) The cost of having it shipped was prohibitive. So I’ve been scouring consignment shops and visiting Craig’s List daily. The only criteria were that it be the right height to also serve as a changing table, that the drawers slide easily, and that it wasn’t butt ugly (if slightly ugly I was willing to paint it and change the hardware).

I don’t know how some of these flakes on Craig’s List ever sell anything. I bought Tessa’s crib on Craig’s List – it was a relatively painless process. I inquired about several. Found one that was still available and priced decently, went to see it, bought it. The Dresser Quest has been a different story. I have emailed about no fewer than 25 dressers. I didn’t hear back from the majority. I usually assumed it was already spoken for – no biggie. Some I heard back from and tried to set up a time to go and see the item then never heard from them again. Some would never answer questions. Some would only follow through to a point. Apparently no one wanted to close the deal.

One person who I had emailed and never heard back from reposted the item 5 days later with a nasty note about people setting up times to come and see the item and not showing up. So I emailed him again and said I had tried but never heard from him. He emails me back and says sorry – can you come tonight? It was already after 7pm and I was putting Sabrina to bed and he lived 30 miles away. When I said no I couldn’t come that night, I never heard back from him. Another woman had a really cute little dresser that had been hand-painted with decorations. It would have been adorable in a kid’s room. I emailed her and asked how tall it was. She emailed me back and asked how tall I was. Not really the point. I emailed her back and said I wanted to use it as a changing table so if she could give me an idea of its height, I would appreciate it. Never heard back from her. It’s been re-listed 4 times since my original exchange with her. Another man emailed me a week after I had inquired and not heard back from him. He said he had a sale that fell through – was I still interested. I emailed back less than an hour later saying I was. Never heard back from him. The last person had arranged a date and time with me. I had committed to buying it on the spot assuming the drawers were in good shape. The price was good and I was getting desperate so at that point as long as the bottoms of the drawers weren’t falling out, I would make it work. I was waiting for directions to her house – never heard back from her.

I told Steve I was done with Craig’s List. Our options were Ikea or a local furniture consignment shop. He suggested we hit the garage sales. I laughed and asked if he understood what he was saying. That meant getting up at 6:30am on Saturday morning and driving all over the place hoping we found a sale selling a decent dresser. He didn’t think that sounded like much fun. Last weekend, I dragged him to the furniture consignment shop. SUCCESS!

Not bad looking so no work on my part, sturdy, perfect height, and didn’t make my husband clutch his chest when he saw the price tag. It also has a bookcase hutch top which we will reattach when we are finished with the changing table needs. At the moment it is in her closet serving as extra storage shelves.

I’ve washed all of her tiny little clothes (was Sabrina ever that small?) and it is all neatly awaiting Tessa’s arrival home.

posted under Pregnancy | 19 Comments »

Baby shower in my kitchen


There were a lot of people who helped me get through our adoption process with some semblance of sanity.  I met many of these people in blog world and had the pleasure of meeting some in person later on.  Steve was just marveling last week at some of the amazing friendships I’ve developed that started on my blog.

Yesterday, the doorbell brought a big box of love from one group of women who were there during some good and some not so good times of our process.  We have supported and cheered each other via email for over a year and 1/2 now.  To them, I say many thanks and send much love.  Despite only having met a couple of them in person and despite each of them being busy with things going on in their own lives, they sent us a baby shower in a box.  Thanks Sig, Tricia, Angie, Lisa, and Gibb!

There is a baby doll for each girl.  Sabrina saw me unwrap the dolls and has been walking around the house mournfully saying “baby” ever since.  (I decided to hold on to it until we bring Tessa home.)  I sometimes miss the days that out of sight meant out of mind for her!  And another little matching outfit set for a photo op full of adorable.  And toys and books and sleepers and receiving blankets lotion and binkies and a gift card for Babies R Us – I was in tears before I even got the items open.  It was just such a lovely surprise and completely made my day!

And while I’m being mushy, let me also just send out a general thank you to everyone who stops by here daily or weekly or every once in awhile.  I’ve really loved having this wonderful cheering section for the past 9 months – through my miscarriage announcement and then retraction, through my neurotic refusal to believe this pregnancy would have a successful outcome, through my doc crazy dramas, and now through the minutia of the last days of pregnancy.  All of you cheering me on and being excited about this pregnancy has been wonderful. Thank you for joining me on this ride.

posted under Pregnancy | 21 Comments »

Yes, still here


Yes, still knocked up.

For those who emailed wondering if they whisked me off to have Tessa today – nope.  My blood pressure was better today so it looks like we are on for the 29th.  And all of the contractions I’ve been having have had no effect on my cervix – still zipped up tight.

The fun part of being this pregnant is watching people.  No one wants to ride in an elevator with me (we’ve all seen several movies or tv shows where the elevator gets stuck and the woman goes into labor).  But everyone holds doors and sometimes (like at the ice cream shop the other day) people let me jump in front of them in line.  Male clerks at stores seem to fear me – they seem afraid that I might randomly scream at them because one of their kind did this to me so they quickly help me and then scurry off.  I see women mummer to their husbands or each other about how I must be about due and how uncomfortable I must be in this heat.  It all just makes me laugh.

posted under Pregnancy | 8 Comments »

I guess I’m not a nester


I’m apparently not one of those pregnant women who feels the need to re-grout the tub and and scrub the kitchen floor with a toothbrush before giving birth.  Cleaning has never been my forte – I straighten and neaten but I rarely scrub.  I think this weekend was my lame attempt at nesting.  I sorted the clothes we have for Tessa into sizes and washed the newborn and 0-3 month items to be put away in her dresser once it arrives (oh I have a whole post in my drafts about Dresser Quest 2008 – just waiting for hubby to pick it up so that I can include a photo).  Acquiring said dresser was part of our weekend as well as a trip to Target for practical odds and ends (crib and bassinet sheets, burp clothes, receiving blankets, diaper cream, etc).

With Dresser Quest 2008  at an end, I think the only large items left to purchase are  the mack daddy Britax car seat once she is a little bigger (we’ll use a friend’s infant seat until then) and a double stroller (we’ll use a sling/carrier and single stroller for awhile).

If all goes as planned, Tessa will make her appearance 3 weeks from today.  I’m trying to check in often, even with these lame little posts, so no one thinks I’ve gone to have her early if I’m quiet too long.

posted under Pregnancy | 10 Comments »

A post about nothing


A couple of people wanted to be sure I am taking it easy and keeping my feet up as much as I can with this whole elevated blood pressure/water retention thing I’ve got going on.  I am.  I promise.  Here is my proof:

Sabrina is imitating me.  She pulls her chair over to the step so she can sit and prop her feet up while she reads.  How cute is that?


I’ve had only a few irrational hormone driven meltdowns during my pregnancy.  Yesterday, Steve got to experience one in public.  Oh the joy.  If I could adequately describe what set me off, I would.  But it didn’t make a lot of sense then and doesn’t make any more now.  Let’s just say this pissed off 9 month pregnant woman first yelled at my wonderful hubby, sprinted through Sam’s Club to pick up the 6 items on our list, and then cried the whole way home.

Later (much later – Steve is not a dumb man), Steve joked that he couldn’t wait to get his wife back.  I warned him that I hear postpartum can be ugly for awhile too so he shouldn’t get his hopes up for his wife’s return for a couple of months.  I don’t think I’ve been too bad but I do forget that Steve probably hasn’t had the easiest 9 months either.


I freaked myself out a little yesterday by saying to Steve “three weeks from Tuesday” in relation to Tessa’s arrival.  Holy crap!

posted under Pregnancy | 13 Comments »

Baby Watch 2008


I went to the doctor again today.  They did an ultrasound to check Tessa’s growth and checked my cervix.  My cervix is still closed up tight.  Tessa is now almost 6 1/2 lbs.  I was informed she has a big head, big feet, and lots of hair.  So I anticipate dreams tonight about giving birth to a big headed, hairy monster baby.  My sudden ability to breath last week was the result of her turning head down which is good news.

My induction is scheduled for July 29th but my blood pressure was up today.  My doctor wasn’t pleased and said if it is still up next week I might not make it until the 29th.  So don’t piss me off – I might stroke out.  Doctor’s orders to take it easy this week.  Darn, there goes that marathon I was going to run tomorrow.

I had to laugh when she said my blood pressure was up and she didn’t like the number, she asked if there was anything going on in my life causing stress and/or anxiety.  You mean besides contemplating expelling a 7 or 8 lb baby out of my body and suddenly having a newborn?  Nope, not a thing.

After my appointment, Sabrina and I stopped at Once Upon A Child (a consignment shop in case you aren’t familiar).  We scored a bouncy seat and a bumbo seat for Tessa so it was successful stop.  I also found someone on Ebay who didn’t charge a ridiculous sum for a ring sling and received that in the mail yesterday.  Speaking of shopping, do you all know about this cool site?  If so, why didn’t anyone tell me?  They have great deals (just one at a time – once it is gone the next one comes up) on items for babies and toddlers.

posted under Pregnancy | 23 Comments »



Maybe if I don’t flip the calendar to July, I won’t have to leave my little denial cocoon and I can keep pretending I have loads of time to prepare for Tessa’s arrival.  ACK!  How is it possibly July already?!?

posted under Pregnancy | 7 Comments »

35 weeks


My mean sister called me yesterday to let me know that the photo I posted last week didn’t have a high enough humiliation factor. She insisted on a side view of my hugeness as a quid pro quo for a side view I possess of her when she was quite pregnant.

Please don’t make fun of my ugly pants if you can see them (they are floral). They were part of a lot of maternity clothes purchased on Ebay. I’ve reached the point if something actually fits me, I wear it. I’m down to 2 pairs of capri pants and 2 pairs of shorts I will wear in public (as well as some assorted shorts I wear around the house). The fact that these pants make the cut for being worn in public tells you how desperate my wardrobe choices have become.

As for a baby update – not much to report. I am happy to say that Tessa either did a major position shift (which could be good considering her breech position for the past several months) or she dropped just a bit. Suddenly Friday morning I could take a deep breath again. Tessa had been seriously crowding my lungs. It was painful to yawn because my lungs couldn’t expand that far – and due to sleep issues I’ve been yawning a lot. This new position further inhibits my ability to bend over in any way.  My joints are very loose now. My hip has popped out from where it belongs a couple of times and man does that hurt! Sleep is still hit and miss and interrupted by many potty breaks and lots of aches and pains. But the ability to breath almost normally makes up for all of that.

I’m having a lot of braxton-hicks contractions these days. There was actually a 3 hour episode last weekend that I was having somewhat constant contractions but they stopped just before I decided I might need to call the doctor. At last week’s fetal non-stress test, Tessa cooperated for the most part but was quiet so the doctor buzzed her with this little thing – wow did she freak out. They also monitor any contractions during the test and it recorded me having several. The doctor checked my cervix but said everything is still closed up tight so the contractions aren’t doing anything. Tessa is going to keep cooking for awhile longer. This week I have an ultrasound and we’ll schedule my induction (or c-section if this child doesn’t turn herself around).

posted under Pregnancy | 162 Comments »

Blog World Saves the Day


Mere hours after I piously responsibly chose to have a salad rather than the grease/fat fest I was craving…what to my wondering eyes should appear?  Some super yummy cupcakes from my favorite red headed blogger.  Thanks my dear Tricia for satisfying both mommy and Tessa!  Despite all she has going on in her world, she wanted to make sure I had some sugary goodness to put a smile on my face and a kick in Tessa’s day.

I have decided to save 1 as a treat for after Miss Tessa’s arrival to be eaten in the hospital once I’ve stopped drooling from whatever good drugs they pump me full of.  The other 3 will likely be gone before the weekend comes to a close.  I’m circling around them and drooling trying to decide which one to try first.  Oh the joy!

posted under blog, Pregnancy | 5 Comments »
« Older EntriesNewer Entries »