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MCLV Pregnancy | What’s In My Hospital Bag

I love watching What’s In My Hospital Bag videos on YouTube and reading the lists on blog posts and Pinterest. I’m a big planner and I love to feel prepared, so maybe that’s part of it. The other part is probably that so much of the birth chapter is unknown and can’t be prepared for, that I enjoy focusing on what I can do. Which is pack a hospital bag!

So let’s get into this! 馃檪

Since we’re living the age of COVID-19 there are a few things that we needed to take into account. Not only could my mother not join us in the delivery room {a devastating hit, I genuinely considered having her there and letting my husband sit out the birth of our first child} but once we’re in the maternity ward we can’t leave. Not for food or for changes of clothes. So we both needed basic clothes and toiletries for our stay.

Bag – I was going to use my Longchamp le Pliage duffle but the bigger I’ve gotten the less I’ve wanted to carry a bag on my shoulder, so I swapped it for a rolling suitcase. My inlaws got us the Away Expandable Carry-On for Christmas so I decided that was the bag to bring. Lots of pockets and separate areas which is great when packing for an undetermined amount of time.

Clothes – I generally pride myself on packing fairly minimally so I was curious how I was going to end up approaching this. I’d say that I didn’t go too overboard, but I definitely tweaked my general packing equation.

PJs, robe and nighty to keep me comfortable before and after birth, though odds are that I’ll end up wearing the hospital gown most of the time. And two going home options, leggings and a top or a dress, depending on how my body feels.

Toiletries – We both packed the basics with some skin care and make-up thrown in for me. If you want to learn more about my skin care and make-up routines during pregnancy check them out.

Postpartum Essentials – The hospital will provide most of this, but I wanted to bring a few things to make me more comfortable post-baby.

For baby – I found that what to pack for the baby and for the mom post-partum was where I saw the most variation in people’s lists. Some people brought everything – Muliple outfits, breast pump, diapers… I figured the baby would be mostly taken care of by the hospital, hanging out in a diaper and that if breast feeding didn’t happen, we’d be bottle feeding. So I left all of that at home. But here’s what I did bring:

Miscellaneous – This was a place that it was easy to get carried away and I tried to reign it in. Some women basically bring their entire bedrooms and I knew that I wanted to avoid that. No pillows or bedding or hospital gowns for this mama to be.

  • Phone
  • Extra long charger + battery pack
  • Headphones + charger
  • Wireless bluetooth speaker
  • Gift cards for the nurses {I had planned to bake cookies but with COVID-19 I didn’t know whether they’d accept them}
  • Snacks {We brought a little cooler with coconut water and water bottles, plus trail mix, chocolate covered raisins, and protein bars}
  • Essential oils – Lavendar & sandalwood
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Skin Care Junkie | My Favorite Cleansers 2020

One of the fun things about skin care is that it’s an ever evolving industry. There’s always new data, new trends, new brands, new products. Always something new.

And while I definitely have some all time favorite skin care products that I go back to time and time again, I do love trying new brands and products. Finding a new holy grail product that your skin responds well to, is such a great experience.

Everyone has different skin and different needs, and different products that work for them. That being said, I thought that I’d share a few of my favorite cleansers of 2020. I’m a huge fan of super clean skin and have gotten in the habit of double cleansing in the evenings on days that I wear sunscreen {which is most days} or makeup {which is super rare these days!}.

If you’re curious about the value of cleansing and how best to approach the process for your skin, I highly recommend these YouTube videos:

On days that I do a double cleanse in the evenings, I use a cleansing balm to start, followed by a water based cleanser. In the mornings or on days where I don’t double cleanse in the evenings, I’ll just use the water based cleanser on my face and neck.

Here are a few of my favorites!

Cleansing Balms:

Water Based Cleansers:

Do YOU have a favorite cleanser? Share below please, always interested in trying new ones!

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MCLV Pregancy | Pregnancy Morning Routine

I’ve always loved reading morning routine blog posts or watching them on YouTube. It’s fun to see how people approach a new day, see the good habits and positive ways that people like to start their days with.

But I have to confess that I’ve always been secretly resentful that, as an early morning worker bee, I didn’t generally have time for much self care, reflection, or any relaxing habits in the mornings. From the ages of 22 to 37, I’ve gotten up for work before 5am, and headed straight to the office. Sometimes without makeup, let alone after meditating, journaling, and leisurely sipping coffee on my porch while the sun rises.

With California’s 2020 shelter in place order, however, I’ve finally gotten a taste of the work-from-home life. I’m still starting work early, but without a commute to take into account, I’ve definitely had more of a morning routine since quarantine went into effect in March.

And, to top it all off, I started the second trimester of my pregnancy almost as soon as we were sent home from the office, so I was able to kick of T2 with a new sort of morning routine.

{So grateful to have moved out of San Francisco in the past year and to have been able to enjoy SIP with a bit more space and closer to nature!}

5:15am: Make the bed and change into “work clothes” which meant leggings and tunics until it warmed up, and then flowy dresses. I found that it was important to not wear PJs or loungewear for work, because changing after work was a good way to “end” the work day. If that makes sense. 馃檪

Wash face + apply skin care.

5:30am: Turn on computer and start work, sipping on water bottle w/ ginger + mint leaves. I had trouble with water during my morning sickness period, but once T2 started, I had no trouble drinking water on an empty stomach again.

After I finish my water bottle and take my probiotic and psyllium husk, I would have a glass of warm lemon ginger tonic.

Next up – COFFEE. Yes, the dedicated tea drinker was suddenly craving coffee. And after no caffeine during the first trimester, I was happy to add a Nespresso pod into my morning routine plus oat, cashew, or hazelnut milk. Delish!

8am: Breakfast! I LOVED having access to my kitchen all day and took full advantage, making whatever I was craving. Oatmeal, protein waffles, scrambles, yogurt with granola – All favorites during my pregnancy.

Up next – Supplements. I started the pregnancy very preoccupied with nutrients and supplements, only to have my doctor talk me back off the ledge. She said that my prenatal was great and that took care of most of it, so everything else was overkill. Here’s what I ended up with for the majority of my pregnancy:

11am: Workout time! I’ll be sharing a full post on my 2nd Trimester workout routine, but I was thrilled to be feeling great and able to continue my workouts the whole time. During my first trimester I talked about how fatigued I was and how important it was to listen to my body. During the second trimester I had more energy and motivation, and was able to manage a midday sweat session {in the office/nursery turned home gym} and a walk after work most days. I also LOVED doing dance cardio – Such a mood boost.

12pm: Lunchtime and reading the news.

What’s YOUR morning routine like during the year of Corona?

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MCLV Pregnancy | My Morning Sickness Tricks & Tips

Let me go ahead and preface this with – There is no cure for morning sickness. It’s just one of those things that you just have to muddle through. That being said, I found a few ways to minimize my morning sickness, that proved helpful.

My morning sickness kicked in around week five and a half, and initially I was kind of glad. I wasn’t feeling particularly pregnant, so it was the first real sign to me that there was actually something going on. The novelty and elation faded rather quickly though. It’s just a miserable period that you have to get through. You basically feel hungover for a few weeks to months.

Note: There are some people who have HORRIBLE morning sickness. Living on the bathroom floor, needing to be hospitalized for fluids, takes over their lives level of morning sickness. If you feel like what you’re experiencing isn’t normal or manageable, please reach out to your doctor!

Here are a few tips & tricks that helped me survive this lovely period of pregnancy:

Small Meals:

As soon as I started to feel super hungry, the nausea kicked in. And once it kicked in, it was nearly impossible to get rid of. So I spent weeks 5.5 through 11 or 12 trying to eat lots of small meals throughout the day to avoid getting hangry, which seemed to snowball directly into morning sickness.

Hydration:

I needed to be very careful about how I hydrated during this period. I’ve been in the habit for years of drinking a full water bottle each morning when I wake up, and that became a hard no. I had to slowly sip water during this period, or risk the nausea coming on strong. I also ate lots of juicy fruits and water-packed veggies like cucumber and celery to help with the hydration since I was drinking less water throughout the day.

Sleep:

This may have been unique to me, but I found that I had worse morning sickness on days after a poor night of sleep. So I worked on my nighttime routine and really focused on getting the necessary rest to give me a fighting chance the following day. Luckily I was so exhausted that it wasn’t too challenging for me.

All the Ginger:

Ginger candy. Ginger chews. Ginger tea. I kept them in my purse, the car, my desk, and on my bedside table. All total lifesavers.

Peppermint:

I’ve always loved peppermint and in my first trimester it saved me yet again. I used peppermint essential oil in my diffuser. I kept a little roller of peppermint oil in my purse to sniff like smelling salts when I was in the car. And I carried peppermint lip balm, mints & gum in my purse for a minty boost when I was out and about and starting to feel unwell.

What about you – If you’ve gone through this, what’s your favorite morning sickness hack?

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MCLV Pregnancy | Pregnancy Safe Skin Care

When you get pregnant there’s a lot to worry about. There’s a lot to learn. There’s a lot to do. There’s a lot not to do. It can be overwhelming.

Luckily, I have been interested in skin care for years and had already started to transition over to clean brands and products that are better for both myself and the environment.

A few of the no no’s that I read about that pregnant women shouldn’t use are: Benzoyl Peroxide, Fragrances, BPA, Hydroquinone, Formaldehyde, Parabens, Phthalates, Retinoids, Salicylic Acid, Thioglycolic Acid, Chemical Sunscreens, and Botulinum Toxin.

Some of those I expected – Botox & Retinol – Others were more of a surprise, like Benzoyl Perioxide. Others I don’t think should be in any products and you should throw away bottles if you see them on a label (Formaldehyde, BPA).

Luckily, my core skin care routine, minus the retinol, was in the clear. Below are the pregnancy safe skin care products that I used, and loved, throughout my pregnancy:

Eyes:

Serums:

Moisturizers:

Sunscreen:

Cleansers:

Masks:

I was pretty happy with what I found and I’m sure that I’ll keep using these brands and products for years to come!

What’s on YOUR beauty shelf?

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