We sat down with Arielle and asked her to answer your most frequently requested pregnancy-related questions. Below, Arielle shares her perspective (and words of wisdom!) on pregnancy, maternity style, and welcoming her two girls.
Question: Which pregnancy was harder for you and your body–Ruby or Esme?
Arielle: My pregnancy with Esme was definitely harder. I was reacting differently than I did the first time around. I had all these weird rashes, new aches, and pains that I was unfamiliar with. It was definitely harder overall because she was lying transverse/breech, which led to an emergency c-section.
Question: How long did it take for you to start noticing pregnancy symptoms?
Arielle: In the beginning, I actually had zero symptoms, and even my bloodwork and tests said no. I was missing my period, but my doctor told me it just wouldn’t happen that month. I came home from my sister’s bachelorette and still didn’t get a period so I decided to take a test again even though I figured it would be negative. All three tests were positive. I had no symptoms whatsoever besides not getting my period. A few weeks after those three tests all came back positive, I started to feel some things. I was experiencing some of the classic pregnancy symptoms, including nausea, headaches, sore boobs and other things I’ll spare the public with.
Question: How did you deal with anxiety during pregnancy?
Arielle: Honestly, during pregnancy was the only time I didn’t have anxiety. It felt like my hormones were so balanced out. I genuinely enjoy being pregnant aside from the annoying things that everyone deals with.
Question: Did you do your nails while pregnant?
Question: Did you work out through both of your pregnancies?
Arielle: I didn’t work out at all when I was pregnant with Ruby. I worked out in the beginning when I was pregnant with Esme and was overall more active during the 2nd pregnancy.
Question: Did your feet change in size during or after pregnancy?
Arielle: Size no, swollen YES.
Question: Do you have any maternity styling tips for soon to be mamas struggling with dressing the bump?
Arielle: Once I had a pronounced belly, I gravitated towards stretchy and more fitted clothing. I felt like it was so much more flattering than wearing oversized or baggy. I invested in a few pairs of leggings–one by The Row and one from Spanx. I wore them almost every day with sweaters, button-downs, and tight long sleeves. Shoes were my statement accessory because I could wear fun boots or sneakers to make my outfit a little more interesting. I also loved sweater dresses, dresses in general, and jumpsuits. Overalls were great too, even though I’m not a big overall person. I’m hoping to make cute products for all of my pregnant mamas, so you still feel trendy while pregnant but aren’t spending a fortune on clothing you’ll wear for a short period of time.
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Question: How did you make it through labor and pushing?
Arielle: I’ve basically blacked it out. But really: your adrenaline is so high when it’s time to push your mind almost overpowers the pain and exhaustion and before you know it – you’re done. Our bodies are made to do this, you’d be surprised with how much we can handle.
Question: Do you have any tips for potential c-sections?
Arielle: Don’t be nervous! If you have a good doctor you’re in great hands. It’s actually a quick experience and the only rough part is the first week of recovery but it’s a blip in time!
Question: Were you scared about having an emergency c-section?
Arielle: It was all so fast you don’t have time to be scared. The only thing I was focused on was that I was going to meet my baby! It’s so exciting. Brandon was with me and I LOVE my ob-gyn and she comforted me the whole time.
Question: Is a c-section more painful than vaginal birth?
Arielle: It’s really hard to compare the two. It’s totally different. In my personal experience, a c-section was just unpleasant, whereas birthing a baby was really exhausting and hard. They both were hard! I can’t compare – pain though, no. I wouldn’t use that word for them but that’s because I had an epidural.
Question: Do you think you will have another child after your c-section experience?
Arielle: Oh yeah! How crazy is that? I definitely want another. My doctor told me my chances of a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) are over 80% so I’m hopeful but if not it’s okay. Either way, the more time I give my scar to heal the better my chances of a VBAC are.
Question: Why did you bottle feed and not breastfeed?
Arielle: I breastfed Ruby for three months and I breastfed Esme for a few weeks. I found it much harder post c-section, it wasn’t comfortable and it was affecting me mentally. With Ruby, I stopped at three months because I was continuously getting mastitis.
Question: What was the biggest surprise about pregnancy?
Arielle: I thought it was going to be really scary. But it wasn’t scary. It’s wild what your body can do!
Question: What’s something you wish you knew before you gave birth?
Arielle: A lot of it comes naturally. I stressed so much about not knowing how to even raise another human being. But everything since becoming a mom has just happened so organically and naturally – you will amaze yourself. So just don’t stress and don’t make yourself crazy, it all sorts itself out.
Question: Can you share your favorite pregnancy and new mom must-haves?
Arielle: When I was pregnant I used Erbaviva Belly Oil every single night. For nipple cream, I used @earthmamaorganics – it feels like a million years ago so I kind of blacked out on my pregnancy must-haves!
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