About a month ago, we went to Joe’s company Christmas party. It was a nice party, great food and really interesting to meet all the new people he’s working with now (who seemed like my kind of people). At the party, we sat with a couple who is also expecting their first child, which is what we ended up talking about for the majority of the evening. The woman was a few months behind me in her pregnancy and had a lot of questions.

(Something that I realized when we went to our prenatal class, was that I have done more research into this whole pregnancy thing than a lot of women. The doula teaching our class brought up a lot of things that I had heard of before and the other couples in the class had no idea what she was talking about. Whether this has anything to do with the fact that when she asked what books people were reading all of them said What to Expect When You’re Expecting and nothing else, I will not judge).

It was a strange evening for me at that Christmas party, because I’m still not all the way through this thing, and there are certainly a lot of things I don’t know – things I never had to deal with (although, some things I do know about because I expected to have to deal with them, like gestational diabetes).

Looking back over my pregnancy I have really learned two things, one that I would share with others who are getting themselves into this situation, and one that I will take with me when this is all over:

1) Don’t tell people your due date

Due dates are lies. I was already about six months along when my midwife just happened to mention that you can expect to give birth sometime in the three weeks on either side of your due date. The problem with my pregnancy is that I had two due dates, based on different ultrasounds. Having discussed it with one of the midwives we were dealing with, we were told that the second ultrasound was more reliable and we should focus on a December 21 due date, now that I’m well past that one, we’re using the December 29 due as a base so I (hopefully) won’t have to be induced.

The problem is, we told people the baby was due December 21, and now they all want to know why the baby isn’t here yet. (Based on that date, an OB would have induced me yesterday).

Knowing what I know now, I would have told people that I was due “in late December” rather than giving them a real date to focus on. If I had told people just late December, then I probably would have focused less on the actual due date – which I always knew didn’t really mean anything.

2) I have been buying my clothes too big.

I have always known that I’m not anything near a fashionista. I try to look put together, but usually I manage to spill something or miss an element or I’m wearing something that doesn’t fit quite right and spend the day adjusting. I would like to go back to work after my year of maternity leave looking like an adult and dressing like someone who works in a real, grown-up office.

One of the things that I learned as my belly started to grow and I could still fit into almost all of the tops I already owned, is that I buy my clothes too big.

I have been watching What Not To Wear for a few years now, and it occurs to me that as I start rebuilding my wardrobe to fit my post-pregnancy body maybe I should do as Stacey and Clinton say, and start focusing on great pieces that I feel good in, and tailoring my clothes to fit my actual shape.

I want to be a good example for my daughter, and I think being comfortable and well put-together is part of that.

So, now I have a bit of time to figure out how to break out of my uniform of dress pants, white tee-shirt, sweater vest and Converse, while still keeping my comfort and my own style.

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