Ed. note: This post was sponsored by Target. The compensation received in exchange for placement on Wit & Delight is used to purchase props, hire a photographer and videographer, write/edit the blog post and support the larger team behind Wit & Delight.
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About a month ago, I posted an article telling you, the reader, that there would not be any additional images of me in all of my pregnancy glory on this site. Sorry about that.
Truth be told, during the first half of the pregnancy, I was hesitant to be in front of the camera for any reason whatsoever. The times that I had to, I felt like I was on a TV show, you know, the ones that try very hard to hide the leading lady’s growing belly behind a counter, or behind props, or HUGE overcoats (hello, Scandal!). Any image of me was a reminder that I was big, and only getting bigger. For someone that had worked for years to achieve “perfection” and some control over their body, the constant growing didn’t sit well with me. This hasn’t been easy.
Then something happened. The blog post I shared featuring me in all of my round glory was posted. I waited for the trolls to emerge with “Are you sure you’re just having one?”, “Whoa! You aren’t due until when?!”. But the opposite happened. Friends posted words of encouragement. Strangers complimented me on my pregnancy. More importantly, I noticed me. In looking at those images, I see how happy I am. I see the weight gain, and the round belly, and I feel the kicks inside of me. I know that all of this weight gain is for one reason: to feed a growing baby.
I had tried to rationalize that fact for months, and yet it wasn’t until I embraced it in a way that truly scared me did I finally accept it. That was the turning point for me.
No longer was I going to be the shrinking violet in the corner, no more blousy shirts hiding my stomach or oversized handbags. Bring on the form-fitting dresses!
At 34 weeks, I would be lying to say I’m 100% confident in my body. What I am confident about is my ability to be kind to my expanding frame and to accept what is in flux. I’m not worried if I have a little muffin-top sticking out of my pants, I know I have a huge belly. I’m not worried about my butt being too big for these jeans, because they are. Those that have been pregnant (or currently are) know that there is no “flabby tummy”, that sucker is as tight as what I can imagine a six-pack would be. My new motto: show it off. Wit & Delight’s Project Manager, who also happens to be pregnant (before you ask, no, we did not plan it) has said “the best part about being 8 months pregnant? Not having to suck in your stomach wearing a bikini.”
As I’ve gotten bigger, I’ve realized that I need more clothes. Ones that actually fit, and are built for a frame like the one I have. I absolutely ADORE my current maternity wardrobe, and even though I work from home the majority of the time, I need more than five gorgeous pieces. Knowing that I won’t be this size forever (in fact, t-minus 6 weeks!!!), I needed to find simple pieces that I could integrate into my current wardrobe without breaking the bank. Which is why I’m thrilled to be partnering with Target and their Liz Lange line of maternity clothing during the final leg of this pregnancy journey. We put together a capsule collection of essentials (and stylish) pieces that will get me through the home stretch. I’m going to need all the help I can get!
This opportunity gave me an excuse to create photographic and video evidence of me at this stage on my live. I no longer see the belly, but I see the smile on my face and the excitement behind my eyes. How cool is that? What a transformation this has been, inside and out.
Images: 2nd Truth Photography, Video: Calvin Brue (Instagram @calbrue)
Shop this collection here
All Product Featured from Target’s Liz Lange Maternity Line: Triblend V-Neck Tee // Tunic Sweatshirt // Ankle Skinny Jeans – White // Spacedye Short Sleeve Tee Dress // Striped 3/4 Sleeve T-Shirt Dress // Casual Pant // Black Jegging // Relaxed Short Sleeve Dress // Light Weight Sweater
Kate is currently learning to play the Ukulele, much to the despair of her husband, kids, and dogs. Follow her on Instagram at @witanddelight_.
BY Kate Arends - June 14, 2016
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Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.
This is a beautiful article with beautiful photos! I swear, you don’t even look pregnant in the black dress! Thanks for sharing your journey.
– Helen @ http://www.kaleidoscopespinning.com
You are gorgeous! Thank you for the uplifting and interesting video 🙂
You look gorgeous! I love all the photos but the first is my favorite. Winnie is so cute in that video!
You look wonderful! Thank you for sharing. It’s a lot to relinquish control over your body and see it changing, even if it’s for a good reason. And it’s hard to figure out how to dress a moving target. I struggled with that. I wish I’d seen this video last year while pregnant when I was feeling at a loss of how to cloth myself while being minimal, comfortable and still myself.
I hope you’ll be kind and patient to yourself on the other side of birth as well. Sometimes easier said than done but important to remember. Congratulations again!
Perfect collection! Practically all I wore and I would love to wear pieces like this again! Adorable
Stunning & classic! Thank you for sharing your true journey with us! Best of luck on the last few weeks ahead!
Love this! You (and baby) bring these clothes to life. Hope you feel as great as you look ?
So cute! I am 6.5 months along myself and I can totally get behind the notion that the best part of being pregnant is not having to suck in. Preggo bellies are the cutest!
You look amazing in those outfits. I am at 35 weeks and love the maternity pieces I got from Target too.
I have loved your insightful and honest pregnancy posts. The physical growth is something that honestly terrifies me about pregnancy (I, too, have worked hard to achieve “perfection” even in spite of happiness at times). You look radiant and joyful – which is what I hope you feel every (or at least most) moments when the little one arrives. <3
You look amazing! I remember how I felt those last few weeks and I now looking back, I wish I would have put aside my insecurities and embraced my body a little more. Enjoy it mama <3
You look so happy and thanks for sharing for us future mamas to be!
AW! So happy to read (& see) that you are embracing it all! I’m truly so excited for you…
Appreciate your honesty so much. Had my first in March and can relate to your feelings about body changes- it’s tough, no doubt. I’m now 11 weeks post-partum and struggling with my new post-baby body as everything remains wider than they used to be (knuckles, ribcage, hips). It’s really challenging to spend so much time with a body that is constantly changing – both through pregnancy and post-partum. Thanks for the reminding me to love myself where I’m at – your video gave me so much joy! Congratulations on the baby – I’m looking forward to your blog evolving as… Read more »
❤️❤️❤️ love everything about this Kate!
You look great! I’m supposed to be 40 weeks on Thursday but delivered 2.5 weeks early! Wish you posted this a month ago, I could have used an added boost to my wardrobe. My favorites were dresses for sure.
This was awesome! We love you and your bump! The video is so adorable as well!
YES! Adorable! We love you and your bump!
This was so great! Thanks for so many cute ideas (I just wish I could buy the pieces–I live in Switzerland, doh!). I’m 16 weeks pregnant now (with twins!) and still look a bit like I ate too much for lunch but I’m really excited to watch my belly and body grown, knowing that it is supporting two beautiful new lives. Thanks for your thoughtful perspective and best of luck in these final weeks : )
I’m happy you changed your mind! My daughter is almost 2 and this summer I’m missing the feeing of carrying her with me and how kind everyone, including strangers were. Try to enjoy this time of transformation– it’s such a head trip and amazing thing to experience. Especially once you’re on the other side. 🙂
Clothes look great. Now tell me about those accessories! Namely – those black ankle boots.
I know this so well Kate. Way to go on embracing it. It makes so much easier those final weeks to enjoy yourself and those final moments as just two. So excited for you and Joe. I was literally thinking about you the other day and wondering how you were doing and feeling. The next chapter is worth all the big smiles. You are doing great!
Kate, you look so, so beautiful, my gosh. You’ve always been so beautiful to me, but wow, you are stunning! Good luck in the home stretch, and of course, afterwards, when you have a sweet, warm bundle in your arms! xoxo
Don’t worry about your body. You look lovely!
LOVE this post! You DO look beautiful, but I also love what you’re saying. Pregnancy was the only time I really felt comfortable. I didn’t have to suck in or squish in; I just accepted my growing body and loved the baby girl growing inside. Congrats!
You look beautiful! I saw your post on Instagram and loved your look. I am 29 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child. While I’m normally a small, petite frame, I am definitely NOT a small pregnant woman. I try to be kind to my body. Growing a little human is an amazing journey. And I know I’ll get back to a version of myself I’m more comfortable in. Cheers to not sucking in your belly in a bikini this summer!!
You’re beautiful, embrace these last few precious weeks!
You are very beautiful
You look SO adorable and happy! I’m glad you were able to get over that hurdle because you deserve to be able to share at will and feel good about it!
What brand is the large clutch with handle?!
Kate, I feel so silly, but my eyes were literally filled with tears when I watched his video. Having known you during a time when ideas pertaining to perfection were running rampant, and as someone who also worked for years to achieve some semblance of control over their body, I am almost certain that this process has been far from easy. I would be lying if I said that I am at completely at ease with all of the bodily changes a woman experiences during pregnancy. However, you should know that I am truly inspired by your journey and find… Read more »
[…] I put it off. I blogged about the pregnancy, I took photos of myself and waxed poetic about embracing my shape and talked about feelings. Names were picked out, toys were purchased and teeny-tiny sweaters […]