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It all started with a dream...



Since 2009 my clothing brand has been called Purusha People. I started the business at 23 years old because there were literally no yoga brands except Lululemon and Prana at that time, and I thought we needed other more vibrant clothes to move in! I lived at home with my parents and had no clue what I was doing with my life. I waitressed, worked on a farm, and sold a few pieces of clothing here and there on Etsy. I was deep into yoga at that time, hence the name Purusha People.

Purusha is a Sanskrit Yoga word that means the breath of the universe, the infinite soul within all beings. Beautiful, I know. But I’m sure you can imagine how tired it became to: 1. Spell the word out every time I talked about my brand, 2. Know the spelling and pronunciation just flew over the listener’s head (no judgement! It’s not a familiar word), 3. Hope this person could ever find me again by googling paroosha or prusha, and 4. Explain the meaning of the word. I didn’t mind this process years ago because I was passionate about the word. I had authenticity and confidence behind it.

As years went by I changed. Of course we all inevitably change with time, but with something like an established business it’s really hard to know what changes to make and what to leave alone. I NEVER thought I could change my business name! ‘Too risky, it’s not worth it.’ ‘It’s not a bad name.’ ‘It’s too complicated.’ 'What would you change it to anyways?' So I put that thought away and chugged along until...

One night after rocking and singing Sheppy to sleep in our bed I sang myself to sleep. I passed out deeply and barely woke throughout the night. Before bed I usually read or work or plan... lots of thinking. That night I had no time to think. My conscious mind tapped out completely and my subconscious dominated my dreams. I woke up the next morning with this surreal sense of peace and knowing. I said to Patrick before I even opened my eyes, “I need to change my business!”

I dreamt that my life had turned out very differently, the result of making unorthodox decisions. I was living in the UK, driving with Shep in a vintage automobile on a back country road. My clothing brand was ME. I hung out with other clothing designers! I took risks with my brand and created what I loved! I had a collaboration with Old Navy!I didn’t just make yoga/activewear, but simply clothes I liked. There were blazers, cropped Audrey Hepburn like pants with a vintage 70s twist. It’s hard to relay abstract feelings and designs from a dream, but I knew in my heart at that moment what I needed to do and who I needed to become.

It was me all along. Hayley Elliott. I’m hoping I’m not coming across as vain because I swear I’m not obsessed with myself, but rather I want to trust myself. I want to understand my path and what I’m meant to share while I’m here. One thing I know is it isn’t another pair of fucking printed leggings. It’s inspired design, clothing I see in my dreams.

I started Purusha because the clothing I wanted didn’t exist. Now we have hundreds of activewear brands to choose from. I never dreamed of creating more of what we didn’t need. It crushes my heart to be a tiny yoga brand making the same exact shit as another brand. I can barely tell the difference between Alo, Onzie, Fabletics, Ultracor, Varley. We don’t need more of the same. And we shouldn’t call ourselves designers if all we’re doing is making more printed leggings. It’s evident anyone can do it. Our customers deserve thoughtful designs, not knock offs “created” by some dude trying to hop on the athleisure bandwagon and make a quick buck. I never want to hear ‘fashion forward activewear’ or ‘from studio to street’ again, like it’s some new innovation and there’s a gap in the market. I'm off on a tangent here, I’ve just been frustrated with this marketplace I’m in.

To sum this up, your subconscious knows. You might not know yet, but your subconscious will reveal what you need to do. There’s no stopping it, it’ll bubble to the surface in some form. I didn’t know I needed to be Hayley Elliott, and then I just knew. Your gut, your heart can’t lie. Don’t think too hard, don’t try to be too clever. There’s so much more to you than you realize, and it will take shape when you’re ready and your mind is relaxed and open. You absolutely can trust your heart and listen to the messages the universe is quietly whispering to you. I’m trusting mine.

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Back to the heart.


If you've stuck by me and Purusha on social media you may have noticed some changes recently. (And thank you for staying with me!)

The biggest change, of course, was moving back east to Connecticut. We live further out near nature than we did years ago, and are loving being near family and away from hot and crowded SoCal. Los Angeles will always hold a special, sweaty part of my heart. I hope to visit soon, and I still run much of Purusha operations from there! I love the seasons here in New England and feel like I've gone back home. (Um fall?! It's just about the best thing ever!)


The other change in Purusha has just been me, Hayley, resurfacing into my work. I'll be totally honest here, I removed myself and my tastes from Purusha a long time ago. I thought in order to be profitable I had to make what sold best and put aside what I wanted to make. That seemed to work for a little while, I just didn't think much about it.


Lately though, my subconscious has been speaking up. There was a disconnect between me and my brand. I thought it was ok, smart even, to distance myself and not get emotionally involved with my work. Create what the market demands and put your creativity elsewhere. I believed Purusha was pretty much a goner and I'd lost control of the vision. It was almost like being fired, but you fired yourself. And the new owner has no idea what she's doing because she doesn't understand the product or the customer. Great business plan!


I entertained the idea of new brands; trying out another yoga brand, random products on amazon, and even a maternity clothing line. I thought maybe I could fit my personality in somewhere else. None of these things clicked for me. It felt a little like I'd dumped the love of my life and now I'd seen how slim the pickings were.


With much thinking, meditation, and writing I've learned there was nothing 'wrong' with Purusha. What was wrong was me. There's no way you can run a business if your heart's not in it. You'll run out of energy, you'll resent your work, you'll be frustrated all the time. I just got to the point where I couldn't live like that anymore. It turned my usual optimistic outlook on life into a sense of doom.


I'd call myself a sellout if I was super successful at selling out, but I wasn't even that. So I was a sellout that couldn't sell. What was there to lose if I started making what I liked again?


Life changes so much from your 20s to your 30s. You have children, you get lines on your face, the world is not so black-and-white. I don't expect to run Purusha with the wide eyed and naïve optimism of 10 years ago. I wouldn't want that anyways. I want the truth even if it's painful, because it'll come out eventually anyways.


I'm ready to create again. I'm actually enjoying posting Instagram stories and live videos sharing what I'm thinking and what I'm working on. I couldn't do this before because I didn't believe in what I was doing. Everything changed once I made the decision to respect my heart's vision. I hope I don't lose some of my loyal customers, but I know some people won't like what I make because it's going to be different. I'm sad to see those people go, but there's no other way. I believe I'll find others that share in what I truly love.


I'm super excited to share my next collection and the new and improved heart centered Purusha! It'll be an evolution and take time to be mine again, but it's in motion and that's all I could ask for. I bow to you in supporting me, and I hope that will continue. I love you for reading this! Namaste.

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Newborn





Hi!! It's been so long, and so much has changed for lil ol me. How are you?!

The biggest change has obviously been having a baby. Not just 'a baby', but my sweet little angel buddy Shepherd. My whole perspective on life has changed, I'm now forced to see the big picture. I don't have time for hour long yoga sessions, the house seems to always be dirty, I can only sleep in one position at night with Shep next to me, I often have to wolf down dinner in 10 minutes so Sheppy doesn't cry, and sometimes I go an entire week without leaving the house (besides my hikes and runs in the neighborhood and in the canyon). Other moms told me I'd have to make many sacrifices, but I didn't believe that would be me. I thought I'd be different. But guess what, I'm not! I'm just like every other mama out there, I'm in the very exclusive mommy club now! It feels good :) I know someday in the future I'll have time again, time to get better at handstands and vacuum the couch and learn to draw better. All in good time, there's time for that later. You can't get caught up in what's missing now as a mama. Thoughts of lack are completely nonsensical when you've been given the ultimate gift of a healthy happy baby. It's the best thing ever.

Though lately I've been craving creation in other forms. I miss writing and making things with my hands. I miss getting my hands dirty to hand screen print things I think are cool and beautiful! So here I am again, open to receive inspiration and open to share what I love. It's taken me a long journey to get back to this place.

I just finished reading The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. It's soooooooo much better than the movie! So much more philosophy and depth of thought. You HAVE to read it if you haven't already. I ugly cried my way through the last 75 pages. Basically Bastian becomes a tyrannical leader in Fantastica (it's not called Fantasia in the book. I do like Fantasia better), and had to become someone he's not to become no one to start all over. He learned that his ultimate wish was to be loved and love others. He had it all- a kingdom of his creation, good looks, bravery, wealth- but he lost himself completely in those things and became empty inside. Bastian even forgot his own name, but was reborn with the love of a mother like being and by bathing in the golden waters of life to return to earth and give love to his father. It's so damn beautiful, it's like an acid trip, this book.

Anyways, I hated Bastian throughout most of book, until the end when he goes to the house of change and begins to figure out his ultimate wish. We really do have to try something out, take a risk and maybe change who we are (be it better or worse), to get on the path we need to go on. There are no mistakes because this path has led me to where I am right now.

I like where I am. I kinda feel like a newborn right along side Shepherd. I'm not sure what clicked in my brain, but it almost feels like the beginning. I feel as inspired and excited about creating for Purusha as I did 7 years ago. It's different now, I'm not as naive or as scattered or as, dare I say, arrogant. I feel like I'm done trying to be clever and done trying to 'sell something'. I want people to buy my clothes, but I'm not gonna try to force an image on the brand or try to make it something it's not. I think I lost something very special when I  removed my personal touch from the products. I just want to create what I love, share what I love, and let go of the results. If I made it with loving intentions and from a place of authenticity I've done everything right. I have no expectations. It's just all love.

I'm here to produce beauty. Creating it and sharing it is my medicine. I'm so excited for the next leg of my journey. I hope you'll come ride along with me. Namaste friends!

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a birth story : shepherd willard allers

his birthday

1 week old

almost 3 weeks old

I woke up on Sunday morning, October 18th, with some cramps. I didn't think much of it until I started about my day. We were planning on going to the Calabasas pumpkin festival that day, but soon realized that wasn't going to happen. As we made breakfast and did our usual lazy Sunday activities (i.e. Nintendo), I figured out that I was getting contractions. They picked up in intensity pretty quickly, and Patrick and I started to time them. I was getting about 30 seconds of contractions every four minutes. My doctor told me to labor at home as long as possible, so that's what we did. I busied myself with Purusha work just in case I was going to the hospital and would be out of commission for a few days. (Later on I was SO thankful I did this!!) At around 3 PM we took the dogs on a walk and I got super irritable. At one point on our walk I just stopped and cried. I had been laboring since 10 AM that morning and had been having contractions at least every four minutes. Our doctor said to go to the hospital when the pain was unbearable and I couldn't speak through the contractions. Patrick asked me if I could talk when I was having a contraction and I said bitterly, "Why would I be talking right now?!" Haha that was a big indicator that no, I could not talk through the contractions.

As the evening approached we kept trying to distract ourselves from the labor. I played more Wooly World on Nintendo and Patrick made us dinner. I was beginning to feel nauseous too, so dinner was not something that I wanted. Around 10 PM we noticed the contractions were lengthening and getting closer together. They were coming about every two to three minutes and lasting one minute. The pain was becoming really unbearable, especially because I probably had hundreds of contractions that day as they were coming so frequently. We got ready for bed and thought maybe I could sleep through the pain. Wasn't happening. I didn't want to leave our house and enter the unknown, I just wanted to go to bed with Patrick and the dogs and have a baby sometime in the future. But at the same time I wanted to just do it. My work was done for a day or so, and I didn't want to do all that laboring for nothing. Between each contraction I decided I was fine and we could stay home, but with every contraction I felt like I was dying and we had to do something. It was a lot of back and forth, crying from me, and the dogs were getting nervous that we were getting out of bed and walking around the house. At 11:30 PM we decided it was time to go to the hospital. If they turned us away at least we would know what was going on, and I wasn't going to fall asleep that night anyways. We gathered our bags, kissed the doggie boys good-bye, and headed out.

It was the perfect time to drive to the hospital around midnight, there was no traffic! Which was good for me as the pain was really getting horrible. We got to Good Samaritan Hospital downtown in about 35 minutes, which in LA time is amazing! I kept on wanting to just go sit on a toilet, like if I could release something I would feel better. That's the first stop we made when we went in the Emergency entrance at the hospital, but sadly it did nothing for me. Patrick said, 'Let's get excited! We're here, we're going to meet the baby!' I groaned. We went to the triage and the nurse measured me at 80% effaced and three to four cm dilated. They said we should stay at the hospital, and that kind of absolutely terrified me. I was going to have the baby! We texted my sister to come take care of the dogs, and like an angel she was there the next morning early. That alone did wonders to ease my mind, though the pain in my body continued to become more severe.

The nurse said she was going to bring us to a delivery room, and I should try to get some sleep because I had a long way to go. First labors are slow. Sleep sounded totally impossible with my contractions coming every 2 to 3 minutes, feeling like a menstrual cramp from the gates of hell. I can't even describe, or truly remember now how bad it felt. The worst pain I've ever had in my body. I was starting to get really grouchy, tired and frustrated. They moved us to our delivery room and we both laid down and tried to sleep. With every contraction I felt weaker and weaker and my mind was going to a dark place. It's so interesting to see where your thoughts go when you're in intense pain. All of my meditation, breath work, yoga, and preparation made no difference in that moment. I was present, that's for sure! Present with a knock you on your ass pain that I felt would slowly destroy me.

Patrick and I debated back-and-forth if I should get the epidural. Just like at home when I was between a contraction I thought I could press on naturally. When a contraction arose and peaked I felt all my resolve go out the window. I was exhausted, I felt like we'd been beaten down. It was around 4 AM and I didn't know if I could survive and actually have the strength to have a baby at this rate. I knew I'd have a very hard road ahead of me if I was not able to sleep that whole night and God knows how many hours that day. I decided to get an epidural. Pat later told me he didn't want to persuade me either way, but was secretly so glad that I decided on this. It's hard to see someone you love in such pain.

The most cheerful little Asian man anesthesiologist came in about an hour after I requested the epidural, an hour of complete agony, and merrily put the giant needle in my back. I loved him so much. It was now 5:30 AM on Monday, October 19th. The pain of the epidural was like heaven compared to the contractions. They set me up with my IV and my catheter and within about 15 minutes I was a changed woman. I can honestly say getting an epidural was one of the best and most mature decisions I've ever made in my life. It's tough to put aside what you planned, which was a "natural" birth, and do what makes sense for your situation. For me, labor isn't the time to prove yourself a warrior, it's the time to deliver your baby safely. Within an hour I finally found blissful, incredible sleep. Throughout my sleep I woke up every hour or so because I could still feel the sensations of labor, just not the pain. I also would hear babies screaming from time to time as another woman nearby would have her baby. It was the most beautiful and scary sound. This is real!

My doctor, Dr. Chang, arrived shortly after I fell asleep, around 6:00 AM. He told me I was still only about 4 cm dilated and I should try to sleep and he would be back around noon. I was in epidural heaven and was like, sure no problem! I can't wait to go back to sleep. The only problem with my sleep was I kept dreaming of Wooly World! In this game you wrap everything in yarn and no matter what I tried to think about I would end up knitting it into something. It was so lame and frustrating! Shouldn't I be dreaming about my newborn son?! Not some silly (though awesome) video game!? As I rested I could feel the contractions intensifying so I got even more epidural. Best. Invention. Ever.

Dr. Chang came back at noon and said that my labor wasn't progressing because my water wasn't breaking. My body was doing a great job with the contractions, they were nice and strong and frequent, but the baby wasn't descending because the water bag was very tight. He decided it would be best to break my water, so that's what we did. Dr. Chang left after that and said he'd be back around 5 PM to see where I was. I ate ice chips and drank a little water, but still felt nauseous so was OK with not eating.

Patrick and I slept or went on our iPhones. It felt funny to be able to text and talk to people as I was in such active labor. At 5:30 PM Dr. Chang woke us up. He asked me how I was feeling and I said it felt like somebody was blowing up a balloon in my butt. He laughed and cheered and said wonderful! He measured me and said I was fully dilated and we were ready to have the baby! We just had to wait for the nurse Angela to come help. I was absolutely terrified! The baby was going to come!! When I get really nervous and excited I throw up, so I threw up in a little cup. After that I felt ready for the challenge, down for anything! Bring it!

Dr Chang dimmed the lights and gave us a pep talk. He told us how our lives would change and that we should be as present as possible in the next moments because we would never feel anything like this again. This was it! What we'd been waiting for and planning and thinking about for the past 9 months was here! At 6 PM Angela arrived and we were ready to start pushing. They got me all set up, lifted my heavy as lead legs into some stirrups, and with the next contraction we started pushing! I took a huge breath in and pushed! Dr. Chang said I was doing amazing and he was already crowning. I touched his head, and they asked if I wanted a mirror to see what was going on. I said no. Haha not this time. I pushed maybe 10 more times and he was out! It was so easy! Our sweet boy was ready to meet us and the world. Patrick delivered him and out came our little alien love child, arms and legs spread and crying like a baby bird! How could this be real?! A perfectly formed being just came out of my body! He was so much smaller than I imagined and looked shocked! Poor little guy. Dr. Chang and Patrick placed him on my chest and I stroked his cheeks in a complete love coma blissed out stupor. I told him how much I loved him and said everything was always going to be ok. He cried, stopped crying, cried, and we put him on my breast. He started sucking right away! I've dreamt of breastfeeding before, so it seemed familiar, like something I was designed to do. I felt like we were made for each other, destined always to be mother and son. After holding him for a bit the nurse took our precious sweet boy and weighed him and all that good stuff. He was 6 lbs 4 oz, 19 inches long. He screamed as they did his footprints and I felt an urge to stop that crying like I've never felt before. My baby. At 6:17 PM on October 19th our lives changed forever.

I told Shep in the womb everyday, "You're such a good boy. We love you so much already." It couldn't be more true. The word love doesn't begin to explain my feelings for him. Something beyond love exists, and he's teaching me what that is.

Shepherd Willard Allers, we are so ready and honored to be on this adventure with you. We love you so much already.

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my pregnancy journal : 10




How far along?
38 weeks!

How big is the peanut?
My doctor said he's not gonna be a huge baby because Patrick and I aren't big people. He was 5.5 lbs last week, so I think this week he'll be around 6 lbs.

Total weight gain/loss?
30 lbs.

Maternity clothes?
Gah, miss clothes! We went to Anthropologie this weekend and there was SO much I wanted!! But there's no point in buying until after he's born. I have my few dresses I wear on repeat now.

Sleep?

I think I'm blessed with being a good sleeper. I could sleep for like 10 hours. I had a few hard nights of sleep last week, but it's mostly good. I get hip pain on my left side sometimes when I wake up. OH! Haha yesterday morning I kept waking myself up with a snort. Like it actually sounds like a pig. The weirdest thing! And I have been quite mucousy in the mornings. That's annoying and gross.

Best moment this week?
I had one really lovely yoga session this week that didn't feel like a struggle. It reminded me of what my body once was, and how good it will feel to have the baby and get back into my fitness routine, feeling strong and powerful! I have a feeling I won't ever take my body for granted again. I am super inspired to move and take good care of myself. :) I love my body more than ever for doing what it's doing.

Symptoms?
Well the baby dropped and he's at 0 station now (the lowest he can be in the pelvis). So not so much heartburn and I can eat bigger meals, but the crotch lightening is insane. Sometimes when I walk his head is hitting my pelvis and nerves I guess and it hurts a lot. Peeing more than ever because of him being so low too. I have a hard time getting up from laying down and find myself sometimes frustrated with how hard it is to move my body. My daily walks, yoga, and exercises are a GIANT chore these days. They're just not easy at all, but I know keeping it up will make for an easier labor and faster recovery.

Food cravings?
No. I really can't say I ever had that! But I will say I am eating whatever the eff I want these days! Doctor's orders! He said to eat ice cream to help the baby put on weight, and well, I have to listen! I mean, I've always been a desert lover and indulge daily, but I'm doing so now with no remorse or worry. I'm also still trying to get plenty of protein and eat a lot of basically everything.

Food aversions?
None.

Labor signs?
None. Lots of kicking as usual, but he seems pretty happy in there.

Belly button in or out?
Ooh it's like a little out now! Not full on outie, but a little fold of it is out. When I lay down on my back in goes back in.

What I miss?
Clothes!! Shopping this weekend made me sooo excited to be a woman with a baby outside of her! I love being a woman, and want to be fashionable and have beautiful things. And do beautiful things without a struggle. I really love clothes, and not being able to wear whatever I want is again an eye opener into how much I enjoy style. I have another clothing brand idea in the works too!

What I'm looking forward to?
Now it is the birth. We just want to meet him and get this show on the road. Patrick is definitely ready to begin this next phase of life. It's really sweet. He'll be like, 'I want the baby to come. I'm bored. (Haha!) I want something new to do.' Pat is going to be the best dad. I can't wait to see him take on that role. He's SO funny and playful, but also a great disciplinarian. He's very consistent.

Milestones?
I think slowly getting over the fear of labor. My dear friend Ianthe gave me some lovely words of wisdom that are really resonating with me. She said I can't be afraid during labor because this is my first time really being a parent to my boy. I need to stay calm for him, to let him know everything is ok out here. That birth is about HIM, not me. It's about delivering him here with a sense of peace and security. I'm a Mom already, and I want him to feel safe. This isn't to say it's not going to hurt, but I need to keep in mind my sense of calm is not for myself, it's to take care of him. So so sweet.

Bump?
Yeah. I'm officially huge.

How are you bonding with your baby?
Well his room is all set up! I'll share some photos sometime soon. I guess I'm bonding with him by trying to take the best care of us. Exercise, good food, deep breathing, kegels. And letting go of control. I've had this fear of him getting a true cord knot, and I expressed those fears to my doctor. He said that this is only the beginning. There is always a chance something will happen to your child. So why worry now? Why start? You just have to be responsible and then let go. This is another way in which I'm not as afraid of labor now. I have no control over what will happen. Obviously I can decide for myself how to handle labor pain and if I want drugs or whatever, but what goes on during delivery to him is something I need to be ok with not knowing. I'm trying to cherish every moment with him still safe in my belly and let him know how much we all love him already.

P.S. We are totally becoming those people that decorate excessively for holidays! How do you like our spiderwebs and tombstones?! Hoping baby comes before Halloween so we can all be here to greet trick or treaters!

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my pregnancy journal : 9


How far along?
35 weeks and 3 days.

How big is the peanut?
Last week's doctor's appointment he was 5 lbs! So he's right on track now for his age :) Hooray!!!

Total weight gain/loss?
It's hard to remember what my weight was last appointment. It's so insignificant now to me. Maybe 25 lbs?

Maternity clothes?
Dresses only! I think my belly though is permanently stretching some of them out. Haha!

Sleep?

Still pretty good! I wake up more often at night to pee and change positions, and find my hips hurt sometimes. But I'm getting at least 8 hours, sleeping in bed with Patrick and the boys.

Best moment this week?
Well I was very very happy at our last appointment to hear the little man is the right size now! And we saw him in an ultrasound which is always a treat.

Symptoms?
Lots and lots of heartburn, it makes me feel like I'm going to throw up sometimes. :/ Some mild Braxton Hicks contractions here and there, stomach is practicing getting tighter and then releasing, I have to move more slowly or my belly gets a sharp pain. Totally out of breath walking up hills. Overall not super comfortable, but I still say this is pretty easy!

Food cravings?
No. Eating is kinda annoying recently because of heartburn and feeling very full.

Food aversions?
No, but not loving eating like I was in the second trimester. It feels more like a chore to be sure I get lots of nutrients and meals.

Labor signs?
I don't think so, but I do have an intuition he's coming soon. Not that I am predicting when he's coming, but it just feels like it's time, ya know? He sure kicks a lot, and the doctor said he's upside down now, so that's good!

Belly button in or out?
In, but my belly button feels verrry tight! ;)

What I miss?
I am starting to miss my body, but I don't really like to think or speak those words. I want to be as grateful as possible. Also, being pregnant is a great conversation starter, so that makes me not want this to end! Everywhere I go people talk to me about babies, birth, parenthood... It's very cool to feel so connected to the human race in this way, and everyone has been really kind to me. I miss buying cool clothes, haha. Can't buy much, but of course that's ok.

What I'm looking forward to?
Getting a facial as a reward after delivering the baby. But really, looking forward to all that comes after delivery. I'm trying with all my might to be brave and excited and open to whatever happens in labor, but I won't lie. I'm scared, and looking towards after it's done is comforting.

Milestones?
Ha I don't even know anymore. Getting up at 7:30 this morning? Getting dressed in something cute today and getting coffee with Patrick. Haha, I don't ask for much these days!

Bump?
BUMP!

How are you bonding with your baby?
We're setting up and building all the things for him. We built a sidecar sleeper to attach to the bed for him to sleep with us, we're setting up his room, so that makes me feel good. I also got my hospital bag all packed with clothes for him and me, my favorite Evan Healy oils for massage... We don't really have a birth plan, but I'm planning on what we can do to deal with pain and be entertained. I kinda think that's all you can do. Birth is unpredictable, but it's nice to know I'm bringing some things that comfort me.

That didn't really answer how I'm bonding with him. It's how I'm bonding with Patrick, which has been incredible! But bonding with the little guy... I'm reading 'Mindful Birthing' right now and I really love it. It's all about bringing meditation into my daily life, and ultimately to my birth experience. To be ok with not knowing, to be ok with whatever I face and stay in the moment, and be ok with whatever choices we make in the delivery room. Basically just how to be present and ride the waves of the experience. I can't think of anything more important to prepare than that. Deep breaths, and keep coming back to the now with my baby. I know this will help me as a parent too, and to see what the little guy needs and be patient with our new wonderful family. AH so much LOVE!

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my pregnancy journal : 8



sitting in baby's antique rocking chair!

How far along?
32 weeks and 1 day. Shit is getting real now!

How big is the peanut?
Well the little man should be almost 4 lbs now, hopefully! At our last doctor's appointment Dr. Chang said he was measuring about 1.5 weeks behind in weight, so I'm hoping it was an error or he's all caught up now. God, it's hard to not let things like that worry you, when things aren't "perfect" at each appointment. More on that later...

Total weight gain/loss?
My last doctor's appt I was 20 lbs heavier, but I'm guessing it's even more now. I feel so huge sometimes! And it's going everywhere, it's unstoppable! My body is getting really good at storing fat! I'm actually trying to eat more because I noticed some days I wasn't eating enough, so I'm trying to get way more of everything- protein, fat, carbs, fruits, veggies. This is becoming a full time job, all the eating and resting. My runs are slowing down majorly too. I pretty much just hike and walk now, run just a tiny bit, do little circuits, and yoga of course.

Maternity clothes?
I'm at the point where I hate wearing clothes and getting dressed. Nothing is comfortable. If I could walk around naked I would. It's been really hot too, so it's just a few dresses at this point that fit me.

Sleep?

Sleep is good! No huge complaints! I have to get up and pee a lot, but I sleep well most of the time, and really want to sleep often.

Best moment this week?
Probably the day I didn't have much work and I watched like 8 Seinfeld reruns and laid down for hours. Laying down is my favorite now.

Symptoms?
They're here, finally! Getting into the thick of it now! I went to the doctor's about a week and half ago, and well, yes I have symptoms. Excuse me, I went to the hospital and the doctor. It ended up being totally unnecessary, but it had to be done. I was running (actually one of the last times I ran more than a mile or 2), and tons of water came out. I thought my water broke! I've been doing my Kegel exercises, so I didn't think it was pee, and it didn't smell like pee. I called my doctor and he said to come down to the hospital where he was at the time (also the hospital I'm delivering at). I was realllly scared. The thought of going into labor at 30 weeks and a few days is terrifying. I cried, and Patrick luckily googled stuff and stayed calm for us. He drove us to the hospital, and no more water came out so that was a good sign. They tested me for amniotic fluid and it was negative. So giant PHEW! What it was, I don't know. A mixture of cervical fluid and pee? (Yeah, these posts are getting less pretty aren't they?! LOL.) But that was a scare, and I don't really run now.

After we were at the hospital my doctor suggested we come for our tri-weekly appointment which was supposed to be the next day because we were in the area. Full of relief and joy we gladly went to our regular appointment. At which we got some annoying (but not terrible, obviously) notifications. One, I have some sort of double indirect hernia. I thought it was round ligament pain, but Dr. Chang thinks it's a hernia. I probably never noticed it because I didn't have pressure on it, but now that there's this baby and placenta up there it's pushing down. It hurts a little bit and feels like a lump. I can deal with it, but it's not ideal. It doesn't effect the baby, so really who cares. Two, we were also told he's slightly small, which is worrisome, but I've heard these ultrasound measurements can be wrong. We're going to see where he's at in about a week and a half.

Besides that I just feel mostly tired, pooping sucks, and I feel fat. I still feel like my pregnancy has been easier though than I thought, and I feel really lucky it's been mostly smooth :)

Food cravings?
Not really. Eating this much can be a chore sometimes, but I've been enjoying cooking and baking a bit more recently. I feel very nesty- like I want to do cozy special things. Patrick and I have been dreaming about moving back East somewhere and getting lots of land and having a house we actually own! Hoping it will be someday soon :)

Food aversions?
No.

Labor signs?
Well the fluid thing, but no Braxton Hicks yet. We are thinking more about birth, that's for sure!

Belly button in or out?
In! Still!

What I miss?
Not having a painful hernia. Not getting out of breath while exercising. Shitting normally.

What I'm looking forward to?
Fall! And obviously meeting him, and feeling what labor will be like. But this time of year is always fun, all the holidays ahead, and we get to have a baby! It's hard to get down with those things to look forward to.

Milestones?
Being ok with being fatter. It's lame, but even as a pregnant woman I feel pressure to be "all belly", and not gain fat elsewhere. But with my body type that's just now how I do it. I think I could barely eat (not that I would ever be that stupid), and still be putting on weight and fat. Sometimes I compare myself to taller women that seem thin except for their belly, and wish I could be like that. But then, who gives a shit!!!! I'm pregnant and my baby is healthy, that's all I could ever ask for. I am relearning how to love my body, and I know once I go into labor and have this boy I will feel that even more so. It's a journey, and I have to be super mindful of the thoughts I take in and practice immense gratitude.

Bump?
Um, yeah duh! No one doesn't think I'm preg now!

How are you bonding with your baby?
I'm focusing on birthing without fear. Easier said than done, that's for sure. But I know I will have a much easier birth if I go into it with an open mind, a curious mind, and a happy mind. I'm telling myself I'm excited, I want to be really relaxed and have a positive experience. I'm definitely aware stuff can happen, but I'm trying to be open to all the possibilities of his arrival. He's kicking right now as I type. I love him so much. I'm so lucky to have this family of our little babe, Patrick, Byron, and Liam. Me and my boys!


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my pregnancy journal : 7


How far along?
30 weeks! This feels like a big amount right now :)

How big is the peanut?
About 3 lbs. If he was born now he would most likely be ok. Which obviously I don't want, but it's comforting to know.

Total weight gain/loss?
20 lbs so far. When I first heard from my doctor to expect to gain 25-35 lbs I thought he was crazy. I thought, 'I take care of myself, eat well and exercise, there is NO way that will happen to me.' Ha well look at me now! My body just does what it does. I've surrendered. I take care of myself and eat like I did pre-pregnancy, run (shorter distances and more slowly!) and do weight training and yoga, and still my body stores fat everywhere. None of my shorts or jeans fit over my ass, a lot of my tops are too tight on my arms and back. Whatever. Babe is healthy, I'm healthy. It's alllll good!

Maternity clothes?
Thinking I need to design cute maternity shorts. Still mad they don't exist. I wonder if I should come out with a maternity line? I feel like the market is super lacking. And stuff can't be expensive. It's REALLY hard to put down money on stuff that won't fit the same in a few months. I've been living in dresses, athletic clothing, and that's really all I can squeeze into. I wear a lot of the same clothes over and over. It's also been like 105 degrees here so... yeah, clothes are not easy.

Sleep?

Once I fall asleep I am good! I can sleep for like 10 hours. But I've been having a little trouble falling asleep. I'm sure I could change that if I got off my iPhone sooner and had more of a nightly wind-down routine. I need to work on that.

Best moment this week?
Hmmm... that's a tough one! My life has kinda been business as usual. Pregnancy is getting less comfortable. It's no big thing yet, but exercising hard is getting, well, hard. And I'm quite tired. Overall though I'm pretty happy. Liam's having some weird hearing issues which is making his mobility tough, Byron is as wild and kind as ever, my relationship with Patrick is deeply wonderful. I am a broken record here, but I'm realllly lucky!

Symptoms?
There are more now! Kicking is getting more aggressive. Sometimes he gets a limb or his head (?) pushing so hard in one direction and it feels crazy weird until he moves back into a less spread eagle position. Haha, that's what I'm picturing anyways. I have 2 sore little lumps below my belly, and from my expert google research I think its round ligament pain. I also pee like 100 times a day now. I feel like the little guy is just stomping on my bladder. He is just living it up in there. Haha! Overall I believe my pregnancy has been fairly easy and uneventful, which I realize I'm beyond blessed for. When I read the online baby stuff for the week I always feel relieved to be missing out on a lot of symptoms.

Food cravings?
None. But I've been loving making 'Greek meals'. I honestly don't even think they're 'Greek', I've never been to Greece. We just call them that, our Greek dinners. Always some crusty Ciabatta type bread dipped in olive oil, olives, a variety of cheeses, sausage or tuna, and salad. Just easy to make and fun to eat!

Food aversions?
None!

Labor signs?
None. But definitely thinking about labor these days! We're doing a hospital tour this week, I'm gonna sign up for an online Lamaze class, and we're doing a birthing class at the hospital in September. Part of me wants to do none of that and pretend it's just never gonna happen!

Belly button in or out?
In.

What I miss?
A lot of my clothes. That's it I think!

What I'm looking forward to?
Well I guess at this point it's just meeting the little guy! There isn't much else on the immediate horizon. I can truly say though I'm enjoying the moment and am grateful he's alive and well in my belly. I'm sure all will be well with delivery and his birth, but I always have in the back of my mind gratitude for him as he is now, pure and simple. Not wishing for him to be anywhere else.

Milestones?
Ugh I did the terrible diabetes test at the doctor, where you drink the most sugary drink in the world in 5 minutes and then can't drink water. That almost gave me a panic attack. Not quite a milestone right? But got that over with and don't have diabetes, and I don't think I'm deficient in any nutrients either! So that's a relief. I've been drinking more milk, eating more yogurt, eating more meat (and of course the usual fruits and veggies), to be sure I'm getting calcium and iron. Lots of oils too :) So it feels nice to do this all for the little man. Um I guess another milestone would be I'm beginning to feel more like a sexy pregnant woman. Like, I feel sensual and I freaking LOVE Patrick right now. I have these moments of honeymoon-y feelings where it's like we just started dating. I love him so much it makes me cry. But then again, I'm loosely on the brink of crying frequently now. Should probably list that under 'symptoms'. Forgot about that one. I suppose it's like my emotions right now are just right there. No filter. I like it.

Bump?
Bigger, slow and steady.

How are you bonding with your baby?
Well the usual I guess! Meditation and yoga! I hope taking the time 5 days a week to breathe and relax with him transfers into him being a relaxed person. I rub my belly often and just think about all the love I have for him, the dogs, for Patrick and for my life. It's a really lovely feeling. Gosh thinking about it right now I just might cry. I'll leave it at that. Pregnancy is a beautiful time. :)

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my pregnancy journal : 6



How far along?
26 weeks and 4 days ;) I think it's very interesting I always know exactly how far along I am! Over 6 months now!

How big is the peanut?
I haven't been as on top of my babycenter.com weekly readings. Googling now... Ok he's 2 lbs and the size of a scallion?! Hmmm.. a scallion is not a very helpful visual! Aren't they skinny?!

Total weight gain/loss?
I have my next doctor's appt next week so I'll know but I feel like I'm sort of leveling out at the moment with weight gain. My guess is 17 lbs weight gain? I definitely feel more bloated and puffier.

Maternity clothes?
Wearing mostly dresses and yoga clothes, nothing new there.

Sleep?

Getting at least 8 hours a night, but feeling like I need more like 10 hours. I've been really tired the past couple days. I don't like that feeling, it makes me feel unmotivated and weird.

Best moment this week?
Getting the yellow crib in the mail and starting to prepare his room! Patrick and I combined our offices which is actually way cooler than I thought it would be (we work well together and I get inspired by him), and we're clearing out baby's room to build crib tomorrow and begin setting it up! Shit's getting real!

Symptoms?
Kicks galore! This little guy is active. Legs are still feeling swollen at the end of the day sometimes, but no visible swelling. I am loving how I haven't gotten a pimple since I got pregnant, and I could reallly get used to this body hair barely growing thing. I'm still running or hiking and doing yoga 5 times a week, but it's getting more challenging on some days. Today I just couldn't get myself to do it. I felt too exhausted. I added in 2 days of moderate circuit training (push ups/squats/12 lb weight exercises/lunges/etc) to my workout because my runs are becoming much more like run walks. I'm enjoying getting my heart rate up but stopping once my body tells me to. Overall I feel really good and most days I forget I'm even pregnant until I feel kicking and look down at my growing belly. :)

Food cravings?
I wish I had cravings, they seem like fun. I'm really liking drinking a big glass of organic 2% milk most days (today I added a squirt of chocolate syrup to it!).

Food aversions?
Love. it. all!

Labor signs?
None.

Belly button in or out?
In.

What I miss?
Not having to drink water pretty much constantly! I get unbelievably thirsty, it's kinda annoying! Overall feeling very blessed and lucky.

What I'm looking forward to?
Seeing the nursery all set up. His room is going to be beautiful! We got so many wonderful and thoughtful gifts at my baby shower in Connecticut 2 weeks ago and I can't wait to get them all arranged and ready in our sweet boy's room.

We're also really just looking forward to the little guy's life. He's got it all before him, and we have so much goodness awaiting us! Babyhood and him being our helpless guy, then growing into a fun little kid, becoming a wild teenager, and then becoming an adult that is our friend. It just feels like all good. Not that it will all be easy, but it will all be awesome in its own way.

Milestones?
I haven't had a doctor's appt in a bit, so nothing new to report so much. I did have a sweet dream about our boy last night in which he started walking at like 4 months! Gah! We were like 'Shit! Not yet please!' But he was pudgy and blonde and sweet and cuddly. It made me feel like I know him already. He's gonna be SO loved.

Bump?
Getting bigger! I have a feeling I won't get huge, but who knows, there's still time.

How are you bonding with your baby?
Patrick played us music on the guitar while I did yoga today. I felt like it was for me and our boy, so that was really sweet. I tell him I love him all the time during the day, meditate on him as soon as I wake up, and feel love for him when I'm loving on the dogs. The dogs will always be my precious babies, and they were the ones that taught me to love and care for someone that really needs you. So I've been trying to focus on my love for them so perhaps those loving feelings will transfer to our baby and the dog's little bro. ;) Those dogs are gonna love being big brothers.

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my pregnancy journal : 5





How far along?
24 weeks tomorrow :)

How big is the peanut?
Over a lb now, and a foot long!

Total weight gain/loss?
I'm not sure, but I would guess 15 lbs.

Maternity clothes?
REALLY need maternity shorts! Cute ones. They are really hard to find. Anyone have any suggestions? Still rocking my yoga clothes, but some of my Purushas with elastic in the waist are getting uncomfortable. I'm still wearing a lot of dresses from pre-preg, but they are MUCH shorter now because of my ass and stomach and boobs. Ha!

Sleep?

Still great. Love sleeping so much. Favorite part of my day! I've definitely been feeling more tired than usual, and it does feel harder to change positions while laying down. Also my legs feel more swelling at the end of the day so I put them up on pillows sometimes while sleeping, or Patrick will hold them in the air and move them around for me which is heaven.

Best moment this week?
It's pretty awesome to see him kicking from outside my stomach! I can just look down now when I feel some big kicks and see my stomach having a party! It's very cute! Also got a few baby shower gifts in the mail which continues to make things more real. I am so grateful to receive presents for the little one, each means SO much to me and I know I will think of who gave it each time I use it. I'm getting excited to set up his room too!

Symptoms?
So much kicking!!! Sometimes when I'm out in public and wearing something tight I feel like people must see the kicking! Speaking of being out in public, I've definitely noticed people taking more kindly to me and smiling and wanting to say something. There was this sweet woman in Whole Foods a week or so ago and she told me I looked 'sooo cute', which kinda meant the world to me. Anyone out there that wants to offer a compliment to a pregnant woman and isn't sure to say anything- PLEASE DO! Sometimes I just feel so un-cute and sticky and just FAT, so for a stranger to compliment me is so incredibly sweet. I ran into the same woman at Whole Foods this week and again she told me how cute I was. Again, she made my week. Thank you kind lady! What else... I think I am bigger all over, my body hair grows much more slowly (amazing!), and swelling in my legs.

Food cravings?
Nah, I don't think so. I'm trying to make sure I don't overdo it with sweets. And also trying to just eat more wholesome- lots of fruit, dairy, grains, meat, nuts. I could do better with eating more vegetables.

Food aversions?
No way!

Labor signs?
None.

Belly button in or out?
Still in! But it feels very tight and firm when I touch my belly button.

What I miss?
Saison beers, GOD. So good when it's hot out. Fitting into cute clothes. I miss feeling sexy and fit. But like I've said, none of that compare to carrying a child.

What I'm looking forward to?
I think I might get to go into a pool today at a BBQ so I'm excited about that! But a little self conscious about my body... Eh nothing I can do there. Looking forward to setting up his room!

Milestones?
I suppose a milestone for ME, not the baby, is listening to my body. It's weird to not push yourself in your work, your workouts, and day to day activities. It's pretty crazy that my body is now boss and I can't force anything. When I was running the other day I kept getting super intense cramps (not labor cramps, just trapped air), so I had to walk. And be ok with that. That's a challenge for me, to change my plans and give in to my body's requests. It's definitely a special time in my life, this whole being pregnant thing, and everyday I learn something new about my body and mind.

Bump?
I'm pretty sure I've officially crossed the threshold for people knowing I'm pregnant! Whoa! The bump is in clear view!!

How are you bonding with your baby?
The daily meditation with him is wonderful still. I need to work on singing more to him and playing his song. And playing music in general. But I've been super on top of my yoga practice and taking the time to connect to him mentally. Feeling his kicks all day is a constant reminder that, 'Hey! I'm here mama!' I'm just picturing a miniature Patrick in there, joking around and having fun. He's so precious already.

Happy 4th of July!

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my pregnancy journal : 4



How far along?
22 weeks today :)

How big is the peanut?
1 lb! Spaghetti squash!

Total weight gain/loss?
13 lbs. Doctor says I'm perfect, hehe ;) I haven't changed my eating or exercise routine very much, but my ass and thighs are definitely bigger just 'cause. That's a trip for me, but I know it's for the best possible cause.

Maternity clothes?
Welp, I must say I am having a love affair with Victoria's Secret sleepwear. Like more than love, obsession. Haha! It all started with the semi-annual sale, and I kinda couldn't believe how beautiful I now feel in a pretty teddy PJ dress. Or matching camisole and shorts. I know Vic's Secret is not the most ethically made stuff, but MAN it makes me feel beautiful and feminine and sexy! Like, I don't even care if Patrick notices, I just love how it feels to wear silk shorts with a soft matching tank and a silken kimono robe. I look so forward now to getting in my nighttime clothing, and it's the most comfortable stuff I own. Still going strong wearing my Purusha yoga pants, and lots of dresses. Dresses are my savior. I think I need maternity shorts though. It's been sooo hot here (at least 90), and sometimes shorts are the most practical thing.

Sleep?
Loving sleep and no problems there. I think I'm just a really good sleeper.

Best moment this week?
Hmmm, right now it really kinda feels like a whirlwind. Time is going by quickly, and Patrick and I have both been busy with work so it's just kinda a blur looking back. I had my final fetal anomaly exam and our little man is developing perfectly! All organs and baby parts and my blood levels are as they should be! I think the best moment was the song Patrick wrote for our boy on my birthday. It's called 'Plannin' on Adventure', and it's a little bit of a country song. When Patrick played it for me in bed on my birthday night I just bawled my eyes out. Couldn't stop. I am one lucky lady!

Symptoms?
Baby is kicking a lot, boobs itch sometimes. That's really it. Second trimester is the best! Oh and my hair is less oily, my I think my hair and nails are growing faster. No stretch marks.

Food cravings?
Not really! I'm eating exactly the same as I did before I got pregnant. Trying though to get more iron and eat plenty of fruits, veggies, and meat.

Food aversions?
None.

Labor signs?
None.

Belly button in or out?

In. My Mom just told me hers never went out, and I have a feeling my won't either.

What I miss?
Wine, always. My thighs not rubbing together when I walk. LOL. But seriously, I don't really miss anything. Just being present and enjoying the ride.

What I'm looking forward to?
My baby shower! I'm flying to Connecticut in a few weeks to gather with friends and family so I'm really excited about that. Looking forward to cuddling with the dogs in bed tonight. I love all my boys so much.

Milestones?
We started talking to our doctor about delivery! It's becoming more real! My doctor, Dr. Chang, is really really great. He's a very non-interventionist kind of doctor, which I've heard is rare. He's so kind and gentle, and really wants my birth to be how I want it to be as long as baby and me are healthy. Dr. Chang also works with a mid-wife so I can choose to have her or him at my delivery. We'll be meeting her in a few weeks, but as of now I feel super attached to Dr. Chang, and am envisioning him being there and perhaps a Doula as well. Of course I do want to deliver naturally, but I am not going to have such a tight plan that I'll be upset if something changes. I'm open to fate, but I do want to feel what it's like to have a baby in all it's painful wonderfulness. Patrick and I are going to sign up for a birthing class at the hospital, and I'm going to start reading stuff! Any suggestions?

Bump?
Love my bump! It's definitely apparent I'm pregnant now, but still I can tell people don't want to ask. So it's not at that point yet where it's 100% clear.

How are you bonding with your baby?
I like to dance sometimes in the kitchen with Patrick (and by dancing I mean the dumbest looking moves or the laziest looking moves you've ever seen) and rub my belly a lot. Always meditating with baby and telling him I love him. I start every weekday morning with sitting in bed holding my belly and telling him how he's doing so well and is peaceful and joyful. I've been singing him his song. I've been doing lots of yoga and kegel exercises. :) Happy happy times!
 

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