New Clothes, New Hair, New City, Oh My!

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Published: December 3, 2014

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Welcome to part 5 of my journey through my first pregnancy. We began this series with my preparing for pregnancy in “Getting Ready for Baby,” followed by tips from my doctor in “The Start of the Shortest Ride.” In “Period Three or a BFP?” I returned to Lagos and got the news I’d been hoping for, and then I looked at some of the issues we faced as parents-to-be in “So Many Decisions to Make.” Last week I reflected on what I’d learned so far in “Lessons of the First Trimester,” and this week brings big changes and a decision on the place we will all call “home.”

Itching for Change

Things were starting to get really fun. By this point, my tummy was growing (it wasn’t just feeling bloated anymore) and I needed a belly band. The first order of business was getting new clothes, but I really felt like changing everything, as you will see in a moment.

Getting pregnant uncovered a lot of things that I felt needed to change. I realized that I would be responsible for the growth of another human being, and this meant that I would be showing my little one how to live. The question that kept coming up for me was “Do I want to lead by words, or do I want to lead by example?”

I spend a lot of time feeling guilty about a lot of things. My husband has admitted to me that it is the one thing that he would like for me to change about myself, and to be honest, it is the one thing about myself that I too wanted to change. Being pregnant had me evaluating the source of that guilt because I didn’t want my little one to see his or her mom being uncertain about everything, second-guessing her decisions, or spending a lot of time feeling guilty. So I started making some changes that I had always wanted to make.

Shopping for new clothes

Yes, I needed new clothes – but I also wanted new clothes. I always have an image of how I want to look, and right now I wanted straight, tailored-looking pants, smart-yet-relaxed tops and kitten heels or menswear-inspired flats, and I went to the shops with all of these in mind.

Since I wasn’t showing yet but my clothes were starting to get snug, my strategy was to follow a friend’s advice and get trousers that were one size up. I still got my regular size shirts, but I chose loose, relaxed styles that could accommodate my belly as it got bigger. The next shopping trip was going to be for dresses and tops that would stretch as the baby grew.

It was one of the longest shopping trips I’ve gone on, but I found what I was looking for and was so happy with all my purchases that I didn’t feel guilty about the price tag. After the trip, I started taking inventory of the dresses in my closet. I already have an idea of the types of dresses that I would get on the next shopping trip.

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Cutting my hair

I love wearing my hair natural. I had been “natural” for four years and had successfully grown my hair to armpit length. It was long, luscious – and a lot of work. I really wanted to cut it. Now, the hairstyle I would have preferred would have been a straight, teeny-weeny Afro, but my husband wasn’t keen on that.

The backstory behind all this is that I look like my brothers. Take away the hair and other feminine characteristics and there is almost no difference between us. My husband was amazing at adjusting when I first cut off my relaxed hair, but I couldn’t imagine him being able to deal with me looking like that long-term. So I involved him in the decision-making process.

It literally took a village to vet my hairstyle. He picked it, and I sent it to my hairstylist to make sure it was realistic for my face and my no-frills hair regimen. We settled for a tapered cut and I. LOVE. IT. Surprisingly, I didn’t have any serious “Oh my God, I cut off my hair” makeover moment and didn’t miss the long hair for a second.

Finally picking a city

This was the biggest decision of all, and it was a spontaneous one. We were still going back and forth about where we were going to live, and after spending almost two months looking for work and interviewing, we weren’t sure that either one of us would find something before the baby came. But I was pleasantly surprised with two offers in New Orleans in the space of three weeks.

Despite this blessing, we were wondering if we should wait and see what Houston might have to offer him. I was torn because I would have loved to stay in Houston, but I wanted to make a decision based on family and love for once, especially since I finally had the luxury of doing so. So I took one of the offers in New Orleans and decided to take five weeks off from the workforce.

Taking five weeks off is something that pre-pregnant EJ would have never done and would have felt super guilty even considering, but I felt so sure in the decision once it was made. The last time I didn’t have a job for a five-week stretch was when I was seventeen and needed a break. But we had a lot to do to get ready for baby, such as moving into a bigger apartment, and I needed to get my mind in the right place to start a new job not long before the start of my third trimester – now that should be fun!

Part 1:  Getting Ready For Baby | Part 2: A Baby Story: The Start Of The Shortest Ride | Part 3: Period 3 or a BFP? | Part 4: It’s Decision Time Plus Morning Sickness In The Time Of Ebola | Part 5: Lessons of the First Trimester

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About Ejiro Ogenyi

EJ (Ejiroghene) is a Lifestyle Coach and owner of the Team by EJ Ogenyi LLC. She helps busy women lose weight without taking their eyes off their other priorities - their families, their careers, their wallets, and their lives. She is a Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach and she enjoys bringing her skills and her experience losing weight herself to the awesome task of helping her clients create healthy lives and bodies that they absolutely love. She is also a wife and mama to a beautiful little boy.

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