Pumping Tuesday: Undercover Mama

Undercover MamaI was dubious at first about this nursing tank — it’s, like, strapless?  I didn’t get it — until I purchased it — and now, like many of you noted in our last discussion on the best pumping clothes, it’s one of my favorites.  The tank top hooks to the top of your nursing bra so it comes down with the bra, while keeping your belly and back covered; I also like that I don’t have to deal with another set of straps on top of my bra straps, or a shelf bra within the tank.  It can be worn with any nursing bra, and really is very comfortable.  It comes in a ton of varieties —  zillions of colors (who knew?) in sizes XS-XXXL, versions with lace at the bottom (that’s a no for me, but you do you), and if you want a bit of support, a shapewear version.  (I actually have the shapewear version — it takes a bit of shimmying into the first few times, but it probably is my favorite among my nursing tanks.)  It’s priced $17.99-$35 at Amazon. Nursing Tank By Undercover Mama



  1. kc esq says:

    I just want to put a sign on my office door: “I used up all my patience on my toddlers today — there is none left for you.” Digging deep for regular human behavior.

    • mascot says:

      If I saw a sign like that on a door in my office, I’d probably leave sympathy gifts of cookies.

    • PregAnon says:

      I need a sign today as well, but instead of toddlers, replace with “I’m having a hard time keeping even water down. Morning sickness is terrible. The more stressed I get, the more likely it is that I will throw up on you. Enter at your own risk.”

    • (former) preg 3L says:

      I’m having a day like this too but my “toddler” is only 13 months old (and screamed for 2 hours straight last night).

  2. Feeling guilty and uninspired about my little guy’s first birthday. His birthday falls in the midst of Easter, and my in-laws are coming into town that weekend so we have to do any sort of party Easter weekend. We don’t have any friends with kids (sad, I know), so we were just going to do his birthday on Easter sunday with immediate family. It will be 8 adults and 3 kids total. Any ideas to make it special for him? I was going to get a fun cake and a little smash cake, but right now it feels like it will just be easter with a cake. For his actual birthday, I was going to make him a little homemade cake and maybe do balloons in his crib in the morning. Any other thoughts?

    • It sounds like personalizing it a bit will make it feel more like a birthday party and less like Easter. I know he’s only one, but does he have any things he loves? DS loves balloons, so we took him to Party City and got two dozen balloons for his birthday party. He loved everything about that (the trip to the store, the car ride full of balloons, the house covered in balloons). He also loves Cheerios, so we covered his cake in Cheerios, and got BBQ takeout (his favorite) from a local BBQ place. I don’t think you need to go overboard, but celebrating his little interests can be fun.

      • +1. Last month was my daughter’s 1st Bday and the theme was her two favorite things “Puppies and Balls.” I made spaghetti and meatballs, and decorated her cupcakes with puppy cupcake picks. I made a happy birthday banner, got a few balloons and called it a day. Her grandparents and aunt bought presents loosely related to the theme. I was just happy that she wasn’t overwhelmed with the attention.

        If you’re looking for a theme, does your little have a favorite book? If so, make color copies of some of the pictures, cut them out, tape the cut outs to toothpicks, and place all over the cake. It is the simplest (and very cute) way to personalize a cake. And that’s decoration enough, right?

    • D. Meagle says:

      IMHO, first birthday is more for the parents (and maybe grandparents) than it is for the baby. They have no idea what is going on, and won’t remember anything anyway. As long as you have a picture of the baby and the cake, you are set. If you can time the cake for not during a nap, so that you don’t have to wake your baby up, and your baby is not hysterical crying in all the cake pictures, consider it a successful party. We didn’t have too many friends with kids either, so our first (and second) birthday parties was mainly family.

    • anne-on says:

      Honestly, our son’s first birthday was more a celebration for us for making it through the first year in one piece! Is there a petting zoo or kids museum or some other ‘fun’ trip you could do with him to celebrate? Otherwise I’d just dedicate the day to truly enjoying play with him – do balloons, bubbles, play-doh, games, park time, get his favorite foods, etc.

    • I know you want to make it special, but don’t feel guilty about how uninspired you feel. It is difficult to feel inspired when you know the birthday will be meaningless for your little one anyway. And my personal feeling is that for a first birthday, there really is no need for a big party unless you really want to do one.

      My little girl had her first birthday two months ago. It was a week after Christmas. I know that in future years, we are going to have to be really careful about celebrating her birthday separately from Christmas, but this year, we didn’t make a big deal of it, and didn’t feel obligated to do so. We had a playdate with one of her friends, we blew up a few balloons for her to play with, and we gave her her favourite food (steak and pineapple). The most exciting thing that happened that day was that she took her first two steps unassisted (talk about hitting those milestones!). I made a cake and we blew out a candle for her, but honestly that was more for the adults – she couldn’t have cared less.

      • anne-on says:

        Thanks for the reminder that the way we got my son to take his first steps was to sit just out of his reach holding a cupcake that I had made for his birthday, ha, it was adorable.

    • Newly pregnant says:

      I went to a bunch of first birthday parties for my friends with kids before I was even pregnant. With my best friend’s first my husband and I went out the night before the party (she lives ~3 hours away from me), drank wine, and helped decorate the cake and cupcakes. We had a blast, and it was really fun to catch up with my friend and help her celebrate such a big event in her life. So, all of that is to say, don’t count out your childless friends! As for a theme, like others have said, look at his favorite toys or foods for inspiration.

    • For our dd’s 1st birthday we did party hats for everyone. She had a great time taking them on and off our heads. We also got a big of basket of balls and she had a blast taking them out and rolling them around with all the people. A real ice breaker for her with the crowd of guests. She liked the balls so much she didn’t even notice the people were new. She also loved running around the house with a mylar balloon. It was a great time.

    • Burgher says:

      For my son’s first birthday we ended up having 3 separate little parties for each set of grandparents. Just plain cake – no theme because he didn’t watch TV or have any characters or anything he was into. No friends because he was 1 and didn’t have any. For his second birthday we just had my mom and grandma and a couple of our (childless) friends over. I got some bubble guppies themed stuff and balloons and called it a day. I am hoping for round 3 that I will finally meet some of the other daycare parents or know some people well enough from the mom’s group I joined so the poor kid can have some friends at a party. TL;DR Don’t worry about it. They don’t really have friends yet at that age and won’t remember the party anyway.

      • Thank you all!!! You are all making me feel so much better. I think the working mom guilt overwhelms me a bit sometimes. He is a big elmo fan and loves climbing/balls so I actually found a sesame theme ball pit on amazon that he an his cousins will have fun playing with. You inspired me to put the pinterest down and just think about what my kid actually likes.

        • Merabella says:

          We all need to put the pinterest down and cut ourselves some slack. I think this is true in all areas, not just motherhood. I was literally just sitting here doing it to myself over house cleaning/organizing – like “Why doesn’t my cleaning closet look like Better Homes & Gardens?”

          Oy, sometimes the internet is a bitch.

        • He’ll love it! (And that’s what matters.) Sounds like a great time!

        • Oh jeez the Pinterest! We’re getting pizza and beer, giving the little guys their first taste of cake (and probably pizza — at least the cheese) and calling it a celebration of OUR first year as parents. The kids do not care at this age. I’m also ignoring the photos from my friend’s kid’s first birthday, which was done in coordinating colors, with a tiered cupcake stand, fresh flowers, la la la, including an ADORABLE outfit for the birthday girl. Did I mention my friend’s wife is a big firm lawyer and STILL pulled off this gorgeous confection of a party single-handedly? (Also, their house is immaculate. With two kids. And it’s not like he’s a SAHD — he’s a government attorney so he’s still working a full schedule.)

    • anonymama says:

      Cake and party hats, take a couple pictures so you can show them when they’re older, and you’re good to go. If you really want a theme just pick something the baby really likes (watermelon! or doggies! or giraffes!)

  3. OMGWTFBBQ says:

    Does anyone have experience with the diagnosis of a blighted ovum/anembryonic pregnancy? My OB told me she suspects that is what I have and I’m not sure what to do at this point.

    • I’m sorry you’re dealing with this and the uncertainty. I haven’t been through this specifically, but am familiar with it. Did your doctor give you a timeline for what to do or are you in a “wait and see” mode?

      I was thinking about you the other day. Is this the result of your ultrasound?

      • OMGWTFBBQ says:

        You ladies are the best! I’m in wait and see mode because my HCG levels are still doubling like they are supposed to, and I have a tipped uterus. I’ve had two ultrasounds – one only had a gestational sac, one had a gestational sac and a yolk sac, but no baby.

    • Yes, a few times, lucky me. One time, the pregnancy had not progressed at all, and I finally miscarried on my own when I would have been about 8 weeks pregnant. Another time I carried on until I would have been 10 weeks, then my OB prescribed, at my request (I had two ultrasounds a week apart confirm the pregnancy had failed, and I was done dealing with the nausea and other pregnancy symptoms for no reason), some drugs to induce cramping and miscarriage. I took them at bedtime one night, and all the major clots passed at about 5:00 a.m. It wasn’t painful; the cramps weren’t that bad. The worst part was the anticipation and fear of painful cramping that came from reading horror stories online. I’d just skip those if I were you.

      • OMGWTFBBQ says:

        Oh, how terrible. My OB is willing to do a D&C if need be, which I think I’d prefer because my periods are already the horrible change your tampon every hour ruin your pants kind.

        • For the second when when I took the drugs, I wanted to avoid a D&C. I had one before (another miscarriage – not a blighted ovum though, that time pregnancy progressed normally to 11 weeks), and it put me out for the day, plus another day or two of lethargy/recovery. It was a way bigger deal than the drugs, in my experience, but I don’t normally have heavy periods. In any case, neither one had lasting effects, and both worked out fine. Happy ending though: I have had several successful pregnancies and adorable kiddos. Even multiple losses does not mean things will not work out for you.

    • EP-er says:

      Yup. Went in for a dating u/s around 7 weeks and things didn’t look normal. I was scheduled to go back in 2 weeks later for a follow-up, in case my dates were off, but I started spotting and miscarried before then. It wasn’t a great night. The worse part of it all was going in for weekly blood work to make sure that my hormone levels returned to 0. Sometimes when you miscarry, some tissue can be left behind. It took 4 or 5 weeks for me…and everyone at the lab thought I was pregnant and it was just a horrible reminder that I wasn’t. (I didn’t have to do the weekly blood work for a later miscarriage. That baby was further along, so I needed a D&C.) Best wishes to you. As with all things pregnancy related, the waiting is the hardest part. Do you have a follow u/s or blood work scheduled?

      • OMGWTFBBQ says:

        I have a third ultrasound next week and we should be able to make a decision then.

    • I did, and also had two ultrasounds to confirm things were not progressing, and at that point I decided to go ahead with a D&C. (Partially because I was terrified by the horror stories I read online about the prescriptions that anon mentioned at 1:11.) I couldn’t imagine feeling pregnant (nauseated, bloated, the whole bit) but knowing it wasn’t viable, and wanted to get it over with asap. The procedure itself was no big deal but it did take me a few days afterward to recover (I took a week off work to give myself time to recover both physically and emotionally) and probably a month before I felt fully back to normal.

      • And also – I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Hang in there. I know it doesn’t help now, but I had three miscarriages (and three D&Cs) and recently had a beautiful baby boy. You’ll get through this.

      • OMGWTFBBQ says:

        Thanks for sharing, and I am so glad to hear you now have a baby!

  4. PregLawyer says:

    Can we talk maternity tights/hose? I need something that will either tuck under my belly, or come up high enough that it won’t create a line that cuts my belly in half as it slips down during the day. I’m about 5 1/2 months pregnant with still a lot of growing to do. Any and all suggestions welcome!

    • anne-on says:

      They weren’t cheap, but I really liked the spanx maternity tights. The extra belly support was nice and they didn’t constrict anything (which I was worried about).

      • I loved my Spanx maternity tights. They weren’t too tight, came up all the way to my bra, and actually acted as a maternity support in the last few months of pregnancy.

    • Seraphine tights. Also not cheap but they lasted really well and I really liked that I could pull them up all the way over my belly. For the record, their leggings are equally fantastic.

    • pockets says:

      I liked the Spanx Assets line (from Target) more than I liked the Spanx maternity hose. I also liked the “Preggers” maternity hose – they were compression and felt sooooo good when I put them on.

      • Merabella says:

        I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Assets Tights from Target – though you have to buy them on-line, at least in my case. I have a long torso and had ZERO problems with them. I agree that the compression felt really good, though it is a bit of an adventure getting them on in the morning.

        • pockets says:

          I remember putting them on the first time and going “ahhhhhhh.” They also come in a million colors, which was nice.

      • Katala says:

        Assests tights were all I got (i’ve been preferring pants, not sure why) and I liked them. They were way too big in the belly until ~6 months for me but I also ordered a size up because 1) i didn’t want them to squeeze and 2) that size had prime shipping ;)
        Now that they fit I really like them and they go up super high on me. And all my pants now leave a line across the belly. At 31 weeks I kind of don’t care about the line or the fact that you can see it more because most of my maternity shirts are too tight now.

      • +1

    • I bought the compression tights they sell at motherhood maternity. I like thicker tights and they held up well and didn’t run. The could be hard to pull on, but were comfortable on my belly.

      I tried the target assets line and found that the material was thin and that they did not give enough support.

    • I got some maternity tights at H&M that I liked.

      • Merabella says:

        Not maternity tights related, but I SERIOUSLY love my faux leather leggings from H&M. They are great for weekends and I just like how they make me feel like a bit of a bad ass.

    • Katarina says:

      I liked Berkshire maternity tights, from amazon. They were very comfortable in the belly.

    • Eileen says:

      I actually really liked Old Navy’s maternity tights.

  5. CPA Lady says:

    I’m weaning my daughter at 6 months (in two weeks– HOLY CRAP!). She currently nurses once a day, in the morning. What do I need to be doing over the next couple of weeks to make this go as smoothly as possible?

    And did y’all have crazy hormonal mood swings afterwards? How bad was it? Am I going to be sobbing at my desk during the last few weeks of tax season?

    I’m going on a short trip without my daughter in mid/late-April, and I was hoping to be over any sort of post-weaning craziness at that point. Doable?

    • Burgher says:

      I had some issues when I stopped pumping at work, but that was cutting 30 minute pump sessions 3 times a day within a 2 week timespan and then nightweaning shortly afterward. Even with continuing to nurse mornings and evenings it was pretty bad for a few months there. I don’t know how common that is though.

    • I don’t think, unfortunately, that you can predict how you’ll react to weaning. I felt great after weaning — it was like a fog lifted that I didn’t know had been there for the past 10 months; I finally felt like myself again. Other mamas I know went through a bit of a roller coaster period. Re: physical effects, I had a clogged duct about a week after weaning, but after a couple massages in the shower it resolved itself. To me, your plan sounds doable.

    • Katarina says:

      I felt pretty normal, with no bad effects, although I know this can sometimes happen. The only time I cried was during my last nursing session, mostly because my baby was so grown up. I was taking sudafed (the good stuff from behind the counter) which can help dry you up (I was taking it for a sinus infection, but might consider it for the drying up effect).

  6. PregAnon says:

    I am having such a hard time focusing. I need to get this work done today and I just can’t think, and all I want to do is go home and go back to bed.

    • Katala says:

      Totally feel you! The first tri all I could think about was “omg I’m going to have a baby” and “when can I lay down.” It’s true that it gets so. much. better. during the second tri. Now I’m back to tired and am getting distracted by feet wedged in my ribs but I’m used to it so can at least get the urgent work stuff accomplished.

  7. Just looking for advice and to commiserate a bit. I have been back to work at my mid size law firm for a month after a 12 week maternity leave with my first. It’s getting easier in some ways, but I am still generally hating not being with my little one, but staying home is not an option. With daycare drop off and pickup and the awful weather and subsequent train delays we have been having in MA, I get to work later than I used to, leave earlier than I used to and my kid is still one of the first ones there in the morning and last ones picked up at night. Hours are 7-6:30 and my husband and I alternate drop off and pick ups, but still. Part of the problem is that we live, and daycare is located in the burbs, and take the train to work in Boston, so it makes it that much harder to get to and form. And as I said the weather has made this transition so much harder than it would have been otherwise because we have had blizzards and delays and closings and cancelled trains, etc. As much as I feel like my hours are not what they should be at work, I equally feel like that is such a long period of time to essentially have others raising my very young infant for me. Last week a train delay put us 25 minutes late for pickup and it destroyed me. The late rate is $3/minute, but I didn’t really care about that, just that I felt like the worst parent ever because I couldn’t get there on time. We will have my in laws on back up duty from now on, but we honestly don’t trust them to actually fasten little one in his car seat correctly, but at least they can pick him up and sit in the car with him until one of us gets there.

    I know these are not new issues and I am far from the first to be going through them, so I’m just looking for other examples and perspective I guess. For those in daycare, what are the hours at your centers? How long did it take you to settle into a good routine/feel better about being back at work?

    • I get this. When I first went back to work, my schedule had me picking up my baby (who was 12 weeks at the time) about 10 minutes before the center closed. She was always the last one there, the teachers had already gone for the day, and she would be with one of the floaters, sitting by the door waiting for me. It made me feel like the worst mother ever, and I would cry in the car on the way home. I adjusted my schedule so that I get there half an hour earlier, and it has made a huge difference. I see her in the classroom interacting with her teachers and get to talk to them about how she is doing, and it makes me feel so much better about the whole situation. We have things set up so that my husband does drop off every day, and I go to work early so I can leave and do pick up every day. Obviously you can’t control weather and train delays, but maybe a small schedule tweak could help you too.

      Anther thing we do is try to telework whenever possible. I have a regular telework day once every two weeks and squeeze in other days when I can. At some point I plan to ask to increase this to one day every week. If this is an option for you, even occasionally, I highly recommend it.

    • CPA Lady says:

      Oh no! I totally TOTALLY understand, especially this time of year when I’m supposed to be working 60-70 hours a week at minimum. My daycare is open 6:30 am – 6 pm. My daughter is there 7:15-5:30. She’s usually the third child to get there. And two nights of the week I have a babysitter from 6-9 so I can keep working. And I feel like complete crap about that. That said, she’s been in daycare for three months now, seems to be doing well with it. Of all the people I worry about judging me, it’s her teachers. When a new baby started getting there at 6:45 in the morning, it was seriously the happiest day for me.

      I love my job, but I don’t love the tax season hours. I don’t really know that there is going to be a time I will ever feel good about spending so much time away from my daughter, but I’ll just do what I can to make up for it when it’s not tax season.

      And the good news is, it’s not going to be winter forever.

    • pockets says:

      These are just some ideas off the top of my head:

      First, it will get so much better when winter is over. Not only will there be fewer snow mishaps, you won’t have to deal with jackets, boots, hats, scarves, mittens, etc., etc. And by the time winter rolls around again, your little one will be older and be able to help with getting all winterized.

      Is there a way you can get to trust your inlaws to handle the baby? One or two nights a week of them picking up the baby and bringing baby to your place might be a huge help.

      If the inlaws can’t help, can you get a nighttime sitter to pick up baby and wait for you at home?

      You say you trade off pickups and dropoffs, but I’m not sure what you mean. Can you arrange it so that one parent do only pickups and the other do only dropoffs? Then, the pickup parent can try to get to work earlier and leave earlier (whereas the dropoff parent can go later/leave later).

      Can you work from home one day a week, or leave early/finish working from home? I can’t “officially” work from home but I’ve found that as long as I communicate that I’ll be out and keep my hours up, no one cares.

    • Carrie M says:

      It takes time, but my experience has been that it does get easier. Our center is open 7:15 to 6:15. Our child is usually one of the last to be picked up too, and I know how much it sucks when she is actually the last to be picked up (whether 5 minutes late or 25!).

      Honestly, I would say it probably took me a good 3 months to feel settled back in, and even several more months after that until I felt like I was hitting my stride at work. So hang in there.

      A colleague recently told me a story: Her kids are now college-aged, and they went to visit a family friend who had taken care of the kids while she and her husband worked. She asked her kids what their favorite memories of their daycare provider was….and the kids couldn’t come up with anything! My colleague was shocked; she has spent years feeling guilty about leaving her kids, but it hadn’t affected the kids at all.

      I try to keep that in mind when I’m working late at night or having an especially stressful week trying to juggle everything. I’m also trying to really be “present” when I’m with my child so that we make the most of our time together.

      Sorry it’s been a tough month, especially with the weather, but hang in there!!

    • Anonyc says:

      Hugs, because sometime it sucks (for you–I would warrant your baby is doing great). Twelve weeks is still very soon for such a huge change in life. I mean, it takes 10 months to grow a baby and it’s a massive shift in *everything* (physical, emotional, relationships, even your home…everything). I’ve always felt that it took me several months to get back to my baseline hormonally; it takes a long time to feel physically like you’re not still in baby mode; and to top it all off, sleep deprivation with a baby (i.e., no respite) is not like any other kind of sleep deprivation. Also: this winter. has. been. the. worst. Salt on the wound.

      The ideas about working out different shifts for pick-up/drop-off seem like the way to go. All of my kids have been FT daycare kiddos from the start, and while the third is still there, my older two have nothing but fun and loving memories of their time at daycare. They loved their teachers, learned so much, and my elementary school kiddo is still showing the benefits of his time in daycare/preschool (our daycare went through age 5, and he still talks about topics they learned about in his last two years there).

      So take a deep breath, try to nail down some logistics, and don’t worry.


    • We are in boson burbs (south shore) and hours are 7-6:30. We generally have her there 8:30-5 or 5:30’because we alternate pickups. When I travel she’s there 7:05-6:15 and it kills me.

    • Burgher says:

      Hours at ours are 6:30-6:00, and we are often the first drop off right at 6:30, but usually manage to pick up by 5:30. Husband does both drop off and pick up the majority of the time (unless he is out of town or running late), which is a huge emotional help for me.

    • Original OP – not sure if anyone is still reading, but thanks for all of the input ladies! It really does help. Ideally just one of us would be designated drop off and the other designated pick up, but schedules haven’t allowed for that consistently just yet. Hopefully we can work towards that being the norm. Even with that I don’t see his hours there decreasing much. Hubby generally can swing getting in later and leaving earlier than me sadly and also has greater ability to work from home so I think he will get to be the one to rescue little one most often.

      At least it is sunny and warmer today here -it really makes all the difference in the world.

  8. PregAnon says:

    Ok here’s something GOOD! One of my good friends just asked me if anyone had “claimed” throwing me a shower yet. Which is funny, because while I have a few good friends, I’m the financially solvent one in my family and no one in my family could probably afford to do this, and I had kind of given up on the idea of even having one (I skipped a wedding shower). I said no, of course, and she is SUPER excited to set it up for me!! She and I have done showers and other things for others in our group of friends together (she and I are the “planners” in our group / also the financially solvent ones) and she and I think EXACTLY alike in all things party. Heck, in almost all things everything – politics, religion, parenting…yes, it is a little creepy.

    I’m really excited :) I’m very not used to anyone volunteering to help me out! YAY!

    • Sarabeth says:

      That sounds so nice! It’s so lovely to know your friends are excited for you, and I’m glad you’ll get this chance to celebrate.