Ever since last Tuesday, I’ve been noticing baby quite regularly: in the mornings, sometimes in the afternoons after lunch and most especially at night, as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep. It still feels like the familiar popcorn flutters, but it’s become a more distinct and repetitious motion. My friends have described these flutters as the soft, swift motion of fish swimming. Sometimes, it feels like someone’s plucking me from the inside. Other times, it feels just like gas (TMI,) but much lower below my belly button. With every flutter, every pop, each sporadic feeling is still a surprise every time.

There were a few days where I felt so great, I actually forgot that I was pregnant. And yesterday, it struck me as baby did his/her jig—there really is a tiny baby in there. Um, duh. How could I forget?

The more frequent baby movements and the reality of all of these ongoing changes reminded me of a recent shopping excursion in the City. A few weeks ago when I got that glorious prenatal massage for spa week, I indulged in a little bit of retail therapy as well. The spa, Edamame Maternity, was located within Destination Maternity– essentially a one-stop shopping mall for pregnant women. Only in New York, I thought.

In “regular” clothes, Gap Inc. owns Old Navy, the Gap and Banana Republic, three popular chains catering to three distinct clientèles. While Old Navy appeals to the budget-minded trend setters, the Gap appeals to the classic and modern. Banana Republic is the top shelf of the three. Like Gap Inc., the Destination Maternity trio of stores also caters to three similar clientèles. So, if you will, Motherhood is to Old Navy, as the Gap is to Mimi and Banana Republic is to Pea in a Pod.

Needless to say, tucked away in a busy corner on Madison Ave., Destination Maternity is a 10,000 sq. ft., high volume shopping mecca for moms to be. Like most stores in that particular neighborhood, all the sales associates were extremely attentive and genuinely nice. When I went to try on some clothes in the fitting room, the sales associate offered me complimentary bottled water and O.J. nice.

I couldn’t help but notice the husband corner of the store. There were several husbands and quite a few children waiting for their pregnant moms and wives. But instead of annoyed dudes half asleep in chairs, these guys were entertained by a giant flat screen, a playground and the internet.

All in all, Destination Maternity was a fun excursion for a first time pregnant lady. I’m not a big fan of the Motherhood line and I can’t justify breaking the bank at Pea in the Pod, but I was able to find some stuff at Mimi. The highlight, of course, is always scouring the clearance rack and actually finding some awesome deals. I scored a cute spring blazer, gauchos and a t-shirt for less than $20. Not bad for a place that features $200 shirts (that can only be worn over a short period of time!)

So, after all the moaning about hating maternity clothes so far, I have to say now that I’ve got an apparent belly, it’s about time I found clothes that I like and don’t mind buying. As fun as the actual store Destination Maternity was, the online store is just a good.

No, I take that back, shopping at Target is even better than all of the above! The highlight of my weekend {other than starting our registry ;)} was running into Target for creamer and sponges and coming out with 2 bags full of summery maternity shirts and a dress– all under $5. Clearance racks rock. Target rocks.

That’ll probably be it for shopping for me, at least for awhile. The big ultrasound is on Tuesday and I can’t stop daydreaming about daddy’s girl or mama’s boy. And just as a head’s up, we do plan on revealing the gender BUT not until we tell our families next weekend while we’re home for mother’s day.

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