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No longer a preggie, but still pretty

Pretty Preggie Family picIt’s been 15 months since we welcomed Baby Nolan into the world. Labor was quick and dirty! He was delivered just 15 minutes from the time I made it to the hospital. He weighed a whopping 7lbs, 1oz, so all the worrying I did about having to push out a mammoth-sized baby – was just wasted time. No plans to have any more babies. But then again, Nolan wasn’t planned either. Thanks for reading Secondhand Pretty Preggie. My next blog will be about my career change from TV News to Public Relations! So many people have asked how I made the transition. They’ll find out in my tell-all blog! And, I will be wearing secondhand clothes… To be a PR diva, one must be sharp-witted and sharply-dressed.
Much love,
The Secondhand Pretty


37+ weeks – Any day now?!?!


I was all ready to hear that I’d be delivering my little Love Note by the end of the day.  That was until Dr. John Leone’s pelvic exam erased all hope.  During last week’s appointment, I was told I was two centimeters dilated.  But, for some reason, I only measured 1 1/2 centimeters during Monday’s visit.  Again, a Pretty Preggie isn’t ready for delivery until she’s 10 centimeters.  So, I wondered whether that meant my incredible cervix was shrinking?  Doc said no – just that his measurements differed from the OB’s from last week.  Maybe she had smaller fingers!  Thankfully, everything else measured just fine:  blood pressure, blood sugar levels and the baby’s heartbeat.  With a uterus size measuring 37 centimeters, and Braxton Hicks throughout the day and night, D-day could happen at any time. 

Last year, I was in labor at my daughter’s track meet – but didn’t even notice.

April 2010. During my oldest daughter's track meet, I was in labor with my middle daughter and didn't even know it. She was born less than 11 hours after we took this picture.

  In fact, earlier that same day, my doctor’s pelvic exam showed I was only two centimeters dilated.  I delivered the next day within minutes of making it to the hospital.  Poor Dr. Leone had to rush to the hospital from his home to make it to the delivery room.    He hardly had time to get his scrubs on!

A rushed delivery. Dr. John Leone had to speed to the hospital to deliver my baby #2. I didn't realize my contractions were real. Had no idea I was in labor.

With baby number three, we’re taking no chances.  I’ll be delivering early – doc’s orders.  We’ve chosen a date – and my hospital bag is almost packed.  All that’s missing is something handsome or beautiful to bring the baby home in.  We’ll get to that after I see what Love Note is!  Can’t hardly wait.

DeShong Perry-Smitherman
The Secondhand Pretty Preggie

Pretty Preggie DeShong Perry-Smitherman in traditional preggie top by Liz Lange Maternity - less than $4 at the Carmel West Goodwill. The maternity pants are by Gap Maternity - from the same store (less than $6).

When God prepares you for change

9 1/2 months pregnant! My good friend, fellow producer Mike Wilhite poses in the background. Good times in the newsroom! (Long sleeve Motherhood top - $4, Old Navy maternity jeans $6 (both from Salvation Army), poncho - a gift from my great friend Tiff Zeno)

I’m back.  Something told me to take a day off from the Pretty Preggie blog last Friday, and I’m glad I did.  On Friday, I learned of some major changes that will soon affect my life  – and God must have known I needed the rest before hearing about them.  He kept me calm, smiling, positive and lifted!

Pretty Preggie and middle girl! She greeted me on the lawn outside work Friday. A welcome sight after a hectic day.

If you think I’m being a little vague about this, you’re right.  But any smart woman knows not to tell it all in an open forum.    

The final days of this pregnancy are no joke.  Little sleep.  Heavy stomach.  I’ve had stronger, more powerful Braxton Hicks (sporadic contractions) and pelvic pain with every step.  Today I go back to my OB to find out whether I’ve dilated anymore since last Monday. Though I feel like I’m about to burst wide open, I’m still not ready to go into that delivery room and push out a baby!  I know giving birth is supposed to be a beautiful experience, and I’ve done it twice already.  I’m just not ready for the pushing, the pain, the blood and the stitches that come afterward.  (That damned Eve.  Her sin in that garden makes the birth process so hard!)

Celebrating my upcoming baby and November birthdays! I love my friends Donna Schiele, Danielle Smith and Hyacinth Rucker! Tamakia Breland had lunch with us too - but had to leave earlier. Thanks ladies!

The blessing in all of this is that after the pushing, pain, blood, sweat, tears and stitches, we will leave the delivery room with someone to cherish.  Yes, he or she will probably look like the little black baby version of Winston Churchill, but we will believe our baby is gorgeous.

God is preparing us for this change in our lives and he is opening doors in so many ways.  His blessings come when you least expect them. They come in all sizes and through so many people. 

Pretty Preggie and with her diddy, Cifford Perry, Sr.! Both my parents are here helping us get our house in order for the new arrival.

From the boss whose advice changes how you navigate through life; to the people you work with each day who bring you so much joy; to the friends who celebrate your birth and your baby; to the parents who drive three hours to help you clean your house; to the little guy at Salvation Army who gives you a deal on a dresser drawer for your upcoming bundle of joy. 

My favorite guy at Salvation Army gave me a deal on this dresser! It fits right into our newborn's closet. Only $15!

Pretty Preggie DeShong Perry-Smitherman with her Alpha Kappa Alpha soror Hyacinth Rucker. Hyacinth planned our small luncheon. Love ya Pretty Girl!

God’s blessings are abundant, deliberate, and available – even when your life seems shaken off its solid foundation. 

Today I’m thanking Him for change.

DeShong Perry-Smitherman

The Secondhand Pretty Preggie

Picking the delivery date

Picking the right date. This picture was taken on D-Day 2010. My second child was supposed to be born three days later, but my uterus had other plans.

 I thought I had it all figured out.  When my doctor discovered I was already dilated, Monday, she told me I needed to pick a date to deliver our little Love Note earlier than the 22nd of November.  Since my birthday falls on November 18th, I figured, what greater gift could I get than having a baby?  We could celebrate our birthdays together each year.  We’d be able to forever share our fabulous story to anyone who’d listen.  We’d be twins – separated by exactly 37 years!  Two peas in a pod – mom and baby – always sharing cakes, always sharing parties, always sharing the story of our ironic twin births. 

Always sharing… Always.. ALL WAYS?  Thank goodness my friend Ericka Gibson threw up the red flag.

My adoring middle child on Halloween 2011.

She reminded me that I am a little selfish when it comes to my birthday.  Not that I throw huge parties or expect extravagant gifts… but that I love to own that day all by myself.  Not to mention the fact that Baby Love Note – if he/she is anything like me – might just be a little selfish too. 

My middle child and I at the doctor's office. I'm wearing a retro leather jacket from Value World (West Side Indianapolis location - I purchased it a few years ago for around $25)

Another brilliant point she made was that my middle child would feel left out each year if Love Note and I were always celebrating birthdays together.  Wow!  What an insightful observation into our future that makes so much sense. 

My middle daughter is already showing small signs of sibling envy.  If she sees daddy rub my belly too long, she’ll crawl into our arms to deflect the attention.  We are doing our best to show her that we’re here for her too. 

Our middle child was not a happy camper when the doctor tried to examine her ears.

On Tuesday, for example, we both took time off work to take her to the doctor for a double ear infection. 

Entertaining herself at the doctor's office! Finally got the paper she wanted.


My middle child. Determined to make a mess at the doctor's office.She gets a lot of attention right now.

Soon, she’ll have to share all that attention and we are fearful about how she’ll react.  Will she love the new baby, ignore it, or pressure us to treat her more like a newborn than a toddler?  OMG – will she want to breastfeed again?  I can’t deal with a set of 18-month-old teeth! 

We try to explain to her that she’s going to be the big sister – and can help mommy take care of the baby.  But how does that work, when she’s still just a baby herself?  I know in time, we’ll figure it all out. For now, though, I know for sure that November 18th is definitely off limits for the birth of Number 3! 

DeShong Perry-Smitherman

The Secondhand Pretty Preggie

Pretty Preggie Spotlight: Value World (Fountain Square, Indianapolis)

My eclectic lampshade crochet hat ($3.49 at Value World - Fountain Square). My daughter thinks I look ridiculous in it, but I love it!

Where have you been all my life?  You reel me in with low prices.  You spoil me rotten with your unexpected splendor.  You have so much more to offer than that sister of yours on the west side of town.  My only problem with you is that you don’t accept checks!  And – if I hadn’t already fallen in love with that yellow lampshade hat – I would have left you.. empty-handed!     

Value World (Fountain Square, Indianapolis)

Value World, 1201 Prospect Street, Indianapolis, IN 46203
Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-9pm, Sun 12-6

Sights:  In my eight years of living here in Indianapolis, I had never ventured to the Fountain Square area of town.  Now, I’m kicking myself over what all I’ve missed.  This working class southeast side neighborhood is home to at least six resale, consignment or antique shops.  And although Value World is somewhat of a Midwest franchise, its fabulous finds fit right into the funky spirit of Fountain Square’s retro vibe. 

Baby clothes at Value World.

This mammoth-sized resale store has something for everyone. 

Love my newly purchased fur hat.

Whether you’re shopping for a newborn or senior citizen, a conversation piece or a conservative look, a vintage hat, a wedding dress, boxer shorts or even adult size diapers  (strangely enough – they sell Depends) – this Value World location has got you covered!

Smells:  Not stuffy at all – considering how much stuff is packed in here. 

Adorable conversation piece purses at Value World.

Sizes:  Everything.  Newborns, infants, toddlers, juniors, women’s, petite, plus, men’s, big and tall.

Bebe and Jones New York on the cheap! Each top under $4 at Value World/Fountain Square.

Labels:  Everything – but here’s a few I spotted on the top/blouse rack:  Croft & barrow, Rue 21, Xhilaration, Bebe, Jones new York, Guess, DKNY, New York & Company, Ann Taylor, Talbot,  The Limited.

What’s in it for Pretty Preggies:  A small, dusty maternity section that leaves much to be desired.  People in this area of town must stay pleasantly pregnant, because the pickings were slim.

What I purchased: A full length angora/wool sweater coat ($8.69), fur hat ($3.49) and my eclectic lampshade crochet hat ($3.49).  My daughter thinks I look ridiculous in it, but I love it! 

Check out my daughter’s steals and deals:  My 20-year-old hit the jackpot.  Three skirts, a blazer and a leather vest for under $20.

Price range:  $ – $$ – VERY AFFORDABLE!  Prices start as low as $.49!  Top/blouses: $1.09 – $6.86; Dresses:  $2.09- $24.89; Skirts: $1.89 – $5.09; Blazers: 2.09-17.69.  They also offer a Value card and coupons on the website!

What makes Value World so special: A great selection of children’s clothing!  I found onesies as low as $1.09!  They have a plethora of socks, coats, hats, jackets, sleepwear, and outerwear for newborns, infants and toddlers.

Socks and gloves for babies and toddlers at Value World.

Suggestions for Value World:  (1) Get dressing rooms!  I’m too pregnant to try on clothes in the aisle! (2) Please start accepting checks for old school girls like me.

Check out this location!  If you like the 38th street Value World, you’ll love this one!

DeShong Perry-Smitherman

The Secondhand Pretty Preggie

The test results I was not ready to hear

The test results I was not ready to hear: My doctor wants to induce my labor.

At this point in my pregnancy, each doctor’s visit is crucial. Besides peeing in a Dixie cup, stepping on a scale and getting my blood pressure checked, there’s a litany of other tests I’ll go through with each weekly visit. On Monday, I survived being molested by a Q-Tip – during a strep test. Those results come back next week. But it was what the doctor felt during a routine physical exam down there that has my head spinning with doubt and anxiety.

On the scale. Somehow I've lost a pound since last week.

While my tiny trooper’s measurements look just fine on the ultrasound, I’m already dilated two centimeters! For readers who haven’t gone through the birthing process, Pretty Preggies start pushing when their cervix is dilated 10 centimeters. Because I’m already moving in that direction – 22 days before my due date – my doctor is now suggesting I deliver early! She wants to induce my labor.

Delivery day 2010: My fly-by-night uterus is known for its fast deliveries. Last year's baby was delivered within 33 minutes of arriving at the hospital. We won't take that chance this year!

Her reasoning is twofold. Because I have a history of crazy fast deliveries (1 hour for #1 and 33 minutes for #2), she doesn’t want me caught in a situation where my fly-by-night uterus decides to spit the baby out at home, in my car, church or in the newsroom! Also, because I have gestational diabetes, there’s a danger of keeping the baby in the womb too long. Although Love Note is measuring about 6lbs, 7 ounces right now, I could end up having a 10 pound bundle-o-baby because of all the extra glucose in my bloodstream – and because babies gain the most weight during the last month. According to the Mayo Clinic, a big baby could become wedged in my canal, suffer birth injuries and require an emergency C-section! I don’t want that for me or the baby!

So, by next Monday, we will have to make my decision. It’s not really a choice about whether to deliver early. My Honeydew and I will do what’s right for the baby. It’s more of a pronouncement of when to do it. Doc says to look at dates a week before November 22.

Pretty Preggie and Honeydew awaiting results of the ultrasound. Our baby is already 6lbs, 7 ounces. Doc says it could be 8lbs by D-Day!

  It sounds like this Little One is already running our lives and it’s not even outside the womb. At least it will be a Scorpio like mama!

My tiny trooper wants to escape the womb earlier than scheduled!

I’m praying for a beautiful planned delivery.  If you’ve had one, please share your story.  I’ll desperately need the help.

DeShong Perry-Smitherman, The Secondhand Pretty Preggie

Pretty Preggie’s motion picture debut

My motion picture debut! I'm an extra in the film Pimps Versus Zombies! (I'm wearing old Old Navy Preggie jeans and an old maternity sweater - under $5 at Sal's)

I am 36 years young, pregnant, graying and I hold down a pressure-filled 9 to 5 throughout the week.  So, on weekends, I can’t wait to release all the pint-up anxiety through rest, sharing a meal with good friends or trying something new.  What I did last weekend was completely unconventional for a self-described Pretty Preggie – a woman use to only the finest clothes and most extravagant taste. 

Our zombie crew.

I got the chance to go from pretty to repulsive, from clean to grubby, from living to undead!

Pimprov pimps star in "Pimps Versus Zombies." Filmed in Sugar Grove, Illinois.

  It was an opportunity of a lifetime – to be an actress in the short Halloween film Pimps Versus Zombies!  

The Pimpmobile!

Picture this.  Five gaudy pimps in their souped-up pimpmobile get lost in small town inhabited by freakazoid zombies!  Because I was just an extra, I couldn’t begin to tell you what else happens. 

Not such a Pretty Preggie. DeShong Perry-Smitherman in her role as Zombie.

 We zombies never saw the script!  But the film’s director took our roles very seriously.  We were given “make-unders” by a professional artist, lessons on how to walk like a zombie and notes on how to moan like the living dead! 

Pretty Preggie takes a moment to strike a pose.

Now, throughout this pregnancy journey, I’ve had my share of adventures – but none as exciting as this!  It was a totally different way to celebrate Halloween – and the most fun I’ve had in a while.

Happy Halloween!

DeShong Perry-Smitherman

The Secondhand Pretty Preggie