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5 Qs with Raquel

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5 Qs with Raquel

Name: Raquel Langworthy

Neighborhood: Westchester, NY (former Upper East Sider)

Occupation: Photographer & Art Director, Principal of Raquel Bianca Creative

Baby’s Sex: Girl

How would you describe your pregnant style?

Comfortable and classic.

Have you had any challenges learning to dress your body during pregnancy?

Overall, my love of accessories and layering has allowed me to create looks that still resemble my style. Most of this is due to my sister, who was pregnant this year as well and literally handed over an entire wardrobe of pretty maternity clothes. I was doing pretty well until I hit the third trimester. Since then it’s been a bit trickier. I'm built small on top and curvy on bottom so all my slim features are covered up right now. I do best with well-fitted tops that hug my bump and form-fitting pants. Having the right footwear for the winter while still looking good has probably been the trickiest aspect for me as a photographer. What I would buy pregnant is so different than what I would normally wear, so it has been a little frustrating. I'm heading into the final stretch though and hopefully the weather will start improving soon.

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So far, what has surprised you most during your pregnancy?

Probably that it hasn't been quite as challenging as I built it up to be. There was a part of me that was worried I would be overly plump. I was overweight in graduate school and I made a promise to myself I'd never let that happen again. A lot of friends have also voiced similar concerns to me about themselves. What I've told all of them is that your body is really what you make of it. I've eaten healthy, exercised throughout, and allowed myself splurges without the guilt trips. My arms and legs are not the same as they usually are, but that's to be expected. What I've realized is that caring for my physique pregnant is still similar to when I'm not. Its a combination of choices that I make every day. I know I'll get back to where I want to be physically because I enjoy healthy food and love to exercise.

What’s been your favorite pregnancy piece or brand to show off your bump?

ASOS is my favorite place to shop if I have an event that I'd like to look cute for. They have adorable stuff while still remaining cost-effective. I always get the most compliments while wearing their clothes. I have one dress in particular from ASOS that is probably my favorite:

What NYC experience are you most looking forward to sharing with your baby?

Summer walks in Central Park and sharing the Natural History Museum & Planetarium with her. It'll be a while until she can appreciate them, but as a girl who grew up in the midwest, I'm excited that NYC is a stone’s throw away for our kids.

Raquel is wearing:

I'm wearing an ASOS Maternity Skater dress with Slash Neck and Short Sleeves. I really love the color. I'm not really known fro wearing too much black and I found that so much maternity clothing in the winter is black and gray. I love the fun colors on ASOS.

The tights are Pea-in-A-Pod which are the only maternity tights I've tried that I think are comfortable and fit well.

The necklace is a gift from my stylish sis-in-law for Christmas so I actually don't know where it's from.

My heels are black suede pumps I've had from Nine West forever. (Similar style)

Photography by Raquel Langworthy and Alicia Broughel.

These are the best bath time products you can get for under $20

These budget-friendly products really make a splash.

With babies and toddlers, bath time is about so much more than washing off: It's an opportunity for fun, sensory play and sweet bonding moments—with the added benefit of a cuddly, clean baby afterward.

Because bathing your baby is part business, part playtime, you're going to want products that can help with both of those activities. After countless bath times, here are the products that our editors think really make a splash. (Better yet, each item is less than $20!)

Comforts Bath Wash & Shampoo

Comforts Baby Wash & Shampoo

Made with oat extract, this bath wash and shampoo combo is designed to leave delicate skin cleansed and nourished. You and your baby will both appreciate the tear-free formula—so you can really focus on the bath time fun.

Munckin Soft Spot Bath Mat

Munchkin slip mat

When your little one is splish-splashing in the bath, help keep them from also sliding around with a soft, anti-slip bath mat. With strong suction cups to keep it in place and extra cushion to make bath time even more comfortable for your little one, this is an essential in our books.

Comforts Baby Lotion

Comforts baby lotion

For most of us, the bath time ritual continues when your baby is out of the tub when you want to moisturize their freshly cleaned skin. We look for lotions that are hypoallergenic, nourishing and designed to protect their skin.

The First Years Stack Up Cups

First year stack cups

When it comes to bath toys, nothing beats the classic set of stackable cups: Sort them by size, practice pouring water, pile them high—your little one will have fun with these every single bath time.

Comforts Baby Oil

Comforts baby oil

For dry skin that needs a little extra TLC, our team loves Comforts' fast-absorbing baby oil aloe vera and vitamin E. Pro tip: When applied right after drying off your baby, the absorption is even more effective.

KidCo Bath Toy Organizer

KidCo Bath Organizer

Between bathing supplies, wash rags, toys and more, the tub sure can get crowded in a hurry. We like that this organizer gives your little one space to play and bathe while still keeping everything you need within reach.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Life

Errands and showers are not self-care for moms

Thinking they are is what's burning moms out.

A friend and I bump into each other at Target nearly every time we go. We don't pre-plan this; we must just be on the same paper towel use cycle or something. Really, I think there was a stretch where I saw her at Target five times in a row.

We've turned it into a bit of a running joke. "Yeah," I say sarcastically, "We needed paper towels so you know, I had to come to Target… for two hours of alone time."

She'll laugh and reply, "Oh yes, we were out of… um… paper clips. So here I am, shopping without the kids. Heaven!"

Now don't get me wrong. I adore my trips to Target (and based on the fullness of my cart when I leave, I am pretty sure Target adores my trips there, too).

But my little running joke with my friend is actually a big problem. Because why is the absence of paper towels the thing that prompts me to get a break? And why on earth is buying paper towels considered a break for moms?

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Life