How far along? 24 Weeks 4 Days (in the picture) Maternity Clothes? The answer to this question should be just a straight yes, but I hit an unexpected roadblock when the season changed to autumn and I realized that aside from jeans, the majority of my maternity clothes were meant for warmer weather since I was my biggest with Em in the spring and summer. The idea of fitting into any pants that are non-maternity is a joke at this point, but I'm still trying to be as creative as possible with a few of my looser sweaters and long sleeve non-maternity shirts to stretch out my wardrobe for a little bit longer until I'm confined to wearing the three maternity sweaters I do have that actually fit on repeat. Sleep? For some reason sleep has been a ridiculous challenge for me during this pregnancy, to the point where I had to start taking a nightly sleep aide (suggested by my OB) for the sake of getting any sleep at all because I was struggling with nightly insomnia. I've honestly had a bit of a hard time not getting discouraged with the sleep issues because I hate feeling so tired during the day with Emery and I feel like the constant bags/dark circles under my eyes have robbed me of feeling any sort of pregnancy "glow" this time around, but I'm continuing to try and do everything that I can to get as much and as quality of sleep as possible (think yoga, meditation, chamomile tea + the sleep aide, early bedtime, etc) so that my body can continue to support this growing babe. Food Cravings? ALL the sweet things. I'd also had a specific craving for cinnamon sugar pita chips for AGES and was getting super discouraged because I couldn't find any in our local grocery stores until a few weeks ago when Kyle basically won husband of the year and found some for me, and has continued to shine by basically cleaning out the store of them whenever he happens to see them on the shelves. Queasy's? Not anymore which I am EXTREMELY grateful for. I still have an incredibly sensitive sense of smell that can pick out specific scents from a mile away, but any crazy, unexplained nausea has long since passed. Current Pregnancy Project? I'm including this in because while looking back at Em's bump updates I basically kept myself busy with prepping for Emery in every possible way from about week 17 on and it cracks me up because now if I wanted to do any fun little projects like that I honestly don't know when I'd fit them in unless I did them late at night but that would involve sacrificing sleep so.... yeah. No baby specific projects currently. I did find a baby book for him that I LOVE and want to start filling out, so maybe if I can figure out how to keep my head on straight while chasing around a crazy toddler I can make some time to actually get that started. Best pregnancy moment so far? Thus far, our best pregnancy moment has actually resulted from what was originally one of the toughest trials I've faced while pregnant. While pregnant with Em, my favorite prenatal appointment was hands down her 20 week ultrasound, and as my 20 week appointment with baby boy approached I could not wait to share in the excitement of seeing him move around on the screen with Kyle & Emery. Our ultrasound went as planned, and aside from not being able to get a great face shot, everything seemed normal. However, when we met with my OB after the ultrasound she explained to Kyle and I that although baby boy was anatomically perfect and growing well, that I appeared to have something called Placenta Previa (for those like me that had no idea what this is, basically my placenta was covering my cervix - aka the baby's way out). My doctor said that she had hopes of the placenta moving up to a normal position, but that if it didn't that it would mean planning for a c-section about a month earlier than my original due date to prevent me from going into any sort of labor on my own. We scheduled another follow up ultrasound for 24 weeks, and I left the appointment with a fistful of tissues and a heart heavy with worry and anxiety over the thought of possibly having a premie baby in the dead of winter. Kyle and I decided to keep the news really close to home until we knew more, only telling my immediate family and one or two close girlfriends to help me mentally make it through the four-week waiting period. As much as I'd like to say that I was able to stay optimistic and keep my head clear of the stress of the situation, getting through the month of October was really hard for me. I worked to keep myself as distracted and busy as possible with Emery and Halloween preparations, but the worry was still constant in the back of my mind and took it's toll on my ability to sleep or fully relax and let myself just "be" in any sort of present moment. Our follow-up appointment happened to be on the 30th of October, and to our pleasant surprise we were told that the placenta had made some incredible movements in the past four weeks, and had put itself in such a good, normal-looking position that my doctor felt safe completely putting the Previa risks and scare to rest. For how discouraged I'd felt for the month leading up to the appointment, I can't even fully put into words how good it felt to hear that things had gone back to normal. It was like a hundred pound weight had been lifted off of my shoulders, and it was so nice to be able to see my little baby boy kicking in the ultrasound and know that at least for now everything with him and me together is a-ok. We even got a few really good face shots of him to make up for his shyness at the 20 week appointment, and it was literally the perfect way to start our Halloween fun without the anxiety. Looking back at the situation I realize that I probably stressed way more than I should have, but it was also a really valuable lesson for me to be in a situation where I literally had no control over what was happening, and really could do nothing but wait and try to find peace within myself and those close to me until we had more information and could plan accordingly. Getting the news that the Previa had resolved was definitely the highlight of the pregnancy thus far (along with seeing cute baby's face), but I'm also really grateful for the gentle reminder that I was given to let things be, and for knowing that I have such an amazing support of family and friends to help me get there. ❤️
Whew, this post ended up being a LOT longer than I originally intended it to be, but in all fairness I feel like I was literally trying to fit what could've been two separate posts into one, so maybe that's where all the wordiness came from. 😉 To anyone that actually read all the way through, thanks so much for following along! Your love and support for baby boy and our family seriously mean the world to me, and we love and appreciate each and every one of you!
By the time this bump update goes public for everyone to read I'll already be into my second trimester of pregnancy, but one of my favorite things about blogging is the opportunity that it gives me to document and journal life as we know it, regardless of who actually reads it or how specific timelines match up. With Emery, I started updates at about 15 weeks and then did them monthly throughout my entire pregnancy, and if I'm being honest with myself I just really don't see monthly pictures/updates happening with this pregnancy while chasing around a crazy two year old, so I thought that I'd try for a more realistic goal of three trimester updates instead so that I can still have some sort of documentation to remember the experience with.
How far along? 12 Weeks 3 Days (in the picture) Maternity Clothes? Yes & No. At this point in time we'd only told family and a couple of close friends that we were expecting so hiding my bump was still a priority BUT I also started showing a lot sooner with this baby than I did with Emery and have had a distinct bump to hide since about week six. I've found that elastic waisted pants with a few maternity shorts, loose fitting tee shirts, and loose dresses have been my main go-to's. I had worn the outfit pictured to my 12 week prenatal appointment and it felt SO good to actually dress my bump instead of hiding it, and I'm looking forward to the news being out in the open so that I can let this baby bump shine! Sleep? Getting a good night's sleep has probably been my biggest challenge with this pregnancy so far. Fairly early on insomnia became a regular occurrence, and I'd find myself awake in the middle of the night tossing, turning, and snacking for several hours at a time. I've made it a habit of trying to be in bed by 9:30 or 10 each night to try and offset it, and would nap with Emery if I'd had a particularly bad night. I also finally caved and bought one of those fancy pregnancy pillows on Prime Day, and that combined with moving out of the first trimester seems to be improving my sleep quality. Food Cravings? Veggie sandwiches (usually from Great Harvest or Jimmy John's) and fresh fruit. While pregnant with Emery I basically lived off of Olive Garden's minestrone soup, and I feel like having my first trimester in the dead heat of the summer instead of the fall/winter has switched my veggie cravings to a less hot dish. 😂 Aside from the sandwiches and fruit, I've also found that I can consume a ridiculous amount of Hot Tamales candy, which is weird because those have never been a candy that I'd of chosen off the shelf pre-pregnancy. Queasy's? I haven't been completely clear of the first-trimester nausea, but also feel EXTREMELY blessed/lucky because I feel like the nausea this time around has been much more manageable than it was with Emery. Typically as long as I can get enough sleep (cue 10 o'clock bedtime), avoid an empty stomach, and stay away from certain triggers (specific smells, extreme heat, etc) I've been a-OK. Gender Prediction? This pregnancy has been SO funny with the whole gender prediction thing because literally every. single. person that we've told about the pregnancy has predicted that we're having a girl, and I feel like usually people's guesses are more split. From the beginning Kyle said he also felt like we'd be adding another little girl to the family, and even though for weeks I wasn't getting any hunches or intuition the further along the pregnancy goes the more I feel like it's a girl as well. I'm too impatient to wait longer than necessary to find out the gender, so it'll be a lot of fun to go back and read this once we know and see if we all guessed right! (actual gender result here!) Best pregnancy moment so far? Easily the most fun part of this pregnancy so far has been the process of trying to introduce Emery to the fact that she'll soon have a new baby to love as a part of her family. She got a baby doll for her birthday and has been obsessed with taking care of it, and we bought her a big sister book that has since become a daily read for us. I literally can't even handle the cuteness of Emery taking care of her baby, or pointing at the little girl in her book and saying "Emery" and then pointing to the baby and getting excited about "her baby" too. She's also taken to trying to lift up my shirt to see the baby growing inside, and whenever she says "hi baby" in her sweet little voice to my stomach it literally makes my mama heart burst. 😍😭 I feel so incredibly excited and blessed to be able to grow our family from three to four, and can't wait to see how the journey progresses.
So... the secret is officially out! Kyle and I are over-the-moon excited to announce that a sweet baby BOY will be joining our family come February 2019! Keeping our surprise quiet has been no easy task (mostly thanks to my belly popping out really early on) and we are so happy to finally have the news out in the open! We feel so blessed to be able to give Emery a younger sibling, and even though it might seem a bit crazy to some that this will put us having not just one but TWO babies while in dental school, we feel really fortunate to be able to have another baby with the same incredible doctor & hospital that delivered Em, as well as while still living in our amazing community of close friends out here in Kentucky! The timing of everything just feels so right, and we're so grateful that things have worked out the way that they have.
When we found out that we were expecting, Kyle and I both thought for sure that we were having another girl, so to find out that baby #2 was actually and indeed a boy was equal parts exciting and surprising!! Kyle is ecstatic about the thought of being less outnumbered by girls, and I'm already going crazy trying to clear out all of Em's old baby clothes so that I can start filling up the space with baby boy clothes instead. 😂 We were originally planning on doing a little gender reveal party with friends to announce the news, but ended up having to wait about a week and a half later than expected to get the results, so by the time we actually knew it was a boy were so antsy and excited that we ended up just telling our family and close friends that knew we were expecting the second we'd found out the news! Because at heart I actually am a planner, I'd bought these non-returnable smoke cannons before we knew the gender (or how impatient we'd be to announce it) but.... I didn't want the cannons to go to waste so we decided to still have some fun and snap a couple of pictures with them. Em was a little unsure of being in the colored smoke and I ended up burning my hand thanks to a faulty cannon, so I guess you could say that in the end it was a good thing we didn't use them in a full on party situation. Moral of the story: smoke cannons look really neat in photographs, but maybe aren't worth the hassle once all is said and done. 😆 If there's one thing that I've learned in these past 15-ish weeks of being pregnant with baby #2, it's that things are never going to go as expected and things will most likely be different than they were with Em's pregnancy journey and that is OK. Figuring out how to simplify is forever a challenge for me, but one that I'm trying to take in with open arms for the sake of making this pregnancy journey as smooth and enjoyable as possible!
Because everyone always asks, here are a few quick FAQ's and their answers for anyone curious as to how things have played out so far with our sweet little baby #2:
How did you tell Kyle, family, friends, etc? I found out that I was pregnant right before Father's Day weekend and was totally planning on waiting until the actual holiday to surprise Kyle, then soon realized that I was incapable of keeping a secret this big from my husband for more than 24 hours. I ended up making him open up his Father's Day present early and included the news in the gift! We told both of our families together while celebrating Em's birthday out in Utah with a "sister" t-shirt, and have been breaking the news to friends basically by me just awkwardly blurting out the news in the middle of random conversation.
When is the official due date?! I think that the official date is February 20th, but for the sake of my sanity I'm working hard to get that date out of my mind and expect to be due simply at the end of February. While pregnant with Em it helped a ton forgetting the actual due date to not get overly antsy/anxious when I went over the expected timeframe, and I'm planning on doing the same thing with this little guy to keep things easy!
How are you feeling? Physically I have felt really well which is something I'm SO grateful for. I dealt with the expected nausea/morning sickness at the beginning but ended up going through the worst of it while visiting family which was great because my parents are amazing and helped a TON to take care of me, Em and Kyle while I wasn't feeling well. I'm much more tired with this pregnancy than I was with Em, but that could be due to the fact that I spend all day everyday chasing around a crazy, high-energy toddler. 😉 Overall I feel just really lucky to be doing so well so that I can keep up with Emery and carry a healthy, growing baby.
Are you planning on a natural birth again? Yes absolutely. My birthing experience with Em to this day is one of the most beautiful and special experiences I've ever had in my life. I'm a strong believer in the ability of a woman's body to naturally birth her baby, as well as in all of the benefits that it provides to the baby (and mama) to birth naturally if possible. As long as baby boy is healthy and my doctor gives us the go ahead, we'll plan on a similar birth plan to Em's.
How has Emery reacted to the idea of a new baby? Em's reaction to her new baby brother has honestly been my favorite part of this pregnancy so far. I don't know if she's really caught on yet to the fact that she's getting a brother specifically, but she's always lifting up my shirt to check on her baby and will talk to him and give my belly kisses and hugs. 😍😭 I get a little emotional every time I think about our little world being more than just Emery, but with how excited and protective she's been over her baby already it makes me so excited to see how she'll be with her baby brother once he's on the outside!
A big thank you to our family and close friends that have already shown us SO much love and support with this new baby while we've been keeping quiet with the news. It makes my heart burst knowing that this baby boy is already loved by so many and we can't wait to meet him!
While I was pregnant with Emery, I remember one of the nurses asking me how I was feeling during a prenatal appointment. I was nearing the end of my pregnancy and hadn't been sleeping very well because of my bulging belly and the need to pee every five minutes, and responded that I was a little tired but otherwise fine. The nurse laughed and then made the comment that motherhood could make anyone tired, and that she personally didn't start drinking coffee until after she had kids - at which point a daily cup became a necessity. I remember chuckling at what I thought was a little coffee joke; it took me until three days after Emery being born to realize that the joke was really on me, and that any form of fatigue that I'd experienced during pregnancy was nothing compared to the perma-tired that motherhood would continue to bring me on a daily basis thereafter.
When Emery was a newborn I was SO tired ALL the time. I had gone about 36 hours without any sleep once she was born because of the timing of my labor, and then after that only managed two to three hours of sleep a night for her first three weeks of life because I was so worried about something bad happening to her while I slept. Extreme sleep deprivation didn't help my paranoia, and I found myself deeply consumed with mom guilt. I didn't understand why I didn't have that new mom glow and energy that I had read about in all of my natural birthing books, and found myself constantly second guessing my ability to properly mother my child. I was beyond tired, felt like a failure, and worse than anything felt completely alone in my feelings because all of the other moms around me in my friend group and on social media seemed to have their lives together perfectly and I was the only one falling behind.
Now that Emery is older and we're both getting more sleep, things are better, but I still have times that I just feel tired and can't seem to figure out why, and then I remember that sweet nurse, laugh, and remember that it's because I'm a mom, and that's just one of the perks that comes along with the job.
It's taken me a long time to get up enough courage to write about this topic because learning how to conquer my own mom guilt & fatigue is a battle that I'm still fighting, but I know that there's got to be other moms out there that are fighting their own guilt demons too, and if you're one of those moms reading this then I want you to know that you're not definitely not alone, and that you're doing better than you think. One of the things that helped me the most in breaking through my mom guilt was to realize that it's OK for life to sometimes not be ok. Motherhood is messy, and regardless of what social media wants to make us think, no one has perfect children or a perfect house or a perfect life, because that just doesn't exist. Once I was able to break through that mindset it made me feel more comfortable talking to Kyle and friends about how I was feeling, and I found that instead of feeling alone, I was able to feel like I had a support group of an amazing husband and mamas that could help me through my hard days and congratulate me on my good ones. I learned that it was not only ok but necessary to take time for myself and for my marriage, and that my support group would help make that happen because they all need it in their lives too. There are still days and sometimes even weeks that I'll feel tired (thus the timing of this post), but that's ok and doesn't mean that I'm a bad mom, just a mom that needs a good night's rest, some "me" time, or maybe even a cup of coffee. 😉
Some days when I'm feeling especially overwhelmed, Emery will walk up to me out of the blue like a heaven sent angel and give me a big hug, and in that moment it helps me to remember that everything is ok and that despite the challenges that motherhood brings, that the experience is overwhelmingly more good than bad. If you're reading this and need it, consider this message a huge from me (and Emery) to you, and know that you're an amazing woman and mother. Even when it's hard to tell, your kids love you, you mama tribe loves you, and amongst the craziness of motherhood, always remember that we're all in this together. ❤️
(a final note) : if your mom guilt battle goes deeper to the level of postpartum depression or anxiety, you're still not alone and it is a battle possible to overcome. ❤️ Below are some resources to help, and adding your OB doctor to your support group is a must. They deal with PPD/PPA more than you'd think, and their help really can make a world of difference.
(A Note to my Pre-Baby Self on What I Actually Needed for Emery)
(This post has been sponsored by the Baby Cubby. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.)
So my baby is almost a whole six months old, and it's making me incredibly nostalgic. I remember this time last year Kyle and I were just starting to announce to our family and loved ones that we were expecting, and now we've got a spunky little girl about to celebrate her first Christmas. It was also around this same time last year that I started deep into what Kyle referred to as a "perpetual nesting" period that involved extensive research and countless hours on the internet scrounging for the best baby products and trying to figure out exactly what I would need to make my baby as happy as possible, and to make my transition into life as a new mom as seamless as I could. I was flooded with a million different options on everything from carseats to pacifiers, and found myself a little overwhelmed at picking what would actually be the best option for our little family. It was also around that same time that I found and fell in love with the Baby Cubby. The Baby Cubby is a baby store based out of Utah that seriously saved me from intense amounts of stress as an expecting mama out in Kentucky! Fitting them in the "store" category is only really applicable to them because they offer products for purchase, but the way that they run their business goes so much further than that of your typical baby supply store. Their team is made up of parents who have all been in that stressed "new parent" stage of life, and they've made it their mission to make the transition into parenthood as easy as possible. They are very careful with which products they will choose to offer in their store and will only sell products that they truly feel are the best and safest products for their babies and yours, and even have a section on their website called "Cubby Picks" so that you can get a feel for what the tried and true favorite baby products are that are out there! They also offer free shipping on any order over $49 (anyone that's shopped for a baby before will know this is a REALLY easy price mark to hit) AND they price match with any company out there including Amazon! In addition to making their store and website as shopping friendly as possible, they also have an amazing community available to anyone on their Cubby Community Blog to help offer answers to parenting/baby questions and support to any parents in need! The Baby Cubby helped me with making so many of my decisions when picking out baby gear, and I'm SO excited to be able to work with them to hopefully be able to help some of my mama friends along on their baby-gear buying journey! So without any further ado, here are a few of my absolute FAVORITE baby gear items that I have personally found to be must-haves for me and my baby!
(Links to products are included on each picture)
I hope that this list is able to help anyone out there trying to decide what to buy for your soon to be baby! For me, a lot of these items weren't things that I really thought I would need until I was actually in the middle of momming and realizing that a lot of these items were things that I couldn't live without! I will admit that I overbought in my pursuit of being prepared, but now have had some time of actually using (or not using) all of the baby gear that I bought to find out what I personally need to take care of Emery. With her half-birthday quickly approaching, I thought it would be the perfect time to reflect on my experience of trying to prepare for a baby, and of course try and share what insights I have so that if there's any sweet expecting mamas out there that are as stressed as I was about preparing for a baby, that this post will hopefully let you know that you're definitely not alone and that there is an easier way. ;D Is there anything that I missed that you'd add onto this list? I'm learning lots every day but as Emery gets older still feel like I'm learning new things and I'd love to hear all of your thoughts and opinions on what works well for you and your baby! Thanks so much for reading!
I'm Chelsea. I'm a wife, mommy, photographer, and lover of life's little adventures. Join me here to celebrate the beautiful things in people and life.