I’m upgrading my breastfeeding/nursing game!

I’ve recently blogged about how this pregnancy has been different than my other pregnancies, and how I’ve been treating it a bit differently, too.

Pink Blush Maternity Clothing

(Even with two other kids at home, this pregnancy has managed to be all-consuming of my brain lately! What did I think about before I got pregnant?! I don’t even remember.)

While we have a lot of baby supplies & gear that we know we’ll use, there are some things I’m ‘treating myself’ to this time around that I never bought before. Specifically, I’m upgrading my breastfeeding/nursing game to make the whole process more pleasant this time around.

Pink Blush Maternity ClothingIt’s super easy to take pictures (of just myself) with preschoolers around! Ha!

Here’s what I’m ‘investing’ in for this next baby:

+ A robe.

How did I not have a robe to wear in the hospital for either of my first two kids?! When my daughters were born I think I pictured being in the hospital for 24 hours and not needing any of the things. I also didn’t anticipate the number of visitors we’d have! And let’s be honest, I didn’t know how breastfeeding even worked. However, two c-sections later, and I’m now aware that I will be in the hospital for quite a few days, in a very dissheveled state. A robe will hopefully make me feel a bit less like a zombie when visitors come around! Plus, I plan on wearing it at home to lounge around in, as well! (I bought one from the collection of robes at Pink Blush!)

+ Nursing bras and nursing tanks.

I somehow got by with one or two nursing bras and only one nursing tank with the girls. Why?! Why?! I wanted to be such a minimalist mom and in my mind, these pieces of clothing weren’t absolutely necessary for the breastfeeding process. Luckily, I am now wiser. I’m purchasing a few more nursing bras and tanks so I don’t have to keep rewearing the same one over and over again.

+ Nursing shirts.

I already wear this layered wrap front maternity nursing top from Pink Blush that I ordered as maternity clothing but also is very nursing friendly. This is the first shirt I own that was made to be nursing friendly, and I am already thrilled. For the girls I just wore t-shirts and either pulled the neck down (not a good choice as this ripped quite a few of my v-necks!) or pulled them up, exposing my belly. While I’m not shy (at all!) about nursing in public, I am going to buy quite a few nursing-friendly shirts and dresses to make the whole task that much more convenient.

+ New breast pumps.

I bought this pump and this pump. I already own a few Medela pumps, but we have money from insurance to buy another one, so that’s why I decided to try a new one (well, two) to see how I like it. I’m very excited about the idea of hands-free pumping. The other manual pump is to (hopefully!) attach to the boob that I’m not feeding the baby from, with the idea that any extra milk leaking from that side will be collected. Isn’t feeding babies so glamorous?! I have a strong let-down and leaked EVERYWHERE with both girls, so I have high hopes that these pumps will be game-changers.

Pink Blush Maternity Clothing

Hopefully feeding this new baby will prove to be just as easy as my last two, and even more convenient with these additional items! I have finally figured out (it only took five loooong years) that oftentimes in motherhood it is worth it to pay for things that make life just a little bit easier – and breastfeeding is one of the things that is hard enough as it is, so anything that can make it a little more tolerable should be totally worth it!

** This post was sponsored by Pink Blush, but all opinions are, of course, my own!

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Weekend Favorites (v11)

We’ve had such a good few weeks and weekends, lately. I think my favorite weekends are the ones that fill up with plans unexpectedly. Like yesterday, for example. We didn’t have any plans, but we hired a babysitter so that we could get things done around the house, and a friend came over with his son to help Tim hang some shelves, while I sorted newborn clothes into piles of ‘gender neutral’ and ‘very girly.’ (So now we can check quite a few things off the pre-baby list!)

Then in the afternoon the girls played outside with some neighborhood kids, and one of the families ended up staying over for a very unplanned dinner. I can tend to feel a bit disconnected in pregnancy (as I get lazier and less motivated to plan/do fun things), so it’s really nice when socialization manages to happen with minimal effort on my part!

Things I’m Into:

  • Tim and I recently watched this documentary and it kind of blew our minds. It’s a must watch for those of you who live in Seattle.
  • March Madness has begun (obviously)! So that’s what I’ve been doing the past few days… watching rounds 1 and 2 and not doing a whole lot else. It’s been a wonderful way to justify relaxing at almost-38 weeks pregnant.
  • Speaking of Amy Schumer, have you seen her special, “Growing”?! So raunchy. So good. (Watch it on Netflix.)
  • I recently got a facial and the esthetician recommended I started using this line of skin care products, and after a little over a week I’ve been really impressed! Pregnancy doesn’t necessarily cause my skin to break out, but I do feel like it has made my sun spots / acne scars especially red. Or maybe I’m just getting old? Either way, I’m so glad I went in to get a facial and am vowing to return ASAP!

I hope your week is off to a terrific start!

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37+ weeks pregnant

The final countdown to baby is on. I made the girls a paper chain when there was a month left and they take a link off every morning as soon as they wake up. Then they cheerfully exclaim/question “ONLY __ DAYS LEFT?!?!?!?!?!” and then I go into mild shock that it seems so close, yet so far away.

I’m at that point of pregnancy in which…

+ I can no longer sleep well. I keep waking up to pee in the middle of the night and for some reason I also wake up in the early morning with a ton of energy (so I can’t go back to sleep) but then by mid-day I am DONE.

+ Getting off the couch is a team effort.

+ I think we may have decided on names. However, every time I think that (in each of my pregnancies), I go around thinking the baby has a name for weeks and then Tim will throw a name out of left field, completely unprovoked. Like we’ll just be sitting on the couch and he’ll go “what do you think about the name ______?” and then I’ll say, “I thought we decided on the name already…?” and he’ll say “Oh. What is it?” and then I roll my eyes and ignore him, deciding I’ll just fill out the baby name paperwork myself once the kid is born.

+ I’m starting to wonder if I could possibly get labor started early to move this c-section date into March… and then I decided there is no way this baby is coming 3 weeks earlier than his/her siblings. An April baby it shall be! (But I might eat a lot of pineapple just in case… haha!)

+ Sandals feel better than ‘regular’ shoes, even though my feet don’t feel swollen, necessarily.

+ People are starting to comment about how big I am and ask “when are you due?!”

+ Food doesn’t even sound that great anymore because my stomach is small and I get heartburn when I eat most certain things.

+ Even walking around the neighborhood takes a lot of effort and starts to hurt my ‘bump muscles’ (round ligament muscles, I assume?).

+ The end seems forever away, even though a month ago it seemed really close.

+ There are not many things I truly want to do because my energy is just gone.

+ A swift kick to my ribcage can really hurt! Baby’s got muscles.

+ Every time I stand up the baby seems to rest on my bladder, causing me to feel like I have to pee constantly.

+ My maternity clothes are all too short so I’ve had to switch to a bigger size to cover this big bump o’ mine.

+ I can no longer even try to pick up Isabelle because it’s just too much weight for me to carry… and I’m not that strong!

+ I can tell (I think, at least) which little limbs are pressing outwards when the baby moves.

+ I go to the OB once per week and started receiving c-section instructions at the last appointment. It is so different (at least in my experience) going to the OB knowing that we have a c-section scheduled. There is much less to discuss! It helps that the baby and I seem healthy and that everything is going smoothly. Baby is head down (I guess that still matters for a c-section?) which they checked via ultrasound at the last appointment. I’m GBS positive (which they tested in the first trimester), so I didn’t need to get that test done in the third trimester. I’m not going to get checked for dilation at all… all easy-peasy appointments in which I get to keep my clothes on!

+ I created a hospital packing list. I don’t pack an actual bag ahead of time, but I do create a list just in case.

+ I’m trying to enjoy every second, even the uncomfortable ones!

+ I wonder how much more my belly can possibly expand for this little human inside of it.

+ I’m carrying around a full term human! An actual baby! Just hanging out in there! It’s no small miracle that our bodies are capable of such things.

I know that in a few weeks this time will seem to have flown by. I barely remember being full-term pregnant with my other two kids so it’s just a matter of hanging in there and trying to enjoy the last few weeks as a family of four and in what is almost certainly my final pregnancy. Now I’m off to write a to-do list of things I still need to get done…

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Weekend Favorites (v10)

Last weekend on the blog I mentioned that Tim and Clara were both sick, but I’m happy to report that the flu did not end up taking our whole family down… at least not yet! Knock on all of the wood.

Once Tim got sick I sent him right to urgent care to get Tamiflu for himself and Isabelle (I had already gotten a prescription for myself from the doctor when Clara got the flu a few days earlier) so our whole family was taking this medicine for a week, and I really think it helped the sick family members recover quickly and the healthy ones to stay healthy! Phew. Tim was only sick for about 24-36 hours and I am so thankful because I am exhausted and thought he might be in bed for much longer.

Still, it was a long and tiring week as everyone recovered / attempted to stay healthy. We stayed on top of cleaning all of the things, which is no easy task with toddlers.

This weekend was filled with resting, pizza with friends, a trip to the beach, early morning church service (it’s a miracle all four of us made it to the 8am service!) brunch with friends, gathering with our small group… it was a nice, laid-back time. I would say I’m recharged for the week ahead, but I don’t think anything about me feels recharged at any point anymore. But that’s neither here nor there… a pregnancy update post for another time, perhaps!

Onto…

Things I’m Into:

  • I just finished reading “The Perfect Couple” and really enjoyed it! If you’re looking for a book to get sucked into, I recommend this one.
  • “What we eat now is a greater cause of disease and death in the world than either tobacco or alcohol. In 2015 around 7 million people died from tobacco smoke, and 2.75 million from causes related to alcohol, but 12m deaths could be attributed to “dietary risks” such as diets low in vegetables, nuts and seafood or diets high in processed meats and sugary drinks.” (here) 
  • Tim and I are among the growing number of cord cutters. We’ve tried it before (when we were both working and before we had kids) and then decided to go back to it once I started staying at home with the girls… now we’re switching again to the world of online streaming.
  • “The ‘sorry’s that fill our written interactions also need to be noticed — and banished. For emails, Jovanovic says, “There’s a Google Chrome plug-in called ‘just not sorry’ that will alert you to all the needless apologies.” With texts, she points out, “Every single one of us has responded to a text you got when you weren’t able to respond right away. What did you say? ‘Sorry.’” She says, “Don’t apologize — say, ‘I was working,’ ‘I was reading,’ ‘I was driving, ‘I was trying to put on Spanx.’ Whatever it is, it’s all good. You don’t have to apologize.” (here) 
  • “In future-proofing my life, I have made every day richer. A problem shared is a problem halved, my kids were taught at school. Communities do that too.” (here)
  • I want all of the things from this print shop, but I ended up deciding on this one as a large print for over our fire place. I can’t wait to see it once it’s framed / hung!

I hope your week is off to a terrific start!

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Pregnancy is different this third time.

Preparing to add a third kid to our family feels so different than preparing to add a first or second.

How my third pregnancy has differed from my first two.

I mean, when I was this pregnant (36+ weeks) with Clara, I was thinking I could go into labor at any time! I was still working and staying distracted and reading pregnancy message boards wayyyyy more than I should have been. I had three baby showers (plus a work party for me and the other two pregnant ladies who were expecting kiddos the same month I was!) and it was such a fun time! I didn’t have many friends with kids, so I truly had no idea what to expect. In our free time Tim and I did a partner yoga class together and we went to birthing / parenting classes. We spent most of our time relaxing, working, and seeing friends… We basically continued life as normal, but also with a lot of parenting/birthing classes, books, thoughts, hospital tours, etc. Our world revolved around the pregnancy. I went to prenatal yoga every week, I did Hypnobabies to prepare for the labor, I drafted a birth plan, we met with our doula regularly, and I marveled at the way my body was changing… it was all so interesting! Plus exciting. And a little scary/intimidating.

When I was in this stage of pregnancy with Isabelle, I was meeting with our doula and OB fairly frequently and trying to figure out how in the world to get that baby out vaginally. I knew I’d probably be delivering well past my due date (I had the benefit of experience and had gone 41+3 days with Clara), so I knew I had nothing but time on my hands. Having a 20 month old toddler at home also kept life interesting, plus we had just moved to Seattle 6 months before, so we spent our spring exploring new playgrounds and enjoying the gorgeous weather and entertaining family and friends who were visiting. Plus, we had an Airbnb and were really preoccupied a lot of the time! But I was still able to rest a bit, I think. Actually, who knows, I have no memory of that entire time in my life, to be honest! There was just so much change happening that it all flows together in my mind! We still had a birth plan, we toured the hospital, I had a ‘to pack’ list posted on my refrigerator in case I went into labor, and my thoughts were preoccupied with all things Spinning Babies and VBAC – plus turning thirty years old and attempting to coordinate out-of-town visitors who were flying in to help.

This time around… things are different. Physically, everything is the (exact!) same as the previous two pregnancies, but I feel more intimidated adding a third baby to the mix just because I feel so maxed out parenting two preschoolers these days. And, to be honest, I’m just more tired and worn out this time around. Maybe it’s ‘old’ age, maybe it’s parenting the two kids I already have. Although, having a three year age gap between Isabelle and this new baby makes me feel more at ease, so I’m cautiously optimistic about that. This time around Tim and I know what to expect (Kind of. At least we have prior experiences in welcoming new babies home.) so we’re able to plan ahead a bit differently. We know this baby will have to be born via c-section, so for the first time we know the date this baby will be arriving, unless (s)he comes early. (Ha!) Since we don’t have family in town, it’s nice to know when people should plan on visiting to help out for a few days, especially when I’m in the hospital. We had to buy a different car, so we took care of that. We’re also trying to be very realistic with what our childcare needs will be since we failed miserably at that when Isabelle was born. (I needed more help and we should have gotten it.) We know the first few weeks (maybe months!) might be difficult for me physically (based on past c-section experiences), so we’re attempting to get miscellaneous things done so we can truly relax with our family. We’ve been working on simplifying schedules and establishing more structure into the girls’ time at home so they get used to playing independently. I have so many more mom friends than I did when I was pregnant the first time, which really does help!

Basically, this time around feels less magical and more logistical. Bleh. I actually like not needing to plan things, so even though it’s kind of nice to know the baby’s delivery date, I preferred feeling like God was in control the first two times around. Now I feel like everything is really medical. I also didn’t like having to choose the baby’s birthday and am still wondering if we made the right decision. Plus we still haven’t thought of a name for this kid yet. Details, details. It’s kind of nice feeling like I don’t need to obsess about this baby and my pregnancy and the birth, though. Being a mom and pregnant is so hard, but it’s also so good because 1) it’s super distracting and makes time fly by and 2) it makes me realize why I’m doing all of this nonsense for 9+ months… To have a baby! Who is going to grow up to fight play with his/her sisters nonstop! What fun! 😉 But truly, I know what immense love comes with having a child, and so I am able to worry less and relax more and think through the logistical details instead of fixating on hypothetical scenarios about the time and type of birth.

We’re about a month away from finding out so much about this newest little family member, and it’s just so, so crazy to me. Like, as much as I KNOW that there’s a full baby inside of me, I also can’t believe we’re having another one. It’s going to be a wild ride.

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