December 5, 2016
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First Year In Nashville Photo Book (a.k.a. How I Told Todd That I Was Pregnant!)

Did you know that I knew I was pregnant for almost a week before I told Todd? And no, he wasn’t even on the road at the time, he was home! I had been feeling a bit off for a few days right around when I should have started my period so I decided to take a pregnancy test just in case. It wasn’t a sick or nauseous feeling like you usually see in the movies right before they run out and buy a test, I just felt this weird outward pressure in my belly that was unlike any feeling or cramp I’ve had before so I was wondering if something was going on…It was a bit chaotic and noisy at the house that day (I had workers at the house that were in the middle of our kitchen remodel) but I slipped into our bathroom while I was pretty sure Todd was in the studio to take a test and put my mind to ease. I think most girls (especially if you’ve had pregnancy on the mind lately) picture what the scene will be like when you first find out you’re pregnant and I don’t think mine had involved the sound of tile saws in air, but none the less, 3 minutes later I was staring at a positive pregnancy test. I think at that point the overwhelming emotion in the room was just one of shock and disbelief. There’s such a big difference between wanting something that big to happen and then trying to process that it actually has occurred—it’s pretty mind boggling! Of course my next inclination was to take another test to see if that one was a fluke, but guess what? Yeah, last test in the box and I was running late for a work appointment. I had to run out to the store on the way to the shoot I was supposed to help with, finish the job, and then come back to the house a few hours later to take 3 more tests just to be sure (you can imagine I was a bit anxious to get that shoot over with!). All the tests were positive. I thought I should be totally sure before I made such a big announcement to Todd so I wanted to wait until a blood test confirmed my results and, just my luck, my doctor’s office is closed on Fridays so I had to wait until Monday to take the test and they didn’t call be back until Wednesday to confirm. Sooo, I knew for a good 5 days before I told Todd and it was so crazy to be with him all that time and not feel able to mention it yet—I thought at times I would burst! While it was hard to keep my mouth shut, it also felt like a delicious little secret that just Baby and I knew about and that was a pretty special feeling too. The delay also bought me some time to come up with a clever way to tell him the good news…

I’ve thought a couple of times that it would be fun to make a photo book of our first year here in Nashville when we reached our one year anniversary, and since I happened to get pregnant right around that time, the photo book seemed like the perfect way to tell Todd about the baby. I told him I was working on a few photo books “for work” and also suggested we go out to dinner to celebrate our one year “Nash-a-versary” later that week as well. I made sure to finish the book in time for the dinner and casually suggested to him that he look through the first year photo book since we had a few minutes to spare before we left for our reservation. He took the bait and unsuspectingly looked through the whole book (which is categorized by month) until he got to the last page where August 2016 just had one photo of 4 positive pregnancy tests in a row—surprise! I think his emotions ranged from confused (I don’t think he’s ever really seen a pregnancy test before), to shock, to being very, very happy indeed. I also used the book to tell my parents our big news when they came to visit, but I switched out the pregnancy tests with the sonogram photo we had just gotten that week. That little profile is waaay cuter than some sticks I peed on if you ask me… We’ve had so many big events and fun adventures this past year (fixing up our house, hosting New Year’s with old friends, visiting Todd on the road, celebrating our 6th anniversary on tour, my little brother’s wedding…) that it was really special to see them all together in one place and especially dear to have such a sweet “ending” to our first year as well. Looking forward to what this next year brings! xo. Laura signature2 copy

November 23, 2016
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16 Weeks and Time Is Flying By!

So I am at the 16 week mark this week and finally feeling better (hallelujahthankyoujesus). I’m still on my anti-nausea medicine, but I used to just feel well enough to get by on it (and it was SO much better than before I started taking it) but now I feel about as normal as a preggo can I guess and that’s been a breath of fresh air. I started to back off the medicine since I was feeling better and I think I got a little too cocky and ended up running to the bathroom again so I think I’ll stay on it a bit longer, back off a little more slowly, and see how I do. ANYWAYS, it’s amazing how different life is since I feel human again. Each day used to crawl by and it felt like it took years before I could see the week jump another number in my pregnancy app (been using the What To Expect When You’re Expecting app) but now it goes by so quickly that I can barely remember what week I’m on before it jumps up again. I’m sure being in the holiday season is also part of it—it always feels like this time of year flies by and then January-March takes freaken’ forever. Since I’ve had more energy to start getting lists and registries together I’ve been faced with the overwhelming deluge of baby item choices and I spent most of last week feeling very confused indeed. Thankfully, I’ve gotten some great suggestions from readers and friends and I’m starting to get together some semblance of a plan for most of the items. I figured I’d start with small decisions (think onsies and baby tubs) and work my way up to the expensive stuff (i.e. cribs and strollers). I’ve got a short work week and then it’s off to Todd’s parent’s house for Thanksgiving and some fun time with our Gummernieces (they are the cutest!) so I’m looking forward to reading in the car and some extra naps on the days off. Hope your holiday is a happy one!signature2 copy

November 22, 2016
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Baby (Gear) Fever!

While it can be a bit of a chore to compile our registry and general “needs” list for Bebe, the bright spot so far as been finding items that I’m either really excited to try or are just so darn cute that they make the shopping experience a bit more fun. Since we won’t know which gender we are having for another month I still get to dream a bit in both categories and I’ll probably add a lot more things once we get the word on boy or girl (although most of my clothing choices will probably be shades of black and white anyways, but hey, like mother like baby right?). These are a few of my gear crushes so far…

1. Hooded baby towels with animal faces are so incredibly cute that I just can’t stand it!!!
2. If you didn’t read any books about the hippo friends “George and Martha” as a kid, I highly recommend them for your little ones. They are simply precious.
3. Baby hats with little ears? Yes please!
4. If we have a girl, this flamingo onesie is happening for sure.
5. Thankfully, all babes look chic in a black and white stripe (and this one is organic too). And hey, it’s what this Mama wears a lot of the time too so we can be all matchy like really cool kids and their parents. IT’S NOT DORKY AT ALL.
6. A lot of nursing pillows have insides with chemicals in the foam or stuffing so I’d like to try this organic pillow that’s stuffed with buckwheat hulls instead.
7. I’m wanting to get a couple of rainbow colored toys for the nursery and this one is perfect!
8. I’ve heard good things from a couple people about aden + anais swaddle cloths and I love the sweet animal print on this set.
9. We support all things cats in this house and big cats (like this friendly lion rocker) count too!
10. I’ve only bought two things for Bebe so far, and this lion rattle is one of them. I couldn’t help myself…
11. …and speaking of being basically forced into something, this is the only other item I’ve bought. A WOODEN PIZZA TEETHER. Just think how cute they will look chomping away on this slice.
12. I love sweet little wooden toys like this elephant over flashy plastic gadgets any day of the week. Even if he didn’t get used, he would look so precious sitting on a shelf or dresser.
13. My friend recommended the SwaddleMe brand of sleep swaddlers and I was so happy to see they had some organic options as well for snuggling our babe all night long.

Well, I’m sure you can see why it’s so easy to give into the fever—the amount of adorable stuff is endless! Even though making our master list is a bit of a confusing mess a times, picking out some sweet things like these help break up picking out the boring items. Can’t wait to see what else I find!

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November 18, 2016
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Currently Reading…Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

So, having the research-driven brain that I have on top of becoming recently pregnant you can imagine what I’ve started doing with my time lately—that’s right, reading all the books I can get my hands on! I thought I would share with you some of my favorite reads as I go through them, and while I’m still a few pages from the end on Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, it’s been nothing short of a fascinating read for me so far! If you don’t already know (I didn’t until recently) Ina May Gaskin is kind of the main Mama of modern day midwifery so I thought that reading her books would be  good insight into the core of that particular movement. We chose a local birth center run by midwives and nurse midwives for our delivery (it’s 1.4 miles from the hospital BTW in case I need to transfer) and while that is a much “crunchier” choice than I would have made 10 years ago, I didn’t feel comfortable with the full home birth route either so it seemed like a good middle point to start with and see how it goes.

Anyways, Ina May starts off her Guide to Childbirth book with positive birth stories (like, a ton of them) because she feels strongly that pregnant women, especially American pregnant women, are inundated with dramatic horror stories of births that can leave the mother feeling justifiably frightened and terrified of what she’s about to go through. While there certainly are difficult births or even births that end in heartbreak I think the point is that the majority of births do go well and it’s important to focus on that and hear lots of positive stories to counteract the scary ones. She talks a lot about the “mind/body” connection in the birth experience and just how powerful or hindering one’s outlook and thought process can be in how the body anticipates and responds to pain and carries one through the labor process. All the stories from her 30 years of midwife experience along these points are pretty amazing if you ask me and I love how she reaches back a few centuries at times to research the same phenomenons from doctors and midwife’s journals back in the day. I also loved seeing how she compares what you might call the “classic Western medicine” birth experience with births from other countries where they may not have access to (or necessarily want) some of the drugs or procedures we can access here in the US.

There’s definitely some “out there” methods and theories in this book if you haven’t read much into the world of midwifery and natural birth (check out the chapter on orgasmic birth if you’re interested, that’s a new one to me!) but some of them may sound odd at first and then make a lot more sense when you finish that section. For example, she talks about what she calls “sphincter law” which is essentially the idea that since the cervix is a sphincter it naturally follows a few rules that all the other sphincters in the body follow (such as not responding to outside commands and functioning best in a private and familiar atmosphere). It sounds a little weird at first but she makes her point well.

I do appreciate that Ina May’s tone through the book doesn’t feel braggy or like she’s looking down on those who want to go a traditional Western route. It feels more like she’s calmly educating you on a method that she really, really, loves and wants you to also know a few things about a more clinical route that you may not have known (risks and side effects of common drugs or pain medications for example). You don’t get the sense that she thinks it’s the ONLY way, but it’s a fantastic avenue that she wants you to be aware of when you are choosing how you want to give birth. Jane Sandall once said, and I think Ina May would agree, that, “Every woman needs a midwife, and some women need a doctor too.” So hospitals and doctors can and do save the lives of women and babies that traditional midwifery might not be able to help (babies that need an emergency C-section for example) and I like that I know women who have chosen all the way across the spectrum of home birth to traditional hospital procedure and everything in between based on what felt right for them. Overall, like I said, I have found this book and all the experiences of the women in it fascinating so far and I can’t wait to read more so I can compare and contrast with other methods (Ina May also has a book on breastfeeding as well that I’d love to read). One book down, a million to go!

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November 11, 2016
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Dressin’ The Bump Wishlist

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So, of all the different things I could be worrying about, researching, or laying awake at night thinking about, I seem to spend a lot of time these days thinking about clothes. I mean, I like clothes, I enjoy the process of shopping, so how is that any different, right? Wrong. All of the sudden I have literally no idea what to look for when it comes to clothing and any trips to the mall so far have just been full of confusion so far. To help rectify that frustration I’ve been doing a lot of online browsing lately to try and find maternity looks that feel like they fit my usual personality and style. I mean, even if I’m pregnant, which is totally weird to me in so many ways, I’m still me and clothing is a big way of helping me feel comfortable in my own skin (or second skin if you will). Here are a few looks that are on my preggo wishlist (and Christmas list for that matter!) so if you are in a similar spot these days I hope you find some cute things that catch your eye too!

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