May 1, 2017

Month By Month: The Third Trimester!

Time. Is. FLYING!!! With the second trimester burst of energy gone (like totally gone you guys) it feels like just about all I can do to make it through to the end of each day somewhat alive. I’m a total #napqueen at the moment and I told Todd that one activity per day is just about all I can handle so we’ve been trying to keep the schedule pretty light outside of work hours. I seriously don’t know how people do pregnancy when they already have multiple kids they also have to take care of—you gals are my heroes!! Since we could be at the finish line any day now, here’s a look back at what the third trimester brought with it….

         Coat/SheIn, Leather Leggings/Asos, Maternity Tank/Target, Heels/Steve Madden

Month Seven: The beginning of my third trimester started some of those “woah, definitely feeling bigger and bigger!” sorts of complaints whether it was related to how difficult it was rolling over (and over and over) in bed at night, or just trying to put on socks and shoes. I was trying on a pair of sandals at the mall and almost had to have the salesperson put them on for me because I couldn’t reach the side buckle—so embarrassing! This was also the beginning of walks at the park not necessarily being a walk in the park anymore (more like a slower waddle) and for once in my life Todd walks faster than me when we go out (I’m normally several feet ahead of him usually!). Still battling the low back pain at this point (keeping up the yoga and chiropractic to try and help) but at least it comes and goes so it’s not always there. I also finished my big nursery projects this month (like the hand-painted wallpaper and custom closet doors) and while the nursery was still far from done (not one piece of furniture it in yet), it felt good to have the big projects out of the way.                        Dress/Forever 21 (similar), Shoes/Public Desire, Sunnies/SojoS

Month Eight: This was the month I had my Baby Shower and really started to feel the pressure of finishing up some of our “to-do” and “to-get” lists before moving into the homestretch. While I had the vision for the nursery pretty much laid out we were still deciding and waiting on the main pieces to arrive so I busied myself with ordering the rest of the registry essentials and organizing and washing all the clothes, blankets, bedding, etc. so it would all be ready when the dresser and crib arrived. I also had some symptoms from the first trimester start to creep back in (hello again nausea!) although it wasn’t nearly as bad as the first trimester and I kept up the B6 vitamins to help keep it at bay. I also got a few new fun surprises too like acid reflux and the realization that my stomach is now squished to be pretty tiny so if I didn’t eat smaller meals I’d have that “way too full” barfy feeling for like 4 hours. Blech. My midwives and doula suggested Papaya Enzymes after each meal (and avoiding a lot of tomatoes) along with staying upright for 30 min or so after meals and that did seem to help…

                   Dress/Forever 21 (similar), Shoes/Public Desire, Sunnies/AEVOGUE

Month Nine: AGH!!! How am I writing this section??! I think my brain still can’t wrap my head around this whole process, somehow it still doesn’t feel real even with all the aches and pains and giant wriggling belly included. This last homestretch has actually been some of the most stressful time so far because we found out that Baby was suddenly breech at 36 weeks and it sent us into a bit of a worried panic to come up with a new plan. We’ve been planning on giving birth at a birth center here in town but they only do low-risk deliveries (which most deliveries actually are) and a breech position would disqualify us from birthing there. Obviously we had chosen that route because we felt their philosophy and natural birth in general has some really great advantages for Baby (and Mom too) so we were feeling really disappointed to lose out on some of those benefits, but also because breech position is basically an automatic c-section as well. Even though it’s the most commonly performed surgery in the US at the moment (for better or worse), it still is major surgery and that’s generally something that I would prefer to avoid if possible. It’s true that there are some doctors who will attempt vaginal breech deliveries, but they are pretty hard to find and they would have to be on call when you went into labor so the chances of seemed slim. Even midwives that do home breech births will usually only do it on a case-by-case basis because of the added risks and a breech baby for a first time mom was a riskier situation than I was personally willing to take on as well.

Anyways, we tried literally everything I could find to try and turn her for 2 weeks (acupuncture, moxibustion, Webster chiropractic, yoga, spinning babies techniques, flashlights on the belly, frozen ice packs and heat packs on the belly, playing music and recorded voices low with belly speakers, crawling on hands and knees) with no results and I was feeling pretty drained from all the stress on top of my full time job and continued general baby prep. Oh yeah, and all the sudden not knowing what hospital or doctor to go to if I suddenly went into labor? Lots of frustrating calls with insurance companies trying to figure that out too wasn’t helping me relax either. Eventually we did find out what information we needed to have a new breech plan in place if she didn’t turn, but we decided to try an “external version” at the hospital where they attempt to turn the baby manually from the outside. It works in about 50% of the cases, but our midwives and doctor they recommended thought I’d be a good candidate for it so we decided to give it a try at 38 weeks. It definitely felt a bit scary to be at the hospital with like 6 doctors crowded around you, IVs in place, and an anesthesiologist waiting in the corner (just in case!) but I held Todd’s hand and tried to close my eyes and remain as calm as I possibly could while they moved her around. We also had so many wonderful friends and family praying for us that I had peace at the start of the day that whatever the outcome was, it would turn out exactly how it was meant to so that was a big thing keeping me calm as well. They basically oil up your belly and have one person push up on Baby’s butt lifting them out of the pelvis (they have a sonogram tech right there to see exactly where Baby is first) while one or two more people help push the rest of Baby around until the head faces down. I decided not to get an epidural for the procedure and while it was a pretty intense feeling to say the least (and yes, it definitely did hurt) I think I would for sure do it again without one if I had to. They do give you this other medicine though through an IV to stop your belly from contracting for a few moments and that stuff makes your heart race and body shake as well. Both are normal things to have happen with that medication (and they did warn me about it beforehand) but it certainly makes it way harder to relax your body when your heart is pounding out of your chest and your limbs are shaking!

Thankfully, the procedure not only worked but they said it was the fastest/easiest one they’ve ever seen and that Baby helped out by wiggling in the right direction as they started too! I could tell by the shocked looks on their faces that they really meant it, although I also just burst into tears when they said she was head down so their faces were a little blurry at that moment. We stayed for another hour afterwards so they could monitor Baby and make sure her heart rate stayed stable and then they sent us home about 5 hours after we started the whole process. Man, I was so tired from the anticipation and emotion of the day and pretty weak and shaky from the IV meds (and the 16 hours of fasting it had been at that point since they don’t want to you eat after the night before) but I felt extremely grateful walking out to our car to say the least. Since we didn’t know what would happen that day, the birth bag was in the car, the carseat was installed, the nursery was set-up and ready, but since we didn’t end up needing those items that day, we could just go home and finally relax for a bit before Baby decides she’s ready to show up.

As of this moment, Baby is still head down so we are able to continue with our original birth center plan (although I know that babies can have a mind of their own and birth is never totally predictable so that could all change in a moment) so we are basically just waiting for labor to start and we’ll go from there! I have had lots of braxton hicks tightening lately, but those can go on forever without meaning anything so I try not to take them too seriously. I’ll be trying to rest up as much as possible in the meantime and probably sneak in a few solo brunch/coffee dates with my Baby Daddy while I still can but stay tuned for news! It could be any day now!

April 24, 2017

What’s In My Birth Bag

It feels SO crazy to have a corner of our living room that is piled with stuff to take to car as soon as I give Todd the word that it’s time to head off to the birth center here in Nashville. It’s only been recently that I finally finished packing my bag and I thought I’d share what’s inside (I love reading what other people packed and then what was helpful or not for them afterwards…). We sort of have a “two scenario” bag since we are planning on being at a birth center but we know there’s always a possibility we could end up at the hospital in case of a complication so we want to be prepared for either. You can stay at the birth center for up to 12 hours after birth, but most people go home around the 6 hour mark so it’s a little different need-wise from being at the hospital for 2-3 days. We definitely have some things that are only useful in one of the scenarios but it never hurts to have options just in case!

Long t-shirt for laboring
Slip on shoes (flip flops please!)
Change of underwear and socks
Sports bra for birthing tub
Nursing sleep bra and deep V-neck tops that are easy to nurse in
Pajamas (nursing friendly)
Going home outfit (I added a button up cotton dress and leggings and stretchy tank top as options)
Toiletries bag (have lots of giant pads and adult diapers at home for post partum but birth center and hospital provide those types of things along with peri bottle while there)

Essential oils (the birth center has a diffusor in each room so I’m taking lavender and orange oils)
Headphones for playlists, relaxing music, etc (birth center also has speakers for playing tracks out loud too )
Rice heating pad (they also have electric heating pads at birth center but you have to stay near the outlet to use that)
Pool noodle (sliced down one side to put over rim of birth tub for softer surface to lean on)
Washable bath pillow for birth tub
Massage Oil
Battery-operated candles for mood (aren’t allowed to have real ones!)

*Birth center has a ton of stuff already there like birth balls, rebozo scarves, birth stools, wall-mounted rungs to hang on, water birth tub, etc.)

Snacks for during labor (I have protein bars, almond butter packets, honey sticks, popsicles, and chicken broth as options and then coconut water and electrolyte water to drink)
Meals/snacks for Todd during labor (he needs to keep his strength up too!)
Frozen meal for after labor

*Definitely something that we would use more or less of certain items if we were at birth center (where Mom can eat and drink) vs. hospital (where they are a lot more restrictive on that and would serve meals while we were there). Birth center has fridge and small kitchen area where we can keep and prepare food.

Charger for phones and camera
Change of clothes/toiletries bag for Todd
Swimming suit for Todd (birth center has a walk in shower for hydrotherapy)
Cooler for placenta (doing placenta encapsulation)
Nipple cream
Dermoplast for pain relief and stool softener (hey, no one said this was a glamorous process right? I also have organic sitz spray, but I’ll probably use that more once at home)

3 outfits/hats for Baby
2-3 receiving blankets/swaddlers
Car seat (love that this one is really safe but also really light to carry!)
Nursing pillow
Coconut oil (putting some on her bottom right away will help get the meconium off easier during those first diaper changes)

That’s basically it! It is really hard to know what you will want or feel like in a process that you’ve never gone though before, but I think we are about as prepared as we can be for first-timers. If there was something that you loved having in your bag the most let me know, I’d love to hear about it!

April 10, 2017

#Gummerbaby Nursery Mood Board!

I love mood boards. They are actually a really helpful way to organize your visual thoughts and see how different items or colors work together in a room before they appear in person. Our nursery furniture is just being delivered this week (down to the wire, I know!) so I’ve had to be creative in making sure that items will work in the room once they arrive. I was feeling so antsy that the nursery was still completely empty as of a few weeks ago so I did what any sane pregnant gal would do and made a cardboard version of all the nursery furniture so I could start to decorate around it. That’s totally normal right?? I’ve actually done it before for different projects or to see if a furniture piece I couldn’t take back would fit into a space and while it sounds nutty, it’s SO helpful and totally works!

Anyways, we’ll see what the final results look like relatively soon, but I do have this perla chandelier already installed and it looks so good (I have a ton of Lucent Lightshop fixtures in my house—love them!). Still going to keep the white and brass thing going into the nursery so that it flows with the rest of the house, but pastel lavender is the main color of the room with some pink and pastel rainbow accents as well (this pastel wooden rainbow toy is perfect!). I can’t wait to see how this amazing lucite crib looks in the space and I think this clean modern white dresser will be a good compliment across from it (the top will be our changing pad station too). I’ve heard from a few mom that they really prefer a glider to a rocker just because of how little effort it takes to rock baby in it so I’m excited to try out this glider when it gets here.

That painted hallway in the top left corner of the mood board is at a local coffee shop here called Three Brothers and I kind of fell in love with it the first time I saw it. It’s just sooo cool. I wanted to do something similar for the baby’s room but with all symbols that meant something to me (or were just more fun for a baby’s room) so I spent a few weeks on that back at the end of my second trimester to get that done…can’t wait to show you it soon, I love how it turned out! I adore this organic pink dotted changing cover and crib sheet, but I’ll have to see if it looks too crazy with the patterned walls or not. To keep the cat theme running in the family, I felt Baby should totally have a lion rocker and I’m thinking this lion print would be cute in the room as well (although this pink moon print is so good too). Of course, black and white are still my go-to colors for lots of home things so items like this patterned milk blanket will fit in well with the nursery scheme and look at home in the rest of the house as well. When you are a bit OCD about color coordination like I am, finding sweet toys to match the scheme is also a must and cuties like this unicorn toy will be perfect to have within Baby’s reach.

Hopefully my cardboard palace will turn into a real nursery within a few days and l LITERALLY CANNOT WAIT until it all comes together—so excited!!!

April 5, 2017

Why Choosing a Maternity Style Matters (At Least To Me…)

So, first off, let’s get the title of this post straight. Of ALL the things to concern yourself with in a pregnancy (health of Baby and Mama, proper maternity care, preparing for Baby, etc.), what you wear along the way really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I think for me, however, what it did really help with was with some of the mental components that can come up with such a big life change. I know that adding “Mom” to my list of roles will be a huge addition (and will certainly have ripple effects into the other categories as well) but it was really important for me to still feel like myself as much a possible throughout pregnancy and that’s where the clothes came in. If you ever want to see me squirm and dance around anxiously, just put in an outfit that is reeeaally not my style and then make me spend time in public wearing it. I feel like my whole body is literally itching to get it off! On the opposite end, wearing clothing that feels like “me” gives me a comfort level that’s hard to match by doing anything else. It’s not that they are expensive items (and they are usually the same pieces over and over again) but I just feel comfortable and confident in certain things way more than others. Those of you who have that side of you too know what I mean.

Anyways, that was kind of a worry for me as my pregnancy progressed. It was not that easy to find maternity clothes that I liked when I looked at the beginning (I’ve always hated ruching as a clothing detail and they use it all over maternity items) so I wanted to come up with a game plan that would allow me to wear mostly “normal” clothing that I already had or could wear after Baby mixed in with a few essentials from maternity lines. Here are the basic categories I stuck with:

                                  white dress (similar) // gingham dress // pink dress (similar)

Flowy Tent Dresses: This one was an easy category for me since I love this shape anyways! Plenty of room for a big or small bump so you can wear them throughout the trimesters. Only potential problem is if you love short ones like I do, a few of them got too short in the front as the belly got bigger near the end!

Pink Jacket (similar) // Black Moto (similar) // (I got my two fave black leather jackets from Mango)

Moto Jackets: Probably the biggest item that makes me feel like me. I didn’t really start wearing moto style jackets until my mid 20’s, but once I got a really good one it was like “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?” Always super cool and a little edgy. I usually buy motos that look best when open in the front anyways so they have been my secret preggo weapon for when I don’t know what to wear out but still want to feel kind of cool. They helped me hide the bump in that awkward in-between phase of early pregnancy and now I just let that big belly out the front!                             First two coats sold out from Shein // Black Furry coat (similar)

Long Open Jackets: Once winter really kicked in and a moto jacket just wasn’t going to cut it anymore warmth wise, I switched over to long coats (especially furry ones) to keep warm but still feel a bit glamorous. While it’s true that I already felt a bit “fluffier” in general just being pregnant, I still love a big fur coat and the longer open length is more flattering than a textured cropped coat with the belly (believe me!).

                                Grey Dress (similar) // White Dress (similar) // Pink Dress

Body-Con Dresses: I had a feeling I might be one of those preggos that was really into the body con dress and I was right! I actually find them really comfortable and they’ve all been non maternity ones so far. As long as I have my shapewear on underneath, I’m good to go! Those are a must for body cons weather you’re pregnant or not!

                                 Sweater Dress // Black Dress + Cropped Moto (similar)

Black and White: This is for sure a category that makes me feel like myself! Literally 99% of my days are spent in shades of black, white, and grey so it’s another easy way to feel comfortable in my own skin. When most of what you have are those colors, matching up outfits is wayyyy easier! Also, as you get (and feel!) bigger and bigger each month, wearing all black is a great way to make you feel a bit slimmer.

Maternity Items: The few things that I have bought that are specifically maternity are a pair of leather leggings (love them), a few pairs of black jeans from H&M,  and several of these tanks in different colors (so long and stretchy but no ruching!). Those tanks are great options to wear daily with an open flannel or button up shirt overtop. Easy and comfy!

So, again, clothing in general is not the most important thing to concern yourself with in pregnancy, but if you’re like me it can be a good way to feel as comfortable as you can in your own changing skin while everything else in your world seems a bit topsy-turvy. If you’re pregnant and feeling that big change as well, I hope you find whatever it is that makes you feel the most yourself as well!


March 31, 2017
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Zappos Friends with Benefits Roadshow (In Nashville!)

*Sponsored by Zappos*

So, for those of you who saw my Instagram and Insta stories this past weekend you know that Friday night Todd and I headed out to the Nashville leg of the Zappos Friends with Benefits Roadshow event! It was a great way to start the weekend and begin to unwind a bit with games, free food and drinks, and curated shopping of course!
Since I could see in the weather forecast that Friday was going to be a pleasantly warm day I wanted to pick out a few spring-like things from Zappos things to wear to the event and I knew that these blush block sandals would be perfect for that night as well as the rest of spring and summer to come! I’m a bit obsessed with mid-height block heels for summer…And since being 8 months pregnant limits my clothing options just a bit I opted to pair it with this adorable light blush moto since I know I can always throw on a cute jacket over something and just leave it open in the front. Thankfully, Zappos’ super fast & free shipping, 365-day return policy, free returns, and 24-hour customer service made ordering the items easy so I could have what I needed before the event night.
Cutest ring toss ever?
It only took about 10 seconds for me to find the grilled cheese + tater tots at the event. Hey man, a girl’s gotta keep her strength up, right??They had several stations where you could drop off shoes to be donated for charity—love that!The free pet adoption portion of the event didn’t start until the next day, but there were a few cute puppies walking around with their owners and I at least pet this grumpy cat doll to get in a bit of what the vibe would be like over the next few days.I know I’m a “cat person,” but even I loved these puppy/palm print yoga pants in the shopping area! So cute!The event also had the fanciest portapotty I’ve ever seen and it even gave you a toy once you washed your hands which was hilarious. I was excited to get a watermelon airhead candy but Todd ate it before I could which I was not happy about! I love watermelon flavored candy.
 We also listened to the live music for a while as we played one of the many yard games they had set up for everyone, and while I didn’t win (so hard to beat Todd at any game!) I came pretty close which is good enough for me. Overall we had a blast stopping in and enjoying all the treats that Zappos had to offer! You also can now vote here to have the Roadshow come to your town if they didn’t stop through this round. Don’t forget to sign up for the Zappos Rewards Program if you haven’t yet to get expedited shipping, earn points, and gain early access to sales. It really has been one of my favorite places to shop for a while now and I bet you’ll love shopping there too!