There is such a huge stigma surrounding how to feed your baby.
Let me kick off this post by letting every mama know that as long as your baby is growing, happy and healthy, it doesn’t matter how you choose to feed them.
I didn’t think I would ever like breastfeeding. Growing up, I never dreamed about breastfeeding my future child(ren). I was very indifferent on the topic all the way up until Emily was born.
The first time she latched and breastfed was the most magical moment of my life. You can see that moment here.
From that moment on I was very adamant about strictly breastfeeding. We, of course, had formula at the house as a backup, but I only wanted to use that in the event of an emergency (infection in my breasts, supply disappears, etc).
Come mid-November, things had changed. When Emily got super hungry, she would refuse to latch. It was take near an hour to get her to latch to eat a decent meal. It was so frustrating every time I tried to feed her, as she would fall off or refuse my breasts.
Breast milk is stored in the milk ducts, which aren’t just readily available at first suck. The ducts themselves need to be stimulated (whether by pump, mouth, hand) and it takes up to 2 minutes for the milk to truly be released. Emily HATED that. She wanted milk right then and there. And there were times I couldn’t provide that for her.
One extremely bad night ended in hyperventilating crying from me and Emily, words between me and Connor, and I finally broke and made a bottle with formula. It was so hard for me to make the decision to give her a bottle of milk that wasn’t my own, but she needed to eat and I wasn’t producing.
She sucked the formula down, didn’t die, and fell right to sleep.
No harm no foul. The seal was broken (literally).
Moving forward, we agreed that when Emily was having a particularly rough feed, if I didn’t have breast milk pumped, she would have a formula bottle.
Fast forward to the 3 month milk supply drop. At around 3 months, your milk supply regulates. You’re only producing what and when your baby is demanding to be fed.
Em started getting more and more frustrated around meal times when the milk wouldn’t be readily available, but I was also producing a lot less than I should have been.
Following my diagnosis of COVID-19, I began feeding Em more formula and began pumping less, only breastfeeding overnight (if needed). She was sleeping 7 hours a night so we would feed her a bottle around 10 and she would go until 6:30 in the morning before needing food.
This trend continued marvelously. Emily wasn’t really breastfeeding, and was maybe once or twice a week suckling for comfort.
2 weeks ago from yesterday (February 16), was the last night I breastfed my baby girl. It’s a little sad! Such a huge part of your infants life, the food that kept her alive and growing made solely from your body, no more.
While I’m a little sad that chapter of our relationship has ended, I know that moving to formula full time was and is the best thing for us. Now, Emily is starting solids (yay!) and is still a happy and healthy girl.
I feel guilty that I had such a stigma surrounding formula. No matter how your baby gets fed- breastfeeding, pumped breast milk, formula, what have you- is the right way.
We have a 3-month old. We were so careful. We go to the grocery store, the doctors, and have only seen immediate family (sisters and parents) since September. In fact, the last people we saw had tested negative 2 days prior.
So how did we contract COVID? The truth is, we don’t know.
2020 was the absolute best year for Connor and myself. I know we can’t say the same for many other individuals across America, but we had a banner year. Getting engaged, finding out we were expecting, moving across the country, getting married, and giving birth to our beautiful daughter- nothing could top 2020.
Well, the universe decided that the Whiteley/Dupre household needed a wrench thrown into our life.
On New Year’s Day, Connor and I woke up with sore throats and stuffy noses. Now, we both have seasonal allergies and we’re overdue for colds, so we didn’t think much of it. We went about our day. The next morning, around 3:30am, I got up to feed Em. Connor woke up with me asking for an extra blanket because he had the chills… uh-oh.
After I fed Em, we took his temperature and saw he had a fever of 101.2. I didn’t have a fever. Well, fuck.
I put Em back in her room and retreated down the the living room.
Since Saturday, Emily and I have been living on the first floor of our house, and Connor has been living in our bedroom. Since the only out of the ordinary symptoms I had were a stuffy nose, we didn’t think I’d have COVID… but we’re certain he did. Fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, and a dry cough encompassed Connor as we went through the weekend.
On Monday, we drove to CVS to take COVID tests (sent through the lab for near accurate results). I’m still with Em downstairs.
Wednesday morning, results come in. Connor: Positive. Jenn: Negative. What? How could that be? We live together. Breathe the same air. Slept in the same bed up until 3:30am on Saturday. There was no way.
Well, Connor was still having the same symptoms, minus the fever, and I had only developed more congestion. It felt like a sinus infection.
I called my OBGYN yesterday and scheduled another COVID test. If it was indeed negative, Em and I were packing up and heading to my moms for a few days (she had COVID last month, and is no longer contagious/able to get it for 3 months).
Well, plot twist. I woke up this morning, Thursday, with a little more congestion. Took some Advil, nothing to worry about. Then, my beautiful daughter pooped. Unusual for first thing in the morning, but an impressive size.
I was laughing at how much she pooped, when I realized… I couldn’t smell it. I couldn’t smell my 3-month olds breast milk/formula poops. Oh FUCK!
Upon further investigation , I couldn’t smell or taste my morning clementine or tea.
The loss of taste/smell is one of the last and newest symptoms of the beloved COVID.
The worst part of all? Here is what we did last week: went to Emily’s doctor for her 3 month checkup. Went to the grocery store. Wore masks. Umm… what, COVID?
We are going on day 7/8 of symptoms, which means we only have about another 5-7 days of quarantining in our own house.
Thank you to our wonderful mother’s for doing our laundry and bringing us groceries. We couldn’t do it without you.
I know there are so many families who didn’t have the COVID that we do. We are so lucky that we have mild cases, the worst symptom being Connor’s fever. As long as Miss Emily doesn’t develop a fever (which I would think she won’t this late in the game) we are on the road to recovery.
Thank you for reading! Wear your masks. Be safe. It’s all going to be okay.
It’s been three weeks since our world grew. THREE WEEKS since Emily Ruth entered our lives. The time is flying yet crawling simultaneously. Looking at her, it feels like she has been in our lives for years.
Motherhood is nothing like I thought it would be- both the good and the bad.
While 99% of the talk of having a baby is exactly that- the baby- the other 1% is just as important to take about. Postpartum recovery is nothing short of amazing and incredibly tiring. The physical and mental hurdles that a mother has to face once her child is born is not something that you can prepare for ahead of time. With raising a child, you can read all of the best books, all of Heidi Murkoff’s What To Expect series. You can take in all of the advice from your mom, mother-in-law, friends, coworkers, and strangers at the Subaru dealership. Raising a baby is something that every mother has done, and every mother will have “the answer”.
When it comes to your own postpartum recovery, no one has “the answer”.
My Postpartum Health
Physically, I feel amazing. I LOOK amazing. My body went through the most amazing journey these past 10 months. It created (with the help of Connor) and grew a HUMAN! A legitimate, tiny version of us. The female body… Growing up I always wondered what my pregnant body would look like. Would my belly be round or hang low? Would I gain a lot of weight in my thighs? Would my feet grow? Well, let me say that before giving birth, I truly never felt more beautiful than I did during pregnancy. I LOVED my belly. I began to appreciate my stretch marks. While I felt like I was going to fall asleep at any moment, and sitting/standing/walking/living made everything hurt, I loved what my body was doing.
After giving birth to our daughter, my perception of my body changed again. Now, 3 weeks PP, I can truly say that I have never been more beautiful than I am now. Yes, my stomach quite literally shrunk down and I weigh less than I did pre-pregnancy. My face is a bit thinner, although it is now graced with tired bags under my eyes. But those aren’t the reasons I love my NEW body.
My stretch marks are beautiful, natural symbols of what my body went through to create our daughter. In my uterus, I grew our child along with her placenta, an organ that my body created to sustain our daughter’s life for the 9.5 months she was inside of me.
My breasts, as HUGE as they are, are currently creating the milk that my daughter will eat and live off of until she can begin eating solid foods. Every 2 hours, my milk “comes in”, pins and needles and all, biologically knowing when it is time to feed our baby girl. One month ago, I was not pleased at the way my breasts looked- they were so different than my pre-pregnancy breasts. But now, I look at them with awe as I watch Emily eat from them 10 times a day.
My c-section scar is the most beautiful mark on my body. It showcases what my body went through to bring Emily into the world. It is healing beautiful and I can’t wait to show it off. My body is beautiful.
I have not yet been cleared to work out. I try to take a long, daily walk with Emily to keep up my physical and mental stamina. I do the laundry, wash the dishes, and tidy up around the house. in 4 weeks, I should be cleared to begin working out, getting myself on a physical journey that will make me feel good inside and out.
My mental postpartum journey hasn’t been as rewarding as my physical one. No one can prepare you for what you feel inside after giving birth. The second Emily was out of me. my extremely elevated hormones plummeted into the basement and deeper. What has been so high during pregnancy to ensure that my daughter was getting what she needed was suddenly gone, and I was the one who had to mentally calibrate that change.
It has NOT been easy. As someone who gets overwhelmed easily, has anxiety especially surrounding major changes (uhh having a baby), and overthinks every little thing that crosses her path, this new chapter in my life has been a rollercoaster of emotions. Lack of sleep aside, it has been difficult to work through my emotions when it comes to dealing with Emily. Yesterday was one of the more difficult days we had. Connor working from home is amazing, but it doesn’t mean he can help all of the time. My frustration levels rise very quickly, especially when I have to race naked down the stairs after just getting out of the shower to retrieve our crying child before she interrupts a work call. The dishes are never done. we had a pile of laundry so high it didn’t fit into 2 baskets. Emily’s clothes haven’t been folded or put away in 2 weeks.
Yes, she is my daughter. Yes, I love her more than anyone and anything in this world. Yes, she annoys the crap out of me and sometimes I just want to yell at her to shut the fuck up (which I did yesterday to no avail). Being a mother is NOT easy. Being a mother to a newborn is even harder. It is the absolute hardest thing I have ever done… but the reward of looking at my daughter with my husband is beyond worth it. All of the times I sit here blaming myself for not being a good mom because I can’t get my daughter to stop crying mean nothing compared to the joy I get while breastfeeding her, or the thought of her in a month from now smiling and laughing at her daddy tickling her little belly.
Postpartum is the fourth trimester of pregnancy, the one that has such a stigma over it that women are afraid to even say the word. It is incredibly difficult to raise a child with NO prior knowledge. It is even more difficult to accept that your life has changed forever. That your relationship with your husband has changed forever. That you will never be doing anything solely for yourself. And that is okay. None of the above has to turn into a bad change. You embrace what has come with this tiny bundle of poop and love and you do what you need to do to ensure that the other areas of your life thrive.
Emily Ruth’s Update
Let’s talk about our little Emily Ruth! It is SO hard to believe that our baby girl has spent three whole weeks on this earth. The time has flown… yet it has also dragged. Anyone else feel that??
Emily is amazing. Watching her grow, seeing her discover new things (as much as a 3 week old baby can discover), seeing the changes in her body and mind already… there is nothing better. She is SO STRONG! She was able to hold her own head/neck up at 1.5 weeks… for real. It was amazing to watch! She bops around, she kicks and grabs our hair. It’s incredible watching her figure out what different parts of her body can do.
The day we brought her home, we noticed physical changes in her- in just the 2 days we had her! In utero, babies absorb a TON of hormones from the mother. I mean, think about it. For 9-10 months, a woman is growing a baby. She has the biggest influx of hormones she will ever have in her life. She doesn’t get her period, meaning that this influx of hormones is stopping her body from doing something it has been doing once a month since she was 13. Her hormones have to sustain this new life that is growing inside of her.
Once the baby is born, the hormones received from the mother begin to expel from that little body in various ways. Emily had what you would call “period-like symptoms” for about a week and a half following her birth. She had discharge from her little tee-tee, both milky-like and bloody. This was a hugeeeee shock to Connor and I, giving her her first at-home bath and seeing this… blob… come out of our daughter’s privates. It is 110% normal in female infants, though, so nothing to worry about!
Way #2 to expel the mothers’ hormones- enlarged breast tissue and leaking from the nipples. Again- SO WEIRD if you haven’t read about it/haven’t had other children. This is most common in females, while male infants may have an enlarged scrotum as they expel their mothers’ hormones. Again, this is completely normal, just a little jarring for first time parents to see.
Way #3, and the most common form of hormones, is baby acne. About a week ago, Emily started developing baby acne on her little forehead. It has since spread down her nose and cheeks, onto her scalp and chest, and the back of her neck. This acne has shown in tiny little red and white bumps and has made her skin very dry. Her face is about 75% cleared up now, with dry and red patches scattered around. Seeing acne in a baby is so strange, as I’m sure it will be when she gets her first pimple during puberty.
The most exciting thing this week- her umbilical cord FINALLY fell off! Our baby girl has a bellybutton at long last ❤
I mean, come ON!!! Look at her little bellybutton! I think she’s gonna gave an outie!
Bath time is still hard. We figured out that rather than be washed with a washcloth, Emily likes when you soap up your own hands and bathe her that way. I think she finds it more soothing. She doesn’t start crying until the last 2 minutes, when we wash her hair. She doesn’t like the water running over her face, us covering her ears, or the cold feeling she gets once the shampoo is rinsed out. Poor baby!
Emily has officially met her entire immediate family. It has been wonderful watching our parents and sisters meet her for the first time. Emily is all of their first grandchildren, which means she gets SPOILED! It’s good for mommy and daddy- we don’t have to spend a dime! Emily will get to grow up knowing my mom, dad. and stepmom, and Connor’s parents. She will ALSO get to grow up knowing her GREAT GRANDPARENTS (my grandparents). That is something that is so rare, I cherish the fact that she gets to know two of the people so close to my heart… and now hers!
We love this little girl. It’s still hard to believe she is only three weeks old. Were have our entire lifetimes with this bundle of joy. I can’t wait to witness her first smile, to hear her laugh, to watch her crawl and walk and live and grow into her own person. Our beautiful baby girl is ours forever and ever.
Next week I will be publishing a blog post highlighting the most useful products I have found for both postpartum recovery and for living with a newborn. Subscribe to 2 Cats and a Bébé to stay up to date on my posts going forward!!
Happy FULL TERM to our baby girl! We are officially in the, “Okay, you can come any time now!” stage. We both think we jinxed her early arrival by speculating about it so much- we are now fully expecting her to show up AFTER her due date (and probably close to my own birthday!).
^^^I wrote that yesterday, before my appointment. At the doctors today (Tuesday), he said that I am 1cm dilated and Emily’s head is very low. The effacement (how low her head is in my cervix) is the MOST important, as that shows that labor is imminent. Dilation can go from 0-10 overnight…. there is a high high chance we could be welcoming a baby this week!
HOW FAR ALONG? 38 weeks and 4 days!
DUE DATE? September 19th, but the doctor said to get ready…
SIZE?: About 7lbs, possibly a few ounces over.
WEIGHT GAIN? I gained back my weight from last week +one. I weighed in at 165 this week! My uterus, baby, placenta, and fluid take up 90% of that weight.
NAME? Emily Ruth Whiteley ❤
HOW AM I FEELING?: Energized! From last week to this week I have felt a POWER SURGE of energy. On Sunday, we deep cleaned the entire house (something we haven’t done in literal months). It was so nice to get the house all ready for Emily’s arrival! Today, I hit a wall of exhaustion. I think she’s finally getting ready to pop!
CRAVINGS?: Poptarts… which I forgot to pick up from the grocery store today.
PHYSICAL CHANGES?: More red stretch marks on my belly and sides. I didn’t start getting them on my belly until her big weight gain and until she turned upside-down, but they are certainly there now!
BABY MOVEMENT?: I seriously thought she would have stopped by now, but nooooo. Saturday and Sunday she was moving like she was 30 weeks and not about to come out.
BELLY BUTTON?: Flat flat flat.
MOST EXCITED ABOUT?: Getting this baby out of me!
LEAST EXCITED ABOUT?: Getting this baby out of me.
PRENATAL VITAMINS?: I am taking One A Day Women’s Prenatal Advanced Multivitamin with Brain Support. They’re great! There is a separate vitamin for Folic Acid, an important Vitamin B that promotes cell development and growth. You can find these on Amazon here!
SKINCARE?: I have naturally veryyyy oily skin. For the first 6 months of pregnancy, my skin cleared up of any oils and acne. It was amazing! Once I hit the third trimester, my skin decided to revolt. My pores became clogged again, my skin was slick, and I didn’t know how to combat it. My sister turned me onto these products:
Youth to the PeopleSuperfood Antioxidant Cleanser. This cleanser from Sephora is a GAME CHANGER! 1. It smells heavenly. 2. The formula of the cleanser makes my skin soft and leaves off the oils for hours. My skin already feels cleaner after using it for only a few weeks. I use it in the morning and pair it with…
CeraVé Daily Moisturizing Lotion. This moisturizer brings back color and life into my skin. It’s not heavy and absorbs right into your pores for a healthy glow.
At night, I use CeraVé Hydrating Facial Cleanser. This cleanser helps get all of the first and grime from throughout the day off of my face. It’s the perfect cleanser for the evening as it assists in taking off makeup, AND it’s fragrance free!
1.5 weeks out from her due date… any guesses on when she will show up???
The 10 Most Important Things to Keep in Your Diaper Bag
One of the most important items you need in your Mom (or Dad) kit isn’t just one item… it’s MANY items! Your Diaper Bag is the home of all things baby. Whether you’re Mom, Dad, Grandma, or Auntie, you need to ensure that everything your little tyke will need throughout your day out is right at your finger tips.
I spent the day putting together mine and my husbands’ diaper bags in preparation for our little one. 7 weeks isn’t that far away, and we need to be prepared for anything! I’ve linked the products that I bought for my own baby stock for your convenience!
Boogie Wipes– Your little one is going to have boogies out her nose, in her mouth, in your mouth, everywhere! Rather than digging through your own purse, or even your car trunk, for that spare pack of tissues you know you packed, grab a boogie wipe! This will clean up those dried up snot bubbles without an issue, and leave your baby looking shiny as new.
Dr. Brown’s Pacifier and Bottle Wipes– How many times has that binkie fallen on the floor of the car? How often are you stressing that you’re not near hot water to rinse off that teether? Dr. Brown offers wipes for pacifiers, teethers, and bottles so that you don’t have to worry about those pesky germs.
An extra swaddle- Babies generally stop being swaddled around 3-4 months of age. You may not think that you need to, or should, pack a swaddle in your diaper bag once your baby grows out of them, but a swaddle can have many more uses than just their namesake! A swaddle can be used as a spare burp cloth, a blanket, a nursing cover, and more. Having one in your diaper bag will save you from itchy legs after that impromptu trip to the park. Here is a link to my personal favorite swaddles, which happen to have Winnie the Pooh stamped all over them!
An extra burp cloth- Do I even need to explain? Spit up, throw up, whatever you want to call it- it happens! A lot! Keep an extra burp cloth (or two) in your diaper bag. Just in case! Here are my favorites. They are gender neutral, soft, and machine washable.
Baby Lotion– Babies have very dry skin, and therefore need to stay moisturized more. If you live in a dry climate or have a little one with drier skin than most, it is worth investing in a travel-sized baby lotion. Be careful though- it might make them slippery!
Vaseline– Diaper rash cream has been a staple of many moms’ diaper bags for years- although it may not be the best way to prevent diaper rash. Diaper creams can hold toxins that may not be the best for your child’s health, while at the same time not protecting their bum from a rash. A diaper rash can come about when a baby’s bottom comes in contact with urine or stool while in their diaper. They’re very common, but also preventable. Vaseline, or petroleum jelly, is a great and non-toxic way to guard your baby’s bottom from dermatitis. I picked up these travel-sized tubs to pack along in my diaper bag for an on-the-go fix!
Extra Onesies- Blowouts. Spit up. Drops of pureed sweet potatoes. There are so many things that can get on a onesie while you’re out and about with your little one. Having a backup (and a backup for the backup) is extremely important! You can’t have that wrinkly little butt running naked in the breeze. I packed a few plain, shortsleeved onesies in both of our diaper bags for the unavoidable messes that our little girl will make. Here are my favorite ones from Carter’s! (Fun fact: Carter’s has a credit card and rewards program! Save 25% off your order if you sign up today!)
Silicone Teether– If your little one is anything like my sister-in-law, they might come out with a few teeth already poking through their gums. Once your tyke hits 3-4 months old, they’re going to start getting fussy as their teeth start to come in. You’re going to want an extra teether (or two) in your diaper bag for those situations.
A Grooming kit– Fly away’s. Straggly nails. Boogies. Your little one is going to require a lot of attention that a toy and a boob just can’t fix. A grooming and safety kit is an important one to keep in your diaper bag for on-the-go situations! We have two different ones. One from the American Red Cross and a Safety 1st brand.
SNACKS- Mom! Dad! You both need snacks, too! While your little one may have free food (if you’re breastfeeding/bottle feeding with breast milk), you certainly don’t. You need to keep your energy up while you’re out with your babe. Snacks of any kind are great to keep with you in your diaper bag. I am planning on stocking mine with trail mix and granola bars- easy foods that fill you up and are healthy for breastfeeding mamas!
Your diaper bag will become the life source for you and your little one, especially on long days out of the house. It’s am easy thing to pass off to a relative who may be watching them for the day. Keep it fully stocked! Clean it out when you get home at night and replace empty containers and wipe bags with fresh ones. Here are links to the diaper bags that my husband and I have (and love)! Skip-Hop Grand Central Take-It-All Diaper Bag and Jeep Adventurer’s Diaper Bag.
We are starting our 4th week in the third trimester, and my goodness there is still so much to do! In just a short 9 weeks, our baby girl will make her big appearance.
For the past 31 weeks, I have been preparing (dreading) the last few months leading up to her birth. Are we prepared to have a baby? Do we have everything we need to sustain her life? Do I need to buy more underwear?
No. No. And probably no! But it doesn’t hurt to be 100% sure.
I have done my research and have created a checklist of the 7 most important things to do in your third trimester before your water breaks and all of a sudden you’re rushing to the hospital to deliver your first, third, or seventh child.
1. Create a Birth Plan
A birth plan is a helpful guideline for all mom-to-be’s, doctors, and hospital staff to have on hand during labor. When you get to the hospital, you’re not going to want to remember all of the little details of birth you feel so strongly about- nor can you remember! Your mind is going to be in a thousand other places while your body prepares to deliver a child.
Birth Plans go over details such as:
How you would like to breastfeed
What medical procedures you would like performed on your child
If you would like your child to stay in your room all of the time, some of the time, etc.
I found my birth plan template on TheBump.com! You can use this template, search the internet for another one that tickles your fancy, or you can create your own!
2. Put together the Nursery
Last weekend, my family and I spent time putting together all of the nursery furniture that Emily will need: Crib, changing table, and dresser. We got our furniture from Wayfair and put it together ourselves (our area doesn’t offer Handy services).
Getting the nursery ready early in the third trimester is extremely important, as you’re not going to want to build furniture or hang pictures when you’re worrying about your water breaking.
3. Choose a Pediatrician
This is something that most first-time parents may look over until the last minute. Choosing a pediatrician is something you should do at the beginning of your third trimester, as you will need to give the hospital your pediatricians name. We registered at The Center for Advanced Pediatrics in Connecticut! They have our name in the system, and all we do once Miss Emily is born is to call them to set up her first few appointments.
4. Clean! Clean! Clean!
Clean that house, mama!
This might seem like something that is insanely obvious, as I sit here writing this post instead of cleaning my own house, but cleaning the house doesn’t just mean vacuuming the carpet or cleaning the hair out of the shower drain.
When I say clean the house, I mean PURGE, BABY, PURGE! Take the time to Marie Kondo your kitchen, your study, your bedroom. In just a few short weeks you are going to have another human taking up space in your home, and you are not going to want to worry about where to keep his or her bottles while you’re on your way home from the hospital. Organize the nursery in a way that feels right to you. Get rid of the clutter thats been sitting in the corner of the living room for months. Enlist family or your spouse/partner to help as well! You are the one who has been building a baby for the past 8 months, after all!
5. Pre-Register at the Hospital
This is something that I didn’t even know was something you had to do!
Pre-registering at the hospital isn’t as scary as it sounds. This just insures that all of your personal and financial information is in the hospitals system for when you go into labor. You’re not going to want to fill out your insurance information while simultaneously pushing a baby out and screaming at your partner.
You want to pre-register between 27-30 weeks, right around the time you begin your third trimester. If something happens and you go into labor pre-term, you certainly want to make sure the hospital is prepared to take you in.
6. Pack your Hospital Bag. And your partners’. And your baby’s!
Don’t wait until the last minute to pack your hospital bag! This isn’t something you want to just throw together the second your water breaks. You want- and need- to plan what’s going in your bag ahead of time. If you get to the hospital and discover that you left your phone with the birth playlist at home, you’re going to be a tad upset (I’m looking at you, Pam!).
If you’re not quite ready to pack your hospital bag, at least create your packing list. This will help you when you reach your final few weeks of life without a baby and allow you to go through the list without thinking.
Hare are some important things to remember to pack:
Breast pump (if you are planning on breastfeeding). You’re going to want the hospital to teach you how to use it!
Going home outfit for your baby
Overnight clothes for your partner (if they are planning on staying in the hospital overnight). Due to COVID-19, there is a chance that your partner will be allowed into the hospital room with you, but might not be able to come and go as they please. Pack for them like you’re packing for you!
Toiletries (toothpaste, deodorant, face wash, shampoo)
7. Stock That Freezer
Once your baby comes, you’re not going to want to spend hours on your feet meal prepping and cooking. You’re going to need that extra time for laundry and sleeping.
Buy or create freezer meals that can be reheated at a moments notice… that notice being it’s lunchtime and your little one is out cold. Your handy dandy Crock-Pot can come in handy here! You can spend a week or two making 1-2 meals per day and then freeze them in meal prep containers for easy access. You can check out my recipe for Crock-Pot Pot Roast here!
There are many other things you can add to your third-trimester checklist- these are just the ones I’ve been working on in the past few weeks. I’m excited to check off the things on this list as I move through the next few weeks leading up to the birth of our sweet baby girl!
As I begin to close out my second trimester, I have started reflecting on the last 3 months. So many amazing things happened! We saw our baby move for the first time, we moved across the country (with all our belongings, 2 cars, and 2 cats) to start our life on the east coast, and we got married. What?! It’s so hard to believe that all of this happened in the last 13 weeks.
Looking back on what was an amazing time, I pinpointed moments where I thought, “Hey, I could have used more of this” or “I wish I knew how much I would need that”. I know now I will be extra prepared for baby #2 (when that comes along).
I created a list of second trimester MUST HAVES for moms currently pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Hopefully, this will ease your mind a bit when making those mid-afternoon Target runs.
1. All of the dresses
Seriously! You want to stock your closet with dresses, especially if you are going to be pregnant during the late spring/summer months. I don’t think I have ever owned as many dresses as I do now. Your second trimester is when your bump really starts to take off, and people will stop wondering if you just had that extra large pizza for lunch. Some women prefer loose, t-shirt style dresses, while I prefer the more form-fitting ones (I like showing off my bump). Either way, dresses are going to be much more comfortable than jeans and shorts ever will. My favorite dresses come from Amazon and Target. You can actually find them in my latest post, What’s a Mom to Wear?
2. Comfortable shoes
Before pregnancy, I took all of my footwear for granted. Being in theater and being on my feet all of the time, you would think I would have learned that shoes are the most important part of your wardrobe, and they certainly were for me!… except I wore heels 80% of the time. Now that my feet and ankles are starting to slightly swell, I have begun leaning more towards shoes such as Keds or Blowfish. They are both two really great brands that include memory foam insoles and are just really comfortable to wear whether you’re going to the grocery store or going for a walk up and down the street.
3. dōTERRA Deep Blue® Rub
This back cream has been a LIVE SAVER throughout my pregnancy, but certainly throughout the second trimester. dōTERRA Deep Blue® Rub is infused with essential oils such as Wintergreen, Peppermint, Blue Chamomile, and more. It penetrates the muscles and leaves your skin tingling after application. This is the perfect cream to have my husband (willingly) rub on my lower back at bedtime, as it helps loosen up the muscles and allow any small knots to work themselves out during my sleep. 10/10 will ALWAYS recommend.
4. Snacks on snacks on snacks
Pregnancy cravings. Don’t let anyone fool you… they are REAL! During the past few weeks, my cravings have been few and far between, but once something is mentioned that I want, I can’t get my mind off of it until it is in my stomach. A few weeks ago, while watching Guy’s Grocery Games, the contestants were challenged to use canned spray cheese in their dish. You know- the disgusting, fake, amazingly delicious cheddar cheese spray from our childhood. I could not get it out of my head until this past week when my mother and sister came to visit and brought 2 cans of that ooey goodness with them. Thanks, guys!
5. A Meal Delivery Service
While I love going to the grocery store as much as the next person, I don’t necessarily want to cook all of the food I buy. It’s difficult to find the right meals for dinner and to have to go to the store and try to find each and every individual ingredient to make that dish. More often than not, these meals will take well over an hour to make. We found solace in HelloFresh. HelloFresh is a meal kit delivery service that is customizable to your lifestyle AND your budget. A normal week for us (a family plan with 3 meals at 2 servings a piece) is roughly $60 per week. We are able to remove and add meals as we please, dependant on what is being offered that week. We also have the ability to skip as many weeks in a row as week want. This is perfect for weeks where we are traveling a lot or weeks where we would rather be grilling and hanging out outside. HelloFresh has been the perfect way to introduce new and easy meals into our lives as we prepare to feed what we assume will be a very fussy baby.
6. Pregnancy Pillows
I will be the first one to admit that I took pregnancy pillows for granted. My mother tried to buy me one near the end of my first trimester, but I declined, saying that I didn’t need one. Once I wasn’t able to sleep on my stomach or my back anymore, having a king0sized pillow in between my legs or up against my back became necessary. Putting the pillow in between my legs allowed the pressure to be taken off of my lower back and gave comfort to my knees. Having the king-sized pillow at my front allowed me to curl up against something other than my husband, who doesn’t like to cuddle during sleep. While I only have a large pillow for this pregnancy, I will be investing in a pregnancy pillow for my second.
That’s it. Just water. Stay hydrated, mama!
8. A hobby
Dealing with both unemployment and a pandemic during my pregnancy hasn’t been easy. With a husband who goes into work every day (lucky duck, he is), I needed something to entertain myself. I have picked back up my love of painting during the last few months, and this has been a wonderful way to express some creativity as well as pass the time during the day. I also do a LOT of house work. Dishes, laundry, the works. Find a hobby that you love, whether it be a long, forgotten one, or a brand new one!
I am excited to enter the third trimester. I am looking forward to the next leg of this journey, and the next 3 months until we get to meet our baby girl.