At 38 weeks pregnant, I know that I can go into labor at any time (and I'm actually hoping for it to be sooner rather than later). For my labor and delivery with Caleb, I completely overpacked my hospital bag, which I wrote about here. I decided to rewrite my list and give it it's own new post, since I'm so much wiser this time around (that was a joke - I still have no idea what I'm doing). The list is pretty self-explanatory, but I will say that our hospital provided me with a LOT of things that I had packed the first time around and I ended up not needing. The hospital did provide toiletries and necessities, but I did enjoy having some luxe products with me that made my hospital stay just a little more pleasant (I bought travel sizes of salon products and some of my skincare products to keep in my bag).
Some of the things I've included are completely based on personal preference and are completely optional (hair dryer and iron anyone?). But I did like to have the option of fixing myself up just a little bit and having some makeup on made me feel human for visitors. I liked having my own bath towel because hospital towels tend to be a little rough, and my own pillow, along with a bright pillowcase, just so I have some of the comforts of home.
I didn't include this on the list but I do have a few snacks packed and an empty water bottle that will make drinking water while lying in a hospital bed a little easier.
I don't pack reading material with me because [I'm not delusional] I know I will be plenty busy and/or catching up on some much needed shut-eye.
Anyway, here's the list! What would you add or remove?
Since I had Caleb a little over 3 years ago, there have been a slew of new baby products that have come on the market. I swore I wasn't going to go crazy with my next baby and get too many new products, but there were some things that I decided were worth trying out. These are the five products I'm most excited to use when baby Chloe arrives in a few weeks!
I had four strollers by the time Caleb turned two. There was always a reason for another stroller and a specific use for each one. A couple months back, I entered a raffle for a Doona Car Seat. I, who happen to have the worst luck in the world for things like that, ended up winning the Doona in the raffle. The Doona is an infant seat that has wheels and converts into a stroller. This eliminates the need for adapters, going to your trunk, and two pieces of equipment. It really simplifies what is a huge necessity in the first few months of baby’s life, and cuts out the need of having four different strollers. I'm most excited about how easy this will make it to load both kids into the car, and to walk Caleb to class in the morning without having to move baby around too much!
*I received this product compliments of DockATot
The DockATot is one of those items that I had seen all over social media and that is recommended in basically every mommy group I am in. It's a multi-functional lounger and co-sleeper. When Caleb was first born, he slept with us quite a bit, especially in those early breastfeeding days, and I always wished we had a barrier for him so that he was safe and sound in between us. The DockATot comes in two sizes, the Deluxe for babies 0-8 months, and the Grand for 9-36 months. It's tested for breathability, and is all natural and made of 100% cotton. And how gorgeous is this floral print?
*I received this product compliments of Binxy Baby
Oh, how many times I took Caleb to the grocery store and wondered how the heck I was going to manage with him and the infant seat and all the groceries. The Binxy Baby solves this! It's a shopping cart hammock that can be used for babies until they are big enough to sit in the seat on their own. And when they're too little to go in the hammock, it can hold your infant seat - this leaves you the whole shopping cart basket to put your groceries or products, so you can resume your Target runs without worrying that you can't buy everything you need (or that you don't need but ends up in your cart anyway)!
LP Originals Milestone Blanket
Lauren, the sweetheart behind LP Originals, is a Miami native and she started her business a few years ago making custom pieces for all kinds of events. She is an illustrator and creates gorgeous items. One of my favorite items on her site are the baby milestone blankets. She has such beautiful designs. I added this to my registry and I got lucky that someone gifted it to me. As a matter of fact, I loved it so much, that hubby and I got one as a gift for our new baby nephew. It is the softest blanket, and I can't wait to capture her monthly milestones on this gorgeous blanket!
Artifact Uprising Baby Book
Confession: I never did a baby book with Caleb. I thought I would create albums via one site or another, and I never did. The last book I printed was of my maternity photos and baby shower (when I was pregnant with Caleb). I've done a few vacation ones, but never took the time to document Caleb's milestones and special moments. I knew I wanted to do that differently this time around, but I also wanted to be able to complete a baby book for Caleb! Enter Artifact Uprising. They have some gorgeous, classic products. And their baby book is no exception. It's very simple, and it contains prompts for you to fill in as baby grows. I ended up ordering Caleb's book after receiving one for Chloe as a gift, and I've already begun filling it in. My goal is to finish as much of it as possible before baby sister shows up!
So there you have it! The things I'm most excited to use as a second time Mom!
So there are a lot of things I haven't been really great about this pregnancy, and eating super well has not been one of them. With both of my pregnancies, my first trimester has been all about the carbs. Second trimesters I've been pretty balanced. But this third trimester I have been feeling pretty exhausted (read: lazy). I would definitely say that I have been lacking in the department of a well-balanced diet - thank goodness for vitamins!
But a couple of months ago, local Miami chef and author Lauren Arboleda of Food from the Heart sent me a copy of her book Pregnancy from the Heart. Her book is really great because it talks about how to keep yourself healthy during pregnancy, along with tips for staying active, and preparing for baby's arrival.
Last week, I was feeling a little yucky with some of the food choices I had been making, and I was really craving an açaí bowl. So I opened up the book to a page I had bookmarked, with the recipe for homemade granola and an açaí bowl. While I didn't have all the ingredients for the granola, I mixed together a few of the ingredients I DID have, and then made the açaí bowl. It was exactly what I needed - it was filling, and it made me feel like I was at least getting some veggies and lots of vitamins and antioxidants in! Read below for the recipe, along with what else I've been loving from this book!
recipe can be found on page 121
1 frozen package of açaí (no sugar added) [Trader Joes has, I also found at Publix]
1/2 cup pineapple
4 cups kale (I actually subbed for spinach because I didn't have kale)
I also added a tablespoon of peanut butter since this was my lunch and I wanted to add a little more protein.
1. Add everything to the blender and blend until smooth.
2. Pour in a bowl and sprinkle granola on top.
3. Add anything else you would like - I added fresh strawberries and drizzled with a little local Orange Blossom Honey that we picked up at the farmers market a few weeks ago.
Something else that is different from my pregnancy with Caleb - with Caleb, I made the time to go to prenatal yoga at least once a week during all of my second and most of my third trimester. This time, I never got around to it. But, Lauren has included a section in her book that has all the yoga poses you will need to help with all the typical pregnancy ailments. So I have actually been doing some of these yoga poses to help alleviate heartburn and back pain!
I've also jumped around the book checking my list with hers for how to prep for baby's arrival and what to pack for the hospital.
It's a beautifully illustrated book, and a great resource for a healthy, holistic pregnancy. I think it would make a beautiful gift for anyone you know who has recently announced their pregnancy, or even as a gift for yourself! You can buy it by following this link, or on Amazon, or at Books & Books in Coral Gables (my favorite bookstore ever and actually where I held Caleb's baby shower!).
Keep it cool, mamas!
As a mom, I am always questioning myself. Am I doing this right? How can I be better? I wish I had more patience. Motherhood is a constant finding of oneself. It’s the feeling of wanting to be needed, but also needing time to yourself. It’s all these little contradictions. It’s hard as hell, but it’s worth all its difficulties.
Recently, I was chatting with a friend who is also expecting, but this is her first. She asked me tons of questions about labor, and she confessed to me that she was petrified of labor.
It brought me back to my pregnancy with Caleb. I don’t remember being scared of labor itself, just apprehensive about all the unknowns. When you’re used to being in control of just about everything, something that brings so many unknowns, like labor, can be a little scary.
But whenever the conversation came up, and people asked me how come I wasn’t scared, I would always respond with, “Because my body was made to do this. I was born to be a mother.” The fact that millions of women have been doing this, since the beginning of time, with way less knowledge and way fewer medical advancements, was always a huge comfort to me. I always used the image of Mary, and said, if she could give birth in a stable, surrounded by animals on a bed of hay, then I can certainly do this in a hospital bed, surrounded by doctors.
This time around, I am way less apprehensive about the process itself. My body has already done this once. It can certainly do it again. But like always, those little fears creep in. Should I be induced? What if I forget how to push? What if the pain is too much to bear? What if I don’t make it to the hospital in time?
But every time those fears creep in, I remind myself, I was BORN TO DO THIS.
You can find this tee at Therapy For Moms Shoppe. Therapy for Moms started out as an Instagram account that was meant to just help moms get through the days. Their latest venture has been a shop with products created by moms, for moms. They have some great pieces to help remind you of the journey you are on - some funny and some uplifting. Lisette, the founder, reached out to me a few months back and sent me this tee, asking me to share my story. I thought this was a great reminder of how we as moms can forget that we are made to do exactly what we are doing, and that as much as we doubt ourselves, a mother's instinct kicks in.
So don't doubt yourself, momma. Because you were born to do this.
Want one of these tees for yourself? Visit Therapy for Moms Shoppe and get 20% off your order when you use the code JENISE20. It will get you 20% off your entire purchase, excluding $5 Deals and Therapy Boxes. Coupon expires 2/2/18.
One of the first things people always ask me when they find out I am having a girl is, "So have your pregnancies been different?" The short answer to that is a firm yes. There are so many ways in which my pregnancies have been different, but a lot of them are not huge differences. And while I'm going to attribute some of the differences to the difference in sex, I'm also going to say that age, circumstance, and experience have a lot to do with it as well.
I will say that one of the biggest differences has been that when I was pregnant with Caleb, since I was a first-time mom, everything was a big deal. I worried about everything, and my pregnancy was basically all I thought about. When you have a child outside of your belly already, you don't have the time to focus as much on your pregnancy.
Belly Shape & Size
With Caleb my belly was pretty big, and it was high and wide. I felt short of breath from very early in my pregnancy with Caleb, and he stayed high up right up until I was in labor! This pregnancy, my belly has been way lower from the beginning. It's also not as big. My stomach did bloat right away with this pregnancy, but it ended up leveling out. Since my belly doesn't protrude as much, I definitely feel more movement from her than I did with Caleb.
With Caleb, I lost weight in my first trimester, then gained weight steadily throughout the rest of my pregnancy, with a total weight gain of 24 pounds. With this pregnancy, I have gained a whopping total of... wait for it (and don't hate me, please)... FIVE pounds. I'm actually almost embarrassed to say it, because most women who have been pregnant roll their eyes at me. At first I chalked it up to the nausea I experienced in my first trimester. But then the nausea stopped and I just didn't gain weight. I think there are a few factors at play here, including the fact that I was very active, what with chasing around a toddler, and working all the way through my busy season as a photographer. I've also not been able to eat very large meals during this pregnancy, and have been congested through most of it - which has definitely given me a decreased appetite.
With Caleb, I barely had nausea. I had terrible sciatic pain in my first trimester, then it went away when I started using a pregnancy pillow. I had terrible heartburn all throughout my pregnancy with Caleb. I also had minor swelling with Caleb, and my nose definitely widened some. My feet grew, too!
Like I mentioned above, this time around, I had nausea through the whole first trimester. I have had sciatic pain on and off throughout my pregnancy, usually when I spend too much time on the floor for whatever reason. I've had some heartburn with this pregnancy, but more often when I let my stomach get too empty. I've also had no swelling, and no changes to my nose or feet (praise Jesus!) yet!
This has been where I have experienced the biggest difference. My thoughts this time aren't consumed with a new baby. My thoughts are consumed by Caleb. I had more feelings of guilt this pregnancy than anything else. At one point, when Caleb was really sick with Roseola and battling high fevers every day for over a week, I was exhausted and on the verge of tears. I called my mom and told her, "I feel so guilty because I keep forgetting I'm pregnant, and all my attention is going to Caleb." Her response made perfect sense to me. She told me, "The one in your belly is taken care of. Make sure you take your vitamins and drink water, but don't stress over that baby. The one that's not in your belly needs you right now, and he can't take care of himself. Let go of the guilt and do what you need to do." And you know what? She was 100% right. The moment I let go of the guilt and reminded myself that that baby in my belly WAS perfectly cared for, I was able to be a better mom to Caleb.
Those have been the biggest differences I have noted during this pregnancy. I have thus far been blessed with very healthy, very easy pregnancies, for which I am eternally thankful.
Did you have big differences between your pregnancies? I'd love to hear about them! Share in the comments below!
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