Pregnancy Update: 25 Weeks

24 Weeks

It’s been a while since I posted about my pregnancy and it’s going by in a flash, so I figured I’d share an update today. As of today, I am exactly 25 weeks along (the picture above is from a week ago). In a few more weeks I’ll be starting my third trimester, and in just 15 more weeks, we’ll be welcoming a new addition to our family! It’s truly hard for me to comprehend. This pregnancy has gone by so much faster than the first and I think it’s largely because I already have a little one this time around to focus so much of my attention on. With a rambunctious toddler, I almost forget sometimes that I’m even pregnant! What a difference from the first time around, where I was obsessing about every little thing (if you missed my post about pregnancy anxiety, you can read that here)!

So…what’s been going on lately? Here’s a quick rundown of my pregnancy over the past month. Continue reading “Pregnancy Update: 25 Weeks”

How to Manage Pregnancy Anxiety

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Being pregnant is one of the most exciting, joyful, and magical experiences you can have in life. It’s difficult to even put into words, really. Building a life and feeling it develop and grow inside you is truly amazing. But let’s be real. Pregnancy can also be incredibly anxiety provoking, especially in the uncertain early weeks, and even more so if you’ve dealt with a pregnancy loss before. Plus, if you’re dealing with negative physical symptoms on top of anxiety, those first weeks and months can be particularly challenging. Continue reading “How to Manage Pregnancy Anxiety”

Non-Maternity Clothes That Are Cute AND Bump-Friendly

When you’re pregnant, there are certain articles of clothing that you just can’t avoid buying in maternity styles (hello pants). For both of my pregnancies, I started wearing maternity jeans before the end of the first trimester because the waistbands of my normal skinnies got too uncomfortable. But as much as possible, I try to buy regular clothing that works with my growing bump because I hate dropping money on things I’ll only wear for a matter of months. Fortunately, there are lots of regular clothes these days that work for most, if not all of pregnancy. With tunics and flowy styles being so in, it’s a great time to be pregnant! For this post I rounded up a number of tops (and a pair of jeggings) that are cute, bump-friendly, and affordable. Since I live in Connecticut and it’s currently winter, I’m focusing on colder weather options, but many of these items can be worn well into spring.  Continue reading “Non-Maternity Clothes That Are Cute AND Bump-Friendly”

One of Those Days

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Hello and happy Friday! I hope you have some fun weekend plans in store. Weather permitting, we’re going to a party on Saturday with a group of friends I’ve known forever and I’m really looking forward to it.

But backing up for a second, I want to talk about Wednesday. This past Wednesday I took Jackson for his first swim lesson at our local YMCA. (Quick sidebar, I’m no longer at my former job, which is why I was able to do this during the week. It’s kind of a long story and one for another post!) We have him in daycare twice a week and I wanted to find at least one activity to take him to on the days it’s just the two of us. I figured swim lessons would be great because he generally loves the water and enjoys being around other kids. This week was the first class, and I fully expected it to go well. I imagined Jackson having a ball and not wanting the class to end. Man, I could not have been more wrong! I’m not exaggerating when I say it was a complete and total disaster. Continue reading “One of Those Days”

My Sleep Training Experience

There are different schools of thought when it comes to sleep training (whether or not to do it, the best approach to take, the optimal time to start, etc.) and few topics seem to spark the kind of debate that sleep training triggers. Before I had Jackson, I didn’t know how I’d feel about it, honestly. And I didn’t have to think much about it until Jackson was almost six months old, because from about two to five and a half months, he was a great overnight sleeper (although daytime was a different story). For a while I thought I’d hit the jackpot with an amazing night sleeper and would never have to deal with the dreaded sleep training conundrum. But alas, that turned out to be major wishful thinking. Continue reading “My Sleep Training Experience”

Baby Registry Must-Haves

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Several of my friends are pregnant with their first babies right now and are going through the process of creating a baby registry. Having had my little one last year, I know all too well how overwhelming this can be. With the plethora of products out there beckoning first-time parents, it’s hard to separate the must-buys from the gimmicks. I was as clueless as they come when creating my own registry and had no idea where to start. After surviving eight months with an infant though, I now have a pretty good idea of what to stock and what to skip. All babies are different of course, so some of the things Jackson loved may not suit other little ones, but generally speaking, I don’t think you can go wrong with the list of basics below. If you’re a soon-to-be mom looking for registry tips, I hope this helps! Continue reading “Baby Registry Must-Haves”

The Truth About Breastfeeding

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When I was pregnant I scoured the Internet and baby books for information on pregnancy, labor, and how to care for a newborn. I watched YouTube videos on how to swaddle (something I still can’t seem to figure out), researched the best infant car seats, and read all about how to handle colic. The one topic I didn’t delve into much, though, was breastfeeding. Somehow I brushed it off as something I’d pick up instinctively once the baby arrived. My (albeit naive) feeling was, our bodies are meant to do this, so things will just fall into place. Turned out I couldn’t have been more wrong. The reality? Breastfeeding can be hard. Like, really hard. And you’re not an abomination to motherhood if that’s the case for you.

I struggled with breastfeeding from the get go but didn’t think much of it in the hospital, where I had the luxury of nurses and lactation consultants to guide me through it. When I got home, it was a whole different story. It was really hard to get Jackson to latch, when he did latch, it was really uncomfortable, and I was constantly worried that he wasn’t getting enough milk. That anxiety coupled with the utter exhaustion that comes from having to feed a newborn around the clock can make any mom second guess her abilities. I think I made it 48 hours before breaking down in tears of frustration to my husband, crying about feeling like a failure.

In those early days and weeks I nearly threw in the towel on breastfeeding SO many times. I even had formula on hand and ready just in case. But I kept at it. Jackson was gaining weight “beautifully” according to the doctor, so that gave me confidence that I must be doing something right. Still, breastfeeding was uncomfortable for me for a while — at one point I had a cracked nipple on one side and a blistered nipple on the other one — but I managed to keep going. I tried all kinds of techniques to improve Jackson’s latch since all the experts say you’re doing something wrong if it’s painful. I even had a lactation consultant come to the house, but that didn’t help. I just took it one day at a time and clung to the hope that it would get better. And you know what? It DID get better. Right around three months things turned a corner. After trying everything under the sun to “fix” my breastfeeding issues, what worked in the end was TIME. Jackson was such a small baby, just 6 pounds 13 oz. at birth, and his little mouth just wasn’t big enough at first to latch on in the “correct” way, no matter what I tried. Once he got a bit bigger, things resolved on their own without any effort from me and, just like that, my breastfeeding struggles were over.

Jackson will be eight months old on Friday and, believe it or not, I’m still breastfeeding. I never would have guessed I’d last this long when I was in the thick of it early on, but I’m so glad I powered through. I hold no judgment towards women who are unable to breastfeed or choose not to. My hope in sharing my experience is to encourage women who DO want to breastfeed but are struggling like I was that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Take it from me, it gets easier. Don’t stress. You’ll get there.