New Baby Must Haves

As a first time parent, shopping for baby products can be SO overwhelming. There are so many different options and everyone you know has their opinion on which products are the best. Personally, I read and watched tons of reviews, and ultimately just chose the products that I thought would be best for our family.

But, now that my husband and I have been parents for about 4.5 months, we’ve definitely found some favorite products that have helped us get through these first few months. In this post I’m going to share some of our favorites, as well as a few that I really wanted to love, but that just haven’t worked for us like I thought they would. I’ll try to link as many products as I can, but if you have any questions, just let me know!

Favorites

Love to Dream Swaddle – Hendrix has been breaking out of blanket swaddles since day one. He liked to have his body swaddled, but he’s always wanted to have his hands up by his head. So at first we just swaddled him in a blanket but let him keep his arms out, and that worked fine, until he discovered that he has hands and arms. Once he made this discovery, he was constantly throwing his arms around and hitting himself in the face, which kept waking him up. So we switched to the Love to Dream Swaddle, and he loved it. It allowed him to have his arms up by his head like he likes them, and still have his body swaddled. He wore it for naps and bed time, and as soon as we put him in it, he knew it was time to sleep and almost immediately calmed down. We recently had to stop using this because he is now rolling and I wanted him to be in something safer that gives him more mobility with his arms, but I definitely recommend this swaddle if you have a new baby that loves to have their arms up while sleeping!

Lou Lou & Company Swaddle Blankets – These are the softest, most snuggly swaddle blankets ever! Even though we switched Hendrix to the Love to Dream swaddle pretty early on, we did swaddle him in a blanket for a while at the beginning, and these were our go to blankets every time. I love how soft and stretchy they are, which is perfect for getting baby wrapped up nice and tight, but still leaving them comfortable and able to move a bit. Even though we don’t swaddle anymore now, we still use these blankets all the time in his car seat because they’re so soft and light weight. Another reason I love them is because they have SO MANY color and print options for both boys and girls, so you’ll definitely be able to find that perfect color that you’re looking for! They also carry top knot hats, no scratch mittens, knotted gowns, the cutest little top and bottom sets, and tons more! 

Project Nursery Sound Machine – There are so many sound machine options out there, and some of them are so expensive, but this one is extremely affordable and I love all the things that it does. It has several different soothing sounds to choose from, the option to set a timer for the sounds, a night light with three different levels of brightness, the option to connect to blue tooth to play your own sound or music, and a projector with three different discs if your baby needs a visual to help soothe them. Hendrix loves the ocean wave sound, and I love that it’s quick and easy to operate when we’re up in the middle of the night!

Electric Nail File – Obviously baby finger and toenails are itty bitty, and I got so scared every time I tried to trim them with the baby clippers because I was so afraid I was going to pinch him. So we bought an electric nail file, and it has been a game changer. I’ll be honest, it’s still difficult to trim his nails (especially his toenails) but it’s just because he is constantly moving and I can’t get him to hold still long enough to get it done! I’ve found that it’s easiest to do while he’s napping, and I just try my hardest not to wake him up. The one we got is also rechargeable, which is super convenient since we don’t ever have to mess with replacing the batteries. I definitely recommend skipping the clippers and just going for the electric file!

Activity Gym / Play Mat – A soft place for baby to play is definitely a must. Obviously a blanket on the floor and a few toys will do, but in our experience, an activity gym with toys hanging overhead is much more entertaining for baby. We got this super cute tropical themed one, and Hendrix loves it. It has several different toys that can be removed and moved around as well as the monkey hanging from the middle that plays music (which is Hendrix’s favorite part.) The toys can also be attached to the mini boppy style pillow that comes with it, and then hung on the car seat for on the go entertainment!

Bouncy Seat – We originally purchased a 2 in 1 gliding swing / rocker, thinking that would work instead of buying both a swing and a bouncy seat. One less piece of baby gear cluttering up the house, ya know? Hendrix likes it ok, but his grandma got him an actual bouncy seat for Christmas, and he absolutely loves it. He kicks and kicks and hits the toys and smiles and squeals a ton when he’s in it. This seat has even helped us to be able to eat a few meals without one of us having to eat one handed because we’re holding him with the other! I definitely recommend some sort of bouncy chair because it’s an easy way for babies to entertain themselves a little bit if you have a few things you need to get done! I couldn’t find our exact one, but the one I linked is very similar.

Ubbi Diaper Pail – When I was pregnant, a trash can designed specifically for diapers was one of the things that kept popping up on lists of things that are nice to have, but you don’t really need. But honestly, I can’t imagine not having it. I don’t know if you’ve ever smelled a trash can full of dirty diapers, but let me tell you, it is not a pleasant smell. The Ubbi locks the smell in so well and keeps Hendrix’s room smelling nice and fresh, and not like dirty diapers. You can use any regular trash bag in it, which means you don’t have to spend extra money buying special bags to put in it. It also has a lock on the lid, so when Hendrix gets a little older and a little more mobile, we’ll be able to make sure he can’t get into it. Plus it comes in several different colors so you should definitely be able to find one to match your nursery!

Wanted to love, but don’t

Snuggle Me Organic – This was literally the first thing I bought when I found out I was pregnant, and unfortunately, I wish I hadn’t. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great product, Hendrix just doesn’t like it. I think the reason he’s not a fan is just because he wants to be held all. the. time. and when he’s not being held, he doesn’t like to be laying flat on his back. He prefers to be propped up or at an angle so he can see what’s going on around him. I haven’t tried it in a while, so maybe now that he’s a little bigger and spending more time laying down while he plays, he might like it better, so maybe I will try it again soon.

Solly Baby Wrap – This is another item that I was so excited to have and was just SURE that I was going to use it all the time, but it just hasn’t worked for us. I can NEVER seem to get it on right, and every time I try to put him in it, he locks his entire body out straight and refuses to bend his knees so that I can get him in the correct position. I have tried so many times, watched tons of tutorial videos, and even reached out to the company for advice, but literally nothing has worked for us. Every single time I try to put him in it we just end up with him screaming and crying and me beyond frustrated. I’m still trying to find some sort of carrier or wrap that works for us, but so far I haven’t had much luck!

Magic Merlin Sleep Suit – We bought this when we were getting close to being ready to transition out of the Love to Dream Swaddle. We had read so much about how people’s babies were finally sleeping through the night when they started wearing it, so we were so hopeful that it would work for us too. Unfortunately though, he didn’t seem to like it and would get mad every time we put him in it. He also likes to lift both his legs up and slam them down in his crib, and he did that worse and more while wearing this than he does with anything else. He seemed so uncomfortable in it, and he definitely wasn’t sleeping any better, so our time of him wearing this was very short lived.

One thing that’s for sure, babies are picky. They all have their own preferences, and you just never know what they are going to like until they are here! If you guys have good or bad thoughts on any of these products, let me know! I want to hear your experiences!

My Breastfeeding Journey

During pregnancy you hear all about the magic of breastfeeding. You hear that baby should latch on right away and it will be this incredible bonding experience for you and baby.

I sure wish that was true for everyone, but I can tell you from firsthand experience, that that is not always the case. I definitely felt bonded to Hendrix right away, but breastfeeding was NOT easy, and for me, it was more of a source of stress and anxiety than a magical experience.

Nursing was a struggle for us from the very beginning. We actually had the option to go home from the hospital the day after he was born, but I chose to stay an extra day just to get some extra help with nursing. But even with that extra help, I still felt lost when we got home. It was a struggle to get him to latch, every single time. He would just scream and cry and shake his head. Even when he did latch, he wasn’t latched correctly, and there would be more milk going all over both of us than was actually going in his mouth. The day after we came home, I finally just gave in and pumped and gave him some milk from a bottle because as much as I didn’t want to feed him from a bottle right away, I knew he needed to eat.

At his first pediatrician’s appointment two days after we came home (which was on a Friday,) she was pretty concerned because he was still losing weight rather than starting to gain it back. She checked him for a lip or tongue tie, but couldn’t find any issues. She suggested that I keep trying to nurse him, but after every session, go ahead and feed him some pumped milk from a bottle as well so that we could make sure that he was getting enough to eat. Since he was struggling so much with his weight, she wanted to see him back the following Monday to make sure he was gaining. So over the weekend, I basically nursed and bottle fed him every two hours around the clock, and thankfully at his appointment on Monday, he had gained around four ounces. We also talked with the lactation consultant at that appointment, and she suggested I try using a nipple shield.

So on our way home from that appointment, I stopped and bought one, and it was a huge help. He was able to latch on much easier and seemed to be getting a lot more to eat. However, I knew that I would eventually have to wean him off of using the shield, and the thought of trying to do that really stressed me out. But I decided to just not worry about that for a while, and just focus on getting my baby fed.

Also, the hospital that Hendrix was born at offers lactation clinics a couple times a week where you can just stop in to get help with nursing, but the lactation consultant at our pediatrician’s office said that the people that run those clinics are really against using nipple shields, so if I went I should be prepared for them to try to convince me not to use it. I was already super stressed about how difficult nursing had been so far, and I really didn’t want anyone giving me any kind of negative feedback like that, so I never ended up going to the clinics.

So, while the nipple shield was a pain in the butt, (I was always forgetting it when we sat down for a session, and it would fall off a lot) I stuck with it. We were still feeding him from a bottle some as well, just to make sure he was getting enough, and so my husband could help out with feeding him, but I was trying to nurse as often as we could. Things were going pretty well, but it was still pretty stressful for me and I was already thinking about how long I was going to be able to keep it up.

Then, when he was around six weeks old, he started refusing to nurse, even with the shield. He was crying and shaking his head like he had done at the very beginning, and either wouldn’t latch at all, or would only latch for a couple minutes, and then just pull away and scream and scream until I gave him a bottle. I knew he was hungry though, because as soon as I would give him the bottle, he would down the whole thing in just a few minutes. I read online about nursing strikes, and thought that was what we were going through, but those usually only last a few days, and he just seemed to keep getting worse.

I fought him on it for a while and just kept trying to nurse, but eventually I just decided it wasn’t worth it. I was starting to dread feeding him and it was giving me a lot of stress and anxiety, and I knew he wasn’t enjoying it either. So after a couple weeks, I gave up nursing completely, and have been exclusively pumping ever since. I told myself if he ever tries to nurse again I will let him, but so far he hasn’t shown any interest.

We’ve now been doing it this way for about 12 weeks, and we’re both much happier. Exclusive pumping is HARD. It’s time consuming, I basically have to plan my days around being able to pump every 3 to 4 hours, and it’s a huge pain to have to sit and be attached to a pump for 30 minutes at a time when you have a baby that constantly needs your attention. But I’m making it work.

I currently pump six times a day, for 30 minutes each time (except my middle of the night session, which is usually only 20 or 25 minutes because I’m tired and just want to go back to bed.) During the day I try to pump every 3 or 4 hours, and over night I go 5 or 6 hours so that I only have to get up to pump once. I’m also in the process of trying to drop from 6 to 4 sessions a day, and just making those sessions a little longer so that I don’t lose any of my supply. I am prone to getting clogged milk ducts, so I’m having to take the process of dropping sessions very slow, but I think it will be much easier when I don’t have to pump so many times in a day. Once I get down to 4 sessions, I’m going to work on moving the times that I pump around a little bit so that I don’t have to pump in the middle of the night.

The majority of what I pump in a day goes straight to him to eat that day, but I’m also working on a freezer stash. My goal is to give him breast milk until he turns one, but I’m hoping by building a freezer stash that I will be able to stop pumping by the time he’s 6 to 9 months and just give him what I have stored in the freezer.

He’s a bit of a snacker and likes to eat smaller amounts more often, but he typically eats between 3 to 5 ounces at a time. So after each pumping session, I will put 4 or 5 ounces of what I pump in a bottle for him to have that day, and then whatever I have left from that session will go into a separate bottle. I will add my extra from each session to that bottle throughout the day, and once it reaches about 6 or 7 ounces, I will pour it into a storage bag and add it to the freezer stash.

I use an app called Pump Log to track how much I pump at each session, as well as how much is in my freezer stash. It also has a cool feature where you can put in approximately how much baby eats in a day, and to what age you want to feed them until, and it uses that combined with the average amount I pump in a day to determine when I can stop pumping. So as of right now, I will have to keep pumping like this until June, but I’m hoping that as I add more and more to the freezer stash that I’ll be able to stop a little sooner.

He also gets just a few ounces of formula a couple times a week, which we have been doing since he was probably 3 or 4 weeks old. The main times we use formula are when I’ve gotten a little behind on pumping his milk for the day, when he’s super fussy (because it seems to calm him,) or when he’s just having a complete meltdown and we don’t want to wait for a bottle of breast milk to warm up. He definitely prefers breast milk over formula, but it’s good to know that if for some reason we ever have to switch to formula only, he will still be happy.

One thing that has recently helped to make this whole pumping journey easier is the Elvie pump. The other pump I have is the Spectra that has to be plugged in. I like that one a lot, but sometimes I just need to be hands free. I’m a stay at home mom with a baby, pets, and housework to take care of, so having to sit through six sessions a day was getting really difficult. So I decided to make the investment and get an Elvie pump, which you just put in your bra and it’s completely hand and tube free. I only got one since they are so expensive, which means I can only pump one side at a time with it, but it is still so much more convenient. I still use my Spectra quite often, but it’s nice to be able to pump sometimes while I cook, clean, or take care of the baby. I’m going to share my full thoughts on the Elvie on my story over on Instagram (@the_bohobeachblog), and I’ll save it to my highlights, so if you want to know more about it, head over there!

Everyone’s breastfeeding journey is different, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However you feed your baby, whether it’s nursing, pumping, formula, or some combination of the three, you’re doing it right. FED is best, and as long as your baby is healthy and happy, that’s all that matters!

Our Labor and Delivery Story

In typical new mom fashion, I am SO behind! Hendrix is officially 9 weeks old and I’m just now getting around to sharing his labor and delivery story. But I’m finally making the time to write it all down, so I hope you all enjoy!

Hendrix was born at 39 weeks, 5 days, on Monday, September 9th (9/9/19 – a pretty awesome birthday if you ask me!) at 12:08 p.m. I was in labor for a total of 35 hours, which at the time felt like forever, but we were both safe and healthy for his entrance into the world, which was the most important thing to me!

Let’s rewind a couple of days to Saturday, the 7th. That day I just felt a little off all day. My lower back was killing me, I was feeling pretty crampy, and overall, I just didn’t feel quite like myself. I was sure that I was going to go past my due date, so I didn’t really think anything of it, and just figured it was due to being almost 40 weeks pregnant. That day I did eat some pineapple, drank some red raspberry leaf tea (which I had been drinking daily since around 37 weeks,) and bounced on my exercise ball a little, but I wasn’t really expecting anything to come of it.

That night I went to bed around 10:30 p.m. I woke up a little before 1:30 a.m. on the 8th to go to the bathroom, and as I was getting settled back into bed, I felt my first contraction. They really weren’t painful at that point, so at first I wasn’t sure if they were actually contractions, or if it was just gas/cramps. I laid there for about an hour, and I wasn’t really timing them, but they continued to come about 10 minutes apart, lasting around 35 seconds each. I started officially timing them around 2:30 a.m., and around 3:15 a.m. I decided to move to the living room to see if moving around, laying in a different position, drinking some water, etc. would make them go away.

Around 5:00 a.m. I decided to take a shower, just in case this was the real deal. My husband had checked on me a few times, but I told him to keep sleeping so that he would be well rested when things really got going. My contractions were getting a little longer, lasting around 45 seconds each, but were very inconsistent at anywhere from 3 to 8 minutes apart. They were bad enough that I couldn’t sleep though, so I just spent the next few hours trying to keep myself entertained to keep my mind off the contractions.

7

Around 8:30 a.m. I decided to call my midwife. She is very big on laboring at home for as long as possible, so I figured she was going to tell me not to go into the hospital yet, but my contractions were getting more painful, and since this was my first time going through this, I just wasn’t sure what I should do. Like I thought, she told me I wasn’t ready. She told me to wait until my contractions were between 2 and 5 minutes apart, lasting at least a minute, and it had been that way for an hour. She also said that by the time I was ready to go in, I absolutely should not be able to talk through the contractions. So I just continued to labor at home for the next several hours.

At 1:30 p.m., (contracting for 12 hours at this point) my contractions were lasting about a minute each, but they were still very inconsistent with how far apart they were. Most of them were between 3 to 5 minutes apart, but then I kept having random ones that were more like 8 to 10 minutes apart, so I was so confused on what to do! They continued that way for the next few hours, and finally around 4:00 p.m. we decided to head to the hospital. We knew there was a good chance they were going to send us home, but I was getting more and more exhausted and more and more uncomfortable, so I just wanted to find out if I was making any progress at all.

We got to the hospital around 4:45 p.m., and after getting checked in and changed, they hooked me up to the monitors to check my contractions and the baby’s heart rate. He looked good, but like I already knew, my contractions were super inconsistent. I was dilated to a 3 and almost fully effaced. The only time I had been checked during my pregnancy was at 37 weeks, and I was at a 1 then, so I had at least made some progress since then. They had me walk around for about an hour to see if I would make any more progress, but unfortunately, not much was happening, so they decided to send me home.

They knew that I had been in labor for quite a while (almost 18 hours) and that I was already exhausted, so before I left they gave me a shot and an oral medication to help me manage the pain and to help me get some rest. They said that it should pretty much just knock me out for a few hours and that when I woke up my labor would have either stalled out and I would know that it wasn’t the real thing, or it would have picked up and I would be able to go back in.

The only thing I had eaten all day was a bagel with peanut butter, so we stopped on the way home to get some food. By the time we got home the medicine they had given me was really starting to kick in, so I was only able to eat a few bites of my food before I had to go lay down. I was expecting to sleep for a while like they had told me, but I woke up about an hour later (around 9:00 p.m.) to contractions that were WAY more painful than the ones I had been experiencing earlier. However, they were back to being around 10 minutes apart, so because I was so tired from the medicine, I was still able to doze off in between them. Around 11:00 p.m. I got up and moved to the living room where I was bouncing on my exercise ball and just trying to find any position to help me get comfortable. I was in a LOT of pain at this point, but my contractions were still averaging around 7 minutes apart, so I just kept moving around to try to find some relief.

Around 2:00 a.m. on the 9th I started to have a little bit of bleeding. This freaked me out, so I decided to call my midwife again. She said that it was normal, and it was probably just my bloody show, but she said if I felt like I needed to go back into the hospital, I could. I could tell by the sound of her voice that she didn’t think I was ready to go back in yet, but I was so exhausted at this point and I just wanted to get admitted and get my epidural so that I could get some rest.

We left around 2:40 a.m. and got back to the hospital around 3:20 a.m. They checked me again and I was 5 cm dilated and fully effaced. Since I had made some progress, they decided to go ahead and admit me so that I could go ahead and get my epidural and rest a little before I was ready to start pushing. I was officially admitted around 5:00 a.m., and I had my epidural by 5:30. I was able to sleep from about 6:30 a.m. to 8:50 a.m., which felt amazing. The midwife, which was not my midwife, just the one on call (but she was great) came in right after I woke up to check me. Travis and I were both shocked when she told me I was 8 cm dilated! My water hadn’t broken yet though, so she went ahead and broke it to help baby boy move down some more.

8

After she broke my water I just rested for a little over an hour, and around 10:30 a.m., things really started to get going. Around that time I started having a small spot of my right hip where my epidural didn’t seem to be working, and I was feeling my contractions just in that spot. My nurse (who was amazing, by the way!) had me go ahead and press my button to get another dose of the epidural to see if that would help, but unfortunately it didn’t. She checked me again, and could feel that baby’s head was right there, basically ready to go. She was able to turn his head just a tiny bit, which almost immediately took the pain away in that spot, but I also immediately started to feel a TON of pressure. Along with the pressure, I also started to feel a lot more pain. My nurse told me that they don’t usually have people push their button for another dose of epidural that close to pushing because they don’t want them to be too numb to push, but she said that I really shouldn’t be feeling that much pain with the epidural, so she had me go ahead and push it again. It really didn’t help, and it seemed like my epidural had stopped working. I was still somewhat numb from when it had been working, but I just wasn’t continuing to stay numb, and it just seemed to be wearing off.

At this point I was feeling so much pressure and quite a bit of pain, and my nurse could tell that it was time to push, so she called the midwife. They were really busy that day, so it took her a few minutes to actually find the midwife, and I was really struggling to NOT push with each contraction. What seemed like hours later (but was really only a few minutes) the midwife came in and started getting all of her gear on. I don’t really remember much from that point on, but one thing I do remember, is that while she was getting ready she stepped back out into the hall to grab something, and I freaked out and started begging them not to let her leave. I was just in so much pain, and I wanted my baby out NOW, and I didn’t want to wait for anything!

I started pushing around 11:15 a.m. with an epidural that was only partially working. I knew that I needed to try to relax and keep my breathing calm, but I just couldn’t do it. I really wasn’t scared or nervous or anything, but I just could not control my breathing. I felt like I was hyperventilating, and everyone had to keep reminding me to try to relax.

I don’t remember a ton about the time while I was pushing, but I do remember that I was SO thirsty and my lips felt so chapped, so in between contractions I kept asking for water and chapstick! The only other thing I really remember was seeing his hair. Most of the time when I was pushing I had my eyes closed, but at one point I just happened to open my eyes mid push and I saw his hair! That was during one of my last few pushes and I was getting really tired, but seeing that really helped give the the motivation to give it everything I had to get him out into the world!

After 35 hours of labor, and just under an hour of pushing, Hendrix Elliott Withrow finally made his way into the world at 12:08 p.m. on September 9th. He was 7 pounds even, and 19.5 inches. They immediately put him up on my chest and my husband cut the cord. We got to do skin to skin for the first hour before they took him to clean him up and take his measurements, and it was absolutely the most amazing experience of my life. I surprisingly didn’t cry, which I don’t know how is even possible because I cry about everything, but I think I just had so much adrenaline and excitement about him finally being here, that there was just no room for tears!

I was never really scared or nervous about labor and delivery, but it was absolutely the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I’m currently still in the stage where if you asked me if I ever want to do it again, I would tell you no, but that may eventually change. I did have a second degree tear and had to have stitches, (I don’t know how many, she didn’t tell me and I didn’t ask) but my recovery really wasn’t too bad. I was able to get up and walk just a little as soon as the rest of my epidural wore off, and other than some soreness, I felt pretty normal after just a few days.

The past nine weeks with our little guy have been the most exhausting, but also the most rewarding nine weeks of my life. I already tear up looking back at pictures from those first few days, and it makes me so happy but also breaks my heart at the same time to see how much he’s grown and changed in such a short amount of time. There are definitely days where I get frustrated and overwhelmed, but then I remember how amazing it is that I brought this tiny human into the world, and I know that all of the struggles are 100% worth it!

Third Trimester Recap

Ok so I am currently one month postpartum, so clearly I’m a little behind! But I’ve been busy! Our little man, Hendrix Elliott Withrow, was born on September 9th, and we’ve just been soaking up all the snuggles and love with him! Our labor and delivery story will be coming soon, but I still want to go ahead and share my third trimester recap since I did the same with trimesters one and two!

Symptoms

Much like my first two trimesters, I was blessed to not really have many symptoms during my third trimester. I was definitely more tired than in the second trimester, which meant that I took a nap almost daily. I peed a million times a day, but that was nothing new since I had been dealing with that my entire pregnancy. As far as cravings go, the only thing I consistently wanted throughout the entire trimester was peaches. I was also enjoying sweets more instead of the salty/savory I had been wanting at the beginning of pregnancy. I had a few aches and pains, which is to be expected in the third trimester, but nothing major, and I was able to continue exercising (basically just walking on the treadmill) all the way until the end!

28 weeks

Diet and Exercise

I ended up gaining about 35 pounds total. I had been hoping to stay more around the 30 pound mark, but 35 is still within a healthy range for my starting weight, so I wasn’t too upset about it. Like I said earlier, I continued to walk all the way until the end, but that is pretty much all I was comfortable doing as far as exercise goes. I tried to keep lots of protein, fruits, and veggies in my diet, but I’ll be honest, I gave in to most of my cravings. I am normally a big sweets person, so when I was craving more savory things during the first trimester, I thought maybe sweets wouldn’t be an issue for me during my pregnancy. But, by the third trimester I was definitely back on the sweets!

31 weeks

Nursery

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen plenty of the nursery. We went with a beach/surf theme, and I’m so happy with how it turned out! It actually is not 100% finished yet, we’re just missing a few small details, but since his arrival, I really haven’t gotten a chance to focus on finishing it. I’ll get it all done eventually, but for now, I’m just enjoying spending time in there with my baby boy!

Life in General

The last trimester was spent just preparing for baby and enjoying the time we had left with just the two of us! My husband worked a lot during this trimester since he knew he would be doing a little less once baby arrived, and I spent the majority of my time shopping, organizing, and making sure we had everything we needed for our baby boy! We didn’t go on a ton of date nights throughout my pregnancy, but we made sure to get one last date night in about two weeks before his arrival! Since my pregnancy was fairly easy and complication free, the third trimester was pretty much just waiting and trying to enjoy the end of pregnancy!

37 weeks
39 weeks

Products I Loved

I really didn’t used any new products during my third trimester, but I was still loving all of the ones I had been using through the rest of my pregnancy. Clothes were a struggle at this point, and even my maternity shorts and shirts started to get too small, so I bought this dress a week or two before he was born, and pretty much lived in it until the day I went into labor.

What’s In My Hospital Bag

You guys. I seriously can’t believe that I’m already at this point in my pregnancy! I’m officially 38 weeks today, so he literally could come at any time within the next three-ish weeks! I started packing my hospital bag around 34 weeks, and I have now officially added all of my last minute items, so I’m ready to go!

I will be linking everything that I can in this post, so just follow the link if you see an item that you’re interested in! I also have an IGTV video to go along with this blog, so if you want to see a closer look at any of these items, make sure you head over to my Instagram to check that out!

For Mama

Robe – I purchased this robe from Target and I love it! It’s so soft and I just think the lace adds a pretty detail. It comes in black as well, but I chose the gray because it will match better with the items I plan to put my son in for pictures. I plan to to wear the robe just around the hospital after I give birth so that I can be comfortable and have easy access for breastfeeding.

Nursing dress / night gown – I ordered this night gown in dark gray from Amazon to wear at the hospital after I give birth. The material is so soft, and the buttons at the top make it super convenient for breastfeeding. I feel like this will be really easy and comfortable right after giving birth, but will also make me feel a little bit cute and put together as well. I only ordered one, but I have a feeling that I may be ordering a couple more and living in these for the first few weeks after he arrives!

Nursing bras – I’m bringing two different kinds of nursing bras, just because I’m not sure which I’ll be most comfortable in. I bought two of these bralette style ones from Target, and I’m bringing two of these sleep bras that I ordered from Amazon. Both are really comfortable, so I’ll just have to see which I prefer while I’m in the hospital.

Nursing tank – I am bringing one of these nursing tanks that I got from Target. I’m planning on wearing the night gown the majority of the time that I’m in the hospital, but I’m bringing this too just in case we have to be there an extra day or even if I decide I’d rather wear the tank and pants.

Sweat pants – I’m just bringing a pair of old sweat pants that I already have and won’t mind if they get ruined. Just like the nursing tank, I doubt that I will wear these while I’m at the hospital, but I just want to have some options. I feel like I will be most comfortable in the night gown, but the last thing I want is to be stuck there with no other options, so I’m bringing these just in case.

Maternity leggings – I am bringing this pair that I got at Motherhood Maternity. Again, I really don’t know if I will wear these, but they’re so comfortable, so I wanted to have them as an option. They keep everything sucked in really well, which I feel like I will really want right after giving birth.

Underwear – If you’ve had a baby before, you know that granny panties are an essential right after giving birth. I purchased this pack from Target and they are so stretchy and comfortable! I know people say that black is the best color option, but they didn’t have a pack of all black, so I will just make do with the colored ones.

Socks – I am just bringing a couple pairs of my regular socks. I know that people say the fuzzy ones with the no-slip grips on the bottom are the best for the hospital, but I live in Florida and I will never wear those socks again because it’s so hot, so I just don’t really see the point in spending the money. Plus, I’m pretty sure the hospital will give me a pair with my gown, so if I really want to wear them, I’ll just wear the ones from the hospital.

Cardigan – I’m just bringing a big cozy cardigan that I already have. This is another thing that I’m not sure if I will actually wear (because again, Florida) but I know that it can be cold in the hospital so I want to have it just in case.

Coming home outfit – I purchased this black maxi dress on Amazon to wear home from the hospital. This dress is super stretchy, loose, and comfortable, which I’m pretty sure is going to be exactly what I want at that time. Plus, I’ll definitely be able to wear this postpartum as well!

Slippers – I will be bringing a pair of slippers that I already own. Since I’m not bringing no-slip socks, I figure I will be wearing my slippers quite a bit. They’re easy to put on, they’re cute, and they’re comfortable, all of which I feel will be important to me while at the hospital!

Flip flops – The only other footwear I plan on bringing besides my slippers are a pair of basic flip flops. I plan to wear them to the hospital, as well as home, and I can wear them in the shower and around the hospital too if I need to.

Toiletries – I am bringing travel sizes of all of my basic toiletries that I use on a daily basis. Shampoo & conditioner, body wash, face wash, small loofa, a razor (just for my arm pits, I don’t plan on shaving anything else while in the hospital,) dry shampoo, deodorant, toothbrush & toothpaste, contact solution, lotion, hairspray, etc. I will also be bringing several hair ties, my hairbrush and comb, a headband, chapstick, my glasses, extra contacts, tissues, and just a few other basic items to make myself comfortable during and after labor.

Hair dryer – This one is obviously not necessary, and I went back and forth on whether or not to bring it for a long time, but in the end, I decided to. We’re not having any professional photos taken in the hospital, but we do plan on taking lots of our own, so I want to be able to at least semi put myself together afterward so that I’m comfortable being photographed. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to bring my straightener, but if I have room, I may throw it in my bag with the rest of my last minute items.

Makeup – Just like the hairdryer, makeup is definitely not necessary, but I just want to bring the basics to make myself feel a little more put together. The only things I plan to bring are my face moisturizer, foundation, concealer, powder, a brow pencil, and mascara.

Postpartum necessities – I know that the hospital will provide me with pretty much everything I need to care for myself postpartum, but I wanted to bring some of my own items as well, just to make myself feel a little more comfortable. I am bringing two different kinds of pads, some of the Depends style underwear, a few nursing pads, and the Earth Mama nipple butter and perineal spray. I also bought myself some Tucks pads, but I plan to just use those once I’m home and won’t be taking them to the hospital.

Vitamins and medications – I definitely plan to keep taking my prenatal and fish oil after I give birth, so I’m bringing 3-4 days worth of these pills to the hospital. I also heard that stool softener and gas relief pills can be helpful postpartum (especially if I end up with a c-section for some reason) so I’m bringing both of those as well. I know the hospital will probably provide me with both of those if I need them, so I may not use my own, but I feel like it doesn’t hurt to have them just in case!

For Baby

I’m honestly not bringing much for our little guy because the hospital will provide almost everything we need, so this list is quite a bit shorter than mine!

Swaddle, hat, and mittens set – I am bringing this set from Lou Lou & Company. This is what I plan to have him in for his very first photos announcing his birth, and will probably be what we use for most our other photos as well because it matches the robe I’m bringing for myself.

Footed sleepers – I am bringing these two footed sleepers from Target for him to wear while we are in the hospital. I know there’s a chance we won’t use these while we’re there because I know a lot of times babies are just swaddled while in the hospital, but I just want to have the option to put him in something else if I want to.

Coming home outfit – I purchased this coming home outfit from Gigi and Max, and I’m so excited to put him in it! I’m not a big fan of baby clothes that have quotes or sayings on them, but I found a lot of that when searching for a coming home outfit. I love this one because it’s so cute and simple, and doesn’t have any words on it!

Socks – I honestly don’t know if I will need any socks for him while we’re at the hospital because all of the outfits I’m bringing already cover his feet, but I figured I should bring a couple pairs just in case!

Hat and mittens – I will be bringing the hat and mittens that match the swaddle I’m bringing, and I will also be bringing an extra hat and mittens that match the two footed sleepers. He may only wear them for photos, but I just want to have options!

Pacifiers – The last thing I will be bringing for baby are two different kinds of pacifiers. Again, I don’t know for sure if we will use these at the hospital, but I want to have them just in case. I’m bringing one of these Avent pacifiers and one of these Bibs pacifiers and we’ll just see which he prefers!

Extras

A few other general items that I plan to bring include:

Car seat – This one is a no-brainer. Can’t go home without it!

Empty folder – I’ve heard that they send you home from the hospital with a ton of paperwork, so I’m bringing an empty folder to put it all in. This way, it’s all in one place together, and I don’t have to worry about keeping track of it all.

Baby book – I’m bringing this so that I can have the nurses do his footprints in it when they do their set after he’s born. If I have any time I may fill out some of the detail of his birth as well, so that it’s still fresh in my mind and I don’t forget anything.

Snacks – These will be mainly for my husband while I’m in labor, but I may eat a few of them afterwards as well.

Boppy – I’ve heard that having your breastfeeding pillow in the hospital while learning to breastfeed can be super helpful, and the nurse that did our hospital tour recommended it as well, so I definitely plan on bringing mine.

Throw blanket – This obviously isn’t necessary, but I’m all about having things that will make me feel more comfortable and like I’m at home, so I plan to bring one of our super soft throw blankets. Even if I don’t end up using it, I’m sure my husband will!

Water bottle with straw – I know that most hospitals will give you a water cup while you’re there, but I figure it doesn’t hurt to have my own with me! I’m bringing one with a straw to make it easier to drink while I’m lying in the bed.

Car seat cover – I’m bringing this to put over the car seat for our trip home!

Letter board – I plan to use the letter board to share all of his birth details for photos. I already picked out all of the letters I will need as well as a bunch of numbers and punctuation marks, so I plan to bring those in a small bag rather than bringing the entire box of letters.

Electronics – The electronics we plan on bringing are phone chargers, a portable charger so that we can charge our phones even if the outlets are on the other side of the room, our camera with extra batteries and charger, and a speaker with charger.

Second Trimester Recap

Oh my gosh you guys! Time is flying by! I seriously cannot believe that I am already in my third trimester! I am currently 29 weeks, which means that we are approximately 11 weeks away from meeting our little man! I’ve been pretty bad about doing updates here on the blog, but I have been doing regular updates on Instagram, so if you want to stay up to date, go follow me over there!

16 weeks

Symptoms

Similar to the first trimester, my second trimester went pretty smoothly. I struggled with some bad headaches towards the beginning of it, but those have since gone away and the rest of my symptoms have been pretty mild. I’ve had a few random cravings (cantaloupe and english muffins with blueberry cream cheese being the two big ones,) I have to pee all the time, and I’ve had a few aches and pains as my belly grows and things are getting stretched out, but honestly I haven’t dealt with anything terrible! I had pretty good energy during the first half of the trimester, but I definitely started feeling a little more tired toward the end.

20 weeks

Low Lying Placenta

During my 20 week ultrasound I was diagnosed with a low lying placenta. It was not considered placenta previa, because my placenta was not actually covering any part of my cervix, but it was still a little closer than they typically like it to be. Mine was about 8 mm away from the cervix, and they like them to be at least 30 mm away. The worry with it being this close is that it greatly increase the chance of the placenta tearing away from the wall of the uterus before it’s supposed to, which can cause severe bleeding. It’s not really a major risk for the baby, but it is definitely a risk for the mother. At that appointment my doctor was not worried about it at all because he said they almost always move away as the uterus expands. He didn’t put me on any pelvic rest and I was able to continue with all my normal activities, but he just told me to call if I had any bleeding. He said that it was just something we needed to keep an eye on, so we scheduled another ultrasound for 24 weeks.

20 week doctor’s appointment
20 week ultrasound with his legs up over his head!

Unfortunately, at my 24 week appointment, it had not moved at all. At this point, my doctor was a little bit more concerned, but he still felt pretty confident that it would move away. He told us that if it hadn’t moved by 28 to 30 weeks, it probably wasn’t going to, and we would have to start discussing the possibility of a planned c-section. The thought of that freaked me out a little, but honestly if I had to have a c-section I would rather it be planned than an emergency. After that appointment I spent a little time educating myself on c-sections and what to expect, just so that I can feel a little more prepared if I do end up in that situation. We scheduled another ultrasound for 28 weeks, and just crossed our fingers that my placenta would move.

24 weeks

Going into the 28 week appointment (which was technically in the third trimester, but I still wanted to include it in this post) we had prepared ourselves to hear that it hadn’t moved, but to our surprise, it had! And not just a little bit either! It had moved from 8 mm away from my cervix to 49 mm away! The ultrasound tech said it was actually all the up at the top of my uterus now, and is no longer a risk we have to worry about!

Baby and Mama Growth

The one nice thing about the whole placenta situation was that we had a couple of extra ultrasounds that we wouldn’t have normally had, so we got to see our little guy a few extra times! He has been right on track size wise, falling right around the 50th percentile for babies his age. He’s a nice healthy boy and he’s growing fast!

I experienced a big growth spurt between 20 and 24 weeks and my belly seemed to really pop. During that four weeks I gained about six pounds, whereas most of the time before that (and since then) I only gained about one pound a week. I have also continued to exercise about 3 to 4 times a week throughout the second trimester. I gained about 13 pounds total during the second trimester, putting me around 17 to 20 pounds (17 from the day I found out, but 20 from my lowest pregnancy weight because I did lose about 3 pounds at the very beginning) for my whole pregnancy so far. I’m hoping to stay right around the 30 pound mark by the time I make it to the end, but we will see how it goes!

I felt my first movement around 21 or 22 weeks (a little later than normal due to my anterior placenta.) It was pretty inconsistent at first, but quickly became more regular. He definitely has days where he’s more active than others, but I’m feeling him every day and this point and it’s such a cool feeling! My husband has felt him a few times as well, and he always says its like there’s an alien in my belly!

Glucose Test

I took my one hour glucose test at 26 weeks, and I did pass, but just barely. My doctor considers 140 a fail, and my blood sugar was at 139. I honestly hadn’t been too worried about it because I just figured that since I was gaining weight at a steady rate I must be fine, but being that close made me realize that I probably needed to be a little more careful. Since then I’ve just been trying to watch the carbs and sugars a little more, and making sure that I’m eating plenty of protein and veggies!

Baby Shower

My mom, sister, and nieces came to visit from Missouri when I was 27 weeks, and they threw me a virtual baby shower! Since most of my family and friends are back in Missouri, we weren’t able to all get together in person, but my sister created a Facebook group for everyone, and we held our shower through that group! She sent party boxes to everyone, we played games, I shared photos of my bump and the nursery, and we opened our gifts during a live video feed so that all of the “guests” could see us open them! It was not a traditional shower, but it was perfect for our situation and it all turned out so well!

Products I Love

As far as products I used in the second trimester go, I’m still loving my pregnancy pillow and my Burt’s Bees belly butter that I was using in the first trimester. I have also been living in these maternity shorts from Target and my husband’s t-shirts. The only book I’ve really been reading is Mama Natural, which is a week by week pregnancy guide by Genevieve Howland. I have a couple others that I’ve been skimming as well, but Mama Natural is really the only one that has really kept my attention.

Overall I really enjoyed the second trimester. We hit a few minor bumps with the low lying placenta issue, but we are now in the clear with that, and I’m looking forward to this last trimester! Baby boy will be here before we know it!