My Maternity Must-Haves

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27 weeks of pregnancy down, 13 weeks to go. So basically an eternity. I really don't like being pregnant. Please don't misinterpret that statement. I'm wildly excited about this baby, I just wish someone would knock me out for 9 months and then I would wake up with a baby in my arms. But I guess that approach to pregnancy wouldn't really work for the rest of my family. So while there is no avoiding 9 months of sickness, fatigue, pain, heartburn, and crazy hormones, at least there are some things that can help make those 9 months more tolerable. Here of some of my favorite maternity items this time around.

1. This Black Pencil Skirt is super comfortable and looks super put together. Now that we've finally made it to warmer weather you can bet I will be wearing it nearly every day with a t-shirt.

2. Epsom Salts. I love these all the time, and I especially love them while pregnant. This pregnancy I've had some restless leg syndrome, which, if you've never had it, is So Annoying!! It's like the top half of my body wants to sleep and the bottom half of my body wants to run laps around the house. An epsom salts bath at the end of the day paired with a magnesium supplement has worked wonders for my sleep.

3. Maternity/Nursing shirt that covers my tush. Maternity jeans are so not my jam this time around. It's leggings (which I will get to in a moment) all day every day, and so long shirts are essential.

4. Pregnancy Pillow. Alex got me this pillow while I was pregnant with Trixie.  It' takes up half of the bed, but it makes sleeping with a giant tum so much more comfortable. I highly recommend it.

5. Maternity Spanx. For underneath dresses and skirts, because everyone can use a little help, right?

6. The best lip balm ever. I get intensely dry lips while during winter and while pregnant, so being  pregnant during the winter basically means I have two strips of sandpaper on my face. I first got this lip balm in an Ipsy bag. I love it so much I've restocked on Amazon twice so far.

7. Special Occasion Dress. Because there's usually at least one special occasion during a pregnancy. I wore this dress to a wedding we went to in New York this winter. It was so flattering, I loved wearing it. Just don't forget the maternity Spanx!

8. Belly Oil. I am so past the point of preventing stretch marks, which is the reason many people use belly oil. For me, it's all about comfort. Oil works so much better than lotion when it comes to soothing dry, itchy skin. And if I can prevent a few new stretch marks from popping up, that's ok too!

9. Good Maternity Leggings. Like I already mention, I just can't with the maternity jeans. So until it's warm enough to wear dresses everyday, you will find me in leggings. I've been on the hunt for a good pair of leggings that are thick, not see through at all, go over the belly, and look somewhat presentable. These are by far the best I've found. I've worn them almost everyday since January. I am wearing them as I type this blog post.

That's all for now friends! I hope this helps any fellow preggos out there. Tune in next time for my top pregnancy food cravings!

Just kidding.

I think.....

pre-birth story: due dates are the worst

Due dates are the worst. They shouldn't give due dates. They should give due-weeks. A whole 7 day window during which your baby might come. And they should make it week 41, so that the likelihood of your baby coming after your due-week is very small. But no, the very first thing they do when you go in for a pregnancy confirmation is pull out that little wheel and figure out your due date. 40 weeks after your last period. Then for the next 9 months people are asking you, "when are you due?" And you keep saying "October 7". Because that's the due date. Then October 7 comes and goes without anything happening and all of a sudden you go from being a pregnant lady to being a crazy pregnant lady who thinks there is something majorly wrong with her and fears she will remain pregnant forever!

Johnny was born 2 days before his due date, so naturally I thought there was no way this baby girl would be late. I felt like I was carrying really low and my mother's instinct told me that yes, this baby would come early. But the "due date" came and went and nothing. happened. And each day after that stretched on and on and felt like it was 70 hours long. I tried to keep busy, finish up Alex's sweater (done!) and not go crazy.

That is a handsome man in a handsome handmade sweater.

Each day that passed with no baby I took a few minutes to write down what we did that day. I don't why, but doing this each night helped me feel better.

Due Date:

Johnny locked himself in the bathroom. I ended up getting the door unlocked with a screw driver. But I thought it would have made a great story if I had had to call the fire department and then went into labor while they were here.

Due Date Plus 1:

It would have been a good day to go into labor because I put on make up today to go to my midwife appointment. Then I would have looked nice in any new baby pictures. After the appointment we met Alex at school for lunch. That night I felt so tired and a little sick and was hoping something would happen. But apart from 1 or 2 random contractions, no action.

Due Date Plus 2:

Johnny and I spent the morning with

some good friends

which helped to distract and pass the time.  After Alex got home we walked to the adoration chapel at our church to say some prayers. It's about 8 blocks round trip. I decided that I will walk to the chapel every day until the baby comes. Then when we got home a friend of ours delivered a bunch of McFlurries to our house. Word had gotten out that I was craving a McFlurry.

Today I realized that with each day that passes with no labor I am going to need more emotional support. It's really draining and frustrating to be waiting for a baby, even though I know it's perfectly normal to go a few days past the due date. Thinking about Johnny meeting his baby sister makes me feel better. 

Due Date Plus 3:

I went to Ikea with a girlfriend, got a $1 frozen yogurt, and walked all over that store. We also walked to mass tonight. Johnny was strangely very well behaved. I was feeling pretty bummed that all the walking didn't seem to be doing anything, until...

In the wee small hours of

Due Date Plus 4:

My water broke!

Birth story coming soon!!


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on waiting

Last weekend we had a once in a generation occurrence of a total lunar eclipse. The nice thing about it was you didn't have to be up in the wee small hours of the morning to see it. Alex and I put Johnny down for bed as usual, then stepped out onto our side walk to see the shadow of our own earth just beginning to creep across the moon. We checked on it again about an hour later and saw the almost complete eclipse.

I was hoping that all this lunar activity would send my body into labor.  You always hear about women going into labor when there are crazy storms, and full moons.  Well, I guess I'm not one of those women. Nothing happened. I'm still here in my ever increasing state of discomfort.

The lunar eclipse made me realize though, I'm really just in the waiting phase now. Yes, technically a week until my due date, but it could be any time and I just have to be ready.

As I play this waiting game I've been thinking a lot about my days as a music major. When I was preparing my junior piano recital my teacher told me giving a recital was a lot like having a baby. The whole thing takes about 9 months to prepare. At first it seems so far off, like it will never come. As the event gets closer you begin to feel more uncomfortable, physically, mentally, whichever. And then those last few weeks are just agonizing, it's all your can think about. You're dreading it, but at the same time you can't wait to get it over with.  Giving the recital itself is just a blur and a whirlwind and before you know it it's over and you're not really sure how it happened.

As of now I have more experience giving recitals than I do having babies. But if there's anything learning and memorizing 45 minutes of music has taught me it's that the body has muscle memory. You've put in the time and you've prepared, and at some point you just have to trust yourself and trust that things will fall into place.

Even though my experience birthing Johnny is kind of a big dark blur, my body has done this before and my body will do it again. I'm actually beginning to get kind of excited about working with my body to make this delivery happen. I'm excited to meet our baby, I'm excited to nurse a newborn again.  I'm really excited to enjoy a big old glass of wine and sleep on my stomach too.

But until then, I'm just here. Waiting.


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A girl! I knew it was a girl, just like I knew with Johnny it was a boy. 

Well, it wasn't just like with Johnny.  With Johnny I had a dream I was having a boy, and after that I just had a very strong sense that it was a boy. With this one there was no dream, but everything felt different, not the symptoms really, but me. I felt different. And I just had a feeling it was a girl.  My sister actually had a dream it was a girl this time around. So now we are both feeling very clairvoyant. 

The ultrasound tech got a face shot of little baby girl. She said cute. I said creepy. 

 Now that it's settling in that we are having a girl I'm realizing that I have no idea what it's like to have a girl. I only know what it's like to have a boy.  Honestly, I'm a little nervous about raising a girl because I know what it's like to be a girl. I know how competitive and mean spirited girls can be.  I know what the media bombards at girls in regards to image. I know the pressures, the worries, and the struggles. It's a scary world for girls.

But I also know that girls can be resilient, and confident. They can be shaped by the Holy Spirit and not by the world. They can see themselves through the eyes of God and not through the eyes of pop culture. They can be leaders, and not followers. This is what I want for my girl. And this is what we will pray for, as well and wisdom in parenting.

Feet! That's better than the face shot. 


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7 quick takes vol. 14: all about morning sickness

Now that the cat's out of the bag, I can blog all about morning sickness symptoms, which is the only thing I can think about right now.

Blurry 9 week bump.  Not sure how much of this is new baby bump or left over Johnny bump.


First trimester stinks in so many ways, except that I can eat whatever I want all day long and not gain any weight. In fact, this is how I keep from feeling too sick, I just keep eating, whatever sounds good. It's been a lot of toast. A lot of smoothies. And a lot of the frozen macaroni dinners from Trader Joe's. So cheesy and delicious. Surprisingly though, sweets have not been sounding too great. When I was pregnant with Johnny I had ice cream pretty much everyday for 9 months. With this one there's only been one emergency DQ far. I suspect this will pick up once summer hits. 


A couple weeks ago I had Burger King at 10:00 in the morning. It was the best tasting thing I ate all day. No shame.


My sense of smell is so amazing right now. We were at a gala for a Catholic school about a month ago and I could smell glasses of red wine from five feet away. Also, every time I open the refrigerator it smells like barf. And every time I change Johnny's diaper it smells like barf. And every time Alex eats something with get the idea. 


Alex has this pair of really baggy, comfy sweatpants, and that is all I've been wearing for the past six weeks. 5 minutes before students come over I suck it up and put some jeans on. It's the worst part of my day.


I'm now a senior citizen. I go to bed at 9:30 every night. If I don't I turn into a pile of sweatpants and fizzy water bottles. Just. So. Tired. Poor Alex has had to put up with so much. But he's a champ, picking up all of the slack I've been leaving all around. What would I do without him?


Keeping Johnny happy during the day is hard to do while trying to lie still on the couch, but we manage. The other day I was snacking on some grapes and Johnny really enjoyed pulling them off the stems and then feeding them to me. Or rather, stuffing his entire fist into my mouth. We did this for over a half hour.  We also sit on the couch and take selfies together.


We're at 9 weeks over here. So I figure I've got a few more weeks before I'm feeling 100% again. But I do believe the morning sickness has been easing up a little bit this past week. Which is good, because I really hate it when folding a single basket of laundry feels like an accomplishment. 

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Parenting and the Unexpected

I just want to have a plan. I want things to go according to plan. I want to know what lies ahead, and I want to be in control. But when does that ever happen? I should just get used to charging forward into the great unknown and embrace the unexpected.

Everything about our parenting journey so far has been unexpected.

We weren't expecting the two year battle with infertility we faced before conceiving Johnny. We were two young, and by all appearances, healthy people. Infertility didn't happen to people like us. But it did - it caught me totally off guard, and it taught me that you can plan all you want but ultimately everything is in the hands of The Lord.

We weren't expecting the miscarriage I suffered during those two years of trying. It was probably the most devastating experience of my life, and something I probably still haven't fully grieved over. But it did teach me to take nothing for granted, and that every soul created is worth celebrating and worth grieving over.

Then there is Johnny. Everything about him has been a surprise. Two weeks before I found out I was pregnant with him my physician referred me for a laporoscopic procedure for endometriosis. This would be an expensive procedure, it would most likely not be covered by insurance, and it wouldn't even guarantee that we would be able to conceive afterwards. Everything I thought I wanted for my life was called into question. Was I supposed to have kids? Was I supposed to be a mom? If not, then what did God want from me? I learned through this experience, more than anything else, to surrender my will, my hopes, and dreams, 100% to Jesus.

And then the positive pregnancy test.

"How?" I asked my doctor.

"Sometimes God works miracles." she said.

I had already learned not to take anything for granted and so I spent the first five or six months being excited, but trying not to hold on too tightly to that pregnancy. Once my baby was viable, I began to relax and think, this is really happening!

Then Johnny was born and all his unexpected health complications began to surface. Our introduction to parenthood was like being plunged head first into river of rapids. Miscarriage was still the most devastating thing I had every been through, but that week in the NICU with Johnny was the most difficult thing I've ever been through. I also think that that week has grown my character and shaped my life, not to mention strengthened my marriage, more than any other life event. I've learned that I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.

Parenthood continues to throw the unexpected at us. Some are unpleasant, like the onset of toddler tantrums. But then there is a 10 hour stretch of sleep through the night that leaves us so refreshed and almost afraid to mention it for fear that it will never happen again.

We had one of those happy unexpecteds about a month ago in the form of a positive pregnancy test! We had been trying for a few months, I was getting pretty used to the negative tests and was mentally preparing myself for another long fight for a baby.  And then it happened! Maybe it was getting Johnny night-weaned.  Maybe it was going off sugar for a month. Maybe it was just when God wanted it to happen. Whatever it was, it happened. And we are thrilled!

Tiniest ultrasound picture ever. This was baby at 6 weeks.
But there's still that one thing, the unknown, the unexpected. I know all too well that things don't always go according to plan. I just want someone to guarantee that everything will be ok, but I know that's not possible. And so my joy is laced with caution. We've already been through so much, so I know that whatever happens, by the grace of God, we will persevere. 

And though I'm still new to the job, I really believe that's what parenthood is: a whole lot of unknowns and unexpecteds. And a whole lot of grace to get through it. 

100% officially accepting prayers for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby! Look for baby #2 at the beginning of October!


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