The Pregnancy Countdown Book: This countdown style book has a little blurb for each day. It’s also separated out by weeks & trimester. I liked that this book wasn’t terribly dense, it gives real life advice from real mommas & has a lighthearted feel which makes it fun to read. Pregnancy doesn’t have to be this in depth research project you embark on as soon as the second line appears. I had some knowledge I retained from my nursing school semester of maternity, but otherwise I found this book to be just informative enough. I loved this book while I was pregnant; each week Chris & I would read the weeks chapter & find out what our little babe was up to.
Bringing Up Bebe: By far my favorite book. This book is written by an American woman raising her children in Paris with her British husband. It explores how French babies sleep through the night by 3 months, why there are no kids menus in French restaurants & kids are eating everything from baked brie, cold veggies & variety of fish. I found myself relating with the French more than I ever imagined. Not only does the book give tips on how to have good eaters & sleepers & kids that say please & thank you; it also provides encouragement with chapters like The Perfect Mother Does Not Exist. At the end of the day you have to do your very best. There is no gold medal for having a totally un-medicated birth, you aren’t rewarded bonus points for breastfeeding your baby until they’re two. I think this book provides some amazing insights on how to have overarching principles when raising your kids but also letting them be kids.
Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth: I think whether you plan to get an epidural ASAP, or are aiming for an unmedicated birth I think reading this book can be tremendously helpful. Even if your plan is to get that epidural you may be laboring at home until you’re far enough along to be admitted to the hospital, so having some insights on making that process easier is always a good idea. I labored naturally for 30 hours before getting an epidural & I do think this book came in handy for that. I also think the first portion where women recount their birth stories can be incredibly powerful & motivating if you are attempting a natural unmedicated birth. I’ll admit I read about half of the birth stories & then skipped ahead to the second half of the book that discusses practical ways to labor.
How Not To Hate Your Husband After Kids: Chris got me this as a half joke. It’s definitely funny to read & if you’re contemplating having kids then I’m sure you’re wondering in what ways your relationship will change. Everyone has seen the couples that are so bitter & resentful toward one another after babies, well this book was written by a woman like that. It’s insightful & gives good advice in regards to diffusing situations, talking about clear expectations etc. Some chapters include: TGIM how not to hate your weekends after kids, Hot Mess: less clutter fewer fights. This book is written to be fairly funny however I imagine the more real these issues are for you the less funny it becomes. Still I think it’s a great book that encourages talking to your partner about potentials stumbling blocks & it is pretty funny.
What are some of your favorite books for pregnancy, childbirth or parenting??
I finished week 3 of BBG last week & I’m LOVING it! I’m so excited to start week 4 tomorrow. I’m doing the program with two friends & it’s so much easier when you have other people keeping you on track. We don’t do the actual workouts together, but we keep one another motivated with a group chat.
This pumping bra is awesome! I ordered it on amazon & highly recommend it. So if you’re a new momma & are looking for a great & cheap pumping bra check this one out.
This weekend we took William out to brunch & he did so well, he was just sitting on Chris’ lap just taking it all in & then decided he’d spend the second half of brunch snoozing.
Chris & I started watching The Crown on Netflix & it’s SO good. I wasn’t sure if I would like it but the show is really well done. We realized we knew very little about the Royal Family at the start of the series & each episode we end up googling something that comes up.
We got William a little activity seat (it’s what he’s sitting in on in the first photo) & he looks SO big to me! He’s still a little small for the seat & doesn’t love it right now, but when he’s in there holding his head up he already looks so grown up!
I’m starting to plan out my work schedule when I return & even though I’m not going back to work until mid September, I have to submit my requests for my schedule at the end of this month & it makes it feel closer than it is. It’s so bittersweet thinking about having to go back to work. It makes me so sad to think about leaving William for 11 hours at time but I’m admittedly getting a little stir crazy being at home with not much on the calendar
Chris & I went on a date this weekend, we went out to dinner & to a Bob Schneider concert. It felt so nice to get out for a few hours.
Below are some of the workout songs I’ve been loving. I usually listen to “Firestone” station on Pandora & then I get ideas for what to put on my Spotify playlist.
hope everyone has a great week!
I’m trying something new & am posting some of the highlights from the week before along with some photos.
The best moment last week was waking up at 7am & realizing that Will had slept through the night!!! It was amazing. He slept through the night twice last week & the nights he didn’t he slept from 7pm until 5am! I have to say I feel like a whole new person getting so much sleep last week. I’m definitely hoping for more of the same this week.
My go to breakfast that is great for breastfeeding mamas has hands down been oatmeal, either regular or rolled oats. I love having it in the morning usually after Will goes down for his first nap. I usually top it with cut strawberries & walnuts & some brown sugar.
I’ve started working out again & this week is week 3 of BBG. I love that it’s only 28 minutes & it’s such a good workout. I’ve had to make some modifications but overall I’ve been able to keep up with it, plus I’m doing the 12 weeks with two other people so it’s nice to have some accountability.
Along with working out I’ve been making an effort to take Juno out for walks alone in the evening. It’s nice that the sun sets well after William is in bed & the weather has been really nice. So it’s been a great way to get some fresh air & clear my head after busy days with my busy boy! The photos of the USF cathedral were taken on my walk Friday night.
This might sound silly but I bought these ice cube trays last week because our old ones kept cracking and leaking water & honestly they are AMAZING. I remember listening to Gretchen Rubin’s podcast Happier & she would talk about how simple upgrades can make you happier & it’s so true. I love having ice water & I was drinking less water because I didn’t want to deal with our annoying old trays. Well $12 later problem solved!!
We took William to Costco for the first time. Chris & I don’t venture to Costco all that often although we have a few set things that we like to get there & it was time for a restock. Costco on a Saturday in general can be a nightmare but I feel like the Costco in San Francisco is made worse with the crowds & city size isles. Will did awesome though!! he was awake the whole time just taking everything in.
Will has been LOVING the play mat we got him a few weeks ago! It’s so fun to watch him swing his arms & try to grab the hanging toys, he also is such a little kicker that the paino part of the mat is great (although the same song on repeat can only get a liiiittttlllleee annoying haha!) If you have a newborn & are looking for an inexpensive activity mat I highly recommend this one.
We don’t have too much planned for the beginning of the week but the second half of the week Chris’ parents will be here visiting so we’re excited for that!
Hope everyone had a great weekend.
Will turned a month old on Sunday & I can’t believe it. It feels like so much time has passed & that our week stay in the NICU was lifetimes ago, but then I think how he’s a month old & I can’t recall where that time went!! This month I’ve learned: he absolutely loves to eat, & when he’s starving he’ll angrily grunt while he chugs his bottle. He loves looking at the art we have in our apartment. He loathes being hot. He doesn’t mind bath time so long as his hair isn’t being scrubbed. He’s not at all interested in having his arms swaddled & he’ll gladly partake in morning snuggles.
The past three weeks at home we’ve worked on establishing some kind of routine & I think it’s finally starting to stick & I’m realizing I can kind of anticipate his sleep / wake cycles. He’s both bottle fed & breast fed. After some trial & error we found he’ll sleep longer stretches at night if we give him a bottle, otherwise it’s very hard to keep him awake nursing late at night.
Chris goes back to work this week & it feels oh so bittersweet. It’s been incredible to have him home & for the 3 of us to bond & for myself to have help in order to really feel recovered from birth. Part of me is sad that this precious time has come to a close but like many things in life they’re this sweet because they’re short lived & I’m made even more grateful because I know this special time is limited. I’m excited to start a new phase of being at home with our little guy & getting our own routine & just growing into day to day life. As of now I’m not scheduled to go back to work until the beginning of September so I greatly looking forward to cherishing the summer & making wonderful memories.
We’re off to enjoy a BBQ in Sausalito this afternoon & will be back home to watch the Warriors game.
Hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!!
With my due date just a few days away I’ve been thinking a lot about ways I’ve spent the last couple of months & there are a few things that I think every soon to be mama should put on her list.
- Prenatal Yoga – the hospital I’m delivering at offered a 6 week prenatal yoga class & it was some of the best $100 I’ve spent this pregnancy. Each Monday I walked to the yoga room & for 90 minutes was able to focus on stretching, breathing & getting to be around other very pregnant soon to be mamas. Since the class ended I’ve been trying to stick with stretching because I know it can only help me with delivery day comes. If your hospital doesn’t offer a class or you don’t want to shell out money just head to YouTube and search for 3rd trimester yoga and see the results pour in. I promise you won’t be disappointed!!
- LadyMoon – As much as I talked about how great it is to go on a babymoon with your significant other, I think if you can swing it some kind of Ladymoon with your girlfriends can be just as important! It doesn’t have to be overnight, it doesn’t have to be fancy, it can be as simple as a dinner out somewhere that makes delicious mocktails. There’s nothing being surrounded by some of your favorite women & if you have the opportunity to get pampered why not go for it.
- REST! Whenever you want, how much you want & don’t feel guilty about it. In the third trimester I revisited the power of an afternoon nap. The last six weeks or so of this trimester my sleep at night really started to be impacted. I know a lot of women who have trouble sleeping much sooner than that, so I certainly count myself lucky, but once I stopped working & could really indulge in the afternoon nap I went for it. Chris typically calls me when he’s leaving work to say he’s on his way home, and more often than not these days that phone call finds me asleep on the couch!
- Shower – this might sound odd, but one of my goals this trimester was to shower whenever I felt like it for as long as I wanted, uninterrupted. I’m not always the biggest fan of showers, mostly because I hate washing my hair & having to blow dry it afterward. I’m typically a wash my hair every 3-4 days gal; but this trimester it dawned on me showers will be harder to come by & I know hearing a crying baby will definitely make a shower far less enjoyable. So I decided this is my last chance to be under hot water for as long as I please & not feel any guilt.
- Meal Prep – Come up with a handful of meals you can make ahead of time & freeze. A few friends of mine picked a random day & dedicated it to cooking these freeze ahead meals. If that sounds far to daunting then try to cook one meal a week that you can make a double batch of & freeze the second half. Some of the meals we made were: Lasagna, beef chili, chicken teriyaki, squash soup & a jumbalaya. All of these items reheat nicely & I know will be such a lifesaver in the weeks to come. Because we live in an apartment our freezer situation is pretty tight, so I went ahead and sent a couple meals with one of my friends who I know will come visit me in the first few weeks & told her when she comes just to bring one or two of the meals! Whether you’re cooking or your enlisting the help of friends or family, having some meals ready to go that just need to be heated up will take some of the pressure off in the first few weeks.
- Go out to dinner – Chris & I made a little list of some of our favorite restaurants in San Francisco & decided to make an effort to go to them one last time before the baby came. I personally tried to pick places that have yummy desserts, now that I’m not indulging in a fancy cocktail or a glass of wine I’ve become quite the dessert connoisseur. It’s been so nice to have a leisurely dinner at some of our favorite places & just relish in this moment of time right before our world gets turned upside down.
- Acupuncture – I’ve talked about my love for acupuncture in previous posts & how much it helped in the first trimester with keeping morning sickness at bay & energy levels up. Now in the third trimester I’ve been going more & more frequently. Throughout this trimester I’ve started to experience more pregnancy symptoms, when I was still working my back began to hurt from standing all day. In the final six weeks or so of my pregnancy I began developing significant carpal tunnel & hand swelling & acupuncture really helped alleviate some of the discomfort that went along with it. And as of the past few weeks I’ve been going to try to prepare my body for birth. One of my biggest goals is to try my hardest to avoid induction, I really trust my body & although my doctor is okay with being going to 42 weeks, it honestly sounds a little terrifying to go that far overdue. My acupuncturist specializes in women’s health / fertility & is very confident in her ability to send the right signals to my body to promote labor. As someone who was going to acupuncture long before I was pregnant & saw the results I can’t help but recommend it for almost everyone! Stay tuned for what I think about the “induction” sessions & if they really work to bring about labor!
- Take a birth class – no matter what your ideal birth plan is it’s probably a good idea to take some kind of class just in case mother nature has other plans. Often times women can be sent home from the hospital if they are not far enough along in their labor, and having ways to cope with labor before you can be admitted and get an epidural is a smart idea. If you’re in the bay area I highly recommend Bay Area Birth Education. This class was awesome. It was a little daunting when we saw that it was an ALL day class, but we both felt so much more prepared for what is to come afterward. I anticipated a fairly granola approach, with lots of discussion about natural births however I must say I thought they did an amazing job of presenting all the options women are faced with in an incredibly non judgmental way.
- Get organized – As someone who appreciates a good list this was definitely a must for me. Chris & I created a list of things that we had to get done before the baby got here. It included things like getting our cars oil changed & detailed before installing the bases to the carseat, specific tasks to finish up the nursery like hanging shelves, setting up our baby monitor etc. I’ll be sharing our list in case anyone is curious, but I highly recommend sitting down & thinking about the things that must get done & things you would love to have done before baby is here & setting aside a couple tasks each week. By breaking the list up it can make it seem much more manageable. Plus if you have family or friends who want to help you it’s a great way to know what tasks you can ask them to do for you. For instance my parents came to town for a few days & wanted to help me so I had them help me wash the cover for our sectional couch which was something that absolutely needed to be done & is a huge pain in the butt.
- Finalize your maternity leave plans – every state has different benefits & amount of time they give to new mothers. Navigating this process can feel very overwhelming so the sooner you start asking your colleagues, researching online & getting things in order the better. California is generous when it comes to time off for both pregnancy & in the weeks following the birth. & Even though I had a few women at work who could help shed some light about how to navigate the system it was still very confusing & involved me having to calculate out how much vacation time, sick time, holiday time I would be using.
- Bonus ENJOY! – As hard as it can be, try your very hardest to enjoy your third trimester. As I sit here writing this post just a few days shy of my due date, I honestly can’t believe it’s already here. It feels both like yesterday & forever ago that we sat in the car in awe with our first ultrasound photos & had this nervous excited energy buzzing in us. Now with the birth upon us it’s so crazy to think that we’re on the brink of a completely new season of life. Chris & I often talk about seasons & we really made it a point to enjoy this season of being married but not having babies. Even though having a family is incredibly important to both of us & was something that we looked forward to & talked at length about even from our first date! We really made it a priority to relish in the season that led up to it because we won’t ever have that time again. I know we are about to embark on an experience & feel love bigger than we can even imagine right now but I think anytime a season ends it inevitably feels bittersweet. So I’m really trying to just be present & enjoy this time right now.
Did any other mommas feel this end of season bittersweetness I describe? I know that in a week or two I probably won’t even remember I felt this way!