carson eugene gadd, a surprise birth story.

Carson-1

The last time I blogged, I wrote all about my plans for a scheduled c-section. Eight days later, I went into labor on my own and delivered Carson Eugene Gadd via unmedicated VBAC.

The irony of that is not lost on me.

This is Carson’s birth story.

***

Everett woke up from his nap around 3:30 and just like every other day, my friend Christina texted to see if I wanted to meet up at the gym. I was feeling lazy that day and suggested we take a break from exercising since it was Friday. We quickly decided to have a backyard play date at Christina’s house instead. She promised me a bowl full of pumpkin spice m&ms.

I never turn down pumpkin spice m&ms.

We spent the afternoon chit chatting while our boys ran around her backyard. I casually mentioned that I had been having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions that day. I was used to them and didn’t really think anything of it. Christina was scheduled to be induced on October 20th; I was scheduled for a c-section on October 27th. We talked about all the things we needed to do before our babies came: have our houses cleaned, get our hair done, pick out Halloween costumes for Everett and Benjamin.

A couple hours later, Brett called and offered to pick up Chipotle for us. Christina’s husband was on his way home from work and we made a spontaneous plan to eat dinner together and watch the baseball game. Pretty soon our husbands and toddlers were wrestling on the floor while Christina and I polished off the rest of the pumpkin spice m&ms.

We got home a little after 8:00pm and immediately put Everett to bed. I made another comment about my Braxton Hicks contractions to Brett, who seemed concerned but I assured him it was nothing. In fact, I was so convinced it was nothing, I promptly got ready for bed and popped half a sleeping pill.

(That’s right, friends. I took half a sleeping pill. While I was in labor.)

Brett sat in the living room watching the rest of the game while I settled into bed to continue binge watching The Good Wife. I couldn’t get comfortable and for the first time that day, I realized my contractions were happening pretty close together. And even more alarming: they were starting to hurt.

I, of course, having never been in labor before, was in a state of complete denial. I was not even 36 weeks pregnant. Surely it was too soon for the baby to come. After a couple hours, I still hadn’t fallen asleep and decided to tell Brett how I was feeling. I walked into the living room slowly.

“This is probably nothing to worry about, but….I am having a LOT of Braxton Hicks contractions. Like, every few minutes. And….they are starting to hurt.”

Brett, being the responsible worrier that he is, immediately suggested we call the birthing center.

“No no no. I’m sure it’s nothing. It’s false labor. I’m just going to walk a couple laps and see if they stop.”

I walked a few laps around our house, through the kitchen to the dining room and back into the living room. Brett stared at me. He turned off the TV. I melted into a chair.

“Okay. They are really starting to hurt. Maybe we should call.”

Brett called the birthing center and I climbed back into bed. A nurse called us back and confirmed that yes, at 35 weeks pregnant, I should come on in.

I texted Christina around midnight to see if she could stay over with Everett. I hopped in the shower (much to Brett’s protest), not willing to show up at the hospital with three day-old dirty hair. My hospital bag was not packed. I haphazardly threw a few things in my weekender bag—two Annie & Isabel hospital gowns, dry shampoo, my toothbrush, makeup, and a black nightgown. I forgot really important things like gum and bobby pins. Brett did not pack a single thing.

Christina came over shortly after midnight and I apologized profusely for interrupting her sleep, reassuring her over and over again that it was probably nothing and we’d probably be home in a few hours. (She later told me that she was positive I was in labor, but didn’t have the heart to tell me.)

On our way to the hospital, I was playing out two scenarios in my head.

Scenario #1: These were horrible Braxton Hicks contractions, the doctor would tell me I was being paranoid, and I would be sent home immediately feeling like an idiot.

Scenario #2: These were real contractions, but because I was 35 weeks pregnant, they would simply give me some kind of medication to make them stop.

I guess in the back of mind was Scenario #3: I was having a baby. I tried not to think about that one.

On the way to the hospital I began to think about everything that was undone. My house was a mess. We had no food in the fridge. There were two rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom. We had left in such a rush we didn’t even check on Everett before we left. That thought made me want to cry.

We got to the birthing center at 1:00am and checked in. We had literally pre-registered online the night before, which was all of a sudden very eerie and comical. A nurse named Antoinette hooked me up to be monitored and checked my blood pressure. Brett started timing my contractions on his phone, morphing into the expecting dad you see in movies.

I think I asked Antoinette four times, “So, what exactly is going to happen here?”

She told us that she was going to check me, and that if I wasn’t dilated, they would try to give me something to stop the contractions. She said if I was dilated, the baby might be coming, and that there was nothing they could do to stop it.

I suddenly became hyper aware of the fact that I was only 35 weeks pregnant, and started to panic.

“Don’t worry,” she reassured me. “You’re almost 36 weeks along and his lungs are fully developed. You’ll be fine!”

I trusted her, but I didn’t.

She checked me. It hurt.

“Well, I’d say you’re about a 3 or a 4. The baby is coming today.”

I think Brett and I both said, “Huh?” at the exact same time. Is she joking?

She continued, “I see here that you’ve signed the VBAC consent form. Looking at your history, I really think you should do a VBAC. It will be safer for you and safer for the baby, since he will be so small. Your recovery will be much better. You can do this.”

She rattled off something about c-sections and the amniotic sac but I could hardly hear anything after “it will be safer for the baby.”

I trusted her, but I didn’t.

It was a 30 second conversation. I don’t even remember saying “yes”, but somehow I had agreed to a VBAC and I had no clue how we got there. Despite the fact that I was terrified and generally panicked, I felt oddly at peace with it. I kept reminding myself that an early baby surely wouldn’t have a giant head.

“Can I get drugs?!” I asked quickly in between contractions.

“Honey, of course!” she responded.

“No, I really need you to hear me: I want the drugs. A VBAC was not my birth plan. I want the drugs.”

She smiled and reassured me that I would be able to get an epidural. I wanted to believe her, but I also wanted to tell her ten more times about my desire for drugs. We were at a birthing center notorious for their all-natural births. Midwives, doulas, birthing tubs—you name it, they offer it. I wondered if they would accept bribes.

We were then moved into an official birthing room, the same room I had wanted to use to give birth to Everett before learning he was breech. The room felt foreign to me. My contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes, and I didn’t know how to manage the pain. I didn’t know how to breathe, or how Brett should help me. I just leaned over the bed and did my best to get through them.

“Do you want music?” Brett asked.

“No.”

“Do you want to sit on the birthing ball?”

“No.”

I didn’t know what I wanted. Scratch that: I wanted to not be in labor. I tried to move around, but the only thing that felt good was to stand next to the bed and lean on it. A few minutes later I threw up in the bathroom, and promptly instructed Brett to FIND ME SOME GUM. Antoinette checked on us again and asked where the contractions hurt the most.

“My back.”

She stood behind me and used both her hands to press down on my hips during the next contraction. It felt 20% better.

“Can you show Brett how to do that?”

She showed Brett, and I was grateful for her instruction. I’m sure we would have learned all kinds of tricks like that in a birthing class, but then again—we never attended a single birthing class. I was suddenly very aware of how ill-equipped we were for this birth. Had I not been in so much pain, it was almost hilarious. We were totally and utterly clueless. I had no idea what I was doing; Brett had no idea what he was doing. We were just there—at the birthing center, in a birthing room, getting ready to have a baby.

A nurse checked me again. I was still at a 4.

My hands and face started feeling very tingly. I told Antoinette in between contractions and she kindly pointed out that I was hyperventilating.

“You need to take one breath in and then three short breaths out. You keep breathing out all of your air but you’re not breathing any in, which is making you hyperventilate. That’s why you feel tingly.”

Good to know.

I vaguely remembered that style of breathing in every comedy movie with a birth scene. I channeled my inner Katherine Heigl and followed Antoinette’s instructions.

One deep breath in, three shallow breaths out.

The tingles disappeared. This was probably the first time that night that I realized how dependent I was on the doctors and nurses. I needed help. I needed guidance. I needed an entire team of professionals to walk me through every step because I had no clue what I was doing.

It was the middle of the night and I was getting tired. I kept my eyes closed in between contractions, attempting to take 60 second naps in between each sharp pain running up and down my body. I started counting in my head during each contraction, always starting with the number 15, and ending around 34 or 35. Random numbers aside, somehow it helped. It was the only distraction I had, counting silently in my head.

I tried to move around the room, but the only thing that felt good was to stand next to the bed and lean on it for support. Brett pushed down on my hips through each contraction, saying the same things over and over again.

“You are doing so good. You are amazing.”

After what seemed like an eternity of contractions, I got serious about asking for the epidural. It was close to 5am and I had been laboring all night on my own. I just wanted a break from the pain. My whole body hurt.

I told Antoinette I wanted the epidural, not even trying to hide the desperation in my voice. She called the anesthesiologist and told me he would be there in ten minutes.

Ten minutes. Ten more minutes of this. I can definitely do ten more minutes of this. I am strong.

I gave myself a pep talk. Brett gave me a pep talk. I could finally see light at the end of the tunnel.

The doctor arrived. Dr. Tilton was on call that night, the same doctor who had delivered Everett via c-section. It felt like a sign. Even though I had not seen her in two and a half years and she was basically a stranger, I was oddly comforted by her presence. I was in the bathroom and heard Brett re-introduce himself to her, reminding her that she had delivered Everett.

“Oh yeah,” she said, “Breech baby, right?”

I hobbled out of the bathroom and said hello, then climbed into the bed to be checked again. My contractions were only a minute apart at this point and being checked hurt like hell. I screamed a little.

“Well, you are complete,” Antoinette said.

I looked at her as if she were speaking a foreign language.

“What?”

“I said, you are complete.”

Brett and I both looked at each other, dumbfounded.

“What does that mean?”

She smiled at us. “It means your cervix is fully dilated and you are ready to push.”

WHAT.

“But….where is the anesthesiologist?! Can I still get the epidural?” I asked, panicked.

Antoinette looked hesitant.

“Well, yes…..as long as you can stay very very still.”

Dr. Tilton had taken a seat near the end of the bed. She sat very calmly with her legs crossed.

“You want the epidural now? What are you scared of?” she asked me.

Is that a trick question?

“Um….I am scared it is going to hurt VERY BADLY when the baby comes out….?”

She smiled. I was starting to get annoyed at everyone smiling. I couldn’t remember how to smile, everything hurt too much.

“Well, the hardest part of labor is going from a 6 to a 10 and you already did that without the epidural. Pushing is easier than transitioning from a 6 to a 10.”

(Worth mentioning here: LIES. ALL LIES.)

She continued, “If you get the epidural now, it will take a lot longer to push the baby out because you won’t feel the urge to push. If you skip the epidural, the baby will come out much faster.”

I quickly weighed the pros and cons in my head. I wanted the drugs. I wanted the drugs badly. But I also wanted the baby out quick, and I had been feeling the urge to push for the past thirty minutes. I couldn’t imagine regressing at that point; we had come too far.

(Also worth mentioning: it had been more than ten minutes and that anesthesiologist was nowhere to be found. Conspiracy theory, much?)

The urge to push was getting stronger with each contraction. I continued my normal breathing, until the doctor instructed me to do otherwise.

“Stop blowing air out. You need to hold your breath during the contractions and push. If you can focus, you will start to feel the baby moving down.”

And just like that, the decision was made. I was going to do this thing without drugs. Brett was on my left side, Antoinette on my right. They each held one of my legs in the air. I could not care less who saw what at that point. I squeezed Brett’s hand through each contraction and tried to follow the doctor’s instructions. During each contraction, I pushed three times.

The next hour became a cycle. Contraction. Hold breath. Push as hard as I could. Scream like a dinosaur. Contraction. Hold breath. Push as hard as I could. Scream like a dinosaur. Repeat.

Over and over again. I was sweating from head to toe. The sounds that were coming out of my mouth were not human. I sounded like a monster. I was incapable of exhaling without roaring. Surely everyone in the birthing center could hear me. Surely everyone in the city of Davis could hear me. I didn’t care.

Dr. Tilton checked me again and said she could feel the head.

“How much longer??” I asked. I felt like I was on the verge of tears.

“If you keep doing this, and keep pushing this well, the baby will be out soon. Try to push four times instead of three. Hold each push a little longer.”

I felt like my body was on fire. Everything was burning. Everything hurt. Brett was right there next to me, squeezing my hand and saying the same thing with each push, “You’re amazing. You’re doing it. You’re doing so good. I’m so proud of you.”

I couldn’t look at him. I couldn’t look at anyone. I just kept pushing and screaming my head off.

After a few more minutes, I threw my body back on the bed and felt tears in my eyes.

“I can’t do this anymore!” I yelled.

A collective “yes you can” echoed right back.

“Ashlee,” Dr. Tilton said, “the baby’s heartbeat is starting to drop. If you can’t get him out in the next few pushes, I am going to have to cut a small incision to help his head come out.”

I saw a sharp tool emerge out of the corner of my eye. Oh hell no.

For the first time I noticed there were more people in the room. Two more nurses and a respiratory therapist. They were setting up a special table “just in case” something was wrong with the baby. I realized everyone was ready and waiting for Carson; the rest was up to me.

The energy in the room skyrocketed. Everyone was cheering me on, telling me I could do it. I didn’t believe them.

“Just a few more pushes, Ashlee. You’re almost there.”

Another nurse came to the top of my right side near my head. I don’t remember what she said to me but she seemed 100% confident that I was close.

On the next push, Brett lifted my left leg and Antoinette lifted my right. The other nurse pushed the bed behind me, forcing the top part of my body to bend forward.

I felt my body breaking. Splitting in two. I pushed as hard as I could and screamed as loud as I could and in a matter of a few burning seconds, I felt the release of his tiny body leaving mine.

And then I heard the most wonderful sound in the entire world: Carson’s first cry.

He was placed on my chest, screaming his little lungs off. His sweet, fully-developed lungs were in perfect working order. We didn’t need that special table or that respiratory therapist or any of those “just in case” people.

We just needed each other.

Brett was crying. “I can’t believe you did that. I cannot believe you just did that.”

He said those words to me 100 times over the next 48 hours, and I will never forget how proud he was of me in that moment.

I couldn’t believe I had done it either.

Carson stayed on my chest for the next hour while Dr. Tilton stitched up my tears. Yes, I tore. Yes, it was awful. No, there is no amount of local anesthesia to relieve the pain of being poked and prodded down there after pushing a baby out.

We checked into the hospital at 1am and I delivered Carson at 6:51am. I labored for almost five hours and pushed for one hour. He was born a whole month early, weighing in at 5 pounds, 4.5 ounces and 18.5 inches tall.

He is perfect.

Carson-3

Two weeks later, I am shocked at how smooth my recovery has been. The VBAC was 100x more painful than the c-section, but 100x more easier to recover from. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Driving to the birthing center that night, I honestly had no idea I was going to come home with a baby. I was not prepared physically, mentally, or emotionally for what was about to happen. I didn’t get to have a “last night” to be emotional over the fact that our family was growing from three to four. I didn’t get to clean my house or stock my fridge or paint my nails or pack my bag.

I never attended a birth class or watched a birthing video (unless Knocked Up counts?).

And as it turns out, my body knew exactly what to do.

It’s a miracle, really.

I’m in awe that God gave me a body capable of making and sustaining and birthing a baby. This body that I often take for granted is so much stronger than I’ve ever given it credit for.

I find it both amusing and ironic that my planned vaginal birth ended in a scheduled c-section and my scheduled c-section ended in a VBAC. If God is teaching me one lesson, over and over again, it is this: I can plan my life and my births and my dreams as much as I want to, but ultimately, He is in control and my plans are always better off in His hands.

Next on my birthing bucket list: VBAC with an epidural. Until next time….

Carson-2

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the c-section elephant in the room.

where my heart resides-1

Dearest blog readers,

I feel obligated to tell you that I have decided to have another c-section.

Say whaaaaaaaat?

It’s true. In case you’re relatively new to this blog, here’s the short version of my first birth:

I found out at 36 weeks pregnant that Everett was breech. I did everything in my human power to flip him around (picture me lying upside down on an ironing board with frozen fried rice on the top of my stomach and headphones in my underwear). Nothing worked. I even had a painful procedure done where a doctor stood over me and manually tried to turn the baby with her hands. That didn’t work either. So, my casual laid-back birth plan of maybe-I’ll-use-a-birthing-tub/maybe-I’ll-use-a-doula/maybe-I’ll-use drugs turned into C-SECTION OR BUST. I had no choice.

And Everett was born healthy as could be and we were all fine.

This past January when I found out I was pregnant, I knew that I had a decision to make: VBAC or repeat c-section. That decision haunted me almost immediately, but I was grateful to have the choice.

And here’s where I am going to be totally, perfectly, 100% honest with you. The truth is: I had no desire to do a VBAC.

And nobody was shocked by this more than me.

I remember during my c-section, I explicitly asked the doctor to check out my insides and make sure there was nothing wrong with me. I remember asking that same doctor during my postpartum checkup if I would be a good candidate for a VBAC and feeling a sense of relief when she said yes.

So, what changed?

I have no idea. Time and perspective, I suppose. Looking back, I actually had a wonderful c-section experience. There were a lot of pros. It’s nice to know exactly when your baby will be born. It’s nice to show up at the hospital showered with clean hair and shaved legs. It’s nice to get the baby out of you in 15 minutes while you feel no pain whatsoever, and it’s nice to enjoy your first moments with your baby protected by a blue sheet bubble.

(Also, real talk: it’s nice to keep your lady parts in tact and not pee every time you sneeze.)

When I think back to my c-section with Everett, I remember it as a magical, wonderful, life-changing experience. I do not feel like I missed out on anything because I didn’t go into labor or feel contractions or tear certain things that were not meant to be torn. It was not the birth I had planned on, but it was the birth that I had. And because of that, the bright operating room and sterile environment that once terrified me is now my comfort zone. Meanwhile, the thought of doing a VBAC completely terrifies me. It feels foreign, and strange, and anxiety-inducing. I have a million fears about doing a VBAC, most of which are related to Everett’s 95th percentile head size and the possibility of ending up in a c-section anyways. I don’t feel confident about it, I don’t feel connected to it, and most importantly: I feel no burning desire to do it. 

So that, friends, is where I have landed. I have done the research. I have talked to the doctors and midwives. I have read the stats and gone over the risk factors with both options. There are risk factors with both options. And ultimately, I have chosen the path I believe will be best for my baby and my body and my mind and my soul, and that is to have another scheduled c-section.

Our sweet baby boy will be born on Monday, October 27th. Barring no complications, we should be home in time for Halloween so Everett can go trick-or-treating while I stuff my face with well-earned candy bars.

Here’s to all of our birth stories, whether they involve water tubs or hospital beds or the backseats of cars (!) or operating tables. Let us all remember we are blessed to bring babies into this world, no matter how they get here.

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10 ways to treat yo-self.

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“Self-care” has been a bit of a buzz phrase in 2014. I remember rolling my eyes at a bunch of blog posts back in January talking about the importance of self-care and self-love and resolutions to “spend more time on me.” 

And then the month of August happened and I found myself in a state of total and complete burnout. Physically. Mentally. Socially. Emotionally.

(Go ahead. Roll your eyes.)

All of a sudden those blog posts I had read didn’t sound half bad. Why shouldn’t I explore some self-care? Why shouldn’t I spend some time taking care of myself and not feeling guilty about it? Why shouldn’t I…..treat myself?

So, I did. I started finding tiny ways to treat myself throughout the week. I didn’t have a newsworthy epiphany or grand transformation, but I started to realize that allowing myself small indulgences throughout our daily routine made me a happier, better functioning person.

In case you have also found yourself in a recent state of burnout, allow me to present….

10 Ways To Treat Yo-self:

1. PASTRIES. When I work from a coffee shop, I get a scone. Always. Sometimes I’ll go for a muffin, but I’m really more of a scone girl. Let’s be honest: coffee is just better with a pastry on the side.

2. TARGET BY YOURSELF. When I go to Target alone (happens once in a blue moon), I get a small bag of popcorn and a cherry Icee. And then I stroll down all the aisles slowly. I smell all the candles. I touch all the pillows. I examine all the lipstick colors. I really don’t think you have experienced self-care until you you have spent one hour, uninterrupted, at Target with popcorn and an icee. Seriously, TRY IT.

3. SUNDAY NIGHT FACE. Earlier this summer I started a tradition I like to call Sunday Night Face. Basically, every Sunday night I treat myself to a clay face mask, followed by two Biore strips. And then I wash all of my makeup brushes. It makes me feel fancy.

4. GIANT LUNCH. I know a lot of my self-care has to do with food, but I’m 34 weeks pregnant, so I can’t help it. Every day I make a monster lunch: turkey sandwich, cheetos or chips, grapes or apple slices, and chocolate chip cookies. I make the lunch while Everett is awake, and then I eat it when he is asleep. I don’t know why, but this makes everything better. I usually turn on Bravo for the four minutes it takes me to inhale said monster lunch and for four whole minutes, I am SO HAPPY.

5. BINGE WATCHING. Truth: I can barely remember life before Netflix. Nothing says self-care quite like watching six episodes of good television in a row. I’m currently binge watching The Good Wife (via Amazon Prime), based on Diana’s recommendation. Also, in case you haven’t heard, Gilmore Girls is coming to Netflix so you know what I’ll be watching this fall.

6. PEDICURES. Pregnant or not pregnant, I put $25 in the monthly budget for a pedicure. I save my Real Simple magazine for such an occasion, and reset the massage chair approximately four times while I’m there. The. Best.

7. FLOWERS. A few times a month I treat myself to a $5 bouquet of fresh flowers from Trader Joes. Even if the rest of my house is a total disaster, a jar of flowers on the kitchen table makes me feel like it’s not that bad.

8. THE GYM. Ev and I go to the gym almost every afternoon with my sister wife Christina and her son Benjamin. The boys have a great time playing in the ball pit while we waddle next to each other on the treadmill swapping awkward pregnancy stories and emotional rants. I’m not a gym buff by any means, but waddling on the treadmill with a girlfriend for 45 minutes every afternoon seems to be good for my soul. And hey, it makes me feel better about the ice cream I eat every night, so there’s that too.

9. NEW UNDERWEAR. This might be a pregnancy thing, or maybe it’s just a me thing (awkward!), but I kinda think buying new underwear is the ultimate in self-care. Like, what is better than brand new underwear? Nothing. Seriously nothing.

10. BREAKFAST FOR DINNER. Breakfast is, by far, my favorite meal of the day. I love cereal. I love scrambled eggs. I love hash browns and french toast and waffles and yogurt. Whenever I don’t feel like cooking something fancy (and by fancy, I mean tacos), I simply make breakfast for dinner and call it a day. Yum.

And that’s my list. How do you treat yo-self?

p.s. That adorable tote bag was a gift from my friend Kristen. Get it here.

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stop trying to make it perfect.

Where My Heart Resides-1

“I tell him about the weight, the burden of representing something as beautiful and hard and messy and glorious as motherhood—this thing I believe in with all my heart, this thing I am dedicated to, this thing that feels like a 60-pound backpack on my shoulders. I confess my need to control, my struggle to delegate, my longing for every single post to be perfect.

I tell him about my fears, my insecurities, my anxiety that all of my hard work will fall apart while I’m drowning in newborn-land again, breastfeeding all day long while trying to entertain a toddler with one free hand.

How will I do this? 

He wraps his arms around me while I cry and reminds me of the familiar mantra I have spewed at him anytime he was overworked and overwhelmed: “You need to stop trying to make it perfect, and make it good enough.”

Touché.

Good enough. Good enough. Good enough.

I don’t know how to be good enough.”

…..read the rest over at Coffee + Crumbs today.

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third trimester faves.

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1. Jellyfish leather t-bar flats - Last month, ASOS was having a huuuuge sale, and I decided to treat myself to something that would surely fit at this point in pregnancy: shoes. At 8.5 months pregnant, I’m pretty much wearing flats exclusively, and these just so happen to look great with everything.

2. Split shoulder tee - You know where I’m not gaining weight these days? My shoulders. Might as well show those bad boys off. (Seriously though, this shirt is super flattering and one of my faves this month.)

3. ASOS shapewear leggings - We went to Santa Cruz a couple weekends ago—you know, where it’s not 103 degrees—and I was finally able to bust out my favorite maternity leggings. These fit like a dream, and I plan to wear them all winter long while my body slowly shrinks back to normal.

4. Dr. Jart BB cream - I have terrible skin when I’m pregnant. Terrible. My skin gets super oily and I break out a lot more than usual. This is my go-to “face base” and I cannot recommend it enough. I got a sample of this in my Birchbox a year ago, and have been hooked ever since. Some days I add a light layer of foundation on top, but most of the time I just apply concealer under my eyes and I’m good to go!

5. Unisom - Real talk: I am addicted to sleeping pills. Okay, not really, but kind of. I have legit insomnia when I am pregnant. As in—I will wake up at 3am and watch TV for two hours on the couch, eating bowls of Honey Nut Cheerios like it’s my job. And then I’ll work on my laptop until everyone else wakes up, at which point I’ll be a walking zombie for the rest of the day. It’s not cute. After complaining to my midwife, she suggested I try Unisom and it has been a LIFESAVER this pregnancy. I take half a tablet almost every night and have been sleeping like a dream. This is probably my #1 pregnancy staple this time around.

6. MAMA skinny jeans - Confession: this was an impulse buy last week. I don’t know, I got caught up in the Pumpkin Spice Latte hype or something. It’s still way too hot to wear jeans but I tried these on in the fitting room and couldn’t believe how well they fit. I couldn’t justify buying a “real” new pair of jeans this fall/winter since I know my body will be changing so much, but $35 for skinny jeans with a stretchy waistband seemed like a reasonable purchase. Happy sweater weather to me.

7. Floral nightgown - Last month I went shopping with my friend Christina who is due one week before me. We treated ourselves to new nursing bras, new sweatpants, and pretty new nightgowns to bring to the hospital. I wear this every single night and basically want to live in it. Plus! It has nursing straps, which is perfect for middle-of-the-night feedings.

This officially concludes the roundups of pregnancy faves, but in case you missed em, I am still enjoying all of these as well: first trimester faves // second trimester faves

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