Wednesday, March 6, 2013

27 weeks

With just a few months left in my pregnancy (where did the time go?) I'm thinking a lot about the arrival of our little one and what life will be like once she's here.  I've been reading parenting and infant care books and consulting with other moms, but at the end of the day, most moms will tell you "every baby is different"--- and they're 100 percent right.

I know this because I've been fortunate to have a bit of experience with children and babies. I started babysitting at age 12 or 13 and continued to do that through college. I was even an evening nanny for a family with a 4 year old girl and newborn twin boys when I was in college.  The mom had a nanny that was there all day helping her and then I would come in the evenings to help with the babies (feeding them, rocking them to sleep, etc). There were several other families I babysat for in college and I still remember all of their names and I can't help but think of them sometimes and wonder how they're all doing. They were all so different in terms of their behavior, their needs, etc. This definitely gave me a glimpse into the "every baby/child" is different statement. In my last year of high school I was also a certified gymnastics coach and for a year I coached at a local gym about five days a week on average (I worked after school and on weekends). The kids I coached ranged a lot in age---from the mom and tot class to 7 year olds to 12 year olds. I really loved coaching and seeing how the kids progressed in both their skill level and confidence. 

Anyway---my point is, that despite having this experience caring for kids and babies---it simply doesn't compare or equate in any way to being responsible for your own baby 24/7.  Though I'm thankful to have had all of those experiences, I know that the reality of caring for a newborn (and baby and toddler and child...) is not easy, and frankly, for most moms, it's an emotional roller coaster ride.  

One of my best friends had her son a year ago and she has been so wonderful with giving me honest feedback about her experiences those first few weeks---and months.  Like how hard breastfeeding was at first, the sleepless nights, the constant worry---but also the incredible love, joy and fulfillment she felt as a new mom. It's refreshing to me when moms share the challenges because I think it helps first-time moms have a more realistic view of what those first few months (and maybe longer) might be like.  Undoubtedly it will be the best and most amazing time in my life---and also one of the most difficult and frustrating because you want so badly to be the best mom you can be and I'm sure there are days where you feel like anything but.

Next month, my husband and I are going to take the infant care, infant CPR and breastfeeding classes offered by the hospital I'm delivering at and I know they'll be informative, but even with that knowledge under our belts, I'm sure there will be times where I question every decision and call the pediatrician's office in a panic.  I think there's actually a lot of comfort (for me) in the fact that I know and don't expect it to be a piece of cake.

There are also three girls at my office all coming back from maternity leave this month (we seriously have a baby boom going on in our department!) so I know I can look to them for new-mamma advice since they just got through those first few months.

Sorry for the ramble, I guess now that we're just three months out, I'm thinking a lot more about life when she's here.  We are just so excited to meet her and so excited for everything that's ahead---from the first smile to the first dirty diaper to the first (and definitely not last) sleepless night.

My question for all of you mammas this week: how did your expectations about how life will be with a newborn/baby match up to the reality?  Did you think it would be harder or easier than it was?  What did you do to prepare yourself for the challenges? I'd love to hear your feedback!

How far along? 27 weeks (I do these a week behind as a recap of the previous week, so I'm actually 28 weeks today). 

Total weight gain/loss: I found out at my 28 week appointment this morning that I am up 12 lbs total. I gained 2 lbs from my 24 week to my 28 week appointment.


Maternity clothes? Still wearing maternity pants and regular tops and blouses, though some of those are getting short and/or snug.  I'll have to start breaking out my looser tunics and maternity dresses soon!
Stretch marks? Nope, I'm continuing to use Belli's Elasticity Belly OilMamma Mio Tummy Rub and Mustela double-action stretch mark cream in rotation. My favorite thus far is the Mustela.

Symptoms: Overall, I continue to feel pretty good. I did have a really terrible hive outbreak on my legs at 27 weeks and the itch was probably one of the worst I've ever experienced. I had a few areas on my legs with such bad hive flare-ups that it caused me to develop a rash from the scratching (seriously, I tried not to but it was unbearable). I have been using Curel's itchy skin moisturizer and coconut oil at night to try and clam them down. The hives probably aren't pregnancy related since I used to take medication for my hives prior to becoming pregnant, but it seems they have gotten worse as I am further along.  Truly though, I feel like if this is my worst symptom, then I'll gladly deal with it as it doesn't happen every single day.


Something else I've never mentioned are leg cramps. I finally started to experience those---maybe once or twice a week. One of them was so bad that it woke me up and I jolted up in bed, grabbed my leg and yelled some profanities. Then, I went right back to sleep when the pain subsided. The next morning I asked my husband if he remembered me getting up in the middle of the night cursing and he said "yep" and told me he asked me if I was okay, which I don't even remember. Fortunately the cramps I experience are typically pretty mild and a bit of stretching will stop them.

I also still have some hip/thigh pain from sleeping on my side, but it goes away when I wake up and start moving around.  My skin also cleared up a bit this week.

Sleep: I'm sleeping okay---getting up to pee and a little tossing and turning to try to get comfortable but overall I am getting enough sleep as I'm going to bed earlier. This morning I was awake from about 4-6 a.m. I just couldn't fall back alseep again...and baby girl was kicking up a storm (which I love).

Best moment this week: The nursery bathroom and closet are both painted and we have our 4D ultrasound coming up this weekend. We can't wait!


Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Miss Anything? Sleeping on my stomach, not having to hoist my body over a Snoogle every morning...


Movement: She is kicking and rolling all over the place in there---I notice it much more frequently now. I love love love to feel her move. It feels comforting.


Food cravings: Thin Mints, cereal with milk, fruit.


Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.



Have you started to show yet: Someone in the elevator at work yesterday asked me when I was due...so I would say YES! I really love watching my bump grow. 



Baby is a: Girl!

Belly Button in or out? Still in, but it's starting to show through some shirts...it's an interesting shape. Ha.


Wedding rings on or off? On


Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!


Looking forward to: Our 4D ultrasound, my next OB appointment, continuing to get everything ready for the baby. 

Thank you for reading and for all of my pregnant readers, please feel free to check in below as well and let me know how your pregnancy is going :) I also welcome everyone's advice and comments about pregnancy!

51 comments :

  1. Hi Veronika! You are right every baby really is different. But I will share my experience on questions you asked. Having a baby was actually easier than I thought but more emotional. I handled sleep less nights very well (and still do though mine mostly sleeps through now, she's 6 months) and breastfeeding was actually very straight forward for me and my baby. However, I was not ready for the constant emotional roller coaster I'm on. I have been suffering from anxiety most of my life and having a baby sometimes makes it peak.

    Like you I read a lot of books before she came. However I do wish I read more sleep books than baby books (you still can do that hehe). I def recommend taking a couple of weeks off from work before she's there. I used that time to cook some meal for the freezer, get cleaners to come tidy up the house and spend lotsa quality time with my hubby.

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  2. I think it's great that you are going into this with an open mind. When I had my first I didn't expect it to be as hard as it was, and therefore when he did come we were both jawdropped. They are so true when they say that every baby is different. The difference between our first (2.5 yrs) and second (8 months) is amazing. The oldest is our drama-king and the baby is so layed back - opposite ends of the totem pole I tell ya!
    Oh, and don't put too much pressure on yourself with things - between household duties and baby stuff. I attemped to feed our oldest and it was so hard that we ended up bottle feeding him. With our second, my husband new it stressed me out so it wasn't even a thought about it. Both boys are healthy as can be!

    Congrats and Good Luck!

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  3. I'm a first time mama but also had a lot of experience with children (I have a huge extended family and we're really close).

    Breastfeeding was a challenge for me. After birth I was dealing with so many changes and trying to gain a new skill seemed insurmountable. My biggest piece of advice? Find a lactation consultant now, make an appointment for a few days after your due date. You may feel to overwhelmed after birth to make an appointment or there may not be an opening!

    Even if you feel you have a good hold on it, it helps to get feedback and just for my piece of mind, find out how much my son was drinking (they weigh them before and after a feeding).

    My favorite website was kellymom.com. I would read it on my iPad during nursing sessions.

    I blogged about my experience here:
    http://islestyleliving.blogspot.com/p/breast-feeding-series.html

    (Feel free to email me anytime if you have any questions)

    Oh- and for leg cramps: Try doing pelvic rocks every night before bed. Get on all fours and arch your back and look up to the ceiling. Then round out your back and tuck your neck in. Do this 10-15 times, working up to as much as 20, before bed. It helps with your circulation and opens up your pelvis to give more room to baby.

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  4. Hi! Well, we had twins, so I'm sure it will be different with one. But it was a lot harder than I expected. BUT, don't take it to heart, every baby is differet. Ours were perfect for the 4 weeks and then developed severe reflux (both), which is usually when reflux sets in. Hopefully that will not happen with you. If it does feel free to keep my email and contact me, I have LOTS of advice!

    You look fabulous BTW!!!

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  5. Goodness, you look so good pregnant! I also loved feeling my baby move throughout my pregnancy and it's one of the things I'm looking forward to most when I get pregnant again!

    I did not have a lot of experience with kids prior to becoming a mom so all I had to go off of was other's experiences. I expected it to be completely hard and exhausting. I tried preparing myself for the fact I might not get to shower some days or keep my house clean...or sleep! Well, the sleep part was correct. I don't think anyone can be prepared for the lack of sleep that comes along with a newborn. Luckily, she was sleeping all night by three months - just in time for me to go back to work! As for the rest of it, I was surprised by how EASY it was to do the things I'd always done. I wore her a lot, which made cleaning the house a breeze (and a workout!). She was also content to sit in her swing while I showered and got ready for the day. It definitely wasn't as bad as I was expecting.

    They grow SO fast. I can't even remember my daughter being so tiny and sweet. Now she is 22 months with the independence and attitude of 5 year old! :)

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  6. The hardest challenge for me as a first time mommy was creating me time for myself. The first 4 months I was miserable mainly I felt like a milk machine. I desperately want my son to be fed breast milk exclusively. Pumping and nursing took over my life. I pump at least 5 times a day to keep up with him. I was miserable. I felt like a major failure. I am a perfectionist so it was very hard for me that I was not achieving my goals like I wanted. The one thing I did learn....If mommy is not happy. baby is not happy and daddy is not happy. I told myself I was not a failure and decide to supplement. After that it was awesome. i was actually able to enjoy motherhood. If someone offers help take it. I was too stubborn to take any help, but now pregnant with my 2nd I so will. I am excited for you. Motherhood is great! All worth it.

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  7. Hi Veronika! I love your blog and read it a ton and never commented before but given that I have a 4 mo old son this entry spoke to me!!

    Being a mom was much harder than I ever prepared
    Myself for! I always heard stories of challenges being a new mom but never really paid much attention!

    the first few weeks were very emotional for me! I definitely experienced post baby blues! My husband was very supportive as he had heard this was very common so if you feel weepy all the time don't worry- it will pass! The change in hormones can be tough. Getting fresh air and going for walks really helped me!


    I also had trouble breastfeeding which was so important to me. My son did not latch very well because he was tongue tied and never really caught on. I did go to a lactation consultant and used a nipple cover but I was still very frustrated and I cried almost every time I fed him and so did he! It wasn't an enjoyable experience for me and eventually at one month I switched to formula. I had such a hard time with switching to formula because I felt like I wasn't providing for my child like I should. I still feel guilt some days about it. No one ever prepares you for how hard it is! Like another reader mentioned there are great resources for breastfeeding moms ! my best piece of advice though is don't worry about what you should do and just do whatever is best for you and your little baby!It took a while to accept formula feedin but now I know I am a much happier and better mom than before!
    When times get tough, all I need to do is look at my son smile at me and it makes it all worh it! Enjoy this amazing time!

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  8. HARDER!! For a two or three weeks it doesn't seem so bad, different but not hard...and then the tired really sets in and everything feels difficult. My son is two and its certainly easier now. I finally wear my hair down again because grabby baby hands ended about 6 months ago. I workout in the mornings again because I'm finally over the 14 months of not sleeping through the night (seriously, it takes months to recover from the lost sleep). I certainly don't dress as well because I don't have time to stand in front of my closet and contemplate my choices. Cooking is different, not as good, because we don't have as much time for it. Somethings are harder, some are just different, but for sure nothing got easier!!

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  9. When you wake up with those leg cramps flex your foot towards your head. It stops them almost immediately.

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  10. Enjoy that ultrasound- it is an amazing experience and something fun to hold you over for the next three months. Looking great Momma!

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  11. Hi Veronika! I've been a reader since the beginning and I love reading these recaps! I know you'll be a great and loving mom. Question- where are your shoes from?? Thanks!!

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  12. Congrats! You look great and I'm sure you will be an awesome mother!

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  13. Hi Veronika! I'm so glad I came upon your blog~you and I are in suchhh similar stages of life--I'm expecting a girl and she'll be here in mid-June~crazy how time flies, huh?? Phew. And you look gorgeous and I'm pretty stoked about your reviews. I was JUST wondering today what other stretch mark products I should try and you just answered my question. :) Have a blessed day!
    ps: has anyone told you that you look a lot like Mary Helen Bowers?

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  14. Hi Veronika! I'm so glad I came upon your blog~you and I are in suchhh similar stages of life--I'm expecting a girl and she'll be here in mid-June~crazy how time flies, huh?? Phew. And you look gorgeous and I'm pretty stoked about your reviews. I was JUST wondering today what other stretch mark products I should try and you just answered my question. :) Have a blessed day!
    ps: has anyone told you that you look a lot like Mary Helen Bowers?

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  15. My daughter's first birthday was yesterday, so this post really spoke to me. I will try to be brief but I tend to get really wordy!

    I am (well, was, as I stay at home now) a special ed. teacher and have been working with children most of my life, although I didn't have a ton of experience with newborns. I really don't think there is such a thing as being completely prepared to have a child... it can be very, very challenging, but also very, very fulfilling. Looking back at her first year, I definitely think I had a little PPD going on, mostly stemming from breastfeeding. I second the previous comment about seeing a lactation consultant before baby is born, and having her on call to come to your home right away. I could write a novel on breastfeeding, but my best, most succinct advice is to be as informed as possible, seek the advice of professionals (because everyone, and I mean everyone, thinks they know what they're talking about), and realize that there is such a thing as a breastfeeding relationship that is not in the best interest of mom and/or baby.

    For me, the first 6 months were hardest. Somewhere around 9 months I started to realize that with babies everything is a phase... the teething will pass, the nap fighting will pass... logically you know they won't stay in the newborn phase forever, but when it's happening you think that it will be your life for the next 18 years.

    It definitely took me awhile to get used to being a mom, but I would never, ever go back! It really is amazing!

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  16. I really appreciate all of your feedback ladies :) lots of good advice and experience here!

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  17. i'm telling you, go to the beach and dig a hole in the sand for your belly so you can lay on your stomach. it's glorious!!

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  18. You have already gotten some great advice, I am writing about your hives. It could be PUPP. It is a rash women get during pregnancy (usually the first one) and it is very itchy! I had it with my first pregnancy and while there are remedies for relief (oatmeal baths) the only cure is to deliver the baby! Just ask your OB/GYN at your next check up - my doctor took me look at mine and new immediately I had PUPP! Good luck - you look wonderful!

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  19. You're looking great! For me, the newborn stage was much harder than I expected. I feel like we had surprises and struggles at every turn, starting with my emergency c-section. Then, breastfeeding struggles, then Audrey had a dairy sensitivity that took us a couple months to realize....so overall just a lot I wasn't prepared for! Oh....and she could hardly be put down when she slept, so most of her naps were taken in my arms (giving me zero down time!) for the first 5 months. She woke every two hours until she was a little over six months, and now that she's 16 months, she still sometimes doesn't sleep through the night!
    I don't mean this to be discouraging at all! It's just what we went through...and certainly every baby is very different!:) I think it would have helped me to have someone share more realistic experiences from the newborn days, so I think your outlook on things is great!
    No matter what, it will be an exciting and precious time!

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  20. @monak2---I contemplated PUPPPS but I don't have any symptoms like what I've read online and I don't have any of the blisters that are described. Fortunately, I think it really is just my skin reacting to the indoor heat and being overly dry and itchy----but I will mention it to my OB if it continues :)

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  21. I knew it would be hard, but I didn't really "get" that it would be THAT hard. I honestly didn't really enjoy the baby stage much - from 2yrs old on has been a lot easier, and a lot more fun.

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  22. I think it was harder in some ways and easier in others. The first few weeks with your first baby are honestly such a haze that it is hard to remember! I wasn't prepared for how "On" you are. Logically I knew it was a 24/7/365 job, but I didn't really appreciate that until it really happened. But, Oh, is it ever worth it!

    And, the laundry increased exponentially, especially in comparison with how small the baby is!

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  23. Hi there! I've never been pregnant, but I used to get calf cramps all the time when I was going through growth spurts. I found that if you put weight on that leg (jump up out of bed & stand up on that foot)- the cramp stops IMMEDIATELY. This has been a lifesaver for me! :)

    I've also found that eating bananas and other foods rich in potassium can prevent the cramps from occurring in the first place. Hope this helps!

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  24. hey girl I found you through britt @ the magnolia pair.. Anyways I saw you were prego too with a lil girl on the way, same here! Our first! There seems to be a trend in the blog world with us all having girls all at around the same time! You're just ahead of me, I'm due 6/21...oh and the rash! Girrll I'm miserable! It just started last week for me, extremely itchy and hives over my entire body! I went to the dr's Monday cuz I just couldn't take it anymore.. Believe it or not, it's actually common in pregnancy. Our hormones are outta control, and in my case I'm having contact dermatitis.. A reaction to pretty much my clothes being in contact.. Lol i'd much prefer nausea over this! Anyway I can blab on forever, it's just fun finding another that's going through the same thing!

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  25. you look amazing! I wish i looked like that when i was pregnant. I had bad leg cramps in my legs too and when i woe up with them i had to keep my legs straight and raise my foot upwards towards my head and it makes them go away very quickly x

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  26. My little guy is almost 16 months old now (sob!) For me, being a mom was easier than I'd expected, for the most part. I think that's mostly because I really zoned in on all the horror stories I'd heard from fellow moms, online forums, the nurses in our parenting classes, pretty much everyone - plus my own overactive imagination. I assumed everything would be BRUTAL. I assumed I was going to be the worst mother in the world and that I'd have the craziest baby in the world, so when things ended up not being earth-shatteringly-difficult, I was pleasantly surprised.

    Honestly, the first two or three weeks flew by - I think I was asleep or in a daze for most of them. Around weeks 5-7, Eli was a lot crankier and my lack of sleep was starting to catch up to me and those were the hardest weeks. That was when I felt like things were never going to get "back to normal" and that I would forever be a baby-feeding machine and nothing more.

    At around 2 months, something changed - it was like he was suddenly a lot more aware of what was going on around him. Up until that point he was just a sleepy, crying lump who wanted to eat, but all of a sudden it felt like he was really "with it" and things got more fun.

    That was really wordier than I planned on! In a nutshell, I'd say becoming a parent was easier than I'd expected because I'd expected the absolute worst. And that sounds a lot worse than it actually is :)

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  27. First of all, you look fantastic! In response to your question, I think it is both easier and harder than I imagined, if that makes any sense. Easier, b/c I was fearful of not knowing what to do but then my maternal instincts kicked in and it all came naturally. Harder, b/c I didn't realize how much time an infant takes up. My days fly by so fast that I'm starting to have my days and nights mixed up. BUT it's all so rewarding and so well worth every challenge.

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  28. First of all, you look fantastic! In response to your question, I think it is both easier and harder than I imagined, if that makes any sense. Easier, b/c I was fearful of not knowing what to do but then my maternal instincts kicked in and it all came naturally. Harder, b/c I didn't realize how much time an infant takes up. My days fly by so fast that I'm starting to have my days and nights mixed up. BUT it's all so rewarding and so well worth every challenge.

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  29. You have still kept your figure even though youve gained 12lbs! :)

    http://shinebrightx18.blogspot.co.uk/ - personal blogs.

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  30. Hi Veronika... I am new to your blog and I really do enjoy reading your experience on bring pregnant... I have 2 boys of my own and have had completely different pregnancies but the legs cramps did happen in both and I was told by a family friend that it could be that you are low on potassium and she recommended I eat a banana a day... after I started doing that I did not have them anymore throughout my pregnancies... good luck!

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  31. Hi Veronika!

    To answer some of your questions life after baby was definitely harder then I thought it would be. I knew it would be hard and I prepared for that by reading the facts but I didn't realize what lack of sleep, lack of personal space and lack of alone time would do. We also had complications at birth so that threw a whole new bag of issues in to the mix. Breastfeeding was harder than I ever thought it would be. I thought it would come naturally and when it didn't, I felt like a failure. It took months of crying, pumping, no sleeping, more crying but we finally got it!
    The hardest part was dealing with PPD. I was not expecting it and it was by far the HARDEST part of it all. I have never experienced something so heart wrenching as that. I felt fine but after she was born is when things changed so definitely keep an eye out if you have lingering feelings of sadness or not feeling like yourself. There is no shame in it. I am actually doing a series on my blog/youtube channel called mommy mondays and I will be talking about my experience with PPD in the coming weeks. I am scared to do it, but I also feel like it will help someone, somewhere and it is such an important issue that needs to be addressed.

    Things to really consider...trying to get as much asleep as you can. SERIOUSLY.

    Drink a lot of water.
    Have snacks available. Don't let the day slip by without eating or staying hydrating. These two things will help you so much!

    We used to be on the same board on the knot years ago and am so excited to see you on this new journey. Yes. There are a lot of hard things after having a baby but with support you will be okay and before you know it, things wills start getting easier.

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  32. I haven't read through your other comments, so I may just be repeating things ha! But, I would honestly say nothing can really prepare you (truly) for parenthood. Every one told me when I was pregnant with my first born about the love, the overwhelming instant love I would feel. And they told me about the poopy diapers, and the sleepless nights and everything in between. But they were just words..until I held my son for the first time. And I can't even explain it..the love. It would just be "words" to you. But that love softens the hard times, and believe me, my son is now almost 4 and there are some definite hard times. There will be days that you may cry in frustration and be burdened with guilt or indecision, and there may be days that you won't "feel" like being a Mommy..but that love that you will have for your baby girl trumps it all, it will fuel you through it. And no one can love her like you do, or your husband. She is yours. Even when you don't feel as though you can do it, or know how to do it..she will always know you love her.

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  33. For me, those first few months were easier than I expected. Not because they weren't hard, because believe me they were, but because I expected that it would be SO hard that I couldn't function, and that just wasn't the case. I loved every single moment with my baby girl, she could do no wrong in my eyes, and even though I was so exhausted for 5 months straight (until we eventually did sleep training) I wouldn't trade it for anything. Now that I'm pregnant with our second, I feel SO much more capable, and though nothing can prepare you for what lies ahead, the love you have for that little baby will always, always carry you through the tough parts :)

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  34. Hi Veronika!
    First of all, you look great! - positively glowing..

    My son just turned 19 months and a few items in your post compelled me to leave a comment:
    First - I also had problems with hip and thigh pain while sleeping. Sounds crazy, but I bought a wedge pillow (around $20 at BB&B) and slept elevated and that made a WORLD of difference for me. It was also handy after I delivered via C-section as it was difficult to sit up from laying flat that first week while my abdominal muscles were recovering.

    Second, your question on if it was easier or harder... Looking back now, it was not as bad as I expected, but I echo what many of the previous commenters noted. 1)The lack of sleep makes things seem worse when you are in the moment. 2)I also focused on so many horror stories before I delivered that my experience seemed rather ordinary in comparison. (Thankfully!) One of your previous commenters (Amy) really summed up the first 8 weeks nicely - my experience was very similar.


    One interesting thing I remember during those early weeks..
    I found a patience that I never knew I had. (Conversely, I found a surprising lack of patience from my hubby who is usually the zen-master.) Again, lack of sleep does crazy things to people.

    Best of luck!

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  35. My baby girl is 16 days old. Her due date was march 22. She was born at 35 weeks 4 days on my very FIRST day of a year long maternity leave. I had planned to have at least 4 weeks off to prepare for her. Mentally, physically, nesting. We had all of the necessities purchased, but because work was so stressful, I just didnt have time to devote to "being ready". Even though I was thrilled when she was born (healthy!) I felt a little cheated, or worried that she has been cheated out of having a mom who was "ready". In the last week, I realized that I really was ready. I already loved her so much that I was prepared to do anything, learn on the job, go 2 days with no sleep-- anything she needed, and thats all that really mattered. Sure, a month of reading the books and meditating about the birth would have been fabulous, but it was the love I felt as soon as I saw her that really prepared me for the first rough weeks. You will be a fabulous Mom.

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  36. My baby girl is 16 days old. Her due date was march 22. She was born at 35 weeks 4 days on my very FIRST day of a year long maternity leave. I had planned to have at least 4 weeks off to prepare for her. Mentally, physically, nesting. We had all of the necessities purchased, but because work was so stressful, I just didnt have time to devote to "being ready". Even though I was thrilled when she was born (healthy!) I felt a little cheated, or worried that she has been cheated out of having a mom who was "ready". In the last week, I realized that I really was ready. I already loved her so much that I was prepared to do anything, learn on the job, go 2 days with no sleep-- anything she needed, and thats all that really mattered. Sure, a month of reading the books and meditating about the birth would have been fabulous, but it was the love I felt as soon as I saw her that really prepared me for the first rough weeks. You will be a fabulous Mom.

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  37. I honestly can't really remember what I expected it to be. The reality of a newborn was pretty easy to be honest. I do remember expecting sleep deprivation, so that wasn't too bad. I also didn't sleep much at the end of my pregnancy. Connor napped so much during the day that I really just spent all my time cuddling him! It got harder around 3 months when he was really "awake" to the outside world. Noises would wake him from naps easily, and sometimes he wouldn't sleep even though he was so tired! I would really recommend reading sleep books now- it's much easier than when you have a baby at home. Motherhood really is more amazing than I could have ever imagined, you have so much to look forward to.

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  38. I'll also say (sorry to go on and on) that I was so concerned about letting myself go that I put a little too much pressure to be "done" everyday. Hair blown out, makeup, etc. Now, I stay in my pj's until after he's down for his first nap (around 9) and I'm fine with that! He certainly hasn't complained yet!

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  39. Hi V! First off you look absolutely gorgeous! I love your bump, makes me want one another one now hehe ;)

    For me personally, it was a challenge mostly because we completely changed our whole life around. We lived in Seattle, and dropped everything to move to FL and I became a sahm. That was the hard part for me.
    The main thing that got me through the first couple months was God and great support. I prayed a lot for wisdom. My mom helped me with the breastfeeding/babysitting. She is quite the expert.

    Every situation is different. I strongly recommend a good dose of laughter on a daily basis. Find something that you love to unwind. I loved having upbeat music playing during the day, it really helps. Just do little things for yourself too! And when I was feeling overwhelmed, I called a friend over. Or had my mom babysit so I can go do something normal like a pedicure or just take a walk on the beach.

    Can't wait to see your beautiful baby girl!! You are going to be a great mama!!

    Luba

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  40. My best advice for getting a good night's sleep is to read "Babywise" and then ADAPT it to whatever works for YOU as far as schedule goes! Don't be a sleep schedule nazi, just read Babywise and get the basics in your head so that you can understand how best to teach your baby to sleep through the night!

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  41. haha, i liked the part about the leg cramps and yelping curse words. I can't even imagine you swearing!

    -Andrea

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  42. soooo...I was just taking a peek through my blog stats and I was trying to figure out why I had so many views coming from your blog. So I popped on over here and saw my little ol' blog in your blogroll!! I was shocked (and incredibly happy!)!! I always get SO excited when you leave me a comment on my blog or a response to a post on Instagram. I know it probably sounds weird to you but it's almost like a celebrity leaving me a comment! I honestly read more blogs and watch more Youtube videos than I do T.V so people like yourself, the SacconeJolys, hrh collection ect are my version of celebrity's....

    I just wanted to leave you another message to say thank you!! You have given me motivation to get my butt back in gear when it comes to my blog. Sometimes I feel like I am the only one reading it, haha.

    -Andrea

    P.s I love seeing your little bump grow and grow. You have the cutest bump :) Can't wait to see what kind of posts she will be included in in the future!

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  43. your bump is so cute!

    xo julesinflats.com

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  44. TGIF Purty! Congrats to you, and for me, the best thing about being a momma is that though life is extremely different-the change is worth it. Except for when he painted the bathroom walls with red nail polish. That was not a happy moment.
    Shabbat Shalom! Woo hoo! Not only is it the weekend-it’s spring break!
    How is your family planning to spend the vacation time?
    Hope whatever you wind up doing is super awesome!
    Ciao ciao for now!
    Cherelynn
    http://makeupuniversity.blogspot.com
    P.S. Did you see “How to DiY Bridal Makeup” on Amazon yet? http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BP2CE42

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  45. My number one advise to you would be to prepare for the worst and hope for the best! Before I had my daughter, I fully prepared myself that this was going to be one of the hardest years of my life including everything from giving birth to the first year with a new baby at home.

    I planned on having an epidural but went into it with the mindset that there is a possibility that the epidural won't work and I might have to do it all naturally, so when it did work and my labor and birth was quick and easy, then it was a huge bonus!

    When we brought our little girl home we were prepared for sleepless nights, lots of crying, breastfeeding issues, you name it, we tried to mentally prepare ourselves before hand. Luckily our daughter was a pretty easy baby! She slept a LOT, didn't cry much, and was a very calm happy natured baby most of the time. I think preparing for the worst help us so that when things were hard, it didn't seem that bad and when things were good, it was like an added bonus. I can't remember how many times me and my husband said to each other "I can't believe how easy this is" Of course, it isn't that it was necessarily 'easy', it was just that it was way better than we had expected!

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  46. You look beautiful, Veronika! I'm glad that you are feeling well too :-) Gives me hope as I'm 21/22 weeks and hoping this energy surge lasts! lol

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  47. You look so beautiful !!! the most amazing this about your pregnancy is that you have maintained your figure so nicely !!! God bless your and your sweet baby !!! baby bean bag

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  48. So excited for you Veronika! Your post reminds me so much of what I was thinking right before each of my babies were born. My oldest turns 10 tomorrow -- which to me is mind boggling. Where DID time go? I remember only too well wondering how my life would change when she was born. It did change -- in ways I didn't even imagine. Having her, and my son three years later, made me a better woman, and also completed our lives (sappy I know but true!). Each day since they were born, it's more than I expected. I look at them now wondering often, where did you come from? How did I get so lucky? (sappy again I know). My best advice, enjoy and savour every moment. It goes by in the blink of an eye, and truly is a treasure :-)

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  49. Kate - :D

    To answer your Q's above: (our son is 8 months this week!) We thought it was going to be HARD. DH and I both thought we'd spend the days (at work) as total zombies; that we'd never have a sleepful night again. That son would cry a lot and be inconsolable a lot. Didn't happen. He is the happiest kid, his 'tantrums' last for 10 minutes. I can get him to sleep in no time at all and he STTN from 10p-7a. He is a total dream come true baby.

    As a newborn, he was bit erratic in his sleep, but he worked out his own schedule before I went back to work. We both read a lot to try and prep ourselves for what to expect, but son has hit his milestones on time (even for a 6 week preemie!) I thought teething was going to be awful and drool filled. Not so much. Son likes cold, wet washcloths. None of the teething toys are that interesting or soothing for him.

    It all goes by REALLY fast. Try to capture it. Take a LOT of pics/videos. You'll love them. Son was SO tiny at first, and now he's a monster. Just huge and happy and full of baby fat. It is so great to see.

    Best advice: Lean on people, family & friends. If someone offers to hold your baby at a party so you can eat, LET THEM! If your family offers to watch baby so you can go see a movie or shop, DO IT! It makes you feel so much more human to do the things you love and have the freedom to do now, if you have the support to continue to do them when she arrives.

    Congrats!

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