Mommy Monday: 36 weeks pregnant with number two - cerclage removal!

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Ok, I've come to a conclusion: GETTING A CERCLAGE REMOVED SUCKS. haha I had hopes that this time around would be a more pleasant experience than last time, but - it wasn't really. Which leads me to believe that cerclage removals just suck in general. And that's that. haha And that's fine. It is what it is.

Bottom line is, MY CERCLAGE IS OUT, hooray!! And this time around, the doctor was able to get the entire stitch out, versus last time part of it was still left in because my doctor couldn't get it all. So I am very thankful that the entire stitch was able to be removed this time! My doctor showed me the stitch after it was taken out and it was much different looking than I was expecting! It was HUGE and thick and black...I was expecting something daintier and less horrifying looking haha.

Anyways, the removal was painful and unpleasant, but it's done and I am so happy to have the stitch out and to be completely "normal" and ready for this baby to come! :)

After removing the cerclage, the doctor checked my cervix and said I am 2 cm dilated and about 60% effaced - about exactly what I was after I got my cerclage removed with my first pregnancy.

Oh, before I forget: last week I had an ultrasound to check the baby's growth and position. Everything looked great! Baby boy is head down (woohoo!) and was estimated to be about 6lbs 6oz. James was a big baby at 8lbs 11oz when he was born, and the doctor said she thinks this baby will be not *quite* as big, but still over 8lbs. His belly was also measuring big, but the doctor said "not in a concerning way...in a CUTE way!" haha Which I think is adorable. I can't wait to kiss that big belly!

I've been really stressing out about going into labor and about getting to the hospital on time and about being able to get an epidural in time - and MOSTLY about having to leave James when I'm in the hospital. I've never spent a night away from James, and I know he'll be fine with my parents (they're coming to stay with him at our house). But I'm still stressing about it and so sad to have to be away from him!! I was "induced" in that my water was broken with James, so I never experienced going into labor on my own, unexpectedly. I'm pretty nervous for that! I hate when things aren't planned out and I just hope it happens at a convenient time and that I realize what's happening in time to get to the hospital!! I'm stressing big time, guys!! Prayers please! I'm really trying to just trust God and put it all in His hands and NOT WORRY. It will all be fine, I know. :)

Also, I know I express a lot of fears and worries and discomforts here in this blog, but I want you all to know how genuinely grateful I am for this pregnancy and for how smoothly it has gone and for my healthy baby boy. I thank God every day that we made it this far without any complications or scares! I am so thankful to have been able to experience a more "normal" and worry free pregnancy! I'm praying the duration of this pregnancy and the labor/delivery/postpartum recovery go just as scare and worry free!

Ok, on to this week's survey:

How far along: 36 weeks 3 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up around 40lbs.

Maternity clothes? Yes! Living in my maternity leggings and big t-shirts!

Stretch marks? So many above and below and around my belly button!

Sleep: Insomnia, frequent peeing, stress...it's been rough! But it's all part of the journey!

Best moment this week: Having my cerclage be OUT!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: SO MUCH! He's a very active little boy, and he particularly loves punching and head butting my cervix and pelvis area while simultaneously kicking my ribs. haha

Food cravings: Doughnuts, pizza, fruit...

Anything making you queasy or sick: No.

Have you started to show yet: Yep!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Back pain, period-like cramps, Braxton Hicks

Belly Button in or out? It's pretty much flat now.

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy for the most part! But definitely moody and cranky and emotional as well.

Symptoms: Upper back pain on the right side - super horrible, pelvis/hip/groin pain, leg cramps at night, frequent peeing, heart burn, light-headed, out of breath, THIRSTY, stretch marks, spider veins, EMOTIONAL, hormonal, feet starting to hurt if I stand on them too long, tired, achey...

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Mommy Monday: Two Months Old!

Happy 2 months of life, baby boy!

Can you believe that James is TWO MONTHS OLD?? Wow! I can't believe how quickly the time has gone by. He is SO much bigger and more alert than he was when he was born, obviously. But it really is just so cool to see how he is growing and developing! More and more of his personality comes out every day, and he is the sweetest, most calm, good little boy. He's so good natured and fun and his smiles are the absolute best thing in the world! When he wakes up in the morning, he just lays in his bed and coos until I come over to get him and when he sees me he smiles the biggest smile. It makes me feel like the most amazing, important person!

James had his two month check up on Friday and he is 12lbs 4oz and 23 inches long! He's healthy and strong and growing just as he should be! He got his vaccines and he did so well with them. Of course he cried a bit while he was getting the shots, but he calmed right down afterwards!

He can roll over from his tummy to his back (he's been doing this since four weeks) and he can hold his head up (he's been doing this since the day he was born...he's SO strong!! Even the doctors and nurses are amazed by him!). Some of his clothes are already too small for him - he's starting to fit into the 3-6 months clothes. He has been sleeping for six and seven hour stretches at night *hallelujah*! He likes being read to and he loves music and bath time and he really really loves being outside. He's just the best. :)

I can't wait for James to experience all of the holidays this year! Ben and I are going to take him to a pumpkin patch soon, which will be so cute! I couldn't be happier...I feel so blessed and I am so in love with my little family!!

Have a great week!

xo, Anna

 

Mommy Monday: Our Birth Story

James Henry Cohen was born at 4:35am on July 23rd. He was 8lbs 11oz, 21 inches long, and perfect! Life with him has been incredible. It's hard to put into words how much I love him and how complete I feel now that he is here. Being a new mom is HARD (I'll do a blog post on this soon). But it's also the most amazing, wonderful, beautiful experience in the entire world! I truly am loving every minute of it.

Our Birth Story

On Friday the 22nd, I went into my weekly doctor appointment. I was 39 weeks 3 days pregnant, and SO uncomfortable, giant, and swollen. My legs and feet had been swelling up for the past few weeks and at that point they were HUGE. My doctor looked at my legs and noted that my right leg was quite a bit more swollen than my left leg. He was concerned, swept my membranes, and sent me over to the hospital for an ultrasound on my right leg to check for a deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot in the deep veins of my leg). He said they would probably be inducing me when I got there as well. (Who would have thought that this pregnancy would get to the point of needing to be induced?!?!)

I got admitted into Labor and Delivery and waited in the hospital bed for the doctor on call to come by and tell me what was next. Ben ran out to the truck to get our hospital bags, and while he was gone the doctor came in. She looked at my legs, and then proceeded to tell me very gravely that she was "very VERY concerned". She kept going on and on about how worried she was and about how serious it was that my right leg was more swollen than my left. I, of course, was getting more and more stressed out and scared, and I finally interrupted her and asked what exactly she was afraid of. She looked me in the eyes and said very seriously, "Instant death. If it is a blood clot, that can cause instant death. I didn't want to say it, but you need to know the facts. I'm very VERY concerned, ok?"

I burst into tears and told her I was scared and she replied, "I think that's very reasonable that you are scared. I would be too. I am very worried." So then she left and said the ultrasound tech would be in shortly to do the ultrasound to check for the blood clot. I was sobbing when Ben returned from the truck with our things, and one of the nurses had to explain to him what had happened with the doctor.

Waiting for the ultrasound was the scariest time of my life. I was afraid to move, afraid to breathe...I was worried for myself, but more so for my baby. My mother-in-law told us afterwards that she explained what was going on to one of the doctors that she works with and the doctor told her to "tell your son that there is a 90% chance that he will have to choose between the mother and the baby, they can't save both." I don't think I even fully comprehended how serious the situation was. I just know that I was horrified. I've never prayed harder in my life.

BUT, the ultrasound came back clear, thank GOD!! :) He truly is watching over us. Every aspect of this pregnancy has been in His hands.

So, once it was established that there was no blood clot, the doctor said she wanted to go ahead and induce me so that we could get me some blood thinners and start to reduce the swelling after the baby was born. She broke my water (which I was nervous for, but didn't even feel) and then said that we'd give it a bit to see if things got started on their own. Otherwise, they'd start the medicine to induce me.

Well, as luck would have it, my labor started on it's own, so I didn't need to be induced! The contractions got gradually stronger and stronger. Once they got to the point where I could barely breathe through them and was starting to wimper a bit, I told the nurses that I was ready for the epidural.

The epidural didn't even hurt going in. It just felt like a lot of pressure. Once it was in, I was SO much more comfortable! Epidurals are amazing in my opinion! I am SO glad that I got one! I don't know how women do labor and delivery without one, but I have mad respect for those that have natural births!!

I labored for a few hours, and then pushed for about two and a half hours. At 4:35am, baby James made his debut! Neither Ben nor I cried, we were both just in shock and so happy! It was an incredible, scary, amazing, surreal experience. Holding my big, healthy baby boy safely in my arms at last was the most amazing thing. I can't believe he's finally here!

We were able to go home the day after James was born. It felt so crazy that they were letting Ben and I leave the hospital with him, haha! It was very overwhelming and so so exciting. Being at home with our little family has been so amazing. Time is going by so quickly and I just want to hold on to these first few weeks together forever. We've been in our own little world of love and togetherness and it's been surreal and wonderful.

We were together. I forget the rest.”

- Walt Whitman

Life feels complete now, and I am so overwhelmed with love. I've seen a whole new side of Ben...fatherhood comes so naturally to him and he is SUCH a good dad. He's so attentive and loving and caring towards both me and James. My love for my husband has grown even deeper than before, which I didn't think was possible. We are just so blessed and our hearts are so full.

I'm so thankful for a happy ending to this crazy pregnancy!

And the crazy thing is, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. The end result really is so worth it!

I'll be doing postpartum posts, and talking about everything I didn't expect after giving birth and from being a new mom and everything that goes along with having a new baby! I'll also be writing about items that are absolute MUSTS for new moms!! There are a few things that I seriously couldn't live without right now, from baby stuff to things for me to help with healing and everything...

Also, be sure to get your questions in regarding childbirth, postpartum life, being a new mom, pregnancy, newborns, etc.. I'll be answering them in a Q & A blog post soon! :)

Stay tuned,

xo, Anna

 

 

Mommy Monday: 38 Weeks!

I'll miss my shelf!!

Well, here I am! Still pregnant! haha Who would have EVER thought?! I seriously can't believe that, after assuming he'd be here early for so long, he is actually still in there! What a blessing! But also, let's be done now. haha Just kidding. He can, of course stay in as long as he needs to and I'm SO thankful that we've made it to full term!! What a relief! BUT. I'm freaking uncomfortable. haha My feet and legs are GINORMOUS - like...beyond swollen and tight and they HURT like heck!! I don't fit in any of my shoes! I'm having so many cramps and contractions. I officially full-on waddle now. I pee every five minutes. Oh boy...hahaha The last few weeks of pregnancy are no joke!

But, I'm still loving it. And I'm going to miss it so much once I'm not pregnant any more. It's just such a beautiful, exciting, special experience! I have been getting in some squats, stretching, and resistance band workouts, and I've been trying to walk more. It feels nice to be able to do little workouts again!! But I'm so swollen and big and lumbering that I honestly can't do much, haha.

On Friday we had a doctor's appointment. He checked my cervix, and as he was checking it he said, "Oh! I'm not going to be seeing you next week." When I asked why, he said he doesn't think I'll make it to the next appointment (this coming Friday). I was 2-3cm dilated and pretty much fully effaced. Now, we'll see, because I've read of people being more dilated than that and lasting several more weeks. SO. We'll see if he's right!

He also said that he was going to offer to sweep my membranes that day, but that he had called labor and delivery and they were pretty busy so he decided not to. But if I make to the next appointment he will do the sweep at that time! So, this coming Friday, if I'm still preggers, he'll do a sweep! For those of you who don't know, a membrane sweep is when the doctor inserts a finger into the cervix and gently separates the bag of water from the uterus. It's a natural way of trying to get things going. It only works to start labor if your body is already ready for it, so there is no risk. Can you believe that I'm at the point where the doctor is actually going to be doing something to try to help START LABOR?! What!? So exciting!! I can't wait!

In other exciting and TMI news, I lost my mucous plug. I'm not going to explain what this is, you can google it if you want. haha But let's just say that it is a sign that labor is coming! It really is just a matter of time now!

I've had bouts of really bad, painful contractions that come every 3-5 minutes or so, but they don't last for more than an hour and then they stop completely. So, not the real deal yet. But things are happening and little boy is going to be making his appearance very very soon!! Ben and I are just BEYOND excited for him to be born!! I've been walking a lot, eating spicy food, eating pineapple, etc... trying lots of tricks to naturally get labor going. Obviously I don't want to rush things so I haven't been going crazy. But I'm just so excited to finally get to hold him in my arms! It still feels surreal that at the end of this entire experience we are going to have a BABY.

It's Ben's birthday today!! And it was our 8 year wedding anniversary yesterday - read our love story here! I was kind of hoping that our son would be born on Saturday because then it would have been his birthday, our anniversary, and Ben's birthday all in a row. Plus, I thought it would be cool if Ben and I were both the same age when the baby was born. But, oh well! Ben will be 28 and I'll be 27! That's just fine! :)

How far along: 38 weeks 6 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up about 45lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes! Next pregnancy, I will be investing in more maternity pieces up front!! There's no point in buying more now, but I have NOTHING TO WEAR!!

Stretch marks? POSSIBLY a few little ones by my belly button...it's hard to tell! I'm hoping not though!!

Sleep: Not awful! Still getting up a lot to pee.

Best moment this week: Celebrating our 8 year wedding anniversary! <3

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Lots! :)

Food cravings: Ice cream, doughnuts, pineapple

Anything making you queasy or sick: No!

Have you started to show yet: Yes, I'm SO LARGE.

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Contractions, cramps, intense pressure, sore inner thighs, lost my mucous plug!

Belly Button in or out? Flat and sort of in a bit more than it has been in awhile!

Wedding rings on or off? Off, but wearing a place holder ring!

Happy or Moody most of the time: Pretty happy this week interspersed with moments of emotional craziness. haha

Symptoms: Pelvic pressure, very swollen feet and legs (and hands and arms and face and everything), sore all over, thirsty, shortness of breath, contractions, cramping, peeing all the time.

Thanks for reading!! The countdown is ON! 8 days left until his due date! What do you think? What's your guess for when he'll be born?? Comment below and let me know!!

xo, Anna

Peek Inside My Nursery + Giveaway!!

A Giveaway - Hooray!

I've teamed up with The Dream Barn to give away a Wood Bear Mobile to one lucky follower! This mobile is $76, but here is your chance to win one FREE

I love my mobile. It fits in so perfectly with our nursery and kind of ties it all together! We have a minimalist, bear, mountain theme going on. Basically, we have just really tried to keep the nursery simple, clean, and uncluttered. This wood bear mobile fits in PERFECTLY. I had been struggling to find a mobile that really worked with the look and feel that we were trying to go for in our son's nursery. When The Dream Barn contacted me about working together and I found this bear mobile, I was so excited. It was JUST what we needed!

We still are hoping to add some shelves with a green potted plant, some framed photos, and some other little decorations such as an antler that Ben found. We're also going to be adding some decorative pillows from Three Bad Seeds to the crib (and will be removing them whenever our baby is in the crib, obviously!). But, for the most part, the nursery is basically finished. The decor is minimal and I love how clean and simple and non-cutesy it looks. Neither Ben nor I are big fans of the bright cutesy baby stuff. So for us, this is juuuust right. :)

So, back to the giveaway!!

Here is how YOU can win a wood bear mobile, just like mine, from The Dream Barn:

+Follow both @tiugirlanna and @thedreambarn on Instagram. (We will check this!)

+'Like' my post on IG about this giveaway and tag friends in the comments! You can tag as many friends as you want, but only one tag per comment, please!

Extra Entry:

+Comment below on this blog post with why you think you should win!

(If you are international, you can enter, but you will be responsible for shipping!)

And that's it! Easy peasy! The winner will be announced shortly after the 20th of July! :) Good luck!!

xo, Anna

Shop My Nursery! Click Each Image Below For More Info. On Each Item!

Mommy Monday: 37 Weeks Pregnant!

Happy Monday!

I have a good feeling about this week! It's going to be a great one! :)

Week 37 of my pregnancy was great! I did my first "workout" type video since being put on bedrest. It was a pregnancy stretching video and it felt so nice! I took it easy, of course, but it was wonderful!

We had a pretty uneventful doctor's appointment at which he checked the baby's heartrate and it was good. I think the doctor was a bit surprised to see me still pregnant after removing my cerclage at the last appointment! haha He had only given me a 50/50 chance of making it to the next appointment - and now here I am, 38 weeks tomorrow! The doctor also had me sign all of the delivery consent forms which made it all seem SO real!!

The past few days I've been having A LOT more period-like cramps, intense pressure, and contractions. Friday night they kept waking me up they got so bad. On Saturday evening I ended up calling Labor & Delivery. The nurse that I spoke with was so nice and asked me so many questions to get an idea of what I was experiencing. She told me to take a shower, lie down, and drink a lot of water and rest, and that she would call me back in a couple of hours to see how I was doing.

Things ended up calming down. But Ben and I definitely had gotten our hopes up that maybe this was it! Crazy that we are at the point where it's ok to be excited about contractions and labor! Who would have ever thought that we'd be here!

I've also experienced a significant amount more swelling in my feet and legs over the past day or so. It's very uncomfortable and gross looking, haha. I have a feeling that this baby will be born in the next few days...we'll see if I'm right! Who knows, this might be my last pregnancy blog post! Maybe my next update will be that our little guy has arrived! How exciting!

How far along: 37 weeks 6 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up about 40lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes! Nothing fits or looks cute any more. Yuck. haha

Stretch marks? Still none...!

Sleep: Ok, other than being woken up by cramping/contractions the past two nights!

Best moment this week: Precious moments with Ben, knowing they are some of our last before our son arrives!! :)

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: A ton! He's an active little one! :)

Food cravings: Watermelon, breakfast bowls, pineapple, french fries!

Anything making you queasy or sick: No!

Have you started to show yet: Every part of me is swollen and ginormous. I'm gross. haha

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Contractions, cramps, intense pressure, sore inner thighs.

Belly Button in or out? Flat!

Wedding rings on or off? Off, but wearing a place holder ring!

Happy or Moody most of the time: Pretty happy this week! I feel like my psychotic emotions and mood swings have leveled out a bit!

Symptoms: Pelvic pressure, swollen feet and legs (and hands and arms and face and everything), sore all over, thirsty, shortness of breath, contractions, peeing all the time.

Thanks for reading! We are nearing the end of this incredible journey and I am SO glad that I've gotten to share it with you all - the good AND the bad! :) I just feel incredibly blessed to have been able to experience pregnancy and everything that that has entailed for me. Words can't describe how excited I am to meet my little boy face to face. He's been my special, silent little companion through all of this and I already feel like we have been through so much together. I can only imagine that when our eyes finally meet, I'll think, "oh, there you are, it's you at last!" My very own little buddy who I will finally have to share with the world. For now, I will enjoy these last few days (or weeks) of having him all to myself and being the one who gets to feel his kicks and wiggles and who knows his patterns and behaviors. I'm already so in love. :)

Until next time!

xo, Anna

Mommy Monday: 36 Weeks, Cerclage Removed - It's Getting Serious!!

First of all, happy 4th of July!!

We made it to 36 weeks...and then some!! Can you believe it?? I can't! And even more incredible, I'll be 37 weeks TOMORROW. Wow. Thank GOD! :) 37 weeks is officially considered "term" so he wont be considered premature any more, no matter when he is born! Full term is technically not until 39 weeks now, but 37 is considered term and not premature, so I'll take it! Baby boy will no longer be considered a preemie if he comes now! Yay!! I am so relieved!

36 weeks, woohoo!

The night before my cerclage removal, Ben and I went for a little walk at a beach near our house and let Gunner swim. It was so nice! We weren't sure if that was going to be our last night before our son arrived or not, so it was special. :)

On Friday morning, I had my cerclage removed. I had it put in urgently at 20 weeks due to a shortened cervix that was discovered via ultrasound at our Anatomy Scan.

EXPECTING MAMAS: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET YOUR CERVIX CHECKED EARLY ON IN YOUR PREGNANCY! AND HAVE IT CHECKED AGAIN AT SOME POINT TOO...WE HONESTLY COULD HAVE LOST OUR BABY BOY IF THEY HADN'T CAUGHT MY SHORTENED CERVIX WHEN THEY DID!! PLEASE INSIST THAT YOU GET CHECKED!!

I am so thankful that the cerclage did it's job for these past 16 weeks and kept my cervix closed and kept our baby boy safe inside, so that he could grow strong and healthy!

I was really really nervous to get my cerclage removed. It's just done in the doctor's office, no pain meds or anesthesia or anything. The doctor just inserts a speculum, like a pelvic exam, and goes in and snips out the stitches. I was told it would be uncomfortable, but probably not painful, and that it would take just a minute or two. But I was still scared, just because...I don't know, I guess you can imagine why. It just sounded unpleasant.

I was so excited to be done with the cerclage though. The whole time it was in was a bit nerve-racking just because if I happened to go into labor while it was in, it was time-sensitive and pressing that I got to the hospital or doctor ASAP because the stitches could hurt me (I wont go into more detail, but I'm sure you understand!) So to be getting them out so that I wouldn't have to worry about that was SUCH a relief!!

Ben and I went into the appointment ready for anything! We had our hospital bags in the truck, the car seat installed, and we were mentally prepared for me to go into labor that day.

To make a long story short, my cerclage removal didn't go very smoothly. The doctor had trouble getting my stitches out and it took a long time and it was very painful and unpleasant and just kind awful. But. They are out now, bottom line. So, YAY! And I am off of all of my medicine now so I am officially NORMAL! A normal pregnant person, yippee!

Once the cerclage was FINALLY out, the doctor told me that I was dilated to 2cm and pretty thinned out already. He said, "You could have the baby tonight." I think my jaw dropped. I had known that it was a possibility to go into labor right when the stitches came out, but to hear that said out loud was still so shocking, haha. My doctor said there was a 50/50 chance that I'll make it to next Friday...so we'll see!! The point is...this baby could likely be showing up any time now! Which is so exciting!! Ben and I just can't wait! I mean, obviously we want our boy to stay in as long as possible so that he's as healthy and strong as can be...but at the same time we are SO anxious and excited for him to be here! :)

I'm still continuing to take it easy to try to keep him in as long as possible, but now that we're so far along, it's really fine if he comes now! Which is SUCH a great feeling! :)

There is a little sneak peak at the nursery! We got a lot done this past weekend! I'll do a whole post about it once it's completely finished! :) A BIG thanks to my parents for helping us get all the furniture moved and for helping to set things up and get everything organized!! <3

We're ready for you, baby boy!

How far along: 36 weeks 6 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up about 37lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes, but NOTHING is comfortable any more! haha

Stretch marks? None!!

Sleep: Slightly better now that I don't have alarms going off to remind me to take medicine!

Best moment this week: Setting up the nursery!!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: A lot! :)

Food cravings: Ice cream, doughnuts, fruit, fries!

Anything making you queasy or sick: No!

Have you started to show yet: I can't imagine getting any larger...help.

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks, period-like cramps.

Belly Button in or out? Flatish.

Wedding rings on or off? Off, but wearing a place holder ring!

Happy or Moody most of the time: Both! Emotional, cranky, happy, sad, mad, excited, giddy, scared, enraged, frustrated, sweet, mean, laid back, psycho... you know...

Symptoms: Braxton Hicks, VERY swollen feet and ankles, achey, fatigued, lightening crotch, shortness of breath, cramps.

Thanks so much for following along on this crazy journey! We are coming down the home stretch and I am SO thankful that we've made it this far and that we have so many people cheering us on! :) Thank you thank you! Until next week!!

xo, Anna

What's In My Baby's Hospital Bag!

After my 'What's In My Hospital Bag' post, I received a lot of requests for a post about what I have in my baby's hospital bag! So here you have it: this is what I'm bringing along for my baby when I go into labor!

The stylish bag that I'm using for my baby's hospital bag! ;)

1. Hat, Mittens, and Socks. I packed a little hat (that my mom knit!!), some socks, and some little mittens. I heard that mittens are good for newborns so that they don't scratch themselves with their sharp little nails. Plus, they are so cute! And look at those TINY little socks!! *squee!*

2. Diapers and Wipes.  Most hospitals provide these, but I packed a few newborn diapers and some baby wipes just in case we need them on the car ride home! I love these Seventh Generation diapers so much!

3. Burp Cloth and Swaddle Blankets. I'm bringing one little cotton swaddle blanket and then a big muslin swaddle blanket. I want a couple of options for pictures. I am SO in love with this organic muslin swaddle blanket from Modern Burlap and I can't wait to wrap my little boy in it. I'm also bringing along a burp cloth.

4. Clothes. I'm packing a few outfit options. I'm bringing one pair of long sleeved pajamas, and two short sleeved onesies. I'm also bringing a little pair of leggings to go with the onesies if needed. And I'm packing this cute bib from Copper Pearl!

I'm also bringing along a camera! I'm not bringing binkis because I've read that for breastfeeding it's not recommended that you introduce pacifiers for a bit until the baby has mastered latching, etc... I'm also not bringing my breast pump because the hospital will provide one if I need it.

I was debating using my diaper bag as my baby's hospital bag, but this little bag that I ended up using is a lot smaller and squishes down so I decided to use it instead. But, for those of you who have asked, this is the diaper bag that I will be using! I love it so far! I love that it doesn't look like a diaper bag and it's a neutral color so it will go with any outfit.

What did you pack/are you packing in YOUR baby's hospital bag? I'd love any suggestions or ideas seeing as I am a first time mom! :) Share in the comments below!

xo, Anna

Pregnancy Q&A: Ask Away!

I get SO many messages, e-mails, and comments asking questions about pregnancy, preparing for a new baby, high-risk pregnancy, bed rest, how I plan on incorporating a baby into my adventurous lifestyle, etc... I've decided it might be fun to do a Q&A so that I can answer all of your questions in one blog post! I could even do a Snapchat Q&A if you guys think that would be fun. Let me know what format you'd like: blog post, Snapchat, or both!

Anyways, if you have any questions for me regarding pregnancy or becoming a first time mom or planning a babymoon or preparing for a new baby or anything, feel free to ask! Send your question(s) to me through the Contact form under the About tab in the menu. You can also Snap me your questions, or leave them in a comment below! Heck, you can even IG message me! Whatever floats your boat! Just send your questions over and let me know what format you'd like the Q&A to be in and I will get to work answering all of your questions!

I'd like to do a Q&A about blogging/writing/freelance work sometime soon as well. I get a TON of questions about these topics as well so I think it would be fun to dig deeper and answer your questions in a blog post or Snapchat or YouTube video. Let me know what you think!

xo, Anna

Mommy Monday: 35 Weeks!

Finally getting all moved into our new place!

This week has been a crazy one! We finally got to move into our new house! We've been staying with my parents since we moved back to WA, and while it was so nice being with them, it's VERY nice to have all our stuff around us in our own place. :) It's so nice to be able to sleep in our own bed again! We're still in the process of getting unpacked and settled, but I am just SO glad to be able to start nesting and setting up our little one's nursery ... and to have a home to bring him home to! haha My parents have been such a huge help with finding our house, getting movers for us, and helping us set things up/move in. I am basically useless, being on modified bedrest, so it is really really nice for Ben to have the help unpacking! We are so thankful for them!

My not so little boy! &lt;3

My not so little boy! <3

We had a doctor's appointment on Friday and all is well - our little boy's heart rate was perfect. Just over the past week my feet and ankles have BLOWN UP. They are constantly puffed up and you can't even see my ankle bones any more. It's disgusting. haha I asked my doctor about it and he checked them out, asked me about other symptoms, and basically said, "yeah, it's uncomfortable, huh?" haha Bottom line, it's a totally normal pregnancy symptom and I just have to keep my feet up, drink lots of water, and suck it up! haha

I've also had a LOT of lightening crotch this past week. The baby has dropped really low and I can feel him grinding his skull against my pubic bone. IT HURTS! It feels like lightening and dull pain...hence the joy that is "lightening crotch". Another common pregnancy symptom (with a fun name to boot!)

I've also basically not been sleeping at all this past week. I have such bad insomnia, have to pee so much, have to get up for my medicine, and am just so uncomfortable that sleep is pretty much not an option. haha

This coming Friday is a BIG day: I get my cerclage taken out!! I am SO nervous and excited! This is the point that we have been working towards for the past sixteen weeks since I had the emergency cerclage put in. I can't believe that we made it!! I don't think the doctors can either. I'm pretty sure we're beating the odds. My doctor told me that when I first met with him when we moved up here from CA, he was anxious about me, but that I have done great and he's SO pleased that we have made it to this point!!

He also told Ben and I to prepare for our son to possibly be born this coming weekend after the cerclage removal! I'll also be going off all of my medicine (Progesterone and Nifedipine) on Friday as well. He said that I could potentially still go to 40 weeks, but just to prepare in case removing the cerclage results in the start of labor. So we got our carseat installed, we're bringing our hospital bags, I'm getting my nails done, curling my hair, putting on some sunless tanner, and we are going to be ready for whatever happens Friday/this weekend! So exciting!

Now that we're getting down to it, I am really getting SO nervous for the whole labor and delivery process and what it's going to do to my body. I plan on getting an epidural (and any other drugs or pain meds they can give me, haha), but I'm still scared for the pain and just everything. I'm excited though!! Ben and I are SO thrilled that we may get to meet our baby in just a few days!!

Ben and I had a fun date night last week! We went out to dinner, got ice cream, and found this beautiful beach on the sound near where we live. It was so much fun! It's crazy to think that that could potentially be one of our last date nights before our son gets here!!

How far along: 35 weeks 6 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up about 35lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes! Getting so hard to find something comfortable to wear!! haha Even my maternity clothes are starting to be tight!

Stretch marks? Still none...oh my goodness, if I get some at this point I'll be so annoyed!! haha I've made it so far with none!! Fingers crossed!!!!

Sleep: HA

Best moment this week: Date night with Ben! And getting moved into our new house!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Lots and lots!

Food cravings: Fruit, milk, salad, burgers, pasta, fries, ice cream...haha EVERYTHING.

Anything making you queasy or sick: No!

Have you started to show yet: So. Ginormous.

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks.

Belly Button in or out? Flat.

Wedding rings on or off? Off, but wearing a place holder ring!

Happy or Moody most of the time: Both!

Symptoms: Braxton Hicks, VERY swollen feet and ankles, achey, fatigued, lightening crotch, shortness of breath. Eek!

Thanks for reading!! If you think of it, send a prayer or good thought or positive vibe or anything my way on Friday! :)

xoxo, Anna

Mommy Monday: 34 Weeks and My Baby Shower!!

34 weeks!

Week 34 is in the books! Woohoo! Who would have thought that we'd make it this far?? I am SO happy that my little boy has been able to stay in for so long. Hopefully he'll stay in a few weeks longer! Let's keep going!!

This weekend was my baby shower!! It was SO amazing and fun and beautiful! I didn't think I was going to be able to have a baby shower since I was put on bed rest at 20 weeks. But I'm so stable now and I'm being treated like a normal pregnant lady at this point. While I still have to take it easy and keep off my feet as much as possible, I am able to do a lot more things, so my mom threw together a baby shower!! She did SUCH an incredible job with the decorations, food, drinks... everything about it was JUST like I had pictured and even more. It was gorgeous and so special.

My amazing mom who put together this special day!!

I am just SO blessed by the people who showed up and made the time to come celebrate our little boy! There were close to 30 people at the shower! Seeing so many friends and family members from all different walks of life - some of whom I haven't seen in so long - was amazing! We received so many incredible gifts for our little guy and we were blown away by people's generosity and thoughtfulness. Seriously, THANK you to everyone who made time to be there!! We love you all! 

We are so thankful to everyone who showered us and our little boy with love at the baby shower!

My girlfriends and our moms! I've known them all since grade school! So amazing to have them there!!!

The best girlfriends &lt;3 So touched that they came to share this special day with me!

The best girlfriends <3 So touched that they came to share this special day with me!

These girls are such amazing friends! 

How far along: 34 weeks 6 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up about 33lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes! Some of my maternity clothes are even starting to feel a bit tight over my belly! haha

Stretch marks? No!!

Sleep: Not getting much of it!

Best moment this week: My baby shower!!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: All the time! :)

Food cravings: Milk, burger, fries, turkey avocado sandwich, salmon

Anything making you queasy or sick: No!

Have you started to show yet: I'm a whale. 

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks.

Belly Button in or out? Out on the top and flat on the bottom. haha

Wedding rings on or off? Off. :( But wearing a place-holder ring!!

Happy or Moody most of the time: Both! Emotional, cranky, gleeful, angry, sad, ecstatic, you name it, I've experienced it this past week! haha

Symptoms: Braxton Hicks, swollen feet, achey, sore upper back, tired, shortness of breath... the fun continues! ;)

Thanks for reading!! And a HUGE thank you to the friends and family who made it to my baby shower! It meant the world to me to be able to celebrate with you all!! <3

xo, Anna

What's In My Hospital Bag

I'm in week 34 of pregnancy, which means that there are less than six weeks until baby boy's due date!! How exciting! I've had my hospital bag packed since about twenty-four weeks or so (maybe even before that) due to being high risk. I wanted to be ready for anything, because we really didn't know when this little guy was going to be making his appearance! When I ended up in the hospital for contractions at 28 weeks, it was SO nice having this bag packed with all of my toiletries and other things in it. It made me so thankful that I had it ready early!

ADVICE TO PREGGOS: PACK YOUR HOSPITAL BAG EARLIER RATHER THAN LATER!! You never know what's going to happen and you'll be glad to have it ready to go!

Most moms-to-be start getting their hospital bag ready around this time though: thirty-four weeks. I've gotten a lot of questions about what I'm packing in my bag, so I have been meaning to put together a blog post sharing what I have packed! This is just covering my hospital bag full of what I will be using in the hospital. I have a separate bag packed for my baby. I'll do a different post on that bag and what I packed for him if you guys are interested in it! Just let me know in the comments below. 

So, here we go! What's in my hospital bag:

My stylin' hospital bag. ;)

1. Hospital Gown, Pillow Case, and Non-Slip Labor Socks.

Yes, call me ridiculous, but I want to look cute while giving birth. And gross hospital issued gowns just aren't doing' it for me. Thankfully, BabyBeMineMaternity.com has CUTE labor and delivery gowns and matching pillow cases! They come in all different colors and patterns. Here's the set that I have.  They also have these cute non-slip socks to wear during labor. (They also have them in blue.) They say "Ready, Set, Push!" and I think they are hilarious and adorable. Hopefully they'll give the nurses and doctor a chuckle. 

2. Nursing Nightgown and Cute Robe.

I am bringing this comfy nursing nightgown from Ingrid and Isabel, and this beautiful robe from Plum Pretty Sugar for after the big event is over and once I'm able to shower and get cleaned up.

3. Slippers and Flip Flops. 

I'm bringing a comfy pair of slippers to wear around while I'm in the hospital, as well as a pair of flip flops to wear in the shower. 

4. Toiletries.

Travel-sized shampoo and conditioner, bar of soap, shaving cream, razor, lip balm, lotion, floss, toothpaste, toothbrush, contact solution and case, glasses, hair brush, hair ties, mirror, mints, face wipes, and my makeup (not packed yet, I'll have to grab this on the way out the door because obviously I'm still using my makeup daily!). I want to look put together and pretty for our first pictures as a family of three! (Sorry Gunner, but you're not allowed in the hospital!)

5. Going Home Outfit. 

They say that right after you give birth, you'll still look like you're about six months pregnant. So I'm packing this fitted, comfy maternity dress from Ingrid & Isabel to wear home. I'll wear it with some flat gladiator sandals. Comfy and easy! 

6. Belly Bandit, Nursing Bra, Underwear, and Pads. 

I'm packing a couple of pairs of granny panties to wear after birth/on the way home, some pads, and nursing pads. Most hospitals provide disposable underwear and pads and all of that, but I'm bringing a few of my own just to be on the safe side. I'm also bringing a nursing bra (mine is from Target). 

Another thing I'm bringing is a Belly Bandit. I plan on starting to wear this ASAP after giving birth to help my tummy go back to normal! 

There you have it! Of course, I'm new to all of this, being a first time mom. If you have any recommendations for what else to bring along with me in my hospital bag, I'd LOVE to hear! Share any suggestions or tips in the comments below! 

xo, Anna

Mommy Monday: 33 Weeks!

Not much new to report over here! This past week has been great - no major changes. I have been experiencing some sciatica and new aches and pains, and my feet are swollen and get red if I stand for too long! haha (SO FUN!!) But other than that, nothing new to report! Other than I feel HUGE and a bit like this cat:

 I got together with two of my best girlfriends and it was SO fun catching up with them! I also got to see my grandparents for dinner one night which was so nice!!

This week was the first week that I didn't have a doctor's appointment since I got put on bed rest at 20 weeks! It was so nice not having to go into the doctor and to just feel normal! haha Little boy has been kicking up a storm and wiggling all over the place. It's SO fun to feel him move and to WATCH him move - it's crazy to see little body parts move under my skin. I love feeling his kicks and movements so much! He is getting so big and strong!! 

So fun to see how big baby boy's hand is right now!!

So fun to see how big baby boy's hand is right now!!

Tomorrow I'll be 34 weeks pregnant - another milestone! Yippee! The baby is now about the length that he will be at birth - crazy! Now he is just continuing to put on weight and fill out a bit more, putting on about 1/2 lb per week!! Grow baby boy grow! :)

How far along: 33 weeks 6 days

Total weight gain/loss: I haven't weighed myself since last time since I didn't have a doctor's appointment at all this past week. But I feel GINORMOUS!! haha

Maternity clothes? Yes!

Stretch marks? Still barely hangin' in there...hold on tummy!!! 

Sleep: Same same. Not great! Basically wake up every hour to pee and every four hours for my medicine. Meh. haha

Best moment this week: Getting lunch at this new restaurant with Ben! It was so fun and yummy!! And seeing my girlfriends and grandparents!!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: All the time! :)

Food cravings: Garlic fries, ice cream... Mexican food, Thai food.... all the food!!!!

Anything making you queasy or sick: No!

Have you started to show yet: I'm so big. 

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks.

Belly Button in or out? In on the bottom, out on the top. Super cute.

Wedding rings on or off? Off. :( But wearing a place-holder ring!!

Happy or Moody most of the time: Moody. Happy. I'm an emotional wreck. haha

Symptoms: Braxton Hicks, Sciatica, feeling like I pulled a muscle in my crotch...hahaha, achey, out of breath, swollen feet... fun stuff! ;)

Thanks for reading!! And thank you for all of the sweet messages, prayers, positive thoughts, well-wishes, etc... Baby boy is SO blessed to have so many people who care about him! And now we're basically in the clear - as in, if he is born now, he'll be just fine! But obviously, the longer he stays in the better, so hang in there little guy! :) Hopefully my body will behave and not go into preterm labor! Only three more weeks until this baby is full term! Yippee!!

xo, Anna