Well, I am officially thirteen weeks pregnant and out of the first trimester!  In some ways these last couple of months have felt like a couple hundred, and in others it’s flown by.  Either way, I’m heading into trimester two still feeling pretty nauseous and exhausted, but mainly so incredibly thankful to be growing a healthy baby.  I won’t be doing weekly updates this time around, I just don’t have the time, but it’s still important to me to document this pregnancy.  I love looking back on the updates from each of the girls, and they (especially Waverly, now that she is older) LOVE to hear about and look at pictures of memories from when they were in my belly.  I want this sweet baby of ours to know that he or she is just as loved as our first two, things miiiight just be a little more chaotic now. 😉

This first trimester has probably been my hardest one yet.  All three times, I’ve felt pretty much exactly the same — completely nauseous all day long, exhausted out of my mind, and starving but with tons of food aversions — but this time around it’s just felt way more brutal, maybe because I’m older, maybe because we’ve also had a lot going on with the house, or probably mostly, I also have two other kids to run after.  I just hate not having the energy that I normally do, especially when it comes to the girls, but I keep reminding myself that the beginning part is short-lived and SO WORTH IT.  My husband is a saint, the girls have been so sweet & understanding (my favorite part, getting their doctor’s kit out to help all the time!), and I made it a conscience decision to really give myself some grace which made everything so much easier.  I really love being pregnant and both other times started to feel 100% better at this point, I am already turning a corner and definitely can’t wait to really get there soon!

We have had three ultrasounds so far, I am actually a high risk pregnancy because of my age, I will be 35 TWO DAYS before my due date and apparently that’s the cut-off.  So crazy, I definitely don’t feel old enough to be considered “advanced age” but love the extra appointments and getting to see the baby more.  This most recent one, the baby was moving around like crazy, the side profile was beyond precious and reminded me so much of both Waverly & Avalon.  It’s crazy, this may be our third baby but seeing that sweet little face and hearing the heartbeat is every bit as magical as the first time, maybe even more now that we know how much we have to look forward to!

From the beginning, most people we have told about this pregnancy have said two things.  First, “congrats!!!”, and second, “are you hoping for a boy?”.   Which honestly, after a while, can drive you CRAZY!!!  We would love to experience a boy, I’ve heard all the things about the special mother & son bond, have been hoarding boy clothes ideas for years, and also think the girls would be so sweet & adorable with a little brother.  With that being said, we happen to ADORE having little girls, adding another would be just as amazing and the idea of raising three little ladies gets me all sorts of excited.  Really, we are over the moon either way and just cannot wait to find out!!!  I took the blood test last week so we should know very soon and can’t wait to share the news.

Thank you again for all your sweet comments, it means so much to us. I’m super excited to share our journey as we prepare to become a family of FIVE!!!!!!!!!!!  XO

Aaaaah, we are having another BABY!!!!!!!  Thank you so, so much for sharing in our excitement this week, your support and sweet comments mean so much to all of us.  I hate keeping secrets, especially one this big, so it’s been so fun to finally share (and to not have to hide this baby three bump anymore!).

So, we found out CHRISTMAS morning, the best (and most SHOCKING!) present ever.  We have always known we wanted a big family, but just weren’t sure of the timing.  I’ve never felt “ready” to even think about another baby until each of my girls were at least two, and when Avalon turned two early last summer, I knew I was closer to wrapping my head around it, but we also had a lot going on (with both work changes for my husband, house renovations, and getting ready to try to sell & buy another home).  So we decided to wait a while to try for baby three, we definitely planned and tried for both our first two kids, so I just assumed this time it would be no different — we would wait until things calmed down and plan for it just like we did the first two times.  And then came Christmas morning.  I didn’t feel pregnant at all, the thought of it being a possibility hadn’t even popped into my head, so when my husband put the pregnancy test into my stocking (as a joke!), I thought he was ridiculous and lost his mind.  Yet it was there, so I took it, and never in a million years thought it would be positive, but two little lines popped up, both way more quickly and way darker than they did either of my first two pregnancies.

If you know me, you know I am SUCH a planner (to a fault), so this was such a different experience than with the girls.  I was shocked, so, so shocked, but really in the best kind of way.  Alllll the things were running through my head (I had no idea what we were going to do about the house, handling three kids while my husband was in a job change, when was the baby even due?!, three kids will never fit in my small SUV, we haven’t even thought of names …… ) — but ultimately none of that mattered when I looked at my two little girls and realized that we got to have another one of these sweet lives to call our own!!!  It honestly was the best thing that could have happened to my over-planning personality, and this sweet baby will always be the greatest surprise of my life.  It’s now a month and a half later and we still have none of those details worked out, not even close, but I am 100% certain we have a whole lot of love to give and if parenting has taught me anything, it’s that when it comes down to it, that’s all that matters.

The girls are soooo excited, Waverly of course just “gets it” this time around and is so into it, and Avalon pretty much copies everything she does, so she of course is really into it as well.  They love to kiss my belly and that’s always the first thing they do when they see me after work, and we’ve also been using the our doppler the last couple of weeks so they can hear the baby’s heartbeat.  I think the hardest part for them will be waiting so long, they are already waking up and asking if we can “open my belly to get the baby out today”.  September first is our official due date (two days after my own birthday!), so the countdown starts now!!!!  Cannot WAIT!  Thank you again for being a part of our journey and for always being so supportive. XO

I am five months into exclusively breastfeeding miss Avalon Elle & lasted almost right at a year with Waverly Maye, which means I have been breastfeeding babies for 17 months of my life.  Crazy!  I thought I would share a little bit about my experience with both girls, with a focus on how it’s been going the second time around.  I am definitely no expert, but through trial & error have learned some along the way, I hope this is helpful to someone or that you can find a way to relate. 🙂

I blogged about my experience with Waverly on Julie’s blog here.  Long story short, all is well that ends well, but the first few months were very much a struggle.  During my pregnancy I had every intention to breastfeed, but was completely naive in thinking that it would come naturally.  The pain and overall emotional struggle of the entire experience during those first few weeks were a total shock to me.  I certainly don’t want to scare anyone who hasn’t been through it, but I will never forget how unprepared I felt.  The issues I had with engorgement, with getting her to latch on, and with keeping up my supply were all things I really hadn’t even heard of and my best advice will always be to research and even take a class during your first pregnancy.  With that being said, I am forever grateful for that time I had with her and that I pushed through!  We lasted until right before Waverly’s first birthday and I really consider that an accomplishment, especially since I was working full-time.

So this time!  For us, breastfeeding is definitely one of those cases where the second time was the charm.  Avalon latched on with no problem pretty much at birth & with the exception of some engorgement when my milk came in (which really does hurt like hell!), we really haven’t had issues since.  She loves to eat straight from the source, as much as I love her to, she will take a bottle but absolutely prefers to nurse and is so comforted by it.  I absolutely love those moments with her, cuddling her, listening to her breathe, and just memorizing every little part of her body.  My supply seems to be bigger this time, I am in no way one of those people who makes a lot of milk and has a freezer full of it, but we have quite a few back-up bags compared to living day to day like we did round one.  I am sure my confidence & just overall better idea of the situation is what has made the biggest difference on a more positive experience all-around.

Of course I have my days where I feel over it.  Being someone else’s sole source of nourishment is so empowering & wonderful, but also can be overwhelming.  There are nights that I wish I wasn’t tied to the bed feeding & instead could go read Waverly a book.  There are days that it would be SO much easier to let Avalon hold a bottle in the car seat rather than take twenty more minutes to leave because I had to sit down to feed.  And with only a few back-up bags and still working every other day, most of the time I would rather stay at home and feed Avalon than ever leave her or have more than a beer while she is awake.  It’s just not worth the hassle or the worry, which is totally lame but true.  It would definitely be nice to have a little more freedom at times, but I know that is is just a season & that all the good far outweigh all the bad.  With all of that being said, can I get a big “amen!” from all you working mamas who would like to join me in a bonfire to burn our pumps?!  Because I hate that thing.

I would love to hear your feedback, anything you can relate to or that you have learned from your own experience.  Above all else, I do know that each situation is unique, and we are all just trying our best to do what works for our little ones, whatever that may be!  I’m so excited to offer all you mamas a fun giveaway to make your life a little bit easier, a $50 credit to Purple Laurel.  Whether you are expecting or post-partum, this shop has so many amazing options, including postpartum belly wraps, nursing tops & hands-free pumping bras (I use mine every single day!).  Enter the giveaway at the very bottom of this post, good luck!  The winner will be announced next Wednesday, Thanksgiving Eve! 🙂

And because this post wasn’t long enough, I realized that I never shared these pictures from Avalon’s newborn shoot, better late than never, right?!

Pictures By – Brooke Tucker Photography

Now that we are six weeks into life with Avalon Elle, I thought I would share some of the things we are loving this time around, the products that we have found most helpful for our second baby girl & that truly, we would have a hard time making it without!  I was obsessed with reading lists like these with Waverly, & though this time I definitely feel like I know a little more, I am always looking for new products to make life a little bit easier.  Here are our current favorites! 🙂
Solly Wrap:  I decided to order the solly wrap during this pregnancy, even though I already had both the moby & the ergo, mainly because of the amazing reviews.  I have to say, I am SO glad I did, we absolutely love it & use it every single day, throughout the day.  I loved wearing Waverly too, but I definitely prefer the solly to the other two wraps, it is super easy to use, plus soft & comfortable, and it’s thin enough to just throw in the diaper bag.  I love that I can have both my hands to play with Waverly & also love having Avalon so close, all the time, she definitely loves it just as much!
Wubbanub:  We are definitely not above using a pacifier for soothing & comfort, we weren’t with Waverly and we definitely aren’t with Avalon. 😉  Both girls have preferred with wubbanubbs to all other pacifiers, they are so soft & (though Avalon can’t quite do it yet), big enough for them to get a grip on.  Plus they come with the sweetest animals, the lamb is our favorite!
Honest Diapers:  We did not use honest with Waverly, but I have some friends who used them & love them.  So far, I am definitely a fan, they have the cutest prints ever and it’s obviously a major plus that they don’t use harsh chemicals.  We also use the honest lotions, they are definitely some of the best!
Covered Goods:  I got this a few months before I had Avalon as an additional nursing cover, & it has actually been the only cover I have used since she was born!  I love it so much, it’s beyond soft & I love the print.  It also can be used as a car seat cover, which is super convenient!  This has quickly become one of my favorite products, I don’t know how I lived without it before!
Aidan & Anais Blankets:  I remember thinking these were so overpriced before I had Waverly, & now, three years later, we have so many & they are absolutely our favorite swaddle blankets.  They are the best quality, plus breathable & lightweight, and they keep their shape even after washing them a million times.  Waverly still uses hers every night & they make the best baby burrito for Avalon. 😉
Rock-n-Play:  Avalon has a little bit of reflux, so this is what she sleeps in every night, nothing else stands a chance!  This is what makes her happiest during the day too, we also have the momaroo, but if I am honest, we are 0 for 2 on our babies liking it.  I’m sure it is a coincidence, I have heard many people who swear by it, but our girls definitely prefer this swing or the rock-n-play. 
Zip-Front Onesies:  Even after just three years, I forgot how much easier it is to have the zip-front onesies rather than the button ones.  My husband does most of the late night diaper changes & then hands Avalon back to me to feed her, and he would agree that they are just so much easier.  Every minute counts!
What are some of your favorite products for your newborn?  Is there anything I missed & that I should be looking into?  And what is a newborn post without a baby picture?!  Our sweet, sleeping Avalon Elle, someone give me ten more of her. 🙂
Headband & One-Piece

And lastly, the HAPPIEST birthday week to my first baby (who is forever my baby, right?!), Waverly Maye!  We love you so much & can’t wait to celebrate you all week long!

Thank you for your sweet comments on part 1 of Avalon’s birth story (you can read it here), I am so grateful to be a part of a community that supports each other & also, who can relate to each other’s experiences in such a positive way.  Here is part 2! 🙂

It was around 6am when my contractions started getting crazy intense & I had the familiar feeling of just having to push, the same one I got with Waverly.  I was so excited & relieved that we had made it to that point, but also freaking out because I was starting to feel my legs again & the pain was way higher than I ever remember feeling with Waverly.  I convinced myself that the epidural wasn’t working anymore, my nurse assured me that it was even though I still have doubts, either way, major props to you ladies who do this thing naturally.  Seriously. 😉

I starting pushing & pushed for about 30 minutes before my doctor came in, at that point I figured she was going to be here (uneventfully) within minutes, since that’s what happened in my labor with Waverly.  Then everything changed.  They put an oxygen mask on me because my pulse was going up & so was the baby’s, then told me that her shoulder was stuck on my pelvic bone.  My doctor explained that it would hurt, but they were going to do everything they could to get her out quickly, & all I remember was a whole lot of pain before I felt her come out.

I was so incredibly relieved, but immediately knew something was wrong.  I looked up & could see Avalon from a distance, but she was laying lifeless & was completely blue.  Withing seconds, the NICU team started running in, alarms were going off, & I layed and watched while they swarmed her.  My husband & I didn’t make much eye contact, I asked him if everything was alright & he just looked at me with the blankest face.  Finally (finally!), we heard her cry, the sweetest, most perfect sound. 🙂  At that point we knew she would be alright (my nurses & doctor kept telling us she would be), but emotions were running high.  They were still working on her & wouldn’t let my husband hold her, then when he finally got to, I had to wait about 30 minutes before I could.  I was really trying to remain positive & thought I could keep it together until I looked over at him with tears running down his face.  Something I had never seen in fifteen years of dating.  So of course, I lost it, too, a culmination of all the feelings from the last two days, fear & anxiety from the moments before but also, so much joy that she was finally here.

We know now that Avalon’s crazy entrance into the world was both because of her shoulder getting stuck (shoulder distocia), & because the cord was wrapped around her neck.  She didn’t breath for 1 minute & 40 seconds (though it felt so much longer), and her first apgar was a 2 out of 10.  Thankfully, we have an amazing doctor who we absolutely love, & had wonderful nurses who took such good care of her & within the hour, she was 100% fine.  Yet it definitely was scary, especially since we had been through one birth & knew how different this one was, and we realize more than ever how fortunate we are to have two healthy, beautiful babies. 🙂

And lastly, things I have learned from the labors of my girls. 🙂
One, that I really am not in control, no matter how much I want to be.  I spent so much of this pregnancy hoping that I wouldn’t have to be induced (which is exactly what happened), and in the end, all that mattered was that we had a healthy baby.  Two, I really am the worst dialater ever & if we are lucky enough to have more babies, I just need to go into it knowing that.  And expecting to be in labor for more than one day.  Three, the ultrasound technician totally got it wrong on this one.  The 8 pound & 10 ounce baby we were supposed to have?  She ended up being 7 pounds, 2 ounces, smaller than her older sister. 😉

*All images by Brooke of Brooke Tucker Photography.