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Leslie

On Having a Baby in a Pandemic: 9 Months Pregnant During the Coronavirus

To say this is 100% NOT how I pictured spending the last few weeks of this pregnancy, is an understatement. Of all the things to freak out, obsess and have anxiety over right before giving birth, an international pandemic should never be one of them.

But here we are.

It’s crazy to think that during my last OB appointment, everything changed. The Coronavirus was on my radar – my parents were traveling in Egypt {on a cruise ship – of all places} so I was low key stressing for them, but other than that, everything was moving along as planned.

Until it wasn’t.

The last few weeks of any pregnancy is not easy no matter any situation. Your body has some serious work to do and is getting ready to send that life you’ve been growing, earth side. I had plans to spend the last few weeks before baby catching up with friends, having a date or two with the hubs, going on special adventures with B + G {before adding another little man to their soon to be trio}, getting a mani/pedi with my mom {our pre-labor and delivery tradition}, showing off that 9 month baby bump where people love to ask you if you are going to explode baby at any given moment and just generally enjoying all those last few kicks, rolls + punches of the rambunctious little one in my belly. It’s really a beautiful time to soak up and get so excited for the new family member about to join.

But I and so many other pregnant women have had that taken away from us in the blink of an eye. Now is not an ideal, safe or comforting time to be giving birth. It’s scary to think of and with things constantly changing every day, I can’t even begin to plan for any of it.

Not to mention the fact that the construction on our kitchen + laundry room has been stopped due to everything for the indefinite future – so there’s that to add in the mix as well.

Good times.

At my last OB appointment, the most frustrating and scary thing my doctor and I discussed was the fact that she couldn’t guarantee that my husband would be allowed to be in the hospital with me, during labor & delivery.

Something you NEVER expect to hear when you are a few weeks {or days} away from giving birth.

Having given birth twice before, I knew that was something I never wanted to have to do, and it’s a super scary thing to have to hear from your care giver.

While since that conversation with my doctor, NY State has signed an executive order overruling any hospital not letting a woman give birth without a partner, it still is such an uncertain time of everything that can quickly change in the blink and no matter what, there are no guarantees. I’m in Pennsylvania, so I’m hopeful things will not get to that point where they won’t be able to allow partners in the room during delivery – because I don’t think that’s safe for the mom and I think its unfair to the partner and generally traumatizing for everyone – but still you just don’t know.

And it all just depends on timing.

I was induced with Brooks {who was almost 2 weeks late} and I was also induced Graham {who we took 2 weeks early} so during my appointment over a month ago, we tentatively scheduled an induction on Easter for this little guy.

I am very grateful to have the induction on the calendar – especially having to worry about care for both Brooks + Graham while {hopefully} WE are in the hospital, so it’s nice to have that to plan for. I’ve also had good luck with inductions my two previous births, so I know what to expect. And it’s generally just nice to have something to look forward to on the calendar and countdown to everyday, with everything going on.

I’m currently at the point now where I don’t really know if it’s safer to keep him locked and loaded in my belly as long as possible or if getting in and out of the hospital as soon as we can – before any possible surges in PA hit – makes more sense. It’s a crazy position to be in, when you are actually questioning the safety of being in the hospital for the delivery of your baby.

But then again, none of it is really up to me. If little man wants to make his debut earlier – unlike his brothers – then that’s up to him. And in terms of my scheduled induction – with everything going on, the doctors and hospitals could change that sooner or later on me at any moment as well.

It’s the anxiety of the unknown.

The waiting game.

But it shouldn’t be THIS INTENSE the last few weeks or days of any pregnancy.

Other than the last month and everything falling apart with the spreading virus, renovation stopping in our home and now the added bonus of “homeschooling” B + G – everything has been really great with this pregnancy. I’m at the point now where I am “big” so it is understandably uncomfortable to do lots of things, but that’s totally to be expected at this point.

A high point before all this COVID-19 madness started – being able to bring the boys into my last ultrasound. They were talking about seeing their brother for weeks and so excited they were allowed in to see the baby in mama’s belly. It was a super sweet moment.

As I publish this post this morning, we are officially 11 days until we go into the hospital for the induction – again, as long as nothing changes between then and now. Trying to spend the next few days focusing on staying calm, cool and collected with everything going on – going to soak up my two little boys at home and give them lots of extra love and attention – and from there we will see.

Sending lots of love out to all my fellow pregnant mamas, new mamas and mamas like me about to pop. We will figure this out and this will be a pregnancy that we will not forget.

If you have any words of wisdom, or are also going through this and would like some support – I’d love to chat! And if you think I’ve forgotten anything in my {minimal} hospital + baby bags – shown in the pictures above, let me know!

Thanks for reading, stay safe out there and wash your hands <3

Update: Our Home Renovation + Third Trimester with Baby #3

So in true #thirdbaby fashion, the regularly scheduled pregnancy updates have fallen short this time around. I have most definitely been keeping the bump out and about on IG, but as you know aside from being pregnant with my third baby boy – we’ve been pretty busy in our new home!

We bought our new home last May with plans to immediately renovate the kitchen. We had our miscarriage shortly following our move and then became pregnant with our rainbow baby almost immediately after my D&C. It’s been a whirlwind of a year – and I’ve been pregnant for the past 9 months, plus 3 months before that – so basically pregnant for the past 12 months, which is crazy to think about!

Add in a kitchen, mudroom + living room renovation and you can see why my head is always spinning.

We’ve been working on this renovation project since the Fall, but getting everything organized, selected and ready to roll takes time, as you can imagine. The demolition for this project started officially in January.

Fun Fact: The Kitchen is due to be complete the SAME WEEK the baby is due.

I’m just over here, no kitchen, no laundry room, 34 weeks pregnant – it’s all good. But in reality, it’s all crazy. Giving up control of everything that’s happening on the main floor of the house has allowed me to re-direct my attention and focus on organizing the upstairs bedrooms, attic and nursery – which isn’t a bad way to spend all that nesting third trimester energy.

For baby BOY #3 we have decided to go with a Llama Spirit Animal. If you’ve been a OG blog reader for a while, you know I’m super into a spirit animal for each kiddo. Brooks’ was an Elephant and Graham’s was a Lion. It’s sort of the base of my nursery decoration + theme. Working on finalizing the nursery in the next week or two, which I will most definitely share with you, but here’s a little look at where I am going.

No idea why, but I’m currently super drawn to these llamas, and I love it!

For a little bump comparison if you want to check out #1 vs #2 and #3:

8 Months with Brooks / 8 Months with Graham

And if you want to check out my previous pregnancy journeys – announcements, weekly photos, maternity shoots + birth stories:

Bump #1 / Bump #2

It’s always fun to take a stroll down memory lane!

So with my pregnancies with Brooks + Graham I did little weekly or monthly updates on the same questions to see what is different with each, and I wanted to bring that back for todays post!

Here we go!

How Far Along Am I: It’s crazy to say that I’m 34 going on 35 weeks pregnant. About to officially start month #9 which is insane to me. It’s been a hell of a year and this pregnancy has gone by so fast and so slow at the same time.

How I’m Feeling: There isn’t enough sleep in the world and this pregnancy has been harder than the previous two, from what I can remember. I feel like my first pregnancy was textbook – and the fact that at that point I didn’t have another kiddo to worry about – that makes the biggest difference! Being pregnant with Graham when Brooks was only a year old was insanity, I don’t remember most of it, which could be a good thing because for the most part, I wasn’t feeling great. This time, I’m grateful for B + G being a little older – able to do more on their own, so when I need to rest or take a minute, it’s ok {for the most part}. But this pregnancy I feel so much more pressure than before – not sure if its because my body has done this for the third time now or what, but it’s a different experience and I can only imagine it all getting more intense during these final few weeks.

Total Weight Gain: So this is a tricky one because I wasn’t tracking my weight like I was in previous pregnancies AND because I was 3 months pregnant, then had a miscarriage, then got pregnant again right away, the weight is a little wonky. I haven’t actually gained much this time around and I lost weight in the beginning {like when we were in Iceland} Eating has been rough this pregnancy as I’ve had debilitating heart burn – like I get it from water. It’s awful. Baby just pushes everything up and it’s crazy uncomfortable.

How Big is Baby: Little man is as big as a Lion Cub as per my Pregnancy+ app, which freaks me out because that seems so big. I have an ultrasound next week which should give a better idea of his size. I’m secretly crossing my fingers he will be born at 7 lbs. 11 oz. just like Brooks, Graham AND Charles {dad} – which is crazy!

Maternity Clothes: Because of the weight gain being a little on the smaller side, I’ve been able to make a ton of my non-maternity clothes work for so much longer this time. It also doesn’t hurt that I am super into loose and flowy tops – which always fit. For the most part I enjoy my full panel maternity jeans, but I do wear my non-maternity sweats, leggings and other pants from time to time.

Stretch Marks: On my belly. Yup.

Belly Button: Completely flat, ha.

On Sleep: My sleep currently sucks. I go to bed early enough because I’m exhausted but wake up a bunch to pee and then have the hardest time going back to bed. It’s the worst. And I am not a napper, so I can never get caught up during the day. Not to mention my house is a current construction zone so even if I wanted to nap, I couldn’t. The struggle is real.

Baby Movement: I get tons of kicks and punches and movements all day long. He gets the most active whenever I lay down with my feet up, and it’s so crazy and fun to watch. At every appointment and for every scan he’s been super active, so I’ve mentally prepared for another wild & crazy little one, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Food Cravings: With having no kitchen and my crazy heartburn, I am still very hungry, I just don’t always get to eat what I want – and when I do, I’m up + uncomfortable alllllll night. I am NOT an ice cream person, but this pregnancy I’m randomly into milkshakes – maybe because the cold sort of soothes my heartburn for a moment, before causing more of it shortly there after.

Food Aversions: Plain chicken. No other real aversions – but food has been tough in general this time around.

What I Miss: Freedom of movement. Getting up and down out of a chair or bed is not easy. Bending over to pick anything up only makes my heartburn worse. Fingers crossed this goes away as soon as my little guy comes out – like it did with my other two babes, even though with them it was never this bad. Life without heartburn from anything and everything, I definitely miss that.

Best Moment: All the bumps, kicks, flips. Seeing how excited his bothers are to meet him and getting everything organized in the nursery!

What I’m Looking Forward To: I get {and have to because I don’t have any other help} to take both the boys to my next ultrasound appointment next week and I’m pretty pumped about it. It might be a little crazy but I’m excited to see the boys see their brother. Fingers crossed everyone behaves.

Milestone: Picking a name! Brooks’ name wasn’t finalized until he was 2 days old and Graham we finalized in the hospital as well. I’ve ordered a name + letter thing or two and it’s been nice to have that locked down and done – I feel like I can think of him with his name and it’s really nice.

Going to soak up the next few weeks and I’ll be sure to keep you updated on everything going on! Please let me know if you have any questions for me about the renovation, third pregnancy or anything else – I’ll be sure to include it in my next update!

Thanks so much for following along! <3

DIY – Light Up Christmas Tree Sign

So I am so dang proud of how my DIY Christmas Tree Stand Box turned out {in my blog post and in real life} that I couldn’t wait to share with you how much second Holiday DIY project turned out as well!

This time, we crafted a light up tree sign that I love so much. Here’s a little look at the finished product:

Like I said before, I have been having so much fun getting my DIY on this holiday season. It makes everything so much more meaningful when you are the one doing the hammering, sanding, staining and painting before putting it up on display for the season.

Here’s a look at our instructions from this Home Depot workshop – not sponsored, I’m just obsessed. These are FREE workshops for adults, and they are awesome. Again, it’s something you can totally create yourself – you just need a 4 material pieces and some tools and you are good to go.

I chose to follow along with the Christmas Tree design as shown, because I have a serious love for Christmas trees this year {in all shapes and sizes} – but there were a few people in class that went a different route. We used a ruler to measure out the lines and then put dots for where we would drill in the holes evenly.

It turned out awesome! And who doesn’t love using a power drill?!

Then we had to measure out and hammer on the framed edges of the sign, to give it a more put together look. I kept mine a even square, but some people went longer up and down – anything goes!

Hammering in the edges, hard at work.

Then the project at Home Depot was finished. I chose to bring mine home to paint, stain and let dry. First up I stained the tree area. I taped off the framed sides, because I wanted to pain that separately.

Here’s a look after the first coat before wiping off the stain.

And after – I love how you can see the grain of the wood and some of the darker and lighter bits can be seen too. Its my favorite.

Next I chose to paint the trim white. I felt this would make the whole thing pop a bit more, especially once lit up with the lights.

And here’s how it turned out!

Once it was painted, stained and dried it was time to add the holiday lights to the drilled holes. This worked out perfectly because with this design we used all 50 lights in a package, so we didn’t have too much excess cord where we plugged into the wall, which was nice.

For the lights, if you like you can hot glue them to the back so they don’t move. This isn’t something I needed to do yet, but I might after a year of storage.

And here’s a better view of the sign lit up!

I’m seriously so proud of this and would love to make a second one – maybe another tree – one on each side of the fireplace? Could be cute!

But if you’ve been getting your DIY on this holiday season, I’d love to hear about it! Let me know what you’ve been crafting or if you have any fun plans to DIY in 2020!

Holiday Favorites + {Last Minute} Gift Ideas

Hello Hello!

There’s still a good amount of time before Christmas and everyone is freaking out about last minute gifts. Seems a bit premature to me, but I wanted to pop on here and share with you a few of my favorite things that I am loving at the moment that are totally gift-able for so many people. Lots of completely new {to me} brands + companies and most everything you can still get in time for the holidays! So without further ado, check out my picks and let me know what you think!

First up, I have to give a little love to this new {to me!} designer that I recently stumbled upon – Rachel Allene. Her ceramic pieces are GORGEOUS. The shape, the color, the font – I’ve been using it all holiday season. She’s got a ton more options in her line, be sure to check them out + let me know what you think!

Next up – I’m not sure if its pregnancy or just the season, but I have been STRUGGLING with dry skin, especially on my face. Another new {to me!} skincare line – Elina Organics. This deeply hydrating face mask has camel milk and it’s incredible. I really love it because it is the kind of mask you can rinse off OR leave on – I’ve worn it to bed a few times and in the morning my face feels incredible. I can’t recommend it enough!

I know one thing that is super fun to give + receive is anything personalized. I was recently gifted this robe as a little treat and I am so surprised by how much I love it. The colors, the print is gorgeous and I am obsessed with the gold “L” on it too. Such an amazing gift for any mom or friend on your list!

I think I’ll be taking this in my hospital bag for Baby #3 because it will be so nice to wear after delivery and perfect for April! In the meantime, I’ll be wearing it all around the house and feeling amazing! Did I mention it’s under $17?! Still time to order for the holidays.

Another personalized piece that’s an amazing price {under $30} and something great for anyone on your list – Cool as Ice tumbler. This is awesome because it comes in 16 different colors and twice as many font choices. I went with the White Marble and Black font and I love it so much. It keeps your drink cold, I love the feel of it and fits in every cup holder. This is another piece that might be making it in my hospital bag too, another great gift for a mama-to-be as well as anyone on your list.

The personalized stemless wine glass is another beauty I can’t wait to use more post baby. Until then I will enjoy it with my morning juice!

I know I already shared one mask that I love, but these Peel Off Masks are worth mentioning as well because they are amazing stocking stuffers and they peel off, so NO MESS! I love them so much for that reason – not to mention they are cruelty free and vegan. If you see these in store, definitely worth I try, I really enjoyed them!

And now a little something for the guys! The men in my life are SO HARD to shop for – so I always try to get them something they wouldn’t necessarily get for themselves – and a personalized piece always adds a little something special. This combat cooler I thought was really nice – I’m crossing my fingers that hubs misses this post, because he doesn’t know about these gifts yet. This holds 12 bottles or 18 cans, comes with an attached opener and I think it’s so neat for the beach or outings or whatever.

One more for the guys – a stamped tie clip. A cute stocking stuffer for sure and a great price for a personalized piece, plus you are supporting a small biz {love that!}

Here’s another new {to me} brand that I am seriously LOVING for my kids – Gigamic – which is a French company that makes wooden board games and puzzles. These pieces are beautiful and totally the kids of things you want your kids playing {and learning} with but also the kind of thing you don’t mind having out in your living room, because they are so pretty.

We are trying out the Katamino Family game for Brooks and also the Yogi game for Graham as part of their Christmas gifts. They look like so much fun, can’t wait to try them out!

Another idea for the mamas or ladies in your life – an anti-aging pillow, Sleep + Glow. I had never heard of something like this but then I did a little research and found so much about silk pillowcases and silk hair ties at night. The Sleep & Glow pillow is the first of its kind developed by cosmetologists and orthopedists in Europe to fight those nighttime wrinkles and help reduce morning puffiness. I need to do a before & after or something but it hasn’t been long enough using it yet, but I just think its so comfortable to sleep on! Would you every try something like this?

While we are talking pampering, here’s another super random + easy stocking stuffer for anyone – Luster 2 Minute teeth whitening kit. Under $14 and so quick and easy for anyone to use. It’s clinically proven with no messy trays or strips and so easy to use in your daily routine.

And if you are looking to stock up on some holiday treats for the kids or other gift-ables for friends, neighbors, teachers, whoever – these Loacker Quadratini wafer cookies are insane! They are light, smooth + delicious – also addicting!

So there you have it – a few of my favorite things that I am loving lately that are totally giftable and still super easy to get in time for the holidays!

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