Category Archives: Pregnancy

The Last Post

June 1, 2016

This will be the last blog post before I give birth to one more human. Just like last time, if you’re wondering if I’ve had the baby yet, you can always check this site or use social media. I’m sure you’re on the edge of your seat. I had my other kids on their due dates, so I don’t really anticipate going early or late. My official prediction is that I will have a baby sometime in June. Please send your thoughts, prayers, and magical healing auras to my special place.

Grocery store checkout questions answered:

1) Do you know what you’re having? (no)

2) Did you find out with the other two? (yes)

3) Do you have a guess? (yes, though my guessing powers have proven to be 0% correct in the past)

4) Do you have names picked out? (yes, same name for either sex)

5) Are you due soon? (oh did you think I was pregnant? I just had a large lunch)

You know my thoughts on the third trimester and this final pregnancy. We’ve had a good run. Thinking about saying goodbye to this stage of my life, giving birth one last time, and holding a fresh newborn again all make me cry into my cereal (but so does that Lean Cuisine commercial with the night nurse and the macaroni and cheese–so take it with a grain of salt).

The kids are excited. I am excited. Austin is excited. Ever since Eva was born, we’ve talked about what our family would look like as a family of four but it never felt quite right. Someone was missing. I can’t wait until we’re all here.

See you soon.

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Last post with Eva

The Third Trimester: Goodbye Valentine

May 19, 2016

Third baby, third trimester, third time I’m googling “really thirsty + early sign of labor?”

We made it.

It’s strange, really. Wasn’t it just last week that I was telling Austin I was pregnant and then throwing up into the trashcan? Time flies when you’re having fun.

This has been the physically hardest but the best pregnancy out of the three. The only way I can explain it is this: Everything is easier when you’re saying goodbye. These months mark the end of a chapter in my life I have really enjoyed–and I’ve been aware each day how lucky I am to do it one more time. If I had to compare it with my other pregnancies, it is most similar to Waylon’s, but there have been differences too. For example, out of all the babies I have carried, this one has moved the most and slept the least in utero. Let’s pretend it means nothing.

The third trimester has been fine. The sickness came back, but I’ve been able to sleep at night. And if there’s anything I need in pregnancy, it’s a full night of rest. Other symptoms include round ligament pain, emotional outbursts over kindergarten registration, and the incessant need to organize the kitchen drawers.

Of course there’s the third trimester and then there’s the third trimester. Two very different things. So far this week I’ve made Paula Deen’s potato salad twice and eaten it all by myself like a sea monster. I’ve also asked Austin to do about 52 things I can no longer physically do, like carry boxes up and down three flights of stairs and vacuum behind the desks and dressers. Pray for him.

A few months ago an older and wiser mother of three said this to me about that last baby: “Oh, that one goes so fast. They are born and then they’re running across the graduation stage. Hold tight.” Got me good.

37 weeks and counting. Let’s do this.

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I Need Nothing But Want Everything: 8 Things For The Third Baby

March 10, 2016

8 Things
When Austin and I found out we were pregnant with our first baby, the first thing we decided is that we didn’t need much of anything. The second thing I decided is that we should probably get it all just in case. As it turns out, all babies are different and how about a round of applause for all the colicky infants out there who never used their multi-function swings, bumbo seats, or bouncy chairs. Thanks guys!

Every baby and every pregnancy offer an updated version of what you think you need. A few things that stuck:

From Waylon: exersaucer, boppy, boobs

From Eva: co-sleeper, ergo, rock n play, breastfeeding bottles 

Collage

The truth is you don’t need anything. The other truth is that it’s okay to want a few special things. For example, do you know what doesn’t matter at all? What your baby will wear coming home from the hospital. Do you know what I obsess over every time? What my baby will wear coming home from the hospital. It’s not so much that I ever care in the moment (I care about Percocet), I just like to look at it, fold and unfold it, and stare longingly at its smallness the weeks leading up to delivery. It’s part of the process.

Eight new things to add today. None of them necessary, all of them for the sole purpose of boosting morale and getting excited for another little life.

We can’t wait.

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1) Iviebaby Blanket.

Iviebaby

Truth: I basically had another baby so I’d have an excuse to order an Iviebaby blanket. Three things to note:

+ Elizabeth uses the softest materials for both the front and back
+ They look amazing wash after wash (pictured above)
+ The faux fur does not shed or stick on little fingers

Bonus: Iviebaby offers a ton of beautiful gender neutral options, but because I like to make things complicated–I had the ultrasound tech write down the gender in a sealed envelope to then mail to Elizabeth with my choice for a girl and boy. I can’t wait to open that box in June.

Favorites from her shop here, here, and here.

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2) Natursutten Pacifiers.

Naturesutten(Photo source)

Babies will be babies and choose exactly if and what pacifier they’ll take, but this time around I’m starting off with Natursutten pacis if only because they are so cute. Seriously, how are they are so cute? Other fun facts:

+ They are made in Italy by a family business manufacturing rubber baby products for the past three generations
+ No BPA, nitrosamines, PVC, phthalates, chemical softeners, or artificial coloring are involved
+ They are really, really cute

I’ve had two kinds of pacifier babies in my house, and while there are pros and cons to both–I’ll take an addict any day over all the crying. Putting these straight into my hospital bag.

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3) Gender Neutral Swaddle Blanket.

Swaddle me!

This is the first time not finding out the gender, which has been really fun except when I’m at the store and there are around zero neutral options for anything. Luckily Etsy exists, which is where I found this swaddle blanket after scouring the Internet for a few hours. Kelsey of Addie and May makes a lot of beautiful things, including these soft swaddle blankets made of lightweight and breathable fabric, easily folded to fit into a diaper bag. Excellent for swaddling and covering up while nursing. Other favorites from her shop here, here, and here.

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4) Coming Home Outfit.

Coming Home Outfit

When I contacted my friend Annette from LilNells about making a gender neutral outfit for my hospital bag, she was happy to oblige. Her shop is beautiful and simple and I can’t wait for it to arrive. Pictured above: the sweetest red baby girl matching sleeper and hat for d-day. Other favorites from her shop here and here. And a little throwback to Eva wearing tiny LilNells pants over a year ago!

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5) Sheepskin Photo Prop.sheepskin rug(Photo source)

Photo props for your baby are so 2000 and late, but I am not over sheepskin yet–especially when it’s only $24 bucks for the fake kind. It may not be classy, but it’s also not worth it to me to invest in the real thing–especially when it’s just a trend. Thank you Amazon for fulfilling all my needs.

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6) Matching Sibling Outfits.
Matchy Matchy

People call dressing their kids in matching outfits a guilty pleasure. Do you know what I call it? Enjoying dressing your kids in matching outfits. Guilty pleasures are for your 20s. Your 30s are all about finding what you love and going for it, even if it means fourteen dollar cheese plates, Justin Bieber, and dressing your kids like they came in a matching set. Checking the mail every day for these baby bloomers for the baby, these stripey pants for Eva, and this 5T/6T (yes!) romper for the oldest. Please excuse my hundred photos, I have no regrets.

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7) Carseat Cover.

Most of us just use a blanket to cover up the car seat, right? You know, that beautiful one your grandmother made that then gets drug around in the dirt because it won’t stay on the car seat unless you tie it (but then that doesn’t work anyways). I don’t need this, BUT I WANT IT.

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8) Video Monitor.

Five years of parenting later and I was feeling pretty smug about never getting a video monitor until my toddler started crawling out of her crib, climbing up the dresser, and terrorizing Waylon’s wall decals (I never liked them anyways). This video monitor purchase confirms two things about parenting:

+ Never (ever) say never
+ Mama bears will do anything for the sake of sleep

They will also do anything to protect their newborn from the antics of a guns blazing two-year-old. Can’t wait to watch that sleepy newborn sleep in peace (and not worry about his or her older sister pulling any stunts). Technology, bless you.

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The Second Trimester: A Love Story

March 9, 2016

2nd Trimester

Oh second trimester, how I love thee. The long bouts of energy, the relief from nausea, the vast exploration into the world of carbs with an extra side of carbs. Words cannot express how lovely it is to walk around vertically and not constantly cry on the bathroom floor. The last time I threw up was 8 weeks ago, and already I look back at it with the strange nostalgia usually reserved for wartime movies I pretended to enjoy. I also wanted to ask, can i tile over my current tiles? The tiles I have on my bathroom simple bring to me bad memories, and I’m not over exaggerating.

The visible proof of pregnancy is nice, too. All that extra help with doors without the weight of nine months of cheeseburgers resting on your pelvic bone. I’ll take it! Of course there will always be the friend of a friend who asks if you’re overdue at 23 weeks or the aunt who constantly points out your third cousin’s wife who “looks like she’s swallowed a basketball.” But we persevere. I may not look like I’ve swallowed a basketball, but it does look like I’ve swallowed a basketball player–and if that’s not overachieving, I don’t know what is.

Perhaps my favorite part of the second trimester is the TO DO LIST. Some women nest for the last few days of pregnancy, I nest for the last few months. Which is great for my minimalist pixie girl clean house dreams, but sad for Austin who is helping me scrub the basement steps at 11pm. I can’t wait to see what I’ll be doing at the end of May. The day before Eva was born I moved an entire couch across the living room while Austin cleaned the ceiling fans.

There is still so much to do.

When people ask how I’m feeling, I hesitate to answer. This has been the physically hardest pregnancy so far, but my favorite out of the three. Despite the bodily side effects, these months mark the end of a chapter that I have very much enjoyed–and I’m very aware each day how lucky I am to do it one more time.

Three months to go.

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Second trimester with Evie.

Nothing Fits And My Body Feels Like Sand: Five Pregnancy Essentials To Help You Gestate In Peace

February 18, 2016

As a side effect of working on some real, serious, pain-in-the-ass writing elsewhere, this blog has become a place for pure nonsense. It’s so relaxing, I love it.

You would think that by now I would have mastered the art of dressing a large, pregnant mammal with dignity—but alas, I have not. In fact, this may have been the hardest pregnancy to date in terms of finding things that fit over my couch-like body. Yesterday I went back through my online orders and calculated a total of $325 dollars worth of maternity clothing that I’ve bought and then returned because it was either unflattering, uncomfortable, or like trying to squeeze a sausage back into its casing. 325 dollars. That may be a tank top for Gwyneth Paltrow, but in this house that’s a whole lot of crappy Old Navy activewear.

Today I’m passing along five pregnancy essentials I’ve found through trial and error that make me feel more human during pregnancy (and coincidentally in real life too). Something for everyone. If you happen to get a sinus infection while pregnant it can be hard to find medicine that you can safely take while pregnant but you can take essential oils for sinus infections.

Godspeed on your quest.

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1) MATERNITY LEGGINGS

Out of all the things, good maternity leggings are probably the most important thing I’ve bought to keep up morale. Not only are my Motherhood Maternity jeans uncomfortable (I don’t even want to talk about the Old Navy pairs I bought and returned), they just don’t stay up. Bad leggings do the same thing. Over the span of three months, I’ve bought and returned leggings from H&M, Old Navy, Gap, Motherhood Maternity, and Kohl’s. None of them did their job. They either made me feel sloppy, itchy, weird, or like a sad sloth. 0/5 stars. Every single one.

Things were looking bleak until I found these Blanqi maternity leggings. Comfortable, flattering, and did I mention I never take them off? Dressed up or down, you can wear them for anything. I’ve worn them out to dinner, then to bed, then off to preschool drop off the next day. I have no regrets. They have a built-in belly support band and a moisture-wicking finish that makes them breathable and practical to wear in all weather. Best of all, they hold everything in. Worth every penny.

Tip: If you are in-between sizes, they recommend sizing up to keep your backside covered.

Another tip: They have a pair for after the baby, too.

These highwaist support leggings were made for mamas trying to dress a post baby body that just won’t cooperate. Same look, same breathable and easy material, but formed to flatten your front and make your butt look like Beyonce while you’re trying to care for a newborn. Win.

The search is over. RELIEF.

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2) COMFORTABLE SHOES

Birkenstocks

Social media and pop culture have led me to believe three things about women and their feet:

1) All women have small, narrow, beautiful feet
2) All women enjoy wearing heels if they just get used to it
3) The key to a woman’s happiness lies in her shoe closet

These facts may be true for some, but they are not true for me. Especially when I’m pregnant. Like many gestating females, my feet swell and grow with each pregnancy–making it 100% essential to stop walking around in hand-me-down Gap flip flops I got from my college roommate.

Enter Birkenstocks.

My love affair with Birks started with my pregnancy with Eva and I haven’t worn anything since. Some people might say they’re kind of ugly (me), but so are Uggs and Crocs. Two other shoes I’m happy to wear because THEN MY FEET DON’T HURT. And honestly, Birkenstocks have come a long way since the days of yore. There are so many different styles now that don’t make it look like you’re auditioning for a role in a biblical film that it’s hard to choose which to bring home. I’ll never wear anything else.

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3) FLATTERING TOPS

Pink Blush

I don’t have many clothes left over from the first two pregnancies, so when I found out I was pregnant this fall, I started from square one. Much like the leggings search, my quest for well-fitting maternity tops was mostly futile. I cannot tell you how many times I drove to and from Old Navy to return things I ordered online that didn’t fit or were poorly made. Department store and outlet shopping led to similar results. Apparently my particular body shape does not do well with anything that drapes or requires complicated zippers. I need stretchy pants, flowing cardigans, and form fitting tops to go underneath. Otherwise I might as well just wear a trash bag and call it a day.

Enter Pink Blush!

I first heard about Pink Blush Maternity when I won a giveaway on Instagram to their store. Imagine my surprise when my order arrived and everything was perfect. Not only were the clothes well made, they were flattering and affordable. I can now move on with my life.

Favorites include this kimono, this cardigan, this dress, and this gorgeous maternity robe I’ll be packing in my hospital bag this June.

Tip: They also have regular human clothes! I can’t wait to shop their non-maternity line this fall.

Another tip: Use the code “katebaer” for 15% off your first time purchase! Cannot be combined with other promotions or used on sale or clearance items.

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4) ALL THE PILLOWS

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 7.18.37 PM

You thought this was going to be a section about a ten foot body pillow, but the joke is on you. I don’t use one! I know pregos everywhere really enjoy wrapping those stuffed snakes around their bodies like a support wall, but I am just as happy with a few memory foam pillows. I like one under my head, one under my arm tucked into my chest (hey required side sleeping), and one in between my legs to support my back and cut down on round ligament pain. This system of memory foam pillows has worked so well that I sleep the same way when I’m not pregnant. Sleeping on a memory foam topper doesn’t hurt either. In fact, it’s pretty critical to this process. It’s like sleeping on a cloud. Experiencing a pregnancy with and without memory foam is like night and day…day being the pregnancy I never slept.

There are a million shapes and kinds of memory foam pillows, you just have to find one that works for you. Here is one with great reviews on Amazon. These pillows from JC Pennys look similar to what I use, too.

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5) BATH SOAPS

Do you hate baths? Does the idea of sitting in your own filth also disgust you? I get it. I never take baths when I’m not pregnant. But there’s something about growing a baby that makes me want to rip off my clothes and marinate in some hot, soapy water.

The key to a good bath is good lighting, good music, and a good book. None of which are pictured above. The other key ingredient is good soap, something I apparently have a hard time regulating. Right now my favorite is this bath soap by Dr. Teal. It smells really good and tricks me into believing its essential oils are going to give me the best night of sleep ever. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

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