Thursday, December 17, 2015

Introducing Harper Elizabeth

Introducing the love of our life...

Harper Elizabeth
December 11, 2015
Born at 12:54 am
6 pounds 13 ounces

We couldn't be more in love!

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

My Pregnancy Must-Haves

My days as a 'mama-to-be' are numbered, and the new title of 'mama' will take it's place. Although I'm totally beyond excited to meet our little babe, I already kinda miss being pregnant (at least some aspects of it - the little kicks and jabs, the stretchy waistbands, accentuating my belly instead of hiding it). For the most part, I've loved being pregnant. Now, I definitely won't miss the swollen ankles, backaches, and feeling like a beached whale here in the recent weeks, but I'm sure those little inconveniences will quickly be forgotten once I get to snuggling our little girl.

When you're pregnant for the first time though, it's just all so new and exciting, and a little bit terrifying and overwhelming. You're now responsible for another human life that isn't your own. On top of making sure you're doing what you're suppose to, to ensure the healthy growth of your little belly peanut, you have to figure out of how to take care of yourself now that your pants are a little snug and the dreaded thought of stretch marks makes you wipe out the lotion shelf at your local drug store.

As a first time preggo, you really have no idea what kind of pregnancy luxuries to buy - especially when you're only 6 weeks in and the thought of a big ole belly seems pretty distant. But eventually, you do have to buy a new wardrobe and the full coverage maternity jeans don't seem so lame, but now the only plausible option.The retail world of baby and pregnancy can make any hormonal mama-to-be broke, so it's best to handle this phase of life as just that - a phase. Not spending your entire paycheck at Motherhood Maternity, and really focusing in on the staples of pregnancy to get you through. Here are a list of my favorite pregnancy must-haves throughout my whole pregnancy, first through third trimesters!

Pregnancy Must-Haves

+ Hair Ties 
The ol' hair tie pants trick. Guilty.
 If you're anything like me, I tried putting off buying maternity clothes as long as possible. I really didn't want to buy maternity pants, knowing that this baby was only going to get bigger, and the thought of buying pants multiple times during the multiple stages of this growing belly made made me a little crazy. It's a definite good first trimester trick, and can hopefully work a little ways into the second trimester!

+ Prenatal GUMMY Vitamins
They almost taste as good as candy - almost.
I HATE taking vitamins - especially the ones that leave an icky taste in your mouth. After checking with my doctor at the beginning of pregnancy, the VitaFusion Gummy Vitamins were my best option. I actually looked forward to taking them because they really tasted that good. I actually began taking them before I was pregnant, but you'll definitely want for the long 9 month baby haul. 

+ Pregnancy Body Pillow
Game changer. Completely.
I was lucky enough to have a sweet neighbor who loaned me hers! :)
I suggest going with that option if at all possible. I really didn't need it for the first half of my pregnancy, and probably even a little while after that. But by the third trimester, it completely helped me sleep through the night (especially since I was a stomach sleeper pre-pregnancy) with the belly and leg support. 

+ Maternity Cami's
I've never been one to flaunt my stomach, since it was never that flat anyway, but I was all about flaunting the baby bump once it made a noticeable appearance. They were perfect for layering under all my pre-pregnancy plaid shirts and sweaters, and I was able to use one cami for multiple looks. Plus, with being so hot (especially at night - yay hormones), they're perfect for sleeping in and staying cool.

+ Sparkly Belt
Okay - maybe not a necessity, but this was my FAVORITE pregnancy wardrobe accessory! See hereI loved the way it made my bump "pop" and was cute and fashionable even when I maybe didn't feel so cute and fashionable. It made every look more complete and a tad fancy. I bought mine from Target, here.

+ Pregnancy Apps
Because you really have no clue whats happening with this suddenly large and in charge body of yours, so the apps kinda give you a piece of mind. I tried a few different apps the last nine months, but my favorites are "What to Expect," "The Bump," and "Ovia Pregnancy." All three are free, which is even better! They offer a lot of great insight into what's going on with your baby and give you tips and a timeline for what you should be doing to prepare for baby's arrival. I really looked forward to every Thursday when I was able to read my new weekly update!

+ Pregnancy Leggings/Yoga Pants
LIFE CHANGING. No, seriously.
I probably won't be switching back to regular leggings after pregnancy, and I'm not ashamed. They're that comfortable, and suck a lot in. Secret: I wear my skinny yoga tights as leggings a lot of the time because they're a little thicker. #noshame
Mine are all purchased from Old Navy. 

+ Drawstring Shorts
These were a life saver at the beginning of my pregnancy and really through the whole second trimester. Once I began filling out in my hips and thighs (pretty early on), I knew I needed something a little more cozy and that could grow with my belly. I didn't even need to purchase maternity shorts (MONEY SAVER!) because of the drawstring. Once again, I purchased mine from Old Navy for like $10 - definitely affordable and cute. Zippers and buttons are way overrated even not pregnant!

+ Full Coverage Maternity Jeans
This is where I wish I would have made more of an investment. 
When I first started showing, I didn't know if I should buy the side panel stretchy jeans or the full coverage jeans. Because I really wasn't showing too much at the time, I felt like the side panel jeans were all I would need - they felt great! The full coverage jeans just seemed a little much at the time, but I was very mistaken come third trimester. The once cozy side panels increasingly dug into my hips and cut me off in the belly. By the time I was completely over wearing them, I was far enough along that I didn't want to spend even more money on maternity clothes. I wish I would have just bought the full coverage jeans from the beginning. Next time, I'll know!

+ Stretch Mark Cream
I know they say if you're going to get stretch marks, you will regardless of what kind of lotion/cream you use. That's probably true, but I would have been way harder on myself once I did get them unless I at least tried. My mother-in-law actually was sweet enough and bought me the CeraVe` and I really liked it. If I didn't have it with me, I would use heavy duty lotion instead. I was stretch mark free up until about week 36/37. So close!

+ Belly Bands
Another great trick for stretching out the longevity of wearing your old pants. I actually found a coupon for a free one from a magazine at one of my doctor's appointments, and it worked great for awhile. I actually wished I would have bought one sooner than I did. 

+ Boyfriend T-Shirts
At the beginning of operation hide baby bump, you're trying to not allow your new pooch to sneak through and give away your secret before the first trimester is up. These loose, yet fashionable t-shirts from Old Navy did the trick just fine, and I'm actually even able to still wear them at 38 weeks - and they're non-maternity (money saver again).

There we have it - a few of my pregnancy fav's throughout each trimester! What are some of y'all's pregnancy favorites for the new mama-to-be's? 

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Friday, December 4, 2015

Bumpdate || Thirty-Eight

How far along: 38 weeks

Due Date: December 17, 2015 - we won't be making it though!

Baby is the size of: She's a little pumpkin this week - in the six pound range, 19-20 inches or so. 

Symptoms: Emotional! These pregnancy hormones are getting the best of me these days. Occasional Braxton Hicks contractions, but really not many at all. Feeling really tired the last few days, and really hungry! I can probably eat every two hours recently, which has been the complete opposite from the majority of my pregnancy. Acid reflux still hanging around also. My belly button sticks out all the time now, and stretch marks have decided to make an appearance on my belly. :( I was so close to making it to the end!

Gender: My sweet, sweet little girl. Post here

Name: Harper Elizabeth. Post here.

Movement: More shifts, rolls, and jabs these days. She's running out of space, but that didn't keep her from stretching out her little legs and jamming them into my ribs the other day... thanks little lady. 

Nursery: All done! Except for the monogram, which will probably be painted within the week. I'm completely in love with it!

Maternity Clothes: Leggings and yoga pants for this bed resting mama. I don't miss wearing regular clothes one bit. 

Sleep: Still pretty terrible, but I really wouldn't expect anything different at this point. Waking up every 3 hours or so, achy legs at night, sweating my butt off, and just not feeling comfortable. I'd love to take a nap during the day, but that's pretty hopeless also.

Best Moment This Week: Pretty good news at our doctor's appointment - we have an official day of arrival for our little peanut!

Missing Anything: Can you already miss being pregnant while you're still pregnant? After spending the day before Thanksgiving at the hospital, thinking we were probably going to be induced that day or within the week, we kinda assumed this journey was coming to an end sooner rather than later. Which in turn, got me all emotional about not having this little girl with me 24/7 wiggling around, feeling her every move. Oh, hormones.

Cravings/Aversions: Still that Chick-fil-a craving - but then again, isn't Chick-fil-a always a craving pregnant or not? I have a serious sweet tooth here recently, too. 

Mood: Like I said a few times - emotional! Wanting to meet her so bad, but wanting to keep her in this belly for as long as possible. 

Doctor's Appointment: After a few weeks of high blood pressure, we were expecting yet another week of it. We were completely SHOCKED that it read completely perfect the first time it was taken. And somehow there were no trace of proteins in my urine. So bed rest has been working really well, which kinda surprised our doctor that it did work so well. But to be cautionary, she doesn't want to run the risk too long of it going back up and having to be on medication during labor and delivery, which can make you feel pretty miserable she said and run the risk of seizures. So with that being said and everything seemingly perfect at the moment, she would feel more comfortable inducing at 39 weeks, just to make sure little girl's lungs are fully developed and ready for the world. With me being 39 weeks on the 10th, we were planning an induction for that night, but with scheduling, we'll be admitted and induced on the 13th instead. Crossing our fingers for a December 14th birthday! We will have an appointment next week though to make sure we're still doing good before induction day.

Husband: Sweet and wonderful. More than ready to meet his little girl!

Looking Forward To: December 13th to get the show on the road. :)

{{ previous bumpdates }}

eleven || twelve || thirteen

fourteen || fifteen || sixteen
seventeen || eighteen || nineteen
twenty || twenty-one || twenty-two
twenty-three || twenty-four || twenty-five
twenty-six || twenty-seven || twenty-eight
thirty-two || thirty-three || thirty-four
thirty-five || thirty-six || thirty-seven

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Dear Harper

Dear Harper,

     I can't believe you're almost here (and I can't believe I'm already tearing up writing this letter to you - but get used to it sweet girl, we love you so much already). As I write this letter to you sitting in your nursery, I can't help but think back to the day I told your daddy about you, our blessing from above. I'll forever remember the look of disbelief, but instant love as soon as he heard the news in this very room. I have to say, I was a little in disbelief, as well. How could we be so lucky to call you our very own? 

     From the very moment we found out that we were going to be parents, we felt an instant connection with you even though we hadn't even officially met. You instantly had daddy wrapped around your tiny finger (and just between you and me, you always will). As for me - well, we have a different type of connection. As the saying says, you're the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside. For the last nine months, you've stepped every step with me, you've heard every breath I've took, you've felt every cry and every laughter. I've watched you grow from the inside and out. I've felt every jab, every kick, every hiccup. You have given me a different title - a title that nobody can ever take away from me. A title that I hold with pride. A title that only some can be blessed with. The title of 'mommy.' Something I've always wanted to be. 

     You're a lucky little girl already, Harper Elizabeth. So many people can't wait to already meet you. 

     Your daddy - well, he's been dying to meet you as long as I have. He's the one to go to if you want a good laugh, a shoulder to cry on, someone to protect and hold you for as long as you need. I have a feeling that you two are going to be inseparable - he has a list a mile long of things he wants to show you, teach you, and do with you. He's going to be the man of your dreams, a role model, and best of all, the first man you'll ever love with all your heart (and believe me, it's easy to do). 

     You have grandparents, aunts, uncles, great grandparents, friends - the love that will surround you will be overwhelmingly wonderful. Anything you'll ever need will be right at their fingertips, waiting for your sweet little hands to lovingly grab. You're blessed beyond belief to have them in your life. They'll never let you down, and be there for you anytime you need. I promise you of that. 

     And how could I forget about Maci and Hank. I'm sure you've heard them already - in fact, I know you have. They're kinda like having a brother and sister, except they'll never pick a fight with you, they'll give you a million kisses, and snuggle whenever you need it the most. They may steal a toy every once in awhile, but I promise they're a lot of fun and will give you all the unconditional love a puppy can give.

     As we inch closer to the day of finally meeting, I have so many hopes and dreams for you as your mom. I can't wait to experience all your "firsts" with you, and I know you'll teach me a lot of new "firsts" as well. I can't promise that I'll be the perfect mom all the time, but I'll do everything in my power to always try my best. I can only pray for your health, your safety, and your love in return. Daddy and I both promise to protect you for as long as we live, to give you a roof over your head, food on the table, a loving home for you to always come back to, a shoulder to cry on, a marriage to wish for, and the ability to trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Our hearts are open to you, sweet girl. We couldn't be more proud of you. We couldn't be more excited to lock eyes with you for the first time. I know there's one thing for sure - we love you so much already, but there's plenty more room in our hearts for more.

     I love you, Harper Elizabeth - and I always will, forever and ever. And more than that. (you'll understand that one day) The day we meet will be the best day of my life. You've forever changed me little one.

Love forever,

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Showered With {Baby} Love | Harper's Shower

A couple weeks ago, I took a break from my bed rest to celebrate our little girl one last time before her arrival. With puffy face, big belly, and hubby in all, we enjoyed this time with family and friends all for our peanut. Cody's sweet cousin, Hailey, along with our future sister-in-law and aunt-to-be, Anissa, were so sweet in putting together our shower with Cody's side of the family. Everything was so adorable, and I once again, was in shock with how loved we are as an almost family of three. It was such a sweet day!

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