Owen's Birth Story



I’ve been so excited to write this post, but I knew it would take a while to get it up. To say life has been crazy would be quite the understatement. We knew March-June of 2020 was going to be BIG and stressful (baby + cross country move…who does that), but sprinkle on a little global pandemic into the mix and I felt like a walking ticking time bomb during my one million quarantine walks


Owen's Birth Story



Let me start by saying that the month leading up to Owens birth was one of the hardest months of my life mentally. It was weird because I was happy, but I was also so so so sad/anxious/stressed/you name it. It was hard for me to post on social. I think this might need to be a different post for a later time, but just know I was feeling ALL the feels. I’ve never been more scared to go have a baby than I was with Owen. The pandemic added this THICK layer on top of all the normal worries of “will my baby be healthy? Will this be a safe delivery?” I found myself also thinking “Will Garrett be able to be there for the birth?” “Will I be able to breathe in a mask while I’m giving birth?” It was a lot, let me tell you.


Owen's Birth Story




For some reason my body doesn’t like to dilate on its own. I went into labor on my own with Bradley (my first) but I was a week past my due date. I was induced with Cash (Cash birth story here) and Eli (read Eli’s birth story here), and I was really hoping I would go into labor on my own the fourth time around. I tried everything (everything) but ultimately I was induced a few days after my due date. I think back on the days right before I had him and the days right after I had him and they are like black and white. Once he was here safely I felt like I could breathe. I was calm and in heaven.


Owen's Birth Story

Owen's Birth Story



I wrote down the whole birth process while I was still in the hospital. If I could give expecting mommas out there some advice it would be to write down your birth story while you are in the hospital! Life seems to stand still in the hospital. I knew the second I walked into my home with Owen it would be like stepping onto a moving treadmill and I would never take the time to write down his birth story. So here is what I wrote sitting in the hospital room just a few short hours after giving birth to our sweet Owen…



Owen's Birth Story



We left for the hospital at 8 am on Wed morning May 15th. Eli was in our bed when we woke up and I woke him up to say goodbye and he smiled and hugged me and said “I’m excited for the baby mom. Thanks for having a baby.”

The hospital was pretty empty. We made sure we had our masks on. Still crazy that we needed to wear them. They started me on pitocin around 10 am. When the nurse checked me I was dilated to a 3 (I was a 2 on Tuesday at my last appointment). I usually hate the IV part, but I was feeling really calm and relaxed and it all went so well. I guessed that the baby would come at 8pm, Garrett thought around 6pm. Either way I knew it would be a long day. 



My mom and one of Garrett’s sisters have always been in the room with us for our other births and we loved the company, but it was actually really nice having just the 2 of us in the room. We didn’t watch TV really, we just talked and relaxed. It was so quiet. I know there were other moms in L&D but we really felt like we were the only ones and it felt really special.



Owen's Birth Story

Owen's Birth Story



I started to feel contractions after about an hour. Honestly, they didn’t hurt as bad as I had remembered them hurting with Eli. Usually I want to get pitocin and then my epidural right away so that I don’t have to feel a contraction, but this time I knew it would take a while, so I decided to wait a bit on the epidural. I felt a few strong contractions about 12 minutes apart for a while. They were strong but I could mostly still talk through them. It feels like a really intense and condensed period cramp, my stomach tightens up. Garrett would check my chart monitoring my contractions and I was having lots of little ones that I wasn’t even really feeling. Around 1 my nurse checked me and I had dilated to a 4. She kept upping my pitocin to really get my body going. At about 2 I was really starting to feel them and it was harder to talk through a contraction. My nurse came into the room and said that she thought I should go ahead and get the epidural because the anesthesiologist might be needed in a C section for the next hour. I am so glad she pushed for that! The anesthesiologist rushed in and it turns out he had 30 minutes to give me my epidural before he was needed in the emergency C section. If I hadn’t have had it then there is a good chance I would have had Owen before I could get an epidural! My worst nightmare! 



Owen's Birth Story



They made Garrett leave the room for the epidural. He has been in the room all the other times so it was kind of a bummer he had to leave. I know there are lots of complications that could happen when getting an epidural. Bradley’s took about 45 minutes and was stressful and I was praying for it to go smoothly! The anesthesiologist was quick and precise and it went so well. I just squeezed my hands into fists and breathed in through my nose and out my mouth and counted slowly backwards from 20. The epidural went in easily and they laid me on my back so that the epidural went evenly through both sides of my body. I started to feel my legs get warm and tingly and I knew the epidural was working! Yay! They put in my catheter and called Garrett back into the room. 

After my epidural I was feeling really good. My nurse checked me and I was dilated to a 4. I’ve never really been able to take a nap before giving birth (just uncomfortable in the bed and the IV poking into my arm), but I was able to sleep! I slept for about an hour and it was wonderful. 



Owen's Birth Story

Owen's Birth Story



Around 4 the nurse came in and checked me again and I was dilated to a 7! I had shot up there fast! We relaxed for about another 30 minutes and then my nurse and one other nurse came in quickly and had me flip to the side because the baby’s heart rate was dropping. The baby was starting to descend and I went from an 8 to a 9 WHILE she was checking me! They called the doctor and Garrett and I looked at eachother like “Oh my gosh this is happening!!” 

They had the room prepped for delivery within a few minutes. They scooted me down to where my bum was close to the edge of the bed. The Dr. came into the room. I thought she would be in a full hazmat suit, but she was in scrubs with a mask and a clear face shield. The funny thing is that I could see the reflection in her face shield, so I made sure not to look at it as I started to push or else I would see everything if I wasn’t careful! (ew. No thank you.) 

I dilated to a 10 quickly and they put my legs up in the stirrups and had me start pushing at 4:40. My Dr. was so good. She told me the best way to push- to pull my legs up and contract my stomach like I’m doing a pushup, pushing my abs together. I couldn’t feel a single contraction and having that direction of exactly how to push. Usually they tell you to push like you are having a bowel movement, but that just ends up putting too much pressure too low. The ab contracting helps push the baby down. 



Owen's Birth Story


Owen's Birth Story



After about 10 minutes of pushing they told me one more push and the baby would be out! I was almost fully seated as I pushed pulling up my legs, so I could see the little head as she was pulling the baby out! The Dr. pulled the head and shoulders and arms out, then she asked me if I wanted to help pull the baby out! I did that with Eli and it was amazing (read Eli’s birth story here), and I asked my Dr. beforehand if I could pull the baby out. So I got to reach over and help pull the baby out of me! It was a BOY! I put him on a blanket on my chest and they wiped him down a bit and I had requested to do skin to skin contact right away. Garrett said “he looks like our boys!” 


When they laid him on me he was crying and I was just overwhelmed with emotions and love. I never really cried with any of my other boys but I think there was something about it being just Garrett and I, and a fourth boy, and I just held him and got emotional. I was just so so grateful. He smelled delicious! He cried for a while on my chest and was making sucking sounds right away. After just a few minutes I tried nursing him and he latched on so well I couldn’t believe it! He has the strongest suck and most immediate out of all of my boys. 




Owen's Birth Story

Owen's Birth Story

Owen's Birth Story



After finding out it was our fourth boy, our angel nurse looked at me and said “I’m the right nurse for you. I have four boys. Then I had a grandson, and another grandson, and then another grandson!” It was seriously a tender mercy. She told me how close her and her boys were, that they facetime every Sunday and that they pampered her for Mother’s Day. It really made me feel so good. 

Holding Owen skin to skin for the first hour was amazing. I just felt so overwhelmed with love for him. It was the feeling that I was hoping to have and I’m so glad I got that special bond. He is so sooo cute. He looks just like our Barlow boys and I feel like I already know him. He is so awake and alert! He said awake from 4:50pm till about 1 am!


Owen's Birth Story




And that’s it! I do still want to write about our experience bringing him home and having the boys meet him there vs. them being able to come into the hospital. Again- I wrote all this down while we were still in the hospital and I’m so so happy I did. Those very first few days with Owen were such a treasure and I love being able to look back on this experience!

Maternity Style




I’m only ONE DAY away from my due date! After being pregnant for the past 18 months (…but really thats what it feels like) I’m very excited to meet this sweet baby! But I’m have to be totally honest…my emotions have been all across the board these past few weeks. We are prepping for a new baby, we are homeschooling, we are building (and buying) our first home, we are prepping for a move clear across the country, all in the middle of this crazy pandemic. I’ve been mentally prepping for the mental strength that I would need for these crazy months, but never in one million years did I think a full blown pandemic would be thrown into the mix all at the same time.

I’m not usually an anxious person or an overly stressed person. I am pretty dang mentally strong and I work really hard to do the things I know will get me in a good headspace (regular excercise, prayer, meditation, hard work, gratitude lists, etc). But these past few weeks have been rough. I don’t feel like myself and I just can’t wrap my head around all of the changes that are happening in my life right now. Some days I feel like I have a decent handle on things emotionally and some days I’m extremely emotional and weepy. It’s this strange person I didn’t know I could be, but I am giving myself grace and taking things one day at a time. Garrett has been a huge help and support to me, and I’ve also relied on close family and friends that I know I can call and just spill everything going on in my mind. There have been long periods of time where I just don’t feel like posting to social media, and when those days came, I didn’t post. I didn’t force things. It’s such a weird time in general right now. Trying to get on stories and “fake it” has just never been an option for me. I would much rather be transparent where I can and allow myself space to work through overwhelming and emotional days when pregnancy and pandemic hormones feel like they are taking over.

Now that I am so close to delivery I am finally starting to settle into more of a peaceful spot. I really want this sweet baby to come and just fill our home and hearts with happiness! I asked you all if you had any third trimester pregnancy questions for me and you send it some great ones! I answered a lot of them in stories but I also wanted to post them here for any other mommas currently pregnant that might have similar questions. I’m not really going to sugar coat my answers here. I don’t think that is real or helpful. I’m feeling a lot of feelings right now and they are really affecting my mental state going into this birth. Part of me wondered if I needed to be crazy positive and optimistic with my answers to sooth the worries of other soon to be moms looking to me for help and guidance…but pretending that I’m not feeling scared and stressed right now would actually be a disservice to the moms feeling the same feelings that I am. So here we go…




Are you having a c-section or vaginal delivery?

All three of my previous pregnancies were vaginal so I’m crossing my fingers this one is as well. But one thing I’ve learned with pregnancy is that you can “plan” all you want, but that doesn’t mean it will happen that way! I just want to deliver whatever way is the safest for my baby. 


How are you handling the move after baby?

Umm….good question! We are starting to pack things up now and will have movers come to pack up all the furniture and heavy items at the end of June. We have cross country movers hired and they will move all our items and our cars and we will all fly out there. I get overwhelmed just thinking about flying right now and we have pushed the date as far back as we can…but I am taking everything one day at a time. If the timeline gets pushed back even more, then it is what it is. I’m going to focus on being in tune with how I feel about each step of the move (timing/flying-wise) and I will move forward with flying as long as I feel 100% good about it. 


How do you feel about delivering during a global pandemic?!

I can’t sugar-coat this answer and say that I feel perfectly calm. It has really added a lot of mental stress for me. The hospital I’m delivering at is very highly rated and has a very low number of Covid patients there. As of right now Garrett is allowed to be with me in the delivery room and not having him there has been my number one worry. My doctor is wonderful and she isn’t stressed or worried, but I did find out that I will need to wear a mask when I deliver. I’m really struggling with this because I have a hard time breathing in them and they make me claustrophobic, I can’t imagine trying to breathe through pushes while wearing a mask! But my Dr said that if I am struggling I can remove mine because all of the nurses and doctors will be in hazmat suits. 


How will COVID19 change your delivery at the hospital?

My boys won’t be able to come to the hospital to meet the baby. It made me really sad at first, but I’ve reimagined what it will be like bringing the baby home and the boy’s getting to hold and greet the baby there and I’m excited for that. I also usually LOVE my time in the hospital. I love to stay as long as I can and just soak up one-on-one time with the baby, but I feel like I’ll want to get out of the hospital asap this time. I think I’ll be so ready for the boys to meet the baby. 


Stretch-mark cream?

Love the cream and oil from this pregnancy must have post


Do you have to get tested for Covid before delivering?

I thought Garrett and I would both be tested as we entered the hospital but my Dr. told me we won’t be. She said the test takes 2 days to get the results back, so they are just requiring masks. There is another hospital here that does do a test and has a 45 min result turnaround time, but she said they have a lot of false positives and negatives, so it really isn’t effective. 


Where will the boys stay when it’s time to have the baby?

My mom will dive down and stay with them. She has been social distancing since March at home and we are all healthy. I’m so grateful for the diligent precautions she has taken!


What are your pregnancy must-haves?

I listed them all (apps, for sleep, for skin, etc) in this post.


What are you putting in your hospital bag?

I will write an updated post, but here is the post of everything I brought to the hospital with Eli. 


Are you just sooooo done?!

Actually no! Crazy right?! I know babies are much easier inside me then outside me and I’m truly not very uncomfortable right now! But I feel like that with every baby. I’ve never been one to wish for the baby to come asap!


How did your pregnancies compare with this one?

Each of my pregnancies have felt different in their own way. I’m definitely carrying this baby much higher than I did with Eli. I don’t feel as much pressure super low. I was on bedrest for a few weeks with this one and had placenta previa early on (neither of which I experienced with any of my other babies). I also have had way more intense heartburn this time around. If I don’t take Pepcid each day it’s almost unbearable.


Will you have a nanny in your new house to help with the baby?

No, and I never really have. Things might change once I get to the new house and I’m trying to get everything unpacked with a baby and the 3 kids, but my boys are really pretty helpful and self sufficient. I’m definitely not against hiring help though! I think I’d me more likely to hire an organizer or someone to help me get unpacked and moved in though. 


What have you learned from the first pregnancy to this one?

That the baby/newborn stage goes fast! I was so fresh and unsure with my first baby, but with my third I felt like I enjoyed it a lot more. I will definitely be slowing way down and taking time to cuddle and bond and let the boys enjoy the baby. 


What day is your actual due date?

May 12th


Do you enjoy being pregnant?

I really do. First trimester can be rough but I love second trimester. This time around third trimester has been wonderful as well. I’m really glad that I’ve been able to enjoy it. 


Gut feeling on the baby’s gender?

I have zero mothers intuition on gender. ZERO. I always hope I’ll have an inkling or dream or something that would make me think it’s one or the other, but I have nothing. I never have with any of my kids.


Do you have ligament pain on long walks?

My lower back definitely hurts. This band helps a lot. But not as much lower pain in the pelvic area as my other babies. 


Has the belly dropped?

I definitely don’t think it has. 


Epidural- yay or nay?

That’s an easy yay for me. Everyone needs to figure out what works for them, but I love me an epidural. I love the feeling of my legs going numb and warm. It feels like I’m sitting in a hot tub. My personal philosophy is I’m already pushing a human out of my body, I’ll take all the help I can get!


Tips for a belly only pregnancy?

I think each pregnant body carries babies differently and they are all perfect and beautiful. I think it just depends on your body and it doesn’t have anything to do with anything I ate or did. 


Your favorite part of pregnancy?

I really like having a bump. I think it’s fun to see the changes in my body as the baby grows. My favorite part this time around has been seeing how excited the boys are. I love that I have three other friends that are just as excited as Garrett and I are!


Are you having a baby shower?

No. I had sweet friends offer to throw one before the pandemic, but it’s not going to happen and I’m totally fine with it. I didn’t want one with Eli, but after he was born my friends threw a beautiful luncheon and it was fun to celebrate him once he was here.


What’s a baby item you are looking forward to using?

The Doona carseat/stroller. I’m still amazed at it and everyone raves about it!


Favorite nursing bra?

The one from this post!





I narrowed down the looooong list of everything you think you have to have for pregnancy into the handful of items that I used on a daily basis. Here are my top favorite maternity products that I loved to use – from beauty, to belly, to sleep, to apps. My must have maternity product roundup is below!


My pregnancy must haves

YELLOW GOWN (not maternity, I’m wearing a UK size 12)

BELLY SUPPORT BAND: I have been so happy with this 3-in-one band. I wear the thinnest band under my stomach for lower back support, especially on walks or when I know I’ll be standing for longer periods of time. It also comes with two other postpartum bands to wear after pregnancy. I’ve worn postpartum bands after all my babies to bring everything back together and I swear by them!


BODY PILLOW: By the beginning of my second trimester I was ready to bust out my body pillow. Having the support for my tummy and putting one leg on top of the pillow and one under it helps align my hips and helps me get such a better night sleep (I’m a side sleeper). My pillow is from when I was pregnant with Eli from Bump Nest, and unfortunately it looks like they don’t make them anymore! So I researched other options and found this body pillow by the brand that makes my absolute favorite pillow ever. It’s filled with the same cross cut hypogenic memory foam that my pillow is and it’s such a dream. I actually fell in love with my pillow because it reminded me of the filling in my body pillow.


SPANX BODY SHAPING SHORTS: This is another MUST have. I’ve used the same pair for all four pregnancies. It supports my bump and smooths everything out in my hips and booty when I’m wearing tighter fitting church dresses and I love it. 


BABY CENTER APP: I love the weekly emails and phone alerts that remind me how far along I am and how my baby is growing! They also have really cool videos that illustrate the baby’s growth and development and I used some of them to show my boys how the baby is developing inside me. (the videos are all illustrated graphics, but some of them do show what a full nakes pregnant woman’s body looks like, so I would just fast forward that in the begging and show my boys the part when it zooms in on the baby inside the womb..just an fyi).


BELLY OILS AND LOTIONS: I’m pretty religious about rubbing oils and body butter on my bump every night. While stretch marks are genetic and sometimes can’t be prevented, keeping my stomach moisturized on a daily basis keeps it from feeling dry and stretched. I like to take this body butter and mix it with a few squirts of this belly oil and rub it all in. I also have really liked using this Tubby Todd belly oil and mixing it with their amazing all over ointment


DRUNK ELEPHANT GLYCOLIC NIGHT SERUM: Good pregnancy safe night serums can be hard to find. I used a good retinol at night before pregnancy, but it isn’t safe for during pregnancy, so I felt like I wouldn’t be able to take as good of care of my skin while pregnant. I already loved this glycolic night serum and have been using it for over a year. I was thrilled to find it is also pregnancy safe! It helps refine my pores and resurface my skin while being safe to use during pregnancy. Love love it. 


BIGGER BRA THAT ALSO WORKS FOR NURSING: I wore this bra during my pregnancy and nursing with Eli and I loved it so much I bought it again this time around. It is under $20 which is insane. It was comfy, supportive, and lasted well through washes. I got it to just hold me over until I could find a fancier “better” one..but I loved this one so much I didn’t even try any others. I love that I didn’t need to get a separate bra for my ever growing hoots during pregnancy and then get another nursing bra. And even if you do have to get a bigger size once the baby is here and your milk comes in…you really can’t beat $15. 








Maternity Style


I’m not a huge leggings person when I’m not pregnant, but with this pregnancy I knew I needed to get a few pairs. I’m really glad I did because I ended up getting a ton of use out of them! Here are the favorite pairs that lasted me through all of my pregnancy.

My favorite maternity leggings




This time around I wanted to get a few quality pairs of leggings. I wanted one that I could workout in and one that I could dress up a bit more. I ordered about 8 pairs from lots of different retailers and narrowed them down to these favorites….





GIRLFRIEND COLLECTIVE MATERNITY LEGGINGS (my top pick): I wore these multiple times a week during my entire pregnancy. These were my favorite workout leggings 100%. The fabric is ultra butter soft so I didn’t mind wearing them around my house after a workout. The side seams were positioned in the right way to elongate my legs and the quality is top notch. Now that I’m at the end of my pregnancy these are the only ones I’m reaching for. 


Honorable mentions…


BEYOND YOGA MATERNITY LEGGINGS: I have these in charcoal and I remember feeling them for the first time in store thinking they were the softest material ever. I would qualify these as more of a yoga or pilates kind of legging. Fairly thin material and incredible soft. The belly band on this one is very thin (which I liked…anything over my belly already makes me feel claustrophobic), but if the leggings are even slightly to big the band isn’t strong enough to hold them up, so err on the side of going smaller vs. larger with these ones. 


ZELLA MATERNITY LIVE IN LEGGINGS: These were probably the most recommended ones from all of you when I asked about your favorite maternity leggings. I own multiple Zella leggings and really love them. These are a bit thicker material and offer great support. The buttery soft breathable fabric of the Girlfriend Collective leggings one me over in the end, but these are still a fantastic option at a great price point. 


My favorite maternity leggings





SPANX FAUX LEATHER MATERNITY LEGGINGS: I love these so much. I was surprised how quickly I gravitated towards these compared to all of the other options I tried out. I like the faux leather look of these because it looks slightly elevated, like I am intentionally choosing to wear these leggings rather than looking like I haven’t changed from my gym clothes yet. I’m already a Spanx maternity compression wear fanatic, so I wasn’t surprised they won me over with these leggings.





This post has been sponsored by Pampers. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tips for throwing a Sprinkle Tips for throwing a Sprinkle Tips for throwing a Sprinkle Tips for throwing a Sprinkle Tips for throwing a Sprinkle Tips for throwing a Sprinkle Tips for throwing a Sprinkle Tips for throwing a Sprinkle Tips for throwing a Sprinkle

When I was pregnant with Eli, I was really against having any kind of shower. He was my third baby, and my third BOY. I didn’t need very many new boy things…I’m swimming in boy things! I also thought I would feel so silly being celebrated for becoming a mom, when I was already a mom. I also hate to admit it, but I was having a bit of a hard time with the fact that I was having another boy, and I was worried that another baby boy shower would just make me sad that I wasn’t having a girl. Luckily, I have amazing friends that pushed for it, and they put together a little “sprinkle” (or a celebration honoring a new baby for a mom that has already had her first baby) in honor of Eli anyway. He ended up being born a few weeks before the celebration, so I brought him along to the dinner. I must say, after being “sprinkled” for the third time around, all of my opinions on having a shower for any child after your first have completely changed. I loved Eli with all my heart and was so proud of him. From that day on I concluded that every baby should be celebrated, no matter how many kids you already have!

Recently, four of my best friends all gave birth to baby boys. Can you even handle these pictures?! First off, aren’t my friends gorgeous? All of their kids are just as beautiful too.

This was each of my friends’ second or third child, and now that my opinion had changed, I wanted to make sure that we still “sprinkled” each one of them (and honestly, how often are four of your friends pregnant at the same time with the same gender?!). When I asked each of these four friends what they could use this time around, they all said, “just get me diapers!” Moms who are having a second or third baby already know the huge number of diapers new babies go through, so a simple celebration where each guest just brings a pack of diapers is my favorite way to go! This way, the mom feels loved celebrating a new baby, and she leaves with an important baby item that she will need and use. Pampers Swaddlers are my favorite diaper to give as a gift because I loved them so much with my newborn babies. They are great for stopping blowouts, extra gentle on new baby’s skin, have a wetness indicator on the front of the diaper that easily shows when your baby might need a diaper change, and the newborn diapers even have a contoured umbilical notch so that it doesn’t rub on your brand new baby’s sensitive belly button.

Here are a few tips on how to throw a successful “sprinkle:”

  • Keep the decorations simple: For this sprinkle I threw up some cute bunting, decorated the tables with a few flower arrangements, grabbed cupcakes from a local grocery store (this busy mom of three doesn’t have time for treats from scratch, haha!), and I added a few simple photo opp accessories like little mustaches for a baby boy (or you could do hair bows for a baby girl).
  • Skip the games: Too many baby shower games can get a little long and might feel like too much. For a sprinkle, I think it’s okay to forgo the games, or keep them really easy. If you want to do something with the group to spark conversation, have everyone go around the room and give a piece of advice to the mom, or share a funny story of when they had a major “mom fail” or something along those lines. Keep it to easy conversation starters and let the discussion flow naturally. Since the mom has most likely already done more “game” type of activities for her first baby shower, these don’t need to be repeated a second or third time around.
  • Give the sprinkled momma what she will really use: We asked the guests at this sprinkle to simply bring a pack of diapers! It was super easy and all of my pregnant friends were appreciative. Veteran moms know how gentle Pampers Swaddlers are for newborn babies, so they loved it.
  • Make the sprinkle a brunch or a dinner at a fun restaurant rather than an elaborate event: For my sprinkle with Eli we had dinner in the back room at one of our favorite restaurants. For this sprinkle for my girlfriends, we shared simple treats on my friend’s beautiful back deck. Casual and simple is the key for a sprinkle!




photography by Jordan Zobrist



Packing for the hospital can be tricky. Especially if it’s your very first baby, how are you supposed to know what you will need? For today’s After the Bump series, I’m breaking down how to pack for the hospital so you make sure you have the things you really need, and don’t over pack a bunch of things you won’t use.

First lets talk about timing.  When should you have your bag packed? I think a good rule of thumb is to grab your bag and start gathering a few things together 2 weeks before your due date. There are a lot of items that you use on an everyday basis that you wont be able to pack away that early. Just keep a mental note of where those items are (ie: put them away in the right place each time you use them) so you won’t be stressed trying to remember where everything is when you do go to add them.

Hospital Bag: An a overnight duffle bag like this one is perfect. And a rolling cary-on suitcase works great too. You won’t need a ton of things, so don’t do too big. I always have Garrett pack a separate bag for his items, just so I can keep my bag close by me if I can’t get up and walk to it when I need something from it.

Electronics: So SO important! You (or most likely your husband or family member in the room) will be taking hundreds of pictures. And having every moment captured is such a treasure.  I recommend bringing:

phone charger
portable phone charger: You never know what your battery life will be when you leave for the hospital, and a few times my phone charger cord didn’t reach to my hospital bed, so this might come in handy.
lap top / charger: You might need to clear off pictures from your phone/camera, and it is smart to back up your hospital pictures as soon as possible. You can never be too careful since these are pictures/videos you can never replace!
camera: I upgraded my DSLR to this one and my lens to this one a few months before I had Eli. In my opinion, if you like photography and are in the market for a nice camera, take the plunge and do it before the baby is here. You will want as many amazing quality pictures of them as possible. To me its the only way I can hang on to those first fleeting moments of my yummy newborn babies.
camera battery/battery charger: Make sure it’s fully charged.
back up camera battery: It might sound anal, but we used ours and I was so glad to have it charged and ready to go.
memory card: If your DSLR takes video, make sure your card is large enough to store plenty of video and pictures. Mine is 32 GB.
tripod: This is especially handy if you don’t have someone there to film or take pictures during the birth. Garrett just set up my iPhone on the tripod with this phone attachment and turned on the video, so he could focus on the baby.

Loungewear: You will most likely wear a hospital gown the first day or so in the hospital, so don’t worry too much about clothing. But there are a few extras that you should pack.
robe: When you do get up and move around, a robe is handy to throw on, since the hospital down is pretty ‘revealing’ in the back 😉 
sleeping/nursing bra: You will be nursing. A lot. And you will have your boobs out a lot. But when visitors come, its really nice to have a soft comfy sleeping/nursing bra to wear. These are also so great to wear to bed when your milk comes in. You will get so big and engorged and no bra can be painful. Also, no need to bring underwear. The hospital will get you all suited up in the world most gigantic mesh panties. And you will never feel less sexy in your entire life. 
socks: You never know how cold your room will be, so these come in handy. The hospital gave me a pair after having Eli, but I wore mine while I was in labor, so I’m glad I brought them. 
postpartum band: GET THIS. Get this get this. This is super helpful to getting your body back to normal after having a baby. I start wearing mine in the hospital as soon as I can. For about 6 weeks after having a baby, your bones are still pretty pliable after widening with pregnancy. This band helps pull your hips/ribs/stomach back together. I just velcro mine as tight as I could and I wore it as much a I could stand (including while sleeping). Sometimes the additional back support was nice as well.
sentimental item: I wore my kids initial necklace when I had my last 2 babies and I loved having that little sentimental object to make the experience even more special.
hair tie


chapstick: They will give you some in the hospital, but I liked having my favorite next to my bed.
makeup: It’s always nice to feel a little put together when people come to visit. Before my two older boys came to meet Eli, I used the mirror I packed and did my makeup. I felt refreshed and more myself.
makeup removing pads: These were so nice to have on hand when I was tired and ready to sleep, but my epidural hadn’t quite worn off so I couldn’t get up to go wash my face.
face wash/lotion
dry shampoo: I couldn’t shower for the first day and a half, so this helped me freshen up!
magazines/books: Each experience is different, but chances are you will do a lot of waiting. Waiting to progress, waiting for the anesthesiologist, etc. Bring a few things to read to pass the time.
snacks: I stuffed my face the entire ride to the hospital, because you can’t eat once you get into the labor and delivery room till after you’ve had the baby. I was STARVING after having Eli and the cafeteria there was closed. I was so glad I had something to eat to hold me over.

slippers: Sure bests walking around your hospital room barefoot. Mine are from here.
comfy top / lounge pants: After I finally got a shower, it felt so good to get into normal clothes. Make sure they are soft and loose. These pants look super soft and comfy, and I wore this top.You will be sore and have those trusty mesh pantie/diapers on, so tight leggings wouldn’t work.

coming home outfit for baby: Such a fun thing to pack! A long sleeved onesie with hand protectors, leggings, a beanie, and socks or crib moccasins worked great for Eli. And don’t forget a soft blanket!

coming home outfit for Mom: This can be a bit tricky. Don’t bring your skinny jeans. I always opt for maxi dresses like this one (and it’s nursing friendly!). They aren’t form fitting and are comfortable to wear.
nursing bra: I have this one and it works great.



Our little Eli is now one month old! We are so in love with this little boy. With each sweet spirit that fills our home, I wonder how I could ever love a new one as much as the ones that I currently have. But every time a new baby is born, the love and bond I have with them has been instant.
< my mom has been there for all 3 of my kids births >
< he’s here! >
< family of five! >
the boys getting their present for baby Eli >
< a beautiful blanket and the most adorable crib moccasins >
< the boys loved their gifts from their new brother- race cars! >

Eli’s birth was so very special. I shared the whole story more in depth below, but also made this video that pretty much sums up our love and excitement to have this new baby join our family.

I was really worried during the whole pregnancy that I wouldn’t make it to the hospital in time. Our hospital was clear over in Hollywood (about a 30-45 min drive depending on traffic), so that freaked me out. I was induced with Cash, and he came super quick. The video going around of the lady who gave birth in the car on the way to the hospital didn’t help my fears either!  I had a great experience being induced with Cash, so I decided that if everything was ok and my doctor said she could, that we would induce with Eli.

On August 5th I went in for my doctors appointment, and she told me that we could induce that day if I wanted to. I was dilated to a 3 and 100% effaced, and had been for over a week, so we all felt pretty good about the induction. I called Garrett and he left work and met me at home with the boys to get our bags packed and ready to go. Garrett’s mom drove down right away and was there to stay with the boys. It was a crazy feeling driving to the hospital. Knowing that we were going to have our third baby was so surreal!

We got to the hospital around 2pm, but they didn’t start me on pitocin till closer to 5pm (everything takes longer than you anticipate in the hospital). My mom and sister-in-law, Corrine, were there with us as well. After a few hours on pitocin I got my epidural. I didn’t feel very many strong contractions before the epidural…which was just fine with me. The epidural part took a little longer than normal because the anesthesiologist had a hard time getting the needle in the right spot in my spine. Can I just say that hearing those words, while in the C curve position, with the prick of a needle in your back is a little nerve-wracking? I did have a “what the H am I doing!?” moment right about then. But after 20 minutes, the epidural was complete and all was well.

From that point on it was just a waiting game. I didn’t dilate as quickly as we all thought I would. By midnight I was only dilated to a 4. My doctor asked if I wanted her to break my water to speed things up, but we decided to hold off for a bit longer because Garrett and I didn’t feel right about it. We felt like we needed to give it a little more time rather than try and force things to happen. I am so grateful that my doctor listened to our concerns and didn’t push anything on us that we weren’t comfortable with. She came in to check me again at 2 am and I was still only dilated to a 4/5.  At this point I was starving!  I had a giant lunch before heading to the hospital (and crammed more food in me on the drive down) but I didn’t anticipate the labor lasting this long! By now both Garrett and I had prayed and both felt good about having her break my water at this point. So she broke my water and we all figured the baby wouldn’t come until 7 or 8 that morning, so I tried to get comfortable and get a little sleep in (I was exhausted!). But 30 minutes later the doctor came back in and said “bet you didn’t expect to see me back so soon!” The baby’s heart rate had dropping a bit with each contraction, so she checked me and I was dilated to a 10! It was baby time! Man, getting ready to take a nap and then BAM ‘get ready to push a baby out!’ are two very different mindsets to switch to quickly.

I pushed for about 20 minutes. I didn’t feel any pain, but I could feel the sensation of actually pushing a lot more than I could with my other 2. Eli’s birth was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. Right before my last push my doctor said, “Ok, now when he comes out I want you to reach your hands down and pull him out.” I did not expect this! So after I pushed his head and shoulders out, she had me reach down and help pull the rest of his body out of me and I laid him directly on my chest, umbilical cord still attached and everything. It sounds like it might be a little…messy…but it was amazing! The nurses wiped him off a bit and the second he was on me he stopped crying and was so calm and peaceful. Garrett even cut the umbilical cord with him on my chest right in front of me! That instant skin to skin connection was so beautiful and felt so natural. He had spent all that time in me, it only made sense that he would feel the most secure right on me. The nurses said they don’t bathe the babies for about 6 hours after they are born because remaining unbathed and on moms chest helps keep newborn’s body temperatures regulated. Once they had checked to make sure he was breathing fine, everyone cleaned up and left the room. I spent the next few hours holding this sweet baby that was just in me, and we developed an instant bond.

We honestly went into the hospital without a name decided on.  We knew his middle name would be Garrett, because by the third boy there was no way we weren’t using my husbands name for the middle name! (our older two boys each have one of our Father’s names for their middle name) Picking a third boy name is hard! But we both felt good about the name Eli, and ended up deciding on that name shortly after he was born.

Watching the boys meet their new brother was so special. When Cash was born, we had Bradley bring a gift for baby Cash, and we had a gift for Bradley that ‘Cash had brought for his big brother’. So we continued that tradition. The boys gave Eli his gift and were super excited to open their gifts from their new brother. It is a simple way to help promote love and bond between new siblings.

So this might be my longest post ever, but it was such a sweet experience and one that I want to always remember. Since I shared so much of my pregnancy journey, I felt like I needed to share my birth story as well! I want to thank you all for your kind words during this whole pregnancy and since his birth. You have helped make this such a sweet experience!



You can also view a complete roundup of my maternity looks here from my instagram.  In order to shop the looks, just sign up at with your email!

It’s my last installment of my Dressing The Bump series today- the third trimester! If you haven’t seen the previous posts for the first and second trimester make sure to check them out! I have to say, I had a lot of fun dressing my baby bump this time around. It was definitely a challenge at times! And the third trimester was the most challenging for me. I just got to this point in the pregnancy where my tummy was big and not many things were very flattering. But I did a little experimenting (which basically means I wore every kind of clothing that would fit my bump) and narrowed them all down to my very favorites items to wear during the third trimester.Dressing during your third trimester can get tricky, because there are so many pieces of clothing that just make you look ‘big’.  And while it can be fun having a cute bump for an accessory, you don’t ever want to look bigger than you actually are, especially in your third trimester.

Here are my favorite things to wear during the third trimester of pregnancy:
Loose tops can start to get really tricky this far along into your pregnancy. Its one of the clothing items that can definitely make you look bigger than you are if they aren’t the right kind of top. In the third trimester I shied away button up shirts, and oversized tees that were so great to wear in the first trimester. But there were certain kinds of long loose tops that worked with a bigger bump. Look for tops that are long and more narrow (wider tops end up looking extra boxy), and go with fabric that has a nice drape like a silk, poly blend, or chiffon. This top was my absolute favorite for these kinds of tops in the third trimester (I wore it in this post and this instagram). And it is an amazing top for after the baby too!


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Normal maxi dresses got a little hard for me to wear in the third trimester. That side view of my bump and my booty just wasn’t my favorite. You can always tie a button-up around your waist under your tummy, or throw on a chambray top over a maxi dress to cover some of the curves. While this is a good alternative, I really fell in love with kimono dresses like this one in the third trimester. They fit tighter at the top, and loosen up at the bump, and are really flattering.


By the third trimester, even my favorite maternity jeans in the whole world weren’t always quite as comfortable as I wanted. This is mostly due to the fact that it was in the middle of summer and about a thousand degrees outside. I started wearing thin track pants more often and they helped me through the last few pregnant months. I especially love these non-maternity pants from this post, and these black ones from this post.
Side ruching is your best friend in your third trimester! Ruching just means that the sides are stitched up with elastic, and it bunches up across your tummy, making room for your bump and flattering your bump as well. Oversized tees do not work at this point! You need something a little more fitted around the bump so you don’t look like a tent. I have this top (on sale now!) in a handful of colors and just rotated through them for the last few weeks (I sized up and got a medium and it lasted my whole pregnancy). I would also highly recommend this top. It’s more expensive than the one I just linked to, but it is fantastic quality and thick enough that it doesn’t require a tank top underneath. The black and white stripe that I wore in this post is super versatile and I wore it at least once a week my whole pregnancy.
Again, I can’t stress enough how flattering ruching is for tops and dresses in your third trimester. The Isabella Oliver dresses are THE best. Hands down. I have this one (seen in this post) that is super soft and light weight and I love love love it! I also have this one  (seen in this post) that is a slightly thicker fabric that I love. They are a bit pricey, so I say get one early on in your pregnancy and get a ton of wear out of it. (I got a size 4 in both of them and they worked just fine, but got a little tight at the end. I think a 6 would have been perfect)


Knit pencil skirts are easy to pull on and much more comfortable than jeans. Pair them with a fitten ruched top, or if you have an oversized top, make it work by knotting it at the bottom like I did here. I especially love this one and this one.

I linked to all of these in my Dressing the Bump post for the second trimester, but I’m linking again because good undergarments are crucial to having a stylish pregnancy! You need a really good long tank for layering over your bump, a comfortable bra to sleep in (because at this point in your pregnancy, your hoots are huge and they need a little support even during sleep), a great fitting supportive bra, and these Spanx that will SAVE YOUR LIFE! They smooth out any bumps ad firm up that booty.


And that completes my Dressing the Bump series! View the First Trimester and Second Trimester posts below. Also, see all of my maternity looks from my #leannesbabybump from Instagram right here!




The life of a mom can be anything but glamorous. Amiright? My daily tasks include a lot of cleaning spills, household chores, killing spiders, dealing with various bodily functions, and trying to explain to my crying three-year-old why he can’t eat a bag of marshmallows at 6:15 am. As non-glamorous as these tasks are, I wouldn’t change what I do for the world. But it can be easy to lose yourself in the constant focus on taking care of your kids and your house. It is just as important to make sure you do a few things throughout the day for yourself! 

In order to maintain a little mom sanity, I’ve come up with 4 simple tips I try to do everyday to add a little “elegance” to my daily routine. 
1. Get dressed. This might sound like a no brainer, but there are plenty of days spent in pajamas or workout clothes that leave me feeling gross and unattractive by the end of the day. If I actually take the time to throw on an outfit and a bit of makeup, I feel so much more productive. And I don’t scare the Fed Ex guy by answering the door in my robe at 2 pm. Not that that’s ever happened…
2. Wear perfume. Again, super simple right? But even if I don’t have time to shower, spraying on some good smelling perfume leaves me feeling fresh and pretty. I love perfume. I it. Smells are so nostalgic for me. I always remember my mom smelling so good when I hugged her growing up, and I want my boys to feel the same way about me. My current favorite scent is from AERIN Beauty.  Floral scents are my favorite and AERIN has so many amazing smelling florals (rose, gardenia, jasmine) but Waterlily Sun is my top pick. It is so feminine and I love it! I would love for my boys to remember me smelling like that scent.

3. Eat a good breakfast.  As tempting as your kids half eaten banana and toast crust may be, it’s not the best way to fuel yourself for the day. You are running the ship all day and need to start out with a filling breakfast. It may take a few more minutes to fry an egg or make a bowl of oatmeal, but eating something filling and nutritious helps give me the energy I need starting first thing in the morning.

4. Reserve 20 minutes for yourself.  As busy as I am during the day, I always try to steal 20 minutes of time completely for myself. And stopping to check your instagram doesn’t count. Something that allows your mind and body to rest and unplug. This is usually during naptime/quiet time for me. And I usually spend my 20 minutes taking a power nap. I seriously don’t make it till 8pm without one. 

With a third baby just 2 months away, my life is only going to get more crazy and more demanding. I just need to do my best to add some kind of simple “elegance” to my daily life. (That is…after I come out of a 3 month post baby hibernation where I try to get my head on straight after giving birth). And for any expecting moms, do yourself a favor and add a signature scent to your baby registry along with all the diapers and onesies. Because even if your newborn is too small to appreciate how good you smell that day, you know you managed to squeeze in a bit of simple luxury for yourself in between feedings.   
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Thank you to AERIN Beauty for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 


With this being my third pregnancy, I have a pretty good read on what my “pregnant body” needs in order to stay fit and healthy. Just because you are pregnant doesn’t mean you have to let your body fall apart! Since finally feeling human again after the first trimester morning sickness/exhaustion/survival mode, I have really been focusing on my body and keeping it as healthy as possible.

Here are my top 3 ways to keep your body healthy during pregnancy:

With pregnancy can come some crazy hormone changes that can lead to breakouts and skin that you aren’t used to dealing with. During this pregnancy I have paid special attention to the kind of products I use on my skin. Because my skin tends to be more sensitive during pregnancy, I use Simple Skincare Moisturizing Facial Wash at night and Simple Skincare Protecting Light Moisturizer (with SPF!) in the morning. I love the Simple Skincare products because they are really gentle on my skin and don’t contain any harsh chemicals that would cause irritation. Both the cleanser and the lotion are made with triple-purified water, so they keep my skin extra hydrated and healthy.
The exhaustion that pregnancy brings can also lead to skipping your nightly skincare routine, which will make potential breakouts even worse. My advice is to wash your face 1-2 hours before even getting ready for bed. That way, when the tired stick hits you, you can just crash without having to spend an extra 10 (*cough* 20 *cough) minutes washing your face.


MATERNITY TOP: A PEA IN THE POD | MATERNITY LEGGINGS: A PEA IN THE POD (these have a yoga waistband that goes over the tummy or folds down for after pregnancy. I have to highlight how amazing these leggings are! The softest leggings I have ever felt and I love them just as much as my Lululemons!) | SPORTS BRA: UNDER ARMOR | SHOES: ASICS ‘KAHANA’
Just because your abs are no longer existent doesn’t mean you get to stop exercising! Exercising is so good and beneficial during pregnancy, as long as you do it correctly. Working out can help give you those endorphins during crazy hormonal freak outs, and can help your body bounce back faster once the baby is here. A good rule of thumb that my doctor has always told me is that if I was doing it before pregnancy, I can pretty much still do it during pregnancy. But make sure to listen to your body! If those ligaments are tightening and killing you after too many squats or after a longer run, tone it down. You aren’t working out to lose weight now, you are working out to keep you body healthy, so don’t go overboard. I ran regularly before my pregnancy, so I’m usually fine with a 3 mile run a few times a week. (Cash is my running partner. No joke, that kid can keep up with me no problem! But he does require a rest and fruit snacks every 20 minutes)
In addition to short distance running, pilates are my absolute go-to during pregnancy. I have done them through all of each of my pregnancies and I love how gentle it is on my body, while still working out muscles. Here is my favorite workout from a pilates class I took years ago:
  • Lay on your back with legs straight and arms to your side. Sick a pillow or two to prop your back/neck up if it’s too uncomfortable to lay flat on your back.
  • 20 reps: Point your right toe and lift your right leg straight up so that it is perpendicular to your body, then lower, in a slow controlled movement.
  • 20 reps: Flex your right foot and while keeping your leg straight, lift it up and diagonal to the right, going as high as you can then back down again.
  • 16 reps: Combine the two moves, point your right leg straight up in the air, back down, then flex and to the diagonal, and back down.
  • 16 reps: Flex your right leg, keep it straight, and move your leg from the right at a diagonal across your body. Think of it as trying to point your heal from one corner of a square room to the corner diagonal from it. (it kills!)


Repeat this with your left leg.
After any run or workout I am usually on the go and don’t have time to get back home and shower right away.  So I just keep a pack of Simple Skincare Cleansing Facial Wipes in my car to quickly wash my face with when I am done. It is fast and quick and keeps my skin from drying out and breaking out around my scalp where I sweat the most. Find out how you can #TestTheWater here
When hunger strikes during pregnancy, you need to eat AND YOU NEED TO EAT NOW! Those hunger pains are no joke and can completely take control of every ounce of healthy food willpower you have. So stay on top of your meals. Don’t wait till you are famished to think about eating. Plan out your meals and eat something every two hours.
I tend to find something I like and make it over and over again, just for the sake of keeping things healthy and quick. There ain’t no time to be baking up some lemon caper salmon for an early brunch to stay healthy. I have kids! and errands! and a million things to do! So my healthy go-to meal that I always have stocked in my fridge is this quick healthy wrap. It only take a few ingredients and doesn’t require any washing, slicing, or dicing:
  • 1 whole wheat tortilla
  • hummus
  • deli sliced roasted bell pepper strips
  • deli sliced peperoncinis
  • feta
  • a handful of spinach
  • red wine vinegar


I just take a whole wheat tortilla, spread some hummus on one side, pile on some roasted bell pepper strips, peperoncinis, feta, a handful of spinach, and a few dashes of red wine vinegar (I use quite a bit, since I love the taste of it). Then wrap it up and you’re done with lunch. It’s got a great flavor, it fills you up, and it’s healthy! So much better than that Diet DP and your kids old Butterfinger right?!
And that’s it! The important part is to do what you can to stay healthy. It will pay off once that baby is here, and you will have a lot less catching up to do to get back into your pre-baby body.
Compensation for this post was provided by Simple Skincare via AOL Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Simple Skincare or AOL.

pregnancy info

Well, my due date is fast approaching (the 30th…but I have a feeling he will come sooner), and I’m getting really excited to meet my new little bundle of joy.  I must admit, even though I’ve been through it once before, the thought of birthing a human still makes me hyperventilate a little bit.  I’m sure everything will be just fine, but it is really easy to psyche yourself out thinking of every little thing that could go wrong.  But all in all, I am excited and ready. 
A few weeks after having Bradley, I found out that one of my close girlfriends was pregnant.  I immediately sat down and wrote out a list of everything I had learned/used since giving birth.  I thought I had read enough books to kind of know what to expect, but there was still a lot that I didn’t know.  And once that baby is here, it is a lot like drinking from a fire hose.  So I just compiled everything that I had found that worked for me, and a few details that I hadn’t quite expected.  I have since emailed this list to probably about 20 other girlfriends that told me they were expecting.  Some of them have printed it out and checked off items to prep for becoming a new mommy.  I read through it all last night and figured I’d share it.  Keep in mind, this is all totally my opinion, so you can take it or leave it.  You might find other things that work better for you.  It’s also a little lengthy…. but hopefully this will help out another mommy-to-be!

– Epidurals are your friend.  GET ONE.  It doesn’t hurt.  There is a small poke when they numb you with the 1st needle, then you don’t feel a thing.  The hard part is trying to stay still to get one while having contractions.

– Contractions are not going to kill you.  They feel like major period cramps.  But I would suggest the epidural asap when you get to the hospital (they usually make you wait an hour once you are there to make sure you are dilating before they let you have the epidural, so just keep that in mind)

– If you start to feel any contractions at all the closer you get to the actual birth, get the anesthesiologist to give you another shot of the epidural.  You won’t feel your legs for a few extra hours once he is born, but its totally worth it.

-Maybe this is TMI, but I had them put a mirror up while I was pushing a lot of the time.  I thought that would make me vomit but it was actually kind of cool.  But when it was time to actually give birth, I had them take it away cause I didn’t want to see them do the episiotomy (which you won’t feel AT ALL as long as you have the epidural).

-I’m not sure who you are going to have in the room with you, but I decided to have Garrett’s sister stay and video tape it (my mom took pictures), and I was really glad I did.  She filmed from up at my head…don’t worry.  You are so delirious and in a completely different world when the baby is born, so it was really cool to look back on it all and actually comprehend what was going on.

They will give you some AMAZING things at the hospital to help you heal.  Here is what they give you (more or less) after giving birth:

They will stick you in a giganto diaper with these even bigger mesh panties to wear over it to keep them on.  You will feel dead sexy.  Then in the diaper, they gave me another diaper to put inside that was a baby diaper filled with ice.  Then, each time I went to the bathroom, I would rinse off with a squirt bottle they give you, change the ice pack, and on top of the ice pack put Tucks pads and spray Dermoplast (see below)

You can get everything they give you at a drug store, so I recommend picking up the following before you deliver, so you will have extra on hand when you run out of what they send you home with:

  • Tucks Pads– These are white circle pads soaked in witch hazel.  They are really soothing and help you heal faster.
  • Dermoplast– A cool soothing spray that kind of helps numb you so you aren’t as sore.

    I would also suggest having a ton of pads.  I used 2 side by side for about 2 weeks until the bleeding tapered off, then went down to 1.

  • Take whatever constipation pills they give you religiously, and get some prune juice as well.  And remember to refill the prescription.  I forgot to, and that was bad news.

Baby Must-Have’s:  These are things I use everyday…no joke.

Mylicon Drops – HAVE THESE BEFORE YOU BRING THE BABY HOME.  I’m not sure how your little one will be, but the 1st night we brought Bradley home he was super gassy.  My milk hadn’t come in yet, it was just the colostrum, and I think that is what made his tummy hurt.  After trying to sooth a fussy baby for 12 hours, we finally called the hospital and they told us to give him Mylicon.  Luckily I had some from a baby shower, so we gave him some and it helped his tummy immediately.  The hospital said it is completley harmless.  You give it to them ususally after they eat and can have it up to 12 times in one day (we usually only have to use it about 2 times in 1 day).  I can’t tell you what a lifesaver these have been and I am so glad we had them on hand.

Butt Paste – This stuff works wonders for diaper rash.  I started off using desitin cream that was fine,  but when he started to get a little tiny rash, I switched to butt paste and it cleared it up in 1 day.  It doesn’t smell the best, but it works wonders.

Boppy – The Boppy is my best friend.  I have to have the Boppy, a burp cloth, and my water bottle with me every time I nurse.

Huggies diapers – I like these ones better than Luvs and Pampers.  They are made better and I don’t have as many blow outs with them.

Bouncy seat – Bradley still sleeps in either this or his car seat at night.  It vibrates and he loves it.  It is great cause you can start using it right when they are born, they can’t be too little for it.

Swing– You can take it or leave it on the baby swing.  We are borrowing one, and Bradley uses it every once in a while.  He does like the rocking motion, but the bouncy seat would really be just fine and doesn’t take up as much space.

Baby Bjorn
– When I discovered this little wonder, I became 200% more productive.  I started out with a sling cause I thought they were cuter, but he sweat to death in it, and I still felt like I had to hold onto him.  With the Bjorn, both of my hands are free, but I still feel like I am holding my baby.  I cook, clean, do my make up and hair, all with him in it.  I felt paralyzed before I got it.  It is a little pricey (about $80 at Target), but it is worth it.  The cheaper brands don’t give you as much back support.  It will last you a long time too.

Bath tub
– I got this one at Babies R Us and  love it.  It was hard to decide which one to get cause there are so many but they dont look that comfortable.  This set gives you everything you need from tiny to a toddler.  I lay him in the little hammock thing inside the bath and it makes it really easy and he loves it.

Dwell Studio Receiving Blankets – Register for these!  We have used this set of 3 blankets over and over and over.  They are the BEST for swaddling and are the perfect size.

Dreft and Oxiclean – This duo will get ANY stain out.  Usually when I have a poopy outfit/blanket, etc (which is at least 3 times a day), I spray dreft on it, scrub it out a bit, and throw it into a sink with water and some oxi clean in it.  By the end of the day, I have a handful of things, so I either rinse them out and throw them in the dryer, or in the dirty clothes hamper to wash later.  This will help you from having to do 15 loads of laundry a day. 

Lanolin Cream – This stuff is great after nursing.  it helps to sooth your nipples. It is thick and sticky, which can be a pain, but it is nice.  I started using it twice a day during my last trimester and I think it helped prepare me for nursing.  If you get really sore, you can get a prescription for stuff called Newman’s Ointment.  This stuff is made by the Gods.  It healed my soreness in 1 day.  A nipple shield was also very helpful and gave me time to recover from the soreness and still allowed me to nurse.  I would also highly suggest a breastfeeding class.  I would have been lost without it.

Whew!  That’s a lot, but I’m glad I wrote it all down.  I had forgotten about a lot of it.  Do you have any newborn must-have’s?  I’d love to hear them!
Also, make sure to check out my Dressing The Bump series.
View the First Trimester and Second Trimester posts below. Also, see all of my maternity looks from my #leannesbabybump from Instagram right here!