Happy Friday!! We’ve had a great week around here but are looking forward to a pretty quiet weekend. Jamie has drill (he doubled up on drill weekends this month so that he can take July off) but is always home by dinnertime. The girls and I have a few things we may get in to, but for the most part we’ll be laying low.
I’ll be 38 weeks along on Monday, so I figured this might be a good time to do some free-writing about my thoughts now that we’re nearing the conclusion of this pregnancy journey with bebe Jillian.
Having Jamie around
I get asked a lot by friends and family how Jamie and I have enjoyed finally experiencing a pregnancy together. I always just say that it’s been really great and as special as we hoped it would be.
When we made the loose decision a couple of years ago that our family was complete, we did have to swallow the idea of sharing in the experience of pregnancy together. We just figured that what we didn’t know didn’t hurt us, so we were okay with having missed out on whatever going through pregnancy under the same roof would bring.
But in a nutshell, we have enjoyed this so much. Jamie has been very, very, very good to me from day one. This pregnancy has been easy because of him. He still tells me how beautiful I am almost every morning, even though I roll my eyes hard at him and frequently call him a liar. 😉 He has been able to share in every experience with me, from appointments to making random decisions to squealing at the end of the day when the baby is putting on an epic “belly show”.
I really missed him during these times in the past. Our love, respect, and appreciation for the other has grown a lot the last few months, and I’m very grateful that we’ve had this experience together, finally.
Besides throwing a few more things in our hospital bags, we’re good to go! The nursery is finished, the dresser is stocked with diapers, wipes, etc., baby gear is set up, hospital registration and tour are complete, so now we just wait!
Being physically active + having Jamie around have been the two things that have made the last few months pretty easy/enjoyable (and I’ve never linked either of those words with pregnancy in the past!) I’ve stayed consistent with working out 3-4 mornings a week the entire pregnancy, except for the week that we were in Grand Cayman.
I’ve said it 100 times, but starting my day this way is super healthy for me because it gives me time to hang with other adults, take a relaxed bath or shower afterwards, and get ready for the day on my own time without being shot out of a cannon (i.e. waking up to Sadie crawling into our bed begging for one thing or another the second she wakes up!) I also just feel better in general and not so weighed down by this growing babe. The aches and pains of growing her have been nearly non-existent, and I know this is because of working out.
When she’ll be here
If she hasn’t come on her own by July 11th, we’ll induce that day. I really (!) want to go into labor on my own, but after a really great induction experience with Sadie, I know that inducing with Jillian will be completely okay too if that’s what we end up doing. Either way, she’ll be in our arms in 20 days or less!
I’ve been picking the brains of so many of my girlfriends about two topics: their sleep routines and breast/bottle feedings.
Even though I felt like I’ve been intentional and tried to do a good job with doing right by our newborn and nighttime sleep (i.e. read all the books, established a strict routine, yadda yadda), we’ve struck out with Hadley and Sadie in this department. Neither Hadley nor Sadie slept 6+ straight hours at night until they were at least 10 months old, which really fogged the newborn experience for me. Most of my girlfriends have kids now, so I’ve been making them spill their guts about what nighttime hours really look like for them. Most of my friends have babies who are sleeping 6+ hours in a row by the three-month mark (or sooner), so I now have a few new tools in my back pocket to try with Jillian. I used to think that moms just “don’t sleep” when they have infants, but I know that that’s just not true. The first couple months? Totally. But after that it seems very doable to find a routine that gives us all a healthy amount shut-eye.
As far as feedings go, I’d ideally love to breastfeed but also help Jillian to learn to take a bottle of pumped milk or formula as soon as possible. I was an exclusive pumper with Hadley until switching to formula at four months old, which worked out really well but was quite expensive. I worked really hard to make breastfeeding work with Sadie, but I didn’t do a good job of also make her comfortable with taking a bottle. This was really difficult for me because I felt like I could never leave her that first year. (These are of course the really short stories of the “feeding” journeys I had with both girls.)
This time I want to breastfeed Jillian but also pump and give her a bottle each day by the four(ish) week mark, if not sooner. If pumping is too much, I am 1000% okay subbing in a formula bottle. I just need this chick to be receptive to taking a bottle when necessary. And if breastfeeding is just too much altogether with trying to mother the other two girls, we’ll just switch to bottles entirely. Basically, I am feeling extremely flexible this time around. I am confident in my feelings about “fed is best”, so I’m okay with being flexible.
I know the triggers that made the newborn experience difficult for me in the past, and I genuinely want to find more joy in this season than stress, exhaustion, frustration, etc. Jamie and I are so excited about having a baby around the house again, and I truly want that joy to stick around for the long haul, especially because we know by now how rapidly this year will go by.
Now accepting any newborn advice, because even this “experienced” mom knows that I still have so much I can learn from others!
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to two little girls (ages 5 and 2) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo