Baby's First Year: The Top Three Tips For Infant Oral Health

When I was asked a few weeks ago what I knew about infant oral care, the answer was almost nothing. As a new mom that answer was extremely concerning to me. With how important oral care is, I was shocked that I knew almost nothing on how to take care of Giulian's oral health in his first year of life. You would think that'd be Mommy 101 right?! So, when I was approached with the opportunity to work with Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation's Cavities Get Around Campaign to help spread awareness on infant oral care and to help eradicate childhood tooth decay, I saw that as the perfect opportunity for myself to learn all that I need to know to make sure Giulian has a good start to his oral health. 

Giulian is currently teething, so I am learning all of this just in time. He is just under five months old and already in the process of getting his first pearly white. The Cavities Get Around Campaign has come up with the "Big Three", three simple steps we can take as parents to make sure that our little ones are set up for the future when it comes to their oral health. I'm so grateful I am learning all of this now so that I can apply it all. They're such simple things, but it can make a huge difference. Making that little extra effort on our part will save us a ton of stress and a ton of dentist bills in the future. 

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The Big Three Of Infant Oral Care

1. DRINK LESS JUICE

This is something I was aware of, juice is sugar and sugar rots teeth. But what I didn't realize was that this can affect your teeth later in life. The sugar in juice or any other sugary beverage just sits on teeth and eats through the enamel, which then causes cavities. Last time I went to the dentist I had a few cavities, and the first thing they asked me was if I was drinking sugary drinks like soda or lattes throughout the day and not brushing right after. In fact I was, I would brush my teeth in the morning and at night before bed, but during the day when I would be sipping on my vanilla latte, that was playing part in creating those cavities. So, this tip is a great one for any person from infant to old age.

Drinking only water at bedtime can help a ton with this. Many parents will let their little ones fall asleep with a juice, milk or formula bottle, not realizing that it can cause baby bottle tooth decay. Instead, offer water as a nighttime drink. As a parent, you create the child's routine, so you can help them get used to having water at bed instead of a sugary drink. I'm so glad I am thinking about this now, especially because I currently put Giulian to bed right after nursing him or after a formula bottle. Now I can switch up his routine a bit, make sure to wipe down his gums or brush his sweet little baby teeth and then put him to bed. 

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2. DRINK MORE WATER

Of course there is sugar in things we eat too, not just what we drink, so drinking a lot of water is helpful because it will wash the sugar off of the teeth. Choosing water over other beverages is not only great for our little one's oral health, but it's great for their overall health. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that infants do not drink juice at all in their first year of life. I'm on board with that suggestion and I think it's a wise choice. I am going to do my best with Giulian to not give him juice within his first year of life, limiting it throughout his life, and encouraging him to drink a lot of water. These are such simple steps, but like most things in life, what is easy to do is also easy not to do. I'm going to make that extra effort and put this on high priority since it's such a simple task that can make a huge difference in his life. 

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3. Know why BABY TEETH MATTER

Baby teeth matter! I'm sure I am not the only mommy in the world who wasn't aware of this, right?! This fact is one of the main reasons I was excited to partner with the Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation, because I figured if I did not know this then many other parents probably don't either. Since it is so important for our children's oral health, spreading awareness of this fact is so crucial. My perception was that because baby teeth fall out, the care of them doesn't matter. Like I said, I was wrong and baby teeth do actually matter and cavities can pass from baby teeth to adult teeth. Something else the foundation taught me is that oral health has an impact on the overall health of the whole body. It can even impact learning; the leading cause of kids missing school in Colorado is from dental decay diseases.  

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It's such a shocker to me that how I take care of Giulian's gums and baby teeth now can impact his entire life. I'm so grateful I am finding all of this out now instead of when he is a few years old and already in a bad oral health routine. Giulian is four + months old and I am already starting to take action to insure his oral health is heading in the right direction. I am wiping down his gums multiple times a day, and when his baby teeth come in I will make sure to keep them clean by brushing them with an infant toothbrush and infant toothpaste, and I will veto the juice for his first year of life. As a parent, we want to do everything we can to create a strong future for our little ones, so I hope you found this information as helpful and valuable as I did.

This post is sponsored by  Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation.

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Colorado Pumpkin Patch + 4 Month Baby Update

As a mom, there is nothing I love more than going on little adventures together as a family. Before Giulian, I still wanted to do fun little outings and adventures with Nick, but he could do without things of that nature (not exactly his cup of tea). So I must admit that I love having our son, he's my little excuse for why we need to do things like go to the pumpkin patch, go to the zoo, take hikes, etc. It's bringing the inner child out in Nick and myself and we are loving every bit of it. Although Giulian wasn't able to pick his pumpkin out, he still loved staring at all the vibrant colors of the pumpkin patch and feeling like he was on an adventure with Mom and Dad. 

I can't believe our little man is already 4+ months old. Time is flying by and before I know it he will be 1/2 a year old and trying to talk! The last baby update I did was when he was 2 months, so I figured it was time for another one. 

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Height?

26 inches - 85th percentile

Weight?

14lbs 5 oz. - 25th percentile

What Size Clothing?

This answer makes me want to cry, he's getting so big!! A lot of his clothes are 6-9 months! Almost all of his sleepers are 9 month, because he is so long the 3-6 month ones don't fit him anymore. It is amazing how much can change in such a short amount of time, when I did his 2 month update he was just getting out of newborn clothes and into 0-3 month or 3 month clothing. 

Special Outings?

Very special outing, he went on his first family vacation to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico! I will probably do an entire post on our experience and our first time traveling as a family. He did so great on the planes and in the airports, we were so proud of him. 

He has also been to the zoo three times now, and of course the pumpkin patch. 

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Milestones? 

He has slept for 8 hours straight!! Okay, that only happened once lol but that is a start and we are praying it happens more often. He has been giggling up a storm recently, his laugh is the best. He grew a comb-over (I figure that should count as a milestone since I said him losing his hair in his 2 month update was a milestone). He has rolled from his tummy to his back (only four times). He tried his first "solid" food, he ate some rice cereal and absolutely loved it. 

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What Does Baby Love?

When we get him (make loud munching noises while "eating" his belly), he thinks it's hilarious. He loves being naked, and especially being naked while eating his toes. He loves watching Veggie Tales, going on walks and looking up at the trees or at the sky during our walks, he loves being in our baby carrier facing out so he can see what is going on around him, or doing chores with mom while in the baby carrier (and he usually falls asleep while I vacuum). He loves playing on his play mats, or in his saucers. He is loving his baby oatmeal or rice cereal at night and thinks it is so funny when he blows bubbles while "eating" it and gets the food all over mom. He also loves people, he gets so excited when people come talk to him or pay attention to him. He adores his cousins (my sister's kids) and he loves spending time with the family (Grandparents, Aunt, Uncles). It melts my heart to type out all the things he loves, he truly is such a happy baby and I just adore him. But above all, this baby loves eating his toes. 

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What Is Baby's Routine?

I wish I could say this has changed a ton in the last two months, but when I read this section in his Two Month Update, I unfortunately realized that not much has changed. In fact, I could some nights say it's gotten worse. We are taking action to try and change his sleep routine though, we have started "sleep training". In brief, we are doing 2-5-5 (2 minutes of crying, then we go in and sooth him, 5 min of the same and then another 5), this is teaching him to sooth himself to sleep instead of needing to nurse to sleep. If he can sooth himself back to sleep then hopefully he won't wake me up every two hours at night needing me to nurse him back to sleep. We also are trying to get him on a nap schedule of napping two hours after he wakes up, and then three hours after that nap is another nap, and then four hours after that is bedtime. I am praying when I post my next update that I can solidly say he is sleeping better and in a more consistent routine. 

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Nicknames?

It's hilarious how these have changed since the last update I did. Our current nicknames for Giulian are Little Man, Mr. Man, Bubby, and Bubbs. When talking about him with other people we sometimes call him Triple G or Baby G. Bubby is the most used nickname at this time. 

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Thoughts on the past two months?

Although the sleeping is still extremely tough (we are just starting to sleep train him), overall I'd say in the last two months we have become far more comfortable as parents and are in a much better routine than the months prior. It is becoming more and more fun with our little man, his personality is really shining through and we are loving it. There is nothing better than when he giggles and is having fun with us. I can't wait until he's sleeping better, allowing me to enjoy my days with him more instead of feeling like a zombie, but regardless being his mommy is a ton of fun and we love him to pieces! 

 
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15 Confessions From A New Mommy #RealTalk

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At MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) the other day, my group of ladies and I were discussing the comparison game in the mom world. In a world full of half truths on social media (and on most blogs), it's easy to think other moms have it perfect and aren't a mess sometimes. It's so easy to look at someone else's life and compare and put pressure on yourself to do motherhood a certain way. And on top of picture perfect lives on social media, we also live in a world where opinions are floating around far too aggressively. When it comes to parenting and motherhood there are opinions on everythinggg. Oh ya, from the time you become pregnant it's like you become a target for questions on what type of mom you'll be and what parenting "style" you'll adopt. With all of that it's easy to beat yourself up as a mother and attach guilt to almost everything you do. I was starting to wonder if I was the only one feeling this way until the women in my MOPS group and I were having that conversation, then it became clear as day that no matter what parenting "style" you go with... parenting is HARD. It's filled with ups and downs and lots of chaos. And that seems to be normal, I now understand that it's "part of the deal".  There are no parents that experience zero mess, zero chaos and everything is perfect all of the time, it simply doesn't exist. Our jobs as parents is to find all of the beauty in the chaotic mess.

Lets chat more on the topic of Mommy Guilt. Wow it's real. Mommy Guilt is such a thing, and even with a three month old baby, I've already experienced it a ton. I truly believe if we shared more of our #reallife mommy moments with each other than we wouldn't feel so much guilt and shame as we go through motherhood. Being a mom is filled with the most amazing moments, moments that bring so much joy and moments that make your heart feel like it'll explode with love. But with that comes some truly difficult and trying times too, times that'll make you question if you are cut out for this mommy thing. Or is that just me?...

Well I'm gonna go ahead and be super transparent here and share some of my most embarrassing, silly, messy mommy moments with you all, just for the purpose of the slight chance that you can relate, it might make you feel a bit less guilt and a bit more understood. 

*Don't worry, as you read this you are laughing with me not at me. 

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1. I didn't start driving alone with my baby in the car until he was over 11 weeks. 

Worry much?... Yep that's me, a total nut job of a mommy. The truth is I wasn't comfortable driving with him in the back all by himself for fear of too many things (things that probably don't happen very often). Fear that he'd permanently damage his neck since it seemed so hunched forward when he fell asleep. Fear that he'd somehow choke and die. Fear that he'd randomly stop breathing (when he was a newborn). Fear that he'd have a total meltdown and I wouldn't be there to make him feel better. I know I'm cray! And I also know that with my second kid I probably won't be this way, because Giulian is just fine lol. 

Mombie (n.) Môm-bē: A sleep deprived supermom who feeds on caffeine and survives on sticky kisses and messy smiles. Mombies are master multitasker’s and suck it uppers.

2. Tonight I drank wine out of a ninja turtle coffee mug.

I'm pretty sure that's what inspired this post. I looked down at my coffee mug filled with chardonnay (surprisingly not out of a box), my crazy hair, my makeup-less face, and my messy house and thought to myself... wow, I hope I'm not the only new mom that is a total mess. So, I grabbed my phone and started writing out some mom-fessions in the notes section. It didn't take long to get to 15. 

3. I've cried in the shower multiple times since my son has been born.

Okay, pathetic I know, but sometimes you've just gotta let it out. Being a mom is hard, and I mean really hard. It's non stop 24/7 (especially when your baby hates naps and doesn't like to sleep tons at night either), so to be fair the shower seems like the only alone time I get. It doesn't always go uninterrupted by baby, but I have a better shot at some quiet time in there than anywhere else. 

4. I like washing my hair a whole lot more now than I did before baby.

We don't realize how spoiled we are pre-kids. Before, my attitude on washing my hair was ugh it takes so long, I hate blow drying my hair, and I'd rather just use dry shampoo. Now my perspective on washing my hair is OMG yay I feel so clean and fresh, when was the last time I got to wash my hair? Now I don't smell like baby spit up!

5. We celebrate when our son poops.

For a while there Giulian was having some tummy issues (it's a bit better now), he is overall so much happier when he poops a few times a day. I mean who isn't happier when they are regular? So in our house we celebrate when he is pooping, and oh my goodness Giulian gets excited too! 

6. I've dropped my phone on our baby's head.

Horrible I know! I was FaceTiming Nick while he was away on business and trying to show him our little guy. Well, my phone slipped and fell on his head. It was seriously so sad! Now I hold my phone extra tight haha. 

7. His bassinet is currently acting as a laundry basket. 

When Giulian isn't napping I literally feel like he is glued to me and I can't get much of anything done. So yes, sometimes all the laundry isn't folded. And yes I throw the clean unfolded laundry in Giulian's (super expensive) bassinet. 

8. On the laundry theme: I'm typically "on top" of the laundry only because my baby has blowouts all the time and I'm forced to start another load of laundry. 

Haha omg when I type these things out I just laugh out loud, mom life is hilarious. But heck it's totally the truth. Even if I wanted to skip laundry day, I am forced to start that washing machine because no way am I leaving a poopy outfit out.

9.  I have breastfed and drank wine simultaneously. 

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Okay if you are judging, please don't lol. We were at a wedding, I was having ONE glass of wine but then Giulian was crying so I went out to the car to feed him. Nick brought me my glass of wine and I was like well heck what's the difference if I drink it 15 min before he eats or during. Nick and I found it hilarious so he snapped a pic of it. And now I'm praying this post doesn't go viral from judgmental mommies that have too much to say. But my job is to be transparent with y'all so here ya go...

*Don't worry I would NEVER drink and drive. We were just nursing in the car because the there wasn't many private places to nurse at the wedding venue. 

10. We frantically took Giulian to the ER at 4am his first week of life. 

We've settled into parenthood a bit, but the first while we were such worriers. We thought he wasn't breathing good enough while he slept so we rushed to the ER. He was breathing fine and the doctors there were so sweet and could tell we were worried first time parents. I'm so grateful that he's healthy and we can now laugh at this story. 

11. I've said, I'm done having kids and I want four kids in the same day. #BipolarMuch

Motherhood is so up and down, and when things are super tough I claim to not want more kids. I'm like okay Giulian is perfect, let's stop now. But then I think about the fact that he needs to be a big brother one day and I want a big family and I'm right back to "I want four kids". 

12. My baby is 3 1/2 months old and currently has one level of cry... The Meltdown. 

Giulian goes from 0 to 100 real quick. He'll be smiling and giggling one moment and then hysterical the next. We just went to Mexico and I'm pretty sure he had on average about 4 meltdowns per day. I'm hoping this will pass, because a little whimper would work just fine. 

13. Sometimes I vacuum just to get my baby to fall asleep. 

He loves the vacuum, which is nice because it's a chore that isn't difficult to get done with him. I just put him in the baby carrier and vacuum. By the time I get to the last room of the house he's usually always asleep, it's so precious! 

14. I cried in the bathroom stall my first time at MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). 

I know at this point you think I'm a cry baby, which I am starting to think that too, but I'm telling you the sleep deprivation and hormones are getting the best of me. So the best thing to do is just laugh at myself and make light of everything in this season of life. It was a rough morning and when I got to MOPS I just lost it. So instead of crying in front of all these women I had just met, I ran to the bathroom with my crying baby and just cried it out for a bit. 

15. I am currently losing my hair + I already have grey hair.

Sexy I know. When I got pregnant I started getting grey hair, and a decent amount of it. Good thing my mom is a hairdresser and can cover that problem, I'm only 28 years old so I'm not ready to embrace that part of aging yet. And recently (about 3 months postpartum) I started losing my hair. My best friend warned me of this. Her baby girl is one year old now and she's just starting to grow her hair back, she literally lost chunks. When she told me about that side effect of motherhood, I really didn't think it'd happen to me, I have extremely thick hair and couldn't fathom losing lots of it. Well, silly me for thinking I was exempt from that because it's started. My hair is coming out at a rapid rate. Not the normal "I'm shedding" type of hair loss but much faster. Oh well, it'll grow back, but in the meantime- Thank You Hormones. 

 

To be honest, I could come up with far more Mom-fessions, but we will end at 15 for now. Maybe this will be a quarterly post, because Lord knows I'll do at least 60 silly mom things per year. I hope that reading this post gave you a good laugh and allowed you to take a deep breath and remember that no mother is perfect, and we all are just trying to do our best as parents. Perfection does not exist anywhere in life, especially motherhood. So let's (telling myself) all give ourselves some grace and remember that God chose us to be parents and he will give us the strength and the knowledge we need to be the best parents we can be. I'm so grateful for my blog and the ability to connect with women, mommies, all around the world who are going through similar things and I hope and pray that I can (through my realness) provide some comfort as you all are embarking on this journey. 

Comment below with your best #RealTalk mommy story, I'd love to hear your Mom-fessions. 

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What's In My Diaper Bag? Outings With Baby & Products We Don't Leave The House Without

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ChoosePlaytexBaby #CollectiveBias

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As a first time mom, I have to admit I might leave the house with more than technically needed, but honestly my current mommy motto is I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. I love being prepared when we go on outings with the baby, that way we have a smoother and more enjoyable experience. There are a few products that I won't leave the house without and I am obsessed with, from the basics, to anti-colic products to entertainment... I like to make sure I have it all. So here we go, I'm gonna break down what's in my diaper bag when we take baby out and about. 

 

Singing octopus - 

Sometimes Giulian has meltdowns in the car... that's not just our baby right?? He loves car rides at first, but after about 20 minutes he is over it. That's when mommy ( if I'm sitting in the backseat with him) whips out the toy! He goes from crying to all sorts of cute smiles instantly! Praise God for this octopus! It's strange how some toys are just a hit with babies, and with our little guy this one has been a favorite from the beginning! It might be bulky, but you know what I'd rather carry around a bulky toy than hear my baby cry during a car ride. 

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Gas drops- 

Giulian's gas has gotten better, but when it hits, it hits hard... Our little man gets so upset ( it's very sad). Having the gas drops on hand is always nice. We don't always need it but when we do it's a life saver. And you just never know when you'll need it. 

 

Hand sanitizer- 

Okay , call me a crazy mom, but I don't want you holding my baby when you've just touched all sorts of doorknobs and other things around town... a little hand sanitizer never hurt anybody right?...

Bottle - 

I breast feed and bottle feed and for me I personally enjoy having a bottle on hand when we are out and about. It's more comfortable for me and more convenient to mix Giulian a quick bottle when he gets hungry ( or even a bit hangry) when we are out. Since we have had to supplement since day one (read about my breastfeeding journey HERE) , we've been testing out different bottles for a while now. About a month in we found our all time favorite bottle for Giulian, the bottle I don't leave the house without, the Playtex Baby™ VentAire® Baby Bottle. We have found that the Naturalatch Nipple has the perfect flow for Giulian, not too fast and not too slow, and it also does a great job at mimicking the breast which helps Giulian switch from breast to bottle without getting confused. Like I said before Giulian gets super gassy sometimes and it's so sad when he does, I hate watching his little tummy hurt. We do anything we can to prevent the gas from hurting him, that's another reason why I love these bottles. It has an anti-colic vent at the bottom of the bottle that is designed to keep the air at the back of the bottle instead of going into the baby's tummy. This helps to prevent gas, spit-up and fussiness. The Playtex baby bottles are BPA free, which in my opinion is a must! It's by far Giulian's favorite bottle so we made sure to run to Target and purchase a few more so that we always have them on hand. We keep a few of them at home but also keep one in the diaper bag at all times so we are prepared for our hungry little man. There is a sale going on at Target this month from 9/10-9/15, the Playtex Baby™ VentAire®, 9oz and the Playtex Baby™ Nurser with Drop-Ins® Liners, 4oz 3-pack are $10.49 and all other Playtex Baby™ bottles are 20% off! Make sure to head over to Target to grab some while the sale is on!

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Outfit change- 

Like all babies, our little man shoots his poo out of his diaper sometimes , fun visual huh... If you're new to babies, its called a blowout and you better believe they need a new outfit ( and maybe a bath) after them.  I like to have a backup for the backup sometime too ( just in case).

 

Diapers and wipes-

Well duh ... it is called a diaper bag.  But its important to stay stocked up on the diapers because it would be a big problem to run out. And we all know the day you don't have diapers in your bag is the day baby will have a blowout for the ages.

 

Diaper baggies- 

You can buy these neat little plastic diaper baggies that are amazing for wrapping up a poopy diaper after you change your baby. They are also nice to have if your baby gets poop on his outfit, you can wrap it in a bag so that it doesn't make more of a mess and it can stay in there until you get home. Giulian had a poopy accident the other day at Target and goodness I was so grateful I had these bags in my diaper bag. It really helped with the clean up. For all my baby-less readers... when you have your little one you will understand all this poop talk and poop preparation.

 

Muslin blanket- 

These things are so amazing! They are super light weight and I use them for so many different things. They can be a blanket of course, a swaddle, burp rag, nursing cover (tie two ends together and wrap it around your head), you can use them to block the sun while they are in their car seat, and I'm sure other ways I haven't discovered yet. I would have added burp rag to this list, but honestly between muslin blankets and wet wipes, I don't mind if I forgot to pack a burp rag. These are good for hot weather as well because they aren't too thick, making them a worthwhile addition to any day out.

 

 Snack for Mom or Dad- 

With a new baby sometimes you are so on the go that you forget to eat. I always have a bag of raw almonds or a granola bar in the diaper bag just in case mom or dad hit a wall and need food asap. The focus so often is on when the baby ate last, how much did the baby eat... and sometimes it's easy to forget about feeding yourself and trust me, we need fuel to get us through parenthood. They only have a few ingredients and taste great. Parents, don't forget to feed yourself too (especially breastfeeding mamas- you need it). 

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Those are my current diaper bag must haves! Since I am a new mommy, I'm sure there are amazing products that I don't know about that I should, if you have recommendations let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading, make sure to subscribe and stay connected. 

 
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Two Month Baby Update

How has it already been two months since sweet Giulian entered the world?! It's gone by so fast! If you read my first baby update in my Navigating A Newborn post, than you know how the first few weeks went for us and our new son. In a nutshell, we have a healthy happy baby and we were super stressed out parents who couldn't sleep and maybe made a silly trip to the ER... to read and get caught up click HERE. Well, now Giulian is 9 weeks old and we as a a family are really getting in the swing of things! I couldn't be more happy and in love with our son, he is such a sweetheart, so incredibly smiley and brings so much joy to our whole family. It really doesn't get more precious than him ( insert heart eye emoji ). I thought it'd be fun for this update to answer a list of questions about baby! Here we go... 

Height?

23.5 inches - 74th percentile

Weight?

11 lbs 2 ounces - 26th percentile

What size clothes? 

It seems like he's growing out of new outfits everyday. Most of his newborn outfits don't fit anymore, mainly because he's too long. There are quite a few outfits he didn't even get a chance to wear (so sad). Most of the things that fit him are 3 month clothes. 

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Any Milestones?

He lost his hair... does that count as a milestone lol? Not all of it though, he still has an old man hairdo with some long hair in the back but nothing up front. It's starting to grow back now and is softer than ever!

He also had his first "blow out". Parents you know what that means. And if you don't know what that means... lucky you!

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Special Outings?

His first big outing was the Italian Festival in LoHi that Nick's family has been going to for years. My mom told us that we were "under stimulating" him and that's why he got so fussy in the evenings, well it turns out that she was right. Our little guy loves to be out and about, which makes total sense that he's our son. So the night after my mom told us that we took him to that festival and he loved it! He was such a ham, loving all the attention from everyone in the family. Other special outings this month were our cousin Lauren's wedding and the same weekend we took him to a local training event for our business in Denver. He better get ready for next month because that's when his traveling days begin (stay tuned).

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Thoughts On The Past Month?

He is getting more and more fun every single day. He already has such a cute little personality! He's so smiley, those big gummy smiles just melt me and daddy. Motherhood is getting "easier" everyday. I put easier in quotes because it's anything but easy, but I will say you do get into more of a rhythm and I am starting to know what he wants and doesn't want which helps so much. I'm also starting to learn his cries, what each one means. Nick and I are also so much more comfortable with him these days. We worry and stress about him so much less than we did the first few weeks of his life, which allows us to relax and have more fun with our little guy. 

What Is Baby's Routine?

He usually goes to sleep around 9:30 - 10:30 and wakes up 2 or 3 times every night. Some nights are better than others and each night is different, but I'd say a typical night is him going down around 10, waking up at 1 then going back down at 2, waking up at 5 and then going back down at 6. Lately he has been waking up like 40 minutes after I put him down around 6am, so I grab him and nurse him in bed for a few hours. If I do it that way, I get a few more hours of sleep in the morning. His napping during the day is all over the place. I'm starting to read a book on sleep training, so I'll let you know if it helps or when he gets on a better napping schedule. As of now he wants to be held during naps, which isn't ideal for a mommy who'd like to get stuff done during the day. 

Baby's Favorite Toys?

Hands down his musical octopus. He just loves this thing, it has 8 legs and each them play music with a different instrument. It's precious to watch him interact with it. He smiles at it! Nick and I almost always have the songs from the toy stuck in our head. I'll insert a video of the octopus saving the day as little guy got fussy in the car.

Too much cuteness 😍

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What Does Baby Love?

Well obviously his octopus toy. He also loves when people talk to him, he's so smiley and is trying really hard to coo and giggle. He loves food, he's one hungry guy. He loves going on walks in his stroller. He loves being outside and looking up at the sky. He enjoys car rides (as long as they aren't too long), especially during the daytime so he can look at the sky out the window. He loves taking naps in the Baby K'Tan wrap carrier on mommy. He loves when daddy sings to him (it's so precious). Morning cuddles with mommy seem to be a new favorite. He also really likes white noise, I downloaded an app that helps a ton. 

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What Makes Baby Mad?

When you take his food away and he's still hungry, he gets pretty hangry. He gets so mad/sad when he hasn't pooped or if he has gas, and let me say this is the saddest thing ever. I hate when his tummy is upset. We have bought baby probiotics, baby gas drops, and gripe water to help the situation, but sometimes his tummy just doesn't wanna cooperate and hurts him. He also gets upset when mommy talks while I'm nursing him. This one cracks me up that a baby so young can already be so particular with things he doesn't like. When i'm nursing him and I try to talk he makes this winey little cry that is just the cutest thing ever. 

Nicknames?

Triple G. Baby G. Little guy. Peanut. Bubbie. Bubba. Who knows where some of these names come from, but those are most of the things we call him lol. 

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Giulian's Birth Story

I figured I might as well write this post sooner rather than later since every mom tells me we get amnesia when it comes to giving birth. I'm sure that's probably at least partially true because if we had a vivid memory of the pain, none of us would have more than one child. Kidding...sorta. 

Well before I dive into sharing my whole birth story, I want to preface by saying that I think ALL women are amazing and powerful, no matter how you chose to deliver and give birth. Whether you chose drugs or went with a natural birth, whether you gave birth at home or in a hospital, and whether your birth was vaginal or not... You are amazing! Giving birth (any which way) is no joke, nor is it easy, and you deserve a big pat on the back for being one tough cookie! I have ZERO judgments on women and how they gave birth, so when I talk about what I personally chose, please remember that. 

Okay, where do I begin? I went into labor on Saturday morning at 1:00 am. I woke up out of a dead sleep in massive pain, which to be honest got me quite excited. At this point I was dying for this baby to come, I was 11 days past my due date and "over" being pregnant. I was supposed to have an appointment on Saturday morning at 7:00 am to chat about my options as far as getting induced (which I absolutely did not want), and Monday would have been the date where they highly suggest getting induced because of increased risk for the baby. The night before, I woke up at 1:00 am too (weird, huh?) and was in a ton of pain, having contractions but they were inconsistent and not easy to time. Those eventually stopped, I fell back asleep and didn't end up going into labor. So when I woke up Saturday with the same feelings, (at the same time) I was hoping that it was the real deal and not another false alarm. These contractions were different from the night before though, they were much easier to time. From 1-2 I labored by myself, letting Nick sleep. I took a shower and just tried to stay calm and get things ready in case it was real labor and we needed to head to the hospital. I am so grateful I showered right when I woke up because soon after (around 2:00 am) the contractions started getting really close together and the pain was becoming far worse. That's when I realized okay, this is it, I am actually in labor. I was so relieved that I went into labor naturally and didn't have to be induced. I was in labor at home for a few hours and the pain intensified pretty quickly. Soon I was unable to move or talk during the contractions. Around 4:00 am Nick called our midwife and they suggested coming in since my contractions were about 4 to 5 minutes apart and at my last checkup I was already 4 cm dilated. We packed up our stuff and headed to the hospital around 4:30. 

When we got to the hospital they checked my platelet levels, those have been an issue for me. My blood platelet levels had been dropping throughout my whole pregnancy and eventually dropped below the level (100,000) where they say it's safe to have an epidural. That was fine with me since I wanted to do a natural delivery anyways, but it just had me worried about bleeding after delivery. They then let me know that my platelets were 104,000. The week prior my platelets were in the 80,000's! I cried, it was such a relief to know that I didn't need to stress about that part of delivery, God is so good and definitely answered that prayer. 

Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers— strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.
— Barbara Katz Rothman

When we first got to the hospital they also checked to see how dilated I was, per request (I was so curious). When they told me I was already at a 7 I was so dang excited! So in my head I'm like wow okay I'll be to a 10 in no time. Well,...from a 7 to a 10 was a bit of a different story, it took much longer than I thought it would. Still, my total labor time was only 9 hours so I'm not complaining, but let me just say that dilating from a 7 to a 10 was a whole new kind of pain than the pain I was having prior. Going through labor, especially that transitional labor, took more mental focus and toughness than I ever thought possible. I didn't want anyone to touch me, talk to me, or distract me while I was going through each contraction. I just felt like I had to keep 100% focus on pushing through the pain, keeping my mindset on "I can do this" "You were made to deliver this baby" "This pain will pass soon". If I let any negative thoughts enter my mind like "I can't do this, it's too painful", then I would just feel like I lost control and feel extremely scared and freaked out. I truly felt like it was such a mental game of keeping calm and staying in control mentally. 

During two contractions I tried Nitrous Oxide, this was the only form of pain relief I was open to having. You might know Nitrous Oxide better by the name of "laughing gas" and possibly used it at the dentist. It doesn't take the pain away, but it takes your care of the pain away. After trying it, I quickly decided that I was not a fan of it. The first contraction that I used it on I sort of thought I liked it, but then after the second I started to feel very very loopy and I felt like I lost control a bit. I guess I am glad I tried it because I was freaking out a bit before having the Nitrous, I was starting to feel like I couldn't handle the pain anymore and that's why I called in the Nitrous. I was hoping to love it, but honestly it just made me feel too out of it. I suppose it did calm me down a bit though. In all honesty, I don't know, I have mixed opinions about it. After I decided I didn't like the Nitrous, the thought of an epidural crossed my mind. I am so glad that I didn't ask for one, although it crossed my mind I just tried to remind myself that it wasn't what I wanted and to stay strong. I totally understand how women ask for one though, it sounded very tempting. But I am so glad I did it natural and am just so grateful for the opportunity to have given birth naturally and without complications.

In many ways, giving birth naturally is a privilege. I have a few friends that would have loved to have a natural delivery but because of complications they were unable to, and the safer route for them and baby was to have some sort of medical intervention. So for me, I just thank God that I had a birth that went just as I hoped and prayed for, because that definitely isn't always the way it works out. You realize as you're going through it that birth is something you don't have much control over. Your body will do what it's gonna do to an extent and sometimes it's not what you would prefer. So, I feel very blessed by my birth experience and that I was able to go natural. 

I was stuck at 8.5 cm dilated for quite some time. At this point I was sitting in the "throne" position in the hospital bed. Which by the way, those are some fancy high tech things these days, those beds can move into so many positions, I was quite impressed. The midwife suggested that I switch positions to help get things moving along. She suggested getting on my knees and facing the back of the bed in sort of an upright position. It did not sound comfortable but I thought "what the heck, if it will help this process speed up then I am willing to try it."  I kept having the urge to push, but since I wasn't dilated enough they were discouraging me from doing so. Once I switched to that position she was suggesting it was go time. I could not help it and I had to push. She said I pushed him past the 8.5 and it opened me up to 10 cm dilated (which sounded weird and I didn't know that was a thing). I continued to push and finally delivered in this position. I NEVER would have thought that was how I was gonna deliver my baby, the position sounds so strange, but it felt so natural and felt way more comfortable than sitting. Total I pushed for 38 minutes, which felt like an eternity, but apparently the midwives said is pretty quick for your first baby. At 10:02am on Saturday June 17th, our sweet baby boy was born. 

I didn't get to see Giulian come out since I was facing the other direction, but I saw something that I will never forget. I got to watch my husband's face as our son was born, and let me tell you that was one of my favorite experiences of my life. He was crying and just had so much love and joy in his eyes. You could tell he was instantly in awe of our son. It just absolutely melted my heart and I'll never forget it. When the midwife passed Giulian to me through my legs, the first thing I said was "Ahhhh he's so cute!". And those truly were my first thoughts. I was so excited to see what he looked like, I'd been wondering for 10 months. So to finally see him was amazing and I just couldn't help but think he was the cutest thing I'd ever seen. 

Some random details about the birth- one, I tore. Yay lol every woman's dream (sarcasm). It was a second degree tear, whatever that means... but ouch that was a bummer. Another detail is that we did delayed cord clamping, which just means you wait to cut the umbilical cord until the blood has finished transferring from the placenta to the baby. There are some great health benefits for baby by doing this. In fact, our hospital does this with every birth because they find it so important. The last random fact I thought I'd share is that they gave me a bit of Pitocin after delivery to help stop the bleeding (which it did and was fine). 

I couldn't rave enough about the midwives at West Side Women's Care and Lutheran Hospital. I felt so supported and encouraged by them the entire delivery process. They were so helpful and respectful, I feel so blessed to have had them by my side during the most difficult thing I've ever done in my entire life. Giving birth is no joke and I think it made a huge difference having women there who were so nurturing and like I already said, so supportive. They were amazing coaches through the whole process which was nice because it took that pressure off of Nick and he was just able to be loving and supportive in the exact way I needed him to be. I know some people have bad things to say about hospital births, but I truly think if that person knew truly what my experience was, they would feel differently. I wish every hospital was this amazing, I know that's probably not the case, but hopefully one day they will all be as amazing as Lutheran. Those women there are such angels. 

I'm currently cuddling my big 6 week old baby! He's growing so fast and our love for him gets stronger and stronger every day. Thank you Lord for this healthy happy baby! 

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Navigating A Newborn & Motherhood

Giulian is down for a nap and that means mommy has a tiny bit of time to work on her blog. Let me start this post off by saying I feel crazy blessed. Our baby is healthy, happy and has totally stolen my heart! Today is July 7th 2017 and as of tomorrow our baby boy will be three weeks old. Since he is our first kid, I must say the first three weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. A mix of pure joy, sleep deprivation, breastfeeding frustrations and lots of stress about keeping this baby safe, healthy and alive. I would have never anticipated that Nick and I would be such worrisome parents. All of which stems from our insane amount of love we have for our son. Lets start with week one, because lets be honest that one is the largest adjustment. Giulian was born on a Saturday and we brought him home from the hospital Monday evening. Nick and I were both so grateful for the time we got to have in the hospital with those AMAZING nurses and midwives, which pretty much baby savants. Those women gave us so much knowledge and we felt like we had our parenting "training wheels" on after hearing all of their tips. You should have seen these ladies swaddle a baby, it was quite impressive. Our first night at home we were incredibly nervous about sleeping, the thought of us both sleeping while he slept was just not an option for these overprotective parents. Soooo for the first week or so Nick and I switched off sleeping in shifts. Nick would take the night shift until like 2:00 am and then I would get up and watch Giulian sleep the rest of the night. Crazy? Yes probably. But that was the only thing that allowed Nick and I to get any sleep at the time since we were both so paranoid that he would stop breathing or something. Well that sleep shift schedule is not sustainable, we both felt like zombies and are not doing that anymore (I'll share more about that in a minute). So to put the final touches on our "how to be a worrisome new parent" recipe, we made a trip to the ER at 3:00 am while we both had zero sleep. Talk about a mess. We had this monitor that is supposed to track baby's oxygen levels and give parents "peace of mind" while baby sleeps. Well that damn monitor went off THREE times in one night and gave us both heart attacks. We weren't sure if the monitor was acting up or if there was actually something wrong with our baby so we called the pediatrician and ended up rushing him to the Emergency Room. Long story short, Giulian is fine and is a healthy baby and I'm sure we aren't the first stressed out new parents that the ER docs have seen in the middle of the night. Maybe I'll put a copy of the ER bill in his baby book for a good laugh down the road. 

When they say it takes a village they really are not kidding. We are so beyond grateful for our family and close friends. Especially the Grandmas, Nick's mom and my mom are just unbelievable. That next day after our silly ER trip they both came over, watched Giulian the whole day while Nick and I slept and thankfully regained some of our sanity. I truly don't know what we would have done without them. Our village is one of the best. 

Week two and three have been so much more smooth. A friend lent us the Snuza Hero baby monitor and it's been working amazing! It is a monitor that sits on the baby's belly while they sleep, tracking the movements and alerting you if they stop breathing. It is much more simple than the other monitor we tried using and sometimes simple is way better. That monitor has given us so much peace of mind that now we have a strong routine down during the night. Nick sleeps the whole night while I get up just to feed him and pump and then I sleep while he sleeps. I'm still sleep deprived, but I am functioning and way more rested than I was while we were switching off during the night. We have Giulian sleeping in the Halo Bassinest Premiere Swivel Sleeper bed right beside our bed. I absolutely love this bed and would recommend it to any new parent. As of now he is waking up two to three times between midnight and 9:00 am and I am up for about an hour to two hours with him each time he wakes up. Not too bad for week three. 

Something that has been a real struggle for me is breastfeeding. I had so many moms warn me that it might be difficult, but wow I would have never anticipated this emotional roller coaster. Breastfeeding for every woman is different and everyone has a different story with it, but for me it hasn't been a walk in the park. I want to share my story because some women might relate and feel less "alone" through it. When Giulian was born he weighed 7lb 13 oz. , but within the next 24-48 hours he dropped 11% of his weight and was under 7lb. It's totally normal for babies to drop weight after birth, but anything over 10% is worrisome and 11% that quick was concerning. He pooped like 12 times in the first 24 hours since he had swallowed some amniotic fluid, which didn't help with the weight situation. Since he dropped weight so quick they had us start supplementing with donor breast milk right away. They had me doing what is called a triple feed. I feed him on me for about 15 minutes, then we feed him donor milk from a bottle, then I pump for 15-20 minutes. It's quite the tedious process and it feels like once I am done, there is a tiny gap and then it's time to start the process again. The frustration with this process is that baby now links the bottle to easy milk and doesn't want to "work" for the milk that I am making him. Which then makes it so I produce less because he is not aggressively stimulating my boobs to create more milk. It's quite the cycle. I must say it is improving though and I am starting to supplement less and produce more. As of yesterday (two days shy of three weeks), Giulian is above birth weight! Whoo-hoo!! He is currently 7lb 14oz and working on his double chin and wrist rolls (too cute). I'm hoping that soon he will be all mommy and we won't need donor milk, but whatever happens I just need to remember that a fed baby is best (no matter how he is fed). I need to remember that because at times I feel super sad that I wasn't producing enough or provide enough for my son. It's a real emotional roller coaster to feel like you can't do one of your main job as a mother. So for all you mothers out there feeling the same way, let's remember that our #1 job as mothers is to love our babies, and we are in full control of the quantity of that. 

I am so in love with our little guy. He brings us so much joy. He's been incredibly smiley since day one, which is not very common for a newborn to have such strong facial expressions. We lucked out with this guy, he is such a sweet baby. I love watching him sleep, watching him dream, I even love watching his hilarious facial expressions as he poops (that is some real work for a newborn baby). My favorite though is watching Nick interact with him, it's so precious. There are no words to describe the love I have for Nick and our son, my heart just explodes when I look at Nick holding him. The other night Nick was singing the Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwoʻole version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow to Giulian. I'll never forget moments like that (especially since I was sneaky and got a video), it was a perfect moment. 

Soon I will do a birth story blog post, I can't wait to share our story with y'all. And eventually I would love to get back in the swing of writing about travel, style and other things again. But truthfully, if you are a subscriber, you should get used to seeing posts about motherhood and our son because he's stolen my heart and a portion of my blog too. Thanks for following along our wild amazing journey called life! Make sure to comment below with any new mom tips you have for me!

 
 

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Giulian Georgio Greco, Welcome To The World

Giulian Georgio Greco

Born 6/17/17 at 10:02 am

7 lb 13 oz

20 3/4 in. long

Head 14 1/2 in. around

Natural delivery at Lutheran Hospital in Wheat Ridge, CO

Welcome to the world sweet boy! Mom and Dad couldn't be more in love with you. You bring us so much joy. God is so good for blessing us with a healthy and happy baby boy. Praise Jesus! 

 


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41 Week Bumpdate | Yes I'm STILL Pregnant

"I think I'm gonna have a May baby, there's no way I'll still be pregnant in June"... Yep that's what I kept saying about a month ago in early to mid May. That's the funny thing about pregnancy, you cannot predict, control or plan anything. You are completely forced to give it all up to God and try to be as "still" as you can be. If you didn't see the post title, I am currently 41 weeks pregnant. One week past the baby's due date. To the mommies out there who have been overdue in a pregnancy, wow I have a whole new respect for you because I now know what it's like. I remember a few weeks before June 6th, the anticipated due date, I was so miserable, uncomfortable and over being pregnant that I couldn't fathom my pregnancy lasting until his due date. I was totally fine with baby G coming a bit early, and since we always get what we want in life (sarcastic voice), I was SURE he was going to come early.

Little did I know that June 12th would roll around and labor would be no where in sight. I feel like everyday is groundhog day- each night I go to bed hopeful that in the middle of the night I'll wake up in massive pain and pure joy in my heart knowing our baby boy was on his way. Then each morning I wake up, in no pain, and not in labor. For over a week now I'm like "okay! Today is the day!" and then... well... the days passes and still no baby. Patience is quite a difficult thing, it takes a massive amount of discipline to keep a positive attitude in the midst of feeling frustrated and impatient. I'm so grateful because I received some advice that was super helpful to my husband and I, someone told us to plan something fun to do everyday that way you have things to look forward to and be excited about other than baby coming. That way if I wake up feeling bummed that I'm not in labor yet, I am thinking at least I get to do blank today. My husband and I have been trying to have a blast with that, we've gone on more fun dates together in the last week and a half than we have in the last few months prior. I have also received more pedicures in the last two months than I have in the last two years, now that has been a real treat! We are trying to focus on enjoying our time together and embracing these last moments we have together before our little guy takes us from two to three.

To be honest though, it's much more difficult than you'd think. Nick and I are both so crazy excited to meet our son and spend time with him, that being patient is quite a task. And for me, there are so many other factors that make me feel impatient, pregnancy at 41 weeks is not too easy. The last two weeks have been difficult emotionally because I got stretch marks. Up until now I was so proud of how beautiful the skin on my pregnant belly looked, and now I have some "battle wounds". Obviously I know it's all worth it... duhh, I get that and I don't need you to remind me. But if I'm being totally honest, transparent and not trying to fake my attitude just in hopes of sounding inspiring, then I'll admit to you that getting stretch marks from pregnancy can be quite emotional. I feel like I'll never look the way I did before I was pregnant, which bums be out because I should have appreciated my body more. It might sound shallow but now I'm wondering if I'll ever get to wear a bikini again. All these things cross my mind and of course I know the result is my beautiful son, but it doesn't mean that body changes aren't hard. I'm sure one day I won't care at all about my stretch marks, but for today it's been very emotional for me to know my tummy will never quite look the same. Something that has helped remind me of what's important is to remind myself that some women can't have babies and would kill to have those stretch marks if it meant having a sweet baby.

It really helps to accept my body changes when I remind myself of the bigger picture. But like I said before, on my blog you'll only find honesty and transparency from me and heck if I'm being honest I've cried quite a few times over these darn stretch marks. Hormones maybe? 

I must prep you, if you haven't gone overdue in a pregnancy but do in the future, there are a few things that you'll 100% experience. One is that you will receive a trillion messages a day. "Baby here". "Hey how are you..." (which actually means are you in labor yet?). "I have a feeling today is the day!" And although everyone sending those messages is SO sweet and supportive and of course they only mean well, when you get over 10 a day minimum... it can get frustrating. I've started replying, nope no baby. Ha ha! And the best is every time you call someone, they get crazy excited to pick up the phone and hear you say "I'm in labor!" only to disappoint them by actually calling to ask a stupid question or have some small talk. 

The other thing you must know is that you're gonna get bombarded with "TRY THIS" if you go overdue. Everyone has their secret method to how they got their baby out, and trust me a week ago I wanted to know them all! I was googling "how to naturally induce labor" or asking my already mommy friends how they did it multiple times a day. Well, then I tried every single thing on the list and well, still no baby. I have walked, done squats, bounced on the ball for hours, eaten spicy food, eaten dates and pineapple to thing my cervix, had sex, had an induction massage, gotten a pedicure in hopes that the foot rub would do it, and oh ya we have even tried a ton of nipple stimulation (sorry TMI). Well I can honestly say I'm over trying to induce labor. I'm beginning to think that we create all these old wives tales that induce labor because it helps us feel like we have control over the situation. Well, I think the reality is those things might work a bit, but at the end of the day God's timing trumps everything and there is nothing we can do about that. 

With all of the frustration, tears, body changes, annoying old wives tales, etc. surprisingly there are a few positives to going overdue. One, like I mentioned before, is the extra alone time with your spouse. I've loved spending so much time with Nick during this overdue stage of pregnancy. I feel so grateful and blessed, I've seen a whole new level of support from him that has just been amazing. He is frustrated and having a hard time being patient too, and it's nice to have each other to lean on during this time. We have gotten to the point where we just try to laugh a lot to take our minds off of baby G not being here yet. I really feel this we are in it together vibe that gives me such a sense of peace and security. I am a truly blessed wife. 

Another perk to going overdue is it gives you more time to prepare. We recently moved and although the house was ready enough by his due date, there was still more work that needed done. We still aren't totally done with everything on our list, but during the last week we've made a ton of progress with getting settled in the house, ordering things we need and doing a bit more deep cleaning. I guess you can say we've taken the time to do a bit of nesting and it sure does feel nice. 

The last thing I think might be a perk to being overdue is my perspective on labor. There's been a bit of a shift the last few weeks from slight fear of labor to omg get thing baby out of me! I seriously cannot wait to be in pain because it means I'll soon not be pregnant and I will have our baby in my arms. I truly think because I've been pushed to my limits with pregnancy it will mentally prepare me for embracing labor and delivery better. I think I will welcome it with open arms and be more mentally in the zone once it's here. Every time I feel a cramp or a pain I get excited and start hoping that it's the start of labor. Who knows if when I do go into labor I'll still feel the same way, but I sure do think the mental shift will help me embrace labor that much more. 

I pray the next post I write is welcoming baby Greco into the world. I am so ready and eager to meet him and to shift from my pregnancy journey to my mommy journey. Thanks for following along throughout this whole pregnancy. 

 
 

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Pregnancy Must Haves

Well, I'm just days away from our little guy's due date and I find myself reflecting on my pregnancy. Overall I've loved the experience, the good the bad and the ugly, all result in our son so I am learning to love it all. As I reflect I find myself feeling like it went so slow but it also flew by at the same time... how is that possible? I am so eager, nervous, excited and crazy curious about meeting our little guy. I cannot wait. 

Throughout the pregnancy there have been things that I personally think are pregnancy must haves. Every pregnancy is different, but for mine there were a few products that I just couldn't live without and made the whole pregnancy process way more pleasurable. If you are preggers, I think this list might help you. I have added in Amazon links to make it easy for y'all to find the products, you might have to turn off Ad Blocker to view them. Okay, let's get into it...


TUMS

If there is any product that I COULD NOT live without during my entire pregnancy, especially second and third trimester, it's TUMS. Holy heart burn, this baby must be super hairy because I have heart burn all the time. I had never really experienced bad heart burn prior to pregnancy, so this really took me by surprise. It makes you feel super acidic and for me it was hard to have an appetite when the heart burn would strike. The only things I want when I have heart burn are a glass of milk and a couple of TUMS. It is quite amazing though, with my experience the TUMS took the heart burn away within a few minutes of eating them. I carried a container of TUMS in my purse the entire pregnancy. Praise God for those little tropical treats!


Preggie Pops

I have to admit, I didn't have the worst first trimester. I got super lucky with only a little bit of nausea, but I did still have some. I especially had nausea towards the end of my first trimester. I had never heard of Preggie Pops before, but my sister in law gave me some right after she heard I was pregnant. I was skeptical, they just look like little candies, but honestly they helped me a ton! I'm not even sure what's in Preggie Pops that helps fight nausea, but they work. Luckily the nausea stopped for me after the first trimester, but these were a life saver at times when I needed them. 


Maternity Clothes & Belly Bands

If you read my 26 Week Bumpdate, then you know how I feel about purchasing maternity clothes. Your body goes through so many crazy changes throughout pregnancy and the last thing you need is to be trying to squeeze your body into your "normal" clothes, and then feeling like a big whale of a pregnant woman... no thank you! When I was in my first trimester I kept refusing to spend money on maternity clothes, saying that all of our money needed to go towards baby stuff and not mom. Luckily my mom was in my ear telling me if I wanted to enjoy my pregnancy then I needed to feel good about myself and my new body, and getting clothes that actually fit me right would allow me to feel comfortable and confident. Well, per usual, my mom was so right. I'm so grateful I got a good amount of maternity wear during my pregnancy. There are still a few tops and dresses that I owned prior to pregnancy that I am able to wear while pregnant, but not a full wardrobe worth. Maternity clothes used to be really frumpy and not cute at all, so ladies I say take advantage of the new and improved style that maternity wear has, buy some and feel confident (and comfortable)!


Prenatal Massages

This is SO worth the money! Throughout pregnancy you'll get aches and pains that you would have never even though about, unless you are crazy lucky. Before I got pregnant, I had heard of pregnant women experiencing back pain, but who knew there would be massive leg pain too. Especially in my third trimester, I've lost so much sleep because of the aches and pain the sides of my legs have. Throughout my pregnancy I got two prenatal massages, which is not enough! I mean it's better than none, but gosh the more the better. It relieved so much of my leg and back pain. On top of relieving physical pain, the prenatal massages released a lot of mental stress. Pregnancy is emotional, your body is releasing all sorts of hormones that you aren't used to and it can be quite draining. The prenatal massages allowed me to de-stress, unplug mentally and relax. It's so important to take care of yourself physically and mentally throughout pregnancy and I personally think this is one of the best ways. 

If you are in the Denver area, go see Katie Dempter with Elevated Bodywork. Like I said before, I received two prenatal massages throughout my pregnancy, they were both nice but one was way better than the other. The first massage I had was decent, the girl was super nice, but the atmosphere was not peaceful at all. The lights were on, there was no peaceful music, and I could hear people talking in the office right outside the door the entire massage. When I went to see Katie for my second prenatal massage, it was a totally different experience. Her massage room is so peaceful, the lighting and music set the tone to really relax. She uses essential oils to reduce stress, and she knows what she's talking about when it comes to prenatal massages. It was so reassuring to hear her knowledge on what you can and can't do during a prenatal massage in each trimester. I absolutely loved her massage, I can't rave about it enough and I'd recommend it to any of my Denver area readers! 


Coconut Oil, Bio-Oil & Coco Butter Lotion

I've heard mixed opinions on stretch marks, many say it's genetics and that you can't control if you'll get them or not. I don't know all of the facts, but my personal opinion on it was that I was going to keep my belly as moisturized as possible just in case it helps prevent stretch marks. I am currently 38 weeks pregnant and up until this week I has zero stretch marks from this pregnancy. As of now I only have a tiny one near my belly button, around the skin where I used to have my belly button pierced. I am really really praying that I don't get anymore, if I do I know it'll of course be worth it, but I still hope I don't. Throughout my pregnancy I've used multiple containers of organic coconut oil, it's been my number one form of belly moisturizer. I even have a few t-shirts that I have ruined because they have so much coconut oil on them. I also use Bio-Oil on my tummy, I have a few friends that swear by this stuff. It's supposed to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks, so at this point I am obsessively putting it around my belly button in hopes it helps. I've also been using Palmer's coco butter stretch mark cream and their regular coco butter lotion. I love all of these products and hopefully I won't get anymore stretch marks. 


Ginger Tea & RASPBERRY Leaf Tea

During my first trimester I eliminated coffee and caffeine. I'm a total coffee addict so that was quite difficult. Also, it was during the winter months so all I wanted was a cup of something warm to drink. For those months, instead of coffee I drank tea. They don't recommend all teas during pregnancy so I stuck to ones that were safe and actually beneficial to my pregnancy. Ginger tea was awesome to fight nausea during the first trimester. I personally love the taste of ginger tea with honey and it did help settle my tummy at times. Raspberry leaf tea is also super tasty. Midwives suggest it during pregnancy because it is known to support the uterus and the female system. 


YETI Cup

Sometime in January a friend gave me a Yeti cup, and omg it's become a pregnancy must have for me. I'm not the best at drinking water, I only enjoy drinking lemon water or water that is ice cold. If I am carrying a water bottle around with me all day, I am less likely to stay hydrated and drink it if the water gets room temperature or warm. Having a mug that keeps my water cold all day has helped me so much, it makes it so I actually enjoy drinking water and I stay hydrated during my pregnancy, which is so important for you and baby. I carry a 30oz one with me all day, and even though it's a bit of a pain in the butt to lug around, it's so worth it. 


Well there you have it, those are my top pregnancy must haves! Those are the things I used most and felt like I couldn't live without during pregnancy. I hope this list helps you throughout your pregnancy. If you have any pregnancy must have suggestions, comment below, I'd love to hear!

 
 
 

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Travel & "Oh The Places You'll Go!" Themed Baby Shower

If you know me or have been a reader of my blog for a while now, then you aren't at all shocked with the theme we chose for our baby shower. My husband and I are total travel lovers, so naturally our baby's room theme and the baby shower theme had to be travel related. I loved the idea of a travel themed baby shower that had hints and touches of the "Oh The Places You'll Go!" , the children's book by Dr. Seuss. If you haven't already read that book, do. It's adorable and has so many huge life lessons crammed into a "children's book". I personally think anyone at any age would just adore that book. To me, this baby shower theme was a perfect fit for our family. Nick and I love travel, and we also love the idea and live by the idea that anyone can do anything that they want to in life, which is one of the themes throughout the book. So, like I said, the theme was a perfect fit for us. I also think it's such a precious theme for a baby boy! If I was having a little girl I probably would have been sucked into doing a theme based on color, glitter and tutus lol. 

I want to give a special thank you to everyone who helped plan the baby shower. I picked the theme and helped with the ideas, but my amazing family and close family friends helped put it all together. We feel so blessed to have them in our lives and couldn't feel more grateful for the perfect baby shower they threw for us and baby Giulian. Thank you! 


The Invitations

I had the privilege of collaborating with Basic Invite for my baby shower invitations. I couldn't be more pleased with the company and how the invitations turned out! This was my first time ordering through Basic Invite, but it won't be my last. I was very impressed with the quality of the product, and the amount of choices and options they allow when creating the invitations. They had this adorable airplane template that was a perfect fit for the travel themed shower. My favorite part was that I had the option to change and play around with the colors of  almost everything on the invitation. They are one of few websites that offer almost unlimited color options with instant preview. This was so helpful when designing the invitations because I was able to use the colors of the baby shower. They also offer over 40 different colors of envelopes. I'm a girl who LOVES choices, so this was a big bonus in my opinion! I chose the color "Pewter Shimmer", it is a shimmery grey/metallic silver. Our main baby shower colors were silver and baby blue, so the invitations matched perfectly. You could also choose details like the trim of the actual invitation. I chose the "ticket" trim since it made it resemble an old travel ticket. Once you are finished designing your invitation, you can order a sample of it to make sure it's exactly what you wanted. I love that feature, that way you aren't disappointed with your product and running into any issues. Once of my absolute favorite features that Basic Invite offers is their free address collection service. This made my life so much easier and saved my hand from some carpal tunnel! This service basically allows you to gather all of the addresses you need for the invitations all through a link. I was able to send the link to everyone invited to my baby shower, then once they put their address in the system I was then able to get the addresses printed onto the envelopes for free. So simple and stress free. I wish I used them for our wedding invitations a few years ago. The address collection service has also been helpful while I am filling out thank you cards. When I am looking for someones mailing address I just log back into Basic Invite's website and scroll through my address book on there. Overall I love this company's invitations and I will absolutely be using them in the future. I'd also recommend them to anyone reading this post, I had a great experience and was very pleased with their products and services. 


 

The Decor & Details

The welcome table was just adorable. There was a sign that said "Please help the busy mom to be by making yourself the addressee" along side a stack of blue envelopes that match the thank you cards. That was it saves me some time on filling out the addresses when sending out the thank you cards. We had a little globe that said "follow that dream" placed on the welcome table. I purchased that globe for Baby G's room and it tied in perfectly with the shower. Also on the welcome table there were little blue pieces of paper for each guest to write "motherly advice" on. Then they could put it in the precious travel suitcase box that was on the table. 

I made the "Oh The Places We'll Go" banner. I'm a sucker for cute banners, I think they add so much to baby showers, bridal showers, etc. I also made another banner that was different hot air balloons, but we didn't get a photo of them (bummer), that banner was used to hang on the food table. I also made the card basket that was made to look like a hot air balloon. Then we added little decorations here and there like the actual Dr. Seuss book and a G for our little guy's name, Giulian Georgio Greco. 

My mom made the most adorable treats for people to take home and they were in shabby chic wood boxes on each table as the centerpieces. There were two different treats, one was a white chocolate covered pretzel with blue sprinkles and the other treat was chocolate covered Oreo cookies that were made to look like baby rattles. Each treat had a label on it that said "Bundle of Boy", my mom handmade each of the labels too. The treats were absolutely precious and of course delicious. She also filled blue mason jars nuts for people to snack on at their tables. 


The Cake

The cake turned out to be precious! Thank you to one of my best friends Jenny for making the cake, girl you are so talented. I had sent her a few cakes that I liked on Pinterest and we chatted about what it'd look like. Her and her mom did the cake and I was so impressed, I loved the airplanes, clouds, the different colored layers, and of course the sweet baby in a hot air balloon on top. It truly was the best travel themed cake for a little boy baby shower. There are so many hot air balloons in the book "Oh The Places You'll Go!" so the cake topper couldn't have been more perfect. I love that each tier of the cake has something different. The planes and the clouds are simple and exactly what I was looking for. 

We also had some decor items on the cake/ dessert table. The picture frame on the table has an illustration from the book in it. Then next to it is a big globe that we put the words Oh The Places You'll Go on. 


The Food & Drinks

Alongside the cake there were a bunch of other dessert options. My family and friends sure know how to throw a party, they always provide way more food and treats than probably necessary. But heck, it's nice to have the options. 

The blue crates you see that are holding the plates I found in Delaware at a cute beach store. Nobody at the shower would have known they fit with the travel theme, but they do since we got them on our personal travels. They were handmade by a local and my Aunt Pam was sweet enough to get them for baby G's room and ship them to us here in Colorado. In his room they'll hold all of his books, but they were perfect at the shower too to hold the plates.

There was tons of food to choose from, and it was all so tasty! There was chicken salad, rolls, fruit, chips, salsa, several dips, crackers, gluten free crackers, gluten free scones and muffins, little quiches, egg/green chili casserole, mini muffins, mini cinnamon rolls, and the most adorable veggie train. The vegetable train was made by a close family friend and it couldn't have turned out more adorable! Trains of course go with the travel theme so it was a great way to add some character to the food table. 


Shower Highlights

This day truly brought tears to my eyes. Our friends and family are so amazing and spoiled us and little baby G. We are so blessed to have such sweet and loving people in our lives who are so generous and kind. It feels great to have a strong support system during this important time in our life. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I wouldn't choose any other village over ours. My heart is filled with so much gratitude. 

Oh and btw look how dang adorable my niece's dress is!! It's an "Oh The Places You'll Go!" dress. She is part of the decor for the day and wow did that little princess love the attention. 


Thank you so much to Sam from Zoey Grace Photography for shooting the shower. I love the photos and will cherish them forever! If you are reading this and are in the Denver area, I would totally recommend her. She was super professional and I loved her photos. Thanks Sam!

*The photos of the invitations were taken by me, not the photographer. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and hopefully it helped you with some baby shower inspiration. Make sure to subscribe below for blog updates and to get notified when new posts go live. 

 
 

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Baby Greco Name Reveal + Why We Chose It

For a while there I thought our kid wasn't gonna have a name! Picking a name for our little guy was such a difficult task for Nick and I. We had a girl name picked out and then when we found out it was a boy we were a tad worried because for months we had been discussing boy names and couldn't agree on anything. To be honest I wasn't really crazy excited about any little boy names. We went through so many lists online trying to find a good name. We knew we didn't want a name from the top 100 most popular names of 2016/2017 list. My sister named her first baby Logan around the time when everyone was and now he is known as Logan H. in school since there are too many in his class. There were quite a few names I liked on that list but I was just annoyed with the idea of our son growing up with a ton of kids with the same name. Both Nick and I wanted him to feel like his name was unique. Another desire we had for the baby name was that we really wanted it to be Italian. Nick is Italian, and we both love the Italian culture, and we plan to teach him Italian as he grows up, so it would only be fitting for him to have a sweet Italian name. The last thing we really wanted for his name was for it to include something from a family member. I am beyond happy to say that we picked a name that fits all of those hopes that we had for his name. It's unique, it is Italian and it includes a family name!

Giulian Georgio Greco

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GIF by Bloom Portraits

Giulian Georgio Greco. Or as my husband calls him, Triple G. We are super excited about his name and are so relieved to finally have picked one that we both love. I'm gonna break down his first name and middle name and explain why we chose it!

Giulian

Giulian is short for Giuliano. I suppose technically Giulian isn't an Italian name, but it's just short for the Italian version. Giuliano is beautiful, but we live in the U.S. and I wanted a name that people wouldn't butcher. When we visit Italy, if they want to call him Giuliano, we would love that! But here in America he is Giulian. We love that most people will think it's spelled with a J, but it's actually a G. The Italian alphabet does not have a J in it. For the J sound it is Giu. For example, our aunt in Italy name is Giuditta. When I first heard her name I assumed it was spelled Juditta, boy was I wrong. I love the Italian spelling of his name, mostly because even if our son meets someone with the same name here in America, I highly doubt it'll be the same spelling. It adds more character to his name and makes it even more unique. 

Georgio

This is the part to his name that I had to fight for a little. Georgio is Nick's middle name and I've loved it ever since I first met Nick. It's not a name you hear everyday. When you hear it you might think of the Italian designer Giorgio Armani, at least I did when I first heard the name. Or maybe you think of Nick Papa Giorgio from the Vegas Vacation movie, which is so hilarious that my husbands name is Nick and his middle is Georgio. The reason we spelled Georgio with an E instead of an I is because that's the way Nick's middle name is spelled on his birth certificate. I wanted our sons middle name to be from his daddy, spelling and all. Nick's middle name is Georgio for a few reasons, one it's Italian and two it honors his grandpa on his mom's side of the family who's name is George Stanley. Like I said before we really wanted a name that was Italian and also honored family members, so this couldn't be a more perfect middle name. It's Italian and it not only honors his daddy but it honors his great grandfather too. Another reason we went with Georgio is because Nick got hooked on the idea of having his initials be G.G.G. Nick loves the idea of calling him Triple G, and let me tell you he got SO attached to the idea of it. I can't tell you how many Italian G name lists I've looked through! Too many. 

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GIF By Bloom Portraits 

We are so beyond happy to finally have his name picked out. We can't wait for Giulian to get here. I sure do hope he loves his name and I hope one day he will read this post and be pleased with how and why mommy and daddy picked his name. 

 
 

I want to give a special thank you to Bloom Portraits located here in Denver for helping me to make Giulian's name reveal special and super creative! They had the idea of doing the GIF's to reveal his name and I was thrilled at how creative they were over there. They were so professional and we loved the end product. I think we'll have to take our little guy there for some more photos in the near future! Thank you Bloom!

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Peace Of Mind

Being a first time mom brings quite a bit of new stresses and things to worry about. So when there are products out there that help to relieve some of that stress, I am all about it! That's why when Revolar reached out about doing a collaboration, I looked over their product and instantly knew it was a fit and something I genuinely wanted to share with ya'll and something I was excited to use for myself. Revolar is a small device that you can easily clip to your clothes or attach to your key chain, that you can use to alert your loved ones if you are in any danger. With the simple click of a button you can send an alert to your contacts letting them know that you need help. They have multiple alerts, one click lets your family know you are safe, two clicks lets them know lets them know you are in an uncomfortable situation and possible danger, and three clicks will send a red alert to let your family know there is an emergency and to send emergency responders to your location. I love this product not because I think I'll be using it all the time, I love it because it will give me peace of mind. I will overall feel so much safer carrying this with me all the time.

If you don't already know, I am currently 33 weeks pregnant. Baby G is coming June 2017. During my pregnancy my main workout has been going on long walks. I walk with my mom all the time. We walk during the day, at night, in the freezing weather or when it's beautiful out. We're pretty much walking all the time and loving it. We thankfully have never had any safety issues on our walks thus far, but you never know what could happen. Sometimes when we would walk at night I would hear something and get a tad freaked out. It was probably just the sound of a bunny in the bushes, but now having the Revolar on all of our walks I will just have that peace of mind that I can easily alert my family that there is any real danger. The app that is linked with the Revolar product allows you to add up to five contacts that will be notified when you click the device. I love this because then in the case of an emergency I'm not dialing phone number after phone number hoping someone answers. This alerts five people at once, which is a quicker way to get help. 

Once baby G comes I plan on going on runs and walks all the time. That is my "get the baby weight off" game plan. Since our baby boy will be born in early summer, I'll have months to be outside, enjoying the beautiful weather and getting back in shape. I already purchased a running stroller, so I'm all set to take baby G out and about during my workouts. I'm so grateful for the Revolar, it'll give me such peace of mind while I do my workouts around town. There are things that cross my mind and scare me a bit, things like I have asthma and what if I had an asthma attack while running with my baby boy. Nick is allergic to bees, what if our baby is too and we are out running and have an emergency. The list of things that a new mommy worries about is so long. Well, at least for this new mom haha. Just having the Revolar will take so much worry and stress away from me, allowing me to really enjoy these moments with my new baby and cherishing that time together. 

Owning the Revolar will not only give me peace of mind, but it'll give my husband peace of mind too. Nick, my husband, is one of the sweetest men in the world (but I'm probably a bit biased). He is not a worrier by nature, but if he thinks I am in danger or if there is a possible uncomfortable situation you better believe it will have him nervous and feeling very uneasy. Especially since I've been pregnant, Nick has been so protective and extra aware of my safety. Now he's got that daddy bear mentality and will do anything to keep his family safe. He really is so sweet, one example of this is when I was in Miami last week he didn't want me taking an Uber late at night from the airport to the home I was staying at so he arranged for one of our friends that is located in Miami to come pick me up and take me. It simply gave him peace of mind knowing that I was with someone that we both know and trust. I bet if I had the Revolar at the time, he would have felt completely fine with me taking the Uber, knowing that he was only one click away and could be alerted quick if anything were to go wrong. 

To me, peace of mind is so valuable. It allows us to live our life at a higher level, feeling less stress and being able to enjoy each moment with ease. I'm super grateful to have collaborated with Revolar, I back their product 100%. And if you've been reading my blog for some time, then you know I take which products I collaborate with very seriously. I would never attach my blog and my name to something I didn't think was amazing. I genuinely think this product could save so many lives, prevent rapes, attacks, hate crimes, etc around the world. If a product is trying to make the world a safer place, I'll support that any day. 

 
 

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32 Week Bumpdate

Eight weeks until babies due date! I cannot believe it, I truly feel like this pregnancy has flown by. The next eight weeks are filled with so many exciting things. Our baby shower is in less than two weeks, we start taking our baby classes, and we move! With all of these exciting things taking place it's hard not to think that the next few weeks will just fly by. I feel so grateful, this pregnancy has been amazing, stress free and healthy for baby and myself. 

Lets start with baby G... he is doing AMAZING! We had a doctor appointment today and per usual he is doing good, and both myself and baby are right on track with growth. We had our final ultrasound today. We had one more than usual because they needed to check his kidneys again, they said they looked good and they are no longer concerned about what they wanted to check. We were super excited to get an extra ultrasound, especially one where we are so far along. The photos we got today were a tad less impressive than our last ultrasound, the tech lady said that's because he is quickly running out of space in there so it becomes harder to get good photos of him as the weeks go by. We did however get an amazing photo of babies lips today, and let me just say wow that baby won't need injections ever lol. They looked so full and heart shaped, which makes sense because both Nick and I have decent sized lips. But who knows, maybe he will come out looking totally different than we are predicting based on the ultrasound photos. Those things can be deceiving anyways. Since it was our final ultrasound we had quite the crew with us. My mom, Nick's mom, my sister, one of my nephews and my niece all came for the show. We were all crammed in that tiny room and of course all of the women were crying over how precious baby G is. Once the ultrasound tech said the babies lips looked like his dads, I lost it and started balling like a baby. I'm such a sucker when it comes to our baby being a mini Nick. Seriously if he looks like a little Nick I'll just be the happiest mommy on earth! Based on the ultrasound, he is weighing in at 4lbs 7ounces. In the 68th percentile! That is one big baby boy. Haha which makes me a tad nervous for birth... I want a very healthy (plump) baby, but delivering a ten-pounder sounds quite intimidating. His heart rate was a tiny bit slower than it had been the rest of the pregnancy, it usually was 152 but today it was 145, which are both perfect and right where it needs to be. 

Babies don't come from storks, they come from swans!

A post shared by Danielle Greco Denver Blogger (@according.to.d.blog) on

We start our "get ready for baby" classes this week. We signed up for a birthing class, CPR and safety, and Nick will take Daddy Bootcamp. This week we start with the birthing classes, it's about nine total hours split between two days for this course. I am a tad nervous going into the class, it's all becoming more real that in just a few weeks I will be in labor and giving birth. I'm sure it's normal for a mother to be nervous about birth, especially since it's our first baby, but I'm really hoping to come out of the birthing class feeling more confident and less nervous about it all. A friend of ours kept raving about the Daddy Bootcamp class, so we just had to get Nick registered for it. He's pretty nervous about the baby, and tiny infants make him super nervous, so this class will probably give him some more confidence and put him at ease. I guess the class is taught by dads, which is perfect and I think Nick will really enjoy that. 

Our baby shower is next weekend and I couldn't be more excited! My mom, sister, Nick's mom and some of our closest family friends are throwing the baby shower and I feel so grateful for that. My mom has already been baking, making the most adorable treats for the guests at the shower. The shower theme is travel of course! That's also his nursery theme ;) which I just adore! I'll be doing a full in depth blog post on both the baby shower and his nursery, so stay tuned for those. Both will incorporate one of my all time favorite books, Oh The Places You'll Go by Dr. Suess. Okay that is all of the details I'm giving you, now you have to wait for the full posts on those. 

Speaking of the baby room though, I cannot wait to get all settled and start nesting like crazy. Even though I've had a strong desire to start nesting and setting his room up, it's been a tad delayed, but for a great reason. We are moving! I am so excited and grateful for this. God has a plan and sometimes if you are patient and have faith, the plan works out perfectly. We will be moving to a house in the highlands are of Denver. We are beyond excited to have the chance to live in such a neat neighborhood for a while. Nick and I have only lived in the suburbs, so living in the city will be quite a change. When we finally decide to buy a house it will probably be in the suburbs too, so getting the chance to take a little season of our life and experience city living will be a great opportunity for us. I can't wait to be able to put the baby in the stroller, stroll down the streets of our neighborhood to my favorite coffee shops, restaurants, and boutiques. The neighborhood we're moving too offers so much to do, it has amazing parks nearby, and great walking paths. In the next week or so we will get to move in and settle. I'm so excited to get his room set up, I feel like I'll sit in there all the time until he comes. 

Okay, lets talk about pregnancy symptoms and such. Like I said before I'm super grateful to have had such an awesome pregnancy with no complications and a healthy baby. But even with the healthiest of pregnancies, it's just tough on your body sometimes and can be a bit exhausting. Third trimester has been going great so far. I'd say the number one difference I notice in the third trimester is emotions. Holy cry baby! I am so dang sensitive these days, like on a whole new level. Sometimes it takes everything out of me to be a strong person. For example, I just got back from a 12 day vacation, traveling to Ocean City Maryland and then off to Miami after that. When Nick dropped me off at the airport I was a mess. I was crying a ton and if I even thought about the fact that I wouldn't be with my husband for almost two weeks then water works would start. It's crazy how attached to him I feel during pregnancy, especially the third trimester. I just want to be with Nick all the time and I'm a big 'ol baby if I am missing him at all. The sweetest thing was he said he felt more emotional than usual while I was gone and he missed me more than normal. This baby is making both mom and dad even more connected which apparently results in two emotional people that can't be separated. Don't get me wrong, it's sweet, but gosh I can't wait until my hormones are normal again. 

More symptoms include heartburn and lack of sleep. For the heartburn, Tums are my best friend! I carry them with me everywhere because you never know when the heartburn will strike. The lack of sleep thing keeps getting worse and worse... I'm thinking it's just prepping me for a newborn baby. I'm mainly losing sleep because of leg pain. What the heck?! I've heard of pregnant women having horrible back pain, which makes more sense. But nope not me, I'm losing my sleep due to leg pain. Pregnant women are advised not to sleep on their backs or belly (obviously). So we get to sleep on our left or our right side, even though they say the left side is best. I thought that'd be totally fine, but apparently my legs do not feel the same way. The outsides of my legs throb during the night. The first few hours of sleep they are fine, but after more then three hours, they start to get so tight, sore and like I said they throb. It wakes me up a ton in the middle of the night and usually around 6am I am out of bed and up for the day because I just can't take it anymore. It's times like these when a huge comfy chair to sleep in is a must. I'm so grateful that my schedule is flexible and I can take naps during the day if needed, but wow I will appreciate a full night sleep when that day comes into my life again. By the way, I still get up to pee a ton during the night too haha. 

Even with all of those not so pleasant things that come with pregnancy, I must say I am enjoying my pregnancy. There is nothing better than feeling baby G move. And oh my goodness, our baby has parties in there!! He moves a ton, it's so amazing. Now his movements are starting to feel less like little kicks and more like huge movements, as though he's doing the wave in my belly. His movements now are taking my breath away sometimes. I can't imagine what it'll feel like at week forty when he's double the size. I'm so in love with our little guy. I already feel super connected to him. Sometimes I'll poke my belly and he will poke back, it's the best.

One last thing I want to add to the longest "bumpdate" ever... We picked a name!!! Of course I'm going to do a separate blog post on it and typical to the blogger in me, I have a super cute way we are going to announce the name. So stay tuned for that as well, but we are crazy excited and relieved to finally have his name picked out. I can't wait to share it with you all :). 

Thanks so much for reading and following along with my pregnancy journey. Make sure to subscribe below with your email to stay in the loop and get notified with current blog posts and exciting updates. Thank you!

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Mommy Goals

If you know me, then you know goal setting is a huge part of my life. I set goals for just about every area of my life, business, blogging, fitness, spiritual, etc. To me motherhood is no different. I want to set intentions for what kind of mother I'd like to be. I know I won't be perfect, and I don't expect everything to go exactly as I plan, but I don't like the idea of entering motherhood without setting any sort of goals or intentions for myself. I think having a clear vision of what kind of mommy I want to be will help me to stay on that track when times get tough. Being a mom is going to be such a huge part of my life and although I won't strive to be perfect, I will strive to be the best mom that I can be. 

God First, Daddy Second, Kids Third

I want my children to be raised in a home with a strong connection to Christ, and a loving marriage. My husband has to come before my kids. I'm sure many of you reading this might disagree, and that's okay. Both Nick and I come from divorced parents and we are trying to do this right and in our eyes this is most important. How many of us grew up in a home with divorced parents, and how many of us wish our parents were still together? Some of the cause for divorce is the parents getting distant and becoming more like co parents than husband and wife. I never want Nick to forget that he is my #1. No matter how amazing our kids will be ( which I'm anticipating some great kids) I still want to put Nick first. I don't want our kids to think that marriage is a joke. We believe it's our responsibility to be the example for our kids of what love and marriage really is. I want them to watch their parents work really hard on their marriage, love each other and fight for each other. It won't always be perfect, we are human and will have peaks and valleys, but I trust that as long as we put God first and each other second, everything else will work out the way it needs to. I will strive to be a wife that is always respectful and loving, because I want my son to have those as his standards for when he is looking for a wife one day. I want my son, who I am currently pregnant with, to view marriage as a sacred thing that is worth pursuing. 

Stay Grateful

Having a healthy child is such a blessing, one that I don't ever want to take for granted. I want to keep my eyes on how blessed we are to have a healthy baby instead of how difficult it might get. I also want to stay grateful for the opportunity to be a stay at home mom. That is something I've always dreamed of but didn't always know I'd have the chance to do. Being a stay at home mom is such a privilege and a blessing to women who want that, and although I know it's one of the toughest jobs, I want to always stay grateful that I get the chance to live that. 

Be Active

Happy mommy = happy baby. From past experience I know that I am so much happier when I stay active. When the baby comes in June I want to walk with him a ton, I think it'll be important for my mental and physical health to stay outside, get lots of fresh air and keep my body moving. I want to maintain that lifestyle for my own happiness, but also to be a good example for my child. I want them to see why staying active is important and then hopefully implement that into their own life down the road. 

Take Adventures

This is something I'm super excited for. I love the idea of having a little buddy to do a ton of stuff with like the zoo, museums, butterfly pavilion, the aquarium, taking hikes, exploring new towns in our area, and so much more. As a family I want us to create as many fun memories as possible. I don't want my baby or older kid to see and do the same thing everyday. My sister is amazing at this, her and her three kiddos always have something fun planned. They are always outside, attending local events, doing planned activities, etc. and they have such a good time together. At this point my nephews are at that teen age where they take that for granted and groan sometimes when my sister plans fun things for them, but I'm sure when they are older they will appreciate all the fun adventures they all took together. 

Raise A Bilingual Child

This one is quite intimating and I must admit we don't 100% know what we're doing. But you know what, if there is a will there is a way and this mama is determined to figure out the way. Nick and I are huge Italy lovers, we have family there, have visited Italy several times and plan to go back a ton in our lifetime with our kids. In fact, my blog has an entire section of posts that are just about Italy, that's how much I love it. Nick has gotten so great at speaking Italian. He is a big part of why it's so easy for us to get around Italy with minimal problems. I know a little Italian, it's not that great. Nick's Dad knows Italian pretty well and is amazing at understanding it. As a family though we really committed to all learning it and being fluent one day. We have registered on Amazon for baby books that are Italian/English. That'll be a start. We hear that if you want to raise a bilingual kid you need to have one parent speak one language and the other parent speak the other language. We want to have Nick speak a lot of Italian, but not 100% of the time. It'll be a great way for me to improve and also help teach our child. We will probably end up hiring someone down the road to help us teach our children Italian. I think it'll be such a blessing for them to grow up learning another language. I wish I had, it seems so difficult to learn one as an adult. Wish us luck haha!

Minimal Yelling

Please don't think I'm judging you if you yell a ton at your kids, but understand it's just not something I admire when it comes to parenting. I know that I'm not always going to be perfect, I am simply a flawed human and I'm sure I'll lose my patience sometimes, but my intention and my goal is to be a mother that only yells when necessary. If my kid is about to walk in front of a moving truck, obviously I will raise my voice to get his attention so he doesn't get hurt, but when it comes to the small things in life I really don't see the point to be screaming all the time. I don't want my kids to be so numb to my yelling voice that when I use it in an emergency to get my child's attention, it is useless because they just think "oh typical mommy yelling about something again". This is also not me saying I don't want to discipline my kids. Obviously that wouldn't be helpful, but I don't think that discipline and yelling have to be hand in hand. 

Raise A Confident Child

I truly believe that my words as a mother will impact our son in a massive way. If I am always being encouraging, motivating and showing a strong belief in my son then I am confident that he will then be a more confident kid and adult. My husband and I both want our son to believe he can do anything he has a passion for. We want him to be confident, brave and strong in knowing that the Lord puts desires in our hearts not to tease us but because he knows with him anything is possible. To a healthy degree, we want to instill a winning mentality into our child's mind. Through words of affirmation we hope to raise a confident young man. 

Give Myself Grace

I hear "mommy guilt" is a real thing and quite the struggle. I could see myself struggling with this, and that is why I've set a goal to keep it in check. There is so much pressure to be a perfect mother, especially as a stay at home mom. With all of the hefty goals I have for myself as a mom, it could be easy for me to beat myself up if I don't meet those goals all the time. So, that is why I've implemented this goal of giving myself grace and trying to keep the mommy guilt at bay. I will do my best, but I'll also try to remember that perfection doesn't exist and I am simply human. And after a long day that maybe didn't go as planned or maybe didn't win me the mommy of the year award, I will grab a glass of wine, relax and remember that tomorrow is a new day and I will do the best that I can do. 

Make Time For Me

I can really see how it's easy to lose focus on yourself as a wife and mother, when there are so many responsibilities that need taken care of, but I don't want to lose my identity or self in it all. I am committed to being selfless as a mother, and I know I'll do my best for my kids, but I also want to make sure my cup is full. I'm not just talking about taking time for pampering myself (although that is probably important to some degree too), but I am really talking about things like making time for my blog, still reading, doing personal development, growing as a woman of Christ, etc. I believe that if my cup is full then I am able to give more. If I am fulfilled as a woman, I can then offer more to my family. 

World School Our Kids

This one has been a dream of ours for years now. I want to travel the world with my children as we raise them. We have a strong desire to raise kids who are aware of the world, not just our bubble here in the U.S. When our children are learning about the Roman Empire, we want to show them Rome. When they are learning about the Mayans, we'd like to show them Mayan ruins. When they learn about the pyramids in Egypt, we'd like to hop on an airplane and show them. Not only will it be extremely educational for them, but as a family we will create so many memories together that will be priceless. We already have our first trip planned and our son will have his first passport stamp at the age of 3 months! We can't wait!

Allow Him To Be Him

I really want our kids to have freedom to pursue whatever THEY choose. Sometimes it'll be difficult for Nick and I not to pressure them to do what we want them to do, but at the end of the day we want them to be happy. For example, Nick and I would love for our son to play football. Nick played football, I was a cheerleader on the sidelines at all of his games, and we just have such a strong desire for our little one to play. But we will do our best not to pressure him in any way, and we will let him choose whatever his true passions are. Who knows, he might not like any sports. He might love theater, or the debate team, or something else. Regardless, we will cheer him on and encourage him in whatever he loves. 


Honestly I could probably go on forever with different goals I have for myself as I enter motherhood, but these are just the ones that I find most important. These are the goals I am committed to putting most of my focus into as a new mom. Like I said before, I know I won't be perfect and I know that no mother or parent is perfect. However, I do love having expectations for myself as a mom, that way I can have guidelines or goals when parenthood seems complicated and difficult to navigate. I hope this post inspired you to be the best parent you can be and to set goals for yourself when it comes to how you raise your little ones. Thanks for reading, make sure to subscribe below to stay in the loop and receive updates on future posts. 

 

 

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26 Week Bumpdate + PinkBlush Maternity Wear

26 weeks pregnant! So crazy to say, I can't believe how fast this pregnancy has gone already. I feel like weeks 24 and 25 disappeared. My pregnancy app (Ovia) says the baby is the size of a bowling pin this week, or a butternut squash. I'm shocked, that sounds HUGE! Baby is also about two pounds now. My favorite fact my app shared this week was that the baby's systems are pretty much done developing, and now he will just continue to grow in height and weight. That blew my mind to think our baby is fully functioning in there and nearly ready to come into the world. Only two more weeks and I'll be entering the home stretch, the third trimester. I am really trying to enjoy and embrace each stage in pregnancy so that time doesn't fly by faster than it already seems to be. 

I am so happy to finally be out of the "awkward stage". You know, the stage in pregnancy when you just look chubby, fat and bloated instead of pregnant. Awkward doesn't even begin to cover it haha. I'd say around week 23 or 24 was when I finally felt like if I walked around people would know I was pregnant and not just chubby in my belly region. That "awkward stage" is just the worst, and I'm sure if you've been pregnant before you'd totally agree. I love having my full out pregnant belly now, I feel like a proud mama. The last two weeks I've really started to feel much better and more at peace with my changing body. If you read my second trimester update post then you know I was really struggling for a while with the weight gain part of pregnancy. I was having a super hard time feeling confident about my body and the changes it is undergoing. Currently I am starting to feel much better about it all and I am starting to embrace and love my pregnant body. It feels great to be less down, frustrated and upset about it because honestly that was really taking a toll on me emotionally. I think a big contributor to the new peace with it is coming from the new found love I have for the baby in my tummy. I think it's a combination of knowing it's a little boy and feeling him kick all the time, but I am growing more and more attached to and in love with our baby boy every day. Thinking about how much I love him already really freaks me out. How can I love someone so much that I've never met? How can he not even have a name yet but he has me wrapped around his tiny little finger? This whole parent thing is starting to blow my mind. I cannot wait to meet baby Greco. I am starting to daydream of all the fun things we will do together as a family. So, like I was saying, I think I've been feeling much better about my body changing lately because the focus is shifting. I'm more focused on him now. I'm becoming honored to have my body transform in order to grow our son, and I'm finally realizing that it'll all be worth it because the prize that comes from pregnancy is far greater than any price I or my body has to pay. 

Pregnancy symptoms have been about the same as my last post, I'm feeling pretty great. The main difference I have noticed though is my emotions. I am extremely sensitive and emotional these days. Mainly with my husband, if he is even slightly mean to me or angry at me I become a big emotional mess and cry... lots. I really haven't been hyper emotional my whole pregnancy up until now, so both Nick and I are quite surprised by this. I typically just remind myself, "Danielle, you are pregnant and super sensitive so try not to get upset". I also have to remind myself that my husband is a very sweet man and I am just really sensitive these days and taking what he says to heart. It's all pretty hilarious actually. Nick and I laugh about it when I'm crying over random stuff because we both know it's hormones taking over. On the bright side, I am not mean, angry or bitchy... just a sensitive cry baby haha. Watch out world, the emotional pregnant lady is here and will probably cry if you're even slightly mean to her! One other new pregnancy symptom I've been experiencing is braxton hicks contractions. At first I didn't know what these were until my app described them and I realized I had been having them. I mainly get them when I am active, sometimes even if I am just walking on the treadmill I get them. It feels like my belly gets really tight. It's normal to experience them around this point in pregnancy which is comforting to know, and they are getting my body ready for labor which I found so interesting that our body starts preparing and practicing so early. Impressive.  

Lets talk about this adorable dress! My friends at Pink Blush Maternity were kind enough to send me this blue floral maternity dress and I am loving it. I have had the best luck with dresses through Pink Blush. Every dress I have worn from them fits perfect, is high quality and extremely comfortable. The company carries maternity clothes, non maternity clothes and perfect transitional pieces that are designed to fit you before, during and after pregnancy. Pink Blush and I did a collaboration last June, European Vacation Outfit Inspiration, they sent me a dress that was one of those transitional dresses I'm referring to. I've worn that dress so many times and I get a ton of compliments on it. Lucky for me, that dress is now perfect during my pregnancy as well. It's such a huge savings to be able to buy pieces that work during different stages of life. I've worn three dresses total from Pink Blush, the third is one my friend purchased, and I must say I love the fit for all of them. They are all size small and fit great. It's nice to know the company is consistent with their sizing, that way once you know what size you love with them you can confidently order new items without a concern of if it will fit or not. The dress I am wearing in these photos is perfect for any special occasion during your pregnancy. By that I mean I think this dress is perfect to wear to a wedding, your baby shower, Sunday church, Easter, etc. It's a very classy dress, you can dress it up or wear it more casual and it's so comfortable! I still haven't decided what I'll wear to my baby shower in a few months, but this dress is a definite possibility. 

I am doing a giveaway with Pink Blush for a $75 gift card! Head over to my Instagram for details and a chance to win! Good luck!

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Baby Greco Gender Reveal

Ya'll have waited long enough! We are so excited to announce the gender of baby Greco...

baby boy gender reveal blowing glitter gender reveal

It's A Boy!!!!

baby boy gender reveal daddy reveal

Bring on the blue! It's official, I have a little boy in my tummy! Nick and I are over the moon excited about this! We cannot wait to meet our little guy. I am currently 23 weeks pregnant, we found out the gender about two weeks ago. We're so grateful baby was in a perfect position during the ultrasound for us to discover the gender. And let me just say, some of the photos we got... wow! It's 100% a boy haha there is no mistake there. Nick was adorable,  like most men he was hoping for a baby boy and when the ultrasound tech said "it's a boy" I swear Nick's eyes lit up like a kid on Christmas. Now of course I was so excited too, I cried when we found out, but Nick was just so adorable. His excitement was impossible to hide. 

First of all, I'm just grateful and happy we have a healthy baby, above everything else that is most important. But let me just say I am so excited about having a boy for so many reasons. First being that almost everyone tells us that boys are easier, and of course we would like to start out with an "easy" child, that way we aren't too scared to have more. Now who knows, maybe it's not technically a fact that boys are easier and I'm sure tons of parents would argue with us on that, but from what I've seen with the kids in my life, it sure does seem that way. Speaking of family's kids, that's another reason I'm so excited to have a boy. I have two nephews who are just absolute sweethearts! They are now 12 and 11 years old and are still such a joy to be around. If we have a little boy that is anything like them then we'll be on cloud 9. I do hope to have a little girl one day too of course, a little shopping buddy, but I'm excited that if we do get blessed with a little girl one day she will have a big brother to look after her. In a perfect world of course.

We still haven't chosen a name for baby Greco. In fact, we are having a really hard time finding a boy name we both love. We'd like to choose an Italian name, but aren't having much luck finding one we want for our kid. I will keep ya'll posted. 

I've started buying items for his nursery, friends and family have already gotten us a ton of adorable baby gear (like the sweet football outfit Nick is holding in the picture) and I just got all registered for the baby shower (see last weeks blog post, I talk about registering for baby). All of which is making me more and more excited to meet this little baby boy! I will totally be doing a post on his room theme, it is ADORABLE and I'm so excited to share it with you all once it is finished, which probably won't be until early May.

Only about four months left until he makes his grand arrival. I'm on the countdown but I am also just trying to enjoy each moment during pregnancy. I'm trying to stay focused on the blessing that pregnancy is when my mind wanders to focusing on not so positive things. Baby Greco is kicking up a storm in there, it's such a miracle to feel your baby move and it is by far my favorite part of being pregnant. In fact, our baby boy is kicking as I am writing this and I am all smiles. Baby Greco must like me blogging about him. Nick has felt the baby move three times so far and he gets wide eyes every time! We both agree that feeling the baby move makes it all feel so much more real. Once you feel your baby move, there is no denying you are creating a life. It's such a blessing and I feel so lucky to be experiencing this. 

If you all missed last weeks post it will give you a more in depth look into how the second trimester is going. Also if you'd like to follow along even more with my pregnancy journey, follow my blog's Instagram account for bump pics, ultrasound shots and more! Thanks for popping by this week to find out the gender of baby Greco, we are so excited to be having a little boy! Thanks for reading.

 

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Second Trimester Update : Registering, Products I'm Loving, Baby Movements & More

Hello Friends! 

This weeks post is going to be super laid back, casual and really I just wanted to share how my second trimester has been going and things that this mommy to be has been discovering. It's still hard to believe I am already 22+ weeks pregnant. The time seems to be flying by. Now that we know the gender (which I will be revealing in a blog post next week), I am in the process of registering and getting the nursery together. Okay, who knew registering was such a long process!! I have already spent hours looking at stuff in stores, online, and doing research on different products to find out what the best picks are. Although it's a long and tedious process, I'm really loving it! It's so fun knowing the gender and scouring the internet for the cutest baby stuff. It's making me so eager and excited to meet our little baby girl/boy! If you are wondering, I am registering at Target and Amazon. I thought about doing BuyBuyBaby but chose Target instead, no strong reasons for this decision, I simply have a Target addiction haha.

While registering, I am trying to keep my baby's health in mind. I'm not being a nazi about it, but on certain products I would prefer to use organic, non-toxic, paraben free, BPA free items. It really can be quite simple to choose healthier products these days, and sometimes it isn't even that much more expensive which is wonderful. I was doing research on non-toxic baby wipes and came across THIS article, I wanted to link it because I found it extremely helpful and informative. I figured if you are a mommy or mommy to be, it might help you too. This lady's site has a ton of information along the lines of health and baby products, I totally subscribed right away!

Something I thought would be helpful to mention for new moms is a few products I am excited to get and that I registered for. First is the Owlet baby monitor. It is a little sock that the baby wears while he or she sleeps and it tracks the baby's oxygen levels and heart rate. My husband and I are so excited about this since it helps prevent SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). I love technology when it comes to products like this. It will make it so much easier for me to sleep at night knowing the monitor will set an alarm on my phone if any of the baby's levels seem low.

The next product I am excited to get is the HALO Bassinest. I love it because baby Greco can sleep close to us but not in the bed with us. I'm kinda scared to have my baby in the same bed as us, Nick and I are crazy sleepers and could easily hurt the baby. My favorite feature of this bassinet is that the side walls lower down so you can sooth the baby without getting out of bed.

 

They also sell all organic items for inside the bassinet, like the mattress pad and organic sheets. I personally registered for the non organic mattress pad since it was so much cheaper, but then registered for the organic sheets since it will be covering the mattress anyways. The last product I am super excited about is the MamaRoo by the brand 4Moms. Now obviously my baby is not born yet and I'm not 100% sure that baby Greco will even like this, but I have a really good feeling about it. The infant chair creates movements that are meant to mimic a mothers movement. It has multiple settings of movements and it also has different settings of sounds it will play. I watched a few YouTube videos of moms testing this infant chair out and they seemed to love it. I can't wait. I really hope that if you are a mom or if you are expecting this all helps you in some way. Okay... enough about registering, even though I could probably do an entire blog post on the topic now that I've spent hours and hours registering! 

To continue on with updates, last weekend we went to Phoenix on a business trip! We had an absolute blast and I must say I am gathering a bunch of info so that I can one day write a post on traveling while pregnant. That was baby's fourth flight, and I already have five more flights booked during my pregnancy. After nine+ flights during pregnancy I should be good to go on research to write that post for y'all! This was my first trip while wearing mostly maternity clothes and I must say it was quite fun. I really think they have great options out there for pregnant women to have style these days. In the picture below I am wearing a maternity shirt, maternity pants, a normal sweater over and of course some accessories. 

maternity style phoenix arizona

For the most part my second trimester has no complaints, my baby is healthy and based on the amount of kicks I feel it seems extra happy too. I feel extremely grateful for a healthy pregnancy for myself and the baby. With all that being said, there is one thing that I am having a hard time with, and ladies if you can relate please comment below with some ways you got through it. I am having a hard time with the weight gain. For the most part I have tried to have a really healthy pregnancy. I have stayed active and working out (although I will admit I didn't go enough during the holidays) and I am eating pretty healthy and I am definitely not "eating for two". But of course weight gain is just part of pregnancy, and I should be able to wrap my head around that and be okay... it's just not always that easy. When your husband tells you your butt and thighs have gotten bigger before he says he notices a big pregnant belly, it's a bit of a shot to my confidence. I am okay with the weight gain in my belly, actually I am loving my round pregnant belly, it makes me so excited to be a mommy. The part that is hard to accept is the extra fat and weight on the rest of me. Lets just say feeling sexy seems like a distant memory. I love being a woman but oh my goodness we have to be strong in confidence and faith in God to make it through this whole pregnancy thing. I am not trying to bitch and complain, because trust me I truly am grateful for my healthy pregnancy and I wouldn't trade that for a smaller size, but I am just venting some emotions (thanks for sticking through it). Well, on the bright side I will say this- pregnancy makes me appreciate my pre-pregnant and one day post-pregnant body. I cannot wait to get back in the gym with no limitations on what I can and cannot do, I really think I will have a greater appreciation for that feeling since experiencing pregnancy. 

On a much more positive note, second trimester has brought about the most amazing experience of my entire life. Feeling the baby move. I really cannot explain how it makes me feel, and only mommies would truly understand, but feeling the baby move is such a miracle. It makes me feel in awe of God, his plan and his power. It makes me feel aligned with God's plan for me, and it makes me appreciate the blessings that he pours into our lives as we are becoming parents. I truly cannot wrap my head around the fact that I am growing a human inside of my body. It blows my mind and amazes me that in my body is a little baby that will someday be our son or daughter, with a little personality and a whole new life! Like I said before, I can't wrap my head around it. God is good. 

 

Thank you all for following my pregnancy journey! I've loved chatting with some of you about pregnancy and becoming a mommy. Stay tuned for more pregnancy posts of course, and next week we will be revealing the gender! Make sure to subscribe so you don't miss it. 

 

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