Pregnancy

A Room for BABY! by Kate Brightbill

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WE ARE READY.

I've never been this ready to have a baby before! Emotionally, physically, mentally, AND now: logistically! He has a finished room!! Things are organized! It's kind of unbelievable in the best way. 

We were crazy enough to move two weeks before Sophie came on the scene (moving boxes everywhere as I was adjusting to my firstborn! yikes!), and we lived in a one-bedroom when Maggie was born, so her "nursery" was a mini crib in our bedroom. Cozy, yes we were! I've never felt our baby's space was truly ready for them before they came though, so this is a total novelty.

This time around we have an actual SPACE for our little boy, it's not a closet room, and it's not shared. It's the biggest deal to us. I've been able to nest and prep slowly and surely, and enjoy the "design" process immensely. Re-decorating is my favorite thing in the world, so this has been a labor of SO much love. 

ABC Print by Hanna Andersson

The rest of our home is whitewashed, as they say. I'm generally so partial to bright, light, white! Because of this, I was ready to take a risk in our baby's small room and paint it deep deep blue/green. I cannot even describe how nervous I was. It's just paint! Yes. It's just paint... but my husband is not a fan of painting, and I know that painting over deep colors would not be happening anytime soon if we didn't like the color. I painstakingly chose on my own after going back and forth on several shades. All of my options I found online, and sometimes screen colors and real life colors don't translate, so I was especially nervous. After two coats and a few things on the walls, my nerves calmed, and now I love it. 

I'm not so into dark woodwork, but we are tenants, and there are limits. ;) I'm just thankful for a wonderful landlord and that he lets us paint at all. 

Green Canvas Bucket c/o Maika Goods (similar) Knitted Taxi Rattle c/o Estella NYC ||ABC Backpack || Tee || Wall Hooks

One wall is entirely cabinets. We kept toys in this room before baby was on his way, and simply consolidated and purged to keep them in the girls' closet instead. The storage in the wooden cabinets is definitely sufficient for the time being. I'm an OCD organizer, which comes in handy with small spaces. Down the road I may need to share my closet with him for hanging items, but we'll cross that bridge when we need to. I'm totally fine with sharing. ;) All of the baby clothing is easily folded or rolled into size-appropriate baskets on shelves hidden by doors for now. 

The chair is a knockoff steal from Amazon. It doesn't look like much, but somehow during pregnancy it has been the MOST comfy for me. Hoping that carries through post-pregnancy days. It was really the only size of rocking chair that would fit in the small room, so I didn't have much of an option, but we're SO happy with it. I may add a pouf or small footstool to get myself reeeeally settled in. The basket was a gift from my sister and I love it to bits, and the rug- oh the rug... my favorite. The girls and I just sit on it sometimes, to chat and soak in the softness. 

The string of light balls in the window are Bright Lab Lights, and they cast a gorgeous soft night glow when it's dark out. They'll be perfect for middle of the night nursing sessions. Mine is a custom string I assembled at an event-- the custom option is also available online, or you can just buy a pre-strung version in great color options.

I don't have space for a changing table, but as I mentioned- Maggie's setup was a mini crib in our bedroom-- I grew accustomed to simply using a changing mat and moving it around the house as needed. Less is more here, so we're happy to be going with that strategy again.  

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Lion Print and (similar) stacking toy by Hanna Andersson ||

Trains purchased in a set on Amazon

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Mobile is a DIY using trick gliders from Seedling || Hanna Andersson makes the nicest crib sheets around- they have great patterns, but I preferred white in this particular space || Sophie the Giraffe is Hanna Andersson || Jellycat Fox is a gift for baby from his big sisters who want to play with it almost daily || Frames are by Blick, and they're my favorites-- I have them all over the house because they're reasonably priced and hold up SO much better than Ikea || Tiny Golden Gate is from Petit Collage || German license plate is nostalgic from when Brian and I were young and crazy and bought a car in Germany. || Crib is Pottery Barn Kids- classic & handed down

Brian had ONE BIG REQUEST in baby's room, and he said if I can do that, he's perfectly fine with me designing everything else. He wanted a Steph Curry poster on the wall. He didn't need it to be giant, but he said it couldn't just be in an irrelevant space. HA! Wish granted, Brian. Over the crib it is. If you look closely, you'll see he's dominating Lebron in this particular shot. We drink alllllll the Warrior's kool-aid around her, friends. By the end of basketball season, we were THIS close to letting Sophie purchase the tackiest pennant available with cartoon faces of all the GSW team for her wall in her room. Brian was actually the one who nixed it in the end. I was like, well it means SHE LOVES THE WARRIORS... yes she does, but yes, I'm glad one of her parents is sensible sometimes.

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Gorgeous cable throw and SOFTEST rug ever, both Hanna Andersson. My favorite pieces in the room, hands down. I want both for my own room too. ;) 

We are counting down the days until we see our baby's face! I'm trying to remind myself that just because our girls arrived early (4&9 days), it does not mean our baby boy will! Reasoning with myself is totally futile-- I'm convinced he'll be here sooner than later. I had a night full of serious-breath-taking contractions last weekend, and I was juuust about to tap Brian to tell him it was go-time, and they stopped. Abruptly. UGH. 

So now my bag is packed (!!!), and the day is coming. His room is ready and so are we! And so are these teeny tiny shoes that showed up on our doorstep today-- Eeee! SO CUTE. Boys apparel is so underrated! I'm loving every tiny boy piece. :)

  Shoes c/o  Umi Shoes  || Rug c/o  Hanna Andersson

Shoes c/o Umi Shoes || Rug c/o Hanna Andersson

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So thankful to Hanna Andersson for collaborating with us on our baby's room. Product was provided, and all opinions are my own. I am floored by the quality of each piece, and we will all be enjoying the space SO much more because of the beautiful Hanna pieces. Affiliate links are also included in the post. Thank you for supporting the brands that support us! xx

State of the Pregnancy: Week 36 by Kate Brightbill

  Dress c/o  Tiffany Rose

Dress c/o Tiffany Rose

Pregnancy Update 1 // Update 2

My last update was at 30 weeks, so at that rate, this is probably my last update on pregnancy-- THRILLED about that!! So excited to see this baby face to face!! It's surreal to imagine myself the mother of a newborn, even the third time around. Every child is so different, and brings new dynamic, new joys, new challenges...

I've avoided writing any update because- while social life has been SO fun, and the past couple months have been full of excitement, they've also been full of sickness, nausea, and heartburn. I'm a bit of a CASE, and it feels kind of brutal, so who wants to hear about that? It seems the last ten weeks of pregnancy should be full of loveliness and excitement and nesting. Nesting, yes! I love cleaning and organizing- mopping and purging. The excitement has unfortunately been a bit overshadowed by the here and present daily illness that has now been my reality for about seven months straight. 

Now I'm four weeks away from my due date, and feeling a bit more thankful and optimistic than I've been in ages. I was thinking this morning about how I had no idea if this baby would make it to even week 24.. or to 30, and now here we are, edging on on totally full term. It feels a bit like a miracle if I look at all the health challenges and risks of this pregnancy, and how it's now all resolved. Nausea is such a small exchange relative to the fact that this has somehow become a HEALTHY pregnancy, when all is said and done. Neither of our lives are high risk any longer!! SO THANKFUL.

My girls were both early (4 & 9 days), so in my mind I will have an early baby again, but I keep telling myself that after this pregnancy, I may want to count on a 41 weeker, ha! Why not, right? I'm simultaneously motivated to tie up all the loose ends, and telling myself I have plenty of time so I should just rest and not get my hopes up. 

I love bullet points, so I'll use them to help summarize:

  • My bag is not packed yet- that is a project for this week. My mind has been thinking of this that and the other, so maintaining focus on what I'll need for the hospital has been totally challenging. I'll get that locked down in the next couple days. 
  • Our baby's name is chosen, but will not be disclosed this time around. ;) We like to torture our families with anticipation, ha!
  • We haven't even purchased a carseat or stroller, but aren't very worried about it. That can be done in minutes, if necessary (especially now that we have Targets in the city! Did you even know SF didn't have a Target until a couple years ago? All you spoiled suburban mothers would post about the happy place that Target is and I was living vicariously ;) My lifestyle of generally being car-less during the weekdays is far more suited to an Ergo, and we DO have that, so we're totally set. 
  • Baby's nursery is coming along nicely. We have a few spaces to fill and complete, but I'll be sharing that in the next couple weeks. I love love love home decor, so it has been has been really fun creating a space for a baby boy!
  • We DO have a plan for our kiddos when we go to the hospital. This one was just figured out yesterday, and it feels wayyy better than the thought of improvising at 2am if necessary. ;) Also, I had a night last week where I had three hours of strong contractions, so it was a wake-up call to get that plan set!

We're almost there! Just a few boxes to check. It's so funny the contrast between having your first baby, and then having subsequent babies. This time around, I'm really low-key and don't want much! With Sophie, I researched every possible product to find the very very best for the right prices. We were stocked! With Maggie, we had everything suited to a baby girl, so any extra cash was spent on wardrobe- so many tiny cute things!! This time, I'm like "eh, if we don't have it we'll work without... and if we end up needing it, isn't that why Amazon prime exists?" Less is more. 

So there you have it folks! 26 days!! 

--Ps. If you're pregnant and need an occasion dress, Tiffany Rose has the BEST options. I could seriously sleep in the dress I have from there, that's how incredibly comfortable it is. I received it and wore it for about 9 hours at a wedding last weekend, and it worked perfectly!! I also had my eye on this beauty, but found out the color would perfectly match the bridesmaids at the wedding, so I opted out, haha! In a world where maternity fashion is so lacking, finding Tiffany Rose was a huge relief. 

xoxo

Weekending + Sun Safety by Kate Brightbill

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This weekend we hit some seriously high temperatures in San Francisco. Saturday was what I would call "weather perfection," with 70's low 80's... Sunday was basically unbearable for this pregnant girl, and I spent most of the day inside with windows open, dividing my day between crunching cups of ice and eating popsicles. SF doesn't really know about that thing called air-conditioning, because frankly- we don't need it most of the year, but those few days of sun rays beating on us and we all wonder if we should have invested in AC regardless of the fact that 360 days of the year we do not need it. 

We beached it up on Saturday for a couple hours. We were over by the bridge at sports basement on a hunt for the perfect backpack for my husband, and it only made sense to take ourselves to the beach if were were going to be out there anyway. My girls are beach bums... particularly Sophie. She would go all the way in the cold water if we let her, even on the chilly 50 degree days... she is a total fish! I love it. 

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*(though maybe not if I showed her the insane shark + surfer video from the weekend- did you see that??? SO glad he was safe!!! And another side-note: we debated at length whether the SF bay has sharks, and researched the answer- yes, small harmless bay sharks, not legit terrifying ones, phew) 

We packed a bag of only the essentials. Water- (because the girls love to chant 2-4-6-8 everybody hydrate!), my favorite beach towel ever (monogrammed with my initials because it seems every mom should be allowed to take ownership of at least a few little things in their life that little hands can't claim, yes?), sundresses, shades, hats (SUN SAFETY), and got ourselves cooled and sandy until we were all losing our charm.... then we headed home for some nice afternoon naps. Ahh, perfect. 

I'm going to be terribly honest and tell you that- though I'm super cautious with my girls and their hats and sunscreen, I can be a bit lax with my own application and other sun precautions. I don't burn (thank you, 50% Mexican blood for that!), so it doesn't seem quite so urgent to re-apply as often as I do for my family. I have, however, been humbled this pregnancy in more ways than simply adding numbers rapidly to the scale.... To my mortification, my skin has been getting some dark sun spots near the freckles on my cheeks. Aghhh! I know some of this will go away after the pregnancy, but it is SUCH an essential reminder to me: none of us are immune to skin damage and melanoma!! 

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Shortly after I noticed my new skin imperfections, LandsEnd reached out to me about spreading the word about MRA (Melanoma Research Alliance), and their summer sun safety awareness campaign... It was meant to be. I received the prettiest, extra-soft lightweight swim tee to protect my body- it can cover any swimsuit and be worn in-water or out. I love a good tan, but I love the idea of preventing splotchy skin spots and - for goodness sakes- melanoma- far more! The LandsEnd swim tees are recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective UV protectant- they are a UPF 50 sun protectant. 

I don't know if it's because I'm in my 30's now and thinking more responsibly, but this REALLY matters to me these days. I do not want to become a statistic- are you aware that skin cancer has increased 30% this year? YES. I know. 

SO, what can you do? 

  • First of all- cover up! Slather that sunscreen on your children AND yourselves! And USE SWIM TEES (right now is the best time to buy because they're all on sale!!).
  • Grab some sun UPF products for yourselves... I will literally be wearing mine all the hot days of the year.
  • Share pics of you being sun savvy in your swim tees and tag @LandsEnd on Instagram and Facebook... for every picture tagged with the hashtag #LandsEndSunSavvy, LandsEnd will be making a donation to the MRA! 

Sun safety is kind of a big deal. Weekend away, vacation away, but be summer safe!!

Ps. LandsEnd swim tees are perfectly stretchy, so I recommend ordering exactly your size- no bigger, and if you're between sizes, size down! They're priced as low as $12.99. so it's seriously a no-brainer. :) 

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This post is sponsored by LandsEnd. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support us! xx

State of the Pregnancy: 30 Weeks by Kate Brightbill

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I adore babies. I adore my own babies, I adore other people's babies. I do not adore pregnancy.

Pregnancy for me is a means to an end... I do not relate to those who manage to sail through pregnancy with beaming smiles and vibrant attitudes, though goodness knows- I wish I did! My body is prone to nausea, even as deep as 30 weeks into the pregnancy (I'm still having to be extra careful about what I eat to prevent getting ill, and yes I was sick this weekend). My heartburn arrives around week 22, and brings me down for the count from about noon until bedtime well into the third trimester. I'm actually anemic this time around, and was getting bouts of dizziness leading to increased nausea, until I found out and began iron supplements. Add these factors to the higher risk factors of an xl hematoma, polyp, and placenta previa issues that have now ALL resolved (praise the LORD, so thankful!), and you have yourself one physically/emotionally drained pregnant girl! 

BUT hey, there's GOOD NEWS. I'm 30 weeks pregnant. 30! In seven short weeks, I will have safely reached full term. This sweet baby is kicking his little heart out, and I am adhering to a summer break schedule: I.E. do whatever we want whenever we want. I work better under this non-restraining-schedule. ;) It's looking like we're out of the woods, and now we can nest and enjoy the last ten weeks of sleeping through the night and getting out on dates consistently.

Speaking of nesting, it's been the theme of this pregnancy. I love cleaning. Literally love it. I scrub my surfaces with multipurpose spray until they sparkle. I've been going through every nook of my home and purging every unnecessary. I've taken apart my closet and re-organized, and have been making trip after trip to goodwill to donate. It feels amazing to have less. I have used vacuum bags to store all of my pre-pregnancy clothing, and I have to be honest: I'm not really missing all the extra options! Granted, if you have seen me in the last four months, you can pretty much predict what I'm wearing... I'm really just cycling through four outfits (It's been so much better to have less-is-more strategy this time around than the "buy a lot of cheap" strategy I used the other two pregnancies!). 

In the craving department: wow, I'm the weirdo that you've read about on the internet. I mean, I'm not thankfully wanting to eat dirt (pica), but I am only a tiny step above on strange cravings: My favorite thing in the world right now is the moment I get to start the dishwasher with the scent of the soap filling the pantry. I have to resist smelling all cleaning supplies, actually... it's a seriously difficult feat. (Brian is like, Kate you shouldn't be telling people this! You're so nuts, haha) BUT I've read about it, and it's attributed to iron deficiency, which I mentioned I have, so it all makes sense now, and I feel far less weird, and totally okay with admitting it. 

So the grand totals in numbers: 

  • Ten ultrasounds (during which my emotional state took some incredibly high highs and low lows!),
  • 30 or so days on bedrest (weeks 15.5-19.5 give or take).
  • About 100 doctor appointments, (exaggerating, but it sure has felt like it!)
  • About 1,000 random cravings (the girls did NOT do this to me!), and
  • Fewer than 68 days until my due date! PHEW!!

All in all, the state of the pregnancy is good, but ahh, it's still pregnancy. ;) Speaking of... have you ever read this? It's the best writing about pregnancy ever. I was laughing so hard at the airplane analogy because it's spot-on.

PS. Here was my first / only other pregnancy update, in case you like reading about pregnancy. 

xoxo.

Facts & Feelings by Kate Brightbill

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Dear Friends!

I'm here... now where do I start? So, so much to catch up... about nine months, really. Prepare yourself for the longest essay ever written on this blog of mine.

How about I start here? I'M PREGNANT!! BABY #3 is coming in September!!

PHEW, I said it. Secret is out, finally! I'm 15.5 weeks, and growing faster than the other pregnancies. ;) I've had nausea, exhaustion, and total pregnancy brain (promise, it's a thing! spacey and forgetful!) for 15 weeks, and only this week has the nausea subsided. Brian was working long hours, as the beginning of the year often requires of him. I over-booked our first three months with extracurriculars for the girls, and found myself walking 4-6 miles per day, and taking buses, and basically running around our fair city to an extreme. It was a good and full (but very hard) January - March. I'm accustomed to being healthy and full of life, and I felt as though I was running every day to keep up. As of a couple weeks ago, we cleared our girls' schedule and headed last weekend for a long-anticipated vacation during Spring Break. 

NOW, let me back up a bit: I had two extremely healthy pregnancies with my girls. There was a slight chance of placenta previa with Maggie, and plenty of sickness with both, but as far as complications, there were none. 

That which has remained unsaid until now is that this current pregnancy actually follows two miscarriages.

The first would probably be called a "chemical pregnancy" because I wouldn't have known I was pregnant were I not tracking like clockwork. It was a wake-up call that hey... this getting pregnant deal is not always simple. It may not be seamless. We told almost no one that it happened and looked forward, rather than dwelling in disappointment, though disappointed I most definitely was. 

I got pregnant again last August. We had a beautiful healthy 8-week ultrasound where our wiggling baby's heart beat brightly and looking perfectly healthy on the screen. One week later, we took a tearful drive to the ER, and saw on that 9-week screen-- absolutely nothing. Where there had been a tiny baby one week earlier, there was an empty space. I'm not sure exactly what I expected to see, but it was such a stark blow to my hopefulness to see that beautiful child was no more, and I was absolutely crushed. 

I find in life that I want to be the upbeat one. I want to be the one who keeps her chin high, regardless of what's brimming underneath. If I want to cry, I will do so in the privacy of my cozy bed, with my face smushed in my pillow. I do not cry for sympathy, I do not cry to be noticed. It's a hard burden to carry tears below the surface. The roller coaster of hormones, paired with fears now realized, gave me two months of total fogged sadness. I didn't want to talk about it, I didn't want to feel like the one bringing everyone down by being so bummed, but I was so thoroughly bummed. It was this realization that no matter how I try to keep everything in life tidy and under control, the control does not belong to me. Even typing this now, almost six months later, it feels melodramatic and trivial compared to the realities of so many others. SO many couples lose babies. SO many people have the hard stuff staring them in their face daily. Who am I to feel this loss so deeply?

I came to a place early January where I finally recognized that I cannot orchestrate that which happens. I truly cannot. God is sovereign, He loves me, and He understands even when I do not. I was discouraged by the futile efforts put forth for this third child, and came to a place where I was absolutely certain I was not pregnant- yet another month... and in that moment, I let go. My heart finally came to grips with the reality that God knows best, and I am finished battling and allowing sorrow to steal my joy. I have two beautiful girls directly in front of me, a husband looking after our every need, and doting on me in my lingering sadness, and I will choose joy in this life, regardless of the shades of my 32nd year looking much different than I had expected. 2015 would be new and bright, and hopeful- perhaps new creative endeavors or new passions, but probably not that baby I had so desired. 

Later that VERY week, I found out that- contrary to my maternal instincts, or lack thereof- I am pregnant. 

I truly believe sometimes we simply need to come to an understanding that we are created by a loving Creator who wants us to learn to trust Him. He wants to take our sadness and bring beauty from ashes. Sometimes it takes heavy rain to appreciate sunshine. This was cautious sunshine. I wasn't ready to shout from the rooftops that I was expecting. We didn't tell a single person (even family!) that we were pregnant until that 9th week had come and gone. Sophie and Maggie kept the secret from any and everyone with us (impressive!). We kept our mouths tightly sealed until that beautiful, sickly, but HEALTHY first trimester had passed. Then, we told all our friends and family.

Last weekend, at 15 weeks and totally in-the-clear, we headed down south to the land where palm trees sway. Ahhh southern California. Such a beautiful place. Two sunny beach days, followed by time with my family at Disneyland and the next day at California Adventure... Ohhh, but that day, Brian and I spent mostly at the ER. 

Yes.

The ER. The ER is really a terrible place. I've been to my own plush OB ER, specifically for expectant mothers, and was seen immediately, felt cared for and sorted through the issues immediately. Then there's the ER that you find in a foreign city, in the nearest hospital to where you are, and that ER is a terrible place. No further details necessary. ;) 

Hours later, we had our news: baby is alive and kicking and healthy!! Contrary to ALL thoughts my mind had in that waiting room, our child is alive and kicking

My body, however, has a SubChorionic Hemorrhage, size x- large, behind the placenta. 

What does this even mean? Ahh... how to explain? I'm not a doctor, but here's my attempt: It's a blood clot that develops during pregnancy, and it CAN cause complications, and it CAN cause a lot of things that are bad... OR it can simply resolve itself in short periods of time through some bleeding and some of the body just absorbing it, and all is well and lovely the remainder of the pregnancy. 

Bottom line? Bed rest.

Yes, bed rest.

Until further notice. Whaaaat? 

It's rather comical to me as I lay here in my room, day three. I think about my life and the way I used my time thus far in 2015- the way our first three months were scheduled and packed with lovely play dates and extracurriculars, with volunteering, with hosting, with social events, with any and everything we could imagine. It was too much and the four of us FELT it was too much. We talked about how as soon as spring break comes to a close, we are pulling all of the extras off our plates. We are simplifying and saying no.

SO. Here we are, closing out our spring break... Saying no- quite literally- to everything!  (except Easter! I'll be lying on my parents' bed for Easter celebrations, and being as much a part of celebrating our risen Christ as I possibly can!)

I've been handed a wealth of time in bed to rest. It doesn't feel particularly like a gift, but I'm sure going to try to see it as such. Our sweet baby is not yet out of the woods, but we are encouraged- by stats, by doctors, and most of all by prayers of our friends for peaceful hearts. We are thankful that that beautiful heart of this dear baby of ours is still beating strong, and we are hopeful. 

Also, THANK YOU, friends. Thank you for coming and reading my little blog- even during my months of half-hearted posting and radio silence. I really do love blogging, and I've missed it, but real life has had to come first. 

 

Love,

Kate