Guest Post | A Tale of Two Pregnancies

Hi!! I’m so honored to be able to share a little something with each of you today!

My name is Alex and I write a blog about the things I love, my family, and my faith. I’m 24 years old, happily married, have two babes under the age of two, and I love my coffee! Life is full but lovely 😉

I’m so excited to talk about my two pregnancies! Being a mama is a highlight of my life, and I love to write about it for others!

This post is about the similarities and differences between my two pregnancies. I thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast the two experiences. I have been blessed with relatively easy pregnancies, and I am thankful that they have gone so well, as I tend to be a wimp when I don’t feel well


During my second pregnancy, I was much more low-key about things – so much so that I completely forgot to go to one of my check-ups! Oh dear! I suppose it was partly due to my focused attention on my toddler. My life was drastically different during the two pregnancies. During my first, I was working full-time as a registered nurse; so I did three twelve-hour shifts every week. I was also finishing my bachelor’s degree online. Those were long days, and I was constantly busy. During the second pregnancy, I was no longer working or in school. I was home with my little girl and more focused on maintaining things around the house. I am quite confident that these two different lifestyles caused significant distinctions between these pregnancies. Of course, some of the variations I experienced could also be due to gender differences. ♄

Little Lady’s Pregnancy

  • Morning Sickness – I felt very nauseous for the first several weeks (essentially the entire first trimester). Despite the name, my nausea was present regardless of the time of day.
  • Energy Levels – I don’t remember very well, but I know that when I was feeling yucky, all I wanted to do was sleep it off. This was mostly a first trimester problem.
  • Cravings – I always wanted pizza. But that was nothing new to pregnancy!
  • Aversions – In the first trimester, I avoided coffee and chocolate! (What was wrong with me?) I started to slowly reincorporate them in the second trimester and was mostly back to normal in the third. I don’t feel like I’ve since been able to enjoy chocolate like I used to though. Very sad…
  • Carrying Baby – I carried little B very high in my tummy.
  • Hormones – I certainly had the occasional pregnant woman tantrums with the water-works and all…my poor hubby.
  • Hair/Nail Growth – My hair and nails grew so much during this pregnancy! I couldn’t believe it! I already had thick hair and I barely lost a strand the entire pregnancy. I also couldn’t believe how fast my nails would grow (which was actually quite annoying when it became difficult to lean over to give myself a pedicure!)
  • Skin – I had standard hormonal acne.
  • Misc – At some point later in the pregnancy, I developed carpal tunnel in both hands. I experienced numbness and tingling in my wrists and hands that flared up at night and when I would use a computer. It was quite uncomfortable.

All in all though, this was a great pregnancy!

 Little Man’s Pregnancy

  • Morning Sickness – This time around, I only had nausea for a handful of weeks – sometimes not even every day. It was much more manageable.
  • Energy Levels – During the first trimester, I was exhausted. I took naps with my toddler as much as I could. My energy returned during the second trimester and dipped again during the third.
  • Cravings – None…I know that’s really boring.
  • Aversions – Again, I found coffee and chocolate offensive. During the second trimester, I started to get back into them. However, caffeine hit me hard since I took a three month break from it; so, it was easy to stay within the approved one cup recommendation.
  • Carrying Baby – It seemed that I carried this baby lower than my daughter. Many times when I was at the counter washing dishes, I felt like I was bumping the little guy against the sink. I don’t remember feeling that way with my first.
  • Hormones – I only had a handful of crazy moments. My husband and close friends would be the better ones to ask about this though!
  • Hair/Nail Growth – This time around, I lost a ton of hair! So bizarre. I also did not notice changes in my nail growth.
  • Skin – I definitely experienced hormonal acne.
  • Misc – I was so thankful that I didn’t have any complaints of the carpal tunnel.

 

This was also a great pregnancy! And we have been enjoying newborn snuggles ever since!

One last thing


I want to share a few things that helped my morning sickness and carpal tunnel – these were my two biggest complaints – just in case anyone else has been navigating those issues


  • Morning Sickness – During my bouts with morning sickness, I used special wristbands called Seabands. They claim to work by compressing a pressure point in the wrist. I don’t know if they truly work or if I experienced a placebo effect, but either way they certainly seemed to take the edge off of my nausea. I wore both at the same time during most of my waking hours in the first trimester. These certainly helped me, as well as, the occasional whiff of peppermint oil. Keeping my tummy filled with bland foods and getting lots of rest also helped to take the edge off of the nausea.
  • Carpal Tunnel – When I was pregnant with my first, I experienced carpal tunnel during the latter half of my pregnancy. I was able to purchase wrist braces at a local pharmacy that were specific for sleeping with carpal tunnel. These braces helped a lot.

It’s so fascinating to me that pregnancies can differ so much! (And my deliveries were significantly different too!) Can any of you relate to my experiences, or do you have any of your own stories to share about pregnancy?

Alex blogs at hearthomeandhope.wordpress.com about about the things she loves, her family, and her faith. Check out her blog for more great posts like this one =)

15 Baby Shower Gifts That Are Sure To Please

Hello All!! Spring is in the air here in the UK (Update: we have moved from Holland to the UK!!). With the spring approaching, baby shower season is upon us! Actually, to be honest, I am not entirely sure why this is the case. Don’t women have babies all throughout the year? Then why do we seem to go to baby showers in the spring and summer? Anyway…if you plan on attending a fair share of baby showers this year, look no further! Here is a list of 15 baby shower gifts that are sure to please even the pickiest mom-to-be!!

1. Receiving Blankets


You can never go wrong with a baby blanket. Fé and I own a ton of baby blankets and I love them all! I personally believe that you can never have enough baby blankets around the house. This baby blanket Set makes a great gift with its super soft muslin fabric! I also love these Hudson Baby receiving blankets that come in a variety of cute patterns and are generously sized. These Touched by Nature Organic Receiving blankets are also generously sized and come in cute colors as well. They are also a bargain at only $8.00 a piece!

2. Baby Towel Set

Baby Towels make a great gift because they are one of the often forgotten baby essentials. I didn’t think to buy baby towels when I was getting ready for FĂ© to come, so I am so glad my mom got me a super cute towel so that I could use it the first time I bathed her! These Aden & Anais Towels are super cute, soft and cozy. The mommy trusted brand Aden & Anais also makes a super cute baby bath wrap that also makes an adorable gift =) These bamboo terry towels are super absorbent and soft and make this gift set makes an awesome gift!

3. Baby Bathtime Set

In addition to just baby towels, you can give a full bath time set with baby body wash, shampoo, oil, lotion etc! This super cute Bath time Basket has everything a new mommy needs for her newborns first bath. The honest company also sells a great organic bath time gift set  or you can opt for these classic baby bath essentials!

4. Muslin Swaddles

Whether or not a mom decides to swaddle her baby or not (check out these hidden dangers of swaddling your baby!) these oversized muslin swaddles are AMAZING. They can be used for so many things besides just swaddling. I have one in my diaper bag to use as a sun shade, nursing shade, blanket, towel, etc! They are super versatile and make the perfect baby shower gift. You can also opt for these silky smooth swaddles if that’s more your thing as well =)

5. Developmental Toys

When FĂ© was born, Daniel and I ended up with a TON of these things that I don’t really know what to do with! (I am not kidding, we actually have three of this exact one!). Anyway, these security blankets (I just found out that’s what they are) I think are great for when FĂ© gets a little bit older but she doesn’t use them now.

If you want to give toys, choose ones that the baby will be able to use when she is young (aka 0-6 months old) I am all about the WubbaNub and I think it makes THE BEST BABY SHOWER GIFT OF ALL TIME because babies can start using it right away. By the time they are a couple of months old they might be able to pop the pacifier into their mouths all by themselves which is AMAZING for moms who are constantly popping pacifiers in their babies mouths.

For more ideas on the perfect toys to give at a baby shower check out these developmental toys for babies ages 0-6!

6. Something for mom


During baby showers, the mom sometimes gets forgotten. Try giving her something for herself to enjoy before the baby is born. After her little is born she probably wont have time to pamper herself or do anything besides feed, burp, change, repeat for a few months so this is the time to give her something special that she can enjoy! This mama-to-be gift set has lots of organic creams, oils, washes, and teas for he to enjoy before her little comes!

For more ideas check out these 20 gift ideas for moms-to-be!

7. Baby Month Tracker

I love taking FĂ©’s picture every month to see how much she has grown and changed. There are so many cute ways to display a baby’s age from these cute stickers, cozy blankets, blocks, and more! These make a great baby shower gift, especially for that mom that LOVES watching her baby grow and develop (which is EVERY mom on the planet 😉 )

8. Baby Keepsake

In addition to monthly milestone trackers, there are a ton of other keepsakes mamas-to-be will absolutely LOVE. I am all about making clay casts of FĂ©’s little hands and feet. This is something I will be able to keep forever which makes it even more special. This frame is perfectly designed to put a baby’s clay casts on display along with a cute picture!

This is another cute keepsake where you can stamp baby’s handprints and footprints on to a plate and keep them forever! Also check out this hand print tower that has different sized clay casts so you can keep all your baby’s handprints from their first year together and see how much he/she grows!

9. Memory Book


Pretty much the same thing as a keepsake, but I feel like Memory Books deserve a section of their own because there are just so many to choose from. This memory book has a place where you can preserve handprints, footprints, and photos from a baby’s first year! More great memory book options are this classic vintage looking book, or this beautiful star themed memory book!

9. Baby Log Journals

In lieu of the classic memory book full of pictures and milestones, opt for handy baby journals such as this heath record journal to log your child’s health (ie. appointments, immunizations, medications etc.) from birth to 18 years of age! This makes a great gift because it is super handy to have yet you wouldn’t really think of something like this for your own child!

You could also give this eat, sleep, poop daily baby tracker to help even the most exhausted new mom track her baby’s habits. This is another attractive paperback baby tracker =)

10. Books


I received so many wonderful books when I was pregnant with FĂ© and they all helped me get through my 10 longs months of Pregnancy. My favorites were What to Expect When You’re Expecting and Eating Well When Expecting. These two books easily became my pregnancy bibles and I read them both front to back, back to front throughout my pregnancy!

For more book ideas check out my top 10 pregnancy and motherhood books that every mom or mom to be should have on their bookshelf!

11. Get Crafty


When I was pregnant with Fé, my boss gave me a handmade tower made with diapers, clothes, and other gifts. It was so cute and I thought it was the most creative baby gift ever! It made me feel so nice that she actually took the time to put this huge tower of diapers together =) Check out this list of 42 Handmade baby shower gift ideas that you can make yourself!

I also received a TON of crocheted baby blankets, knit baby socks and hats, and homemade burp cloths from various family members and I love them all. I think it is so nice and meaningful to take the time to make something for someone else as a gift. It is something that they are bound to love and keep forever!

New to crocheting or knitting? Check out these books with cute patterns and tutorials to help you create the perfect baby shower gift! Check out: 12 Crochet Baby Blanket Patterns, The Complete Guide to Learning how to Crochet, The Big Book of Baby Afghans, or 60 Quick Baby Knits. 

12. Baby Grooming Kit


A baby grooming kit is another baby essential that new parents often overlook (we did!). This complete Nursery Care kit from Summer Infant makes the PERFECT baby shower gift and it includes so many baby essentials that new parents will be so thankful for.

13. Prenatal/Pregnancy Massage

I think this is the ultimate baby shower gift. A mom to be has a limited amount of time to relax and enjoy herself before her little one arrives. Help her de-stress with a pregnancy message. Pregnancy messages are often available at any local message studio or spa and are designated for pregnancy ladies and treat their specific pregnancy symptoms.

14. Diapers!


Seriously, you cannot go wrong with a big box of diapers. EVERY SINGLE PARENT WILL THANK YOU!! If you are looking for a gift that parents will absolutely use look no further. Get this GIANT box of 216 Pampers newborn sized (or size one….FĂ© never fit newborn diapers!) diapers =)

15. Gift Cards

A Gift Card is another gift that can’t go wrong. With an Amazon Gift Card moms can choose from hundreds and hundreds of baby items. Daniel and I received a number of Amazon gift cards when FĂ© was born and we used them all up straight away. There were perfect for ordering all of the baby things we forgot to stock up on before she was born (which is bound to happen). With Amazon Prime  we even got all of our items delivered to us the next day! (I’ll even let you in on a little secret, not Amazon Prime is offering 2-hour delivery for some products so you can get your order the same day!)

 

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this gift guide to baby shower shopping and I wish you success as you search for the perfect baby shower gift!

 

Until next time,

Baby Shower Gifts
Baby Shower Gifts
Baby Shower Gifts
Baby Shower Gifts

 

Baby Shower Gifts