not your mama's pregnancy

My mom and I are really close, and we talked all throughout my pregnancy. We’d discuss symptoms and crazy cravings. I’d call her and tell her things about what my body was doing that I’d never consider telling another person because it was just too crazy! And she got it.

She’d listen and comfort and make me realize that I’m not the first or the last person to be pregnant, so I should just chill out. It was funny, though, because sometimes when I’d tell her about a doctor’s appointment, she’d tell me that she had no clue what I was talking about.

Things have changed so much in the time since she was pregnant with my brother or me. There are so many more dietary restrictions and things to avoid. And when the baby came? Wow. We just had to educate each other.

I’d fill her in on all the new stuff and she’d tell me that was a silly idea. And then she’d get on her iPhone and start coming up with random advice from random bloggers about what to do when your baby won’t sleep through the night.

Throughout my pregnancy, I heard some of these things.

“Back when I was pregnant….”

“We didn’t worry about deli meat.”– There was no listeria concerns. Why is it that all we want is a cold turkey sandwich? I’ll admit, I had my share of sandwiches.

“We didn’t get to find out the sex of the baby.”– I still think this would be a lot of fun to not even have the option to find out. Maybe if we have a third baby, I’ll try to avoid finding out just for one great surprise on delivery day!

“I drank two cups of coffee a day and ate all the chocolate I wanted.”– I guess the restrictions on caffeine have changed a lot, too! I still had my cup of coffee each morning and the occasional Diet Coke, since it was the only thing that settled my stomach.

“Back when my babies were newborns…”

“We didn’t swaddle. You slept on your tummy.”– When my mom found out that swaddling can help calm a crying baby and help babies sleep, she was fascinated. My mom became the swaddle master.

“We didn’t use schedules. We just fed you when you cried.”– This is another one that we didn’t stick to, and both boys ended up on a decent 2-3 hour schedule, but we also just had to feed them when they cried. I can remember one day that Hudson was so upset, and my mom was just Googling all kinds of parenting books to help us figure out a good option for Hudson.

“We didn’t have big swings or a pack n play.”– She definitely didn’t have her house overrun with baby gear everywhere. Swings, play gyms, pack ‘n plays, bouncers. There’s stuff everywhere! “We didn’t have bottle warmers” – That bottle warmer really wasn’t all that useful anyway.

Some of the changes are so interesting. Some are obviously more serious than others. But it’s fun to think that with or without all the baby gear, and add in a cup of coffee or two or three, we’re all just raising our babies and learning as we go.

And I can’t think of anyone more excited for the arrival of a sweet new bundle than a grandmother.

What are some of the things your mom or veteran mom friends said to you about the new pregnancy rules and new “trends” for babies?

Check out the Huggies Mommy Answers Facebook app and find more posts from bloggers sharing their experiences of motherhood on the Huggies page on

the sweetest sound I've ever heard

In the fall of 2008, I can remember sitting at my desk at work and just feeling “off.” I’ve blogged about this “off” feeling before. I felt dizzy, sick to my stomach, tired and I was just starving. And I just knew what the only explanation could be.

I left work early that day and walked across the street to the drug store. I snuck back to the right section of the store, and saw that there was a huge selection of home pregnancy tests. I’d never taken a pregnancy test before.

Do you buy the kind that says “pregnant” or “not pregnant” or do you buy the one that shows you a plus sign or minus sign? Or what about the one with two lines? Isn’t this supposed to be a relatively easy, fool-proof process?

I was straight up terrified. I didn’t want to be spotted buying a pregnancy test. I felt like I was still a young girl and I wasn’t supposed to be pregnant yet. But I was a married woman of about five months. We weren’t “ready” for a baby yet. If I avoided taking the test could I stay in denial that things were changing?

(those two care-free newlyweds were about six weeks pregnant didn’t know it)

I picked up three different types of tests and picked up two boxes of each one. Just in case. In case of what? I don’t know, but I’d never taken a test before, so I didn’t want to mess it up.

I went home and decided to go with the “pregnant/not pregnant” test first. I took the test and sat on the bathroom floor waiting for the results. And about twenty seconds later the word “pregnant” showed up on the screen.

My heart started racing and I went through a whole bunch of emotions before calling Todd and asking him to come home from work. The next day I called the doctor to schedule an appointment. They determined that I was probably about seven weeks pregnant and they wanted to see me around 9 weeks.

So I had a couple weeks to just wait and sit with this information. I started taking a prenatal vitamin, started being more mindful of what I was eating and drinking. I cut out the caffeine and read all about what my dietary limitations were.

About a week before my doctor’s appointment, Todd was out of town on business. I went to the restroom and noticed that I was bleeding. A lot. I started to panic and really had no idea what to do. I stayed in the bathroom for a long time waiting to see if it would stop, and it never stopped. So I called the on-call doctor. Through tears, I explained to her what was happening, and she told me to just lie down and come in the next morning.

Todd drove through the night to get home to take me to this appointment that would end up being my first appointment. I told Todd to prepare himself for bad news. I’d been heavily bleeding for twelve hours and I just couldn’t imagine that things could possibly be okay with our baby. We were solemn when we went back to see the ultrasound technician. We told her what had happened, and she told us she’d just take a quick look before we met with the doctor.

And, there, on that huge screen, right next to my face, I could see a little flashing dot…

I immediately knew it was a heart, and there was no doubt that the heart was beating. She turned on the sound and the sound of our baby Hudson’s 8 week old heart filled the room.

And I just lost it and sobbed right there. I believe my exact words were, “I’m stunned! I’m so happy!”

I had given up all hope in those 12 hours that our baby would be okay, and there was his strong, healthy heart just a-beating and his tiny little gummy bear- shaped body, wiggling around on that screen. And in my belly.

What an incredible moment. The moment we first saw our first born and got to see his little heart beating. And hear the sound of life just echoing in the room.

Because of my little scare, I was able to have frequent sonograms and they checked on my little “bleed” spot at every appointment. I was fine and my sweet baby was fine.

Do you remember how you felt when you saw your positive pregnancy test? And how did you feel at your very first doctor’s appointment?

Check out the Huggies Mommy Answers Facebook app and find more posts from bloggers sharing their experiences of motherhood on the Huggies page on

gifts for the mom-to-be

Baby gifts are so much fun and I think part of the fun is thinking about what you would have liked when you were a kid. Now that I’ve had a baby and have had a chance to use all of the gifts, I know what gifts will save your life in the middle of the night! My other favorite gifts are the ones that I think he will remember when he’s older and what items he’ll always cherish.

These are some of my favorite favorite gifts that I received that weren’t on our registry.

Fill in the Blankie

These blankets are so wonderful and such a great keepsake! A friend of ours in Dallas sent one to us after Hudson was born and it lists his full name, birthdate, time of birth, and weight.

The examples shown below are for a baby’s baptism, but these blankets can pretty much be used for any occasion and you can personalize them however you want to.

So precious! And they are perfectly packaged!



Engraved iPod and Docking Station

Todd gave me an iPod nano for Mother’s Day with Hudson’s name engraved on the back so we could have all of Hudson’s favorite music playing in his room. We already have a Bose docking station for our living room, but we needed another one for the nursery. Todd got the Sony Dream Machine because it has FM andAM radio and a clock. (and it’s not nearly as expensive as the Bose version) When you’re timing every feeding, nap, and diaper change, a clock is completely essential!

We’ve already over-played all of the songs on Hudson’s iPod, so we’re in the market for more tunes for him. Now I can’t imagine sitting in the nursery for so many hours without a soundtrack. Seriously, this is a great gift for a mom-to-be!



Sleep Sheep

The Sleep Sheep is a really cute sound machine. It has four different soothing sounds like a mother’s heartbeat, waves, rain, and whales. It clips on the outside of the baby’s crib and makes noise for 30 minutes while your baby is falling asleep. It has seriously been a lifesaver.

And… it puts me to sleep, too. I can hear the Sleep Sheep in the baby monitor while I’m trying to fall asleep and it puts me to sleep immediately.



Swaddle Designs blankets

Now that we swear by the soothing and calming methods in The Happiest Baby on the Block, we have to have the ultimate swaddling blanket.

Some say that the hospital blankets are the best swaddling blankets, but that’s just not true. The Swaddle Designs blankets are a perfect square and are just big enough to wrap all the way around the baby and tuck in nicely.

They also have some handy-dandy swaddling instructions in case you forget which side folds up and which side folds down. We love these blankets!


So next time I have a baby shower to attend and all of the good items have been purchased off the registry, I’ll be picking up one of these great gifts for mom and baby. What is your favorite gift to give at a baby shower?

two weeks post-partum

Right before I found out I was pregnant, I helped launch Weight Watchers Wednesdays with my blogging buddies, Mojito Maven and LyndsAU. It was only a week later that we found out we were expecting and the WWW had to go out the window for the next 9 months.

I was concerned with how much weight I was going to gain, but because I was so sick for so long, when I finally started feeling well exercise was the furthest thing from my mind. At 5’8″ I ended up gaining 42 pounds. My doctor never told me that I was gaining too much weight or that she thought I should try to cut back. This is what I looked like at the very end of the pregnancy.


taken June 3, 2009 (the day before I was induced)… and seconds before I fell down those stairs!

So because so many of my pregnant friends have been concerned about weight gain and how to manage it while you’re pregnant, I have pretty good news.  I saw the tummy in the above picture for many weeks and would wonder every day how that big tummy was ever going to go back to normal. I lost 20 of the 42 pounds while I was in the hospital. I had a baby that weighed nearly 10 pounds and I lost 2 quarts of amniotic fluid. I don’t even know how much water I was retaining, but 20 pounds was just gone like that.

Now, two weeks after Hudson was born, ten more of those pounds have come off– on their own– and probably with the help of breastfeeding. I can’t be too sure how it’s coming off. My appetite isn’t nearly what it was when I was pregnant and I’m BUSY. I don’t even have time to think about what I’m going to eat. 

So, be encouraged, pregnant friends. I’ve lost 30 pounds in two weeks. I’m sure the last 12 pounds won’t be so easy.


taken June 19, 2009– two weeks after Hudson was born

The muscles in my stomach are completely gone and my skin has lost a lot of its elasticity. After my six week post partum check up I’ll be back in the gym to correct all of that. I didn’t have any stretch marks while I was pregnant, but as soon as I delivered him I looked at my stomach and it was half the size that it was two seconds before and I could see stretch marks immediately on my lower stomach. Oh well. 

Here are some recent pictures of baby Hudson. We’re just so in love with him!


celebrating his one week birthday with a cake ball made by Jenny of Lucky in Love



my mom ordered a stork for our front yard!



Fiona thinks that Hudson is her baby


tummy time!


Daddy time

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