The Part First Time Moms are Never Prepared For

I slowly made my way down the hospitals hallways one day after giving birth, waddling and feeling hesitant to leave the baby for an hour. The loudspeaker had just announced a breastfeeding support class. I had spent the previous night with nurses coming in repeatedly trying to help latch my baby, checking her blood sugars, and eventually trying to give her formula just to sustain her. I felt so overwhelmed and unbelievably confused, wasn’t this supposed to come naturally? While dealing with my body trying to recover from childbirth, I also had these new emotions of having my very first baby that I was so anxious about how to care for. And now here I was, unable to feed her.

I rocked back and forth on the metal chair, trying to find a way to sit that didn’t feel like I had just given birth to a 10 pound baby. And I tried my best to listen to the topics covered in the breastfeeding class. They covered the description of a proper latch (Yes, that’s definitely what I’m aiming for but why can’t I achieve it??) how frequently you should breastfeed at this age (Yeah, I’d love to but I can’t get her to eat at all!) and finally, all the different positions you can hold your baby in to breastfeed (Spoiler alert- I can hold her in all of these positions and she still won’t eat!)

When the class ended I approached the nurse (NOT a lactation consultant) and said, “I really feel like I need a little bit more help. I can deal with the pain of nursing but are my nipples supposed to be cracked and bleeding?”

This was the first time after roughly 10 feeding attempts and all the painful chapping that someone actually told me, “Breastfeeding isn’t supposed to hurt at all.” Finally I was getting some more feedback but I was still lost, what was I doing wrong??

The nurse looked at my shredded nipples and said, “Your baby has an incorrect latch and that’s causing you pain, here use this nipple shield.”

To this day I look back to this moment, at myself as a first time mom, deep in the trenches of motherhood. I want to yell, “LEARN ABOUT BREASTFEEDING!” What is the root of your problem?

We spend the next 6 months of Ellie’s life exclusively nursing with a nipple shield. This meant keeping it clean every two hours, NEVER losing it, breastfeeding for 45 minutes each time, dripping and leaking of the milk, and a slow and steady decline in her weight. The weight decline is what finally brought a specialist in to look at her breastfeeding and tell me- she has a lip and tongue tie.

WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME ABOUT THIS SOONER??

Any time a new mom-to-be has asked me for advice I tell them learn about breastfeeding! I could have been spared so many sleepless nights, so much fear and worry, and so much pain by having more knowledge of breastfeeding and the potential problems that come with it before giving birth.

This post is in partnership with Medela. They have an excellent new resource for moms and moms-to-be called The Moms’ Room that offers FREE breastfeeding education and personalized support! I encourage you all to take advantage of the help and make the motherhood transition a little bit more smooth for yourself.

6 Myths You’ll Worry About During Your Second Pregnancy

  1. You won’t have any more special time to spend with your oldest. This one is huge! As soon as I saw the positive line on the pregnancy test when my baby was only 1 year old- I started to cry for this exact reason! Yes, it might take time for you to come out of the newborn haze and spend some special time with your oldest again. But hey, newborns sleep- A LOT. I’ll often ask my oldest what she wants to play with me once I’ve fed and changed the newborn and she’s nice and settled for a nap. Whether it’s running out for an ice cream, reading a book, playing in her sprinklers, or building some play-doh shapes- we have a little bit of time every day that’s just the two of us still. Don’t worry.
  2. They will NEVER sleep at the same time. As it is with anything in parenting, things are always shifting and changing. This includes bedtime and nap time schedules. Of course you will have those days where one woke up right when the other went to sleep and one kept you up all night long, but this will not be all the time, and it won’t last forever! I sleep way more now with two than I slept the whole time my oldest was under 10 months. Even if a no-sleep phase is lasting longer than you want it to, it WILL NOT last forever. Don’t worry.
  3. Will I love my second one the same way I love my first? It’s just so insane we even worry about this but it happens! It’s only because it’s hard to picture feeling the immense love you feel for this new baby you haven’t met when you have been getting to know and fall in love with your toddler since the moment they were born. Here’s the thing- first baby or tenth baby- they are still your baby. The moment you meet them, you’ll know you feel exactly the same. Don’t worry.
  4. I won’t get the same bonding time this time that I got with my first, because I will be too distracted by my toddler. Of course this is not a distraction you had to worry about last time. Every day with your firstborn was uninterrupted cuddles, bonding and being in your little newborn bubble. Well, your toddler WILL pop your newborn bubble that’s for sure. But just like you will still find balance to have that special time with your older child, you will find the same thing for your newborn. Maybe your toddler spends the afternoon with dad or Grandma, or takes a good, long nap. But at the very least, when your toddler goes to bed at night, you have those middle of the night times together. Yeah, you might be exhausted. But try to take at least one moment every night just to snuggle them close and enjoy that peace and calm where it’s just the two of you. Don’t worry.
  5. My toddler will hurt the newborn accidentally or on purpose. My babe is not necessarily rough or violent, but every toddler has the capacity for this behavior at any moment. I remember feeling so much anxiety about random things, like my toddler throwing a toy at her little head or running on the couch and stepping on her. Your toddler will quickly learn, this little baby is not to be played rough with. Maybe you have to yell a few times when they are flirting with disaster, but they will learn. And on some very hyper days, you’re just gonna have to play offense all day. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Don’t worry.
  6. My toddler will not adjust well to this big change in our family. I was so worried my older daughter would become super jealous of all the attention the new baby would get, and that she would stay super attached to me. She quickly figured out that she just needed to rely more on daddy for every day things and let mommy breastfeed and care for baby sissy at times. Like everything else, this could take time, or they could take right to the big bro/sis role from day one. Either way, DON’T WORRY mama!

Ember Knight- A Birth Story

As my 39th week kicked off with no signs of labor, my doctor decided the risks of induction outweighed the risks of waiting her out. I had a history with my first daughter of shoulder dystocia, macrosomia, and postpartum hemorrhage. So we packed our bags, tucked Ellie in bed at Grandma’s house and headed to the hospital at midnight for our second induction.

We had two or three scheduling complications. We were send home from our first induction because I was so sick and weak with a cold and sinus infection that they didn’t want to start the induction process. Three days later we went in again and they informed us that they had scheduled us for the precious night, and now we would have to wait and see if one of my doctors would be available to come in for an induction tonight. After a stressful wait in the lobby they finally told us we would be admitted, and wouldn’t be leaving the hospital without a baby again!

We spent 5 hours in a small triage room while the pitocin did its thing. My lovely husband got a nap in, while I mostly watched tv and attempted sleep over and over. The contractions were tight and uncomfortable but for the most part not painful. I finally drifted off around 5:45 a.m. to be rudely awoken by my water breaking at about 6:05 a.m.

Finally, it was time to make the move to our real labor room! Almost instantly after my water broke I was in real-deal pain! The doctors broke my water in my first labor, and I already had an epidural at that point! So this severe pain was new to me! I was ready for an epidural after about an hour of this, but of course it was time for a hospital shift change and I would have to wait another hour.

The epidural this time around brought some relief, but didn’t take on the left side of my body. I felt SO much pressure and pain compared to feeling nothing during my first labor.

They came in to check my dilation at noon and I was only at a 5. I felt really discouraged at that point, and thought that it was going to be a long, long day.

They continually came in to adjust my epidural as I was informing them (very calmly I’m sure) that it was not doing its job. 😂 I wasn’t sure why this hour was SO intense!

Around 1 o’clock I started feeling IMMENSE pressure and like I needed to push. They checked and sure enough I was at a 10. Now the intensity of that last hour made sense! They told me for what was probably about 20 minutes, but felt like two hours, that my doctor was on her way. 🙄 But I needed to push, like now. We gave all our family the call that it was time to head to the hospital!

When the doctor finally came in I was feeling it big time and ready to push!

This is where I felt an advantage over my first delivery. Last time, they had to tell me when to push because I couldn’t feel the contractions coming at all! This time, being able to feel it sped my process along as I was much more aware of what was happening with my body. It may have been more painful but if I had to do it again, I would choose this labor experience over my first one.

I was able to actually feel the moment I gave birth to her this time and immediately pull her up to me for skin to skin. There’s no feeling in the world like holding your baby for that first time and hearing that big cry that means they are healthy.

After about 20 minutes Ember was all cleaned up and we brought Ellie in to meet her. Ellie was tired from skipping her nap, and a little confused. But she was still really happy to see her “baby sissy.”

Ember was born at 2:10 p.m. weighing 9 lbs, and was 22 inches long. We got another big, healthy girl!

It all started to come back to me- the breastfeeding latching, spit up, swaddling, and newborn diapers.

I didn’t sleep much in our one night stay there, mostly because she kept spitting up/ choking on amniotic fluid. I didn’t know anything about this, but they told me it’s really common for babies who were born quicker. Less time in the birth canal=less time for them to get rid of the fluid. This was the first thing that told me, “Hey! This baby is going to come with a totally new set of problems you didn’t know about the first time around!”

24 hours after she was born, we got the clean bill of health to go home!

I couldn’t be happier thinking back on these two days we spent bringing Ember into the world. ❤️

Ellie-21 Months~Ember 2 weeks~Mama-Tired

Wow. The last two weeks have been a total whirlwind! But this is definitely a time of life I never want to forget!

Ellie-

What can I say about this girl? She has adjusted to being a big sister like a CHAMP! I am blown away by her, to be honest.

I was so worried that she would be jealous or rough with the baby. She has been a super generous helper and so gentle with baby sissy. She acts like her little sister has always been a part of her family and I’m so proud of the big girl she’s becoming.

She loves to give baby sissy toys and headbands and bring me diapers and wipes, and even water while I’m breastfeeding! Every night she asks to say night-night to baby sissy, and every morning she wakes up and asks where she is. I can’t believe the capacity for change and love Ellie has at such a young age. ❤️

Ember-

Ember has been a little dream baby! She is so mellow and cuddly! She is a little champion sleeper. At two weeks old she is still sleeping through the night. (Although I rouse her once in the middle of the night to feed her- per doctor’s instruction.)

The only problem we have is that she has a lip and tongue tie like her big sister, which is making breastfeeding a little harder. For a while, I could only get her to take pumped bottles. With lots of patience, we have gotten to a point where she can latch every time. It has been slightly exhausting, because I feel constantly worried that she wasn’t eating well enough. Tomorrow we have a consultation with the doctor who corrected Ellie’s lip tie, and we will decide if Ember’s needs corrected as well.

After a difficult pregnancy and being so sick during labor, I’m still just over the moon that she is here with us- happy and healthy.

Mama-

I am blown away by how quickly my body has recovered the second time around. The labor process may have been more difficult this time, but the recovery has been SO much smoother. My body seems to just remember how to heal. The pain and soreness wore off in a matter of days this time instead of weeks.

I am mentally recovering a little slower than physically. Even though I generally feel happy and blessed to have these two beautiful girls, the postpartum hormones have made me more emotional than I’d like to be. It’s usually happy tears I’m crying, but I still wish I wasn’t this emotional! I can tell already that life with two under two will be difficult. However, so far those super stressful “they both need me at the same time” moments that I thought would happen all the time have been pretty few and far between.

I feel so incredibly lucky to have these two. Overall, this time period has been filled with lots of happiness, love and cuddles. What more can you hope for with a newborn in the house?

Ellie-20 months~ Mama- 38 weeks pregnant

Ellie- She just recently had her 18 month checkup and shots- because mama had a major case of pregnancy brain and forgot to bring her to her appointment last month. She had moved up into 84th percentile for weight and 62nd percentile for height! She’s come a long way from the baby who couldn’t gain weight using a nipple shield and kept falling way behind on the growth charts! So physically, she is getting bigger and stronger every day but she is still very clumsy right now!

Developmentally, she just blows me away. She started using 2-4 word sentences at about 17 months and her vocabulary is incredible at this point. She will repeat absolutely any words we say and is understanding concepts so clearly. She remembers processes so well. The other day she heard the shower turn off and said “Oh, daddy all done, towel!” And ran to bring him one. She also woke up in the morning and went to go get him to remind him he needs to turn the sprinklers on!

She’s also been getting a real sense of imagination, and loving to play dress up and match! Her favorite show is Spongebob, and her favorite movie is Frozen. She still sleeps with her purple owl “lovey” or as she pronounces it, “muffy.” Her favorite toy is Play-Doh! She’s still been sleeping 10 hours a night with a two hour nap during the day.

Mama- Oh, my, goodness. Am I ready to be done with this pregnancy! I’ve been struggling a lot with the ending stages. I’m worried every day now that this baby is growing too big, since Ellie was almost 10 pounds. The anxiety over this is really weighing on me during these last weeks. Coupled with the fact that her movements have slowed down, I’m nervous all the time. Im reminding myself that she moves less because she’s run out of space now, but then I go back to worrying about having another 10 pounder. 😂

Every person I see comments on how huge I am! I understand too, because the bump is OUT there! I keep under estimating where my bump sticks out to and brushing into door frames or tables or counters, and blistering the very thin skin on my belly.

Physically, it is very hard to lift Ellie as she’s just over 25 pounds and the weight limit for lifting while pregnant. Bedtime routine is when I really feel the full extend of this last month of pregnancy. Bathing her has become nearly impossible with the squatting, scrubbing, and even reaching the drain plug! Then I take her to her darkened room for lotion and pjs and getting myself up off the floor after and lowering her into her crib just take everything out of me! Nothing else will be easier once I have baby number two, but at least I won’t have these giant belly struggles anymore!

I go back and forth between the overwhelming desire to be done with this pregnancy and meet my second sweet girl already- and wanting to soak in every last moment of this special time with Ellie before life gets crazier.

Overall, I’m dwelling on the fact that this season of life I’m in is just truly wonderful and exciting. I’m Reminding myself to enjoy the adorable age Ellie is at and savor my one on one time with her. While looking forward to having another one of the most exciting moments of my life to meet my second baby! These two beautiful girls give me so much purpose and happiness. ❤️

Gender Reveal Party!

Baby number two is a girl! We are so excited to have another beautiful little girl and give Ellie a sister. 💕

We chose to do a silly string reveal, after we chose smoke bombs that didn’t arrive in time for the party. 😐 I did pastel pink and blue nails with ombré glitter for the party. Gender Reveal Party NailsWe used streamers to create a little photo booth wall complete with a Polaroid camera, and pink and blue props. The dessert table included baby cake pops, mustache and lip candy molds, colored dipped golden Oreos, and Hersey’s bars I decorated and wrapped with mustaches and pink glitter.I wore a gorgeous PinkBlush maternity dress.

Ellie/15 months~Mama/18 weeks pregnant

Ellie- Everything about this age is my favorite thing yet. I can’t believe how much more personality she comes up with every single day.

Ever since we sleep trained her she does a solid 10-12 hours per night and a 2 hour nap during the day. The good sleep has helped her keep growing well, and to lower the amount of fits she was having a couple months ago. She eats NONSTOP! She decided she didn’t want to breastfeed anymore about two weeks ago, and hasn’t asked for it or noticed it was missing from her day at all.

At her 15 month well-check the doctor was blown away that the amount of words she says is at almost 30! He said the average is between 4-6. Not only is she so smart and talkative, but also extremely friendly. Strangers can’t help but smile and wave and say “hi” and “bye bye” back to her when she walks past them.

She’s an absolute dream. She becomes more of my best friend every day. She pretends bumping her sippy cup into my face while she drinks is an accident, and then laughs super hard when I say, “HEY!!” She lifts up my shirt whenever she’s on my lap and kisses the baby in my belly with a big, loud “MWAH!” Every night before I put her in the bath, I used to sit and breastfeed her for a couple minutes. But now, while we wait for the bath to fill up, she snuggles into my chest and lets me cuddle and rock her.

Mama- Physically, I am beginning to feel better. The morning sickness at the beginning of this pregnancy had me saying, “I literally don’t know how many more days like this I can take.” Now, I only get occasional sickness. But generally, I feel a strong fatigue that can be hard to ignore some days while wrangling a toddler.

Cravings this pregnancy- sausage, bacon, jerky, cheese-it’s, mint flavor, and extra SOUR sour candy!

My feelings have been a little bit overwhelming some days at this stage. The pregnancy hormones contribute a lot to the emotions I feel over Ellie quitting breastfeeding. I struggle with wrapping my mind around how I will do this all with two babies.

I also struggle with a guilt over getting pregnant again so soon. Pregnancy made the taste of my breastmilk change, which led to Ellie not wanting it anymore. But more than that, I just want to really be present for each stage she is in. Some days I feel like being sick/fatigued/pregnant hinders that now, and that it will only be worse once the next baby comes. I know that my hormones make me think too emotionally about this, but it still isn’t something I can change.

But still every day- Ellie never fails to bring a hundred of the most heartfelt smiles possible to my face, and to keep me trying to be my best instead of giving up.

Pink Blush Clothing Review

I’ve waited in reviewing this brand until I had tried out and added a few different pieces of theirs to my wardrobe. After every item from them I wore, I just wanted more! I got a few pieces before I was pregnant, when nursing, and into my second pregnancy.

My absolute favorite thing about this brand is that almost all its pieces can be worn during any stage. Whether it’s pre or post or during pregnancy, or while breastfeeding. I HATE spending money on expensive maternity clothing that I will never wear again after pregnancy. But with this brand it was never a concern, I know I’ll rock these at any time. Not to mention the material is absolutely amazing, very soft and stretchy!

I would recommend PinkBlush as one of my favorite maternity and regular fashion lines of all time!

This dress turned out absolutely stunning in our family photoshoot.

This dress is one of my favorite comfy, casual , any-day wear dresses.

This kimono goes with all kinds of different outfits and always gets complimented when I’m out!

More PinkBlush for our second pregnancy reveal! This dress is so comfortable (and has pockets!)

Here it is, my all time favorite dress. Doesn’t get any cuter, or more comfortable for wear during uncomfortable times in pregnancy. It’s just so gorgeous on, and so soft, I just want to live in it!

Another favorite maternity dress of mine, but I’m sure will still be worn when I’m not pregnant anymore. This dress makes me feel good about myself on days when my belly is trying to sabotage that! 😂<<
st but not least, my last PinkBlush order was this super pretty one for my gender reveal party. As with every other item, I would wear this every single day and will wear it after pregnancy as well.

Our Sleep Through the Night Bed Time Routine


Bed time routines add another thing to your already jam packed to-do list as a mom. If you’re like me, by the time the clock strikes bedtime- I AM DONE. I want to be in bed, laying down, with no more toddler climbing on me.

But here’s the thing- it is SOOOO worth it. 

If you’re having trouble getting yourself to put in the extra time and effort to create a bedtime routine consistently, think of it this way. Any of the extra effort you put in before bedtime ensures that you put in less work in the middle of the night, and get a fuller, longer, more restful night of sleep. And so does your baby!

If you can’t already tell, bedtime routines are just my favorite thing in the universe. Even on nights where my little one seems wound up and not ready for bed at all right before I start the routine, it has never failed that by the time I set her in her crib she’s 100% ready to drift off.

As soon as I started this routine at around 10 months old, my daughter has slept through the night 10-12 hours. Combined with our gentle sleep-training method (see last post How to get your Co-Sleeping and Codependent Baby to Sleep Through the Night) she even learned how to soothe herself back to sleep if she awoke crying in the night. It’s saved me countless middle-of-the-night visits to her room!

Here is a detailed description of Ellie’s nightly routine.

Step One. Breastfeed.

If breastfeeding, it is vitally important not to breastfeed them to sleep. It creates a dependency on you to fall asleep, and if they awake in a place different from where they fell asleep it will always startle them. I had breastfed her to sleep for her entire first 10 months of life so imagining changing this was just crazy to me. But again, SO WORTH IT.

-If you are not breastfeeding, just make sure they have their bottle, water, or a snack right before you start the routine instead of directly before bedtime.

My absolute favorite nursing dress from Undercover Mama. Click the photo to check them out!

Step Two. Get their room ready.

I make sure her lovey is in her crib and a pacifier is nearby. Then, I turn on her night light and white noise machine. Now the room is all dimmed and ready for us to come in to get dressed for bed in at the end of the routine.

Step Three. Bath and Brush Teeth.


Ellie’s pediatrician recommended nightly baths for her eczema, to help remove the dirt that collects on her skin every day. Ellie loves bath time and it reminds her that she needs to start getting ready for bed. Also luckily, Ellie loves teeth brushing. (Maybe in part to her cool electric toothbrush with Paw Patrol characters on it!)

-If baths have never been associated with bedtime for you, or you don’t usually bathe every single day- still consider adding this step. Having a solid routine with a few consistent steps to it signals your child that they need to wind down for the day.

Step Four. Lotion, PJS, and a song.

Lastly, I lay Ellie down on a furry rug in her room. While lightly singing a song, I dress her in a night-time diaper, put lotion on her, a little bit of essential oil for sleep on her chest, and one for teething on her jaw-line. Then I wrap up my song, button up her pjs and give her a big hug and kiss before laying her down. She watches me leave the room, and quietly turns on her side and falls soundly asleep.

These are all the products I use in Ellie’s nightly routine.

The bed time caddy I made to keep all her routine products on hand.

It may be a lot of work, but it is also some of my sweetest, most cherished time with her. It is nice to relax, wind down and get ready for bed together. And best of all, it is followed by 10 beautiful, glorious hours of uninterrupted SLEEP.

Family Photoshoot Fashion

As you know, my baby just turned one! 😭 I’m working on keeping it together, guys!

 I was so ecstatic to take our family photos with our big one year old though! If you check one blog post back you can see all of the pictures! 

Naturally, I was beyond excited to receive a gorgeous dress from Pink Blush for the shoot. If you haven’t heard of Pink Blush by now, they are an absolutely stunning maternity and women’s clothing line. They sell some of the most gorgeous floral maxi dresses I’ve ever seen. 

The reason they’ve got the maternity fashion game on lock is because they look amazing on you, pregnant or not. I have a great dress from their women’s line I love, but the dress I wore for our family pictures was actually a maternity style! It’s nice to know that I have beautiful dresses that will still fit me when I am pregnant again. Not to mention, as a breastfeeding mama the most important question is answered- can I pull my boob out in this? They have so many soft gorgeous options that are nursing friendly, I can’t even believe it! 

You can find the dress I wore for the shoot here

*I received this dress as part of the PinkBlush Ambassador program. All opinions are my own.