Whew, time is totally flying. I can tell you one thing, this pregnancy is entirely different from Conley’s. You could have asked me how far along I was at any point with her and I would have known down to the day, but this time around I find myself checking the apps to remember where I’m at and what fruit or vegetable the baby is the size of. Maybe it’s because I’m busy chasing a toddler, running a company, and growing a human — or perhaps it’s because I now know how time truly flies by and everything is just temporary — but it’s definitely been a unique experience.
How is pregnancy going?
It’s been great (mixed with a little fear!) We went in for our 20-week ultrasound and got to see that flutter of a heartbeat, and I felt my body exhale with gratitude. After the ultrasound, though, we were told that I have marginal cord insertion which basically means the umbilical cord is attached to the very edge of my placenta (vs. the center of it). This means that there are concerns about the baby getting enough blood flow and nutrients as they grow.
At 32 weeks, I’ll start to be monitored a little more closely to ensure that baby is still growing and gaining weight. Right now the baby is in the 20th percentile for size, so I’m praying they just stay on that curve and we should be okay. If all is well, then we’ll do more ultrasounds to just monitor growth, and if the baby is showing signs that it’s falling off the growth curve, then we will likely induce early.
There is also a chance I may have to opt for a C-section just because the risk of marginal cord insertion is hemorrhage, and since I had problems with bleeding post-Coco, we may have to change our birth plans. I am super, super hopeful I can have a successful vaginal delivery, but I’m also wrapping my brain around the fact that I’ll do whatever is best for baby and me. Praying I can carry baby as long as possible, but preparing for the unknowns and staying hopeful.
What’s different this time around?
This time around, I am a lot more relaxed and a lot less conscious of all the “fun” milestones pregnancy brings. Maybe it’s just me getting older, but pregnancy is just kind of a part of my life for now and since I know it’s 1,000,000% worth it, it just feels like a normal extension of my identity right now. I definitely pulled out the maternity pants a little sooner and grabbed my trusty body pillow immediately this time around, and my art of making little comfy pillow forts in our bed has 10/10 improved!
Overall, once I hit the 14-16 week mark, I started feeling a lot more normal. With Coco, I was pretty sick all the way to 20 weeks, but this time around I turned the corner a bit earlier and I’m so thankful for that! I haven’t had too many cravings or aversions (minus coffee and onions/peppers for the first 14 weeks) so I am feeling grateful that I can eat relatively normal—with maybe a little more mac and cheese than normal—and that I’m feeling more like myself.
I also knew going into pregnancy this time that progesterone (something I have to take for the first trimester due to our history with loss) can really impact me and make me feel more gray/depressed, so having that context and past experience helped me know it was temporary and expected.
Are you finding out the gender this time around?
I’ve got to be honest, I had a total intuition with Coco being a girl but this time around, I have literally no inclination either way when it comes to the gender of this baby! With Conley, I definitely wanted a surprise at delivery. After our history with loss, I honestly just cared about a healthy baby, and the idea of a surprise helped my heart work at a slower pace than was necessary for me personally.
Drew is definitely more of a planner than I am, but he quickly bought into the idea of the world’s greatest surprise, and since we both are more minimal, it also was an excuse to choose more intentional neutrals that we would be able to use over again for future children.
With this baby, we decided to do the same and keep the gender a surprise! Truthfully, it’s so incredible waiting until you meet the baby, and while I totally understand why people find out, I love the period of just being curious about who this baby will be! As an aside, it’s totally great pushing motivation while in labor.
What are 3 things that are getting you through this pregnancy?
- This pillow to help me sleep on my side: True story, I discovered this through an ad on Instagram. I’ve tried the long snake-like pillows and didn’t like them, and I usually struggle with pillows in general. But this has been super helpful because I often flip onto my back when I sleep, so I basically lock myself in and the bolster keeps me from rolling. I was hesitant, but I love it.
- This clarifying skin regimen: The biggest difference between this pregnancy and Coco’s has been my skin, and it absolutely could signify it’s a boy… or it could just be that this regimen (that didn’t exist when I was pregnant with Coco) is helping me through it. It’s been a huge game-changer for me, and I’m so thankful that my skin has stayed consistently clear this time around. I had massive hormonal breakouts last time, and while I still have melasma, it’s not nearly as bad as it was with Coco.
- Smoothies, lots of smoothies: While I crave pancakes most days, we’ve gotten in the habit of making smoothies as a fam in the morning, and it’s something Coco loves helping with (a pro-chia seed and flax seed gal after my own heart). With a little protein powder, these hold me over all morning! Coco loves drinking them, too. Last time, they were a maternity leave “must,” but this time, we’re enjoying them early!
What are your must-haves to get for new baby?
It’s hilarious but before we even started trying for this baby, I was in a pre-nesting mode. I wanted to organize all of our closets and sort all of the things Coco grew out of. We had our totes, and then we got these amazing vacuum seal storage bags from Target, and we sorted all of her clothes by size! Since we didn’t know if Coco would be a girl or a boy, we bought all neutral everything, which I am now even more grateful for!
Truth be told, we have pretty much everything we could possibly need and have held onto everything from Coco, from car seats to the SNOO, clothes to all of my breast pump accessories. We are also planning on a tiny update (read: swapping wallpaper) in the nursery and then moving Coco to a brand-new “big girl” bedroom before the baby comes! We still love our nursery so much, and we figure a 3-year-old might be more delighted with a fresh new bedroom than a tiny baby who wouldn’t even sleep in it for a few months after their arrival.
What are you most afraid of?
I mean, I’ll be honest, there are moments where I totally question: am I ready for two? But like everyone says, “You’ll never feel totally prepared!” I’m so excited to see Conley be a big sister, I can’t wait to experience all the phases again (we honestly enjoyed them all), and knowing how everything in parenting is so temporary makes me excited to experience it all again! I’m worried about silly things like how the heck can my heart grow to love another baby as much as I love Coco, I worry about balancing the demands of a newborn and the emotions of a toddler, but I also feel more equipped to navigate each stage of it!
What’s your plan for maternity leave?
I’m going to aim for 12 weeks again! Last time that was what I did, and while I absolutely got a little bored (newborns sleep a TON) and shared little updates throughout, having that flexibility and time to settle in is such a gift! We’re all working ahead as a team and prepping for 12 weeks, and I want to approach this from a place of: “I don’t have to work, but if I want to work, I can pop on without feeling guilt.”
Over the years, we’ve really refined a consistent creation schedule, so it’s easier to work ahead and prep knowing what we will be sharing, so my community won’t even miss me while I’m off snuggling the baby and settling into life with two!
Did I mention my team is amazing? Working on a team of women has given a level of understanding, support, and empathy, and they are ready to rock while I’m off!
Coco also got into Montessori school part-time, which will give us a little more time with the baby and give her the socialization she craves! While it’s super bittersweet imagining her going to “school” each morning, she’ll just be there for four hours each day before coming home. Up until this point, we’ve had no childcare (minus my mom helping here and there), and so this would be a great transition for all of us! Fingers crossed!
How will another baby change or alter your business?
Hmmm, I mean, who knows? I certainly have more of a perspective on this then I did before Coco, but I’ve never been a mama of two! This past year, I think it really hit me just how fast time is going and how precious these days are, having us all under one roof. Our kids are only little for so long… I just have this vision of my kids getting on a school bus and being gone for 8 hours a day, and it kind of puts this season into perspective.
While I love my work and I love what I do, I also recognize these are the “good days” that I’m living in, and time I can’t get back. I don’t foresee anything changing on a high level because we’ve really focused on building a sustainable business that has a lot of flexibility! I’m giving myself the option to take it easy for the next few years and still show up and serve online while prioritizing my family offline, and I’m trusting in my ability to show up in even bigger ways, if and when I’m ready to do that!
Do you have a name picked out?
I am laughing as I type this because I was that girl that had an iPhone note of all of her favorite baby names for years and years. And then something happened when I realized I was in charge of naming another human being and giving them that piece of their identity. I really struggled with Conley’s name; after she was born, it took us almost 48 hours to name her because we just weren’t sure. She’s absolutely a little Coco and I love that her name has the cute nickname to go along with it.
This time around is no easier, especially because we need to land on both a boy and a girl option, and since I like to meet the baby first, we need at least two contenders for each. There’s one more girl name that we almost picked for Coco that we both still like, so that’s the frontrunner for a girl, and we’re struggling with boy names. If you have any faves, comment below! I always like to make sure it sounds good with Coco and Kutcher, but I’m pretty open to ideas!
Onto trimester three….
I can’t believe I’m entering my third trimester. Sometimes pregnancy feels like it lasts forever and a day, and then other times it feels like the most fleeting experience of my life. Trying to soak in the fun parts, like feeling baby kick around and watching my stomach grow, and accept the not-so-fun parts, like the aches and pains and the fact that once something hits the ground it’s dead to me.
I am so excited to see what’s next and to finish my maternity leave prep so I can soak in this experience all over again. Just today my iPhone served me photos from when Coco was a baby (thank you, Siri) and I just can’t believe how it feels like I blinked and she’s a sweet, compassionate, hilariously smart little girl. One step closer to meeting this little one and completing our family.
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