Lady In Waiting: the two week wait

If you’ve come here to this post and don’t know what I’m referring to, my guess is it won’t be that interesting of a read for you. If BBT reminds you of Big Bang Theory and not TTC, this post wasn’t written for you! (Unless you’re a man and your wife is going through this… might be beneficial? Just saying. lol)

I’m talking about the journey of trying to conceive. The time between ovulation and celebration. Or disappointment….sometimes devastation. 

It doesn’t start that way… the first, say, several months are so promising and exciting! You’ve made the decision to have a baby! The adrenaline from just that process can carry you for a few months. But some point, that adrenaline wains and you want to see results. Maybe you were just “trying to see what happens.” But now find yourself clocking your cycle in apps or consulting doctors, doing bloodwork, getting ultrasounds, acupuncture, taking herbs, taking medications, taking your BBT (basal body temperature)… etc.

This photo was 3 years ago at our little make shift photo shoot when I was pregnant with Hayden.

This photo was 3 years ago at our little make shift photo shoot when I was pregnant with Hayden.

For those of you that have never gone through this arduous process for one reason or another, it most likely seems foreign and possibly crazy. Perhaps you conceived your children easily, or adopted, or chose not to have children. Some of you tried for a long time to get their miracle baby, or came to terms with not having biological children.   

When I was 38, I got the feeling from doctors that I was going to have trouble conceiving. I thought it would take me a very long time. I was almost mentally prepared for the process to take  6-12 months. But, it happened quickly. We were blessed. 

This time around has been different. Yes, I know I’m older , so there’s that issue. I try not to put pressure on us or myself, but I know  it must be there. The pressure, I mean. I posted on instagram right at the new year talking about using an ovulation test. I started using those because the first several months of trying, nothing was happening for me.  After consulting with a doctor, I was told to track my cycle. I got hyped up and excited thinking it would work miracles within months, like it does for many couples.

This is when it starts to get difficult. I discussed the topic in this post here. I got some great advice in the comments last time I posted about this, so I wanted to continue being open about fertility. I found an acupuncturist. It’s not cheap and the herbs taste terrible and you’re suppose to de-stress, change your diet and have frequents sessions with the acupuncturist. It’s just one step that some women take during this process. I also am taking a break from hot yoga (that I LOVE) because you’re not suppose to do that right now. I should be going to regular yoga, but I don’t like it as much. I appreciate those of you that commented and shared your experiences. I instantly felt less alone and more supported. For those of you wondering, there’s a decently large group of us out there around their 40s wanting to conceive as naturally as possible, or any way possible. 

How many of you are in or have recently been in this two week waiting period time and time again? (I can’t help but laugh at this phrase. It gives “lady in waiting” a whole new meaning.) I want to run to the store and get pregnancy tests but my doctor says it’s too early and would only create more stress for me to think that way. I just need to be patient. UGHHHH. And my question is: do you feel supported? How are you getting through it? Do you go on forums or have people to talk to? Of course we have our DH (dear husbands in the TCC community) or partner that may or may not totally understanding. I’m also TRYING to remember that I need to be supportive of my husband during this time, too. So, I’m learning it’s unfair of me to expect him to understand this emotionally charged time. I try not to vent too much or stress out to him about this topic (hence my venting here— wondering if he gets this far in the post-lol). Of course, Joel and I are in this  together. It’s our family. Our triumphs. And our stress. That strengthens us. (eventually;) 

Casual Work day...with Hayden. Easy and functional? Yep! Read why!

Yesterday, I took some time to work outside of the house while I was hanging out with the little man. Love being able to be mobile and functional.  A couple of things make this possible for me: the ergo infant carrier and my LoyalHana comfy, light weight flannel nursing top.  

I like the nursing top so much, I have it in blue, too. (pictured HERE). I enjoy being able to dress it up or down. But, mostly, I like the discreet zippers that allow me to nurse on the go without having to pull down straps. An added plus? Pockets! I also wear the brand's dresses! Like THIS ONE.

The jeans are part of the are not super low (which I like better for fall) and are comfy and stretchy.  As far as the sunnies go, I'm not the only one that likes them. You can buy them now, but they are back ordered for a couple of weeks (for $12-- so worth the wait!) The sale is going strong for another week... but, get 'em while you can before items sale out or prices go up. 

ps- in my recent online order, I got glasses that I posted HERE. They sold out after I posted, but they're back in stock! Limited quantity, though. 

Question for the moms: I'd love to know what secrets or habits you have that make it possible for you to be mobile... like what items do you never leave the house without? xo

NO MORE CRYING OVER SPILLED MILK! What items are saving me (and my milk)!

AshleyAJones.com

First of all, I'm grateful I can breastfeed at all. I know it's a privilege.  With that said, it's been an incredibly trying, challenging, emotional roller coaster. For me and my husband! Sleep deprivation is a real thing! Although it hasn't even been a month, there are a few key materials I wish SO MUCH I had utilized from day one in the hospital. I'm back to work today!!  And these products have helped me save extra milk for Hayden. This is simply my experience... I'm obviously not a doctor (even though I play on one on B&B- ha!), so do your own research and find what is best for you. 

First off, I've had issues. I'll write more in another post for those that are curious of my experience, but to spare you the morbid details, I'll just say my nipples got so raw, I couldn't breastfeed.  I was still pumping, but it hurt. Badly. Finally, I listened to my mother and bought breast shields. Immediately, I was able to go back to breast feeding with Hayden.  It doesn't take away all the pain, but it lessens it by about 75%.  (***Please note: before you use these, do your own research. I believe they can help temporarily, but over time, could lessen your supply of milk.)

                         Medela Breast Shield

                        Medela Breast Shield

Secondly, my husband did his own research and ordered me Milk Savers.  After seeing how desperate I was to produce and save milk, it crushed us to see wasted milk in breast pads or dripping down my clothes.  When I would nurse on one breast, the other one would leak quite a bit.  It would've saved me  a ton of grief, pain and spilled milk!  You know the saying... no sense crying over spilled milk? Well, let me tell you. I've shed a few tears over wasting this precious liquid gold.  Every girlfriend (nursing or about to try nursing) I have told about this product wants it!

While the Milk Savers are great while I'm nursing or even around the house, I am using breast shells inside my nursing bra occasionally between feedings. They collect excess milk and it can really add up. (TIP: if you use the lids with ventilation at the top, be careful when you lean over--- it will spill out!!). This is an easy way to collect milk when you aren't feeding or pumping. Plus, at least for my situation, it protects the nipples while they are healing.  I really used them mainly for that. I didn't love collecting milk in them.

Below, I rounded up the products that have helped me the most with breastfeeding.  I added my favorite nursing bras, too.  They are priced low to high (some, in my opinion, high).  But, so far, the ones I've chosen are worth the money.  (ps- click on each picture if you're interested because some items on sale are not reflected in this post, but will show up when you click).  I'm still in shock how quickly they get messed up and need washing... one minute we're good and the next... oops! We're leaking! Anyhow, check it out... and please--- this takes a village, if there are products you highly recommend, PLEASE leave a comment.  

Check out the nursing tops I have used the most. To read more about nursing, or see where I was wearing some of these, type NURSING in the search box at the top right. You'll see more posts!

STEPPING UP and VENTURING OUT 39 WEEKS PREGANT!

At 39 weeks pregnant and counting, I debated if I had the energy to venture out today, but some things are worth the sacrifice. Step Up Womens Network is one of them (read more about the event and see other pictures here!). I went back to my trusted, comfy tank dress (that comes in tons of colors- I'm wearing an XS-- I wore the purple version - and a few other styles HERE). Plus, I add in extra support and confidence with maternity spanx.  I wore these heels only on the red carpet (pictured below) and then quickly slipped into my fold up, go to flats that fit in my purse and save my feet, completely worth the money. 

Charming Charlie was one of the main sponsors of the charitable event... Ali and I sported a few of their pieces. Ali's wearing one of their maxi dresses (under $35) and several pieces of jewelry-- and I love her purse/clutch. It's only $25! I think I'll be ordering that one. I was excited to wear these fun (incredibly affordable) earrings!

 Ali (32 weeks pregnant here) and I took a few pregnant pictures together in the press line.

 Ali (32 weeks pregnant here) and I took a few pregnant pictures together in the press line.

I just started timing my contractions on the way home with my girlfriends...(more on that here). My husband is texting me demanding I get my hospital bag together! I can't believe we're in the last days.... better go get it together. 

 

JUMPSUIT? Pregnant?! Um... YES! Read WHY!

JUMPSUIT? Pregnant?! Um... YES! Read WHY!

No baby news, yet. He's still content in my tummy. So, I'm trying to stay relaxed at 9 1/2 months pregnant.  This jumpsuit I'm sporting in the picture (read more to see the lookbook of high to low pricing options) must be the most comfortable thing I've ever put on... better than PJs. It'll be added to my list of staples for the next pregnancy (eek! Lord willing, but, I know, let's get through this one first!)

Read More

The LIST Part Two

The list of my pregnancy staples is growing, so I'm breaking it down into parts. Read Part One HERE -- and scroll down for more!

5) Crisp White Shirt

Don't we find this on EVERY list of staples? I swear, InStyle magazine has this as a must have for every season, every year. 

Well, there's a reason it ends up on so many essentials list. The white shirt (I'm wearing in the picture for this post) by IsabellaOliver keeps an outfit modern, fresh. It's incredibly versatile. Works over leggings, jeans, skirts.  Wear it with leggings and converse or with jeans (see Part One) and booties. You will look put-together. And let me tell you, being this pregnant, it's hard for me to feel put together.  

 6) Leggings

I've live in leggings in general... yoga pant type leggings. I didn't subscribe to needing a pair of maternity until recently, though. Once I hit the 3rd trimester, my girlfriends kept telling me how much I'd love real pair of maternity leggings. Ali Fedotowsky loves hers and preached how much I needed a pair. I must say, once I put them on, I was sold.  Leggings are a must have. 

7) Face Wipes

The further along I get into pregnancy, the more I'm less likely to be diligent about my skincare. At the very least, I've promised myself to remove all my makeup, pollution, sunscreen etc. So, I keep facial wipes with me in my car and by my bed. Most of the time, I enjoy the full nighttime routine of taking off the day and preparing my skin to relax. But, just in case I'm about to fall asleep (happening more and more), I can at least do something.  I have a feeling these will be on my "new mom" list of survivals, too.  I also have stocked up on THESE and the ones below.

AFFORDABLE BIRTHING MAKEUP VIDEO TUTORIAL with Celebrity Makeup Artist Jamie Greenberg

Watch Celebrity Makeup Artist Jamie Greenberg give me a tutorial on "how to look good while giving birth." It sounds like a joke (and we definitely laughed a lot), but it's for real. I highly doubt any of us will be concerned with our makeup while we're in the hospital, but this tactic applies to any big event in life where you could break a sweat and need a lasting makeup look (could've used some of these products for my shower!).  And we used ONLY drugstore, affordable makeup. I found some new favorites (LookBook below!). Watch and let us know your thoughts! And subscribe to her channel! 

shop my favorites from the tutorial below!