mentally preparing for baby #2

Thoughts on becoming a mother of two and a great resource for mothers and mothers-to-be. I’m honored to be a Similac Strong Moms Ambassador, a sponsored blog partner, this year.

Mentally preparing for a baby is a hard thing to do. Before I had Liam, I spent hours trying to imagine what it’d all be like and how I would handle everything. None of it was as I imagine: some good and some bad. Now that I’ve been through it all once before, I’m becoming anxious about doing it all over again and this time all while taking care of a toddler.

I’m not going to lie, I’m terrified. Liam wasn’t the best infant. He would be up for half the night, so I would simply sleep when he slept. This meant sleeping from 4am-noon most days. However, if baby #2 has a similar sleeping pattern, I will literally get 3 hours of sleep every day. I’m not so sure how I’m going to handle that.

What’s more, is how am I going to juggle loving two children at once?

Mentally Preparing for baby #2 | crackersandcarrots.com

 

Before we had Liam, we just had our dog, Leland. At one point in time we decided we would adopt a playmate for Leland. We had the adopted dog for about 1 week and never could learn to ‘love’ her the way we loved Leland. I know dogs and children are completely different, but it makes me nervous to share the love. And to take it even further, I didn’t fall in love with our son, Liam, for many, many weeks after he was born. I battled postpartum depression, which didn’t help any. But, I would hear of all these mothers who fell instantly in love with their babies in the hospital.

To this day, I still can’t imagine feeling that sort of love so soon. My relationship with Liam, was quite love/hate until we got used to each other, months after he was born. Of course, now I can’t imagine life without Liam and love him to pieces…even when he screams at the top of his lungs in Whole Foods or intentionally slams my favorite dishes on the ground, breaking them into several pieces.

In all seriousness, I’m not quite sure how I’m going to handle it all. How do I show Liam the same love and attention I’ve been showing him these past 2.5 years and balance that all with a little baby who is 100% relying on me to survive? And to freak me out even more, plenty of women I trust have told me that going from having one child to two children is the hardest transition I’ll ever go through. Oh geeze. Commence the freak out session again!

Do you have any advice for a mother-to-be of two children?

Thankfully, I have a supportive family and wonderful husband, who will be my rocks. I’m also thankful that I live in a day and age that I can have my nerves calmed and questions answered within minutes, thanks to the good old internet. One that I’ve been a member of for a while and have benefited from has been the Similac Strong Moms. They have all the weekly and monthly guides to both pregnancy and baby development, guides from nutrition during pregnancy, breastfeeding, supplementing and even a community forum to help answer your specific questions. As an added bonus, they send you coupons, samples and goodies! Click here for more information about becoming a member of the Similac Strong Moms.

This post was sponsored by Similac and has partnered with bloggers like myself for its Strong Moms Ambassador program. As a part of this program, I have received compensation for my time, but all opinions are my own. Similac believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Similac’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. Please read my disclosure policy for further information.
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glucose tolerance tests

It seems as though every pregnant woman experiences nervousness prior to going through the dreaded glucose tolerance test between 24-28 weeks. It’s got a bad reputation among the mother community and now I completely understand why.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I was terribly scared, but passed the 1 hour test with flying colors. Easy peasy. Fast forward to this pregnancy and it all changed. I failed the 1 hour.

The Glucose Tolerance Test | crackersandcarrots.com #pregnancy #pregnant

So, how does the 1 hour glucose tolerance test work, you ask?

  • You fast from midnight the night before the test. Some practices will allow you to drink water during this fasting period, others won’t.
  • Go to the doctor/hospital and drink a non-carbonated, artificially flavored/dyed beverage that contains 50 grams of glucose within 5 minutes.
  • Then, you wait for 1 hour at the doctor’s office (bring a book!).
  • They then draw your blood to test the blood sugar level.
  • You usually get your results in the next 1-3 days.

Results and what they mean: If you get higher than a 135 mg/dL then you have to come back another day and take the 3 hour glucose test.

During this pregnancy with baby #2, I got a 151 mg/dL after the 1 hour glucose test. Three days later, I’m in for the 3 hour glucose test.

The 3 Hour Glucose Tolerance Test | crackersandcarrots.com #pregnancy #pregnant

How does the 3 hour glucose tolerance test work?

  • You fast from midnight the night before the test. Some practices will allow you to drink water during this fasting period, others won’t. I opted to not drink any water, for minimal affect on my test.
  • Go to the doctor/hospital and have your finger pricked to insure your fasting blood sugar level is between 70-105 mg/dL. (Mine was 77 mg/dL, enabling me to proceed with the test.) If so, they draw your blood for initial fasting levels.
  • Then you drink a non-carbonated, artificially flavored/dyed beverage that contains 100 grams of glucose within 5 minutes.
  • You wait 1 hour and have your blood drawn again.
  • You wait for a second hour and have your blood drawn again.
  • You wait for a third hour and have your blood drawn a last time.
  • Then, you receive your results within 1-3 days.

Results of the 3 hour glucose tolerance test and what they mean:

  • Initial fasting blood drawing should be between 70-105 mg/dL.
  • After 1 hour, your level should be between 90-155 mg/dL.
  • After hour 2, your level should be under 155 mg/dL.
  • And after hour 3, your level should be between 70-105 mg/dL.

I ended up passing my 3 hour glucose test with a ratings of 77 mg/dL for fasting, 132 mg/dL after the first hour, 126 mg/dL after the second hour (not so good) and 90 mg/dL after the third hour (awesome!). Thank goodness! I was nervous because my mother had gestational diabetes when she was pregnant with me. However, she didn’t have any glucose issues with my other three sisters. The body is so strange during pregnancy.

If you don’t pass the 3 hour glucose tolerance test and have gestational diabetes, don’t fret. You may have to do something as minor as watching what you eat or as major as testing your blood sugar levels throughout the day, along with a restricted diet and implementing exercise.

The Glucose Tolerance Test | crackersandcarrots.com #pregnancy #pregnant

Tips for the Glucose Tolerance Test

  • Wear comfortable layered clothing – Most likely, you’ll be like me and feel nauseous all throughout the test and you’ll want the most comfortable clothing to wear. You’ll especially want looser fitting clothing around the belly, as your stomach will not feel so good. Also, be sure to wear layers. Doctor’s offices and hospitals are kept cold and waiting their so long, you won’t want to freeze. Also, because of the nausea, you may go through some hot flashes and need to strip some layers.
  • Bring something entertaining – My hospital has free wifi, so I brought my computer with me. I knew if I felt up to it, I could answer emails or work. Else, there was always my favorite Netflix show to keep my mind off of the test.
  • Walk around – This will depend on the advisement of your doctor or nurse. My nurse allowed and actually suggested I walk around during the test. This is what saved me from throwing up during the test. I would take 15-20 minute leisurely strolls outside around the gardens and grounds of the hospital. The fresh air and plants were enough to refocus and calm the nauseous feelings.
  • Prepare for the rest of the day – Be prepared to not feel well the rest of the day. Don’t plan to do anything strenuous throughout the day. Just take it easy and eat sugar-less foods and lots of water the rest of the day.

If you’ve gone through either glucose tolerance test, what were your thoughts on it? Any tips for a new mom preparing to take the test?

 

My thoughts on the overall test:

I never could wrap my head around the fact that a medical professional would advise ingesting so much sugar…purely artificial flavored, dyed and straight-up syrup, for that matter. I couldn’t seem to get over the guilt I was feeling for even putting this terrible drink(s) in my body. It’s something I would never actually drink/eat since I’m so health conscious when it comes to taking care of my body and the baby growing in it. I did research alternatives and read about some doctors allowing patients eating a pancake breakfast, a bunch of fruit or natural fruit juice or even testing your blood sugar levels at home for two weeks. Unfortunately, I learned about these after the fact, but you better believe that I’ll be asking for an alternative if I get pregnant again!

Another question I still have: The nurse who scheduled me for my 1 hour glucose tolerance test told me to restrict carbs/sugars for 2-3 days prior to the test. However, the evening before my test, I browsed the internet and some websites actually suggested ingesting 150 grams of carbohydrates per day for 2-3 days leading up to the test. So, in preparation for the 3 hour glucose tolerance test, I ate normally and healthy (like I always do) and had better outcomes. So, I’m not sure which is the correct answer. All I’m guessing is you probably don’t want to down an ice cream sundae the night before your test. ;-) Anyone know the ‘right’ way to ‘prepare’ for the test?

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28 weeks with baby #2

28 weeks pregnant with baby #2 | crackersandcarrots.com

How far along? 28 weeks
Total weight gain: 
Three weeks ago it was 10 pounds, but I got a stomach bug, and lost over 5 pounds. So, from my beginning weight, I’ve now gained 7 pounds total now.
Maternity clothes? Yes and just bought a wintry top from Target. Love!
Stretch marks? A few, but nothing major.
Sleep: Fairly well, but stress is keeping me up lately.
Best moment this week: 
Liam started speaking a 4 word sentence (this is huge because he’s only been in speech therapy for three weeks. He said, “I see you, Mama”. So precious.
Miss Anything? Bending over or seeing the floor under my belly. If Liam stands under me, I can hide my face with my belly.
Movement: Definitely a lot of movement. I actually felt baby hiccups for the first time two days ago!
Food cravings: Probably because it’s getting chilly outside, but I’ve been craving soups and stews.
Anything making you queasy or sick: I’m still not a fan of chocolaty desserts.
Gender: It’s a surprise!
Labor Signs: No
Symptoms: Lots of back pain this week.
Belly Button in or out? In-ish
Wedding rings on or off? On and fitting normally.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy.
Looking forward to: Getting a massage next week!

28 weeks pregnant with baby #2 | crackersandcarrots.com

The comparison between the this pregnancy and when I was 28 weeks with baby #1:

28 weeks pregnant comparision between pregnancies | crackersandcarrots.com

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27 weeks with baby #2

27 weeks pregnant | crackersandcarrots.com

How far along? 27 weeks
Total weight gain: 
Two weeks ago it was 10 pounds, but I got a stomach bug, and lost over 5 pounds. So, from my beginning weight, I’ve now gained 6 pounds total now.
Maternity clothes? For sure.
Stretch marks? They’re starting to pop up around my belly button. Poop on that.
Sleep: It’s been fine recently. It helps that it’s getting cooler. I sleep better when it’s cold.
Best moment this week: 
Finishing the fence and hosting my first yard sale!
Miss Anything? Exercising, in general. I haven’t done anything for two weeks because of the stomach bug and the glucose tests.
Movement: All day long…and don’t forget about night time, too!
Food cravings: I actually wanted coffee for the first time this week!!!! Eeee!
Anything making you queasy or sick: I guess chocolate is the only thing that still doesn’t appeal to me. Pass the fruit!
Gender: It’s a surprise!
Labor Signs: No
Symptoms: Do you count waddling as a symptom?
Belly Button in or out? In-ish
Wedding rings on or off? On and fitting normally.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy.
Looking forward to: Our babymoon! Is it December yet?

27 weeks pregnant | crackersandcarrots.com

The comparison between the this pregnancy and when I was 27.5 weeks with baby #1:

27 weeks pregnant comparision between two pregnancies | crackersandcarrots.com

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26 weeks with baby #2

26 weeks pregnant with baby #2 | crackersandcarrots.com

How far along? 26 weeks
Total weight gain: 
Last week it was 10 pounds, but I just got over a stomach bug, and lost over 5 pounds. I’m sure it’ll go back to normal next week!
Maternity clothes? Yes indeed!
Stretch marks? No.
Sleep: A little more uncomfortable, so more pillows are being added.
Best moment this week: 
I hate to say it, but this week hasn’t been the best.
Miss Anything? Running, still. And I’m missing feeling like myself. Stupid sickness.
Movement: Seems like this baby is always on the move, even when I’m trying to sleep, of course!
Food cravings: Not much this week. Just trying to keep food down at this point.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Just about everything right now.
Gender: It’s a surprise!
Labor Signs: No
Symptoms: Lots of contractions and some back and leg pain.
Belly Button in or out? In-ish
Wedding rings on or off? On and fitting normally.
Happy or Moody most of the time: I’m happy most of the time, it’s just this week has been a little more challenging than others.
Looking forward to: Feeling better and finally finishing the fence!

26 weeks pregnant with baby #2 | crackersandcarrots.com

The comparison between the this pregnancy and when I was 26 weeks with baby #1:

26 weeks pregnant comparison | crackersandcarrots.com

 

…and is this not the sweetest thing!?

26 weeks pregnant with baby #2 | crackersandcarrots.com

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25 weeks with baby #2

25 weeks pregnant with baby #2 | crackersandcarrots.com

How far along? 25 weeks
Total weight gain:
 10 pounds
Maternity clothes? Yes and I’ve started wearing my husband’s t-shirts. They’re the only thing that are strangling my stomach.
Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep: Sleep is what I expected. I toss and turn a lot, but thankfully rarely get up until morning.
Best moment this week: 
Unpacking and washing baby clothes!
Miss Anything? Running. I had to stop at the beginning of the week due to crazy pains surrounding my belly.
Movement: Lots.
Food cravings: Asian noodles, fruit, and this popsicle (but I can’t find it any where!)
Anything making you queasy or sick: I still can’t handle coffee or dessert (same old, same old) and I’m feeling queasy just thinking about the glucose test soda. Ew.
Gender: It’s a surprise!
Labor Signs: No
Symptoms: Braxton Hicks are becoming more frequent, back pain, and the urge to nest (haha…is that a symptom?).
Belly Button in or out? In-ish
Wedding rings on or off? On and fitting normally.
Happy or Moody most of the time: I’m a happy girl.
Looking forward to: Finishing our backyard fence!

25 weeks pregnant with baby #2 | crackersandcarrots.com

The comparison between the this pregnancy and when I was 25 weeks with baby #1:

25 weeks pregnancy comparision with baby #2 and baby #1 | crackersandcarrots.com

And look at Liam’s new thing! He gives kisses. :D

25 weeks pregnant kisses | crackersandcarrots.com

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24 weeks with baby #2

24 weeks with baby #2 | crackersandcarrots.com

How far along? 24 weeks
Total weight gain:
 9 pounds
Maternity clothes? Yes and exercise clothes.
Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep: Same old, same old. Normal aches and pains while pregnant, but definitely valuing every minute of sleep I get.
Best moment this week: 
Watching Liam become more independent. It makes knowing we’re about to add another family member a little easier knowing that Liam will be my helper!
Miss Anything? Me time.
Movement: Indeed.
Food cravings: Meatloaf, BBQ and tons of salad and grapes.
Anything making you queasy or sick: It’s the strangest thing feeling grossed out by dessert and coffee still. So weird.
Gender: It’s a surprise!
Labor Signs: No
Symptoms: Well, the OB has instructed I slow down on running and shift to more walking. Boo. Dumb pains surrounding my belly. I’m still having Braxton Hicks contractions and they’re getting more frequent.
Belly Button in or out? In-ish
Wedding rings on or off? On and fitting normally.
Happy or Moody most of the time: I’m happy and pretty much have my emotions in check. Hallelujah.
Looking forward to: Putting up the fence next weekend. Yay for playtime in the back yard!

24 weeks with baby #2 | crackersandcarrots.com

The comparison between the this pregnancy and when I was 24 weeks with baby #1:

24 weeks pregnancy comparison | crackersandcarrots.com

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feeding a baby while traveling

The pros, cons and tips for feeding a baby while traveling. I’m honored to be a Similac Strong Moms Ambassador, a sponsored blog partner, this year.

It just so happened that my husband and I got adventurous while Liam was a baby. We traveled quite a bit that first year (at least more than I had imagined with an infant). We regularly traveled to Charleston from Columbia (2 hour drive each way) on weekends to visit family, took Liam to Asheville, North Carolina to see the fall colors and hike, I flew by myself with Liam to Dallas, Texas for a blogger conference, and made the long trek to Disney World for 4 days…all before Liam was one year old. Call me crazy, but we did it.

To top it all off Liam wasn’t a good car rider until he was older. He would scream until we let him out of the carseat. Really the only thing I could remember to get him to calm down was feeding him. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible while driving until we started supplementing his eating with formula. Boy, was that a life saver in the car!

Feeding a Baby While Traveling | crackersandcarrots.com

Let’s dive into the pros and cons of both breastfeeding and formula feeding a baby while traveling:

Breastfeeding

Pros

  • No clean up and as long as you’re with the baby, it’s instant mealtime.
  • Little supplies – Just need your nursing bra and possibly a cover if you’re in a public setting.
  • Brilliant for taking off and landing when flying. Keeps baby calm and their ears from popping.
  • You can go anywhere.

Cons

  • You can’t feed while driving. You must make those 20 minute stops to feed and then put said screaming baby back in the carseat.
  • May be challenging when flying to time breastfeeding with take off and landing, as well as doing it all in confined spaces.

Formula Feeding

Pros

  • You can feed while driving in the car.
  • The car rides will be quiet while the baby is eating. Ahh, real adult conversation!
  • Your spouse can help feed to give you a break.

Cons

  • You have to have a method to packing your formula, storing your leftover formula, retrieving warm water and cleaning bottles.
  • It may be challenging to find a warm, clean water source.
  • When flying, once your baby sees the bottle, they may instantly want it instead of waiting for take-off/landing. You also have to ask for warm water on the plane during a busy time when they typically don’t offer beverages.

As you can see, there are numerous pros and cons to both breastfeeding and formula feeding a baby while traveling. When I flew with Liam, I breastfeed him at take-off/landing and that helped a lot. But since it was a new environment and we were on the tiniest plane ever, it was very challenging to get him in a good position to breastfeed and not make my neighbor uncomfortable. Timing was also an issue too. Since latching on took a minute or two, due to distractions, you had to time it just right while you were taxiing, but before lift off. And if you’ve ever flown before, you know how unpredictable the duration of taxiing can be.

I’ll admit, when we were driving to travel, during the bulk of the trip, breastfeeding was really nice. There was no clean up and no prep work. However, during the car rides, it was lovely to supplement with formula like Similac and have a quiet and happy baby without having to stop. This is where being prepared helps a ton. I came stocked with a little kitchen in the backseat, with coolers and ice packs for leftover bottles, clean bottles, and formula either pre-measured and in small containers or just the big container and would measure right there.

Feeding a Baby While Traveling | crackersandcarrots.com

The biggest hurdle to overcome while driving and formula feeding is finding a warm water source to make the formula. We’d use our smart phones and find the nearest reliable fast food chain, where we’d go through the drive through and order a large hot water (the kind they use for tea) and another large cup of ice. We’d also order a little snack so we didn’t feel like we were using them for free. :) This way you’d have a pipping hot water source that would likely stay warm for a while. If you needed the warm water right then, I’d pour the warm water in and fill the bottle 3/4 the way. Test the temperature and add ice to cool it down to the correct temperature. Tada!

It all works out and whether you’re breastfeeding or formula feeding, you make it work while traveling.

Did/Do you had/have a preference of breastfeeding or formula feeding while traveling? Any good stories? Advice? Tips?

This post was sponsored by Similac and has partnered with bloggers like myself for its Strong Moms Ambassador program. As a part of this program, I have received compensation for my time, but all opinions are my own. Similac believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Similac’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. Please read my disclosure policy for further information.
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23 weeks with baby #2

23 weeks pregnant with baby #2 | crackersandcarrots.com

How far along? 23 weeks
Total weight gain:
 8 pounds…I guess all this running I’m doing is keeping weight down from when I was eating all the carbs in the 1st trimester!
Maternity clothes? That’s all I wear.
Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep: Sleep is more aches in pains now, but thankfully the pregnancy pillow and massages from my husband are helping sleep better.
Best moment this week: 
One night Logan and I spent the evening talking about baby names! It’s so fun picking out two names (one for boy or one for girl)!
Miss Anything? The prepared feeling I had with baby #1. With buying a house and taking care of Liam, there’s hardly any time to get things straight! 
Movement: Totally…just like Liam was!
Food cravings: Give me salad and give me fruit and I’ll be happy girl.
Anything making you queasy or sick: I still can’t handle desserts, with the rare occasion that I enjoy a fruit dessert (specifically warm fruit pie).
Gender: It’s a surprise!
Labor Signs: No
Symptoms: Braxton Hicks still, but I’m trying REALLY hard to drink more water to help with these. I also have a feeling I’m going to have to stop running with the round ligament pain I’m experiencing after my runs.
Belly Button in or out? In-ish
Wedding rings on or off? On and fitting normally.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy, with a side of nervousness.
Looking forward to: Getting this house finished…haha…easier said than done!

23 weeks pregnant with baby #2 | crackersandcarrots.com

And look who decided to join me in our little photoshoot!!! Who is this crazy curly headed boy! He’s getting SO big.

23 weeks pregnant with baby #2 | crackersandcarrots.com

 

The comparison between the this pregnancy and when I was 23 weeks with baby #1:

23 weeks pregnancy comparison | crackersandcarrots.com

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22 weeks with baby #2

22 weeks with baby #2 | crackersandcarrots.com

How far along? 22 weeks
Total weight gain:
 8 pounds…yet again
Maternity clothes? Yes sir-ee!
Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep: Not sleeping as well as I’d like, but I’ll still take the luxury to try and have a full night’s sleep.
Best moment this week: 
Our ultrasound! It’s always such a neat thing to see your baby on ultrasound. We got a video of the little baby sucking their fingers in utero. So precious! Now if only my computer had a CD drive so I could show you all! 
Miss Anything? Being able to do everything I need to do, but am beginning to feel the affects of pregnancy when I go-go-go all day long.
Movement: We’ve got an active one in there again!
Food cravings: Lots of fruit, sloppy joes (we’re having them tonight!), yogurt.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Yet again, I can’t handle coffee or desserts. Boo.
Gender: It’s a surprise!
Labor Signs: No
Symptoms: Braxton Hicks every day (which my OB means I need to slow down a little), some leg cramps and back aches.
Belly Button in or out? In-ish
Wedding rings on or off? On and fitting normally.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Pretty happy. Feeling nervous we won’t get everything together in time.
Looking forward to: Finally getting the nursery together and (fingers crossed) transitioning Liam to a big boy bed.

P.S. I got my haircut yesterday and I’m not too stoked about it. Thank goodness hair grows fast when you’re pregnant! :-/

22 weeks with baby #2 | crackersandcarrots.com

The comparison between the this pregnancy and when I was 22 weeks with baby #1:

22 week comparison | crackersandcarrots.com

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