Being pregnant this third time around has had its ups and downs. I’ve shared about the terrible nausea I dealt with in the first trimester (unlike any of my other pregnancies), and I also dealt with a crazy abscess that developed on my breast in the earlier part of my 3rd trimester. Add on top of that turning 30 and no longer being in my 20’s, and you can get the picture that this pregnancy has felt quite a bit different :).

But it’s also felt incredibly exciting for several reasons. We waited a little longer for this pregnancy than we did with our first two boys. With the big transition out of the wedding industry I made last year and so many moving pieces in our lives, we just needed the extra time. So when it happened, it was such a crazy sweet blessing and one we were ready to welcome with open hands. And other than the obstacles above I’ve faced in experiencing pregnancy for the 3rd time, it’s actually been delightful to live the expectancy of another baby. In some ways, I’d compare the level of excitement to a bit like the first (except that I have six years of mommy-ing experience behind me this time!).

*Cyrus as a 3 year-old has been so precious. Love seeing more and more of his personality coming to life <3.*

One benefit of quarantine the last month and a half is that it gave us time and motivation to begin nesting. I had so much joy in bringing together a nursery for this baby and updating gear/items that just didn’t last the 6 years since our first baby and baby shower. What was so much fun for me this time was that I had a much greater sense of what I really wanted and what would be truly significant for me personally in caring for a new baby (on your first one, you’re just guessing and going off of recommendations from others). I was so excited about buying a few core pieces I really wanted that it finally gave me the peace I needed to do the bittersweet task of clearing out some of my camera gear that I’ve been holding onto but knew I just didn’t need anymore. I was able to sell various things (much of went to friends/acquaintances which made the separation that much better knowing it was going to good hands and for good purposes!).

*The boys are getting SO excited to meet their little brother!*

For fun, I wanted to share some of the things+resources that have served me well this pregnancy. If you’re expecting or a new mom, hopefully, something on this list will help fill a need you find for yourself, too. Either way, it’s been a fun task for me to piece together and continue in the excitement of the anticipation of our newest baby boy set to arrive in a few weeks (I’m 37 weeks in just a few days!). 🙂

THE LIST

1. Design Dua Moses Basket

I have always used a Moses Basket beside my bed for my babies first few months. I find it comforting to have them sleep right next to me when they’re so little and for those frequent nighttime nursing sessions. I had a Moses basket and stand for the first two boys and my basket just didn’t stand the test of time for this third round. I came upon Design Dua and loved not only their beautiful baskets, but also that they are a socially conscious company and create their stunning products in Africa. I quickly found some gear to sell so that I could invest in this higher-quality setup that I know will retain great resale value. It’s probably the most beautiful baby item I’ve bought this time around, and just seeing it as I pass the nursery every day gives me so much joy. I can’t wait to put my baby to sleep in it :). I bought this basket with the stand+moses pod bundle (I’ve never had a Moses pod, very excited to see how it comes in handy this time!).

2. Blanqi Maternity Leggings

I bought these maternity leggings from a Facebook Black Friday ad and have pretty much lived in them ever since! My first pair developed a small hole after a few weeks (it was honestly probably my fault, I’m sure I accidentally snagged it while pulling them up) but I wrote in to see if there was anything they could do because I knew that hole was only going to grow and they replaced them quickly with no fee–amazing customer service. My second pair has held up beautifully and I’m so tempted to buy their postpartum version now as well. Highly recommend. Plus, looks like they’re 30% off right now as well (not as great as the black Friday deal, but I still say their worth every dollar for a comfortable maternity legging that offers support and grows comfortably with you!). UPDATE: Just realized I have this code to share as well! $20 off our first order. Not sure if it can be combined with the 30% off, but worth a shot for an amazing deal!

3. Motherlove Nipple Cream

Everyone knows a good nipple cream is essential for breastfeeding moms and this is hands down my favorite! I tried a few different brands my first time around, and this one performed 110% better. I always felt like Lasonil cream (a common one that comes in a lot of sample bags) was a tacky consistency that just sat on my nipple and never actually blended into my skin. Motherlove is the softest texture and not only does it offer soothing comfort, I feel like it does the important work of actually healing my nipple between feedings. I love it so much that I usually buy it for every new mom friend. If you breastfeed, definitely try this cream.

4. Ilia Makeup

Not explicitly pregnancy-related, but for my birthday this year I invested in this super clean makeup brand. I have noticed a huge shift in my skin the last two years, and especially this pregnancy (hello, melasma!). I thought it was a great opportunity to look into higher quality products that are going to help my skin stay healthy for the longterm, plus I’ve been learning a lot about using cleaner products as a whole as of late (more on this in a minute). So far I’ve really enjoyed it, and especially the SPF skin tint (I wish I had started wearing SPF sooner in this pregnancy, I just had never gotten such bad melasma spotting in my previous pregnancies to know. Definitely recommend wearing SPF to other pregnant mamas to protect your sensitive skin). Plus, this company’s customer service is also top-notch (a HUGE win for me with any brand), so I love sharing about them. I was scared to order makeup online, but they have a very helpful guide to help you select the proper match and if you get it wrong (I did) you can return/exchange at no cost. Fair warning though, it took about 2 weeks to ship to me, I think due to COVID-related delays.

5. Cozys

This is a local company (SO happy to share about anything made in my own community right now!) that makes such soft baby clothes. My friend gifted me with one of the PJ sets and I loved it so much I had to buy one for my sister’s new baby as well. Nothing like a sweet baby wrapped in a super soft outfit :).

6. Christian Healthcare Ministries

  • This might sound like an odd one to make my list, but I have been so impressed by the process of having a baby with CHM that I definitely want to share in case anyone else is out there as a business owner without access to typical health insurance. We have always used a healthcare sharing program for our healthcare (other than when I worked at Starbucks when we were early married) and this one has served us so well. On their highest teir of membership, they cover 100% of maternity costs. We used a different program for our last two boys so I was nervous to see how this one would pan out for us, but it has truly been really amazing. I had to ask for pre-payment plans from both my OB and my hospital upfront and then submit those bills to the share program. Both payments (come in the form of checks made out to you, and then you pay the medical facilities) came months before they were due and as of now we are fully paid for/setup at my OB and the hospital and ready to have this babe. I was nervous about the additional issue with the breast abscess when it came up, but I have to say I’m shocked at how much more affordable healthcare can be when you request cash pay (which I did for all of those appointments and will be issued a refund/check from CHM in the next few months. Sometimes I request payment plans from the facilities for the time being while I wait for the refund to come, but this worked out for us this time). We pay $516/month for our entire family and they promise to refund any medical costs that exceed $500 per incident.
  • Lastly, a shameless plug on this one, but they have a referral program and if any new members signup and list you as the referral, they will give you a month free! If you check it out, I would be so grateful if you would list our membership number (410274).
  • ***This program is for individuals/families who identify with the Christian faith. I’m sure there are other really helpful share programs out there if this doesn’t fit you. Definitely worth some research!

7. Diaper Subscriptions

I did a diaper subscription off-and-on with my first babe (Achilles) and with the shortages happening in stores as of late, it brought the service to mind again. There are so many options now ( 6 years later!) it was fun to see what’s out there. I knew I wanted a “cleaner” diaper company (see next point :)), and here are the two I landed on based on price and product. I tried the Dyper trial $10 kit so I could get a taste of their product and really liked what came in the mail! Their wipes are incredibly soft, and this diaper is probably way cleaner than a lot of what’s out there. BUT, the newborn size looks huge. I was warned about this by friends who recommended the brand on facebook. They are based in AZ which I think is awesome, and their customer service sounds amazing, so I think I’ll probably come back around and try out this company again later. For now, I went ahead and ordered a bundle with Hello Bello to get a more appropriately sized newborn diaper (and because I’m a total sucker for cute prints!). A friend shared their referral code with me which made my first bundle a fantastic deal (from what I calculated, about what Costco diapers + wipes would cost me). You’re welcome to use mine to get your own discount.

8. The Vaccine Friendly Plan by Doctor Paul Thomas

I bought this book a month ago and I am about 1/4 through it (it’s pretty thick!) and absolutely loving it. As we all know, vaccines are the great debate these days and it can feel overwhelming to engage. Personally, I’ve always elected to do an alternative schedule for my kids+skip a few altogether. This is based on the insight and advice of integrative medical professionals, but I never felt fully equipped in my own knowledge to understand exactly why I was making these choices. This is where I really appreciate Dr. Paul and this book. He is a Medical Doctor who states his agenda as wanting to empower parents to make the best decisions for their kids by giving them the information/research instead of having to blindly rely on the varying opinions of doctors. With this said, he does take a conservative approach on vaccines (while not dismissing their value), and offers his own take on an alternative schedule. But where I appreciate this book even more, is that he talks about the bigger picture, sharing about the danger of toxicity and practical, everyday choices you can make in your lifestyle to decrease it for your family (and even speaks specifically to pregnancy). It’s taught me a lot and made me feel far more confident about the choices concerning overall health that I want to make for my family moving forward.

9. Ritual Multivitamin

The search for a new prenatal vitamin came after reading Dr. Paul’s book above and realizing my current Walmart brand absolutely had some of the negative ingredients he recommends staying away from during pregnancy. I found Ritual Vitamins and honestly was swept up in their awesome branding/product presentation :). But thankfully their ingredient list is equally impressive, so I’ve really enjoyed giving these a try! Would have been awesome to discover them earlier in my pregnancy, but I thought it was still worth it for my final month (and maybe I’ll continue with their regular multivitamin when my pregnancy finishes as well). The best part about these vitamins is that they have such a delightful lemon flavor when you pop them in your mouth before washing them down with water. I imagine that really would have helped while in my first trimester and feeling very nauseous. I wish I had this discount when I placed my order, so making sure to share it with you! You can get $15 off your first order by using this link (making the price just $20–that’s pretty great!).

10. Doona Car Seat + Stroller in 1

Ending on a good one! 🙂 The Doona car seat quickly made it on my must-have list early on in my pregnancy. With two kids 3 and 6 who are great walkers, I didn’t need (nor have I have wanted) a double-stroller to haul kids around. I was introduced to this car seat and immediately started fantasizing about how easy it would make school drop-offs and running errands to being able to get the baby in-and-out of the car without having to take them out of the car seat. I’m literally so excited about this, ha.

There are lots of places to buy this product, but I bought mine from Albee Baby because they offer a rewards program. Buying the carseat earned me $99 in rewards that I turned around and used on an adorable baby blanket and bath towel as well as a few other things, which was awesome! They shipped super fast as well. Highly recommend (plus, it looks like they are offering some colors of this car seat for $100 off this weekend–wish I had that when I purchased!).

If you’re expecting or just had a baby, congrats! Motherhood is such a gift, isn’t it?! I hope something on this list was helpful to you. I’d also love to hear your top pick items if you want to take the time to comment below. Would love to hear!

Xoxo,

Charity

My Top 10 Maternity and Baby Picks

5/10/20

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