Harper: Three Weeks

Our baby girl is three weeks old! Where is the time going?! In just a little over a week, we'll have a one month old on our hands! It's unbelievable and a bit heartbreaking :( 

 Weight: The county's post-partum nurse came by on Tuesday for a home visit. While at the house checking up on Harper and myself, she weighed little Harper doodle. We discovered Harper isn't quite so little anymore. Our little girl had gained another 12 ounces in one week! She weighed in at 8 pounds and 14 ounces! Holy cow! She's going to be a whopper before I know it and it makes me so sad. I wish she would stay this tiny forever. 

Health: Other than continuing on her Keflex for her hydronephrosis, Harper is healthy and happy as can be!

Sleep: Over the last week, we've been working on getting Harper's schedule switched. Up until this point, she had a tendency to want to stay awake from about 11pm-3am and play. So this week, we worked and worked to get her to stay up in the evenings and sleep during the night. We finally discovered that if we bathed her sometime around 5 or 6 pm, she'd stay up most of the evening and snooze soundly during the night. It's still a work in progress but we've seen a big difference and have been able to get more sleep so I'm definitely not complaining!

Clothes: Harper is still wearing newborn clothes. However, we've began adding in some 0-3 months outfits into her wardrobe to offer a little more variety. On top of that, Harper has a whole rack of 0-3 month outfits and in order for her to wear them all, we better start putting them on her soon even if they are a little bit big!

Visitors: We ventured out with Harper a lot this past week so it really cut down on our visitors. On Tuesday, a couple from Kevin's church brought us dinner and spent the evening with us. But other than that, for the most part, only our close family came by this week such as Kevin's grandparents, our parents and siblings, and my best friend Alyson. 

Baby Gear Love:  We're still using Harper's Dr. Brown bottles, the Aden + Anais burpy bibs and blankets, and the swing each day. New to the list this week are nail files. Harper's nails were starting to get really long and I was afraid of her scratching herself. Since I'm a bit nervous about cutting her nails this early with clippers, I began using nail files that were included in our baby healthcare kit. They work great on her paper thin nails and I don't have to worry about cutting her little finger! 

Crying: Harper is still only crying if she's hungry. Even then, she tends to fuss more than she cries. She usually will start grunting and wiggling around for a few minutes before the crying starts. So once we start seeing her little hands and feet moving, we get to moving ourselves in order to prevent the high pitched squeals that her little lungs can produce!

Likes: Harper is still loving her swing, bath time, and car rides. Our little girl loves to be on the move! This week she's also come to love falling asleep on our chests. Up until this week, she'd lay on our chests for a few minutes but then would roll herself over until she could lay on her side. But this week, she's finally started being content on our chests and it makes for some happy parents since we love snuggling with our baby girl (:

Milestones: Harper and I ventured out for more than just a short ten minute car ride. Over Memorial Day weekend, Kevin had to work so the two of us made our way to spend the weekend with my family at our home-away-from-home at Belews Creek. I was worried about taking Harper on the 45 minute car ride by myself but she did amazing. Also this week, Harper spent her first full day away from her mommy. I went back to work Wednesday for the day to complete cumulative folders, student portfolios, and to pack up my classroom for the summer. My intention was to only work half a day but I had so much to do that I sort of lost track of time. But thankfully, she was perfectly content with being with her daddy for the day and didn't miss me at all!

Postpartum: I'm feeling amazing and finally feel like I actually know what I'm doing where motherhood is concerned. I'm also happy to report that when the postpartum nurse came on Tuesday, I had to complete a postpartum depression survey and passed it with flying colors. The survey revealed that I had NO signs of postpartum depression! 

Snapshots from the Week


Harper's Birth Story: Part Three

Sure enough, by 9:20pm, I could start to feel the urge to push. Unfortunately, the nurse and doctor weren't in the room at the time the urge hit. So after a few minutes of feeling the pressure build, I told my sister to call the nurses' station and have them get the nurse asap. I knew that I couldn't hold off from pushing much longer.

Thankfully, she realized the urgency and just a few short moments later she appeared and told me to go ahead and push whenever I felt the urge. So Kevin took his place on my right and my sister took her place on the left. Alyson was in the room too but she wandered around and took pictures for us.

At 9:25, I started pushing! 

In between pushing, we watched a little Duck Dynasty, a show I've never watched before in my life but sure made the time pass. 

Little did I know, I'd have to push for quite a while since Harper was still face up. Due to her positioning, Harper was having a hard time dropping into the birth canal. It took almost an hour and a half to get her head to crown. But once the nurse and doctor saw that head full of dark hair, I pushed for about ten more minutes and out she came at 11:14pm.

As soon as she was laid on my chest, the tears began to fall. I couldn't believe she was finally here and in my arms. Hearing her cry for the first time was the sweetest sound I think I'd ever heard in my whole life. 

Our first photo as a family of three <3 nbsp="" p="">

After we had an hour of skin-to-skin time, the nurse took her from me and did her measurements.

After her measurements, everyone finally got to get their hands on her.. including her Daddy!

& her grandparents and great-grandma!

I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that just like us, everyone fell in love with her that very night<3 nbsp="" p="">


Harper's Birth Story: Part Two

We arrived at the hospital at 7:15pm. We filled out the necessary paperwork and sat in the waiting room of maternity admissions while the nurses prepared our labor and delivery room. As we were waiting, a fellow teacher that I went through NCCAT with came in. Little did I know she was expecting her third child and was coming in to be induced that evening as well. We sat and chatted for a while until they called us to head on down to our room. It just so happened that Katie and her husband were going to be placed in the room next door to us so we all walked down to our rooms together. Katie and I chatted some more while our husbands became more aquainted.

Once in our room, we got settled in and I changed into a hospital gown. Around 8:00pm, two nurses came in. One went on and administered my IV and the other began asking me questions about my health history. Around 8:30 they gave me my first dosage of Cytotec. Because I wasn't allowed to get up and walk around for thirty minutes to an hour after it was administered, Kevin and I decided to curl up and watch a movie. We broke out my laptop and popped in Guilt Trip. About halfway through we were both so tired that we turned it off and tried to get some sleep.

Around midnight, the nurse came in and told me that she couldn't give me my next dose of Cytotec because my contractions were too close together. She told me to get some rest and she'd monitor my contractions and if they evened out, she'd come back. Sure enough, around 2am, she came in and quickly administered another dose of Cytotec. A short time after administering it, my doctor came in to check on me. She checked my cervix and I was still only about 1-2 cm dialated, only about 60% effaced, and Harper was still at a -3 station.

By 8am the next morning, the doctor determined the Cytotec hadn't done it's job. My cervix hadn't softened any more than it had over the last three weeks so she made the call to begin my Pitocin. For the next eight hours, the nurse would come in every thirty minutes or so to up my dosage of Pitocin.

Over that eight hour period, my sister and my best friend showed up to keep us some company. Alyson arrived around 8am and Misty arrived around noon. Kevin's parent's also came to the hospital but unfortunately, they had to wait in the waiting room as only three people could be in the labor and delivery room with me.

By 4pm, the doctor came in to check my cervix again. I knew before she ever checked me that I couldn't be dialated very far because I wasn't in a lot of pain. Sure enough, I was only about 4cm dilated and was having contractions every 1-3 minutes that were lasting about 45 seconds to a minute each. By that point I was over halfway to the maximum dosage of Pitocin. The nurse asked if I wanted to go on and get an epidural. I told her I wasn't in any pain but she informed me if I was going to get one, I might as well get it early so I didn't have to experience any pain. Thinking she was probably right, I decided to go on and get it.

About 20 minutes later, the anesthesiologist came in to administer my epidural. He had me sit on the side of the bed and scoot as far back as I could. I then had to bend over as far as I could and make my back arch... that was easier said then done with a pregnant belly. To make it easier, Kevin stood in front of me and I had to hold his waist. About the time the doctor stuck the needle in my back, I heard Kevin ask the nurse if she could hold me. Then came a lot of commotion. The nurse was telling Kevin to sit down and the anesthesiologist was saying "he's too big to fall; get him on the ground". Of course, I couldn't see what was going on because I wasn't allowed to move. After they finished, I sat up to see Kevin laying on the hospital floor. Poor thing about passed out from the smell of the iodine that they had rubbed all over my back. It was quite funny. Thankfully the kind nurse snapped a picture for me (:

The epidural took effect pretty quickly. Immediately, I felt nothing on my right side. It took about ten minutes for it to kick in on my right. Once it had spread all over, it was the strangest feeling. I could wiggle my toes but I couldn't move my legs. My legs also felt like they were suddenly huge. I even had to peak under the covers to make sure they hadn't expanded. Apparently. it was just a brief side effect and the feeling went away a short time after.

When the doctor came in around 6pm, we discovered that the epidural had sped up my labor. By that point I was about 6cm dialated. In order to help my labor go even faster, the doctor decided to go on and break my water. After breaking my water, she inserted a monitor on Harper's head to get a more accurate reading on her heart rate.

Around 7pm, the nurse came in and asked me to roll over. Apparently, Harper wasn't responding well to me being on my right side. Her heart rate was dropping. After rolling to my left, with help from the nurse since I couldn't move my legs, Harper's heart rate stabilized.

By 8pm, I was 9cm dialated and we knew we'd be having a baby that night. The only issue was that Harper was face up and she needed to be face down. In hopes of getting her to flip over, the nurse and doctor had me flip over to lie on my stomach. Their hope was that due to the pressure of my weight on her, she'd try to turn away.

By 9pm, I was 9.5 cm dialated and 95% effaced. The nurse told me to give it 20 minutes and then we'd be ready to push. I looked at my sister, best friend, and hubby and we all knew this was going to be it...

Part Three to Come Soon...


Harper's Birth Story: Part One

I'm finally getting around to posting Harper's birth story. Life with a newborn doesn't leave a lot of extra time for me to blog so it's taken me almost three weeks to find the time to sit down and put my thoughts on the computer screen. But with that said, while Harper naps, I decided to sit down and write her story before I forgot some of the details. 

As I mentioned in my 40 week bump date post, we were scheduled to be induced the night of May 7th, Harper's official due date. That Tuesday, Kevin was forced to work until noon. As he worked, I spent the morning packing the last of our things, cleaning up the house, and spending time with our little fur baby. Kevin arrived home from work with lunch from Arby's around 12:30. After eating, we loaded up the car, gave the dog a hug and kiss, and headed to Greensboro for our last doctor's appointment.

At our doctor's appointment, my doctor checked my cervix and I still hadn't made anymore progress. I was dialated somewhere between a 1 & 2, was about 50% effaced, and Harper was still at a -3 station. Having made no process, my doctor informed us that instead of giving me Cervadil to start the induction process, she was going to give me Cytotec starting that night. 

When we left the doctor's office, we had a few hours to spare so we hit up Target and Babies R Us to purchase some last minute items for Harper doodle. After our little shopping adventure, we headed to catch an early dinner at J & S, a local cafeteria. I had been told to eat something light because we didn't know how early I'd go into labor so I stuck to some cream potatoes, green beans, and corn bread. Whereas, Kevin stuck to baked spaghetti, green beans, a giant slice of chocolate cake, and some bread. I was rather jealous but he did share a few bites of his cake so I decided not to stab him with my fork as we sat there :P 

It was at dinner that the reality that we'd be welcoming a child into our lives within 24 hours actually hit me. As Kevin and I sat at the dinner table talking about Harper, I started to get choked up. I started questioning whether or not I was going to be able to have her. All of the questions of "what if" began to play through my mind. I tried to play it cool and choke back the tears. As we got ready to leave, I excused myself to the bathroom, and had a mini crying session in the bathroom stall. Not wanting Kevin to know, I got myself together and headed back out to meet him at the car. Of course, he could see through my facade and he did a great job of encouraging me and reminding me that women had babies all the time so I'd make it just fine. His pep talk helped a little bit but I was still a bit nervous and the only person I could think of to calm my nerves was my best friend... who just so happens to live five minutes from the restaurant. So since we had an hour and a half to kill before we had to be at the hospital, I decided to swing by and see her. 

Thankfully Alyson was home. She and I sat and talked in the living room for an hour while Kevin napped in her upstairs guest room. I told Alyson of my fears and she did a great job of encouraging me as well. She told me stories of her days working in the labor and delivery room at our local hospital and all of the stories had me laughing. Alyson always knows just what to say. After our chat, I felt much more relaxed and confident for what was to come.

So we took one last photo as a family of two and then headed out the door to the hospital...

 Part Two to Come


Harper: Two Weeks

I cannot believe this precious little girl is two weeks old?! Where have the last fourteen days gone :(

Weight: Harper had her two week check up yesterday and she weighed in at 8 pounds and 2 ounces. She gained 12 ounces in 9 days! Whoa! We're going to have a chunky monkey on our hands (: 

Medical Issues: She's still taking Keflex for her hydronephrosis. She's not a big fan of the medicine and after tasting it myself, I can see why. But hopefully after her four week check up, she'll get the a-okay to come off of it.  We aren't as concerned about the issue now as she pees all the time so it doesn't appear that she is retaining any fluid in her bladder or kidneys. Praise the Lord!

Sleep: Harper's sleep schedule is pretty much the same as it was when she was in the womb. She pretty much naps all day and decides its time to stay up and play around 10pm. Poor thing has her days and nights confused. She tends to sleep for three to four hour stretches throughout the day. Usually during the later part of the morning, around 9 or 10ish, she likes to stay up for about an hour and play. Then she likes to stay up and play from about 11pm-2am. She's our little night owl!

Clothes: Harper is still wearing her newborn clothes. It's amazing how some of her newborn clothes swallow her whole and some are starting to get snug. But since Harper has a limited number of newborn clothing items and the hubs made the comment that she was always wearing the same outfits, I have started putting a few 0-3 month outfits on her. It's quite funny because they swallow her whole! 

Visitors: Harper had quite a bit of visitors this week. The funny thing is that they all tend to show up on the same day... which is fine with this mama. It just messes up my naptime. But that's okay, we'll take the company. This week the following people visited us: Emily (my college roommate); Papa Robert & Elizabeth (Kevin's grandpa and step grandmother); Uncle Kenny (Kevin's uncle); The Loye's (Kevin's best friend and his family (Harper's future in-laws...haha)); Auntie Brooke & Uncle Bryan (Kevin's siblings); Aunt Misty, Uncle Brandon, and Jacob (my sister and her family); Olivia & Miriam (one of my lifelong best friends and her mom).

Baby Gear Love:  We're still loving the Aden + Anais swaddle blankets, the Dr. Brown's bottles, and Harper's Fisher Price Snugabunny swing. We use each of these products on a daily basis and I'd highly recommend them to all of the new mamas out there. A few new products we've come to love this week are the Aden + Anais burpy bibs and the Carseat Canopy covers. The Aden + Anais burpy bibs are super large and work great as both a bib and a burp cloth. I love that they are large enough that they wrap around the baby. One of Harper's biggest problems is that when she drinks from a bottle, it dribbles down her chin and runs down to her back. The Aden + Anais burpy bib prevents this. I also like that as soon as she's done eating, I can take it off, toss it on my shoulder, and use it as a burp cloth. It's huge and definitely keeps you well covered. And just like the Aden + Anais swaddle blankets, the fabric is super soft and super absorbent. As for the Carseat Canopy cover, I am super impressed with it. Shortly before Harper was born, I was given a coupon for a free carseat canopy cover from carseatcanopy.com. The only cost was the $12 shipping charge. I was skeptical of how nice this product would be since it was free but I decided at the last minute to try it out. Thank goodness I did. I can't get over the quality of it. It's definitely made very well and it's worked great in protecting Harper from the rain that we've had this week as we've taken her in and out of the car. It also works great to shield her from unwanted attention.. i.e. strangers wanting to touch her in public! If you don't already have one, there are a ton of coupon codes out there for a free one. So google it and go get one! I promise you won't regret it!

Crying: Harper is such a happy baby. I'm so thankful that as of right now, she isn't a crier. The only time she cries is if she's hungry and you aren't getting food to her fast enough. She's definitely my child :P 

Likes: Harper has become fascinated with lights. She can sit and stare at a light for a solid five minutes which is a lot for a little person like her. She also still loves her bath time. I'm pretty sure it's her favorite part of the day. She just completely relaxes when we put her in her little tub and she just coos as we bathe her. 

Milestones:Harper experienced some more firsts this week! This past Sunday I took her to church for the first time. Unfortunately her daddy had to work so he couldn't come. But we survived without his help. Speaking of which, Harper and I also ventured out on our own for pretty much a whole day last Friday. Harper went to my work and met my third grade kiddos. Then we went and met Daddy at work for the first time. Another important milestone to add is that Harper made her big debut this week at the softball field. She did great at her daddy and uncle Bryan's softball game. She was quite a hit among their teammates. 

Postpartum: I'm doing great and feel much more like myself this week. I've got more energy now and my back is hurting less and less. The only trouble I have now is getting dressed. It's amazing to me how dressing postpartum is far more difficult than it was to dress when I was pregnant. How strange is that?! I see a shopping trip in my near future! 


Happy Two Years

Two years ago to the date, I walked down the aisle of my church and said "I do" to my very best friend, biggest supporter, and the love of my life. 

I can still remember our wedding day like it just happened. I remember seeing Kevin's face with tears streaming down it as I walked towards him down the aisle. I remember my hand in his as we vowed to spend forever together no matter what life threw our way. And I'll never forget my cousin shouting "Get you some, Sara" as we shared our first kiss as husband and wife. It definitely stirred up quite a few laughs among our wedding guests. 

A lot has happened over the past two years; some things good, some things not so good. We've had our share of disagreements and our share of good times and great fun. I quit the job I'd worked at for seven years and started a new job that was my life's calling; we've done work to our house to make it more of a home;  we've purchased a new car; we've traveled to different places; tried lots of new things; made a ton of new memories; welcomed new friends and family into our lives; and we've welcomed a new blessing into our lives... our little girl. 

If you'd asked me the day I said "I do" what life would be like for us in two years, I definitely would have told you I couldn't imagine our life being any better than it was that day. But now two years later, I'd tell you I didn't have a clue how much sweeter our life could get. 

I can't wait to see what God has in store for us over the next two years (: 
I can't even imagine how much better our life is going to get!


Harper: One Week

Hello friends (: I just wanted to pop in and give you an update on our baby girl! She is absolutely perfect and we are so in love. Hopefully now that things are settling down and we're getting the hang of the whole parenthood thing, I'll be back to blogging more often. In the meantime, let me share Harper's first week with you lovely ladies!

Weight: Harper weighed 7 pounds and 12 ounces when she was born. The day we left the hospital Harper weighed 7 pounds and 5 ounces. We took her to the pediatrician on Monday for her one week check up and she weighed in at 7 pounds and 6 ounces.  I was a bit upset that she hadn't gained but an ounce over a three day period but her doctor assured us that she was perfectly healthy and if she weighed much more than that, he'd be concerned. Apparently, a newborn shouldn't regain their birth weight until they are two to three weeks old.  Who knew?!

Medical Issues: Harper is still being monitored for her hydronephrosis. Before leaving the hospital, the pediatricians did an ultrasound on her kidneys and bladder to compare it to another ultrasound she'll have at four weeks of age. In the meantime, she's been placed on Keflex to help prevent her from getting any infections. But to our relief, Harper pees a ton so it appears that her kidneys and bladder might just be correcting themselves! Woot woot! Also, when we left the hospital, Harper had a touch of jaundice. So on Sunday and on Tuesday, we had to take her to our local hospital and have her heel pricked to check her jaundice levels to make sure they were maintaining their current level and/or going down. Praise be to God on Tuesday, her tests came back great and she was given the all clear to have no further testing. 

Sleep: Harper slept like a champ while we were in the hospital. In fact, she slept from 10pm-5am and when we'd tried to wake her to nurse, it just didn't happen. When we came home, she started waking during the night to eat. When we first came home, she pretty much was sleeping all day and night and waking every 3-4 hours to eat and then would fall right back to sleep. Here in the last few days she's still been sleeping in 3-4 hour stretches but she likes to stay awake for an hour or two after her afternoon feeding and her early morning feeding.  And by early morning feeding, I mean from 12-2am. She is just as alert and happy as can be; whereas Mommy and Daddy are exhausted but we'll still take all the early morning snuggles and laughs we can with our little girl because we know it won't be like this for long. 

Clothes: Harper is wearing all newborn clothes with the exception of her onesies which she sleeps in at night. I remember thinking we wouldn't need many newborn clothes before she was born because of her predicted birth weight. However, I was wrong and so were the doctors! Harper has very few newborn outfits and I feel like I'm doing laundry every few days so she has something to wear. 

Visitors: We have been so blessed with an abundance of visitors. Harper has met both sets of her grandparents, her great grandparents, her aunts and uncles, her great aunts and uncles, and a variety of friends, family, and cousins.  Everyone is so taken with her and from the snuggling she does with each and every one of them, I'm pretty sure she's taken with them too!

Baby Gear Love:  One: We LOVE the Aden + Anais swaddle blankets. Unfortunately, Harper doesn't particularly care for being swaddled or wrapped in a blanket, so these work perfect for covering her up. They're lightweight and she doesn't seem to mind them laying on her like she does heavier blankets. They're also large enough that they're perfect for tossing over her carseat when we're out and about in public. Two:  I wouldn't trade in my Dr. Brown bottles for the world! Harper had a difficult time breastfeeding so we had to start supplementing with formula. At first we used some regular bottles that we were given but we noticed Harper was spitting up a lot with them. I switched over to using Dr. Brown's bottles and they've made a huge difference. She still spits up occasionally but it isn't nearly as bad as it was before. Three: We couldn't survive without her Fisher-Price Snugabunny Swing. She loves to just lay in it and watch the bird mobile go round and round. She pretty much spends her whole day napping in it while Mommy gets some stuff done around the house. 

Crying: I'm hoping I don't regret saying this but Harper is not a crier. She only gets fussy for one of two things. One being she's hungry; two being her feet are covered up and she can't move them.

Likes: Harper loves her bath time. She could just soak in her little tub for half an hour and her little heart is perfectly content. I'm pretty sure she's going to be a water baby like her Mommy and Daddy. She also loves to be on the move which fits our lifestyle perfectly since we're always on the go. 

Milestones: There are so many new milestones that we've experienced in Harper's first week of life. She's experienced her first bath, first car ride, first night at home, first trip to both sets of her grandparent's houses, first trip out in public, and so many others. Kevin and I have loved every minute of watching her take in the world through her eyes. 

Postpartum: I'm doing great! My postpartum recovery has been much easier than I expected. I'm not very sore or overly tired. I've only had two issues since I've came home. Earlier this week I had some trouble with my stitches bothering me but after spending a day taking it easy on the couch, the pain went away. The second issue I've had is every now and then my back will start bothering me. Apparently it's a side effect of the epidural I received. Little did I know the medicine can linger in your body and cause back pains for a month or so after delivery. The first few days it was pretty rough and I couldn't get up and down without Kevin helping me; however, I didn't have any problem with it once I got to moving around. Now, almost a week later, my back isn't bothering me too much. I just pop a couple ibuprofen if it feels like it's going to start hurting and then I'm good for about six hours. It's amazing what medicine can do!


She's here

Harper Londyn Holt arrived on Wednesday, May 8th at 11:14pm. She weighed 7 pounds & 12 ounces & was 20.5 inches long. She's absolutely beautiful & we're so smitten & in love! 


My Advice on Maternity Style

A few weeks ago, Jessica over at The Newly posted her thoughts on maternity clothes. I loved her post so much I decided to share my experiences and thoughts as well.

Tip #1: Don't Buy Maternity Clothes Until You Have To
Like Jessica suggested, don't buy maternity clothes until you have to. If you're like me, you probably didn't want to purchase maternity clothes. But then again, you may be one of those mamas that are so excited about the prospect of showing off that mini-bump that you're jumping at the seams to wear them. If that's the case, keep in mind that the size of your belly at week 16 is not going to be the size of your belly at week 36! Trust me on this. When I was around 20 weeks pregnant, I went to Target and they were having a massive clearance sale on maternity clothes. I ended up purchasing several dresses, skirts, and shirts for next to nothing and decided to put them up for when I really needed them. The problem was, when I decided my belly was big enough to wear them, the clothes no longer fit. I'd made the mistake of buying maternity clothes to fit at the time that I'd tried them on. I hadn't considered how big my belly would end up getting towards the end of my pregnancy. In the end, I had to return all of my great buys and spend twice as much on new maternity clothes so that I could get some that fit.

Tip #2: Regular Clothes Still Work For Preggo Mamas
One of the reasons I hated the idea of wearing maternity clothes is because they all look the same. They all are bland and no matter how cute the designers try to make them, they just don't compare to all the adorable items that are found in regular clothing stores. But the wonderful thing about the styles today are that most of them work great for preggo baby mamas and you don't have to sacrifice being cute just because you're pregnant. Here's a few tips that I discovered throughout my pregnancy.

  • Tank Tops: Tank tops are life savers during pregnancy. You can wear them under you pre-preggo shirts and as they get shorter, no one notices since you have a layered look. For me, I wear a tank top almost everyday. So when I got pregnant, I knew I was going to need to invest in some new ones. However, I wasn't about to spend $20 for a maternity tank top. So I went to Forever 21 and purchased tank tops in every color in one to two sizes up. They were only $4 a piece and they worked great throughout my pregnancy. 
  • Long Tees/ Tunics: Longer T-shirts and tunic style tops are really big right now. Throughout my pregnancy, I pretty much lived in these. I purchased quite a few tunic style tops from Old Navy and Walmart for less than $10 each. I also purchased tee shirts in every color from Walmart for $6 a piece and they worked great to dress up or down. I bought them each in a size up and they worked perfect with my growing belly because of the stretchy cotton and longer length. 
  • Button Down Shirts & Cardigans: These work great to create layering looks! You can actually buy them in your normal size and wear them open with tank tops. They're also super easy to accessorize. 
  • Jeans:  Instead of spending a fortune on maternity jeans, I went to American Eagle and purchased some low-rise jeans in a size larger than I normally wear. I was able to wear them throughout my pregnancy. By buying a size larger, it gave me room for those extra pounds that seemed to go to my thighs and allowed room for my hips to expand in preparation for childbirth. The low cut allowed my belly to fit over the buttons so they weren't tight. 
  • Leggings: Leggings are amazing! They're comfortable, stretchy, and cheap. Just go up a size and there isn't a need to purchase maternity ones. 
  • Maxi Dresses: Maxi dresses are perfect for pregnancy. With the exception of one maternity maxi dress, all of the maxi dresses I purchased while pregnant were non-maternity dresses. Maxi dresses all stretch and have so much fabric that they cover your baby bump perfectly. Better yet, you can still wear them after baby arrives and no one notices the difference! 
  • Maxi Skirts: Maxi skirts are a huge hit right now and there are so many adorable ones in the stores. Because they have elastic waste bands, they also work great for pregnant mamas. I purchased several to wear during and after pregnancy. Because of the elastic waste band, I purchased the size I'd wear pre-pregnancy and just folded the band over under my belly so that I could wear them while pregnant. No one has ever known the difference. 

Tip #3 When Buying Maternity Clothes, Stick to Basics
I finally broke down and purchased more maternity clothes when I hit the third trimester. However, I had so many pre-preggo clothes that worked that I didn't need to purchase a lot. So I stuck to purchasing the basics so I could wear them next pregnancy too. For me the basics were as follows:
  • Pair of Khakis
  • Pair of Black dress slacks
  • A few solid color tops in neutral colors 
  • Two pairs of dark maternity jeans (one skinny leg pair and boot cut style)

Tip #4 You'll Need Maternity Shoes... Not Just Maternity Clothes
No one bothered to tell me that when you're pregnant you'll need to invest in maternity shoes as well as maternity clothes. The concept was completely foreign to me until I woke up one morning and had no shoes to wear because my feet were so swollen. Trust me, it'll happen. It may happen around 20 weeks it may happen at the end of your pregnancy around 36 weeks, but you will wake up one day and have no shoes to wear.  My suggestion is to hit up Target. They have cute shoes and they're relatively cheap. I purchased flats from Target in neutral colors in a size up and got them in a wide. It did the trick until it got warm enough that I could wear sandals. Thankfully, sandals work great for swollen feet because you can adjust the straps and make them different widths. So keep that in mind!

Tip #5 Accessorize
The best way to get the most bang for your buck when buying maternity clothes is to buy neutral items and stock up on a ton of accessories. Accessories are so inexpensive and you can really dress up an outfit or dress it down with them. I can't tell you how many scarfs, chunky necklaces, and bracelets I purchased while pregnant. I purchased a variety or prints, patterns, and colors of accessories so that I could mix and match them with a variety of different outfits. The wonderful thing was that I could wear a scarf with a black shirt one day and wear that same black shirt later in the week with a chunky necklace and no one had an idea it was the same shirt. Accessories allow for versatility and aren't just for when you're pregnant so you can get lots of use out of them!


What We're Taking to the Hospital

Over the last week, I've read list after list of things of things to pack for our hospital bags. And let me just say, it can be a bit overwhelming. Have any of you other soon-to-be mama's checked out some of these lists? I mean there are some that are so long and include more items on it than I'd take on a week long vacation! So with that said, after getting frustrated and having no clue what to take, I resorted to the people I should have asked first. I decided to ask my close friends who have given birth to adorable babies in the past year and their list of must haves were much shorter than some of those out there on pinterest and google. So here is what I've ended up with:

For Mommy:
- Robe: I packed a robe for two reasons. One being that I didn't want to have to walk around the hospital trying to get contractions going and showing my rear end to the whole labor and delivery floor. The second reason being that if I didn't feel like wearing pajama bottoms, I could throw on a cami and put this over it so when I stood up I wouldn't be flashing visitors.
- Comfy Pajamas/ Lounge Clothes: I'm not a big pajama person as I usually sleep in athletic clothes. So I packed a pair of loose yoga pants and a nursing cami to wear with them. I figured if I didn't feel up to wearing the pants, I could throw on the robe over the cami as I moved around. I also packed a nursing gown that I purchased from Motherhood but many of my friends suggested sticking to the hospital gown so that I didn't end up ruining my new gown due to those extra "fluids" I'll be losing.
- Nursing Bras: I packed two. Originally I had only intended to include one in my bag but a friend suggested packing two just in case I was in the hospital longer than the traditional stay.
- Pack of Cheap Hanes Briefs: Oh the mesh undies! I know everyone knows about these. Some people like them, some people hate them. Just to be safe, I grabbed a cheap 8-pack of Hanes cotton briefs (yes, granny panties and I got them one size bigger than I normally wear) that I wouldn't mind throwing away if they were ruined. I decided to include them in my bag in case I wasn't a fan of the mesh undies.
- Overnight Pads: Again, I know we've all heard about the massive pads that the hospital gives you post-delivery. Like the mesh undies, some people love them and some people hate them. Just to be on the safe side, I picked up a pack of giant overnight pads to try out if I didn't particularly care for the hospital's pads.
- Nursing Gear: Just in case we have to stay at the hospital longer than planned and my milk were to come in, I threw in a few pairs of nursing pads. I also threw in some lanolin and a nursing cover in case we have visitors when it's time for Harper to eat.
- Cheap Flip Flops: I refuse to walk around the hospital in my bare feet or just socks so I picked up a cheap pair of $1 flip flops from Walmart to wear to walk around in. I also figure they'll be perfect for the shower. The great thing is they're also stretchy so if I get to experience that wonderful post-partum swelling, I know they'll fit!
- Make Up & Toiletries: Every mama I know suggested taking my own make up and toiletries. They all encouraged me to throw on a little make up each day to make me feel more human. So I packed a small make up case with the bare essentials, a travel size package of make up remover wipes, a bottle of shampoo, a travel size bottle of shower gel, a loofa, my toothbrush, toothpaste, and some deodorant.
- Towel: I was told hospital towels stink because they're super thin and not very big so I decided to throw in my own bath towel just in case the towels sucked. After all, I really don't want to use a towel that feels like sand paper after my skin is already sore and dry from delivery.
- Going Home Outfit: I decided to take a maxi skirt, cami, and button down shirt. I figure a skirt would be my best bet just in case I'm sore or end up having to have a c-section. A skirt would be loose and I can wear it higher to avoid rubbing on my stitches.

For Daddy:
- Lounge Clothes: Since Kevin will be lounging around throughout the day, he packed a couple pair of athletic shorts and t-shirts. Not only will they serve as his daily wear but he'll just sleep in them too.
- Going Home Outfit: Kevin packed a nicer outfit to wear on our way home. But nothing too nice. Just a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and polo.
- Toiletries: Kevin threw in his toothbrush, a travel size bottle of shower gel, and a stick of deodorant in with my toiletries. We'll share the toothpaste, shampoo, and loofa sponge.
- Cheap Flip Flops: I made Kevin take his cheap flip flops to wear in the shower as well.

For Harper Doodle:
Thanks to the hospital providing pretty much everything, Harper gets to pack light. I'm not even taking her diaper bag.
- 3 Outfits: The average hospital stay is 2-3 days so I figured Harper would need at least two outfits and I threw in an extra just in case she was to mess up one while in the hospital
- Pacifiers: I'm not going to be one of those mama's that refuses to give her baby a pacifier until their baby is three weeks old. So many of the mamas I know started giving their babies pacifiers in the hospital so I went on and threw in a few types in Harper's bag to try out while we're there.

Other Items:
- Chapstick: I read on tons of lists to include chapstick. I thought it was kind of a crazy idea but after spending four hours in the hospital a couple of weeks ago, I totally saw what the fuss was about. It truly is super dry in the hospital and just in those four hours that I was there, my lips felt like sandpaper. So I've definitely threw in a tube in my bag!
- Boppy Pillow: We've packed Harper's boppy pillow but are going to leave it in the car until we see if we need it. Several people suggested learning to nurse with a pillow; whereas, some suggested learning to nurse with a boppy so I decided to bring ours along just in case plan A doesn't work.
- Personal Pillows: Kevin and I are both taking our own pillows. Afterall, when the nurse at the hospital tells you the only thing you need to bring is your own personal pillow, you better take the warning and do it.
- Camera/ Camera Charger/ Camera Card: Do I even need to explain?
- Cell Phone & Chargers: Definitely don't want to forget those!
- Laptop & Two movies: Since I'm being induced and have to be admitted into the hospital the night before, Kevin and I know we're having a long night ahead of us so we decided to go prepared. So we're taking my laptop and we packed two movies we've been saving to watch for the occasion...Guilt Trip & Parental Guidance.
-Book: For the same reason as the movies, I decided to throw in a book in my bag. I'm sure I'm not going to get any sleep the night before I'm induced so I figured I might as well take something to do. Afterall, there won't be much on tv at 2am.

Well that's it. It seems like a lot but in reality, we were able to get it all in two weekender bags (one for each of us) with the exception of our pillows!

I'll let you know what I ended up using and not using after Harper arrives!


40 Weeks

Pregnancy Highlights

How far along? 40 Weeks!!!

Baby Size: According to my BabyBump app, Harper should be about the size of a small pumpkin. She should be around 20 inches long and weigh approximately 7.5 pounds. Since she's weighing in at more than the typical baby, I'm going to guess she's somewhere around 8-8.5 pounds at this point. 

Total Weight Gain: My weight gain fluctuates but I'm guessing I've gained between 35-40 pounds total this pregnancy. 

Maternity Clothes: Still half and half. At home, I lounge in all of my old t-shirts and Kev's sweatpants. In public, I stick to maternity pants and maternity tops for the most part. But if I'm wearing a dress or skirt, most of them are pre-preggo items. 

Stretch Marks? I'm happy to report that I've successfully made it throughout this pregnancy without any stretch marks even close to my stomach! I only have the few on my left hip! I owe it all to Vaseline Intensive Care Cocoa Butter lotion. It's a miracle worker! I highly recommend it to all of you preggo mama-to-be's!

Sleep: I've been able to sleep amazingly well lately! I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow and I sleep all night. I usually get up around 4:30-5:30 and potty then I climb back in bed and fall right back to sleep. Then I wake sometime around 7. Needless to say, I've been soaking up as much sleep as I possibly can!

Best Moment This Week: Finishing up everything in preparation for Harper's arrival! Everything is done. Now we just need her to get here!

Miss Anything? Regular clothes, cute shoes, and normal size feet/legs/ankles. 

Movement: Harper is constantly moving. But now she moves the most during the day and less and less at night! Hallelujah! Maybe our baby girl has finally gotten herself on a normal schedule...  just in time for her arrival?! I hope so!

Food Cravings: Ice cold drinks, bean and bacon soup, and hot dogs... needless to say, we've been eating at Mayberry's a lot over the last week!

Gender: A Girl {Harper Londyn Holt}

Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks contractions, lower back pain, and some tightening!

Symptoms: I'm still swelling in my legs, ankles, and feet. My acid reflux has gotten worse... guess I jinxed myself when I was bragging on it getting better last week. I've been nesting non-stop! Like seriously, it's gotten out of hand. I've cleaned, reorganized, did all the laundry and dishes, and vacuumed almost every day in the last few days! My greatest fear was that Harper would come and I'd have to leave my house in a mess! Lord knows when we return home we'll have lots of visitors and I know I'll have no energy to worry about cleaning and straightening up!

Belly Button In or Out? It's still in!

Wedding Rings On or Off?  Still off just in case my fingers were to swell! 

Mood: Getting anxious and excited!!

Looking forward to: Meeting our baby girl! We go in to the hospital tonight and start the induction process. The plan is to start me on Cervadil tonight at 7:15pm to soften my cervix. Then at 7am tomorrow morning they'll start my pitocin. By tomorrow evening, we should be holding our baby girl in our arms!!! (: 

Just a Side Note: I'm going to take a week or so off from the blogging world to get the hang of life with our baby girl. In the meantime, I've wrote a few blogs ahead of time to be published each day and keep you ladies entertained. If I feel up to it, I'll try to get on here and share some pictures of our baby girl when she arrives. But just in case if I don't have time or feel up to it, feel free to follow me on instagram at saramholt or on facebook at facebook.com/semoore2. I'm sure I'll be updating those two sites on a more regular basis. 

Keep us in your prayers ladies and I'll check back in in a week or so! 


Nursery Reveal

Over the weekend, I finally got around to posting the tour of our home that I had been promising to post for months. If you happened to check out our home tour, you realized that I left out pictures of Harper's nursery and promised that they'd be coming soon. I'm sure you probably expected to see Harper's nursery reveal about the time you'd see her first birthday posts since I'm so bad about making blogging promises and not sticking to them. But, I was so excited about revealing her room, that I decided to blog about it right away and not make you wait until she's getting ready to upgrade to toddler bed status. haha On top of that, our baby girl is due tomorrow and what's a better day to reveal her room then the day before she's expected to make her big debut?!

So without further adieu, welcome to Harper's room!

Her room is by far my favorite room in our entire house. I've definitely put more effort into decorating this room than any of the others in our home. We still have a few things we need to do to her room like add storage baskets to her chest, place her baby pictures in the wall gallery, find a lamp we like better for her room, and find a picture to put above the cube shelf. But for the most part, the room is complete and we're in love with it! I hope you like it as much as we do (:


Baby Bump Pictures

A month or so ago, my wonderful cousin, who just so happens to be a photographer, came home from Jacksonville, NC and took some maternity photos for Kevin and me. Over the weekend, I got the cd from her with all of the edited images. I am so in love with them that I just have to share a few of my favorites!

If you live in the Jacksonville, NC area, please look up April! You can see more of her work at her facebook page.... A.Elliott Photography! I promise you'll be as happy with your images as we are with ours (:


Our Home

Kevin and I purchased our first home in the summer of 2010. Over the past couple of years, we've done a few home projects here and there. Some I've blogged about and some I haven't. However, I have promised multiple times to do a home tour and quite frankly, I've just never gotten around to it. So I decided that today would be the day. Today, I'd like to welcome you to Casa de Holt (:

Now please keep in mind that though we've lived here for over 2 years, our house is by no means complete and is a constant work in progress. If I was honest, I'd admit that that's why I've never shared this tour before. I'm such a perfectionist that I wanted our house to be completely done before I shared it but at this point, I can see that's going to be a while. And let's be real, it will probably never be "finished" with my constant desire to redecorate. haha

Without further adieu, welcome to our humble abode!



(This was how it was decorated at Christmas! Typically the bench sits in the window but we had to have somewhere to put the trees. I'll try to get a more recent photo soon but I'm currently in the process of redecorating the dining room for the spring/summer)






(It's a work in progress!)

(We're in the process of redecorating it right now so ignore it's plainness!)