MAMAS BACK! PINK KIMONO ROOFTOP!

Photography by Claire Petersen

Kimono: Nordstrom Top: Lilac Clothing Jeans: MIH Shoes: Steve Madden Sunglasses: I found these at a street vendor! Similar here & here Purse: GucciHair Clip: H&M

Hi Everyone! Thanks for stopping by! I am so excited to share my first look since giving birth! I was super nervous to schedule a blog shoot since Charlee is too little to really have a consistent schedule. I sort of had to wing it timing wise! Luckily, the timing worked out and she happened to need to eat right before we started shooting so she was a happy little thing by the time we started shooting. I put her in her car seat and we went up to the roof to shoot this look. She was a dream! I thought I was in the clear when all of a sudden it started raining ugh. I was determined to get these pictures so we shot in the rain anyways. You do what you have to do with a newborn, am I right!?

Anyways, on to this look. How cool is this kimono?? I am sort of obsessed with it and have worn it multiple times since I got it last week. I have worn it paired with jeans, shorts and a maxi dress. I love it. I also took a trip to Club Monaco this week and invested in these M.I.H. jeans. I had never heard of this brand before but I really like the quality and the fit. I figured I deserved a nice pair of jeans that fit me so I splurged a bit on these. I have been able to get my pre-pregnancy jeans on but they aren’t the most comfortable at the moment so I got one size up for now. I figure I can take them to the tailor when I lose the rest of the weight. Last but not least, I wanted to talk about this awesome Lilac Maternity top. It’s a top that works during and after pregnancy. The top is nursing friendly and the material is stretchy so it accommodates a pregnant or flat belly :)!

I hope you guys have a great rest of your week! I’ll be revealing the nursery on the blog early next week so remember to stop back by!

Xoxo-J

MY NEWBORN NECESSITIES

Hi Guys! Thanks for stopping by!

Over the last two weeks, I’ve gotten a handle on the items that have become essential for me (and my sanity) as a new Mom. I wanted to share them with all you Mommas out there! For expecting Moms, registering for a new baby can be overwhelming. Matt and I registered at Buy Buy Baby and scanned literally every possible item our baby could possibly need LOL! We ended up returning a number of things but at least we were prepared! The list below may not be a complete list, but so far my favorite, can’t live without essentials. These items make my every day a lot more successful with my Charlee Q.

  1. Bumbo Changing Pad– My changing table came with a changing pad on top of it, but it required a sheet and a boppy pad. Newborns have what seems like a million diaper changes a day which can get messy. I was constantly changing the sheet and boppy pad after every third change which was getting so annoying. This Bumbo pad can simply be wiped clean after every change. It’s also soft and comfortable for the baby as well. I got the grey color! LOVE it!
  2. Happy Mama Breastfeeding Bars – Breastfeeding hunger is no joke. Sometimes I am so starving all of a sudden as if I haven’t eaten in days! I keep a stock pile of these bars in my pantry to grab when I need to feed Charlee and just don’t have the time (or hands) to prepare something. They hold me over until I put her down to rest and can make something substantial for my meal. 
  3. Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets– These blankets are seriously the best. They are so versatile and I have used them a million different ways since having Charlee. I use one to lay over my basinet when out walking to protect her from the sun. I use it as a swaddle, or as a blanket to cover her if she gets cold. The material is so soft and she loves it against her skin :).
  4. Simple Wishes Hands-Free Breastpump Bra, Pink, X-Small-Large -I didn’t get this bra until a week into breastfeeding. I was having to hold the pump in place every time and getting horrible back and neck pain. This bra is awesome and keeps the pump in place so I can be hands free. It also fits multiple sizes because of it’s design so unless you are plus size, the x-small-large will definitely accommodate.
  5. Skip Hop Grab and Go Double Bottle BagBlack, Black– I love this on-the-go bottle bag cooler. I pack a bottle with breastmilk every time we leave the house to make sure I have extra supply for Charlee. It comes with a freezer insert and keeps the bottles cold and milk fresh.
  6. Prince Lionheart® Evo™ Wipes Warmer in White/Grey-Charlee HATES getting her diaper changed and the wipe warmer has helped significantly. I would imagine having a freezing cold wipe up against your bum can’t be pleasant, right?! This is really helpful and has made a difference in her fussiness when we change her.
  7. My Breast Friend Nursing PillowI can’t say enough about this pillow. It is such a necessity. It is so awesome because you clip it on to yourself and immediately have tons of support when breastfeeding or just holding your baby. I brought it to the hospital and use it all day long. I recommend purchasing an extra cover though in case your babe spits up (or in our case poops) on it haha!
  8. Born Free Breeze Bottle Deluxe Gift Set in Clear-These are the bottles that work really well for Charlee. Every baby is different but these are great for my baby girl.
  9. Zoli ‘Buzz B.(TM)’ Electric Nail Trimmer-Charlee has the fastest growing nails of all time. This trimmer is safe on baby’s tiny fingers and does the trick.
  10. Solly Baby Wrap Carrier-I LOVE this wrap. My sister in law Lisa sent me this and I have used it every day since having Charlee. She just loves being close to Mommy or Daddy in the wrap and usually passes right out even if it isn’t really her nap time lol!
  11. Honest Hand Sanitizer-I love this sanitizer! It comes with a pump which is awesome to keep next to the changing pad on my changing table. It’s so convenient to pump and get sanitizer when you don’t have but one hand free! It’s also a gel and smells so nice and doesn’t dry out your hands.
  12. Jonathan Adler Rock and Play-This is a Godsend! We are currently doing our very best to get Charlee to sleep in her bassinet or crib for naps and at night time…it is a work in progress! While we continue to work on that, this rock and play rocker is the best and she loves it. It always puts her to sleep!
  13. Summer Infant Swaddle Blanket-This swaddle blanket was recommended to me by my friend Katie. There is no need to ever learn to swaddle with these! Charlee can’t get out of them and she absolutely loves them. We wrap her in them every night to put her to sleep!
  14. Baby Shusher-I love this thing! Initially it sort of freaked me out because the sound (shhhhh) that comes out of it is actually a person’s voice. As creepy as that is, it’s the reason she loves it so much. I also love that it is mobile and just needs batteries. I use it in her crib to settle her down and also in her stroller when we go out!
  15. Baby Mittens– We have to have Charlee in gloves constantly or she scratches her sweet face. I had one brand that worked OK but they fell off a lot. These Lucky 21 mittens are awesome and stay on all day. I will say they look kind of funny but I’m just happy she isn’t scratching herself anymore and I don’t have to keep putting them on!

Well, that’s it (for now)! I hope this was helpful! If you guys ever have any questions please reach out! I hope you will share with me your list of newborn necessities so I can share with our community :)! My plan is to make this a series and do updates with my favorite products as Charlee grows!

xoxo-J

 

BIRTHDAY DRESS

Dress: Seraphine Maternity Earrings: H&M, similar here, Sunglasses: Ray Ban

Happy Monday everyone!!! Yesterday was my 30th birthday!! It totally snuck up on me. As you guys know, I just had my delicious baby two weeks ago so I have been a little preoccupied and haven’t had any time to think about my birthday. Matt and I decided we will push back any sort of big celebration with family and friends until sometime in January or February. Hopefully by then Charlee will be sleeping through the night and I won’t be breastfeeding anymore so I’ll be able to really enjoy myself and have a night to celebrate and be present! That said, I have to say I had the best birthday ever even though there was no “dirty thirty” party going on. We actually ended up going to brunch and taking Charlee with us! We went to Almond in NYC which is actually incredibly baby friendly. I had a glass of rose and a delicious omelet! It was so fun and Charlee did SO well! It was so nice to go out for a meal with my little family for the first time!

I wore this really cute red and white striped nursing friendly dress to brunch. It’s currently on sale for $60 so now is the time to scoop it up!

I hope you guys had a great Monday! As always, thanks for stopping by :)!

xoxo-J

MY BIRTH STORY

I can’t believe it has been 10 days since our precious Charlee came into this world. It really has been a whirlwind of a week filled with every emotion possible. Delirium, bliss, anxiety, terror, name a feeling, we have felt it! Being Charlee’s Mom has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. I can’t believe how much I love this little person I only just met. She is everything I ever hoped for and I truly feel like my destiny was to be her Mother.

I wanted to write down my birth story as a reminder of what I have accomplished while it is still fresh on my mind. I will spare you guys the yucky details lol, but share how my experience went.

My due date (August 4th) approached and I was very anxious to go into labor. Due to the scare we had had the week before with my blood pressure, I was convinced that I would go early, but then my due date came and went. I remember being so disappointed that I didn’t go into labor that day. I had been having Braxton hicks contractions for a week and was SO uncomfortable. Every time a Braxton hicks contraction would start I would question “is this it”?? Well, it wasn’t! Saturday came and still nothing, and by that point I decided to stop thinking about my impending labor and accept that I would most likely be induced the following Friday. Sunday morning Matt and I woke up after a long night of sleep and ordered breakfast. That’s when I started to feel a little “weird.” I got a cramp that felt like a period cramp which I hadn’t really felt before during my pregnancy, but I dismissed it. A few minutes went by and it started to happen again. I told Matt I felt a little off and he said we should just monitor how I was feeling to see if this was the real thing. Suddenly, I started getting more intense contractions that would last 20 seconds and were totally manageable. I got super excited and knew that this was most likely it. I wanted to get things going, so I told Matt I think we should go for a walk. He was hesitant but I was convinced it was the best idea so we headed over to Madison Square Park. We started walking the park and my contractions started to get stronger. They were still about 15 minutes apart but when one would come on I would have to stop walking and take a break. We walked a full mile around the park and decided to stop in at the grocery store to get some food. I had three contractions in the grocery store and we decided it was probably time to head home and call the Dr. to let her know I was in labor. We got home (at this time it was around 12:00P.M.) and Matt made me a sandwich. I knew I needed to eat and made it a priority to shove the sandwich down my throat even though I was SO not in the mood to eat between contractions. Once I finished my sandwich I sat down on the couch and called my Dr. She told me to call her back and head to the hospital when my contractions were 5 minutes apart and lasted a full minute. Well, about 5 minutes later I got a really intense contraction that took my breath away! I told Matt I was going to go lay down. At this point, they were coming every ten minutes and were pretty intense. I laid down and in literally under 5 minutes, my contractions were every 3 minutes, lasting a full minute and INSANELY painful. Every time they would come on I would grab Matt by the arm and writhe in pain. I went from having contractions every 10 minutes, to every 3 in minutes!!! I was terrified and after I had about 5 of these I told Matt we needed to get to the hospital ASAP! My labor was progressing so fast I was scared I had already missed the epidural window! We called the Dr. and she agreed it was time to go! We grabbed our bags and ran out of the apartment. Matt ordered an Uber and on our way I had 4 insanely intense contractions. I was yelling at the driver to slow down and BE CAREFUL OF THAT BUMP, then apologizing for being a crazy lady the moment it would subside. We arrived at the hospital and they put me into a wheelchair and took us up to triage. I felt SO bad because there were a number of women in triage that I really freaked out. The sounds that were coming out of my mouth were almost animal like! The nurses took me to get checked and I was 2.5 cm but my contractions were so close and so strong that they decided to admit me and I was going to get the epidural!! I was so excited!!!

They brought us into the labor and delivery room and I was more than ready for the epidural, but of course due to the high blood pressure scare, they had to run a blood test on me before they could administer it! My nurse was so nice and told me the truth…it would take ONE HOUR most likely for the tests to come back. That hour was SO long, filled with insanely painful contractions coming in every three minutes lasting 60 seconds! FINALLY, the anesthesiologist came into the room and said let’s do this! He gave me the epidural and it didn’t hurt at all. I think I was in so much pain from the contractions that even if it did hurt I didn’t notice. Once I got the epidural, I must say labor was awesome. I couldn’t feel my contractions anymore and we were able to relax and settle in. Matt had brought bluetooth speakers and we put on some music and relaxed! It was wonderful. Over the next 10 hours, I progressed from 2.5 cm to 9.5cm dilated. We watched Game of Thrones and I was able to drink some chicken noodle soup broth to keep me from getting too hungry. Around midnight, the Dr. came in to check me and I was at 9.5c.m. dilated which got me really excited. I just needed to get to 10 to start pushing. Three hours later however, I was still at 9.5 cm which was really disappointing. At this point, my epidural had sort of stopped working on the right. I could feel the beginnings of the pain of contractions again and I got so scared I was going to feel the pain again. Since I only had about .5 cm to go, my Dr. decided to have me start pushing and assist in getting me to 10 cm. I could feel the contractions and we began to start to push. I should also mention that at this time, my neck was KILLING me. I was thrashing and flailing during my contractions at the beginning of labor and of course pulled a muscle in my neck that I didn’t notice until after I got the epidural. I was so upset about this because in order to push correctly, you are supposed to bare down and put your neck to your chest. This was going to hurt and I knew it. I sucked it up and started pushing and I was finally able to get to 10 cm! The pain was there though, as the epidural had really tapered off. I could feel everything on the right side. It was awful and I had to push through each contraction every three minutes. Looking back, I think this is why I was able to get the baby out because I could feel EVERYTHING when pushing. A full hour went by but the baby wouldn’t move. The Dr. told me that she may be too big and perhaps will need to come out another way, alluding to c-section. I REALLY didn’t want a c-section and so I got a rush of adrenaline and decided this was going to happen the way my body was meant to deliver this baby. I could do this. Over the next TWO HOURS I pushed with all my might. I was so exhausted I would almost fall asleep between each contraction only to wake up and bare down again. The neck pain didn’t even bother me anymore since it was so painful to push. I will spare you all the details, but after THREE hours of pushing we were almost there. My Dr. told me to push with all my might and finally, Charlee made her debut, all 8 lbs. 11 ounces of her, with her hand up by her face! That was the reason it took her so long to make it out. My Dr. grabbed her hand, pulled her out and put her on my chest. The love was immediate. Matt and I were both sobbing and looking at this little baby with awe. It was the best moment of our entire lives.

Giving birth was the hardest thing I have ever done, but I would do it all over again to bring this sweet baby into the world. I have a new found respect for my body after what I have seen it capable of achieving. We love you Charlee with all our hearts.

I also wanted to let all my readers know that I will not be posting many images of Charlee onto the blog. I started this blog to share my own personal style with my readership. I want to protect my child and I feel that putting images of her up onto the internet permanently is dangerous. I will share images on my Instagram and more on my Instagram stories as these images are lower quality, making it difficult for people to steal. I truly hope you all understand. That said, I want to continue to share about my journey into motherhood. I will share my favorite products, interior design, outfits etc. so don’t forget to stop back by the blog!!

Thank you to all of you who have supported my blog and my family. We feel so blessed to have welcomed this little angel into our lives and I hope you all enjoyed reading my birth story.

Xoxo-Jess

LAST BUMP SHOT-REFLECTING ON MY PREGNANCY

Photos by Shadi Garman

Dress: Leota Maternity Sandals: Birkenstocks available in leather here

Hi everyone! I can’t believe I am sharing what I assume will be the last pictures of my very large and in charge bump! I really can’t believe my due date is tomorrow!! It’s insanely surreal and has got me majorly emotional. I am anxious, excited, nervous, terrified. Name an emotion, I feel it. The weird thing is that as scary as birth is, I am also SO ready to face it. I just am so ready to meet my daughter and to hold her in my arms. Maybe that is why God made birth 10 months long so that by the end you just want to go into labor so badly! I have a few friends that have shared my due date and both have gone into labor. I am so excited for them but so ready to join the club!

Not to get too into the nitty gritty details, but the last week and a half has been a whirlwind. I went to my regularly scheduled 39 week checkup last Wednesday and randomly had very high blood pressure. The doctor was concerned because I normally have very normal/low bp and so she immediately told me I needed to go to the hospital to check to make sure I didn’t have preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is not safe for either mother or baby and the only way to get rid of it is to have your baby, so of course I was freaking out and terrified! Matt met me at the hospital and we were there for close to 5 hours being monitored. My results came back negative thank goodness and we were able to go home, but over the next few days I had to continue to be monitored and my blood pressure was still not going down. Finally on Monday at my appt. my blood pressure seemed to have gone back to normal and all was ok. It was a very high stress situation and really scary for us as we didn’t really know what was going to happen! Since then, I have sort of been able to relax a little and wait for baby girl to tell us when she is ready but needless to say I have been all over the place emotionally! I am just so ready for this chick to join us.

I think this event was so scary to us because we have been so very lucky throughout this experience so far. Baby girl has been healthy and progressed the way she has supposed to this entire time which is the most important thing. I was so used to everything going sort of as planned for her so when this happened it really shook me. We are so blessed that baby girl has been ok through this pregnancy and continue to pray that she is a healthy baby when she decides to come out! I, on the other hand have not had the most glamorous pregnancy. No need to get into the details, but if you have read my bumpdates you know this hasn’t been easy for me to say the least. I really salute all of the Moms who are able to really enjoy their pregnancy. I have enjoyed pieces of it, but to be honest I have been counting down for it to be over and for the moment I get to meet my daughter. I would go through it all again but it sure as heck wasn’t easy!

I can’t wait to look back at this experience and think of it as a small blip in time. It truly is if you think about life and our time here on earth. As difficult as pregnancy is, I feel so fortunate to have been given this blessing. I will never take my body for granted again. It’s pretty amazing what women can do!

I’ll keep you guys posted!! Here’s to hoping baby girl decides to come ASAP!

Xoxo-J