6 Mar

Preparing for arrival #2

With the recent arrival of my beautiful baby niece, it suddenly struck me that my own baby girl will arrive in 10 short weeks! To date, purchasing two “little sis” outfits has been the extent of our preparation. At this point in my first pregnancy, Alayna’s adorable pink outfits were washed and hung nicely in her closet. The baby room was painted (twice actually, I changed my mind on the first color), crib assembled and the newborn diapers filled the diaper stacker. We’re every bit as excited for baby #2, but chasing a toddler, trying to avoid potty accidents and hoping for a full night’s sleep in the “big girl” bed exhausts most hours of the day.

So, project #1 this weekend: decorate the nursery. I have heard, “You’re having another girl, so now you don’t need to redecorate!”. That makes perfect sense (ask my husband), but my pregnancy hormones are telling me that baby #2 is unique and should be treated as such! Besides, the new room is all finished in my head… walls painted pink, damask print curtains hung, and wall hangings in just the right places. Now I just have to let my husband know our new plans for the weekend.

Project #2: locate baby items. Over the weekend, we fumbled through our storage and started pulling out the bouncer, swing, Bumbo chair, so on and so on. How much stuff does this little person really need? We pulled boxes and boxes of baby clothes out of storage. (Tip: Keep baby’s clothes organized by size and well-labeled as you box them away!) I am excited for little sis to wear hand-me-downs. Many are barely worn, and not only is it a great savings (more money for the nursery!), but I look forward to comparing photos down the road. That all said, since I can’t resist sweet little outfits, I’m sure she will have plenty of new items added to her wardrobe.

Baby's First Hat (Chunky Sugar Bear)
Baby's First Hat (Chunky Sugar Bear)

I have also started my shopping list of newborn essentials that I have completely forgotten about: baby mittens, diaper cream, bulb syringe, pacifiers… and, of course, the perfect first baby hat.

As we get closer, I’m really looking forward to welcoming and enjoying our new bundle of joy. While we do have many projects yet to complete, I realize topping my priority list is preparing “big sis” for the big changes about to hit our household. More to come on that “project”.



3 Mar

Maternity Photos for Vera

Throughout my pregnancy, I (mostly intentionally) didn’t take very many photos of my growing belly. This being my first child, I guess I was admittedly a little self conscious about growing out of the same jeans I’d been wearing since high-school, and I wasn’t all gung-ho to document that. Despite having always wanted kids, I remember telling my husband when we found out the news that it is strange to suddenly be happy or even excited about gaining weight (maybe had we “planned” this a little better, I would have been more prepared for that change). I suppose my athletic background combined with the unquestionable pressure on women to look a certain way in our society made changing that mindset a little more difficult for me than flipping a light-switch. I’m sure a lot of first time mom’s feel that way too.

As it turned out, however, I was consistently measuring a little small at each check-up, and towards the end of the journey whenever someone tried to compliment me by commenting on how little I looked, all I could think of was how I hoped the baby was big enough and worry whether I was doing everything I could to make sure she was healthy. Its funny how parenthood changes the focus from you to the little one- even before you meet them.

A couple things I did commit to during the incubation phase were documenting one photo each month for a nursery project I’m still working on (more to come on that soon) and taking a couple of maternity photos with Brett so that our daughter would be able to look back on them someday and see how things were before she got here. So here they are:

My very helpful sister took these shots for us less than a week before Vera was born. Nothing like waiting till the last minute! I sincerely hope that someday she will be able to look at these and see how in love we were with her before she even arrived.

– Dawn

19 Feb

Half of expecting parents want to be surprised.

When my husband, Brett, and I found out that we were expecting our first child, there wasn’t even a moment when we considered not finding out the gender of our little one as soon as possible (we’re all set to welcome our little girl March 1st!).


We must be the impatient type though. Despite the relative ease of determining the sex of a baby through ultrasound technology, not to mention the dozens of fun old-wives-tale-style ways to predict the sex of a baby, like this fun Chineese Gender Chart, many parents still chose to wait and be surprised. The numbers vary, but most statistics show that its close to 50%.

So what influences the decision of whether or not to find out? For me, it was the joy of being able to decorate the nursery (Photos coming soon!!) and to start calling the baby by name (our secret for now, despite my mother’s campaign to the contrary). For Brett, I think finding out was when it became real for him- a little person, our daughter, and not just “the baby”. But there are many reasons people find out and just as many reasons to wait. (Incidentally, one of my favorite reasons comes courtesy of my sister, who’s philosophy is “You’ll be just as surprised on the day you find out, and more prepared on the day she gets here.” Thanks, sis.)

Some Advantages to Finding out:

Some parents, like my husband, feel a stronger bond with the baby once they can start envisioning a little boy or girl. It can also be easier to narrow down your choices for baby names, and even select one to start calling the baby before birth. And if you’re like me, decorating a nursery and picking out baby clothes makes pregnancy a little more fun and can be a lot easier when you have a specific gender in mind, as there are usually more options available.

Some Advantages of Waiting:

You’ll have a great surprise on the day your baby is born, which can also motivate mom through labor. Some parents also really like the idea of following in the tradition that has been part of history for centuries. And as far as decorating, there’s no chance you’ll end up with a pink nursery for your little boy on the off chance that your ultrasound prediction isn’t accurate. (Although I’ve been told that that happens in a very small percentage of cases and usually only when there isn’t a clear view.)

So what do you think? Did you (or will you) find out the gender of your baby before birth? Why or why not?