Maternity Monday: Leopard Print Sweater Dress

Loft Maternity Leopard Print Sweater Dress | CorporetteMomsI am loving all of the blue leopard influences at Loft right now, including this interesting wool sweater dress. I like that it isn’t too booby, too twee (no bow or other cuteness on the bump!) and I like that it just generally looks like a cute dress for work or weekend. It’s $94.50 at Loft, full price (but you can use code FLASH to get 60% off). Loft Maternity Leopard Print Sweater Dress


  1. Looks like the FLASH code expired :(

  2. I love this dress. I would have worn the heck out of it with leggings when I was pregnant.

    Abstract question of the day: Does anyone ever get a feeling of, for lack of a better term, imposter syndrome but for parenting? Like, a feeling that everyone else is just better at this than you? More natural? Finding it easier? We know a ton of families who have had their first babies in the last year or so, and, while it seems like we are struggling just keep our heads above water, these other families are traveling all the time, constantly take the baby out to bars and restaurants, have one parent taking frequent extended business trips, and some are even expecting second babies already. My baby doesn’t have any special needs or challenges, I have an involved husband who hasn’t had any work travel since she’s been born, and I only work 40 hours a week, so it’s not like I have a more difficult situation than these people who seem to be handling everything with a lot more grace and style than me. Do I just need an attitude adjustment? Can anyone relate to this? Am I the only one looking at Facebook photos of a mom friend out clubbing in Las Vegas and wondering “HOW?!?” before passing out at 8pm?

    • Nope, it’s not just you! First, remember: no one puts their worst selves on Facebook. The stuff you’re seeing there is what they want you to see, so don’t forget that.

      Second: everyone goes through different phases of life, and some people have easy babies who want to go to bars and other people are exhausted by the thought of even leaving the house. Also, keep in mind that you might be more active or out and about with your toddler, while their toddler has major behavioral issues — it all comes out in the wash, as my mom used to say. In the meantime, you won’t get anywhere by comparing yourself to other people! It’s my experience that this process always ends unfavorably.

      FWIW, I had a really, REALLY hard time with our first. Second time around was easier for me, but we had almost three years exactly between kids and I wouldn’t have felt ready any earlier than that. But my best friend ended up with two under two because she felt ready sooner. There’s no right way to do this mom stuff. Whenever I doubt myself, I just remember that there are a LOT of people less capable than me who have kids and figure it out. No one’s perfect but I’m getting through as best I can and I love my kiddos and that’s what (I hope) matters.

    • Absolutely. I have several friends with babies and every weekend I see them posting pictures of 10Ks and half-marathons in the mornings (posing with the baby) and then pictures of them out at night with friends. It boggles my mind.

      But I’ve learned to accept that we probably just have decided different things are important in our lives. I like to workout, but not enough to commit to races every weekend. And as my husband and I are both introverts, we’re much more likely to be happy at home on a Saturday night than out drinking with friends. And honestly? Sleep is just really important to me and I like it. I know a lot of families that run errands and see friends all day with their kids in tow, kids taking little cat-naps here and there. We’re much more structured about nap time and try to make sure that we’re home and our kids get good naps (because then they’re much easier to parent…).

      So it turned in to a novel. All that to say, I totally agree.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Thank you, I am right there with you. I see pictures of people taking their babies who are the same age as mine to corn mazes, or the pool, or on hiking trips in remote places, and just the thought of it exhausts me. I just gave up my Fridays off work because spending a whole day alone with my kiddo is incredibly stressful. I feel like a lousy mom for it. I seriously love my baby, and I would love to be that doting mom who does all the things with her…for moms with older kids, does it get easier to enjoy their company as they get older?

      • mascot says:

        I am enjoying parenting a lot more now that my child is approaching school age. He’s a super active kid so those first few years of his life were exhausting when he was awake (we are really protective of his getting enough sleep). Everyone else’s child would be sitting calmly and mine would be darting off to the nearest cliff. But now, that energy means that he wants to do things and go places. And we are starting to see his funny, sweet personality shine through. If the idea of hauling your kid to a corn maze is exhausting and means a grumpy kid with no nap, don’t do it. The corn will still be there next year.

        • I think that will be my new motto: the corn will still be there next year.

        • I took my nephew to a corn maze. He was bored after about five minutes. He also declined the tractor ride. I think his favorite thing was chasing the random barn cat they had hanging around.

      • “does it get easier to enjoy their company as they get older” –> I am not a mom with an older kid, but this question really resonates with me. I was just commenting to my husband yesterday that I’m so worn down by my 13 month old being in a bad mood more often than not. I love her to pieces, but after spending the weekend with her, I’m more than happy to drop her off at daycare. I often feel like her general grumpiness is a reflection of my poor parenting, and I feel even worse when I see my FB friends’ posts about the “happiest/sweetest/cuddliest baby in the world.” Objectively I know I am doing a decent job of parenting, and spending time with her really HAS gotten better as she gets older, but it definitely hasn’t come easily to me.

      • Meg Murry says:

        It gets much better as they get older. I love both my 7 year old and almost 3 year old, but I find spending a whole day with the 7 year old much more personally enjoyable, because he’s now at the age when we can do things together that I find fun too. Not that I don’t love my younger son or spending time with him – but he’s exhausting both physically and mentally. I can take the older one to concerts or read books we both enjoy, but the younger one involves a lot more repetition (how many times can I read this same board book?!) and a lot more chasing to make sure he’s not actively putting himself in harm’s way.

        If we have it all laid out for him, my older son can wake up, dress himself, feed himself breakfast, and turn on the TV or otherwise entertain himself – and now he can generally be counted on to help with the younger one for this too. The extra hour of sleep every weekend this buys us is so so priceless, and makes life so much easier now that he isn’t relying on us to physically dress or feed him.

        TL;DR version: It gets better. Much much better

      • Who takes a baby to a corn maze?
        I am so blissfully ignorant for not being on FB.

      • We’ve always been the parents who trek out with our kids to the pumpkin patch (just had the three kids in a corn maze this weekend, with the baby/toddler in a backpack carrier). Keep in mind it’s not necessarily that we are doing it better than you. Honestly, being at home with my kids is exhausting to me. They make a mess that I never clean up, they want to be entertained, etc. It’s far less depressing for me to take them to the corn maze for a few hours and get out of my biohazard of a house with all the things I’m falling down on. And if my baby/toddler is in a backpack, happily being carted around a corn maze by daddy, she isn’t running around my house trying to find new and exciting ways to kill herself. It doesn’t mean my fun family time is any more meaningful than yours. I envy the people who hang out at home with their kids doing projects and playing. I am apparently incapable of playing.

        With three kids, the only wisdom I’ve come up with is that everyone’s life looks better from the FB outside than it does in reality. If your kids are happy and healthy, you are doing it right.

        • I stand corrected. Thanks for this, RR.

        • Anonymama says:

          This exactly…. Some kids are easier when they are in their familiar environment and on a good schedule. My kid is easier when he can run around, have lots of people to talk to, and have tons of stuff going in around. At home he literally takes things apart, scatters very small Lego pieces everywhere, and makes concoctions involving lots of water, toothpaste, and the entire (new) bottle of handsoap. Also, away from home the infant happily naps away in car seat or baby Bjorn. At home he won’t nap unless I’m holding him, if I put him down he wakes up in 10 minutes or less. So don’t sweat it, it really depends on your personality and the kids, I promise you we all struggle at times.

    • I totally agree with this! We’re absolutely exhausted at the end of every weekend just doing normal chores wtih a 7 month old (grocery shopping, laundry, etc.). I was just telling my mom how I expected weekends to be this wonderful relaxing time with the baby and the reality is that it is a lot of work! Not very restful at all. Right now our priorities are sleep, eating healthy, and moderate exercise. We don’t go out to restaurants or bars or go on marathon family activities. It’s hard for me to imagine doing those things with my daughter’s sleep schedule. Maybe she just needs more structured sleep than most kids. And, as JJ said, we’ve chosen to prioritize really good sleep because it makes her a happier kid.

      What I want to know is how people manage to eat super healthy homecooked meals with a baby. On Friday nights we often give in to the temptation of takeout because the fridge is bare and we’re too tired to cook anyway. But all this pad thai isn’t helping me lose the remaining baby weight. Suggestions?

      • Anonymous says:

        Homemade freezer meals? I’m going to attempt one of those weekend days where you cook up 20 or so meals that can be popped in the oven…

      • anonmama says:

        Crock pot. I do a lot of chicken fajitas (no taco shell to cut down on carbs), roast, soups, bbq pulled pork, etc in the crock pot. It’s so much easier for me to do the meal prep (like cutting onions, defrosting meat, etc) the night before, and just dump it all in the crock pot the next morning, than to face getting a meal on the table at the end of the day. I don’t know how we would ever eat healthy without our crock pot. It takes a little while to find recipes you like (or at least it did for us), but I can’t live without it!

        • Freezer meals and crock pot both sound good. What do people do for vegetables? We are trying to have a green vegetable with every meal. It helps me to fill up on the veg first before starting in on the main dish. But coming home and chopping veggies every night is hard. Plus, a lot of produce seems to go bad by the end of the week and I don’t have time to shop for new produce in the middle of the week. We do one major grocery shopping on Saturday.

          • Frozen, frozen, frozen. Frozen is healthier in most cases than fresh (because it’s picked ripe and paused right there, as opposed to having to travel), and already prepped for you. Get big completely plain (no sauces) bags of whatever you like (we do a lot of green beans and peas, and I like spinach, though no one else does), and cook them in a skillet on high with a little bacon fat or olive oil and course salt (add garlic, pepper, etc., if you want). Easy and tasty!

          • Veggie steamer bags are the answer for me.

          • Newly pregnant says:

            Try pre-roasting a ton of veggies on the weekend. We do brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potato, etc. Just oil, salt & pepper, and once everything is cool we transfer it to the fridge. We can just warm them up in the oven every night. Or, frozen peas.

          • Sarabeth says:

            In addition to the other options, wash/prep a lot of lettuce on Sunday, then store it slightly damp in an airtight container (I leave it in the salad spinner). For “salad” just grab a handful and put it in a bowl.

            Also, dude, if you are only getting takeout once a week, you are doing great!

          • Lyssa says:

            To add to Sarabeth’s suggestion, I’ve found that prepped and washed lettuce keeps really well if you add a paper towel to the bag/container. It keeps it from getting slimy and soggy anywhere near as fast.

          • hoola hoopa says:

            Ditto frozen and pre-washed salad mixes. I try to make my own salad mixes on the weekends because the bagged adds up. We eat a lot of basic raw or steamed, too.

            Meals in general: We focus our homecooking efforts on night when we’re both home. Generally I’d be with the baby and my husband would be cooking. Solo evenings are simple. Cook a big meal or two on the weekend and store extra in the freezer for weeknight warm-up. A freezer stash of cooked chicken breasts + salad mix is an easy, healthy meal.

          • I generally make a big meal on Sunday that will last 3-4 nights. Middle of the week is when I run out of steam/fresh produce. What frozen veggies are good? Any particular brands?

      • mascot says:

        How about putting your efforts somewhere easier for meals? Can you make a few healthy lunches to take during the week? I love to cook, but my weeknight cooking is all about survival. Weekends are my time to try new dishes. Cook something on Sunday and plan on leftovers. Grill extra protein for lunches or quick dinners. Even better, have your Sunday meal be a slow cooker meal where you can freeze a portion. I may not want spaghetti 2-3 times in a week. But future mascot always appreciates when there is a frozen bag of sauce in the freezer for those nights that we need dinner on the table in 15 minutes. We do eggs for dinner probably once a week. Having a plan for the rest of the week helps offset the Friday night take-out guilt.
        Oh, for veggies, flash frozen veggies are your friend. Or cook your veggies earlier in the week and then eat them. Steamed veggies keep a few days.

      • This option isn’t the most budget friendly, but I buy a lot of the pre-seasoned meats at the Whole Foods meat counter. The meat gets thrown in a pan or on the grill and served with salad and maybe a microwavable packet of rice or quinoa. Also, if I am going to cook something I don’t hesitate to buy pre-chopped onions, pre-peeled garlic, or other pre-washed veggies. I take all the shortcuts I can.

        • I always look at those pre-seasoned meats and wonder if they are any good. Do they keep for a couple days? Can you buy on a Saturday and use during the week? Any favorites to suggest? Thanks!

          • We have a bunch that we like, but the selection is always changing, so I don’t know if you might have the same things at your store. The Thai chicken breast, Cajun pork chops, and marinated skirt steak are frequently available and very good. We also like to get sausages to grill for a super easy meal. I usually do the shopping Sunday morning and buy enough to make dinner through Thursday night, and I’ve never had any problems with the meat going bad.

          • You could always freeze for a couple days and then defrost. I freeze about half the meat I buy on Saturday for the week.

          • hoola hoopa says:

            Agree that you’ll find ones that you like and others that you don’t. Generally, thumbs up.

            We also freeze what we won’t eat in 2-3 days, which is our general rule for all raw meat. Usually I err on the side of freezing and only keep 1-2 days worth because I hate when our schedule gets off, I forget about the raw meat in the fridge, and end up having to toss it.

    • Katarina says:

      FWIW, I think it depends on the child, because my son is generally been easier to parent out and about. If I can get over the hump of actually leaving the house, it is usually less tiring than chasing him around the house, and keeping him out of all the things he is not supposed to get into (he is 14 months). He has also always slept pretty well on the go, especially when younger. He is really an extrovert who enjoys seeing new people, and he is easier to parent when we do something out during the day. The weekends are definitely more tiring than weekdays, but staying home does not make it less tiring for me.

    • Although my kid isn’t here yet, this is one of the reasons I quit Facebook.

    • CPA Lady says:

      God yes. My baby is now one month old and I just get so worried that I’m doing something wrong. Like, I know I’m supposed to talk to her, but I spend most of our time together (which is all day, every day) in awkward silence. Yet I am capable of talking to my cat? One of my friends just had a baby 8 weeks before I did, and there are tons of photos of her and her husband doing fun things with the baby and going to friends weddings and stuff… and I can barely get out of the house to go on a walk through the neighborhood. At least I’ve been bathing regularly.

      I’m so bored and lonely and feel like I have no clue what I’m doing half the time. I went out with a friend for my “first night out” while my husband stayed home with the baby this weekend, and while I enjoyed myself, I ended up sort of regretting the one cocktail I had (that I was really looking forward to!) because it made me even more tired. That just seems SO LAME.

      I just think I’m really going to be a much better kid-mom than I am a baby-mom. I just don’t know what to do with a baby.

      • mascot says:

        You are still in survival mode. Just do what you can to keep both of you clean, dry, warm, and fed. That’s all that is needed right now. It takes a long time to learn to narrate life for a child, especially when they don’t respond or react back. We didn’t talk that much to our child when he was a baby and that kid talks all.the.dang.time now. Enjoy the quiet! Babies are sponges when it comes to language development. She will pick up so much just listening to you talk to other people. A couple of things that worked for us rather than one-sided conversations. We started reading a story each night from the very beginning.(short board book is fine) as part of the bedtime routine and still do it years later. We also play music in the house and car, sometimes kid stuff but mostly not, and he really enjoys it. Plus, I love to sing and kids are good audiences.

      • pockets says:

        I was 100% you when my baby (now 8 months) was a month old. I just didn’t know what to do with her all day. All the other moms would be like, Oh I sing to her or read books or make funny faces and that just sounded so boring and not what I wanted to do at all. Mostly I tried to ignore her and get her to ignore me. I ended up just doing what I wanted with her in tow. So that was watching TV or playing on the computer while bouncing her in the bouncy seat or getting coffee with other new moms while she was (hopefully) napping in the stroller. Eventually (3 months?) they start getting more alert during stroller-time so at that point I felt bad and bought her a stroller toy (no way I was going to sing to her or whatever in the coffeeshop when I wanted to zone out and read a magazine). I felt guilty about it but I think I am less prone to guilt that most people because my guilt was easily outweighed by the relief that I didn’t have to spend all day entertaining the baby.

        And honestly, babies are pretty easily entertained by, like, nothing. Staring at a wall. Bouncing. Looking at you. My 8 month old’s favorite activity is chewing on a rag (it used to be chewing on a paper towel before I realized that that was probably a choking risk). It’s nice to think that a fun, shiny toy makes them happier or more entertained but I don’t think that’s actually the case. The look on my daughter’s face when I hand her rag is the same as the look on her face when I hand her one of her fancy Lamaze rattles.

        • Spirograph says:

          “The look on my daughter’s face when I hand her rag is the same as the look on her face when I hand her one of her fancy Lamaze rattles.”

          SO true. My son liked a hand towel/wash cloth as much or more than any purpose-built toy. I seriously don’t see the point of toys for babies. Not to the point that I return or am not grateful for gifts, but I definitely don’t spend my own money on them.

          Don’t feel bad about not interacting with your infant constantly… enjoy the downtime while you can get it, because once they turn mobile, it’s all over (or at least it was for me). I think I spent most of maternity leave napping/watching TV/reading with baby on my chest, or doing other stuff with him in the baby bjorn, or taking him for walks because *I* wanted to be outside. He has never been to a baby yoga class, or baby music time, or baby anything else that I have to do on a schedule and pay for because he won’t know the difference whether he went or not a week from now, and it’s too much bother. He doesn’t seem damaged.

      • Sarabeth says:

        One month old? If you are all alive, you are winning.

        • Nonny says:


          For the first month or two, I kept a mental journal of wins for the day. I wish now that I had actually written them down. They were things like:

          Monday: did laundry. [trust me, this was a big achievement]
          Tuesday: went for a walk for half an hour. Bought veggies at the corner store on the way back. [the day I did this I was positively giddy]

          Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You are doing fine.

          Someone on the main s!te (I think it was CKB) said to me that the first two weeks were the hardest, followed by the first two months, and then the first two years, and after that it got so much better. She was certainly right about the first two weeks and the first two months, and it seems that while every month after that has had its challenges, they do keep getting better and better.

          • hoola hoopa says:

            Haha, now I wish I had a log, too! I did something similar.

            I know for a fact that one of my biggies when my first was ~1 month old was: Went to store. Bought one box of cereal. Only minimal crying.

            And yes, if everyone is alive, you’re doing it right.

          • CPA lady says:

            Oh, believe me, I know that doing laundry is a victory. My baby is basically a spit up cannon, and it is crazy the amount of laundry we’ve done in the last few weeks. I went to the park for an hour with her last week. By the time I got home I felt like I had personally scaled Mt. Everest.

            I really appreciate all the pep talks, everyone. Thank you!

        • I was still crying everyday when my twins were a month old (and again when Baby #3 was a month old).

      • NewMomAnon says:

        I remember that feeling with a one-month old. A friend finally told me that really, all they need for stimulation is to be held and occasionally moved to a new room. At some point, they will start interacting with you and you will start talking with them naturally. They will also eventually start demanding more stimulation; if baby isn’t asking for more now, don’t worry about artifically creating it.

        Do you have a baby carrier (Ergo or Moby or Bjorn, etc)? Figuring out how to use our Moby wrap was helpful for my relationship with my kiddo – I could actually do some chores (not for hours on end, but for 20 minutes at a time), I could do some hobbies, I could go for a walk without wrangling the stroller. But an hour of activity a day was a big day for me the first few months, so go easy on yourself.

      • One month and three months are a universe apart. Don’t compare yourself to her. One month is purely survival mode. Keep her fed, clean, and warm, and other than that do whatever makes YOU feel better (which may be just trying to make it to the next nap).

      • I don’t know that you *have* to talk to your baby constantly. I am pretty introverted, so I’m not one of those “Ommmg look at you ! You’re so cute! You have spit up all over you yes you do!” kind of people. I nannyed for a baby from 3 months – 6 months and I just hung out, watch TV, read, etc with kiddo on my lap or doing his tummy time. I’d only randomly talk to him, and even though, in actual adult type sentences – “oops, looks like crinkle bear got away – here ya go”. I was 21 and had not just given birth so this is about 1000x more engaged than I expect to be when I have an actual tiny baby of my own. I think you’re fine.

      • new mom says:

        I have a five month old and am back to working full-time, but when I was home on maternity leave I found the days much easier when we were out and about. One of the best pieces od advice I received from some more experienced moms was to try to leave the house to do something (even if its just a trip to the drugstore) every day. It helped my sanity and the baby seemed to enjoy the change of scenery. My favorite activity was putting baby in a sling and heading to a free museum. Also baby wearing (ring sling, wrap, mei tai) makes being on the go easy and helps calm a fussy baby.

    • pockets says:

      I had the same exact thought last night in the shower. But for me it’s more that I have no idea about progress, milestones, or doing the “right thing” for development. Which is funny because I am probably one of those parents whose baby is everywhere with them – bars, restaurant, etc. (baby rarely naps in crib over the weekend) – but I still have my own insecurities. It seems like the other parents are always interacting with their babies or know so much about their babies (Jack like peas but not carrots. What does your daughter like? Uh….whatever’s on the plate? Jack’s bedtime ritual is a bath and then a book and then a song and thing a massage and then lights out. What’s yours? Uh….I stick her in the crib and walk away?) and have all these opinions about things I never even thought about. I realized I have zero maternal instinct regarding what is “best” or even appropriate for a baby.

      I make myself better by thinking that I am a “free range” parent (which sounds much nicer than “neglectful”) in that I don’t want to constantly engage, entertain or placate my baby – I think a large part of being a functional adult is being able to entertain yourself and handle yourself in less-than-ideal circumstances without melting down.

      • Spirograph says:

        We are mind twins, pockets. +1 to all of this, too after I just agreed with your post above. :)

        I realized this week that my son has gotten 2 more teeth sometime in the last month, and I don’t know when. Probably one of those weeks he wasn’t sleeping well. Also, I discovered he knows the word “hashbrowns” and is obsessed with juice (like… he saw a juicebox and said JUUUIIIICCCEEEEE like some deranged monster) when I have never fed him either of those. Nor do I have any idea what he eats at daycare every day, apparently.

        The other day, I stared at my friend’s facebook post marveling at her toddler (same age as mine) “going off to play in his room INDEPENDENTLY!” and wondered whether people really stay in sight of their toddlers all the time. I mean, I don’t let him play in the front yard by himself, but he definitely chases the cat around the basement while I’m cooking dinner upstairs.

        Free range parenting for the win.

        (What landed this in moderation?!)

    • Sarabeth says:

      I totally identify with this – you wouldn’t know it from my own instagram feed (which exists mostly for grandparents to ooh and ah). Shown on instagram: the awesome halloween costume my husband made for our toddler. Not shown on instagram: the enormous welt on her head when she fell down five minutes into the Halloween parade, causing us to skip our entire afternoon of planned fun activities.

    • hoola hoopa says:

      Totally normal.

      One of my favorite parenting moments is when a good friend and I (with similarly aged children) confessed that we each had thought the other was doing so much better. LOL, our lives are equal parts success and disaster. We even had remarkably similar horror stories that do NOT end up on FB, haha.

      Also, it’s a zero-sum game. Everyone has the same amount of time. If they are doing something you aren’t doing, then you are doing something that they aren’t.

      Remember that everyone filters what they say or show. Some stages and ages are easier for some than others, but everyone struggles with keeping it all going.

      Don’t bother with mom friends who won’t admit to a certain degree of chaos. They aren’t being real. My absolute best mom friends are the ones that can laugh at the crazy, brush off the mess, and share the link for the product that helps fix the issue that Perfect Moms won’t admit having.

      • hoola hoopa, your final paragraph should be stitched onto a decorative pillow and given to every new mom at the hospital when her baby is born.

  3. Hi gang – need advice. Please skip for anyone TTC who doesn’t want to read my tale of pregnancy woe!

    Anyone out there have tips for coping with an accidental pregnancy? DH and I have two kids under 5 and we were very seriously considering adding a third via adoption — partially because it’s something we both really wanted to do, and partially because I hate hate hate hate HATE being pregnant. Despite our best efforts at prevention, however, I found out this weekend that I am in fact expecting for a third time. On paper, this is fine: we have all the clothes/gear/minivan etc., I have access to great healthcare, we have good jobs, yadda yadda. Except that I’m legitimately UPSET that this happened, since I really, REALLY didn’t want it to (sorry for the EllenCAPS).

    A big part of me is grieving the adoption. We’re fairly far into the process but I know we can’t handle two more little kids at the same time, and I doubt we would go so far as to adopt later on — four (total) feels like too many.

    I know I’m going to have to suck it up. I know that eventually I will see this as A Good Thing, since it’s not totally removed from what we were already considering (adding another child to our family). Except that right now, I’m a complete swirl of emotions, mostly negative. Of course I have guilt about that, too — because I don’t want this kid to come into the world unloved or something. Very confusing and complex. Anyone been here/done this?

    • I’ve been there! We have two boys, 18 months apart. We definitely planned on having a second child, but wanted them about 3 years apart and were “blessed” with a surprise pregnancy. I legitimately cried when I saw the positive test because I had just finished nursing the month before and was so excited to have my body back to myself. I HATE being pregnant. And then I felt guilty that I didn’t immediately feel overjoyed to be pregnant again. It was a horrible swirl of emotions (that I’m sure pregnancy hormones didn’t help).

      I can tell you that every friend of mine with an unplanned second/third pregnancy like ours had the same swirl of emotions, and then guilt at feeling negative. And every friend did come around to see it as A Good Thing. I would just give it time – finding out you’re pregnant is such a shock and it means that your life changes immediately. And – congrats!

    • greenie says:

      My second was a suprise at a pretty bad time. I was not prepared emotionally and then my husband ended up losing his job when I was about 10 weeks into the pregnancy. I cried myself to sleep EVERY night for over a month. Fast forward 3 years and I could not imagine it being any other way. I am so happy for the timing of everything. Let yourself mourn what is not going to be and do not feel guilty about it, but then move forward. Congratulations!

      • +1 to letting yourself mourn. I think that’s the key here. You had a plan, it isn’t going to work out, and that’s sad. That doesn’t mean this alternate plan won’t be great, but you’re allowed to feel really bad that things didn’t go how you wanted!

    • Well, I haven’t been there, but I know that if I found myself pregnant right now I would be having a complete nervous breakdown (see my post above) even though we would like a second someday, in theory. Your feelings seem quite natural and understandable to me, so don’t beat yourself up!

    • Anonymous says:

      Our third was the EXACT same scenario.

      I’ll be completely honest with you: I was bitter for the first trimester or so. My excitement at having a third child was completely overwhelmed by how much I did. not. want. to be pregnant again. I didn’t want to postpone my life for 2 years again. Etc. But by the second half of the pregnancy, I was excited and ready. It was even a harder pregnancy relative to the others (mostly age/fitness related, and nothing horrible) but my attitude and mood were similar to the 2nd which was completely intentional and planned.

      100% agree to taking your time to mourn. I personally felt most comfortable with doing it privately and putting on a happy public face for everyone but my husband, but it was critical.

      • Anonymous, you are me to a T! The whole postponing life for two years thing is exactly what I’ve been saying over and over to my husband.

        If you’re still reading: how did your SO handle things? I ask because my husband is really, really happy about the pregnancy but feels terrible for me — so he’s obviously torn. He doesn’t want to be honest about his (good) feelings in front of me b/c he doesn’t want to rub it in since he knows I’m super upset. At the same time, I feel as though one of us needs to be glad/excited about this or I will go through the roof…but realize that he’s actually kind of afraid I’m going to explode if he tries to tell me this is going to be a good thing.

  4. To (former) preg 3L says:

    Hope you’re hanging in there!

    • (former) preg 3L says:

      Thanks! We had a rough weekend (H stole baby from daycare on Friday, then took her on Saturday and returned her 2 hours later than planned and didn’t bother giving her a bottle until 15 minutes before returning her… so she went 5+ hours with no milk! NOT OK!) and then baby woke up every hour last night (not normal at nearly 9 months old). Hopefully we’ll get a custody agreement in place soon though! Any advice about the TOTAL LACK OF SLEEP?? :( I ordered Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems and it can’t get here soon enough.

      • Oh no. H stealing baby from daycare is so not OK. Whether or not you have a custody agreement in place, have you talked to the daycare or your lawyer about this yet? Can you instruct daycare not to release your baby to him under any circumstances? And then Saturday….I would think that not complying with the previously agreed schedule will have a negative effect on any custody rights H gets in future. You might want to point that out to him.

        Re total lack of sleep – the Sleep Lady has been working well for us. Especially if you are now parenting as a single mom, I would think your sleep is at even more of a premium. We saw immediate results with Sleep Lady, and though it has taken a few weeks, our daughter just slept through the night (the ENTIRE night) for the first time on Friday. She’s just a month older than yours, so maybe it is worth trying?

      • So sorry! She might be going through the 9 month sleep regression.

        She is also probably still adjusting to daycare and being in a different place with dad. Can you lawyer intervene re dad taking baby from daycare? That is super serious.

        • (former) preg 3L says:

          Baby stopped sleeping literally the day I took the bar exam (July 29) and has been up at least 2x/night since then.

          There’s no custody agreement in place yet, so daycare says they are legally obligated to release the child to either biological parent. No worries ladies, I am working on this with my lawyer.

      • My guess is that the baby woke up every hour because she had a totally stressful experience on Friday and Saturday and was feeling clingy. Especially going 5+ hours without food. I personally wouldn’t worry about sleep training her right now. I’d focus on giving her the love and structure you can provide, and hopefully her sleep will be better. And in the meantime, give yourself carte blanche to have as much coffee as you need to survive a bad night of sleep.

        And I agree with everyone else – get your lawyer on the case of him taking the baby from daycare without your permission. And if your daycare releases her without your permission, change daycares.

        • (former) preg 3L says:

          I don’t plan to sleep train, but I do plan to read as much as I can about baby sleep to see if there are any other issues that might be able to be addressed to help her sleep. I’m also considering moving her into my room to sleep, but I think her crib is more comfortable than her pack n play — and the crib doesn’t fit through the doorways! (Thoughts on that?)

          • This might be a very ignorant question, but can’t the crib be disassembled, pieces moved into your room, and then reassembled?

            If so, then call up a few good friends for a “crib moving” party one night after work or on the weekend. You get the pizza, they give you a hand, everybody wins.

          • Is putting her in your bed totally out of the question? If I were adjusting to daycare and suffering not being fed well on Saturday and everything else, I’d just want to be reassured by my mom’s presence. (My three month old does not sleep with us at night because we swaddle. But it could be helpful in a high-stress situation. Plus–I’ve done it a few times–it makes nursing even easier.) Just an idea…

          • (former) preg 3L says:

            Disassembling the crib – yes it definitely could be done, but I like being able to have baby in her own room in the crib for weekend naps and for any sleep that happens before I go to bed (i.e., 6-10pm).

            Bringing baby into my bed – this is what I’d really like to do, but she’s just about 9 months and I’m afraid that she would never sleep by herself again. As much as I want to be close to comfort her, I think maintaining separate sleep spaces would be best, long-term. (If anyone has brought their baby into their bed and then successfully moved baby back to a crib, please let me know!)

          • We did it! I coslept a lot with both of my kids (lazy nursing mama who needed every ounce of sleep she could get) and I’m here to tell you that they both sleep fantastically in their own spaces now (age 2 and 5). We’d always put them down in their crib/s at first but then when it was time for a night feeding, DH would get the kid, change his/her diaper and bring him/her to me. I’d feed lying down and that was it — we both got the max amount of sleep this way.

          • NewMomAnon says:

            My kiddo moves in and out of my bed depending on what is happening with sleep – during rocky sleep periods, she’ll sometimes spend most of the night in bed with me, and then we’ll transition her back to her crib and she’ll spend the next month sleeping there. It is do-able to move her back to her crib, although we often have a relatively sleepless night the first night we want her back in her crib. We always start the night in the crib (so I don’t have to go to bed at 7 pm), and evaluate from there. I am a big proponent of doing what you have to do today, and not worrying so much about tomorrow when it comes to baby sleep matters.

          • (former) preg 3L says:

            Thanks for the thoughts on co-sleeping! Another hesitation I have about co-sleeping is that H and I are trying to figure out a custody agreement, and baby won’t be able to sleep with me when she’s at H’s house. I don’t know which will be less traumatic for her — co-sleeping with me whenever she IS with me or always sleeping by herself, and just not seeing me for nighttime feedings when she’s with H? Thoughts?

          • I like to think it was very traumatic for co-sleeping DD when I go out of town, but in truth my husband says she’s fine and sleeps better when I’m gone…my guess is she’ll know what’s up and adjust accordingly. It will probably be more difficult for H.

  5. Mamma Mia says:

    I am less than 7 weeks and my tummy is already bulging out like crazy. I pulled out my Be Band for my jeans yesterday (which I know that I didn’t use until at least 13 weeks last time), and was still uncomfortable, and today my underwear, which I’m sure that I didn’t up-size on until well past 20 weeks last time, is super-tight (TMI, sorry). I’m hoping to hide until about 16 weeks (through raise time at the end of the year), but at this rate, it’s going to be hard. I guess this is just how it goes with number 2, right? Yikes!

    • It happens so early with the second! The only saving grace is that you are probably noticing a lot more than other people are. Dresses and flowy cardigans?

    • Agreed – you probably notice a lot more than others. I think I notice others’ weight gain only once it’s in their face – which, maybe is not happening yet? I’m not scanning peoples’ bellies on a daily basis, so if I were one of your coworkers, you’d be in the clear.

      I think there are some posts on the main site on how to hide a bump, but I would go with spanx (sized up, or even maternity) and flowy dresses. If your underwear is cutting into your legs (right back at you TMI) I’m betting spanx will actually feel better because they’re seamless.

      • hoola hoopa says:

        +1 to all of this. But IME just use your regular shapewear, maybe 1 size up (although I found that hid nothing), but definitely not maternity yet.

        Treat yourself to sized up underwear! I didn’t need to at all for the first two but it was so painful the third time. Worth every cent.

  6. Ladies, I am just Not Good at bring pregnant. I’m about 36 weeks (thank god, almost done) and am having a lot of trouble sleeping. I had planned to work as close as possible to my due date, but honestly, just have zero motivation and mostly feel like a zombie. I am exhausted all the time and barely functional at work. I’m seriously wondering if I should just call it quits now and stay home for the last month (and do what?) rather than slog in every day and pretend to work. Going on leave now would either mean shorter leave after baby is born or more time unpaid, not to mention the inconvenience to my office. Any thoughts on getting through the last month? Commiseration?

    • Meg Murry says:

      I took off starting at 2 weeks before my due date with both kids (which wound up being 3 weeks since they were both late). Like you, I was getting terrible sleep at night, and I was exhausted and basically just staring into space for large amounts of the workday. Being able to sleep when I could and just rest was very relieving. I also was able to do some pre-baby prep that hadn’t happened up to that point, like buying diapers and sorting clothes by size. I also spent about an hour each day in the community pool just walking and floating – it was hard to drag myself there, but once I did, I felt so much better and less whale-like (and then I went home and had a good nap afterward where I actually slept well).

      My bosses both seemed to appreciate me having an actual end date for me to work up to and to transition projects over on, as opposed to “I’ll keep showing up until one day I won’t”. And I had a long commute that was in the opposite direction as my hospital, so I was a little concerned about how I would actually get to the hospital if I went into labor at work (and didn’t want to wind up forced to go to the hospital near my office which wasn’t a good one).

      Ask your doctor about it as well. If you blood pressure is elevated or you are showing other signs of stress s/he may even recommend you stop working earlier, which might go over better at work. Or, in my case, I had to have a doctor’s appointment once a week in the last month – could you schedule all those appointment for, say Tuesdays and then take Tuesdays and Thursdays off until the baby is due? Or use vacation time to cut back to 6 hours a day, etc? I wouldn’t worry so very much about the inconvenience to your office – how much help are you actually being to them right now if you are as non-functional as you say you are?

    • I know what you mean. I had trouble with that last month of work too. It was definitely an effort to drag myself in every day, especially since this was the middle of the Polar Vortex and I had to walk to work. But I found that at home I would just drive myself crazy thinking every little twinge was a contraction. Or I’d rearrange the nursery ten times and get bored. Work was preferable to that.

      I really enjoyed warm baths at the end of the day. Don’t know if that’s an option for you, but it relieved a lot of my lower back pain. If you have a pool nearby, that could work too.

      At work, I wore comfortable flats and brought in a pillow for my desk chair. I took frequent breaks to walk and stretch–just 5 minutes–and drank lots of decaf tea and seltzer. Fluids seemed to help with the fatigue.
      I know this is a struggle, but if you can get on the treadmill and walk, you might find that it totally revives you. I would get a boost of energy from even the most moderate exercise.

    • Famouscait says:

      37.5 weeks pregnant and feeling SO DONE. I, too have been struggling with the idea of taking more time on the front end, only to have less time/pay on the back end of maternity leave. One thing that has helped is working from home as much as possible. I don’t know if that’s an option for you, but I can still be pretty productive, but I get to do it in my PJs with my (swollen) feet propped up, and I’m just steps from the restroom.

      In other news, in the last 24 hours,I’ve developed nausea, diarrhea ,and general lethargy, so either 1) the baby is coming! or 2) I have the stomach bug that’s going around. I really hope its the baby but am sure it’ll just turn out to be the stomach bug. >=(

    • I can commisserate. I will be 36 weeks along tomorrow. I can’t wait for the pregnancy to be over. At the same time I feel like I have a lot to get done to wrap up my cases and it is nerve wracking to think that I could end up leaving earlier than my scheduled departure date.

    • hoola hoopa says:

      For insomnia, use unisom sleep tabs. Half for 8 hours, whole for full 12.

      I’m a big fan of taking off ~1 wk before baby arrives. A hard date works well for the office and the time off is a breath of fresh air. Fill the time with preparation and relaxation. It means one week less with baby, but IME 11 weeks isn’t so different than 12 weeks and that week off is so worth it.

      I do suggest slogging through until then. You should start to ramp down anyway in the last week or so, depending on your work flow, and passing off work, preparing coverage or temporary holds, etc. I’ve always been able to trim my days a bit without anyone minding. The hours move sloooowly, but the weeks will pass quickly.

      • I’ve never taken unisom — do you think that would help if my issue is more with back pain and physical discomfort and not really “insomnia”?

        • hoola hoopa says:

          Hmm… I took it for true insomnia – just laying awake for no reason for most of the night – but I think it’s definitely worth trying. It really knocks me out, so I think it would help me sleep through discomfort.

          Actually, I can remember one particular night when I was in pain. Worked well.

        • Katarina says:

          It helped me sleep in the end when my lack of sleep was largely from discomfort.

  7. Anon for this says:

    Ladies I need some perspective. I’ve tried video-chatting with my sister twice now in the last 4 months of pregnancy, and each time has ended badly (for me). I don’t do photos of my belly to track progress, for example, and I don’t really even like the “compliments” people dish out (aka “You look great! You’re hardly showing”) because that clearly indicates you’re evaluating my figure, and that makes me uncomfortable.

    After my sister asked for the “wide angle view” (her words) in our first video chat at about 6 months pregnant, I got so upset my parents had a talk with her to say, basically, you need to lay off. Little sis isn’t comfortable with that stuff. Fast forward to a week ago (I’m now full-term) and we video-chat for only the second time ever, and my sister asks again, for a belly shot. Then her kids, who are 5 and 7 (so I think old enough to really know better) started chanting about my “big belly” and “your face looks chubby!” I wound up in tears again as soon as we ended the video chat. (It didn’t help that the kids only got a mild, half-laughing scolding. Or that to take the sting out of the chubby face comment was to tell my husband who was also video chatting with me, that his face looks chubby too, but what’s his excuse?!)

    Now I feel like I’m already anxious about video-chatting with my sister from the hospital to show her the new baby (when he comes) because I’m afraid of what she or the kids will say in that moment when I’ll be even more (I assume) emotionally wired. My sister lives abroad and so won’t be able to be there in person. We’re typically very close, and I really don’t know why she isn’t able to respect my need for no body commentary. Thoughts? Commiseration?

    • Wow. I’m so sorry so many people have said such moronic and hurtful things to you. I make it a policy never to comment on someone’s weight–and frankly I don’t even notice it (unless a truly extreme change has occurred–which I still wouldn’t comment on directly). I’m guessing this is an expression of your sister’s obsession and anxiety about weight. Not sure what you should say in return. Maybe something like “well, my body is doing something pretty amazing.” Or maybe just “why would you say that?” There’s no way I’d video chat from the hospital. Just send a picture and call later. Your desire for no body commentary is absolutely legitimate!!

      • Spirograph says:

        I think this is a perfect reason to make up an excuse about your webcam dying and stick to voice-only calls. I am with you 100% on not wanting any comments on my pregnancy shape/appearance… Obviously this is not the best I’ve ever looked, and I hate having any extra attention called to it. Can you send your sister an e-mail and just say “hey, comments about my appearance make me very uncomfortable. I love you, but please stop.”? Your parents may not have been direct enough, and she might take it more seriously coming directly from you. I’m sure she doesn’t mean to be hurtful; there are plenty of people who LOVE remarks about their adorable baby bump and pregnancy glow. She just needs to know to turn it off for this particular audience.

    • oil in houston says:

      I’m sorry to say this, but your nieces/nephews are not old enough to know better… why are you feeling so insecure about your body? you’re pregnant, I’m sorry again but you DO have a big belly, and for a bloody good reason too!
      as for the video chat at the hospital, don’t do it if you know you will be uncomfortable, you don’t need it. Maybe ask your husband to do it without you and just show the baby? but personnally, my plan is for most people to just wait until I feel like it!

  8. Anon S says:

    Hi ladies, I’m 14 weeks pregnant (with my first) and planning to tell the head of my group today. How should I bring it up? Should I just say “Hey Jack, do you have a few minutes? Great, I just wanted to let you know I’m pregnant and due in April.” End conversation. He’s EXTREMELY nice and a big family man himself so I’m sure it’ll be fine but I’ve never been in this situation before so not 100% sure how to approach it.

    • Famouscait says:

      I think the conversation can be that succinct. I’d just add to be clear about your intention to return to work after maternity leave (if that is in fact what you want to do). It was so obvious to me that I didn’t spell it out for my boss, and that created unnecessary wondering on his part for a moment.

      • Anon S says:

        Oh good point. I can say something like “…..due in April so will return to work in August after mat leave” or something like that.

        • pockets says:

          I would leave out exactly when you plan on returning. Just say that you plan to return. If he presses you as to when, say you have to talk to HR to figure it out.

  9. Boori says:

    Anyone has any experience with Boori cribs. I saw one secondhand and it is so pretty, but I couldn’t find much information online. My other option is Ikea, which is nice and functional and trustworthy. Any thoughts?

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