August Coffee Date: Baby Edition! - Skillful Cook
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August Coffee Date: Baby Edition!

A hand holding a hanger and a baby sweater is hanging on it.

Well, hi, friends! It's the end of August (sob) and we meet again! ❤️

Today is a coffee date day, and since my life is almost all things baby right now, I think it makes sense for this to be an all-things-baby post. If you want to dive into that rabbit hole with me, you are in the right place.

Drinks of choice? Lately I've been mildly obsessed with coconut water and MEGA obsessed with lemonade. We've also had a few cooler weather days (WHAT! NOT READY!) and today it rained and I made a hot decaf coffee in the middle of the afternoon, jazzed up with half and half, agave, and - wait for it - a tiny pinch of salt. And it was all kinds of perfect. I know you don't even believe me right now with the salt, but it's so good. Try it and report back.

Grab your teas and coffees - iced or hot - and let's do this.

Due Date

A pregnant woman looks at her phone.

One of the most common questions people ask is: could you please take more selfies in public bathrooms?

Just kidding. It's: when is your due date? And that's a fair question! But it's also kind of complicated.

Technically, our due date is in early October. In reality, we will be delivering this baby in mid-September.

Because of how premature Afton was and all that happened during that time, we've known all along that a normal, non-surgical, 40-week delivery wasn't going to happen with any future pregnancies. I don't mean that we opted out - I mean that our high risk OB doctors said multiple times: under no circumstances is that a possibility for you.

So we'll have an early c-section in mid-September, and even though it's maybe not a first-choice type scenario, we are in the camp now where we consider having a living child to be the highest order of first-choice type scenario.

So the question of “when is your due date” is always kind of tricky to answer, but there you have it! We'll call it mid-September. Our fall baby.

Thank you for your respect by not offering medical advice on this topic.

Nursery Tour

Modern changing table with decor.

Oooh, exciting! Except guess what? We don't quite have a nursery! Hahaha.

We have a bassinet upstairs in our bedroom, and a changing table in my office. So she's kinda got two half-nurseries. Does that count?

She'll sleep in our room for a while, but to be honest, I don't know what we're going to do for sleeping arrangements after the first few months. We have a 1.5 story house - master bedroom upstairs, and regular bedrooms downstairs. And it's really hard for me to imagine myself sleeping upstairs while she sleeps ALLLLL the way downstairs.

So... stay tuned on that. Maybe it's time to consider moving. Building? Camping! Totally camping.

Do any of you have a baby sleeping on a different floor of the house? How's that working for you?

Favorite Stuff

A chair and a bed near a window of a bedroom.

Keep in mind, this is stuff that we've purchased that I already love... without having an actual baby to test it out with. So we'll plan a coffee date in a few months when I can give an actual recommendation for the real-world usage of these items.

WRBWB = Will Report Back With Baby!

we paid for all of these products! I've included affiliate links to the products on Amazon below!

1 - Snoo

In other words, we officially drank the Kool-aid. This electronicamajig bassinet plays white noise and gently jiggles the baby while she sleeps. It also responds to noise (like, a cry) with increasing levels of white noise and jiggles with the idea that it might be enough to comfort her back to sleep. After a minute or two of crying, it shuts off so you can take care of whatever baby needs. It is absolutely the most gorgeous bassinet I've ever seen, a complete splurge, and likely to bring out people's opinions. Parents either swear by it or think it's totally ridiculous. But we're planning to try it, and I'm not gonna lie - I'm kind of excited. WRBWB!

Snoo link here!

2 - Crib

We almost didn't get a crib! I literally just ordered it last week. We obviously would have bought one eventually, but a) we have the Snoo for now, and b) we don't know where this little girl is going to be sleeping yet (our room? upstairs? downstairs? we don't have the ideal modern family all-bedrooms-on-one-floor set up) and I didn't want to buy a crib without knowing where we'd put it. But then I panicked and was like, WE NEED HER TO HAVE A CRIB. So we bought this mini crib which is perfect for our small house and hopefully can fit in a number of places in our house, giving us the flexibility to set her up wherever it feels right when the time comes.

Crib link here!

3 - Glider

You guys, I spent 900 years picking out a glider. I finally found one at Pottery Barn. I bought it. And then, because I am a complete flake about these things, I changed my mind. I called 10+ times to return it.

So I spent 900 more years picking a new one. I sat in at least 5,000 gliders. I finally found the one. I went to order it. I discovered that it was out of stock.

I went to a new store and said: I need a glider, like, now. And she said: We just got this floor model yesterday. If you like it, you can buy it.

Done. Sold. I bought a floor model glider. I don't even know what brand it is. It's comfy and looks decently decent. Goodbye.

4 - bouncer

Um, this is adorable. I saw it on Joanna Gaines' Instagram and bought immediately. It is a thing of BEAUTY. It may or may not be practical but TBH it is working quite nicely as a  pregnancy foot rest for me right now.

Bouncer link here!

5 - Niche Nursing Pillow

I have nothing against the more commonly beloved Boppy, but I set one of these Niche pillows on my lap while testing gliders and fell in love. It feels a little heavier, and it's shaped a little more square-like, so it gives more surface area on my lap, which I kind of like. WRBWB.

Niche pillow link here!

6 - Dresser / Changing Table

We got a super cute and long-term usable dresser from West Elm. If we never used it as a changing table, that'd be fine with me. I'd take this as a dresser any day. It's so cute and it fits well in small bedrooms. Win win!

Changing table link here!

7 - Hatch Changing Pad

Hatch! It looks nice, it's wipe-down-able, but also, most notably, it's some kind of fancy baby scale that syncs to your phone via Bluetooth so you can be one of THOSE moms! Cool!

Hatch Baby Grow link here!

8 - Bumgenius Freetime Diapers

I am TBD on cloth diapering, okay? But I did buy a few Bumgenius Freetime cloth diapers to try it out, because they seem so idiot-proof that even I might be able to swing it. They are an all-in-one, meaning you don't have any covers or liners to separate - you just wash the whole thing. That sounds about right.

bumGenius link here!

Any clother diaperers among us? Feel free to leave your advices!

9 - Uppababy Vista Stroller

I can't even tell you how many times I went back and forth on the stroller decision. In the end, a recommendation from a friend pushed me over the edge and we got the UppaBaby Vista with the Mesa carseat. To be honest, I am very, very nervous about the fact that it doesn't have a cupholder. Yes - of all the things I could be worried about, I have chosen to direct my energies towards the cupholder. This is like the Rolls Royce of strollers - why does it not have a cupholder?!?! But the ride seems smooth, and the leather handle is kind of beautiful to hold on to, and it snaps in and out with a bassinet, carseat, and toddler seat like no problem. WRBWB.

Uppababy link here!

10 - Mori sleepers

I bought a few sleepers from this company in the UK, because Instagram ads work on me, okay? And they are so soft and so adorable and so understated in design, and I could not love them more. There are a decent number of snaps on them, so maybe that's a bad idea? but again, WRBWB.

Mori sleepers link here!

What's your favorite baby stuff? Books, gear, clothes, nursing supplies, carriers, diaper bags, etc.?

Links and recommendations welcome! I can't wait to hear!

Maternity Photos

Lindsay at 34 weeks.

Maternity photos! Are they worth it? Or not worth it? Or just plain weird?

We had a team photo shoot a few months ago, and the lovely Gina, who took our photos, offered to sneak a few extras of Bjork and I in so that we could get some early bump shots! So we have a few already from about 20-ish weeks. But I'm kind of wondering if I should take another round of photos now that it's getting closer to the end... or if I should just let it be and stick with the photos on my phone. I've been pretty on the ball about taking weekly bump pictures so we definitely have a few to look back on, but I also wonder if I'll regret not having more “official” photos of me/Bjork/Sage/baby before she is born.

What do you guys think? Did you take maternity photos? Are you glad you did or didn't?

Anxiety Management

A home office a personal computer, table-chair and window next to it.

A) As mentioned, bouncer as a foot rest. Just normal stuff over here.

B) Not surprisingly, this pregnancy has been an anxious one. I wrote a lot about my pregnancy with Afton here on the blog (first trimester, second trimester, fourth trimester) but I've had a much harder time doing the same for this pregnancy because I'm so worried that something will go wrong. Even now, at 34 weeks, I worry. My first and last waking thought every day is about her movements - are there enough of them? does she feel okay? is she still alive?

So yes, I've been anxious. Here are some of the things that have helped me with my anxiety during these last eight months.

  • Counseling. I have a counselor that I've been seeing for a few years now and she's wonderful and it's really helpful to process through all my emotions and behaviors and patterns of thinking with someone who knows what she's talking about.
  • Support groups. I have gone to a bi-weekly group for the last 20+ months. Like, almost two years. We have a group at our hospital that is for pregnancy and infant loss, and another group that is for pregnancy after loss. I have gone to both.
  • Loss Mom Friends. I met a group of friends through another loss group, and we text each other and get together regularly. They just get it.
  • No Googling. Right now, for me, medical Googling is a HARD NO. Bjork can Google for me, or I can call my doctor. Those are my two options. I broke this rule last week and it sent me into an anxiety tailspin and I ended up in the hospital “just to make sure” three times in five days. HARD NO, Linds. Hard no.
  • Supportive Medical Team. My doctors and nurses know our history, and if they don't, I try to tell them right away. They are understanding and encourage us to come in anytime, even if it seems silly. Which it usually does, and nonetheless, we usually do.
  • Relying on Facts. When things seem really bad, I have to ask myself, “What are the facts?” And usually the actual facts are not as bad as the worst case scenario that has taken hold in my brain. A follow up to this is the reminder that THOUGHTS ARE NOT FACTS. Just because you think it doesn't mean that it's real.

What do you do to keep anxiety in check, pregnancy-related or otherwise?

Thinking About Afton

Trees and plants surrounding a serene lake during sunset.

We did a hospital tour (private, at the recommendation of the support group leader), and as soon as the nursing care coordinator walked us into the postpartum room, both Bjork and I started immediately swallowing back tears. Being back in a hospital room felt like touching a raw nerve.

I remember this, my brain said.

I remember that menu that I ordered oatmeal from that morning. That white board where they wrote our baby's name. The kitchenette fridge that held the food that I couldn't ever bring myself to eat. The monitors that showed our baby moving for the last time. Even being at a different hospital, in a different room, it brought us right back. And it was really, really sad.

It's important for me to tell you that I don't feel sad all the time. I feel so much less fragile than I was a year ago. And I am so, so excited to meet this baby girl.

But there's no separating the emotions of losing our first and gaining our second. His story is part of hers, and hers is part of his. Our goal is to let that be okay - to remove “should” from our vocabulary and just let this new chapter be what it is, whether that's sad, or happy, or a little of both.

Maternity Leave

A dog lying on its back on a couch.

(This picture implies that this is what I'll be doing on maternity leave, and, uh, NOT SO MUCH, but I just needed you to have this photo for obvious reasons.)

I mentioned this briefly on the last coffee date, but it's probably worth mentioning again: I'm taking a maternity leave when the baby is born!

Here's the plan:

  • I'll be taking 12 weeks off, starting mid-September.
  • You'll be seeing some scheduled content going out during that time, so the blog won't be completely quiet, but it also won't be the same as normal. And that's okay! The blog is a living, breathing thing to me. There is a flow to it that reflects its authenticity - some high intensity seasons, and some slower paced ones. This will be a season to focus on recovery, self care, and family care.
  • I'll be back in January! Well, technically December, but I'll be getting stuff ready for Sugar Free January. You'll probably start to see things pick back up just in time for 2019.

I am planning to let you guys know  with a post here on the blog when baby makes her arrival, and you can always follow along on my personal Instagram account which is @lindsaymostrom.

And of course, you should definitely be following the @skillfulcook Instagram account which will have plenty of juicy, delicious content going out all throughout my maternity leave!

Now, a word from a random dog in Minneapolis, who I happened to spot on my way home from the studio the other day.

Large dog looking out a car window.

He wants you to know that YOU GOT THIS. You should not be bothered by anything in the world right now - just look at him and learn his ways. That frustrating thing / person / event / situation? Let it go. Take a ride and Let. It. All. Go. And maybe stop at McDonald's on your way home from work, and hang both arms out of your car window, and then get yourself a chocolate shake with whipped cream on top. Like, why are they so good. WHY. HOW. Or maybe some questions are best left unanswered.

Sage will be back in the future with more words of wisdom, but, uh, for this month she is very busy napping? Okay? So thanks for your understanding.

Reminder: I love your comments. When it comes to comment etiquette for something as personal as baby-related things, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself: How would I say this in person, face to face? Is this comment conversational in nature, or more of a personal critique? Do I have a personal story or experience I can share that adds value rather than offering unsolicited advice?

As always, thank you for your conversational, personal, interesting, and thoughtful comments! These posts (and your comments!) are some of my favorite. ♡

Filed Under: Life Motherhood

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I am so happy that your pregnancy continues to go. I can’t imagine the courage, trust, hope and faith that it took to embark on that journey for a second time. I also just really really respect so much about how you have handled it in this space. I love the tone and authenticity. ALso, I dont have a baby but Kath Eats Real Food is pregnant too and I believe she has the same bedroom situation as you with her master on the second. I can’t wait to internet meet your daughter!!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Hey that’s me!! Haha. Yes, we have a master up and kids bedrooms down. Our baby will sleep in our room – first in a Halo Bassinet (jealous of your Snoo! Can’t wait to hear if it works!) and then… we don’t know. I think he’ll stay in our room probably for 6 months or until he solidly sleeps through the night. I can see us moving him down between 6-9 months OR moving the crib up (because we luckily have a very large master). Everything is TBD for us too but I’m with you about going up and down stairs at night!

      We also got the Uppababy (the Cruz) and Mess and I love them!!!

      So glad your pregnancy continues to go smoothly Lindsay and I can’t wait to meet your baby girl!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    Look into the cup holder attachment for the stroller! Of course it’s more money on top of a $$$ stroller but…cup holder! Worth it 🙂 praying for you and the baby, Lindsay!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Sending you love and hugs in the last weeks of your pregnancy. Afton and this precious girl are forever, beautifully connected…I have 3 babies in heaven watching over my 2 on earth…looking forward to “meeting” your new little one.

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m wishing you all the very best with your last few weeks of this pregnancy. You are so brave. xx

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Just had to leave another comment quickie. Really appreciate your baby comment making advice Lindsay because, yes you are very brave!!! After 5 years of infertility, hearing good friends tell me that “if I would just relax I’d have no trouble getting pregnant” was NOT helpful!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        OH my goodness, my Father in law said that to my hubs and I. I was so upset (we’d been trying, without luck, for 2 years at that point) that I went home and sobbed.

        We have one kiddo who we found out about the very same week my husband’s urologist told us that we should think about alternate methods for having a biological child. She’s a miracle who has been defying odds since the very start!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    We used cloth diapers and (mostly) loved them. Our first son used them for 24 months until he potty trained and our second son used them for about 10 months when the diapers gave up and so did we!

    And a big giant YES to maternity photos. The photos I have of me, my husband and my first baby bump are priceless and I still love looking at them!

    Wishing you so much strength and joy in the next weeks.

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Our bedrooms are on separate floors. I was very worried, but with baby monitors it isn’t a big deal at all. I don’t think I could do it without the monitor though. I’d be sleeping on the floor outside her room!
    So many good thoughts and prayers to you!

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    We love in a 1.5 story too (master upstairs; other bedrooms on main floor) in Minneapolis, and it has been fine with kids. I was worried about it too, but we kept each baby upstairs with us (in a Pack n Play) until about 6-8 months (longer for our daughter since she was a bad sleeper) and then moved them downstairs. It was a hassle when there was a bad sleep patch (it was annoying having to go to a different floor to soothe/nurse), but it had been fine overall. Sometimes (during a bad sleep patch), I would sleep downstairs (guest room or couch), but it wasn’t a big deal. Overall it has been much less of an issue than I expected. And now that they aren’t babies anymore (2 and 4), it’s nice to have a separate upstairs space that’s just ours.

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    So much fun to re-live preparing for those early baby years though you! We did bumgenious diapers too and I actually loved cloth-diapering, strange as that may be. Bonus was that cloth diapering helped my kids finish their potty training before they turned 2, and I loved no diapers even more. :). I love that watercolor-ish wall-hanging that you have in your attic room… do you mind sharing where you got that from?

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    I thought I would cloth diaper, until I found out it was twins, and then I decided not to because 2x cloth diapers just wasn’t going to happen. BUT here’s some of the advice I received about cloth diapering (none of this is my own since I am not cloth diapering). Don’t even think about cloth diapering the first month; they won’t fit well while baby is still newby size, meconium is not something you want to scrape off (eck), you have to change her diaper like 18x a day those first couple weeks anyway, and when you’re up every hour you don’t have time/energy to deal with washing. When things settle and you get a routine and babe has plumped up a bit, that’s a great time to start cloth!

    Also with my twins, we would not be the happy family we are now (they’re 9 months old) without the book “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby” by Weissbluth. I know this book is controversial for some because it’s considered the “cry it out” book, but we used it from day one and because we taught them self-soothing from the get-go, we never had to let them cry. They’re great sleepers!

    Anyway, I have been thinking of you and Baby Girl daily. Sending a the best thoughts to you ❤️

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Healthy Sleep was our bible. We also followed that book from day 1, self soothing is key. We had our kids in our room until they slept through the night (at 6 weeks…we were lucky) and then down to their own crib on the first floor they went. It’s been great for us. But do what works best for your family…. wishing you amazing things.

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    I would honestly worry more about a mobile toddler sleeping on a separate floor than I would about a baby, although if baby is not a good sleeper, it could get tedious for you. I guess the other option would be to move both of your rooms to the main floor and let your master suite be an awesome guest space. But I bet it would be hard to give up a true master. I’ve never had one, but I imagine I could get used to it ;). Best of luck to you with baby’s debut!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thank you for sharing so much of your story. I had a miscarriage at 8weeks and after that my birth plan was go home healthy and bring home a healthy baby. Pregnancy after loss is so incredibly hard. Thinking of you, praying for a healthy girl and momma, and planning on being here whenever you decide to return after ❤️❤️❤️

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    Our baby sleeps on a different level than us. Our master is on the entry level and the nursery is upstairs. For the first 4 months, he slept in our room. Once our baby started sleeping in longer stretches (5-6 hours), we started noticing that we were disturbing his sleep and we knew it was time to move him to his nursery. It helped that by this time we knew that he was a healthy happy baby who is low risk for anything scary (like SIDs). Since moving him upstairs, we’ve had NO problems! I would recommend setting up a mini-changing station in your room for the months she’s sleeping with you. Middle-of-the-night diaper changes are hard enough without having to navigate a flight of stairs! We just had a basket of wipes and diapers and my husband would change him in his bassinet (he would stick a doggie peepee training pad underneath of him to catch any accidents).

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    Cloth diapers. High five. They rock. Totally loved my bumgenius cloth. First six weeks I recommend disposables because figuring out the whole new parent thing / post partum hormones/ sooooo much poop is tough enough. But after that I just loved using cloth. Highly recommend. Also by the time the kiddos were 18months we were back to disposable. Toddler poop is where I personally draw the line. Hahahaha! It was just too much.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Amen on the toddler poop. In my opinion there is a window of several months when the intensely overwhelming newborn phase is over, and they’re not eating any solids, when cloth diapers rock.

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      Yes! We stopped cloth diapering around 15 months old. Just couldn’t handle the change in poop either. We loved Bumgenius diapers, though!

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    So excited for you! My daughter is about to turn one, and our must-haves were the Rock n Play, Swaddlemes, and a bouncer with vibration. Once she is here, you will realize quickly if there’s something you don’t have that you actually need! 😊

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    So excited for you to welcome your little one and wishing you all the best in these final weeks .

    For sleeping- my son’s nursery was on the first floor and our bedroom was on the 2nd floor directly above his. With that he slept in our room for about 5 months which was a lot longer than his older brother did. With our first we thought he would be in our room for a while, but we lived in a 1 floor condo then and the bedrooms were right next door so we all slept better when we moved him to his own room around 6 weeks. When we moved our son down stairs at 5 months it worked out well. Because his room was right below ours we could hear if he cried or woke up for a feeding even without a monitor. By that point he was only getting up once a night so having to go downstairs during the night was less of a big deal. Don’t stress about it though, you’ll figure it out what works best for you.

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    I saw an ad on social media of an avocado baby halloween costume. Sage could dress up like toast and then you’d have a theme – if there is a family in America that could pull this off, it’s you guys.

    Your baby bump is pure perfection.

    Sounds like you have a great team of medical professionals who are caring for you and your baby girl.

  17. Skillful Cook Logo

    love to you! I am not even close to baby time of my life and I have a secret Pinterest board for all the what blogger moms bought, so I can’t wait to see what you how the report back with baby goes!

  18. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’ve loved following your accounts! I actually found you through my cousin Alison Bland! I’m on my 3rd baby and just discovered Lou Lou & Co swaddle blankets and gowns. They are heavenly soft and so amazing! I would have 10 of them if I could! They also release new colors each week so if you’re not in love with any keep watching. They are on IG!

  19. Skillful Cook Logo

    Re: uppababy vista, mine is 4 years old now but i was able to buy a separate cup holder that clipped right on! Check their website to see if they still sell it with the current model!

  20. Skillful Cook Logo

    We did cloth diapers for both of my kids (though not as regularly for my second). I tried a bunch of different types of diapers, and was glad that I did. I ended up not liking the ones that I thought I would (all-in-one), and instead found that the more basic diapers like fitted and prefolds with a cover worked better. Every baby is different (and pees and poops differently) so it can be helpful to have a variety. But don’t feel bad if cloth doesn’t work out for you. The washing can get to be a lot, and with all the water, electricity, and detergent that is required, I wonder how much environmental savings there really is. Consider looking into “elimination communication”. It worked wonders for my daughter, but not so much for my son. Anyway, there is no “wrong” choice. Try a few different thinks and stick with whatever you works best for your family. All the best to you in your delivery, and I can’t wait to see your baby!

  21. Skillful Cook Logo

    I am so happy for you and your family! I’m due with my first next Friday (yikes that is soon!) after 2 miscarriages. I had, and continue to have, a lot of anxiety related to this pregnancy, but I try to remind myself that every person I see, and in fact every person that has ever walked on this planet, was able to do so because the whole pregnancy –> baby thing worked for them. Sometimes just reminding myself of that helps to calm me down and prevent me from diving into a full Google spiral. (Also we have the Uppababy vista and were told by experienced parents to get the carry all parent organizer which clips to the handle and works as a cup/snack holder. Portable coffee is going to be non-negotiable.)

  22. Skillful Cook Logo

    You look AMAZING! A million congrats. So happy for your rainbow baby!!! I’m looking forward to meeting my 4 babies in heaven that were too good for this world. It takes A LOT to have a baby after such a loss. So happy for you!!!!!!

  23. Skillful Cook Logo

    I am so excited for you to meet your sweet little girl! I wish you the very best maternity leave. Remember to give yourself grace and to get in as many snuggles as you can. As they say, you can’t spoil a newborn.

    I had a couple must haves for the newborn phase. I know you mentioned the Niche pillow, but you may end up wanting a nursing pillow for each floor, in which case I highly recommend getting a My Brest Friend, which straps around you to make you more mobile and has a pocket to keep your phone, ointments, etc! I also love Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter, Halo Sleep Sacks (the fleece ones are great for cooler weather), and Zutano booties for your chilly weather. The Zutano booties are awesome because they stay on their little feet! (