Hi friends and happy Friday! I’m wrapping up the week with my second installment of the new Q&A series I started last month – check out January’s here if you missed it. I basically wanted a permanent place for all the most-asked questions I get throughout the month to live, so here we are! If you’ve been looking for a link or a piece of information, it’s more than likely below. I hope it’s helpful and y’all continue to enjoy these posts!
Questions About Me
Q: Do you ever get any signs from your mom?
A: Oh yes, she has been showing up in the form of a ladybug recently..Jules is keeping a close eye on her girl and her first grandbaby. She couldn’t wait to be a grandmommy (what she wanted to be called) so it’s bittersweet when I see this little ladybug. I wish she could have experienced this season of life with me.
Q: How long has it been since your mom passed and what from if you don’t mind sharing.
A: It’s been 7 years … 8/28/2013. She passed away from a brain aneurysm rupture – we didn’t know she had it & she died instantly. I’m so glad she didn’t suffer but I hate that I worked with surgeons who could have saved her had we known. One of my life’s greatest cruelties … (I worked on a post-op neurosurgery unit at the time).
Q: I know you said you did an astrological reading! Can you share who you did it with?
A: I did a birth chart reading with The Modern Astrologer. It was really, really interesting!
Q: Does it make you a little sad that your babe won’t know your hometown?
A: Not really – and I think it’s because I’m so confident that I’ve been lead to the place I was MEANT to live and raise a family. Jacksonville will always be special to me & there are people there that will bring me back there so, I am very confident that my babe(s) will know my hometown.. it just won’t be as theirs, and that’s okay!
Q: What are you watching on Netflix these days?
A: Nothing on Netflix. We are wayyy too into Married At First Sight Australia – we’re currently watching Season 5. I think you can watch it through the Lifetime app or if you have an AT&T account! If you like the bachelor, you’ll like this.
Q: How are your gums since surgery in regard to pregnancy and hormones?
A: For those who are new, I had two gum graft surgeries in 2019 before getting no-prep veneers due to receding gum lines. It was..not my favorite experience ever! But is was absolutely the best call by The Smile Stylist.
To answer the question, my gums are doing great but omg I definitely need a cleaning like BAD! I get free dental care because I’m pregnant here but so many practices aren’t taking new clients because of Covid so yeah..I’m in desperate need and my gums bleeding terribly was one of the things I noticed right after seeing a positive pregnancy test. It’s insane how bad they bleed.
Q: Did you find any maternity jeans you love?!
A: Yes! Love these! Honestly wish I had found these sooner! I’m learning that literally nothing is comfortable after 35 weeks. I’m growing out of everything but it
Q: Will you be sharing registry recommendations??
A: I’ve heard Babylist.com is amazing. I likely won’t because … I haven’t put together a registry. I don’t know how to make it easy for both our UK and US friends & family without having to make two separate ones..and the one for the US wouldn’t allow for people to just send things to the UK because not every retailer allows international shipping or, if they do, it’s outrageously expensive. So, I wish we had put together a registry but I just never got around to it because it felt overwhelming. If you’re an ex-pat and have a solution to this problem … please leave it for me in the comments below. I am all ears! But, maybe a few months after baby, I could do a post like … what I would register for had I made one. I think it’d be fun to make one after I have some experience with baby products, what we needed, what we bought but didn’t like/use … so would be happy to do that if it’d be helpful!
Q: Have you ever gone to a chiropractor?
A: I hadn’t up until I was about 34 weeks pregnant! I started going to correct any misalignment I may have going on to hopefully improve my birth experience. I knew I had misalignment in my pelvis but have always ignored it and it’s been helpful to get corrections make a couple of times a week.
Q: First “forbidden” food you’ll have after baby is born?
A: I didn’t really forbid myself from much during my pregnancy. I stayed away from a lot of what they tell you to stay away from (especially in my first trimester) but if I wanted a tuna roll, I had a tuna roll. If I wanted a small glass of wine, I had one. Every week? No. Every month? No. I felt comfortable with those decisions after ready a book early in my pregnancy that is evidence-based and looked into what the research says about all of the recommendations that doctors give you. None of what they say is bad or not justified but I do love that the research affords you the information you need to make those decisions for yourself versus someone telling you what to do and not understanding why. Keep in mind- I didn’t have anyone leading my care for pretty much the entire first trimester. I didn’t see a midwife until I was 14 weeks so I soaked up knowledge from other places and I loved this read so much. As always, do what works for you & what you’re comfortable with!
Q: Best books or resources you’ve found for pregnancy and birth?
A: This is actually a blog post that went live a few weeks ago. I just made my list and will include what John read and loved for dads to be! I’m still working my way through the last couple..might not finish them before the baby arrives but I’ve read enough to speak to all of them at this point.
Q: About how much is it to have a baby in England?
A: It’s free through the NHS. Healthcare here is free but it’s paid for by taxpayer dollars. You can opt to deliver in a private hospital if you want and obviously that’s an out-of-pocket cost. You’d pay the provider for their time and service as well as the facility.
Q: Have you picked a name? Not asking you to share it.
A: We have been calling him a name that we both love since we found out it’s a boy and we’ve been 97% sure that’s what we’ll land on. But..we also feel like it might NOT be it .. haha, has anyone else been this way with names, too? My girlfriends were trying to guess it this afternoon and, we identified a few more names we both really like so, who knows, we may come up with something new. There’s one name that came up today that we both loooove and has mentioned really early on in our boy name convo’s but had written off because I actually thought one of my best friends wanted to use it for her son-but tonight she was like ‘nooo omg use it’ so I think that one may actually be a strong contender to the one we’ve been kind of set on. So..we’ll see!
Q: Found out I’m having a boy today and still in complete shock. Any advice?
A: GET EXCITED!! I can’t tell if you mean you’re shocked as in you’re scared or not excited. I know you know this but there’s no one better gender over the other. There is beauty in raising both. I haven’t experienced the fun that is raising a boy yet but sooo many boy moms have reached out and assured me it.is. AMAZING. They love their momma’s and are just little hams so get excited! You never know-you may have a girl down the line and this boy will be her big protector. And, if not, there will still be so much beauty in the babies that were chosen for you! You got this!
Q: Will baby boy’s name be inspired by your mom?
A: No, we decided not to use family names for baby boy.
Q: Will baby boy have British and US citizenship? And you?
A: Baby boy will be an English National as he will be born here and one of his parents is English. We will apply for him to have dual citizenship in the US, as well, so he will technically be able to live wherever he wants (between the US and the UK) later in life. As for me, I am not eligible for citizenship. I talked more about this in my pregnancy q&a on highlights!
Q: Which stroller did you decide to go with?
A: This one! The reason why we went with this one is explained in this blog post + the ones we considered it against.
Q: What bras did you wear during pregnancy & plan to continue to wear once baby comes?
A: I’ve actually wanted to do a post on this – undergarments I’ve loved throughout pregnancy … and not just bras because it IS a struggle. I have that post coming to you next week!
Q: Did your midwife say fetal hiccups were normal? I keep reading scary things.
A: Hiccups are a normal reflex for babies in utero so they’ve never worried me!
Q: Can we get a hint on baby boy’s name?
A: No … ha! We are 98% on his name and feel confident what we’ve come up with is IT but, yeah, we haven’t given anyone a hint. Just keeping it between us, which has been sweet!
Q: Just wondering how John is feeling with baby coming soon?
A: His face here basically says it all … jk jk! He’s honestly really excited and can’t believe he’s almost here. John is going to be THE BEST dad..I know it’s going to come so naturally to him & I cannot wait to witness it first hand.
Q: Do you have any morning sickness tips? Does it ever end?
A: Ugh, I now it feels like it won’t end when you’re in it. I sooooo know!! I kept snacks in my bedside table and tried to never let my stomach get empty. I didn’t struggle with it to the extent that other do. My big symptom was exhaustion. I couldn’t sleep ENOUGH. But I had some friends contribute some helpful tips for nausea & morning sickness in my first trimester blog post.
Q: When will your parents meet baby?
A: We don’t know yet! Sometime after baby boy arrives but don’t have set plans. It’s a weird time for international travel and safety is our number one concern across the board. We are going to be patient until baby boy’s arrival and then build a solid plan that we all feel good about from there!
Q: Boy name suggestions
A: Names we liked but aren’t using OR names I liked and got vetoed:
HENRY • WILLIAM • RHETT • LAWSON • WILDER • FINN • HUDSON • BROOKS • BEAR • KNOX • HAYES
Boy names are soooo hard in my opinion!
Q: I missed where you’re delivering?
A: I’ll be delivering in a birthing center (it’s located within a hospital) with midwifery-led care (although, if I needed/wanted an OB for any reason, the midwife would bring one in but I’m totally confident in midwives).
Q: Have you had any signs of labor?
A: Nope! No contractions, no Braxton hicks. I haven’t lost my mucus plug or my water. I think my body is prepping itself though – baby is definitelyyyyy feeling low but I’m telling myself I have a few more weeks just in case I do. I’m trying not to think he’s coming soon [just in case he doesn’t..so many of you have said it drags otherwise].
Q: What are you putting/how are you organizing your diaper cart?
A: I will 100% be sharing how I organize it and what I store on it. For anyone who missed this in my 32-week bump date, this will be what basically comes around the house with me. It will include all of my diaper changing and nursing essentials. I haven’t had a chance to set it up yet but, if he doesn’t come in the next week, I’ll likely be doing a breastfeeding and how to care for your newborn classes online to figure out just a starting point on what to what on there.
Eventually I’ll share it all with you but kind of want to report back after I’ve actually used it myself and figured out what I found to be the most helpful to have on hand but don’t worry- it is definitely on my editorial calendar to share with ya’ll at some point maybe a month or so after he is here! Same goes with like a postpartum care basket for next to the toilet (that would have been a helpful post for me as someone who was so clueless about everything mom-life related). Lastly, here are two different options under $50 for the nursing/diaper changing cart. Would love to hear what you did or would put on yours in the comments below!
Q: What postpartum undies did you order? And how did you know what size to get?
A: Ahh, linking them here for you! They have 4,100 reviews and five stars! As far as sizing, I went with my pre-pregnancy size because I figured I’d be wearing them as my uterus was continuously shrinking back down so that’s what I’d go with if you’re wanting for postpartum. I’m choosing to wear them now because they stretch really well and can just go over the bump enough to be wayyy more comfortable than the low-rise seamless undies I am busting out of at this point. I just figured it didn’t make sense for me to buy any more seamless undies for my current size if I’m not going to be pregnant much longer. So buy whatever size you need them for!
Q: Do you think you’ll announce when you’re in labor? Or right after you have baby Martin?
A: My hope is to share the birth experience with you guys but likely not until after he arrives and we’ve spent time just the three of us and spent some time sharing him with our family and close friends (virtually). While I’m in labor, I really want to focus on being in tune with my body and getting this little nugget into the world as safely (and swiftly) as possible.
Q: How the heck are you able to sleep longer than 2-3 hours at a time with the bump?!
A: Oh girl … I don’t. I wake up every few hours and have to flip over to my other side, which takes a solid 8 and a half minutes *face palm* I don’t know if anyone else experiences this but my side (whatever side I’m sleeping on) gets, like, NUMB…it’s so uncomfortable. But yeah, I mean, I can sleep but it’s not a solid 8 hours. Between flipping from one side to another and getting up to pee..yeah I get 2-3 hour stretches at a time.
Q: Do you plan to share photos of baby M? I’ve seen some bloggers keep baby private
A: I personally haven’t considered not sharing him as I tend to be a very open person about all the things but we’ll talk about it as a couple first and go from there.
Interesting question though! Just going to share a couple thoughts:
Every influencer has a different take on how they want to share their life. Some are open about it all. Others want to focus on a few of their biggest passions, be a resource for and create content around those things and keep their personal life private. However people choose to share or not share their children online is completely up to them and I can understand reservations people with a platform may have about it. I know we’re all just nosy and we don’t like when things are being kept from us but shown to us at at the same time. It’s like someone telling you they have something for you but you can’t get it yet. BUT, regardless..whatever their decision is should be respected. You don’t have to agree with it but I think respect is pretty important as it is their child and, therefore, their decision.
Q: Have you been told any great ways to get rid of stretch marks?
A: There’s no way to completely get rid of stretch marks but I’d suggest talking to your dermatologist about some creams that can (over time through consistent application) improve their appearance.
Q: Am I dumb? What is a midwife? Is that a thing in the US?
A: You’re not dumb! Midwives and healthcare professionals (somewhat similar to nurses) who specialize in caring for women during pregnancy and childbirth. They do practice in the states but, by and large, obstetric care is typically led by OB’s..which is probably why they’re unfamiliar to you. In other countries, like England, midwives lead the care of pregnant women and help them through childbirth, especially if you are low risk and you’ve had an uncomplicated pregnancy. They are highly skilled in the natural process of birth and can intervene in many situations without an OB but will not hesitate to bring in an OB, when needed. If you’d like midwife led care during your pregnancy in the US…please make sure you are seeing a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM). And, I’d also recommend watching ‘Call The Midwife’. It’s on Netflix and such and easy and sweet show about a group of midwives in East London in the 1950’s.
Q: Are you planning to get a night nurse and/or (later on) a nanny?
A: A night nurse-no, that sounds amazing. I wish … ha! I don’t even know that we could with our lockdown but no we didn’t even consider it. One thing that we did consider taking a look into is a postnatal doula. They’re basically someone who can help with laundry, putting dishes away, making simple meals, hold baby while we take a shower, or just anything we need..and my midwife said they usually are “as needed” and you can set a very flexible schedule with them. So we know we have that as an option IF we feel like we really need reinforcements. But we will play it by ear! Just going to see how we do just us two. And then re: a nanny..maybe! We both love our jobs and have to work so we will need to look at our options and obviously what those options cost and now isn’t the best time to look into it with our lockdown still in effect. But yeah, thankfully we have some flexibility in both of our schedules and we’ll do our best until we figure something out! Sooo many of you out there are dealing with sooo much more on your plate than us so I’m sure we will be JUST FINE with one little baby! We are a good team, too, so I’m confident we’ll be fine for a little bit!
Q: If you have a midwife does that mean you can’t have that pain-numbing shot?
A: So, there are three places you can give birth in the hospital here in the UK: the birthing unit, the labor ward and the theater (surgery center) and pain is handled differently in each one.
The Labor Ward: Midwives lead your care + it’s the most similar to what you experience in the US. You can be induced. You can get an epidural. Because of those interventions, you and baby will need to be continuously monitored + therefore encouraged to stay in bed.
The Theater: Very similar to US in that you’ll be under a spinal or epidural anesthetic for the procedure; they’ll also allow a Gentle C-Sections if you ask for it (look it up if you’re curious; I found it to be very interesting).
The Birthing Unit: Midwife leads the care; for discomfort, you can use a TENS unit, get in the warm birthing pool, practice hynpobirthing breathing techniques, positive affirmations, and partners can help with massages and soft touch along your arms and back. You are free to walk around, bound on a birthing ball, and are not hooked up to a continuous monitor. Your baby will be listened to every 15 minutes. You can also give birth wherever is most comfortable for you..doesn’t have to be in the bed..often it’s in a position that works with gravity.
So to answer your question having a midwife doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get the pain medication or a particular intervention that you want. The pain medication you want during your birth will just determine WHERE you give birth. You wouldn’t be able to have an epidural and have a water birth in a warm pool, for example. You also have the option to use gas (oxygen+ nitrous oxide)..it helps take the edge off but can make you a little lightheaded and it has a short half-life so doesn’t stay in your body for long. If I end up changing my mind about what I want for pain during labor, I’d transfer from the birthing unit (where I’m giving birth) to the labor ward. Hope all of that makes sense!
Q: I would love to know why / how you picked the diaper bag you shared!
A: So, first! I’ll be trying this one out but I’ll also be trying out a tote insert because I’m usually a tote girl BUT … this is why I chose this and will likely carry this more than a tote.
1. I wanted a backpack so I could have my hands free when I don’t need to be in the bag.
2. I’m a pack rat so I wanted something that wasn’t TOO big and didn’t encourage me to pack more than was necessary.
3. I wanted something cute and that complemented my style but had compartments for bottles and room for my OCD pouches.
Again, I might learn I need more than this or I might learn this is great for certain outings and I need a different kind of bag for others. It’s a guessing game for me at this point & I also think every mom is different and has different preferences so do what works for what you think you’d prefer!
Q: Can we see the nursery?!
A: No nursery to show y’all, really! We do have some furniture that will be used in his nursery when we move in the summer but, for right now all of his stuff is kind of everywhere:
• bassinet is in our room
• glider is in our living room (it was too big for the second bedroom, where we thought we’d have it, and then it was also too big for a spot in our bedroom we thought it could go).
• chest of drawers is in the second bedroom which is also John’s office and where I have part of my wardrobe.
We are making space work. It’s an amazing space and there are plenty of people who make less space work with no problem with a baby. So, we are thankful to have what we have but, as I’ve shared, we’ll be finding a place that is set up a little better for us in the summer.
Style & Beauty Questions
Q: Will you do more vlogs?
A: Yess, I truly hope to have the capacity to give more to YouTube in 2021 … maybe even soon. I’d love to do a “what’s in my hospital bag” video or a pregnancy q&a. Let me know in the comments below if you’d be interested or if blog posts are enough. Honestly, some people are MADE for stories. I don’t always think I’m one of those people. I like planned out content, even if it’s vlogs, because it’s easier for me to separate work and personal life, so please say you’d be interested!
Q: Did you put the self tanner on your bump, too? Or just your legs & arms?
A: I have until this point but will likely not put it on my chest area from here on out for obvious reasons. The tanning products I have used during pregnancy are linked here!
Q: Are you still planning a review of the Dyson Air Wrap?
A: Ooph, yes … I’m sorry, y’all. I’ve been dragging my heels on it with everything going on. There’ll be a blog post and a video and, because there’s more to this one..it’s just taken me a minute to get it all together but it’s in the works and I do hope to get it out soon!
Q: What size Nordstrom jumpsuit did you get? And what shoes would you wear with it?
A: I got an XS. Anddd I haven’t left the house in it so that’s a really good question re: shoes. I probably wouldn’t wear it out if it was cold & if it was warm, I’d just wear sandals. Linking it here for you guys!
Q: Can you tell me what camera you use for your beauty products at home on your blog?
A: I use Canon 5d Mark III. I typically use a 24-70mm zoom lens but it’s in Florida so I have my 50mm 1.2 lens that I use. I wouldn’t say I’m the best with photography but I give it my best shot…get it?! lol
Q: What curling iron do you use daily?
A: Linking here for you guys!
Q: Where is your baby shower dress from?
A: Linked it here. It is under $40 & I am wearing a small!
Q: Where were the warm cookies you had the other day from?
A: They were from a UK based company called The Arrival Cookies and seriously the bestttt cookies I’ve ever had.
Q: Where is the Queen t-shirt from that you were wearing this week?
A: You can simply shop the graphic above by clicking on the item you are interested in!
Q: What is the discount code for Karrie Locher’s courses?
A: Her classes have been so helpful! Enjoy 10% off with code HALEY10!
London Related Questions
Q: Do you live near the deliciously Ella deli?
A: Not near enough to walk (especially pregnant) but we are about 20 minutes out on the tube from Bond Street, so I’d say thats pretty close by London’s standards. I walked there in December..I think they’re renovating if I remember correctly.
Q: So random, but could you live in London without a car like you can in NYC?
A: 100%. I’ve never had a car and have always been able to get around just fine (and probably easier) using public transport like the tube, buses, black cabs and Uber. It’s expensive to drive in London (you have to pay a congestion charge to drive in central-as a way to decrease emissions and traffic). Plus the streets are smaller so it’s really stressful, as well.
Questions re: Me & John
Q: What are your favorite things about John?
A: You have a minute? I have a long list. Okay, I’ll keep it short:
• He’s never made me guess where he stands-he has always put himself and his feelings out there, which has always given me confidence in us and trust in him.
• He respects his mom and loves her so well..his grandma, as well..he lived with her for quite a few years before she passed and would cook for her, grocery shop for her, etc. I believe how a man loved and treats the women in his family shows you a lot about how he’ll treat his wife.
• He makes me laugh..I actually peed my pants laughing with him yesterday (okay so pregnancy also had something to do with this..ha).
• He’s true to his word, always.
• He’s ambitious, goal-oriented and hard working
• He makes me feel safe, chosen and loved every day.
Q: Do you guys think you’ll want more kids?
Q: How old is John?
Q: How did you & John meet?
A: We met on Hinge.
Q: What is John’s enneagram number?
A: He is a 3. (I am a 9. If you’re new here).
Whew! That is basically everything I talked about throughout the month of February in nutshell! I hope if you’ve been looking for a link or the answer to a question that this was helpful! Now cheers to kicking off the month of March and welcoming baby boy sooner rather than later! xo.
I love following along with you! My husband is an enneagram 3 and I am a 9 and we are expecting our first baby about 3 weeks after you, so your posts always hit home for me! Wishing you and John all the best in this new phase of life!
What are your favorite pregnancy resources such as IG, blogs & other sources?? Thanks for sharing about the books.
I adored reading this blog post and getting to know more about you!
Thanks for sharing! For your registry, is there a reason why making just one with UK-based retailers wouldn’t work? US-based folks could just shop that registry online, ship gifts to you, and it would eliminate all the shipping concerns!