Q&A

Q&A: Therapy, Favorite Artwork, Pregnancy, and Getting Ready for Baby #2

Time for another Q&A! This month I’m answering your questions about going back to therapy (virtually during isolation), pregnancy, and some favorite products (for the home and toddlers). If you have any questions after reading this post, please leave them in the comments section below!

Where did you get x?

I receive daily messages asking where I got a basket, rug, Buddy’s new dog bed, what color paint I use throughout my home etc. Almost everything can be found on my blog (with the search function) or in my shop. I’ve broken down all the shop categories by type and even have most asked about and shop my home categories.

When did you and Conor start living together? We are considering moving in together around our one year anniversary.

We started dating in May 2015, and Conor sold his condo almost exactly one year later. He was supposed to stay with me for a month or so while his new place was under construction, but it took a lot longer than planned. After a few months of living together at my place, we didn’t want to stop living together. When he moved into his condo in October ’16, I moved in with him. We were engaged the following March (something we had talked about before deciding to live together). Some couples move in faster and others wait years. You just have to do what feels right for you.

I just started therapy again and was wondering how it’s going for you?

It has been going really well, thank you. I was lucky enough to be able to start seeing my old therapist virtually but definitely recommend putting in the time to find someone you click with if you need therapy (and everyone can benefit from therapy). We picked right back up where we left off. I’m hoping seeing her virtually is something we can continue post-COVID because she’s now almost an hour from our house.

I touched on this before, but I stopped seeing her for multiple reasons, mainly because I went from being 10 minutes away to an hour away and also hoped to find someone on my insurance since she doesn’t take insurance. It’s such a worthwhile expense and one that I will never regret, but if you can find someone on your insurance that’s obviously a bonus.

Any advice for dealing with the disappointment of not getting pregnant?

First, I am sorry you are struggling right now and hope it happens for you very soon. I did not struggle to conceive but I know the disappointment and heartbreak of going through an early miscarriage. Last September, right before my birthday, I found out I was pregnant with our second baby. When I went in for a blood test to confirm the pregnancy and my levels were very low. I was asked to come back 48 hours later to see if they went up and the following day, at just 6-7 weeks into my pregnancy, I started bleeding. It was over.

I naively assumed everything would be fine and the physical emptiness was unlike anything I had ever felt before. That baby is one we planned for and I was crushed. The guilt for feeling grief after such a short time and when it happened so early on was very confusing. So many women go through much, much worse and I already had Margot, so I felt pressure to move on. There were a few weeks that I couldn’t see pregnant friends because it felt like too much, and that was ok. I needed space and extra time with Margot. After watching good friends struggle, my loss didn’t feel like it didn’t deserve to be grieved, even though that’s not what I felt inside.

I would try to remember that it can take a while, and that it’s very normal not to get pregnant right away. My therapist gave some great advice to not worry until a year had passed, and at that point, pursuing medical options would be on the table anyway. My goal was always to become a mom however it happened, and I knew that IVF probably wasn’t the path for me given how anxious I knew it would make me. I hope my answer helped a little bit.

What is your favorite Anecdote candle?

Italian Fig is my favorite followed by Santal, Sea Salt, and Cotton. You can shop them all here.

Do you have recommendations for a bed pillow?

I don’t know why but I seem to get this question a lot and always forget to shoot our pillows when I’m changing the sheets since we have a pillow cover over each pillow. Anyway! Just checked and we have these. I’m pretty sure they’re the down ones. I like a thick but fluffy yet mushy pillow (that’s a thing, right?) and these are perfect.

Where did you get the pendant in your entryway?

Here’s a link! We have the 14″. I would recommend measuring your space and seeing what size works.

Best way to sell a design oops in Chicago. I have stools that did not work out.

Instagram or Facebook Marketplace! I’ve had some good luck on Facebook.

Best third trimester comfort item?

My bed, Monica and Andy Robe, Weezie Towels Robe, and maternity leggings.

How do you store baby bottles? Ours just end up sitting on the counter and it drives me crazy!

I have this linen drying mat on our kitchen counter and usually leave bottles (or now, straw cups) out, but have actually been putting them in Margot’s drawer some mornings. I fully expect that they’ll be on the counter for the next year though.

Recommendations for indoor sconces or chandeliers?

I have small lighting section in my shop but can add more and work on a blog post, too. CB2 has some great options. I also have and love both of these.

Two Arm Sconce

Shop now

Serena and Lily

Plug-in Brass Sconces

Shop now

Where do you find art pieces for your home?

We have pieces from a few artists that Conor owned before we moved in together.
Anecdote has some beautiful (and affordable!) framed prints. I really love this one.
My good friend Josh Young made a few original pieces for us, too.
I linked all the art in our stairway gallery wall in this post.
Gray Malin my go-to for a pop of color/something scenic. We’re getting a photograph of Italy for our sunroom!
Minted is another great resource!
We have this in our bathroom. It’s a favorite.

Are you worried about your relationship with Margot after the new baby comes?

Such a good question. I wouldn’t say I’m worried about our relationship because according to Margot, we’re best friends. She’s such a mama’s girl and we have a really special relationship. I have no idea what to expect but I think a lot about what I’ll miss the first few weeks and how Margot will feel. Due to the way I grew up, I am very, very protective of her feelings. The thought of making her sad hurts so badly, but I also know that Margot seeing how much I love her and her sister will be good for her. She loves her dad and I know they’ll have fun while I’m resting/recovering.

I read books and Conor puts Margot to bed, so she’s already used to that, but I don’t want to miss books and snuggles. We’ve had so much extra time together since we are without a nanny (due to COVID) – a silver lining during this awful pandemic. I am hoping her sister will be a gift and a lifelong friend, and that Margot will feel included. My friend Kelly gave me some amazing advice that she said worked wonders for her. If Margot asks for something, verbalize to the baby (but in front of / for Margot) that I really need to help Margot with something first and that she should wait.

Margot also loves helping so I plan on playing up that she’s the best big sister/helper. We have been talking a lot about how babies cry, being gentle, and about how she can help take care of her sister. We’ve also been going through her things and Margot now says “bring baby diapers” and “bring baby pacifier”. I think we’ll be ok.

How have friendships changed with motherhood?

Each friendship is different and I’ve found that leaving the city was a much bigger factor than having a baby. There are friendships that have faded a bit and others that have grown. I have never struggled to stay in touch with the people who matter to me, but there are friends that did/still do matter that I rarely talk to or see now. Some of my oldest friends live in CA and we still talk weekly after me living in another state for almost a decade. My family isn’t here and we facetime my sister all. the. time.

I had Margot two months after moving to the burbs and see my friends in the city a lot less. Margot hated the car and would scream until she threw up – it was so difficult and isolating. I only ever really saw friends who came to me or friends who lived nearby, and friendships can’t be one sided. There are friends I don’t see often but we still talk all the time. Making plans around naps, work, childcare etc is not the easiest, but your friends will still be there for you, and it’s important to try to do what you can on your end, too.

Can you share Margot’s splash pad and beach toy recommendations?

This splash pad arrived yesterday but we haven’t used it yet. Can’t wait for the next warm day! We don’t have any beach toys but I’ll share all our backyard toys soon.

What paint brand does Margot use? Do you have finger paint recommendations?

We have this finger paint. Unfortunately, all our paint supplies seem to be sold out.

I am pregnant with my first. Favorite pregnancy books that helped you?

To date I’ve read Bringing Up Bebe, but I have a handful of parenting books sitting on my nightstand and should probably read them.

Do you have a recommendation for a splat mat for under a high chair?

I just wipe the floor up but if I did want to put something over it, would use a Gathre mat. We have one for picnics, crafts, etc. I also love their bibs and changing mat.

Tips for going back to work after baby? I can’t stop crying.

Aww. It is so hard. So hard. I really liked that I could check on Margot’s monitor (we have the nanit). Part of me did not want to leave her although I was working from home half the time anyway, so I was in a pretty different situation. I missed work and finally felt more like me again when I could work and be a mom. Be kind to yourself. If you’re really that upset, it might be worth considering if going back full time is the right decision for you, or if you’d be able to work from home 1-2 days a week? I realize you have a lot to consider (finances, what’s feasible etc). Not working would not be an option for me, but again, I am aware of how lucky I am to be able to work from home.

What are the scariest/worst parts of pregnancy? I am terrified.

All pregnancies are different and I didn’t have difficult pregnancies, so I can only answer for myself. I was exhausted for 18 weeks and had uncomfortable heartburn during my pregnancy with Margot, but it really wasn’t that bad. I haven’t thrown up once with either pregnancy! This time around, I’ve felt mostly like myself but became pretty uncomfortable as of two weeks ago (30 weeks). It’s all doable and so worth it in the end, and I know how lucky I am, but I don’t “enjoy” it. I was terrified of epidurals, labor, birth, and recovery, but it was all a million times better than I ever could have imagined. You can read Margot’s birth story here.

Curious if you are gong to give breastfeeding another go? No judgement either way!

First, I so appreciate how you asked this question (we should never ever judge how a mother feeds her baby!) so thank you. Fed is best but yes, I do want to try again even though it was a total fail with Margot. I’m a little nervous about how it might go and feel like I don’t know what I’m doing since it didn’t work last time. I am going into it planning on giving it an honest effort, hoping for the best, and if it doesn’t work, no guilt. No stress.

How did you decide how much of Margot (photos, personal stories) to share online?

I still don’t know what I’m doing and go back and forth on this one. Sometimes, I want to protect her from the world, and I imagine I’ll share less and less as she gets older. The second she’s not into it, that’s it. I’m with her all the time and am rarely on stories with her, so I don’t feel like I share too much too often.

I don’t want a camera in her face all the time and don’t need to share everything we’re doing. It is my hope that what I share will help other moms. I relied so much on mom friends to walk me through stages and products, so if I can be that for someone else, that’s amazing. And of course the cute videos are fun, too, but I try to keep that to a minimum. I have touched on some things we’ve struggled with but will never share medical information or photos. Nothing too personal that might embarrass her later. You will only ever see her fully clothed, on a toilet, or in the bath. I won’t share her acting out or throwing a tantrum, or talk about anything too personal. Discussing a fussy baby is one thing but discussing issues now as she’s growing up feels wildly different to me.

Favorite products for Margot?

Pretty much everything can be found on my blog – in my shop or under in my baby and toddler blog posts.

Any tips on encouraging walking?

Margot walked at 17 months and just had to get there in her own time. We worked with a PT twice but in that time, before even started exercises with her, she happened to start walking. If you’re concerned, I’d reach out to a PT. Sharing what worked for Margot probably won’t help your toddler, but our PT gave us some suggestions after watching Margot move and play.

What are your favorite educational shows for Margot?

Daniel Tiger and Peppa Pig, although she prefers Daniel Tiger. She’s really into Dory, Secret Life of Pets, Trolls, and about 20-30 minutes of Lion King (we skip all the scary stuff).

Favorite toddler bath toys?

Margot is really into figurines so these Nemo toys are her favorite.