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9 months in, 9 months out

Today’s post has been a long time coming – 18 months to be exact! Baby Everly is (almost) 9 months old! And yes, I have to say the cliché, “It has gone SO fast!”

Today I wanted to revisit some of the highlights of my 2nd pregnancy, update you on my postpartum journey, and of course, check in on the two sweet girls who call me mama :)

9 months in…

I found out I was pregnant in September of 2014 and announced it in October. My pregnancy with Everly was pretty textbook. A few more aches and pains than the first time around, but nothing out of the ordinary. Chasing around a busy toddler certainly changed things, but no big complaints ;)

If you’re interested, you can revisit our “bumpdates” to see how everything progressed…

growing bump

Baby #2: 14 Weeks
Baby #2: 16 Weeks
Baby #2: 18 Weeks
Baby #2: 20 Weeks
Baby #2: 22 Weeks
Baby #2: 24 Weeks
Baby #2: 26 Weeks
Baby #2: 28 Weeks
Baby #2: 30 Weeks
Baby #2: 32 Weeks
Baby #2: 34 Weeks
Baby #2: 36 Weeks
Baby #2: 38 Weeks

The highlight of my pregnancy this time around was my experience at Mommy Fitness. I felt so connected to my baby, met other moms-to-be, and learned invaluable lessons about birth and parenting. My usual schedule was Prenatal Cardio and Strength 2x’s per week and Prenatal Yoga 1x. It was without a doubt, the best I’ve ever felt working out in my life!

9 months out…

everlyblog
Everly made her grand entrance on April 26 with a fast and easy (all things considered) labor and delivery. From day one, my postpartum healing was much more positive this time around. The work I put in at Mommy Fitness made a world of difference!

Beyond being more ready physically, I had a much better mental mindset. I simply can’t emphasize the importance of your mind and body working together enough! You can read more about why here: A Better Birth

This summer I decided to take an extra step in “mommy maintenance” and enroll in a Total Control class to strengthen my pelvic floor and heal my diastasis recti. Working on my pelvic floor meant I was able to get back into exercising MUCH sooner than I was the first time around. I still have some work to do, but 9 months later, I feel like my body is in a really good place!

The babe…

View More: http://ashley-nicole.pass.us/joannabloggerportraits
Overall, my parenting experience with Everly has been easier. I’m more relaxed and flexible. As the second child, I am much more comfortable with my role as a mom, but beyond that, Eleanor was dealing with health issues around the same time I was student teaching – both of those were stressful experiences, and we’ve been incredibly fortunate this time with Everly!

One thing I noticed in the first few weeks after Everly was born was that I didn’t interact with her as much as I did with Eleanor. I tried not to be overly focused on the baby (aside from meeting her basic needs) – I didn’t want to make Eleanor jealous.

I was really surprised about this behavior in myself, and really tried to turn it around. BOTH girls needed the best of their mama. It was a transition for both of us, but Eleanor knew she was still loved, even with a new baby around.

The toddler…

View More: http://ashley-nicole.pass.us/joannabloggerportraits
Nine months postpartum, and I FINALLY feel like Eleanor has her mom back. When I was pregnant, I wasn’t totally myself. And while I was caring for a newborn and dealing with postpartum hormones (yep, those foggy few weeks), I certainly wasn’t myself either.

I’ve noticed a positive change in Eleanor’s behavior now that things are much more settled at home. She’s been through many major life transitions in the last 18 months, and she’s developed into a spunky, creative, noisy, loving 2 year old!

She adores her little sister and has even started trying to include her in some pretend play. It’s fun to sit back as a mom and watch the two loves of your life play together. I can’t wait to see how their sister relationship develops :)

Looking forward…

View More: http://ashley-nicole.pass.us/joannabloggerportraits
I don’t think this was my last pregnancy, but our family has a lot of soul-searching to do before we make the big decision to add a 5th member to our crew. When the time is right, I want to keep in mind the three things I wish I would have done before getting pregnant again. The pregnancy and postpartum journey can feel loooooong at times, so it’s important to do everything possible to make it a good one!

 

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