Pregnancy Step By Step

Mommy Judgement Couldn’t Be More Real: Postpartum Breastfeeding Woes, Personal And Societal

Hard to believe but our baby girl is officially 3 months today! Our beautiful blue eyed, porcelain skinned baby girl has added so much more love to our family, which I didn’t even think was possible. From the moment she was born, all of my pregnancy questions had gone out the window only to be replaced with millions of postpartum uncertainties. And while I was just starting my second postpartum journey, I was owe too familiar with all of the fun that was ahead of me, but this time I had to balance it all with a little girl waiting for me at home. Even though I had no clue what the weeks and months that laid before me would hold, I was ready to find out because no matter what I had this sweet baby girl beside me. 

As I’ve learned, having this idyllic view of how life will pan out probably isn’t the best way to approach any huge life moment that you have very little control over, but hey, you can’t blame a hopeful mom-to-be for dreaming of that delivery and postpartum recovery straight from the movies. But since life doesn’t always follow a romantically written screenplay, I quickly learned that not every chapter of my story would go as I planned. In those first few days post my second c-section, I nursed my delicate and precious baby, cherishing those moments, not knowing how long they would be enjoyed for. There are very few new baby moments that I’ve had my heart set on experiencing but nursing ranks up there in the top three. I wanted so badly to share that special bond with my girls, rocking them in their nursery, sharing those moments when the house falls quiet and all I would hear are the sweet sounds of my little one. With my first little girl our nursing journey was short and not without plenty of bumps in the road. 

I remember all too clearly the first few weeks of my oldest daughter’s little life which was filled with countless weight checks at the pediatricians. My brand new baby was born at a perfectly healthy weight, but lost a significant amount before we left the hospital so after on demand feeding constantly and checking in on her weight gain every few days we were finally back to her starting weight. After so much struggling, we decided to supplement with formula soon after to help our little girl along and make sure she was getting all the food she needed. I remember filling many of these early postpartum days with constant rounds of feeding, pumping, cleaning, and supplementing, oh yeah and with a lot of pain in-between. Our nursing adventure wasn’t as peaceful and calm as I had hoped but honestly it didn’t matter to me at all as long as my little girl was healthy, with a full belly, and was growing, and that she was. Soon enough, our baby was exclusively fed formula and was better for it, heading straight to the top of the charts, growing like a weed.

As a new mom fresh off an unexpected c-section and a postpartum nursing journey that was cut short, my emotions, along with my hormones, were all over the place. No matter how I felt though, as long as my baby was healthy I truly was happy, but all of that relief couldn’t erase the disappointment I felt with my delivery along with my breastfeeding. To add insult to injury, I couldn’t help but feel like I was living in a “breast is best” world where everywhere I turned I saw why breast milk was better than formula, not a great message to be reminded of when I was a new formula mom. 

Let’s face it, we live in a world where even the most personal decisions are open for public criticism. Partly this is our own fault, after all most of us have spent a majority of our adult years sharing the details of our lives on social media. But when it comes to sharing parts of your life that are as special as babies and parenting, all bets should be off and the only opinions offered should be supportive or helpful. Unfortunately that’s certainly not the case, and with so much judgement surrounding us it’s near impossible to not start judging ourselves just as harshly.

Not being able to breastfeed my daughter for very long was heartbreaking, add it on top of a less desirable c-section and I was one gigantic emotional wreck. And why? My little girl was being fed, she was healthy, she was thriving, there was nothing to be disappointed in, besides the obvious sadness because of the missed experience. I think what made my nursing struggles even more disappointing was the “breast is best” universe that surrounded me. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge advocate for breastfeeding and despise the criticism that mothers receive for it, but being a formula mom in a parenting world where the popularity of breastfeeding seemed to be exploding was anything but easy. Everywhere I turned there were Yahoo articles, Facebook posts, and Twitter headlines screaming about the benefits of breastfeeding and how much better off babies are that are fed this way. From lower obesity rates and higher IQs to better immune systems and overall lower risk of countless health problems, not to mention the emotional connection that mommy and baby can have, the benefits were undeniable and I couldn’t help but feel like I was depriving my precious baby of this amazing start to her life.

So I put my blinders on and ignored all of the proud breastfeeding mommy posts and pro-breastfeeding articles just so I could survive the emotional roller coaster of being a new mommy. As much as I wished that I too could enjoy that same experience as so many other mothers out there, I embraced my reality and gave my little girl the best I could offer. She was well taken care of in every way, no matter how she was fed, but most importantly I loved her just as much and wanted only the best for her just like any breastfeeding mommy. It took some time, but I realized that no matter how she arrived and whether or not I could breastfeed her, none of it mattered really as long as she was here and healthy and she was. I always knew all of that but remembering it was so much harder with my postpartum emotions flying all over the place and the explosion of breastfeeders around me. 

By the time we found out we were expecting our second little girl I found myself in the exact same place I was during my first pregnancy, hoping that every dream I ever had about my delivery and postpartum experience would come true. As life would have it, I went round 2 with a c-section but this time around I am 3 months into nursing my beautiful Baby #2. I cannot explain how special this experience has been for me, and even though I wish so badly that I could’ve had the same one with our first little girl, I’m so grateful for these past few months. While it hasn’t been without some struggles, the same weight checks we’d done before now filled our second baby girl’s first few weeks (along with some jaundice challenges), some pain here and there, and some supply issues, I’m loving those peaceful moments that we share. 

Seeing as I’ve now walked down both roads, I’m reminded even more to be empathetic to everyone’s parenting experiences. Judging someone or being judged shouldn’t be part of anyone’s parenting experience. Just recently I spotted a pleasant surprise campaign by Similac where they’re supporting that very message through Sisterhood Of Motherhood. A perfect campaign that I for one couldn’t be more in support of. In the spirit of reaching out to all mothers out there I plan on posting on some of my biggest questions or experiences while both breast and formula feeding. Feel free to comment and share any mommy topics you’d like to see appear on Gluten Free Mom To Be.





What To Expect In A C-Section Postpartum Recovery

Giving birth to a beautiful and healthy baby is worth the price of pregnancy but unfortunately that adorable and snuggly new baby doesn’t erase the difficulty of your postpartum recovery. Those first few days after both of my c-sections were beyond difficult and challenged me in every emotional and physical way possible. While you’re flying high on this new mommy euphoria that recharges you with just one glimpse of your newborn, you’re also tasked with countless postpartum challenges that no one really warns you about. Sure your OB preps you with textbook answers to your questions but let’s face it could my male OB really explain what my c-section let alone my recovery really feel like, the good, the bad, or the ugly? Unfortunately not and I’m a girl who likes all of the information up front so I thought I’d share 6 of my postpartum experiences and tips to either help prep you for the postpartum of a possible or planned c-section or give you a little comradery if you’re going through one right now.

  1. Stay on top of your meds: In those first few days stay medicated, don’t act tough, you’ve just had major surgery and you need to take care of a newborn that’s tough enough, so take the medicines that your doctors recommend. If you’re like me you’ll ask about a hundred times if the pain meds are safe to take while nursing and trust me they are. Every single doctor and nurse will say the same, anything that they’re allowing you to take is safe while nursing. Making sure you stay on top of your pain meds is so helpful when you’re recovering from your c-section, it makes your mommy duties a little bit easier to manage and helps you with the next and most important tip. 
  2. Move, move, and move some more: Don’t overdo it during your hospital stay but definitely move, move, move. Moving will most certainly help you in more ways than one. Getting up and just pushing your new bundle of joy around the postpartum floor can do you a world of good, especially when it comes to bloating, bowels, and getting some of your mobility back. It seems insane that the nurses want you up and moving less than 24 hours out from your surgery but it’s with good reason, not saying I liked it either time I did it, but getting up and moving around a bit early on will help you in the long run. Just remember, while you’re angrily complying to your nurses demands that all of that painful moving around will definitely help you manage so much better once your home. 
  3. Is post- c-section gas normal?: A horrible side effect of any surgery is bloating and when I mean bloating I mean gas in every single one of your body cavities not just your belly. I had no clue that this was even a worry post delivery but I quickly learned in both of my c-sections that post-surgery gas is no joke. After my first, I had horribly sharp pains in my chest that felt like anything but gas, but sure enough after many a question, severe post-operative bloating it was. The nurses gave me plenty of gas medicine but it took forever to kick in so for my second delivery since it was an unexpected c-section I made sure to tell every nurse I came in contact with even before I went in that I wanted to start my gas medicine ASAP. Thankfully one of my favorite nurses started me immediately on some anti-gas meds just as I was wheeled into recovery, it didn’t prevent all bloating but it did help keep away the severe chest pains that I had the first go around. Since bloating was one of my biggest post- c-section complaints my nurses tried everything to help, so trust me I ran the gamut on bloating relief only to learn that there’s no sure fire relief strategy for this one. Taking the anti-gas meds, walking and walking some more, and even trying my nurse’s recommended 1/2 hot tea and 1/2 ginger ale concoction may help give you some much needed relief though. Just remember, gas after surgery is totally normal, even if you feel it in typically non-gassy areas, it’s very unpleasant but to be expected. 
  4. How will I really feel after my c-section?: This is a toughy because everyone truly does feel differently but all I can tell you is how I felt. I unfortunately wasn’t one of the lucky ones who could be up and walking painlessly later on surgery day. My postpartum recovery was anything but easy but had I known others who felt the same way I did while recovering I would’ve felt much better about my postpartum, so here’s the honest truth about my postpartum recovery. Along with the gas, the worst pains obviously came from my midsection. While after many a surgery you’re told to take it easy and not do too much, it’s near impossible to stick to that after a c-section which is a major abdominal surgery, hence why I’m left with this 6 inch badge of honor. You have to remember that all of the pulling, pushing, and tugging that the doctors were doing while they were in there retrieving your little one won’t come without some discomfort afterward, and that’s putting it mildly. Your incision area will definitely hurt but if you’re like me you’ll feel a pulling and kind of a tearing feeling. That feeling can hang around for quite awhile too, either because you’re freshly stitched or stapled up from the inside out or because you’re healing and your muscles and nerves are too, reminding you of that everyday. That feeling was probably the scariest for me but please remember that you’re not alone and always feel free to call your doctor for that reassurance that all is okay.
  5. An Ab Binder could be your best friend: After a c-section you pretty much can’t stand up straight, sneeze, cough, bend over, or just walk without holding your belly for support so make sure you ask your nurses or your doctor ahead of time for an ab binder. I had no clue about this for my first c-section but for my second I was sure to ask for one, which by the way had to be special ordered per my doctor’s request. Why in the world is this not a mandatory thing given to c-section mommies? Got to love our healthcare system! Anyway, the ab binder is this tight belly band with velcro that you can adjust around your belly to give you that support that you desperately need and don’t have just yet since your ab muscles have disappeared. Wear this baby as often as you can, trust me it really helps you get through everyday; I even sported this fashion accessory at home during our many visits from friends and family. Not sure if this is thanks to the ab binder, but I recovered much better after my second c-section and I do know because of it that I wouldn’t have been able to get around as easily with two kids at home as I did. 
  6. Be ready for postpartum bleeding but you may be pleasantly surprised: Not fun to think about I know but postpartum bleeding is yet another thing you have to worry about after giving birth. All of the postpartum bleeding afterwards is your body’s way of cleaning out your uterus from pregnancy so when you’re having a c-section and the doctor is actually in there, they’re actually doing some of that for you. After my first daughter’s birth, postpartum bleeding was never too bad and lasted for only a few weeks but with my second it was on and off for only about two weeks total. Strangely, by the time I left the hospital I didn’t even need to wear those massive pads and for a week following didn’t need anything. However, at about 10 days postpartum I did start bleeding again but only for another short run. I was so thrown off by this, especially since I hadn’t experienced this pattern at all my first time around and had never heard of this from anyone else, so to be sure it was normal I checked in with my doctor. Sure enough, I was given the green light that everything was okay.  

So there you have it, six of my tips and stories to either prep you or reassure you that everyone’s experiences are different. It’s so hard to remember this but please try to, no two births are the same and everyone’s recovery will look different too. It can make a world of difference by just asking others if they too experienced what you have and finding that support that you desperately need. And most importantly, if in doubt always call your doctor and ask your question, never just rely on your own research.




Presenting The Newest Member Of The Gluten Free Mom To Be’s Family

Our beautiful baby girl is officially 7 weeks old, my how time flies. As our little one is growing and changing every single day we’re beginning to resume life as usual, venturing out on small family adventures and introducing our brand new family member to more friends and family. But before I share what life has looked like for us the last few weeks I thought it would only be fitting if I revealed a few of our photos from our baby girl’s newborn photo shoot. 

As you probably have gathered from many a blog post in the past, I love my family photos and knew early on in my pregnancy that I’d want to have newborn photos done. I hadn’t really thought about it with all of the stress in my first pregnancy so the decision was a bit last minute for my first little girl, and even though we ended up with some beautiful photos capturing her adorable little features I thought this time around I’d plan a bit in advance and reduce the stress afterward. So this time around I started my search a few months before baby was due and scouted out photographers in the area, falling in love with some beautiful shots by Nicole with Nicole Klym Photography. She was wonderful to work with, making our lives so much easier by capturing our newest addition in the comfort of home and handling our baby girl in the gentlest manner. Each and every photo captured the precious features of our then 9 day old and will mean the world to us for years to come as our little girl grows up. It was an absolute pleasure sharing this special time with Nicole and we’re so grateful for the beautiful images that she was able to capture of this memorable time in our lives. 

Baby #2 Pics (1) Baby #2 Pics (4) Baby #2 Pics (2) Loving this bonnet? Check out Modest Little Me Boutique where Mallory made my newest princess a custom vintage little newborn bonnet with everything mommy loves from lace to pearls. You can also find these amazingly adorable bonnets on facebook! Baby #2 Pics (3) Baby #2 Pics (5) Baby #2 Pics (6) Baby #2 Pics (12) Baby #2 Pics (8) Baby #2 Pics (11) Baby #2 Pics (10) Baby #2 Pics (13) Baby #2 Pics (14)   Baby #2 Pics (9)

Looking at each of these photos brings tears to my eyes. I’m so grateful for the life we have and even though we certainly appreciate and take in each and every moment, time just seems to be flying by and our girls are growing so quickly. It’s hard to believe that our charismatic little girl who’s personality is bigger than life and heart is overflowing with love is already 2 1/2, while our newest baby girl is a rapidly growing newborn who’s personality is coming out more and more each day. Thanks to these photos, both of my girls will also be able to remember this time in their lives and be reminded of just how much love our family shares.  

As my postpartum hiatus is coming to a close, I have so much to share with all of you, from postpartum recovery details to what life looks like for us as a new family of four not to mention my newest gluten free favorites thanks to my palette returning to normal post-pregnancy. So stay tuned as I get used to my new role as a gluten free mom to two.



Tip: If you’re in the New Jersey area and looking for a photographer for any phase in your life, check out Nicole Klym Photography either on Facebook or on her website here

I’m Still A C-Section Mommy, But I’m So Proud To Be

About a year after my rambunctious toddler was born I started Gluten Free Mom To Be partly to help myself work through some of life’s frustrations by sharing with others but mostly to help others out there with their gluten free lives and just life in general. I’ve learned in my 29 years that life is by no means always easy or picturesque, not always going the way that you plan or hope. You’ll encounter moments of pure bliss followed by roadblocks, sometimes one after another, that seem to make those blissful moments that much more precious. What’s hard is finding the light and looking forward in those difficult times when you can feel so alone and defeated. I think we can all admit that while riding the ups and downs in the roller coaster called life it would be much easier with support that may be lacking from time to time. That’s where my blog came in, I wanted to provide others a place where they didn’t feel alone, where they could share their happy moments or less than happy moments and find comradery or help from others who may have experienced similar situations. 

It hasn’t been easy sharing glimpses into my life but just knowing that someone out there might be reading one of my stories and feel a little bit better because of it is reason enough to blog. Not long after starting my blog I decided to share how I became the Gluten Free Mom To Be, a story that was difficult to talk about even a year later but one that I thought many others could relate to. The main theme, besides the beautiful arrival of my first baby girl, was becoming a c-section mommy, a group of mommies that for one reason or another found themselves having a very emotional and physical experience in common. For me, as I shared in Living Life As A C-Section Mommy, giving birth to my daughter by a c-section was hard enough emotionally and physically for myself but adding in what everyone around me thought and felt was just too much. Unfortunately we live in a world where judging, criticizing, and competing are just everyday occurrences, and sadly nothing is off limits, even how you gave birth.

No matter how a woman delivers a baby, that moment is sacred and beautiful, and when it has to happen in the less idyllic way a woman shouldn’t be judged, shamed, or deemed less deserving of the mother badge. In the many lovely articles that I’ve read online about how horrible c-sections are and how every woman “should” deliver a baby the traditional way, I remember coming across a specific comment that really rubbed me the wrong way. The blogger who left the comment had herself been incredibly fortunate to have a beautiful home birth with another planned in the near future, the second birth was later shared in a tear jerking video that would make any mother wish for that same experience. The comment that struck a chord with me in a negative way was her distaste for mothers sharing their horrific and awful birth stories with expecting mothers, emphasizing how insensitive it was not to mention the fact that it didn’t empower women and build them up to experience how beautiful birth really is.

While I agree scaring a mother to be with your story might not be so encouraging I have to admit that for myself I wish I had heard a few more less than perfect c-section stories. When I first found out that I had to have a c-section the first time around all I heard were stories of how easy c-sections were, of mothers being able to get up and walk around without pain just moments after the meds wore off, of mothers being able to change diapers and carry around their newborns with ease during their hospital stay, and my favorite of how easy recovery was for many a c-section mommy. These stories are wonderfully positive but I know for me after having an experience that was anything but any of the perks that were told to me before made me feel that much more frustrated about my own birth. On top of being disappointed about just having a c-section I was now comparing my story to other c-section moms that had enviable experiences which made matters worse.

I think what’s hard is that naturally as human beings we compare. Hearing countless stories of beautiful births, either natural or c-section, has just the same effect as hearing stories that weren’t so peaceful and perfect, both preparing you for either complete and utter relief that your birth wasn’t that bad or an overwhelming disappointment that your birth hadn’t turned out like all those that you’d read about. For myself, I’ve shared my stories not to scare anyone or take away the beauty of giving birth because despite my experiences I still look at both of my daughter’s births as beautiful, but to help other mothers out there who felt similar to how I did after my first c-section. Contrary to what some may think c-sections are not easy, or at least easy for everyone, just as vaginal births aren’t, but when all you hear are first hand accounts of that nature it can wreck havoc on you emotionally after your experience. I would’ve given anything to have someone stand by my side and say they too had felt the same things both physically and emotionally but unfortunately for me everyone around me hadn’t had c-sections before so they couldn’t really understand the emotional toll it took on me not to mention the physical pains of it. As every other mother would agree, no matter how their child arrived, it was beautiful, maybe scary, painful, emotional, or a boatload of other emotions, but beautiful nonetheless but that doesn’t mean that their stories can’t be shared, whether they were perfect textbook births or something quite different. Sharing helps us all heal and at least for me sharing my stories have helped me accept the things I can’t change and embrace the mantra that everything happens for a reason. 

Needless to say despite all of my planning, hoping, and crossing everything that can be crossed I am a c-section mommy again. Was the birth of my second little girl what I had dreamed it would be? Yes, because the ending, which is the most important part, was exactly what I hoped for, being able to give my little girl her first kisses and hugs. For one reason or another God sent both of my baby girls to me and planned them to arrive this way, and even though I won’t ever understand why and I would’ve loved to not have a c-section again, being a healthy mommy and holding a healthy baby in my arms is all I could ask for. So I’m happy to share both of my birth stories as a c-section mommy. Neither experience was easy, both having their scary moments, but at the end of both were happy endings and that’s all any mother could hope for. As mothers, well really as a society in general, while we’ll never be able to stop comparing ourselves to each other because that’s just innately part of us, we do need to stop judging or criticizing others for their experiences. Whether good or bad, every birth story is valuable and beautiful in its own way and while I’ll never not feel sad about certain events in each of my own births I no longer feel cheated and I hope other mothers can find the same peace.

Baby #2 Family


Lindsay, A Very Proud C-Section Mommy

Life Will Never Be The Same: Baby #2’s Birth Story

And then there were four. We’re officially now a family of four, still not quite used to saying that but it couldn’t bring a bigger smile to my face when I do. We’ve grown by one beautiful little angel who has made it hard to remember what life was like before her arrival. But, seeing as today is our newest little one’s 1 month birthday I thought it would be fitting to reveal just how she made her way into this world. 


If you’ve been following me through this pregnancy you might remember that we were hoping for a successful vbac this time around as opposed to another c-section. With all of our doctor approvals in line and a healthy 37 week ultrasound in the books it was just a waiting game to see when the big day would arrive. With lots of early labor symptoms and Braxton Hicks contractions from my 35th week on, I for one couldn’t have been more ready for our little girl to make her grand debut. All along I had a sneaking suspicion that she’d make her appearance a little early and that she did, as I went into labor around 12 am on Father’s Day, the timing couldn’t have been more fitting.

After a couple excruciating hours at home we decided to make the trip to the hospital while Nanny and Pop Pop watched our big sister to be. We were officially checked in and started painfully waiting for the big finale. Despite the contractions picking up speed and the complete and utter exhaustion, thanks to a pick me up video from an excited big sister and some welcomed company from my mom and sister I managed to make it through the day’s toughest moments with a small smile on my face. After 16 hours in labor and dilation to only 2 cm, my doctor decided we should go ahead with the epidural to help me relax and hopefully rest a bit.

What seemed like an eternity later, finally the anesthesiologist arrived and it was time for my epidural. I dreaded this part ever since our consultation a few months back but I knew with my slowly progressing labor and my venous angioma that the epidural was a must and hopefully this time it would work better than it had with my first c-section. With the epidural in, they slowly started my pain meds so they could closely watch my pressure, a must with the venous angioma, and after a little while I finally started feeling some relief. The painless moments though were short lived as there was clearly an issue with my epidural. It turns out the space between my vertebrae is smaller than normal making it tougher for the epidural to be placed well and work so the anesthesiologist pulled it out and repositioned it to hopefully get it working properly, sadly this didn’t work either. That was it, with an epidural that wasn’t working I prayed that I had made some significant progress so the end would be near. Soon after the epidural fiasco, my OB checked me again only to find I was still only 2 cm which meant it could be a very long, unmedicated road to the finish line, not ideal given my health precautions.

And Now We're A Family Of 4 (3)

So after 25 hours in labor, a worn off 2nd epidural, and very little progression we had finally arrived to the c-section discussion. Honestly, my heart was broken, I knew at that point that we were headed straight to the c-section that we had fought so hard to avoid. And after a tearful and emotional discussion with my OB, who advised me that while I still could have my little girl vaginally it would be a long and unmedicated road until that moment may arrive, there were no more questions in my mind, I knew that the c-section was the right choice, I was ready to meet our little one without anymore delay. And that was it, c-section time, that is after one more obstacle. 

Since I had so many problems with the epidural my anesthesiologist informed me that he wanted to put me under general anesthesia, two words that literally sent me into a full blown emotional breakdown. I always knew that general anesthesia was a possibility if there was an emergency and it was needed but we weren’t there. Both me and my baby were doing well and despite the epidural not working I knew that the spinal was next up on the agenda and the thought of being put to sleep, missing her first cry, holding her skin to skin, and sharing those first moments of her life together was just out of the question. With our plan being thrown out the window so quickly I just started panicking, pleading with my husband to remind everyone of our consultation a few months back. While I was a tearful mess only repeating that I refused to have my baby that way, my husband stepped up trying to communicate our plan with everyone finally convincing the anesthesiologist to do the spinal for our c-section. And with that we were added to the schedule for a 4 am c-section, a long 3 hours away.   

Those last few hours of contractions and no sleep were excruciating mostly because I was so nervous and anxious to see our baby girl. But thankfully while our biggest baby girl, who I now hadn’t seen for over 24 hours was being watched by my sister, my parents were both by our side while we endured the last leg of the waiting game we had been playing for so long. Even though it was four weeks ago already, those last few hours of being pregnant seem so fresh in my mind. I remember just laying there, overwhelmed with physical and emotional pain from the events of the day before along with so much anxiety for the hours to come, and then all of the sudden I felt my little girl give the biggest kicks. Just for a moment I found peace, rubbing my belly for the last time and feeling my baby girl happy and safe inside, my little one reminded me that we were in this together.

And Now We're A Family Of 4 (2)

After a lengthy wait it was finally surgery time, we said goodbye to my parents and I quickly found myself alone in the operating room hunched over and getting my spinal, praying constantly that it would work and that I wouldn’t miss a second of my baby being born. Thankfully I was numbed up in no time, covered in sterile drapes and warm blankets to help with my uncontrollable shaking (thanks to the freezing operating room and meds), and ready to have my husband back by my side. Soon enough I heard his voice next to my head reminding me that this was it, the moment we waited so long for and that our precious baby girl would be here any second. It was a long road and we were finally there staring at the finish line, about to meet the little girl that stole our hearts months before when she was just a little jellybean in my belly. 

Minutes later and I finally heard the most perfect sound to a mother’s ears, that beautiful, healthy cry that I waited so long for. As they pulled down the drape and showed me my newest angel tears filled my eyes and I couldn’t help but start balling, my heart was just aching to hold her and kiss her for the very first time. For the first time in 9 months we were apart so as soon as he could Dan went over to be with her while I patiently waited, listening to each and every cry as the nurses thoroughly checked my baby over. What seemed like an eternity later and I finally caught my first up close glimpse of my precious baby. After some rearranging, the nurses set her on me for the skin to skin time that I had wanted so badly but was worried I wouldn’t have with the c-section. Feeling her breathe on top of me, feeling her skin against mine, and kissing every bit of her face I could reach, I just counted down the minutes until my arms were free to hug her the way I wanted. 

And Now We're A Family Of 4 (4)

Finally the moment I had been waiting for for so long was here, I was wheeled to recovery and finally able to wrap both of my arms around my brand new baby girl. The nurses left us while we enjoyed our new little one and took every bit of her in. She looked just like her big sister with dark hair and chubby cheeks and I couldn’t help but feel anxious for our girls to meet for the first time. Until then though we enjoyed our alone time, watching our baby get her footprints done, her first bath, just all of the moments that I missed a few short years ago when we were in the same place with her big sister. I realized then just how lucky we were this time around and even though the birth hadn’t gone exactly how we had hoped it would it was still just as beautiful and peaceful as I had prayed that it would be. Without any of the worry and fear like in our first c-section I was able to have all of those special moments that we had dreamed of from Dan cutting the cord to me being able to do skin to skin as soon as I could and most importantly some very special alone time so we could get to know our beautiful brand new baby girl. They were moments that I’ll never forget and I’m so grateful that we were able to have. 

And Now We're A Family Of 4 (5)

After such an eventful 24 hours, we spent some much needed relaxing time in the recovery with our baby girl and were finally ready to be moved to our room. Once we were settled in, my parents brought up a very excited big sister and left us to share some of the most special moments I’ll never forget. As my big girl marched in with her curly pigtails, Big Sis t-shirt, and the biggest smile, I couldn’t wait to hold her in my arms again, seeing as this was the longest we’d ever been apart. I managed to squeeze in a few kisses and hugs but a little someone couldn’t take her eyes off of the brand new baby in the room. She patted her belly, touched her hair, and kissed her baby sister over and over, bringing tears to this new Mommy and Daddy’s eyes. And then she told her new sister Happy Birthday and that she loved her which sent both of us over the edge. In that moment we realized that we’d given both of them the greatest gift, each other. They’ll always have each other to love and enjoy no matter where life will take them and I hope that they’ll always share a bond as special as the one I saw forming in their first few minutes together.

And Now We're A Family Of 4 (7b)

One of the major downsides of the c-section was being in the hospital longer and away from a special little someone, but thankfully she was in good hands with her Nanny and Pop Pop who made sure she had lots of fun with her cousins, tons of pampering, and plenty of phone calls and visits with Mommy, Daddy, and Baby Sister. I think the separation was a bit harder on me seeing as I’d never been away from our little one but knowing that she was well taken care of and loved exactly how I would love her made me feel so much better, along with the pictures and videos that they sent along. Thankfully, after some requests we were discharged a day early so I could rest and heal at home with my entire family around me. 

As we celebrate our littlest baby girl’s 1 month birthday it’s hard to believe that all of these moments were so long ago already. Everyone tells you when you have kids that the time flies by but it’s so true and you realize just how quickly it does when you yourself have children. I cannot believe that my first baby girl is 2 1/2 years old already and is herself a big sister, a fantastic one at that. It’s been the greatest joy to watch my girls grow, my only wish is that they would just slow down a little. But no matter how much older they get I’ll always remember each of their births, clear as the day that they happened. Each one so different but both filled with plenty of worry and fear, tears and excitement, and love. I look forward to one day telling them both how they entered this world and I hope that they too will both experience these miracles for themselves and all of the love that they add to life.

So to my beautiful and loving biggest baby girl, you’ve been a blessing since day 1, sharing your love with everyone around you and making us the luckiest parents in the world. I’m so excited to watch you take your sister lovingly under your wing and show her the world. 

And to our littlest baby girl, you remind us in so many ways of your big sister but in so many others you are certainly your own person. We love every bit of you and cannot wait to experience all of your firsts. I love you my little one, thank you for choosing me to be your Mommy. 

To both of my girls, no matter how old you are Mommy will always look at you as my baby girls, the ones who lived in Mommy’s belly for so long listening to my heart and kicking me from the inside. God blessed me with two little miracles that I love more than life itself and I’m so lucky to call you my daughters.  



Getting Ready For Delivery Day At The Hospital, The Gluten Free Way!

We’re almost there! Officially 37 weeks and I couldn’t be more ready to see this little girl. But before then, we’re headed for a last minute ultrasound to get an estimate of little girl’s size and I can’t wait to catch a glimpse of her all grown up in my belly. Even though this isn’t super accurate, hopefully it’ll give us a good idea of where we are now and where we might be in a few weeks to make sure the vbac is safe until then, fingers crossed. Can’t wait to see my little girl again live on camera!

So this past weekend we’ve pretty much been scrambling around finishing the mini kitchen renovation that’s been taking place on top of a few more odds and ends for baby. Number one on the list was packing those hospital bags, not as fun as packing for vacation but a necessary evil. On top of the regular hospital essentials I also make sure that I have a couple gluten free musts in there too, so what’s in my gluten free hospital bag?

Baby’s on her way so what’s in my gluten free hospital bag?

  • CAMERAS! We’re just bringing our whole camera bag with our DSLR and lenses, video camera (which we had to buy new last week, great timing right), and battery chargers for both!
  • Clothes for Mommy (i.e. a couple loose tank tops and loose bottoms like shorts and capris, maybe a dress or two, and a zip up because you never know how chilly you’ll be in the hospital)
  • Clothes for Daddy
  • Shower essentials and a must have, flip flops for the yucky hospital floors
  • Gluten free prenatal vitamins
  • Gluten free labor treats (i.e. candies like dum dum or yummy earth lollipops) 
  • Favorite gluten free snacks for post-baby (I’m going with Schar cookies and pretzels just to tide me over if it’s an odd hour and the cafeteria isn’t an option)
  • Some odds and ends like my nausea bands since I wasn’t feeling too well post-baby last time, a heat pad for those post-baby cramps and backaches, and an extra special big sister gift
  • Our baby bag filled with baby essentials of course….
    • Cord blood kit
    • A special outfit to bring baby girl home in
    • A few jammies to keep baby comfy during our hospital stay
    • Some receiving blankets  
    • A pacifier 
    • Baby’s special gift from her big sister

Okay so our bags are packed, and when the moment arrives we’ll be ready but what about eating gluten free when you’re actually staying in the hospital? Haven’t really thought about it? Or you have and you’re really worried about surviving those first days without something to eat except your snacks? Honestly the thought didn’t even cross my mind last delivery time, but since last time we had more of an extended stay in the hospital for about four days, I’m well versed on eating gluten free as a patient and I thought I could shed some light for you on this one. 

Post-delivery you may or may not be focusing so much on eating but trust me at some point you’re going to come out of your euphoric state and realize just how hungry you are thanks to the c-section starvation diet or the no food allowed labor and delivery rules. Either way, with a new baby in your arms you will find yourself at some point starving and ready to order a meal from the dreaded hospital cafeteria. First of all buzz your nurses in and request a gluten free menu, yup that’s right at our hospital they had menus for all different kinds of dietary restrictions so you more than likely will have a designated menu to choose from. Next up, choose away! My hospital actually had gluten free bread, a good one at that, so every meal I pretty much chose a sandwich of some sort since my tummy was super sensitive after my surgery but make sure you go with anything and everything you’re in the mood for because this is your chance to get some gluten free treatment. And now just wait, sometimes the wait is pretty long for food delivery at the hospital but when those trays arrived I was one happy new mommy especially since they actually held some pretty tasty gluten free breakfast and lunch/dinner sandwiches. If you’re hospital doesn’t offer a specific menu, always make sure you ask about gluten free options, and if you’re still out of luck, but I would really be shocked about that seeing as you’re in a medical mecca where food allergies shouldn’t be a surprise, you can always enlist some visitors to bring in some take out meals for you while you’re stuck in the hospital.  

And there you have it, my tips to packing and staying in the hospital for your baby’s big arrival! It’s true, when you live a gluten free lifestyle it’s just that, a lifestyle and you can never forget about the challenges that may or may not exist in every situation, even delivery day. As always though doing your best to prepare ahead of time will always guarantee some comfort the day of, and thankfully for me I’ve already pointed out to my husband just how close our hospital is to an all gluten free bakery, how convenient right?!?!    

So even though we’re not sure when baby will come, how she’ll arrive, and how long we’ll be in the hospital this time, we’re all packed and ready to go for the big day! So stay tuned for any baby announcements in the days or weeks to come because this Gluten Free Mom To Be is about to be a mommy of two very soon!


Lindsay (37 weeks)

Baby #2 Is Still Snug In Mommy’s Belly But A Certain Big Girl Can’t Wait To Be A Big Sister!

As much as this pregnancy seems to have chugged along, now staring at the finish line in clear view I can’t believe I’m midway through my 36th week. We’ve reached the point where it could be days or it could be weeks until our little one wants to make her arrival but as of now the plan still stands for a vbac. And while I couldn’t be more nervous about the unknown of what’s to come, I am more than ready to give birth to this little girl. So for now it’s a waiting game with lots of anticipation, nerves, and excitement for all.

While we wait for Baby #2 to make her grand debut, our hot early summer days are mostly filled with some cool movie and puzzle time inside, occasional walks, and water play in any form. And with so much change in store for all of us I can’t help but admire my little girl for really stepping into her big sister role. She’s become Mommy’s biggest helper these days especially as my belly grows and I’m not quite as limber as I once was. But some of my favorite big sister/ big girl moments are when she eagerly helps in the nursery getting things ready, reminds Mommy that she has to go to the doctor again to get the baby checked or the little doctor herself steps in to do it, and how she proudly shows off her big girl status in every way from being potty trained to fully embracing the move to her big girl room. We’re certainly lucky to be able to call this little girl our baby and it’s just unimaginable how much sweeter life will get in just a short while.  

For now though, I thought I’d show off all of a certain little girl’s big girl room that she’s so proud of. Not too long ago when the official move happened I gave you a glimpse into this labor of love, which you should check out again for all of the details, but now with all of the finishing touches up I thought I’d share a finished product. So with a little drum roll I’d like to present our little girl’s big girl room with all of the finishing touches!

A white, tufted big girl bed dressed up in lilac bedding and special shape pillows (don’t worry the toddler rails are hidden on the sides of the bed, with this mover and shaker we needed them)!

Gorgeous lilac bedding thanks to RH Baby And Child.
Gorgeous lilac bedding thanks to RH Baby And Child.

A light aqua wall was a perfect alternative to your typical girly colors especially with the grey Moroccan rug.

A big girl bed with all of the fixings including some hidden toddler rails on the sides.
Love the aqua walls with the grey Moroccan rug and purple acents everywhere.

Ah, one of my favorites! This Ikea dresser is a great piece of furniture in and of itself with its perfect size and tons of space, but thanks to some gold spray paint and these special overlays we turned this already great dresser into a one of a kind piece of furniture fit for a big girl!

A revamped Ikea dresser with a few overlays and some spray paint!
A revamped Ikea dresser with a few overlays and some spray paint!

A beautiful, miniature white chandelier equipped with crystals and flowers.

A miniature chandelier with flowers and crystals galore.
A miniature chandelier with flowers and crystals galore.

One of my favorite personal touches were her purple painted letters with scrapbooking flowers that the big girl herself picked out to be attached.

Lilac letters with floral accents.
Lilac letters with floral accents.

White, gold, and purple frames add just the right touch to the aqua walls.

Everyone that knows me knows that I love pictures. I take a million every vacation and thousands in-between so we always have tons to choose from when it comes time to decorate our walls. So when decorating time rolled around for this special bedroom I knew that I wanted to add some very special moments to our little one’s walls. One do it yourself item I created special just for her where these sparkly, gold princess silhouettes of three of her favorite Disney characters, Snow White, Ariel, and Tinker Bell. After picking out the perfect image, I simply traced each of them on scrapbooking paper, cut, and then pasted on a pretty, purple paisley scrapbooking page that I then cut down to size for the frames. And voila, a little special Disney accent for our very own princess! When it came time for all of the frames, well I turned immediately to Kohls since they had a great sale going on and a huge selection of the white, gold, purple, and grey color scheme I was looking for. Without too much trouble, I picked out my favorites, arranged them in these gallery style arrangements, and added just the right pictures that remind our little one of some very special memories!

Big Girl Room (3)
Some pictures of family memories with a little Disney fun is just what this big girl room needed.

A floral, lilac canopy, perfect for a little reading/napping nook or for now, a tea table to play with friends.

I LOVE this canopy! I knew before we even started working on the room that I wanted to get either a tent or canopy to add a little special touch that would be right up her alley and let me say RH Baby & Child did not disappoint in this department. This canopy is easily mounted from the ceiling and its delicately draped fabric and light floral pattern makes for the perfect addition to this big girl room. 

Big Girl Room (7)
A floral, lilac canopy by RH Baby & Child gave just the right special touch to this big girl room.

White, floral floor length curtains hanging from gold curtain rods were just the right touch. 

Curtains are by far the bane of my existence, usually being the last piece that I worry about in our rooms mostly because they’re the most irritating for me to purchase. Okay, so my biggest gripe is that everywhere sells curtains as a single panel which for one window usually means you can just take that price and multiply by two since typically you need two panels per window. Putting that aside though I struck gold when we made our big trip up to Ikea for the dresser and I found these white curtains that were sold for a great price, and as a pair too, imagine that! Before we hung these beauties, we decided to take the rods that we already had in the room and spray them gold to match the dresser overlays and handles which really added a finishing touch! 

Big Girl Room (6)
White, sheer Ikea curtains that not only were a perfect look but a great buy too!

A tiny tea table that will host many a tea party with our little girl and her friends!

And this was our yard sale find! We picked up this table which was a dark cherry color for only $35, a far cry from my favorites on Pottery Barn that will cost you a good $400 or so, and after quite a few coats of white paint we had a delicate little play table that fits nicely under her canopy. I contemplated adding a little gold or lilac accent which may or may not come down the road but for now the crisp, white table as is is a nice addition to the big girl room!

Big Girl Room (8)
A white play table perfect for tea parties and so much more fun!

To say our little girl is happy in her new room would probably be a massive understatement. It makes me so happy that our little one has truly fallen in love with her new room and shows it off with such pride. I think I accomplished exactly what I wanted, while staying well within budget I’d like to add, in that we were able to create a new space that made our little girl feel just as special during this huge time of change and also give her that big girl feeling. And even though in our many ventures back into the nursery or “tiny bedroom” as she calls it I see her peering with some confusion back into her once toddler bed that now is converted back into the crib, I know that she loves the fun and freedom that she has in her big girl bed, especially the jumping that makes Mommy very nervous. 

So for the days and maybe weeks until Baby #2 arrives we’ll keep enjoying our growing girl and watching her become more and more aware of her impending big sister status. With her understanding being just that of a 2 1/2 year old she may not quite get all that is going to come along with this new arrival but I have no doubt in my mind that our big girl, that has grown so much in such a short time who loves everyone around her and doesn’t hesitate to show it, will do just the same with her little sister. I know that she’ll be just as lovingly helpful with her little sister as she is with her Mommy and will walk away from every task with the prideful smile from ear to ear just as a big sister should.


Lindsay (36 weeks) 


36 Weeks And Our 5 Year Wedding Anniversary Celebration

Along with growing our family, 2015 is a big year for us as we’re celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary just about the same time Baby #2 is due to arrive. Everyone says it but time really does fly by, it’s hard to believe just 5 years ago that we were exchanging our vows and becoming husband and wife. And even though I look back on our wedding day and wish we could be there again just for a second to experience the joy, love, and fun that we did that day, now five years later and two little girls in hand (well almost) our lives couldn’t be better and it all started with just our love. Wedding  

I always tell Dan that life with him has been a true fairy tale, filled with tons of adventures, love, laughter, some challenges too, but always a happily ever after. I’m a firm believer in fate and destiny and I truly believe that Dan and I were made for each other in every way. We squeezed so much into just five years of marriage from exploring the world to growing our family and imagining what 5, 10, and 15 more years will look like is just a dream. I love Dan more than I could ever explain and sharing a life with him is the biggest gift God could’ve ever given me (on top of my precious little girls of course). 

Anniversary (1)
36 Weeks!

So to honor our five year anniversary this month, which happens to land just a week or so before our due date, we decided to push up the celebration just in case baby makes an early arrival. Dan treated me to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants that we’ve been to ever since our dating days and now offers the most excellent gluten free meal. We’ve become regulars here over the years, spending most romantic occasions and date nights surrounded by familiar faces. And while spending our five year anniversary at Toscano’s Ristorante was perfectly appropriate in every way, this gluten free mommy-to-be couldn’t have been happier for the food seeing as I could enjoy my favorite gluten free dishes, vodka rigatoni and an antipasto salad.   

My little girl who couldn't be more excited to be a big sister!
My little girl who couldn’t be more excited to be a big sister!

Let’s just say the meal was superb! Creamy gluten free vodka rigatoni followed a perfect chopped antipasto salad, and Dan, well he was in heaven too with a seafood galore entree following a special meatball appetizer. Seeing as I’m a creature of habit and I just know what I like I’ve reviewed this meal before so check out the deliciousness in my review here.

Anniversary (7)
A Gluten Free Wedding Cake Recreation By Classic Cake Company.

As part of my gift to Dan for our five year anniversary I went to our favorite bakery, Classic Cake Company, that just so happens to have made our wedding cake and a few of little one’s birthday cakes and requested a gluten free recreation of our wedding cake topper. They were certainly up for the challenge and delivered beyond my expectations. The cake was beautiful, covered with sugar flowers and shimmery buttercream, but the inside was my highlight seeing as it was filled with gluten free chocolate chip cake with chocolate buttercream filling. So after our wonderful dinner at Toscano’s we treated ourselves to some wedding cake that both of us could enjoy to commemorate the occasion. 

Anniversary (9)
A Gluten Free Wedding Cake Recreation By Classic Cake Company.

Now with our five year anniversary celebration passed, we’re left staring at the baby finish line as I’m now 36 weeks. I’m beyond ready to meet our little girl and judging by her humongous turnovers she too is getting ready to meet us as life in Mommy’s belly is probably getting a little too snug. I’m so excited to hold and kiss her for the first time, have her meet her big sister who loves her more than she’ll ever know already, and just begin our lives as a family of four. For now though it’s a waiting game, but as of right now we’re still on track for a VBAC and an ultrasound next week to see her estimated size to make sure that that would be safe for mommy. Stay tuned for more updates!


Lindsay (36 weeks)



Some Pre-Summer Fun At 34 & 35 Weeks Before Our New Little One Arrives Very Soon!

We’re almost there! As the weeks roll by and the appointments become more frequent it couldn’t feel more real that a new little baby will be gracing us with her presence in what could be just a few weeks. Among a few mini house renovations and baby prep we’re trying to take advantage of the clear and warm weekend days getting ourselves and our little girl out before baby arrives. Sure this makes for busy weekends and an exhausted Mommy but these moments with my little girl are so special and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

34 Weeks
34 Weeks

So in my 34th week we signed ourselves up for a lot of work around the house, some cleaning and washing of the baby gear that’s been stored in our basement, planting flowers and our vegetable garden, swimming in our blow up pool (well this one was really only for our smallest family member), and best of all a trip to the Popcorn Zoo. My little girl LOVES animals so we always know a great day trip idea is a trip to the zoo and as season pass holders for our local big zoo we try to make these trips as frequent as possible. With Mommy larger now and getting more and more uncomfortable with quite a few Braxton Hicks contractions creeping in though, we decided to take it easy on the walking and went with a smaller but just as fun option that week. The Popcorn Zoo is filled with rescue animals that you can see up close, some of which are even fans of popcorn that you can feed to them, a huge win for my little one. So thankfully we picked a mild morning that wasn’t too unseasonably warm like the rest of our days have been and headed down to the Popcorn Zoo. Our little one couldn’t have loved the adventure more and it was right up my alley too without too much walking but certainly not short on the fun. 

35 Weeks (2)
35 Weeks

We decided to start off my 35th week with possibly one of our last beach visits for a little while. Traveling too far and really taking it easy are must dos on my agenda these days so some of these trips are going to become fewer and fewer as the weeks pass so we wanted to take advantage of one of my better days and hit the beach for some fun. The weather was perfect for this mommy-to-be without it being hot at all, especially since the water is a chilly 58 degrees still and off limits for cooling off if needed. It was really a perfect morning for some sand castle building, sea shell searching, and crab scavenging, all of which are favorite activities of my little girl. So we headed out early and made our way down to one of our favorite beaches and while Mommy trudged through the sand carrying an almost 20 extra pounds with a little one gripping my hand, Daddy made his way down resembling a pack mule with all of our beach equipment. It was a fantastic morning, especially for our miniature beach lover who can’t get enough of the sand and eventually the water too when it’s warm enough. So after some successful digging in the sand, building some sand castles, finding some perfect sea shells, and one of the highlights, digging up some tiny crabs that our little one couldn’t help but tell us were “so cute,” we wrapped up our morning with lunch on the beach, a stop at a torturous bakery that offers the most delicious looking non-gluten free treats that are perfect for Dan and little one, and a little afternoon nap before a pre-baby dinner out that I’ll share later.

We’ve had so much fun this pregnancy with our little girl, packing it full with adventure after adventure and watching her blossom and grow into the fantastic big sister that we know she’ll be very soon. She’s got the biggest heart we’ve ever seen and shares all of her love with everyone around her, a feature I can’t wait to see put into action when her little sister arrives. But one of my favorite features that kind of shakes me into reality that our little girl is growing up is her growing personality and vocabulary. She’s a chatterbox that’s for sure, always asking questions, counting everything around her, and being Mommy’s biggest helper always offering “here, help Mommy.” She’s the love of my life, next to Dan and our furry baby of course, that’s for sure and I can’t wait to share our love with our little one coming along very soon.


Lindsay (35 weeks) 

Some Beautiful Moments Captured In My Baby #2 Maternity Pictures

And the moment is finally here! No not delivery day, that’s still a good month or so away, but today’s the day I get to see my final maternity pictures! I got a little sneak preview right after and I couldn’t believe how beautiful they were turning out. I was a bit hesitant taking maternity pictures this round mostly because I’d rather be the photographer than the subject but ultimately we decided it would be a nice treat for us as well as our newest little one to see what she looked like in Mommy’s belly. So without further ado, I’d like to share a glimpse into our maternity photo shoot!

Maternity Pictures 2015 (24) Maternity Pictures 2015 (10) Maternity Pictures 2015 (5) Maternity Pictures 2015 (1) Maternity Pictures 2015 (29) Maternity Pic   Maternity Pictures 2015 (11) Maternity Pictures 2015 (7) Maternity Pictures 2015 (28) Family Picture

We are absolutely thrilled with how beautiful our photos came out. We captured each moment I wanted from family of three (plus one in the belly) and Mommy/Daddy and little one photos to just Mommy and baby on the way and my favorites, some big sister love. We had a gorgeous Spring day at a local garden, the perfect venue for my nature loving little girl who gave some wonderful memories both with her Mommy and Daddy and flying solo. But without the ever so talented Ashley with One Love Creative, we wouldn’t have been given this amazing gift. She knew exactly what I wanted in our pictures and captured every last bit of it while helping wrangle and get the attention of a very rambunctious toddler, a true talent in my mind. If you’re in the Central New Jersey area make sure you look into One Love Creative for portraits, newborns, and maternity photos!

Time flies and now we’re staring down my 34th week. Pretty soon our newest member of the family will make her grand debut and I for one couldn’t be more ready. Stay tuned for some more news and special gluten free pregnancy tid bits this week!


Lindsay (34 weeks)

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