34 weeks | Baby #4

Six more weeks!! It's still so unbelievable to me, even though I look like this (very believably pregnant):

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(non-maternity dress by Costco for $15, wish I would have bought ten more and hopefully they will work post partum).

I re-read all of my old 34 week posts several days ago and now I've forgotten all that I said back then, but I know those posts made me feel excited for what's to come and also thankful that I'm still feeling pretty darn good for this later stage of pregnancy. I remember that this is when I first spiked high blood pressure with Truman, I was feeling anxious about that happening again with Cecelia, and with Porter I was mostly worried about pre-term labor because of my very frequent, crampy BH contractions.

Currently: I am more out of breath doing basic activities than I've been in the recent past. I'm feeling slightly uncomfortable in my skin, if I'm being honest, just in seeing several pictures of me looking rather....pregnant 'all over' and definitely NOT just in my belly. Side view above is pretty kind but other angles not as much. I won't complain or elaborate but I can now tell that I've gained 25+ pounds and will likely gain more. It's all for a good cause of course, but I am starting to miss my non-pregnant body a bit. I know it will return and vow not to wish away these last weeks of pregnancy, but it is worth saying that every time my body morphs into a baby gestation factory it's a little shocking. End of whining.

Definitely having more Braxton Hicks contractions in the past week, especially when walking, standing up, when I have to pee, or seemingly for no reason at all. They are strong enough to catch my attention but not scary or anything. I feel him kicking my bladder directly many times a day and am peeing more than ever. I grunt when I pick something up from the floor and frequently sigh out of pure exhaustion during the most mundane tasks. I'm sleeping alright, I guess, and do love that when I wake up in the mornings I have the most energy and it only tanks from there. I can also feel him dropping lower and lower as I'm awake throughout the day, which is kind of nuts and probably a 'good' thing in some way.

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HA, funny---I have nearly the same picture from Erin on the beach exactly three years ago with Porter. Still, so strange to have the same due date this time.

And yet! I really haven't hit the proverbial wall just yet. I absolutely ADORE feeling this baby kick me with all of his maniac ways, and spend ample amounts of time daydreaming about our fourth baby and what his personality will entail, how his birth will go down, if he will be a good sleeper (fat chance), a good nurser (hope so!), and how he will adjust to life in this wild family of ours. I think most fourth babies get a reputation for being easily forgotten, as if us haggard moms are such 'pros' that we don't even have time to think about these subsequent children. I have to say that is absolutely not true for this kid. Yes, we are pretty freaking busy, but who isn't? I'm not so busy that I don't have time to relish and enjoy this pregnancy for all that it's worth. If I do forget that I'm pregnant for a span of time, he will remind me by kicking my lungs and/or cervix with authority.

I realize I'm very lucky (blessed?) that I'm not in pain, that we haven't had any major complications with the pregnancy so far (besides bleeding horribly at 6 weeks and assuming a miscarriage), and that I'm still able to keep up with our everyday lives. Lots of balls in the air over here, and thankfully this pregnancy really has not slowed me down very much---I don't take that for granted, ever. I honestly feel so content and at peace with this pregnancy that it sort of makes me choke up if I allow it. I mean, it's for sure the calm before the storm and I know that having four kids in the midst of everything else happening this year will be crazy town. But it's going to be so awesome, too.

New favorite family picture from Cecelia's birthday, when we all went to Discovery World and had a great time. How will we fit one more baby into this selfie? And why is Truman so stinking tall?
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We are seriously so excited to meet this kid! I plan to pull out the newborn and 0-3 boy clothes very soon, even though I'm not sure where I will keep them. I guess Porter will probably have to share his dresser and closet for a bit? There just isn't that much to buy/prepare for this time around, which makes it seem like we have SO much time before he arrives....but in reality, my due date is fast approaching. Eeeek! I'm continuing to mentally prepare for his birth and believe it will be wonderful no matter what, since it will bring this little boy into our lives.

Oh, Porter---melts my heart when he says he loves his brother. Note that baby boy moved to the right to give Ports some room. ;)
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Non-Pregnancy news: we will have the house appraised next week and hope to break ground in 2-3 weeks. So basically, we will be in the HEART of the first stages of renovations when I give birth. Yay. Also, Nate's garage door completely popped a cable last week, so we had to get two new garage doors today. It was rather nerve wracking for us to pick a color of our new steel doors (bye bye, wood doors with horribly chipped paint from 60 years ago!). However, we chose the only gray available, added windows to match the feel of our previous garage doors, and we really like how they turned out. We will change the trim to white on the garage, will be getting a new dark gray roof, and painting siding/windows as well. Let the games begin!

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After (well, really 'during'):
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ALSO, we celebrated our TENTH wedding anniversary over the weekend. A whole decade, guys, and we still like each other a whole lot;) Cecelia then turned five on the next day which is equally mind boggling. We hosted our friends, Erin and Ben with their 3 kids, all weekend and had a supremely excellent visit with them. The weather was mostly perfect, lots of sunshine and time outdoors, and tons of activities were jammed into the 3 days they visited. It's been a whirlwind of a week and in my glory days, I would have blogged separately about all of this. Not so much anymore! ;) Well, Cecelia will get her own birthday post at some point, this I swear.

Sweet CC.
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Weekend fun!!!
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I could go on and on about the weekend and this pregnancy and all that is in store, but I won't. I'll just say that life is pretty good at 34 weeks pregnant with baby number four, after ten years of marriage, with our five year old daughter and two handsome boys, in a house that will undergo a major transformation, with friends and family that are seriously the bomb. The End.

33 weeks | Baby #4

I felt a little confused about how far along I am right now, but thankfully a few cross checks on my phone and the blog helped me remember that I'm 33 weeks pregnant.


Excuse the bad nighttime lighting.

I had an OB appointment last week and it went well. Baby boy is measuring right on track again and my OB said to tell people who scream, 'BUT YOU ARE SOOOOO SMALLLLL,' that my doctor says I have a nicely shaped pelvis. Not an awkward response at all, right?

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She confirmed that he is head down, and I've gained almost 25 pounds which is about identical to my pregnancy with Porter. I won't go this Friday, but am scheduled for every.single.Friday after that until he arrives. It seems both impossibly far away and also right around the corner, birthing this child of ours.

I'm still listening to my HypnoBabies tracks and getting kind of amped up for this final birth. Even though it's always super intense and a bit crazy-town, giving birth is also one of the most magical experiences I've ever known. Can't believe I get to do it all again, and this time I just want it to be the most enjoyable/peaceful possible. I don't want fear and anxiety and the negative 'what ifs' to come into play, which is easier said than done, I know. I am nowhere near mentally ready to have this baby but it's getting more real and exciting, just the same!

Today at work I had my first day of feeling truly uncomfortable sitting at my desk for five hours. I peed about three times, and had to stand with my laptop at a make-shift standing desk because I just couldn't get comfortable in my chair. I also had to take a power nap after work, before getting Truman from school, because the past week has been pure insanity and it's catching up to me. Also, Porter woke up at 4am this morning, yelling for me because he puked in his bed. He's not sick, as far as I can tell, but starting the day off with laundry, cleaning my buddy, and cleaning the floor was not the most restful.

So last week? I worked an additional 14 hours on top of my regular 20 because of a variety of reasons that left me feeling mediocre but exhausted. Work was just nuts, there's nothing else I care to even say except I'm glad it's over and it was slightly fun rising to the challenge of extra hours and incredibly focused work time. Memaw came to town for Cecelia's birthday party, which was Saturday and a total blast at Michael's craft store! We are wrapping up from the big fundraiser we put on a week ago, and I'm attempting to tie up loose ends with that. PLUS we just signed the contract to begin construction on our house. So yeah, just a little bit busy and tired but all really good things, so I will try not to complain too much.

One more week until she is five, HOW??
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When your teacher magically shows up for your party...

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I had a burst of energy yesterday, though, and feel extremely accomplished because of my main task: I emptied out every toy bin in our sun room, filled an entire trash bag with crappy/broken/nasty toys, and reorganized each bin like a boss. Cecelia's craft supplies have never looked so nice. Their bedroom even got special treatment by mom, meaning I cleaned out their bookshelves and beds and have a giant bag full of books to be given to free libraries in our area. Nothing makes me happier than to purge, purge, purge kids toys and junk so yesterday was a big day for my mental health;) The kids actually appreciate being able to find their toys and haven't put up too much of a stink about me getting rid of their stuff. I think they know to steer clear of a pregnant mom in a purging mood.

Last night my stomach was hurting, as it usually does in the evenings lately. Being an anatomy nerd I asked Nate if he's ever thought about WHERE my other organs go as my uterus is taking over my abdomen. I mean, seriously? How is there room for an actual human being, a uterus that is 406720 times the size of it's former self, and also my intestines, stomach, bladder, liver, etc? I literally had to google, 'anatomy of abdominal organs in pregnancy' to ease my desire to see the cluster that is my torso right now. Answer? Your intestines are sufficiently squished between the uterus and your spine, but also get pushed up into your diaphragm. My mind is boggled as to how this even works in life, but apparently IT DOES and pregnant women keep on digesting and growing a child at the same time. Strange.

Speaking of my stomach, it feels stretched to capacity but I know it's not. The actual stomach muscles at the top, near my ribs, are constantly aching and sometimes my middle back hurts. I vaguely remember this part of pregnancy from the past. I've noticed a few Braxton Hicks kicking in to make my already compact belly a tightly wound ball, but nothing that has me too nervous about actual labor or anything. My OB commented that he's 'super low' and asked if it feels like I'm sitting on a bowling ball. Honestly, until about 2 pm I feel great and then my belly just feels heavy and a little bit like a bowling ball 'down there', yes. We also had two days of EXTREME heat, by Wisconsin standards, and I sort of wanted to die or cut someone because I was so hot. My feet and ankles definitely swelled and I felt generally 'icky' with temps above 80 degrees. Thankfully, the weather listened to my wrath and dropped back into the 50s for some pregnancy comfort. If June becomes a scorcher I might be doomed, guys. Or you can find me wearing my compression running socks at all times to prevent swelling.

With Porter, I was already counting down the days when I could be finished with work and I was worried about having P too soon. He was, of course, my only overdue baby and I feel like I've learned my lesson with that type of thinking this early! Definitely nowhere near the mental wall yet, thank goodness. Belly size very comparable to now with that little man, too.

With Cecelia, we had just moved into this house which makes me feel a little nostalgic considering we are about to undergo a major transformation here again! I was worried about getting pre-E again and I think my belly was still fairly small compared to the third and fourth rodeos.

With Truman, I had a ridiculous amount of time on my hands, because the nursery was fully decorated and I was deep cleaning like a nesting maniac. My belly was pointy but small, I was working full time on my feet all day, and attending baby classes. Aw, first-time mom....such a sweet spot for that time in our lives!

Mother's Day last weekend: I'm sort of in love with our tiny offspring.
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Baby #4 | 31 + 32 weeks

Well, well, well, here we are again: lumping two weeks worth of updates into one. #fourthbaby

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I had an OB appointment last week, the day before I hit 31 weeks. Baby boy is measuring right on track, which apparently means he caught up by a week or two? I didn't really know he was measuring behind but my OB was like, 'that's great, he's caught up!' so whatever. I already thought he was going through a growth spurt but that just confirmed it. Also, I often wonder if he's head down and forgot to even ask at my appointment, but the more I poke around on him the more I think he probably is head down (my very trained opinion, ha!). I'm up 23 pounds, BP good (even sort of low!), and his heart rate was 144. I got scheduled for every appointment, up until the day before my due date. THIS BOGGLES MY MIND.

But you know what is even crazier? I'm less than two months away from my due date with this babe.

Now when people ask, 'When are you due?' and I tell them, 'July 8th,' they always inform me that it's REALLY SOON. I can't stop using caps, I'm sorry. It's just wild because this pregnancy is flying by.

My bump? It's getting bigger, less pointy, taller on top. It's legit and still fairly 'cute' and pretty fun to dress. I noticed the linea negra coming back over the past few days, too. Belly button is mostly out but maybe not as pronounced as it was with Porter? Who knows.

This was me last night at 31w5d. I mean, REALLY.
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Tell me I look small here, I dare you.
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In the past few days, I've been feeling a little more large and in charge and nearing the 'super pregnant' status of the final weeks. The top of my stomach feels stretched to capacity and I told Nate that I wouldn't be surprised if I get stretch marks this time. I can't eat very much without feeling disgustingly stuffed, although I very much want to eat my weight in ice cream and salt. It's harder to change positions in bed and I think I'm actually waddling a little when I walk. I sometimes feel short of breath even when I'm not moving around, I'm peeing all of the freaking time, and think I have heartburn at times.

All of that said, I still feel really great for 32 weeks pregnant. Truly, I do. I haven't hit the wall and mentally feel quite content making it to my due date or beyond. It helps that we are crazy busy and therefore distracted right now, and it helps that it's not super hot (or even remotely hot, actually) yet. I still love being pregnant and feel quite content overall. I don't take this for granted as I know many women are in pain and miserable at this point!

I have no problem going to bed at 9pm each night, but I feel like I sleep lightly and wake frequently throughout the night. This child is trying to bust out of my belly button and some of his kicks are bordering on 'painful', so he must be getting strong in there. Watching my belly jump around is a favorite hobby for everyone in the family. Sometimes I'll be talking to someone at work and I wonder if they are noticing my shirt move around like bag containing a wild cat. So far nobody has said, 'Holy cow, your entire stomach is jumping around,' but I do feel it, and he really puts on a show for his siblings when they put their hands on my belly.

Porter also got to feel his baby brother have the hiccups for a solid few minutes this week, and Porter's genuine giggles about melted me. He kept calling the baby by name and he was laughing, as he felt each quiver. It was a really special moment and one of the first times I realized that Porter actually does understand there is a person inside of me....I *think* he gets it, at least.

Worried about it;) A new favorite picture of my bud.
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Other fun comments:
"Wait, you are only two months along?? There must be multiples in there!" -when a co-worker heard me say, 'two more months' and thoughts I said I was two months along. Lord, no!!

"Are you on maternity leave already?" -at the dentist's office. Um, no, I plan to work until the very end. So really, not even close when you think about it.

"Is this your first? OH, your FOURTH? Are you done after this???" -I think I've been asked this a total of 20 times during this pregnancy, and I don't remember people asking if our family is complete as often as they do this time around. Maybe because four kids seems like a ton of kids, so they are wondering if we plan to just keep having them until we reach School Bus Status? I don't know, it's odd. I usually just smile and say, 'No, we think four will be a perfect number,' and try to move on.

"You are all belly. You are so small." -I agree that my belly is pretty basketball-ish right now and I suppose the alternative to being 'all belly' is being 'huge all over'? So if that's a compliment, I'll take it! But I don't feel 'small' is a great word. As always, with every pregnancy, I know people mean well and they tend to compare my 7 month pregnant belly to someone who is six inches shorter than me, and therefore I look relatively 'small'. I prefer to compare my pregnant belly to my OWN pre-pregnant body, and in that case? Not small right now. Quite pregnant. ;)

"You still have a long way to go". -said at work. It kind of caught me off guard, because I feel like this pregnancy is FLYING and I'm honestly really glad that he isn't going to be born tomorrow. I am gratefully to have the next two months to get things in order and mentally prepare for him. So, I'm glad we have a 'long' way to go and really feel like the next two months will continue to fly by without time to really THINK about it.

New clothes for the growing bump. I kept this shirt only from the Stitch Fix box, just so you know!
THML Nairi Maternity Embroidered Knit Top | $54

Tomorrow we have our huge fundraiser we've been planning for the school. I've been working most nights and a lot on weekends on compiling a fantastic silent auction for the event, and we super excited to get the show on the road.

Then the next weekend is Cecelia's birthday, and before that (next week) I will be working extra hard at work, possibly for longer hours. It's actually been pretty insane at work this entire week with various projects and with my boss being gone. It's gone well but it's freaking exhausting, that is for sure.

After Cecelia's party, the following weekend is Memorial Day weekend. We have our favorite Minnesota visitors coming (Erin and Ben!), it's Cecelia's actual birthday AND our ten year anniversary that weekend.

So May is basically insanity, but all good things.

Also, I met with the contractor and architect this week and we are super close to nailing down a final contract with the GC, getting the appraisal, and then breaking ground. We just want the contract to be completely perfect and detailed to capture EVERYTHING we want to have done, so that we don't have to add things in during the process because that will cost substantially more. Seeing a total sum and getting the details of every part of the process is incredibly exciting. We are getting so close and it's going to be SO amazing....when it's over. ;)

What else?
Truman got a fidget spinner against my better judgement. It doesn't go to school with him but he really does love it.
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These two have been super cute together lately, with Cecelia reading to P before bed and being a total 'little mommy.' They both eat it right up!
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Last weekend: walk for our education foundation, soccer games, birthday parties, auction prep. GOOD TIMES!
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Look what arrived!!! My birthday present has NOT disappointed me so far. Perhaps a full review at some point but yes, Tieks appear to be worth the money. ;)
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New rain jackets for them, nicer than most of my own jackets at this point! But when you have a REI dividend to spend, somehow the children seem to get the nicest/best stuff.
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Porter at 32 weeks, Cecelia at 32 weeks, and Truman at 32 weeks. All so similar and yet SO different each time. I think my bump is most similar to Porter's pregnancy, for sure.

Bottom line:
I'm feeling really good and can be rather emotional about this pregnancy, if I really stop to think about it. I know I say this every post, but I cannot believe we are having another baby in a matter of 8 weeks. I love thinking about who this little boy will be, love thinking about his birthday, and his siblings' reactions to him. We cannot wait to meet this baby and yet we are perfectly happy to wait another few months;)

And with that, he just kicked me in the lung and I need to re-position, and go to bed.

Stitch Fix #10 | Maternity Fix

It's been awhile since I requested a Stitch Fix, and although I only have two more months as a pregnant lady, I figured it was time to try a maternity fix. Also, I got an email saying SF was waiving my $20 styling fee to entice me into another fix. It worked!

This time I told my stylist, Kelly, that I'm third-trimester pregnant and working in an office four days a week. I requested maternity dresses that work in and out of the office, no bottoms, tops that could transition into postpartum, and any accessories she could find. I am still happy with my maternity office wardrobe but now that the weather is changing, I could use a few new pieces to help me make it through the last two months!

My box arrived full of color and pattern, hooray!
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And my stylist knew I was pregnant;)

I was pumped to see which five pieces she selected for me.
Style cards

1. Full Moon Raja Maternity Keyhole Woven Shift Dress | $48

Full Moon Raja Maternity Keyhole Woven Shift Dress | $48
I love the idea of a flowy, easy maternity dress. But this just seems to wash me out and wouldn't be my first choice for color or pattern. Also, I love flowy maternity wear but this appears to be TOO unstructured and feels unflattering to me.

Full Moon Raja Maternity Keyhole Woven Shift Dress | $48

It's a nice length though! And very lightweight, great for spring and summer. I'm sure I could dress it up with a jacket or cardigan but the longer I wore it for these pictures, the more I knew it was not my style.
Full Moon Raja Maternity Keyhole Woven Shift Dress | $48

Verdict: returned

2. THML Nairi Maternity Embroidered Knit Top | $54

THML Nairi Maternity Embroidered Knit Top | $54

A long, sleeveless top! Yes!! It's a buttery smooth fabric that isn't too thin and I like the stripes combined with the neckline a lot.
THML Nairi Maternity Embroidered Knit Top | $54

I tried it with my jean shorts and then wanted to check it's office capabilities. Pairing it with black pants and my blue 41Hawthorn cardigan from my first fix seemed to work perfectly.
THML Nairi Maternity Embroidered Knit Top | $54

This is my favorite piece of the fix, but I'm not sure if I NEED it. I tried it on with a black maxi dress for the weekends or maybe the office and it fit the bill there, too. Mostly I wish it was somehow going to work postpartum, but with the ruched sides there is just no way.

Verdict: undecided. Leaning towards keeping.

3. Skies are Blue Maternity Otelia Maternity Inverted Pleat Blouse | $54

Skies are Blue Maternity Otelia Maternity Inverted Pleat Blouse | $54

Beautiful color on this top! It's a little sheer but not too bad. Love the interesting neckline and the flowy fit around my belly. Decent length, could be a little longer to make it for the next nine weeks of pregnancy.
Skies are Blue Maternity Otelia Maternity Inverted Pleat Blouse | $54

Fun neckline!
Skies are Blue Maternity Otelia Maternity Inverted Pleat Blouse | $54

In order to make this piece work at the office, I'd definitely need a blazer. Which looked fine, but I don't think I'd get much wear out of it aside from black pants and a blazer.
Skies are Blue Maternity Otelia Maternity Inverted Pleat Blouse | $54
The style card showed it working with white jeans and a denim jacket (love, but don't have either right now), and dark jeans with a white blazer (also nice, but no white blazer here).

I figure that if I don't LOVE a piece from SF, I'm going to send it back even if it's 'pretty good'.

Verdict: returned.

4. Laila Jayde Bowie 3/4 Sleeve Dolman Knit Top | $58

Laila Jayde Bowie 3/4 Sleeve Dolman Knit Top | $58

Obsessed with this coral color and the versatility of this top. It reminds me of one of my favorites from SF, the Market and Spruce Corinna. However, this one is much more sheer (you can see my blue bra if you look closely) and it's pretty short and snug.
Laila Jayde Bowie 3/4 Sleeve Dolman Knit Top | $58

It's a size small, which I usually wear non-pregnant, but perhaps a medium would make this work until the end of pregnancy and beyond? It wouldn't fix the sheerness of the top, though, and isn't guaranteed to make it longer either.
Laila Jayde Bowie 3/4 Sleeve Dolman Knit Top | $58

I tried it with dark jeans and also shorts and I want to love this one so much. But unless I exchange for a medium and cross my fingers I think it's going back.

Verdict: likely returned

5. Gilli Shay Maternity Maxi Dress | $78

Gilli Shay Maternity Maxi Dress | $78

When I saw this on my style card, I was excited to try it on. I'm still getting used maxi dresses on me, pregnant or not, and am happy to report this one is super long! I like the neckline and can see that it might be nursing friendly (not sure if the maternity waistline will mean it fits strange in post partum days).
Gilli Shay Maternity Maxi Dress | $78

The slits on the side seem kind of high to me but do add interest. I could see this working in the office with a cardigan or blazer, and I really wish I had a jean jacket now!
Gilli Shay Maternity Maxi Dress | $78

But you know what? I have another Gilli maxi dress that reminds me of this one a lot. The Gilli Jessie Maxi Dress from my sixth fix last year came down from the attic, to see if it could work as a maternity dress.

Gilli Jessie Maxi Dress | $74

I mean, it's NOT maternity but it's pretty similar aside from the patterned bottom. Again, I could wear it with a cardigan or blazer at the office and it will be fine for summer weekend attire with sandals.
Gilli Jessie Maxi Dress | $74

I still love this neckline although I barely recognize it compared to my non-pregnant pictures wearing this dress;)
Gilli Jessie Maxi Dress | $74

So really, do I NEED the maternity dress that is nearly $80?? Especially if it doesn't fit well postpartum, and I already have a similar dress that I know works after pregnancy? I love the patterned bottom of the maternity dress a lot, but do I love it enough to spend $80 on this version? Hmmm. Probably not.

Verdict: likely returned.

So do I keep the THML striped top? Exchange the Laila Jayde top for a medium? Send it all back? I admit to being picky and indecisive this time. ;)

(as always, here is my referral link if you want to join in on the fun).
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