It's hard to believe we're so close to Thanksgiving! I feel like I've blinked and Christmas is already here - but I'm taking full advantage of the holiday season and have our trees up, Hallmark movies on repeat, and Christmas music on full blast. 

This year will be an extra special year as it is our first with our daughter, Virginia Parker. She'll only be 7 months old at Christmas, but it will still be so much fun helping her open gifts - even though her favorites right now are paper and water bottles. 

We're not going crazy on the Christmas gifts this year since she's so little but we did get the Pottery Barn Anywhere chair which came highly recommended as a gift she can use for years to come! We're also doing books and learning toys. 

The above guide is aimed towards the 6 - 12 month age range. Any must haves for the list?!

It's hard to believe that tomorrow kicks off a new season! Summer absolutely flew by and to be honest, I'm sad to see it go. It was such a fun summer of firsts with our little girl, but I know fall (and the holiday season) will be so magical, too. 

I haven't done a ton of shopping for myself lately because I want to buy all the cutest things for her but I do have a few things that have popped onto my radar! Shop them below!

We are two months in with our sweet Virginia Parker and we have certainly found some must-haves that we use on a daily basis! When I was registering for baby items, the process was so overwhelming because I knew there was a good chance that there would be certain things that worked and didn't work for us. Sure enough, there were some "must-haves" that we don't use that much and some other items that ended up surprising us. 
  • Swaddles - when we first brought VP home, we opted for the coveted Ollie swaddle. One night, it was in the laundry room so we decided to give our Halo swaddle a try and that has now become our favorite! While the Ollie was perfect for the first few weeks, I like that the Halo also doubles as a sleep sack and she can continue to use it. 
  • Bottles - I would highly recommend getting a bottle sampler through Babylist. I honestly thought Dr. Brown's was going to be our favorite but we found that she spit up more frequently with those. We are lucky that she will take just about any bottle we've offered, so we tried each bottle in the pack and the Comotomo and Herobility bottles have ended up being our favorite! I had never heard of either so I'm glad we gave the pack a try. 
  • Pacifiers - There are so many pacifiers out there to choose from. She was given a paci in the NICU, so for the first few days home, we continued to offer her that one. One night, I was going through her things and pulled out the MAM newborn pacis - since then, that is her number one choice! We've offered a few others but she only tends to want that one and we definitely have them scattered around the house and in our diaper bag. 
  • Pajamas - Stephen and I both love the Magnetic Me pajamas. We have some amazing gowns by Angel Dear and Kissy Kissy that she wore when she first came home, but we've found that she sleeps the best in the Magnetic Me and they are also a game-changer for those middle of the night diaper changes. We prefer the modal over the cotton. 
  • Stroller & Car Seat - We are really enjoying our car seat and stroller combo! The Pipa Lite attaches seamlessly to the Tavo stroller with no attachments which is perfect for her current size. The only thing I wish the stroller offered was a parent-facing seat option without having to use the car seat. Other than that, we have loved it! We also rarely go anywhere without her stroller fan! It was a baby shower gift that I took with me to the hospital and it was perfect for labor as well. Since it's summertime, we take it with us every time we leave the house - just in case!
  • Loungers - We have absolutely loved the Dock-a-Tot, Boppy Lounger, and Fisher Price Bouncy Seat. We use each of them daily!
  • Blankets & Swaddles - When we're headed out, I always grab our buggy blanket from Beaufort Bonnet. We also really love the Copper Pearl swaddles - we use just as blankets!

Other Favorites:
On Wednesday, May 12th at 10:39pm, we welcomed our precious daughter Virginia Parker Wiggins into the world. She arrived on her due date after a scheduled induction that began the day before. It's taken me a few weeks to truly process her arrival and I will probably continue to do so as it was not quite what we imagined but that being said, it was all in perfect timing and we are so incredibly thankful that she is a healthy and happy baby.

On Tuesday morning (May 11th), I had eaten breakfast and had coffee when I took a shower and laid down for a few minutes. I was starting to feel pretty crampy and overall just didn't feel that great. Ironically, around that same time my phone rang and it was my doctor's office. Our plan at that moment was to go in for an induction that Friday, but there was an opening to come in that evening. After a quick discussion with Stephen, we decided that we would go ahead with getting induced that night. Both doctors that were on call for the next 36 hours were two of my favorites and with her due date being the next day, I figured it was all falling into place the way it should. 

That day felt like a blur - it was such a weird feeling knowing that we would go to the hospital that night and probably meet our baby the next day! I went over to my parents' house and enjoyed a little time with my mom and then went into work for a little bit. By 2:00, I was starting to feel pretty uncomfortable so I left the shop and went home. By that point, I was having what I thought might be regular contractions but they were super light. Enough to notice and feel but not so bad that I couldn't walk around or do what I needed to do. 

Stephen wrapped up work, we finished the last minute details on our hospital bags and dropped off Sophie with my dad at my parents' house. I was honestly emotional dropping her off. Soph has been my sidekick for 10 years and it felt so strange knowing we were leaving our home and her and going to return home with a new addition. We stopped by Chick-fil-a on our way to the hospital and by 7:00pm, I was all checked in, in my hospital gown, and listening to the plan of what would happen next. 

Once hooked up to the monitor, our nurse confirmed that I was having regular contractions. After a check-in with my doctor, I was started on Cytotec to get the process started. And a funny little add-on - one of the doctors in the office I go to is incredibly accurate when guessing baby weight. Just by feeling around on my belly, she guessed that our baby would be 8 pounds, 2 ounces. Keep reading to see what she weighed!

That night felt so long but also fairly uneventful for the most part. I started feeling contractions a little more strongly but nothing major but I also couldn't sleep. I finally relaxed a little bit and started watching Netflix, but then out of nowhere, Virginia Parker's heart rate dropped randomly. Our nurse came in quickly, had me readjust and move around, and it thankfully picked back up but I couldn't relax after that. All I did was listen to her heartbeat on the monitor and feel her little kicks. Time seemed to move so incredibly slowly.

The next morning, they did a check to see if I was anymore dilated and I was making progress but still had a ways to go. Since I was contracting on my own, they started the Pitocin drip but kept it fairly light so my body could do what it needed to do somewhat naturally. By the time I was 3.5 cm, I was really feeling the contractions. It felt too early to get the epidural but I was also over it - no shame here! Within 30 minutes of receiving it, I was feeling so much better and that's when things really started to pick up. Around 5cm, my doctor broke my water and then before I knew it, the afternoon had progressed and it was time to push!

About 30 minutes before she arrived, I started to panic. Despite the epidural, I had a few "hot spots" (places where the epidural had worn off) and I was feeling a pain in my abdomen and back that was unreal. I had a panic attack and remember telling Stephen, "I really can't do this." My sweet labor and delivery nurse (she was seriously the best!) was so supportive and reminded me that there was no indication that I wasn't able to push her out as she was so close! I'll spare a lot of the details, but after 2.5 hours of pushing, some serious nausea and sickness, and a lot of coaching from Stephen, our incredible labor and delivery nurse, and our amazing doctor, Virginia Parker made her debut at 10:39pm weighing 8 pounds and 1 ounce (our doctor was only an ounce off!) and 20.5 inches long.  

She was laid on my chest very quickly and that's when things became a bit of a blur. She had some fluid in her lungs and the cord was wrapped around her neck twice, so a team of nurses got started on her and they prepared to take her down to the NICU. Meanwhile, my doctor was so collected in helping me through the last part of labor and very calmly told me that I had a tear she was stitching but also some bleeding that they needed to get under control. At that moment, I felt so overwhelmed as I knew things weren't quite right with me and they were also taking my brand new baby down to the NICU which is never what you imagine with your newborn.

I ended up with a postpartum hemorrhage, which meant that I had to stay put in labor & delivery while Virginia Parker went down to the NICU while they stabilized the bleeding. When everything was chaotic, Stephen was literally in the middle of us trying to decide where he should be. I told him he should go with her so he headed down to be with her and get details on how she was. It was such a surreal feeling in those moments. I was nauseous and dizzy and ended up throwing up again due to the loss of blood and it just wasn't at all what I pictured in terms of meeting our baby for the first time. 
Thankfully, my doctor and nurse were so encouraging and just tried to get me to relax, reminding me that I was okay and that our baby would be okay as well. I tried to get some rest but had another sleepless night, as I just wanted to go see our baby.

One of the incredible things our NICU offers is a camera that lets you check in on your baby. I was able to login to her camera and check on her anytime and the nurses would even leave us little notes to give us an update or let us know we were ready to eat. So in the middle of the night, I literally just stared at her little camera and watched her. 

The next morning, once my doctor concluded that I was stable and could move from labor and delivery to the mother and baby unit, I was finally able to go see our daughter! I had very low energy due to blood loss so Stephen wheeled me around the hospital in a wheel chair for the next three days. He was seriously the rock in all of this - he changed her first diaper because I felt too weak to stand and was so supportive when I would feel so overwhelmed with all the emotion of normal postpartum feelings plus having a newborn in the NICU. 

We spent the next couple of days in the NICU watching our sweet baby continue to improve. She was taken off of her C-Pap fairly quickly and was transitioned from a feeding tube to formula within that first 24 hours. She even took out her oxygen cannula several times so they decided she was great on her own without it - we knew then and there she was going to be our strong, independent girl. Despite the overwhelming feelings of our extra time spent in the hospital, I have good memories of Stephen and I's time together - of our late-night escapades across the hospital with him pushing me around in a wheelchair on the hunt for something decent to eat. 
Finally, on Saturday, I had improved enough to be discharged and we learned that there was a good chance we would be able to take our daughter home as well. Due to my blood loss, I was offered a blood transfusion but decided to just go the route of a lot of iron supplements. After getting through all of the discharge info in the mother/baby unit, we headed down to the NICU in hopes that we could take our daughter home. 

Sure enough, we finally were able to leave the hospital all together. It was such a surreal feeling as Virginia Parker was unhooked from all of her monitors and we dressed her in a little outfit for the first time. I will never forget riding through town sitting in the back seat with our baby and arriving at our house for the first time with our new addition and getting to introduce her to her big puppy sister!

While our first weeks with our sweet baby were so special, I will be honest and say they that the emotions of our birth experience were hard for me to process as well. I would get a sick feeling every time I thought about the hospital and would randomly cry thinking about what happened and what could have happened. My recovery wasn't the easiest due to the fact that I was so weak from the hemorrhage and that made me more emotional as well. It took a solid couple of weeks for me to feel even remotely like myself energy-wise.

I also know that we were so lucky that despite a stay in the NICU, there are mamas who have to leave their babies for weeks and months and there are also situations that don't have a favorable outcome. All this to say - I think so much of a postpartum experience is understanding that it's okay to feel all the things and to take the time to process anything you need to. 

The last two months have been a blur but some of the best moments of my life. Our VPW is strong, sweet and the happiest little baby. I have loved getting to know everything about her as we figure out the world together. We are so in love with our sweet baby! Welcome to the world, Virginia Parker Wiggins!

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is here! I'll be doing a little shopping on Friday but the sale is officially live for those eligible to shop. I have my eyes on a few things but there are also some items I already own that are included in the same that I would highly recommend!

In my cart:
  • Zella Leggings - I have been cleaning out my closet and getting rid of leggings I don't wear anymore. I find I always gravitate towards solid black and I like the fit of these. 
  • OTK Boots - I had my eye on a similar pair last winter and never purchased! I love the color and versatility of these. 
  • Sweater - I always love a classic black sweater. 
  • Nuna Carseat - I'm contemplating getting this carseat as it's a rear-facing and forward-facing convertible option that Virginia Parker could use after she grows out of the Pipa Lite. 
  • Quilted Onesie - How adorable is this precious onesie?
  • P448s - This brand is my absolute favorite for sneakers and I love this color. There is also a white pair included in the sale but I have a pair similar already. The black sparkles are a fun option!
  • Olaplex Trio - I've been using Olaplex for about a year and love how it makes my hair feel! Stocking up on this trio while it's on sale. 
Shop The Cart:
Now's a great time to stock up on birthday or Christmas gifts for the men in your life! My husband loves Johnnie-O shirts and there are several great options included in the sale. The OnCloud sneakers are also a great gift idea!

Shop Favorites for Him:

There are some great staple options for ladies in the sale! 
  • I have the version of this bootie from two years ago and get compliments every time I wear them!
  • I recently purchased these Tory Burch sunglasses in a different colorway and I love how lightweight and comfortable they are. 
  • If you only get one item during the sale, make it the Spanx leggings! I live in them during the fall and winter.
  • Last year, I grabbed a T3 hair dryer during the sale and I'm so glad I did! I love it.

I wasn't overwhelmed by the baby options but there are a few good finds! I always love the Little Giraffe blankets and they make wonderful gifts. We received one for Virginia Parker and she loves it. We are also huge fans of our nuna Pipa Lite car seat! I would highly recommend it if you're in the market for a newborn carseat. 

I've been asked frequently what my most-used items were in our hospital bag! You can check out everything I packed on this post but there were certainly some things I used much more than others (and some none at at all!). 
  • Stroller Fan - one of my friends gave us this fan for our stroller but I am so glad I took it to the hospital. I used it during labor especially at the end because I was so nauseous. 
  • Rubber Flip Flops - I had these Tory Burch rubber flip flops that I wear to the beach that I tossed in my bag. I'm glad I had them for the shower!
  • Chapstick - So many people recommended chapstick and I used it so much. It sat on the side table so I could reach it at all times! I'm a huge fan of the Rosebud Salve. 
  • Nipple Butter - Another item I'm glad I had! While I wasn't nursing, I started pumping right away while baby was in the NICU and it definitely came in handy.
  • Night Light - this light was so convenient to have in the middle of the night when nurses would come in to check on us or if I needed to pump. It's now on my bedside table and is very convenient for getting up with baby. 
  • Bedroom Slippers - I didn't think I would wear these that much but I actually did every time I got out of bed!
  • Nightgown - I'd highly recommend a loose button front nightgown! This one is from Target. I packed a set of shorts PJs but never wore them. I had this robe too and wore it almost every day. 
  • Depends - These came so recommended and I'm so glad I had them in my hospital bag. I didn't like the mesh underwear that the hospital provided so I opted for the Depends instead! It was something I would have never thought about so I'm glad friends recommended!
  • Long Phone Cord - I was on my phone quite a bit especially in the early parts of labor as I couldn't sleep and watched a movie. Having a long cord that reached the bed was convenient!
  • Pumping Bra - I didn't pack one so one of my sweet L&D nurses made me a makeshift one but it would have been convenient to have a pumping bra! I had no idea I would even be pumping in the hospital so it just didn't cross my mind to pack it. 
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