Photography: Dale Benfield | Skirt: Morning Lavender | White V-neck Tee: Lauren James | Necklace: Sugarfix by Baublebar | Boy’s seersucker bow ties: J. Crew Factory
SURPRISE!! We are so excited to finally let out a little secret that we’ve been keeping all year!!! (that sounds dramatic but we found out shortly after the new year!) Baby Stokes #3 is due in September and we are seriously OVER THE MOON excited! Being a mom is something I have always wanted and something I’ve known I was meant to be! Lance and I talked about kids very early in our relationship and we both felt strongly that if we could provide a happy and safe home for our children we would like to have a house full of them! We both have just 1 sibling and while that was amazing, we both wanted to have a house filled with chaos and excitement and more love than you could imagine! So we are thrilled to be welcoming baby #3 in the fall!
Since this is the first time I’m having a baby while blogging I’m excited to take y’all on this journey with me! Be on the lookout for monthly posts as well as a gender reveal post very soon!! And I know I’m wearing pink and the boys are in blue in these pictures, but we don’t know the gender quite yet!!
I’ve told a few friends about the pregnancy and I’ve gotten a lot of questions so I wanted to do a little baby FAQ here for all of y’all! If you have any more questions please leave them in the comments and I’d be happy to answer them for you!! Thank you all SO much for your sweet words and love during this exciting time! We seriously couldn’t be more thrilled to be welcoming another baby into our family!
How far along: I’m 12.5 weeks as I write this! We took the pictures last night (when I was 12 weeks and 3 days) so those are pretty accurate as far as how big the bump is this time around!)
Due date: September 21st
How we found out: We decided to start trying late last fall so I had a pretty close eye on it! I was hoping for a fall baby since my other two were born in the spring and that’s exactly what we got! With my boys, I got pregnant almost instantly so I was expecting the same for this baby but after one month of trying I got my first EVER negative test and it was devastating. Of course I have personally known women who have gone through fertility issues and watched their pain but I had never experienced it myself so with this first negative test I was engulfed with sad and hopeless emotions that it could be happening to me. We definitely wanted to keep trying however and we were fortunate to get a positive test the very next month! My boys are almost exactly 2 years apart and although we wanted all of our kids close, we decided to wait a bit longer to try for baby #3 because, honestly, work was just too crazy to even think about a baby. And in reality, work is probably crazier now than it’s ever been but we realized that work is always going to be crazy. That can’t stop us from growing our family because really, there is never the PERFECT time to get pregnant. So if you are wanting to get pregnant and waiting for that perfect time, please stop waiting for that perfect moment! You will never get to the perfect time, so you have to make your own timing perfect!
Gender: I was SURE I would want to do the blood test to tell me the gender at 10 weeks. Throughout the first few weeks I was DYING to know and counting down the days until I could take the blood test! But once we got to the 10 week mark we decided that we could wait a few more weeks. That time before you find out is a special time and we didn’t want to rush anything! I didn’t find out until 20 weeks with my boys but this time my doctor is going to try to do an ultrasound at 15 weeks to find out! So that’s less than 3 weeks away! We go back and forth regarding which gender we “want”. Because I know it sounds cliche but we really do only care about a healthy baby. I obviously would love a baby girl at some point but my boys are seriously the most perfect children on the planet!! They are chill, and easy, and love each other SO much. And I really have this “boy mom” thing down at this point so adding one more boy wouldn’t be a bad thing AT ALL!! So either way we will be thrilled!!
Predictions: Well we are kind of a house divided at the moment! Lance is sure it’s another sweet boy, I’m 100% positive it’s a girl and the kids are split down the middle! Lofton is absolutely sure it’s a girl, he’s already named her Coco. He said the sweetest thing the other day (for those that don’t know my boys, Lofton is the absolute sweetest kid on the planet and cares so deeply about others!) He said, “mom, when my baby sister is born I’m going to turn on barbie shows for her and cuddle her like this *makes cuddling motion* and protect her like a police officer!” I mean… I die. Linden on the other hand thinks it’s a baby brother and he has named him Bruster. So we really have no idea! haha
- Skin issues? YES, so many breakouts: Girl
- Nausea? Not too much: Boy
- Cravings? Fruit: Girl
- Face shape? Full: Girl
- Chinese Calendar: Girl
Cravings: I’ve never really had pregnancy cravings before. I mean, pizza is great all of the time! haha But I don’t get any dramatic weird cravings like OMG I NEED A PICKLE RIGHT NOW! I did go through a phase where all I wanted was fruit but fruit is always awesome so I don’t know if that was really a craving! So I’m trying to stay pretty healthy, I’ve always loved a good salad so I’m eating a ton of veggies but I’ve also added more carbs to my diet since finding out I was pregnant! I’m trying to have a very whole, compete diet this time around! With my boys I did crave sweets in the last trimester so I’m trying to keep as healthy as possible right now incase that happens again!
Aversions: Nothing to crazy, like I’m not turned off by the smell of anything. But lately I’m weird about meat. It tastes funny to me and I will order it thinking it will be amazing and then that fist bite is weird so I have to force myself to eat it or just give up completely! Just writing this makes me want a big steak but I know it would be weird once I ate it. haha I do love pulled pork though! I make pulled pork in the instant pot at least once a week for sandwiches! That has never grossed me out!
Sickness: I’ve been extremely nauseated but only actually threw up once. I think it was because I woke up and drank tee without eating breakfast first! That was something I HAD to do in the first trimester. I woke up and immediately made a green protein smoothie every single day! I’ll put the recipe below if you are interested! It’s so healthy and so yummy!! But I’m fortunate enough to have a job that allows me to work from home when I need to! I told my management team at work pretty early on because I was at the office less and less so I wanted them to know why! But once that 12 week mark hit I’ve been feeling like a brand new woman!
Green Protein Breakfast Smoothie:
- 1 large handful of spinach
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1/2 C frozen Blueberries
- 2 scoops of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides (gotta stop those stretch marks before they happen!)
- 1 scoop of Super Greens powdered greens for an extra boost
- 1 scoop of Whey protein (optional) I only add this if I’m going to have a late lunch and I need a little something extra to hold me over!
- fill with water to your liking! (I sometimes use OJ if I want an extra vitamin C boost)
Weight gain: Lets not talk about it….. haha (kidding) I’m already 10 lbs up from my true “pre pregnancy” weight but I blame a lot of that on the holidays and my birthday in January! Since I wasn’t able to drink I ate cake! A LOT OF CAKE. But I haven’t gained a pound since week 7 so I think I’m gaining baby weight and losing body fat at the same time. (praises) I got BIG with my second pregnancy. Full disclosure, I weighed almost 200lbs when I had him! I was not working out and eating absolutely anything I wanted so this time around I’m actually working out and trying to keep my diet as healthy as possible with the occasional cheat meal if I really want it! I’m not depriving myself of anything but I’m just more aware of the benefits of eating healthy which is making me crave healthy food more often! I also don’t want it to take over 18 months to lose the weight this time around!!
Other symptoms and changes: Exhaustion y’all. Holy exhaustion. I’ve been SO tired during the first trimester it’s not even funny! This is another reason I told my upper management team, I would seriously sit down at my desk and fall asleep and almost miss meetings all of the time!! And I’m not a napper usually so this was weird! I was also going to bed at 8:30 or 9:00pm and waking up at 7am! So yeah, the exhaustion game was STRONG. My back has also hurt SO BAD this time around. My Dr. told me that my uterus is set pretty far back so I think it’s just pressing on my spine and hitting some nerves but I seriously already have static nerve pain on my left side! It usually doesn’t hit until the evening but I have trouble walking or even sitting down in the evening! I have to lay on my heating pad all of the time when I’m at home! I hope this goes away because it’s getting quite annoying! As far as my bump, I can hide it pretty well with baggy clothes (thank you winter weather) but in the evenings it really sticks out!! These pictures were taken at 7pm so it was out in all of it’s glory for those! haha I can totally feel the little bump when I lay down too! It’s about the size of a big softball. I’ve also had some Braxton Hicks contractions already!! My Dr. said they definitely start this early but most people don’t know to expect them so they never think they feel them. But I had crazy Braxton Hicks with my boys so I do know what to expect! I actually had them so frequently with Lofton that it sent me into preterm labor! They told me that enough Braxton Hicks in a row have the same effect as a real contraction and they were actually causing me to start dilating at 30 weeks! (This caused me to be on bed rest for nearly 10 weeks with him!)
Ok I think that’s about all of the questions I’ve received but again, if you have more PLEASE let me know! I’m excited to share this journey with y’all!! Thank you so much for your kind words and love right now! It really means the world to me!!
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