Welcome to the Maternity Countdown page!
When I was pregnant with my second child, I thought up this fun way to document my growing belly. I created a maternity countdown shirt to wear in each photo, so I could see the changes and cross off the weeks as they flew by! With each photo I also included some of the thoughts that I recorded in the journal I am keeping for the little bean. The first trimester, when changes were subtle, the photos were six-week changes. The second trimester, as things sped up, they were two and three-week changes. The third trimester, of rapid expansion, they were two and one week changes.
My Maternity Countdown series (*renamed from Project Baby for trademark protection) has been a huge hit and received much love from the internet community. It’s been featured on Stephmodo, Design Mom, DIY Maternity, Belle Bébés, as well as been featured in print in Zwanger (a Dutch parenting magazine) and Prenatal (a French Prenatal magazine). It’s also been pinned and shared through various other channels. I am so pleased with the warm response, but even more thrilled with the personal story that I was able to create with this series for my family, especially baby Eliot. I already love looking back and remembering the different stages of pregnancy. Some are so wonderful, some are so hard! Pregnancy is a process, and a big project. I am so happy to celebrate it through my Maternity Countdown. (I also used the Maternity Countdown Tee while pregnant with my third baby, little Plum. Her series was all documented on Instagram with the hashtag #countdowntobabythree. )
Maternity Countdown Series video here.
Here is the original series from 2010-2011:
October 18, 2010 “Hi baby. I’ve been meaning to say hello and welcome to our family for about a week. Last Monday I discovered that you were on board with me. It came as a wonderful bit of highly anticipated news. I have been preparing for you for months, and am thrilled to begin what will be an eternal journey together. I want you to know that you were thought of, prayed about and planned for long before your conception. You have been loved forever. Your dad and I can’t wait to meet you and hold you safely in our arms…keep growing strong until then. xo Mom”
December 1, 2010 “Hi there little fig! We’re still moving along towards your arrival! I’ll be honest, every day is a challenge. I am sick and my body is stretched to it’s limit, but you are still healthy and strong, so it’s all for something. I’ve gotten to see you twice in the last few weeks-you look like a gummy bear! Your arms and legs just beginning to form. We saw your strong heart fluttering and you even wiggled a couple times. How fun and relieving it is to see you grow. I can’t wait to feel a little better and get to enjoy your presence a little more! I love you already. xo Mom”
January 16, 2011 “Hi there baby. You’re getting big, which means that I’m getting big!! I’ve begun sewing a whole pile of maternity clothes so that I can still feel cute as I expand into a big pregnant belly! One week from tomorrow we will discover your gender, but we’ve already decided names. If you are a boy, you will be named ‘Eliot Calvin’ and if you are a girl, you will be our ‘Olive Mae.’ I feel you wiggle on occasion and am getting excited for some of those bigger kicks in the next month! This week I ordered a home doppler fetal doppler so we can listen to your heartbeat at home. I’m so excited and am pretty sure we’ll be listening in on a very regular basis. We are just so excited to welcome you into our family, and can’t wait to make you happy as we teach you the joys of the Gospel! Stay strong baby! xo Mom”
January 30, 2011 “Well Eliot, we’ve done it! We’ve made it to half-way! Looking back, it seems like no time has passed since we began this party-and that means that you will be here before I know it! Today I felt you kick hard for the first time. More than just flutters. I am excited for your dad and Milo to feel you move too. It makes carrying you around with me seem so much more real! We are thrilled you’ll be joining us soon. Keep kicking hard! xo Mom”
February 17, 2011 “Hi there little man. We’re plugging along with this thing. I sometimes forget that in a couple months, I’ll not be pregnant any longer…I’ll have you in my arms! A new little being to care for and teach and help grow up happy. It’s an amazing responsibility. You are a special person! Finding a way to care well for you and Milo together will be a juggle, I’m sure. But we will make it fantastic. I love you already. xo Mom”
February 25, 2011 “Well little one, time is passing us by! You have become quite alive in the last couple weeks. Not a day goes by when I don’t feel you move all around. You especially seem to enjoy kicking Milo when he’s on my lap and leaning back into my belly. I hope that’s not an indication of things to come, just a warm “hello” from inside the womb! I held a one-week-old baby this week and it was amazing the peace and calm that came over me. It was a moment of gaining some much-needed confidence to have a new baby all over again. I think you must be growing very strong because I am always hungry:) I’m trying to take good care of you, my boy!xoxo Mom”
March 26, 2011 “Hi there baby. You’re wiggling all over the place these days. I took you to your first movie last night and you loved it! Kicking and moving the whole time. The reality of your arrival is becoming more exciting and I think these next couple months are going to fly by. I can’t wait to meet you and see your tiny face. xo Mom”
April 17th, 2011 “Eliot. My little boy. You have become all knees and elbows these last couple weeks! I got a crib that will be yours and it makes your arrival feel a little more real. A little thing that gets me excited for a tiny boy in my arms. I often wonder what you will be like. I know what having Milo was like, I have come to know what works for him, and the person he is, but YOU are a whole new adventure and I am so excited! I love you already my second baby. xo Mom”
April 24th, 2011 “Happy Easter little one. You celebrated with us as we enjoyed several delicious meals and a visit from the Easter Bunny. He brought me a striped shirt big enough to fit over the both of us…and that’s pretty big these days! Although I’m still low on energy, I am pretty motivated to get your little bed figured out, and start preparing logistically for your arrival. Not long now! Keep on kickin’. xo Mom”
May 9th, 2011 ” Eliot, Eliot. We had a celebratory couple weeks! Milo turned two with a festive tractor party, and your dad turned 31 with a peaceful day. We are enjoying your first beach vacation in Myrtle Beach this week, and along with the sunshine, your presence shows up on my cheeks as the pregnancy mask. You must be getting heavy, because my back is having trouble supporting you. The midwives recommended the mini-cradle support belt, and it seems to do the trick! Although I sleep little and heartburn lots, I love this time of excitement for your arrival. Thank you for sticking with me this long…a few more weeks and I’ll wrap you in Aden & Anais and sing you a lullaby. Love you little boy. xo Mom”
May 30th, 2011 “Baby boy, I’m ready for you anytime! This week I pulled your clothes out, washed and folded them. I have diapers and wipes and a brand new teddy for you. I have read up on sleeping and feeding and caring for a newborn, again. I bought a bouncy chair (for the first time) and was handed down a baby swing. Your crib is complete. Your personalized towel arrived. I’ve got bottles, and binkies and bibs. Now I just need you! I know you’re getting ready, because you stretch from one side of my belly to the other and seem anxious to have a bit more room. So, whenever you’re ready, I’m ready. Hope to see you real soon, bean. Love you. xoxo Mom”
June 8th, 2011 “Baby baby baby. Every night I go to sleep hoping to see you in my arms by morning. I know it’s early, and you must still have a little developing to do so that you are healthy and happy as can be, so I’ll try to be patient. It’s hot and we’ve spent a lot of time in the water this week. I think you’ll love joining in the summer fun. You will be a fantastic addition to our little clan. And I love you…even if you give my body lots of aches. Come whenever you’re ready. xo Mom”
June 14th, 2011 “Well Eliot, you haven’t shown up, yet, but I think it will be soon and I am excited. Tonight I listened to your strong heartbeat and realized that in a few days I’ll be able to hold you to my chest and feel your little heart beating. I wonder so much about your personality and temperament, and what amazing dimension you will add to our little family. I can’t wait to meet you, little boy. It’s been a long journey and I can’t wait to begin the next. xo Mom”
The morning of June 21st, 2011 (recorded in my personal journal) “This may be the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. It has felt like such a long journey, and now to have Eliot’s due date come and go. I think with life not arranged as it is, I would prefer to wait-however excruciating, it fits in with my world-view of labor and delivery. But, I am so emotionally drained and physically spent with this pregnancy…I am so ready to have this little one in my arms and out of my body. Lord, please help me!”
Eliot arrived June 21st, 2:59 pm.
7 pounds, 12.5 ounces, 20 inches and perfect.
July 7th, 2011 “Baby baby. You are a peaceful little man. After all of the drama of your pregnancy and birth, I expected a difficult baby, but you just seem content! You eat well, about every 2 1/2-3 hours. You sleep deeply (though not more than 3 hours yet at night.) When you are awake, you just open up your huge dark blue baby eyes and look around the world. Quiet and happy. You are so small still. I love cuddling you into the crook of my neck. Your whole body fits in one arm and your tiny fingers grasp onto my necklace. I can’t imagine life without you. I love looking at you and imagining the boy you will be someday. You are precious and I love you. xo Mom”