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Charlotte, NC 28208
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Charlotte+Asher creates chic diaper bags for the stylish, modern mom.

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Parenthood related topics written by the founders of charlotte+asher.

Filtering by Tag: maternity

The Ups and Downs of a Second Pregnancy

Laura Hahn

D meeting my friend's newborn and getting in some big brother practice!

D meeting my friend's newborn and getting in some big brother practice!

I always knew I wanted to have 3 kids, but after my first, I didn't even want to think about another child until my son was at least one year old. I wasn't taking any chances so I got on birth control ASAP, plus I really wanted time to have my body back to myself since I nursed for a year. When we decided we were ready to try for #2, we fortunately ended up getting pregnant right away. Getting that positive pregnancy test was definitely exhilarating, but it also opened up a lot of emotions that I wasn't expecting (beyond the expected hormonal onset of pregnancy). Here are just a few:

  • Sadness. I love my son so much, and there's something so special about your first child since he or she is what made you a mom. We have a special bond and relationship since I can give my undivided love and attention to him. When it started to sink in that he would have a sibling soon and it would no longer be just the two of us, I actually cried thinking about it when I was rocking with him before bed, just like I did every night when he was an infant. I know that having a sibling will enrich his life and their relationship will be special in a way that I will never be able to provide, but I can't help but mourn for the end of our exclusive time together.

  • Dread. This mostly refers to the newborn phase. I love babies, but I found that I am really enjoying age 2 right now with my son (I am terrified for age 3 though). I don't have to carry him everywhere, he can follow instructions and therefore help me out with little things, but mainly he sleeps through the night and I'm not nursing him. I'm already exhausted at the end of each day, so I'm not exactly stoked to sleep less, go through physical pain and a long healing process, and nurse around the clock--while still having to care for another child. Which brings me to...

  • Fear. I know a lot of moms with multiple children who say it was hardest for them to adjust from zero to one child, but I think because I have so many nieces and nephews, I knew ahead of time certain ways my life would change and I was prepared for that. But, since I'll be the one caring for the kids most of the day, with a second I'm now going to be outnumbered and that scares me! At this point I feel like I can keep it together most days with my son (read: we’re alive and can make it out of the house), but throwing a baby into the mix is definitely going to take some time to adjust. The good thing is that infants are stationary for awhile so at least I won't be chasing after two kids right away (moms of twins or more--I am not worthy). Another parent told me that at least you have two hands to handle two. Three is a different story I guess!

  • Excitement. Of course, it’s not all bad! I shared earlier that we are expecting a girl this time, and I am definitely excited to have a different experience with her. Though pointing out trucks has become second nature to me now, having a little mini me, someone to hopefully send to my women-only alma mater, and a daughter to do fun girls' stuff with is just the beginning; I’m super excited to experience a different kind of bond with my daughter than with my son. But even if I were having another boy, it's exciting to see how your second child's personality will differ from your first and what that relationship will be like.

  • Joyful anticipation. Honestly, it’s hard for me to fathom loving another child as much as my son, but there was a glimmer of hope when I had my first ultrasound for the new baby and my maternal love kicked into gear. I’ve also heard from numerous other parents that you don’t divide your love for your kids; it multiplies and grows. While it took me about a month or so to become head over heels in love with my son--I wasn’t one of those women who immediately fell in love with their baby--it’s amazing to think that my heart will be capable of encompassing that much love. Darian has also been demonstrating incredible big brother traits already, like kissing my belly and saying, “love you, baby sister!” that while I’m going to be giving up a lot of control over my body, time, and let’s face it, cleanliness, I can’t wait for baby girl to get here and be part of our family.

What were some of your experiences like anticipating your second pregnancy? Were there any similarities with your subsequent pregnancies?

Predicting your baby's sex

Laura Hahn

When I was pregnant with my first in 2013, I wanted a girl so badly. I have two sisters, and growing up with girls meant that I didn’t really know what I would do if I had a boy, even though I had two nephews (and three nieces). I fantasized about all the cute outfits and bows I would dress her in, and there were so many girl’s names I was debating between. Even though we had a boy’s name picked out, in the back of my mind I didn’t think that I would really need to use it.

Naturally, when I had an ultrasound at 17 weeks, it was clear as day that I was going to have a boy; my OB got a perfect crotch shot of my son’s goods. It was hard for me to mask my disappointment, and as soon as I walked out of my appointment I called my husband, told him we’re having a boy and said that we needed to go back to the name drawing board because the one we picked out suddenly wasn’t good enough. After I calmed down, I realized that I did still like it, but we kept it as his middle name--which is where the second name of our company, Asher, meaning happy or blessed, comes from.

Looking back, I should have known that I was going to have a boy--and for the record, I am over the moon in love with him! I had such typical, old wives’ tale symptoms that I could have at least gotten a clue from those. I had amazing shiny and thick hair, glowing skin, only gained weight mostly on my belly, was super hungry all the time and craved a lot of ice cream. I even had a dream I was having a boy and the Chinese gender predictor agreed, but I rationalized that I got pregnant a month after my birthday so it could be off.

Now I am pregnant with my second, and we found out at 20 weeks that I am having a girl! Though we loosely used the Shettles method, I wasn’t sure if it was going to work and heard from many other women with more than one child that their pregnancies were either completely different or relatively similar with the same sex. However, once I started to notice certain symptoms, I became more and more convinced that I was carrying a girl. They say girls “steal their mother’s beauty,” and that’s definitely what I was experiencing. My hair was flat and dry, I got hormonal acne (found this symptom to be very common for girl moms!), I was gaining weight in areas I hadn't before, and I wasn’t that hungry even in my early second trimester (I didn’t get much morning sickness during either pregnancies). The Chinese gender predictor also said I was having a girl, and there were only 2 months out of the year that that would be true for my age. No idea how the chart is over 90% accurate!

While symptoms and charts aren’t necessarily an accurate predictor for your baby’s sex, I do believe ones based on science may have some merit (so not what direction your bed faces or the way a key moves around your belly. Where did those even come from?). The Ramzi Theory has a 97% accuracy rate, which is staggering. Some women just have a maternal intuition, and there was even a study that said 71% of educated women correctly guessed what sex baby they’re having based on a dream or intuition. The dream theory was accurate for both of my pregnancies! Of course, if you get a cell-free fetal DNA blood test, you can now know your baby’s gender for sure by 10 weeks.

Did you guess your baby’s sex correctly? What signs or symptoms gave it away or threw you off?

Baby Registry: 7 Things You Can Do Without

Laura Hahn

A shot from our maternity session with c+a's amazing photographer, Billye.

A shot from our maternity session with c+a's amazing photographer, Billye.

Navigating your baby registry as a first time mom can be really daunting, so we’re here to help! For starters, here are 7 things you don’t need:

  • Baby changing station. While cute especially when part of a furniture set, this really just ends up taking a lot of space and becomes unnecessary when baby is out of diapers. Instead, simply put a changing pad on top of a regular dresser. Just make sure you put a non-slip mat (the kind you put under an area rug) underneath the pad so it doesn’t slip around.

  • Infant First Aid Kit. While a good idea in theory, you either end up getting most of these things from the hospital or only end up using 1 or 2 things in it that are way cheaper and better quality when bought separately. Just make sure you have baby scissors or clippers, a thermometer, and a snot sucker. Done.

  • Wipe warmer. Just, no. I know we want to do everything for our babies, but refusing to use a room-temperature or slightly cool wipe is excessive. Plus, the warmer will dry out the wipes rendering them close to useless.

  • Pee-pee teepees. If you have a baby boy, you may be tempted to buy or ask for these, but the reality is they don’t even stay on. Here’s a tip: bro tends to pee when he’s exposed to the cold, so cover with his dirty diaper, get a new one ready underneath, do your quick clean and change. You can also cover him with a wipe in between for extra coverage.

  • Stuffed animals. When these start to accumulate, they become your nemesis because they take up so much space and are useless. Baby will also probably only care about 1 or 2, and that’s at an older age. Resist the urge, especially because other people will inevitably gift you some (or way more than you need).

  • Clothes/baby shoes/blankets. You definitely need clothes and blankets (you really don’t need infant shoes, though they’re super cute!), but your baby will grow so fast. Keep in mind that you won’t know how big your baby is, so s/he may not even fit in newborn sized clothing. If you can, borrow clothes from a family member or friend. Clothes and blankets are also things that people love to gift you apart from your registry, so chances are you’ll end up getting more than enough without even asking. If you have a specific swaddle blanket you’re eyeing, definitely put it on there, but otherwise it’s better to keep these items to a minimum.

  • Special baby detergent. Any detergent that is “free and clear” is fine; these don't contain any dyes or perfumes that could irritate baby’s skin. While you're at it, get a bigger size so you can use it for the whole family.

Check back soon for posts on what you definitely need to have on your list, as well as items parents are split on. Until then, happy registering!