32 Week Pregnancy Update

32 weeks! Only 2 months to go (due date is November 23, Thanksgiving Day) – whoa. I kind of feel like that’s not true and I’ll be pregnant forever and this is just my new reality, you know? But maybe once the legit fall weather kicks in it will seem more imminent/real since I know we are having a fall holiday baby… we’ll see!

32 weeks pregnant

Anyway! Check out my previous pregnancy posts first if you missed them:

hiking baby bump

32 Week Pregnancy Update

Baby Size: Almost 4 pounds and the size of a squash! Crazy. She’s moving a ton in there now – I feel her all the time, which is fun, although it’s still really hard to believe that that’s our actual baby moving around in there… this pregnancy thing is weird and still hard to fathom!

Symptoms: I’m starting to feel more physically awkward, but generally I can’t complain – my lower back/hip pain is still more or less gone (yay!!) and other than being tired/slower and sleep being uncomfortable, I’m still feeling pretty good all things considered. Hoping it continues! One thing that has been annoying lately though is that my face is REALLY dry – like aggressively visibly dry. Did any of you experience this during pregnancy? Any thoughts/advice? I’ve tried all my usual fave face creams/etc. I have and nothing seems to work…

Currently Missing: Being able to jump and sprint and generally feel nimble/light on my feet. :) Also, super runny egg yolks. I loveeeee runny egg yolks.

Sleep: Still aiming to get in bed early with time to read/relax and then still get 8 to 9 hours, although sometimes on days with early workouts I don’t get quite that much (and I really feel it later). I’ve also noticed if I don’t have time to get in bed early enough to read and wind down, I have a really hard time falling asleep/staying asleep and am awake most of the night/still keyed up. That happened last night! I’m waking up a lot even on nights I sleep well, though, either because my hips are aching or because I need to pee.

Cravings and favorite foods: The usual suspects – cheese, watermelon, eggs, all the carbs. :) I’ve been enjoying some smoothies lately too since it has been (until today) hotter again – mostly my simple Banana Spinach Smoothie (<- recipe) but with chia seeds and frozen wild blueberries added to the mix. Yummy!

banana spinach smoothie

Food aversions: Dinner is still a bit hit or miss, but I’ve have some good meals lately that I enjoyed which was nice. Food has definitely been more of an annoyance than anything during pregnancy, though, in the sense that I know I need to eat but nothing really sounds super good and I’m not at all into cooking. This means I tend to eat similar things a lot because I’m not feeling creative, and because there are certain things that always sound slightly better than others… but then that means I get bored of what I’m eating, too. And the cycle continues! I’m especially tired of summer food, though, so I’m hoping I can get into some cozy fall stews and soups now that the weather has started to change. We’ll see!

Exercise: Loving the hiking! I just go more slowly than normal. :) It was SO fun and nourishing spending time in the mountains this past weekend with Matt on our mini babymoon! (Recap 1 + recap 2.)


I also discovered that if the weather is cool enough, tennis is still fun and feels good – I just don’t run for the ball much and let it come to me. ;) Matt and I played with our friend Shane last week one night after work – must do that more in this nice fall weather that’s now back!


I’m still aiming to get in some movement every day, whether a walk with the dogs or something more formal. Here’s a little peek at what this past week looked like workout-wise. Just a reminder that what works/feels good for me may or may not feel good/work for you – and that’s okay! You do you. If working out doesn’t feel good for you while pregnant, that’s totally fine – do what works!

  • Monday: walks with the dogs
  • Tuesday: lunchtime yoga class
  • Wednesday: Sweatbox boot camp class with Kath and Chelsea (a combination of spinning + weights/strength moves on the floor and using the TRX bands)
  • Thursday: walks with the dogs
  • Friday: planning on a swim later this afternoon as a nice break from the workday!


Mood: Ehhh… highs and lows… things have been hit or miss emotionally the past two weeks. I had a lovely birthday and Matt and I had such a nice time on our babymoon, but then Monday I was feeling so bummed that our last pre-baby trip was over so quickly.

There’s also been a lot going on behind the scenes with the dogs that I haven’t really been sharing much about on the blog, and it’s made things stressful and emotional. Basically, Ashe, our puppy, is very fearful and anxious and doesn’t like strangers, which makes it really stressful and hard to have anyone over to our house because she flips out and gets really aggressive/protective/territorial. She’s also very territorial in the yard/right around the house. It’s really hard because she’s SO sweet with us, but we’re starting to get really worried about how this is going to be manageable once the baby comes and we have people in and out more often than usual. (Luckily she is not aggressive with strangers away from our house – just shy/fearful – so that’s why we can take her to the dog park, on hikes, and to dog daycare, in case you were wondering.)

I don’t think she’d ever hurt our daughter, because she’ll be part of the pack, but we are definitely worried about other kids that come over, and any adults, too. It’s just not sustainable to always have her in another room or outside forever while people are here, especially if they aren’t just over for a brief visit. After finishing out the 2 months of a puppy training group class we did with her when we first adopted her, we just did another 2 months of private one-on-one training every week here at our house to see if that helped the situation. It helped a little bit in the sense that we’ve learned to try to avoid/better manage situations where she gets fearful/protective, but it doesn’t feel really sustainable because it involves having her on a leash anytime anyone comes over (and the problem is we’ve discovered that even once she calms down and is okay with the new person, if that new person then leaves the room and comes back, she flips out all over again, so it requires really watching her constantly and being nervous about it essentially until the person leaves). I mean, at this point not even my mom can come over without Ashe flipping out initially, which is really frustrating since Ashe has met her a million times and we’ve done lots of walks together, too. If I’m there to facilitate the interaction, she will calm down quickly and then be fine with my mom being in the house, even if she leaves the room and comes back, but my mom tried to come over on her own the other day to let both dogs out while I was out at client meetings and Ashe was so scary and intense my mom just had to leave. Ugh.

The other issue we’ve been having (which is less of a big deal and more manageable, but still annoying) is that Freyja has some leash aggression with other dogs. She loves other dogs at the dog park and does great at dog daycare, but for whatever reason while on leash she’s a jerk to other dogs, which means we have to cross the street/avoid other dogs while on walks, and meanwhile she’s flipping out barking and pulling trying to get to the other dog. It’s manageable when it’s just her alone, but with both dogs it’s really challenging because Ashe copies Freyja and does the same thing (Ashe is fine with other dogs on leash when she’s alone). This means I basically can’t walk the two dogs by myself anymore, because they are way too strong for me at this point to control on my own. So… yeah. Not ideal. No way a baby/stroller can be in the mix if I can’t even handle walking both dogs when it’s just me.

Since time is running out and we need to figure this situation out ASAP before the baby comes, we actually just took both dogs last night to our last resort, which is a 2 week intensive board and train boot camp. I am pretty confident they will be able to seriously improve Freyja’s leash aggression and walking skills, but we’re not sure what they’ll be able to do in terms of Ashe’s fear-based aggression and territorial instincts. We’ll see. Earlier this week Matt and I had a serious talk about potentially maybe needing to consider rehoming Ashe if this boot camp doesn’t work… we just can’t be dealing with this while we have a newborn around (and then a toddler who will want to have friends over, etc.). Even just having that conversation and really considering the idea of rehoming her basically makes me burst into tears because we love her so much and she’s such a sweet and fun dog when it’s just us with her. I would just feel so, so sad and guilty if that ended up being what we had to do… but at the same time we need to do what’s best for our family. So, anyway. The situation would be hard and emotional anyway, but with pregnancy hormones on board it means it’s even harder. I’ll keep you guys updated… for now, we wait and see how things are when the dogs are finished with their 2 week boot camp. We will miss them while they are gone, but it will also be nice to have some peace and quiet in the house in the meantime!

Maternity clothes: Still wearing lots of hand me downs – waiting until most of my friends already had kids was a smart decision on the maternity clothing front because I haven’t had to buy much myself! :) The pretty dress in the first photo in this post is another hand me down from my BFF Jenny… she gave me so much cute stuff last time I saw her! I wore it to the fun blogger dinner on Tuesday night. :)

Reading: Nothing baby-related right now because I got really excited when I found out that the new Ken Follett book about Kingsbridge is out (A Column of Fire)! So, reading that now. :) Honestly I just feel like the amount of information out there about baby stuff is so overwhelming… and a lot of friends have said that they read a ton and then most of it ended up not being useful because their baby ended up not having xx issue but having another one they didn’t read up on – so, I think I’m just going to see how things go and read up/get advice as necessary when the baby arrives. I’m sure I’ll have lots of questions for you guys then!! Matt and I are going to attend an “infant care 101 skills” class at the hospital next weekend, though, which I think will be really helpful for those early days where we are like… how the heck do we do this?! (It covers things like how to bathe a baby, swaddling, diapering, burping, putting a baby to bed/sleep patterns, when to call the pediatrician, infant safety, things to prepare beforehand, etc. We are also taking an infant CPR class in a couple weeks, too.)

Baby Room Progress: The baby’s room is still a total hot mess, BUT the furniture we ordered (crib + changing table/dresser combo) is arriving next week, so that means I can finally start to get things organized and put away! Also, my mom is amazing and took on the task of washing all the baby clothes we received and organizing them to figure out what is missing/what we still need. She said just taking the tags off everything took her nearly an hour… Mom, you are the best!! Thank you!

And, that’s all I have for you today! Thank you for reading and sharing in this special time with us. <3 My next update will be at 34 weeks. Until then!

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  1. 1

    YOu look so beautiful in your dress there, love it! I hope boot camp for the dogs works. I can’t imagine how stressful that has to be for you guys! I’m sending lots of hugs and prayers that it works out for Ashe & Freyja! I feel for you, my 3rd cat terrorizes my 1st cat. Since they are both blind, it scares me. It’s getting better, but the thought of having to give Luke away makes me cry. I know that whatever decision you make will be made with lots of love! All the best!!!

  2. 3

    Hi Anne! So sorry about your situation with the dogs. A few years ago we had to rehome one of our dogs for an aggression issue. It was incredibly hard but it was definitely for the best. I hope the boot camp works out for you guys!

  3. 5

    the dog situation is soooo stressful. we have a dog that is aggressive on a leash: barks, snarls, pulls like crazy. we always have to go around other dogs / cross the street / etc. when walking him. when we brought home our daughter i figured there was no way i’d ever be able to walk him and push the stroller at the same time, but somehow we managed. i certainly didn’t do it as often as i wanted to and it wasn’t ideal, but we got through it. he’s a terror when guests come — barks like a maniac and scares people, but eventually quiets down. the good news? he is terrific with our daughter. yes, he will get really mad if she touches his stomach (which means he snaps at her — never bites, though), so we’re working on that with her. and we also make sure she stays away when we feed him because he is food aggressive. but guess what? it’s going so well that we actually adopted another dog a few weeks ago. :) our first pup sounds a lot like freyja so keep your hopes up about her!

    and about ashe – that sounds so tough, but it sounds like your head and your heart are in the right place. if you do have to rehome her, remind yourself that it’s not just for your best interest or your daughters, it would be for ashe’s too.

    • 6

      Thank you for this, Carolyn. <3 I'm sorry to hear you were dealing with a similar situation! We are lucky that while Freyja has the leash aggression issue, she is great at our house - loves everyone who comes over AND she's amazing and super gentle and tolerant with kids, too. So we're feeling pretty confident that things will be fine with her, and that the boot camp will be a big help with making it be easier to walk her. Ashe, on the other hand, we're not sure... the new people aggression is really tough because it's not just barking, she will actually lash out and try to bite if given the opportunity. We'll see...

  4. 7

    I really hate to hear all of that about the dogs! I so hope the training will help to correct the unwanted behaviors and that Ashe begins to feel much calmer and more welcoming to others. Nothing more heartbreaking than our fur-babies being unwell or experiencing these strong negative emotions. You look beautiful! Despite not having a great appetite, you have shared plenty of great meals. And you alone know what your body needs, and you do a great job of honoring them. It’s inspiring to watch you and Kylie navigate this

  5. 9

    I have a territorial/fear aggressive Australian Cattle Dog (as soon as I saw Ashe, I figured she had some of that in her). Before rehoming, I would suggest trying medication, like prozac. Our vet has been very supportive of our possible plan to try that with our dog when we start our family. She reminds us that the fear aggression is not something that is fun for the dogs, either, and sometimes medication can help them become more comfortable so they aren’t stressing out when strangers come over.

    • 10

      That’s an interesting suggestion, and one we hadn’t considered – I’ll talk to our vet about it! Thank you! It made a big difference for you guys?

      • 11

        To be frank, we have not tried it yet. We are a military family, with a recent deployment under our belt, and we’ve just settled back into DC this summer. So, we (and our vet) thought it is only fair to give our dog a little more time to settle in and get comfortable before putting more changes in place for her (she’s lived in CA, FL, and DC in the course of the last 9 months!). That said, we are planning to start in the new year after the holidays/our wedding, when we know we can give her a good 4-6 weeks at home without traveling/boarding her/putting her in a bunch of new places. I’d recommend talking with your vet about it, because it can be very dependent on the dog. But, my vet basically said we could use the prozac to hopefully de-condition our dog to be stressed out and anxious with strangers around our home (she is exactly like Ashe, it sounds like). Anyway, just a thought; we have definitely considered the sleepaway training camp for her, but ultimately decided against it since her problems are only in our home (and especially in our room, which is her ULTIMATE territory).

        • 12

          Makes sense! Thank you – I hope it helps for you guys in the new year!

        • 13

          And yeah, we were hesitant about the sleepaway camp thing too given her issues are at home… but we were running out of time and all the in-home training options seem to be an hour or two a week – not getting anywhere with that!

          • 14

            We talked to our vet very seriously about Prozac for our dog (for separation anxiety). We ended up trying some other options first, which worked, but our vet was really supportive of the Prozac option. She said that it has been life-changing for a number of her patients, and she has rarely seen negative side effects. We go to the Caring Hands in Clarendon; I would definitely recommend considering it!

          • 16

            One other thing our vet suggested we try before going with a more intense SSRI like Prozac was a more homeopathic option. Sounds kind not super legit, but 225mg of Zylkene (you can find it on daily has helped our pup manage her anxiety a bit better (hers was the result of having construction done on our house and being freaked out by all the noise/people constantly around :(). Zylkene is apparently derived from colostrum, and I don’t totally get how it works, but it does seem to take the edge off for her.

            Definitely talk to your vet about medication overall!

        • 18

          So glad I just read this comment – we have a very fear aggressive cattle dog that is 9, but we just adopted her 2 years ago. We previously had a cattle dog that was more like Frejya – great with people, just not great when she saw other dogs out on a leash. However, our current dog freaks out on a leash and at home with both dogs and people. I’m definitely going to talk to the vet about prozac! Being 9, I doubt there would be a big behavior change for her with training and it is both frustrating and sad to watch her act out on her fear and territorial instincts. We don’t have kids and don’t have people coming to our house that often, so we are just separating her right now, but that is such a good point that with a baby, you would want people to be able to come and go with out having anxiety about your dog’s behavior.

          • 19

            Yeah… I’m so sorry to hear you’re having a similar situation. It’s tough because they are so sweet and loving with us! Thinking of you and hoping you find something that improves things <3

  6. 20

    Hi Anne – I wanted to offer a hug about the dog situation. My hubby and I adopted a dog that we loved, did a bunch of training with and classes and in the end had to find a new home for him. It was so hard to come to the conclusion that we weren’t the best fit for him nor he for us. We don’t have kids, but we do rent two of our bedrooms to air b and b guests and have friends over often and he was really impacting our lives in a negative way. I hope that the bootcamp is the solution that you need it to be. But if not, please know that you’re not alone in having to rehome your dog. It stinks.

  7. 22

    Totally cheering you on in the dog department! I can’t tell you how many training classes, videos, private training visits and Cesar Milan episodes we have watched over the years with our dogs to help with adjustment when needed. We did have to re-home one pup, and I won’t lie, it is absolutely heart-breaking. But you need to know what your limits are, what is best for the pup, and the whole family. You are doing everything you can, and I am hoping along with you that all settles down with the boot camp training. It is so clear that you both love animals and are investing everything you can into making sure they are loved and happy. We need more of that in this world!

  8. 24

    Raising my hand here for another person whose dog has leash aggression but is a complete mush in the dog park and at home. I tried all of the advice – walk in the other direction when they start getting aggressive, make them sit and give a treat, ignore them, everything. He still lunges, barks and agitated but it ends quicker the more he got older. It’s still not a pleasant experience by any means.

    I am so sorry to hear about Ashe being territorial. While not easy it does sound like you are trying to do everything possible to keep her and your guests safe. How scary and stressful that your mom even has the issue. Wishing you much puppy luck!

    • 25

      Thank you, Beth! Leash aggression is such a pain – we feel so awkward and anti-social avoiding all other dogs when out walking… hopefully the boot camp trainer guy can figure it out because we’ve tried all those things you mentioned, too, and they help a tiny bit but not enough yet!

  9. 26

    I am so sorry you guys are having to deal with the puppy drama but it’s so smart that you’re getting help! Also, I felt overwhelmed in regards to reading baby books too! Bo read more than I did ahead of time and then I read/reached out to people afterwards! :)

  10. 28

    So stressful about Ashe. I understand, we had a very territorial German Shepherd growing up- she was the sweetest thing but scared the bejesus out of anyone who came near the house. I hope the bootcamp improves things for both dogs!

  11. 30

    Offering my support for the dog situation! We had one dog then added to our family with a rescue. The rescue was aggressive on leash and territorial. We did something similar to you and dropped him off at a 1 month rehabilitation dog specialist. It was totally worth the $$, but it wasn’t a cure-all by any means. They just showed us that he has the potential to be a good dog if he respected us, and then gave us the tools to earn that respect. It’s been about 1 year since the training and I finally feel like it’s sticking!

  12. 32

    I have read your blog for years but I think this is my first comment. Anyway, we have a pit/boxer mix who we adopted as a puppy and we sent her to a 3-week boarding boot camp when she was about 8/9 months old. It seriously worked wonders and she came back a new dog — totally chill and aggression issues gone (she was similarly weirdly aggressive in our yard/when she came back in the house from being in the yard). Ever since then (6 years ago!) we have been heaped with praise about how chill she is, and she is especially great with people and kids. She has adjusted to our kids beautifully and was amazing when we hosted a nanny share, too. Hoping you’ll have a similar experience with your pups!

  13. 34

    Sounds like such a difficult dog situation! I want to put my two cents in and say that we got my childhood dog from a close family friend who had to get rid of her when they had a baby. The dog was just not dealing well with having an infant in the house and was very territorial so they were scared for the baby’s safety. My family took her because me and my brother were older (I think about 10 and 13) and she did really well! So just know that even if you do have to give Ashe up then she can still have a very happy life in a situation that is better for everyone!

  14. 36
    Kristen Pierce says

    I agree with having to do what’s right for your family with the dog. When we were first married, before kids, we had a dog that was tougher (nothing near the extent you describe), but it was really stressful. We did end up keeping him, but it was tough. Honestly, since then, we have always had labs, simply because with kids in the house, it is easier having a dog that is reliably easy. This has made having a dog much more fun, the way it should be. We have always been rescue people (and our cat is rescue), but right now a reliable easy breed fits into our life better. It ranges the spectrum from being able to tie him up outside a coffee shop to run in and get a cup of coffee, to not having to worry if the kids accidentally leave the front door open (he has no desire to wander), to not worrying when we are out walking, either on leash or off.
    I know this decision is tough because you love your dog, but there probably is a better situation that will be better for Ashe and for you.

    • 37

      Thank you Kristen! We can only dream of being able to tie either of our dogs up outside a coffee shop… man. That would be amazing! There’s definitely something to be said for adopting a specific breed of dog where you know what you are getting upfront!

  15. 38

    I was really worried about our dog too. She is the sweetest with adults, but was terrified of kids… like to the point that if she felt cornered or trapped she would show her teeth, growl, and snap at them. She ended up being fine. I think if babies were born mobile, it would have been a different story… but her newborn baby sister just laid there, so she didn’t see her as a threat. Then as she slowly started moving, the dog could kind of slowly get used to it. Now she seems kids as people too, and is fine with all kids, not just our daughters!

    • 39

      That’s encouraging to hear! Ashe REALLY doesn’t like kids right now… mostly because they always want to pet her because she’s so cute and she gets really scared. But that’s interesting that having a kid in the house could improve that… although we have adults in the house and she doesn’t like non-familiar adults, so maybe it wouldn’t help… hard to tell!

  16. 40

    Our dog has leash aggression too, apparently it’s common with dogs that go to dog daycare- they just get used to being in a pack! We use the gentle leader harness- it was a bit of an adjustment period getting him used to it, but it makes walks a million times easier. He was also a puller and a garbage eater, and it curbs those issues too. He still gets wound up near other dogs and strangers, but somehow not being able to lunge keeps him relatively calm. Good luck!

    • 41

      I have a basset hound mix and though he’s not aggressive on a leash, hefollows his nose rather intensely. He would tug and tug when he smelled something. We use the gentle leader harness as well and it has made a tremendous difference in our walks. We can actually enjoy them together.

      • 42

        Freyja is a HUGE puller on leash, too – definitely going to check out the gentle leader if she’s still pulling post-boot camp!

        • 43

          Oh my goodness yes, a harness does wonders. I forgot to mention that because it is so second nature to me. The amount of control you are able to gain while knowing you are not hurting your pup is tremendous, absolutely huge difference from the minute you walk out the door with it on. I use the Easy Walk.

    • 45

      That’s interesting! Freyja hasn’t really done much dog daycare previously – my brother had a dog walker come on weekdays while he was at work so she was mostly just around other dogs at the dog park occasionally or if he was out of town. We will definitely try the gentle leader harness if the situation isn’t improved when she’s back, though! Thank you for the recommendation!

  17. 46

    The situation with your dogs DOES sound really stressful and it’s obvious that you guys are trying to do everything you can to make it work. I think that makes you awesome doggie parents. And sometimes, being awesome dog parents might also mean realizing and accepting that YOUR home may not be in your dog’s (and your family’s) best interest. And that’s OK. I know there’s a million people out there that will tell you different, but I know the anxiety and stress that comes with trying to make a pet situation work when it just isn’t. We spent 9 years trying to make a cat work in our home and it just wasn’t happening. We spent lots of money, time and ample amount of stress trying to make the situation work out, but it just wouldn’t. Our cat constantly had messes in the floor, and we’ve come to believe it was a territorial thing because of our dogs. But in the end, we loved out dogs AND our cat, but really thought the cat would have an easier transition to rehome than the dogs. I don’t regret our decision AT ALL. That said, let me also suggest, if it’s practical, have you tried crating?? We have a French Bulldog who is not aggressive, but he is WILD when other people come over. We bought him a crate made for a large dog so he would have plenty of room to move around and he stays in there when we have company over. It’s worked out well and he doesn’t seem to mind. We just keep the crate in another room away from company and he plays with his toys and sleeps while they visit. Hoping for the best for you guys!

    • 47

      Ashe is crate trained and loves her crate (she sleeps in it at night, and we used to have her in it during the day when we were gone, but now we just leave her out since she’s bathroom trained and reliable to not destroy stuff around the house – and not having her in the crate during the day helps her to sleep better at night since she’s not so restless and can romp around some with Freyja while we are gone), and we have done the crate thing occasionally when people come over… but it’s not realistic to have her in the crate every time anyone comes over forever, you know? Especially if the person is staying for quite awhile, or here overnight… it’s definitely a good occasional solution, though, for sure! I’m so glad she likes her crate!

  18. 49

    I am very sorry to hear about your dog issues and glad to hear that you are working with professionals to try to figure things out. We had 2 dogs before having our first baby, and after we added the baby to the pack the 2nd dog got a demotion in the pack and became very aggressive toward the first dog. We were worried that when the baby became mobile she would see him as a threat, too. After extensive aggression training we had to make the very difficult decision that we couldn’t keep her in our home anymore. Just know that your instinct about how things will work with your family is the most important factor.

    • 50

      Thank you Angie. I’m so sorry to hear you had a similar situation – such a hard decision. I literally spent hours earlier this week reading articles about how to decide if you should re-home your pet, basically sobbing the entire time while reading them. So, I’m sure that wasn’t an easy decision, but it sounds like you made the right one. <3

  19. 51

    I am commenting regarding the dog situation like many others! I have 3 big dogs and they are all leash aggressive (we think it’s fear based as they were all rescues) but they are wonderful with people. Walking them all at once is dangerous to me (they are way stronger than me!) and to other dogs. I always try to walk them at odd times before anyone else is around, but I want to tell you that I can successfully walk all 3 at once if they are all wearing Gentle Leader head collars. This significantly reduces the amount they are able to pull.

    As for Ashe, how about trying a muzzle? I strongly encourage you to check out the “Muzzle Up Project” on Facebook to learn more about what wonderful tools they can be!! (It’s aimed at decreasing the stigma behind dogs that wear a muzzle and educating the public.) Training her to wear a muzzle can be a really quick process as long as TONS of positive reinforcement is used. The dog can still eat and drink with it on but are unable to bite anyone. If you muzzle trained her, this would be a super easy way to have some peace of mind when other people come over and it takes no time at all to put on. You could even train your older dog to wear one too on walks for your peace of mind. (Muzzles are also a great thing to have a dog used to anyway. A lot of dogs get aggressive at the vet, so the techs have to put a muzzle on them. This means the dogs first experience with a muzzle is negative. If you can muzzle train them before this negative experience, they will be a much happier dog!)

    Another person recommended crate training and I would definitely agree with this!! Crates can be AMAZING training tools. Make sure to play “crate games” with her when starting out though (Youtube “Susan Garrett crate games”).

    Good luck! From one aggressive dog owner to another, I FEEL your stress and sadness!!!

    • 52

      Thank you so much for these tips, Anna! I’m definitely going to check out this gentle leader harness – so many people seem to swear by it! We’ve thought about the muzzle thing, too… that’s definitely going to be something to consider depending the results of the boot camp. It would be way less stressful to know that even if she accidentally gets too close to someone she won’t end up being able to bite them before we can get her under control.

  20. 53

    Hello Anne,
    Just found your blog! Excellent! Just to let you know, we’re tracking really almost right together in terms of pregnancies!! I’m 33 Weeks yesterday (Thurs 9/28)! Due Date is November 16th!

  21. 55

    I have a large dog that is so sweet and amazing but she does the same thing of pulling on the leash if she sees other dogs (we’ve tried training too.) I have 3 year old twin boys and when they were younger it was so stressful because I felt like I couldn’t take everyone for a walk together. Now things are much better and manageable so there’s hope. Someone once told me, it’s all a passing phase so put your game face on and make it through (kinda helped, especially after sleepless nights!). Good luck!

  22. 57

    I love that dress on you Anne, looks great! I’m so sorry to hear about the frustrations with Ashe – I hope this boot camp helps.

  23. 59
    Janet Knowlton says

    Anne – Sorry to hear about the dogs! Do Ashe & Freiya get along? If not, what about Freiya staying with your mom? There are some natural remedies for stress you could probably try. Something like this might be worth a shot over Prozac. Vets always seem to push drugs over a more holistic approach.

    • 60

      Yes, the two dogs get along great… and I’m pretty sure my mom doesn’t want to have a dog anyway, ha. She travels too much for that! Freyja isn’t the issue anyway, it’s really Ashe (although certainly the two of them together, especially on walks, makes things a lot more chaotic). I’ll check out that link, though – thank you!

  24. 61

    Just commenting to share some support on your pup situation. You seem to have a good plan in place, so the only advice I’ll echo is to look into medication. My brother had an enormous amount of success using Prozac with his pitbull mix. It doesn’t work for everyone, but is absolutely worth considering.

    I have an Australian cattle dog mix that also had some issues when he was a puppy, so I just wanted to share some happy endings, because they kept me going when I was struggling and in tears and reading the entire Internet: 1) He used to go bonkers anytime new people entered the house, but now at 2 years old, he’s a pretty chill dude. 2) I was so worried he’d inadvertently hurt our baby (now 8.5m), but he is the sweetest, gentlest angel with him. 3) While on walks, he used to bark and growl and lunge at anything with wheels (bikes, skateboards, STROLLERS), but walked calmly beside our stroller the minute we put our baby in it. My point is: It can work out, and I hope it does for you!

  25. 63

    I’m so sorry you’re having these issues! We just adopted a pup last week and it’s a huge adjustment, even being a seasoned dog owner with no kids on the way or other dogs, or major behavioral issues! I hope the camp helps, or that a little medicine might go a long way. Do you recommend the trainer you used?

    On a less serious note – jojoba oil works wonders on my face! I mix in a couple of drops in my regular moisturizer and I’m good as new, even with chronic dryness (and adding retin-A recently and all the peeling that normally causes). I have breakout prone skin and never have an issue with jojoba oil, which you can pick up for cheap at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

    Thinking good thoughts for you.

    • 64

      I actually have some jojoba oil on hand that I forgot about – I will try that! Thank you! Wishing you the best with your pup, too! We liked the trainer we used – she definitely helped give us a better handle on the situation and she did well managing Ashe, it was just taking too long/not quite as much progress as we needed so quickly hence the boot camp backup approach. If you email me I’ll share her info!

  26. 65

    So I thought I’d add my two cents to the dog situation. I know how stressful it can be! Our dog (she’s an american dingo – so she looks pretty scary – but is usually a love bug) became extremely territorial and protective of me when I was pregnant. Then once we brought my daughter home our dog was the BEST nanny a newborn could ask for. The dog stopped almost all of her territorial behavior. (she still wants to eat the ups truck) I swear she was just doing what she could to protect the pregnant me. I’m hoping that this will give you some hope, maybe your dog is super sensitive to your pregnancy.

    Walking the dog and the stroller at the same time never clicked for me. Mostly because my dog is a bit of a spaz and refuses to walk in a straight line and was constantly walking into the stroller. So, I’m no help there.

    • 66

      That’s interesting! I wish that were the case in our situation but I’m guessing it’s not, because the foster family who had Ashe before we got her told us that right before we adopted her she acted aggressive towards guests they had at their house. Soooo unfortunately I don’t think it’s pregnancy-specific. :( And yeah, we’ll see about the stroller +dog combo – seems like a lot of logistics, ha!

  27. 67

    If it makes you feel any better, we rehomed our dog when we found out I was pregnant (it wasn’t planned). We had a 5month old puppy and she was a big breed of dog. She’s such a sweetheart and I loved her to bits, but I couldn’t safely walk her on my own and then we realised, we’d have a newborn and she would still be a puppy. I didn’t feel that was a good life for my girl being stuck in the backyard while I looked after a screaming infant. Her breed needs a lot of attention. She lives with her sister now, which is awesome, and I miss her like crazy but I know she’s in the best place for her, which helps. I don’t know about the US, but here in Australia you’re held legally responsible if your dog bites someone and the local government will usually take the dog away and put it down if it attacks. I always felt it was my responsibility to keep my dog safe from that. I really hope the medications others have suggested/boot camp works for you – Ashe is adorable :)

  28. 69

    Ah good luck with your pups! My husband and I sent our dog to a boot camp in the DC area last summer (I mentioned it on another comment I think) and it worked wonders. Which place are you working with? Our pup didn’t have the protective issues, but major leash aggression. It was a lifesaver for us. We were moving into the city and couldn’t handle having to cross the street every time we encountered another dog. Now, went pass right by other dogs all the time and it’s no big deal. (I NEVER thought that could happen!) Over a year later and our dog is still doing great, and I think he is happier too. I’m just telling you this to provide a little encouragement while they’re away. I know how nervous/ stressed/ guilty I felt when our dog was gone for 2 weeks! Good luck!!!

    • 70

      We actually ended up going with your suggestion for the DC Dog Wizard! So you may spot our dogs out and about in the city with Scott over the next couple weeks… hopefully being well-behaved. :) Thank you for the recommendation, and for the encouragement – gives me hope!

      • 71

        Oh I’m so glad! I remember how worried I was during those two weeks, but it was totally worth it! Two weeks feels so long, but they will be home before you know it! Just to warn you, when they come home, they will be EXHAUSTED! I was a little worried his cheerful personality was gone, but he was just super tired and he was back to himself a few days later. :)

  29. 73
    Kathleen Mulholland says

    Regarding the dry skin on your face- I had the same thing while I was pregnant! It was caused by my prenatal vitamin. My particular vitamin was high in something (One of the B vitamins I think) and having too much built up and caused dry skin on my face.

  30. 75

    I love your pregnancy updates! I’m way behind you at 14+4 weeks but I know I’ll be reading back through them again as I get closer! Ashe sounds so similar to our beloved 20 month old Beagle. We’ve had her since she was eight weeks old, socialised her and did what we thought were all the right things but she is so nervous and goes crazy when people come to the house or to work where I take her every day. It is so draining! I just wanted you to know I totally relate. We worked with a Dog Behaviourist which really helped us to understand where Pepper’s angst comes from, but working on trying to change it is really hard and you have to be so consistent, which just isn’t always possible in daily life when someone is waiting on your doorstep or you’re in a hurry! I really hope the intensive training helps. We get these little bundles of fur as puppies and assume they will be happy go lucky and perfect! It’s a challenge but we do adore her! Luckily the friends and family she knows well she absolutely loves and is very affectionate with, including children, so I really hope things work with the baby. Like Freyja, she’s also fine with other dogs off lead but goes crazy on!

    • 76

      Congratulations on your pregnancy! I’m sorry to hear you’re having similar issues with your pup – but it sounds like you’ve figured a way to make it work which is awesome. <3

  31. 77

    Hi Anne! My dog was a mess on the leash until we worked with Alexandra Dilley from Humane Rescue Alliance (formerly Washington Animal Rescue League!). She was so wonderful and I know that you probably don’t have a ton of time for classes, she might be able to set you up with some small things you can do to help pup out. Most of it was teaching the dog to look at you instead of the other dog (which is surprisingly easy if your dog is as obsessed with treats as mine ha!). Good luck and hang in there!

    • 78

      Thank you for the recommendation – I might look into her depending how this training goes, although like you said we are kind of running out of time over here! Freyja is actually not super into treats – she likes them and will do tricks and stuff for treats, but when she is really amped up treats aren’t usually enough to get her attention back which is hard. Ashe is VERY treat motivated (unless she’s flipping out over a new person), though, which is awesome.

  32. 79

    WAIT. We’re not going to be pregnant forever? WUT?

    Girl, my heart is broken for you all. I know you’ll make the best decision for the whole family, and Ashe, whatever that ends up being. I’m ready to start our pup/baby-support group if/when needed. Big hugs.

  33. 81

    I’m so sorry it’s not working out with the pups. I can only imagine how hard that must be!

  34. 82

    I just found your blog a few weeks back, we actually share the same due date! I’m sorry to hear about the dog issues it really is heartbreaking to feel like you’re doing everything right but still having issues, I hope the boot camp works! I know a lot of people have suggested it but we tried the gentle leader and it didn’t work for us because our dogs have shorter snouts. I’m not sure how big your dogs are but mine are about 60-65 pounds and we use prong collars. I know they look vicious but when used as a tool and only for walks/when the dogs are taken out on a leash they work great. I can walk both our big dogs by myself, even past other dogs. Sometimes our youngest gets riled up around other dogs still but with the prong collar he’s forced to calm down quicker because of the discomfort. It’s not something we ever would have used in the past but we attended a training class for dog fosters (we work with a rescue) and they explained a bunch of different training tools and their benefits. We’re also working on “Leave it” (we say “don’t”) to condition our dogs not to react in certain situations (i.e. squirrel running across the road, other dogs, kids on bikes). It’s a constant process and you sound like you’re doing everything you can, good luck!

    • 83

      Thank you Lauren – I appreciate the words of support, and I’m glad you have found what works best for you and your dogs! The trainer we sent them to for the boot camp uses an e-collar – we will see how that goes.

  35. 84

    That’s such a tough situation with the dogs. I hope everything works out!!

  36. 86

    I have gone through this and while everyone above has left a similar comment I wanted to mention what had the biggest impact on me. It was the guilt. Still to this day I feel guilty about giving my dog back to the rescue group because of his people aggression issues. But now that 4 years have passed, I also know I made the right choice. Imagine the guilt when/if the dog actually bit someone! Many cities have very serious guidelines on how to respond to a dog that bites a person. Just do as much as you can to find a new home that works for the dog. Constantly stressing over how the dog will react when you have friends over is not a normal way to live. People are going to judge you, but you do you.

    • 87

      Thank you, Heather – I really appreciate your support. If we do end up re-homing her, it’s very important to me to find her a home directly to make sure she ends up somewhere that’s a good fit and something like this doesn’t happen all over again. I want to make sure the new family is aware of the situation – and that their circumstances will make it easier to manage than ours do (aka no baby on the way, perhaps in a less urban area, etc.).

  37. 88

    Thanks for sharing about the dogs. Ashe sounds exactly like our rescue dog that we’ve had for 3 years. Having people over is so stressful because we don’t know how she’ll react and we have to be “on” the entire time. She’s never bitten anyone but she lunges at people barking and growling. We’ve had in home training and have our routine now, which has helped but it’s still hard. When people come over they ignore her and we get her to a calm state by making her lay on her bed and just waiting. The other big thing we learned is to get in between her and the other people and show her that we’re in control and that she doesn’t need to be. The hardest part for me is telling people what to do around her because no one gets it. The last time we had people over someone made such rude comments and I just sobbed after because it’s so hard and people who haven’t experienced fearful dogs don’t understand. All that to say I understand! I don’t have kids yet but I’m terrified for when that comes. Thanks again for sharing – I’m excited to hear how the boot camp goes and how things progress.

    • 89

      I completely understand. It’s hard because people really want to try to “win her over” and that just makes her more agitated – the best thing is really for guests to completely ignore her. But people never believe us/understand! I’m so sorry to hear you’re dealing with a similar situation. Hang in there!

  38. 90

    Anne, I was catching up on your blog recently and had to tell you – I truly admire how honest you’ve been about your pregnancy and not just focused on the very exciting positives. Your honesty about everything from digestive issues to trying to figure out what to do with the dogs is such a breath of fresh air. It is empowering when women are honest with each other and share life’s ups and downs without judgement. I applaud you for putting it all out there while going through such an emotionally challenging time. Good luck with everything and wishing you all the best.

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