Same But Different: Pregnancy Journies, 2 Under 2

Henlo, my Gals! 😁🥰

🤰2️⃣My second pregnancy is coming to a close! Only about 5 weeks left as of this past weekend! 🗓😱

It went by so fast! And yet, I honestly feel like I’ve been pregnant forever. 😅😪

Granted, that may be because I only got about a 9/10 month break from my first one. 😅😅 But still!

I’ve heard time and time again (and by that I mean for as long as this sort of thing has been relevant to me) that every pregnancy is different. Not just from mama to mama, but I mean from baby number one, to baby number 2, etc, etc.

And speaking from experience, that is so totally true. Things have been a lot different this time round. A little harder in some parts, tbh. 😰

💖But it’s all for the cause. 😌🤱

So I thought I might do a quick post on what was different this time to kind of give some insight on how no two pregnancies are exactly alike.

💭❔Weird thought just now, maybe it’s like the very first peek into the baby’s personality? 🤔🤔 Not likely, lol, but just a weird thought that popped up just now. 😅😅

Anyway.

🤢First Trimester🍞

In my post about my first trimester with my first baby, I mentioned that I was pretty nauseous. It was a little rough, but more or less par for the course. I puked a couple of times, 🤮 felt like puking most of the time, 🤢 but I feel that period didn’t last all too long. 🤷‍♀️

This time, I was N A U S E O U S.  🤢🤢🤢 I seriously had no break in feeling sick from morning through night this first, nay, WORST Trimester. 😣😫💀

With my first, I didn’t really feel sickly until about 8/9 weeks in. This time, the nausea is what tipped me off that I was pregnant before I took the test! 😬 I would have breakfast and not be able to finish because I felt like I would throw it all up. And this lasted all the way up to the end of the “worst” trimester. There may have been a few days of overlap into the second, even.

From probably about week 3 or so it was brutal sick-to-my-stomachness after every meal. I had been keto prior to this, and wanted to try to stay modified keto/low carb this pregnancy, but alas, all I could tolerate was English muffins and oatmeal. I had quickly become an obligate carbivore. 🥐🍞🥖

But no matter how much I dry heaved, no matter how much water I tried to force down my gullet, I still would not puke (aside again for a couple of times)! It was misery. 😰😰😰

😵😴I also felt extremely weak on top of being tired. Like I’d see spots and get dizzy moving around. Which was hard to deal with with a newly walking 10 to 11 month old who wasn’t content to snuggle or be contained for more than a moment. 😟😭

Aside from that, I didn’t have many other noteworthy symptoms. Just the usual sore breasts, tiredness, headaches, etc.

Oh, except I swear I felt this baby move at about 10 weeks! 🤯 Like there were little popcorn kernels pop pop popping in my belly! 🍿 Last time I didn’t feel movement until after 20 weeks! It’s most likely I just know what to look for now, but it’s crazy how early I felt it.

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I also showed a lot sooner this time, as is typical for each subsequent pregnancy. Here’s the bump at 10 weeks!

🥣Second Trimester🤕

(TMI ahead) 😰I had some freaky spotting in the second trimester this time! It looked like the beginning of my period for about a few days, so it was very unsettling. I only had a day of normal spotting in the very, very beginning last time. I had never experienced anything like that.

I was nervous something was wrong. Of course I got everything checked out, and luckily everything looked good with the baby. 🙏🙏🙏

They could never tell me quite why it happened, but as long as everything was okay otherwise, I could deal with it.

🙌Thankfully it hasn’t happened since!

I also had a week or two of irritating round ligament pain this time. Last time, it was just uncomfortable and for the most part I only noticed it when I was moving. But I think chasing after a toddler must have made my ligaments angry, so I would have to take time to rest because the discomfort would get to be too much. 😣🤕 Luckily this went away after a couple of weeks though.

😪I still never got that rumored second trimester energy burst. At least for no longer than a couple of days or so. But again, having a toddler and being pregnant will drain your HP like nothing else. 😵

Aside from that, everything else was more or less par for the course! Cravings were more or less the same as last time, too. Lots of spicy food and Panera Macaroni and cheese! 🤤😋

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Going swimming the beginning of the second trimester, feeling fly as a mother 😎😂

🤰Third Trimester😣

This time the biggest difference is Braxton Hicks. 😬🤕 I’ve been having them since I want to say about 25 weeks. Last time I didn’t have serious Braxton Hicks until about 30ish weeks, and they were mainly that gross muscle tightening feeling. Later on, after 35 weeks, I’d sporadically get what I can best describe as mildly intense cramps, but they would quickly subside.

This time at least a couple times a day I get episodes where I feel like my period is starting. 😣 It mostly happens at night, but it does go away after a bit. I know it’s mostly because I’m not being good about staying completely hydrated.

Braxton Hicks can act up if you’re not getting enough water, so if you’re pregnant rn, go drink some water! I know it makes you have to pee every other minute, but honestly it’s worth it! Stay Hydrated, My Friends! 💧💯

🤕🤕I also already have already been experiencing pelvic floor pain and “lightening groin,” or shooting pain down, well, the groin. 😅😓 Which is fun when I’m trying to take my son out for a walk at the Mall. I never felt anything like that until literally the day before I had my son last time. 😬 But from what I understand, you start to feel all of that lovely stuff sooner with each pregnancy because your body has already been through it before.

I also thought I might have preeclampsia because I’ve been getting a lot of headaches, seeing spots in the corner of my eye occasionally, and have minor swelling in my fingers overnight. But everything checked out fine! Blood pressure and urine tests all good! 😌😌

🙏Otherwise, so far so good! Measuring on track! Just super duper tired. 😴💤🛌 No labor signs or anything like that.

🗓I went three days early last time, and they say that more often subsequent babies come sooner. I feel like with my luck this one will be late, though.  😰😰We will see! 🤞🤞

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*insert Donald Trump ‘UGE’ here* Bump at 34 weeks!

And that’s pretty much it! As difficult as many moments in this pregnancy were and are, all things considered I think it’s still been very good! 😌😌

Like I’ve been saying, I think the major factor here is I have such a young, needy baby still so it’s been a little rougher this round. I can only imagine how it will be when and if it happens again…

But it is what it is! Who knows? Maybe that one will end up being the easiest! 🤷‍♀️😂 Either way, it’s all worth it. 🤰🤱🥰

💬How have your pregnancies been different? Or had they been more of the same? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks for reading, my Gals! 🥰😘

👀If you’re new here, and if this or any of my upcoming content seems interesting to you, add your email and follow so you don’t miss any updates! 😁😁 And if you’re already following, thank you and bless your heart and soul! 🤗🙏

📋Upcoming Content: What’s In My Hospital Bag Round 2, Why Time Away Makes Me A Better Mom, and My Son’s “Home-School” Curriculum: Toddler Months/Years

How You Can Throw Your Baby’s First Birthday Under $100!

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Our Mr. One-Derful on his official first birthday 🥳🥰

The Force was strong with this little one on August 11, 2018, when we threw his very first birthday party with our friends. And then as of 9:26pm August 12, 2018, our little dinosaur officially turned a whole year old. 1️⃣🎊🎉

In an effort to make things less overwhelming for him, (which seemed to go well?) we decided to have two birthday parties for our son. One with our close friends–his nonbiological aunts and uncles–and one with our closest family–his biological aunts and uncles, as well as his cousin, grandparents and obviously us. 👪

Some people go all out with their child’s first birthday. And honestly, I don’t blame them! It’s a big deal! You got your baby to survive a whole year! 🙌🙌 That’s something to seriously celebrate!

Honestly, the first birthday party was as much for me as it was for my son. Despite how incompetent I’ve felt these past 15 months, my son seems to be thriving. 🙏🙏🙏 This may just be testament to his strong will, but I have to stop and think where did he get that from? 🤔😂

That being said, we didn’t have a few thousand dollars to put down on a big hall and guest appearances by the actual Spiderman, nor did we feel like taking out a birthday party loan (yes, apparently that’s a thing). But we still wanted to make it special. 💖💖

Since we had two birthday parties, we ended up spending closer to $150-75ish when it was all said and done (including pizza for guests), but for two parties, and considering how many people we had at our first one, I’ll still call that a win! 🙌😅😙


🍰How We Cut Costs Like Birthday Cake:

🎈For decorations, I scoured Party City online for their best deals for Star Wars themed decorations, hit up Oriental Trading for all things dinosaur, and of course visited the dollar tree to fill in the gaps on the cheap. 💳💰

 

🍕For food for guests, we ordered pizzas and asked guests to bring along some simple snacks. 😋 We also made cupcakes for our both parties respectively, as this ended up being much cheaper than buying birthday cakes. 🧁

 

🎂Aside from the pizza, the only expensive part food-wise was Vinny’s smash cakes, banana cake made with almond flour with a greek yogurt and honey frosting (there’s my crunchy side 😂✌🌱).

 

📖I also made an attempt at a “Year Book” for our son for his friends and family to sign, marking all of his milestones and memories from his first year of life. I didn’t give myself enough time to properly work on it, but when he reads it after he graduates high school, all that matters is that he’ll see what his friends and family wrote to him all those years ago. 💭💞😭

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🎵I tried so hard…
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…and got so far🎶

But I know what you’re all really here for. 😉 So, without further ado, here are some tips on how to save on first birthdays:


🎀Got Any Leftovers?

If you have friends or family that have already had babies, ask them if they’ve hung onto any first birthday supplies, or just party supplies in general. You never know what you can repurpose until you look! 👀

💡Facebook Marketplace and local Moms Groups might be a good resource for this, as well! 👍

💵🌳Hit Up the Dollar Tree!

Dollar stores can be hit or miss, but a lot of times they have the basics like table cloths, paper cups, plates, etc. It can be tempting to get all of the themed partyware you see at the expensive party stores, but they’re not all necessary. 🙅 For example, we ordered Star Wars Plates and Cups at Party City, but only half of what we would need. Then we got the rest with a matching color scheme at the dollar store.

👑For another example, if your little girl were to have a (Sofia the) 1st Birthday party, you could pick up a Sofia table cloth, and then one to two (depending on the size of your guest list) sets of Sofia cups, plates, and maybe napkins, and then get the rest in purple or white. And voila! A party fit for a little Princess on a Pauper’s budget. 👸💖👛

Resisting the urge to splurge on themed decorations and instead opting for the color scheme of streamers, balloons, etc from the Dollar Tree will help save a few pennies, as well. 🎉🎊🎈

🏡Stay Close to Home.

People get the idea that they need to have their kids’ first birthdays at a big hall, and if that’s what your heart is set on, and you’ve been saving for it since before your baby was born, then go for it! But you’d be surprised what you can do with your own living space. 🤯🤯

If you don’t have much to work with, but have a friend or family member with more space, ask them ahead of time if they don’t mind you having the party there! You can bake them an extra set of cupcakes to thank them for their troubles.

🛍🎁Don’t go all out for gifts.

This one is hard, more so for some than others. We Mamas want our kids to have the world, but the reality is they don’t need all of the latest toys. The truth is, they’ll play with them for a while but then forget all about them, or play with the dang box instead! 📦😫

I love sticking to the minimalist gift rule every birthday and Christmas for my little ones, because more than likely they’ll be getting a bunch of gifts from friends and family as well. 😅🤷‍♀️

💞💓Again, I totally get that rush from seeing your kids light up when they get that popular toy. But trust me, they’ll be okay without the entire LOL Dolls or Ninjago set. They might even be better for it. 💞💓


Vinny’s first birthday was bittersweet. 🥰😭 A year really flew by, and the the years will start coming and they won’t stop coming and soon enough he’ll be 18… 😮😵 I try not to think about it too much, despite how much I mutter under my breath that I can’t wait for him to go school when he’s driving me crazy. 🤪🤪🤪

How many of you have the big Oh-One coming up? How many of you have already had it? What is/was your theme? Any other tips for readers? Leave them in the comments! 💬😙

💖Thanks for reading, my gals! 😍😘 Next time I’ll get into how I worked through a sensitive pregnancy issue maybe some of you can relate to…

Posts from my phone: Mean Mom Thoughts 😤🤬💭

((This is a phone post so it’s not gonna be particularly fancy with gifs and memes I’m sorry 😐 but I’m at least able to use emojis from phone posts, so w00t! 💯💖😂🤷🏻‍♀️))

So clearly I didn’t end up posting the next week, or even the week after my last post. But, this is better than going 4+ months without posting anything, right? 😅 I’m getting there, you guys!

The next post will actually be about how to repurpose old formula tins. Not that you couldn’t use your perfectly capable imaginations or look to Pinterest for ideas, but maybe, just maybe, I have some ideas that they don’t 😉

Anyway, being at home all of the time with my son is a blessing. It really is. Having said that though, after a while being a full time SAHM admittedly has kind of, well, sucked from time to time.

I’ve been having a rough go of it lately, for reasons I’ll get into later…but during these trying times, My patience has become paper thin. Actually, is there a substance thinner than paper?

My son has been going through his one year leap, too, and as a result he has been testier than usual. And on the particularly bad days, I’ve found myself thinking “mean thoughts.”

To be clear, these are not harmful nor destructive thoughts, just kind of, well, mean. I feel like I’m not the only one who’s thought similarly, though, so I’m here to share them with you!

Here are some Mean Mom Thoughts I’ve had and what they mean!


💭Advice to women whose husbands ask you to about trying to start a family: You know how when you were a kid and you asked your parents for a puppy, kitten, what have you, and you promised to take care of them, feed them, clean up after them, etc? And how many of you actually held up your end of the bargain when you eventually got your beloved furry companion?

💭This is like that. Like your parents and your dog, you will end up doing all of the hard work while your husband enjoys the fun parts like snuggling and playing, etc. It’s a bum deal. Proceed with caution.

((It should be noted that my husband is 💯 percent the real deal when it comes to sharing the burden. He’s proactive and sympathetic, and I don’t know what I did to deserve him. I try to give him his well-deserved time off, too, although he claims helping out with our son is time off to him. Honestly, he is amazing. #dadsdontbabysit 🙌🏻))

💭*child is wild’n out for absolutely no good reason*

💭*googles if it’s harmful to the body to give night time cold medicine to someone who doesn’t have a cold*

((I would NEVER, of course, but sometimes…))

💭Husband: Idk I think it would be nice to have 5 or 6 kids…

💭Me: Well I’ll tell you what, they’re gonna be our live-in cleaning staff otherwise why would you do that to yourself? That’s the only reason people had that many kids back in the day, it’s the only logical explanation.

((Let it be known, I have nothing but admiration for people with 4+ kids. Seriously, more power to you! And I get the whole more to love mindset, but honestly, I’m walking the delicate tightrope of patience and sanity with just one, I cannot imagine what state I’d be in (mentally and maybe even geographically at some point…) if it were a bad day with three times the crazy I have now. God bless Moms of lots! 💪🏻))

💭*Baby begins his waking klaxon call upstairs 2 minutes before anticipated to wake up time.*

💭*Me, completely invested in a Netflix binge ignoring sink full of dishes and a pile of laundry with a two mile summit at the bottom of the staircase*

💭Nah, d00d, he’s just talking in his sleep he’s fine. Carry on.

((Sure enough he usually isn’t just talking in his sleep and I do get myself up to tend to him. What becomes of the dishes and laundry is a story for another day…))

💭*Grandparent asks if they can take the child for the day at the end of the week*

💭y3333e333eee333ee3333333eee333eee33t.

((We all need a break once in a while. Even the ones who are inseparable from their progeny at some point, I imagine, must need some space to b r e a t h e. Every Mom needs a MOMent to herself, for her health. I don’t feel too bad about this one. What’s that they say about empty cups?))


And for the sake of this being too long, I will end it here. I may or may not have a sequel to this, though. Most likely, yes.

Formula can story first, I promise!! 😜

But long story short, we all have “Mean thoughts” as moms sometimes. It doesn’t mean we don’t love our little ones, nor does it mean we are actually mean moms. It means we are human, we are tired, and we are coping.

Hang in there, Mom. I see you. And I know you see me, too.

Thanks for reading, my gals! Now let’s see if I can make another post within a month! 😂🤣

Trying to Avada Kadabra Self Doubt as a Mom and a Writer

Henlo, to all of my dedicated follower!

I’ve been putting this off for a long time now. It’s like I’ve been afraid of it, for some reason. And the longer I went without updating, the more afraid to post I’ve been. It’s become more than my signature procrastination at this point–I’ve been Stupefy’d with fear of failure/not being good enough.

I’ve almost been feeling like I’m losing my ability to write these days. Which is devastating, as writing has always been my primary source of expression. This is how I communicate. You would never guess if you actually had a face-to-face conversation with me that I am actually able to string words into sentences in any way.

These past few months I’ve felt like I’m no good at writing anymore. I’ve hated every single thing I’ve worked on, including this. I have a few drafts I haven’t posted for fear of whatever it is being the actual worst thing to ever be posted. I’ve been looking back on my old posts and have been cringing at the way they came out–way too long, the formatting is hard to look at, etc, so I’ve been afraid to keep going.

Basically I’ve been back on my bullshizz and I’m trying to come back.

I have Mom brain. Really bad. I can barely speak or understand my native language anymore, it seems, and I can’t look away from a task for more than two seconds before forgetting what it was that I had been doing. I leave lights on when I leave, drinks on top of cars–you name it, I’ve done it. Dory would be concerned for me.

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Grrl, same!

I’m sure this goes without saying, but once you have a child, the part of your brain reserved for memory, focus, and basic motor function is replaced with deciphering different cries, coming up with baby food recipes, and Raffi song lyrics.

Add Mom Brain to selling an apartment, buying a house, moving, and the pressure of freelancing, ghostwriting, and the subconscious desire to pursue ever-expanding personal projects with super-writer’s block/mental constipation, and that’s the equation for my semester-long silence on this blog.

I’d like for this to go somewhere. I want to believe that I have something to offer other Moms. But I know we all have to start somewhere, and we can’t improve what we give up on.

That’s why I can’t give up on this blog. Even if it’s a little incoherent now, I know it can’t get better unless I work on it. That’s why every week/bi-weekly I have to have some kind of post on here. Even if it doesn’t make sense or it, “isn’t that great.”

I’ve been so afraid and unsure of myself, comparing myself to other mom bloggers with bigger (actual) followings that I’ve allowed myself to be self-deprecating and self-sabatoging. It’s so easy to do as a Mom to compare yourself to others, and as a result feel completely incompetent and like every single thing you’re doing is wrong.

I’ve come to realize that if I give up on this, I’m partially giving up on myself, and I can’t allow that for a second. I have to set an example for my son. Of course it’s only natural and human to have doubts in everything, including ourselves, but we have to overcome them. I want my son to believe in himself, and in order for him to understand how, I have to model that for him.

I’m going to be working on updating the aesthetic of this blog and possibly getting my own domain name so maybe that will help with the performance anxiety a bit. So stay tuned on that!

Thank you for bearing with me. I know I keep promising that repurposing formula scoops/tins post. It’s coming, I swear!

Some updates for you:

We moved!

Recently we said goodbye to our old two bedroom, 650 sq ft apartment in favor of a townhouse twice the size and there’s so much more room for activities now! We are also right next to my SIL at Becoming Rivera! Vinny will be right next door to his baby cousin! ❤ ❤ ❤

We anticipate doing several renovations to the house, but all aesthetic! I’ve never lived in a space this large, so it’s a little overwhelming. But we’re going to make it our own, even if we end up making it #nailedit experience.

Vinny

Vinny is ten months old as of June 12th! He’s already somewhat walking, and as always is completely ravenous all the time! He continues to grow like a weed! He’s been going through growth spurts, teething, and developmental leaps so he’s been having good days and really not so good days. Overall, he’s an amazing baby, and I look forward to seeing what comes next!

Here’s some pictures to bring you up to speed!

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No smiles on his 10 month bday…that was a rough day. ):

Thanks for hanging in there with me! This really is the toughest job there is, but we got this! Thanks for reading, my gals (and d00ds). Till next time!

Don’t Leave Home Without It! 💩💩💩

(I know I said I’d post about reusing formula tins and scoops, but I’m sickly, tired, and I need to vent about this. It may not be very coherent, but I present to you my horror story)

My Gals.

Today was a day.

So it started out okay, went to the doctor for a good old Pap smear and blood test, and found out I have a virus making its way through me. 😷 Nothing a little vitamin c and rest won’t fix, tho.

Except there ain’t no rest for the momkind. Not even when we close our eyes for good, because we all know we’re gonna be hovering over our kids as ghosts just to make sure they’re taking their centrum and brushing their dentures.

But I digress.

So I’m running around feeling sick as a dog, getting my doctor stuff done, getting a phone interview done, running to the bank to get some cash for OfferUp Baby Supplies purchases I had lined up and fixing my debit card, and then I had to pick up my son who was at my mother’s so I could bring him to his 6 month checkup.

Well everything was running relatively smoothly, albeit tight. When what do my new super mom-ears should hear, but my darling son grunting and pushing into his rear.

Okay, so he’s pooping. I think to myself as I approach the halfway point between my mother’s and my family practice. I can just change him real quick at the doctor’s.

Except, oh wait, no I can’t…left the damn diaper bag at Mom’s for the sake of saving a good two minutes. Didn’t think I’d need it in the one hour and change I would be out.

Big. Mistake. 🤦🏻‍♀️

I pull into the country store on the way to the doctor and take my boi out and point out a grinning bulldog for him to reciprocate the sanguine gesture to. Then we wander around the tiny shop in search of a pack of overpriced diapers and a 10 pack of wipes.

Well, quite the assortment of condoms, but no baby amenities…

I hastily made a hand sanitizer purchase and made my way out, having my son wave bye-bye to the smiling doggie. As I went to put him in his car seat, I felt something drip down my wrist.

I looked down in hopes of seeing drool, but no such luck…

This was a big one.

In a viral, mind-hazed panic, I raced to the CVS down the street from my Doctor’s office. We wandered around looking for the smallest pack of diapers and wipes to get us by in this emergency situation, but I swear the price tag of every item read, “Arm, Leg, and Kidney.” In desperation I grabbed a 28 pack of size four diapers and a to-go pallet of store-brand wipes.

After I gave the convenience store clerk the down payment on a Ferrari in exchange for some infant essentials, I made our way to the bathroom, awkwardly dodging yet to be stocked inventory and pulling the plastic bag out of my son’s Kung-fu grip.

So we get into the ladies room and naturally, it is equipped with everything but a changing station…so I have to make due with what I’ve got. I pull my son’s shorts off to confirm that they have indeed been compromised, so I have no choice but to have him go without.

Let me just tell you, changing a category 6 diaper in a car seat on the floor of a public restroom is literally the worst.

💩💩💩 e v e r y w h e r e 💩💩💩

While I’m sweating like a mofo, I wrestle with my son to keep his hands out of his diaper whilst simultaneously trying to pry single wipes out of this cheap container like medieval basic bros trying to pry Excalibur from the fabled stone, only to have them come out three and four at a time. It’s either peel them apart and save some of them and risk my little boy do what little boys do and have all hell break loose, or sacrifice a few wipes in the interest of getting him clean.

And that is how that whole entire inventory of wipes got cleared tf out.

This whole time he’s squirming, uncomfortable, and crying, people are beginning to knock, and I’m losing balance while trying to get him clean without getting anything over his car seat. It was a challenge to say the least.

Finally I manage to get him cleaned up as best I can, throw the diaper in the open trash receptacle (in retrospect I totally forgot to cover it so I feel bad for whoever walked in on that…) and get the dock out of fudge, of course 10 minutes late at this point, with my baby in a tank top and diaper only.

And so now I have to desperately explain to the receptionist, who very patiently and politely pretends to listen to my plight, the series of events that just unfolded in hopes that I will not look like a neglectful parent. To what avail, I’m not sure…

We get our favorite medical assistant, at least, and we get him measured and weighed. Then the doctor comes in to look him over and of course I look down when he removes his diaper to see that I had MiSSeD a sPoT when I was cleaning 😨😰😩 But other than that, he got a squeaky clean bill of health. At least something was clean today…

So we finish up the 6 month requirements and go to check out and make his 9 month visit, all while I try to face his car seat away from people so they don’t see my baby in just a diaper and shirt like the son of rif-raf. Once I take the appointment card and go to do my walk of shame, what should happen but a convoy of the slowest moving people make their way into the practice, while others make their way out, all looking at my practically naked child, and then to me, judgement clearly plastered on their faces. I made my way to the car, buckled my upset son in, and made my way home in a sickly, sulky funk.

While all of this was happening, I felt like the biggest loser of a Mom. I started thinking crazy thoughts like, “I can’t do this!” And, “I don’t deserve to be a mom…” I let this one time I was not overprepared have me believe that I was a failure and a bad mom. I know you’ve been there, too, and I know I’ll be there again. We all have those #momfail moments that drain almost all of our HP and make us want to ragequit. But we know we can’t, and so we persevere.

I had a long talk with myself and realized that if I really was a bad mom, I wouldn’t have felt as badly as I did. I realize that I made a mistake, I did all I could do at the time to correct it, and I’ve learned from it. I know now that I should always have supplies on me, even if I’m only out with my son for an hour or even less, because you really never know when the Call of Doodie will strike.

So my Gals (and d00ds), be sure to keep an extra bag full of diapers, wipes, creams, powders, etc, and most importantly a change of clothes in your car at all times!! Learn from my mistakes!

We all feel like we suck at this game, but we got this!! It doesn’t get any easier, but we are always leveling up to meet whatever boss battles come our way.

Thanks for reading! Next post will be on ways to reuse those formula cans and scoops so you can really get your money’s worth!!

RKO Outta Nowhere—Bodyslammed by a Year’s worth of Feelings

Whatcha gonna do when menstrual-mania runs wild on you??

((I’m not the biggest wrestling fan, but the title just felt fitting))

So I’m up past my bedtime, my Baby sleeping against my chest, scrolling through social media when a link to Kylie’s secret pregnancy video diary/reveal/what-have-you pops onto my feed.

I scoff to myself. But click it for satisfaction of thought.

Now, Ya Grrl’s not normally one of those emotional, chick-flick-tropey, chocolate and tears type of gal. But something about this stupid video hit just right.

Maybe it’s because I’ve got my period, and I’m still acclimating to the Keto diet, which apparently does stuff to your hormones as the estrogen melts out of your adipose tissue (nature, you freaky), so all of that’s messing with me. But I got a little weepy.

It’s like all of the times I was “supposed” to cry and didn’t all came at me and pinned me to the mat–the positive pregnancy test, the first heartbeat, the first ultrasound/gender reveal, the baby shower, the birth…all of those times Moms normally cry, I didn’t have a tear to shed…

And then out of the deep blue this cheesy tabloid celebrity Baby video knocks the wind out of my tough girl persona sails (“It’s not like I like you, or anything, B a k a!!1!!1!! 😂).

Don’t get me wrong, I get misty and I do cry, just maybe not as much as a normal girl? 🤷🏻‍♀️

My baby, who was once a tiny little chia seed inside my belly, is now nearly 25 pounds of little man, and at 6 months fits into 12 month outfits. He went from a string-Bean troll doll to an actual baby to basically a toddler in under a year.

I feel like I didn’t embrace pregnancy and the half year stretch as much as I could have. Watching Kylie’s video made me wish I had taken the time to document more of my journey and connect with my son from the very beginning…maybe it could have helped with some of the issues I had in the third trimester and postpartum. I feel like I missed out on something somehow.

So maybe I blubbered a little bit like, well, a baby. But I can’t do it again, even if I want to, and I have to make the best of what I have right now.

And right now, I think I’ll snuggle my peacefully sleeping baby a little more, dry my eyes, eat a handful of Lily’s sugar free chocolate chips, and try to get some sleep myself.

Thanks for reading my Gals (and d00ds)!

^Sweet Dreams, Mon Gatito ❤️🐱

I made Labor and Delivery My Bitch

((So, as with any labor and delivery story, there’s a few graphic and tmi moments in this blog, but I try to keep it as discreet as possible. Also, this is another long one haha, skip to the end if you’re just here for the tips && tricks! But I’m hoping my story can offer some guidance and/or comfort for any of you ladies about to go through this scary yet beautiful process for the first time.))

In my labor and delivery class, they had us complete an exercise during which the parents would lay out laminated cards listing what was most important to us to what was least important when it came to labor and childbirth from medicated vs. nonmedicated, to vaginal vs. cesarean, to boy vs. girl. Every few minutes, the nurse instructor would have us take out three things until we were left with one card standing–a healthy beautiful baby.

All of this was to teach us that it’s important to have a plan or vision for your first labor and delivery, but not to be disappointed if it doesn’t go to plan, as the end goal whether it’s a smooth sprint or a grueling, treacherous marathon is the same for each one: to have a healthy baby in your arms at the end of it.

🙏🏼That being said, my labor and delivery went more or less perfectly.🙏🏼

Everything went exactly the way I wanted it to–I labored alone for the first few hours, my husband met up with me after he was done work, and then it was just he and I in the delivery room, with only essential staff in and out to do routine checks and for when the big moment came. I even delivered naturally, only having used nitrous oxide intermittently to take the edge off and help calm me down a little, although surprisingly I had never felt more at peace in my adult life than when I was laboring and even birthing. I’m an anomaly, I know. 😅😝
Let
(TL;DR–hax after the long-winded storytime)

Early Labor

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The day of my 39 week appt, if I remember right

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my 39 week appointment (I was 39 and 2), the receptionist explained to me that if I had my baby before my 40 week appointment not to worry about following up with them, as the hospital would let them know and they would take the appointment off for me. I had cheekily smiled and said I’d see them next week as I took my appointment card and left to run around kingdom come in search of a card and gift and to get supplies to make watermelon ice cream for a going away party I would be attending that same night, parking as far away as possible to get those steps in. I briefly entertained the idea of making a few laps around the mall, but my lightening crotch did not permit.

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The clawmarks in my clutch from lightening crotch pains.

ad ever been. I could not wake up for the life of me. I figured this was due to all of my running around the day before, and staying at the party later than I had intended.  I had some last-minute sprucing up to do for the baby, so I decided I needed to do a little yoga to get myself moving. I found a labor and birth prep yoga video and decided that at 39 weeks and 3 days gestation, I should probably start a birth prep regimen. Better late than never, I guess.
Lite
ed to throughout my pregnancy that had either had children already or knew someone who did told me to expect my son to arrive late, as “first babies are always late.” This was not something I liked hearing, being heavily pregnant in the heat of summer, but I shrugged it off as an inevitability, and seeing has how my husband was the king of being late, and how he and I were overdue first-borns as well, I mentally prepared myself for being one of those gals who would get a daily, “anything yet??” text at 40 weeks plus. 🤦🏻‍♀️
🧘🏻‍♀️ The yoga
t a little surge of energy, and was able to complete the last of my little nesting tasks. I settled onto my couch for a nap until my husband got home for his brief window of showering and redressing to tend to his business. I made him a quick breakfast sandwich as he had a few more minutes than usual, so we could catch up before we had to be ships passing in the night.
Shortly before h
n my abdomen, like a menstrual cramp. I absent-mindedly commented on this, and my husband raised an eyebrow. I shrugged it off and told him it was normal, as I’d read that intermittent period-like cramps were normal towards the end. And so he left, and I dug out the orange sherbet I had started the night before, reminded my husband to pick up some cheesecake on his way back, and netflixed and chilled with myself.
About three quar
the Bone,” I began feeling more dull “period” cramps. These were mostly annoying and went away within about 20 seconds, if I had to put a length of time to them. But as the night wore on, and I was onto “Through the Looking Glass,” they seemed to come every 15 minutes or so, and seemed to get a little more uncomfortable and painful.
It was around 10
band, asking if we was coming home soon. He called me soon after and said he was on his way, asking what kind of cheesecake I wanted. I told him to skip the cheesecake and just come home.

I could almost feel his heart skipping a beat as he paused and then said, “Oh…?” 😂 I have never been known to turn down cheesecake, unless I was in some kind of distress.

Love_Cheesecake_Future When he got home (in record time, I might add), I explained to him that I was getting the period pain I had earlier pretty regularly, and that they were lasting a significant amount of time, to the point where I started having to seethe through them. We just kind of looked at each other a moment, and he came to my side and held me to him a moment, while one of the pains came on. We looked at each other again, trying to figure out if what we thought was happening was actually happening. 👶🏼
At this point, I was
between pains, and I was feeling a little bit exhilarated (maybe I’m a bit of a masochist, but after each contraction from early labor to transition, I felt a strange high during my small moments of peace), although excitement is a common occurrence in early labor, as your long pregnancy journey is finally coming to an end.
During this whole ti
as experiencing false labor, as there was “no way” that I could be having my son so soon. That, and the pains seemed to be spacing farther apart for a while. My husband and I reviewed our birth plan anyway, and tried to go to sleep.
💤 I was able to slee
I woke up with breath-stealing abdominal pains. I grabbed the edge of our bed and breathed sharply through my nose and out of my mouth. My husband woke up and put his hand on my stomach, which I pushed away reflexively. As the pain passed, I sagged back into the bed, and told him I was okay. He put his arm around me and told me everything was okay, and he fell back asleep. I lay awake, staring at my phone, making a mental note of what time was on the clock. ⏳
💩 It should be noted
of diarrhea and loose stools throughout the night, so I wondered if these pains had to do with something I had eaten. After one of these bouts, I found myself searching, “period pain 39 weeks” and I had come across some threads of women asking what it meant to be having period pains at 39 weeks, and kept seeing posts saying, “Get ready! Baby is coming!” and also mentioning that they had been having diarrhea and loose stools, as apparently that’s the body’s way of trying to clear the system before the impending birth.
That was when it hit m
happening. I put my hand on my belly and thought to my bump, “Is it weird that I’m kind of gonna miss you in here?”
I decided to just pas
ted getting closer together playing candy crush in bed, and breathing as quietly as possible so as not to wake my husband. After a while, I got out of bed and paced the living room, making note of how far apart and how long each contraction was. Around 7am, my husband came out of our room asking what I was doing in the living room.
“Maybe you shouldn’t g
him wearily. He agreed with me, as did my father-in-law and our brother-in-law, who he texted to tell them they would have to carry on without him.
My in-laws began text
ers, and my husband and I huddled together, his hand in mine to comfort me, me inadvertently bending his fingers back as I braced myself through each contraction then on.

people-of-earth-lend-me-your-energy
We would get plenty of texts from close friends and family lending their energy for a healthy and safe delivery

⌛️Once they began t

5 minutes apart for a minute at a time, I called my OB GYN, as was instructed to me at my last appointment. He said to give it a while since it was my first baby and I likely wouldn’t be that far along, and call him when I was 3 minutes apart, and advised me it could still take some time to get to that point.
One short and yet long
back, as my contractions were coming every 3 minutes and getting stronger, to the point where I couldn’t communicate through them anymore. I could almost hear the doctor’s eyes roll over the phone, another first timer jumping the gun, he was probably thinking, but he told my husband he’d let our hospital know we were on our way. And so we made the 10 minute ride to the hospital to meet our son.

Active Labor

My husband parked in the first available space that was in reasonably close enough proximity to the entrance. He gathered our bags, and I leaned into the trunk as another contraction passed. We walked as quickly as we could to get inside (yes I walked–I insisted. I told you, I’m an anomaly). The kind woman at the front desk got me a wheelchair and whisked us up to the third floor and I was admitted into delivery.
🌆Our room was so serene
dating medical equipment, with a large row of windows overlooking the metropolitan horizon of our tiny city. I gazed out the window, breathing through the pain that seemed to keep coming just as fast as I was able to catch my breath.

Shortly after we were checked our room, a kindly older nurse introduced herself and got me prepared, attaching the baby vital and contraction monitor to my stomach, and getting me settled. She gently told me that this being my first baby, I likely wouldn’t be too far dilated, and not to be discouraged if I was here for a while, and assured me that they would do their best to keep me comfortable and myself and my baby safe and healthy. Then we went back and forth as she began asking me the standard intake questions.
Mere moments into this i
y husband’s arm and breathe through another wave of pain. She asked to feel my belly during the contraction and eyed the screen. When I looked back at her and said, “Sorry, you were saying?” the nurse looked at me, dumbfounded, and remarked, “That was impressive, you must have some really bad periods…” 🤕

At this point, I had not asked for an epidural, but mentioned I’d be open to trying nitrous oxide, as that was part of my birth plan. Apparently my contractions were strong enough that most mothers would be asking for “the good stuff” by now. My goal was to deliver naturally, but I wasn’t going to turn down an epidural if necessary. But for the most part, up until this part of labor, the contractions felt like most period cramps I’d experienced, and I figured if I’d made it this far, like Moana, there was “No telling how far I’ll go,” but I’d give it a try.
For a while, my husband a
ween the hospital bed and the rocking chair they had available. The nitrous oxide I’d asked to try came, and I breathed into the odd facemask, feeling like the Pyro from Team Fortress, through every other contraction. It helped to take the edge off and keep me calm, as I mentioned before, but only having had one hour of sleep, it also made me even sleepier, so I started nodding off, getting about 30 second naps between contractions. Gotta get it while you can, right? 😴
About an hour or a little
th the doctor, who after introducing himself, reached into me to measure how far into this roller coaster I was in. I waited with bated breath, wondering if he was going to tell me I wasn’t even far enough to be there, praying not to be sent home. I wondered if I was doing so “well,” as I’d been told because I wasn’t far enough along to be admitted after all. I looked at my husband anxiously, his eyes darting between the doctor to me.
After a moment or two of h
tor said, “About 6 or 7 centimeters.” My eyes widened. The Nurse squeezed my shoulder. “That’s impressive!” she cheered (I was very impressive to her, apparently, God love her). After withdrawing his fingers, the doctor mentioned that we could be having the baby within the next few hours!! 😱😱😱
🛁At this point, I thought I w
they had available, pretend I was at a spa. My husband poured water on my belly during each contraction, as per the nurse’s instruction, which calmed me a little, but did very little to get rid of the pain. I was still breathing through each contraction, and continuing to fall asleep between them. After 15 minutes in the tub, I began to feel a pressure in my backside, as the nurse said I would. We mentioned this to the nurse when she came back to check on me, and she said that I could start “bearing down” during these contractions to get my son to descend lower. This felt a little awkward to me, but I followed her instructions, grunting lowly through each pain, pushing slightly to encourage my little one to get one step closer to making his grand entrance.

Transition

After another 20 minutes, I decided I needed to go back to the bed. The nurse commented on how surprised she was that my water hadn’t broken, as by the sounds of things, I should have been making good progress in making my son descend. I shrugged and made my way back to the bed, and went on to business as usual, inhaling strength through my nose and exhaling pain through my mouth, and constricting my husband’s hand.
About another hour or so passe
urse shift change, from the kindly older nurse to a sweet, mellow younger nurse. My new nurse also remarked on how impressive it was that I had gotten to this point and was admitted at around 6-7 cm without asking for an epidural. I smiled weakly and replied, “I’m doing my best.” And that would be my mantra for the rest of the night and beyond. 💪🏼

Not very long into her shift at all, my lower back started hurting. Badly. Like someone was punching me with a burning hot lead glove along with each contraction. I had my husband push against my knees each time this happened, which was helpful for the first several of these contractions, but quickly stopped working. My new nurse told me to try getting on my hands and knees to take pressure off of my back. A little while into this new position, breathing stopped working, and I let out a low, loud yowl like a dying cat. I heard the nurse whisper that she’d go let the doctor know what was going on, and I whimpered, “my back hurts so bad…”
The doctor came back and decided
remember looking at my husband during this process, his eyes wide with fear, and feeling a flood of warm fluid burst from between my legs. “So gross…” I whispered. The doctor left to tend to another, higher risk delivery as I lay there in a wet bed smelling strangely of artificial honey (weird description and tmi, I know, but it’s the best way I can describe it).

The Birth

It was just my husband and I for a while, and he started grumbling that the doctor wasn’t back yet, and my contractions and back pain were getting worse and seemingly impossibly closer. I briefly wondered if I should get the epidural just for the back pain as the nurse came back and said that we could try pushing. I mentioned that I wanted to try squatting, as I had read that would help let gravity make the process easier. She gave me a device to sit in and hang onto while I pushed per her capable instructions. She told me I was doing great.

After about an hour of this, the doctor came back and instructed me to get on my back and hold my legs back. I casually mentioned the epidural, and the doctor said that we were just at the point where it could make pushing longer. I opted to power through and get it over with, to bring my baby into the world that much sooner. ⏱
Pushing on my back was aggravatin
ly (definitely not pleasant, though) but aggravating. I didn’t feel as…”open,” as it were, on my back, so I could feel all of the pressure concentrated to my most vulnerable area. Not that I couldn’t beforehand, but I definitely could feel a difference while I had gravity on my side. ⬇️

I knew based on what I had read and what we had learned in class that I had to push as though I were taking a dump, but apparently I was not doing that right. For the first several pushes, I kept getting feedback to push into my butt. I kept apologizing, apparently, and the nurse said, “Just think about meeting him…and seeing all this hair!” 😍
💞After another frustrating and disc
empt at evicting my son from his cozy little rent-free dwelling, my husband lovingly touched my face and turned it to look at him. I know he said something encouraging, though for the life of me I can’t remember what it was amidst the haze of the instruction from the doctor, nurse, and listening to the intermittent monitoring of our baby’s vitals. But I do remember is his eyes, so wide with wonder and fear, glistening with emotion. The love behind his eyes, knowing that he couldn’t wait to meet his son and see me out of pain, was enough to give me the strength to get that baby out of his little amniotic sanctuary and into the real world.

showyoutheworld2
iF yOu WoUlD jUsT cOmE oUt PlZ

With my husband at my side, and everyone I loved via text lending me their energy, I was finally able to focus all of my power where it needed to be, and could feel myself stretching to make room for my baby’s big head. When I stopped to catch my breath, and refocus my eyes, I could see a group of people standing to the side, watching me. I didn’t have time to question what they were doing there, I had to get down to business to defeat the Huns (how many Didney references can I make? I need to Let it Go…).
After another 20 minutes of pushing,
my gosh, look!” I had been staring out the window and at the ceiling for the most part until now, so I thought there might have been something wrong, but I looked down and saw my son half hanging out of me, looking like a dolphin launching out of the ocean, with a head of thick, black hair. Looking at a small human being coming out of me was the most bizarre thing I had ever seen. I could see my husband staring out of my peripheral. This whole time he had been screaming with me, cheering me on, lending me his spirit energy to get this baby out of me.

It was about this pint that the doctor had instructed me to stop pushing and to start breathing like I was blowing out candles–my son’s umbilical cord had wrapped once around his neck, and it needed to be cut. I panted desperately, defying my body’s overwhelming desire to finish what it had started, waiting for the doctor to free my baby’s airway so that I could get him out. Finally once my baby was safe, he gave me the go ahead to continue.

After one more push, the doctor plopped my little slimy, purple baby onto my chest. I stared at him a moment as I caught my breath. I could hear the room coo in unison.

Neither I nor my baby cried right when he was born. Instead we just looked at each other. He blinked a few times and looked right in the eyes, his little, dark blue eyes searching mine, trying to make sense of what he had just been through, make sense of who I was, who this new being was that he had only known from the inside for so long.

I caught my breath, which had been taken away both from the physical feat I had just accomplished and from the miraculous sight of my newborn and smiled. All I could say for the longest time was, “Hi, baby…”

The nurses had been rubbing his back down with a towel this whole time (I hadn’t noticed a second nurse had come to assist). “Cry baby, cry,” they had been saying.
I looked at them, “Is he okay?” I as
from screaming.

“Yes, he’s great!” they assured me. And after a few more seconds of rubbing, I heard my son’s voice for the first time as he cried out, and I pulled him awkwardly into my chest, trying to figure out how to hold him. My husband leaned over, tears in his eyes, and kissed me and thanked me.

maibaby On August 12th 2017 at 9:26pm, my world changed for the better, and I truly fell in love at first sight. To this day, I still can’t get over the amazing thing that had happened to me. I look at him and still can’t believe I made him, and brought him into this world. I had been so afraid of motherhood, but my birth experience has brought to light to me how much strength I really have, and how much I am capable of.

Of course, every labor and birth is different, and I might not have the same luck next time, but regardless, I will always look back on this experience feeling empowered. Whenever I feel discouraged, I just need to remember that if I could do all that, I can do anything.

Labor and Birth Hax

Before LaborKegels Kegels Kegels! After I had my son, I ended up having a second-degree tear perineal tear, which is more or less normal. However, some moms can get tore up from the floor up if they have a weak pelvic floor game. I did a lot of kegels towards the end of the third trimester, along with squatting every time I had to pick something up from the floor (which is pretty much the only way to do such a task while balancing a medicine ball in your midsection, anyhow), and I feel this helped prevent me from tearing even worse, along with pushing until my son crowned while squatting.

  • Date Yourself! I had serendipitously stumbled across a study done on eating dates in late pregnancy and how it can actually help make labor easier. The study mentioned eating six dates a day from 36 weeks gestation on can actually help labor come on spontaneously (I heard that induction sucks balls), help avoid the need for Pitocin (which I heard sucks balls), and even help bring about a shorter first phase of labor (mine was pretty short, all things considered–about 18 hours if I had to put a time to it). I can’t say for sure if my choking down these nasty fruits every day for 4 or so weeks was what did the trick, but I’m not totally unconvinced. If nothing else, dates are high in fiber which do wonders for pregnancy constipation, and in folate, potassium, and magnesium, so incorporating them into your diet certainly can’t hurt!
  • You Better Work, Bih! Get those steps in! Being active will help build your stamina, and you’re going to need a lot of it when push comes to shove (pun not intended…okay maybe a little). Plus, the more you move once early labor starts, it will help get the baby into position easier and quicker than just bed-laboring will. I revisited some of the moves from the video I linked earlier while I was laboring at home and I personally feel they were pretty helpful in easing pain and getting my son into position. Here are some links with tips on Laboring Positions, Back Labor (I wish I had thought to try some of these…Counter Pressure helped me with my back labor for a while, though), and Birthing Positions that might be helpful. These all coming from my more “crunchy” side of Scrunchy lol but if at first you don’t succeed, epidural if in need! Whatever helps you get to the finish line is fine!
During Labor/Birth
  • Mass Text! Start a draft of your labor announcement in your phone’s notes and have your baby daddy/labor coach start a group of everyone you want in the know so you can spread the word when the time is right. If there’s someone else you want in the room with you, maybe have a code-word you can text them or set up a special ringtone if possible so they can get to you at a moment’s notice and as discreet as possible if you’re trying to keep it to just an audience of a select few.
  • Let me take a Selfie! Take some fun labor pics! It might help your mood and help you deal with the pain a little better. I wish I had taken some labor photos of myself and my husband, I feel like they could have been fun memories. It also would have been a fun way to pass time at home and at the hospital. #inlabor #babytime #blessed
  • Hair Done, Nails Done, Everything Did! While you’re still able to stand, do your hair and makeup, or have your bff, sister, or mom do it, so you can feel your fiercest in the delivery room. Some people might think it’s vain, but honestly, whatever makes you feel confident! Your makeup and hair will get messed up in the heat of battle, I promise you, but if you have your birth coach keep a few makeup remover wipes on hand, you can quickly wipe away any smudges and be photo-confident (you’d be photo-ready either way, you amazing miracle-maker, you! But I know how it is) for your first family photo. #igavebirthlikethis
  • Chapstick is Everything! Apply chapstick like it’s your job! All that breathing and screaming will dry your lips out. I had the worst case of yuck-mouth and rip-lips from all of my panting, and a simple tube of chapstick would have helped me feel so much less self conscious. Some moist towelettes would also have come in handy to help wipe the corners of my mouth, which were developing crud from, again, all of the breathing dry hospital air. I recommend having your birth team keep a few of these on standby
  • Food and Water! You most likely won’t want to, but definitely eat something to give yourself strength for labor! You might throw it up, as some women get nauseous from pain or from the physical strain of pushing, but not eating won’t do you any favors. Try eating something light and healthy like some fruit to keep your energy up. Also, d r i n k   w a t e r because you will get a dry mouth as I had mentioned before, and you’ll be sweating and losing a lot of fluid. Have your birth team bring some water bottles with straws so they can help you take a few sips between contratctions, or go the classic ice chips route. Anything to get your fluids!
  • Follow your Doctor’s and Nurse’s Lead! Hopefully you get the boss team that I did! People who are kind, professional, reassuring, non-judgemental, cool-and-collected, and know what they’re doing. If you get a team you can trust, follow their lead, and let your birth team coach you through every step of the way. Don’t be afraid to ask any and all questions, and speak up if you need something!
  • Use your Voice! That being said, if you feel something is wrong, don’t hesitate to let your medical team know! Even if they dismiss it, if your han-solo inkling (I got a bad feeling about this), let them know! They are there for you. They may be doctors, but mama knows best, so if you want them to do something or look into something, make sure they do it! This has saved mamas before. Sure, it could be nothing, and ideally it would be, but always, always, always air on the side of caution
  • Bust your Give-A-Damn! There’s no way around it–childbirth is messy business. Don’t be fooled by those picture-perfect Facebook and Instagram birth announcements with glowed-up instamodel mamas looking like glowing queens with their pink little bundles–that’s the magic of filters and makeup. What I mean is, don’t feel self-conscious about the way you look or sound when you’re contracting and/or pushing or at any point in your labor and birth. If you need to yell for any reason, yell! If you need to get into a certain awkward position, do it! I promise you, your medical team will not care! They’ve literally heard and seen it all (my nurse told me she’s been bitten before…yikes)! And if you’re worried about what someone in your birth team will think of you…maybe you should consider their position, because you’re going to be going through something dramatic, so if you need to be extra, you do you! Anything that will help the process be a little easier on you.

God bless you if you read that whole thing. I hope that my labor and delivery story helped give you some encouragement if you’re preparing for your own labor and delivery journey. Remember, you got this!

Some Momhood hax, DIY’s, and more coming your way! Tune in next time for my Post-Partum Story. “You don’t know the power of the dark side…

Episode VI: Return of the Nausea (The 3rd Trimester)

(New Here? Read Episode IV and Episode V if you’d like some first and second trimester stories. Or not, it’s all good!)

The Saga Continues…

As I continued to run out of womb, my stomach and other internal organs continued to be compacted by my growing baby. This led to a long stint of an overstuffed, nauesous feeling every time I ate, and I wanted to eat all the time. The struggle was real.
Speaking of struggle, it’s a common joke/fact that heavily pregnant women struggle to get up and move. While this was true in the case of getting off of our futon-couch (although it’s hard for any nonpregnant person to get off of, to be fair), and in my turtle-on-her-back wobble out of bed every hour to pee at night, for the most part I was able to move about freely. I was still able to go out for walks and enjoy the summer, although not too far into my third trimester it had to be an outlet or some other facility with a restroom every several yards.
It was around my 7th month gestation when people were finally able to tell without any doubt that I was, indeed, with child. I pushed my belly band to the limit, and it was time to try out my maternity shorts I had purchased from Mother and Child Consignment a few months prior. The pair I have pictured in my second trimester blog fit for all of a week, and then it was yoga cutoffs and the one other denim pair of maternity shorts the rest of the summer.
At 29 weeks, I had gone in for my glucose tolerance test. I was given a small bottle of syrupy, orange liquid to shoot down my gullet right before having my blood drawn to test for gestational diabetes. Luckily, thanks to my party animal past, chugging vials of questionable-tasting mixtures was a skill I’d honed, so knocking back the sundex was a breeze. It actually wasn’t half bad–like an orange hug barrel with notes of melted creamsicle, in my opinion.

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Cheers, m8!

About a week later, I got a call from my OB GYN office letting me know that my results came back a little iffy, and so I would need to do a three hour panel–meaning that I would have to get four blood tests in three hours, and drink a different version of the sundex fluid. I immediately tried getting myself mentally prepared for the worst, assuming I had gestational diabetes. The nurse I spoke with instructed me to follow a diet heavy with carbs (oh no, so awful *crylaughemoji*), and a serving of cake and soda per day to challenge the way my body metabolized sugar. She mailed me a list of foods including bagels, potatoes, etc. For the last day at the office and that weekend, I’d be living la vida high-carb

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The meme I made and insta’d to share my plight

On my first day as a stay-at-home-mom-to-be, I sat in the waiting room of my Baby Doctor’s for my three-hour, reading the book, “Fuck it–Do what you Love,” which would be my theme for the rest of my pregnancy and beyond. It wasn’t easy leaving the office, and I still had my reservations on being “just” a SAHM, but in my heart I knew that was what I wanted to do, that was what I was beginning to love, and so I read up and had what must have been a gallon of blood drawn from my left arm.

Around the third trimester, I began to develop some severe insomnia, laying awake until nearly 3am almost every morning. Insomnia is normal in the third trimester, or so I’ve read, and honestly it kind of prepares you for the sleep (or lack thereof) you’re going to be getting with a new baby. But in addition to this condition, I also began battling some dark and scary thoughts and moods…I’ll detail that more in a future post.

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Another meme I put together to express my dilemma

But my last few months of pregnancy were not all bleak! I felt pretty well, all things considered. My baby shower, thrown by one of my best friends who goes by the alias, Ryuu (She’s also a bit of a writer, and an awesome artist! Check her out here! )threw me a Retro Gaming/Arcade baby shower in our hometown. Just about all of my closest friends were in attendance, as well as my closest family members. I had a coed baby shower, as I didn’t believe in excluding my male friends and relatives from the celebration of my baby, and they all had a blast.

 

My shower was a gender reveal, and at the end we put everyone’s need-to-know to rest by filling a green balloon “monster” with blue confetti, and inflate it a la dig-dug until it popped. Once the mini-explosion sounded, blue shreds of metallic paper shaped like carriages and baby bottles fluttered through the air to collective applause and, I-knew-it’s, all livestreamed by my other best friend for faraway family and friends to see. Everything went beautifully and perfectly, and I’ll never forget that day.


We got so many wonderful gifts for our son that day, and I could really feel the love in the room. That was the best thing about that day, to me, to be able to have all of my loved ones there to celebrate their new grandson/nephew(biological or otherwise)/cousin, etc. For the first time in a while, I felt peace and happiness.

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I had a couple of needed beach trips with my other other best friend (yes I have three best friends), cyanidekisses (Another awesome writer on this site! If you’re a gypsy hearted millennial who’s trying to figure it all out, check her out!) One to the lake and the other to York Beach. This is where I got my maternity shoot(s) done:


The rest of my third trimester was relatively restful. I built my son’s crib, changing table, and bassinet with my husband, got the apartment as ready as possible for his arrival, and went about my daily duties as usual. I still ran errands and did chores, including taking out the trash, and went for walks as often as possible, even going out of my way to park at the farthest parking space in the middle of an August day for the sake of getting more steps, and putting away other people’s abandoned shopping carts. Needless to say, I got several weird looks and a few raised eyebrows from onlookers.
I remember having really bad lightening crotch the day before my 39 week appointment. I had considered walking around the mall, where I was in search of going-away cards for a party I would be attending that day, but as soon as I felt the surge of pain run through my pelvis, I figured, “maybe not,” and tried to make my way back to my car, having to stop every few feet as waves of daggers ran their way into my pubic bone. I tried to play it cool so that people wouldn’t start to flock to me, as I was all alone, so I’d stop and check my phone, digging my nails into the clutch I’d bought for my baby shower as I was walking through the nagging discomfort.
The next day I went through the motions of my 39 week appointment. As I was checking out, the receptionist said, “Now, if you have your baby before your 40 week appointment, don’t worry about calling us! The hospital will let us know and we’ll take care of it.”
I smiled wryly, and took the card she handed me. I told her I would see her next week.
But the thing is, I would not. But I’ll tell you all about that next time!

Third Trimester Hax

  • Gettin’ those Steps This really helped work out any discomfort I’d had, up until a point. For me, stretching my legs and squatting to pick things up gave me some strength to get through the last leg of the journey. I can’t promise moving will provide the same level of comfort for everyone, as everyone’s pregnancy is different, but it made a difference for me.
  • Hubbie’s Tees In addition to my yoga and sweat shorts, my husband’s shirts became a part of my third trimester esthetic (and I’ve carried it over to my fourth trimester into now). I was able to make it work so they sort of looked like my own shirts. But regardless of how they looked, towards the end, they were all the fit (comfortably), and guys’ shirts are so much more comfortable! I highly recommend raiding your baby daddy’s closet if you’re close to the edge!
  • You put the Lemon in the H2O this helped me digest the little amounts of food I could fit in my squished stomach, and made me feel cleansed and refreshed in the summertime.
  • Can we have class outside? My husband and I took a labor and delivery prep course and I took an infant care and breastfeeding course (my husband was unavailable, so I got him up to speed). I felt the labor class armed me with coping skills I’d not learned anywhere else, and the breastfeeding class gave good insight into what realistically to look forward to. Both classes helped to ease my worried mind, even just a little bit, going into this adventure.
  • Tea Time! I drank this Third Trimester Tea every night from 37 weeks on, and it helped to ease my insomnia somewhat and helped me to feel relaxed. It also tasted great! Always check with your doctor before taking anything with herbs, though!

What I wish I did Differently

  • Lemme (not) Take a Selfie! I felt sooo self conscious in my third trimester, so I held back during my pictures. And it shows. I wish I had let my blinders down and just embraced it, the pictures would have looked so much better.
  • Hello Darkness, my Old Frenemy… bottling my struggles did not do good for me. I feel if I had let people in about what was going on with me, my PPD wouldn’t have been as bad. But more on that later.
  • Namaste (in bed) there are many labor and birth prep videos available, and I wish I did more of these. I did one video the actual day I wound up starting labor that I think may have done the trick! I can’t promise anything, but I feel like there is something to birth prep yoga! More on that next time, though!
  • Rings Off! My Gals, d e f i n i t e l y be sure to take off your engagement/wedding/promise/for fun rings off, probably at the end of the second trimester!! I wanted to keep my engagement and wedding rings on for my baby shower, but having retained water and other fluids being heavily pregnant, and it being the middle of the summer, my rings ended up s t u c k to my finger and I had to get them cut off!! Take it from me, going a few months without your rings beats paying a couple of hundo to have them cut and fused again…

So that is my third trimester! Tune in next time to hear my labor and delivery story!
Thanks, my gals! Talk soon!

Less is More: What We Got Our Son For Christmas

((Another phone post! Gotta keep up momentum! 😘😘))

Henlo all! Hope your Christmases (if you celebrate it) were filled with love, good health, and fun! Ours was busy, but magical!

It was my son’s first Christmas, and got spoOo0o0oOo0o0iled! All of his family and friends were so excited to shower him with lovely gifts; clothes, toys, books, all of it very much appreciated! We’ll definitely enjoy them together for as long as possible.

While the generosity of our loved ones does not go unnoticed, having a 600 square foot apartment doesn’t leave us with much to work with in terms of storage. It was hard enough to keep our dwelling clean as a childfree couple (neither my husband nor I are the most organized people 😅), but add a baby into that mix and our little home quickly becomes a wampa cave.

This and the fact that we want our kids to be as non-materialistic as possible, and rely more on creativity and logic to independently entertain themselves, we’ve decided to adopt the minimalism rule of gift-giving: Something they like, something they need, something to wear, something to read. This is what we based our first Christmas gifts on for my son, and he not even being 5 months old, it doesn’t make much difference to him what we got, but I felt getting into the habit now and having him grow up with it will help make it just a way of life as he gets older. I’m working on getting my family and friends in on the concept, as well!

Anyway, here’s what we got for our son as a visual example!

Something He Likes

So as I mentioned, my son is just shy of 5 months, so he doesn’t really have much that he definitively likes aside from formula and shininess, but we kept in mind what he might like as he gets older and is able to play more independently

We found this guy on Amazon–we had gotten an Amazon gift card for our Baby shower which we used for gifts this year (we’d already gotten all we needed for our little guy), and found a waiting room toy for relatively cheap. We feel he’ll enjoy all of the multiple functions of this toy, the bead dragging, shape-fitting, etc, as he gets old enough to play on his own.

Something He Needs

Our Little Vinny has already had his first cold (at least we suspect so), so we purchased him some cold supplies. We found a nice all-natural version of vapo-rub for babies to rub on his chest and feet, an all-natural saline spray for stuffy nose, and fever bugs to stick on his forehead to see if he’s got a fever and/or bug!

Something to Wear

I had purchased a few holiday articles of clothing for Vinny in November, and saved this sweater for Christmas Eve and Christmas as his Something to Wear. The little reinfawn looked so cute in his ugly sweater 😍 🦌

Something to Read

This book popped out at me while Amazon shopping, and I was instantly in love! It’s a simple book that helps encourage using your imagination by listing several animals and explaining why they, like Transformers, are “more than meets the eye.”So cute! And that’s our Baby’s first minimalist Christmas gift! What did your little ones get this year? Thinking of taking up minimalism? I’m addicted to minimalism on Pinterest, myself! Best wishes for the New Year! Tune in next time for the final installment of my first Pregnancy Saga: the Third Trimester!

Episode V: The Fatigue Strikes Back (the 2nd Trimester)

(Has anyone seen The Last Jedi? I was excited at first when I saw the trailers, because I wanted to see more of Luke, but I’ve been reading a few spoilers and reviews, and I’m not too impressed…I’ll wait for it to come out on Netflix)

The Saga Continues…

🤰🏻By 15 weeks in, everyone I knew, IRL and on social media, had been informed about my pregnancy. I was officially one of those girls you knew from high school getting pregnant on purpose. I was doing a lot better in the nausea territory, aside from feeling like I was running on E all of the time ⛽️⬇️💤
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reading that the second trimester was supposed to be the “honeymoon trimester,” meaning that this three-month period was typically when you felt your best (at least, the best you can incubating a small being), and even experience a resurgence of energy. This was not so much the case for me 😪

I felt just like I did in the first trimester, as far as fatigue goes, if not even more tired, especially as the pregnancy progressed. I literally felt like my baby was siphoning the life right out of me via his umbilical cord 🧟‍♀️
Also, m
as beginning to make his presence known by reenacting Rick James on Charlie Murphy’s couch on my bladder…

giphy-downsized I was definitely feeling more pregnant, but I didn’t feel like I was looking it, at least early in my second trimester. I kept looking up when to expect seeing a bump, because mine didn’t seem to be coming in.
At my 1
appointment, I mentioned this to my OB GYN, as I was concerned that my baby wasn’t growing, and she gently explained to me that since I’m on the taller side (I’m 5’8″), and had a longer torso, that I might look smaller this time around, as I had more room to grow. She also told me that all of my organs would be shifting upward to accommodate, which eeped me out a little bit, but the things we do for our babies, right? 😌💞
Speaking
s being shifted up, the second trimester was full of a lot of growing pains. Literally. 🤕 I went through a period of time when I thought that I had gallbladder issues, as my ribs were on fire for a good few weeks there. I learned from the NP that I had seen initially, after a blood test to rule out cholestasis, explained that what I was experiencing must have been intercostal pain, or discomfort in the muscles between my ribs as my ribcage expanded to make room for my expanding uterus. Everything just needed more room to grow 🌱➡️🌳
Aside from al
s, I was going into my second three months with pinchy, stretching, almost Charlie-horse-like pains in my sides. Naturally I was concerned, but I learned that this was round ligament pain as my abdominal muscles needed to expand to make room for baby. Pretty much my Uterus was saying “Move, b**ch, get out the way!” to all of my organs, muscles, and such.

This bothered me for a couple of weeks leading up to week 20, and then would really only act up as I tried to go for walks in the cemetery across from my apartment complex. I’d grit my teeth and walk through the pain for the most part, stopping occasionally to stretch it out, and eventually it would subside.

Gender Reveal and Anatomy Scan

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My Facebook poll on the day of my 19 week appointment 💙❔💖

Until now, I had been referring to our little one as, “Vinilli”, an amalgamation of the prospective names we had picked out for our first born. On March 24th, 2017, my husband and I made our way to the 19 week anatomy scan to find out if we would be calling our little mango baby “Vinny,” for Ramon Bienvenido Ruiz (named after my husband’s father and Abuelo), or “Lilli,” for Lillian Elizabeth Ruiz (first name for my great-grandmother, and middle name for my mother-in-law)

The night before this visit, though, I had a dream about our little one. In my dream, my husband and I, and our baby, aged up to about 1 and a half, were at Mack’s Apples, an apple orchard and flagship landmark of our little hometown. There was a fair going on, and a friend of ours had gotten hurt, so I rushed to help him. In the process, however, my baby had gone missing…the rest of the dream was my husband and I looking for our missing progeny using Pokemon Go, reuniting with our little one, and then suddenly popping up at the grocery store, cursing out Shia LeBeouf for driving his go-cart too fast through the parking lot… 😅

👶🏼All of this to say, I had a dream the night before that our baby was a boy. It was so vivid and real (the part regarding our baby, not Shia. Although, I can’t say it would surprise me if he did something like this IRL) that I wrote all of this down in my phone so I would remember it. And so while I was at our appointment, my arm linked with my husband’s, eyes glued to the sonogram screen, I sat breathlessly waiting for the technician to mention the gender.

My heart skipped a beat when the ultrasound technician confirmed that we would, indeed, be calling our baby Vinny. I guess dreams have a way of coming true.

💙Somehow I had always known in my heart that my first child would be a boy. I looked at my husband in my peripheral, his eyes gleaming, staring at our little boy on the screen. He looked at me, and smiled, the shine of the screen reflecting from his eyes. I returned his gesture with a nervous grin. I kept staring at the tiny baby, stretching and jabbing from within me. I kept waiting for tears of joy to run down my face, but they did not come. I just stared at the screen, feeling overwhelming love and terror–I couldn’t wait to hold him, and yet I was so afraid of not being what he needed…I watched him continue to wriggle, praying that he’d be healthy, and that I would be able to be the Mom he needs and the Mom he deserves 👩‍👦💞

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Our little boy’s picture-perfect sonogram💙👶🏼💙

The technician continued taking pictures of all of the vital anatomy, the screen pausing for brief seconds at a time as she did so. When she stopped on our son’s still developing face, he looked a lot like Skeletor 💀 because at this point, babies haven’t really started putting on that baby fat that makes them cute yet, so his face looked a little sp00py, a face only mommy and daddy could love. But love him we did.

We were happy to learn that our boy was healthy as could be, and left the appointment to slowly reveal the news to our family and closest friends. I decided that I wanted to keep it a surprise for extended family and our outer circle, and have a gender reveal baby shower (I’ll talk more about my arcade/retro gaming themed shower in the next blog)! This drove my Facebook friends nuts, and I kind of loved it 😂🤣

I had also begun taking lots more pictures once I finally discovered my bump at 20 weeks in.

🦋I started vaguely feeling little flutters, like gas bubbles popping inside my belly, probably close to 19 weeks, and definitely felt stronger little nudges around 21 weeks. I was able to actually feel definitive movement, and even sort of see it through my skin (so creepy 😨👾 but so wonderful at the same time🤩💖) towards the end of my second trimester, and my husband was able to feel his movement right around 25 weeks. I can’t forget how his face lit up and his eyes glistened when he felt his tiny son respond to his hand over my belly 😍😭💏

The only other major symptom I experienced in the second leg of my pregnancy journey was heartburn ❤️🔥 I had never before in my life had heartburn, and to anyone who experiences it on a fairly regular basis, I am so sorry 😰 It was like I was breathing fire 🐲 it hurt so much. Everyone I mentioned this to said that this was because my baby was going to have a lot of hair. I silently wondered if I was gestating a human baby or a wookie…

👗During this time I had also discovered and had fallen madly, head-over-heels in love with consignment shopping! I found the most adorable consignment store that sells maternity clothes in Amherst, New Hampshire. This place is e v e r y t h i n g 🤩😍 It’s all about repurposing ♻️ environmental friendly products 🌎 and local business 👨‍🌾 I was able to find my whole summer wardrobe for around $75 (including two new maternity shirts I’d ordered on sale from this adorable site,  PinkBlush which I currently use)! This was such a blessing because being in the third trimester over the summer is rough…but I’ll tell you more about that next time! ☀️😩💦😵

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Super cute maternity shorts! They had inspiring messages on their mirrors–I needed this that particular day 😅

Second Trimester Hax

So I didn’t really have as hard of a time during my second trimester as I did in the first. So I only have a few tips here. Hope this helps!

😴Fatigue: Despite this being the honeymoon trimester, and most sources saying you might have a resurgence of energy during these few months, I felt almost as tired as I did the first trimester, if not more so. I would literally be falling asleep on customers over the phone, and barely be able to hold conversations without dozing off. But there were times when I needed to get it together and pay attention. When I needed an extra boost, I would get a decaf iced coffee. Decaf actually still has traces of caffeine in it, and as someone very sensitive to caffeine, was usually enough of a boost for me prior to becoming pregnant. Plus just having a coffee in my hands was enough of a placebo effect to make me believe I had more energy. I would also do some stretches, or take a brief walk outside around my office building to get the blood flowing so I had a couple more hours of focus ☕️ 🏃🏻‍♀️ 🧘🏻‍♀️

🔥Heartburn: When I had my cholestasis scare, the OB I saw at the time suggested that heartburn could have been the cause of my upper abdominal discomfort in addition to the intercostal expansion. He told me I could take some off-brand Zantac to relieve this. I didn’t want to rely on this, but a couple of pills did get the job done. I would drink a ton of water after two of them and just lay on my side and wait for the fire to be put out. Consult your OB if you think this might be what you need. I didn’t try too many homeopathic remedies like I usually do, but this is what really helped so I stuck with it ❄️

🤕Round Ligament Pain: I was lucky enough that my RLP wasn’t super debilitating like it is for some women. For me, walking it off was usually enough to help with the pain. What I would do was put my hands on my hips and kind of move them in a semi-circle as I was walking to stretch out the sides of my lower abdomen and give me a little bit of relief until the pain subsided. Of course, this may not be enough for some of you littler ladies who don’t have as much room to grow. For more tips on how to deal with Severe RLP, visit my sister-in-law at Becoming Rivera, as she can give you the lowdown on this brutality 😔

What I Wish I’d Done Differently

💪🏼Work out more. Just like in my first trimester, I wish I had found a workout routine that I stuck with. I wasn’t in the best shape in my third trimester. I was very much mobile, and I didn’t have any health problems, but I just felt uncomfortable and like nothing fit (which I know is to be expected, but…). Again, I feel like if I worked out even just a little my stamina and balance would have been better towards the end.

🍎Eat healthier: I did pretty well with this for a while, but towards the third trimester, I got insatiable, and all I wanted was salt. I pretty much subsisted exclusively on pickles (I know, basic af), cheese, peanut butter, and taco bell for a brief stint 😋 This was because I was starting to get depressed and sought comfort food. However, this just kind of made me bloat and exacerbated my heartburn (though I was in denial because diablo sauce is seriously everything, tho 🤤), and just wasn’t good for me, especially because I was a slacker when it came to drinking my water most days. Pretty much, I wish I’d been better about getting my 64 ounces of good old H2O and gotten some more veggies in there 💧🥗

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🥦🥑🥤When I said I was gonna make a green smoothie for myself and my baby every day. It was nice while it lasted! 😂

☔️Had my baby shower. I know that most people don’t have their baby showers until their third trimester, but my whole third took place in the summer months, and I was pretty swollen, uncomfortable, and just plain didn’t feel attractive. I ended up having my baby shower a little over three weeks before I had my actual baby. I was so sweaty and swollen. I feel like I would have been a lot more comfortable if I’d had my shower at the end of the second trimester instead of waiting until the third. Of course, when you have your shower is completely up to you, but I feel like I might have enjoyed myself a little bit more if I’d had mine a bit earlier. But if any of you ladies are going to be due in the summer, it might be a good idea to consider having your showers a bit earlier 🌦

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💞We all have those days…

So that was my second trimester! How many of you are enjoying the honeymoon stage? What symptoms are you experiencing? Hang in there! Not too much longer! ❤️❤️❤️

Thanks for reading, my gals (and d00ds)! Stay tuned for my third trimester stories, labor and delivery, and more! I promise we’ll get into the upcycling and mom hax soon! 😘😘