Labor && Delivery Story Sequel, Natural Vs. Epidural

((Sorry it’s been so long, my gals! 😬 As you can probably deduce, I’ve been a little busy these past several weeks. ☺😊🤱

I took some time to adjust to two under two life, and then I let things get away from me. But I’m going to do my best to get back into a weekly/bi-weekly schedule, and I have lots of content planned, so stay tuned!))

😊💘 So, my husband and I had an eventful Valentine’s Day! 💝☺️

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💚 Meet Michael Antonio! He was born February 14th at 7:07am after a 7 hour labor and delivery.

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“Speedy Delivery!” 😂 I mean, sort of. More on that in a bit 

⚖📏 He was born at 39 weeks and 5 days gestational age, and was a healthy 9lb 2oz and 21.5 inches at birth.

He’s been such a darling baby so far. 🥰🥰🥰 He’s been sleeping 6-7 hours solid at night since he was almost 4 weeks old! 💤💭🙏🏼 I’m still not getting much sleep, though, as I’m getting up in the middle of the night to pump milk at least once, and of course, doing periodical breathing checks. 😅😅😨

So let me give you the details. It was pretty intense!

🤰Prologue😪

At about 38 weeks, I was starting to get very, very uncomfortable. 😣 And honestly a little surprised and disappointed that Mikey had not made his appearance yet. I’ve heard that second babies come sooner than first babies (although of course everyone is different), and was hoping that I would have been able to meet our second son sooner rather than later.

So once I hit 39 weeks, I decided to try out the old induction tricks and wives tales. 💁🏻‍♀️

We had Chipotle for dinner pretty much every night, with extra hot sauce. 🌯🔥😋 I was drinking and eating pineapple like it was my job. 🍍🍹 I did lunges and squats every second I got. 🏋🏻‍♀️🏋🏻‍♀️🏋🏻‍♀️ I followed a few “Baby Mama Dance” videos, and Just Danced as often as possible 💃🏻👯‍♀️ And finally I tried spending some more “alone time” with the husband. 😘😝😅

But nothing seemed to be working. I know you can’t expect these things to work right away, but I was starting to get frustrated. Because with every passing day I was getting more and more miserable. 😩😫

Which brings us to the day before Valentine’s Day. My husband brought me a red velvet cake with our nightly burrito bowl dinner to lift my spirits. I emotional-ate half of it. I got really tired at around 9pm and decided to go up to bed.

🤰🏻Early Labor⏱

❗️Around quarter to midnight, I was woken up by a violent cramp. 😵😵😵

At this point, I had been having some pretty intense braxton hicks for a few weeks, so I assumed it was just more of that. I rolled over and went back to sleep.

‼️Next thing I knew, I was getting woken up every 15 minutes with more of these wrenching menstrual cramp pains.

This felt all too familiar…

“You should probably stay home today,” I said to my husband as he came into our room around 1am (he had fallen asleep on the couch after I went to bed).

🤩”Baby time??” My husband jested.

🤐”Maybe.” I said. I didn’t want to jinx anything.

As it turns out, I didn’t have to worry about that!

I made a few errors in my timing, but this is more or less how things progressed.

⏱From this point on, it was hard to get any more sleep, because every 10 minutes I was in searing pain. Within that hour, I was getting contractions every 5 minutes or less!

A little after 2am my husband called my Mother In Law, and then the OB on call. At this point, I was doubling over every few minutes, but managing to breathe through it each time. 😵😤

💩💩I also felt like I had to go to the bathroom for about half an hour at this point, but was afraid to. 😅😅 I know needing to push can feel like the same thing, and I was paranoid about delivering my baby at home in the bathroom. 🚽👶🏼😨

I mean, we were literally a 60 second drive from the hospital, so I figured I’d wait to go there in case the worst happened.

🚙💨 My in-laws arrived at about 2:45, and I waited out another contraction before we got into the car. We made the one minute commute across the street to the emergency entrance of the hospital. I got out of the car to the receptionist as my husband parked the car and got our bags. 👜🧳

👋🏻 “Hi, I need labor and delivery, please.” 💅🏻 I asked the kind gentleman at the desk as composed as I could. He seemed puzzled at my outwardly calm appearance, but believe me, I was in agony on the inside. 💀💀💀 He got me a wheelchair and we were on our way!

We were admitted at about 3am. I met my first nurse and she began my intake (people think it’s hard to answer questions at the dentist, try being interviewed while in the throes of back labor 😵😵) and then she proceeded to “check” me. 👈👈😂

“Hmmm, I can’t seem to find it…” I remember her saying (I apologize, some details might get a little fuzzy).

😱😱😱”What?” I asked. Can’t find it. What did that mean? Was I not dilated?? That couldn’t be, I thought.

“Let me get someone else,” she said, leaving me in a silent panic. After a little while, she brought in another nurse who proceeded to jam what felt like her entire fist into my business. 👊✊ I felt like a calving cow. 🐮🐄🤠

Now at this exact moment, not only did I have to take a huge post-chipotle dump 💩💩💩 (sorry if this is tmi…but this is a labor and delivery story so… 🤷🏻‍♀️), but I was also contracting and having back labor, all while this woman’s entire forearm was pressing against my internal organs. It was literally the worst thing I’ve felt in my life. 😰😰

🏳️ “I need the epidural this time!” I blurted out. My plan was to go natural this time, like I had before (with minimal use of gas and air). But honestly, in that moment I felt if it was going to continue like this, and I possibly wasn’t even dilated enough (or at all??), I wasn’t sure I could go another several hours of that every 2 minutes.

After they were done with their torturous examination, I decided to try to go to the bathroom, 💩💩 and I felt worlds better afterwards. 😌🙏🏼 The contractions themselves automatically became much more bearable. However, I was still getting the terrible back pain. 😓 The doctor came up shortly after this to check me herself.

I remember the nurse saying that sometimes the baby’s head can be positioned in such a way that makes it difficult to find the cervix, for some reason? 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️ I was hoping this would be the case, as I was going to be upset if it turned out I wasn’t dilating, or something crazy. I did not want to get sent home after all of this.

“Well, the reason we weren’t finding it was because there is no cervix.” The doctor said, matter-of-factly.

She looked at me and smiled gently. “We’re at 10cm.”

🤯 “Oh.” I said, breathing a sigh of relief, while at the same time feeling a wave of shock run through me. Within 3 hours I had gone from “When is this baby coming??” to “He’s basically already here!”

💉 Not long after the doctor had finished, the anesthesiologist had showed up with his equipment. Even though the doctor had told me I would be pushing much sooner than later, I looked at the epidural longingly.

Although I was so close, the doctor said I still had the option of taking the epidural, and my back was killing me. It was worse than it was during my first labor, which was the only thing that made me consider it at the time.

Getting an epidural was a bizarre experience. It was very uncomfortable, a little squicky, but not super painful. It just felt like a couple of bee-stings in my back, which is what I’ve been told it felt like before. 🐝 And compared to what else I had been feeling, that night wasn’t bad at all. 👌

Truth be told, it was worse on my husband than on me. 😅😅

After a minute or two, I was able to relax a little bit. At the same time, though, I was shaking, which made me feel a little anxious. 😧😧

Things kind of slowed down from here. For the next hour, I took time to try and settle my nerves, joking around with my husband and the nurses.

Then at 5:30/6, the doctor came in to help speed things up. She broke my water, 💦and mentioned that she saw some meconium, or baby’s first poop (lot of poop talk in this post lol sorry 💩😂). This meant that NICU would have to evaluate Mikey before we could have skin-to-skin time.

I looked at the doctor in horror, I didn’t want anyone to take my baby from me so soon! 😰😰😰 Thankfully, she reassured me that he wouldn’t leave the room, and that staff from NICU would come to us to check him out and they’d have him on my chest as soon as they could. 🙏🏼😌

And then it was time to get down to business 💪💪💪

🤰🏻Delivery😫

I had a hard time getting him down and out. I had to go more or less by vague pressure and indication from the doctors to push.

💉 After half an hour, the doctor said she would have to give me Pitocin and turn down my epidural to help give me something to “push against.” I wanted to avoid Pitocin if possible, as I’ve heard the contractions from it can be unbearable, but at this point I just wanted him out and safe. 💯

For some reason I continued to have a bit of a hard time getting him out. The doctor, nurse, and my husband swear I was doing great, but it felt like a struggle! 😣😣 But I continued to push as hard as I could, and then…

💘My Valentine’s Baby👶🏼

It felt like another hour, but soon enough there he was! 😍😭😍 My second baby❤️

I saw them take him to the warmer as a swarm of NICU staff surrounded him to check his vitals. After a couple brief moments, he was on my chest. 🥰🥰🥰

Apparently he got stuck at the shoulder while pushing, and the doctor had to reach inside me and assist him out, which is part of what held things up for a while.

But I didn’t care. Whatever it took. He was here. The best Valentine’s Day gift ever. 💘💝💖🙏🏼💚🤱🏻

🌱Pros And Cons: Natural Vs. Epidural💉

So how did this labor compare to my last?

As I mentioned with my first labor and delivery (btw if you read this please forgive the formatting…still haven’t gotten to fix it 😓), it started out with dull period-cramps. The only thing that clued me in that it was the real deal was their consistency. And then, things very gradually progressed from there. I feel like I had time to get used to the pain and get through it with little to no problem (until that back pain at the end 😖😖).

Whereas this one felt like I went from zero to 100 within mere hours. 😵😵

🚶🏻‍♀️To put it into perspective, it was like going from a walk to a jog to a run with Vinny and a full on sprint right out of the gate with Mikey. 🏃🏻‍♀️

So now that I’ve experienced a natural birth and a birth with epidural, here are my personal pro’s and cons:

💉Pros Of Having An Epidural👍

  • Pain relief, obviously 😅🙏🏼
  • It gave me time to relax and center myself and really take things in 🧘🏻‍♀️
  • It gave me the opportunity to maybe get some more sleep which would mean more stamina 💤
  • It allowed me the center of mind to text loved ones 🤳

💉Cons Of Having An Epidural👎

  • In my case, I feel like it slowed things down. I couldn’t feel my contractions all of the way, which I think took away the “urgency,” if you will, and I think it inhibited my ability to push effectively. I think I might have been able to push and have him born sooner, had I not gotten the epidural. 🕛🕞🕒
  • I couldn’t stop shaking–anesthetics and analgesics can make people shaky, and I felt very shaky while under the epidural, which I think amped up my anxiety a bit 😬
  • Because I didn’t have feeling in my lower half, I couldn’t get up and move around to speed things up or use a tub or birthing ball for pain relief and anxiety, and I was trapped in bed, needing help to shift positions 😑
  • I wasn’t able to squat, which was part of my initial birth plan. Squatting helps gravity assist in getting the baby out, and is actually how it’s supposed to happen, but obviously it was not an option if I couldn’t feel my legs. 🤷🏻‍♀️
  • I now have constant back pain. It’s ironic the reason I got the epidural in the first place was because of back labor, because now I have back pain because of the epidural. 🤦🏻‍♀️ It’s a common side-effect, and it doesn’t happen to everyone. Eventually I think it does go away (at least I hope it does!!!), but even as I write this, the site where I got the epidural aches, and occasionally the left side of my back will go numb around the site. Laying on my back is also very uncomfortable still, and standing for long periods of time bothers it as well. ☹️

🌱Pros Of Having A Natural Birth👍

  • You can move around! Because you can feel your legs, you can move around, change positions, get into a tub, etc to relieve pain and anxiety and move things along. 💃🏻
  • You can feel everything, so you know what to push against. 💪
  • Less possibility of back pain from epidural site. 😌
  • Less possibility of feeling shaky from pain medication, just from nerves if you tend to shake when anxious or in pain. 😌😌
  • Bragging rights 😂

🌱Cons Of Having A Natural Birth👎

  • You can feel everything, and it’s painful 😕 If you’re someone with a high pain tolerance, and if you’ve had extreme menstrual cramps, it might not be so bad, though! My labor the first time felt exactly like really bad periods I used to have, and so did this one, aside from the perfect storm of pain I’d had upon admission. 💀
  • Anxiety–pain can heighten feelings of anxiousness and possibly cause you to doubt yourself, but trust me, you can do it! 💪

So, given these pros and cons, what would I do again? It depends.

I think I would prefer to go natural again, when/if we have another baby. I feel there are fewer cons to a natural birth than one with an epidural.

For me personally, giving birth naturally was an empowering experience. But, I’m not against getting an epidural again, either. I guess it depends on the size and placement of my next baby.

🌳Because Mikey was a big baby, and because of his position in my pelvis, it was more difficult for me than last time. And because of how quickly things progressed, I think it seemed even more painful.

So if this type of situation happens again, I might opt for the epidural. 💉👍

Of course they also say that each subsequent labor goes a little faster, so next time I just hope to have enough time to make it to the hospital! 😂😂😬🙏🏼

So that’s my story this time, and I hope I can offer some insight to any expecting Mamas who are debating natural vs. epidural.

I say ultimately, go in there expecting the unexpected. If you’re set on going natural, go for it! But, if things change and you feel you need an epidural to get through, don’t feel bad! I still feel it was worth it, even though without it I could have shaved an hour or so off my whole labor and delivery time, and my back probably wouldn’t hurt so much rn. 😓😓

Here are some pictures to bring you up to speed! 😊😊

Last bump pictures, exactly 39 weeks 🤰🏻

🤰🏻How have all of your labors been different? What are your biggest birth fears? Any other words of wisdom for expecting ftm’s I might’ve left out? Leave them all in the comments! 💬

Thanks for reading, my gals! 😘😘

👀If you’re new here, and this content or any of my upcoming content interests you, make sure 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: My (Stay-At-Home) Mom Guilt, My Son’s “Home-Nursery-School Curriculum,” and Two Vs. One: How To Survive 2 Under 2

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My Toddler’s Overnight Bag

Hello, my gals! 😁❤️

38 weeks today!! 😨🤯🤰🏻 Things are getting a lil real!!

🤕Lately I’ve been having a hard time getting around due to a lot of lightening crotch, and apparently little Miguel’s head is resting pretty low these days so he’s getting ready! ⏱⏱

I’ve slowly been preparing things for baby number 2️⃣ this past month between getting out his bassinet and living room cot, setting up his diaper and clothing station in our bedroom, getting some freezer meals prepped, and as you saw in my “What’s In My Hospital Bag” post, the hospital bags.

Last week I couldn’t help but feel like I was missing something, and then it hit me–Vinny needs his sleepover bag! 😱😱

My in-laws have graciously agreed to keep Vinny at their house for the 2-3 days my husband and I will be at the hospital with baby Mikey 🤱🏻👪💚 And since it’s getting down to the wire, I knew I had to be prepared in case the unexpected happens.

I figured I might make a post about what I put in his overnight bag because I don’t think I’ve seen anything like this out there, and if any of you Mamas getting ready for baby number 2, 3, 4, etc are having your little ones stay over a relative’s house, maybe this will help be a guideline for what to send along with your toddler!


👕Clothes👖

I packed enough clothes to last 3️⃣ days.

The first thing I packed for him was the onesie, and I made sure to provide two for each day in the very likely event he gets one dirty. 😅 I included three short sleeve and three long sleeve onesies for him.

I also included his “Meeting Mikey” outfit in the bag. 😍 This is what he will wear to the hospital to meet his little brother and for all of the pictures we’ll be taking of them together 📸💚💙

I packed a couple pairs of pants. One pair of “Kicking Around The House” track pants, and one nice pair of nice khakis in case my in-laws want to take him out of the house. He also has the jeans to reuse if needed.

I included a couple of t-shirts as backup, but the onesies can also be used as a top if needed. I will leave the outfit combination in Gram-Gram and Pop-Pop’s capable hands. 😁

💤I packed a couple pairs of pajamas. I sent one pair of warm footie pajamas and another pair of cotton Batman jammies. He also often just wears onesies to bed, so again, whichever he sleeps in is at the grandparents’ discretion.

In order to fit three days of clothes and jammies, plus backup clothes into this diaper backpack, I used the Konmari method of folding. 🧺 I had pretty much binged Tidying Up With Marie Kondo when it came out and now I am absolutely infatuated with the Konmari method! 😍🤩It’s seriously life-changing! I’m slowly working on incorporating it all over the house. 🏠🧹🧽📦

Like seriously, if I had tried to fold these the way I used to, they never would have fit in this bag! 😤😤It’s crazy!

I was able to tuck all of his onesies in a mesh compartment in the bag and the rest of this clothes in the actual bag next to and on top of a fresh pack of wipies.


👶🏻Diapers and Wipes🧻

I packed enough diapers for 3️⃣ days and a whole new pack of wipes. Vinny will go through up to 4️⃣ diapers in a day, so I fit 12 size 5’s in the front pouch of the bag, three overnights in a zipper compartment of the inside, and the wipes inside of the bag next to and underneath his clothes.


Toys and “Wubbies”

Vinny’s loving Gram and Pop-Pop have a lovely assortment of toys and books ready for their grandbabies in their living room, all of which Vinny loves, so luckily I didn’t have to pack much in this regard. 🙏🏼

🧸He does, however, have two “Babies” he sleeps with at night, a black teddy bear and this little white one. He prefers to sleep with both, but will be okay with at least one. So I’ve packed this little guy so he has something to remind him of home at night and help him sleep. 🐻💤


🍎Food, Supplies, Etc🍼

Being 18 months old, Vinny has been eating “people food” exclusively for a while now, so he will be able to eat some of whatever Gram-Gram and Pop-Pop eat, and they always have healthy snacks to offer him such as bananas and apples. 🍌🍎😋

I did pack three days worth of his absolute favorite snack, these Earth’s Best strawberry cereal bars. 🤤😋 These things are like crack to him. I try to limit him to two a day because although they’re made with relatively good ingredients, they’re still a little sugary 😬😬 But I figure it will be a little something to provide comfort to him while he’s away from home.

🥛He also has flax milk that he drinks with dinner that I supplement with vitamin D, DHA, and Probiotic, so we’ll likely drop off a carton in the next few days so they have that on hand, and we will be able to fit his vial of vit. D, DHA, and a packet of probiotic with administration instructions in one of the “hidden” compartments of the bag.

Also not pictured are his ibuprofen and syringe (in case of teething), eating utensils, binkies, and toothpaste and toothbrush. I was able to fit these things in the “hidden” compartments.

I may also send along a small, separate bag with a pair of snow pants and his winter boots 🥾 in case they want to take him outside, as it’s snowy where we live right now. He will be wearing his winter jacket whenever the time comes so he’ll have that prepared.


Misc💁🏻‍♀️

So that was about it for what I packed for our little one, but of course every child’s needs may vary.

For instance, the people taking your little one may not have toys and books available, so I would suggest sending a few favorite toys and books along with the clothes and necessities. If you need to include these in a separate bag, that’s totally fine!

Much like we’re sending winter play clothes, it might be a good idea to send some seasonal play clothes as well, like bathing suits (along with sunscreen and big spray!) in the summer, or a raincoat and rain boots if you have a rainy season so that your trusted guardians can get outdoors with your littles. ☀️🌨🌧

💊And if your child has medicines they need to take, it would be a good idea to get a separate baggie for these with instructions if necessary. You could also include a list of any food allergies or anything else your guardian should know before feeding or administering medications, etc.

It would also be helpful to do a quick write-up of your child’s daily routine for your babysitter so that they can anticipate his or her needs. 📋✅

If you can arrange to drop off a car seat and booster/high chair ahead of time, or if you can get assistance with loading up the car real quick when the time comes so that your sitter has these at the ready, these will definitely be helpful!


And that’s about it, I think! No matter how much I prepare, I always feel like I’m still missing something 😅😅

I’m definitely getting anxious the closer it gets! But getting little things like this out of the way helps. ☺️☺️

💬 What do you think of these lists? Am I missing anything? What would you include in your toddler’s bag? Have you tried the Konmari method? If so, how has it helped you, or not helped you? Let us know!

Thanks for reading, my gals! 😘😘

👀If you’re new here, and this content or any of my upcoming content interests you, make sure 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: My (Stay-At-Home) Mom Guilt, My Son’s “Home-Nursery-School Curriculum,” and My Bedside Nursery Corner (Second Baby)

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

The “Boy-Or-Girl Blues,” How I Got Over My Gender Disappointment

When we first talked about having another baby so soon after our first, somehow I had gotten it into my head that the next one would be a little girl. 👧👗💅🎀💖👑

So convinced was I of this that I had even purchased (from consignment, of course) some girl clothes I had come across and couldn’t resist and had begun saving girly items for a possible sprinkle I’d have for her. I’d even had her name picked out (She was going to be named after someone very, very special💖). I had even made a Pinterest Board with her name containing the matching outfits we’d wear and hairstyles I could attempt on her. 👗💄👠👝💇💅🥰

Almost all of my pregnancy symptoms were even “indicative” of a girl–wicked morning sickness, 🤢🤮 carrying high, 🤰massive breakouts, 🌋😬 etc. I even found myself instinctively calling the baby “she” and “her” in the early weeks. Friends and family were even convinced of it. I was so happy.

But then at my 19 week scan, the ultrasound tech said those three words…

👦🔵”It’s a boy.” She stated, almost too matter-of-fact-ly.

My heart sunk. 💔💔💔 I must have asked the technician, much to her annoyance, three times if she was sure, and to each question she would reply with a cold “Yes.” I can remember watching her type “Boy” over the anatomy in slow, deliberate keystrokes.

I still hate to admit it, but I cried. I hadn’t cried much this pregnancy, but I did that day, on the examination table. I was devastated. 💔💔💔

I know that sounds terrible. After all, he was perfect! Healthy, measuring on time, no concerns 🙌🙏 …but I couldn’t bring myself to be happy.

I cried and cried all that weekend. I was inconsolable. I couldn’t get out of bed. My melancholy continued into that next week, as all I could think of was that I wasn’t getting the little girl I had dreamed of this whole year.

I had begun to suspect that I’d been having issues with prenatal depression leading up to this, too, so I know that’s also a big part of what was making this such a big deal. I stopped eating right when my birthday and anniversary came and went that month, and really let myself go when I found out the gender. I’m paying for that now. 😓😓

💻⌨💬I ended up reading and posting on a lot of forums regarding Gender Disappointment and learned that what I was going through wasn’t completely abnormal. It turns out what I had done was created this person in my head and my heart, and had made her “real.” I hadn’t prepared myself for the very real possibility that this baby would be a “he.” I had gone into this pregnancy believing that I was coming out of it with “my” girl, but this wasn’t going to happen. 🤷‍♀️😞

💯God had other plans💯

It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with all of this. Truthfully, more than three months later, I still struggle a tiny bit. I still see pictures of my niece and my friends’ little girls and I feel a twinge of sadness and jealousy. And sometimes I lay awake worrying that it will never happen for me…

💔How I Got Over It💙

One thing I’ve learned from all of this is that I can plan for something all I want, but God’s plan is better, and it will always prevail. 💯 And if you don’t believe that, then maybe look at it this way: everything in life, good and bad, happens for a reason. If you’re going through a hard time right now, it’s going to make you stronger, 💪 and it’s going to lead you to where you need to be.

That’s what this is for me.

Finding out my baby was a boy was what led me to Perinatal counseling. 📒🧠😌 I had been debating going before, but didn’t want to take the time and have to have another thing that I’d need babysitting for. But when I went through my gender disappointment, I finally made an appointment, and I’ve been working through some other things that are actually really helping in other aspects of my life. 🙌😁

It was really hard for me to look on the bright side at first, as everyone was trying to help me with. But I knew that I had to get through it, so I made a physical list of all the good. In doing so I’ve been able to  see that while it might still be a little devastating for me, there’s really so much to be happy about. ♥♥♥

  • First, I have a healthy baby, that’s plenty to be thankful for. 👶👣🙏
  • Second, Vinny will still have a little sibling close in age, which comes with all of the benefits I listed in a previous post. 👦💙👶
  • Next, it’s another boy, so my husband gets more chances to have his family name passed down in a traditional sense (almost all of his cousins are female, or have a different last name, and he his only sibling is my sister-in-law, so the family name depends on my husband and two of his significantly younger boy cousins), which I know is important to him. 😌💗
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💚Our Second Baby💚
  • Furthermore, as Vinny is named after my husband’s father and grandfather, Michael (Mikey) is named after my father and shares my grandfather’s name. Plus, Vinny was even born in the same month as my FIL and Mikey is due the same month as my Dad’s birthday! Talk about serendipity 💕💞
  • Finally, he’s my baby. 🤰🤱👶🥰 He’s part of me and the love of my life. If that’s not a reason to be happy, I don’t know what else is.

So maybe I didn’t get my way this time. And who knows what we’ll get in the future? But God willing, someday soon I’ll be able to throw that “Girl Power Superhero Sprinkle” I had already planned in my head, and my little girl will have two super brothers to look out for her and show her how to be her own hero. 🦸‍♂️🦸‍♀️🦸‍♂️🙏😂💖


I had also bought Mikey his own coming home outfit to help make me feel better. I try not to make retail therapy a habit as I have in the past, but it did help a little looking through Etsy at all of the creative, personalized newborn outfits and coming across this little gem. 😍😍

Now Mikey has something of his own aside from his brother’s hand-me-downs. 😊😊 90 percent of his wardrobe is going to be passed down from Vinny. 😂👕👖🤷‍♀️

And honestly, I can’t wait to see him in it. And I can’t wait to welcome him into our family. 💗👨‍👩‍👦‍👦🥰


Have you or someone you know experienced gender disappointment? How did you overcome it? Any other tips for readers? Post them in the comments!

Thanks for reading, my gals! 😍🥰😘 Stay tuned and I’ll tell you about how spending less time with my son makes me a better Mom. 😅👩‍👦💓

Our Growing Family: Twice The Chaos, Double The Love

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Holy 2 under 2, Batman! 😱😱

Yes, as of writing this blog, I am 27 weeks pregnant with baby number 2! 🤰👶2️⃣

Yes, as of writing this blog, my first is barely 1 year and 3 months old. 👶👣

Yes, at the time of my second child’s birth, my first son will barely be a year and a half old. 👶👶

Yes, we (sort of) planned it this way. 🤷‍♀️

Yes, I know I’m crazy. 😝🤪

In all seriousness, as scared as I am of the prospect of being a SAHM to 2 under 2, at the same time, I’m happy. 🥰🥰🥰

When I was younger, I always thought that when I had children they would be spaced 2 to even 3 years apart. I thought this for a few reasons. One, to give myself a break in between, 😅 two, to have one potty trained by the time the next came along, 💩 and three, so that I would have enough “time” with each baby before the next one. 🤱👩‍👦💞

But when I got together with my husband, he had expressed wanting multiple children close together, as close together as actual Irish Twins…😳😨😱 Who’s the crazy one now? 😂

And while in my childfree days I thought this would be absolute lunacy, once we had our first baby, I got to rethinking. 🤔

Having two younger brothers, I feel that having siblings made us all better people in certain ways. We had to share, overcome fights, and look out for each other. And while things might have been rough in our early years, as we all got a little older, we all became each others’ close friends in different ways. 👫👬 And since we’re spaced about 2 years apart, I feel that the closer together my kids are, the closer they will be. 💕💕

Here’s hoping! 🙏🙏 I know I don’t know the future, but the more people I’ve talked to and met that have already had children in close succession, the more I heard that while it was rough at first, after a while it was the best thing that could have happened to their family. 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦👨‍👩‍👧‍👦👨‍👩‍👧‍👧

More often than not, I heard stories of siblings becoming best friends, playing with the same toys (cutting down on the “need” for more toys) and even going to school in almost the same grade so they could help each other through schoolwork and social woes. 📚💬

And the way I see it, having a sibling so close will help make Vinny more compassionate. 😌🤗 Since he’ll be so young when the next one comes along, having a sibling will be more of a way of life for him so he’ll be used to the concept of sharing and being kind. I’m hoping it will help shape him into a kind, compassionate soul. We’ll see when the next one comes along! 🙏🙏

But every family is different! Wether you have Irish Twins or a 10 year old with your next on the way, your family is perfect. God gives us what we need. 💕💞💗

So yeah, that’s about it! Later on I might have a post on how this pregnancy has been sooo different than the first. And in a not too distant future post, I’m going to touch on something a little heavy, which will explain why this announcement is so late! 😅

In the meantime, here’s some bump pictures I’ve taken to bring you up to speed. 😘



Thanks so much for reading, my gals! Next time I’ll let you know how I made my eldest’s first birthday special on a budget! 1️⃣🥳🧁🎉🎁

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!

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 ⛽️⬇️💤
I
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! 😘😘

Episode IV: The First Trimester

(Not) A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy (not) Far, Far Away…

Not much more than a year ago, my husband and I were enjoying married life. We went to work and came home to each other, made dinner, talked about our days, and then unwound by playing video games, laughing at memes, binge-watching animes, etc. Things were pretty peaceful in the Ruiz apartmenthold. 🏡💞💏

So when I saw that little faint pink line on that First Response stick, I was shook. Literally. I could not stop shaking–though admittedly, it was the result I had been expecting.

It was a few months prior to this that my husband had approached me and had brought up the prospect of starting a family. We had been married for a couple of years, and we weren’t getting any younger.

I had gone back and forth on the subject, having gone into our marriage entertaining the idea right away at the tender age of 24, but after hosting a couple of parties, I’d decided that I wasn’t ready to relinquish my youthful antics, and forwent the family path in favor of “living my life.” But as it would turn out, “living my life” wound up just being a lot of day drinking on weekends while playing a lot of Gamecube (not a bad life, all things considered).🍻🥡🕹

This conversation took place shortly before my sister-in-law’s wedding (who by the way, also has a blog on this site, and is due with my first niece in February *squee!!1!*💖🎀), which would take place in late October. We were already both entering shaky territory in our respective career lives, he had just started an electrical business with our brother-in-law, and I had been only about 90 days into a new job with promise of advancement into local journalism (not the right path for me anyhow, as it turns out), so I was a bit hesitant to add a baby into that mix. But the more we talked, the more it just made sense to take a leap of faith. We were at an age where we had had the opportunity to have fun with life, we had enjoyed being husband and wife for a good couple of years, but we were still full of youthful vigor, enough to keep up with the boundless energy of a small child, and young enough still that we could enjoy a good few years of retirement by the time our last child was out on his or her own (he wanted to have 5 children, I wanted 3…so far we’ve settled for 4…). And so, we decided to leave things in God’s hands see what happens.

And happen it did. Which brings us to the morning of Saturday, December 17, 2016–one year ago today.

I held the stick out to my husband with a trembling hand. “Look,” I said, eyes wide with wonder and fear. He studied the device for a moment, then looked at me with eyes filled with awe and love. We smiled at each other for a moment, a wave of mixed emotions washed over the two of us. It was beautiful and terrifying. 🤩😨

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my still (relatively) taught belly, as if I would get a response from the microscopic life forming inside of me. My husband told me not to squish our tiny seed, and then he ran his hand over my midsection in circular motions, saying, “I just want to rub you like a genie all day.” But alas, duty called, and he had to leave us, his wife and brand-sparkling-new microbaby, to go to work. 😥👩‍👦💡

Looking back, I wish we hadn’t taken the test on a day he had to be gone for 8 hours tending to his then budding business (it’s blossomed since), as it would have been really nice to soak in the moment with him. I don’t really remember the rest of the day from there, until we went to see Rogue One with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law later that night. Then I remember flying off the handle at the fact that we had to move our cars out of our apartment parking lot and onto the street in preparation for the impending snow, not to mention clear one of them off, as it had already been snowing. I screamed every obscenity known to man, my white hot rage almost enough to melt all of the wretched, white cold stuff for me. It was just a preview for what was to come for the rest of my pregnancy.

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#pregnancy #hormones #hulksmash
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💑My husband and I on an adventure on Dec. 3rd 2016…
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…unaware that there was a certain tiny someone along for the ride… 💓

We mu

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ards the end o
vember 2016, our own little Thanksgiving miracle 🦃💫. I was feeling pretty good into Christmas, wondering if I would get away with a full first trimester without nausea (ha. hahaha. ahahahaha…). I enjoyed copious amounts of guacamole and veggie chips, as that pretty much all I wanted to eat 🥑😋. Not out of sickness or aversion (although the week before, I had found my stomach turning at my once favorite roast chicken ramen), but out of my insatiable desire to consume it. My tiny little chia seed baby must have needed something in that savory avocado mash and delectable potatoey veggie crispiness, as I put away easily 10 packs and 5 bags of the stuff a week. Christmas came and went, my husband and I keeping our precious secret, a gift too special to share so soon. Despite my general apprehension, I was feeling alright.

That is, until the nausea hit. 🤢🤢🤢

Right around New Year’s Eve, I had started to feel twinges of upset in my stomach. I hadn’t thrown up yet, but I was starting to almost want to. I remember my husband and I had gone to Boston to celebrate New Year’s Eve, our way of getting out of having to be around our friends and get “found out” too soon. We went to PF Chang’s and I ordered crab rangoon (after first researching if it was okay for me to consume it–2-3 servings of seafood a week is permittable, aside from shark, king mackerel, swordfish, and tilefish, which was great because I still enjoyed tuna–after the first trimester, of course–and I found a pregnancy safe canned tuna!), and a small order of orange chicken. After a couple of bites, I began feeling ill. I ordered a ginger beer, and slowly sipped it in between bites, and was able to save my delicious dinner. Later that night, we would welcome 2017, me, my husband, and our precious, clandestine tiny one.

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The next week I went to my very first OB GYN visit the very first thing in the morning. I went through the motions, allowing the Nurse Practioner to examine me, the reality of the situation still sinking in. I was in good health, I was told, and was given the estimated due date of August 15, 2017. I looked at the calendar on the wall–August seemed a lifetime away, and yet far too soon. Every emotion hit me at once–disbelief, excitement, anticipation, apprehension, love, fear…a lot of fear…I said a silent prayer and left the office that snowy January morning to go into work.

I kept my pregnancy a secret from the office until a good few weeks into my second trimester. Things were really rocky there, and they depended on me for a lot (although I hardly felt helpful, despite all of their praise). I knew that I was going to leave at some point to take care of myself and prepare for my baby, aside from the fact that I wasn’t exactly happy in my work. But every time I thought about revealing my secret (after the 11 week window) and put in my notice, something would come up, and I’d put it off that much longer…which did not do well for my emotional wellbeing. I put in time each day, trying my best to battle fatigue, sickness of stomach, anxiousness and moroseness and perform my duties.

The rest of my first three months were more or less a sickly blur, until 11 weeks, when we first heard our baby’s heartbeat. The Dr found him just about as soon as the Doppler touched my stomach. We listened to his tiny heart flitting away, and I heard it almost harmonize with my own slower, but pounding, heartbeat. My husband commented that it almost sounded like mine was guiding our little one’s along. 💕

As I lay there with my hand in my husband’s, his phone over my belly to record the sound for our friends and family, I felt in a state of nervous rapture. I didn’t cry, but just kind of stared down at my belly, still in disbelief that there was life–part me, part the love of my life–developing in there. 💓💗

We slowly revealed the news to our closest family and friends. I didn’t put anything up on Facebook until we were nearly 15 weeks in, as that was when I finally revealed to work.

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Although we posted this in my second Trimester, this is our reveal post–bump ahead, under construction until 8.15.17

My first trimester was more or less typical, full of nausea, dry heaving, headaches, anger, irritability, aching boobs, and tiredness. I only actually vomited twice during the whole pregnancy (I know, please don’t hurt me!) but the rest of the time, I sincerely felt like I was perpetually on the precipice of puking my guts out. And a little bit after New Year’s (7-8 weeks), I found myself retching at the thought of my once beloved chips and guacamole, and for what felt like the longest time, all I could seem to tolerate was applesauce, toast with peanut butter, and slices of deli cheese, and it h a d to be Hannaford brand American cheese, otherwise I’d be fighting back vomit the rest of the night. 🧀

It was around week 10-11 I felt I could pretend to eat real food. I’d make myself eat, and then want to immediately reject the entire contents of my stomach, but would manage to keep it down, though only through 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will (lol “Remember the Name”-Fort Minor)…and the remaining percent pain. Definitely pain… 😬

I didn’t take many pictures of my first trimester, sadly. I wanted to, but at the same time I felt too self-conscious. I wasn’t as in shape as I would like to have been when we went into this, so I guess that was my way of punishing myself. 😪

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This was right at the end of the first trimester, I guess technically in the second at 13 weeks–guarding my secret 🤫🙊💗

First Trimester Hax So now you’ve come to the tips and tricks part of the post. How I made it through, basically. I felt sort of like a Saiyan, made stronger after being beaten down to near death (although in truth I really had it made compared to a lot of ladies…I’m so sorry for all of you out there who are going through, or have really been through the ringer. It doesn’t last forever, and you’ll be stronger for it. You the real Super Saiyans!)

  • 🤮For nausea, it was ginger Beer and Gin Gins!! I can’t stress enough how much Gin Gins have been the real MVP for me while at work and out in public! They have literally saved me from puking all over insertion orders at my desk, (being adjacent from the open kitchen downwind from the microwave and not losing it on a daily basis was a feat) and I’ve been able to just pop them in my mouth if feeling like I might do the technicolor yawn all over the supermarket floor. Seriously, if you’re in the battle right now, get your hands on some Gin Gins! #notspon
  • 🏋🏻‍♀️🧘🏻‍♀️Although it pained me to do so, at least every other morning I’d do a First Trimester Workout circuit from YouTube. The video I followed suggested repeating it two times after it ended, but I could only will myself to complete one. During pregnancy, you get winded a lot quicker, even in the beginning, as your bodey is getting accustomed to its new hormone levels. That being said, I do feel like this gave me a little stamina boost, at least enough to get me going in the morning and carry me until lunch, when I’d start falling asleep on the phone. But, mornings are always hard for me, so doing some light exercise helped. I highly recommend you get some form of exercise during pregnancy, even if it’s just yoga or walking (always check with your OB GYN to confirm what you can/can’t do, as everyone’s journey is different). It will seriously boost your stamina for the rest of your pregnancy, and reduce your risk for gestational diabeetus, preeclampsia, and can also come in handy when it comes time for labor and delivery (more on that later).
  • 👩🏻‍💻I found it helpful to watch Vlogs of other pregnant women more or less my age. I didn’t have any close friends who had gone through this before me, so this was sort of my way to vicariously commiserate and get helpful advice, and just feel like I had someone to relate to (sort of what I hope this might blog might be doing for some of you!). My favorite Moms on YouTube were Samantha Maria and Anna Saccone, but there are tons of momvloggers out there, so find one you like! I also liked to peek ahead at upcoming trimester blogs to see what I was in for in the weeks ahead. But mostly, these vlogs just kind of kept me calm during the dark part of pregnancy.
  • 🤕 For headaches I tried not to take medicine too much, and found it helpful to wrap a Frozen Water Bottle in a pillowcase and roll it over my forehead and temples. For headaches at work, ginger also kind of helped to take the edge off, as well as pulling on my forehead hair and rubbing my temples. Talk to your OB GYN to see what dosage of what painkiller you can take if need be, as pregnancy headaches are the devil.
  • 😭🤬If I felt emotional at work from anxiety, I would do a variation of the 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise. I’d take a breath in through my nose for 7 seconds, hold it for 7 seconds, and then exhale slowly through my mouth for 7 seconds, each time visualizing breathing in good, holding in positivity and love and surrounding my baby with it, and then breathing out bad. This saved me from full on bawling at work once, although I did have a couple of mini-meltdowns when I had people yell at me on the phone and when I messed up labels (sometimes it can’t be helped)
    • On a side note, it’s not healthy to bottle up your emotions. I’ve done this all my life, and it just leads to stomachaches, irritability and it just plain exacerbates everything. When you feel the urge to cry or flip out (yes, w h e n), honestly just go for it! If you need to take a break at the office and go into the bathroom and let a few tears out or scream into your sweater, do it! Getting that negative energy out will be good for you, and the baby. 💞👍🏼

What I would have done differently📸Take week by week pictures! I’m kind of sad that I don’t have any photos to commemorate those first few months of my pregnancy adventures, particularly when I was still “thin” and “pretty,” but there’s no going back now (unless I come across a glowing Delorean somewhere).

  • 💬Open up at work sooner. It can be terrifying to tell your boss that you’re pregnant (it was for me, at least), especially if they rely on you for a lot. But if you plan on taking maternity leave or for leaving work for good to pursue parenthood, the sooner you let them know, the better. Most places just need a two week notice, but in my case, it was more difficult for them to find a replacement for me. I had ended up giving a three month notice halfway through my second trimester and spent the whole time training a replacement for myself. I had wanted to leave by 5 months in so I could focus on myself, prepare for my baby, and plan my shower, but I didn’t end up leaving until 33 weeks in, and by that point a lot of what I wanted to do went by the wayside, due to fatigue, commitments, and still freelancing for work. However, I recognize that I’m blessed to have been able to take my leave even that soon, as a lot of women have to work even up to 40 weeks, and then go back after 2-6 weeks after their baby is born. Some women may thrive on that, and more power to them, but for many, this is a reality they would rather not face…maternity leave continues to be an uphill battle for a lot of families, and my heart seriously goes out to them. I’ll have a post more about that later on.
  • 💪🏼Stuck with my workout regimen. I was pretty good about this for a couple of weeks, but after a while, I let the fatigue and sickliness do me in. But I found when I did work out, I managed to get by, if only just a little bit better. I also feel like if I could have gotten myself into the habit then, it would have been easier to keep working out, and I’d have that much more stamina into the later months when I was rounder, although it was still pretty easy for me to get around, even until the day before I went into labor. But I just kind of wish I kept it up.
  • 🤮🤮🤮Let myself throw up. There were times when I was right on the edge of throwing up in the comfort of my own home and fought it, and honestly I wish I just did it. My sister-in-law at Becoming Rivera mentioned this in her First Trimester Survival Post that it’s best to just let it happen. It’s true, when I fought the vomit I just felt so much worse. Of course, if you’re in public and would rather not, that’s one thing, but at home, and you gotta hurl, just hurl. Brush your teeth, sip some water, and have some gin-gins. #stillnotspon
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#worthittho👶🏼💞😘

So yeah, that was my first trimester! How many of you are fighting the good fight? What got you through those rough first months? Share your stories! You never know who you could help! And I might use some of those tips for next time!

Thanks for reading! Tune in next time for my second trimester story!

If you or someone you know is engaged or engaged to be engaged, check out Becoming Rivera for inspiring, pure, millennial fairytale stories of house-hunting, wedding prep, and love, plus tips on how to plan a wedding, DIY’s, and a different take on pregnancy and motherhood👰🏼🤵🏽💍🏡🤰🏻💖

Welcome, Fremds

Henlo there!

Okay, so this first post is honestly just to get myself into the habit of actually blogging, so it may not be the most polished and there may be a few typos (insert ‘sent from my iPhone footer here), which is honestly super cringy for a grammarnazi like me, but I just need to get this started.

It may not seem like it to most, but ya grrl going through some things right now (but aren’t we all?), and this platform may just be the outlet I need to heal. And I hope I can help people along the way.

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My son and I 👩‍👦💞This lil d00d changed my life 💖

So, what is “Scrunchymomz” all about? Is it a play on the fact that I, and old Millennial, born in the first year of the last decade of the 20th century can physically remember when people unironically wore those huge scrunchies in their over-hair sprayed hair? Well, yeah, I do remember that, but no, that’s not what I mean.

So like Pokémon, there are actually several different Mom “types,” two of which are “Silky,” and “Crunchy.” Its my understanding that Silky Moms are all modern, full Supporters of formula feeding, modern medicine, etc. Crunchy Moms are the opposite—all natural, vehement breast-feeders, naturopathic care, etc.

So now you can probably make determinations that “Scrunchy” is between the two, and that’s where I fall. I’m a baby-wearing (Crunchy), formula-feeding (Silky), organic-supplementing (Crunchy), CDC-pediatric-schedule-following (Silky), and so much more Scrunchy Mom, just making it up as I go.

So I know it’s only a matter of time until my son, 4 months old, wakes up, so I must make this brief, but in summary, I hope to make sense of my Momventure through this blog, and help you Moms (and Dads) who may be wondering what tf you’re doing, like me. If you’ve read this far, thank you!

Some things to come: Pregnancy memories and how I hacked it, Labor and delivery Story, breastfeeding pratfalls, tips and tricks, DIY’s and upcycling, and more!

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Holiday Card blooper—gotta grab Dad’s beard 😂