It takes me 1.5 to 2 hours to get home from work each day. Plenty of time to think about: what’s important, family, friends, goals, life. I often become overwhelmed by my many thoughts and worries that I come across on my drive home. But today…I caught a glimpse of my hand on the steering wheel. On it are reminders of my family (my wedding ring), my goals (my WWP bracelet), and my friends (my other bracelet). And then suddenly….although I’m driving with no AC, it sure is a beautiful day, isn’t it? Although I have a long drive there’s a lady bug keeping me company and climbing up my windshield. And although the day has been hard there is love and there are goals right before me. #keepmoving
One of the things I struggle with as a stay at home mom is facing some serious cabin fever. I get cranky and feel stifled; the house feels stuffier and stuffier by the minute. I can’t help but count down the hours until my hubby comes home so that I can have some adult conversation and interaction. I feel bad, though, on those days that he comes home and the house is a mess or the dishes aren’t done and/or I haven’t even showered and smell like butt.
In my previous marriage I didn’t put much care into myself after I had had my son. I was too tired! But, I swore that I would be different in this new marriage, not just for myself but for my kids and my husband’s sake as well! I feel gross throughout the day and I feel worse about myself when my husband gets home and I still look and feel like caca – I don’t like him seeing me that way! But when I decide to take a nice, hot shower during the day I feel so good and refreshed inside and out that it allows me to tackle the next task with a more relaxed approach – and it’s a bonus that my hubby gets to hug a soapy-fresh me when he comes home from a tedious day at work! Putting on some makeup before my husband gets home, even if it’s just a little blush or mascara, goes a long way in making me feel more confident, which gives me a huge energy boost.
Taking care of ourselves when our day is so crazy can often be difficult, but not impossible. Ladies, we have to make time for ourselves! “Letting yourself go” does not make you an amazing mom. Our kids, especially our daughters, need to see that we take care of ourselves. My three year old son comes into my bathroom and sees me putting on makeup and he often says, “Mommy is a princess.” That makes me feel so good – not just because I love Disney princesses, but because I’m showing my son that I value my presentation. They need to see that we value our health and yes, the way we present ourselves.
The way we present ourselves to the world shows the world what we think our worth is. We don’t need to wear makeup or expensive clothes to show the world that we matter, but we do need to take care of our bodies, our minds, and our attitudes – you can’t be everything someone else needs if you are nothing in your own mind. Our daughters and sons will not often respect a mother who belittles herself whenever she is in front of a mirror. They will not respect your opinion about how they should have their lives together when you do not appear to have yourself put together. We want our kids to be healthy and live full, confident, and inspired lives; let’s start by being those things – healthy, confident, and inspiring.
So…that being said, here are some ways we can feel good after being “stuck” at home all day:
Take a hot shower
Busy moms often don’t have time for a full-on bath soak. Taking a hot shower is so relaxing and you will feel clean and refreshed when you’re done! Try putting some eucalyptus oil on a damp towel and breathing in the steam as the aroma fills the bathroom – sooooo relaxing and cleansing.
Brush your teeth
Yup! You read correctly! The mint from the tooth paste will wake you up and help you feel nice and clean.
Have a nice cup of hot coffee or tea
If the kids are napping, forget about the chores for a moment and take a minute for yourself. Curl up in bed or on your sofa with a nice hot cup of your favorite non-alcoholic beverage and just breathe.
Wash your face and put on some Makeup
Washing your face and putting on some makeup, whether you go all out with eye shadow or just dab on a little concealer and mascara, will make you feel more awake and you’ll get a boost of confidence.
Working out can boost your mood and give you confidence, especially when you start seeing results. Exercising leads to a healthier mind and body and gives you more energy to do all the mommy/wifey stuff you need to do.
Have Quiet Time and Pray
Make some time in your day to spend some one-on-one time with God. We may not always have time to do this, or the desire to do it, but it is, by-far, the best way to feel refreshed, energized, and fulfilled.
Go on a Date
Get dressed up! Get out of the house and do something fun! Enjoy an evening with your hard-working hubby. You can have a girls’ night or hang out with your bestie. Whatever you decide to do, find a way to let yourself be completely you!
Let’s prioritize and take care of ourselves. Our families need us healthy.
So! What’s it been like so far with two kids? Well…for starters, stating that it is “hard” or “difficult” is an understatement. Okay, maybe not so dramatic, but having two different people vying for your attention all day can get pretty overwhelming. My three year old son slightly regressed in his potty training and would have accidents in his undies just for attention. He wanted me to burp him just like I do to his baby sister. And any time I was feeding her or couldn’t give him my full attention, he would be intentionally disobedient and would throw fits.
Sleep deprivation is no joke. It can make you cranky and irrational. It can make the little things seem so much bigger. So you drink coffee. And if you’re breastfeeding you know you’re limited in your coffee intake, which makes you sad – well, it made me sad. As you drink your first, or second, cup of the day you relish in the smell and brevity of the peace that coffee brings with its delicious-ness. However, as coffee can only give you about 30 minutes of a pick-me-up with a rapid lack of follow through, you’re back to reality with the screaming toddler and the messy house and the need to just shower because you smell like breast milk – and the whole “only having two arms” thing that we mommy’s tend to have seems so insufficient for the tasks we face each day.
Oh! And forget about eating at a leisurely pace! It’s off to the races for you and your PB & J, which you quickly put together because you don’t have the energy to cook anything decent or healthy and because you’re positive you only have seconds to spare before the baby wakes up or before your toddler comes up to you needing to poop and is adamant about you being present for Mr. Poop’s debut.
BUT! (and no I don’t mean the sagging Butt we now have which we pray we can get back into tip top shape) BUT! There is absolutely nothing like being the mom to two, or more, kids. Heck, there’s nothing like being a mom, period! I have to admit, I quickly felt like I was being torn in multiple directions and I can finally say, two months later, that things are finally starting to settle. Yes, there was yelling that I regret and nights where I sat up crying asking God to give me strength because I didn’t have the emotional, physical, or mental stamina that I needed to face each day. However, we found a rhythm. We got some sort of traction and some sort of schedule and we ran with it. There are still days and nights where I feel I am at my wit’s end, where I feel like I am at my ugliest, both inside and out, but my husband’s words and the knowledge that other women have done this and triumphed over obstacles reassures me that I, and my family, are going to be okay.
My toddler doesn’t throw fits every minute of every day and in those moments when we are together I can look at him and search his face and his actions for what he is really trying to say amidst the crying and screaming. I can see his need for love and desire to be told that he is still my baby, too. And that makes me fall in love with him all over again. I can watch him and take in his uniqueness and the beauty in that. I could look into my 2 month-old baby’s eyes and search her beautiful face for innocence and peace and I can see how deeply she loves and wants to be loved and I desire nothing more than to pour every ounce of me into her.
Through the battles of each day and the fears you may anticipate for tomorrow you realize that it is all so worth it. At the end of each day, when you’re analyzing what you did wrong today and what you can do better tomorrow, your kids will still love you. They sleep peacefully in their beds with the full knowledge that Mommy loves them. They will love you beyond your yelling, they will love you despite your mistakes. Doesn’t that make you want to be better? I often feel so unworthy of such unconditional and pure, relentless love. But, it is exactly the way God loves us. And He gave you these kids to allow you to experience such a wonderful and rare love. Isn’t that amazing? So, enjoy. When you feel overwhelmed just remember that this doesn’t last forever – then remember, this (rare and beautiful experience) doesn’t last forever.
I am so sorry I’ve been AWOL for a while but in all fairness…we finally had our little one! She was born on April 7th, at 37 weeks 6 days, weighing 6 pounds and 18.75 inches long. The birth story itself is just crazy!
I had been spotting (only when I wiped) for about a day and a half (I hadn’t spotted the entire pregnancy). The first day that I noticed spotting I called the nurse at my OB’s office and she said she would let the doctor know and would call me back – they never did. When I was still spotting the next day I called the OB’s office again and the nurse put me on hold and spoke with the doctor. She came back on the line and advised me to go to the hospital to get checked. I asked her if I could get checked in their office instead (I seriously didn’t want to go to the hospital unless I really had to). She said they could not fit me in the schedule. About five minutes later she called back and told me to come in to the office and they would check me there (sweet!). I got to the office and when my OB checked me he said “hm…wow…well…you’re four to five cm dilated.” I was like Seriously??. He said to go to the hospital (which was right next door to the office) and he would be right there to start “the process.” I knew from watching plenty of Baby Story on TV that that would entail breaking my water and putting me on pitocin. I really, really, did not want to be put on pitocin (it kicks off and accelerates your contractions). The doctor had said the bag of water/amniotic sac was bulging at the opening (yay).
Fun fact: Funny enough, I had predicted April 7th as our baby’s delivery date and had said throughout the whole pregnancy that she would come early. My mom and a friend of mine also predicted April 7th at my baby shower.
I called my hubby and parents and let them know that it was time. They immediately started heading over (thank goodness). I had already dropped off my son at a friend’s house before my OB appointment. Once admitted the nurses asked me if I had any pain and if I wanted an epidural. I had no pain and told them I wanted to wait until I started to feel contractions. Now, I had always planned to get the epidural as I did with my previous pregnancy but I wanted to wait longer than I did last time. I had feared that my labor would be long, like the last one was (20 hours) if I got the epidural too soon. I knew that pain would start once my OB broke my water…but I had no idea everything would progress the way it did. My doctor came in once I was admitted and, fortunately, so did my husband.
My OB put on gloves and I assumed he was only going to check me but lo and behold, a gush of warm water poured out from between my legs and I realized he had broken my water. Suddenly the contractions started and they gave me the tiniest amount of pitocin possible. My mother joined us and my mother in law was going to as well, however she left her ID behind and security would not let her through. Before I knew it I was begging for the epidural. The contractions were right on top of each other pretty much from the beginning. I was in so much pain that I just lay on my side, in a ball, squeezing the heck out of my hubby’s hand and pressing it against my forehead with each contraction. With my free hand I gripped and squeezed the bed rail so hard I think Wonder Woman would’ve been intimidated. My mom and hubby tried to caress my hair – nope don’t touch my hair. My mom rubbed my legs – that was okay. She asked why I kept squeezing the bed rail. Because this hurts. My husband caressed my neck – meh. I just really didn’t want to be touched. My mother kept talking and trying to soothe me – I shushed her. Silence please! Apparently I just want to focus and quietly bear extreme pain. I kept begging for the anesthesiologist but he was in a C – section and couldn’t come and he was the only one who could give me any relief!
The nurse checked me again and found me to be 7 cm. I knew at that point that an epidural might not be possible. The nurse told me she had already called the anesthesiologist three times but he could not leave the c-section. She checked me again soon after as I continued to plead and ask God for relief and instead of telling me how many cm I was she remained silent. I had my eyes shut tight at this point and couldn’t bring myself to open them. The nurse’s silence affirmed my fear: I was fully dilated and could not get the epidural. She only asked me if I felt the need to push. I assured her I did not, although the pressure down there was beginning to increase. She asked again if I was sure I did not need to push. I realized I did but lied because I was in denial that I would have to push without an epidural. I was terrified. She asked a third time and I remained silent and said through a groan that I didn’t want to push without an epidural and shook my head.
The second the nurse walked away I felt my stomach give this huge contraction like a bowel movement that pushes itself out and you can’t stop or control it. I yelled at my husband, “GET THE NURSE! GET THE NURSE!” I gripped the side of the bed and groaned as my stomach kept contracting on its own. I wanted to clench up but I knew there was no use. The nurse came in and cupped her hand in front of my ….um….opening and said “stop pushing.” I yelled that I couldn’t. What I was not aware of was my OB had gone back to his office in the building next door. My mom and hubby reiterated the mayhem that ensued (I had my eyes shut tight the entire time): nurses running back and forth and running out into the hallway looking for a doctor, any doctor, to deliver my baby. They grabbed the doctor who had just come out of the c-section and he came just as Baby’s head was crowning. He told me to slide down and I yelled I couldn’t (I literally could not move). He grabbed my legs and slid me down – twice. I groaned and yelled out battle cries I didn’t know I had in me. Finally….what I was looking forward to happened: the ploop of Baby’s head coming out and subsequent relief of pain. Whoo Deep breath. Everything happened so fast I barely pushed.
From the moment the OB broke my water to the moment Baby came out was almost exactly 1 hour. What a rush!
My Baby Angel was healthy and beautiful. I delivered the placenta (a very interesting feeling sans epidural – like a big, large, slimy ploop feeling. I only needed one stitch. The doctor said I barely tore, that it was more like a skid mark. I felt the sharp prick of the needle and string wind through me as the doctor stitched me. I was shaking and in shock from how quickly it had all gone. Baby had bruising on her face from the quickness of everything and she had to stay in the nursery a couple days past my discharge date because her Bilirubin levels were going up and she had to do phototherapy. But the nursery nurses were amazing and I was able to meet with a lactation consultant and was still able to breast feed Baby. I later found out that my mom video taped the whole delivery from a very interesting and vivid angle. Watched that thing maybe twice and that was sufficient.
We ended up using everything in the hospital bag. Toiletries, snacks, pjs, changes of clothes and the Boppy pillow. I didn’t use my pads. I used the ones the hospital gave me and they also gave me witch hazel pads (those things are amaaaaaaziiiiiiinnnnng).
All in all, if I have another baby will I get the epidural? As much as I feel like a bada## for delivering without one I will most likely be getting an epidural the next time. But at least I can say I’ve experienced both with and without and I can say that if you are in a situation like I was in and you can’t get that epidural you wanted, just know that you can definitely deliver that baby and you will get through it. It is doable and you will feel like a bada## after.
So, about a week ago, at 36 weeks pregnant, I started getting contractions and after timing them, found them to be 5-6 minutes apart. After almost an hour I told my hubby that I think we should go to the hospital. We grabbed our hospital bag and headed over. I know that doctors usually say you should wait and stay at home as long as possible, but I thought it would be best to go to the hospital if I was in fact in labor considering I was only 36 weeks and considered “pre-term.” Let me begin by saying that my OB was on vacation this week so I was to be seen at the hospital by a laborist (an OB who works full time in a hospital setting).
We checked into the labor and delivery triage and the doctor on call checked me right away. Let me tell you: being “checked” really stinks. There are stronger words for “stinks” but I’ll use that for PG-rating purposes. Anyways, the doc told me that I was 3 cm dilated and 60% effaced. (My hubby asked me what effaced meant and I described it as: when you’re getting ready to deliver, your cervix needs to thin and expand. The thinning is called effacing and the expanding is called dilating.) They immediately put an IV on me and said they would be back in a couple hours to check me again. Two hours later the doctor came back and checked me again and found that I had progressed to 4 cm and 60% effaced. Since I had progressed I was admitted to labor and delivery. From this point forward things got pretty tricky and confusing for us….
For starters, at the hospital I was at, I was required to sign a bunch of paperwork, one of which was a consent as to who is going to be in my room at the time of delivery. I had put down my hubby, my mom, and my mother-in-law, and they also took down my son’s name for when he would come to visit after Baby was born. Now, my parents came to the hospital and my dad was not allowed into the room since he was not on “the list.” The hospital would not let me interchange people even though my mother-in-law wouldn’t be there until much later, closer to when I was actually delivering. So my father was made to wait outside the whole time (being the awesome dad that he is, he didn’t want to leave us and go home). My son was actually with his dad at the time, so that worked out.
Secondly, I found out, after I had been admitted, that this hospital (the only hospital my doctor delivers at) does not have a NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). However, what troubled me even more than that was that if it were necessary for our little one to have to go to the NICU she would have to be transferred to another hospital that “had the proper equipment” for her….and I would not be allowed to go with her. The most the hospital could do would be to discharge me early. -_- To say that this bothered me is a huge understatement. You better believe I started planning how I would escape the hospital as soon as labor was complete, especially since our princess was considered pre-term and no one knew how far along her lungs had developed. The nurses encouraged me to stay positive, which I tried to, but it was in the back of my mind, kicking and screaming.
The hospital could not find my records from my OB’s office or my recently done blood work results that had been done at my OB’s office the previous Thursday (and everyone in the office was on vacation) so they had to not only take about 7 vials of blood, but also put me on Penicillin just in case I had GBS (Group B Strep). I didn’t know this but Penicillin hurts! The first dosage made my hand feel like it was on fire! (The IV was attached to a vein in my wrist). The second dosage shot through my hand and forearm, and the third dosage felt like my entire arm from the shoulder down was going to burn off.
Third confusing item: I had no idea, and neither did anyone else, if I was going to be delivering in the next 24 hours or not. When I was first admitted, the doctor said that she was not sure if I would be delivering but to hope that labor slows or goes away on its own so that Baby can develop more – sounds like a plan. Then: nurses and doctor say that labor is progressing so it looks like I MAY deliver in the next 24 hours. My contraction pain level had increased only slightly but they became 1-2 minutes apart. Then: the doctor finished her shift and I present to you my new doctor: “Doctor Are-You-Sure-You-Don’t-Want-Pain-Medication-Let’s-Break-Your-Water.”
Yup, my fourth interesting encounter was the new doctor who, within one minute of meeting me, said “Let’s go ahead and break her water” (and while I’m at it, let’s go ahead and tie in my fifth interesting situation: “Nurse I-Just-Finished-Smoking-And-Smell-Like-Nicotine”). My husband and I nervously looked at one another and explained to the doctor that we rather stick with the original plan of the previous doctor who thought it best to wait and see how my body progressed naturally (Something I learned that my previous pregnancy, age, and experience have taught me, is that you are dealing with YOUR baby and YOUR body. If you don’t feel comfortable with something, speak up! You have every right to ask questions and voice your concerns). This doctor also seemed to really want me to get an epidural – “Do you want an epidural? No? Are you sure? Anything for the pain?” I told her I’d really rather wait until I was further dilated and assured her that I was fine. Now, back to “Nurse I-Just-Finished-Smoking-And-Smell-Like-Nicotine”…. I hate the smell of cigarettes…absolutely abhor it. Also, I was worried that I had a nurse who smoked, wreaked of nicotine when I could possibly be having a baby who may or may not have an issue with her lungs. On top of all that, can you imagine having the task of pushing out your baby with that awful smell right next to you?? So I voiced my concerns to the doctor in hopes that they would change my nurse. Instead, my nurse came back in with fresh scrubs on and said she changed just for me and would still like to be my nurse. She assured me that the smell would not affect the baby in any way. I didn’t want to affect her job in any way so I agreed to let her remain as my nurse…..sigh. She still smelled.
I was still unsure if I would indeed be delivering so I spoke to the neonatal nurse and the doctor at the same time and they both assured me, without hesitation, I would, definitely, be delivering that day. Then I spoke to the Nurse Practitioner who had come to explain more to me about the possibility of transferring my child…away from me….to another hospital….in a far off land…where I couldn’t go…..okay not a far off land, but anywhere NOT next to me would be too far away! The nurse practitioner also assured me that I was going to deliver (without hesitating, too, I might add). At this point I had been at the hospital since around 9:00 PM on the 24th and it was probably late morning/early afternoon on the 25th.
Fortunately, my contractions started to slow down and eased up tremendously on the pain. Eventually I got down to 3 contractions an hour. The nurse was about to start me on another bout of penicillin, but since I sensed a trend where with each stint of the drug, the pain seemed to reach further towards my heart, I asked her if we could wait since my contractions had died down. I told her I would like to get checked again and for them to decide if I was going to be discharged before I got another bit of agony-inducing penicillin. I also didn’t want to keep putting drugs into my body if it wasn’t necessary. Nurse Nicotine told the doctor I would like to be checked and would like to go home if possible. The doctor ended up going into a delivery, which was fine. So we waited….and waited. The nurse came back in a while later and said she would let the doctor know, again, that we wanted to be checked and discharged…so we waited…and waited. Then the nurse came back in telling us that the doctor was hungry and went for lunch. -_- I HAD NOT EATEN IN 20 HOURS!!!!!! At this point I was almost livid. I started to cry….I was So. Friggin. Hungry! Finally, an hour later the doctor came back and checked me. She said that I was 2 cm dilated (a soft 2 cm/2-3 cm). I was confused but I needed to get out of there! So they said I could go home. I waited almost 2 hours for my discharge papers and finally left.
Positives: My mom, hubby, myself, and my dad (bless his soul, he slept on the couch in the waiting area) all got a test run for the big day. My mom was a great help in rubbing my back and my legs (thank goodness for her massage therapy training, and general, overall, awesome Momminess), and my hubby, my amazing hubby sat by my side, giving me everything I asked for, helped me walk to the bathroom and was just downright pleasant and supportive the entire time…he also slept but can you blame him? It was a very long day. Even after everything, as my hubby and I waited for my discharge papers, my parents went to the supermarket and bought us food, got us lunch, and cleaned our apartment top to bottom. I couldn’t ask for better parents! We also learned some lessons: pack snacks!!!! Drink looooots of water when you first start to feel contractions to rule out being dehydrated! Wait until you can’t take your contractions anymore to head to the hospital. And eat before you go! We didn’t really get to utilize our hospital duffle, but I was glad to have had my toothbrush and toothpaste (and my hubby, too) so I could feel refreshed; which was great considering I wasn’t even allowed to chew gum or have a breath mint! Also, my hubby was able to use a sweater I had packed for him in the bag.
Next post I will get into what I packed into our hospital duffle, for mommy, daddy, and baby. I’m really glad we didn’t have the baby yet: I want her to be as healthy as possible and, now we were also given more time to finish getting things ready for her. I was able to wash her clothes, organize her nursery, and put her car seat in the car (her car seat had been in the box in my car when we went to the hospital). Now we have everything ready, and at 37 weeks, although I’m itching to have her – because I’m literally itching and uncomfortable and feel like there’s a bowling ball in between my legs and can’t walk right or sleep right and my snoring is out of hand – I’m glad she’s able to have more time to get healthier and stronger. We absolutely can’t wait to hold our baby and love on her and I am so glad that God is in control and making sure that everything goes down the best way possible.
I remember with my first-born that I wanted to have all the cute maternity clothes, the latest and greatest baby gadgets and registry list, and I especially wanted that huge pillow pregnant women looked so comfortable sleeping with. I thought I needed at least two pairs of maternity jeans and tons of maternity tops (for any and every occasion that might come up). I desperately wanted that Boppy Body Pillow but ended up going the whole first pregnancy without it.
I can definitely say that the first pregnancy helped me to put things into perspective and allowed me to narrow down my wants vs. needs list.
The goal is this: If you really want to buy something, consider the bigger picture and ask yourself, how can this serve me now and in the future? Do I need this or just really want this? Something that really helps me when I am shopping, is that I grab what I think I need and put it into the cart. If I still have it with me at the end of the shopping trip,or if I still even remember that I actually have it in the cart, then I take a moment and ask myself the previously mentioned questions. As cute as we want to look, the truth is, the pregnancy, in relation to our entire life, is only a short period of time. You want to be comfortable and feel good about yourself but not at the expense of causing a monstrous debt in your already tight baby budget.
And ladies, some of these things may be wants and not needs in your hubby’s eyes, but use your own judgment – you know, if you’re being honest with yourself, what your body needs and what you need to feel some semblance of normal.
So here is a narrowed down list of what I found to be exactly what I needed, and didn’t need, to keep me content throughout my second pregnancy. These things were, in a word, Sufficient:
No, I did not need a body pillow. Instead, I surrounded myself with comfy pillows we already had: two to three below my head to help with acid reflux and breathing, one between my knees to keep my hips and spine aligned and the pressure somewhat off my pelvis, one behind my back, and towards the end of my pregnancy, one partly underneath my belly to relieve some of the heaviness and strain the stretching belly causes.
I bought one good pair of jeans from a reputable maternity store. I wanted to make sure that they were good quality because I wanted to be comfortable and I wanted them to last. The jeans I had bought happened to be on sale and they have served me well. I ended up having this one pair of jeans throughout this entire pregnancy and have been doing just fine with only one pair. I got them in a color that wasn’t too dark, nor too light, as I wanted to be able to wear them for any occasion and not be limited in my wardrobe.
*Something I should have gotten but didn’t: a pair of maternity shorts or a skirt. Miami, as you may know, gets insanely hot, and I wish I had invested in shorts/a skirt. I felt we never had the finances to get a pair, and although the jeans have done well, shorts/a skirt were definitely needed on those scorching days.
Go ahead and get some maternity tops – one or two for each occasion: a tank top or two to wear under sheer tops or just for hot days, a nice blouse or two for those days when you have to dress up a little or just want to feel extra pretty, a dress for going out or just for when you don’t feel like wearing jeans/pants, and a few tops/work pants or slacks for you mommas in the work force. If you’re like me and want to maintain a tight budget, check out Ross; that’s where I got all of my tops and Maxi dresses. And don’t be afraid to ask friends who have been pregnant if they have any maternity clothes that you can borrow.
Invest in a good bra. Your breasts will be growing throughout the entire pregnancy. Find a bra with wide straps which will give you good support. Towards the end of my pregnancy I found that I only wanted to wear wire-free, or sports bras. Don’t worry about anticipating which size you will need – you may have to get one or two more bras throughout the pregnancy as your breasts, back, and rib cage expand.
Invest in a good diet. Make sure that you are eating right throughout your pregnancy. I understand that there are cravings and indulgences that must be satisfied (mine is cheesecake) but be sure to eat right so you can feel good and so that your baby gets everything that they need to grow healthy. Also, when people say that you are eating for two, it does not necessarily mean “eat more.” Yes, you will be eating more but try to spread it out throughout the day and when you eat try to make it count.
Get a good, reputable baby book. I bought Mayo Clinic: Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy, when I was pregnant with my first. Buying this book has allowed me to have a tool that answers my many questions, soothes irrational fears, discusses what symptoms may warrant a call to my doctor or a visit to a hospital, and helps me to be more prepared as to what to expect in coming months of pregnancy, in labor, and post-birth. It also gives me insight as to what my baby may be experiencing inside the womb, how she is changing and growing and what she may look like in correspondence with how far along I am. Having a baby book may put your mind at ease with fears you may have about pregnancy and being a mom and they may give tips to your partner about being a first time dad and how he can contribute to the pregnancy and afterward.
Thank you for reading! And please be sure to comment below if you have any other suggestions of needs vs. wants for us mommas on a budget!
So I’m sitting here…alone…because my husband works late and my son’s dad has picked him up for the week. I miss my son and I’m bored out of my mind, not to mention my nesting is going crazy; however, all the stuff I have left to do for the baby is stuff I can’t do because it involves either chemicals that I’m not supposed to handle or heavy lifting, which I am pretty sure I can not or should not do. I am absolutely eager to have this baby. Little Angel is pressing on Mommy’s bladder and kicking Mommy’s ribs. I seriously can’t imagine her having anymore room to expand in, and yet, somehow, the belly still grows.
Things I’m dealing with 35 and a half weeks pregnant? Acid reflux that can only be quelled by milk. Braxton Hicks/Practice contractions that, by the way, doctors, can/do actually hurt. They’ve been a lot stronger lately with pain shooting down my legs (yaaay). Discharge has increased and has become (yes it’s possible) grosser. I am apparently snoring now and keeping my poor hubby up with my nasal symphony. My legs cramp throughout the night causing me to toss and turn, which, I am sure also keeps Hubby up. I have to pee every 20 minutes, or sometimes more often. Three people have told me that my nose has gotten wider and my hips, pelvis, lower back, and sciatica are killing me. I know I’m not alone in all these prego matters (I know because I google and research everything – bad habit to get into, by the way).
One of my biggest concerns at 35 and a half weeks pregnant? The cat. My hubby, who is beyond amazing, set up Baby Angel’s bassinet and his ever-curious cat keeps jumping into it. I’m concerned because he will probably do the same thing when the baby comes. And I’m worried that on top of chasing a toddler and taking care of the baby I’m going to have to be on top of the cat watching his every move. To be honest, and I’m sorry Hubby if you read this, but I am not a cat person. In fact, I’m scared of cats. I don’t like cats, I’m scared of them, and I don’t trust them; sorry. The cat is generally a nice cat, don’t get me wrong, but he also does this thing where he waits for me to come across his path and then he darts in front of me and makes a dead stop in front of my feet, scaring and nearly tripping me. I’m worried that he’s going to try the same thing while I’m holding the baby.
There’s still a lot to do before the baby comes and plenty to do immediately after, like letting the insurance know that I had my baby, trying to get the insurance to cover a breast pump, and dealing with visitors who want to see Baby. But, one thing at a time, especially when it comes to having visitors. Any-who….that is that until the next post.
So I lost it a little tonight. My son, three and potty trained, wet his bed. It was 9:45 at night; he had been “asleep” for a while and I went to check on him, only to discover him covered in pee, giggling and smirking as if it was the funniest thing. And all I can think was, Crap. Crap, now I’m going to have to change his sheets, clean his mattress, flip his mattress so he doesn’t sleep on a wet spot, and give him a bath – all while 8 and a half months pregnant. I yelled at him, not so much because he wet his bed, but because he knows better. He is completely potty trained! He just finds it humorous to wet the bed, for some reason. After getting everything done, all while feeling the bearing down of the five pound baby inside my uterus, I got him in bed. He had a discouraged, quiet look on his face. And I felt somber. I just stared at my son who lay quietly in his bed and all I could do was crawl into bed next to him and hold him. He turned towards me and pushed his head against mine. I wrapped my arm around him and just stared at him. I stared at him and took in every curve of his face and the way he held his hands close to his cheeks. I bet he held his hands like that in the womb. He is absolutely beautiful with his huge eyelashes and perfect nose. My heart was softened and I realized that most of my anger is not really anger but fear being channeled into anger.
I’m afraid and sometimes even terrified. I’m terrified of having a second child. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited and can’t wait to meet our beautiful baby girl but I often think, How am I going to do this? My husband tells me that he’s here and we are doing this together, and I believe him. I believe that when he is here, at home, and not working the late shift, that he will give his all and be an amazing dad; I have no doubt about that. But when he is working late, and things like this happen, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed. What am I supposed to do when he isn’t here and my son wets his bed again or the baby is crying and my son throws a fit? Take one thing at a time? Take deep breaths and focus? I know there are women who do this with multiples or who have two or more kids and they get stuff done but I hate the idea of facing it, at times, alone, especially at night. I am praying that God gives me the compassion, grace, faith, and love I need to push through the hard and even lonely times, because He knows that I can’t do this alone. I am relying on Him to be my strength and my Rock when everything inside me fails. I am relying on the Holy Spirit to teach my heart to be still and wait and breathe and search for the compassion and love that is for my children. I have so much love for my kids, even in times of anger or disappointment. I will get through hard times and lonely times because my children need me to and because I love them so unbelievably much. I want what is best for them and will strive, not to be perfect, but to be the best version of myself so that they can strive to be the best of themselves, too. And that is as easy and as it difficult as it seems.
I was laying in bed earlier with my husband and three-year old son. I was trying to type my first blog draft as my son was bouncing on the bed and pressing every key he could on my laptop. It was interesting seeing the mix of random letters and symbols mixed in with my somewhat coherent typing. It made me think: on this screen is a great depiction of my life – a canvas of mostly jumbled up mess and chaos yet mixed in is the syntax of some type of sanity and rhythm.
As my husband sleeps next to me now I wonder how he can rest so easily, how his breathing can be so still and even when there is so much to think about, worry about, so much to do. We are expecting a little beauty soon and even she lies awake with Mommy, rolling around in my belly, pressing every which way, reaching out to discover this troubled, albeit beautiful world we live in.
I found out today that we don’t qualify for food assistance anymore. My wonderful husband has gotten a better job but has to wait to get paid. My job doesn’t pay much and pretty soon I’ll have to stop working at least for a couple months in order to take care of our baby. I’m scared half to death that I won’t be able to feed my children, that I won’t be able to take care of my family. You’re probably thinking, well that escalated quickly. Yeah, well, those are the worries that keep me up at night.
I wanted this blog to be inspiring and I definitely don’t want it to be a venting machine for me. I actually wrote a blog post a little earlier and was very proud of it. It was a lot more upbeat than this one, I promise. However, my toddler did something to my computer with all his rambunctious bouncing and key board typing and my blog post was completely erased. All I could do was toss my computer and give my son a bath and get him ready for bed. Then I read him a story which I proceeded to cry-read through (have you ever read a story about The Avengers while crying at the same time? I can now say I have!).
I learned a while ago that life is not fair and that we have to make due and make the best of what we have or are given. I trust God to see me through everything. Even now, as I feel like I am drowning in hopelessness, in the back of my mind, I know He’s there. My very core refuses to believe otherwise. I hope that this blog will bless and inspire others to be stronger. I hope it helps people see that even in trouble and chaos and discouragement there is a chance, always, for things to get better. I hope it will help you see that there truly is beauty in the midst of the unclear.