Tag Archives: pregnancy

What I Know Now

When Hubby and I got engaged, all our married friends were telling us to go out, party, and hang out with our single friends while we still could. Because, of course, we could never go out without our spouse. They told us to get ready to stay in every night and never see other people and be boring and lame. At least that’s what it sounded like to me.

While I was pregnant with EK, I heard all those cautionary tales from friends and family about “Get sleep before the baby comes!” and “Enjoy your pedicures and massages before the baby comes!” and “Have lots of date nights with your husband before the baby comes!” Well, it sure sounded like my life would be over after I had that silly baby.

Then when I got pregnant with my second, there was a lot of “Enjoy the time with just one!” and “Spend lots of one on one time with your daughter before your son arrives!” as if somehow I wouldn’t see my daughter again, and my son would totally take me over and I wouldn’t want my daughter.

Well folks, let me debunk those lies. Your life isn’t over when you get married, or start having kids. It is only beginning. I have more love in my heart than I ever thought possible. Hubby and I party, and hang out with friends, and go out. I still *gasp!* get pedicures and massages. It may take a little more planning, and I don’t necessarily go on a whim, but I still do it. I still have date nights with Hubby – and he is more attractive and lovable to me than ever. Seeing him as a father, first to our daughter and now to our son, has filled me with such love and pride and happiness that I could never fully describe to you. It amazes me how much I can love him loving our kids.

To the naysayers who believe (or who are just telling themselves) that the only way to truly live is to be single and mingle, well, you don’t know anything about it. I’m not saying that if you’re single, or if you don’t have kids, that your life can’t be fulfilling. It can! Marriage isn’t for everyone, and neither are kids. But just because marriage and kids are for me, do not tell me that my life will be over. Don’t tell me that I should enjoy my free time while I have it. I would never change my life for a minute. My husband is my rock, my best friend, and the person I choose to spend time with every time. My kids are my little loves, my proteges (haha, right?), and my most fun and hilarious, if unpredictable, companions. Yes, Hubby and I bicker and get on each others’ nerves. Yes, my kids have rough days and I get frustrated with them. Yes, sometimes I need a girls night (or weekend, let me be honest) to rest, recoup and regenerate. But does that mean I regret any of the decisions I’ve made, or wish that I wasn’t in the position I’m in? Absolutely not. My family is my everything, on good days and bad, on days when they make a fabulous dinner, use the potty, and don’t have teething issues, and on days when we go through diapers like they’re grains of sand and the blueberries from breakfast are still smashed into the floor at dinner, which is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

This is totally characteristic of our relationship.
This is totally characteristic of our relationship.

I don’t want you to think my life is perfect. If you know me, or read this blog, then you know that. But seriously… my family is the best. They are my everything. And I wouldn’t trade them. It’s my 2015 motto (in lieu of a resolution, remember?): Embrace it. Embrace this life. Embrace these people. Embrace all of the things.

My crazy family that I love.
My crazy family that I love.

Accidental Announcement

A couple of days ago, when I posted for My Big Jesus, I sneakily (and accidentally) interjected a little announcement about myself… and my growing family!

We are expecting our third baby this July!!!

I know. That was a lackluster announcement. Sorry, third baby. I promise I will do something cool for you when you’re born, since I missed the opportunity to announce your presence a little more excitingly.

So there ya go! I’m 12 weeks today! Hello, second trimester! I’ve been feeling great (albeit exhausted) and super excited (albeit busy with life in general) about planning for and meeting another youngun into our home. I’ve also been working a little something for the blog ever since I found out I was pregnant…

I’ve been working on a miniseries (that wasn’t how it started, but that’s how it’s turned out!) about the first trimester of my pregnancy. I didn’t want to put it on the blog when we found out (at four weeks – holy moly!) but I did want to write about it. So over the next week, I’ll be posting the things I wrote about for the first few weeks I knew I was pregnant! I hope you enjoy reading about the first trimester of my little fig’s life (that’s how big the baby is right now. I’ve never actually seen a fig, so I don’t know what it means.) and how I’ve been coping with the decaf coffee and lack of sushi. I’ll even start posting bump photos, once I’m out of the “Did she just have a big lunch?” phase and into the “Aww, how far along are you?!” phase.

Anyone else out there prego? How far along are YOU?!

A Time Out for Mommy

My lungs are burning, I thought.  Whether from cold or effort I don’t know. 

That was the first real thought of what might have been a hundred during my first mile.

It’s been too long since my last run… especially since I’m pushing this double stroller.

Why didn’t I pack tissues?! There was room in the stroller for goodness sake!

If my fingertips are this numb, how are my kids doing? Why didn’t I make them wear gloves? Worst mom ever!

Gosh, I have to pee. I know. Pregnant with my third kid and I have to pee. Big surprise.

How many times is EK gonna drop that blanket? I’m never going to make it for three miles if I’m stopping every ten feet.

This is just a sampling of how my mind rambles while I’m running. It’s extremely silly sometimes, how my mind will come up with anything to think about besides the work it’s doing. And the truth was that even though it had been awhile since my last run, I wasn’t even working that hard. What was hard was the cold, my runny nose, and the fact that I always have to go to the bathroom.

But I needed the time out. Time outdoors. Time out in the sunshine (which has been hit or miss these days). Time out for my kiddos – not like a punishment, but a total removal from their current situation (sitting inside, toddling along after me, asking to be picked up). Time out of my normal laundry-dishes-picking-up routine. Time out from my “feed the kids, change a diaper, clean, repeat” routine. A mama can only put together 2732 puzzles before she needs a time out.

And y’all, when I tell you I need a time out, I’m serious. I get frustrated easily. Call it hormones, call it a generational curse, call it whatever you want. But I do. I work on it all day, every day. I pray about it. I have others pray with me about it. But I’m human, and I lose patience and lose resolve. So when I need to get rid of some frustration, I like going on a run. Winter is the worst, because my time out can’t happen if it’s below about 45 degrees (yes, I’m a weenie and I hate the cold). But when it’s 45 or above, my double jogging stroller is my best friend, who understands my venting and my struggles. Okay, fine. “Understands” is a stretch, but you get the idea. At least the stroller doesn’t struggle back.

Sometimes, I’m in need of more than just a run. I’m in need of a run to Jesus. I pray harder every mile. I pray for myself, I pray for my kids, my Hubby, my friends, my family. I pray for grace as a mama. I pray for patience and a clean heart. I pray that the 25 minute nap that J got in the stroller will last him till bedtime. I pray that I won’t collapse going up the last hill before I’m home. I pray because I need Jesus so much. I know that he’s the only one who truly understands, and can cleanse me and mold me into a more perfect woman in his sight.

The Social Networks of Moms

This post also appeared on MyBigJesus.com so check it out there, too!

I have a theory about moms and their social lives. It’s that most moms have five groups of people in their social networks. I’ll describe them a bit for you:

1. Friends from before you had kids. Notice I didn’t bother to separate these into high school friends, college friends, work friends, etc. They’re all lumped together now in a group of “they’ve known me as a woman before she was a mom”.

2. Friends you made because you were pregnant at the same time. Perhaps you met these friends at your birthing classes. Possibly, you had the same doctor and ran into each other a lot. Maybe you’re like me, and you met them at prenatal yoga. Or just maybe, you just looked at each other, in the middle of Babies R Us, that registering “gun” in your hand, staring at the wall full of seemingly identical sippy cups, and just laughed together.

3. Friends you made because they also have kids. These are the friends that you were acquainted with, but you’d never really gotten to know before, until you realized your kids were similar ages, and wow! you live in the same neighborhood! Neighborhood park play date, anyone? (Note: They might also be the ones that you keep calling and asking your random “Is this normal?” type questions. And that’s okay, too.)

4. Friends you made because your kids are friends with theirs. Since my kids are young, I haven’t delved too far into this one yet myself, but these are friend you’ve made simply because your kids request to hang out with their kids. Lots of times, that means you and that other mom are gonna get a lot of quality time together, so I hope for your sake she’s cool.

5. Friends that belong in more than one of these groups. These are usually the favorites. Your best friend from college got pregnant at the same time as you. Your community group at church has a couple of moms with kids that are similarly aged. Your kids have had so many play dates with your prenatal yoga friends’ kids that they’re basically best friends now, too.

This fifth group is the one that I say “does life together”. Not that you can’t do life with someone in a different stage of life than you… you absolutely can. But isn’t it easier to relate to someone else who also has a toddler and a newborn, who can relate to the sleep-deprived craziness? Isn’t it more comforting to call a fellow mom to pray for you about your child having night terrors? It just makes more sense to ask another mom advice about getting your four-month-old to sleep through the night.

This group, network, tribe… these are the prayer warriors, the comforters, the make-you-feel-better-ers, and the caretakers on standby. These are the ones who will have coffee with you after preschool drop off in their pjs. They’re the ones who will immediately answer your message at 4:00am, because they’re also up nursing a baby. They’re the ones who will tell you it’s okay to cry over spilled milk sometimes, and your potty-training problems will be over before you know it, who will let you drop off your toddler for an hour while you go to the dentist, and who will remind you that those little mess-making devils are the ones you love, even on their messiest, most devious days – yes, even after you’ve stepped on the twenty-seventh Lego.1557299_10201745293992537_4234563664332024362_o

10 Truths About Being Pregnant

Recently, I have had another wave of my friends – real life and blog world – get pregnant (with their seconds and thirds, mostly). Talking to them about their weird symptoms and questioning what is “normal” during a pregnancy got me thinking. What is normal? Is there such a thing as a normal pregnancy? Are you similarly pregnant each time, or do you have a different pregnancy with each child? Here are my thoughts:

1. Whatever happens to you is your “normal”. Feel great? That’s normal! Super tired and cranky? That’s normal! Only willing to eat watermelon and macaroni and cheese? That’s normal! For me, normal was feeling great and eating either raw food (salad, fruit, etc) and cereal. Weird, I know.

2. Fatigue is real. I repeat, the fatigue is real. I don’t care how far long you are, or what number child you’re having. You will experience fatigue sometimes. For me, it’s typically first trimester, and a little bit third trimester when I’m doing too much with that big belly and extra weight.

3. Pregnancy symptoms can start really early. Those people who tell you that the first several weeks you can’t even tell you’re pregnant… are lying. Breast soreness, increased appetite, backaches, headaches, fatigue – it can all start as early as BEFORE YOU EVEN KNOW YOU’RE PREGNANT. For real.

4. Maternity pants fit no one. Over-the-belly ones, at least. Especially because you might have a week that they fit you perfectly, but you know darn well that they won’t fit you if you are only 23 weeks, and they won’t fit you if you’re 37 weeks. When I’m pregnant, I wear under-the-belly bottoms almost exclusively.

7 months with second baby and I'm wearing my regular old pajama pants at every opportunity, because my maternity pants are so ill-fitting.
7 months with second baby and I’m wearing my regular old pajama pants at every opportunity, because my maternity pants are so ill-fitting.

5. Getting a cold feels like the flu. A smile was cold you caught from your preschooler can turn into a nasty snot fest that has you bedridden, begging Hubby to make you hot tea and grilled cheese.

6. Telling (and not telling) your news is equally stressful and fun. It’s hard to decide when and how and to whom to share the news. It’s taboo to tell too early, but waiting is tough when you cut out alcohol and caffeine and can’t fit in your clothes like you used to.

7. Once you’ve had a miscarriage, you may drive yourself crazy waiting for signs of another one. With J, I was fearful every time I felt a tiny bit of pain in my belly, or when I was really tired or had done a lot in a day without resting.

8. Learning to sleep on your left side for nine months is hard, but could be permanent. I’ve slept on my left side almost every night since I changed to doing that while pregnant with EK. I was always a stomach sleeper before.

9. Hormones are real, and scary. I cried a lot, about good things and bad, and I was a little… on edge (read: snappy. Sorry Hubby.). And unfortunately it didn’t really go away until the baby was a couple months old. It takes a while to get back to normal!

10. Insatiable hunger is a thing. I was hungry and craving things from the moment I was pregnant, it seemed. Different things all the time, but trying to quench my hunger with fruits and veggies didn’t always work. I frequently needed carbs and proteins to really stave off hunger more than a few minutes. And the only time I went hours without being hungry was sleeping at night, and sometimes not even then.

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I’m sure I’ve posted it before, but it’s my favorite scale shot of how big I was last Christmas, with EK sprawled across me. ❤

So there are 10 of my personal truths about being pregnant. Now I want to know: Are you currently pregnant? What was your normal when you were? Were your pregnancies similar? Did you do anything differently?

 

Pregnancy: The Struggle Is Real

This post appeared on MyBigJesus.com

Pregnancy agrees with me.

Hey! Stop throwing those tomatoes! I’m not trying to say that every single thing about pregnancy was a piece of cake. For instance, when I was pregnant with EK, I was exhausted dead tired for the whole 10 (yes, 10) months. I don’t mean kinda tired. I mean, I came home from work every day at 3:00pm, collapsed in the bed, woke up to a plate of food from a concerned Hubby around 6 or 7, and passed out again until the next morning. We jokingly tell people I disappeared for the whole first trimester. The good part about that? I was only sick once, because I was asleep most of the time.  I attribute the non-sickness to learning very early that hungry=sick for my body, so as soon as I was the tiniest bit hungry, I started eating. I curbed the nausea with food.

But yes, on the whole, pregnancy has agreed with me. I had the glow. I gained weight only in my belly. I felt great (read: wasn’t sick) and had great deliveries. And (gasp!) I lost all my weight pretty quickly. I’ve told all my friends who haven’t had kids yet that I’ll do it for them… I love being  pregnant that much. The miracle of life inside me was enough to overshadow any feelings that were less than positive.

I do, however, feel like I controlled part of my experience. I ate extremely healthily during my pregnancies. I busted my butt as soon as I could to lose the rest of that weight and get into my jeans and dresses. My babies both got huge quickly, so I didn’t have a tiny little thing I held with one arm… I had huge squirmy tanks that took both arms, good core strength, and a wide stance to wrangle. I’m too busy and active and crazy to sit around, eat a dozen donuts, and watch a fourth chick flick. I’m just not that kind of gal. Yes, I’m blessed with good genes, and that has a lot to do with it. But none of these things should give you license to dislike me or make comments about how easy it was for me and how hard it was for you.

Pregnancy ain’t no joke – for anyone. You’re growing a life in that womb of yours! But for Heaven’s sake, try to be happy for yourself, and for other gals who are pregnant. It helps to change your thoughts to positive ones, and try to focus on the good stuff. I know that’s easier said than done if you’re hanging over a toilet or glowing green instead of “adorable”. Moping about how awful you feel doesn’t help. Moping after your baby is born that your friend is faring better than you were won’t change anything, either. Be happy for a girl, can ya? You’re going to have the sweetest little light you ever laid eyes on at the end of this tunnel. Do the stretchmarks. Milk those maternity clothes for as long as you can. Love the dirty hair and hairy legs you’ll have for longer than you’ll want to admit. You worked for it! But don’t grumble about the women you know who didn’t get the stretchmarks, wear their pre-pregnancy jeans, shave their legs and wash their hair. To each her own! The struggle is real for everyone, even if it doesn’t look the same as yours.

38 weeks with J
38 weeks with J

Things You Think at 40 Weeks Pregnant

I love making lists (I might’ve mentioned that?) so here’s one for ya! This is a little bit of how I was feeling when super 40 weeks pregnant with my kids…

1. WHEN (for the love of all that’s holy) will this be OVER!?

2. I just want to know what he (or she) looks like!

3. I’m so uncomfortable all of the time.

4. I can’t wait to lose all this weight! (Said the first-time mom.)

5. If another person asks me if I’m carrying twins…

6. Yes, I’m doing jumping jacks. YES I WANT THE LABOR TO START!

7. House is clean, laundry is done, nursery is ready, and I’m caught up on my shows. What now?

8. I need another pedicure. It’s only been a few days, but I can’t see my feet to know if my toes still look nice.

9. I’ll have that fourth donut. I mean, I’m due this week, so I have to stop eating this junk in a few days.

And the kicker:

10. I can’t wait to have my morning coffee, a glass of wine with dinner, and… oh my gosh, I have to pee NOW!

Here's some homage to #7 - the answer to "what now?" was "take a belly selfie!"
Here’s some homage to #7 – the answer to “what now?” was “take a belly selfie!”