Surviving The First Trimester: What They Forget to Tell You About Pregnancy

When I was pregnant with my first son, I went through a lot of physical challenges. At the time, I was working full time with a rough commute – had severe morning sickness for about 6 months, suffered through dizzy spells in my second trimester, and was severely underweight. Knowing all of this, I never planned on rushing into another pregnancy. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to have a second child yet as I don’t feel I had much time to give it much thought. I did want to give my son a younger sibling so I prayed about it for months, not thinking that I would conceive any time soon however.

Then, surprise! I was pregnant for almost two months already before I had even found out. This time around, I feel God had a little more mercy on me being that my son can be very high maintenance. I went through the normal morning sickness phase, the food aversions, the relentless fatigue, etc. Now that I am hitting the second trimester and thankfully most of those symptoms have pretty much subsided – I have been able to pay attention to the other wonderful pregnancy symptoms that people forget to tell you about:

Breathlessness

During pregnancy, as your uterus grows – it pushes all your organs up. You may experience breathlessness, as I do. Some mornings, after I attempt to have something for breakfast, I experience severe breathlessness. I feel like someone is literally sitting on my chest, preventing me from taking full breaths so my body has to work a bit harder to get that oxygen in. It is very uncomfortable and can be a bit debilitating especially when combined with pregnancy fatigue.

You Get Hairy

Now, I’m not sure if its the prenatal vitamins or what not – but when I get pregnant, it seems as if my hair not only grows faster but it grows thicker. I especially notice this thickness on my growing baby bump. Although it’s really embarrassing to admit, my growing baby bump looks like a monkeys belly. Ah, the joys of pregnancy!

Bleeding Gums

If you don’t already develop a distaste for your tooth paste during pregnancy, the bleeding gums are definitely not something you want to taste on a daily basis. My gums get so sensitive during pregnancy, just a simple brushing session makes my gums gush with blood. Its not only disgusting tasting, but looks like a crime scene when you spit it out. Overall, terrible feeling. Don’t even get me started on flossing! And then the paranoia of using mouthwash because it has a certain percentage of alcohol. Why does keeping good dental hygiene have to be so hard during this time?

Swollen Hands and/ or Feet

Now, this may differ for some people but for me – when I am standing for too long (washing dishes, taking a shower, etc.) my feet get extremely swollen. Not only swollen, but red and uncontrollably itchy! This can get really challenging when trying to get things done around the house, especially when you have to take care of another child.

You May Experience Morning Sickness For Longer Than Expected

Most pregnancy resources say that morning sickness usually subsides at around 12 weeks or so. Whoever made this statement makes me quite angry especially being that I experienced morning sickness for about 6 months with my first son. This time around, it subsided at around 4 1/2 – 5 months. It’s still really uncomfortable to eat, even though most of my morning sickness is gone – it seems that with a growing bump, there’s not much room for a lot of food.

There may be other symptoms that I am leaving off the list, what are the pesky symptoms that you struggled with during your pregnancy? Leave in the comments below.

Till next time!

~G

Mom of Boys!

So on Friday we confirmed that baby# 2 is a boy! We are ecstatic! I never imagined that I would be a mom of boys but I am so excited for this adventure! My mind wanders and I can imagine myself being that sporty mom that takes her boys to their athletic sport team events. Going on family sporting events and signing up for those mud runs. Now that I think about it, I feel like I would be the perfect mom for boys, being that I am quite sporty and tom boyish since childhood. I was the girl that would play sports with all the boys in the block and even played co-ed football in high school.

I feel that God chose this for me because He knew how I would thrive guiding my boys. Sure, there will be moments where I fail because I am not perfect. Sometimes, it scares me to think that I am going to have two rambunctious little boys tearing up my living room, but I am so excited for the love that we will share, and the future memories.

Being a mother, for me has brought out so many different emotions. It has been a time where I have doubted myself the most; my actions, my feelings, my existence. I second guess the decisions I make because I want to make sure I am making the best decisions for me and my family. Always thinking back to myself, “Was that the best decision for my boys?” And I’m sure all mothers feel this way sometimes.

To think, only a few years ago – I was so hopeful to be a mother. I didn’t think I would ever get the chance to be. Then I was pregnant with my first son, and when he was born I felt myself so blessed. I never thought I would ever receive another gift so amazing. Then little Jackson surprised us and emerged in a very stressful time. But I believe he was gifted to me to bring me not only extra joy – but I feel it was a way for God to reassure me that I was right on track. He was reassuring me that I was doing a good job, even though I had been feeling like I was failing at life- He was reassuring me that I was doing just what I was supposed to be doing.

 

Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.

-Psalm 127:3

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Mommy of 1, Now Mommy of Two!

So, I know I have been missing in action…again! Owning an Etsy shop started consuming my life, aside from the already time consuming 24/7 job I have of being a work at home/ stay at home mother. The past 5 months had become so stressful and I was at the point of a mental breakdown, but I didn’t understand why I had started becoming so overwhelmed so easily.

I had lost my passion for the pieces I was creating, lost sight of why I had started it all. I was snapping at my son because I was so exhausted, sometimes working in to the wee hours of the morning to try and get orders out in a timely manner. All for what I felt was starting to become in vain. I received some negative feedback in my shop which I felt was very unfair, and I took it really to heart because I worked so hard on people’s orders. I thought to myself, why am I neglecting my son for strangers who didn’t appreciate what I was sacrificing? So I decided to take a break from it all.

The negativity had really gotten to me. I felt like a terrible mother who was constantly snapping at her son and not giving him the patience and attention that he deserved.

Then amongst the madness, I received a wonderful surprise.

I was pregnant with baby number 2!!

I received a wonderful blessing during such a trying time in my life, and it gave me so much peace and hope.

So, those are the reasons why I have been “out of the office,” lately. But I have a feeling I will be posting more now that I have so many more experiences to be documenting.

Till next time!

~G

Confessions of a Stay at home Mom

I used to always be aware of time. I’ve always liked to schedule my time to try and get the most out of my day. A typical day for me in the past would start with: getting ready for work, preparing lunch for my husband and I, feeding all my animals, and then off I was to my commute for work. Work from 9-5, off of work, drive to pick up hubby, and off we were on our commute back home. This was very single day, the same routine.  And then there was the weekend. Sounds kind of boring when you have an unfulfilling job and you feel like you’re lacking a purpose.

Now, I am a stay at home mother and although I have finally found the most fulfilling job that gave me a purpose – I still run in to obstacles. In a previous post I went on to describe my experiences with my “fussy baby” and although I love my new job, I can’t help to sometimes feel unappreciated. It seems to me that society really praises women who chose to put their careers before their family. Maybe it’s because not too long ago, women were not allowed to have careers? I mean, more power to you if you are pursuing your dreams – this is not a women’s bashing post what-so-ever, I’m just kind of tired of the misconceptions people have regarding what a stay at home mother really is.

I can remember a conversation I had with a friend a few years back; we were discussing our futures and aspirations. She went on to list off all the possible career choices she was considering and what her dreams were. When it got to me, I had a list too – one that I had put together because people expect these types of answers. But instead I chose to just be honest and say what was in my heart. “I just want to have a family and be a mother.” Well, the response on her face alone shamed me but when she finally uttered the words “that’s it?” I kind of felt embarrassed and went on to list off a few other career choices that were within the major that I was studying.

Now a days, we pay people to watch our children so we can go out to the world and pursue other things; careers. Some people don’t really have much of a choice and for financial reasons, they have to get jobs in order to provide for their families and there is no shame in that. There’s no shame in any of it, but why do I have to be ashamed for what I love to do?

When I was a working woman with a career, I did not find much fulfillment in it but obviously I had to work for financial reasons. I also wanted to make sure I had a strong working record to build a strong resume. All things I have accomplished, but didn’t fulfill me.

I know on most days, it’s hard for me to get through the judgments of other – what I like to call “Mean Moms.” They seem to nit pit at every decision that you make, or one up you every time you think you did something really great for your kid.

I think what’s important is to do what is right for you and your family. Whether that is to stay at home with your child or choosing to work – just own it. And don’t let others make you feel like what you are doing is wrong. No one lives in your shoes; no one knows your fears, your struggles, and your financial situation.

Just keep on rocking that mom life you’re living!

~G

Top Ten Awkward And Confusing Moments Every First Time Mother Goes Through That No One Prepares You For

There are a lot of things people warn you about when you are expecting your first child: the sleepless nights, colicky babies, the unlimited amounts of diaper changing, etc. But there are a few things that people forget to mention that I don’t think anyone can really prepare you for. Moments that get you when you least expect it which leave you shocked and just a little bit confused.

The First Time Your Baby Pee’s on You

So, you noticed your baby’s diaper is soiled; you start your diaper changing routine. And then out of nowhere – he gets you!! Not just a little bit either, enough that now the mattress is soaked and the sheets need to be thrown in the washer. Total rookie move.

Newborns Scratch Their Faces Off

No one ever warned me that babies scratch at their faces, so when I watched my little guy go to town on his little bitty face – it made me gasp in fear! I bought hand mittens and even used socks on his hands because he got them dirty so quickly. The bad thing about them was that they left his cute little hands smelling like vinegar. Once, I was backed up on laundry so I let his little hands free….BIG MISTAKE! I turn around to the shrieking sounds of my baby (not even a month old yet) pulling his own hair with all his little baby strength in a death grip, right on his soft spot!! He was screaming in pain but I think I was screaming in fear louder than him. When I finally got his grip to loosen, I held him while crying hysterically and giving him little baby kisses. It was one of the most traumatizing experiences as of yet.

The Dreaded Car Seat.

I don’t know what it is about that car seat that makes my kid go bonkers but for the first few months, going anywhere was just dreadful. The look he gives me after he’s finally strapped in, then he sees me get up to go to the front seat – is that of ultimate betrayal. There is nothing more stressful than to hear the cries and screams of your child coming from the backseat of your car and fighting every urge to just stop the car and jump back there to soothe him. If my husband is driving, I will just jump back there mid drive to try and stop the madness.

Poopie Leaks

Always happens at the most inopportune time but you hear it…then you see it. That moment when you’re out in public and your kid poops himself.  Then you realize the poop somehow made its way out of the diaper and in my case – always makes it on to his upper back! How the heck did it even get there???!! I run to the restroom holding my baby like a football and diaper bag in the other hand, use all the wipes and realize…I FORGOT TO PACK THAT EXTRA ONESIE!  -_-

Pretending to be asleep

My son always fights his sleep, as if he’s going to miss out on some secret party he thinks me and his dad are throwing. He’s also a light sleeper so when rocking him to sleep, he sometimes wakes up a little bit earlier than anticipated.  When he does this, I shut my eyes and pretend I’m sleeping in hopes that he will just go back to sleep. I’ll even throw in some fake snoring to make it believable. Sometimes, he buys it and goes back to sleep! It’s the little victories in life!!

Breastfeeding in public

Some women are really good with this concept, for me however I just couldn’t get over my shyness. I didn’t want anyone starring at me while my baby ate, or judging me so I always felt a little awkward when I needed to feed my little guy. Instead, I would go hide somewhere to feed him: the backseat of the car, in the bathrooms at the restaurants we would eat at, etc. I tried nursing covers but they seem to attract more attention and made my little guy hot. I always admired the women who were strong enough to nurse in public and handle public ridicule with boldness and grace.

The Boob Snatching

That awkward moment when you’re having a conversation with someone and your baby  thinks it’s a good idea to pull your shirt down, almost exposing your breasts to the world. You try to stop him but he then thinks it’s funny to go ahead and motorboat you. -_- This is his way of saying, “mommy, I’m hungry – stop talking and give me the boobies!”

Using Your Bra as the Ultimate Holder Keeper

There are a few things that I always need in a case of an emergency but always seem to loose.  However, it seems like there is never enough time to reach for those items due to the excessive crying so out of desperation, I have resorted to stashing them in my bra. These things include:

  1. The Pacifier. In times when the baby just needs to be pacified.
  2. My nipple guard. For nursing and to prevent biting. Because baby boy needs to eat.. NOW!!

You Learn to Eat In Less than 5 Minutes

If you even get time to eat a whole meal, consider yourself lucky! Most of the time, if I have a second to eat – I usually just snatch a snack sized meal that comes from a box or that I can microwave in just a few seconds. Then, when I attempt to eat it – I have to fight the grasps and reaches from my little guy. He usually climbs on my face and uses my hair as rope while he tries to reach for my food. It’s like a modern day baby wrestling match. If I don’t share my food with him, he grunts and smacks my face in protest. I pick my battles and he’s a bit of a bully.

Eww..What’s that smell?

Yea, that’s you. If you even get a chance to take a shower, it better be 3 minutes or less. My little guy hates if I’m not in his sight, so putting him down is something that usually never gets done. I even have to hold him while he sleeps because he wouldn’t have it any other way. If I want a longer shower time, I have to wait for my husband to get home from work and practically beg him to hold the baby while I take a shower. Asking for time to blow dry my hair would be pushing it. As soon as I leave the room, the baby already starts crying! I’ve started to shower with him now, which at least gets me to a happy medium but I feel like it’s not very productive.

Now, these are my top ten but I’m sure there are many other moments I may be leaving out. What are your awkward moments not listed above? Share by posting in the comment box below.

Embracing Living With a Fussy Baby

 

 

AJ was always a bit of a fussy baby. He hated being left on his own and always longed to be held by either myself or his father. He never fell asleep on his own; he wanted to be nursed and preferred to fall asleep in my arms. No matter how hard I tried to break this habit, I had very few successful moments. IF I ever was successful enough to put him down as he fell asleep and not have him wake up as soon as my arms left his little body- when he did wake up, he let me have it!!

If I even left the room, he would scream bloody murder! It was challenging to say the least. The first few weeks we took him home, I didn’t eat or sleep much and showers were a privilege I seldom saw. I figured he would eventually just grow out of it as his independent skills developed however, this has yet to happen.

I found myself very frustrated and wondered what I was doing wrong. Why is he so upset? Does he have colic? Is he teething? He’s too young to be teething, isn’t he?

I went to the pediatrician’s and sought out his advice. Although I was glad to hear that I had a super healthy baby boy, I wasn’t pleased with his advice on how to handle my little one’s attachment to me. His suggestion was to let my baby “cry it out” and to place him on a strict feeding schedule. AJ did nurse every two hours or so, but at times he liked to be nursed more often. This got very difficult for me as I ended up sitting on the couch for most of the day nursing him and then holding him while he slept, as he wouldn’t have it any other way. I started feeling really guilty as others would tell me that I was spoiling my baby and getting him too used to being held. This really bothered me because I wanted to make the best decisions for my child and sometimes the best decisions are the hardest to make. So reluctantly, I made myself have him “cry out.”

It was like slow torture to my soul. Just watching him look up at me with a confused and panicked reaction as to why I had put him down and why I wouldn’t pick him back up. He would squirm around with desperation that broke my heart and sent my soul in agony. I think my hormones were just freaking out, he was so little to be going through so much pain and he would not let down. He cried and screamed, longer and louder. I wanted to pick him up so badly but my husband tried to comfort me and reminded me that it was for his best. I tried to occupy myself as I put groceries away and then started washing the dishes. All the meanwhile I was slamming dishes, boxes, cupboards, anything I got my hands on, in silent protest to let my husband know just how unhappy I was with the situation. My son cried for an hour and going on twenty some odd minutes until I could no longer take it.

As I picked his little body up and wiped away his wet face full of tears, I noticed he was wet and sweaty from all the crying; and hyperventilating. He had stopped crying as soon as I picked him up and put his head down on my shoulder. I held him close and just filled his face with kisses. He was short of breath, wheezing, and trembling. All he wanted was to be nursed. I felt beyond guilty and remorseful for what I had just put him through. I had denied my son my affections and left him hungry just so I could “show him whose boss? It felt wrong.

At our follow up appointment, I had let our pediatrician know how it went and I had let him know how I felt about letting him “cry it out.” He rolled his eyes and said that babies learn to control us and that I needed to teach him that he couldn’t do whatever he wanted to do. My baby wasn’t even 3 months old yet  and was still trying to adjust being outside of the womb. Babies at this stage are still trying to adjust to their new environment. If my child is telling me he’s hungry and asking me to feed him, what sense does it make for me to deny him just because it’s outside of his feeding schedule? If I were hungry and someone told me I couldn’t eat because it wasn’t lunch time, I would tell them to go to hell! So why can’t I feed my child? I was once a child and remember my mother always being there for me. If I was sad, she would console me. If I needed someone there, she was the shoulder to lean on and always embraced me. If I didn’t have that, I don’t know how lost I would be.

Now, I am a new parent and am still learning every day. After a while you start to learn when your kid is crying because they need something or when they are crying just to fuss. If I need to cook a meal for my family and sit my baby in his swing in the kitchen with me and he’s crying because I wont pick him up – I have to let him cry a little. He does need to learn that these are the things that mom needs to get done. He still cries and has a fit, some days he is okay as long as I keep interacting with him. It varies and again, is very challenging at times. I have also put him in his baby carrier and have “worn” him with me but he absolutely hates it. But I do not want to just leave him in his crib alone in his room to let him just cry on his own and leave him to feel like he is being punished. He is still growing and developing and I don’t want him to learn that sleeping on his own is a punishment and I also don’t want him to feel like he is on his own. We are a family and we are going to work through his together.I want him to feel loved even when he knows I am not happy with his behavior.

The “cry it out” method may very well work for some parents –  I just don’t believe it is right for me and my child. I believe that all people are different, so why does this exclude children? Some children require more attention than others, while other children may be more independent. I think for effective parenting however,  you have to learn to adapt to each situation and give each individual child what they need. Some may need more reassurance, others may not but your have to be sensitive to each individuals needs and not just think that one method is going to work for all different types of personalities. I feel that if you have a hyper sensitive child, leaving them alone in a room in that manner will leave them feeling abandoned and punished. Now, I am not an expert of any sort, this is just my “educated” opinion that I have gathered through my experiences with a high needs child. I in no way wrote this to offend or pass judgement on others but simply wrote this post in efforts to offer support for other that may be in the same situation and just express my experiences.

Once you stop worrying about other’s opinions regarding your parenting, that’s when you really start to give your child what they need. Your child needs for you to love them with no boundaries and without a check list telling you what is appropriate for them. After all, every child is different – all their personalities differ. There is no right answer, no miracle cure for a “high needs” child. You just learn to adjust and love them for who they are, and who they are is just beautiful. I believe that God makes no mistakes and He wouldn’t have blessed me with AJ if I couldn’t handle being his mother. So for the rest of his life, I will love him unconditionally and guide him to the best of my abilities. Most importantly, I will be there when he needs me, whenever he needs me. You see, he will only need 100% of my attention for so long. I know there will be a day when my little guy outgrows wanting to fall asleep in his mommy’s arms, and even though meeting his demands can be really challenging at times – knowing that all he wants is to just be held by me makes everything worth it. The sleepless nights, the walking on egg shells, the crying. He just wants to be held by his momma, and I’m lucky enough to be his momma. One day, he won’t need me that way and my arms, although rested, will be empty and my heart will long for the time when all he wanted was his mommy’s embrace. So I will soak up all his love and snuggles and hold on, until he lets go….

 

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