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

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.