Two under Two

Motherhood

Recently a sweet friend of mine encouraged me to “share the journey along the way”. Shortly after that conversation, I sat down to write this blog post- partially for her, partially for you readers, but mostly for myself.

I love this blog. I love having these awesome “aha!” moments of mommy hood and sharing them, in hopes it’ll help another mommy out. I wait until I feel like I’ve mastered (or at least have decent experience in 😅) a certain area of raising littles and then write it out here for the world to read! But to be honest, I haven’t had many of those “aha” moments with two under two. Let’s face it-two babies is HARD. Some days I’m feeding one baby in my arms while rocking the other in a bouncer with my foot and I think I’m killing it. Then the next day we sit on the couch for hours watching a Disney movie because I don’t have the energy for much else.

But even in the midst of the chaos, there have been moments that I have little revelations. Little moments where I think “this is what parents really need to hear.” So I’m here to tell you what I needed to know myself.

1. Give Yourself Grace

Don’t feel like you have to have it all together when people see you. You just had a baby. Not long after your first baby, mind you. Your body is still healing. Emotionally, you’re still adjusting. You’re not expected to be the mom wearing makeup, going to the gym, and baking cookies for the holiday party. The time for that will come. For now, focus on getting as much rest as you can. Bond with your new baby and cuddle as much as time will allow.

2. Remind Yourself It’s Just a Phase

This time around, the phrase “it goes by so fast” has so much more meaning. With your first child you hear it repeatedly, but the weight of it doesn’t quite sink in until their first birthday where you’re left wondering where all the time went.

On the days when your toddler is having tantrum after tantrum, the baby won’t let you put him down, and you barely get enough sleep to function, remember that it’s just a phase. Three days from now, your toddler will learn new words to communicate her feelings. The baby will learn to self-soothe. And you might get lucky enough to get an 8-hour stretch of sleep at night too! So much changes in a matter of a few days. Take a deep breath and remember that.

3. Cut Corners Where You Can

Don’t try to do it all. If it’s stressing you out, find a way to make it less stressful. If it’s the dishes, use paper plates for a little while. If you can’t manage to get dinner together while taking care of two kids, buy some frozen meals.

The family will adjust.

What’s more important is your mental health and well-being. If there’s something that can be done to make your life a teensy bit easier, you deserve to do it.

4. Sit Down and Play Tea Party for the 500th Time

When all else fails, drop everything else and sit down to play. What I learned is that when the kids are crying and I can’t figure out what they need, it’s most likely my attention. So put the work down and be present with them for a little while. Not only will it make the crying stop, but forgetting your responsibilities for a short time can actually do you some good.

Time is truly a thief. So embrace those tiny moments (and tiny humans) as much as you can.

My Second Birth Story

Motherhood

It’s true what they say- every baby and every pregnancy is different from the other. With London, my water broke and while it was a small leak, it was clear that I was in labor and we would be having a baby. This time around, it was a little different.

I started experiencing what’s called “prodromal labor” in the weeks leading up to my due date. I was having regular, painful contractions that were 3-5 minutes apart. I went into triage about 4 times, thinking I was in labor. They would monitor me, check my cervix, and determine that there was no change. I was 3cm dilated already by 37 weeks, but my cervix wasn’t changing with the contractions. Each time we were sent home was a disappointment.

During each visit with my OB, she was surprised that I still hadn’t given birth! I was even more dilated every week that I went in. By 39 weeks, I was 4.5cm dilated and 70% effaced. We decided to try a membrane sweep to help speed things along. That night, I woke up to painful contractions again, but I didn’t think much of it since I had been having false labor contractions for weeks. I waited to see if they got more intense, but by morning, they had pretty much disappeared. By this point I was so tired and so ready to have this baby. I spent the afternoon walking the neighborhood to see if it would help start anything. I did lose more of my mucus plug, but still no (strong enough) contractions.

That night I woke up yet again to pretty painful contractions. I wasn’t hopeful, but my mom encouraged me to go into triage to at least have a cervix check. I was told that if I was at a 5, it is considered active labor and they would have to admit me. When we got in, the nurse checked me and determined I was only 1cm dilated. I was so confused because my OB told me I was 4.5 just two days earlier. I waited to be monitored and checked again after an hour. This time a second nurse came in and said she agreed that I was 1.5cm. I don’t know if it was the hormones, the exhaustion, or a mixture, but I was very frustrated and insisted on a doctor performing another cervix check because of the discrepancy. Thank God I did, because the doctor came and determined I was indeed 5cm dilated. He called my OB down to check me herself and she said I was actually 7cm dilated and admitted me right away! It was all so confusing and shocking, but I was just relieved to finally have the baby and be done with labor.

The rest of the day went as smoothly as I could’ve hoped for. I was able to get an epidural and it worked wonderfully. I was admitted at 9:30am and was ready to push by 3:00pm. I pushed for about 40 minutes and realized something was off by the number of people in the room and the fact that baby still was not out. I later learned that baby was much bigger than expected and had gotten stuck behind my pelvic bone. During the last push, one doctor had to assist by pushing down on my stomach while my OB pulled baby by the shoulders. Elias Ezekiel was born 11lbs even. Other than a small fracture, he had no health complications and Q was able to cut the cord. We were able to do immediate skin to skin and all of my prayers were answered about an easy and “normal” vaginal delivery.

I am still so thankful for an amazing doctor who always had mine and baby’s best interests in mind. We have spent the last month adjusting to our new family of 4 and loving every minute. London is the sweetest big sister and is obsessed with her baby brother. Christmas truly came early for us this year 🥰

Collab with Pink Blush

Fashion

Okay, I know it’s been a loooong minute and you can totally be annoyed at me for not writing on the blog for months. Truth is, being pregnant and running after a toddler all day is tiring! BUT, I’m making it a mission to keep this thing going. So I thought I’d share a little something fashion-related.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I recently did a collab with Pink Blush. I have been absolutely loving their shop these days! With this being my second pregnancy, the bump is showing loud and proud. To be honest, my self-esteem took a hit when I saw myself getting bigger so quickly. Then Pink Blush reached out and I found so many cute and affordable options that I can wear and feel great in! These are just a couple of the looks I’ve rocked recently.

https://www.pinkblushmaternity.com/p-53074-black-striped-layered-tie-front-maternity-dress.aspx?DepartmentID=1&utm_source=Bermariejerez&utm_medium=collab&utm_campaign=october2019

https://www.pinkblushmaternity.com/p-52426-mauve-striped-half-sleeve-maternity-maxi-dress.aspx?DepartmentID=1&utm_source=Bermariejerez&utm_medium=collab&utm_campaign=october2019

https://www.pinkblushmaternity.com/p-45272-red-plaid-button-accent-front-tie-maternity-top.aspx?DepartmentID=1&utm_source=Bermariejerez&utm_medium=collab&utm_campaign=october2019

 

I’m normally hesitant to order online because I worry about quality, but these dresses really surprised me. I would definitely recommend checking them out if you’re currently expecting, or even if you’re not! They have a section of women’s clothing (not maternity) as well, so get your shopping on!

https://www.shoppinkblush.com

https://www.pinkblushmaternity.com/default.aspx?

Happy Mother’s Day

Motherhood

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I won’t lie. Growing up, Mother’s Day was just an excuse to get to go out for lunch after church and give my mom an extra hug or two. As I got older, it became another holiday where I had to buy yet another gift. Fast forward to today, and I think I finally understand and appreciate the privilege it is to celebrate this day.

I was in church last weekend when the pastor asked all of the moms to raise their hand to acknowledge them. I didn’t raise my hand because I thought, “do people even consider me a mom yet?” Instantly, my husband leaned over and (loudly) whispered, “why didn’t you raise your hand?!” I laughed it off, but he was right. I’ve had one person refer to me as a “mom-to-be” during this pregnancy, and I must admit, I’m not fond of the term. I am a mom. Even though this girl still has a few weeks to cook in there, I’ve already taken on the role of being her mother. I’ve gone through hours of training during my childbirth & breastfeeding classes, I’ve had to make big decisions regarding her well-being, I’ve had to make sacrifices and put her before myself – things a mother does for her child.

So this Mother’s Day is for me.

It’s also for the mothers with children in heaven. For the women who are trying to conceive. For the women who only got the chance to know their child’s heartbeat. For the women who may not “officially” be mothers, but raised children as if they were their own.

Mother’s Day belongs to you too.

I hope that you feel that and believe it as much as I do. And I hope you are celebrated today and everyday, because you are remarkable. Happy Mother’s Day, mommas.

 

Bumpdate: Second Trimester

Motherhood

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I found out that it’s true what they say. The second trimester is indeed the “honeymoon” stage of the pregnancy. Physically, I didn’t have many symptoms at all. Some minor dizziness and hilarious moments we’ll attribute to pregnancy brain. But emotionally, I was all over the place. The mood swings from the first trimester continued and possibly multiplied. This could also be due to the fact that I was in the midst of planning a wedding and figuring out a move, but that’s a separate blog post to come later!

I was all over the place emotionally because I was going back and forth between feeling happy and fortunate to be pregnant with every kick and roll I felt, and feeling embarrassed by the many stares and remarks from others about my size. I know I’ve touched on this here before, but to reiterate, being pregnant is hard! Growing a human is hard! The world needs to cut pregnant women some slack. There is so much pressure to look good, have a perfect basketball-shaped belly, and be a “fit mom”, even before you’ve delivered your child. I can’t tell you how many people made comments about how I look like I’m “about to pop”, and I have to awkwardly respond that I still have 2.5 months to go! It definitely took a toll on me for a little there. By 25 weeks, I had already gained about 20 pounds. It wasn’t at all what I imagined when I pictured being pregnant, but I’ve accepted it. I’ve accepted the stretch marks, the chunky cheeks, and the fact that I’ll have my work cut out for me when I get back into the gym this fall. And that’s okay! Because at least for right now, I can continue enjoying feeling my little girl tumble around my tummy (and an extra donut with sprinkles!)

10 Pregnancy Symptoms I Never Expected

Motherhood

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Maybe it’s because I wasn’t well-versed in the pregnancy/parenthood/baby universe, but I can definitely admit that I was NOT prepared for the (mostly gross) symptoms I would encounter throughout the course of pregnancy. Thankfully, the internet exists and I could verify that these were in fact “normal”, or I’d probably be convinced I was carrying a baby alien…

*Don’t read on if you’re squeamish*

1. Constipation

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It’s gross, I warned you. But this had to be number one, because it was the most unexpected and the most annoying of all the symptoms.

2. Bloating/Gas

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By the end of the day, your baby bump has grown 2x the size, depending on what you’ve had to eat. And by the morning, it’ll be back to it’s normal size! And then there’s the uncontrollable passing of gas. On the bright side, you’ll never feel more comfortable around your partner than during this time!

3. Insecurities

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If you’re anything like me, you’re under the impression that you’re supposed to be glowing and having an adorable round bump you love to show off on instagram. The reality is, there will be days you hate the way you look and change your outfit 8 times before leaving the house. It’s not easy to see your body change so drastically in such a short time, but in the end, it’s worth it for the health of your little one.

4. Headaches

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Some days you wake up with a headache that sticks around for 48 hours, and some days it’s brought on by the annoying moments in life you no longer have the patience for. (See below)

5. Mood Swings

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Okay. This one I had actually heard of, but for some reason, thought I would be immune to. It’s not a myth. There were days I cried because someone I hadn’t spoken to in 10 years couldn’t make it to my wedding. Followed by days I would get irritated at my fiance for not replying to my texts fast enough while he was at work. *shrug*

6. Breast Changes

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They grow. They hurt really bad. They grow some more. Your nipples change colors. They might even start to leak.

You’ll probably hate them, then love them, then hate them again. It’s part of that body-changing process.

7. Cramps

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This was definitely the one thing I thought I would get to do without for 9 months, since you know, no period. Duh. Not true, though. Your uterus stretching to the size of a melon makes for some crampy times. Sigh.

8. Food Aversions

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I’d heard of food cravings, but didn’t know food aversions were a possibility! Luckily, I didn’t have too much of this. The only thing I haven’t been able to stand so far is Chinese take-out. Probably for the best, since I’m trying to eat somewhat “healthy”.

9. Dry, Itchy Skin

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Okay this one has been HORRIBLE. Your boobs and belly itch SO much. And scratching causes stretch marks. So you’re just supposed to put coconut oil on and hope for the best. WHERE IS THE PREGNANCY GLOW.

10. Tickling Feeling of Movement

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You won’t notice it at first, but in time, you realize that thing that feels like your stomach doing backflips is actually your baby. It’s a weird sensation and I didn’t expect it to tickle. But I did come to love it and I’ll gladly endure all of the bad symptoms to keep experiencing this one.

Bumpdate: First Trimester

Motherhood

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If you’re reading this, it’s because I made it through one of the darkest and scariest times of a woman’s life-the first trimester. (Dun dun duuuuun). Let me take you back to the moment I found out I was pregnant. I had been on birth control for 6+ years and my fiancé and I were not planning to start a family for at least another 2 years.  So to say I was “surprised” is an understatement. I went through the typical stages post-peeing on a stick time: shock at those two life-altering lines, panic of how I’m going to have a baby and plan a wedding at the same time, and then the inevitable excitement of becoming a “mommy”. All of this followed by rapid google searching, since of course, I realized I had no idea what I was doing. The google searching ended up being a HORRIBLE idea. I read story to story of miscarriages, MISSED miscarriages, blighted ovums (WHAT), etc. By the end of the day, I was convinced something terrible was going to happen to my baby.

It’s a scary thing to be growing a tiny human inside of you not be able to peek in and make sure little one is doing okay. I was forced to breathe, stay positive, remind myself to trust my body, and most importantly- stay off baby forums. I remember thinking “how can I care about something so much, that I didn’t even realize I wanted more than a few weeks ago?” Needless to say, I was relieved when I hit the glorious 12 week mark. Of course, the worrying didn’t completely stop then, but it was a milestone I was happy to cross, as the chances of something going wrong decreased significantly. For the most part, 12 weeks also marked the end of the less-than-enjoyable symptoms that come along with pregnancy: nausea, fatigue, constipation, etc. I finally felt that I could relax and start to enjoy the wonders of pregnancy, as I entered what people refer to as the “honeymoon” stage- the second trimester.