I hated my body when I was pregnant. I felt fat, I hated the way parts of my body were changing, and I had morning sickness the whole time, so that didn't help me feel great either. Now, I miss being pregnant all the time and I'm so glad I took pictures even though I hated it then. I didn't feel like I was really bonding or connecting very much while I was pregnant either, but once I met that baby, I realized that I knew him so well already! Each kick, punch, and flip helped me learn his character and even learn when his sleep schedule was. Even though I couldn't see him, and didn't think much about it then, I was lucky to be so involved in his growth and development and it was an amazing experience. The moral of the story is, even if you hate the way you look and feel, try to appreciate it and document it anyways, you'll probably be very happy that you did later on!
When I was pregnant, I had this perfect picture in my head of how everything would go. I would have a perfect schedule each day with my baby's nap and feeding times mastered, I would be able to get homework done during nap time, and I would be on a perfect pumping schedule to always have extra milk for baby. Boy, was I in la-la-land. The baby thought that day was night, night was day, and had a very long period of time where he would only sleep when I let him nurse during the whole nap. I also did not realize how much more difficult pumping was than it seemed, and how much I would hate it!
When I was 19, I looked a little more like 16 or 17, due to my lack of makeup skills. Since I didn't bother with makeup (especially while pregnant and right after baby), and most of my friends look pretty young as well, I was always getting dirty looks during pregnancy! I knew people were upset when they could tell I was pregnant and young. I would even see some ladies talking about my while looking at me in disgust the whole time. This especially happened when I would go shopping in the snoody part of town. If I forgot to where my engagement ring that day, or I was too swollen to put it on, I would often just go somewhere else to shop, or just go home and forget about it. If it looked like the father was not in the picture on top of it, it defeated the fun of even shopping.
I'm sure lots of young mom's experience this, and I want you all to know, that no matter how old you are or what your situation is with the father, you are going to be okay! You are doing a great thing making that baby and as long as you are doing the best you can for your little one, then those judging you should not matter.
Once my little one was born and I would stroll around with him, almost all of the looks disappear. Everybody loves babies! Just know it gets better. People start judging you for different things later on, like if your baby is crying in public, or how your disciplining your kids, or what you're wearing as a mom (because how dare you show off how good you look after having children!). Soon more people will understand that things are not perfect in any family, because there is no perfect. Everybody has a different idea of what they would like there life to be like when they have kids, including age, where they are in their career and relationships, and whatever my idea is, is not perfect for you and vice versa! Although it is tough to be a mom in college, I love being so young, because my body was able to heal faster and I am able to keep up with my baby with lots of energy! There will always be benefits to living your life the way that makes you happiest!
Today I am exactly one month away from my due date. While I am excited to meet little Cooper, I am overwhelmed with all there is to do before his arrival! First of all, let me advise other first time moms not to wait too long for their shower. My shower is in 2 weeks, which is partially because of waiting until after the holidays and planning around important guests. However, this only gives me two weeks to buy everything that was not bought off my registry, completely have everything put together, cleaned, and in its place; Not to mention, this will be the most awkward two weeks of the pregnancy (if I even last the whole two weeks), being so giant and fatigued. If you can, asking for an earlier shower will make this last month easier.
For now, I'd like to share my printable checklist of all the things I can do and will get done in the next few weeks!
Update: On the list I forgot to add "getting life insurance and creating a will" for custody, God forbid something happens to both of us. My job has a great life insurance policy, and my bank offers a deal too, so shop around for what works best for you!
Sometimes when you're getting sick or feeling uncomfortable pains due to pregnancy, it can be hard to remember how much of a blessing the little bundle of joy that you're carrying will be to your life! Some ways I have found to start having fun with the idea of having a real little human around, is to create projects that integrate him into my life! I don't mean deep cleaning the house, making room for the baby, and just shopping for all the essentials (although, those things can be fun too if you really think about what it's all for!). I mean doing arts and crafts! I decided on kind of a storybook theme for my child's things. "Oh, the places you'll go!" is one of the storybook quotes I wanted to centralize a lot of the decor around, because this allows me to tie in storybooks, inspiration and travel, as well as some more boyish ideas like planes, trains, automobiles, and other modes of transportation. So I decided to make my own mobile of hot air balloons and clouds to hang over the crib! I found a tutorial for this here. I also painted a canvas with some hot air balloons, and the quote I decided on (pictured below). Another fun craft was a night light made with a canvas and whatever words you decide on! I found that tutorial here, but chose to change the words to go with my inspirational theme, so my version is pictured below. Quilting is one of the next projects I will be taking on with a cute, unique tutorial found here, but again I will be changing it up a little bit with different colors and patterns since I know I am having a boy. This particular project I think will be fun to do for each child I have, to have a personalized gift to keep for later on! It's also always possible to add on to quilts which could be fun for years to come, even if that means just adding a border later on to grow the quilt and integrate it to a larger bed spread!
If crafting isn't your thing, one other thing I have enjoyed is prenatal yoga. Yoga in general is great for preparing you for childbirth as far as opening up your joints, hips, keeping you flexible, and teaching you to breath through different positions. However prenatal yoga, specifically, is catered more towards pregnant and postpartum bodies, and includes connecting spiritually with your baby. You can become more aware of the positioning and feelings of the baby in your womb, making him or her more real to you, even though you can't quite see him or her yet!
These are the activities I have enjoyed so far to stay in touch with my baby, but please comment below with your ideas and experiences you have to share with other moms!
I wanted to talk about hormones this week! Some of us get mad at our partners for no reason at all, or feel resentment; some of us cry uncontrollably; some have bipolar-like emotions that consist of many ups and downs; and sometimes our hormones affect our sex lives too! All of this is normal and it's okay as long as it isn't interfering with your life too much. Personally, I am a crier above all. I will cry, for literally no reason at all, every couple of days. I was already emotional, and the new fear and concern of becoming a new mom definitely added to that, but then you add my hormones and I couldn't even try to fight the need to let it all out! I became okay with this sort of thing as a release, but of course if you don't feel that way, and it adds to your distress too much, talk to your doctor about what you can do to change it! Even just talking to someone (a friend, partner, or even through an online forum) can make a huge difference to get it all out.
It also seems these feelings affect sex for a lot of pregnant women as well. For me, sex has changed a lot in good and bad ways. At the beginning, I felt gross, not sexy, and wanted nothing to do with sex; I didn't feel close to my partner at all. On top of that, my morning sickness made it impossible to do so without getting sick; and I would get pelvic pain every time I tried. I dreaded sex. Then, my third trimester hit, and suddenly, my libido was livened! I wanted it more often than my partner did, it was crazy! Don't expect this to happen to you, because everyone will feel different; just know that no matter how you feel, it's normal, and it's not a big deal to not feel yourself during pregnancy.
*You should talk to your doctor about any pains you have though, because you always want to do what is safest for your baby. :)
Taking a baby moon vacation before the baby arrives seemed important to me, especially for first time parents who will be starting a brand new journey! For many families, this will be the last getaway you can share alone with your significant other!
My doctor told me that October should be the last month I travel during my pregnancy, so we planned a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for the end of October; The resort we stayed at was beautiful, right on the beach, and had so many fun activities to choose from. As it turns out, Hurricane Patricia came the day after we arrived. We spent most of our weekend in a shelter due to the concern of this being the largest hurricane yet! Obviously everything turned out okay and we are fine, but take this as a precaution, because nobody needs that kind of stress while they're pregnant. There was no way of knowing about this hurricane even the day before, however it was hurricane season.
Avoid any type of stressful situation by just assuming the worst could happen and making sure you are traveling to a safe part of the world during that part of the year! And, of course, make sure you have fun! Although, we went through a lot on our vacation, we also grew closer, learning to trust and rely on each other in time of crisis; the whole point of a baby moon is to spend that time growing together before you have your baby to bond over!
This weekend I was in horrible pain in my abdomen and side. I was so worried that something was wrong with the baby, but it turned out it was just a kidney stone! I had too much calcium buildup. I will spare the details, but this is just a friendly reminder to not ignore what your body tells you during pregnancy, and make sure you let your doctor know if something unusual is going on with you and your body!
I also recommend keeping your health in check with some kind of system to make sure you're getting all the nutrients you need for the baby and yourself. Personally, I use the BabyCenter chart* below to make sure I'm getting what I need, as well as at least half a gallon of water every day! Staying active is also very important to me, because I want to make the birth as easy as possible! Don't push yourself, know your limits, and listen to your body! Long walks, yoga, and pilates work well for me, but you may need to do more or less according to your body and how active you were before pregnancy. These are just my recommendations, so please share how you ladies stay healthy during pregnancy in the comments below!
*This chart can be found at: http://assets.babycenter.com/ims/Content/food_group_serving.pdf
Today, I found out I'm having a little baby boy! I'm so happy to be able to call him "him" instead of "it". I also got to see the healthy little monkey moving all over the place!
I'm starting to feel much more on the confident and much less scared! I have planned out as much as I can think of for the baby and am feeling much better in knowing my budget, plans for the baby, and that I will be a good mom. The fear of parenting at a young age really does subside, and with 9 months to help gain confidence! For me, planning things out helped make me feel more in control.
I am 15 weeks pregnant (due in February 2016) and my pants are starting to feel a little tighter, which is exciting, to actually feel the difference of something growing in there! The more I think about the life inside me, the more excited I get.
For a couple days I had a really weird feeling and this little thought just overshadowing me that I just might be. Then, I was late ONE day and that little shadow turned into a very persistent shadow that I could not stop thinking about the entire day, until finally I took a test. It was positive, but I still wasn't convinced. So I got two more tests; Both positive. Part of me thought, "How are we going to provide for this baby? I'm in school and we don't make lots of money," but the rest of me was thinking, "Jacob and I love each other, and this baby is going to be so loved; we are so blessed with this baby." When I surprised Jacob with the news, he validated my feelings by showing me his excitement and reassuring me that everything would work out and I was lucky to have the support. I am scared, but excited. Worried but reassured at the same time.
I'm a first time mom at 20--trying to get through life being a mom, wife, student, and employee--here to share my journey and some tips with you!