Bumpdate: 26 Weeks ~ Baby #2

How far along: 26 weeks

Symptoms: Heartburn & indigestion, hip pain 


Maternity Clothes: Yup. 

Total Weight Gain: 14 lbs… yeeps!

Gender: girl, & pretty sure we’re set on a name πŸ˜‰


Sleep: I get up to pee about a zillion times, but other than that, sleep is good.


Cravings & Aversions: sweet & salty things


Funny Moments: Emmalyn pretending to tickle the baby


Nesting: Just the other day, I got all new bedding/pillows for the full-sized bed in the baby’s room.
I found a navy and white table cloth with a rope pattern all over it that I’m going to turn into the curtains. I picked up the matching table runner, too, to lay on top of the dresser to protect the wood. They were all a steal from both Marshall’s and Stein Mart. I also found the most perfect decorative (but totally practical) baskets–in coral and navy. With anchors! I thought for sure I would have a difficult time finding coral-colored items, and would have to change part of our color scheme to pink (which I really didn’t want to do because I’ve been there, done that), but Stein Mart blew me out of the water with the amount of coral-colored nautical items they carried. Success! 

Best Moments This Week: Emmalyn calling her (“old”) playroom the new baby’s room, and even *giving* some of her stuffed animals to her “little sister”. It’s so sweet that she already wants to share. Let’s just hope it stays that way…


What I Miss: My energy. 


Looking Forward To: Matching sister outfits!


loyally,
katie

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Bumpdate: 22 Weeks ~ Baby #2



How far along: 22 weeks


Symptoms: Heartburn, indigestion, and nausea… ugh! I don’t remember getting heartburn with Emmalyn until the third trimester. It stinks, y’all! Plus, my hips are crazy sore 24/7. 


Maternity Clothes: Pretty much everything. 


Total Weight Gain: 5lbs.


Gender: girl


Movement: Lots! All the time. It feels like she’s predominately on my bottom right side.


Sleep: If the heartburn isn’t keeping me up, then sleep is pretty successful, minus my hips giving me trouble.


Cravings & Aversions: Been craving ice cream! The really bad for you kind of ice cream πŸ˜‰


Not So Funny Moments: Being hormonal and emotional. Any little thing could set me off. Whether it’s forgetting to pay the cable bill (…never happened before! Damn pregnancy brain…) or a commercial, or some reason I don’t even know the reason! Hormones are weird! 


Nesting: The desire to nest is there, and prevalent all over my Pinterest, but the desire to physically get up and take care of it is not–ha!


Best Moments This Week: Emmalyn feeling the baby kick for the first time. I put her hand on my belly and she said, “My little sister ‘booped’ me!” Then she pretended to tickle the baby back.


What I Miss: Feeling like a normal person, physically. 


Looking Forward To: Emmalyn having a little sister!


loyally,
katie


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Bump, Birth, Baby, & Beyond


51 Tips on Pregnancy, Child Birth, Postpartum, & Being a New Mommy

…only 51 or we could be here for days!


*On Being Pregnant



1.  Let people touch your belly. Sure, every now and again it can be a little awkward, but really, it’s not that big of a deal. People get curious and excited (and sometimes carried away) that you’re bringing a new life into the world. What’s weird is when they touch your belly after you have the baby. Now that’s awkward.

2.  Stay active, but know when to take it easy. I found that if I did too much one day, I was a pile of cement the next. Sore and tired and pretty much miserable and useless.

3.  Take (weekly) belly bump pictures. They’re fun to look back on. And if you want to post them to Facebook or your blog? Do it. It’s your life. I guarantee people secretly (and not so secretly) love to look at them. Same goes for maternity pictures.

4.  However, if you choose to post belly pics to social media, don’t get offended when someone makes the comment, “Oh you look so tiny for eight months–are you sure there’s a baby in there?” or, “You’re huge! Are you sure there’s not two in there?” Because it’s inevitable. Just let it roll off your shoulder and remember their comment for when they’re pregnant so you can make an equally offensive one back. Just kidding. Don’t do that.

5.  Don’t compare yourself to other mommies-to-be. Especially those who are right around your due date. The second you read on Facebook they felt their baby moving, and you haven’t yet, you’ll start freaking out and calling your doctor every five minutes. Every woman experiences pregnancy differently. Remember that.

6.  To continue along those lines, stay far away from places like BabyCenter[dot]com where women are notorious for comparing themselves to other women. And don’t even get me started on the competition! I was always afraid WWIII would break out on those message boards. Yipes! It’s brutal out there. No need to add that kind of stress to your life.

7.  Consider keeping your unborn child’s name a secret. We did this with our first. We didn’t want anyone ‘hating’ on her name before she was even born. Because guess what? Who is going to say to your face and the face of your new plump bundle of joy that they really dislike his/her name? No one. They’ll save that kind of talk for behind your back… 

8.  There’s no need to buy the fancy, expensive Pottery Barn matchy-matchy nursery bedding set. It’s overpriced and the baby will never use the quilt. In fact, s/he cannot use the quilt in the crib because it’s illegal. Okay, it’s not illegal, but it’s completely not safe.

9.  With the latter being said, I know you’ll still order the fancy PB set because you’re saying to yourself, “She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.” or, “I MUST HAVE IT! It’s soooo perfect!” Yep. I said the same thing. People told me the same thing. I didn’t listen just like you won’t either. & then regretted it. It must be a right-of-passage into motherhood or something. 

10. Don’t take the tags off of anything, and keep your receipts. After my baby shower I got so overly excited that I ripped off the tags and washed everything and put it neatly in the nursery in preparation for the baby. I think that’s called nesting. It turns out Emmalyn didn’t need ALL of those onesies and socks and receiving blankets.

11. Research, but don’t over-research information about childbirth. Personally I felt much more relaxed throughout the whole process because I had read (and watched) about it.

12. Savor all the baby flutters and kicks. You’ll miss them terribly.

13. If this is your second pregnancy and you have a toddler running around at home, please don’t feel bad about the amount of television you let him/her watch–especially in the first trimester. You’re nauseous and tired, and there will not be life-long-lasting side-affects on your toddler because you let them watch seven hours of TV in a row. Just make sure you feed them something edible in between.

*On Child Birth



14. Make a Birth Plan. Review it with your spouse and communicate your concerns and feelings with him.

15. Take that birth plan and THROW IT AWAY. Seriously. I never even took mine out of the bag. There are so many things going on that as long as you talk to your nurse, doctor, and hubby, you’ll be just fine. Honestly, I never gave my birth plan a second thought in the hospital, and laughed when I remembered it was in my bag after I came home from the hospital.

16. Book mark the page in the baby book where you want the baby’s footprints. It’ll make the nurse’s job easier and you won’t forget to have it done either. As an extra ‘happy’ we laid out a scrub shirt to have the baby’s footprints stamped on. My dad did it with me, and since the hubs is a doctor, we wanted to continue the tradition. Super adorable, if you ask me πŸ˜‰

17. Epidural or no epidural, give yourself a break. I went in determined not to have an epidural, but was paralyzed with pain after a few hours. I made the decision to have an epidural (after talking with my husband) and never looked back. No regrets. Don’t feel guilty! And if you choose to do it au natural, please don’t go all Rosie the Riveter on the rest of us. You make us feel bad about ourselves. I applaud you, really, but guess what?? We both got the same end result–a happy and healthy baby.

18. Your spouse is your advocate. Make sure he can read your mind. Or at least talk, talk, talk about everything and anything. That way, when you’re in mid-contraction and everything seems to be moving a mile a minute and you physically cannot open your mouth to speak, he can do so for you… with confidence and trust.

19. Pack chap-stick.

20. The “Going Home” outfit is pretty pointless because you put the baby in the car seat to go straight home anyway, but with that being said, buy the most ridiculous outfit you want because YOU DESERVE IT! You just had a baby for goodness sake. You can do whatever the hell you want!

*On Postpartum



21. You will bleed. A lot. A lot. A lot. Holy cow! I thought I was going to die of blood loss. Put raggedy old towels on the bathroom floor after taking a shower, or strip the rugs off the floor. Or both.

22. “Tucks” and hydrocortisone are your BFFs. Them, plus newborn diapers in the freezer instead of regular pads. Greatest concoction ever. The nurses will tell you what’s up in the hospital.

23. Take lots of pictures in the hospital. You never get those moments and memories back.

24. Steal–I mean, take everything in the hospital home with you. Even if they tell you to leave them behind, like the thick hospital bed pads. You’ll use them for things like tummy time, stomach viruses, and potty training later on down the road. Take all the baby blankets, too. They won’t miss them.

25. You’re not going crazy. I swear.

26. There will be times you feel like throwing your baby against the wall when s/he won’t stop crying. That’s normal. You are not alone.

27. There will be times your spouse feels like throwing the baby against the wall. That’s normal, too.

28. You won’t throw your baby against the wall. Or down the hall. Or out the window. I promise.

29. Walk away. Your baby will be 100% safe if you put him/her in the crib and shut the door to the bathroom, read a trashy gossip magazine, cry your eyes out, and eat a piece of chocolate. The same technique works when your child is one, and two, and three…

30. If breast-feeding isn’t for you and your family, then it isn’t for you and your family, and don’t let anyone–I repeat, anyone, make you feel bad about that. Sometimes it’s just not in the cards. If mommy’s not happy, baby’s not happy. I know plenty of breast-fed babies who are sick wayyy more often than my little girl who was only breast-fed for two weeks. Everyone survives.

31. Get out of the house as soon as possible. Throw away the old “rule” of waiting a month before taking your baby out in public. The longer you wait, the more anxious you’ll become. In the very beginning, I made a quick and simple trip to Target and refused to let my husband help me so I could get the “complete experience”. Just a quick trip is all you need. Then go home and pat yourself on the back.

32. MOST IMPORTANTLY: If you’re feeling depressed or overly-anxious, please talk to your doctor and seek help immediately! If you are new to my blog and don’t already know, I developed a severe case of postpartum depression after the birth of my first daughter. Worst and best thing to ever happen to me! [You can read more about it here.] 

*On Being a New Mommy



33. The first 3-4 months are hands-down the hardest of your life. Everyone kept telling me to “hang in there” until the baby was three months, and honestly it took me closer to four before I didn’t feel so stressed Every!Single!Day! There was more of a routine established and I had gotten used to the fact that I could run on little-to-no sleep.

34. Drink lots of water! Fill up a tumbler with a straw and drink, drink, drink. Your body will thank me. Oh yeah, eat, too.

35. I have kept a journal (almost) every single day of Emmalyn’s life since Day One. I used this amazing journal. It made it so simple for me to jot down 1-2+ things about what she did during the day. I highly recommend it. I’ve made my own variation of the journal through Microsoft Word and Office Max for each year of Emmalyn’s life. I leave it open on the counter and write something down whenever I can remember to. From first words and foods to play dates to ridiculous temper tantrum scenarios. With that being said, if journaling ain’t yo thang, don’t sweat it! Which leads me to…

36. Every mom has “their thing”. Mine happens to be documenting/journaling my daughter’s life. It’s something I’ve basically done since I was kid anyway, therefore it comes naturally to me. Your “thing” might be making pretty hair bows or bow ties. Or, taking really creative pictures. (I wish that was “my thing” but it’s not.) My point is, don’t feel bad if “your thing” isn’t “her thing” or “this-really-hip-and-cool-mom’s thing”. Cut yourself some slack. If it stresses you out too much to do the latest Pinterest-new-baby-trend, then don’t do it. It’s not worth it.

37. Don’t worry about the appearance of your house. No one truly cares, and everyone totally understands. Because trust me, your house won’t be “back to normal” until… until… well if it ever gets back to normal, someone please tell me when.

38. No matter how many years of babysitting and nannying experience you have, you’ll almost entirely forget everything you know. She just pooped all over me! What the hell do I do? Go to the sink. That’s what you do. Needless to say, you’ll inevitably forget that’s the most practical solution and simply freeze with poop in your hands instead.

39. It will take you at least three days to do one load of laundry. Day one to wash, day two to dry, and day three to fold. Oh wait–make that four days. Day four to put them away. This is just for one load, mind you.

40. Making freezer meals totally saves your butt. Granted, you won’t feel like cooking at all in the beginning (that’s what moms and mother-in-laws are for), but eventually you’ll ease back into it. My life was dramatically easier for the week I made freezer (Crock-pot) meals. Yes. One week. I really should take my own advice.

41. Let them get a little dirty. One of my favorite new-mommy memories was when I let Emmalyn loose at the strawberry patch. It had just rained the night before and she couldn’t walk yet. It was so muddy, but I let her crawl through the fields and she had the most fun ever. I did too. I didn’t even care that I ended up having to throw away the outfit she wore.

42. Always over-prepare. Stock up on wipes, diapers, paper towels, regular towels, and extra clothes. Keep them in your car at all times. You never know when you’ll need them and you’ll always be relieved to have them. On that note, pack an extra pair of clothes for yourself. ‘Ya never know…

43. Don’t ever let anyone convince you to do something you don’t want to do, or convince you to stop doing something you want to do. Case in point, I had many people deter me from cloth diapering Emmalyn before she was born. They told me it was disgusting and I wouldn’t be allowed to use their washing machine. I gave in and didn’t cloth diaper. I completely regret not standing my ground.

44. Never underestimate how long it takes to get out of the house. Your normal fifteen minutes can easily turn into thirty (or more) when you realize Little One has a messy diaper just as you’re putting him/her into the car.

45. You probably won’t feel like you have the whole “motherhood thing” under control until your baby turns a year old. It’s almost as if a light switch goes off and your shoulders become more relaxed and you exhale, ahhh….

46. Embrace your new body and cut yourself some slack! Don’t compare yourself to other moms (especially on Instagram, where there are 50 different filters). You birthed a baby and that is the coolest thing anyone can do on this planet! Love yourself unconditionally and unapologetically. 

47. Get involved in Mom’s groups and outings as quickly as possible. You’ll feel less insane.

48. Don’t be afraid to ask other moms for their phone number. Sure, you’ll feel silly at first, but then you’ll come home to your spouse, jumping up and down, feeling like a giddy teenager who’s crush just circled “Yes”. Trust me when I say the other mom was too scared to do what you had the guts to do. After all, we’re all in the same boat–desperate for other mommy-friends.

49. Ask for help. People really do want to help when they offer. Take it. Trust me.

50. Do something for yourself, and for you and your spouse. Don’t ever forget about the man who helped give you the most beautiful gift you’ve ever been given.

51. Never forget the most important piece of advice I could ever give to any new mommy: No one ever has it all together. If they tell you they do, they’re lying.

loyally,
katie

What tips would you share with mommies-to-be and new mommies out there? 


If you think this post was helpful, please feel free to share with other prego/new mommies!!


Professional pictures by IG: @mpoulter

Bumpdate: 17 Weeks ~ Baby #2


How far along: 17 weeks, today.


Symptoms: Sporadic headaches, terrible allergies (I had this happen with Emmalyn, too), awful groin pain, making it quite uncomfortable to walk at times (already?!)

Maternity Clothes: Living in mostly regular leggings, although my maternity ones from H&M are much more comfortable. I have a pair of maternity jeans from Target and a brown pair of skinnies from Motherhood Maternity since I no longer fit into my pants! Since I’m pregnant during a different season this time around, I purchased long-sleeve maternity shirts, as it will get a lot colder in our new city.

Total Weight Gain: 3 pounds. I’m definitely showing a lot sooner than I was with Emmy.

Gender: This Type A Girl is anxiously awaiting! I was originally told I would find out next week, but could not get an appointment until December 31! I’m so bummed because I wanted to find out before my birthday, which is next Thursday (the 20th), but it looks like I will have to wait. Hmph! I’m impatient! Although…. it may be kind of cool to announce it at midnight…

Movement: It’s funny how this time around I was able to detect the little flutters right away, at around 11 weeks. I’m sure it had to do with the fact that I already knew what it felt like. Just this week I’ve started feeling the baby move around while I’m up and moving, too, whereas before it was just when I was sitting or lying still.

Sleep: When I’m not blowing my brains out into a tissue, I’m sleeping pretty well. I have finally stopped peeing a million bazillion times a night, so I’m thankful for that.

Cravings & Aversions: Nope to both!

Funny Moments: Uncontrollable peeing.

Not So Funny Moments: Uncontrollable peeing.

Nesting: I definitely have a lot more energy now that the first 16 weeks have passed. Before, I was so nauseous and felt like I couldn’t move from the sofa. Now, I am going from one errand to the next, and getting out more with Emmy.

Best Moments This Week: Hands down, having Emmalyn go to our ultrasound last Wednesday. The doctor let her *do it* and when she saw the picture on the screen she said, “Look Mommy! It’s our baby!” It was the most beautiful moment. I can’t wait for her to be a big sister. She’s going to rock it!

What I Miss: Having a little bit of alcohol at a restaurant.

Looking Forward To: Looking a little more pregnant. Right now I’m at the “is she, or isn’t she?” stage.

loyally,
katie


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The truth.

Most of you all know bits and pieces (or maybe a whole lot) about the postpartum depression I went through after Emmalyn was born. {If not, please click on the PPD link above} I held a lot back for several reasons, one of them being judgement. But I’m not afraid anymore, and I don’t want to hold back now that I’m pregnant a second time. I also don’t want to sit behind a computer screen, blogging about how amazing I feel, when I actually don’t. My experience is real, and I know I’m not alone. I admit, it’s a little scary to be sharing my personal life on the Internet, but if it helps just one person (whether now or in the future) than I feel like I’ve done something good in this world.

So here goes nothing! (or everything…)

This was written in my journal one month and five days ago:


I woke up, heart pounding of of my chest, sweat soaking the front of my shirt. I felt an overwhelming sense of anxiety seep through my veins, trapping me with an illogical thought that something bad was going to happen to Emmalyn and me.

I had convinced myself I’d be okay while Blake traveled to Texas for a week for casualty training. After all, I’ve been away from him for six weeks before; a week is nothing, right?

Well, apparently for some reason I was lying to myself. I got so nervous after he left that I became extremely emotional, crying uncontrollably. My dear sweet girl came over to me, asking me why I was crying. I told her it was because I missed Daddy. She said to me, “It’s okay mommy. Don’t cry. I’ll take care of you.” Which of course made me cry even more because of her innocent selflessness. She can be so sour at times, but she really has such a kind heart. She gave me hugs and kisses and two year-old promises that everything will be just fine.

I’m just so frustrated because my fears seem so real. I don’t want to go through what I went through last time, after Emmalyn was born. But most of all, I don’t want to put the people I love most through all the hardship again. They don’t deserve it.

I called my mom in hysterics, sharing everything. She wanted me to come down to stay with her for the week, but the thought of packing up, locking up, and traveling overwhelmed me even more. With some thought, she came to the conclusion that she would fly up and stay with me until B got back a week later.

After I talked to my mom I got a hold of B to fill him in on everything and he seemed to think I should stick out, with help from people already around me, instead of my mom swooping in to save the day.

I tried to explain to him that that’s what moms do! They come to the rescue when you need them. I understand his point of view, because I know I can’t always rely on my mom when things get tough, but this mental health shit scares me–and I don’t want to take any chances.

So my mom is flying in tomorrow and I don’t know how I’ll ever thank her!

I’m just so scared of what the future holds if I’m already feeling this emotional in the sixth week of my pregnancy. It’s going to be a long nine months!

But I can do it! I AM CAPABLE! With medical help, and help from my friends and family, I’ll get through it. Besides, there’s no turning back now! πŸ˜‰

***

It’s been over a month since my panic attack, and I’m proud to report I’m doing so much better. The option of medication was given to me, but I’ve decided to take it week by week. However, if it’s something that is necessary down the road, I’m okay with it. Physically, I feel nauseous almost all day long, and I’m completely drained (no thanks to a two year-old to chase around), but mentally I am doing so much better. 

I have an amazing doctor and a therapist whom I’ve seen twice. They eased my guilt about getting support from my family. My doctor said, “If you had a heart attack, you wouldn’t feel guilty about them taking care of you, so having them take care of you for this is no different.” And my therapist told me to stop trying to be super wife and mom and go stay with my parents (and in-laws and friends) for a month while B has a month of night shift.

So that’s exactly what I’m doing. While it’s a bummer to be away from B, I realize I’d never seem him anyway, with us being on complete opposite schedules, so why not have a change of scenery and take care of myself and growing baby?! 

Thank you to all those who have known about this for weeks and have been by my side to help! 

loyally,
katie

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Relieve Stress With a Sweet Mango Body Scrub – A Guest Post

I’m happy to welcome Kendra Thornton, Travel Industry Publicist and Spokeswoman, to my blog today:
 


During PregnancyAwareness Month I am continually reminded of the importance of staying healthy and stress free not only during pregnancy, but in all of the years throughout motherhood. Becoming a mother has been one of the biggest blessings and hardest jobs of my life. I want to be the best mom I can be to my amazing kids and that means taking time out to keep myself vibrant and full of life. With flowers budding and kids’ sports in high gear, I find my family’s days are a lot more full and active than they were a month ago. For me, that means making sure that I am as energized as possible … and what better than a spa treatment to keep you refreshed and energized!


Honolulu has become a favorite vacation spot for my family.  We stayed at one of the more popular hotels in Honolulu, the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort.  After years of working in the travel industry, I had heard many positive reviews about the hotel’s spa: Na Ho’ola.  I decided to try the Lomi Lomi Facial, which uses all natural ingredients, right from the island, that compliment my family’s holistic lifestyle. Utilizing some of the natural fruits and ingredients used at Na Ho’ola, I have recreated this at home beauty treatment in the form of a body scrub. 



Below is the recipe for the Mango Body Scrub:






1 Mango chopped



1/4 cup instant oats



1 cup of castor sugar



1 Tablespoon sweet almond oil



4 drops of orange essential oil



1 Tablespoon pineapple juice

Mix all ingredients in a bowl using a heavy spoon or fork, making sure to fully smash and incorporate the mango. You can use this scrub in the shower for an all over body experience or at the sink for a face and neck treatment. Make sure to refrigerate any leftover scrub in a tightly sealed container and to use the next time you want to exfoliate.

I love to use this scrub after a long day or in the morning to get me energized.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

:: :: ::

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to try this scrub!

loyally,
katie

Today I’m Featured On…

Chaunie over at Tiny Blue Lines just posted my interview on her site!
Chaunie is “a freelance writer, advocate and speaker for young women facing unplanned pregnancies, and most of all–full-time mom to two amazing little girls [& a boy on the way!] [She] also works as a nurse to pay the bills, but that’s a whole ‘nother story…”
I’m so grateful for the opportunity to contribute to her always honest and inspiring blog.
So what are you waiting for?!
Go! Check! It! Out! Now!
Right Here.
Or Here.
Or Here.
Then come back and tell me what you think!
*
loyally,
katie

BAM!

a year ago to the day,
i received some {ehem, shall i say} surprising news.
i went in to the doctor on a friday afternoon,
thinking i had a uti,
and walked out
with!a!baby!
yup.
i always imagined how happy & excited i would be when i’d find out i was pregnant one day.
but when the nervous nurse told me this shocking news,
i felt terrified instead of ecstatic.
suddenly my dreams of becoming a mom felt foreign.
since april 9th 2010,
my life has been a *whirlwind*
engaged.
married.
baby.
bam!

this past year has been the most memorable year of my life, to date.
i have changed, & grown, & all for the better.
i love who i am now so much more than a year ago.

i became a mother.

& you, emmalyn grace, made me a mommy.

{i love you}

so… happy oneyearfindingoutimpregnantanniversary, to me πŸ˜‰

loyally,

katie

SHE’S HERE!!

Born on November 17, 2010

at 3:39pm

Weighing 6lbs 14oz and 20 inches long

With 19 hours of med-free labor, 5 hours of epidural, and just over an hour of pushing (with a lopsided working epidural)

We proudly welcome our baby girl

Emmalyn Grace


***

Story behind her name…
Emmalyn
Blake’s grandmother’s name is Evelyn and we’ve liked the name Emma since before we got pregnant, so B combined the two.
Grace
My grandmothers’ names are Gussie and Georgia so we picked a “G” name we really loved and sounded pretty together.

Momma is doing well. We’ll be here 48 hours because we both had fevers, although they’re completely gone now. I’m crying over how in love I am, soaking it all in, and trying to document everything so I don’t forget. She’s a precious little miracle and I couldn’t be more in love.

I can’t wait to write her Birth Story and tell you all the real & fun little details πŸ˜‰

Thank you again for your unconditional prayers and well wishes. I’ve read every single comment and am so humbled by your kindness. B and I appreciate it more than you know!!
God Bless!