“Never Have I Ever” Pregnancy Edition

Pregnancy takes a toll on your body where you experience changes that only occur during your 9 month baby cooking period.  Some changes can be mind blowing where you’re unsure whether or not it’s worthy to mention at your gynecologist visits.  Sometimes women worry about these changes that it can be a bit embarrassing to share with anyone.  Your body is reacting to your growing child as organs are being pushed around and your chemical balance is off due to your hormones.  But it’s part of life- there’s nothing wrong with these body changes.  These changes may be things that you never went through in life.  So these are my “never have I ever” experiences as my body has been changing these past few months.  Some are embarrassing, others are just changes I’m experiencing- you decide.

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Never have I ever had really bad constipation… When I first found out I was pregnant, I was having bad constipation for almost 5 days.  My husband told me to either take medicine for constipation or take a pregnancy test.  Lo and behold, the white pee stick showed 2 blue lines to confirm I was pregnant.  Throughout these past 8.5 months, I’ve been having periods of having constipation and diarrhea (not at the same time) which made my trips to the bathroom very uncomfortable and long.  My bowl movements are regular now (TMI), but it was a weird phase that I was going through during all trimesters.

Never have I ever been a noisy person while sleeping… Up to now, I hate sleeping next to a person who snores heavily (I can’t speak on behalf of my husband because I’m stuck with him for life).  Obviously, I can’t control people’s sleeping habits but the only reason for this is because my Dad was (and still is) the loudest snorer I know.  People have pet peeves that gets under their skin and mine is loud snorers.  Funny with this is now I’ve become that person!  Though this has become a recent development in the past month, I never thought of myself as a heavy snorer.  Yes I breathe deeply when I sleep, but nothing too annoying that would keep my husband up.  But now the tables have turned where he even wakes up to the strange noises coming out of me.  One time I dozed off on the couch while watching cartoons with my daughter.  I woke up a few minutes later with my daughter gone and the tv a bit louder.  I figured it was my loud snores that drove her away to another room.

Never have I ever enjoyed eating a pickle… I hated pickles growing up- the smell and taste would just gross me out.  Some of my friends were obsessed with pickles to the point that they would drink the pickle juice straight from the jar (gag me).  If my meals came with pickles in it or on the side, I would request not to have it or simply put it on the side for someone else to enjoy.  I don’t know why it’s a stereotypical question people ask when you’re pregnant if you like/dislike pickles.  I’ve had people ask me this question for both pregnancies where I was disgusted by them in the first one and I don’t mind them in this second one.  I had this debate with my husband where he says, “you like pickles” and I rephrase it by saying, “I don’t mind eating pickles”.  It’s pretty much a he said, she said when it comes to pickles but I really don’t mind eating them at all.  We don’t eat pickles at home so it becomes a treat whenever I have it served on a plate.  I’m not going to go out of my way to buy a jar, but it’s a nice addition to my meal whenever I see one.

Is a “Push Gift” a Real Thing?

I received a text from my Dad asking me if my Mom would like a certain gift for Mother’s Day.  The text had a link and as I clicked on it, the idea of a “push gift” came into my mind.  I first heard about this from my cousin who delivered her 2nd child last Fall.  I look at this as a celebrity trend since they’re the ones who make this a buzz in the media (ahem, Kim Kardashian West), but I never thought it was a real thing.  I haven’t talked to other mothers about a “push gift”, but isn’t the greatest gift after pregnancy the little person that you’ve brought into this world?

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Picture from InstaFather.com webpage

I guess the concept behind the “push gift” is really a congratulations reward for what you and your body have just achieved.  No one said pregnancy, labor and delivery, and motherhood is easy, but it does have its greatest moments.  So I guess it makes sense to reward yourself with a nice little gift.  After all, everyone showers baby with gifts- not for mom.  Plus, who doesn’t love receiving gifts that put a smile on your face?  So now the wheels are churning in my head and I’m brainstorming on a “push gift” even though I know my husband will not go for it.  Only reason why I say this is because my husband is terrible at giving gifts that fall out of the traditional gift giving season.  Well, the only unexpected gift he gave me was my engagement ring.  But aside that, he struggles in the gift giving department.

What could I even ask for?  I’ve been selfless in taking care of myself for the sake of the baby these past 8 months.  It has been a tough road, but I’m finally at peace with my past struggles and look forward to the debut of my Baby Boy.  The one thing I’m definitely looking forward to is a nice cold beer post baby.  But I wouldn’t expect my husband to take me out on a drinking binge because first, I’m a lightweight and second, I’m a very cheap date.  So I wouldn’t want that for a gift.  If I’m looking for something tangible, then I have a few ideas up my sleeves.

Mini Crossbody Bag – Kate Spade New York (pictures from Nordstrom website)

I remember one of my first splurges post college was a Kate Spade wallet and an iPhone cell phone case.  I’m a huge fan of her collection and I absolutely love the simplicity of her handbags and wallets.  I usually switch my purses when the seasons change from summer to fall.  Now with Baby Boy on the way, I know my arms will be tied down with the baby, stroller and a baby bag when I’m on the go.  But I still need my own bag to hold my things such as my wallet, phone, keys, and some other small trinkets.  These 2 convertible cross body bags (Small Emerson Lane – Ryley on left; Cobble Hill – Mini Ella on right) look perfect for what I will need.  Plus the color selection is perfect for summer.

Watch – Fitbit vs. Skagen (pictures from Nordstrom website)

I remember being in love with my periwinkle Baby G Shock watch back in the day.  I thought Baby G watches were awesome because they were water and shock resistant, it had multiple functions (ie: time, date, timer, stopwatch, etc.) and it glowed in the dark.  How can you not love something like that?  Baby G watches are still around but I think the army of Fitbit-like watches have taken over.  These watches have revolutionized people’s awareness of their daily activities including any work out regimen.  I’m interested in this Fitbit watch to help me focus on losing the baby weight which I’m hoping will naturally happen through breastfeeding.  Plus I have 6 months to shed the baby weight in order to wear a Matron of Honor dress in the fall.  Maybe this watch will help aide me into working out which is not my strong suit at all.  If I don’t go this route, then a traditional watch will do.  I bought my husband and I Skagen watches a couple of years ago.  The face of my watch shattered last year and I’ve been searching for a new one to replace it.  Maybe this will be the year to get a new Skagen watch.

Compact Camera – Canon vs. Nikon

 

I’ve loved taking pictures since I was a little kid.  Capturing raw moments with a click of a button always fascinated me.  A picture is worth a thousand words, but snapping the right one makes it meaningful and worth while.  I’ve owned a bunch of cameras since my senior year of high school where a majority of them were either a Canon or Nikon.  I always wanted to pursue photography as a hobby or side job, but never had a chance to develop the desire to its full potential.  I’m done with taking photos on my smartphone- everything is over filtered and always looks grainy.  I know there are apps to adjust this all, but I want the real thing.  I’m not a camera enthusiast who understands the terminology that makes one camera “better” than the other.  I just want a compact camera that takes crisps pictures, has great video quality recording at 1080p and has wifi connection so I can immediately share my pictures to the virtual world.  For now, I will seek out the Canon PowerShot G7X  which is a beloved camera in the Youtube community.  Or I will wait for the new Nikon Coolpix A900 which comes out at the end of the month.  All I know is that once Baby Boy is born, I’d rather be taking crisp photos of him on a camera rather on my phone.  I’ve been dropping that sucker a lot lately so I don’t want his first accident to be of me accidentally having my phone slip out of my hands.

If all else fails, then a makeup shopping spree will do the trick!  Mother’s Day is around the corner- maybe I can get 3 gifts next month?  Mother’s Day gift, a “push gift” and a newborn baby sounds like May will be my favorite month of the year.

It’s the “I Will” Mentality

Since the end of January, I’ve been receiving my 17p shots weekly and have become best friends with the nurse who administers them to me.  In our brief 10-15 minute interaction, she’s very cheerful and uplifting with comforting words that everything will be OK with Baby Boy as he continues to grow.  She usually ends our interaction by saying, “see you next week and let’s make it to 36 weeks.”  I respond by saying, “hopefully I make it to then.”  She corrects me by saying, “not hopefully- it’s ‘I will make it to 36 weeks.'”

This past week was another bump in the road where all good feelings at being 32 weeks pregnant went down the drain.  First, I was laid off from my job on Monday due to my project being shut down indefinitely (I work in the construction industry by the way).  Secondly, my doctor told me on Tuesday that I barely have a cervix where it was measured at around 1 cm.  He didn’t want to induce me into labor, but wanted to send me to the hospital to be on bedrest for 2 weeks.  I convinced him I should be fine at home where he directed me to relieve all “mommy duties” to my husband and stay off of my feet completely.  Through these recent “downs”, I feel like I should’ve more upset with all of this.  Instead, I found comfort in the clarity of it all.

Throughout this pregnancy, I don’t think I’ve been true to myself and how I’ve been feeling this entire time.  It’s always “yeah, I’m hanging in there” or “yeah, I’m feeling fine” when really it’s something entirely different.  My biggest fear since the beginning of this pregnancy was to become a statistic of having multiple high risk pregnancies.  I convinced myself that I’m not meant to carry children to full term because of my past and present complications which are unexplainable.  These natural worries and anxieties made me feel that I couldn’t make it past 28 weeks because I thought my body was rejecting all the medicine I’ve been taking.  These feelings have surfaced throughout my pregnancy, but surprisingly this wasn’t my breaking point even after losing my job and knowing my Baby Boy might be coming very early.  I was definitely upset after losing my job, but felt better after talking to my boss in person as to understanding the situation of my project.  Losing my job wasn’t a decision based on performance, rather it’s the nature of the industry I work in.  Being told that my body is getting ready to deliver Baby Boy was no news to me at all.  I’ve been preparing myself for this since February when my cervix was being monitored and measured on a weekly basis.  So what has helped me get through these moments?  It was last Saturday while begrudgingly watching morning cartoons, I looked at my phone and my Periscope app popped up with a notification titled “20 Day Morning Meditation Day 7”.

At a young age, I was a spiritually active person finding direction and purpose in the Catholic church through prayer and worship.  I was involved in a prayer group that my parents joined in the last ’90s where they are still active till this day.  Once I went to college, my religious upbringing was quickly extinguished as I started to explore and understand other people’s views on life and their purpose.  Whenever I talk to my parents, they always remind me to pray and ask for the Lord’s guidance which I clearly don’t listen to.  Like them, I believe in the power of prayer but not as a way to talk to God.  I needed something to help me clear my mind and remove all my worries and anxieties that I’ve built up.  I didn’t want to follow an institution that would tell me what to do or how to pray.  Rather, I just wanted to find my center, refocus and recharge myself after not going or believing in the Church for the past 10 years.  I always had a hard time focusing during prayer.  I could never tune out the noise in my brain in order to listen to what my mind and body is saying.  I could never remove the feeling of being aware of my surroundings when really I just needed to focus on myself.  All of this changed when I listened to that 20 minute meditation series.

Listening to that Saturday morning meditation definitely prepared me for what was to come on that following Monday and Tuesday with my news.  Breathing deeply  through my nose and out of my mouth helps me calm my nerves and remove my anxieties that might pop up during the day.  I stay focused on my intentions of the day whether if it’s to complete tedious tasks on the computer or work on my blog.  I remind myself to let go of my worries and enjoy every present moment I have in the remaining weeks of my pregnancy.  I tell myself to say “I will” with everything I do.  The “I will/I can do” attitude helps me get through the day even though all of this has happened in the past 7 days.  I have to say that it’s been a while since I’ve felt clarity and peace during hard times.  I think all of these events have put perspective into my life’s meaning which is to enjoy the present.  Don’t worry about the future because it hasn’t happened yet.  Stop, look and savor the moment.  In just a few weeks, I will get to enjoy being a parent to 2 healthy children.  I will get to see my Baby Boy grow healthy in my arms and see him change my world.  Just writing this brings me tears of joy because it’s going to happen.  My heart is full of happiness to know that this is all going to happen.  I finally feel free of my worries.

Feeling Blessed & Fabulous

Since my husband and I moved last summer, it’s been a while since I’ve felt the power of extended family love and support which was showcased towards my growing family over Easter weekend last week.  Not only did we celebrate Easter at my parents’ house (which has been traditional for the past 20+ years), but my parents, sister and husband put together a nice baby shower for me and Baby #2.

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Picture taken by my sister (iPhone 6s plus photo quality)

Growing up in north New Jersey as long as I can remember, I’ve always been surrounded by my family members where if ever I needed something, I could ask them for help and vice versa.  Not only do I have my immediate 2 parents and 1 sister, but I also have 8 parents and 11 brothers and sisters (not including my cousin’s significant others).  It was hard to say “goodbye” to what we had when my husband and I decided to move over an hour away from it all.  It’s not like we moved to a different state or across the country, but we’re both used to being around family who were no more than 20 minutes away.  Especially with Baby #2, our immediate and extended family have become so important to us now more than ever.  We’ve shared our hospital “scare” to our family and they’ve been sending us their prayers and support in hopes that Baby #2 continues to grow to full term.  It has been an emotional ride since my hospital “scare” where I’ve been paying more attention to my body and taking it slowly at home and wherever I go.  I love resting during the day, but hate being told to do so.  Yet it’s a great reminder (with good intentions) that I should be taking care of myself and Baby #2.

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Photo credit: Jim Sewastynowicz Photography & Design

Baby #2 (which is a BOY by the way) has received amazing gifts from family.  We immediately received our crib, crib sheets and stroller after our hospital “scare” and we’ve been ready for him since then.  This little guy has received a TON of clothes in which I’m still getting used to seeing a plethora of blues and greens.  It’s funny that when my husband and I worked on the registry, I told myself to add the essentials and update the baby items we used during my daughter’s time.  Yet the majority of things we received are new clothes (which we obviously need), but not much essentials like bottles, breastfeeding pieces, pack n’play, etc.  I guess those items will come in due time even though the clock is ticking- I have 8 weeks left till this baby comes out.

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Photo credit: Carlos Tanseco

In short, I’m very grateful for my family and all their support thus far.  They may not be 20 minutes away, but their love is definitely felt in our household.  I have 8 weeks left in my pregnancy and my doctor is hoping I can last the next 4 weeks.  Once I turn 36 weeks, I will let the powers of the Universe decide the time of my son’s birth.  My medicine will end by then and I will (probably) be ready to get him out of me.  His non stop kicks, punches and pushes make it harder for me to sit in a chair, walk from room to room and relax in bed.  But he will be all worth it!