Tag Archives: pregnancy

Seven Second Trimester Tips

seven second trimester tips

You are breathing a deep sigh of relief right now. The difficulties and worries of the first trimester are behind you and you couldn’t be happier. The little life growing inside you is making its presence known in more ways than one. Embrace this new season of your pregnancy and enjoy each and every blessed moment with these simple tips.

1. Move It, Move It

The exhaustion of those early days are over and you feel like a new woman…of sorts. Capitalize on that second wind of energy while you can. Walking, exercising (cleared by your doctor/midwife) and physical conditioning are all wonderful ways for keeping your body feeling its best and preparing you for labor. All too soon, fatigue of the third trimester may overwhelm you in the dwindling days of your pregnancy. Keep moving while you can—that “beached whale” feeling is just around the corner. (Sorry. I have to be honest.)

2. Devour Real Food

If you suffered with morning sickness and different food aversions during those first weeks, well, I sincerely hope that the nauseating thoughts and sights of certain foods are no longer a concern. Take this time to focus on preparing nutritious, whole foods that will nurture both you and your baby. A well-balanced diet is crucial for not only the health but also the development of your child. Eat well and eat wise.

3. Drink Up

Proper hydration is vital to keeping your body healthy and strong. Flushing your body with water will help rid your body of toxins to ward off urinary tract infections, avoid water retention and keep your digestive system moving. Drinking plenty of water is essential in maintaining healthy blood cells, vital for good lactation and an important way to combat preterm labor in the third trimester. Your body is constantly changing, and therefore, you need plenty of water to handle the many developments of motherhood. So get in touch with your dromedary side and guzzle down your eight recommended glasses of water every day. It really is important.

seven tips

4. Take a Babymoon

At this point in most pregnancies, a mother is often feeling her best, more energized and like herself. However in a few short months, you will be welcoming a new baby into your home and your day-to-day life will change. Take the time to go away for a few days and just relax with your husband. Enjoy being a couple before life with a slumbering infant and a loaded diaper bag shadow your every move. Even if you have other children and this is not your first “rodeo”, a babymoon is still important. Spending relaxing, quality time together as a couple may be more refreshing than you or your spouse may realize. Remember, extravagancy is not the goal. Rest is the desired end.

5. Dress the Bump

Your expanding front is a flashing neon sign of your pregnancy. You are beyond the slightly chubby state and your rounded silhoutte is proudly proclaiming to the world that you are with child. Embrace your new shape. An expectant mother blossoming with child is a beautiful sight. Dressing your bump does not have to be expensive, so shop smart. My maternity wardrobe is a mix of consignment sale, ebay, clearance rack, thrift store and retail finds. If you are planning on a number of future pregnancies, invest in quality pieces that are timeless and classic. I have pieces that I wore during my first pregnancy over eleven years ago and they are still in excellent shape. Another idea would be to borrow or trade clothes with family or friends to help keep cost down. Maternity clothes can be adorable and still not break the bank. Have fun.

*For example, my denim dress (seen above) was found at The Gap on sale for $4.97  (retail price $59.99) with an additional 40% off. I received another 10% off for shopping on Tuesday and also used a giftcard. I was quite ecstatic with my $2.69 find.

6. Sit Still

Yes, I do realize that I just told you earlier to move it while you can and that I am now telling you to sit still. You may be scratching your head by this point, however, hang in there. In the midst of eagerly crossing off the days until your due date, sit back and enjoy your changing body. All of it. Your swollen belly? Stroke it and whisper sweet words of love to your tiny babe. The constant kicks? Marvel at the first wiggles of life, movements as gentle as the fluttering of butterfly wings. Sit back and murmur a quiet prayer of thanks for this amazing gift of motherhood. In the stillness of those moments, you will not only find yourself humbled by your many blessings, but will also realize that the small trials in your journey really are just that—small. Perspective is everything.

7. Remember

You are truly blessed. The ability to conceive and carry a baby to term is a precious dream of many women and the season of childbearing is such a small window in your life. Seize the moments. Capture your thoughts on paper, document your journey through photographs. Nine months will fly by and the years of mothering your child, well, they go by even faster. Time stops for no one, but you can offset the fleeting years by treasuring every. single. day.  Starting now.

Enjoy your days, dear mom, and welcome to the second trimester.

seven second trimester tips

 

Blessings.

My Top 10 Pregnancy Must-Haves

Surviving pregnancy—specifically the first trimester. How does one do it? Every mother is different and suffers from her own unique set of woes during her pregnancy. Here are my top ways that I nurture my little one and tread water during those first few weeks. Hang in there, mom. You can do this.top ten pregnancy must-haves pin

one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten

I simply cannot rave enough about my prenatals. I found mine on sale at Whole Foods Market just a day or two after I tested positive with my beloved Dollar Tree pregnancy tests. (I have saved a boat load of cash by buying my tests from there all these years.) I had just finished a prenatal from Trader Joes that I was taking as a lactating mother. While I didn’t mind the one from Trader Joes, I was still wanting to find something a bit more natural. I loved these prenatals from Garden of Life. They are an organic whole food supplement and were eactly what I was looking for in a multi-vitamin for this special season of my life. Whole Foods has them just a few dollars cheaper right now than Amazon, but their sale is ending next week. So Amazon may be your best price after next week.

I try my best to drink lots of water, but I often fail miserably. However, I have found that if I carry this around with me I am more apt to get my 64 ounces a day. I used my water bottle during my pregnancy with Baby Van, taking it with me when I went to Montego Bay on a missions trip. It was the only way I survived the heat of that country while 27 weeks pregnant. My water bottle also made the chaotic trip down I-85 during Baby Van’s birth. I carried it around as a nursing mama, drinking like a camel whose thirst cannot be quenched. It even made its way on its second missions trip to Sante Fe, but alas while we were there, it rolled out of the van and broke on the curb. I was so sad. As soon as I returned home, I bought another water bottle. I love them that much. They are worth every penny. (And just so you know, they typically don’t break. Mine just hit the cement curb just right. Baby Van has dropped her bottle several times and it is just fine.)

When I am tired and the fatigue of a new pregnancy is overwhelming, these hair ties make styling a snap. The glitter ones even make me feel fancy—on days when I feel nothing like fancy. I love wearing these in a basic ponytail or sometimes in a messy bun. Survival is key and simple hairstyles can still look great. At least that’s what I tell myself. This neutral set of colors can go with a variety of outfits. I just used one this morning to throw my hair up into a messy bun so that I could run forgotten homework to school for one of my girls. Quick and easy is my motto these days.

My lips tend to get very dry in the winter and even more so during a pregnancy. Burts Bees is my go-to for chapstick. I love their lip balms for chapped lips. Pomegranate is a personal favorite. And when I want a little something extra, I use their lip shimmers or crayons. This particular superfruit set offers a nice selection of different varieties for you to try. You can store one in several locations, your nightstand, your purse and your glove compartment. It never hurts to be prepared.

I am always hungry during the first few weeks and I am blessed that I rarely struggle with morning sickness (don’t hate me). However if I happen to feel a bit queasy, I put a generous dab of peanut butter on something (anything really!) and it helps me. Peanut butter on toast, apple slices, bananas, crackers and if I’m feeling really naughty, a bowl of chocolate ice cream—it’s all good.(Obviously that last option is more of treat than a measure that is take to avoid morning sickness.) It’s a good source of quick protein. My favorite is the all-natural peanut butter from Aldi. Sure it’s not organic, but you can’t beat their price for an all-natural product. Their peanut delight is only $1.69 (16 oz). However here’s another alternative for those that don’t have Aldi nearby or those wanting a sugar-free option. This peanut butter breaks down to $4.16 (16 oz) and it literally just contains peanuts and salt, no evaporated can juice or molasses. It is highly rated.

I use coconut oil for everything. If the kids have a dry patch, I grab the coconut oil. A bug bite? Coconut oil. Need to whiten teeth? Yup, coconut oil. I use a dab of it every morning as a facial moisturizer and part of my skin routine and make-up application. Coconut oil is antibacterial, so it is a tremendous way to clease your face. It has been known to smooth out color tones, reduce fine lines and shrink pores. I love this stuff. Seriously. A little bit goes a long way. Like I said before, I tend to have drier skin while I am pregnant and it needs a bit of extra love during this time. Often I will rub some coconut oil on my arms and legs as I’m getting ready for bed at night. It is an amazing moisturizer. This is a great Christian-based company to purchase coconut oil. They run great sales all the time and if you look at their website, you’ll find that they sell much more than just coconut oil. (I even use coconut oil on my furniture!)

I love drinking hot drinks. While my husband may have converted me to becoming a coffee fanatic, I still love my herbal teas. I drank a special mother’s brew of loose leaf tea during my last pregnancy. Perhaps it may be one of the contributing factors to my easy delivery? I don’t know. All I know is that I wanted to drink something that supports a healthy pregnancy again. For this pregnancy, I am trying to drink this mother-to-be tea once a day, either in the morning or in the evening. I have been purchasing this from Whole Foods Market, but the next time I will just buy it in bulk from Amazon. This is a much better price

Vests. They hide a lot. They hide a postpartum tummy, they hide just plain ol’ tummy flab and they hide a sweet little bump until you are ready to announce to the world that you are with child. I have used the latter technique for my past few pregnancies since my miscarriage. After suffering the heartache of a loss, I now keep my sweet news “under wraps” until I know for sure that all seems well. With Baby Van, I did a terrible job hiding my pregnancy and by the time I was ready to tell the world, I think that just about every one knew. Ha! I think that I did better this time around. (My AWANA shirt was my giveaway shirt with Baby Van. You couldn’t hide anything under that thing.) I love puffer vests like this one. Vests have become a staple in my pregnant and non-pregnant wardrobes. (Plus if I wear them all the time, it keeps people guessing. I don’t want people to automatically assume that just because I’m wearing a vest that I am pregnant. Sometimes I really do just like to layer my clothes. Really.)

Oh sweet slumber. My eyes droop whenever I sit, even if only for a minute. Fatigue was really overwhelming me during this first trimester. I don’t remember it being this bad before. I’d like to say that it’s not old age at thirty-three, ummm..so let’s just agree that it’s not, okay? Napping and sleeping well at night was essential to having the strength to serve my husband, my children and my church like I needed to every day. A number of years ago we began replacing all of our pillows for feather pillows. Now I am spoiled. I miss my pillow (and my bed!) whenever I am away. A good pillow, similar to this one, is important for obtaining the adequate rest needed for a healthy pregnancy. (I cannot vouch for this particular pillow, so be sure to read reviews before investing in a quality pillow.) Get all of the rest you can… while you can. You will need it. Trust me, I know.

Vinegar was my top craving during my first trimester. Pickles, banana peppers, relish and just so people wouldn’t pick up on it while in public, salt and vinegar chips helped satisfy my taste buds. I don’t think that any of my husband’s family noticed me hoarding the bag at our family Christmas get-together. Now they may have noticed my large plates of food, but I was hoping that they would chalk that up as merely eating extra calories as a nursing mom. Little did they know that I was eating for three and not just two. So to say that my appetite was huge would be an understatement. It has thankfully slowed down a little as I have now weaned Baby Van (sniff, sniff). Here’s a healthy option on a large jar of organic pickles, however I am able to get mine from Whole Foods for a better price. Hubs and I are hoping to grow a garden this summer and I am planning on attempting canning pickles. I am not at all sure about the process and have even less confidence in my ability to produce a delicious pickle. Mine may rival Aunt Bea’s pickles. Who knows?

(And yes clearly I had pickles on my brain when I chose my word for 2015.)

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So …anyone else have tips or tales to share about surviving their first trimester. Please share. I’d love to hear and your advice may also help some other struggling first time mom-to-be.

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post.

XO,

One-Half Dozen

The week before Christmas I received an unexpected, yet joyous gift.

Five turns into six

 

I felt so blessed—a sweet new life to nurture and love.

I reached thirteen weeks yesterday and praise the Lord for a healthy pregnancy thus far. My biggest issue this time around has been extreme fatigue, more so than I remember. Perhaps it’s because I’m older or maybe because I have five children to care for during this pregnancy instead of four. My prenatals really seem to be helping as well as the fact that those first few weeks are now behind me.

I’ve had my first OB appointment with my midwife and all went well. However she was unable to capture a heartbeat with the hand held fetal doppler and thought that I measured a bit earlier than twelve weeks. (Three months is the threshhold where a fetal doppler can be used to pick up the baby’s heartbeat.) We also did not have a solid due date because of my weaning Baby Van which had resulted in an inconsistent cycle.

The birth center typically does not encourage an ultrasound other than the anatomy sonogram at 18 weeks or so, however they sent me to a local hospital to establish a due date for this new little one. My appointment was scheduled for Monday, February 2nd. I tried not to fret as my mind filled with very vivid memories from three years before.

August baby

My heart was in my throat as I entered the sonogram room at the hospital and I was so tempted to close my eyes and not watch. I couldn’t do that though, I had to see.

Tears of relief and joy filled my eyes as I took in the precious sight of a new little life, kicking and flipping and waving at me. The sound of a steady heart beat filled the room.

(I measured just at eleven weeks that day which was why my midwife had been unable to get the heart beat on the doppler a few days before.)

I was thrilled to have a little picture of our precious baby and to hear that new heart beat for the first time. It just never gets old. I couldn’t pull my eyes away from the screen, watching the flipping and waving  arms and legs going everywhere.

February 2 holds so many memories now—tears of grief and tears of sadness.

God is so good.

Coming August

August 23, 2015 (or a day around that time!) is a greatly antipated day for our family. We look forward to welcoming this new bundle into our family.

One-half dozen here we come. 😉

XO,

S5, E3: Big Mama {The Birth Story of Baby #5}

Hey there. Ready for more? Ridiculously, so am I-and I know the whole story.  No shame here. I love a good birth story. Mundane, hilarious, nail-biting, no matter the emotion evoked, I’m glued to them all. The miraculous entry of a new life never ceases to amaze me and each one comes with their own unique arrival.

New to the blog or missed a post in this series? Get caught up on previous Delivery Drama episodes before scrolling down any further. Check them out below:

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Season 5, Episode 1; (Pilot)   Baby Five  -The history behind it all

Season 5, Episode 2; Life Line  -The famed purple box

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big mama

Let’s see? Where was I? Oh…yeah. I’m standing bent over, staring at a positive stick on my bathroom counter and grinning. Like a ninny.

Yes, that pretty much sums up where I left you hanging. Goofy grin and all.

I was on cloud nine.

Nine was, hands down, my new favorite number. Floating on cloud nine, nine months to go, you get the idea.

But the stretch of months looming ahead didn’t fathom me a bit. I wanted to enjoy every blessed minute of them, pregnancy symptoms and all. Miscarriage had changed me. I also wanted to keep the knowledge of my pregnancy within the family until I could see a doctor/midwife, and quite possibly until the end of my first trimester. A wishful thought to be sure.

However, with this being my sixth pregnancy, I was popping out rather quickly.

This time around we opted to research midwifery options, a result of the prior miscarriage and reevaluating our needs as a family, . We were familiar with a local birthing center and called soon after seeing those two pink lines to schedule a tour of their facility.

So Hubs and I hired a babysitter and went on a “date”.

It was really romantic. We sat in the car in the birthing center parking lot and ate fast food (don’t judge), wiped the mustard from our faces and then toured the birthing center. For two hours. We attended a Q and A, watched videos, peeked in the birthing suites, and filled out paperwork. Then we hopped in our car and drove around town for a few minutes, so we would have something, anything but where we’d really been, to tell our babysitter. Again, don’t pass judgment.

Keep in mind, my bump was getting bigger.

 

After sleeping on our decision a night or two, Hubs and I agreed that this midwifery center was exactly what we wanted for the birth of Baby #5. The only con we could think of was the forty-five minute drive. No biggie, we’ll leave at the onset of labor.

Only forty-five. It sounded so feasible. Unlike my new favorite number nine, the number forty-five would later return to haunt me.

I set up my first appointment only to discover that they see you after your eleventh week. Wowzer.

So what’s a pudgy gal going to do? Hide it. Thankfully it was late winter and early spring, so I was able to camoflauge my little, growing bump with layered clothing. Sweaters, scarves, vests, jackets and even coats left on became my new wardrobe. I was keeping it under wraps.

Not.

Many observant ladies at our church suspected my condition, but sweetly never asked. Bless them for it. I needed to make it to that first appointment and be reassured that all looked well before sharing our news.

I made it safely to 11 weeks and went to my first appointment. All went well and I heard one of life’s sweetest sounds-again.

Thump, thump.

Everything looked wonderful and I was feeling great. What a blessing. I also loved seeing  the midwives. Loved. it. The opportunity to experience attending a birthing center was a dream come true. Family was very encouraged and welcomed at all visits.

We shared our sweet news with the world and I happily continued growing.  😉

bigger

At twenty weeks, my older girls were able to see their new sibling at the anatomy ultrasound. They were so cute. Kids can certainly add to the commentary while viewing a sonogram. Ha. We all turned our heads while the nurse checked the baby’s gender for normal development. Being surprised with the baby’s gender was on my wishlist and mine alone. Hubs sweetly let his pregnant wife have her way.

Yup. He’s pretty much the greatest.

I crossed off the days of my second trimester by traveling. Everywhere it seemed. Williamsburg, Charleston (WV). Montego Bay, Jamaica (youth missions trip). The Wilds (teen camp). The Anchorage (ladies retreat).

By 35 weeks, I had definitely entered the “basketball” stage.

I certainly felt every pound. My ankles were puffy if I was on my feet for too long and I had a fabulous map of lines across my abdomen. Delightful stretchmarks, the lingering mark of motherhood.

Week 36, 37, and 38 slipped by. The evidence of 39 weeks was now clearly reflected back to me in every mirror, window and car door.  I was downright huge.

None of this really bothered me though. I was still on cloud nine.  Pregnancy is such a sweet season of life.

Besides, Hubs thought I was beautiful, watermelon and all.

Big Mama.

It was a nickname that only he could get away with calling me.

-to be continued-

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Here are the links to the following episodes. 🙂

Season 5, Episode 4: Fair Plan -The pizza that failed

Season 5, Episode 5: Flip Flop – The speed of a turtle

Season 5, Episode 6: Wild Ride -The 45 minute attempt

Season 5, Episode 7: News Baby -The drama of television

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Thanks for reading,

 

He’s just the greatest.