A Letter to my Pre-Mom Self

letterIt’s okay.

I know you’re terrified. It’s okay to be scared. Your life is about to change more than you can imagine.

I know you’re in the midst of trying to decipher the difference between all of those diapers, and the bottles, and the pacifiers, and I won’t even mention the pumps. But, guess what?

They don’t matter.

I know that you think you don’t know a single thing about raising children. But who really does? Relax. You, like all other mommies, are going to figure it out as you go along. You’ll be fine.

Don’t worry so much about your birth plan. Things in childbirth rarely go as planned. Just plan to do whatever it takes to bring that sweet boy (yes, it’s a boy!) into the world safely.

Recovering from your cesarean is going to suck. Physically and emotionally. Take it easy while you recover physically, and accept help when it’s offered. Emotionally will take longer. Just know that you are not a failure. You made the safest choice for your little boy, and that matters so much more than the method he used to enter this world.

Your boobs are going to hurt. Like, imagine the pain comparisons you’ve read in one of the ten baby books you own, and then multiply it tenfold. Breastfeeding is hard. Again, accept the help when it’s offered and ask for help when you need it instead of trying to figure it out yourself.

Don’t expect to sleep for a while. Even if he does, you’ll be too busy staring at him, in amazement at this life you created, and you’ll constantly be checking to make sure he’s breathing. Showers will also be few and far between. Don’t fret, you’ll be too exhausted to go out into public anyway.

When you bring him home, don’t be alarmed when you become so overwhelmed with love that you just cry. This doesn’t go away. Before you know it, you’ll be preparing yourself to send him off to kindergarten. So enjoy the seasons as they come.

Know that you will be different. Your mind, YOUR BODY, your everything. You will transform from selfish to selfless, constantly putting this other life before yours, before you even realize what happens. Your body will never be the same. Your stretch marks will fade eventually, your boobs will go back down to their “normal” size, but you will notice that your feet and fingers are a little fatter than they were before. And your behind will stay a little more round than you remember. Embrace your new body. It did the job God intended for it to do.

Your relationships will be different. Some friends will stick by you. Some will fade into the background. You’ll probably feel alone from time-to-time. Get out and make some friends who are at the same stage in life as you. You can’t expect those not in your shoes to understand what your life is like now.

Your house will never be clean. Well, it might for the first five minutes after you finish tidying and then sit down. Then your boy will wake up from his nap, your Husband will come home from work, dinner will need to be made, and someone will spill something, somewhere. Don’t let it drive you crazy. Life happens.

You will quickly realize that you don’t know why in the world you ever stressed over bottles and diapers. This mom-thing will come so naturally to you that you’ll wonder why you ever worried. You’ll quickly realize that before you had your sweet baby, there was always some piece of the puzzle that was missing and you just had no idea. Now, your heart and home will feel complete.

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How am I Already Eighteen Weeks?

IMG_1585-2 6How far along? Eighteen weeks.

Are you showing? Absolutely.

Gender: BOY!

Total weight gain: Don’t want to talk about it… (+3/4). But my maternity jeans are two sizes smaller than the jeans I wore last year! 🙂

Maternity clothes: Oh yes. Hair tie trick no longer working.

Stretch marks: Just the pre-existing ones. But my lower belly is starting to get itchy. Coconut oil, for the win!

Sleeping: Rough. 

Food Cravings: MILK. And anything with grapes. Especially grape juice. 

Anything making you sick or queasy? Meat. Asher is clearly a vegetarian. 

Miss Anything? Energy, Sleep, Wine, and Sushi. 

Movement: Stronger flutters and wiggles! And a few actual kicks!

Labor signs: Nope! But a ton of pressure sometimes. 

Symptoms: Light stretching/cramps, pure exhaustion, soooooo emotional, and the horrible acne of a teenager. Oh, and heartburn.

Belly Button in or out: Still in, but weird and bumpy-ish around the top left side. Not going to hold on very long. 

Wedding rings on or off: On

Happy or moody: All of the above.

Best moments this week: Learning the gender! Can’t wait to meet my newest sweet boy!

Looking forward to: Registering and moving into our new place so I can begin my nesting!

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Seventeen Weeks (And an October-Announcement!)

17weeksHow far along? Seventeen weeks, one day!

Are you showing? Absolutely.

Gender: We’ll find out tomorrow!!

Total weight gain: Up a little over a pound from where I started!  

Maternity clothes: Oh yes. Hair tie trick no longer working very well.   

Stretch marks: Just the pre-existing ones. But my lower belly is starting to get itchy. Coconut oil, for the win!

Sleeping: So-so.

Food Cravings: MILK. And anything with grapes. Especially grape juice. 

Anything making you sick or queasy? Very few things and very far between!

Miss Anything? Energy, Sleep, Wine, and Sushi. 

Movement: Stronger flutters and wiggles! 

Labor signs: Nope!

Symptoms: Light stretching/cramps, pure exhaustion, soooooo emotional, and the horrible acne of a teenager. Oh, and heartburn has arrived with a vengeance.  

Belly Button in or out: Still in, but weird and bumpy-ish around the top left side. Not going to hold on very long. 

Wedding rings on or off: On

Happy or moody: All of the above.

Best moments this week: Feeling flutters more often!

Looking forward to: Gender scan tomorrow!! Can’t wait to see if we’re having a girl or another sweet boy! 

Click here to follow me on instagram and be the first to know!

Remember to go here and take the gender poll before tomorrow!

OCTOBER ANNOUNCEMENT!

Since I’ve gained about 1,800 wordpress followers alone since my last ‘getting to know you’ post, I’m going to spend the month of October answering your questions! Comment below any questions you may have for me. (Parenting styles, discipline, schooling methods, birth plans, ANYTHING!) You can also email your questions to me at natmblog@gmail.com 🙂 Looking forward to hearing from all of you!

Also, early next month I will be hosting a guest series related to pregnancy and childbirth. (I know you’re shocked!) If you’re interested in submitting a post, email me at natmblog@gmail.com!

Popped! (16 Weeks)

16How far along? Sixteen weeks!

Are you showing? Absolutely.IMG_5022

Gender: We’ll find out in nine days!! 🙂

Total weight gain: I have gained 0.4lbs. I’ll take it. 

Maternity clothes: Oh yes.  

Stretch marks: Just the pre-existing ones. But my lower belly is starting to get itchy. Coconut oil, for the win!

Sleeping: So-so.

Food Cravings: MILK. And chocolate! 

Anything making you sick or queasy? Mostly gone! (Knock on wood.)

Miss Anything? Energy, Sleep, Wine, and Sushi. 

Movement: More frequent flutters and a few actual jabs. Which are more like strong pokes at this point. Jellybean started jabbing at the laptop as I typed this!

Labor signs: Nope!

Symptoms: Light stretching/cramps, pure exhaustion, emotional, and the acne of a teenager. Oh, and heartburn has arrived with a vengeance.  

Belly Button in or out: Still in, but weird and bumpy-ish. I don’t think it’ll hold on very long this time around.

Wedding rings on or off: On

Happy or moody: Happy for the most part! But also emotional. 

Best moments this week: Feeling flutters more often! Seeing a healthy growing bean on the ultrasound!

Looking forward to: More energy. It’s starting to pick up finally!

We had an ultrasound this week while testing a new doctor, and Hubby swears he sees boy-parts. I don’t see any parts, boy or girl. Remember that episode of Friends when Rachel and Ross have their ultrasound? Remember Rachel’s reaction? Yep. 1 2I couldn’t even tell you for sure if that’s a butt shot. That’s how bad I am at deciphering this mess.

Our actual gender scan is NEXT FRIDAY! WHOOP. Be sure to follow me on instagram to know whether Jellybean is a he or a she before anyone else! 🙂

 

Twelve Weeks (and one day) Pregnant!

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So, clearly I’ve basically taken August off from really blogging. BUT, September is already full of link-ups, guest posts, and a special series-feel free to email me with interest! Not to mention weekly pregnancy updates continuing. So I promise I’ll be back to my frequent bloggy-ness soon!

How far along? Twelve weeks

Are you showing? Yes, and it’s getting more difficult to hide it. The chub vs. pregnant debate is fizzling out.

Gender: We’ll find out the first week of October! Drew and Aiden want a girl, I would like a girl since we obviously already have a boy, but I’ll be happy either way!

Total weight gain: Gained a pound back! Sitting at -4 for the last few days-ish. 

Maternity clothes: Yes. And just FYI, maternity leggings are the best invention ever. I practically live in them.  

Stretch marks: Just the pre-existing ones.

Sleeping: Not so well. But tired alllllll the time. 

Food Cravings: Lemonade, Sunny D, and salty foods. 

Anything making you sick or queasy? It’s finally easing up! Still have moments of pure nausea, but few and far between! (Don’t tell Husband that he was right…)

Miss Anything? Energy, Sleep, Wine, and Sushi. 

Movement: Flutters! Although that’s not really the best term for it. More like bubbles popping in my uterus. Forgot how weird, yet amazing that feeling is! 

Labor signs: Nope!

Symptoms: Light stretching/cramps, pure exhaustion, slight nausea, soooooo emotional, and the acne of a teenager.

Belly Button in or out: Still in!

Wedding rings on or off: On

Happy or moody: Happy for the most part! But very easily brought to tears by absolutely nothing. Earlier today, I cried while reading HP. Cedric dying is just clearly too much for my hormones to handle. -sob-

Best moments this week: Turning twenty-four, feeling flutters that I knew for sure were human baby, and not food-gas baby. 

Looking forward to: That second trimester burst of energy. It can come any day now. Really… any time would be great….?

11 Things Moms Should NEVER Say.

I have a million things going through my head this week and feel like I may EXPLODE if I don’t do some blog-venting.

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In the three and a half short (long) years that I have been known as “Mommy,” my role has changed about five times.

First, I was a teen mom. (Not to be confused with one of those girls on MTV.)

Second, I was a kinda-sorta-stay-at-home-mom-full-time-student. (Yeah, it was as exhausting as it sounds.)

Third, I became a single-working-full-time-student-Mom. (Also exhausting.)

Fourth, I became a non-single-almost-married-full-time-working-mom. (Still exhausting, but what part of parenting isn’t? It’s all worth it.)

Now, I’m a stay-at-home-Mom-and-wife. (And I am soooo thankful that I’m able to do so.)

I’ve been pretty much every type of mom there is at least once, so maybe that’s why I really, REALLY hate the so-called “Mommy-Wars” that exist between all of the “sides.”

There shouldn’t even be “sides.” Just Moms.

The SAHMs think the working moms choose to be away from their kids, the working moms think the SAHMs are lazy and sit around eating bonbons and watching shows on Netflix all day.

The crunchy moms think the silky moms are killing their children slowly with cow’s milk and crying it out, and the silky moms think the crunchy moms are just a bunch of hippies who walk around with their amber necklaces and milk-filled breasts preaching about knowing better and doing better.

Moms with more than one child think that moms with only one have it so easy, and moms with one think the moms with many are being overly dramatic because it can’t possibly be that hard, right? The Duggar’s have 19. They survived.

Me? I float around somewhere in the middle of each of these. I cannot stand to see a mom put another mom down because she is choosing to parent a different way.

Here are eleven Mommy-War comments that I’ve personally heard a mom say to another mom, and sometimes to me!

1) You’re not breastfeeding? You know how bad formula is, right? (Breast is best, sure. But it’s not always the BEST option for every mom.)

2) He sleeps in your bed? How do you and your Husband/Partner ever have sex?! (None of your damn business, that’s how.)

3) You circumcised him? How could you mutilate your perfect little boy like that? (Again, it’s not your business, so don’t ask.)

4) You DIDN’T circumcise him? Imagine how he’s going to feel in that locker room in fifteen years! (See number 3.)

5) You let her cry it out? Do you know how emotionally abusive that is to your baby? How will she know you love her? (CIO, when done the right way, helps some moms/babies establish a normal sleeping pattern. It’s not for everyone, and it’s not your business.)

6) You’re going back to work? Do you WANT to miss all of her biggest milestones? (Thanks for the salt in the wound.)

7) You’re a stay-at-home Mom? So what do you do all day? (Let me stop doing what I do for a week and show you.)

8) You’re a single mom? Why did you even have kids of you weren’t going to stay married/together? (Yes, someone really asked me that. Because clearly I PLANNED on becoming a single mom at 20.)

9) You’re a silky mom? So you knowingly let your kid(s) have cow’s milk/fruit juice/produce from WAL-MART? (God forbid he have those Walmart-apples.)

10) You’re home schooling? So you know your kid is going to be an introvert/weirdo right? (Or possibly brilliant from the one-on-one.)

11) PUBLIC SCHOOL? Do you want him to SURVIVE until eighteen? (I mean, algebra is hard…but not lethal.)

WHY do we as moms feel the need to belittle other moms for doing things differently? WHY is our way the only way?

WHY can’t we just end these Mommy-Wars and get back to raising all of our happy and healthy children?

Mean Mommy.

I was a mean Mommy today.

I was lacking sleep after patrolling for the boogeyman for a few hours in the middle of the night, lacking caffeine thanks to having not gone grocery shopping yet, and most of all lacking patience from all of the above.

My sweet little baby boy is growing into this sassy, opinionated, little man who is capable of thinking for himself and I’m just not ready for it. Every other word out of his mouth is now, “Why?” Somewhere around the 72nd time that word left his lips before 10:00am, this particular time as he followed me into the bathroom, “Mommy, why can’t I have some cookies for breakfast right NOW!?!” I snapped.

“ARRRGHGHHGHHHHHH, just go to your room and let Mommy have five minutes of PEACE!”

Of course, it was much louder and angrier than my writing portrays it. And, of course, it shocked him enough to make him retreat to his room, and to make me feel like the worst mother in the entire world. Instead of following him, and smothering him with hugs, love, and kisses like I wanted to, I sat in the bathroom for a few moments and cried while praying for someone up there to hand me some more patience.

Being a mom is overwhelming.

I was forced into teenage motherhood after a few stupid decisions I made at nineteen. I chose to keep the baby instantly (BEST decision I’ve ever made), and the moment the word “pregnant” popped up on that test, I became a mom. I loved the little life growing within me, even though at that moment, he was only the size of a tadpole.

That was the EASIEST decision I have had to make since then. Cloth diaper or disposable? Breastmilk or formula? Circumcision or intactivism? Spanking or time-outs? Or both? What if neither work? Stay with my five month old’s biological father, even though we detest one another? Or end it, and become a single mom at twenty? Start dating? What if he dumps me and Aiden gets hurt? Should I let him meet Aiden? When? Will this guy be a good stepdad? How can I be sure?

And every decision I have made has been scrutinized that much more BECAUSE I’m so young.

So, at first I was terrified to even write this post, because I’m sure it will be criticized. But for any moms out there who snap from time-to-time:

YOU. ARE. NOT. ALONE. 

I took a deep breath and walked to Aiden’s room, prepared to smother him in kisses, apologies, and cookies to hopefully make up for what I was sure to be the hot, emotional mess I had created with my momentary lack of control. He ran up to me and hugged me tight as I had to fight back those stupid tears again.

“MOOOOOMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYY, I MISSED YOU!!!!!!!! Is your pee-pee empty now?” 

Clearly, he was traumatized.

I told him Mommy was so sorry that she got frustrated, that I loved him very, VERY much. His response?

“But Mommy, why are you ‘fusrated’?” Oh, the irony.

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