Confessions of a First Time Mom

Not too long ago I wrote a post on my breastfeeding confessions. After that post, I got to thinking that it might be fun to share some of my first time mom confessions. I’d love to hear some of yours, too. Make sure you leave them in the comments!

Confessions of a First Time Mom - Click to find out the only pregnancy book I read and my strange first pregnancy symptom. What's your confession?

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more information.)

The only pregnancy book I read cover to cover was Baby Bumps by Nicole Polizzi (a.ka. Snooki from The Jersey Shore). I probably should be embarrassed to admit this but I’m not. It was a really good book. Especially, since I faced an unplanned pregnancy. Though Nicole’s circumstances were very different, I could relate to and felt comforted by her initial feelings toward finding out she was pregnant.

I once got out of the car at a stop sign, while very pregnant, because I was angry (over something really stupid, of course). I ended up in Starbucks sitting at a table crying to some strange man about my problems. Hormones anyone?!?!

One of my first pregnancy symptoms was gas. I looked it up and it’s totally normal. I then called a friend and asked her why I’ve never heard anyone talk about this. Seriously. Why? Am I the only one?

I got a lot of nose bleeds when I was pregnant. Another symptom I had no idea about!

I was so sleep deprived the first month of my son’s life, I hardly remember it. So glad I recorded a lot!

I was really freaked out to use that Nose Freida thingMy son was 4 months old the first time I used it. And, yes, it is as amazing as everyone says. If you don’t have one, you should get one… if you can get over the fact that you’re sucking up snot!

I have second guessed my son’s name. A lot. Don’t get me wrong, I love his name. In fact, I wrote it down a couple of years before he was born. But he actually goes by his middle name (the name I love) and I’ve often thought maybe I should have just gone with that as his first name. Also, he has a hyphenated last name. I’ve wondered about that decision many times. Ugh. 

I once referred to my son as “my nephew”The really bad part is, it wasn’t that long ago! But, in my defense, I was an aunt for 19 years before becoming a mom. It takes some getting used to!

Motherhood is way more fun than I ever expectedI knew that I would love being a mom but I also knew that it would be tiring and hard because that’s what I constantly hear moms say. All. the. time. I was pleasantly surprised to find out how fun it is!

These are just a few. I could probably write a book with all my confessions. Who knows?!?! Maybe I will!

Ok, you’re turn! What’s one of your confessions? 

Did you know I launched a new blog in October 2016? Check out For the Love of Mom where there’s less kids stuff and more stuff just for YOU! 

The Time My Biggest Fear Came to Pass

Awhile back I shared 3 Things That Helped Me Conquer My Fear of Childbirth. In that post I mentioned that I had to face my fears, once again, in the delivery room and that I would share that story at another time. Now is the time! I want to share with you about the time my biggest fear came to pass. There’s a couple of reasons that I want to share it now. For one, my son’s first birthday is next month so I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. And two, April is Cesarean Awareness Month (along with basically everything else in the world. Have you noticed that?). I thought sharing my story now would be fitting.

The Time My Biggest Fear Came to Pass - Click here to read my labor story and how I destroyed my fears!

I was adamant on having a natural childbirth. And by natural I mean a no drug vaginal birth. I wanted everything about my labor to be natural. Including letting the baby come in his own time – no induction! At my 39 week appointment, I asked the nurse practitioner what would happen if I came in at 40 weeks still pregnant. I asked if I would be told I had to be induced. She assured me that I would not and that it wouldn’t be suggested until at least 6 days overdue and I wouldn’t be encouraged to have one until 2 weeks.

Whew.

What a relief! I had gestational diabetes and, though it had been well controlled, I knew that this could be a concern. I should have reminded the nurse that I had gestational diabetes when I brought up induction but since we had discussed that in the appointment, the thought never crossed my mind. The reason I did not want an induction was because I knew that would increase my chances of having a C-Section.

I did not want a C-Section.

I left my appointment, completely satisfied with how it went. The following week, I had not had my baby. I went into my appointment and the second the doctor walked through the door, I was completely blindsided. He barely greeted me (I had never seen him before) before the question, “Has anyone talked to you about being induced” flew out of his mouth. I told him about my conversation the week prior and he told me that she was wrong. He went on to say that I should have been induced at 39 weeks.

This was all news to me. I could feel the tears building up. I did not want to be induced! I tried to explain to the doctor as calmly as a 40 week pregnant woman possibly can, that I did not want to be induced. Of course, he strongly advised me to.

Two other doctors’ opinions later and one day later, I checked in to the hospital. My friend who was my Doula suggested that I ask if I would be allowed to try some natural methods to induce first. They agreed. She came to the hospital and we walked, well to me it felt like running, I bounced on my exercise ball and we convinced the nurses to bring in a breast pump.

That night I was given Cervadil because I did not want Pitocin. I had read that Cervadil was less aggressive. I was certain that Pitocin would lead to an Epidural and eventually I would end up with a C-Section.

I’ll spare you all of the terrible details but another dose of Cervadil (that sent me into labor so hard they ended up removing it), Pitocin, an epidural (that wore off within 20 minutes resulting in an increased dosage) and over 72 hours later I was faced with I still had not given birth.

And, though all of my little fears had already come to pass, I was now face to face with my biggest fear – a C-Section. And to top it off, since the epidural was a bust I had to get a Spinal Tap.

Fear is the product of the thoughts you create - Diary of a New Mommy

I literally don’t think I could have imagined a worse scenario for my delivery.

Even though “natural” had gone out the window days ago, there were still many reasons for not wanting a C-Section and as I faced this reality, I was afraid.

My son had done remarkably well throughout my labor. His heartbeat was strong and he never went into any type of stress. My C-Section was not an emergency but, due to the fact that I was not progressing and I was physically exhausted, it had to be done. I’m thankful that I wasn’t whisked away for the C-Section. In fact, although it was inevitable, I actually asked for some time to make peace with it before it was scheduled.

Like many women who end up with a C-Section often feel, I felt disappointed. But I knew in my heart that I had done everything I could. What I  needed now was to make peace with my fear.

There’s a quote that says, “Fear is not real. It is the product of thoughts you create.” I needed some time to create new thoughts because I had filled my mind with so many negative thoughts about a C-Section – from having a horrible recovery to not properly bonding with my son to developing a chronic illness – these negative thoughts had turned into fear.

And now I had to destroy them.

I pulled out my headphones, listened to my labor playlist and I said a prayer. I did some breathing exercises and told myself that everything was going to be ok. I replaced the negative thoughts with positive thoughts.

Everything would be ok. I would be ok. And, most importantly, my son would be ok.

It’s amazing to me how quickly I was able to overcome a fear that I had for as long as I could remember. All it took was a replacing my thoughts. There was nothing I could do about the circumstances but I had full control over my thoughts… my fears.

How about you? Have your thoughts been creating fear?

Don’t wait until the pressure is on, replace those thoughts now!

Baby Steps Scratch-off Calendar (Review)

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When I was pregnant I had a bazillion pregnancy apps that I followed. Ok, maybe not that many but I had several. For the first few weeks, I religiously checked them all until I realized they mostly said the same things and I dropped down to two. If you’ve been pregnant in the app era you probably know that it’s fun to see the cute little picture of your developing baby (well, not your baby) on your phone right next to a piece of fruit as a size comparison.

I was recently sent another fun way to keep track of your pregnancy, The Baby Steps Scratch-off Calendar, by Splash Brands. I really wish I had known about this when I was pregnant!

Baby Steps Scratch Off Calendar Review - Click to read about a fun way to track your pregnancy!

This post may contain affiliate links, please read my disclosure page for more information.

This product is exactly what it sounds like.. a scratch off calendar. It’s fairly big, the size of a poster, so this is definitely something that would hang on the wall. For each day of your pregnancy there are numbered squares to scratch off – the squares alternate between tip, info and trivia. Note: The scratch off portion actually starts at week 9 but the info starts at week 5. What I love about this calendar is it is both practical and fun. It gives helpful information and tips, as well as fun facts some that you’ve probably never heard or even wondered about, for that matter.

 

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I was really impressed with the packaging of the calendar and the overall quality of the calendar. Also, it arrived fast! This would be a great gift for a friend or family member who has just announced her pregnancy!

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The best part? You can buy it on Amazon have it shipped directly to your favorite expecting mama!

 

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Tips for Treating Dry Skin in Pregnancy

Tips for Treating Dry Skin in Pregnancy NoviceMommy Blog

I have always had oily skin but when I was pregnant my skin got ridiculously dry. I moved from Hawaii to California at 17 weeks, so the lack of moisture most likely played a part, but dry skin is a symptom of pregnancy. And of course, we can thank the hormones.

If you are experiencing dry skin due to pregnancy (or even if you’re not pregnant), here are some things that can help you.

  • Wash your face. Does this really need to be said? Unfortunately, yes it does. There are other reasons not to skip washing your face (like the fact that it ages you more quickly!) but washing your face will get rid of the dead skin, which contributes to skin feeling dry.
  • Moisturize. I know. Way too obvious.
  • Use skin or bath oils. When I first returned to California two very dear friends of mine took me to lunch and surprised me with gifts. They each bought me their own personal favorite baby/pregnancy items. One of the gifts I received was Owl Skin Beauty Drops, specifically because of the whole pregnancy dry skin issue. This stuff was amazing! Another oil I really like and recommend is REN. You can also put some bath oils in your bath or you can use coconut oil or  vitamin e oil.
  • Sleep with a humidifier. Adding moisture to the air will help add moisture to your skin.
  • Use a hydrating face mask. Not only is this a great way to treat your dry skin but it’s a great way to treat yourself! My favorite brand for masks is GLAMGLOW and I highly recommend their THIRSTYMUD Hydrating Treatnent.
  • Drink Water. If you’re pregnant, you should be drinking plenty of water anyway. Staying hydrated will keep your skin hydrated as well. Carry a water bottle with you at all times!

Have you experienced dry skin in pregnancy (or did you)?

This post contains affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure page.

Top 15 Posts of 2015

Top-15-posts-2015-NoviceMommy-blogAs many people do at the close of a year, I’ve been reflecting on this past year. I will admit, there have been some hard days but it has been my absolute best year yet. Being a mom has brought me more joy than I ever could have imagined.

In addition to being a new mom, I am pursuing my dream to be a writer like I never have before. In May, not long before having my son, I made a commitment to get serious about blogging. I would be lying if I said it has been easy but it has absolutely been worth it.

2015 has been a year of dreams come true!

I invite you to revisit (or perhaps visit for the first time!) with me the Top 15 Posts of 2015.

  1. A 31 Day Journey Through My Unplanned Pregnancy
  2. Intentional Blessing
  3. Why I Had Pre-marital Sex But Not an Abortion
  4. Feeling Rejected
  5. The Grief
  6. Denial to Acceptance
  7. Broken Theology
  8. Bath Time Prayers
  9. Budget-Friendly Labor and Delivery Nurse Gifts
  10. Imagine A Magical Land Where Children Are Valued and Parenthood is Celebrated
  11. My Favorite Places to Shop for Baby Boy Clothes
  12. Baby Registry Must-Haves
  13. Friendly Advice for the Non-Pregnant
  14. 5 Tips for Flying with an Infant
  15. Purpose Driven Mother

My Labor Playlist

I’m not even going to pretend that my labor experience was a good one. It wasn’t. It was awful. Really awful. And not just for me. I’m pretty sure my mom and my aunt have been scarred for life… and they’ve had 3 kids each!

Maybe I’m being dramatic. But probably not.

Labor-Playlist-Novice-Mommy-Blog

That being said, I would absolutely do it again. Of course, I’d prefer if it went a little more according to plan but even if it didn’t I would do it again (and again… and again).

There are some things I would do differently (like hold my ground on refusing induction) but one thing I would not change is having a labor playlist! My labor was long and exhausting but having my playlist helped to keep me calm and connected to God, even in the middle of extremely painful labor (ok, except that one time when I just cried).

I would definitely recommend having a labor playlist. Here’s what was on mine:

  • Entering into the Rest – Janet Angela Mills (Childbirth in the Glory)
  • Birthing – Janet Angela Mills (Childbirth in the Glory)
  • Consecrated Unto the Glory – Janet Angela Mills (Childbirth in the Glory)
  • Entering into the Rest/Fly Instrumental – Janet Angela Mills (Childbirth in the Glory)
  • Prayer for all Children – Janet Angela Mills (Childbirth in the Glory)
  • Prayer for all the Children Instrumental – Janet Angela Mills (Childbirth in the Glory)
  • Hosanna – Hillsong United
  • Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) – Hillsong United
  • Come Alive (Dry Bones) – Lauren Daigle
  • Our God – Chris Tomlin
  • How Great Thou Art – Koryn Hawthorne (The Voice)
  • How He Loves – David Crowder Band
  • Holy Spirit – Jesus Culture
  • I Am Not Alone – Kari Jobe
  • Revelation Song – Kari Jobe
  • You Are for Me – Kari Jobe
  • Cornerstone – Hillsong
  • God Is Able – Hillsong

Delayed Announcement (Day 18 of “31 Days”)

31 Days-Unplanned-Pregnancy-Novice-Mommy-Blog

When I was getting near my due date a lot of people would comment to me that my pregnancy went by “really fast”. I couldn’t help but laugh and think that it was probably because most people found out when I was in my third trimester!

Aside from my co-workers, only a handful of people knew I was pregnant up until the rest of my immediate family started finding out between 13-15 weeks. I didn’t “publicly” announce it until I was 27 weeks.

People that did know frequently asked when I was going to make it public and I frequently said, “never”. Obviously, I knew that wasn’t really possible.

I just wasn’t ready.

Some disagreed with my decision to wait so long. They felt it would be better just to “own it” and move on. While I understand this position,  I just felt like at some point I would know that I was ready for it.

So, I waited until then.  

I am a huge advocate of having people in our lives to talk to , people to do life with but that doesn’t mean that we need to include everyone in every detail of our lives.

It also doesn’t mean that the people you choose not to share information with are any less important.

Of course, we all have different “layers” of friendship, but there are many more people that I could have told about my pregnancy sooner. People that are very special to me, that would have given me support and good counsel. There’s no reason that I didn’t tell certain people, other than the first two trimesters were a very private and highly emotional time for me.

I just needed to work some things out within myself before I expanded the circle of people “in the know”.

Looking back, I don’t think I would have changed the timing of my announcement. It was right at the time when anticipation and excitement were really starting to build.

Any sooner, an even remotely negative comment could very likely throw me into a tailspin but at this point nothing could get me down.

I was having a baby and I could not wait!