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?

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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! 

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.

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.

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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

Questions That Bring Hope (Day 28 of “31 Days”)

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Yesterday, I said that I was going to spend a little time on how to help a woman (or young woman) facing a crisis pregnancy. If you missed it, check it out here.

I think one of the best things you can do for a woman facing this type of pregnancy is to get her to look beyond her present crisis. And one of the best ways to do this is by asking questions.

I was terrified to tell my parents that I was pregnant. Terrified. I remember someone asked me how I thought my parents would feel about having another grandbaby.

I said, “they would be thrilled”.

On a few different occasions, I was asked if my parents would be supportive.  Absolutely!

These were not complex questions. But they were real questions. They were questions that brought me back to reality.

The reality that this was not the end of the world. My family would love me, support me and would think the world of my baby. 

This was not the worst thing that could happen. In fact, it was the best thing that would ever happen to me. It would one of the best things to ever happen to our family.

This was a good thing. But I needed help to see that. I needed to look past my current state. These questions helped me to realize that everything really would be ok. I wasn’t alone.

If I didn’t have people to talk to, people to get me thinking beyond my crisis there’s not telling what could have happened.

I am not minimizing this type of a crisis in any way. Believe me, I know how difficult it is. But I also know that there’s hope. I know that the heaviness, confusion and despair only lasts for a season.

Your daughter, friend, niece, sister, cousin, neighbor, youth group member… whoever she may be needs you to ask her the questions that will help lift her head from the cloud of doom and into the hope and joy that awaits her.

Just Listen (Day 27 of “31 Days”)

31 Days-Unplanned-Pregnancy-Novice-Mommy-BlogIn Day 1 of this series, I talked about the number of women who have dealt with unintended and crisis pregnancies. Chances are very good that you either know one, are one (if you are a woman) or will meet one soon.

Basically, all of our lives have been or likely will be touched by unplanned or crisis pregnancy. Even before my own experience, it had affected my life through women close to me.

Over the next couple of days, I’m going to take time to address some ways that you can help women who find themselves in a crisis or unintended pregnancy.  I am not a professional and do not claim to be one but I do believe the things I will share with you are helpful and grounded. They are based on personal experience as well as things I’ve learned through my time as a crisis pregnancy peer counselor. Please note, however,  these are my own opinions.

Ok, lets get started…

The first way you can help is by being  a listening ear. It sounds simple but when you are dealing with a woman facing a crisis pregnancy, it can be difficult to keep your opinions and agendas at bay. So, I’ll take it a step further and say listen to ALL of her options, not just the ones you agree with. Here’s where it gets hard, especially for people, such as myself, that are pro-life.

I read a statistic recently that said 72% of women who have had abortions identify themselves as Christian.

Now, “Christian” is a pretty broad spectrum in and of itself but, at the very least, 72% of women who have had abortions have some level of knowledge and belief in Jesus Christ. That’s an astounding number!

So, what exactly does this mean? It means A LOT of women that face unintended pregnancies consider abortion. A LOT. Your daughter’s friends (or even your daughter), your cousin, your nail girl, your co-workers, your neighbors, young women in your youth group, and women in your Bible Study.

These women are everywhere. And they are of many ages, ethnicities and religions.

You never know who is facing this situation and what options they may be considering.

If a woman feels safe enough to come to you with this delicate issue, I beg you, don’t blow it by making her feel bad or guilty for exploring her options, even if that includes abortion.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not suggesting that you  encourage anyone to consider abortion. Ever. What I am saying is that jumping on a soapbox and waving a sign in her face could be more detrimental than anything.

It could cause you to lose her trust. And, ultimately, she may go elsewhere for guidance.

Listening, without judgment, will help you gain her trust.

The same goes for any other option she might be considering. I know people who have very strong feelings about the option of adoption. It’s something they could never see themselves doing and, therefore, their instinct would be to tell a pregnant woman not to do it.

On the contrary, there are people who strongly believe any unwed mother (not that all women facing these pregnancies are unmarried but many are) should give her child up for adoption.

No matter what your opinion may be on what she is saying, I encourage you to listen first.

Listen for her reasons. Listen for her doubts. Listen for her fears. Listen for her resources. Listen for her strengths.

My Sweet Angel (Day 24 of “31 Days”)

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Coming to a place of fully embracing my pregnancy was a slow process but there was a definite turning point where I guess you could say I was “all in”.

It was the day that it really sunk in that I was having a baby. I could actually visualize it.

And I was happy.

I will never forget the day I found out I was having a baby boy.

I had just started feeling some movement from the baby, which at first felt weird but, still, it was pretty amazing. The baby wasn’t quite big enough for me to feel consistent movement or even kicks but I did have this feeling that made me think he was flipping over.

It was a similar to that feeling you get in your stomach when you go on a roller coaster with a big dip. And it only happened after I ate.

The day I went in to have my ultrasound, which happened to one day before moving back to California, the doctor asked me if I had felt any movements yet. I told him about the “flips” and he said “maybe”. Well, his lips said “maybe” but his face said, “you’re crazy lady”.

Several minutes into the ultrasound, the doctor announced that the baby wasn’t on the right side to see the sex. He continued to look around and then said “we may not be able to tell today”.

I was pretty disappointed.

He decided to lower me to see if he could get the baby to move.

There’s that feeling.

The baby had flipped over! After a couple more minutes, I see “It’s a boy” pop up on the screen.

I gasped and said, “I knew it”. My eyes filled up with tears.

My son’s father and I were meeting for dinner that night. I had planned on telling him then the sex of our baby but I couldn’t wait.  I texted him immediately after leaving my appointment.

I called my mom, texted my siblings and my dad, called one of my best friends… this was the most excitement and anticipation I had felt up until this point in my pregnancy.

That night at dinner, we tossed some boy names around.

I already knew what I wanted to name him but his dad had different ideas. The decision wasn’t made that night but we eventually came to an agreement.

And I got Malachi which means “messenger”. At almost 5 months old, this sweet boy has already been a messenger.

Each and every day he reminds me of the message of hope, joy and grace.

He is my angel.

After all, angels are messengers.