Bump Updates, Lifestyle, Pregnancy

Bump Update: 26 Weeks

How Far Along Are You?

26 Weeks & 5 Days

How Big is Baby?

(According to the app) Hazel is the size of kale… is that a bushel or a bunch or a few stalks? Who knows, because I don’t eat kale. But it roughly translates to 14 inches and a little over 1.5 pounds.

Total Weight Gain

13 pounds (126lbs)

How Are You Sleeping?

I am still sleeping great – minus the heartburn and acid reflux attacks. I feel so grateful to have no had my sleep disturbed too much by the bump. Besides needing to take a bathroom break or two throughout the night, I have been sleeping quite well. I still have not caved and bought a pregnancy pillow.

Any Food Cravings?

I have been disappointed in the fact that I haven’t had any super crazy or super intense cravings. Besides just having the urge to devour all the salty snacks I can get my hands on I haven’t experienced too much.

Any Food Aversions?

Nope.

How are Your Clothes Fitting?

Ha! Besides a few specific outfits, I feel pretty uncomfortable in most of my clothes. Although I would still consider myself relatively thin besides my bump, I have thickened in the thigh and hip area, so my jeans are no longer practical and even some of my leggings are too tight. Before this past week, I had one pair of maternity leggings and I wore them just about every day, so I recently invested in a few more pairs of maternity leggings and a couple pairs of maternity pants. Shirts and dresses haven’t been too much of a problem – a lot of my regular shirts work for around the house and I have enough maternity shirts to keep me comfortable when I go out.

Any Symptoms?

Hunger: Give me all the food!! I am constantly hungry, especially for anything salty. I’m looking at you Tostitos!

Acid Reflux: Hello acid reflux and welcome to the party. Multiple nights this week as I am trying to sleep, I will wake up in a coughing fit feeling like something is stuck in my throat. I will cough to try and get it out and then I will feel like my throat is on fire and I’m going to throw up. I will go get a drink of water and after that my throat just hurts and tastes bad.

Heartburn: The heartburn is still pretty consistent. I am more shocked if I lay down for bed and it doesn’t act up. One night I ate a bowl of ice cream before bed and had no heartburn, soooo excuse to eat more ice cream? I think yes!

Skin: Well the breakout on my nose has finally died down, but a few others have popped up on my forehead. I don’t think my clear complexion is coming back any time soon.

Sore Breasts: Yep.

Back Pain: My back pain has eased up quite a bit! I notice is less on the days I am able to work from home, because I am able to move around more and sit in different positions verses the days I have to sit in my office chair. A few nights a week my back will hurt towards the end of the day, but nothing a little back rub can’t solve.

Nesting: This is by far my favorite symptom! I just get so much done. I finally finished cleaning out Hazel’s side of the room completely and got all of the donations to the car. I have been cleaning dishes and cooking – yep, cooking!! – on a regular basis. I feel like I’m well on my way to being ready to be called ‘mom.’

Baby Movement?

Hazel has been a little kickboxing acrobat and it is the most wonderful thing! I don’t know what she’s doing exactly in there, but every time I feel her kick or push against my belly it brings a smile to my face – it is especially nice during a tough or exhausting day at work. Her favorite time to get moving is when I’m sitting or laying for long periods of time – aka working or sleeping, but I don’t mind!

What Are You Most Looking Forward To?

Our next ultrasound (which should be somewhere in the 28/29 week area) and our little babymoon we have planned. I am over the moon with excitement about seeing our little nut again on the big screen, but I am also very excited about a short and sweet getaway the hubs and I have planned in a few weeks.

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Lifestyle, Pregnancy

3 Reasons Why We Chose a Midwife

As more and more people in my life learn about my pregnancy, I am constantly getting asked about my provider and my birth plans. When I tell them that I have a midwife and plan to birth naturally, so many questions come up. The most common question is simply: why?.

When Jeremiah and I first became pregnant, we did things the normal way. We found an OB-GYN through insurance and planned to birth at the hospital with drugs. Never in a million years did I think this – midwife + natural birth – would be the route that I would take. But after multiple poor experiences with the doctor and hospital, I knew that next time would have to be different.

We had our first encounter with our [now] midwife when we reached out to get a second opinion on our miscarriage. She was quick to fit us in, didn’t charge us, provided us sensitivity, and gave us in depth information on our situation. Afterwards, even in such pain, we knew that this was the kind of care we wanted. Then later that year when we found out we were pregnant again, we didn’t even have to think twice about who to call for our first appointment and we couldn’t be happier with our decision!

Since we are so happy with our choice and it is a question I get asked a lot, I wanted to share with you the top three reasons we chose a midwife.

[Disclaimer: Obviously not all OBs are lacking the qualities listed below, I am strictly going off of my own experiences.]

1. Personal Relationship & Investment

Although some women have a great relationship with their OBs, I was never given that chance. It was very obvious that this doctor did not care to get to know us or our situation. On multiple occasions, I was under the impression I would be meeting the doctor, but she never showed and the one day that we did meet her, she didn’t even know our names or situation after seeing us an hour later than our scheduled time. It was rude and insulting. After that last appointment, I left distraught and angry with no intention of ever setting foot in that office again.

On the contrary, our midwife has met us with open arms, kind words, and a personal touch. Ever since our first appointment – when we weren’t even clients! – she knew our situation, offered sympathy and sensitivity, and followed up with us. Now that we are clients, every appointment is like meeting up with a sweet, knowledgeable friend. It is very conversational and never rushed. It is plainly obvious that us and our baby are the priority. She also makes a point to come to all outside appointments, such as ultrasounds, and remember details of our personal lives. One of the best aspects is how flexible and understanding she is with scheduling and frantic texts. Basically, she gives amazing care!

2. Honesty, Knowledge & Thoroughness

When I was experiencing a miscarriage, the doctor said it was most likely because of my abnormal uterus shape (which has yet to be confirmed). When explaining this, she provided no documentation and tried to show us the shape using her forearms… ya it was as confusing as it sounds. Jeremiah and I kept asking questions and for more information, but she had none to give. It is very concerning for a doctor to walk into a room and tell someone life altering news without any backup or documentation. Do your research and bring it with you.

On a separate occasion, I received a call from the office saying that I needed to take medication for hypothyroidism. No explanation given and the doctor never spoke to me to explain what was going on. I took the medication prescribed, because at the time I didn’t know any better. To this day it is unclear if I actually had a thyroid issue, because I don’t with this current pregnancy.

Because of the two situations above, I am appreciating how knowledgeable, thorough, and honest my midwife is. After drawing blood and checking my levels, she explains everything she sees or has concerns about in depth and tells me my options. If medication is an option, she explains the risks, the benefits, and how long she expects me to have to take it. She also provides reading materials for the vaccinations I have the option of getting and tests I will need to have performed. She is honest about whether a test or medication is necessary for a healthy baby and birth. She is also very honest in her replies to my frantic texts – if she feels me or the baby is in danger, if I need to come in for an extra appointment, or if there is a natural home remedy I can try. Her knowledge and honesty really puts me at ease, because trust in your provider is so important!

3. Confidence in the Woman’s Body & the Birthing Process

Childbirth was my greatest fear up until this year – seriously! Our culture reminds us constantly through entertainment and personal stories about how painful and scary it is. Epidurals are the standard and C-sections are becoming more and more popular among doctors and women alike. I figured I would be one of these women, because I believed the lies about how I didn’t have wide enough hips and how I was too small to have a positive birth experience.

But ever since switching to a midwife, I have felt more confident than ever that I can achieve a positive birth experience without any intervention. Just after our initial conversation with our midwife, I trusted and respected her skills as well as her confidence in my body’s ability to carry and birth a child. One thing I love about midwifery is their focus on patience – the body knows what to do, so let’s not rush it, but instead just let it do its thing. If something does go wrong, such as a baby being breech, they will try all natural methods and remedies before resorting to medication or surgery. They provide such great information on ways to prepare the body and offer so much encouragement. It is such a positive experience every visit and I can’t wait till I get to go every week!

The midwife “route” isn’t for everyone, but if you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, I strongly encourage you to think about your options and what kind of pregnancy and birth experience you want. Don’t feel like using an OB and hospital are your only options… there are so many out there! Ultimately just find out what works for you and what makes you feel the most comfortable and confident! 🙂

Reviews, Shows

Conviction Show Review

You are gorgeous, absolutely, unequivocally, unrelentingly, gorgeous. With a perfect, I repeat perfect, body. -Brian Peluso

Conviction is a Law and Order spin-off. That’s basically all you need to know to know if you want to give it a watch…

Plot Summary

ADA Alex Cabot from Law and Order: SVU comes back to the small screen as the Bureau Chief for a group of new, young, and ambitious lawyers as they learn the ins and outs of practicing law.

What I Thought

Being a law buff and an unashamed Law and Order fan, I absolutely enjoyed the heck out of this show. I was only disappointed when I realized it only received thirteen episodes. What a shame!

Conviction follows the lives of six lawyers – majority who are new to the field and a few who are seasoned – as they navigate the courtroom and their personal lives. Truthfully, the characters are forgettable. I didn’t really have a favorite; although, I did have a relationship that I was rooting for the whole time. One thing I liked about the characters is that they all had strong and weak traits that made them seem more human and relatable.

This show is for the fan of Law and Order that wishes all the “order” could be cut out and the courtroom scenes could be extended. You get the other side of the action which is really interesting. I liked that the cases vary in content instead of all being sexual assaults, you get a little bit of insight on other types of cases as well; some of which really made you think – one that stuck out ot me was about rehabilitation.

One of my only complaints about Conviction is that they never clarify when exactly it takes place. Ale was my favorite attorney on SVU and if you keep up with her story *spoiler* she goes into Witness Protection and then comes back to law years later, and then years after that works with an underground railroad for domestically abused women… so when was she the Bureau Chief for these spry lawyers? Because they always refer to her as ADA Cabot in SVU, but I’m not entirely sure if that is still her title if she is the Bureau Chief. So you have to wonder whether she became chief after working SVU or if she was chief before working SVU. I wish that had been clarified for fans of both shows.

I love these kinds of shows and would have watched many more seasons of Conviction, but if this does sound like your kind of show, don’t be discouraged by the fact it only got one season… the show gets a decent ending and it won’t leave you wondering.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Are you a Law and Order fan that wishes for more law and less order?

Lifestyle, Pregnancy

Picturing Parenthood

Being a parent is like folding a fitted sheet. No one really knows how.
-Unknown

Sometimes – more often than not when I’m soaking in a hot bath with a fruity candle burning – I try to imagine what kind of mother I will be.

During these times, I see visions of me reading bedtime stories, singing silly songs in the car, and trying to keep a straight face when disciplining an act that was bad, but funny. I think about how I am going to raise a good eater when I’m one of the pickiest around and at what age I will be able to introduce my daughter to my favorite shows. I picture planning our epic road trips and building blanket forts together as a family… but in all of these scenarios, my daughter is at least five years old.

I find it difficult to picture myself – as I am currently – as a mom and I find it even harder to picture myself with a baby. And that worries me!

Growing up, I wasn’t very fond of babies. Although I actively babysat and worked in childcare, I preferred older kids. Most of my baby experience comes from watching and interacting with my younger cousins, whom I absolutely adore, but am still scarred from a poopy diaper incident. I just feel more comfortable with older kids, because they are less needy and are more fun. They can play games and create art… babies are just so temperamental.

Once I found out I was pregnant, I figured the baby excitement and dreams would kick in, but I’m still patiently waiting. Now don’t get me wrong, I am excited about our little nut! The tiny baby clothes give me all the feels and shopping for her nursery gets me so giddy, but I feel like I’m lacking the excitement of nurturing a little person.

Then I start to think about what kind of babysitter I was and wonder if that is how I will be as a mom. But then I remind myself that no one is born a mother and no one is born knowing how to care for a baby. You learn as you go. You learn through trial and error. You learn through asking friends and family for help. And most of all, I remind myself that no amount of worrying or preparing will truly make a difference once we bring the baby home.

You just have to start.

Faith, Lifestyle

A Hammering Heart to Healing

As you all know, last year was a struggle for me. Heartache, confusion, and distrust dominated my emotions and I essentially let the enemy destroy my faith. Towards the end of the year, I knew something had to change. I knew that there would be no healing unless I took the necessary steps to start that process. And that process began with letting God back into my life. I brought it up to Jeremiah multiple times and we talked at length about what this would like and ultimately we knew that we needed to find a church where we could grow as a couple and as a family. We also knew that we needed to get connected with other believers that we could lean on and grow with.

With that being said, I made rebuilding my faith one of my goals for this year. Rebuilding can take many different forms, but first and foremost I wanted to go to church regularly, pray, read my Bible, and get connected.

Last night we took one of the first big steps: we attended a small group. Even for seasoned Christians such as ourselves, who are used to this culture, walking into a stranger’s home to talk with more strangers can be extremely scary and intimidating. It doesn’t matter how nice or friendly they are, it is just one of those things. But from the moment we walked in, my nerves slowly melted away.

The first-night-introduce-yourself portion was the usual bout of awkward, but once the conversation and discussion got started, I was sucked in. It had been so long since I had been a part of a group of people (more like friends!) who cared about God and about growth. This group was so real and vulnerable and I LOVED IT! I am frequently talking about how much I appreciate and respect vulnerability and honesty… and these people had no fear. It was very obvious that they trusted and cared for one another and it was exactly what I had been looking for.

I didn’t actually participate in the conversation, but more taking it all in and getting acquainted with the people and their style of discussion. Well at the end of the night, someone threw out the idea of sharing what each couple was praying for in order to receive prayer, but also accountability. This is one of those things that freaks me out – I hate going around in the circle and saying what we need prayers for… in the past it has felt superficial. Well once they got started, I realized this was not going to be like the past, these people laid their hearts and feelings out there and it was beautiful. The whole time everyone was talking, I knew exactly what I needed to say. I knew exactly what I had been praying for. It was the main reason I was there. The closer it got to me – the harder and harder my heart started to beat. People always describe moments where they felt like their heart was going to beat out of their chest – this was one of those moments for me. I could feel and hear my heartbeat throughout my whole body. I knew what I needed to say, but I wasn’t sure I was brave enough to put it out there on the first night.

God told me I was brave enough. He reminded me that this was what I told him I needed. He reminded me that waiting to share would only delay my healing.

So when it was finally my turn, I laid my heart out in front of me. I shared briefly about our loss, about how I leaned away from my faith, and how I needed to defeat this stronghold to be all in for the future. And afterward, I felt a million times lighter.

The payoff for my bravery, vulnerability, and honesty – besides feeling strong and hopeful – that someone there had been where I was and came forward. After group, she walked right up to me, introduced herself, shared something that helped her move forward, and then gave me a hug. I felt so loved. I knew that was exactly where I needed to be. I knew Jeremiah and I had made the right decision in attending that night. I knew that my healing had begun!