I am a mother of three amazing children, ages 8, 3, and newborn who has recently made the transition to become a stay at home mom. I hope that you are able to take away helpful information from many of the home based posts I write, I also warn you, I am a real mom, of three very real kids, who has a not so perfect, hilariously frustrating, but all together amazing family.
It has been a hot minute since I published anything on here, and while I feel terrible for it, life has simply gotten in the way the last couple of weeks. Honestly, 2019 seems to have delivered a swift kick in the ass to me and mine, and some of its blows have left me reeling.
While it has been crazy, I feel that the events that have occurred have helped me grow in ways I didn’t realize I needed to. I have been forced to slow down and smell the roses, even when I really didn’t see the point. And you know what? It really has been for the better that my business was put on pause for a few minutes during this time.
Therefore, for those of you who so closely follow my blogging journey (as well as those of you who stumbled onto this page by accident and have not figured out how to get the heck outta here) I have put together this brief(ish) recap of my last couple weeks.
I will warn you, it sounds a bit like an episode of Days of Our Lives. Even I am still trying to process it all, but here goes.
Following my ectopic pregnancy nightmare, the hubs and I elected to move our Disney Vacation up a few weeks when the other family we were originally going with wound up not being able to go. Therefore, May 23rd we jumped in the mini-van and set off for the sunshine state.
After a small stay in Destin (where the beaches are AMAZING), we set off on the 25th for Orlando. We arrived in our condo, settled in and prepared for the week ahead. On the 26th however, we received the call that a loved one had suffered a stroke. Over the next few days, it became apparent that this event was not one that would be recovered from, and plans were made for my husband to fly out of Orlando to Houston, TX to be with loved ones.
Thus, on May 31st, my babies and I loaded up in the minivan and hit the open road bound for Texas. Over the following sixteen hours, my kids saw 5 states, over 900 miles, and more of interstate 10 than I care to admit. We crossed bayous, took an underwater tunnel, and drove over a bridge I will never find myself on again if I can help it.
There was an abundance of coffee, enough snacks to feed an army, and more “Are we there yet?”’s then I can count.
Yet, my kids freaking ROCKED it.
We arrived at our destination around 9:45pm that evening and to say exhaustion had set in would be an understatement. My little family was all together again, and while it was still 1,000 miles from home and we were in the middle of immense grief, it was bliss.
On June 1st, we lost an amazing individual. A person who has helped to mold my husband into the man that he is today. A soul who would give you the shirt off his back, even though you didn’t ask.
The world slowed down that day. It was not the way I had envisioned our vacation ending; however it quickly became apparent that this man had one more point to make.
My family needed a chance to breathe. A time to reflect upon the support we have by those loved ones who surround us, even from hundreds of miles away. The point was made and received that even though the world is dead set on being balls to the wall 100% of the time, life still has the ability to be simple. All we needed to do was stop for a minute.
I can hear him now. “Just breathe baby. It will all be ok, just rub a little dirt in it.”
Point taken Danny, God knows I am going to miss you.
In the midst of grieving and making arrangements, my family received more news we were unprepared for. A loved one back in Indiana was ill and had been taken to the hospital. The outlook was less than great and left me in a crazy place. I wanted to be home and supporting my family, but I needed to be supporting my husband too.
This adulting thing really is rough sometimes.
By the end of the week, my family was worn and tired. We were (and are) so very thankful for the family and friends who poured out support during this time in the form of kind words, food, entertaining my kids, financial help, and so much more. But honestly, we were ready to be back in the Hoosier state.
Thus, we set off on the next 900+ mile journey home.
Three tired kids, an overly full van, some Texas dirt, Florida sand, sunburns, and so many more memories than we could have imagined, and our vacation was finally coming to an end.
We arrived home June 9th and headed straight to be with family. I was able to visit my grandmother who was feeling MUCH better, and finally talked to my mom face to face (It is funny how your mom can take all the crazy away, right?)
And now, well now, we are FINALLY finding our normal again.
It has been a crazy couple weeks to say the least. While I again apologize for the lack of posts, I can assure you that 2019 is DONE kicking my butt. You will be seeing more of me in the months remaining, and it is going to be fantastic.
Sometimes, life just does not go according to plan.
This is something that has really hit home for me in 2019. An unplanned positive pregnancy test while I had an IUD in place. A seemingly never-ending number of blood tests to confirm and monitor said pregnancy. The ultrasound that showed that this same pregnancy was not viable. Then to top it all off, not one, not two, but three cancer treatments that injected poison into my body to do away with a baby who had no chance.
Yeah, that wasn’t in my five-year plan.
Yet, sitting here today I realize that while the last several months of my life have brought hell and heartache, they have also brought with them a new season of motherhood. A season, I didn’t know I was ready for, yet one my own mental health needed.
Roughly eight weeks following my first doctor’s appointment to confirm that I was, indeed, again carrying a child, I was a mess. Having had three substantial rounds of poison injected into my body to medically treat a pregnancy threatening to rupture internally, I was seeing side effects I had never imagined.
My hair was coming out in handfuls. My fingernails were so brittle and flimsy that it was nothing to rip them off while folding towels. And to top it all off, I had lovely cysts developing all along my jaw line and back where the “medication” was still exciting my system. All of this was occurring just as I had started to crawl back out of the dark, depression filled hole I had allowed myself to crawl into at the thought of losing another baby, and honestly, I didn’t know how to make the bad stop.
Therefore, when the conversation arose as to what my next steps were following the confirmation of the conclusion of my ectopic pregnancy, I was ready for things to just be done. I wanted to jump right into that next season of motherhood, didn’t I?
Having had two successful yet incredibly rough pregnancies in the past, me having any more kids would have been a bad choice. Plus, having had one ectopic pregnancy, my body was prone to another. Therefore, when the talk of sterilization started, I was ready to go under the knife as soon as possible. Yet, the reservation was still in the back of my mind. Leaving my child bearing days was incredibly hard to consider even if it meant preserving my health.
My transition into the next season of motherhood was starting, and that train wasn’t going to slow down any time soon. Therefore, after weighing the immediate pro’s and con’s, my sterilization was scheduled.
Nothing I was doing by opting to have surgery was something that had never been done before. Nothing should have had me as anxious as I was for this new season. I was not nearly as confident as I would have thought I would be when my time finally came to make this transition in my life. So how did I handle it?
I asked every question I could think of
Because seriously, I am a seeker of knowledge. The more I know about something, the better I feel. Thus, my amazing doctor got to listen to every question I could come up with, and she gracefully provided me with every bit of information that she could.
I walked in to my procedure knowing exactly what to expect. It was still going to be a huge thing that I was doing, but I knew what the end game was going to be.
I centered myself
More than any other time in my life, I needed to be centered moving through this time.
Therefore, most nights prior to my procedure, you would find me taking a long walk, or practicing yoga in my living room. Before bed, I would set sleep mediation recordings to play to redirect my thoughts. Of the mornings, I would listen to podcasts from incredibly motivating women. (Check out Your Kick Ass Life Podcast andEmpowerHER if you are looking for some new podcasts for yourself!) And when the day became overwhelming, I would simply stop and breath.
It is amazing how much of a change a bit of reconnecting with the universe can make.
I found support wherever I could
Having never really been one to go out and seek a support group, this one was hard. Yet, as I realized how big this transition would be, it was something I knew I needed.
Therefore, my friends and family became my cheerleaders during my move into this new season. I also had the support of thousands of other moms through social media who had been through similar situations. Shit, I was even talking to strangers by this point about my story and feeding off the support or similar stories they too had.
It was crazy where all the support and uplifting vibes started to pour from, once I allowed it to happen.
I celebrated and embraced
This one sucked when I first started, not going to lie. I did not want to celebrate the fact that I had overcome an ectopic pregnancy. Nor did I want to embrace the fact that I was alive and healthy while my baby was not. These truths alone are still enough bring the emotions flooding back as I type this.
Yet, I did have to eventually start looking at my experience though a different lens. I had experienced a pregnancy that could have been fatal if not discovered. My surviving kids had a mother who was broken, but still there for them. I would never again have to experience a pregnancy with the potential to kill me, and I would be here fore my family because of it. I was embracing this season of motherhood, and moving onto the next. Ready or not, I was going to fake it until I could make it.
I spoke up
The hardest part of my transition from pregnancy, to loss, to sterilization, was trying to determine why it happened. Ectopic pregnancy is one of those freak things that happens, sometimes without any real reason. Having been on an IUD, been diagnosed with endometriosis in my late teens, and having reoccurring ovarian cysts on both ovaries I should have been the least likely person to wind up pregnant. Never mind having a pregnancy that was diagnosed ectopic.
Therefore, when I finally started to move past the fog of depression, I spoke up and started publishing my story. Being able to share my experience with other moms out there who were going through something similar was the only thing that made sense to me. It might not have been the real reason it happened (I may never know that) but opening up about it smoothed the transition for me more than I even could have imagined.
I asked for help
One of the biggest ways that I helped myself to move into this next season of motherhood was by asking for help. In the middle of my pregnancy, I realized that I was in over my head. This was the time when I started asking my doctor what else I could do. Therapy was recommended and mama, I jumped straight in.
Leaving my first appointment had me giggling to myself. During that moment I realized just how much I had needed to let it all out. My therapist seemed to be in shock after I finished my crazy story, including my decision to have my tubes cut out. Yet, being able to unload all of this onto someone who didn’t know me from Adam was so good for me. I left that appointment knowing that my big feelings about this transition were completely justified and knowing that I was going to end this season of motherhood positively as I moved to the next.
Crazy Mom Talk
Motherhood. Is. Hard.
Let me say that louder for the people in the back.
MOTHERHOOD. IS. HARD.
The transitions, whether you are making the choices to enter them or they are just happening to you, suck sometimes. Yet, moving from one season of motherhood to the next is something we will all experience in some way.
Maybe you choose not to be sterilized, but instead to jump on birth control. Maybe you do not choose to be sterilized, but instead it happens as a result of a traumatic pregnancy, cancer, or another lovely lady issue. It is going to happen to all of us moms in some way as we age. All we can do is try our best to transition gracefully. It isn’t always an easy choice, or a choice at all, and yet, here we are.
Have you transitioned into this same season of motherhood? What were some of your own struggles? How did you handle them? Let me know in the comments below. Also, please share this for any mom on your friends list that may be making this transition herself!
I am assuming by now you have all heard the term “momcation”. For those of you who have not yet become familiar with the term, this is the word now coined for vacations that moms take….wait for it….BY THEMSELVES.
You totally read that right. A vacation without the kids, leaving the hubby at home.
You simply grab a couple of your gal pals and jet off somewhere fun.Science has even proved that taking one of these magical trips does wonders for moms mental health. (Seriously, I saw it on shared on Facebook. It HAS 5o be true.) Imagine that!
With all the recent talk of these trips, I decided to embark on a so called “momcation” to the lovely Brown County, Indiana.
Why Brown County you ask? Because where else in Indiana could you find so much relaxation in one place?
***Disclaimer: My trip to Brown County was sponsored by the Brown County Visitors Bureau. This means that they provided accommodations and Sippin’ Trip Tour tickets in exchange for my honest opinions about their amazing county. Rest assured, all opinions expressed here are my own.***
Accommodations to Rejuvenate
During our stay in Brown County, Indiana, we were graciously accommodated at the1875 Homestead Bed and Breakfast. Having never stayed at a Bed and Breakfast before, myself and my mom traveling partner were a tad skeptical of the whole experience heading in.
Nancy, the amazing hostess, was nothing short of welcoming. She was there when we needed her, yet not in any way overbearing for the duration of our stay. If the beautiful rooms and breathtaking location of this old house was not enough to satisfy your need for relaxation, her hospitality sure made up the difference.
At the 1875 Homestead Bed and Breakfast, we were not made to feel like guests. We were made to feel like family. With a kitchen that is open 24/7 fully stocked with pop, popcorn, hot chocolate, fresh baked cookies and so much more, it felt like being back in my childhood home. Not having to worry about if I remembered to pick up the snacks was awesome, and realizing there was a corkscrew in the kitchen when I realized I didn’t have one at 8 pm was bliss.
Plus, Nancy’s multi-course breakfast each morning is enough to make a mama feel pampered all on its own.While there is no shortage of places to stay in the Nashville, Indiana area, if you are heading down for a momcation, (or any other trip really) 1875 Homestead Bed and Breakfast is a location you really must check out. Promise, you will not be sorry.
Shopping for Days
You know how, as mom’s, our shopping trips many times are cut short before we get to the shopping for ourselves part?
A momcation in Brown County, Indiana has a store just for you to make up for every time your shopping needs have been forgone. (Ok, maybe not for every time, but pretty close.)
Seriously though, the shopping scene in Nashville, Indiana is unlike any other I have seen. You seriously cannot skip going down any little ally, or choose to forgo walking into a building or you may miss the shop you have been waiting for your entire life!
Boutiques of all kinds are scattered throughout the town among jewelry shops, leather workers, crafters workshops, bath products, baked goods and so much more. You could honestly spend an entire day shopping and still not see everything.
A Sip for Every Taste
If you have a taste for alcohol, the Brown County, Indiana has a sip for your taste.
When I think “momcation” I think about relaxing with a good bottle of wine and taking time to unwind.
With the selection of alcohols being made and around Nashville, IN however, I found myself tasting more than just wine on my weekend away.
Thanks to theBrown County Visitors Center, you can try all the tastes that the county has to offer on a four hour “Sippin’ Trip” that delivers you right to the door of the four major wineries and distilleries in town. Wine, beer, vodka, and even moonshine will be available for sample on this tour.
This leaves you a bit tipsy and surrounded by new friends when you get off the bus back in town. How is that for some fun?
Being a stay at home mom is not an easy task. With so many pressures that mom’s have thrust upon them, at times, it is completely overwhelming.
Since we stay home all day, it is only natural for all day-to-day household tasks to fall on us. Add on the kids ongoing list of activities, grocery shopping, meal planning, doctor’s appointments and the like, and we are set up for a whirlwind of failure if we cannot keep motivated.
So how exactly do you keep a stay at home mom motivation going?
Start the Morning with Routine
And stick to it. EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING.
Maybe your sit down and have a cup of coffee while you read the days headlines. Or maybe you start your day with a shower while belting out your favorite songs. Whatever it is, nail down a routine and stick to it!
Your days may be unpredictable with kids running every which way. Your morning’s, however, will always start the same. You would be surprised at how motivating this can be!
Make a REASONABLE To-Do List
A to-do list to keep a stay at home mom motivation up? I know what you are thinking but hear me out.
Few things can be more motivating that realizing at the end of the day that you accomplished your to-do list. Therefore, making a list of 4-5 things that you are confident you will accomplish by the day’s end is highly suggested.
Keep it simple, but useful. Write it using one of your pretty pens that you have hidden from the kids. Cross those items off your list as you complete them like the bad ass mama you are.
Schedule Time for You Everyday
I know, I know. Your day is jam packed full of crazy and it is too hectic to take a minute to yourself.
I. Don’t. Care.
Make a few minutes for yourself. Just because you do not have time to take an hour power walk through the neighborhood or practice your daily sun saltation every morning does not mean you do not have time for you. Listen to an audio book on the way to get your kiddo from school. Read a chapter, a page, heck, read a paragraph of the book you have been meaning to read. Take the kids outside and let them run wild while you soak up ten minutes of sunshine.
It doesn’t matter what you do, just do something that is completely for you.
Reflect Upon your Day Positively
When you are looking for stay at home mom motivation, you learn to take it where you can get it. No matter what time of day you are finding it.
Therefore, it is important to take the time to find motivation at the end of your day by taking a reflection of everything that went right.
Get that entire to-do list done? Amazing! Manage more than one load of laundry? Hats off to you mama! The tiny humans survive the day with no blood spill? You are AWESOME!
Reveal in your wins no matter where they are.
Don’t Try to Do it All
You may be super momma, but no matter what, you are never going to keep motivated if you try to do it all.
Just because you are a stay at home mom does not mean you have to take on the whole house alone. Delegate some of your day to day tasks out.
Stay at home mom motivation does not have to be hard, but once you find a way to make it work for you, you must stay consistent. Sometimes the days will blend, sometimes that will fly by, and some days, they will flat out suck. But hopefully with these tips, you will be able to find a little extra motivation to make your day.
At any rate mama, hang in there. You are doing amazing and I believe in you!
Have any additional motivational tips you want to share with your fellow mama’s out there? Let me know!
As a mother of three heading to Disney in June, to say that the new stroller restrictions going into effect May 1st, 2019 have me spazzed would be an understatement.
With two kids being official Disney stroller age (5&3), the need for a double stroller in my vacation plans is great. This mama does NOT intend on being the one with two kids melting down because they have no where to nap. (All while the preteen rolls her eyes, trying to to fall asleep standing up.)
Disney has officially released a statement (as you can see here) stating that strollers “greater than 31″ wide and 52″ in length” are going to be a no-go. Also, they are putting a ban on stroller wagons as well, so you are not cutting that corner Susan.
**Disclaimer: This post contain’s affiliate links. This means that if you click on a link to a product in the post and make a purchase, I may receive commission at no extra cost to you.***
Walt Disney World News Today stated that most double strollers would fit the requirements without issues. What I found however, was that the majority of popular double side-by-side strollers on the market actually measure 31.5″, which is not going to make the 31″ cut on measurement.
I don’t know about you, but I am not getting all the way up to the front gates to get turned away over a half an inch.
Therefore, in my own melt-down frenzy over these policy changes, I have devised the following list of strollers that DO meet the width and length guidelines for Disney World compatible double side-by-side stroller’s. Hopefully, this will cut out the leg work for you, and make you less crazy than I was over this policy change!
These strollers are your traditional, 4-wheel sets on the ground type of stroller. As far as Disney World compatible double side-by-side stroller choices go, they each have their pro’s and con’s, but I will let you be the judge.
I have never truly been a fan of umbrella strollers, but over the last couple years, their designs have come a long way! Plus, as a Disney World compatible double side-by-side stroller, these are going to be the most compact when folded for travel, so I guess that says something.
Plenty of Storage Including a Zipped Storage Pocket
Jogging Side-by-Side Strollers
Since they are made for jogging, these strollers tend to have amazing steering, and rolls over most terrains with ease. These Disney World compatible double side-by-side stroller options will take you over the bricks, wood planked walkways, carpeted ride area’s, and paved paths with ease.
Ok mama, so this list is probably no comprehensive of EVERY stroller Disney World compatible double side-by-side stroller that is going to be allowed through the gates, but this should give you a good starting point. (And take some of the stress of finding a side-by-side off your shoulders!)
Are you planning a trip to Disney soon? Check out how I shopped for FREE at Disney on my last triphere.
Have a favorite stroller on this list? Worried about something else Disney vacation related? Let me know in the comments below!
As a mom of multiple kiddos, one of my biggest struggles has always been my kids inability to get along.
With a 10-year-old, 5-year-old, and 2-year-old, many moms out there would probably agree with me, then blame the age gap.
But what if I told you that there is not one, but multiple ways to encourage your kids to get along?I know, I know, it is hard to believe that there is anything that is going to keep you from screaming at them for the 1,000th time.
Just read on mama, a couple of these just may give you some peace.
Give them Space
When trying to encourage my kids to get along, I have found that sending them to do a specific activity together is generally grounds for failure. Asking them to go play Legos together, or agree on a movie is comparable sending them to do a chore.Instead, I have found that simply sending them upstairs, or outside without direction generally yields the best results. This gives them the flexibility to determine what they would like to play together, and allows their creativity to takeover.Plus, it results in less boundaries, and more peace.
Want to know when I hear the most giggles from my kids? When the screens are put away.Seriously, I was driving home from Chicago a couple weeks ago and decided against the DVD player in the mini-van for a bit. The result was a 5-year-old and a 10-year-old who were able to play, talk and laugh together.This went on for over an hour folks. No arguing, hitting, crying or whining. It was a miracle!
Ask them to Help
Sometimes, the easiest way to encourage your kids to get along, is to ask them to help you! Come up with a chore that they can actively help you to complete.Kids naturally want to try to please you. Therefore, when the are helping you, all your kiddos are working to impress you and thus not fighting with one another.
Well, that is the hope anyways.
Praise the Good Times
If you really want to encourage you kids to get along, evaluating the praise the are receiving is huge.All to often as parents, we forget to praise our kids for the great things they do. Instead we often only see the behavior when it is unfavorable. Make sure that you are praising your kids when they have a great couple hours (or sometimes minutes) together.Kids haven’t bit one another in a day? No one has a black eye created by a toy? Give those kids a sticker and a pat on the back. Sometimes those are the big wins!
Give Grace in the Bad
No matter what you do, those kids are going to fight sometimes. You can encourage your kids to get along until you are blue in the face, and yet, they are still going to clash from time to time.If you want to continue to be encouraging, make sure that you are giving some grace in these situations.
Understand that your kids need a bit of room to disagree.
They are going to sometimes have arguments because they are not perfect, even though we really, really need them to pretend they are in the grocery store. Give a bit of grace here and let them be siblings. Promise, it is going to get you further.
Allow Time for Cool Down
While we all want our kids to get along all them time, this important step needs to be remembered when encouraging your kids to get along. Making sure that our children have time to cool off, in their own spaces, is vital to them being at peace around each other. Therefore, along with encouraging your kids to get along, encourage them also to spend some time winding down.Even a few minutes reading, drawing, or playing solo can make a huge difference.
Crazy Mom Talk
Ok mama, so none of these tricks are going to all out stop a sibling war in your household. What they will do though is hopefully grant you at least 5 minutes of sanity in the day to day. (And hopefully keep you from losing your shit on a daily basis.)
The truth is, at the end of the day, our kids are vastly different from one another. While we really want them to fall in line and get along perfectly, more so we want them to grow into unique, independent individuals. Unfortunately, we do not want that individuality expressed in the middle of this mall.What are some of the ways you try to encourage your kids to get along? Let me know in the comments below!
Kids are sometime gross. Like really gross. But what if I told you that there is a whole list of gross things parents do too?
Oh yes. There is a list of nastiness surrounding the disgusting endeavors we must face as parents. Think you are exempt from doing gross things as a parent?
Let’s see how many you cannot check off on this list!
Caught Vomit Like A Pro
Because sometimes, your kid pukes in the most unconventional place. Better in your hands than on your in-laws $400 rug…. right?
Listen. Sometimes we just need to know how many of those giant purple beads they ingested. If you must go turd smashing to take inventory, so be it.
Shirts as Snotrags
Turn up the shirt underside of any child with a crazy runny nose. You are almost guaranteed to find the booger Picasso you never imagined. (Because seriously, booger painting is gross.) Tissues are not always handy…no judging.
Towel Over the Pee
2:43 AM is not the time that any parent wants to be awake changing the sheets. Towels are incredibly absorbent and kind of close to the size of a sheet, so if it happens before the sun rises, we are probably going to roll with it.
Tossing the Underwear
Potty training can be the worst, especially when there is an accidental #2. Therefore, when you find my kids shitty underwear in the Wal-Mart trash can, just keep on about your business Suzie.
Minivan Urination Station
If you are a mom of a boy, then we all know about that bottle/cup of warm pee you have had in your cup holder. When you gotta pee, you gotta pee. And when they have to go in the middle of stand still traffic on the way to Disney, sometimes you do it in a bottle from the backseat. Oh yeah, that is just one of the gross things parents do.
Lost a Diaper
Whether it was in the car, in the van, in the toy room, etc., we have all done it. Don’t worry, that diaper will turn up soon. Probably when the dog drags it through the house in pieces, or when your company smushes it under the cushions.
Sent Poop Pics
“OMG, this turd literally just came out of my kid! It is MASSIVE!”
Actual caption sent to a mom friend with a picture of my kid’s turd. Shit happens, and sometimes, it’s impressive.
Nasty Bites off Your Kids Plate
We have all done it. You are hungry, starving really, so you wisely grab a bite off the kids plate while cleaning up. Then, once it is in your mouth, the realization hits you. That particularly soggy bite has already been in your kids mouth, chewed on a bit, and spit back out.
Ran Away From The Stray Booger
Ever been in the department store and heard your child sneeze? Then you spin around just in time to see them wipe their booger filled nostrils all over the $150 sweater that was in arms reach? Don’t worry, we ran away too mama. Fast.
Been Handed A Gold Mine
It doesn’t matter how sophisticated you believe your children to be, at some point in time, they are going to hand you the biggest booger you have ever seen. It may be at a time when you have a tissue handy. More likely, it will be when you are driving down the road and are completely oblivious. You have been warned.
Crazy Mom Talk
Time for some truth. If you were not able to check off a single thing off my list of gross things parents do, and you are currently a parent, then we really need to explore how honest you are with yourself.
If you were able to check off every one of these items however, you are totally one of my people and probably need to be added to my list of mom friends. Want to learn more about the mom friends I think every mom should have? You can read more on that here.
Water birth. Some ladies are completely against it, claiming it is something for the hippies. Others simply skip over it, stating it is just not for them. But for those of us who are curious enough to try it, is it as miraculous as they make it sound?
In my opinion, absolutely!
With the birth of my youngest, my little Ellie, I elected to have a water birth.
My first birthing experience with Brendan was normal. Birth from a bed, no epidural, but I was completely monitored and surrounded by nurses and my midwife.
For what was determined to be my last birth experience, I knew I wanted something different.
After hours of research, weeks of debating, and some odd looks from other mama’s I discussed it with, I decided I was going for the water birthing experience. My birth plan was detailed, and I was determined. So what did I find out during this experience?
In Hospitals, the “Tub” Is More of an Inflatable Pool
For some reason I believed water births would be conducted in a permanent, Jacuzzi sized tub. Who knows why, this is just the picture I always envisioned.
Instead, I found that for hospital water births, more of a miniature inflatable ring pool is used. Prior to birth, the tub is brought into the room, the top ring is inflated, and it is filled using a hose from the sink.
Water Brings Comfort, but Speeds Labor
By the time I transitioned myself from the birthing ball to the tub, I was pushing 7 cm dilated. My midwife (who was AMAZING) had been bouncing back and forth between myself and a first-time mom for the 24 hours prior and was prepping the other new mom for an emergency C-section when I decided I could no longer wait.
Sinking myself into the water, I found that my contractions took on another form. The water seemed to take the pressure off of the contractions immediately, yet the frequency immediately increased, and the intensity dramatically rose. From the time I entered the tub until Ellie was born was approximately 12 minutes, and my midwife came to check my progress to find me crowning.
After the 24 hours of labor I had already been in, this progress was overwhelming, but very welcomed.
You Have an Option of Attire for the Birth
Another assumption I had of water birth was that since you would be in a tub, it would be assumed you would be naked for birth. While I was not excited about this, I was ready to accept it for the chance at a water birth.
Instead I found that medical staff really are fine with whatever clothing you are comfortable in on top, pending it is not in the way during birth. Bikini tops, sports bras, t-shirts and the like were all discussed as options during my pre-birth appointments.
For comfort reasons, I chose to birth in a sports bra which worked perfect for my situation.
The Tub Still Presents Traditional Opportunities’
With my son, my husband had the option to not only cut the cord, but also to catch our baby during birth. He was all about being able to do these things with our youngest as well, so this was a point of hesitation for him when I started discussing the potential of a water birth.
After speaking with my midwife team, we found that pending that delivery was progressing without complication, he would still be able to do both of these things.
Water is Lukewarm, but Relaxing
So, going into my water birth, I assumed I would have some say as to the temperature of the water. I was imagining a nice hot bath to help sooth my crazy contractions.
Yeah, I forgot for a minute a baby was being brought into the world through this water. Lukewarm is the temperature they use for that.
Of course, by the time I entered that mystical tub, I found I no longer cared about the water temperature if it meant getting the baby out. Thus, the lukewarm temperature was ok, if not a bit relaxing. (If you can relax at 8 cm dilated.)
Due to The Water, Cause for Alarm Can Be Accelerated
This one probably should have crossed my mind before it happened, alas, it didn’t.
Anyone know what happens when you add a little bit of blood to water? It spreads out and looks like a lot of blood. Guess what happens when you add a lot of blood to water?
It looks like you are bleeding out and your midwife freaks out a bit!
If you are debating water birth, please remember that the water can exaggerate any bleeding that is occurring. Let yourself be in the moment and trust that your doctor will tell you when there is cause for alarm.
Crazy Mom Talk
If I had the option between a traditional birth and a water birth in the future, I’,m taking the water birth every time. While I was only in the water for about fifteen minutes overall, the stress and pain it took away was worth it. Plus, the experience overall was amazing. (Although, I will never look at those inflatable ring pools the same way again.)
If you are debating if water birth is for you however, I caution you to take everyone’s opinions you are going to read and hear in stride. Some people are going to hear you are considering it and go quiet or openly voice their distaste. Chances are, they have no idea what the benefits are for you and baby. Also, chances are their opinion doesn’t matter, as they are not pushing this baby out. You are.
At the end of the day though momma, that decision is yours and yours alone. Make it and do so in confidence. At the end of the day it isn’t really going to matter how your baby gets here, all you are going to care is that you get to hold that little bundle and the rest is just the icing on the cake.
Did you experience a water birth? Were you considering one, and then changed your mind? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you!
Want to check out the non-traditional birth story of my oldest? Click here.
Every pregnant mother has fears in her days of early pregnancy of issues like an ectopic pregnancy. But what happens when you fall under the suspicion of your pregnancy being ectopic?
What does this potential diagnosis mean to you, and how do you navigate the process of managing the pregnancy?
After experiencing my own ectopic pregnancy in February 2019 (you can read about that here) I found myself researching the condition for hours on end looking for answers. Through this process, I found out that the information out there was not what I was looking for or was scattered across different sites making it hard to find.
Therefore, I put together this short guide for other moms and for the loved ones of those suffering from an ectopic pregnancy.
**Disclosure- I am NOT a doctor and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. The information contained in this post is simply information I found or experiences I had during my own ectopic pregnancy. I hope that you will find it to be helpful, but please, do not use this as a self-diagnosing tool. That is not the intention of this post.***
Not Diagnosed Right Away
Since an ectopic pregnancy can mimic a regular, healthy pregnancy in many ways, this condition is not diagnosed quickly. In order to ensure proper diagnosis, many factors are considered. Doctors use ultrasounds, HCG levels, and presenting symptoms in conjunction with one another to diagnose. Doctors also often monitor the pregnancy for a several days to weeks before making a final diagnosis in order to ensure no mistakes are made.
Grows Slower than a Regular Pregnancy
Since your fallopian tubes are not made to support pregnancy, an ectopic pregnancy will often grow significantly slower than a healthy pregnancy. You may see your pregnancy progress normally throughout the first several weeks of pregnancy. Once the fetus becomes large enough to effected by a lack of nutritional resources however, the growth will slow drastically.
For me, this slowing was around the six-week mark. At this time my levels went from doubling every 72 hours to growing by only 50 points in a 48-hour period. While exact times will differ for each woman as to when growth will slow, most ectopic pregnancies will not progress as a normal pregnancy by HCG level and will be noticeable during the first several weeks.
Require a Team to Diagnose
Prior to 1990, several cases were reported where health pregnancies were terminated due to suspicion of ectopic pregnancy. Due to this, in order to diagnose a pregnancy as ectopic today doctors must confer as a team to agree that ectopic is it, in fact, the condition presenting.
In my case, multiple OBGYN doctors, a sonographer, and Emergency Room Personal were consulted and had agreed on my condition before my pregnancy was officially deemed ectopic and treated as such.
Two Main Methods of Treatment
Once you are finally diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy, generally two methods of treatment are discussed, surgical or medical management.
If an ectopic pregnancy has grown to large, or is at immediate risk of rupture, generally surgical management is discussed. To my understanding, this requires a laparoscopic surgical procedure where the part of the tube the fetus has implanted in is completely removed. This eliminates the pregnancy completely.
If an ectopic pregnancy is deemed appropriate to be medically managed, a drug called methotrexate is used. This drug is generally given by injection to chemotherapy, and works by stopping the division of the cells of the fetus. As the fetus is then terminated, either it is passed naturally or reabsorbed by the body. In most cases one round of methotrexate will be enough, though some women do require two. In rare cases, such as my own, a third round must be repeated in order to stop the cell growth.
Potentially Fatal and Very Serious
While an ectopic pregnancy is very treatable, the condition itself is potentially fatal and is treated very seriously in the medical field. Since your fallopian tubes are not structured to support pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy leaves the mother at a risk of rupture of a tube and thus internal bleeding and pretty much any time. Due to the varying growth rate of ectopic pregnancies, doctors cannot pinpoint exactly when any one ectopic will be prone to rupture, so you are constantly provided the warning signs of rupture and the instruction to visit the ER if you experience any problems.
May Require Several ER Visits
During an ectopic pregnancy, ER visits are pretty well expected. The varying intensity of symptoms, paired with the reality that rupture is possible at any time with extreme consequence, doctors tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to ectopic pregnancy. For you,this means at any sign of increased pain or bleeding, you are generally sent to the ER.
Even better, once methotrexate injections begin some symptoms become more intense. This then can result in additional emergency room visits because even once the treatment begins you are still at risk of rupture until levels begin to drastically decrease.
Bring About Multiple Other Issues
Due to the nature of ectopic pregnancy, you are bound to experience other issues while during the pregnancy. Due to the unknown, followed by the impending loss, depression, increased anxiety, and elevated stress are all normal.
Since you are also dealing with pregnancy, you are prone to all the symptoms that also go hand in hand with pregnancy. Morning sickness, constipation, headaches, backaches and more can all present and be deemed completely normal.
Before the ectopic is completely resolved, you honestly may feel downright crazy. Please do not hesitate to ask your doctor for extra help. You may even consult with a counselor if you are feeling completely overwhelmed. This is rough and asking for help is not something to be ashamed of.
Symptoms Present Differently in Different Woman
Just as all ectopic pregnancies progress at different rates, symptoms can vary for each woman experiencing an ectopic. Common symptoms are cramping and bleeding, though the severity and frequency of each will differ. Pain localized to one side of the pelvis is also common. For some women though, this too can be confusing. In my experience I had localized pain on my right side clear through my second dose of methotrexate. My ectopic however, was on my left side, though the pain didn’t start there for weeks.
Also, it is common to have back pain, upper thigh pain, even shoulder pain as the pregnancy progresses. If you are experiencing new aches and pains during your ectopic however, it is best to consult your doctor.
Crazy Mom Talk
Working through your own ectopic pregnancy, I am sure there will be more questions that you will need answered. While this post did not address every aspect of the condition, I hope it was able to provide you with some additional insight.
If you are experiencing an ectopic pregnancy, I urge you to take the journey with a grain of salt. It hurts, it sucks, and it is something I would not wish upon my worst enemy. It is not over until your levels are under 5 HCG, and as my own story proves, things can turn when you least expect them too.
Hopefully however, your journey is routine and is over before you know it. Just hang in there, mama. It may feel like it will never end, but one day soon, I promise it will.
Browsing through the latest issue of InStyle the other day, I found myself giddy about the fashion trends for Spring/Summer 2019.
Don’t get me wrong. Ask my ten year old and she would tell you my mom fashion has been less than on point in the past. This however, would be coming from a child who wears her t-shirts three sizes too big with leggings that do NOT match, and tops it off the outfit with a unicorn headband….so I’m not putting much weight into her opinion at the moment.
Anyways, looking through the predicted “in” styles, I found that I was not only going to be rocking several pieces this Spring, but that I was going to feel great in them.
So what are my favorite trends?
High Wasted Everything
In years past, the struggle to get into shape to have that perfect beach body has been real. Lucky for us, this years mom fashion includes high wasted EVERYTHING!
Seriously mama. Looking through any fashion magazine or boutique shop you frequent, one trend you are going to notice are high waistbands. These really hit big in jeans last year, bringing the mom jean back into play something fierce. Now, you are going to find your favorite leggings, crops, capris, shorts and bikini’s boasting a high waistband.
Finally, we catch some slack for that couple pounds we gain over the holiday season every year.
Floral’s are Everywhere
Mom fashion for Spring/Summer 2019 is covered in flowers, and I am in love!
Micro and macro floral prints are being plastered over all of our favorite pieces. Cold shoulder tops, bohemian shorts, tote purses, these botanic prints are popping up everywhere.
The best part? They are totally going to be adding a splash of color to our wardrobes with minimal effort. Marigold and Army Green are HUGE
As a redhead, these color choices for the upcoming seasons are a win for me.
Shopping on Jane.com in the past few weeks, I have also found that Camo is making a big comeback. Lattice T’s in washed out Camo prints? Guys, the country girl inside of me is so excited!
Plus, wait until you start checking out all of the cute marigold strapped sandals to spice up your summer mom wardrobe.
Glitter, Glitter and More Glitter
Speaking of sandals…you know the thick strapped cork sandals that were so big last year? Pile those puppies with about 12 tons of glitter and you will get this years hot shoe. Seriously, mom fashion has never been this shiny.
Don’t think that the glitter is ending at your shoes though.
Glitter nails, sparkle shirt accents, shiny ball caps and tennies will all be on your must have list for Spring. Get ready for your house to forever look like the club!
Sunnies for Days
In the past, sunglasses have never really been a “must have” in my mom fashion staples. For Spring/Summer 2019 however, the sunglass styles that are in are so good, my ways are a changing.
Seriously, I was shopping with my mom on the Magnificent Mile a few weeks ago and I captured my first glimpse of sunglass fashion trends for 2019. Let’s just say my heart is pretty convienced I am destined for a pair of Prada Cat-Eye sunnies that are WAY out of my price range.
No worries though. The aviators, wooden frames and polarized reflective lenses of this year will have me with a different pair for each day of the week while I wait for my Prada dreams to come true.
Crazy Mom Talk
Ladies, no lies, I don’t remember the last time I was this excited about fashion, let alone what I could consider to be mom fashion.
Yet, here I sit getting worked up over this seasons trends! Funny how that happens.
Any trends you are super excited about? Looking to grab a couple pieces on a bargain? Check out my go-to Jane.com for some boutique bargain shopping, and let me know what you are loving in the comments below.