Monday, May 26, 2014

Feeling Human in the 3rd Trimester (a list of things)

Well, it's no secret that being pregnant is both one of the greatest blessings and one of the most uncomfortable, sci-fi things a person can experience. The first trimester is a total learning curve and is really more about staying alive than anything else. The second trimester is the "oh my gosh the baby moved and I look so cute" phase, so it's mostly a win. The third is a beast of it's own. It's super exciting because you are so much closer to seeing that precious bundle of joy, but also it feels like it lasts longer because you are huge with a kicking baby in your belly, constant heartburn, sore belly and back, and lots of 'sleepiness. That, and everyone feels welcome to tell you things like "wow, you look ready to pop" or "Are you having twins?!" or "Wow, you're really big for ___ weeks." Seriously, it's like you're wearing a sign that says "please say negative things to me about my appearance". Let's not even get into the birth horror stories people are free to tell you.

Long story short, the third trimester has a lot of  stress of it's own without counting what other people do or say, so the need for comfort and encouragement are very important. So if you are pregnant, know someone pregnant, want to be pregnant or are just curious about what we pregos are going through, this list is for you.

These are the things that have helped me immensely through the third trimester in three parts: Beauty, Health and Extras!

3rd trimester beauty loves

1. A good belly band - I cannot stress this enough in the 3rd trimester and (from what I hear from other moms) postpartum. On the days where you are not wearing maternity pants that have a belly band that is built in, you will immediately feel the painful drooping and pulling of your baby-filled-belly and it's not fun.  I even wear mine around the house some days just for the support and it helps so much. Seriously, I just took mine off prior to writing this and I immediately regret it. This is the one I got and I love it.

2. Easy but pretty makeup - I'll explain. Not that makeup is extremely hard to put or anything, but when you're this pregnant and still have to get up for work at 5:45 am, you will want ALL THE SHORTCUTS. That is why I switched to Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Compact Powder Foundation. It sounds complex, but really, it's just foundation and powder in one. To me, this was such a Godsend because I could skip the application of actual foundation because this provides enough coverage while still giving a natural look. I was sold. And Neutrogena products are GREAT for skin anyway. Also, a nice lipstick goes a long way when you feel like keeling over. Just makes you feel all girly and pretty. Even on days where I was at home all day, getting dressed and putting on makeup just made me FEEL better. Don't underestimate the power of dress...sometimes it just makes things better.

3. Go natural - No matter what your ethnicity may be, we often all feel pressure to make our hair do something it was not naturally meant to do. Curly girls want straight hair, straight haired girls want curly hair and there are lots of combinations in between. As a black and white mixed girl, I have some very naturally curly hair which I have had to learn to love throughout the years. Just letting my natural hair make it's debut more often helped with how much time it takes to get ready and is of course much healthier for my hair. Let your hair do what it was created to do ladies, because pregnancy makes your hair amazing anyway...might as well let it shine!

4. Accessorize - On a recent shopping trip with some of my girlfriends, I realized that I had not bought a new pair of earrings in AT LEAST a year. I know. It's crazy. I'm just not very shopping-spree-esque so buying things like jewelry take a backseat to groceries, bills and baby stuff. However, as soon as I bought a new pair of earrings, I was so excited and felt so pretty wearing them. It really boosted my self-esteem, much to my surprise. So if you can, splurge a little on yourself. You deserve it...YOU'RE GROWING A PERSON.

5. Lotion, Lotion, Lotion! - Your skin will thank you for doing this. As soon as I got pregnant, a good friend of mine sent me some of Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula for Stretch Marks and I have used it almost every day since week 10. You have never seen such hydration in your life. It helps to prevent and relieve stretch marks, so its useful pre and post baby. Go get some!

3rd trimester: health


1. "Campfire soap" and Hydrocortisone: In case no one told you, rashes and itchy skin can legitimately become a major problem in the 3rd trimester. Don't be mad if they didn't tell you, every pregnancy is different so it's hard to know what will effect you. Needless to say, I was infected with what felt like one of the 10 dang plagues. I had what looked like an allergic reaction on my hands and feet only. I can only assume I was allergic to MY BABY. Wow. Anyhow, the doctor was a little vague about it but assured me all was well and referred me to a dermatologist after prescribing me with a mild steroid. I took the steroids (which were safe and my god the itching) and it helped a lot, but the rash started to return. Being the daughter of a hippie, I figured I'd take the natural route instead of finding a dermatologist. Enter Grandpa's Pine Tar Soap. It smells like an actual campfire BUT my rash was GONE within a week. That stuff is AMAZING. And for the time in between, hydrocortisone (walmart brand) with intensive healing and chamomile was a constant comfort.

2. Nasal Strips: No, they are not attractive. But alas, unless you want to trick your husband into thinking that he is sleeping with a dragon and not his smokin' hot  wife, then you should maybe think about it. I have never really snored unless I have a cold, but in pregnancy I have found the snoring beast within. So God bless these nasal strips because now my husband can sleep and I don't feel like Smaug the terrible. 

3. whatever form they come: Like many of us, one of the prenatals I tried was too heavy on the iron in them, so naturally I threw up immediately every time. I tried another prenatal gummy vitamin and LOVED it, but much to my surprise it had NO iron in it, which the baby needs. Distraught, I went to my doctor and she told me to take Flintstones vitamins and a Fish Oil supplement, since it didn't really have enough of something or other. So ever since my 2nd trimester, I've been a Flintstones kid and it works great with no sickness.

3rd trimester: extras

1. Nursing bras are super comfortable: Seriously. The one I bought from Target I have already started wearing because it just feels amazing. No underwire, stretchy material and cute girl color! Who cares if it's a size bigger than it needs to be? Comfort wins...EVERY TIME.

2. Decaf coffee that doesn't taste like death: Seriously, finding a good decaf coffee is an art of it's own. I am not 100% off caffeine (because I wouldn't survive) but I do mix in my caf with decaf. This brand from Target is SO delicious, I can't even believe it. I even got my mother in law hooked on it. It's a real treat.

3. My trusty flip flops: The one good thing about being pregnant in the summer is that I can wear flip flops everywhere. That's because the rest of my shoes aren't that comfy. My feet aren't that swollen, which I'm thankful for, but they are more than usual, which makes flats not very inviting. So God bless my Old Navy flips.

4. The Bump App: I LOVE this app. It has a "how big is baby" calendar (with the comparative fruit of course), a forum for questions, tips, check list...pretty much everything. I can't tell you how often I get in those forums with questions and come away with GREAT answers. I really recommend it.

Well, that's it! I'm sure there are million more things I could add, but these are the kickers...the one I couldn't make it a day without. Hope it helps or at least entertains, haha.

Happy baby-growing!


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My very first (almost) Mother's Day

I realize that Mother's Day was not exactly yesterday, but we've been a bit busy 'round here with baby things, graduation things and all sorts of things, so please forgive my absence!

Usually Mother's Day is a great time it remember all the mothers around me that have helped to shape me into who I am. It was still a day all about those incredible women,  but for the first time I got to participate in the festivities as a new (or almost new) mama. It was kind of not real in some ways. I have moments of feeling like I will be pregnant forever and then moments of clarity where I realize that this bundle of joy will be here in little over a month. Well, Mother's Day was definitely a moment of clarity.

My first Mother's Day card ever!
We had a Mother's Day weekend of sorts. We grilled burgers, made kale salad, washed baby clothes and put them in his drawer, set up the baby bed, bought a car seat and other baby goods, and laughed until we hurt. Every violent kick to my ribs tat this little squirt gave me was proof of motherhood to me and even though it hurt sometimes, I loved every minute. Oh and if any of you have seen (and loved) the movie Twister, we made steak and eggs on Sunday morning and quoted the movie the whole time. "You slaughter your own cows? Meg, nice."

Also let me just add that newborn shirts are probably the cutest thing to fold ever in the world. That is one load of laundry that was so much fun to do!

To all of my blogger mother friends, I hope your day was full of fun and made you feel super appreciated! I know I appreciate all the wisdom you give on your blogs!

Much love,


Also, for any of my friends who are almost-moms like me, here are some great posts to check out from the lovely Lauren Hartmann. Bam, bam and bam. Seriously, if you have not discovered this amazing lady, do it now. She's super raw and real and just as nice as she seems!
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