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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Swelling during pregnancy...

Every now and then I look down at my feet and see little pudgy toes wiggling back at me...



I remembered my midwife and mom saying to really watch that as it can be a sign of more serious conditions such as Preeclampsia which did happen to my Aunt when she carried my one cousin. And another thing to watch for is morning swelling when you wake up vs at the end of the day when you might've been on your feet all day. This too may indicate something's wrong, but not always. It just something to keep and eye on and a great way to do this is to watch if you can get your wedding ring (or any other ring your might wear on a regular basis) off and on without struggle. Yay for me I can still wear my wedding ring!

I did however notice swelling when I woke and asked my midwife about it and she said as long as there's no pitting and or you can still see your ankles all is well. In fact, in your 3rd tri and if you eat a higher salt based meal you may wake up a little puffier than you did pre pregnancy. Unless you retain water easy then it may be nothing new, I never really have.



Another thing my midwife reminded me of was the fact your body has produced more blood to help grow/support your baby and that it's perfectly natural to look a little "fuller" in various areas of the body. (4000 to 5600 mL roughyl) This is pretty much my case unless I do indulge on a little too much salt which I usually do a good job at not over eating now that I'm past the months where you need extra. It's not hard :) Esp since I've had a sweet tooth vs salty taste haha Thanks to the Hubs and his genetic side feeding the baby. I blame him ;)

So rules of thumb for swelling: 



1. Remember your blood volume has increased.

2. It may be due to way too much salt intake that increased water retention. 
(Think of how much water do you normally retain or don't retain)

3. No pitting is a very good sign!
(Same with being able to still seeing your ankles)

4. Watch your body, if you suddenly wake or rapidly gain weight get in touch with your midwife or health care provider! Better safe than sorry.

5. How do your wedding rings fit or don't fit?
(It's a good thing if they still fit!) 

6. If you swell, keep your feet up for a bit and relax while hydrating. 

Here are a few extra tips from another blogger

Have a great evening!
Shannon <3

Stretchmarks round 2 and the pregnancy "mask"

Remember when I wrote about stretchmarks in odd places?
If not look at the link above :)

Nobody was more shocked than me when I saw them popping up at such a rapid rate! 
I had heard this could happen but didn't think it would really happen to me. So the day I saw them starting I was like, "Aww really? Ugh. Great. Where's my lotion??....." 
My mom got off w/out a single mark! So I have somebody else in my bloodline to thank... I know this bc I had some from before (In another location) when I had a growth spurt from skinny thing with zero curves to a woman who had curves. I had those pretty clear and softened out nicely, but as we know they never fully go away and if they do it's a blessing!

(The most G rated version I could find with a rough example)


Well the stretching continued as my bust has continued to grow and grow and grow and hey... Grow some more!! My mom looked at me and was like "Holy cow Shannon! What size are you wearing?" I am in an XL soft cup bra from Target. Yes, that's right, an XL!! That puts me in the upper C to D cup family. My Aunt saw me several months back and was like, "You'll be a D cup!" and now that I think about it, bigger boobs do run in the family. Mom just hit the middle range as had I. Not to say I'm not wowed by this... Good Lord!


I've been using lotion as much as I can remember to and when my husband told me the other day it looked like they were fading I didn't believe him. Didn't want to get my hopes up. Until now! Shocked to say they've started to heal over even tho I continue to grow, what an odd thing to see so fast. I wouldn't put it past a few newer popping up but hey, they're healing! 

However.

There's another skin condition taking place on my bust...

Melasma (Chloasma) aka The Pregnancy Mask.



What are common cases for this you may ask?

Well, it's pretty simple to explain: 

A. Ladies with a more olive to brown skin tones are more likely to have this.

B. Ladies who are on BC pills or hormone replacement therapy.

C. Sun worshipers.

These are most common and will have you more likely to see this happen and it usually happens on the lower portion of the face but I never put it past happening on other areas of the body. (This is our skin we're talking about.)

The hormones Estrogen and Progesterone are what cause this and A-C up there are other factors that make it doubly possible. Mine would be the olive undertones from my Cherokee and Hebrew. Add the INTENSE physical reactions I've had to all these pregnancy hormones and it makes perfect sense. Thinking about it, it's really not that bad if it only happens on my bust. It may cover a fair amount of space but I'll take that over continued stretchmarks popping up. There's that chance it'll fade after baby comes and the body calms down in the melanin production department anyway.

**If it should stay esp for those who have it on their face you can always seek professional help from an Aesty or dermatologist. There are several options depending on how dark and how much it bothers you that we can offer. Chemical peels and various at home treatments are a few as lasers are a more intensive step and should be done with caution. Just remember SPF to help it from getting worse as you mature!!



Pregnancy is such a ride and for those who aren't informed it can be a scary time.
I keep seeing mom's who were never told about stuff and they're freaking out. :(
Not to say I haven't had my *gasp* moments in shock over something I never knew.
haha Not so. It's happened.

Anyway.
 It's time for me to dash!
 Hope this finds you well, I'm off to get more water and some food...

Shannon <3 



Thursday, December 6, 2012

Gaining weight during pregnancy...

On the baby board at babycenter.com as well as some people I've observed there's something brewing that makes me very concerned... The odd celebration of not weight during their pregnancy for fear of either loosing their body or not wanting to have a bigger baby. Now. You are naturally cautioned to not gain too much weight for obvious reasons. Yours and the baby's health.

"I'm still in my pre pregnancy jeans and haven't needed to change much by way of clothing!! How amazing, hardly any weight gain!!" 

You can see when a woman's physical shape is built to naturally have that thin structure vs somebody who's got some curves. And there are health conditions that make it difficult for some to gain weight but this isn't what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the mom who has it fixed in her head NOT to gain much weight in the unhealthy sense.
There are many reasons as to why this happens and many of them spiritual based.
No, I'm not going nutty on you I'm stating it in terms of deep wounds that sometimes we don't even know we have... Thus I believe eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder and other conditions along those lines are all due in part to a lie bought into long ago. It's such a sad and scary thing because in the end it's meant to destroy us. I wrote one of my very first blogs on a girl who's funeral I was at that she died due to an eating disorder...
She was only 20.
It shook me and broke me as I too suffered from one years ago...



My point is that the fear of not gaining weight in pregnancy is more of a fear from something deeper within... Heck it could be due to the fact you grew up with a weight leery mother who harped on you to watch yours and would always have a critical comment if it looked like you gained even an ounce (Not my case by any means, my mom was telling me I need more weight on me). This is damaging to a young girl! I've seen what it does to a woman and it breaks my heart. What a young pregnant mother doesn't see right away are the ramifications this could have on her unborn baby...

Common issues:
Low birth weight on the infant
Premature birth
Malnutrition
Poor heart, lung and brain development



Other issues later down the road can consist of:
Potentially stunted body growth
Poor Bone development
Low immune systems and more...

We don't even know everything that really can happen when it comes down to it.
Thus a health care provider cautions you on your workouts and daily diet.
For 9 mos there's a bigger picture than just yourself and it's your developing baby. 
http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/eatingfortwo.html

I was worried I wouldn't gain weight at first due to my morning sickness but soon learned I was. Peanut butter saved my butt, literally ;) In fact so far I've gained 41lbs! My goal was 35lbs like my mom but I've had to take it easier so there's been less physical work and more time with my feet up to rest my back etc... I'm okay with that, esp when my best friend who's small like me stated she gained 50lbs for hers and she looked amazing!

They give you various indexes online and they're a basic guild line to get an idea of what you may or may not need to gain to have a healthy pregnancy. If you're a few lbs over it's usually okay, usually. It's the few under that should concern, esp since every lb helps baby. Esp during the 3rd trimester!

Here's a breakdown for what the weight you're gaining is...
 https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=435977409771046&set=a.363376287031159.75375.135714456464011&type=3&theater

"I've been in maternity clothes for awhile now and have hit my 3rd trimester and am growing out of stuff! This can't be good!"

What I would tell our mommies who came into Motherhood when shopping, "You can buy a steady set of clothes to help you along for now but there's a chance you'll have to change a size up once you hit your 3rd trimester. It's normal! Here let me help you..."

I myself have officially hit that...
I needed new sleeping bras, underwear, some shirts haha
All of a sudden the belly pops even more and the boobs take a flying leap to "Holy Moses!" and you're left with small clothing that fit you not 1 week back... My goodness :)

"But I don't want stretch marks!"



50% Of pregnant ladies get these during their pregnancy and most if it is due to genetics or poor skin care. Yes, a super amount of weight gain might do this, but a skinny chick can get them too! Doesn't mean you're fat. Just remember to hydrate, stay nutritious and take supplements to aid in skin health, lotion and oils etc... Also, yes, it can be genetics! 
http://pregnantaesty.blogspot.com/2012/09/stretch-marks-in-odd-places.html

"What about my pre baby body?!"

That takes time and for some longer than others.
Basically it's about diet and physical activity and NOT skipping meals!
You can't starve yourself and try to breast feed at the same time, you'll be feeding your baby an empty diet if you skimp on meals. You still need extra calories afterwards, just make sure you have a workout plan in place. Talk to friends who have had kids and maybe gain a workout buddy or trainer? Not everybody likes to workout alone.
 Also, investigate placenta encapsulation if you want a faster recovery, I am!

** A side note: For some there may be a confusion of doing everything right and the baby might have a health concern, that's a very different story all together.

I just wanted to touch on the delicate topic of weight gain during pregnancy. There's so much more to say but I only wanted to touch on the topic for fear of writing a book of a blog! (Already guilty of that haha)

What are your thoughts on pregnancy weight gain?

Leave me a comment!
I love hearing from readers :)

You can also check out my professional page on facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shannon-P-Aesthetician-Professional-Makeup-Artist/135714456464011?ref=hl
Don't forget to click the "Like" button!

Have a wonderful day,
Shannon <3




Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The "Don't touch me!" mood during pregnancy...

I'm sure you've heard pregnant ladies talk about how they feel the need for more personal space during the time they carried a child? If not, you will.
Just keep your ears open to their conversations...


 Some are worse than others and some never feel that way.
There is a very definite mood change during certain times during pregnancy that are so odd even you yourself don't know what to do with how you're feeling! Mine is enhanced due to the TBI and that's a whole different ball game some days/nights. But, when you feel out of it and you want your space it's such an intense sensation at times you feel like curling up into a ball and just allowing the blankets enfold your changing body and let a nap or sleep for the night just take you away for a bit. 

My husband is very affectionate and caring so he's usually one to pass by me and brush my cheek, grab me for an embrace or kiss etc. After I became pregnant and the hormones REALLY started to kick in, which for me was in a matter of days after conception haha Yeah, I was one that felt different a few days after. I suddenly wanted more space some days and even didn't feel like cuddling at night while we read, talked or watched a movie on his laptop. 

This was weird.
Cause I do enjoy being close!


However, now I felt like personal space was my best option and there was nothing he could do about it. I hated that upset look on his face when I'd tell him "Not too close" or "I just don't want a kiss right now" and so on... I learned to word things differently pretty quickly but I do forget now an then if I'm overly tired or my back is killing me.
The man is a trooper, I am so proud of him!

This has been and off an on thing my entire pregnancy, a bonus is you can read about it in many pregnancy references both in books and online. They even give a rough timeline of when you'll most likely feel this way too which is helpful if you're feeling lost and confused.

**The best, best thing to do is to make sure you're resting and drinking enough water, keeping those lines of communication open between you and your Hubs even midwife or medical professional. The only thing I'd be wary of is if your doctor would try to put you on meds for this... Run, don't walk!

Here's why I say this:
Ladies who have taken stuff such as Zoloft are now filing law suits due to their babies having heart problems etc... We truly don't know the extent of what drugs do to a growing baby while they're inside. None are officially safe, only considered safe.
Considered isn't good enough for me.

As.
Always.
There are true medical issues for some but do your research and learn, learn, learn!



It's nice to pin point when you're feeling yuck, heck it hits out of the blue too!

Just remember, there's a bundle cooking who can't wait to meet you :) Not to mention your husband may just be trying to show you how much he loves you and how your changing body is such a joy for him as he waits along side for baby to come.

Have a glorious evening,
Shannon <3

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The "Wait till you're a mom..." blog

I was reading on the babycenter.com boards that there are people who are sick of being asked stupid things or told things that may be true for some but it's not necessarily going to be true for you. 
Or isn't if you're a parent already and expecting another...



I started thinking back on the few things I've heard or been told since I got pregnant and I've looked at each statement and said, "This doesn't have to be me, or anybody for that matter."

What I've heard most:
(I think I've touched on this in a much earlier blog.)

"Welcome to never sleeping again!"

"I hope you and your husband enjoyed the time you had alone, you'll never see those times again."

"You say now you won't let electronics and TV be a constant babysitter...
That's because you don't have kids yet."

I understand there are times when a baby doesn't sleep well for various reasons.
And I understand mine and my husband's life will look different once the baby is born.

BUT.

My parents got sleep when raising us.
They found time to be alone.
Our electronics and TV were held to a minimum and that suited everybody just fine.

I seriously don't get why people have allowed so many distractions into their lives?
Why always on the go?
Why never alone time for you and your husband?
Why have you stopped caring about yourself personally?
And why on earth do your kids have to be in EVERY activity known to mankind?!



I see how my parents raised us and I am blessed to have been raised in an environment where my parents made sure when knew when it was "Mommy & Daddy time" or it was time to turn off the TV or hey tough, it was nap time and yes we did have to eat that and try at least one "thank you" bite. Bedtime was bedtime no wiggle room around it, unless it was a holiday or special occasion. And no we NEVER slept in our parents bed with them. We were allowed in for a nightmare or sick but always showed back to our bed for the night. 

Where have family values gone?
Is spending time with your family at the dinner table and on Sunday not cool anymore?
Why have we suddenly allowed fancy games, TV shows and electronics numb out the amazing imaginations our children were naturally born with??
(I believe technology only holds a small part of growing a child's mind. There are so many other ways to enhance what's up in their little brains vs electronically stimulating them all the time.) 

Not to say I'll be a perfect parent.
haha That's so funny... I'm human.
Kinda lacking the whole perfect thing...

That's why it's a God sized issue!

We need to seek Him on raising our little ones and yes, sometimes we honestly forget.
We forget Him in general sometimes and that's when we need to be brought back to center page and wakeup to see we REALLY need His touch in our daily lives. It's because we're not perfect and we make mistakes. But in all of that, we do have choices.

Having a little one to raise sometimes scares me to death sometimes as I know I'll make my own mistakes and nobody wants to consider themselves anything but a great parent. My husband and I pray over our little bundle and give him to God in doing so. We can't wait to have our baby dedicated once he's born!! Something we just asked my dad to do once the time comes :)



Call me old fashion in some aspects.
 But I just don't understand today's world when raising a family.

Shannon <3


Protein during pregnancy

I have come to realize how much of a meat eater I am not....



They impress upon you (as I do for myself and others) how much you need protein in your diet, esp when pregnant. I will eat meat, I will eat eggs (But those push it sometimes too), I will eat peanut butter etc. But I have taken notice I will eat the meat the day it's prepped and after that if we have leftovers it's not exactly what make my tummy say, "Yaaaaay! Just what I wanted!" Esp when it comes to chicken.
I will look at it in the fridge and inwardly groan...
My brain responds with, "You know that doesn't look so great right?"
Tummy says, "Ugh yes. Peanut butter anyone?" 

I've had SO MUCH peanut butter this pregnancy.... You have no idea!!

Entering the 8th month I can feel I need more protein in my diet and my husband suggested a protein isolate based drink. You can be sure I'm talking to my midwife about this next week.
Anything to help give my system a boost!

I always do awesome in the fruit and veggie department, same with grains and dairy.
(However, I have become addicted to fruit this pregnancy!) 
Protein is where I lack it seems and thus my being tired some days.

You can study and learn incredible stuff, then it hits home for you on a different level. 
A more personal one. Or a deeper level of personal.

Here's how I know I need more:


A. I will eat grains and fruit in the morning and I'm still tired.

B. If I eat something with protein it's a swing in the opposite direction.
(Not always, but it does help)  

I would say this is my biggest struggle diet wise.

**The Mayo Clinic states a woman in her 3rd tri needs 71 grams of protein each day.
That's eating something protein based with each meal!

Here's a confession.

I have never disliked food so much in my entire life as I have since I got pregnant!

Don't get me wrong,
I love to eat and always have! Just right now it's more when it's something I've been looking forward to or have really wanted. But in general, the constant hunger and needing to snack? I was ready to break up with that food relationship almost as soon as it started. I missed eating like a "normal" person right away and it's only become more of an annoyance as the months go on. Also my appetite has been rather up an down lately so that's and odd roller coaster in an of itself. My plan of action to help aid my body is by getting a shake that's safely designed for a pregnant woman's body. 
Thus my gratefulness for having a midwife apt next Thursday!

There is also light at the end of the tunnel and a blessing for this pregnancy and me being in the 3rd tri this time of year... All of the wonderful holiday food!!! A pregnant woman's dream and one I'm happy to see fulfilled. haha It'll be truly glorious!!!





Hope you have a wonderful day!
Shannon <3 











Thursday, November 8, 2012

Didn't I just go pee??



A question our mother's would ask us before we left the house was...

Did we use the bathroom before?
Or did we have to?

As a small child it's the last thing on your mind and sometimes the most annoying thing to hear!
Cause you know if you say you don't have to you'll be told to go try anyway.
Of course we all shlumped off to the bathroom, listening to avoid any conflict.
Aaaand we usually shocked ourselves by actually having to go.

Oh childhood.

But now a different phase of life has kicked in....

You're in your 7th month of pregnancy and suddenly you're asking yourself,
"Did I use the bathroom yet??"

Cause you know, if you don't, as soon as the blasted car pulls out the the drive you'll have to go!

And we're not talking about,
"Oh, I think I have to pee...?"

No, we're talking,
"OMG! If I don't pee right now I'll wet myself!!"

Add a bladder kicking child into the mix and you barely make it walking to the bathroom some days...



My husband's nick name for me currently is "Princess Potty"
He's lucky I find him so cute. Cause normally this would annoy me.
But I can see how is must be funny to him as I will say several times while we're out,
"We need to find a bathroom!"
Or at night when I get up and go 5 times and he's a super light sleeper.
"You're seriously going pee AGAIN?!"
He would ask. Now he just chuckles if he's awake.

I must say, it's even more odd when you have the kiddo kicking your bladder as you pee. 
Made me jump the first couple times haha he's a strong kicker!
But what's really funny is when I'm sitting down doing work and he starts kicking away and I didn't know I had to pee until then... I'll fuss my body up and out of the chair and waddle to the bathroom. Sometimes very quickly.

All i have to say is, this is a very interesting part of pregnancy and it's kind of nice that people don't look at you funny when you ask for the bathroom. Cause we've all been there for asking the question and we're not pregnant and we don't have a child with us. Nope we're just standing there vulnerable and waiting for an answer. Now, people smile and point you in the right direction. It's nice and even nicer when you actually get to the bathroom and go.



And in all this talking about peeing I need to go myself!

Have a wonderful day!!

Shannon <3 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Update time: About my 2nd Trimester!

(Sorry, this is over 3 mos late!! Ugh. Computer and lack of energy issues are to blame.)

Such a wonderful thing to say,"I'm in my 2nd trimester!"
A new hair cut to bring it in! It was SO hot this summer... Ugh.


 I can feel things changing and my goodness some of it feels out of this world!! It's cool because some days I don't feel anything and I wonder what's up. Not as in worry, just as in, "Hmmm the body is feeling still today... What is next??" It's more excitement than anything!!
Esp since I'm officially not fitting in any pre pregnancy clothing.
(Minus a thing or two that I'll probably be able to wear all pregnancy long...)

I've become so sick of wearing soft yoga or sweat pants I'm glad to have maternity jeans to wear!
Makes me feel more human seeing as the entire time I was down with morning sickness I was loathing the idea of actual clothes. I would dress nicely when needed but never really looked forward to it. Now with having a small maternity wardrobe I feel like I can now continue in this adventure on a more steady note. (Or shall I say more put together.) And hello fall, here comes some cute clothing options!! 

My morning sickness has all but vanished, weeeeeeeee!!!!!
I have "ick" moments/days and still know when something food wise sounds gross but I can now focus on eating a more balanced diet. This is a true blessing! I disliked hearing how people were sick their entire pregnancies... Nobody likes to hear that. Esp since nausea is probably some of the worst crud to experience. However, Coke was a great way to ease my stomach in the long run. That and not going too long without eating. Did you know Coke was first designed as a treatment for upset tummy's?
I would make sure to have small amounts and not over do it. I'm just relieved how much it helped!

My skin, well, I'm come to realize the pregnancy hormones are going to do their own thing.
This is a huge struggle when you're an Aesthetician! 
I have learned that by enhancing my nightly cleansing routine and doing a clay mask twice weekly that my skin seems to respond on a more friendly note. Pregnancy hormones create more gunk for you to clean off at the end of the day, and if you're taking extra care to make sure you're getting it all, there are  results to be seen! I'm feeling more at ease knowing there are things you can do to help prevent stuff from getting out of control. I've never been one with skin issues...Stress made me breakout and the birth control crap did. But I had that all but cleared up. Then the pregnancy hormones kicked in full swing...
It's fairly common and many ladies talk about it online. As well as some friends I know who have had kids already. It's just part of being pregnant for some of us ladies. Just make sure to drink water, eat fresh fruits and veggies and use clean, safe skin care products!

i.e. From a fellow poster on Babycenter.com
Foods like salmon, dark green veggies, olives, berries, strawberries, cantaloupe, and xtra virgin olive oil all contain powerful antioxidants.

I'm still pretty tired but am sleeping better (For the most part).
The congestion that comes with 30% of pregnancies has really been an issue for me.
It started out as allergies and converted into this wonderful mess of not breathing well and drainage.
Gross, I know! But oh so real and it can be awful for sleeping.
I've refused to use drugs to help me because I don't want that in my body.
I have found that by using those Breath Right strips at night I can actually sleep!
They have been a lifesaver next to my humidifier. 

I've felt growing pains in my lower abdomen for the past several weeks and sometimes it's enough to make me stop and take some time to breathe. It's nothing I can't handle, just feels really weird!
(I'd take this over throwing up any day.)
I talked to my midwife about this and did my own research, come to find it's very normal and could be felt throughout the entire pregnancy for some. I just need to not sit too long or adjust how I'm sleeping if I feel it begin to bug me. My husband also showed me a couple stretches that really help.
He's so amazing. :)

My breasts are not nearly as tender as they were before, this is wonderful!
I have learned that nursing bras are not nearly as comfortable as my Victoria Secret bras...
This is even wearing the correct size.
I can see why ladies would complain about them now.
I miss my old bras but won't bee seeing them for quite a while yet.

I'm more emotional now vs my first trimester...
I smacked my head on the freezer door and burst into tears while laughing.
Then when my husband brought me a napkin for my nose vs a kleenex I started to cry again.
It's crazy and you tend to feel really stupid. 

All part of the fun right?

I'm seeing my chiropractor weekly to help keep my body in line and ready for labor. His wife swears by it and my midwife says regular adjustments usually cut down labor time.
I'm down for that!

My cravings come and go but there's nothing really there most of the time.
I might think of something and HAVE to have it but it's nothing on a daily basis really.

My goal is to gain 10 lbs per trimester and so far I seem to be doing really good.
The blessings of being 25 is it will come off pretty quickly after baby so I'm not worried. :)

The belly did it's fair share of popping so I've included some photos for ya!

15 weeks!

18 weeks!

22 weeks!

23.5 weeks!

26 weeks!




Until the next trimester update,
Shannon <3 






Monday, November 5, 2012

Feeling the baby move!!

The much anticipated thing each pregnant mommy waits for....


Feeling her baby move inside of her!!!

I started feeling little "popping" like popcorn back in early Sept but on the 17th I was wowed by the sudden strong movements of my baby wiggling about one evening. I asked my husband if he wanted to try and feel the baby move and he jumped at that chance. Low and behold the baby had both grown big enough for him to feel something!! His face brought joy to my heart as I watched him have a very special bonding moment with both myself and the baby.

The movement can be felt as:

Popcorn (Kicks)
A ball rolling around
Pressure changes and weight unevenly distributed in stomach
Swishing or swimming about
Or slight "shivers"
(I'm wondering if those are hiccups??)

What stuns me is feeling the baby grow in a different way now, this little one is healthy as ever and loves to show me what foods are the favorite. It kinda cracks me up seeing as most of the baby's favorites are my husband's favorites. I told my husband this baby is so much like him already when it comes to food. So far this baby LOVES, loves, loves BBQ, fruit (esp pears), pizza, meats, ice cream and as well as other various healthy foods i.e. carrots and salad... This little bug is an eater so I have moments of zero peace when it comes to hunger. This is fairly difficult at times considering I don't want to eat everything in the cotton-pickn' house! I know the grocery budget has grown and not by choice. haha Within a week I had polished off a bag of triscuts, 2 blocks of cheddar cheese, half a bag (big bag) of baby carrots, a block of fresh fudge, couple candy apples (home made), countless boxes of Cheerios (Over a period of time not just this week haha! Same with the box of Raisin Bran.) etc... I feel like a piggy. However, you would never know I eat like this... I seriously don't know where all of the 29 some lbs have gone to minus the front portion of my body and a little bit to my butt and legs. I still fit into my small maternity jeans, it's the tops and a few sports bras I'm having issues with.

Anyway.

Each week is a new remarkable feeling as I can tell the baby is getting stronger.
This past week I have started noticing my tummy move when the baby kicks and it is amazing, simply amazing!! I was enjoying a bubble bath the other evening when I noticed this and saw the bubbles bounce and I was hooked from there on out. Can't wait for the next 3 months of watching as this little one grows! After all, baby comes in 3 months. Time has flown!

He is a bit of a stinker for somebody still so small...

My best friend was out here for the "Baby Bath" aka Shower and he was wiggling then stopped when she tried saying hi. He has this habit I'm noticing... Moves the most for his Daddy. :)
He's also a bladder kicker and likes to sit low so it's a really interesting feeling wether sitting someplace awake or being woken up by hard kicks to the bladder and having a sudden need to use the bathroom because of it. Very odd sensation indeed. He also doesn't like it when I'm bending over or sitting in a position that might be giving him less room, he lets me know by kicking and squirming once I either sit back up or if he;s really annoyed he'll fuss while I'm still bent or leaning. Cracks me up!
He also has discovered the difference between kicking on the side that's close to the mattress vs the one that's not. He will kick harder sometimes when he feels something more than my tummy and that too makes me sit back and just enjoy these precious moments before he's born!

I'm beyond tired from my busy weekend so I'll end things here and try to catch up on other things that
are LONG over due.



Blessings,
Shannon <3



Thursday, October 25, 2012

Who will be there for the birth?

A question I've been asked many times.

Don't get me wrong, having a "communal birth" is okay for some.
But I'm not one that finds the idea of having the whole family plus other children (save for the one I'm birthing) in the room when I'm giving birth or in labor. I know what I feel like when I have a nasty migraine and the last thing I want are people around staring at me. 

So my answer is usually something along the lines of, "My husband, our midwife and her assistant."



Now, if you want your mother I can understand that, she's your mom. Or a mother figure if your mom is unable to be present. That I totally get.
Anybody else? No.

If you're pregnant or planning on becoming a parent one day I think this is something to really consider as part of your "birth plan." Who do you want at the birth? What relaxes you now and what have you noticed works when you're in an intense situation? For me it'll be a comfort knowing I have only 3 people there and I have my home comforts surrounding me. i.e. Candles, maybe some music, soft lighting, warm water, food and liquids etc... I'm a very private person when it comes to matters like these and I've never liked extra people around when I'm sick or feeling really off. Thus my wanting a home birth vs hospital. I know there'd be zero progress for reasons of too much stimulation and a lack of privacy. I don't believe in rushing both mom and baby when a birth is happening.

So.
To recap:

1. Decide what's right for you and who you want there.

2. Don't rule out a hospital if you truly feel like that's where you'll feel safest.
(After all, some offer a more relaxed atmosphere these days w/tubs or showers for labor.)

3. Know that having a voice of reason to take a firm stand while at a hospital is something you'll want to save you from unneeded interventions that may put both you and you baby at risk.
Some midwives even work from hospitals and they're there to step in and tell the doctors to back off.

4. And if you're having a home birth, what do you want surrounding you that makes you feel safe and calm?

Heck these are even questions for mothers who have already had children and are possibly looking for a different alternative than the last time. Esp if they're wanting to see things done differently.

Remember, you're a woman and your body was designed to have babies, deep down you know what's best for you and that precious bundle you're about to give birth to. Everything my midwife has told me, i've heard from many others and or read about states in a clear voice that all you need to do is listen to what your body is telling you during labor and to try and relax. If you need to shift positions or have somebody speak for you, do it.

God designed your body for incredible things and growing a baby to one day give birth and after to feed your infant is prob the most miraculous of them all!! Don't let anybody tell you different.


Psalm 139:13

Shannon <3 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The baby's gender!!!

I've been rather lazy about this blog lately and I deeply apologize!

Things have begun to get to a new level of crazy here and though I have a couple other blog topics started I have had zero time to finish them... Frustrating indeed. 


First off we learned the sex of the baby and we're happy to announce that it's a boy!!!
Not only was that the main guess family and friends kept saying but it's what I felt in my heart.
He wasn't shy about showing us either.  ;)

He's a strong kicker and loves to wiggle, my goodness does he ever...
I am loving this growing sensation inside and it's hard to put that type of joy into words!
His movements bring me an excitement that I will one day soon be holding him and loving him.
The first time my husband felt him was one of the most precious moments of our married life.

I have started to feel "big" and it's difficult when you're trying to get out of your bed that happens to be memory foam... I feel like a turtle. I have also found pants may fit in the butt and legs still but the belly is a different story. Baby Pase sits so low he's making my gut difficult to fit into some pants that should've taken me all the way, guess he has a different idea. Oh well, I'll at least have these pants for after before I'm back into my normal size. That shouldn't take too long but thank heavens for maternity clothes looking so amazing these days!!

I have a few set cravings I can pin point now and they are as follows:

Cream soda
BBQ
Spicy foods

Those are what I'll usually want along side the regular tummy hunger savers I wrote about a few blogs back, http://pregnantaesty.blogspot.com/2012/09/foods-that-have-saved-my-hungry.html
To say the least, I'm VERY excited about the up an coming Holidays!!!
I have noticed foods my husband loves the baby "wants"
Like father, like son.
I do still have a few "yuck" days here and there, but it's nothing I can't handle. :)

My energy has been in the toilet but the last week or so it's been ok, maybe even a little better?
Not sure. All I know is with the 2nd tri coming to a close I'm feeling an urgency to start getting things done and getting those things done on a budget is the goal.
My husband is in the home stretch with our bathroom and that has me feeling amazing as I can't wait to be able to finally use it!! One of many things I can check off my list... He's doing such an amazing job!

Continuing with my newest end of the day cleansing routine has been a life saver for my skin, I am relieved. Such a drastic change in how my skin looks now vs before. I feel more confident when I take my makeup off at the end of the day. Here's the routine I blogged about, http://shannonaestydiygoodies.blogspot.com/2012/09/deeper-nightly-diy-facial-cleanse.html


Water, I have been dying of thirst lately and can't seem to drink enough!
In return I am living in the bathroom some days, esp since I have a bladder boxer for a son.

Sleeping is good but it is still touch and go at times, esp since I can feel muscles starting to tense up towards the end of the day. If I can get a workout in that helps and if I remember to take what's called "Natural Calm" I'm usually good to go. I also have taken to baths as I have probably mentioned before.
I can feel my body prepping for the home stretch and I am starting to hit that point of wanting to be done...The days where my back locks up on me from all of this change are the days I'm REALLY ready for it to hurry up. My back not getting back to normal from that person who rear-ended me is making it difficult some days but I find it all worth it as there's a cuddly reward at the end of all this!


Felt a couple brax hicks last week and it was an odd feeling indeed!
Kinda felt like somebody was squeezing my insides like an orange when making orange juice. haha

I'm looking at the time and seeing I need to get a move on if I'm going to be accomplishing anything today... i.e. stuff I forgot about yesterday. 

Have a blessed day!

Blessings,
Shannon <3 




Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hormone surges and practicing for labor

I've realized something this week...



When the baby has a huge growth spurt and my hunger grows along with it, I also notice my tummy will feel slightly blah as well. There's a hormone surge each growth spurt and with that I think my stomach just doesn't know how to fully handle it. It's taken me a few rounds to really figure this out.
I don't get sick which is a huge blessing. I just take it easy and do what I need to do to keep my body happy. i.e. Eating before I get starving and keeping something with me in my purse and trying to stay as hydrated as possible!

I'm feeling really good all the way around, just insanely tired and I have a goofy muscle that likes to lock up in my back. The same side every time due to it being the baby's favorite place to camp out. A warm bath feels AMAZING and has been my favorite thing to do!! I have never been so addicted to water before. Gives me time to just let go and relax, which is great practice for labor.


Speaking of practicing for labor, I started trying different stretches and body movements while working out when I have the energy. I'm using my focus in a different way and breathe evenly (This is what I've learned with some of my head injury stuff that pops up now an then.). If I feel my back locking up I'll walk it off and find different ways other than a bath to help ease the discomfort. Mainly, relaxing and letting my body do what it needs to and asking somebody to rub that area. Esp since Kyle and I have opted out on birthing classes. Can't let things like this be left for last min prepping!

"Ride the wave and let your body take over. Just remember to RELAX!"

I saw that on a post from a mom who said that was the only thing that saved her butt during labor.
Many moms have expressed the same so we're feeling pretty confident.

Pretty sure I've mentioned some of this before, but as always I ask for forgiveness as I may say things a few times. Some days I feel mentally disconnected and wow haha it's weird.

I'm enjoying this stage of my life even if it does come with a few uncomfortable ticks now an then. :)

Life is good!

Shannon <3 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Stretch marks in odd places?

Here's something every pregnant woman doesn't want.
Stretch marks. 

I think there are better places to get them than others and that might sound really strange but it makes sense in a way. I say all of this because I've noticed a couple popping up in a very interesting place.

My bust.

I started off as a 34-36 C and am quickly growing past that!

I'm guessing all my prayers as a little girl as being a rather late bloomer and wanting some sorta bust is coming back to bite me? Don't get me wrong, I was pleased with the size I had before I got pregnant. I'm not terribly, terribly upset by this because if this is the only place they come I'll be thrilled beyond measure!! After all, the general public won't be seeing them haha my goodness. Genetics can play a part in these little buggers but that's not always the case; it's a key factor for some ladies though, so don't fret and beat yourself up if you're taking care of yourself and they still pop up.  I know mine are genetic based so there's really not much I can do other than hydrate my skin, take my vitamins, eat well and use good products. (i.e. Coconut oil, vitamin e lotion etc...) 


Besides.
This could just be me but I highly doubt it...

After you're done lending your girls to the baby who's to say you can't treat yourself to some new bras and make them not only feel but look good once again? I told my husband I'll be needing/wanting some self-pampering after I decided breast feeding is done...He agreed and quickly mentioned it would be a nice way for me to treat myself. I think somebody wants to come with me when I do go. ;)

Yet another thing to prove there's a baby in the tummy, this little one is growing like a weed!
We find out this Friday the 28th what the baby is so we're pretty pumped :0D 

Have a wonderful, wonderful evening,
Shannon <3 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Foods that have saved my hungry pregnant tummy!

I must admit, this 2nd trimester is a ton easier to deal with the whole hunger thing vs the 1st!
I swear no matter how much I ate during the first I was NEVER full and always ready to make my break for the bathroom. So incredibly blessed to have that behind me! (I can't say it enough)



Just got back from the store with my Mom and was thinking over a few things and of course food was one of them. Though I'm not ravenous 24/7 like I used to be, I still get really hungry and on rare occasions there might be something I must have and can't stop thinking about till I get it. But that is rare, as I stated before I'm not going nuts with constant cravings. 
Which I find really odd considering how much I enjoy eating. haha 

There are some foods that have been a true hunger/tummy saver for me during this pregnancy and I thought I'd share a few and then kinda explain the value they have... 

Here are some of the foods that have saved my hungry pregnant tummy!

Yogurt:
This is considered and energy food for pregnancy and is rich in calcium, protein and vitamin D.
Shockingly more than milk.
I go for brands that have the active cultures in it, it's a nice way to keep the body balanced.

Apples:
Another energy based food but also very high in fiber as well as disease-fighting agents.
This fruit contains boron which is a wonderful little mineral that keeps you going.

Peanuts
(Or more like peanut butter for me):
It's a high calorie food and very filling, this also keeps you going.
Eating this helps keep you from running towards something you shouldn't eat.

Bananas:
These help maintain your digestive track which is healthy for everybody but esp to a pregnant woman.
They aid in reducing body cramping, depression and lower stress levels.

Cheerios:
This cereal has a great system for calories needed, fiber, whole grains, vitamin B6 and much more.
It stays with you for a while so I've been eating a bowl each night before bed so my blood sugar doesn't drop. It helps and does exactly what I need it to.

Lemon/lime water:
Not only does this type of water make for a kick butt hydrator but it keeps the digestive track healthy.
A great anti-inflammatory and aid with respiratory health.
Wonderful for cancer prevention.
I have found I will drink more if I have lemon and or lime in my water.

Salad:
Salads are a tasty way to get greens and veggies in you!
And you can add anything from meat, egg, cheese etc as extra goodies to boost you meal or side portion of your meal.

Potatoes:
They are full of vitamin C (Yes, kind shocked to learn that one myself), good for of iron and copper as well as a buck load of other nutrition.

Pasta:
A carb based food that'll add some zing to your step so you can keep up with your other kids or job.
Has vitamin A, folic acid, potassium and low on the bad fats.



**I also add some salt to food now, or more so than I ever have before 
(And it's still not that much! I never used salt before only on select foods, very select.).
I learned in an article my midwife gave me that salt helps support the process of the new blood cells your body makes while pregnant. Thus a craving for a little more salt is noticed. 


These are my core num nums and of course I'm eating other foods but this is my staple stack.
They are easy to prep or not prep, fast to grab if I'm in a rush or really tired.
All around they keep me feeling good about grabbing something!

Yes, I cave and eat some junk but not much. I never like how I feel afterwards tho so that's always a great reminder to behave. That sluggish blah is never welcome, I'm tired enough as it is. ;)

That's about it for now, I'll leave you with that and be about my day as I have some minor cleaning to do and dinner to check on. We're making eggplant, pepper and spicy sausage tomato pasta sauce tonight! Makes me hungry just thinking of it....

Have a wonderful evening,
Shannon <3 

I'm always talking about food and the benefits of random meals or single items on my professional page! Come take a look and click the "like" button to keep up with the yummy posts. ;)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Diapers pt1

What are some of the first things you think of when you become pregnant or before you plan on getting pregnant? A few things come to mind right?

General cost
Doctor or midwife
Hospital or home birth
Formula or breast fed
Family history
Etc

Oh.
And.
Diapers......



I started pricing them before I got pregnant and about died.
I remember when my sister was born a case was $10 not $40!
I bought 2 cases already and have spent $80 on just 2... That's wrong.
What happens later on down the road when I need to buy more??
Eugh. Not the happiest thought.

I remembered the first family I was a nanny for and they used cloth diapers, that had my attention but I didn't think too much about it seeing as I was only 14 and only had to change the baby not clean the diapers. The mother refused to make me do it, she didn't want that on my shoulders as I chased her little guy all over the house. Which I really appreciated at the time. Still do. But I was always curious about the true difference each type made. For a time I thought cloth was nasty and not worth it.
Then the cost of disposable was brought to my attention years later...

Oi.

When doing research I found an article (Which I lost and don't have to show you) that came from a family's perspective on disposable vs cloth. I was held by how they spoke of each, I found it very informative and valued their own sacrifice in trying both routs in order to come up with the cost/labor factors. In the end they said you can save up to $800+ a year if you use cloth!
That's some great savings if you ask me and my family friend who I spoke with yesterday agreed. They save money and if it's done right, also saves you time and energy.
I was informed you had to do laundry every day and I was like "Noooooo way!" and I didn't like the idea of the smell. Which she quickly showed me if you buy a certain bag (You only need 2) and you buy enough covers w/inserts you can wait for up to 5 days. Maybe even 7. This sold me!

The saving money,
The lack of smell in her house (And it had been 5 days),
The simplicity of it all and how the covers she bought grew with the infant,
Same concept with the inserts....
Wow!


This is the website she had me look into and it's the only one she'll shop from unless she finds exactly what she wants on craigslist. And she said that can be tricky. But this site usually has fantastic sales!
https://www.cottonbabies.com/

Her favorite covers are and what I'll be purchasing:
http://www.cottonbabies.com/index.php?cPath=139

I need to have her email me the inserts she loved more and the extra little guy you stick in for long road trips or night time sleeping...... I know she has both of the following but one is her FAVORITE!

Chinese fold
http://www.cottonbabies.com/product_info.php?cPath=28&products_id=89

Indian fold
http://www.cottonbabies.com/product_info.php?cPath=28&products_id=277

She also showed me how to make reusable baby wipes for cheap.
I LOVED this as well, not only are you saving more cash you're controlling the ingredients used on your baby's skin! I will save that for another blog tho ;)

All in all I want to provide my infant with the best care possible and save w/out scraping away at that. Loving and providing for your family is utterly priceless! I know I can't protect my baby from everything harmful out there cause it's not like we're back in the day where fresh food was always available and literally in your back yard. Products were taken from nature before disgusting chemicals and junk were added. Etc... I am looking for savvy ways to live and safer ways to provide some protection. Esp since there are some disposable diapers that leak harmful substances out while your little one is wearing them. On sensitive skin this may cause more diaper rashes and all the fun that can go with it. (That's not including diet and other factors)

Literally cloth diapers cost 1 tenth of what disposable do.
It could cost $66 a month for disposable...that's just in diapers. Yuck!
Remember, I bought 2 cases and that already cost me $80.00
(Guess what I'm returning asap...)

Finding the sales for cloth and having connections in knowing what's best really helps break down the cost. For instance, cotton babies is having a sale on the covers I want and I was told I need at least 12. Buying all 12 now would cost $111(and some odd cents) plus free shipping! That's cheap!

There are other tips and tricks I was told but need to email the family friend as I'm drawing a blank... But I know it saves time and more money. I'll have to write another blog updating you on how i'm planning my adventure in cloth diapering, we'll call this Diapers pt1



I'm pretty excited to start this next step in gathering more baby items :)

Hope you have a wonderful evening,
Shannon <3