Not a Beauty Post

I know that I mostly post about beauty and makeup, but it’s not my life. I love makeup, and it’s a passion and hobby for me, but my heart is with my kids. So, I wanted to take a few moments and talk about them since I haven’t done so on this blog since my post about Piper’s birth.

Harmony turned 2 back in June, and Piper is now 4 months old. This is said so often, but time passes so quickly when you’re watching little ones grow. Harmony is so loving and so compassionate towards animals and babies. It’s almost like watching the stories my mom told me about myself when I was her age. She’s so gentle, and yet not so much. Her laugh is so infectious and I haven’t heard a laugh that can fill a room as quickly as hers does since my granny was alive. I got chills typing that out, it’s very hard to explain. It’s a laugh that can fill and brighten any room, and can melt the ice off of the coldest of any heart.

Piper is also a dream. The happiest baby I have ever met, and I am not exaggerating. Harmony is happy, but when she was Piper’s age she was so wary around people (still is for the most part) and did not want to interact with many people outside of close family members. Piper want to smile and interact with everyone. Earlier today we went to my Nana’s and she let everyone just pass her around and talk to her. She soaked up all of the attention and giggled at everyone. Such a ham.

They’re both major love bugs, and I am lucky in that sense. I cherish these days of snuggling and being around them. When Piper is not snuggled up with me Harmony usually is. I could go on for days about them and how much I love and adore them, but I won’t. I just wanted to share some photos from today at the park. It was such a beautiful day, and I needed the time at the park with the girls and Jeremy. We’ve had a pretty rough couple of weeks, and it was refreshing to just let everything go for a few and just enjoy our daughters without worrying about the million other things we are currently worried about.

DSC00041

DSC00044

DSC00047

DSC00049

The oldest, Harmony. I loved her outfit today. It suits her personality well.

DSC00039

DSC00040

The youngest, Piper. I love the one where her mouth is open…doesn’t she look like she’s been caught off guard in the most adorable way possible?

My Lessons as a First Time Mom

As many currently know, I am pregnant with my second child. I wanted to take a few minutes to express some of my own personal experiences from my first daughter to possibly pass on to someone that may need it.

1. Even if your baby is born in the middle of summer, buy long sleeves

Oh man, I wish I had listened to my mom on that one. I know how tempting it is to buy little sleeveless dresses and such, and that’s fine, but make sure to have some long sleeved onesies and blankets as well. Even though adults get hot in the summer, tiny newborn babies still get cold unless they are right up against your skin. I learned this the hard way the first time I tried to put Harmony in a cute sleeveless dress and she turned purple 5 minutes later. When my best friend had her daughter almost a year after mine I made sure to bring her a blanket and some long sleeved shirts to the hospital. She thanked me a few days later because she had also fell for all those cute sleeveless dresses and outfits.

2. Breastfeeding is worth it, but it’s not always easy

We’ve all read it in some book while pregnant. They make us think that breastfeeding is a magical event where a baby is born and immediately latches on perfectly. Then the heavens open up and light shines down on this beautiful act and milk flows from the mother’s breast like a waterfall. Wrong. Totally wrong. Breastfeeding is easy to some people, but it’s not easy for everyone. I was unlucky enough to be in a not so baby friendly hospital and Harmony was taken away from me for 4 hours after I delivered her. After that we battled latch problems, jaundice, weight loss, and a tongue tie. If I hadn’t been a part of a local breastfeeding support group or had Jeremy there to coach me (he was truly a wonderful and supportive partner) I probably would’ve given up. It’s hard enough to deal with the weird hormone fluctuations after birth, and if you add nursing problems on top of it it can all make you feel pretty worthless and emotionally exhausted. However, if you’re able to team up with other iron breasted mommas and a good lactation consultant and make it work out, please do so. I promise you won’t regret it at all. Breastfeeding is such a wonderful and loving experience, and not to mention there are so many benefits to both momma and baby.

3. The weight will come off eventually

I hate that our media has let us think that all women are capable of looking normal again 6 weeks or less after giving birth. Some women drop weight so quickly, and that’s fine, but it’s not a standard we should all hold ourselves up to. I dropped weight quickly with Harmony, but I still didn’t look “normal.” I looked squishy, and well, like a new mom. I ate healthy and made sure to breastfeed on demand, and that’s what helped me out to look and feel normal again. Please don’t try to work out for 4 hours a couple of weeks after you give birth. I promise it’s not healthy. It took your body almost a year to create a life, give it some time to readjust on its own. That’s not to say that you should still eat ice cream every other night and load up on carbs at 1 am…

Give yourself some time. Being healthy emotionally is just as important as physically after having a baby.

4. Don’t be afraid to say something if you’re feeling down

I made that mistake. I’m someone that has always bottled up every feeling ever until I emotionally implode. It’s not something I’m proud of. Baby Blues are common after birth. I remember the day after Harmony was born my mom said something and I just cried and cried. She didn’t even say anything bad. Crying randomly is normal, and most will claim that feeling blue for 6 weeks or so after birth is normal, but if it goes on after that…talk to someone. Please. Talk to a doctor or a family member. The crying stopped for me, but then I started to feel very down most of the time. I blamed it on life, but looking back I know that I should have sought help. I was alone often at work and I caught myself putting myself down and calling myself a worthless mother. I thought I was a burden on everyone, including my daughter. It got to a point where I started to convince myself that everyone would be better off without me.  It’s still hard for me to talk about, but I hope that if anyone reads this and is feeling the same way they will talk to someone.

5. It’s okay to follow your own instincts

This is probably one of the hardest and most important lessons I have ever learned in motherhood. I’m the type of mother that listens to their instincts 98% of the time with newborns. This still confuses many people in the older generations because they were raised to believe babies cry to manipulate and should learn who’s boss as soon as their out of the womb. I’m not one of those parents. If Harmony cried, I picked her up. I breastfed on demand, even if that meant every hour, and we coslept with her. Those were my instincts. Harmony is almost 2 now, and despite what others tried to tell me, she is ridiculously independent and a great kid in general. She learned to walk despite all the baby wearing I did, and she’s not a tyrant that throws tantrums since I never allowed her to cry it out over anything. Does she act like a normal, emotional toddler at times? Yes. Listen to what your gut and heart tells you when it comes to your kid. I can’t emphasize that enough. If you don’t want to give your kid mashed potatoes at 3 months old, don’t. You don’t have to give into Aunt Betty that swears all of her kids were fine because they were gumming hard candy by 6 months old. Some of the information that still floats around is wrong (look up WHO facts about breastfeeding and baby led solids), and you have every right to not listen to it. You have every right to pick up your baby and cuddle them a million times a day. Don’t let people scare you into doing anything less than what you want. Chances are if something feels wrong, it is wrong. Our instincts as mothers are almost flawless, and that’s something I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit for.

 

I end this post on the note that these are my personal experiences and lessons. I have friends of all types that have many different parenting styles. I don’t want anyone to read this and think that I am saying I am a parenting guru. I’m still learning and growing as a mother everyday. My instincts as a mother are probably different than other mothers, and that’s fine. I will say that every mother should always research things as much as possible, and give yourself room to say, “I’ll know better next time.”

I’m Clear!

Today was my anatomy ultrasound and high risk consultation with UT hospital (Lisa Ross sent me there).

Needless to say, I was nervous. So nervous that I shot my own heart rate up. I guess they are used to that because they didn’t seem too concerned.

I almost forgot how long anatomy ultrasounds are, but I love them. I got to see all 10 of Baby Morgan’s fingers. I didn’t get to see toes since we don’t want to know the gender yet (my parents are surprising us) but I was told they are all there :). They checked to see how much oxygen is getting to baby, and she said it was great. It starts to feel so real once you finally hear the heartbeat and start feeling the baby move, but there’s just something so different about  ultrasounds. I can put a face to the little human that’s been squirming and kicking like CRAZY. Seriously. Harmony did not dance around as much as this baby does. Even the ultrasound tech looked at me and said, “Wow, this baby does nothing but move.”

I had a couple of “awwww” moments as well as teary eyed moments (thanks, hormones). Little one kept opening his/her mouth and yawning. Once when Harmony cried (she loathed the entire experience) the baby balled his/her hand up in a fist. I guess that should be my sign as to how their sibling relationship will be in the future. Totally kidding…kinda.

After that, the obstetrician came in to tell us how everything looked. When I scheduled this appointment through Lisa Ross, they made it seem like the consultation alone would last hours. The doctor walked into the room and said, “Everything looks great.” He then went on to ask about how I was feeling and such…and that was it. That’s not the best part. I don’t have to see a high risk obstetrician again unless Lisa Ross recommends that I should. When he said that I wanted to scream with happiness. As far as I am concerned, I will be having the birth of my dreams at Lisa Ross this time. I will not have a doctor decide the birthday of this baby. I am in my positive zone until further notice.

I’m so ready to meet this baby already. June 30 (or close to it) can’t get here any faster. I compared ultrasounds from this baby and Harmony when I was 20 weeks with her and I already notice a few differences. I think their nose is the same (my nose) but this baby has a huge head compared to Harmony’s as well as eyes. My mom sent me a text to tell me exactly what I was thinking…this baby has my giant head and huge eyes. There is a part of me that hopes we are right. Harmony looks just like Jeremy, it would be nice to have at least one kid look like me 😉

I have also scheduled a birth photographer this time. I didn’t with Harmony because I didn’t think I would want pictures…and now I realize that I do want photos. I am going completely natural this time and I would love to have that story told in pictures. With Harmony, everything felt so rushed, and it kinda was. My mom was able to get a few pictures once Harmony was born, but other than that she was there as support, and that’s exactly what I needed her for. All in all, I am a huge ball of mushy love at the moment, and I apologize to anyone that I make queasy in the span of the next few months. Okay, I’m not very sorry at all.

Below are the ultrasounds. The top one is Baby #2 and the bottom one is Harmony’s at 20 weeks. This baby looks way bigger in general? I feel like my due date may be wrong, personally. I guess we will see. It could just be that Harmony was just a small baby and this one will be a big squish. I wouldn’t mind a big squishy baby, honestly. I’ve seen multiple people post about having 9 and 10 lb boys and I find them adorable. The weight of babies tends to scare women thanks to the misinformation doctors give to us, but I have faith in my own body. I know my body is capable of way more than obstetricians give me credit for.

 

Image

 

Opinions: based on that top profile alone…can you guess the gender? Jeremy and I won’t know until Saturday, but the suspense is killing me. I’m hoping this baby high I have from finally see his/her face will last until then.