May 082015
 

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, I can’t help but think back to the moment I found out that I was going to be a Mom.  Here I sit, 2.5 years later, and not only am I a Mom, but I’m a Mom to two children!  

kids

I always knew in my heart that I wanted to be a Mom.  I grew up surrounded by dozens of little baby dolls that I cared for as if they were real.  When I became a teenager, I always jumped at the chance to babysit, especially for the littlest babies.  I just had that motherly instinct inside of me, and an overwhelming desire to have children of my own.

When my husband, John, and I, first decided that we were going to try to have a baby, I was really excited, but also very anxious.  I had prepared for this moment my entire life, but would I really be a good Mom? 

It took us a whole year for me to get pregnant with our daughter, Kayleigh.  I was honestly beginning to think it just wasn’t in the cards for us to have children, until I had all of these pregnancy symptoms show up one day.  At that point, I just knew, I was pregnant. 

I remember taking the test to confirm my pregnancy like it was just yesterday.  I told John that we should pick up a test, because I just couldn’t shake this feeling that I was pregnant.  He didn’t think I was.  At all.  But, I insisted.  We went to the drugstore together to pick up a Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test, both really nervous as we stood in line to purchase it. 

We had bought the test 2 days before my birthday, and my 2 sisters were coming to visit me the next day.  I knew that if I found out I was for sure pregnant, I would not be able to keep it from them.  I cannot keep a straight face at all.  I am so horrible at that.  My parents were in Chicago for a whole month, and I wanted to be able to tell them the news in person, and my sisters are not known for keeping secrets very well. 

So, I stashed the test away until the morning of my 31st birthday.  I woke up bright and early at around 6am, and rushed downstairs to the bathroom to take the test.  I quietly closed the door, so I wouldn’t wake John up.  I read the instructions very carefully, did my business, and then sat there, waiting for what seemed like forever.  When the results finally appeared in the window, and I saw the word Pregnant, I couldn’t believe it.  I knew my life was about to change forever.

Clearblue

I ran back upstairs to our bedroom to tell John the news, and he was still half asleep when I told him.  He didn’t really understood what I had said at first, but once he finally came around and it sunk it, he was very excited.

We were both over the moon after finding out that I was pregnant, but we had to hide it from everyone we knew for a whole month while my parents were away.  It was complete torture, especially when I spoke with my Mom on the phone.  I wanted to tell her so badly, but I knew that if I told her while she was so far away, that she would become very homesick, besides, I really wanted to see the expression on her face when I told her the news.  She had been longing to be a grandmother for years!

When my parents finally came home from Chicago, John and I went to visit them, and to share the news.  After dinner, we were all sitting in the living room.  I handed a gift bag to my parents, and asked them to open it.  They didn’t realize that I was secretly filming them with my camera. 

As they opened the package, they pulled out a small silver picture frame, with baby footprints all over it.  My Mom wasn’t wearing her glasses and didn’t even notice.  She also couldn’t read the paper that I had typed up and put inside, announcing to them that they were going to be grandparents.

So, she put the picture frame down, and went into the kitchen to grab her glasses.  I was absolutely dying inside!  She came back in, put her glasses on, and then held the picture frame up so that she and my Dad could read it.  The look on their faces was priceless.  They lit up with more joy than I had ever seen on them, and then they kept asking us if we were joking!  I assured them that we were definitely not joking, and they were so excited.

pregnancy pic

Things went a little differently the second time around.  After Kayleigh’s 1st birthday party, John and I decided that we were ready to try for another baby.  Knowing how long it took us to get pregnant the first time, we really weren’t expecting it to happen any time soon.  Only, the very next month, my period was 4 days late!  That never happens.  So, I had John pick up a test for me on his way home from work.  There was no waiting in line at the drugstore together, as nervous as we could be.

He came home with the test, handed it to me, and I ran into the bathroom, not even closing the door behind me to take the test. 

John and Kayleigh were both sitting at the dinner table together, as I ripped the test out of the box, no instructions needed this time, and took the test.  As I waited for the results to appear on the window, I was not nervous at all.  I honestly didn’t think I was pregnant this time.  Not so soon.  It had only been a month!  So, imagine my complete surprise, when the word “Pregnant” once again appeared on the window of the Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test. 

I instantly yelled from the bathroom “Oh my God.  You didn’t!”  I came running out with the test in my hand, in shock, and John was just sitting there at the table with a grin so big on his face.  After it finally sunk in, I was really happy, and I immediately texted a photo of the positive pregnancy test to my Mom, eagerly waiting for her response.  This was her fourth grandchild, and she was a pro at receiving the news by now, so I didn’t feel like I had to wait to tell her in person again.

I waited, and waited and waited for her to respond, but she didn’t.  So, I ended up calling her to see if she had gotten the photo.  One of my sisters answered her phone when I called.  They were apparently on the road together, taking a rather long drive, and my Mom had not seen the text yet.  I told my sister to look at the text I just sent and she yelled out “You’re pregnant?!”  Then, I heard my Mom scream very loudly in the background.  She was absolutely thrilled to become a grandmother once again.

I am so glad that I captured the moment my parents found out they were going to be grandparents on video.  It is a memory that we will all cherish forever, and watching it makes me so warm and happy inside.

I love watching videos of other people telling their friends and family they are pregnant, too.  Some of them are just so funny, and others are so heartwarming. This video montage from Clearblue made me laugh and smile, and I think you will enjoy it too!

How did you tell your friends and family you were expecting?  What was their reaction?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

 Posted by at 8:39 pm
Feb 182015
 

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central and Kangu. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter Kayleigh, having a safe birth was one of the first thoughts that entered my mind.  There was a hospital 10 minutes from where I lived, but I wasn’t just satisfied with that.  I wanted to make sure that I was doing what was best for myself and my baby, so I started to research the different options available to me.

After watching several documentaries and reading as much information as I could find on childbirth, I knew that I wanted to have a natural (unmedicated) birth with a midwife. 

While researching, I found a hospital 45 minutes from where I lived, that had a birthing center inside of it, and that was staffed by 5 midwives.  I was so excited to find exactly what I was looking for.

My whole pregnancy experience with Kayleigh was just absolutely amazing, thanks to the midwives and their wonderful nursing staff.  From the very first appointment, to the delivery of my daughter after a 24 hour natural labor, with 2.5 hours of pushing, I can honestly say that it was the best experience I could have ever dreamed of having.  I felt so safe and secure the entire time, knowing that I was being treated by some very knowledgeable women, and that if anything at all should go wrong at any time, I could be transferred over to the hospital section and taken care of. 

I am now 38 weeks pregnant with my second child, and I have been going to the same birthing center during this pregnancy.   I’m a bit overweight this time around, so I am being monitored pretty closely, with extra ultrasounds to check on baby’s growth, extra glucose tests to make sure I don’t develop gestational diabetes, and monitoring to make sure my blood pressure stays in the normal range.

I feel so lucky and privileged to be taken care of this much during my pregnancy.  My midwives really care about my health and the health of my baby, and do everything possible to make sure we are safe at all times.  They actually schedule 30 minutes at the end of each appointment, just so that I can feel free to talk to them about anything at all, without feeling rushed.  The support I receive from them is truly amazing.

I can’t imagine what it must be like to live in a country where quality healthcare is difficult to find, or hard to afford.  Did you know that 800 women – nearly 300,000 every year – die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth?  Ninety-nine percent of these deaths occur in developing countries.  That just saddens me so much.  Every pregnant woman should have access to quality healthcare to ensure that she has a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery.

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I was really happy to recently hear about Kangu, which is a non-profit organization with a big dream: that every woman in the world has a safe birth. Kangu’s crowdfunding platform is designed to help put an end to preventable maternal and newborn deaths by enabling donors to support life-saving health services for pregnant women – mamas – and their babies in need, globally.  Isn’t that great?!

At Kangu, anyone – anywhere – can search profiles of pregnant women in need and contribute towards eliminating the financial barrier for a specific woman to access high-quality healthcare before, during and after childbirth. These services, provided by vetted local medical partners, are proven to reduce maternal and newborn deaths by up to 80%!

When you’re pregnant, especially for the first time, it can be really scary.  It helped me so much to have midwives to talk to and ask any questions I might have.  I can’t imagine not having that kind of support during one of the happiest times in my life.  Making a donation to Kangu is something I can easily do to help another woman to receive quality healthcare and support during her pregnancy. 

Ongoing LAC Campaign graphic_english

You can make a donation to a Kangu Mom of your choice by visiting www.kangu.org

Kangu

Influence Central is also hosting a for Kangu through which you can enter to win one of five $100 donations that Kangu will make to a Kangu Mom on your behalf.

The contest runs from February 10, 2015 through March 2, 2015.  You can enter by choosing a social media sharing option from the social media amplification tool below.

You can also follow Kangu on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest news.

Kangu – One Mama at a Time

 Posted by at 3:55 pm
Jan 162015
 

I’ve been struggling with pregnancy insomnia for a while now, but it seems to have gotten a lot worse since I entered the 3rd trimester.

Pregnancy Insomnia in the 3rd Trimester

Right now, I’m sitting on the couch, stuffing my face with Chex Mix, and binge-watching Friends on Netflix.  It’s after 1:00am, and even though I’m physically exhausted, I’m wide awake.

I tried to go to sleep earlier tonight when John did, but the same thing happened that happens every night.  He falls asleep the second his head hits the pillow (lucky bastard!), and there I lay, wide awake, staring at the ceiling.  I roll over onto my side, turn my cell phone on to browse Facebook and play a few rounds of Candy Crush, in hopes that it will help me to become sleepy.  Some times it does actually work, but tonight was not one of those nights.

On nights like tonight, I have the worst case of restless legs known to man, heartburn that makes it nearly impossible for me to lay down without feeling like my entire digestive system is on fire, this baby inside me won’t stop kicking me, and no matter how many pillows I surround myself with, I’m just plain uncomfortable. 

After the 5th time of getting up to go pee within a 2 hour period, I said “screw it” and planted myself on the couch instead of trying to go back to sleep again.  I’m not sleeping anyway, so I might as well try to do something productive, right?  Does stuffing your face with Chex Mix at 1:00am qualify as something productive?

I know this pregnancy insomnia is just nature’s way of preparing me for the sleepless nights I’ll have after my baby’s arrival, but honestly, I wish I could just enjoy sleeping through the night until then.

7 weeks left until my due date – the countdown is ON!

Did you struggle with insomnia during your pregnancy?  Do you have any tips or tricks that helped you get a good night’s sleep?

 Posted by at 1:15 am
Dec 192014
 

This post is sponsored by Lunchbox.

The holidays can be a very busy, stressful time of year, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed by everything, especially if you are pregnant.  I just entered my third trimester in this pregnancy, and I was also pregnant with Kayleigh during the holidays two years ago, so I know first-hand just how difficult it can be to get everything done.

Between shopping for gifts, wrapping them, ordering and mailing out holiday cards, preparing food, attending parties, etc., all on a lack of sleep and a growing belly getting in my way,  some times I just feel like giving up all together!

This year, I have kind of taken a step back, and figured out some things that will make my holidays run a little smoother, and help take some of the stress away.

How to Survive the Holidays When You're Pregnant

1) Scale Back – If you usually go all out with Christmas decorating and gift-giving over the holidays, try to scale back while you are pregnant.  This year, I kept it really simple by putting up our tree and decorating it with lights, ribbon and bows.  I didn’t even hang any of our ornaments.  The tree still looks beautiful and brings the spirit of Christmas into our home, and I didn’t exhaust myself with decorating this year.  As far as gift giving goes, I only bought 1 gift each for my niece and nephew, and a few things for Kayleigh.  I told family members that I wasn’t planning on buying gifts for everyone this year, and that they did not have to feel obligated to get me anything either.  They were very understanding, and now I don’t feel overwhelmed by a huge Christmas shopping list.

2)  Don’t Be Afraid to Say “No.” – During the holidays, it seems like everyone wants to throw a holiday party.  John and I were invited to quite a few this year, but we will only be attending one.  Not only do parties take time away from your already busy schedule, but they can be quite exhausting for a pregnant woman.  So, decide which party or parties you really want to go to, and politely decline the other invitations.

3)  Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help – If you are feeling overwhelmed by everything you have to do this holiday season, don’t be afraid to ask your friends or family for help with some easy, but time-consuming tasks, like addressing holiday cards or wrapping gifts.  Crossing even one thing off your to-do list will help you feel a little less stressed.

Holiday Tasks

4)  Schedule Some Relaxation Time for Yourself – If you don’t make a point to take some time for yourself, just to relax, you will get burned out very quickly, and when Christmas finally arrives, you will be too exhausted to actually enjoy it.  Try to take at least an hour each day to do something for yourself.  Put on some relaxing music, take a nap or a warm bath, read a book, watch a movie, etc.  The alone time will help you unwind and feel better, both physically and mentally.

5) Get Comfortable – When you’re pregnant during the holidays, comfort is key.  Now is not the time to try to squeeze into a cocktail dress or heels.  You’ll quickly regret it if you do!  Wear comfortable clothes that are loose and breathable, and flat slip-on shoes that you don’t have to bend over to tie.

6)  Pamper Yourself – You may not be able to find the time or money to hit the spa any time soon, but there are some simple things you can do to pamper yourself at home.  Soak your achy feet in a tub of warm water.  Relieve dry skin by giving yourself a facial.  There are plenty of ideas for DIY facial masks and scrubs on Pinterest.  Give yourself an at-home manicure.  I know I always feel better when my nails are looking pretty.  Finally, bring the shine back to your hair with Suave® Moroccan Infusion Shine Shampoo & Conditioner.

Suave Moroccan Infusion Shampoo and Conditioner

My hair always tends to get a bit dry and dull looking during pregnancy, but Suave® Moroccan Infusion Shine Shampoo & Conditioner really helps bring it back to life, by making it feel super soft and looking healthy and shiny.   I feel so much better when my hair looks and feels great, don’t you?

I have always loved Suave products.  They are very inexpensive, but work so well, and they smell great, too.  They are very comparable to those expensive products you find in the salons, but are a fraction of the cost.

You can purchase Suave® Moroccan Infusion Shine Shampoo & Conditioner at BJ’s Wholesale Club.  I love shopping at BJ’s, especially when pregnant, because I can stock up on all of my favorite items, and not have to go shopping again for a long time.  That saves me lots of money, time and energy!  Click here to find a store near you!

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What helps you get through the holidays when you’re pregnant? Share your tips below!

 Posted by at 9:25 am
Jun 172014
 

If you’re reading this post, there is a good chance you are wondering how you can cheer up a pregnant woman. Maybe your wife, friend, sister or daughter is pregnant and hasn’t really been feeling like herself lately. You’d like to do something nice to cheer her up, but you’re not exactly sure what to do. Well, I have some really great ideas to help cheer up a pregnant woman in your life. This post contains affiliate links, and I will receive compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

My sister, Angela, is 32 weeks pregnant now, and has hit that end of pregnancy slump, so I’ve been thinking of some things to do to cheer her up a little.  I remember getting to that point in my pregnancy with Kayleigh last year, and just being so tired of being pregnant, and just plain tired!  I went all the way to 41 weeks with my pregnancy with her, and every day at the end seemed like an absolute eternity.

Gift of Julep Beauty BoxWhile you can’t get that baby out of her as soon as she may like, there are many other things that you can do to cheer up a pregnant woman, especially at the end of her pregnancy.  What I wanted most during that time, was something to just take my mind off the fact that I was super pregnant.  When your belly is huge, and your body aches all over, and you’re not sleeping because you can’t get comfortable, and you’re peeing every 2 minutes, the pregnancy can just seem so consuming and overwhelming.  I just wanted a distraction from all of that for a while.

If you’d like to do something to cheer up a pregnant woman in your life, try one of these…

10 Ways to Cheer Up a Pregnant Woman

1.  Pamper her – I’ve never met a pregnant woman that would say “no” to a day of pampering.  Take her out to get her hair and nails done, for a massage, a spa treatment, etc.  If you can’t afford all of that, give her an at-home spa experience.  Pick up a bottle of her favorite nail polish and paint her fingernails and toenails for her.  She probably can’t reach her toenails right now, so would love someone to paint them for her.  Buy some nice lotion and give her a gentle foot massage. You can also find face cleansing masks for fairly cheap, and I always feel so refreshed after using one on my face. A relaxing day of pampering is a surefire way to cheer up a pregnant woman! Just make sure any beauty products you get are safe for pregnant women.

Julep Gift of Beauty

2.  Take her out to lunch – I felt so cooped up in the house during those final weeks of pregnancy.  I jumped at every chance to get out and actually feel like a normal human being.  It was a lot of fun to go out to lunch with a couple of friends, and have a nice meal.  This may be one of the last chances she has to get out of the house for a while, so she will truly appreciate the gesture.

3.  Clean her house – At the end of my pregnancy, it was really hard for me to do much of anything.  My belly was enormous, and caused me to have a lot of back pain.  I also had severe heartburn all the time, and just didn’t feel good.  It was very hard to keep up with the house work, and I loved it when my Mom would come clean for me.  She would vacuum, wash my dishes, help with the laundry, and pick up clutter, while I spent some time relaxing with my feet up.  It was heavenly.

4.  Cook her a meal – I seem to recall eating a lot of take-out at the end of my pregnancy, simply because I didn’t feel like cooking and dealing with all of the dirty dishes after.  Ask her what her favorite meals are, and surprise her one night.  She will enjoy a home-cooked meal that she didn’t have to make.

5.  Take her shopping for new maternity clothes – By the end of my pregnancy, I was quickly outgrowing all of the maternity clothes that I had bought early on in my pregnancy.  I desperately needed some new items, and I felt so much better after John took me out shopping one day.  It’s amazing how much better you feel in clothes that fit you correctly, especially when you are feeling as big as a house.

6.  Offer to babysit for her – If she has other kids at home, offer to take them for a while so she can have some peace and quiet and time to relax.  I didn’t have any other children at home when I was pregnant with Kayleigh, but I sure did enjoy having quiet time to myself, and taking long naps.

7.  Take her out for a walk – Going for a walk outside can be very relaxing.  Not only is it nice to get out of the house, but it’s also good for her to get some sunshine and exercise too.  It will give her mood a boost for sure!

Earth Mama Angel Baby - Little Something for Mama to Be
8.  Have a girls’ night in – Gather up a group of her friends and have a good old-fashioned girls’ night in.  Mix up some mocktails, break out the board games, watch a romantic comedy and have some fun.  It will help to take her mind off of being pregnant for a while.

9.  Have a fun photo-shoot – My Mom took some pregnancy photos of me at the end of my pregnancy, and it was actually a lot of fun.  I got dressed up, and we had a little photo-shoot outdoors.  It was really nice to get outside and get some fresh air.  It also allowed me to embrace my pregnant belly, and feel beautiful again.

10.  Offer to help her get the nursery ready – After my baby shower, I was completely overwhelmed.  My living room looked like a baby store had exploded in it, and I didn’t even know where to start in putting everything away in the nursery.  I was so exhausted, and just didn’t want to deal with it.  My sister, Angela, stayed with me for a couple of days, and helped me get everything put away, and it was such a huge help.  It was one of the things I appreciated most in the final weeks of my pregnancy.

Pregnant women also love thoughtful gifts. Check out these Earth Mama Angel Baby® Gifts for some great ideas. They are specifically for pregnant women, and include things like organic heartburn tea, lip balms, body butter, morning wellness tea (this helped me SO much with morning sickness when I was pregnant!!), body wash and more! Earth Mama Angel Baby® also has some really great gifts for after the baby arrives!

Earth Mama Angel Baby - Tea

What cheered you up at the end of your pregnancy?  Do you have anything to add to the list of ways to cheer up a pregnant woman?

Image provided by freedigitalphotos.net.

 Posted by at 10:40 am
Oct 272013
 

You know how you hear about those women that didn’t know they were pregnant until they were actually giving birth, and then you hear about those women that knew they were pregnant from the moment of conception? Well, I was in that latter category.

Pregnant

John and I had been “not actively preventing” pregnancy for about a year. We were in love, and knew we wanted to have children together, so we decided to just let things happen on their own. If I got pregnant, it was meant to be, and we would be thrilled. After a year went by though, we began to wonder why it hadn’t happened yet, so we actually tried that one month.

I immediately felt different, and I thought for sure it had finally happened that time.  I just had this overwhelming sensation that I was pregnant. That was, until I got what I thought was my period.  I was disappointed, but shrugged it off and went on with my life.  

Pregnant

My “period” that month was really strange.  It was lighter than usual, very spotty and lasted for 10 days.  I was also extremely emotional that week, but didn’t think anything of it, as my parents had just flown to Chicago for my Dad to start his stem cell transplant, and I was upset and stressed out about that. 

It wasn’t until John and I were at a friend’s house, and I acted like a complete witch to everyone, that I thought I should probably take a test.  As we drove home that night, I told John that I wanted to take a pregnancy test.  He didn’t think I was pregnant, but agreed to go with me to buy one.

The next morning, the day before my 31st birthday, we went to CVS and bought a Clearblue Easy Digital Pregnancy Test.  My sisters were coming to visit me that day, and I knew that if I found out I was pregnant before their arrival that I would not be able to hide it from them.  If I was pregnant, I wanted to be able to tell my parents in person when they came home from their trip, and my sisters have never been able to keep a secret, especially one this big.

Pregnant

Since my birthday was the next day, I decided to wait until the next morning to take the test.  I would either get the best birthday present ever, or start my day out on a sad note.  As anxious as I am, I still can’t believe I managed to wait that long with the test right there in my house.

I didn’t really sleep very well that night.  I just wanted morning to come already so I could take the test.  Five am finally rolled around after what seemed like the longest night ever, and I ran downstairs to the bathroom, test in hand.  John was still upstairs sleeping.  He honestly didn’t think I was going to be pregnant, so he didn’t pay much attention to what I was doing.

I took the test, and waited patiently for the words to come up on the screen, Pregnant or Not Pregnant.  My face was flushed and my heart was racing.  I could feel my palms start to sweat, and a knot building in my stomach.  It was one of those potentially life-changing moments, and I was nervous. 

Time was finally up, and I opened my eyes and cautiously looked down at the test.  Pregnant.  Pregnant?? Pregnant!!  I just love how easy the Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Tests are to read.  There are no lines to interpret.  It’s plain as day whether you are pregnant or not.

Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test

I just stood there looking at the test for a minute, collecting my thoughts.  My hands trembled, and tears of joy began to form in the corners of my eyes.  I was happy.  Very happy!  I knew John would be too.

I ran up the stairs to our bedroom, with the positive test in my hand.  John heard me as I entered our room.  He remembered that I was going to take the test that morning, so without even opening his eyes from sleeping, he groggily asked me if I was pregnant, still not expecting me to be.  When I said “yes”, his eyes opened up wide, and he rolled over to look at me with a smile on his face.  He couldn’t believe it!

I showed him the positive pregnancy test, and we just sat there for a while looking at it, and thinking about how our life would soon be changing. 

We took a drive to Bar Harbor that day.  We played mini golf at Pirate’s Cove and ate lunch at The Log Cabin Restaurant.  Throughout the day, we kept talking about how we could not believe that I was pregnant, and how exciting it was.  It was the best birthday present I could have ever asked for. 

Pregnant

Clearblue has recently come out with the first and only test of its kind in the U.S., the new Clearblue Advanced Pregnancy Test with Weeks Estimator.  This pregnancy test not only tells a woman if she is pregnant, but also estimates the number of weeks along she is! 

Advanced Pregnancy Test with Weeks Estimator

I had a pretty good idea as to how far along I was when I found out I was pregnant, but there are a lot of women out there that have irregular periods, or are just too busy to really pay attention to their cycles.  This test would be great for them! 

Once a woman becomes pregnant, it is really important for her to change her lifestyle to provide a good “home” for her baby.  Most Dr.’s offices don’t want to see a pregnant woman until she is 9-10 weeks pregnant, so knowing how far along you are can be really helpful.  As soon as I found out I was pregnant with the Clearblue Easy Digital Pregnancy Test, I gave up coffee and all other caffeine, alcohol, deli meat, certain medications, etc., and led a healthier lifestyle.  

Clearblue Advanced Pregnancy Test with Weeks Estimator is:

• Over 99% accurate1 from expected period at detecting typical pregnancy hormone levels, hormone levels vary
• Approximately 93% accurate in estimating the number of weeks based on time since ovulation
• #1 test choice of OB/GYNs and 84% of OB/GYNs agree that the new Clearblue Advanced Pregnancy Test with Weeks Estimator offers helpful information
• Cleared by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
• Digital and displays in words the result: Not Pregnant; Pregnant 1-2; Pregnant 2-3; Pregnant 3+
• Able to detect levels of the hormone hCG to estimate the number of weeks
• Helpful in providing additional information as women begin to modify their lifestyle and seek prenatal care

 The Clearblue Advanced Pregnancy Test with Weeks Estimator is available at CVS.com or your local CVS Pharmacy. 

Baby Shower

Would the Clearblue Advanced Pregnancy Test with Weeks Estimator have been helpful to you when you found out you were pregnant?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

 Posted by at 5:00 am
Apr 282013
 

 

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a pregnancy update, and I’m 39 weeks along today!  I can’t believe I actually made it this far, and am now in the final days of pregnancy.  I always had this feeling in my gut that Kayleigh was going to arrive pretty early, but she’s proving me wrong!  John’s birthday is on May 3rd, and he’s really hoping she will be born that day.  We found out we were pregnant on my birthday, so having her on his birthday would be super cool and special!

I haven’t really tried any of the old wives tales for getting labor started in the final days of pregnancy.  No spicy foods or bumpy roads here.  I think if she’s still in there on May 2nd, we just might give some of them a try!

I’ve been feeling very big lately.  Every where I go, I catch people looking at my belly.  Today, John and I were buying some planting soil at Blue Seal.  I was standing next to an older lady, and when she turned around and saw my belly, a very surprised look came over her face.  Then, she blurted out “I hope you’re due soon!”  Uhh, ya, thanks lady!  That really made my day.  Not that I don’t already feel big enough!

Kayleigh was estimated to weigh about 5 1/2 pounds at my last ultrasound, which was done at 34 weeks.  Babies gain about 1/2 pound per week, so that puts her at roughly 8 pounds right now, yikes!  I never imagined I’d have a baby over 8 pounds.  I guess we’ll find out for sure once she arrives!

Aside from feeling huge, I’m also having a considerable amount of heartburn.  This is something I have dealt with a lot during this pregnancy.  I swear, I should have bought stock in Tums!

I’m not working outside the home anymore.  I got done for good on March 29th, and I don’t miss it at all!  I have spent the past month getting all of Kayleigh’s stuff in order.  Her jungle-themed nursery is finished and looks great!  The bedding is Bananafish Jungle BFF.

 Kayleigh’s Jungle-Themed Nursery

jungle nursery bedding

jungle nursery

jungle nursery

jungle nursery

Kayleigh’s Britax Chaperone Carseat is installed in our car, and all of her clothes have been washed, dried and hung up in her closet.  I have also had my hospital bags packed for a while now, and they are already out in the car.  We’re just (impatiently) waiting for her to come now!

Do any of you Moms out there have tips for surviving the final days of pregnancy??  How do you deal with the waiting game?  I’d love to know!

 

 

 Posted by at 11:07 pm
Feb 142013
 

 

I’m now 28 weeks along in my pregnancy.  I met with one of my midwives on Tuesday this week, and I also had the dreaded glucose test.  I had heard horror stories of the “nasty orange drink”.  My appointment wasn’t until 4pm that day, so all day long I was dreading this drink.

As soon as I arrived at my birth center, I gave my usual urine sample, and before I could even step out of the restroom completely, the nurse called me in to check my weight and blood pressure.  I had gained 2 pounds since my last visit 2 weeks earlier, for a total of 30 pounds gained so far.  I’m really hoping I don’t gain too much more.  I feel as though a lot of my weight gain happened during Thanksgiving and Christmas, and if I hadn’t had to deal with those two holidays, I would probably be much better off at this point.  When Thanksgiving arrived last year, I was just coming out of the morning sickness, and wanted to eat everything in site!  My blood pressure was really low as usual, 100/60.  I guess at least I don’t have to worry about pre-eclampsia!

After the nurse was done checking my weight and blood pressure, she gave me the orange drink.  It was a pretty good sized bottle, and I was told I had to drink it all within 5 minutes.  Before I took a sip, I smelled it.  I wanted to know what I was getting myself into!  It smelled a little sweet, and didn’t turn me off at all, so I took a small sip at first to test it out.  I actually couldn’t believe how good the drink was!  To me, it tasted like the Hi-C Orange Drink from McDonalds, or maybe a flat Sunkist soda.  After all the fear that other mothers had put in me about that “nasty orange drink”, I had worked myself up over nothing.  I chugged the rest of the drink down in under a minute!  I had really expected more of a chemical taste, but it just wasn’t there.

When I was done with the drink, the nurse escorted me into my midwife’s office, and she came in after about a 5-10 minute wait.  I have to say, I absolutely love all of the midwives at my birth center.  They are all so caring and understanding, and they really make an effort to listen to me, and get to know me on a personal level.  I am so glad that I did some research after finding out I was pregnant, and didn’t go with a local OB.  The birth center is about an hour drive for me, but every minute is worth it to me.  The alternative was to give birth at a hospital about 15 minutes away, but I have very ill feelings towards that hospital.  The staff are very overworked and unfriendly.  The doctors are very aggressive and don’t really care about what you want.  They just want to get rid of you as fast as they can.  I certainly don’t need that kind of treatment while I’m bringing my little girl into this world.  Instead, I will have a wonderful, caring and loving environment, and I will be able to make all of the decisions regarding my birth, as long as there isn’t any emergency.

Take a look at part of the birth plan the birth center gave to me at my last appointment.  This is everything I wanted during a birth, and I didn’t even have to ask or fight for it!  They offered it to me.

Just knowing that they are in agreement with everything I want for my natural birth makes me feel so calm and confident about it.  I am not fearful of giving birth.  I have this feeling that it’s just going to be a wonderful and amazing experience for me, John and Kayleigh.  I cannot wait to see her beautiful face.

Speaking of that, my midwife scheduled me for another ultrasound in 2 weeks.  I can’t wait!  I will be 30 weeks, and if Kayleigh cooperates, I’ll hopefully get a good shot of her face, and can see more of what she looks like.  I am having another ultrasound because I had a LEEP procedure done about 12 years ago, and they want to make sure my cervix is still at a good length.

The rest of my appointment was pretty uneventful.  We discussed the one-day birthing class I will be taking next month, and I got to listen to Kayleigh’s heartbeat again.  I always love that part of the appointment.  As soon as the midwife put the doppler on my belly, Kayleigh gave a big kick, and the doppler bounced right off my belly!  The midwife put it back on my belly and quickly got a heartbeat.  It was in the 140’s.

I got the results of my glucose test back yesterday.  I passed!  My grandfather had diabetes, so I was a little worried, but not really too much.  I have not had any soda at all, aside from a gingerale here and there, during this pregnancy.  I have not had any coffee (that I would normally add sugar to).  I have had some sweets here and there, but I’m certainly not stuffing my face full of them.  For the most part, I eat healthy and I drink a ton of water.

I did find out, however, that I am anemic, which is not really a big surprise to me.  I have been told in the past that my iron level was really low.  My father and my aunt also have anemia.  We are of Italian heritage, and I think that might have something to do with it.  I was told to take 350mg of Ferrous Sulfate per day, and they will retest me for anemia again at 32 weeks.  Here’s hoping the iron supplements will help!

Aside from all of that, I have been having a lot of trouble sleeping at night.  My belly is so big, that when I lay on my side now, it hurts my hips.  I’m also still struggling with a lot of leg pain.  I’ve always had restless legs, and I read that the iron supplements should help with that.  We’ll see.

We are moving into a new apartment this weekend, and I can’t wait!  It was just recently built in 2009, so the appliances, carpeting, counter tops, etc. are all fairly new.  It’s a townhouse, and has a laundry room with washer/dryer hook-up, a dining room, with a sliding glass door that leads out to a nice backyard, a roomy kitchen, 2 bedrooms upstairs, and a full bathroom, and a half bathroom in the master bedroom.  Kayleigh’s room will be directly across the hall from ours.  It’s going to be so wonderful!

So anyway, that’s what’s happening with me this week.  Stay tuned, and I’ll post another update soon!

 

 

 Posted by at 5:59 pm
Feb 052013
 

Are you experiencing weird pregnancy symptoms? It’s really not that uncommon to start feeling and seeing some pretty weird changes in your body during your pregnancy. Each pregnancy can differ, also, so you may or may not experience the same symptoms that your pregnant friends and family do. Your own pregnancies may be different as well. One pregnancy you may experience a whole host of pregnancy symptoms that you don’t experience during the next.

Before I got pregnant with my first child, I knew that I’d probably get some morning sickness, my boobs would hurt and I’d be tired.  Those are all “normal” pregnancy symptoms that everyone talks about.  But, I’ve come to find out that there are several weird pregnancy symptoms that no one really shares, probably because they’re a bit embarrassing! This post contains affiliate links, and I will receive compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 

Well, I’m going to put my embarrassment aside, and tell you about some of my weird pregnancy symptoms.

8 Weird Pregnancy Symptoms

1.  Bloody nose – Very early on in my pregnancy,  I noticed that every time I blew my nose, the tissue was covered in blood.  I was really taken by surprise and scared at first, but after doing some research on the internet, it’s a perfectly normal pregnancy symptom. I still find it to be quite a weird pregnancy symptom though!  At 27 weeks along, my nose is still constantly stuffed up and dry feeling, and it’s quite embarrassing to blow my nose in public, because my tissues end up covered in blood.  No one wants to see that!

2.  Hairy belly – One day, near the end of my first trimester, I looked down at my growing belly, and noticed that I had blonde hairs sprouting up all over the place!  My belly is completely covered with blonde hairs.  What a weird pregnancy symptom!  After doing some research, I learned that the hairs should fall out on their own after I give birth.  Phew!  For now, I’m trying to resist the urge to shave my belly.

3.  Excessive discharge – I think this is one of the most embarrassing of the weird pregnancy symptoms.  There is a constant wetness “down there”.  In Jenny McCarthy’s book, Belly Laughs:  The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth, a great read by the way, she calls this the “snail trail”.  I’ve pretty much taken up stock in pantyliners and always keep a spare pair of undies in my bag for emergency situations.

Earth Mama Angel Baby - Angel Baby

4.  Horrible constipation – When I first found out I was pregnant, I took those horse pill prenatal vitamins.  No one warned me that these would back me up so bad that I thought I would explode! The constipation was the worst I have ever dealt with in my entire life.  I seriously thought I was going to die if I didn’t have a bowel movement.  I had visions in my head of being rushed to the ER and someone having to unplug me up there.  Not a pretty thought.  I ate a ton of prunes, switched to gummy prenatal vitamins, and finally got some relief!  Only one time since then have I experienced constipation that was equally as bad, after a few straight days of eating bananas.  I’m now on a banana strike!

5.  Crazy sneezes – My grandmother has always been one to sneeze very loud and forceful.  As kids, my sisters and I would always snicker whenever she let one out.  We just couldn’t believe that someone could sneeze that hard and loud, especially since she’s just a petite little woman.  Since getting pregnant, I too have had those horribly loud, forceful sneezes.  They are the kind that shake your entire body and leave you reeling afterward.  At first, I was scared this was hurting my baby.  I would feel sharp pains in my sides after a big sneeze, and think something was wrong.  Turns out this weird pregnancy symptom, is actually pretty normal too, and will not hurt my baby.  The sharp pains I felt was just round ligament pain.

6.  Klutziness – Pregnancy has definitely thrown my body out of whack.  I feel like I’m in that awkward stage between child and teenager, and don’t know how to control my own body movements.  I drop stuff all.the.time.  Which is really great when you’ve got a huge belly in front of you, making it hard for you to bend over to pick said dropped stuff up.

A couple of weeks ago, I lost my balance and fell on the pavement outside of my office.  Luckily, I was able to land on both of my knees, and my baby was perfectly fine.  I have to walk really slow and carefully now, so I don’t trip and fall over my own feet.

Memory foam slip-on shoes are really great during pregnancy. They are comfortable, easy to put on and take off (no bending over to tie shoelaces!!) and they are flat on the bottom which makes them super easy to walk in while your balance is off due to pregnancy.

7.  Pain in the butt – Ever since I was about 12 weeks along, I have been experiencing a terrible pain in my butt, right above the crack.  I can chalk this one up to sciatica.  The pain gets pretty unbearable sometimes.  So bad, that I can hardly walk.  This is one of those weird pregnancy symptoms that I just can’t wait to get rid of!

8.  Drooling – I woke up in the middle of the night last night to pee for the 12th time, and my face and pillow were COVERED in drool.  Gross!  I’ve been dealing with this weird pregnancy symptom off and on throughout my pregnancy.  I tend to think that this comes from my nose being so stuffed up.  That means I have to breathe through my mouth while sleeping, leading to that nasty drooling habit.  Fun, fun!

What weird pregnancy symptoms have you had?

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 Posted by at 4:35 pm