Nineteen Weeks and Counting.

nineteenHow far along? Nineteen weeks.

Are you showing? Absolutely.

Gender: Baby BOY #2! :)

Total weight gain: Don’t want to talk about it… Up 4 pounds. But my maternity jeans are two sizes smaller than the jeans I wore last year! :)

Maternity clothes: Oh yes. Hair tie trick no longer working. I live in my maternity leggings. Invest in some, you wont regret it.

Stretch marks: Just the pre-existing ones. But my lower belly and the ladies are starting to get itchy. Coconut oil, for the win!

Sleeping: Rough. He’s soooo low and is currently using my bladder as a water bed. If I don’t pee right when I have to go, the pressure is overwhelming!

Food Cravings: MILK. And cinnamon toast crunch! Yummm. Excuse me while I refill my bowl… 

Anything making you sick or queasy? Meat. Asher is clearly a vegetarian. 

Miss Anything? Sleep and wine. Grape juice in a wine glass isn’t cutting it! 

Movement: Real kicks! Or punches. Can’t really tell what’s what yet.

Labor signs: Nope! But a ton of pressure sometimes. 

Symptoms: Irritable and tired. Overall uncomfortable because nothing seems to fit right!

Belly Button in or out: Top half is out. -sigh-

Wedding rings on or off: On

Happy or moody: All of the above.

Best moments this week: Watching the looks on Drew and Aiden’s faces when they felt Asher kick! SO priceless! <3 Also, registering with Hubs. He enjoyed it more than he’s willing to admit!

Looking forward to: Enjoying the second half of this pregnancy! It’s flying by so quickly!

A Letter to my Pre-Mom Self

letterIt’s okay.

I know you’re terrified. It’s okay to be scared. Your life is about to change more than you can imagine.

I know you’re in the midst of trying to decipher the difference between all of those diapers, and the bottles, and the pacifiers, and I won’t even mention the pumps. But, guess what?

They don’t matter.

I know that you think you don’t know a single thing about raising children. But who really does? Relax. You, like all other mommies, are going to figure it out as you go along. You’ll be fine.

Don’t worry so much about your birth plan. Things in childbirth rarely go as planned. Just plan to do whatever it takes to bring that sweet boy (yes, it’s a boy!) into the world safely.

Recovering from your cesarean is going to suck. Physically and emotionally. Take it easy while you recover physically, and accept help when it’s offered. Emotionally will take longer. Just know that you are not a failure. You made the safest choice for your little boy, and that matters so much more than the method he used to enter this world.

Your boobs are going to hurt. Like, imagine the pain comparisons you’ve read in one of the ten baby books you own, and then multiply it tenfold. Breastfeeding is hard. Again, accept the help when it’s offered and ask for help when you need it instead of trying to figure it out yourself.

Don’t expect to sleep for a while. Even if he does, you’ll be too busy staring at him, in amazement at this life you created, and you’ll constantly be checking to make sure he’s breathing. Showers will also be few and far between. Don’t fret, you’ll be too exhausted to go out into public anyway.

When you bring him home, don’t be alarmed when you become so overwhelmed with love that you just cry. This doesn’t go away. Before you know it, you’ll be preparing yourself to send him off to kindergarten. So enjoy the seasons as they come.

Know that you will be different. Your mind, YOUR BODY, your everything. You will transform from selfish to selfless, constantly putting this other life before yours, before you even realize what happens. Your body will never be the same. Your stretch marks will fade eventually, your boobs will go back down to their “normal” size, but you will notice that your feet and fingers are a little fatter than they were before. And your behind will stay a little more round than you remember. Embrace your new body. It did the job God intended for it to do.

Your relationships will be different. Some friends will stick by you. Some will fade into the background. You’ll probably feel alone from time-to-time. Get out and make some friends who are at the same stage in life as you. You can’t expect those not in your shoes to understand what your life is like now.

Your house will never be clean. Well, it might for the first five minutes after you finish tidying and then sit down. Then your boy will wake up from his nap, your Husband will come home from work, dinner will need to be made, and someone will spill something, somewhere. Don’t let it drive you crazy. Life happens.

You will quickly realize that you don’t know why in the world you ever stressed over bottles and diapers. This mom-thing will come so naturally to you that you’ll wonder why you ever worried. You’ll quickly realize that before you had your sweet baby, there was always some piece of the puzzle that was missing and you just had no idea. Now, your heart and home will feel complete.

aid 2

Giving Grace When Someone Doesn’t Deserve It.

graceIt’s been almost exactly five years since I got pregnant with Aiden. Since then, my life has been a wild ride. I’ve experienced more than most people twice my age. An unplanned teen pregnancy, a failed relationship, a custody battle, questioning whom I could actually trust, single-motherhood at twenty, dating with a child, meeting my Husband, moving more than five minutes from my Mommy for the first time in my life, getting married, almost ruining my marriage, God working through both my Husband and myself to fix our marriage, getting pregnant again… and the list goes on.

Not everything on this list is sunshine and rainbows. Not by a longshot. But, I wouldn’t change a single moment. Not one.

I’m also annoyingly optimistic. Just ask my Husband. It drives him crazy on a weekly basis. But, I wasn’t always that way. Somewhere in the middle of trying to navigate through the maze that was my anger, it hit me. Being angry, or holding a grudge, simply wasn’t going to hurt anyone other than me.

I didn’t know it then, but it was completely a God-thing.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—” (Ephesians 2:8 NIV)

Letting it go was the best decision I ever made. 

Don’t get me wrong. I still get angry, I still stew over things that I have very little control over, and I still struggle on a daily basis with the fear caused by not having control over the decisions made by others. Especially if they have a negative effect on me. Or even worse, on my children. I’ll be the first to go mama-bear if your decisions will hurt my kids.

I get asked so often how I just hand out grace so easily.

1) It’s not easy.

2) It’s really kind of selfish. I could choose to hold the grudge and to be angry and bitter all day, every day. But WHO is that hurting? Not the other person.

3) I may forgive, but I don’t forget.

4) It wasn’t easy for Jesus to give grace to us, but He still did. Not that I’m comparing myself to Jesus, but aren’t Christians supposed to be “Christ-like” in their actions?

Basically, what I’m saying is while handing out grace isn’t always the easiest choice, it’s the best choice FOR YOU.

I know this is kind of a vaguepost. I wish that I could get more into detail about the stories behind this, but I’m just not at a place in my life where I can yet. But, rest assured that I will get there.

grace2

Blogger Q&A

qnaLast week, I asked you to send in questions for me so you could get to know me as more than the person behind the keyboard.

I got a lot of questions.

A. Lot. Of. Questions.

Some about me personally, some about my pregnancies with both Aiden and Asher, some about my family, and some that I’m not sure that I can really answer in a one line Q&A post. I have already started drafts on those more difficult questions and scheduled them throughout the month, so they WILL be answered!

Going to hit some of the many I received! Let’s get started.

Q: Where did you grow up and what is your family like?

A: I grew up in Fayetteville, NC and lived there my whole life until I moved in with my now-Husband in early 2013. My Mom and Dad still live there with my one sister who is almost twenty-one. The majority of my family lives within an hour of Fayetteville still, including me. 

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?

A: I’ve always wanted to be a Mommy. And I’m super blessed to be able to do just that. However, next fall I will be going back to school to finish my degree, probably in writing and religion. 

Q: What are your favorite TV shows?

A: I’m obsessed with Grey’s Anatomy. I’ve watched it since I was fourteen. Also love Scandal and Revenge. Anything that can really keep my focus for a whole hour is worth watching in my book. 

Q: Where did the title of your blog come from?

A: I had Aiden when I was 19. The whole 16 & Pregnant craze was just launching and causing most people to have this preconceived, stereotypical opinion of all young mothers. I wanted an outlet to show that not all young mothers are of the Jenelle Evans variety. Some actually have their stuff together.

Q: What was your initial reaction to learning you were pregnant with Aiden? Was he planned?

A: All babies are planned by God. However, Aiden was not planned by me. But, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. You can read my post, Pregnant, to learn about the night I found out he was coming!

Q: What is your relationship with Aiden’s biological father like?

A: We don’t have much of one. This is one of those that has more to it than I can answer in one line. 

Q: Did you have a vaginal birth or a caesarean birth with Aiden? What are you planning with Asher? Are you planning a natural or medicated birth for #2? (Combined two questions here.)

A: I had a c-section with Aiden. I don’t plan on scheduling another one with Asher. I am planning to have an as natural as possible VBAC in a hospital setting. However, when it comes down to it, I will be doing whatever is best for Asher and allows me to continue being here and healthy for both of my babies and Husband.

Q: Will you breastfeed or use formula?

A: Planning to exclusively breastfeed. 

Q: Was Asher planned or a surprise?

A: Like I said, all babies are planned by God. Hubs and I weren’t really “trying” but we haven’t been “preventing” since we’ve been married. Figured it would happen when it was supposed to! 

Q: How many children do you plan to have?

A: You people love that “p” word. Drew and I would like to have one more baby a few years after this one. And then waaaay in the future, we’d like to foster some older children. 

Q: Co-sleeping or crib?

A: With Aiden, I co-slept. With Asher, I’ll do whatever works best for him.

Q: Cloth diapers or disposables?

A: With Aiden, disposables. With Asher, we will be cloth diapering!

Q: What is your favorite color?

A: Teal. But I also love green and red, but not together unless its Christmas.

Q: Where is somewhere you’d like to visit?

A: Italy. In general.

Q: What are your five favorite foods?

A: Uhhh pregnant or not pregnant? Probably popcorn, pickles, tomatoes, cucumbers, and Chickfila. In both circumstances. 

Q: What is your favorite quote?

A: SO MANY. “Everything that is real was imagined first.” (The Velveteen Rabbit)

“And she loved a little boy very, very much, even more than she loved herself.” (The Giving Tree)

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)

“Sometimes when you pick up your child you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands, or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood – finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without.” (Jodi Picoult)

I could go on forever. 

But I won’t. You can also read some other facts about me by clicking here.

If I missed your question, comment it below or wait a few weeks and see if it was one of those that I decided to dedicate a whole post to later!

If you haven’t yet, go “like” NJATM on Facebook!

How am I Already Eighteen Weeks?

IMG_1585-2 6How far along? Eighteen weeks.

Are you showing? Absolutely.

Gender: BOY!

Total weight gain: Don’t want to talk about it… (+3/4). But my maternity jeans are two sizes smaller than the jeans I wore last year! :)

Maternity clothes: Oh yes. Hair tie trick no longer working.

Stretch marks: Just the pre-existing ones. But my lower belly is starting to get itchy. Coconut oil, for the win!

Sleeping: Rough. 

Food Cravings: MILK. And anything with grapes. Especially grape juice. 

Anything making you sick or queasy? Meat. Asher is clearly a vegetarian. 

Miss Anything? Energy, Sleep, Wine, and Sushi. 

Movement: Stronger flutters and wiggles! And a few actual kicks!

Labor signs: Nope! But a ton of pressure sometimes. 

Symptoms: Light stretching/cramps, pure exhaustion, soooooo emotional, and the horrible acne of a teenager. Oh, and heartburn.

Belly Button in or out: Still in, but weird and bumpy-ish around the top left side. Not going to hold on very long. 

Wedding rings on or off: On

Happy or moody: All of the above.

Best moments this week: Learning the gender! Can’t wait to meet my newest sweet boy!

Looking forward to: Registering and moving into our new place so I can begin my nesting!

18

Seventeen Weeks (And an October-Announcement!)

17weeksHow far along? Seventeen weeks, one day!

Are you showing? Absolutely.

Gender: We’ll find out tomorrow!!

Total weight gain: Up a little over a pound from where I started!  

Maternity clothes: Oh yes. Hair tie trick no longer working very well.   

Stretch marks: Just the pre-existing ones. But my lower belly is starting to get itchy. Coconut oil, for the win!

Sleeping: So-so.

Food Cravings: MILK. And anything with grapes. Especially grape juice. 

Anything making you sick or queasy? Very few things and very far between!

Miss Anything? Energy, Sleep, Wine, and Sushi. 

Movement: Stronger flutters and wiggles! 

Labor signs: Nope!

Symptoms: Light stretching/cramps, pure exhaustion, soooooo emotional, and the horrible acne of a teenager. Oh, and heartburn has arrived with a vengeance.  

Belly Button in or out: Still in, but weird and bumpy-ish around the top left side. Not going to hold on very long. 

Wedding rings on or off: On

Happy or moody: All of the above.

Best moments this week: Feeling flutters more often!

Looking forward to: Gender scan tomorrow!! Can’t wait to see if we’re having a girl or another sweet boy! 

Click here to follow me on instagram and be the first to know!

Remember to go here and take the gender poll before tomorrow!

OCTOBER ANNOUNCEMENT!

Since I’ve gained about 1,800 wordpress followers alone since my last ‘getting to know you’ post, I’m going to spend the month of October answering your questions! Comment below any questions you may have for me. (Parenting styles, discipline, schooling methods, birth plans, ANYTHING!) You can also email your questions to me at natmblog@gmail.com :) Looking forward to hearing from all of you!

Also, early next month I will be hosting a guest series related to pregnancy and childbirth. (I know you’re shocked!) If you’re interested in submitting a post, email me at natmblog@gmail.com!

Popped! (16 Weeks)

16How far along? Sixteen weeks!

Are you showing? Absolutely.IMG_5022

Gender: We’ll find out in nine days!! :)

Total weight gain: I have gained 0.4lbs. I’ll take it. 

Maternity clothes: Oh yes.  

Stretch marks: Just the pre-existing ones. But my lower belly is starting to get itchy. Coconut oil, for the win!

Sleeping: So-so.

Food Cravings: MILK. And chocolate! 

Anything making you sick or queasy? Mostly gone! (Knock on wood.)

Miss Anything? Energy, Sleep, Wine, and Sushi. 

Movement: More frequent flutters and a few actual jabs. Which are more like strong pokes at this point. Jellybean started jabbing at the laptop as I typed this!

Labor signs: Nope!

Symptoms: Light stretching/cramps, pure exhaustion, emotional, and the acne of a teenager. Oh, and heartburn has arrived with a vengeance.  

Belly Button in or out: Still in, but weird and bumpy-ish. I don’t think it’ll hold on very long this time around.

Wedding rings on or off: On

Happy or moody: Happy for the most part! But also emotional. 

Best moments this week: Feeling flutters more often! Seeing a healthy growing bean on the ultrasound!

Looking forward to: More energy. It’s starting to pick up finally!

We had an ultrasound this week while testing a new doctor, and Hubby swears he sees boy-parts. I don’t see any parts, boy or girl. Remember that episode of Friends when Rachel and Ross have their ultrasound? Remember Rachel’s reaction? Yep. 1 2I couldn’t even tell you for sure if that’s a butt shot. That’s how bad I am at deciphering this mess.

Our actual gender scan is NEXT FRIDAY! WHOOP. Be sure to follow me on instagram to know whether Jellybean is a he or a she before anyone else! :)

 

Fifteen Weeks and Old Wive’s Tales Results! (Poll)

15How far along? Fifteen weeks and some change!

Are you showing? Absolutely.

Gender: We’ll find out in exactly two weeks! Drew and Aiden want a girl, I would like a girl since we obviously already have a boy, but I’ll be happy with healthy!

Total weight gain: Sitting right at even after a week of vacation-eating! I’ll take it. I was +10 or 15 by this point with Aiden.  

Maternity clothes: Oh yes. I’ve done the hair tie trick a few times though. No shame.   

Stretch marks: Just the pre-existing ones. But my lower belly is starting to get itchy. Coconut oil, for the win!

Sleeping: So-so. But tired alllllll the time.

Food Cravings: MILK. 

Anything making you sick or queasy? Mostly gone! (Knock on wood.)

Miss Anything? Energy, Sleep, Wine, and Sushi. 

Movement: More frequent flutters and wiggles! 

Labor signs: Nope!

Symptoms: Light stretching/cramps, pure exhaustion, slight nausea, soooooo emotional, and the acne of a teenager. Oh, and heartburn has arrived with a vengeance.  

Belly Button in or out: Still in, but weird and bumpy-ish. I don’t think it’ll hold on very long this time around.

Wedding rings on or off: On

Happy or moody: Happy for the most part! But also emotional. 

Best moments this week: Feeling flutters more often!

Looking forward to: That second trimester burst of energy. It can come any day now. Really… any time would be great….?

Decided to go through a list of old wive’s tales for gender predictions and share my results! Check it out, as well as my bump picture and leave your guess in my poll! :)

15bump

Old Wives Tale #1: Heart Rate

If the baby’s heart rate is above 140 bpm, it is said that the baby will be a girl. If it is under 140 bpm, then it will be a boy. (First time we heard the babies heartbeat it was at 170+ bpm) Prediction outcome: GIRL


Old Wives Tale #2: Shape of Belly
If you are carrying high with a big, round belly, you are having a girl. If you are carrying low with a smaller belly that sticks straight out, it’s a boy. (I seem to definitely be all around round this time.) Prediction outcome: GIRL

Old Wives Tale #3: Ring Test
Using a string, hang your wedding ring over your pregnant belly. You are having a girl if the ring swings back and forth and it’s a boy if it swings in a circle. (I think this test is cheating..I got a different one each try.) Prediction outcome: INCONCLUSIVE

Old Wives Tale #4: Acne
If you have acne while pregnant, it’s a girl. It’s thought that acne during pregnancy is caused by the extra hormones. (I’m breaking out like a teenager.) Prediction outcome: GIRL

Old Wives Tale #5: Cravings
People believe that if you are craving salty foods while pregnant, you can count on having a boy. If you crave sweets, fruit, and orange juice, you are having a little girl. (definitely been eating the sweeter things: lemonade, OJ, raspberries etc but also the salty things: FRENCH FRIES.) Prediction outcome: INCONCLUSIVE

Old Wives Tale #6: Legs
If your legs get really big, you’re having a boy. If your legs stay in shape and lean, it’s a girl. I think it’s too early for me to tell on this one. (Well, as far as I know I’m only gaining in the torso, legs seem to be the same) Prediction outcome: GIRL

Old Wives Tale #7: Moodiness and a Little Pecker (this one is odd, but funny)
If you are really moody, you are having a girl since you have another extra girl hormones in you. Your pregnancy will make you smile and be more happy if you are having a boy because there’s a little penis inside you. (Well… I’m just gonna give my prediction as I’m sure most of you know how I’m feeling these days..) Prediction outcome: GIRL

Old Wives Tale #8: Chinese Gender Chart
The Chinese Gender Chart claims to have an accuracy rate of over 90%. It is based on how old the mother is at conception and the month that she conceived. Prediction outcome: GIRL

Old Wives Tale #9: Mom’s Beauty
Basically you are having a girl if your beauty disappears during pregnancy. It is said that the girl “steals” the mother’s beauty. If you think that pregnancy has never made you look more beautiful, a little boy it is. (well… my Husband keeps saying I look beautiful…but I think he has to. Lol. But he’s not the only one. I guess I look okay. Except the acne.) Prediction outcome: BOY

Old Wives Tale #10: Dream of Sex of Baby
If you have dreams that you are having a boy, you will have a girl. If you dream about having a girl, it will be a boy. Dreams show the opposite of what you are having. (I’ve been having dreams of twin girls…Lord help me.) Prediction outcome: TWIN BOYS

Old Wives Tale #11: Clumsy vs. Graceful
If the pregnant woman is graceful throughout her pregnancy, she’s having a girl. If she becomes clumsy, she’s having a boy. (I’m pretty clumsy usually, but feel a little more balanced lately. Maybe I’m just more careful?) Prediction outcome: GIRL

Old Wives Tale #12: Side You Most Rest On
If a pregnant woman prefers to lay on her left side, she’s having a boy. If she prefers resting on her right side, she’s having a girl. Prediction outcome: GIRL

Old Wives Tale #13: Dad’s Weight Gain
If the dad-to-be gains weight while you are pregnant, it’s a girl. If he doesn’t gain weight, you’re having a boy. (Unless you count the vacation we both gained a few pounds on… ;-)Prediction outcome: BOY

Old Wives Tale #14: Breast Test
If a pregnant woman’s left breast is larger than the right breast, she’s having a girl. If the right breast is larger, it’s a boy. (My right lady has always been bigger.. it’s a problem.) Prediction outcome: BOY

Old Wives Tale #15: What Do You Think?
71% of the time, the mom-to-be knows what she is having. (I really don’t know this time. I have a gut feeling, but I’m conflicted about whether it’s my actual gut feeling or what I want… So, I’m going to wait to share this one! :)Prediction outcome: INCONCLUSIVE

Old Wives Tale #16: Morning Sickness
If you had a smooth pregnancy with no morning sickness, it’s a boy. If you were sick or felt really nauseous during your pregnancy, count on a girl. (I think we all know my answer to this one.) Prediction outcome: GIRL

Old Wives Tale #17: Areolae
If your areolae (the part around your nips) have darkened, it’s a boy. If they haven’t, its a girl. Prediction outcome: BOY

Old Wives Tale #18: Protein
When a pregnant woman craves meat and cheese, count on a boy. (LOVE cheese, not a huge fan of meat though.) Prediction outcome: INCONCLUSIVE

Old Wives Tale #19: Feet
Are your feet colder now that you are pregnant? If so, you just might be having a boy. If your feet have stayed the same before pregnancy and during, you’re having a little girl. Prediction outcome: GIRL

Old Wives Tale #20: Headaches
If you are having headaches, you might be carrying a boy. Prediction outcome: GIRL

Old Wives Tale #21: Baby Names
It is said that when you can only think of specific names for a boy or a girl, you will have that particularly baby. (Drew and I can only solidly agree on our boy’s name, we’re still back and forth about the girl name. Although, I think we’ve finally made a decision on that one too.) Prediction outcome: BOY

Old Wives Tale #22: Urine
What color is your pee? If it is bright yellow, you will have a little boy. If your urine is a dull yellow, plan on a girl. Prediction outcome: GIRL

TOTALS:

GIRL: 12 BOY: 6 INCONCLUSIVE: 4

So, what do you think we’re having? Boy or girl? Take the poll! :)

 

Fourteen Weeks Preggo!

14This is going to be quick and basic because I’m exhausted and have to be up at an ungodly hour tomorrow. I do have some more exciting posts coming over the next week. I swear!

How far along? Fourteen weeks!

Are you showing? Absolutely.

Gender: We’ll find out the first week of October! Drew and Aiden want a girl, I would like a girl since we obviously already have a boy, but I’ll be happy with healthy!

Total weight gain: Gained another pound back! Sitting at -2 for the moment. I’ll take it. I was +10 or 15 by this point with Aiden.  

Maternity clothes: Oh yes. I’ve done the hair tie trick a few times though. No shame.   

Stretch marks: Just the pre-existing ones.

Sleeping: So-so. But tired alllllll the time.

Food Cravings: Not really many particular ones. Although I did want french fries really badly today. Guess you could call it a craving. Oh, and lemon sweet tea! Yumm. 

Anything making you sick or queasy? It’s finally easing up! Still have moments of nausea, but haven’t actually puked in a few weeks. (Knock on wood.)

Miss Anything? Energy, Sleep, Wine, and Sushi. 

Movement: More frequent flutters and wiggles! 

Labor signs: Nope!

Symptoms: Light stretching/cramps, pure exhaustion, slight nausea, soooooo emotional, and the acne of a teenager. Oh, and heartburn. 

Belly Button in or out: Still in, but I don’t think it’ll hold on very long this time around.

Wedding rings on or off: On

Happy or moody: Happy for the most part! But also emotional. 

Best moments this week: Feeling flutters more often!

Looking forward to: That second trimester burst of energy. It can come any day now. Really… any time would be great….?