Some Parental Advice for Sophie

I always wanted a sister, or experience one of those BFF relationships with my mother – just a close female counterpart who would do anything for me, and vice versa. I’ve had my fair share of blessings, but haven’t had one of those bonds.. yet.

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Enter: Sophie. The day I found out that we were having a little girl, I had just woken up and received a voicemail from my OB’s office saying they knew the gender. I jumped out of bed, ran to Hank who was getting ready for work, and immediately called back. I was trembling, pacing, and my voice was shaking – an overall anxious mess. When we found out it was a girl, Hank gave my already in-tears self, the biggest hug – and essentially supported my weight. He’s a damn gem, I tell you.

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My brain went into overdrive at the thought – what would I do with a girl? Growing up around younger brothers, I knew more or less how to interact with them. But a girl? I wouldn’t know where to start. I’ve had a few months for this to settle in and through much conversation and support from the hubby, I feel confident that together we will figure it out one step at a time and try our best to raise a strong, intelligent, and enigmatic little girl. I started taking mental notes/wishlist notions along the way on how I wanted to raise her and here are a few pieces of advice I’d like to instill in her:

(Disclaimer: I know. Before you say it, I know. I can’t control her or how she’s going to react to the world, but these are some ideals I’d like to keep in mind as we raise her) 

Hi Sophie,

1.You’re A Girl – And That’s Badass: Our culture skews towards the male privilege. Hell, the entire world does. I remember when I told someone your gender, the response was “Oh it’s okay that you’re having a girl”(I’ll refrain from sharing my thoughts in response). There will be a lot of people who will try to undermine you and your gender – just know that we want to see you grow to be so powerful and impactful, gender be damned. Between boys & girls, one gender isn’t better than the other (Although this whole pregnancy thing is making me see women in a whole new light). All you need to focus on is being a genuinely good-hearted and focused person, and watch the opportunities unfold.

2. Be Curious Like Your Dad: Your dad has incredible curiosity and a rich desire to constantly learn. Since we’ve met, he’s taught me to look deeper at things – check facts and verify sources. So whether it’s me one day telling you that I’m the coolest person in the world, or a teacher in elementary school telling you that Texas is the best state (tehehehe, my blog, my jokes), or a friend telling you that the Warriors are not the best team in the game – if what you hear doesn’t make sense, then question it. But question it to learn the truth, not to argue, not to judge. And for the record, I will be tied for coolest with your dad, California is the best state, and the one thing you better not question is the greatness of the Warriors.

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(pictured: me and Uncle Jesse. Yes, Sophie is going to have an Uncle Jesse just like from Full House – have mercy!)

3. Social Media Does Not Dictate Confidence: Look kid, I’ll be honest. I don’t think you’re going to be allowed to have an Instagram account till you’re like 26, and who knows what the hell social media will have evolved to by then. But if and when you do figure it all out, please know that social media is not that serious. Likes and followers should not enhance your self worth or confidence, ever. Let your confidence come from your accomplishments and self-respect, not from your Instagram pix. Girls who post pix without many clothes on repeatedly for attention, just need someone to give them $50 for a sweater, mommy promises. And for the record, we’re not letting you hang out with any Beezy Aunties either. #thethirstisreal

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4. You Don’t Need To Be “Extra AF”: Piggy-backing off of Social Media for a sec – I don’t get why millennials like the concept of “Extra”. I’m sorry that being themselves is not good enough. Daughter, we’re going to spend a lot of time hanging out with you, getting to know you, and teaching you about life – you won’t need to overcompensate. I hope you know that you’ll always be the best version of yourself, just the way you are.

5. Empathy Is Everything: You’ll learn how to sing your ABC’s and the quadratic equation eventually, but I truly hope you learn how to be empathetic. Feeling empathy towards others will help you understand people so much better. And Sophie, that is important. Being kind, not judging others, and understanding their feelings is key in life, and empathy helps you get there.

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6. Defend Yourself: As much as I want you to be kind, I want you to learn that you don’t have to take shit from anyone (except me and Dad). I’ll never push you to accept bad treatment from anyone – no matter who they are. If they’re a friend, family member, or anyone – we will expect you to defend yourself and have your back, always. Life isn’t about dealing with toxic people – it’s about filling your life with people who inspire your happiness and success. Don’t let anyone piss you off, baby girl – it ain’t worth it.

7. Daddy Probably Won’t Let You Wear Makeup Ever – This is just more of a fact than it is advice. Daddy believes in natural beauty. Mommy loves makeup, but Daddy’s even gotten through to mommy a bit – and it’s true natural beauty is precious.

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8. PRACTICE PATIENCE: This will help you deal with #7. I’m not very patient, but I have a feeling you’re going to teach me a thing (or 2000) about patience. Instant gratification is not realistic, nor will it help you achieve personal satisfaction or success any faster. Know that you’re going to have to work hard, practice, and constantly refine your skills. Life isn’t a race – you’ll achieve your goals as long as you pair your intelligence with your patience and focus.

I think I could have easily kept writing another 30 pieces of advice, but I’ll settle on these for now. This was a fun piece to write and slightly distracting for me as well. See, it’s nearing the end of the road, and I’ve been quite emotional as I’m officially 36 weeks.. 4 more weeks till we meet our little one – and I can’t believe it. I know I can’t dictate advice to her, but I hope we’re able to give her the best set of morals & values possible!

 

My 5 Pregnancy Lifesavers

One interesting thing I’ve learned while being pregnant is how ridiculously unique pregnancy can be from one person to the next. Some people have easy-breezy-beautiful-Cover Girl preggo moments, and others wonder what on earth made them decide to do the deed (ha-ha-ha grow up) in the first place. Although, I’m thankful for my experience so far, I have definitely had my fair share of adjustments. Every article or book I read ended up leading me to the same conclusion – for the most part, my symptoms were normal, but were going to prove to be a pain in the ass.

Pregnancy is a time where if you don’t already practice gratitude, you certainly will learn to. It’s the little things such as being able to get up from the couch yourself or learning that back pain is a new norm that had me in shambles. Therefore, when you find something to make your life easier – you appreciate it 100 fold. In honor of that, I made a list of my top pregnancy lifesavers for you to enjoy.

(Disclaimer: Every pregnancy is SO diff, these lifesavers may not be for you, but putting them out there in case they help anyone else! Feel free to comment with your own suggestions, I am all for new ideas!)

Maternity Clothes

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I fought maternity clothes for the longest time. I didn’t want to waste money on a wardrobe that I knew was going to be temporary, and especially one that made me feel abnormally huge. As I started getting bigger, I realized that my jeans were now stopping at my thighs due to my newfound thicky thickness. Additionally, my shirts were getting shorter to accommodate my bump. What finally made me throw in the towel, was the sheer discomfort with lower back and waist pain. Turns out, the maternity clothing industry knew what they were doing all these years. I remember being forced by Hank to purchase maternity clothes, and the comfort I felt when I tried on maternity jeans – holy hell. The flap vs. zip area took me all but 10 seconds to get used to and my waist got to finally breathe. Comfort finally!

My advice: Bite the bullet & INVEST in (or borrow!) quality maternity clothing. Yes, it’s for a short time – but with all the uncomfortable variables of pregnancy, the proper fitting and support of your clothing is one thing you can absolutely control. My favorite brand thus far has been Pea In A Pod (if you head to Macy’s you’ll find super affordable deals). Also, Old Navy, Target have affordable options for maternity, as well.

Pregnancy Pillow

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This was another thing I fought. Shoutout to Amrit, if you’re reading this – yes this thing did change my life. This was another item I resisted because I wasn’t ready to accept that my pregnancy would change things. To be frank, I love cuddling up next to my husband – and I saw a pregnancy pillow as a hindrance. Alas, the husband forced me to get one as well, and initially I thought it was a waste. I opted for this exact C-shape Leachco Snoogle and every night I literally would clutch it for dear life, and ended up waking up every morning with a neck strain. It took some getting used to as you learn to make the pillow work with your body.

My Advice: If you can sleep without one, do so. But if sleeping becomes increasingly uncomfy – invest in one, at least to try it out. It may not work for you, but if it does – you’re helping yourself get good sleep, which is vital for a preggo body working in overload! There’s no one size fits all, so research and test out different pillows until you find one that works for you.

A Second, Third, Fourth, & Fifth Opinion

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!!STORY TIME!! If you’ve read about pregnancy, you’ve read how important it is to listen to your instinct. I didn’t like my first OB.  I felt really confused and upset during my first trimester, with new symptoms popping up almost daily. I tried to talk with my OB about some of these symptoms, only to feel dismissed as he would shrug it off as normal. Fair enough – these things are normal, but I needed hand holding and thorough explanations which led to strike 1. The second strike came when I experienced my first leg cramp. I woke up one night, jumped out of bed, yelling in pain. Hank woke up, jumped out after me, and calmed me down, but my leg was in pain for days after. I called my OB, asked them if it was normal, my nurse said it sounded unrelated to pregnancy and told me to make an appointment with my regular doctor. Luckily, my PCP is an ultra-communicative physician with excellent bedside manner. One ultrasound later, everything was fine and I was put at ease. My OBs office? Never once did they follow up. Huge red flag. The third strike happened when I went in for our midline ultrasound which was supposed to be a happy appointment (this is where they show you the organs and body parts your little egg has grown), the sono tech was so cold and barely pointed out anything. I fought back tears in the waiting room. It was after this that I decided to switch OB’s and it’s been the best decision ever.

My Advice: Do whatever it takes to make yourself feel better – seek a second, third, fourth or fifth opinion, if you need. If you feel unhappy with your OB, SWITCH. If people judge you for sharing pregnancy symptoms, give zero F’s – talk about your experience, and make sure you are getting the resolve you need. One thing I learned early on, is that your own mental strength and state matter the most – not the opinion of anyone else.

Support System

People will offer you help, learn to take it. We broke the news to my mom-in-law early on. I needed nourishment, since eating was challenging and bless her – she was a true lifesaver. She cooked me anything and everything I could ask for, with all my newfound specifications (I could not handle the smell or taste of onions or eggs). She also was there to provide support and kind words when I needed them most. Some people have their go-to’s (moms, sisters, or best friends) and my mother-in-law was mine. I was also very fortunate enough to have a few fellow moms friends, and mommys-to-be, both from Dallas & home who lent their support, wisdom, and advice to me. My point here is simple, asking for help is not easy, but when someone offers it to you in a vulnerable stage like pregnancy, take it, appreciate it, and make a mental note to pay it forward one day.

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My Husband

When signing up for labor & delivery classes, it’ll ask you to select a coach. A coach is someone who guides you and prepares you to take on a feat, and it’s an appropriate term for the job. From finding out I was pregnant, to every single one of my aches, pains, and emotional meltdowns – my constant sense of relief has been Hank. At the risk of getting overly emotional (because I am the queen of romance and sap), I’ll just say this – having a partner hold your hand through this process is a true blessing. I remember being at dinner with a few friends before I had announced I was pregnant, the company was great, but I felt physically awful – ill, tightness in my stomach and waist, and wanting to faint. I called Hank who left his own dinner, picked me up, comforted my crying all the way home, and tended to me all evening long (Literally, remembering this day brings tears of appreciation to my eyes). At times where I have questioned my future parenting ability, or through every single one of my irrational fears, he’s there to remind me that things will be okay. The process of labor & delivery scares and stresses me out, but I know I’ll get through it with my coach by my side.

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/mushy moment.

I’ll be back to post next week and won’t let a few week long gap occur again (scouts honor!) In short, these have been my preggo lifesavers! I’d LOVE to learn more about any additional things that make this process easier. Please comment and let me know 😘

 

5 Irrational Fears I’ve Had Since Getting Pregnant

So I’ve been toying around with the idea of starting up a blog for the past 30 weeks. And at week 30, here I am finally working up the courage to do so. It’s not that I hate writing – it’s both a passion and part of my career. I’ve had a nagging thought – what do I know about pregnancy or motherhood? Well, nothing. But not many of us do know what it feels like us until we’re put in the position where we start counting the growth of our little one by weeks. So consider this an open invitation into my pregnancy and mommyhood thoughts. (Also, DISCLAIMER: Every pregnancy is SO different, this is my experience which may differ from yours)

The past few months have been slightly insane in terms of change. If you know me, you know I overanalyze a lot. So it’s only fitting that my first post is an ode to the top 5 irrational pregnancy fears I’ve had throughout my journey. Also, you’ll see my corresponding calming thoughts, which I hope will help other mommys in my place.

  • Irrational Pregnancy Fear #1: Why is my body breaking down? 

Continue reading “5 Irrational Fears I’ve Had Since Getting Pregnant”