True Life: I Almost Cried While Making a Baby Registry

Hello! Sorry, life has been crazy!

We are at 15 weeks–and without sounding completely naïve, I have to say that the pregnancy has been pretty easy (aka I didn’t puke ONCE!).

Now, I have heard that there are plenty of things that no one will tell you when you’re expecting, and I was introduced to that pretty early on. Oddly enough, it wasn’t about weird food cravings or how finding maternity work pants is almost impossible. It was about how unbelievably overwhelming creating a baby registry is, when you have ZERO idea where to start.

My husband and I made an appointment at Buy Buy Baby and we were greeted with warm smiles at the baby registry desk. Oh yes, it was all wonderful and easy in the stroller/car seat and furniture/sheets sections. However, when they leave you in the bottles/pacifiers/breast pump section, that’s when the sweating started for me.

I tried asking for help, really I did, but I never could seem to get a straightforward answer.

“Oh, my baby doesn’t take a pacifier”, said one employee.

“I’ve nursed my baby for her whole life. She’s never taken a bottle once”, said another.

I looked up at my husband, tears beginning to well up in my eyes (sorry for the dramatics, blame the pregnancy hormones), but we decided to take a deep breath and move forward.

Yes, I’ll admit it—after that moment, I went a little scan-happy. If it so happens that someone buys us a pacifier, and my baby doesn’t take a pacifier, then so be it. I was given the sound advice that raising your children, and HOW you raise your children, should only be of your concern. So, if it works for me but didn’t work for someone else, then that works for me.

Did any of you have similar registry experiences when having your first baby? Did you just happily walk the aisles scanning everything in sight? How much research did you do on certain items before registering?

Can’t wait to see your responses and get the chatting going!

Sorry Guys, Been Busy Getting Knocked Up!

I see that it's a trend here, where I seem to always be MIA--BUT, I think I have a pretty valid reason this time.

We're pregnant! 14 weeks, to be exact. 

I certainly don't want to jynx anything here, but so far, it has been a very smooth pregnancy. Very mild nausea early on but didn't puke once, so I'll take that as a victory. No specific food cravings currently, and I'm waiting very patiently for some kind of bump to magically appear.

At my 8-week ultrasound, they found a very small cyst on my right ovary and I had a Subchorionic Hemorrhage or Subchorionic Hematoma. It was also very small and apparently is quite common early on in a pregnancy. 

I attached a link above about it, for those who have not heard of it before. It basically can occur when the placenta detaches from its original site of implantation. Naturally, I was a little nervous. But when my doctor explained that she sees it more often than she doesn't, I felt much better. I am also happy to report that at my 12-week ultrasound, the hematoma had gone away completely. Has anyone else been diagnosed with this before? I have heard that larger ones can prove to be quite serious, so I would love to hear about some other experiences and how you handled it.

As for now, I'm just bumpin' along on this journey with, like I've previously said, absolutely no clue what I'm doing. So, I hope you will join me on this adventure because I could certainly use a giant support group! Stay tuned--we're talkin' registries! 

What’s Gun Violence?

I lived in South Florida for 17 years of my life, so hearing about the latest school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School CERTAINLY hit home. I suppose that could be because that was my  high school’s rival school. I knew people that attended that school. I have driven by it countless times and even had my Sweet Sixteen party at the hotel that housed the students after the tragedy. Not that the severity of any of the other school shootings that have occurred this year is diminished, just because they did not have a close tie to me, but this one in particular was even more surreal.

Students released from a lockdown embrace following following a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (John McCall/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

The emotion is raw. These children are sent to school, a place that they believe they are safe in. When I was in school, I never felt unsafe. So how do we, as parents and future parents, handle these situations. Situations like when our children come and say that they don’t want to go to school anymore? Or, they want to be homeschooled, since they are too fearful to return to school? 

I truly feel that it is extremely difficult to discuss an issue like this, without it being politicized. Let me be clear that I do not write this post, taking a stance, one way or another, regarding the issue of gun control. This is a much larger issue, dealing with mental health, social media, rejection, etc. This is truly me, confiding in all of you, expressing my fear of raising children in today’s society. 

I feel like children deal with so much more today, than they did when I was growing up. They live under constant pressure to fit in, “be cool,” and well, just survive. This idea of inclusiveness is constantly shoved down kids’ throats, just as is exemplified in this story from Elle, about a school that requires girls to not say no when boys ask them to dance at a school function. I understand the message, trying to incorporate inclusiveness, but is the message really helping? Teaching girls that they HAVE to say yes? Teaching boys that it is perfectly acceptable to never be rejected? Teaching that girls’ thoughts and feelings should be dismissed? 

Perhaps I am going off on a tangent. My point is simple. There is a significant problem in this country. Our children are not safe, and there doesn’t seem to be any action being taken. When will we admit that there is a correlation between gun violence and mental health?

If schools are no longer safe spaces, then what is?

Because Who Needs Friends Anyway…..Right?

I knew this day would come. I KNEW the choices I have made would eventually bite me in the ass. So, here I stand. 

I always had girl friends growing up. Honestly, it was never a problem for me to make friends. My biggest problem, when I look back now, is that I always put so much (arguably too much) into my friendships. The part I couldn’t handle, was that no matter how much effort I put into my friendships, the effort was never reciprocated. I always left disappointed. 

No matter how many times I thought, “Oh yep, this is a good one. I will be friends with this one forever,” something would always happen and our friendship would tumble violently downhill. When I graduated high school and went on to college, I found that I had completely severed all ties with any girl.

l friend I had had throughout school. I didn’t need them. They were toxic and quite frankly, not people I needed to hold me back. I knew I could find better. 

Without even trying, I seemed to always gravitate towards male friends. It wasn’t even a sexual thing; they were just less dramatic. I ended up joining a sorority freshman year, where I was obviously surrounded by women all the time, and I STILL could not find one decent friend. 

Fast forward a few years, and here I am. I made it; I survived. I am married and now ready to venture into motherhood. I have made it without the support and guidance of female friends. Now that I’m almost at that milestone, I’m beginning to wonder if I was just being too proud. Was I expecting too much? 

Like I said, I can’t say this is regret I am feeling. However, never having the support and guidance from females my age, I wonder what I have missed out on. 

If I go into a friendship ready to give it 100%, I only ask to be met halfway. Is that too much to ask?

 

 

Post-Baby Regret Doesn’t Really Exist

Don’t let the title fool you. Not being a mom yet, I certainly can’t REALLY say that with confidence.

Let me begin by saying, that when it comes to travel, I have been extremely fortunate in my life. I am not even 30 years old, and I have had the privilege and opportunity to travel to four different continents. With the high cost of travel today, I never take these opportunities for granted. Check back for a future post on how Mr. Millennial Mom and I are using baby preparation expenses to afford future travel.

I have seen and heard that many couples that decide to have children early on in life and may experience some level of regret—where they may feel like they have not had the opportunity to travel and experience things, because they now have the added responsibility of children.

Now that my husband and I have made the decision to expand our family, I find myself sitting back and thinking to myself, that I truly feel like having a child will not hinder me from missing out on life. I have walked the Great Wall of China. I have stood on a glacier in Iceland. I have placed a prayer into the Western Wall. I have seen animals I never thought I would ever see, on a safari in South Africa. I have visited several U.S. National Parks and have seen so many wonders that our country has to offer.

When I look back on my past, I feel fulfilled. Is there more left that I have yet to see? Of course. My thirst and hunger for experience is insatiable. The beautiful part of it now, though, is I will have the opportunity to expose my children to culture, travel, and experiencing life to the fullest.

 

I know it won’t be easy, but it will be so damn worth it.

 

Confession: Scared AF of Being a “Bad Mom”

Okay, so when I say “Bad Mom,” I’m not talking about turning broccoli into little trees, fooling your kids into eating healthy.

I’m talking about when it’s all said and done, and your kids are all grown up, will they look back and say “My mom was a great mom!?”

Raising kids in today’s society, quite frankly, scares the sh*t out of me. With technology inevitably taking over, kids today are constantly met with the pressure to fit in, succeed, and not suck. As parents, I feel like it is our responsibility to ensure that our kids are receiving enough love and attention, and being taught that no matter what, they are enough.

But what if we think that the amount of love and attention we give to our kids is sufficient, but it just isn’t enough?

What if your kid is struggling in school or dealing with bullying, and no matter how astute we think we are, we miss the warning signs completely?

I want nothing more than for my children to not only respect me as their parent, but confide in me as a friend. I understand the fine line between being an authoritative figure and being the “cool parent,” but I am so afraid that what I might think is sufficient and healthy, is lacking and toxic.

I’ve been doing a little research on Amazon, to see what their parenting self-help book selection is like. This best-seller, titled “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk” really piqued my interest. While I have not purchased it yet, I would love to know if any of you have ever used self-help books to reflect on a particular subject?

 

I have heard it a million times that there is no wrong way to parent. The more experiences I am exposed to as an adult, I really cannot say that I wholeheartedly believe that. We won’t even get into stories we’ve all heard (*ahem the horrible situation of the 13 siblings in Southern California), but I think there is such a thing as sh**ty parenting.

It is one of my biggest fears, in choosing to become a mother. I can only hope that I am half the woman that my mother was, but then again, growing up in the 90’s was a whoooooole other ball game.

Have you ever felt this way? What did you do to assure yourself, that your parenting was working and that you could rest easy, knowing that your kids will be just fine in life?

The Struggle (Seems) Real: Going Back to Work Post Baby

Happy (Super Bowl) Sunday, everyone! (I mean, if you’re into that sort of thing…)

I have been hit with this topic left and right, so I wanted to have a little chat about it. I’ve read accounts of women struggling with the decision to go back to work after their maternity leave, where some ultimately decide to become full-time stay-at-home moms.

It always hurts me to read about the pain and guilt that women feel for returning back to work, where they feel like they have chosen their careers over their children; or, on the flip side, if they decide to leave work, they are looked upon as weak and too emotional.

I came across Margie Warrell’s article on Forbes.com, where she pens an open letter to moms to stop feeling guilty about returning to work. Now, as not even being close to making that decision for myself, I can certainly see where the struggle could get very, VERY real. With the Women’s Empowerment movement bolstering support every single day, I can absolutely see where women do not want to fit the (awful, IMO) stereotype that females are too hormonal, emotional, and frankly, not strong enough to balance both a career and their children. Yet, they do not want their children to grow up feeling like their mother was never around enough.

I know that there are plenty of women out there, being total badasses, and creating a totally healthy work-life balance. They are the breadwinners of the family, where their husbands play the stay-at-home dad role. There are also lots of women who have made the decision to say “F it” to their job and dedicate themselves solely to their children. You know what I say? Do what works for YOU. No one can make the decision for you, and really, well, should never make the decision for you.

I would love to hear the decisions you made and how you made it work. Do you have any regrets? If so, what are they? If you could offer advice to a soon-to-be mom about to make the decision, what would you say?

The Business (and Pressures?) of Getting Pregnant

Happy Saturday, fam!

Okay, so you and your significant other have made the decision to try and get pregnant. You have made it known to your friends and family that you have made the decision to try and get pregnant. Now, the only question you seem to get over and over again is, “so, are you guys pregnant yet?”

But what if you aren’t? 

I have seen and heard that for many couples that the choice to get pregnant, which seems so simple at first, can become quite cumbersome. In many cases, it seems like it becomes too all-consuming. 

For all of you Sex and the City fans, I am sure we all remember Charlotte and Trey’s (in)fertility battles, and when it was discovered that Trey was unable to have children, it ultimately destroyed their marriage. Charlotte wanted a baby so badly, and just didn’t feel that it was right for her to have to give that dream up.

So, how does one handle the pressure that comes with this decision? When people ask what’s taking so long, how does one respond? 

My husband and I believe that we are going into this as two, healthy adults, capable of making a baby, but for those that find out that that is not the case, how do you handle that? If you told people close to you, do you or did you regret it?

It’s funny, in my opinion, how a decision that is such an intimate one to make between two people, seems to become the business of so many outside parties. Once you make it known that you want to become parents, everyone thinks they know best and can offer you the best advice possible. While they may have the best intentions and your best interest at heart, their assistance might do more harm than good.

With so many factors that come into play trying to get pregnant, how did you or do you, handle the pressure?

An Open Letter To My Younger Self

Okay, so deciding to have a baby has certainly caused me to do a ton of “self-reflecting,” if you will.

I thought about all of the things I would say to my younger self if I had the chance. Yes, I will probably keep this locked away to read to myself, when my kids are at that age where they are literally stressed out about, well, everything.

Dear younger me,

First and foremost, STOP. STRESSING. You are not perfect, and let me just burst your bubble–you never will be. What is most important to remember, is that it is absolutely OKAY that you aren’t perfect. You never have to be something that you aren’t just because someone else makes you feel like you have to be. You are who you are, and that is the only thing you should always strive to be. 

Take it from someone who knows. You will be absolutely fine in life. You are smart, charismatic, charming, witty, and so beautiful. You will find love in college, and it will be like nothing you have ever experienced before. 

You will travel. You will immerse yourself in culture. You will learn. You will grow more patient as you age. You will still hold a pretty mean grudge, but you will realize when some relationships deserve to be rekindled. You will remove those that are toxic from your life, but you will replace those with healthy relationships, that offer way more than you ever expected. 

You’ve been hard on yourself. I know you aren’t happy with your body now and wish that you were skinnier, but girl, you will grow into your body. You will be happy with yourself and you will appreciate your body (trust me, the boys will see it eventually). 

I will end with this, younger me. You will be okay. You will certainly make mistakes, but you will learn from them. You will become a fantastic woman, who stands up for herself and what she believes in. You will go far in life, and in your career. You will win people over with your personality and courage. You will learn to use your voice and you will use it for those who have yet to find their own. 

What is most important for me to say to you, is that you will survive this. You will overcome. You will persevere.

 

What If My Four-Legged Kids, Hate my Two-Legged Kid?

Along this beautiful journey of our friendship, you will come to learn that those two up there, are my little men. Zeus in green and Atlas in blue; my current first- and second-born, if you will. 

They are spoiled AF, but of course they are–there aren’t any human children in the house for us to dote on left and right. I mean, they have their own Instagram account (shameless plug: @zeustheminipoodle)

That really got me thinking, though. What’s going to happen when a human child DOES come into our lives? What if the dogs absolutely hate the child, and don’t accept them into our familial pack? I have heard horror stories of when couples bring a baby home, and try to nip at the baby. I remember seeing a flyer, attached to a lamp post near my neighborhood, of a couple trying to re-home their dog, since the dog didn’t get along with the new addition. 

On the flip side, I have heard and seen wonderful stories, where dogs wholeheartedly embrace their new pack member. They cuddle with it, love it, and treat it like their own. 

Not judging a book by its cover, but please see Exhibit A

That is Hulk, of Dark Dynasty K9s. Okay, yes. You take one look at this 175-pound pit bull, muscular as all hell, and think, oh there is no possible way that this dog could ever embrace a baby into his pack? 

Please see Exhibit B:

Or Exhibit C:

This dog is FANTASTIC. This is a perfect example of how you CANNOT judge a book by its cover, and how it is 100% possible for dogs and children to live harmoniously. 

Have any of you ever dealt with this? If so, how did your dogs handle the baby? Did you find that the dog(s), in a way, understood that you were pregnant, before you even had the baby? I have heard that animals can. interestingly enough, smell the pregnancy. 

I’m hoping for the best with this one, but I may just have to keep this baby dressed in a dog costume at all times.