Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Raising Little Bun

This will be my final post on No Bun in the Oven but I am not gone, I've just moved over to Raising Little Bun.  

Raising Little Bun is my new blog where I'll be sharing all things Little Bun!

There's a link to Raising Little Bun next to my Home Page Link.  Make sure you follow for updates, baby favorites, and life lessons from Mamma Bun.

Monday, December 12, 2016

What's In My Hospital Bag?

Hey y'all, as you know I'm a FTM *first time mom* and let's be real, I don't have experience to be sharing a post of this nature but GUESS WHAT...I'm going to do it anyway!

Today we are going to review what is in my hospital bag.  I've polled the BTDT *been there done that* moms and the results were all over the place!  I've seen people recommend only a change of clothes and a cell phone...and I've seen people pack like they're leaving for a week on holiday.  I settled right in the middle with a few short guidelines.

Rule #1:  We share ONE bag, that's Mommy, Daddy and Baby...and I didn't have a size restriction on the bag (wink, wink, nod nod)

Rule #2: Everyone has an opinion on what you need, go with what makes you comfortable...if you need more than one bag, take more!  If you don't want some of the items on this list, don't take them! 

When polled, I had BTDT mom's who's list for baby really ran across the rainbow from packing light to packing heavy.  There were those who brought diapers and those who used the hospitals.  I had mom's who only use the hospital swaddle and those who only brought one outfit to come home.  I had others who brought several changes of clothing.  I went with what was comfortable for me.  I might not use these items, but I have them available, and that makes me comfortable.


Comfy Pants, Daddy Shirt, Toothbrush/Toothpaste, iPad and Charger, Comb, Hat (Sorry Dad's I didn't photograph these)

Blanket, Two Swaddles, Binky and Clip, Hand Sanitizer, Here I Am Gown and Hat, Coming Home Sleeper and Hat, Two Pairs of Socks.  *I got his sleeper in two sizes, newborn and 0-3 months...hey you never know what will fit!  Look how much space it takes up...Oh my heck y'all this stuff is so tiny!

Blanket from Black River Blankets (Melissa is quite amazing and has made almost every single blanket in my baby stash)

Here I Am Onesie from Milk and Baby (definitely check them out for all your Labor and Postpartum needs!)

I made three mini-bags for my Mommy Bag.  A post-care bag, a toiletry bag, and a makeup bag.  This was the most hotly debated topic on packing for hospital...makeup and toiletries!  Y'all, if you don't wear makeup or just don't care, don't pack it!  I have never had so many judgments passed upon me as I did when I shared that I wanted to have makeup available at the hospital.  I was accused of being vain, of not caring enough for baby, of being selfish...the list goes on.  My answer is this, makeup makes me comfortable.  I like a properly lined eye.  I love mascara.  Right, wrong or indifferent, I am packing it.  If you don't use it, that will save you some packing space!

Post Care Bag: Prenatal Vitamins and Calcium Supplement, Colace, a sleepy mask, Honest Nipple Balm, Medela gel breast pads.  My hospital provides MOST of these items but I preferrred to pack my own stash for comfort.  NOTE: Check with your hospital on what they provide so you can decide what to pack and what can stay home.  

Toiletry Bag: (Travel sizes) makeup remover wipes, comb toothbrush/toothpaste, lotion, body wash, deodorant, dry shampoo, dental floss, shower scrubbie, chap-stick, and mirror.  (missing from this photo is a razor.  Do I plan to shave?  No.  But do I want to be prepared, YES)  Most of this came in one of those handy travel packs found in WalMart!

Makeup Bag: (not pictured is a mirror for the tray table, no need to get up for makeup) Foundation, setting powder, bronzer, highlighter, eye shadow and primer, eyeliner, mascara and two lippies.  Also included were my handy dandy seven minute makeup brushes.  Y'all I can get a full face in seven minutes.  And people were appalled that I wanted to bring these items.  Seven minutes to comfort!  If you don't need or want them, it will save you some room!

Also in the bag is my Milk and Baby Gownie, matching Milk and Baby nursing gown and robe, XL underwear, slippers, fuzzy socks, flip flops, a blanket, post-partum belly wrap and a coming home outfit.  I got the XL underwear to really freak out my hubby...and to cover those fancy mesh panties that the hospital provides.  They also supply pads the size of your head so I won't have to worry about that!  Flip flops for that hospital shower, y'all!  I treat it just like when I'm camping...cover your feet!  Blanket is not pictured for Mommy but it fits in the bag all the same!

Coming along for the ride (outside the bag) are my favorite pillow and a Boppy to help sit baby up while I nurse in that bed.  Technically, they exceed the "one bag" policy but I've allowed these two exceptions since I feel like I did so well on all the other items.  I mean HELLO, I packed for Mommy, Daddy and Baby (plus have room leftover for the iPad and our phone charges) with just ONE bag!

What others things will come along?  An overwhelming amount of BTDT mom's suggested gifts for the nursing staff and I thought well, that is kind of sweet.  Knowing my affinity for cookies I thought it would be better to try something that I might not eat before it was delivered! I'm going to make a giant snack basket so there is enough for everyone to share.  I found several "Snack Pack" options on Amazon that range about $25, so I'll just put them in a nice basket and keep down in the car until we are ready to leave.  Daddy Bun will deliver it when we are packing up to go home.

Finally, in the new Mommy Car we will have the car-seat professionally installed and a box to carry down any goodies we might receive from friends or family and from the hospital.  The hospital wheels you down to valet parking in a fancy cart so baby and I can be snuggling until we get to the car.  I've been told that they pretty much let you take whatever you think you need from the room so I'll be following those instructions and carefully packing them into a box to bring home and Daddy will be in charge of that.

So let's put it in a list form so you can just copy and paste it for yourself!  Remember, you do not need all of these things and you might find you'd be comfortable with even more.  This is about YOUR comfort level so I always say do what is best for you.  This is what I felt was best for us.

Happy Packing Y'all!!  

For Mommy:
Labor Gown
After Delivery Gown/Robe
Slippers (rubber sole) 
Soft grip socks 
XL panties
Post baby abdominal wrap
Sleep mask
Toilet Paper
Coming home outfit
Nursing bra 

Toiletry Bag:
Dry shampoo
travel soap
face wipes

After care meds:
Honest Nipple Balm
gel nursing pads

Makeup Bag:
travel mirror

For Daddy:
Daddy shirt
Comfy pants

Phone charger
iPad and charger

For baby:
Foaming hand sanitizer
Post birth gown/hat for pics
Coming home outfit/hat
Two swaddles
Binky clip and binky 

Basket of Snacks for Nurses:
$25 Amazon Snack Pack
Thank You Card

Car seat 
Box in case we get flowers etc!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Fertility Bridge - An Opportunity for YOU

Have you heard of Fertility Bridge?  Let me tell y'all, Griffin Jones has been working for US, the TTC Community to "bridge" the gap between infertility clinics and patients.  Have you ever felt like the information available to you for a clinic was less than stellar?  Maybe it's a poorly designed website, maybe they just have a phone number, maybe you can't even FIND THEM online!

This is where Griffin comes in, giving clinics the ability to shift their lack of exposure and lackluster web practices to becomes stronger and more available to the people who need it most, THE PATIENTS.  So what does that mean for you?  Where is the opportunity I mentioned? Read on sister, read on!

Griffin is seeking an employee to assist in the digital marketing department at Fertility Bridge.  He needs someone to take some of the weight off his daily duties so he can continue to acquire clients and build this business.  But he doesn't want just any marketing specialist, he wants someone in the community, IN OUR COMMUNITY.  Someone who knows the ins and outs of infertility, someone to be the bridge between marketing and infertility.

Let's get to the SPECIFICS...the GOOD STUFF...exactly what is it Fertility Bridge is looking for in an employee:

Digital Marketing Specialist
Location: Remote Position 

About the Position

A Day in the Life
You will work directly with the founder (that’s me!), as we continue to build Fertility Bridge from a one-man operation into the team of marketers who are better than anyone on the planet at listening to people dealing with infertility. Your role is very multi-faceted, and will continually evolve. You’re a jill or jack of internet marketing trades. Social media advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), copywriting, design, and dealing with independent contractors are some of the responsibilities that you’ll be taking on. The role requires more flexibility than a rubber stretch-arm strong doll, because Fertility Bridge is constantly growing! In fact, if you liken the progress of our company to the construction of a house, only the foundation has been built. The ground has been cleared, the Earth leveled, and the concrete poured, but the rest of the house has yet to go up! You are essentially an all-around handywoman or handyman that can help put the house together as we slowly and progressively add people in more specialized roles to our team. This could very well mean that your role becomes more specialized over time as well. To put it bluntly, your job is to free up my time so that I can continue to bring on more clients, so that Fertility Bridge can continue to grow.

Who are you?
You are extremely organized, even-tempered, and respectful and have solid experience as an internet marketer. You are also flexible and eager to play a creative role in the growth of Fertility Bridge as a company.

The tasks at hand for this role:

  • As a Digital Marketing Specialist at Fertility Bridge, you are responsible for executing a very large part of the marketing strategies for which our clients have hired us.
  • You manage social media accounts for up to fifteen different clients, including posting unique content daily, responding to messages, comments, posts, and inquiries.
  • You create content assignments and calendars for clients, for original and remarkable content sourced from within the clinic.
  • You manage the editing and design of client-sourced content once it is sent back to you. Interacting with contracted designers, editors, and developers when necessary.
  • You curate highly sharable content related to the infertility community from the web, sharing only that which will be of high value to our clients’ audiences.
  • You place and manage advertising campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, Google, and other digital platforms. You provide reports monthly and when necessary, customized to clients’ questions and concerns.
  • You perform keyword research for all fields relevant to fertility treatment and reproductive health.
  • You read, report on, and adapt to analytics from Google Analytics, Facebook, and any other inbound reporting services we may be using for each client.
  • You design and administer landing pages.
  • You write interesting, keyword-supported blogs, website, and social media copy.
  • You interact with patients who post positive experiences, to connect them with the client to submit a HIPAA authorization. Once approved, you integrate patient-sourced content into the content marketing strategy.
  • You lead the creation of websites, strategies, and campaigns with contracted partners when necessary. The devil is in the details you know it.
  • You are expected to be able to provide counsel, digital marketing ideas, or solutions to any online challenges that may arise. We will teach you what you don’t know. It will be your job to continue to learn, improve and polish our processes.
  • You should be able to quickly and proactively assess short and long term client needs then translate them into actionable tasks and plans.
  • You may perform any of these tasks for Fertility Bridge, as the phrase “the shoemaker’s kids walk barefoot” is sometimes a fair jab.
  • Did I mention you’re flexible? Because these tasks could change at any moment. So flexible!

Key Questions
  • Can you communicate easily, credibly, and pleasantly with anyone under the sun?
  • Do you have high emotional intelligence and are capable of delicately communicating with people struggling with infertility?
  • Are you at ease interfacing with other experts such as designers, coders, and writers?
  • Are you able to respectfully communicate under the online personas of several different fertility clinics?
  • Can you observe, analyze, and understand the data from Google Analytics, Facebook, and other digital advertising reports?
  • Are you comfortable thinking through greater marketing and business objectives while still managing the day to day project management aspects of accounts?
  • Can you manage your own time effectively and work well with a team to make sure projects stay on schedule and budget?
  • Can you quickly understand and define what content fertility clinic needs to produce to become more attractive in their market?
  • Are you comfortable having courageous conversations with your boss to express your own concerns and feedback as well as receive them?
  • If you’re not sure about your answer to any of these questions, are you excited by the challenge of learning how to develop these new skills?

If you answered "yes" to these questions, I want to meet you!

About Us

Culture & Values
At Fertility Bridge, we are committed to deeply understanding the needs of people dealing with infertility, and knowing what clinics need to do to meet those needs:

Everybody Wins - We create positive outcomes for our clinics, their patients, the infertility community at-large, and ourselves!
Enjoy the Build - We focus on finish line AND enjoy the experience getting there
Curiosity with a Purpose - We are always learning about our clients and how we can help them succeed
Solutions not Blame - We are transparent in our behavior and take ownership of problems
Continual Improvement - We are always looking for what to start or stop doing to improve
Authenticity - We are genuine in our dealings with others

We maintain our Learning Culture by continuing to explore the needs of fertility clinics, people coping with infertility, and invest in training and education.

Our Clients
We work with fertility clinics by reverse-engineering how people with infertility make the decision to see a fertility doctor. We believe that the highest standards in medical technology, delivered with an excellent care experience is the best way to attract more patients. We are obsessed with using content and technology to extend that experience to prospective patients.

  1. Patient-Focused Fertility Clinics: We believe that new patients come by super-serving existing ones. Fertility Bridge makes that culture of care visible to the outside world through social media and web content.
  2. High-Growth Practices: We believe that the fertility practices that add the most value to patients should see a greater share of patients than those that provide less value. Pretty simple.

What Comes Next

Our Hiring Process
We’re excited to have the right people be a part of Fertility Bridge. Our process consists of several interviews, an analysis of your career history, and in-depth reference checks.  We respect your time and appreciate your participation in our process.  We want you to find the ideal position for your skillset and strengths.

How to Apply
If you feel you can contribute to a dynamic, growing company, please begin your application process by sending an email to griffin@fertilitybridge.com with your resume, a brief cover letter, and which of our core values resonated the most with you.

Thank you for your interest in serving the infertility community through a creative, business-centered approach!

Could this be YOU?  Are you in the market for a new start?  Would you like to discuss this opportunity with Griffin?  Perhaps you know someone who would be perfect for this position.  Would you share this post with them using the share link below?  Let's help Griffin and our TTC Community at the same time!  Email griffin@fertilitybridge.com for more information!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Baby Bun's Nursery

It's finally complete y'all!  I've been planning a nursery forever so once we got our BFP I started visualizing the dream nursery I virtually created on Pinterest. I knew colors, theme, and where to shop but it was a little scary getting started.  I put my faith in action and began selecting furniture pieces and paint colors as we waited through the first trimester.

And this weekend, we finished!  I wanted to share our nursery with you all and rather than flood Instagram with photos, I thought HEYYYY, let's blog about it!  I've linked up the shops or items that I purchased in case you're looking for something similar.  If there isn't a link, it's not for lack of trying!  So without further adieu, I present to you, the room Caiden will call home.

Welcome to our Nautical Nursery!  This is a theme Daddy Bun and I agreed on from the start.  His love for fishing coupled with my favorite neutral hues made this nursery a dream.  Starting in the corner you find our wooden top fish mobile from Dangling Dreams, a shop on Etsy that makes custom mobiles.

The oar was found at Old Time Pottery, a steal for $14 and hubby liked it just sitting in the corner...that is until Caiden comes running through the house chasing a dog with it, HA!  Then we will see if that goes right up on the wall, out of arms reach!

We found his name banner at Wine Country Banners, another Etsy gem of a shop.  The hanging banner is made of chipboard and comes fully customizable, from the colors to the anchors to even the edges of the chipboard design.  Definitely check that out if you're looking to put a name on the wall.

Under Caiden's name is a triple frame set that I created using PicMonkey, a photo creating and editing program.  I also use this to make most of my blog pictures.  I got the frames for 50% off at Hobby Lobby and then sent my created prints to Walgreens to be framed.

Custom Wall Prints above the crib

This is Caiden's dresser, we purchased from Wayfair and built at home.  It's the Cotton Candy collection from SouthShore and is available at Amazon, Babies R Us and Walmart in white, gray and expresso.

I thought the wood accents would transition nicely between the dark furniture and the aqua and gray.  Most of the items shown here were purchased at Hobby Lobby.

You are So Loved Pallet Art
Double Photo Pallet Frame
Children are a Gift Framed Art (note this was a black frame that I painted aqua to match)

Inside the double pallet are two scriptures I purchase from Wildbriar Designs on Etsy.  These were printed down at Walgreens.

The fish was repurposed from another room and the HOPE Anchor was part of a My Fertile Box which is put out by Fertile Gems.

Just love these scripture prints from Etsy, they are perfect for the nursery. 

Over to the right we have the changing table/dresser combination.  These transitional pieces were important so we were able to keep them as long as they last.  This top is removable when diapers are done and Caiden will have a nice three drawer dresser to use in its place.  It's also from the Cotton Candy collection by SouthShore.

If you haven't deduced, I'm a huge Hobby Lobby fan and the store definitely helped to get the walls in order for baby.  These pieces above the changing table were from Hobby Lobby and Beall's Outlet.

Metal and Wood Letter "C"
James 1:17 Pallet Print
Lamp and Base (a WalMart find)

In the corner is the Diaper Genie...yes we went with one.  We plan to change as many diapers as possible in here so it will come in handy for our needs.

The chevron rug came from Rugs USA and it was really a steal at $55, I saw similar at IKEA for much more.  We just needed something to pull away from the navy carpet which we didn't feel like changing.

This print from James 1:17 was one of the first purchases for the nursery. 

One of my absolute favorite parts of the nursery is the reading nook.  This area will be filled with so many books I hope they're falling off the shelves.

This little nook was created from an IKEA hack I saw on Pinterest.  What a perfect way to keep the books visible for future story times.  I can't wait to add to the collection.

The shelves are photo shelves, the bar below is for kitchen utensils and the hanging baskets are secured with two "S" hooks that fit the hanging rail.  The two-hook method gives extra hold for the weight of the baskets.

Photo Shelves
Hanging Rod
Hanging Baskets

The word READ was custom created by Lacey's Letters on Etsy.  I was thrilled with the final product and I can hang it on the wall or leave it on the shelf as shown in this pic.  What an amazing Etsy find!

The glider pictured below is the Naomi Brisbane and was found on Amazon.  Since we have a rocker in the living room we decided to be practical with the cost and I was happy with the quality given the price of the set.  I adored this bear playmat from Pottery Barn and I hope to take growth photos of Caiden on it...until he can scoot away!

I cannot wait to read Wish to Baby Bun!

This baby nest was an inspired idea from the Dockatot but the price was a huge turnoff for me.  I didn't want to invest almost $200 in something that might go unused.  So I was excited when I found KlaraCollin on Etsy who makes these custom Swedish baby nests in her home.  I chose two amazing fabrics, the white, navy and gold polka dots on one side and the navy and white anchors on the other for my design.  And yes y'all it's reversible!! She made this for $60.  It's soft, it's machine washable and it's supporting a small business Etsy shop.  Definitely a win for baby bun.

Also pictured is the crib bedding we chose from Sweet JoJo Designs.  This neutral gray and white and aqua pattern and it matched perfectly with our nautical/fishing design.  I ended up investing in a set from which I didn't use many pieces so if you're looking for crib bedding, I recommend rethinking purchasing a whole set and perhaps consider crib sheets, a crib skirt and blanket separately.  It would have been a real money saver.

I went back and forth on a coming home outfit for Caiden and decided to go with a sleeper I found on clearance at Carter's.  I got this in Newborn and 0-3 months in case my little bun isn't in newborn sizes when he arrives.  The hat, an Etsy find, was embroidered by Three Bears.  It matched perfectly with the sleeper so we have what we need to bring little bun home.    

Baby Bun's coming home outfit.

Y'all making this nursery was a dream come true.  I owe a tremendous thank you to Daddy Bun who painted the walls, helped build each piece of furniture, properly anchored everything to the wall, laser leveled each frame and accent piece, put together the glider and did it all with a smile on his face.  He has been such an amazing partner through this journey and every time I see this nursery it brings tears of joy to my eyes.  The love he put into this is immeasurable.  Thank you to my sweet hubby, my partner, my biggest supporter, my best friend.  I love you.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour!  If you have questions about any part of the nursery, let me know in the comments below!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Music to Get You Through It

Hey y'all, it's me...who?? I know I've been slacking...it's hard to talk about my pregnancy on a blog about infertility.  I feel out of place blogging here in a place where people come to learn about struggling and to be frank and honest as I usually am...pregnancy has not been that amazing experience I read about and I certainly don't want to appear to "complain" about something so many women are fighting to achieve.

Enough about that, let's move on to why we are here today!  On occasion I get to be a part of a Tuesday Night Fertility chat hosted by my friend Caroline at In Due Time.  On Tuesday, a group of gals poses a Q&A to open up the conversation about Fertility and give other TTC Sisters a sounding board to talk about their feelings.

Caroline heads this up each Tuesday night and I recommend getting involved by joining the chats on Tuesday.  If you don't understand how it works or need help with it ORRRR if you want to get involved and be featured in one of the chats, let me know in the comments below! I'd love to point you in the right direction!!

This week, I asked for an uplifting song to get you through the tough days and we got a pretty awesome playlist and I just wanted to share it here for you all today. I want to extend a special THANK YOU to each woman who contributed a song or even an artist to this list, TOGETHER we made this happen!  These songs might be Country, Christian, Pop, Oldies, 90's, you name it, we have  a bit of everything that helps one person or another sing or dance their way out of a bad day.  I'm not saying these songs will cure your mood, I'm saying give them a chance to uplift your soul.  Sometimes a song can lift your spirits so why not give it a try!

These are in no particular order y'all!

Secrets, by Mary Lambert (LINK)
"They tell us from the time we're young to hide the things that we don't like about ourselves
Inside ourselves
I know I'm not the only one who spent so long attempting to be someone else, well I'm over it!"

Fight Song, by Rachel Platten (LINK)
"This is my fight song, Take back my life song
Prove I'm alright song, My power's turned on
Starting right now I'll be strong!"

Take Courage, Kristene Dimarco (LINK) I couldn't find a download so this is YouTube
"Take courage my heart, Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting, He’s in the waiting"

Thy Will, Hillary Scott & The Scott Family (LINK)
"Sometimes I gotta stop, Remember that you're God
And I am not, So
Thy will be done"

Anything Could Happen, Ellie Goulding (LINK)
"As if we need it's palette and we need it's color, But now I've seen it through
And now I know the truth, That anything could happen..."

Old Time Rock and Roll, Bob Seger (LINK)
"Still like that old time rock'n' roll, That kind of music just soothes the soul
I reminisce about the days of old, With that old time rock 'n' roll"

All I Want for Christmas, Mariah Carey (LINK)
"I don't want a lot for Christmas, There is just one thing I need
I don't care about the presents, Underneath the Christmas tree
I just want you for my own, More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true oh, All I want for Christmas is you"

Rise Up, Andra Day (LINK)
"When the silence isn’t quiet, And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying, But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet"

Tubthumping, Chumbawamba (LINK)
"I get knocked down, But I get up again
You're never gonna keep me down
I get knocked down, But I get up again
You're never gonna keep me down!"

The Sun is Rising, Britt Nicole (LINK)
"Whatever you're facing, If your heart is breaking
There's a promise for the ones who just hold on
Lift up your eyes and see, The sun is rising"

A Thousand Years, Christina Perri (LINK)
"I have died every day waiting for you, Darling, don't be afraid.
I have loved you for a thousand years, I'll love you for a thousand more"

Titanium, David Guetta featuring Sia (LINK)
"I'm bulletproof, nothing to lose
Fire away, fire away
Ricochet, you take your aim
Fire away, fire away
You shoot me down but I won't fall, I am titanium"

I Lived, OneRepublic (LINK)
"I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
With every broken bone, I swear I lived"

Unsteady, X Ambassadors (LINK)
Hold on
Hold on to me
'Cause I'm a little unsteady

A little unsteady"

Shoulders, For King and Country (LINK)
"When confusion's my companion, And despair holds me for ransom
I will feel no fear, I know that You are near"

Head Over Boots, Jon Pardi (LINK)
"You're the one I want, you're the one I need
Baby, if I was a king, ah, you would be my queen
You're the rock in my roll
You're good for my soul, it's true
I'm head over boots for you"

King of My Heart, John Mark McMillan and Sarah McMillan (LINK)
"You are bigger than any battle I'm facing
You are better than anything I've been chasing
Savior and royalty, the only hope in me
Jesus, You are, You are
The King of my heart!"

Just Be Held, Casting Crowns (LINK)
"So when you're on your knees and answers seem so far away
You're not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world's not falling apart, it's falling into place
I'm on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Good, Good, Father"

YEAH, Usher (LINK)
Yeah, yeah, yeah! Yeah, yeah! Yeah!
Yeah, yeah, yeah! Yeah, yeah! Yeah!"

Trust in You, Lauren Daigle (LINK)
"Truth is, You know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead You have not seen
So, in all things be my life and breath
I want what You want Lord and nothing less"

Blessings, Laura Story (LINK)
"What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise"

You Make Me Brave, Bethel (LINK)
"As Your love, in wave after wave, Crashes over me, crashes over me
For You are for us, You are not against us"

Tell Your Heart to Beat Again, Danny Gokey (LINK)
"When this world drives you to your knees, You think you're never gonna get back
To the you that used to be, Tell your heart to beat again"

No Bad News, Patty Griffin (LINK)
"And I don't need none of these things, I don't need none of these things
I've been handed
And the bird of peace is flying over, she's flying over and
Coming in for a landing"

Best Day of My Life, American Authors (LINK)
"I'm never gonna look back, Whoa, I'm never gonna give it up
No, just don't wake me now
This is gonna be the best day of my life"

Humble and Kind, Tim McGraw (LINK)
"Don't take for granted the love this life gives you
When you get where you're going don't forget turn back around
And help the next one in line
Always stay humble and kind"

Let it Happen, United Pursuit (LINK)
"And he calls each one of us, By our names to come away
And he whispers to your heart, To let it go and to be alive"

Sons and Daughters, Allman Brothers (LINK)
"And I'll build a fire, you fetch the water and I'll lay the table
and in our hearts, we still pray for sons and daughters"

Victorious, Panic! At the Disco (LINK)
"Oh we gotta turn up the crazy, Livin’ like a washed up celebrity
Shooting fireworks like it’s the Fourth of July
Until we feel alright"

Oceans, Hillsong (LINK)
"So I will call upon Your name, And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine"

King of the World, Natalie Grant (LINK)
"When did I forget that you've always been the king of the world?
I try to take life back right out of the hands of the king of the world
How could I make you so small
When you're the one who holds it all"

There are some amazing songs, some unforgettable lyrics and some uplifting tunes to keep you going on those hard days.  Don't want to look them up individually, I'm one step ahead of y'all...I've created this Playlist on Spotify!  Here you can delete songs you don't want or even add songs you do!



We had some sisters who are fans of artists but didn't pick just one song, so I've highlighted those below.  Check out these artists for some more of our uplifting choices!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Pregnancy Slacker...First Trimester Recap

Y'all I have been SLACKING on the blog lately.  I have about seven drafts but I'm treating them like yard work...that is, I start them and don't finish!

I though it would be a good time to recap the first trimester since I'm hitting pregnant week 20 this week.  This time has literally FLOWN BY during my pregnancy though I am pretty sure I slept through most days and worried through most nights.  You'd think getting pregnant was the hard part, but as I learned, being pregnant can be just as difficult.

To recap, we did a frozen embryo transfer on May 25 which resulted in a BFP after YEARS of struggling with infertility.  It took so long I really thought it might never happen but God has perfect timing and THIS, my friends, was in His timing.

The first trimester was a doozy for me as I struggled with accepting the pregnancy wouldn't result in miscarriage.  Even seeing the little love nugget on screen was not enough to ease my fears as I spent countless nights tossing and turning thinking about all the "what if's" that could go wrong.

But was that enough worry for this girl?  Nope!  I also struggled with my weight and the weight gain during pregnancy.  Having body issues throughout my life didn't stop when I got pregnant, in fact they seemed to increase tenfold.  I had a hard time embracing the changes my body went through as the weeks progressed.

But I have to say, I did accept this was a successful transfer.  And while I am still working on the body issues, on most days I accept that my body is doing what it needs to prepare for this little baby.

What are some of the first trimester highs?

Napping freely.  Y'all, making a baby in the first trimester takes a lot of energy and there was no shortage of exhaustion along the way.  Some work days I felt like passing out under my desk.  The weekend I got in two naps a day!  This was definitely a first trimester high, being able to crawl into bed and take a nap to ease the exhaustion.  I know this won't be possible when baby comes so I tried to take advantage of the baby free nap time.  

Hubby love.  This really continues beyond the first trimester but I definitely have to brag on Bob. Daddy Bun was very supportive during my nap days by helping with the laundry, cleaning, cooking and pretty much anything that needed to be done.  I think I have the most supportive hubby EVER because he was there every step to make sure everything was done.  Not a single complaint.

Maternity jeans.  Y'all, maternity jeans should NOT be for maternity only.  I think they should be everyday jeans for everyday woman.  I have always proclaimed that pants were overrated but there is something that is OK about sliding into a pair of maternity pants, no buttons, no zippers, no muffin top...what is not to love about that!?  I've purchased from A Pea in the Pod, Target and Motherhood Maternity and my favorites are by far the Jessica Simpson jeans from Motherhood Maternity.  I have bootcut and skinny jeans and they're just very comfortable, they wear well, they don't stretch out and get baggy in the bum.  I am a SUPER FAN of these jeans. I know that there are many people who will tell you to wait as long as you can to buy them but I disagree...BUY THEM...LOVE THEM...THANK ME LATER!

How about the first trimester lows?  

Indigestion. I have never dealt much with heartburn and indigestion but boy did that glory end when I got pregnant.  It was awful.  And for someone like me who eats authentic Mexican cuisine at least once a week this was a serious blow to my lunch plans.  If food went into my mouth, it gave me indigestion.  I didn't even want to eat because it would be so uncomfortable.  Y'all...I could drink WATER and get indigestion.  It wasn't until my doctor said try some Zantac that I found relief and I mean the kind of relief that clouds parted in the sky, angels sang Hallelujah and I was able to eat tacos.  If you're dealing with heartburn or indigestion, try Zantac.  It really gave me the freedom to eat my yums in peace!

Worry.  As I mentioned above, one of the worst parts of the first trimester is worry.  And the worry even crept into my dreams at night.  Worry about miscarriage was not the only fear that haunted my thoughts and dreams.  What if I'm a bad mother?  What if I forget to feed the baby?  What if I leave the baby in the car?  What if the baby is born as Chewbacca (the indigestion made me worry)...what if....what if...WHAT IF!?!?!?  I could have what if'd all day long.  Thankfully I had a reassuring hubby and not only that, one with experience being a parent.  It is such a relief to know I am going through this with someone who has been there already, even if it was with someone else.  He eased most of my fears and worries and sometimes, just saying them out loud helped to ease them.

(thank you pregnantchicken.com)
Gas.  Y'all....I can't even.  I mean seriously.  I don't know if you've ever seen the "Breaking the Barrier" video on YouTube but being gassy is not something I shared with my husband, EVER.  I realize it's a part of our body's function but I'm just overly embarrassed about that.  Well when you get pregnant, you can THROW THAT OUT THE WINDOW...and keep it open after because you'll need to air out the room.  Why does this happen?  And why is is so awful you want to issue out military grade gas masks to anyone who comes through the front door?  This is progesterone at work y'all...it slows down your intestinal tract and that my friends, makes ya gassy.  I tried blaming the dogs but even they run away in fear.  Fiber is your friend.  I use fiber gummies and not only do they taste good, they keep my husband from running from the bedroom with tears streaming down his face.

As we traipse through the second trimester, with a round belly that I've started to use as weapon when my hubby makes comments about the baby's gas (I mean it IS the baby right???) I will be back to share more on the good, the bad, and the ugly of pregnancy.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Being Pregnant with Body Issues

Y'all I'm about to break it down for you about being pregnant and having body issues AFTER struggling with infertility.  I have body issues, I've felt shame about my body since I was a teenager.  I didn't realize that would carry into my pregnancy.  I had no idea I would struggle to accept the body that carries the life I fought to carry in my womb.  I didn't realize I would look at myself in the mirror and feel disgust.  And I don't know how to deal with those feelings.  I feel shame about my body.  I feel like I will be ostracized for feeling this way because so many women struggle to even conceive.  But I think I've gained some knowledge and would like to share with you what helped me.  There could be someone else out there struggling and I'd like to share some help if needed!

Gaining weight is not easy for me and the fact that there is life growing inside me did not make that fact easier to accept.  I've gained over ten pounds and that is on top of the twenty pounds I gained going through infertility treatments.  And for me that is a hard reality.

Let's take a stroll down memory lane...I don't think there was a day in my teens that I didn't want to be thinner.  I would starve myself most days just to stay a size 7 while all my girlfriends were moaning about being "fat" in a size 3.  This made me feel huge, I don't think I even fit a size 3 and if they were fat, what was I?  HUGE??  We would pinch our skin around our tummies and grumble about the "fat" and skip meals to ensure we didn't gain pounds.

When I married my hubby I weighed 125 pounds, I slid into an unaltered size 8 wedding gown questioning why I couldn't fit the size 6.  I should have felt amazing but I was trying to figure out how to look thinner for pictures.  For years during our marriage I struggled to accept I was a size 8.  I fluctuated between 130 and 140 pounds and hated those days I was 140.  Sometimes I was so obsessed I would lay in bed for days, making myself sick over it.  I would get headaches from skipping meals just to stay under 140...some magical number in my head that meant I wasn't fat.  I would pour over photos and compare one day to another, seeing how much I'd gained or lost by the fit of my pants.  If I didn't fit my pants, I didn't eat, skipping breakfast and lunch and only eating dinner until they fit again.

Then we started infertility treatments and as the weight came on, my self esteem was left beside the scale.  My pants stopped fitting.  I stopped wearing fitted tees and shorts.  I went to leggings and oversized tees.  Over the course of three IUI's, hormone simulations, an egg retrieval and a frozen transfer, I gained 20 pounds.  And every pound felt like a brick.  

When I got my BFP I weighed 160, and I hated my body.  In my mind I should have been 20 pounds lighter, but in my mind, I should ALWAYS be lighter.  And as I've progressed through these 14 weeks, I've put on an additional 10 pounds.

So I started at 140 and now weigh 170 and I have 25 weeks to go.  And I hate my body.  I don't hate the life growing inside it but I am able to distinguish the difference.  Some people cannot.  And that is why I'm writing this post today.  I shouldn't feel ashamed about how I feel and I shouldn't be made to feel shame because I have body issues.  Some people think, why are you worried, I'm still trying to have a baby and you're freaking out over a little weight?  Why do you care what you put on when there's a life growing inside you?  Are you so vain that you worry about what you look like instead of the baby in your womb? 

I guess that answer is yes.  I am freaking out over a "little" weight.  I do care what I put on because I have always cared and that doesn't magically shut off when you get pregnant.  If you've never struggled with body issues or shame about your weight, you might not understand.  But for me, this is a lifelong issue.

When I searched this issue, I got lots of "hints" and "tips" to deal with my issue...do you know what they were?  Accept it.  Embrace it.  Love the body that is growing a life.  Know that this is temporary.
Those are the tips?  Embrace it?  Accept it?  That isn't a tip!  That's a statement.

So I wanted to give your some real tips if you are like me, if you look at yourself disgusted, even though you're growing a wonderful miracle in your womb.  Beyond "embrace it" or "accept it is temporary".


1) Reduce weigh in's to once a week at home.  I weigh myself every day and put emphasis on a number.  But guess what!  Your weight can fluctuate on the daily.  Sometimes I will weigh myself at night to see what I "packed on" during the day..then I'll hate myself as I trudge to the bed to fall asleep.  To help avoid this walk of shame, TAKE AWAY THE SCALE aside from a weekly weigh in.  This takes off (no pun intended) a giant weight from me.

2) Don't compare your pregnancy body to ANYONE else.  That means your best friend, your mother, your sister or anyone you scroll past on your Instagram feed.  Comparison is a JOY THIEF and when I see my tiny friends and their matching tiny bumps, I immediately feel shame about my own body.  So I say a kind word and I move on immediately.  Don't dwell on the pics, don't focus on how much they've gained or even lost.  Just say a kind word and go on.

3) Put up affirmations on your mirrors.  Yes y'all...affirmations!  And read them.  Repeatedly.  They really help.  Some of my favorite affirmations are those very statements I mentioned above that others use as tips.
"I will embrace my pregnant body"
"Pregnancy is temporary"
"Health comes before weight"
"I trust my body knows exactly what it's doing"

4) Make sure you are eating healthy for baby.  For the first trimester, I ate a lot of carbs because it was something that didn't make me feel sick.  I didn't suffer a lot of morning sickness, but when I felt nauseous, it seemed that saltine crackers, french fries and pasta were the only thing to really get rid of that ickiness in my tummy.  These aren't the best options for baby or mamma, but when you're battling the all day sickness that comes with pregnancy, you eat what you can.  When that nausea starts to subside, take advantage and throw in some healthy snacks.   I eat my carbs in the morning and keep the carbs light in the afternoon and evening.  I also snack on fruit in the morning and veggies in the afternoon.  I double my green veggies at dinner.

5) Finally, there is some wisdom in accepting that your body is doing what it needs to do to support a healthy baby.  That might or might not be in line with the way you want your body to look.  But trust your body.  Trust that it knows what to do for your baby.  Remember this is temporary and the life growing inside you will soon be a bundle of joy in your arms.  Focus on the impending bundle of joy and not the temporary changes going through your body.

I hope this helps someone else as much as it's helped me during this adjustment period...do you have some advice for women who struggle with body shame?  Leave a note in the comments below.