Disclosure: All reviews are my true and honest opinions. Posts may contain affiliate links where I earn a small commission from your purchase, but I will always let you know which links those are. :)

Friday, December 30, 2016

I Hate That I Had a C-Section

In all honesty, I absolutely hate it. Even seven months on. I hate that I had a c-section. It bothers me like no other. I almost went off on my best friend the other day for saying I hadn't given birth to Calvin. I very sternly retaliated with, "it was his birth day, wasn't it?"

I wish he had been breech and we had to have a c-section instead of pushing and failing. 
He was head down. 
He was ready.
I was not.
After nearly 20 hours in labor and 3 hours of pushing. I failed. 
That's what I feel like. I feel like I failed. I tried and I failed.
Then when Calvin could/would not latch in the hospital, I felt like even more of a failure. 
I felt like I had completely fucked up being a mother. In just a few days time. After months of carrying him, I had thrown that all out the window because I didn't give birth to him the way I thought it would happen.
I never read about c-sections or recovery because I thought it would never happen to me. 
I hate that it greatly increases my odds of having more c-sections. 
And I want a big family. 
And it makes me wonder whether or not I should even try to push next time around. 
If I fail again, I fear it will be even more of a traumatic experience than the first time around. 
But if I don't try again, am I just admitting defeat? I'm not even putting any faith in myself. 

There are a lot of things about Calvin's birth and the last five weeks of my pregnancy that make me upset, even still. Things that make me feel like a failure. Things I feel traumatized over. Things that I know will haunt me in all my future pregnancies. Regrets. Fears. And I want the opportunity to redeem myself and "do it right" next time. I love Calvin with all my heart, more than I ever knew I could love anything or anyone, yet I hate most of the entire birth experience I had with him. Women talk about how empowering giving birth is and I certainly did not and do not feel that way at all about the birth of Calvin. 

I don't write this to get any kind of sympathy. I write this for the chance to rant and let my feelings out, but also to hopefully show another mother out there that she is not alone if she has similar feelings. 

We are all mothers. I guess the one positive thing I can pass along is this: don't let one moment of motherhood define your entire identity as a mother. Your baby doesn't care or remember, all he needs to know is how much you love him and that you are being the best mommy you can be for him.


7 Month Old Baby Update + Postpartum

Seven months old. It just sounds so old! I literally can't believe it! Calvin looks more and more like a toddler every day, no longer my little newborn baby boy.

Eating blueberries on Christmas morning.

Lots of things have been happening this month! Still no crawling, but I saw him get up on his hands and knees and hold it for what felt like forever just last night! And most exciting of all... he has a tooth! A real baby tooth! Ahh! I just discovered it last night while he was trying to gnaw my finger off. Haha. 


He had another growth spurt at the beginning of the month.
On Dec. 18, I plopped him down on the floor in the living room, next to a laundry basket and went to the kitchen for something. When I returned just seconds later, that baby boy was clinging to the side of the basket. If I hadn't arrived when I did, he would have been buried under a toppled pile of laundry. I grabbed the other side of the basket to make sure it didn't tip, and he just pulled himself right up like he'd been doing this for weeks! Haha.
He keeps sitting up in his swing, instead of leaning back like a good baby. One day Justin put him in the swing and didn't close the lap piece. After leaving him alone for literally just a few seconds, I returned to the living room to find this baby clinging onto the bottom of the swing almost completely slipping off of it. 
He has started reaching for people. When we're sitting on the floor and he's tired of playing, he'll reach up to me. When people are holding him, he'll reach for who he wants. I think it's a pretty cool new skill. 
He got another cold right before Christmas. Running nose, stuffy, boogery. It's so sad because it's hard for him to nurse. And he hates when you try to suck the boogies away.
He gets so distracted when nursing. Like the whole wide world is just so damn interesting to him now. Dad's eating chips? Holy crap, I must watch him. Cat's nearby? Ooo, lookie there!
He discovered his ears right around Christmas. And he learned how to remove his hat. So much for cute winter hats!
And lastly, the tooth! I was totally surprised by it because he hadn't seemed super fussy or different in the days leading up to it. He had been awfully strange one night the week before. That night he would not fall asleep without the boob in his mouth. If he slipped off for one sec, he was awake and crying. At the time I wondered if maybe he was teething, because he had never acted like that before, but when he had a runny nose the next day I figured he was just sick and sad. Perhaps is was teething after all!


As for me postpartum, I have some happy news and some less happy news. I am happy because this month I have been working really hard to eat less meat and incorporate more whole foods into my diet and it makes me feel awesome. I feel so much better and I've lost the 5 pounds I gained the previous month! Haha. So I am still 10 pounds from my goal (13 pounds from pre-pregnancy), but very happy that I am seeing and feeling results just by being more conscious of what I'm putting in my body. The less happy news is that I have been feeling bummed about not being very active on my beauty channel since going back to work at 2 months. I simply don't feel motivated to work on that channel. I still do my makeup almost every day and I love playing with it, but I don't feel motivated to film my makeup or talk about it or whatever. I don't know what the deal is. It makes me sad because it used to be one of my very favorite things to do and now it's totally on the back burner. 

I remember saying when I was pregnant that becoming a mother wasn't going to change how I do my makeup, it hasn't. I still wear purple lipstick and create dramatic looks when I feel like it, but as far as Youtube is concerned, I feel like I've failed. I feel like I've failed at trying to balance mom life and Alaina life. But the trouble is, I enjoy mom life! I enjoy spending time with Calvin and I don't want to sacrifice Calvin time for "work" time. Youtube is work: filming is work, editing is definitely work, and reserving time to do that work is hard as a new mom. And I don't know how much harder it's going to get with time, or with more kiddos! 

Anyway, I hope everyone is having an excellent holiday season. Happy New Year!


Friday, December 16, 2016

Learning to "Love" my Postpartum Body

I keep saying that I am happy where I am at. I say it on Facebook, in YouTube videos, updates about Calvin and myself. I say it out loud to myself, to my husband. But I don't know if I believe it.

Don't get me wrong, there are days I wake up, get dressed, and say to myself "you look good." There are also days I don't even look in the mirror as I'm getting out of the shower.

There are days I look back at old pictures of myself and think I looked sickly skinny! And there are days I see my plump pregnancy face and think that chubbiness actually kind of suited me. :) There are days that I just want to fit into my old clothes because it feels like a waste for them to sit around in drawers, never being worn. Some days I just want to take all that stuff to Goodwill and start over with the bigger clothes I've bought postpartum. But I fear that will make me feel like a failure, like I'll never even try to get back to my regular size if I do that. I feel like that will be admitting defeat.

There are definitely days I get mad at my husband for having gained weight since we first got together 7 1/2 years ago, or even since we got married a year and a half ago. I get so mad at him because, in my eyes, he has no excuse. I just grew another human life and am currently providing the bulk of his nutrition just from my body, what's Justin's excuse? And it makes it so hard to make changes that help me lose the weight when my husband isn't on my side too. Working out and eating better are simply just up to me at this point. Let's not even get into the fact that feeding Justin is like feeding an 8-year-old, he is the pickiest eater I have ever met. Healthy dinners for two are impossible. And I'm not about to cook two separate meals everyday either.

And exercise. My last semester of college I would go for short runs nearly every day. I started in the winter and the cold didn't even matter to me. I loved it. I enjoyed it. Even Justin saw me gaining muscle tone in my legs. I don't even remember why I started doing it. I wasn't trying to get buff, I wasn't trying to lose weight, I just liked doing it. I wish I could get back into it. Honestly, it's part laziness, of course. I could totally figure out some mommy-son workouts to do that involve Mr. Cal. But running, or stopping by the gym on the way home, just seem like a waste to me. To me, that's wasted time I could be spending with my baby boy. Mom guilt is real. I would feel so guilty for taking 45 minutes to myself instead of heading straight home to Calvin after work. And is it really worth it to look good but lose a few hours a week of Calvin time? For me, it's a tough decision.

And lastly, more babies! God willing, Calvin isn't going to be my only baby. We want many babies! So is it really worth it to get a nice flat tummy in the winter and have a big ole belly the next summer? I understand you don't just want to keep piling baby weight on top of baby weight, but what about muscle tone? Why even work on six-pack abs if they're going to be ruined again and again?

Overall, simply learning to love my body has been hard, it's been a journey, with plenty of ups and downs along the way. But what am I actually striving for? Do I want to learn to accept this body or put in the effort and work toward a more appealing figure that makes me happy again?


Friday, December 9, 2016

Sample 6 Month Old Breastfed Baby Boy Schedule

I have a big, healthy, growing baby boy and he still eats A LOT. Here's just one example day in our life.

2:00 am - wake to nurse
7:30 am - wake up for day and nurse
8:00 am - breakfast - 2 ounces baby food
8:45 am - nurse to sleep
9:00-9:45 am - nap
10:30 am - nurse
11:50 am - lunch - 3 ounces baby food
12:00-1:30 pm - nap
2:00 pm - nurse
3:45 pm - nurse
5:15 pm - dinner - 2 ounces baby food
6:30 pm - nurse to sleep
7:00 pm - bedtime

Yes, I still nurse Calvin to sleep. We always nurse to sleep at bedtime and sometimes for nap time. If he seems to be getting tired but fighting a nap, I'll nurse him to sleep. If he seems to be getting tired and starts humming to himself or talking to himself, I know he can probably fall asleep on his own and I'll just put him in the crib. I know there is some controversy surrounding the topic, but this works for us. To me, I don't see it as any different than giving a baby a binky for naptime and I am fine with being Cal's binky for the time being. And he is great about going to bed at bedtime. Even if he nurses but is still awake when he finishes, we can put him down in his crib and 99% of the time he's asleep within 10 minutes, no crying or fussing. He really is a great baby about bedtime, naps can be hard some days, but bedtime is awesome.

At this point, we probably could feed him larger amounts of baby food and perhaps he wouldn't still be needing to nurse every two hours, but we're working our way up to the 3-4 ounce mark. He seems to get restless in the evenings and doesn't like to eat more than 2 ounces for dinner. If he's in a good mood for breakfast and lunch, he'll eat 3 ounces or more.

When he was a newborn I loved to Google "how often does a ___ month old nurse." I was so ready to be done with nursing every two hours, but Mr. Calvin is still at that every two hour mark most of the day. Really the only nursing times we have given up since he was a tiny newborn are one around midnight because he only wakes up once (usually between 1-3 am) in the night to eat, and another feeding around 5-6 pm because we have replaced that one with baby food instead of nursing because it is quicker and easier during our dinnertime. I used to immediately come home from work and have to feed Calvin while Justin made dinner. I'd end up either eating my dinner cold or trying to maneuver it to eat over Calvin. It was relaxing to get to immediately come home to that most days, I'd think about it after a long day at work, how I just wanted to be home nursing my little baby boy, but other days I just wanted to eat my damn dinner! Lol.

So Calvin still nurses around seven times per day, for 20-30 minutes at a time too, longer if he's tired.

Now don't get me wrong, every baby is different, I kept hoping we'd have significantly reduced our nursing sessions by now, but that's just not the case with us personally. I just wanted to put this out there for any moms who are in the midst of the newborn stage wondering if it's ever going to be better. It does get easier, it does get to be part of your routine. But don't keep hoping for the future, enjoy the moment you're in and get used to it if you want to be in it for the long haul. :) It's true when they say time flies.


Monday, December 5, 2016

A Random Little Update - Where's the makeup?

Some of you may be wondering what the heck is going on? I haven't posted a makeup look or review of a makeup product or really anything not mommy related in soo long! And I have to be totally honest, during my pregnancy I never would have predicted I'd get so far off course after Calvin's birth. I was doing okay while I was on my maternity leave (for 8 weeks): YouTube allowed me to have a little something to do during the week. But since going back to work, I just don't feel the urge to film or work on any of that stuff.

I only work four days a week. I spend most of my day off doing laundry and making baby food, in addition to hanging out with Cal. When Cal is awake, I want to spend time with him and while he's sleeping I have other stuff to do. On the weekends I like to relax and spend time with my husband while Calvin naps. So it's partially not having the time, but more so just wanting to spend my time in other ways than before.

At his 6 month check up
I used to film every weekend. I'd film a tutorial or GRWM video while I put on my makeup, then film another random video afterwards, and finish it off with my weekly pregnancy update. Then later on I'd edit or wait until the following day. That's when I had two videos per week. On maternity leave I felt that one video per week was reasonable and I accomplished that for awhile. But ever since returning to work I would just rather spend my time doing other things. And I know that it's a rut and I'll get back to it in good time, but it is hard to get out of a rut like this. It's hard to get back into filming and editing after being very inconsistent for a long time. But I want to! I want to get back into it, I just need to figure out how much time is reasonable and when I can take advantage of my time.

And let's be honest here, I haven't even hunted for makeup or browsed the makeup aisles in a long time either. That's a thing I just don't have time for. I don't have the time or patience to run to half a dozen stores searching for a new product. I'm not about to get Calvin in and out of the car that many times for a couple hours lol. Calvin is a big boy, he's been in the 90-something-th percentile for his weight and height since his first month check up. And I'm not as strong as I could be ha. Not about to lift that car seat and carry it around just to walk into Walgreens and not find what I'm looking for ten times lol. Don't get me wrong, I still do my makeup six out of seven days a week, but I just don't feel the desire to spend a ton of money on it anymore. I still love applying my makeup, I love wearing bright lips, colorful eyes, or just the bare minimum. It's a very strange thing for me. I just feel guilty to be working on YouTube stuff when I could be playing with Calvin. Plus I just plain need some inspiration. I think that's part of it too. I need to find a new product to test out or something to get me back into the makeup world and report back to you on.

Anyway, I know this was random, but I just wanted to give a little update, maybe guilt myself into some kind of inspiration or motivation. Hopefully I will see you guys soon!

I love you guys,

Thursday, December 1, 2016

6 Month Baby Update : Calvin Lee

I feel like this month went by a lot slower than previous months, which is a good thing for a mom who doesn't want her baby boy to grow up too fast!

For me and my postpartum body, I have not been working very hard at getting back to normal. Not watching what I eat very well lately... Therefore, I am still stuck with 10-15 pounds to lose. My pants are still continuing to get looser, which is a good sign. I might not be losing weight but something is happening.

Calvin's Stats at his 6 month check up: weighs 20 lbs 1.6 oz, 28.5 inches tall


Mr. Cavin, is trying his very hardest to get up on his hands and knees. He gets up on his tippy toes and most recently his knees, but can't seem to get up on his hands at the same time, but he's trying his best! And he isn't army crawling yet either. But he is doing super well at sitting up on his own. Sometimes he does fall over, but more often than not he's sitting up for quite awhile and when he lays down it looks like he's doing it intentionally, not just flopping over. Lol.


He moved from the Bumbo to the highchair. He just kept trying to reach for things and bending in all directions, not to mention trying to kick his heels and escape from it. He's a big boy and his chubby little thighs sometimes get stuck when you pull him out, so we just retired that item before he got hurt.

We've been practicing with the sippy cup a little bit and he's very interested in it and cries if he drops it out of his reach, but I'm not sure if he really understands it because I'll put a little bit of water or breast milk in it (less than an ounce) and by the time he's done messing with it, there's hardly any gone. I was going to ask the pediatrician about what brand she'd recommend but totally forgot, so it's time to look up reviews! Feel free to leave any suggestions below.

He still nurses 6-7 times per day. He eats 2 meals of 2-3 ounces of baby food (usually lunch and dinner on grandma days, and breakfast and dinner on mom and dad days). He loves pretty much every food he's tried except squash. He's not a big fan of squash, but he doesn't super hate it or refuse it. And for our 6 month check up, I asked our doctor all about food and she told me that Cal can eat whatever (except raw honey) as long as it's not a choking hazard, so I can't wait to start making more baby food. The freezer is currently pretty full so I have to wait til we empty out some containers before I can make new baby food lol.

First Sickness

Calvin had his first sickness at the beginning of the month and that was so sad. It was just a little cold, but as a tiny baby whose main source of food is a liquid, it was hard for him to eat due to the stuffy nose. That was so sad. And he hated when I used the booger sucker device. But it didn't last too long, maybe a week overall and only 2-3 days of the sad little stuffy and runny nose.

He rolls everywhere in his crib! You put him down on his back and as soon as you leave the room, he is on his belly. He used to love sleeping on his side but ever since he's learned to roll over it's like he cannot figure out how to just be on his side. He either has to be all the way on his back or all the way on his belly, there is no in-between.

He seems to gravitate toward two naps per day, but sometimes he takes three smaller ones. His average nap is 1.5 hours.

We've been much more consistent about reading bedtime stories this month and having an actual bedtime routine. It's not fancy but Cal is really good about going to bed. Bedtime is 7 pm. If it's a bath night, we'll start that at 6, then read a bedtime story in his room, and head downstairs to start nursing at 6:30. I'm not sure if that's totally due to the routine or him just being a good baby. Sometimes I nurse him to sleep and sometimes he stays awake through the last nursing session of the evening and he still goes down really well. Just plop him in his crib and turn on the mobile and in less than 10 minutes he's out like a good baby. After our terrible 4 month sleep regression, I never would have guessed he'd be such a good night time sleeper. He still wakes once in the night usually sometimes between 1-3 am. And about once per week he'll sleep all the way through til 5 am. I always get my little hopes up that perhaps he's going to start sleeping through the entire night consistently, but that has yet to happen. Lol.

Overall, Calvin is growing so fast! He's a big healthy baby and we are so grateful and thankful for that. He's learning so much so quickly, I can't wait to see what the future holds for our little boy, but at the same time I want him to be little forever. :)

Thanks so much for reading!

Friday, November 11, 2016

More Baby Food Adventures! Minty Peas, Spiced Apples & Green Beans, & Banana Mint Oatmeal!

Here are this week's baby food concoctions!

Cinnamon Applesauce
6 apples + cinnamon = 11 oz
Peeled and cored apples sliced into quarters. I put these in the crock pot on high for 4 hours with no additional moisture. They pureed perfectly and made the house smell delightfully like fall.

Banana Mint Oatmeal
3 bananas + 3 oz milk + 3 Tbsp oatmeal + 2 sprigs mint = 9 oz
I have noticed the greener the bananas the more liquid you may need to add to the blend. Then I had to add oatmeal because I added too much milk at once and it got too runny.

Spiced Apples & Green Beans
4 apples + 10 oz frozen green beans + nutmeg + cinnamon + cloves = 8 oz green beans + 12 oz apple/green bean mix
Peeled and cored apples sliced into quarters. I used frozen green beans. I cooked these all together in the crock pot for about 2.5 hours on high. Then I separated out all of the apples with some of the green beans for one batch, then did the remaining green beans separately. The green bean/apple mix didn't need any additional liquid, but I did use the remaining liquid from the bottom of the crock pot in with just the green beans.

Minty Peas
10 oz peas + 3 oz milk + 2 sprigs mint = 12 oz
Cooked the frozen peas in boiling water for 10 minutes, drained liquid.

total $12.57 for 52 ounces = $.24 per ounce
(not counting oatmeal, mint, or spices)

So this week's average was a little higher than usual, but still under my $.25 per ounce goal. Plus this was all organic, whereas in past weeks I bought a mixture of organic and regular, so that could explain the cost difference.

Hope this was helpful!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

1 Week of Homemade Baby Food : Strawberry-Banana, Pear-Banana, Avocado-Banana, Mango, and Pear

I have really been enjoying making baby food for Mr. Calvin, so I thought I'd tell you guys a little about what I whipped up for him this week.

He's eating 4-6 ounces of baby food daily these days, so what I accomplished today comes out to a little more than one week's worth of food. It took me about an hour and a half, perfect timing for baby's nap. 

1 banana + 3 strawberries = 4 oz food
2 pears + 2 oz breast milk = 12 oz food
1 pear + 1 banana = 6 oz food
2 avocados + 1 banana + 3.5 oz breast milk = 12 oz food
2 mangoes = 12 oz food (FYI mangoes seem to be controversial as a first baby food)

So here's a little price breakdown in case you're wondering. Keep in mind produce costs can vary.
3 organic bananas $.87
2 avocados $1.96
2 mangoes $2.00
3 pears $1.75
3 organic strawberries $.72 (damn expensive strawberries! haha)
total cost $7.30 for 46 oz = $.16 per oz of baby food

Compared to regular price Gerber at $.20/oz and Earth's Best Organic at $.25/oz.

If you want to save time, I recommend to pick a day to do all the same fruit or vegetable at once. You won't have to wash your dishes when you switch to the next food, etc. and things will go more quickly. Because I did so many different foods, I had to wash my blender, cutting board, etc. several times. Since Calvin hasn't eaten all of these yet, I was avoiding contamination by cleaning everything in between, if your baby has already proven to not have allergies with the foods you're preparing, perhaps you won't be as super diligent about cleaning every single thing the foods touched in between.

If anyone knows whether or not it is cost effective to make baby snacks like puffs or yogurt bites, please let me know. I know Cal isn't ready for those foods yet, but I'm just curious about them for future reference.

Thanks for reading!
I hope this was helpful!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

5 Month Old Baby Update : The 4 Month Sleep Regression is Real!

Happy 5 month birthday to my baby boy (tomorrow)!

According to our rough measurements, Mr. Calvin is about 19.5 pounds and 27.5 inches tall. Essentially, he is a giant. His big ole thighs are almost too big to fit in the Bumbo and his swing barely even swings anymore when he's in it, not matter what setting we have it one, it sways maybe four inches wide. And everyone always thinks he's so much older than he is so they are surprised when we say he isn't even crawling yet. Haha.

He is talking a lot lately. He likes to babble about (like in the car seat when he's tired, he just talks to himself lol). And he screams in excitement. Haha. Sometimes those screams scare me, I didn't realize that such a tiny baby could make such a high pitched screechy noises.
When he wakes up he'll usually just babble to himself in his crib for a few minutes before he starts whining for us to get him.
He really enjoys music. He likes to sit in the Bumbo in the kitchen while I listen to music, sing, and make dinner. He especially loves it when I hold him and sing and dance with him too.
He has been trying to escape his Bumbo. He leans really far and tries to fall out. He also plays with his feet a lot while in there. So he's kind of discovered his feet, but he doesn't really notice them in other daily activities.
He finally watches the cats.
He's been in size 3 diapers for awhile now and gradually starting to grow out of several 3-6 month clothing items. I just wish sizes were consistent among different brands! It feels like he's only been able to wear each onesie he owns like once or twice. We got a lot of stuff handed down to us so I don't feel like it's too much of a waste, but it does make me feel guilty that he has so many clothes that don't get nearly enough wear out of them. Good thing we want lots of kids! Haha.
He had his first sleepover! He stayed overnight at Grandma's (who lives literally right around the corner from us) and we went to get him first thing in the morning at like 7 am. I still woke up around 3 am just out of habit I guess (plus my boobs were like super engorged). It wasn't the magical dreamy sleep I had envisioned, I missed the baby. He's staying with my sister again this coming weekend, we have a Halloween party to attend and I plan on partying it up hardcore. Haha.
He's been trying new foods. We've been working on butternut squash this week and he really doesn't seem to be a fan unless we mix it with something sweet like apple or peach, but we're still working on it! I made something like 60 ounces of food from one butternut squash so he has to eat it!
He's moving about in his walker pretty well. He can go across the room when he's on a hard surface, not so much the carpet. He goes forward in our walker and backward in Grandma's walker.
He's rolling over like a champ. Both directions. He actually seems to be much better at rolling from back to tummy than tummy to back. With this, he'll almost always be facing a different direction when he wakes up from when you laid him down to sleep. He rotates all over his crib now. Some nights he'll even get his legs stuck through the crib spindles and scream at the top of his lungs to wake mom and dad to the assumption someone is murdering our baby. We've discussed getting bumpers.


As for me and my postpartum journey, there are days that I'm really happy with how I look in certain clothes and there are days I just don't even want to get dressed because nothing suits me right. I want to be back at my pre-pregnancy weight already! I am about 12 pounds away at this point (but only 9 pounds from my goal. I made my goal an even number because it seemed more reasonable and attainable to me. I was 127 when I found out I was pregnant, my goal is 130, and I'm currently 139). But it's not even about the numbers man, it's about the fact that I can only wear one pair of my pre-pregnancy jeans, my rings are still tight some days, and I can't wear my favorite baggy sweaters comfortably. It's those damn thighs and upper arms man! Those stupid body parts are what have me going nuts! I can deal with a squishy belly for now, it's almost winter after all. But I gained a LOT of weight guys. I don't even know how much, but it was probably well over 50 pounds. I was around 155 when I got home from the hospital I'm pretty sure. 

It may be in vain but I really really don't want to gain that kind of weight next time around! 

I'm not going to lie, I expected breastfeeding to be a much more magical weight-loss assistant. I really did expect to be totally back to normal, lookin' good by the 6 month mark easy and I just don't envision myself losing the last ten pounds in one month's time...

And in other news, I've been very fortunate to not have suffered with any postpartum depression thus far. I did have what I would call baby blues in the beginning. I felt like such a failure for having a c-section and not being able to breastfeed normally because Cal wouldn't latch (and stay latched) and we had to use a nipple shield for the first two months. But I can honestly say that I have come to terms with those things and realize that I am the best mom I can be! I gave breastfeeding my all and we have become very successful at it, it truly is just second nature to us now. And I feel so blessed that it worked out for us in the end and I pray every day that I can continue and that my milk supply holds up so that we can nurse for as long as we are both happy to do so. And this past month I have truly been able to bask in the happiness that is motherhood, despite what I thought were failures to begin with. I love being Calvin's mom. 

Now for the big event of the month: the DREADED 4 month sleep regression. My sister said she did not remember experiencing this with her girls but let me tell you Calvin sure had it bad! It lasted about two weeks and it SUCKED. I thought we were all going to kill each other: me, Cal, and Justin. He would fight sleep so terribly. He hated nap time, he hated bedtime. He cried and cried and nothing consoled him, not even the boob. We rocked him and swayed him and put him in the swing and drove around in the car and let him cry in the crib, but every night sometime between 6-8 pm he flipped the f out. And sometimes for his early afternoon nap around 1-3 pm too! And along with the delightfulness before bedtime, he went back to waking up twice in the night instead of his usual one time. But honestly, that didn't really bother me, and it definitely wasn't as terrible as his fits before bed.
AND get this! It just so happened to coincide pretty closely with our great idea to take away the binky! We took away the binky and just a couple days later totally psycho Calvin emerged. We had already come so far in those couple of days, we couldn't turn back now. So we did the whole 4 month sleep regression without the binky and we survived! When they say "it's just a phase" and "this too shall pass," they mean it. It will be okay. In the midst of it all you feel like running away and abandoning your baby with Grandma for two weeks, but you can do it! I promise.

And if your baby does not have this problem, consider yourself the luckiest parents in the world!


So in conclusion, that baby is growing up so fast! This month it has really become apparent that he's not going to be a baby forever, he'll be a toddler in the blink of an eye. And that makes this momma sad. But at the same time, it is super cool to see all the new things he is learning to do. Like holy crap, babies grow and learn so quickly! All the information that is flooding that little baby head is just crazy to even think about! 

Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Stage 1 Homemade DIY Baby Food Recipes + Cost Effectiveness

Here's a little report on what baby foods I've made for Calvin so far.

I thought it could be helpful to see how I prepared them, but keep in mind fruits and veggies vary in size and it takes trial and error to figure out the best method to cook them for yourself, this is just what I've managed.

I've kept the recipes super simple and not too wordy. I hope this is helpful!

And of course water/breast-milk/formula are all interchangeable in these recipes. Just avoid using previously frozen breast-milk if you're going to be re-freezing your baby food.

Butternut Squash!

1 banana + 1 oz breast milk = 3 oz food

Bake on cookie sheet at 350 for 1 hour
5 carrots + 5 oz water = 9 oz food

1 can pumpkin + 4 oz breast milk = 16 oz food

Peel, core, slice
Boil covered for 10 minutes
2 apples + 1 oz breast milk = 12 oz food

Boil covered 5 minutes
then remove skins (they'll peel off really easily after boiling)
2 peaches = 12 oz food

Sweet Potato
Peel and cube
Boil covered for 12 minutes
3 sweet potatoes + 10 oz water = 31 oz food

Butternut Squash
Cut squash in half, place in baking dish face down with one inch of water
Bake at 400 for 45 minutes
1 large butternut squash + 8 oz breast milk = 62 oz food

More butternut squash!

Future stage 1 foods to make (so keep an eye out for a future post):
mango/papaya? (questionable for first foods)
green beans

A little note on Cost Effectiveness

What I have learned is that for some foods, it's not really any cheaper to make your own, but for others the savings are significant. It just depends on the food. Baby food companies charge roughly the same no matter which food it is, when you make it yourself, you can see that some are cheaper per ounce than others.

For example, when I made the butternut squash it came out to about $.22 per ounce, and $.07 per ounce when I made sweet potatoes! I used a lot of water in the sweet potatoes, whereas the squash was already pretty watery and didn't require much additional liquid to get the consistency I needed.

Thanks for reading! I hope this helped.
I hope to continue keeping track and update you on other homemade baby foods I make for little Calvin!


Monday, September 26, 2016

Tips For Pumping Breast Milk at Work

Here are some of my tips for pumping at work. Every workplace is different, but I hope at least some of these can help you!

Watch the video here!

Now Calvin and I sure have had our breastfeeding struggles, but thank God I have been blessed with an easy pumping experience. I have always had enough milk and respond well to the pump. I even had a bit of oversupply in my early days pumping.

First of all:
Do not skip pumping sessions! No matter how busy you are. No matter if you are feeling judged by coworkers. If you do it once, you could do it twice, and if you do it too much you will let it become a habit and your supply can suffer! I have to remind myself of this almost every day. Summertime is our busy season and it has been hard to return to work in the middle of it all.

My son is three months old and I pump three times each day at work for 15 minutes each (setup and cleanup add an extra five minutes to my sessions). I am away from him for 11-12 hours a day. I work Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. My supply is still holding up really well after being back to work for over a month now, I pump exactly what he's taking at Grandma's during the day, sometimes an ounce or two more. To me, it's really so cool how that works out! I feed him about an hour before I leave for work, then as soon as we get home most days.


I work with a bunch of dudes, I am literally the only chick in the place. I think this both helps and hinders the whole pumping breast milk at work thing. On the one hand, they don't understand it really. They may think I use it as an excuse to take a break, when in reality it's necessary in order to keep my supply up and keep my breasts from being super uncomfortable. Also, probably for fear of the unknown, they don't really comment on it, they don't know much about it and they don't want to offend me.

I am also very lucky to work in the place I do. We have a fridge and a sink in our little kitchen area and we have a couple mostly unused offices in the back. And those assets really help in the pumping department.


Even though I'm making almost the perfect amount of milk for him on the daily pumping at work, I did store up a nice little bit of milk in the freezer while on my 8 week maternity leave. However, looking back, I made a lot of first time breastfeeding and pumping mom mistakes in that time, so I'm not going to recommend exactly what I did, instead here's a more reasonable plan...

To build a little backup supply, I would recommend to pump right before bed, maybe an hour after he falls asleep (this helps with overnight engorgement too) and in the morning sometime (because you'll produce the most milk then, take advantage of it). The pumping session before bed was easy because my husband was home to help if my son got upset for some reason, he could comfort him and I could pump. The morning pumping was more of a challenge, the time would vary every day, but as long as it was sometime in the morning, I was happy with it.
EXAMPLE: Based on this little schedule... say you get 2 ounces per pumping session (very reasonable goal in my experience), that's 4 ounces per day, 28 ounces per week, 168 ounces in 6 weeks - that's 12 days worth of milk at the babysitter (based on Calvin's average 14 ounces per day with Grandma) and that's a great little head-start to make you less worried about not being able to keep up when you return to work!


Pump - duh.

Extra pump parts - I carry tubing (in case bad, bad mold appears! That's a big ole fear of mine) and extra membranes because they say those wear out the quickest.

Lanolin cream - I apply it before I pump for comfort.

Hands-free pumping bra - I find strapless works well, then you don't really have to do too much wardrobe modification.

Storage baggies - I used to use the up&up Target brand (they're nice and thick and feel very sturdy, double zip), but discovered the Lansinoh brand is actually cheaper (they feel thinner, but they have a fancy easy-pour feature, double zip too).

A fine tip sharpie - to write on the storage bags

Spare lids - in case you run out of baggies, you can just cap the bottle that you're pumping into. This has already come in handy

Cloth - to clean up any drips, protect your lap, wipe down shields, etc.

Re-usable nursing pads - just in case... maybe the pump breaks or you forget an important pump part at home and you gotta get through the day without your boobies leaking through your shirt, who knows?

Binky disinfecting wipes - just in case you drop something and get it dirty, forget your cleanup cloth, in a pinch, etc.


Find a room with a lock. Hopefully you have one at your workplace! It will really help you relax and not be so nervous.

Wear nursing appropriate clothes, like a nursing tank under your regular clothes, then you at least feel mostly covered when you're pumping.

Face away from the door if you can. Again, just in case! Helps you relax better.

Make yourself a door sign. Mine says "Please do not disturb... or else this will be mortifying for all parties involved." Perhaps the humor won't be respected in your workplace, but at mine, I think it lightens things up.

If you have trouble with relaxing enough for good let-down be sure to store many pictures and videos of your little one on your phone so you can view them while you're pumping. Videos are my favorites, especially the ones where he's making noises. I found relaxing was hard the first week or so, but it definitely gets easier.


Store your bottles in the fridge between pumping sessions so you don't have to clean them after every time. The leftover milk inside stays good because it's refrigerated. Then I just rinse after my last pump of the day and actually clean them when I get home.

Store your milk inside another container so the weirdos you work with don't comment on it. (this goes back to the whole working with dudes thing, nobody has made any weird comments yet, but just to be safe...)

Let the pump go on high while you clean up everything. This way any moisture left in the tubing will dry right up and help prevent bad, bad mold!

Bring a burp cloth or old school cloth diaper for clean up. I lay this on my lap when I remove the shields and bottles, just in case there's a drip, it lands on the cloth, not my pants. I also use it to wipes the milk off the shields.


But keep in mind ladies - it's not as scary as it seems!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Almost 3 Months Old : A Random Little Update

2.5 months old

As you may have noticed, life has been hectic around here. I haven't posted since we came home with Mr. Calvin almost three months ago! Although I have been decent with updates on my vlog channel, I sure have neglected the blog.

Being a new mom is so exciting and fun, yet truly exhausting. I love seeing Calvin grow and learn. About a week and a half ago, he even rolled over from front to back for the first time! Over this weekend he's been really starting to coo to us and copy us. I can stick my tongue out at him and I can see him trying his hardest to do it back, it's so sweet and amazing. It really is just stunning that this little person is already learning to do so much!

Yet at the same time, it breaks my heart to keep having to pack away his little outfits that he keeps growing out of. Over this past weekend I threw a bunch of his 0-3 month stuff into a storage box because it's all getting so tight. We had to buy some 3-6 month sleepers because his little legs could hardly stretch out in his 0-3 month ones. He's growing so big and fast. When we take his 3 month picture in just a few days next to his teddy bear, he's going to be almost the same size as the bear! When I look back at his 1 week picture next to that bear, it's so unbelievable how much he's grown!

1 week old

There are rough days, don't get me wrong. He's even started this new thing where he doesn't actually want to eat every two hours on the dot, so if he's freaking out and I put him to breast, sometimes he just screams into my boob. That's frustrating. Breastfeeding used to be the cure all, but it's starting to not work all the time these days. He has his growth spurts and holy crap, those days can feel endless, like the growth spurt will never cease. He'll eat almost every hour during the day and wake every two hours at night and that's so exhausting, especially since I've returned to work.

But seriously, no matter how many crappy days we have, just seeing his precious little smile (which he's doing all the time these days!) totally makes it all worth it. He is such a sweet and happy boy.

Now even though nursing is not always the solution these days, he does always seem to want to nurse as soon as I get home from work, even if he just had a bottle at Grandma's an hour ago. So I take that as a compliment, like he missed the milk straight from the tap all day and needs his fix after a day of bottles. And I know it must be more of a comfort with mom thing than actual hunger. It's also a really nice way to just calm down after a day of work too, instead of heading straight into starting dinner or tidying up, I can just sit back and chill with the baby boy.

Of course everyone has an opinion about who he looks like, but in my eyes he really is the perfect little combination of myself and Justin. I'm pretty sure he's going to have brown eyes like me. For awhile there would be days they looked really dark, then the next they started to look a little lighter, but lately they're pretty dark and I think they'll stay that way. (I read somewhere that once they get real dark, it's very unlikely they'll end up being light). His hair, on the other hand seemed to be lightening up. Justin was a blond baby and grew up to have dark hair, I've always had dark hair, so we'll just have to see. It is growing in thicker though, even if it's ever so slight. I love the hair on the very back of his head, it's super thick and long and so pretty!

Over the weekend, we had some family over to play Cards Against Humanity. Justin was sitting on the opposite end of the table from me so I could stare right at him (like a creeper, I know). But just some of his facial expressions and things that he does really made me realize that Cal makes the same little faces, it was pretty sweet. :)

I don't want to jinx it, but 4 of the last 8 nights, he's only awoken once! (I call nighttime from 9 pm-5 am because that's what I'm sleeping on work nights) He'll eat sometime between 7-8 pm, then sleep all the way until 2-3 am! I had been reading that a three month old should start to only wake once per night, but up until this last week, I was not seeing any signs of that. He will still have nights where he's up every couple hours, but we "always" get a nice long stretch right off the bat, on his usual nights he'll wait till 11 or 12 before he wakes for the first time.


As for me postpartum, some things have been changing. Finally the weight loss is starting to pick back up again (It felt like after the first month, my weight was very stagnant). I'm officially 20 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight (which both sounds so close and so far away at the same time lol). I can't decide if my goal is to be at 127 or 130, but right now I'm 147 (I was 127 the day I found out I was pregnant, according to my home scale, but 130 at my first doctor appointment. 130 just sounds like a nice round number and a reasonable goal though compared with the awkward odd number 127 lol). As long as I can fit into most of my regular clothes again, I'll be happy (I accept that perhaps my hips have widened a bit and that area might not be perfectly back to normal)). One thing that totally surprised me is when I put my measurements into a BMI calculator, I'm considered overweight! That does not help my self image, I'll tell you what! I have to get down to 141/142 to be in the normal range. To me, that's crazy! I didn't think I looked that bad! And by those standards, I totally understand when they say this ridiculous amount of Americans are considered overweight. And for awhile there wearing size 10 did not help me feel good either. Being a size 4 last summer and a size 10 this summer sucks!

My pants are getting loose, but I have no belts that fit and I refuse to buy a new one haha. I'm in a size 10 right now, when I get to size 6, I'll be happy. (I was size 4-6 before I got pregnant). My size 8 pants fit but squish my belly and make it look not ideal, but I don't think I'm too far away from being able to wear them, that's why I refuse to buy a belt, in hopes that I can fit in those size 8s soon enough. Some days I wake up and feel really good about my body, I'm happy with it, knowing it took 9 months to get this big, the fat won't just disappear overnight. Then there are other mornings I wake up and literally hate my body. It's hard because I've never struggled with weight until now. I've never intentionally been on a diet of any kind, I never tried to avoid treats or snacks until I was pregnant. And I know the entire time I was pregnant I felt like I was starving all the time and I totally did eat more than necessary, I was very bad. However, struggling with this weight afterwards I believe will be a huge help to motivate myself to eat better next time around, so I don't spend months postpartum hating my body. And there are days I say, is it even worth it? If we plan on trying to get pregnant again next spring or summer, what's the point in trying to look good now just to be fat and pregnant in less than a year?! It's my own little struggle right now. But if I can lose one pound per week (a very reasonable goal or so I hear) then I'll be back to normal my Christmas, and that's an encouraged statement to me.

Also the stretch marks are finally starting to fade. I don't hate the ones on my belly, they don't really bother me, but because of the ridiculous amount of weight I gained, I have them all over my thighs and hips and those are the ones that drive me nuts! It seems the ones further down my thighs and on my breasts are fading the fastest. I apply lotion everyday. It may not have helped prevent them, but I do think it's helping fade them.

Overall, things are awesome. I love being a mom. And I'll love it even more when I get closer to my normal sexy self! Haha. Then at least I'll have more than three pairs of pants I can wear!

Love you guys,

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Look Who's Here! Calvin Lee's Debut

I just thought I would pop on by the blog and let you know that this baby boy is here safe and sound. I love you guys so much and am truly so happy and thankful to have you along this journey with me. Pregnancy was an adventure, but now an even bigger one is beginning: motherhood. I hope you'll continue to follow us on our journey.

I could include a hundred pictures of this little boy already, but we'll just keep it to a couple screenshots today... but... if you want to see more, go follow me on Instagram, I promise there are plenty of pics over there. :)

Alaina and Calvin Lee

Pregnant in the Hospital Diary Entries : PROM, Bed Rest

Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Alright Calvin, we just need you to hang out for awhile longer. We came to the hospital at 32 weeks, 1 day. You're not ready yet, even though I'd love to see you, we all know that's not a good idea right now. Everyone's really worried about you but you're in really good hands here at this hospital. Our doctor is very optimistic about you being good and plenty healthy when you finally come. You had me and daddy super worried but every day things are looking up. I might be in the hospital for awhile, but I keep reminding myself it's better me than you. I want you to come home with us right on time. Me and your daddy love you so so much but you gotta stay put for awhile longer!

Wednesday April 27, 2016
The doctor came in this morning and pretty much just reiterated the fact that we're simply waiting to see what's next. Things are still going well, but it can be frustrating not knowing when you're coming. I wish your daddy could be with us all the time. We all love you so much. Grandma told me your cousin Lyvi was going to tell her friend at school about you but she couldn't remember your name, so she didn't tell them. I know she's excited to meet you, we all are. Lyv and Leighton's grandma is a nurse here and she's going to take good care of you if you come early and need extra help and care. She told me that I look more like grandpa John since I'm chubbier while pregnant. I wonder who you look like Calvin.
It's so weird to imagine you with a May birthday, I always assumed you'd be here in June. And I thought you'd be late, at that! Now that's assuming we can hold out a few more days and make it until May. I'm afraid of giving birth to you. I don't know what to expect. I'm fearful your daddy won't be there for the whole thing. I don't want to be alone through any of it. I'm afraid they'll have to scoop you up and take you away as soon as you're born. It's crazy to think we're so close to meeting you. After months of you just living in my belly, you're finally going to be here and this whole pregnancy journey will be over, only to start a new, even more exciting journey as your mommy.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016
My sweet baby boy, it is getting very hard for me to be living here at the hospital. I know it is for your best interest: for your health and well-being, not to mention your future. But it is so lonely. I am so glad I still have you safe in my belly though. You are safe and growing so big and strong in there. They already estimate that you weigh 6 lbs 8 oz. While you are in there I can feel you move and I know you are good. If you were to have been born already, I would not always be with you like I am now. I'd have to leave you at the hospital without me and your daddy.
Today I am 34 weeks 4 days pregnant and our doctor has faith we are going to reach full term, 37 weeks. I've been in the hospital 17 days now, and if you come at exactly 37 weeks, that will be 17 days from now. So we are halfway there! I can't wait to meet you but I can hold out another 2.5 weeks if it means you'll be able to come home with us right away Calvin.
We have the best doctor around. He wants to keep you safe and sound in my belly as long as possible. If we were in the hands of any other doctor, you'd have been born already. I thank the Lord every day that that's not the case. We love you so much Calvin and we only want what is best for you.

Thursday, May 19,2016
This hospital stay sucks. I just want to rant right now, but let me get some things off my chest first of all. Yes, I am so blessed to have made it this far in my pregnancy, we'll be 36 weeks tomorrow, and our doctor is awesome, I'm so glad we have him. I know that there are so many women out there going through much more difficult pregnancies and issues. There are plenty of mothers who have given birth before 36 weeks and have to visit their babies in the NICU not knowing what happens next. I know I am blessed and this could be so much worse, I know that in my heart, but this whole situation still sucks and I'm jealous of all the women who have very good, uncomplicated, easy pregnancies. I'm jealous of the mothers who get to spend their last few weeks living their normal everyday life. I'm upset that we didn't get to take maternity pictures. I'm upset that I missed physically being at my one and only baby shower that looked just so precious in the pictures! I'm upset that I can't just wake up next to my husband every morning. I'm upset that Justin and I don't get to go on one last date just the two of us, that I can't just live a normal life and be in my own home. I want to make dinner for us. I want to be able to nest and set things up and I know Justin has been working hard, doing laundry and washing bottles and getting everything ready for Calvin, but I don't get to have that experience and it makes me feel so disconnected. I know that I see Calvin twice a week on ultrasound, I hear his little heartbeat twice per day on the NST monitors, I feel him wiggle all the time, and I am here because of him, I think about him all the time. But I just think that perhaps if I were at home nesting and organizing and getting things ready for him that I would feel more connected and ready for him to come. I want to meet him but I still am afraid of the unknowns of giving birth. 
But once again, I know we are blessed. Honestly, this stay seems to have been going by somewhat quickly, I can't believe it's already almost been a month! But the days suck. I feel like I'm simply growing a baby right now, I'm not living or contributing to life or anything. I feel very useless. 
And I can't wait to see Calvin. He is my ticket out of here! I just know in my heart that he's going to be going home with us, I have full faith that he will not be stuck here without us.

Saturday, May 21, 2016
I have to be honest that at times I have felt inadequate as a mommy to be. I've felt like I'm not made to be a mommy and not meant to carry babies because of this whole issue. It's hard to put into words. I just feel like perhaps we shouldn't try for more kids because of the possibility of going through this all over again. Not just for the fact that it sucks to be in the hospital like this, but that things might not go as well next time around. What if next time they couldn't stop my labor and the baby would be born at 32 weeks, what kind of issues would there be? How long would they have to stay in the NICU? Would there be long term problems and issues with their health? What if they did stop my labor, but then I got an infection and had to have the baby early anyway? There are so many things that could go wrong. So many things that could have gone wrong with me and Calvin this time!
I feel so conflicted, like my thoughts are constantly pulling me in two different directions. I feel so upset that this has happened, trying to pin point what I've done wrong in this pregnancy. But at the same time there is a part of me that is so happy and proud that we've made it this far, that my decision to come to this hospital and get a new doctor, not just settle for my old doctor, has saved our little Calvin from coming prematurely. Because of the hospital I chose and the doctor that I was blessed with, we are able to have our precious little boy at full term! After four weeks now/five weeks when he comes on Friday, we made it! And that fills my heart with so much happiness. No matter what, if we can hold out these next six days (and I know we will :)), our baby boy will be a full term baby, something I never ever would have thought could happen on that first day at 32+1 weeks when I woke up to this whole mess.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016
I still can't believe you're going to be here in a just a few days, baby boy! I talked to a pediatrician here at the hospital yesterday and got some unsettling news. He told me that because my membranes have been ruptured for so long, they're going to take you to the NICU and have you on IV antibiotics for 48 hours after you're born as a precaution! This has made me upset wondering whether or not we'll even be able to just have some time together in your first hours of life. I will have to pump to feed you breast milk, but we should be able to hold you and visit you and spend a lot of time with you. I don't even know if we'll be able to breastfeed in your first hour. We'll be going home in two days anyway, so our two stays should coincide and you'll be able to come home with us. It still makes me sad to know that there's a possibility you'll be whisked away as soon as you're born. The pediatrician really made it seem like there would be a 50/50 chance we could spend time with you first or not. And he did mention there was a very slight chance none of this would have to happen anyway, they would examine him in our room, he'd be totally fine, and they would just leave us like any other family. He just kept saying this was a very slight chance though.
My doctor did not think this was all necessary, but apparently the pediatrician staff is new and they have different procedures than the previous staff who were here when I first arrived in the hospital. You are a good size baby, you'll be right at the normal newborn weight when you're born at 37 weeks. We had the steroid shots for your lungs. And because you're already full term, you realistically shouldn't have issues feeding. I just don't understand why when it looks like everything is going in your favor, they want to take you away from us. I know it's just a precaution and it's for your best interest, but it just makes me very upset, I thought by making it to term we wouldn't have to deal with any of this. Good thing I have no real birth plan, it looks like none of it would happen at this point anyway.
Your dad and I have been back and forth on how many people we want to be there the day you're born. I hate the idea of all these people waiting around for you to come. I feel that it will make me stressed and anxious about getting you out quickly. Plus I just want your dad and me to have plenty of time alone with you, especially if you're going to have to spend the next two days in the NICU, not in our room with us. We just want you all to ourselves before you're taken from us. And I know that's selfish, but I've carried you nine months and I deserve to be with you for as long as I want just as soon as you're born! And I know everyone is very excited to meet you, baby boy.  

Sunday, May 29, 2016

37 Weeks Pregnant : Third Trimester Pregnancy Update, Symptoms, etc.

Week 37 - May 20-26

Our baby boy Calvin Lee was due June 17, 2016! He was born May 27, 2016 at 1:26 pm.

Welcome to my final pregnancy update for this, my first pregnancy, our first little one, our son, Calvin Lee. I'm being induced to have him on Friday May 27, 2016, at exactly 37 weeks. We made it to full term! Besides the fact that I was diagnosed with PROM (premature rupture of membranes, or my water started leaking) at 32 weeks and 1 day, besides the fact that the standard of medicine recommended I be induced at 34 weeks, we made it to full term and we are so blessed.

It might be awhile before I have another post up for you, but it's more likely you'll see pics on my Instagram before anything else. I want to thank you for your support and love during this entire journey. Now let's talk about my final week pregnant!

Still no linea nigra, but there are plenty of stretchmarks. Belly button still didn't pop out either, still an innie. This bump is so big, I couldn't imagine it if it made it three more weeks! I almost feel lucky to be on bed rest. Just from wandering around my tiny hospital room, I can tell if I were out in the real world my body would truly be aching by now.

Maternity Clothes:
Not gonna lie, I might miss them when this is all over with. There's just so much cute stuff! But, I really want to invest in some nursing stuff, I really have no in between clothes, so I don't know how this is going to go lol. I have regular skinny me clothes and gigantic maternity clothes, but what to do in the middle...
So I ordered some stuff from Old Navy because they were having 50% off shorts, plus a bunch of nursing tank tops were also on sale. So I gathered a few nursing tops in mediums and larges just to be safe. I also got a few pairs of shorts since I gotta make it through this summer and I have a realistic outlook on my weight loss journey, so I think having some larger shorts is going to be helpful lol. I wore size 4 in bottoms for many years, but right before I got pregnant I was up to size 6 and I had been ordering size 8 in maternity stuff, so I ordered both 8s and 6s in shorts. I only have a couple nursing bras, but I think I'm gonna wait a bit to order those, just to see what these boobies settle down to, and once I lose a little weight and see how that all goes. I have enough bras to survive, plus I don't anticipate leaving the house for awhile so I don't really need anything special, I can survive on thin sports bras if I need to for a bit.

Everything's going well. I can't wait to see what the postpartum period is like though, I just have a feeling I might turn into a psycho. :-P

Don't worry, this is the last time I'll say it: I hate hospital food. I cannot wait to get home and eat a home-cooked meal! I don't have any idea how hectic having a newborn is going to be, or if I'll ever have time to do it, but at least for this first week while Justin is also home, one of us better make something homemade, even if it's just spaghetti!

Sleep & Dreams:
There can be sleepless nights where I don't fall asleep until after midnight, then have to wake up right at 6:30 am when the sun rises outside my hospital room and stabs me in the eyes and lights everything up. But there are other nights where I sleep awesome. I absolutely have to say just how blessed I am to have slept so well throughout this pregnancy. These sleepless nights are not pregnancy related, just stupid hospital room related. I gotta say the Snoogle was a terrific investment and I'd recommend it to all pregnant women. 
As you know, I haven't really been having dreams to do with Calvin or really anything lately that I can remember. Well this week has been different. 
I had a dream I was with my dad and Calvin started moving like crazy so I called dad over to feel it and he was so excited to get to feel him move. 
I also dreamt that Justin and I were sitting on the front porch of a log cabin in the woods, rocking Calvin. 
And Justin did tell me he had a dream he dropped Calvin in a pond!

Physical Symptoms:
Back ache, even though I am on bed rest and can't really do much. I couldn't imagine how much it would ache if I were still doing things in the real world.
Why acne why?! I really really hope this skin goes back to normal soon!
Super tight tummy like all the time.
Lots of pelvic pressure and full feeling down there.
If you've been following me for awhile, you know that I typically suffer from an excessive amount of headaches, but during this pregnancy I have been delightfully surprised at the lack of headaches. Well this week that all changed and I had a handful of them, nothing really intense, just strange because they've been pretty nonexistent throughout much of the pregnancy. 

Like I've said the last couple weeks, his movements are definitely slower and less jabby. 

Favorite Moments of the Week:
My mom and dad came up to the hospital Saturday and spent like all day with me! We went out to the little garden here at the hospital, had lunch, played Yahtzee, and just talked. It was actually an awesome time to spend so long together.

Baby Purchases:
I ordered an electric breast pump through our insurance, so just waiting on that to come. I got a little hand pump too last week just in case Calvin came early and couldn't feed and I needed to pump for him. And I think it will be nice to have for back-up too, in case something goes wrong with the other pump or if I want to pump on the go or whatevs. Hoping insurance actually does cover the big pump and they're not gonna be a pain in the butt lol. But insurance is always a pain in the butt...
So, we'll just see what next week brings with our first week at home with a newborn. What did we forget?! I know Justin will be running to the store for something lol.

What I Look Forward To:
I went on a ramble last week about all the things I can't wait for to not be pregnant. Right now I'm thinking about eggs over easy and raw cookie dough. Mmmmmm. I bet I will miss my belly, even though I can't wait to sleep on my stomach again! I'll miss his movements and his kicks even though I'll be able to see him moving about in person!

Random Thoughts:
I absolutely cannot believe this is already coming to an end! 
New tactic of the week to help me not freak out about labor and delivery: looking forward to not being pregnant. I think about all the things I'll get to do, the weight loss, moving around easily, etc. I try to let the idea of no longer being pregnant overpower the scariness of the unknowns of actually giving birth. Not gonna lie though, one minute I think I'm ready and I can totally do this, then the next I'm like holy crap this is going to suck! Lol.

Thanks so much for reading!
Alaina and Little Calvin

Friday, May 20, 2016

36 Weeks Pregnant : Third Trimester Pregnancy Update, Symptoms, etc.

Week 36 - May 13-19

Our baby boy Calvin Lee is due June 17, 2016!

Robe sent to me by PinkBlushMaternity

Everything is still going awesome and we finally have an induction date! Thursday night May 26, so Calvin should hopefully be here on Friday, May 27, at exactly 37 weeks. So exciting! 
My fluid levels are still awesome, very consistent, even though I'm still leaking fluid. Things really are looking great.

Growing so big with every week. Latest ultrasound from last week had Calvin estimated at 6 lbs 8 oz. All the ultrasound techs just say how my belly is all baby. Everywhere you touch is like directly touching Calvin lol. 

Maternity Clothes:
I know if I were out in the real world right now, my clothing supply that still fits would be dwindling. One up side to hospital life is that I can wear yoga pants, pajama pants, and other very comfy stuff all the time and don't even have to worry about looking good or civilized, just comfy lol.
I know I only have one week left but I just wonder how long it's going to take to get back to fitting comfortably in things afterwards too. Even still things are getting tight on me, particularly the only two pairs of pajama shorts I thought I could wear til the end. I'm going to need these shorts afterwards and they're already not comfy! So I hope at least some of this thigh/hip weight is water weight and won't take too long to go down so I can live in comfy PJ's for my 8 weeks of maternity leave lol.

I have actually been feeling more snippy lately, like little things are driving me crazy and making me mad. Perhaps it's just the stress and suckiness of being stuck in the hospital all the time. 
I also feel like things are starting to get to Justin. He's been stressed at work and I know this whole hospital situation isn't helping. And I just feel so bad because I feel like there's nothing I can do to make him better. I really have never seen him like this, he just seems very disconnected and somewhat distant. And it's not just with me, I've noticed it when he talks to his dad too, for example. I do think things are just starting to get to him. 
This just isn't how we imagined our last month just the two of us and I really think that's starting to get to us both.

Appetite is still smaller than my usual pregnancy appetite. Again, who knows if it's just due to the crappy and repetitive hospital food options.
Also, do I have morning sickness again? For a couple days this week I felt so nauseous when I knew I was hungry. I wanted to eat but just didn't feel like eating because I didn't feel well. Eating fixed this, but it was very strange to me because this sounds like what I experienced months ago with morning sickness. Is this a thing? Is it possible to have morning sickness return this late?

Sleep & Dreams:
Weird dreams are back but I'm not super great at recalling them. Nothing apparently pregnancy related though. I gotta tell you about one I can remember though. I dreamt that Bernie Sanders owned a pet store and it was connected to a gun store! Haha.

Physical Symptoms:
Lots of stuff going on this week. 
My breasts have started leaking! Last week my nipples had been sensitive so I kinda knew this was coming. I definitely thought when I first saw my breasts producing milk that it would freak me out, but I was actually so happy when I saw it!
Acne is crazy this week! Two zits on my chest. What the heck? And the hairline scalp acne has been crazy. A couple zits on my face. 
Also my nose has been so stuffy this week. 
Darkened armpits. I've thought they were getting darker for a few weeks now and while watching other pregnancy vlog updates and seeing ladies mention it, I knew I wasn't losing my mind and they're really darker haha. I really hope that goes away afterwards... it always looks like I have stubbly armpit hair haha. 

I can't decide if Calvin's dropped or not. I feel like I am peeing more often, like he's on my bladder more. All my bottoms are annoying below my bump, but I don't know if it's because he's lower or my bump is just bigger. I don't feel like I am breathing any easier, but one thing that really does stand out to me are my sneezes. I can finally sneeze again every time. For a long while there I would feel a sneeze coming but not be able to get the deep breath before the sneeze, therefore probably 2/3 sneezes ended up not happening lol. I know that may sound strange, but it's definitely a change that's happened this week. 

Still doing well. I'm very happy Calvin has been a good little baby in his movements, he's never had me worried, throughout the pregnancy. 
Sometimes it feels like Calvin is literally trying to crawl out, there will be so much pressure down there it feels like he's pushing right up on my cervix. It usually tends to be in the evenings and when I'm sitting up. 

Favorite Moments of the Week:
Seeing all his hair on the ultrasound. And, of course, getting an induction date!

Baby Purchases:
No new purchases, but I'm starting to worry if we have all we need. I worry about how much stuff to have Justin bring to the hospital for next week when Calvin comes. I had him bring a manual breast pump just in case Calvin has to be in the NICU and I need to pump to feed him breast milk. Justin's in charge of picking out his coming home outfit. Can't wait to see what he picks. Calvin has so many super hero items, I'm sure this is a big decision for Justin to pick which one to represent lol.

What I Look Forward to:
Seeing Calvin! Showing him off to everyone, and especially seeing Justin's reaction to him (just remembering the look on his face when we saw him at our very first ultrasound when he was just a little blob, I can't even imagine his face when he sees him come into this world), and seeing how my two young nieces react to meeting him. Seeing how much hair he has (I hope he has a ton)!
Getting out of the hospital and going home to sleep in my own bed (in small intervals due to the whole having a newborn thing lol), and seeing my cats. Seeing how the cats react to Calvin. Speaking of cats, I can't wait to be in charge of the litter boxes again! And I can't wait for my skin to go back to normal hopefully! It is so unbelievably oily and the random zits are so so frustrating! 
I'm so tired of wearing pads constantly. It's been four weeks of it! Plus I'm going to have to wear them for however long after Calvin comes too! They are so uncomfortable and I feel like I'm wearing a diaper all day every day and it sucks.  
And I know there will not be time or energy for makeup when I get home but I really can't wait to do my makeup in good lighting again! The hospital room lighting sucks sooo bad! And there are a ton of other things I look forward to not just because of Calvin coming, but just the fact that I'll get to go home and not be stuck in the hospital forever.

Random Thoughts:
Wow, this pregnancy has truly just flown by. I know that most women still have a month left at this point, but I'm here with one week left and I really cannot believe it's already almost time to meet our baby boy! I like to say I'm really not fearful of childbirth at this point, I just can't wait to meet him, but I know there's still that fear in the back of my mind that I can't get rid of. I'm excited to meet Calvin of course, but I'm so excited just to get to go home finally! When labor sucks and I feel overwhelmed like I'm going to die I don't know which I'll use to motivate myself: meeting Calvin or knowing this is my ticket out of the hospital lol.
I used to get so very nervous before any public speaking, like giving presentations in school, that was my biggest fear ever. I just wonder how the anxiety about childbirth will end up comparing to public speaking haha.

Thanks so much for reading!
Alaina and Little Calvin

Saturday, May 14, 2016

35 Weeks Pregnant : Third Trimester Pregnancy Update, Symptoms, etc.

Week 35 - May 6-12

Our baby boy Calvin Lee is due June 17, 2016!

35 weeks! Every day and every week is such an awesome blessing! I cannot express how great it is.

In the Hospital:
As you may know, I've been in the hospital since 32+1 weeks. I'm here until our little Calvin comes. At the end of last week/beginning of this week, I've gotten a rash from the antibiotics they were giving me. This rash sucks. It sucks so bad. My hands, feet, belly, boobies, lower back, sometimes the backs of my legs, all itch like mad! It's especially bad in the middle of the night when I can't stop itching and go back to bed. They've been giving me Benedryl for it, but that just makes me pass out when I take it during the day. So I've been napping a lot. I don't know how much longer this thing is going to last but it's starting to look better, I don't think it's itching any less though. Anyway, that's the problem of the week. I just cannot tell you how much it sucks, I think it's really contributing to my overall mood being stuck here in the hospital.
I've been having weekly ultrasounds now. Two weeks ago they estimated his size at 5 lbs, 9 ounces, this week he was 6 lbs, 8 ounces. He's still measuring about two weeks ahead at this point. Although ultrasounds are not 100% accurate and they get even less accurate as time goes on, at least we know he is growing. My fluid levels have been very steady at the same amount ever since my water started leaking. So that's great! I don't know how that works. TMI warning, but the leaking fluctuates a lot. Some days it's quite a bit of fluid and other days it's not very much at all. It's good to see that even after a few days of heavier leaking, the fluid level is still the same as before.
The doctor still has faith we're going to make it full term. He refers to 37 weeks as our end point, even though he tells me there's really not much of a difference between 36 and 37 weeks, he would still like to make sure I get to full term. Although he really thinks I'll make it and we all hope I do, if I were to start going into labor on my own, he has no plan to stop contractions and prevent labor. For awhile there when they had me on the NST monitors I would have up to 6-7 contractions (that I did not feel) pretty regularly in that hour period of observation. These last few days I usually don't have any contractions and when I do it's only like three per hour. So things are looking good in that department too. Everything really is looking awesome and I thank God for that.

This bump is getting gigantic! Holy moly, I feel like Calvin weighs ten pounds already. I don't know how this belly is going to get any bigger!
I can really easily feel where Calvin is and what side he's leaning toward. He can lay awfully crooked these days lol.

Not gonna lie, I really feel like this whole being stuck in the hospital thing is starting to get to me at this point. Sometimes I do get a little upset and I feel like all I'm doing is existing, my job right now is only to grow Calvin. I'm not contributing to society in any way right now. I'm not working and contributing to my family financially. I'm not making dinner for my husband or otherwise running a household. I'm just sitting in the hospital 24/7 growing this little boy. And while, yes, I am so thankful he's still in my belly and not stuck in the NICU, and yes, I want him to stay in my belly until he's strong enough to do everything he needs to do on his own so that he can come home with us, being stuck in this hospital room is really starting to get to me.
Wednesday night I couldn't fall asleep and I had a little breakdown. I really just wanted to go home so bad and I did cry about it. I cried because I missed Justin. And even more so, I cried because I felt so selfish for even feeling that way. I wished Calvin was here so I could just go home already. And I felt so terrible for feeling that way. I just got to the point where I was so unbelievably tired of the whole situation and it overwhelmed me that night.

If only there were new options on the hospital menu... Thank goodness for family bringing me lunch every once in awhile. Thank goodness! Hospital food sucks. I really do feel like my appetite is much smaller than during the rest of my pregnancy though. 

Sleep & Dreams:
Kinda restless since getting the rash. I'll wake up early in the morning and not be able to fall back asleep because I can't stop itching. Then because of the Benadryl, I nap a lot during the day, then I can't fall asleep at night. So sleep has been kinda crappy lately.
I finally had some interesting dreams Wednesday night. I had two dreams with Leonardo Dicaprio in them haha. In one he was young, like Titanic young and he was playing one of the three stooges and they were on a bridge and it was muddy and in black and white. 
In a very separate dream, that finally had something to do with pregnancy, I dreamt that I lost my mucus plug.

Taking Benadryl for my rash is not helping my energy levels. I feel like a hobo most days. I get nothing accomplished. I'm taking my sweet time filling out the thank you cards from the shower. Haha. I'm almost positive our wedding thank you cards went out in less than a week! I'm a slacker.

Physical Symptoms:
I got a rash on the last day of the previous week that lasted until Wednesday of this week, one whole week of rash. All over the place; my back, belly, chest, my hands and feet were so itchy. They think it was the antibiotics they had me on. The Benadryl they're giving me just makes me pass out.
Pelvic pressure makes me feel like Calvin weighs ten pounds already. It's not constant though, some days it's worse than others.
Hip pain and achiness.
Still crazy oily skin, as always. No new zits in awhile though, so that's nice. Still having the scalp acne, that's been constant throughout the pregnancy.
My legs, ankles, and feet look magnificent lol. Bed rest does wonders for the swelling. My hands still look somewhat swollen, but holy crap I'm super happy with my feet, etc. 
I feel like my boobies have been more sensitive, especially my nipples. I have even felt a tingling sensation in my nipples on occasion. And overall, I think maybe my boobs have gotten a little bigger lately too.

Calvin's moving around just like usual. Sometimes I can feel him super low, stabbing my pelvic bone. And sometimes it feels like he's pushing to get out, there's so much pressure down there. Other days he has his knee or foot all up in my rib cage just hanging out super high up. I feel like he's moving in even less sudden, jabbing ways and more rolling, slow motions. 

Favorite Moments of the Week:
Justin took me down to the hospital gift shop on mother's day and I actually got to walk around and look at things. I know it sounds so simple, but that really was nice. Not having to be pushed around in the wheelchair and getting to "shop" for a few minutes was such a nice change of scenery really.

Baby Purchases:
I gathered a few remaining things on Target.com from the registry. Gotta love the 15% off coupon you get for that stuff. Ordered a few little random things like a baby carrier, crib mattress protector, bottle drying rack, and a few other things.

What I Miss:
Doing normal everyday things. But this is only because I'm stuck in the hospital, not just because of pregnancy in general. I miss just shopping and walking around, cooking dinner, waking up next to my husband, all of these normal everyday things that I haven't been able to do for three weeks now. But it's okay guys, we're over the halfway point right now (if doc induces me at 37 weeks like we plan)! We can do this. But I can't emphasize enough just how nice it is to know there's an end point in sight.

What I Look Forward To:
Okay, since we only have two weeks left, let's discuss the stuff I can't wait for when I'm no longer pregnant. Yes, I can't wait to see Calvin and all that lovey stuff, but let's be real. Let me tell you why I can't wait to be done being pregnant.
Eggs over easy! I haven't had runny eggs in eight months! And in the same category: cookie dough. Mmm.
Swelling to go down and I can wear my rings again! I can't wait to see how much of my new-found chubbiness is fat and how much is water weight and swelling.
Sleeping on my tummy! Sleeping in whatever position I want. Not having to use the Snoogle.
Wearing real bras and shopping for nursing bras (I've been living in super comfy sports bra type bras for many months because the belly is all up in the booby area, let's just say they really aren't the most flattering haha) And I'm not going to lie, I'm curious to see what my boobies look like once my milk comes in and I start breastfeeding.
Having a glass of the homemade wine my parents and their neighbors made last fall! I've just been so curious as to how it turned out. Lol.

But there is one thing that I am not looking forward to: headaches. In everyday life I suffer from both intense and constant headaches all too often, many times per week. Being pregnant has been a magical cure for these headaches. I had a couple in the very beginning of my pregnancy, but overall, I haven't had them. I really think I've only had 2-3 that made me want to take medicine for them this whole time.

Thanks so much for reading!
Alaina and Little Calvin