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Mommy Mania Pregnancy Teacher Tales

So, I’m not going back to work.

May 28, 2019

My whole life, I’ve known I wanted to be a teacher. Except for a brief delusional period in the 10th grade where I thought I wanted to be on SWAT, there was no other option for me. It was in my blood. It was something I knew my soul was called to do. It was my vocation. I was BORN to mold the minds of America’s future.

My first few years teaching, I poured everything I had into my kids and classroom. I came in early, stayed until dark, and spent my entire weekend in my classroom. I put every kid on an individualized plan, changed my door decorations every month, and created the cutest lessons you ever did see. My heart was so insanely full. My students were the first thing I thought about in the morning and the last thing I thought about before I feel asleep. I was constantly thinking of ways to teach a lesson or break through to a tough student. School was my whole life and I loved every second of it. The exhaustion of a long day and the sheer joy of a student who finally got the lesson was everything I needed.

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Even when I got pregnant, my feelings toward school didn’t change. I put my blood, sweat, and tears into my maternity sub plans to make sure my kiddos didn’t miss a beat.  I made plans to come back and hit the ground running to get those kids where they needed to be. All I could think about was getting back to the world I’d given my whole heart to.

Then, my baby was born. I felt every inch of my heart shift when that little girl was placed on my chest. Being home on maternity leave gave me so much fulfillment. Although it was terrifying, I thrived learning about my baby, giving her everything she needed, and being her mom. It filled my world like I never thought anything could. All of a sudden, I couldn’t imagine ever doing anything but being her mom.

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Going back to school wrecked me. Leaving her everyday was unbearable. Even though we adore her daycare, I would cry on my way to school knowing someone else got to love on her that day.

School was no longer my entire life. I got to school with the kids, left with the kids, and never came on the weekends. While I still worked my keister off for each of my students, my daughter was my number one priority. The guilt began to set in when I felt like I wasn’t giving my all to school or motherhood. My heart was torn by the two things that gave me my purpose in life. On the weekends, I couldn’t imagine going back to work and leaving my baby. At work, I couldn’t imagine leaving the classroom to be a mom full time. I was getting the feeling that something was going to have to give. Was I really being called to leave the classroom and stay home?

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The clarity came when I learned Daphne Grace was coming into the world. I realized that the pull to be a mom was something I couldn’t ignore anymore. I will still be a teacher, just not in the way I’d always been. I will still mold minds, just the ones I created. My vocation has shifted and I am so at peace with what that means for my life. I  fall asleep thinking of all the activities I will do with my girls. I now dream of teaching my own kids to read, create, and explore the world around them. The thought of teaching my girls brings me a kind of joy I’d never experienced. I’ve begun to see all the possibilities the vocation of  “Stay at Home Mom” has to offer.  To be honest, I was afraid of that title and a loss of identity. Something I’d feared became something I couldn’t wait to dive in to.

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I’m learning to accept and love all the changes that motherhood brings. Life changes so quickly and sometimes, and often times something you thought you were supposed to do forever gets overshadowed by something bigger than yourself. Teaching had been everything I’d ever wanted. I know, one day, I’ll be going back to the classroom. I love it too much to say a forever goodbye, but my little ones need everything I can give them. Being a mom  means making sacrifices, I knew that. However, I wasn’t ready for how much beauty those sacrifices can cultivate. Will and I both had incredible stay at home moms, and I can’t wait to follow in their footsteps.

**Now accepting all prayers and stay at home mom advice.

 

Mommy Mania Pregnancy

21 Weeks With Daphne Grace

May 26, 2019

How far along? 21 weeks
Baby is the size of a:  Baby Bok Choy, Small Baseball Hat, and Pomegranate

Total weight gain: Back to beginning of pregnancy weight. Feeling super swollen, so I’m feeling way larger.

Stretch marks? No new ones

Baby Development: Daphne Grace is finishing up her fingerprints this week! Her skin is wrinkly and see-through as she prepares for her fat build up. She continues to practice her breathing by swallowing her amniotic fluid. Her senses are developing rapidly! She has a fully formed inner ear, giving her balance, and her nerves are giving her a strong sense of touch. Her eyes are fully formed, but they do not have their pigment yet. Any guesses on eye color? She is a perfect tiny human.

Movement:  DG turned into hulk baby over night! Her movements are much more noticeable and she makes me super nauseous when she rolls or flips over.
Food cravings: Salads this week! I can’t get enough romaine and ranch.

Miss Anything? Sleeping on my back! Every time I end up asleep on my back, I wake up with a headache in the middle of the night. Apparently, it has to do with blood flow to and from the baby.

Symptoms: EMOTIONS. I’m crying one minute, laughing the next, or cranky, or elated. Poor Will has had to deal with quite a few emotional spells from me this week.

Belly Button in or out? So out there, it isn’t even funny.
Wedding rings on or off? Still on

Mood? all of them.

Best Moment this Week: SEEING WINNIE GRADUATE FROM PHYSICAL THERAPY! I’m so proud I could burst. It was also my last week of school. Although it had some sad moments, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to spend so much time with Winnie and Daphne while they’re little. My parents also came into town to help me pack up my classroom! I love having them here and bonding with WJ.

Winifred Update: Winnie turned 9 months this week! This chick is determined. When she wants something, she will find a way to get there. She pulled up for the first time by herself and was SO proud of herself. When she graduated therapy, her PT said she was right where she needed to be for a 9 month old. I’m not gonna lie, those were beautiful words for a mama to here.

Looking forward to: Being free! I can’t wait to spend time with my parents and WJ!

Mommy Mania Pregnancy

20 Weeks with Daphne Grace

May 26, 2019

How far along? 20 weeks! HALFWAY WHOOOO HOOOOO!
Baby is the size of a:  Banana, Paper Airplane

Total weight gain: lost half a pound

Stretch marks? No new ones! Itchy belly after a shower.

Baby Development: We had Daphne Grace’s 20-week anatomy scan this week! She was an absolute pinball! It took the sonographer almost an hour to get all of her measurements because of how much she was moving. Everything is looking good and she weighs about 14 oz.! All of her bones are strong and her anatomy is as it should be. Doc said the constant movement is a good sign of a healthy placenta! She is measuring about a week ahead (Winnie did too), so we’ll see how that goes. Daphne Grace is beginning to practice her breathing on the amniotic fluid and starting to produce meconium (the first poop)! She is also sprouting teeth buds underneath her gums. Her lips, eyelashes, and eyebrows are almost all there! We can’t wait to kiss her face!

Movement:  Right now, she is in a breech position, which is pretty normal. Lucky for me, her feet are using my bladder as a trampoline! The sonographer said, “Oh poor mama, she’s all up in that bladder!” Boy, do I feel it. However, I’m so grateful for the movement.
Food cravings: Ramen Noodles haha can’t get enough of that carby goodness.

Miss Anything? I miss not having to pee every 5 minutes!!!

Symptoms: I’m nesting BIG TIME. This weekend, I cleaned the house from top to bottom and began organizing all the clutter from Winnie’s room.

Belly Button in or out? OUT! Double belly button lookin gooooooood.
Wedding rings on or off? Still on!

Mood? I wish there was a simpler answer to this question.

Best Moment this Week: Seeing Daphne Grace on the sonogram. It brings my heart so much comfort. She already has so much of her own personality; I cannot wait to see who she becomes. She might give Winnie J a run for her money. Field day was also a blast with my kiddos!

Winifred Update: Winnie J got to swim in her kid pool for the first time this weekend! She THRIVES in the water and had the time of her life. She is crawling (pulling herself) everywhere and she discovered the DVD collection this week! Her babbling has become more consistent and she looks you in the eye when she talks, which is hilarious and adorable.

Looking forward to: The last week of school! I can’t wait to soak in all the last moments with my babes.  Such a bittersweet week.

Mommy Mania Pregnancy

19 Weeks With Daphne Grace

May 26, 2019

How far along? 19 weeks
Baby is the size of a:  Mango, Old Fashioned Game Boy, Hedgehog

Total weight gain: 1 lb.! Whoop whoop!

Stretch marks? No new ones! But my belly is getting itchy.

Baby Development: Daphne Grace is developing her waxy coating, called vernix, to protect her skin from the amniotic fluid. She is starting to grow hair on her head and her brain is making connections to her muscles!

Movement:  Her movement is becoming way stronger, especially in my lower abdomen! She is the most active at night. I love this period of pregnancy. Feeling baby moves brings so much comfort, but it isn’t strong enough to send lightening down my spine yet.
Food cravings: I’ve eaten sonic twice this week….not my proudest moment but its DELICIOUS so I have no regrets. Pretty sure that is to blame for the weight gain.

Miss Anything? I really miss sleeping on my belly this week. I’ve been able to squeeze by the last few weeks, but DG has other plans for our sleeping position.

Symptoms: Way more energy this week! Which is super helpful, because the insomnia is kicking in. I can fall asleep fine but most nights, Winnie and I get up at the same time to eat. If I get up in the middle of the night, it takes me about 2 hours to fall back asleep. Not ideal but we’re getting by. My appetite has also ramped up big time! I cannot eat enough. Will is doing a great job of filling our house with nutrient dense snacks for me.

Belly Button in or out? OUT! I have a weird double belly button now. One under the skin, and one over the skin. If anyone has experienced this please help me out, should I be worried??
Wedding rings on or off? Still on!

Mood? Grateful. I’ve cried countless times this week because I’ve felt so grateful for everything and everyone I have in my life.

Best Moment this Week: I GOT A NEW MOM CAR!! Best mother’s day gift I could have ever asked for. I’m really upset to be getting rid of Ginger (my good old 2009 Corolla), but she couldn’t fit two car seats in her back seat. Pearl (my 2018 Ford Explorer), will be a great addition to out family. My first mother’s day was also so relaxing and full of WJ snuggles!

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Winifred Update: She started this cool new thing where she stopped sleeping through the night. She wakes up between 12-2 every night to drink a bottle, and then continues to have a rave in her crib for the next hour. Super fun. She is very hard to stay mad at though, because when she wakes up, she is the happiest/cuddliest baby in the whole wide world. WE ARE ALSO CHEWING!! Winnie had a very hard time with her gag reflex and needed to gain weight so we went right to purees instead of baby led weaning, like we’d hoped. She really struggles to get solid food down. So, that is what we are working on right now!

Looking forward to: Our sonogram on Monday to see Little Miss Daphne Grace!

Mommy Mania Pregnancy

18 Weeks With Daphne Grace

May 13, 2019

How far along? 18 Weeks
Baby is the size of a:  Bell Pepper

 

Total weight gain: Still 0

Stretch marks? Nope.

Baby Development: Daphne’s nerves are growing their protective covering this week! Her blood vessels are visible through her skin and she has all her reproductive organs!

Best moment this week: Hearing Daphne Grace’s heartbeat! She has a strong little ticker. This week was a whirlwind! I couldn’t even tell you what we had for dinner last night.

Movement:  Daphne Grace is moving like crazy! I never remember Winnie J moving like this.
Food cravings: I’m super proud of myself! This week was craving free and I ate super clean.

Miss Anything? Wine was hard to resist this week.

 

Symptoms: I felt SO good this week! No pain or headaches! I think the second trimester energy has hit and I could not be more grateful!

Belly Button in or out? OUT!
Wedding rings on or off? Still on!

Mood? Focused. Trying to prep for the end of the school year!

Winifred Update: I swear I have the most fun kid in the world. When we are home, she has very little interest in her toys! All she wants to do is whatever Will and I are doing. She is a great helper with the laundry. She’ll take clothes out of the bin and hand them to us to fold. She loves to ride the bin back and forth to the laundry room! Her favorite “toys” are remotes, cups, and car keys! She has developed this fake “laugh” taught to her by her lovely father and it’s pretty much the cutest thing ever. Winnie J enjoys her outside time more than anything! She got super sick this weekend. It was heartbreaking to see her so miserable but I didn’t hate all the snuggles. STILL WAITING FOR TEETH.

 

 

Looking forward to: Car Shopping! This momma needs a new car if I’m gonna be hauling around 2 tiny humans!

Mommy Mania Pregnancy

16 Weeks with LL2

April 21, 2019

How far along? 16 Weeks
Baby is the size of a:  Dill pickle
Total weight gain: Back where I started!
Maternity clothes? I forgot that dresses were a thing and I’m a happy gal now.

Stretch marks? None!

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If it has an owl on it, she wants it. She’s going Chi O for sure.

Baby Development: LL2 is getting more nutrients and hormones from the placenta now! She outweighs the placenta by about 1 or 2 oz.  She is developing her sense of sight, sound, smell and touch. Her eyes are not open yet, but she can detect light and can hear everything going on. Her ears are moving into place on the side of her head and she is starting to look more human and less alien-like.
Sleep:  I’ve been staying up way too late. I think it’s because of the time to myself I get after Winnie goes down. I regret it every morning when I wake up , yet I do it again the next night, haha. I’m getting awesome sleep when I do go to bed, though! I switched to Friends before bed, so my dreams have been much more pleasant.

^^ WJ learned how to drop food for the dogs, she is now Zeus’ favorite human. She has also fallen in love with taking everything out of a basket and surrounding herself with it.

Best moment this week: Honestly, my students were the best part of my week. I love this time of year with my kids. They know summer is coming but they still love being in school (mostly). The curriculum gets a tad lighter, leaving room for some amazing, engaging activities and lessons. Our last few weeks are full of year end testing, so we  play games and laugh to keep our brains alive! They’re starting to become second graders and I love watching them talk and interact with each other. Their behavior this week was magical and I’m so grateful for their attitudes. Also, taking Winnie J to see the easter bunny was amazing.

Movement:  Definitely some actual flipping going around in there! Makes my heart so happy!
Food cravings: I want pasta all day every day. I need to watch my carb intake to avoid a giant baby, but WOW only carbs sound good. Will has been doing an incredible job cooking the most delicious, and healthy meals. He incorporates my cravings while giving me all the nutrients baby and I need. Fruit of any kind always sounds incredible.
Miss Anything? I miss not having a head that hurts.

Symptoms: The headaches are continuing and I’m DONE. The nausea is completely gone, which is a total blessing. I can’t tell if the fatigue is from LL2, teaching 18 tiny humans, or having a 7 month old.

*Update- I reincorporated coffee into my mornings and have been headache free! Its only been 3 days, so well’ see.

Belly Button in or out? In.
Wedding rings on or off? Still on!

Mood? My mood has been much better this week. Minus the headaches, I’ve had much more energy and feel more positive. My moods still change hour by hour, but we’re getting more on the better side! I feel better when I’m productive, even when I don’t want to be.

^^First trip to see the Easter Bunny and Hobby Lobby in the same day!

Winifred Update: She is LAUGHING y’all! It’s the single most amazing sound I’ve ever heard in my entire life. I’ve been waiting forever to hear her laugh and it was so worth the wait. Winifred continues to babble like crazy with a lot more consonant sounds. Her favorite place to talk is in her crib as she falls asleep and in the morning when she wakes up. She had physical therapy this week and her therapist said she’s doing amazing. She is right on schedule with all her developments and she is SO close to crawling. She can pull herself forward and get on her hands and knees, but has trouble putting those pieces together. She still sits completely straight legged, but the physical therapist isn’t worried about her hips anymore! Her legs just need to be manipulated when she sits until she can do it on her own.  Winnie no longer has a head tilt from Torticollis, so we’ll just be monitoring for any changes as she starts walking and crawling. Winnie should only have 1 more appointment before she’s done with therapy!! I’m so proud of our smoosh and how hard she works. She’s not a quitter, that’s for sure! She also saw the Easter Bunny this weekend and was so unbothered. She didn’t even look at him!

Looking forward to: Winifred turns 8 months next week and we have another appointment for LL2, whose name is……..

 

Mommy Mania Pregnancy

15 Weeks with LL2

April 14, 2019

 

How far along? 15 Weeks
Baby is the size of a:  box of crayons, pear, yellow canary, small avocado
Total weight gain: -1 (right now, sleeping beats eating)
Maternity clothes? Living my best life!

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Stretch marks? Nope!

Baby Development: LL2’s lungs are developing in overtime right now! She can breathe in the amniotic fluid that will help her lungs develop air sacs. Her eyes and ears are moving into the right position on her face. Her heart is pumping 25 quarts of blood a DAY! She can now bend her knees and elbows!
Sleep:  The vivid dreams are turning into nightmares, probably because of the SVU I watch before bed. The anxiety creeps in as I fall asleep and is making it harder to drift off. This is about the time in my pregnancy with Winifred where I had to be put on anti anxiety meds, but I’m hoping to avoid that this time around. A calming bedtime routine is in my future.

Best moment this week: RAIDER!!!!!!!!!!!! Even though we didn’t win, I’m so stinkin’ proud to be a Red Raider! I also stepped out of my comfort zone and became a contributor for the Midland Moms Blog! I had my first event this week. After a minor anxiety attack in the parking lot, I went it and mingled my little heart out. I’m proud of myself for getting out of my comfort zone and I can’t wait to see what the MMB is all about. We also went to a crawfish boil with the people we love! Needless to say, momma and baby were both pleased with the spicy goodness.

 

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Watching the Tech game with Daddy!

Movement:  I felt some “no doubt about it” movement from LL2, which just made my heart so happy! LL2 is super low, so I’m only feeling twitches.
Food cravings: Got my first real pregnancy food craving this week! Kraft Mac and Cheese. It was so bad that I couldn’t sleep, and sweet Will had to go to the store at 11 pm for me. Now, this was weird because I generally do not like Mac and Cheese…so baby was definitely in charge.  I ate about 4 bites and couldn’t stomach it anymore, but it satisfied baby so I could sleep. Other than that, I can’t get enough popsicles.
Miss Anything? Not this week!

Symptoms: MIGRAINES. Y’all, I did not have this many headaches with Winnie J. I get one every day and nothing helps. Essential oils, caffeine, Tylenol, sleep, showers, Ice packs, NOTHING. I’m dying and I hope they go away soon. It makes teaching and momming really difficult.

Belly Button in or out? In.
Wedding rings on or off? Still on!

Mood? Cranky, because of the headaches. My fuse is about a centimeter long and I blow at any inconvenience. These are the worst and I feel sorry for my students and husband. I’m not a very pleasant person to be around during a headache.

Winifred Update: This girl is the light of my freaking LIFE. She is talking non-stop! She babbles and sings along to the radio, using her paci as a microphone. Winnie J is enthralled with her Daddy. Everywhere he goes her eyes follow him or she wants to be right there. I love watching their relationship grow. If Will has anything to say about it, she’ll have a game controller in her hand by age 3! She THRIVES in the bathtub. She loves to get the water dumped over her head and chase her floating toys in the water. She is a professional splasher, and giggles like a maniac when she gets into her towel. Right now, her favorite bath toy is the cup mom uses to dump water on her. WJ has also discovered her tongue and can make the cutest little noises when she’s eating.
Looking forward to: The headaches going away and Feeling more movement! Also, planning a name announcement!