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5.22.2018

baby blueprints & a baby update

It's been a wild couple of weeks lately and this blog kinda took a backseat to just about everything. have you missed me!? Don't answer that. But I needed to take some time to handle some heavy stuff that was going on in our home with our babies. If you follow along at all through other social media sites, you have a good idea of what I'm referring to. As of last Thursday, we were told by our doctor that it looked like our baby A had clubbed feet and that our baby B had a cleft lip. She told us that she wanted us to go see a specialist who would be able to tell us for sure and I instantly lost it. I laid back on the table while she and Andrew both tried to calm me down and relieve me from my panic. And while telling us this and trying to keep me calm, my doctor must have repeated five times “We just can’t get a good angle of them, we can’t tell, this is not definite, don’t start panicking". It didn't help. I still panicked. While I know these are both minor inconveniences in the grand scheme of life and pregnancy, it was still scary and totally intimidating and caught me completely off guard. It made me feel more guilt and disappointment in myself than I ever knew possible. I thought I screwed them up and I thought I caused these issues. 

The first day was definitely the hardest and it was a long six days of trying to be optimistic and wait for our doctor's appointment. The night before going, I absolutely broke down and was basically dragged to the specialist the next morning where we would find out what exactly was going on in there. We arrived 15 minutes early as instructed and after an hour of taking nearly 200 ultrasound photos, trying to focus on breathing and squeezing all of the life out of Andrew’s hand, our doctor told us the best news possible. Not only did baby B’s mouth look totally fine and cleft lip free, but baby A’s little feet weren’t of much concern either. At this point they’re so small and wiggly that they can’t tell much on the foot and the baby could be born perfectly “normal” or need a brace of some kind. Pfff that's nothing. I can take that no problem! I sat on the table and cried the most relieved tears of my life. We were able to see our babies sucking on their hands, they had each grown 3 ounces in just six days, and they even went from being head down in the lower right section of my belly to facing each other completely flipped around with their heads kinda under my belly button. Their hearts, brains, and spines looked good and we couldn’t be more thankful that the last few days are over. 

I never knew I could love and worry about someone (or two someones) so much without knowing them. I've never cared about anything so much in my life and now, I worry about them all day every day. I wish they could just shoot me a text from in there and tell me "hey! we're fine You don't need to feel so guilty if you want to eat Taco Bell!". We're at nearly 23 weeks and while I'm feeling good most of the time, I'm ready for them to be earth side. I'm ready to see them and hold them and smell them (Oh my goddddd I can not wait to smell them) and look back on this pregnancy as a challenge that I'll never have to face again. 

Especially with twins, they tend to come earlier than expected. So even at 23 weeks, that doesn't necessarily mean they'll be waiting 17 more weeks to meet us. It could be sooner and we're trying our bet to get as prepared as possible and that project started with the nursery. I wanted that room done as soon as possible so I could just kind of check it off of my mental list of things to do (that list also includes clean behind refrigerator, vacuum all air vents, and figure out how to give a cat a bath) But first up, the nursery! Every few days, it comes together just a little bit more. It is now filled with cribs and baby books, and more Goodwill onesies than I knew existed. I wanted to keep it pretty simple, soothing, and calm in there with not a long going on (before our kids take it over and make a mess of it) 

So a few months back, a friend of mine tagged me to show me an Etsy shop called Baby Blueprint. I'm so glad she did because it introduced me to what would soon be my favorite piece in our twin's room. A print from one of their ultrasounds (Specifically, my favorite print of them. They're still tiny but they're just starting to look like babies and they still fit in one frame. We called them our water babies. Do you remember those dolls?!? They're too big now to fit in one photo and it's totally bittersweet. Isn't that crazy!?) The prints come in a variety of sizes and colors, but a simple black one was right up my alley and it turned out so very perfect, I cried when Andrew brought it home. No seriously. I had been in a bad mood from bleeding gums and a sore lower back and he walked in with a big smirk on his face and said "I got something that will cheer you right up" I said "I doubt it. I'm not comfy today." and then he pulled out our twin's first framed photo together and I smiled ear to ear. I'm so excited to keep it in our nursery and then move it to our photo gallery wall once they're older. Thank you so much Baby Blueprint for making this mama's day, week, and month. We love it so much!  
this post is sponsored by Baby Blueprint
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5.03.2018

mocktails for mamas: grapefruit & pink orange spritzer

this past Sunday, I went and got Mexican food with a few girlfriends. We sat on the patio and ate 30 baskets of chips and it was so so good to see them and have them rub on the bump a little bit. But I gotta say, it was the first time I have realized ever in my life, even after a hundred years of working behind a bar, just how few drink options there are besides water and soda for a pregnant woman surrounded by her margarita lovin' besties. Even a few weeks back, Andrew and I tried out a new taco place and I got a virgin margarita just for fun. Nope. Tasted just like lemon lime Gatorade. I've never been so jealous watching someone slurp down a salt rimmed beverage and I'll be perfectly honest I can't wait to go back into my little routine of having an adult drink at night with my friends or husband once this pregnancy is over. The moment I peed on that stick at roughly 5 weeks along, we both quit all of our bad habits and haven't looked back and I'm so damn proud of us but in the meantime, I gotta shake it up! Now that it's finally warming up outside, I'm ready to fire up the grill and sit on patios pronto so it felt like the perfect time to try out some new mama mocktails and this was first up. A grapefruit and pink orange spritzer (by "spritzer" I just mean soda water, but I miss you white wine) with rosemary and honey. Super easy and delish and you'll feel just as fun and free spirited as you watch your friends get a buzz. Speaking of buzzes, I think this drink would be perfect with tequila so if you're having friends over, make a huge batch and just add liquor per request. Just be mindful to not do a switcharoo! No one needs to see a pregnant woman dancing on tables!

for 4 servings, you'll need:
3-4 grapefruit
2 pink oranges
2 tablespoons honey
8-10 sprigs of rosemary (extra for garnish if that's your thing)
crushed ice
club soda
Over medium heat, combine your honey and rosemary for about 5 minutes. While that's working, Start squeezing your fruit (doing this procedure always reminds me of when I met Andrew. he was my boss at a tequila bar and I would come in early and squeeze limes for him just to hang out with him. now I just squeeze his limes for fun ;) Remove your honey & rosemary from heat. Add crushed ice to glasses. Pour your honey & rosemary mixture into your citrus juice mixture and stir vigorously (if you can, shake it until frothy. but stirring works fine, too!)  Pour over ice and garnish with fruit chunks or rosemary or both if it's the weekend.
like I said before, a shot of tequila in this would probably be delicious and I'll report back on that theory in about 6 months :) enjoy mamas and happy weekend!
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4.19.2018

if all of pregnancy felt like the second trimester, the population would triple

in my best Janice from Friends impersonation, Oh. My. God. You guys, there are definitely still hard days here and there and some weeeeird pregnancy side effects (blood blisters on my fingers? hearing my hear beat in my ear all throughout the day? STILL hating the smells of spices/meat?) but so far this second trimester has been a dreamy wonderland compared to that haunted house of a first trimester that I will never experience again. At this point, it seems like a distant nightmare. The feelings of crippling anxiety and not wanting to leave the house just don't make sense now. I say to myself over and over what was I so afraid of?  but in the moment, it doesn't matter. It's paralyzing and no one can talk you through it. It was all on me to breathe, cry, take a bath, or just close my eyes and get through each time that my anxiety was overwhelming me. But once we hit the 12 week mark, my doctor prescribed me to an anti anxiety medication and between that and my hormones finally calming down a little bit, life is finally starting to come back into focus. Feelings of fear are being replaced with excitement and feelings of dreading to leave my bed are replaced with "hey you wanna run to Target?!" 

Today marked 18 weeks of being pregnant. We stay up Wednesday nights until midnight when our pregnancy app switches us over to the next week's size/baby update and it's lame but we love it. They are now the size of sweet potatoes with eyelashes and are learning to smell and swallow. It's 51% beautiful and amazing and 49% creepy to me still. I mean... there are people inside me. That's just weird! Our next appointment will be an intimidating one filled with checking on hearts and brains and we hope for the best results possible. So far our doctors have told us we're in great shape and everyone in there is right on track so we're just going to keep being positive and giving these babies whatever they want (last night, it was a bag of carrots and a bag of gummy worms. I'd like to think each baby has a very unique sense of appetite!) 

To celebrate the day, I figured it was time to let my maternity leggings get a break from their daily job of holding me all together and go out to find some maternity clothes. Anyone that knows me well, or not even well, knows I don't spend a bunch of money on clothes and usually I could care less what I'm wearing. I'm frugal to a point so buying clothes that will only be useful to me for a year or so was hard. But several people suggested an outlet shop nearby and I walked out with several pairs of jeans, dresses, shorts, and more.... all for $31!! I nearly hugged the cashier. I got home and showed them all to Andrew and had myself a nice little fashion show and for the first time in months, not only did I feel proud of myself, I felt good about myself. I was able to get into my car and sing along to the radio and talk to my babies and go through a drive thru for food and shop at a store all by myself without even once having to talk myself through it. A pastime I used to thoroughly enjoy of being on my own and doing my own thing has seemed daunting for so many weeks that I've lost count. and today I did it. and the reward was stuffing my sweet potatoes into new pairs of jeans and looking forward to this belly getting bigger and bigger, now that we've got the waist band ready for it! 

This pregnancy stuff isn't for everyone. and it's harder than hell to watch your body change right before your eyes. But we are so lucky to be experiencing this and I'm so proud of how far I've come on my own and how great we are doing as a team. We are almost HALF WAY DONE and I'm so excited to meet them!! and since no blog post out there is worth a damn without some photos, here's a few of my bump in our new clothes!! aren't they cute?!
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3.10.2018

how to keep your pregnant wife happy: advise from my husband.

*this cute little video seemed kind of relatable, although Andrew didn't need to take a breather on a doctor's table once we found out about our twin surprise. That guy has been a champ from the get go and I couldn't ask for a better partner. And now that he's a bloggin' husband, it only seemed appropriate for him to write up his own post on a subject he has become quite familiar with the past several weeks- how to keep me from bursting into flames or tears.*


My First Blog!
Some of you may know me from previous posts on lovejamiedawn.com, others may just now be getting your first introduction to me. So, hello! I’m Andrew, I’m a Virgo and I enjoy half a pack of sweet and low in my Iced tea. 
It has been an exciting 7 and half(ish) weeks since learning that we were expecting a baby! Even more exciting in the past 4 and a half(ish) weeks since we learned that we were expecting two babies!  (2 babies) 
As I’m sure there is with every pregnancy, there has been some highs and some lows.  As a man, I can’t even begin to imagine everything that is happening within the body and mind as two humans grow inside of you, so I have been doing my best to be there for Jamie and help with everything I can.  So for any expected moms out there that have a boyfriend/husband/baby daddy that may need some insight, I thought I’d list out some of the things I’ve been doing. Some of these tips & hints may sound medically related, please don’t consider any of this actual medical advice, I didn’t attend any form of Med School (Although I have watched the first few seasons of House, many times)

Be there for all the appointments
- Going to the doctor’s office can be stressful, emotionally draining, and scary.  There isn’t really anything that the doctors need you for, but your presence there can help your SO more than you probably think
 Think about what’s for dinner/lunch/breakfast
- Not only is your SO not going to want to cook, they are going to hate things they used to love and love things they had never thought about eating before. Pay attention to the things that seems to go along with their appetite and plan the meals you cook around that (also, take it easy on seasonings and extremely aromatic foods)
Keep her drinking water
- If she is growing a baby, then that is pushing on her bladder, she is peeing (a lot – don’t tell her that though)  Water is a key component in the body, she needs it, the baby needs it. Make sure you are staying on them about always having water with them. 
Do what she asks
- Don’t be a dickhead. The roller coaster of emotion going on in her life is possibly going to make things seem strange to you. Just go with it. If she wants to put her cold feet on you, just let her. If she wants to eat Dorito and pickle sandwiches for dinner,  you make a plate of pickle and Dorito sandwiches for dinner. 
Be there to listen and have patience. 
-  There are going to be a lot of thoughts, fears, emotions and they are going to come and go as quick as they can. Be the reassuring voice for her. Let her vent her thoughts, and then help her think them through. Be patient, especially if this is a first pregnancy, no one knows what they are doing. No question is stupid, do your best to give the best answer you can to it.
Take over the cleaning duties
-  If your house is like ours, it stays pretty squeaky clean 99.7% of the time. All of that credit is to my wife. She does a great job of sweeping/mopping/dusting/etc…Guess what is more important now, growing babies. A clean house is a calm house. Don’t be a slob and expect your wife to continue to keep up with house cleaning as she did prior to the pregnancy.
Love her.
- Duh. Tell her she’s beautiful. Give her a good hug for no reason. Just let her know that you are there for her, without having to say it.

Okay – Whew.  First Blog complete.  I’d like to thank everyone that made this possible. My agent, my baby mama, and most notably Baby A and Baby B. If everyone has enjoyed this piece, let me/her/someone know – and maybe I’ll pop up for a guest appearance again.  
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