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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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3.08.2018

my first trimester essentials

I wish I could start this post with a hip hip hooray! I'm feeling all better! But that would be the biggest lie ever. I threw up this morning out of nowhere and I've had Ritz crackers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So we aren't quite out of the woods yet, but I'm definitely feeling much better than I did a few weeks ago. It was probably the hardest and worst 1.5 months of my life and it felt like it would never end. I get antsy just thinking back on it. Moving on! 

We had our 11 week ultrasound this past Monday and it was the neatest thing I have ever experienced. I didn't realize that this early on, the babies would start to look like... well...humans. But they did! We saw arms and legs and a whole dance party going on in my uterus. I'm glad they're having a good time in there while I've lived on the bathroom floor :) their heartbeats were strong and they wiggled around at us. I cried a lot as always. It's scary when you hear "high risk pregnancy" with twins, of course, but I'm trying to look at our glass half full and focus on the good. Like how we get to go to the doctor's often, see our babies, and ask a million questions. (they love me there.) I can't say enough how much a compassionate team of women on our side is putting me at ease. Myself included! I apologize to Andrew about a hundred times a day for being a burden, being weak, for being constantly upset, for being so needy, for not cleaning the house. And god, that man just smiles, rubs my head, kisses my forehead and tells me I'm perfect. I made this quick little post of my top 5 first trimester staples, but if I'm being honest, his face should be #1 on that list! He's mine only though, so here's the other essentials that you can buy for yourself :)

actually, this is more of a nightly routine kinda list, but that's ok. My days are pretty much filled with one thing on my to do list: stay alive.

1. Start your evening with a nice warm bath featuring Epsom salt. I found waaay too much research good and bad online about baths while pregnant. So much information that it ruined a relaxing bath by worrying. So I talked to my doctor who said baths are great! just keep the water not super hot, make sure your skin doesn't turn red, and watch your heart rate. (sometimes I'll take an ice water in there with me to balance it out) but a hot bath with Epsom salt helps with achy bodies and anxiety (epsom salt has magnesium in it so it soaks into your skin)

2. after your bath, rub down with Cocoa Butter stretch mark lotion. This is my first pregnancy so I have no idea what's "normal" and what's more of a twin pregnancy trait. But ... At 12 weeks, my belly is already creepin' out. After every bath and shower, I slather globs and globs of this stuff on my stomach, boobs, and thighs. It smells pretty good (although if I'm being honest, smelling anything that often gets old. but if it helps keep my belly from looking like a road map, I'll deal with it)

3. Once you're settled into your pajamas or your husbands oversize t shirt, sip on some Natural Calm. THIS is a big one. Most people that read along on here know that this pregnancy has brought on super high anxiety for me. (I even thought I was having a panic attack and that's why we went to Urgent Care, where we found out we were pregnant to begin with! What a lovely story haha!) anyway I don't try and understand the science behind it, but I know I'm not alone. A girlfriend of mine absolutely saved my life when she recommended taking this from her own experience of anxiety during pregnancies. Most people don't realize they have a magnesium deficiency and it can easily trigger anxiety. A scoop of this magical powder in a glass of water every night helps me to calm the fuck down. you can feel it taking action and it's my number one recommendation to anyone, pregnant or not.

4. While you sip your drink and slip into a relaxing coma, scrub down your legs with a body brush. I bought this months and months back to help with circulation and cellulite. It was great. But one of my top pregnancy symptoms was restless legs while I try to fall asleep. Truly one of the most aggravating feelings out there. Andrew scratches my legs with the brush before I go to sleep and I swear it does something to help keeping the blood moving and keeps my legs from freaking out all night.

5. By now, you should feel like a bowl of jello. So sink into bed and turn on an oil diffuser. We put one on our wedding registry and it has become a nightly necessity. A few drops of lavender oil help me to fall asleep and avoid a night of tossing and turning. 


who knows if I'll add anything to my essentials as we creep our way into the second trimester, but these are the key ingredients that are helping me to keep my head up, stay strong, and know that there is an end in site. and most importantly, I will get through this! Thanks you guys for reading along with the craziest journey ever! Twin pregnancy! 
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2.15.2018

a Valentine's day baby update

^ two half dozen roses, one from each baby, as my Valentine's day gift. Oh, and my husband got me a bag of Doritos too. Three perfect gifts that I won't put in order of importance 

happy day after Valentine's! I'm writing this from my bed where I'm grabbing mystery chocolates from a heart shaped box and just hoping for the best (the ones with the cherry in the middle? gross. So so gross) it's been a long couple of weeks of growing humans and so far all I can say is- I'm not sure how the population is so high. I don't think I could do this a second time. Granted, I've been reassured by several moms that have had single pregnancies and have also carried twins and pretty much all of them agree that twins are just ... harder.  I hate to sound like an even whiner victim, but I'm trying to tell myself that every time I feel myself starting to lose it or think there's something wrong with me. I posted a photo on my Instagram account recently acknowledging how hard this has been so far and the out pour of love from so many mamas from all over was overwhelmingly beautiful. It makes me feel less alone (and crazy) when other women are telling me that this is all normal. And yes, we are lucky. yes, this is a blessing. yes, this is beautiful. But fuck, I am allowed to tell the world how uncomfortable I am and let everyone out there know that pregnancy is not just sunshine, rainbows, and cute monthly bump photos. It's hard. And I love all of you for letting me scream that from the rooftops freely. 

Our babies are growing like crazy and it's soooo cool to read my pregnancy app every morning and see what's going on in there and what's on their agenda. I call my midwives way more often than I care to admit and ask the most lame questions that I need answered immediately: can I eat blue cheese crumbles? Can I sit in a hot bathtub? Can I take a men's multivitamin if I run out of my prenatals? Can my kids sense when I'm masturbating? (the answers in order: yes, yes, yes, LOL no) and luckily, they are all angels with senses of humor and seem to deal with crazy people like me on the regular.  But god aren't women just such bad asses?! I can't believe our bodies can do this! and t's no wonder I'm exhausted all the time. "Sorry I didn't get around to doing the laundry today, I'm growing eyeballs and toes for two people growing inside of me." has become my new go to joke and luckily, I live with a saint. Andrew has kept the house clean, fridge full, laundry done, rubs my legs, let's me cry all the time, sleeps on the couch, and runs every errand under the sun so that I can focus only on relaxing and staying alive over here. We're almost out of the "hard part" and I'm already seeing a bump growing, my skin looking better, and my mood is slowly improving. 
We went to dinner last night to celebrate our last Valentine's day where we can avoid a wait and sit at a bar.  We held hands and kissed and enjoyed the date that has been our first in a while. But about forty minutes later, I was ready for the check and to get my ass back home.  just writing this out has exhasusted me so it's time for my 3rd bowl of cinnamon toast crunch for the day and yet another nap. 
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