Things No One Tells You About Being Pregnant (Part 2)

Things No One Tells You About Being Pregnant (Part 2) | www.annemariemitchell.com

This is part 2 of the "Things No One Tells You About Being Pregnant" short series I promised at the beginning of this week! I hope you enjoy this last installment and can relate to the every day craziness of being pregnant (whether you are currently pregnant or have been before!)

T H I N G S   N O   O N E   T E L L S   Y O U   A B O U T   B E I N G   P R E G N A N T   (P A R T   2): 

21.) You feel like you're training for an MMA fight on the daily--You will finally get comfortable in your sea of pillows or eat a bowl of sugary goodness and it's like you've just awakened the harbingers of the apocalypse. Get ready for kicks, punches and summersaults worthy of Jackie Chan's seal of approval. Baby vs. mom. Ding ding!

22.) Every pair of shoes you wear makes your feet look and feel like boats-- First off, forget about your high heels. They are evil death traps. Flip flops and sandals are your new BFF and even those won't stop your feet from swelling (if you are prone to that). Keep calm and cankle on.

23.) Your bed becomes your love affair-- Leaving your bed will get harder and harder every month to accomplish. The comfort of all your pillow children coaxes you to stay forever. Also falling to sleep gets more impossible as you grow to the size of a sumo wrestler.

24.) You think stretch marks won't come after you--but they find you in the dark of the night and take you down-- Apply stretch mark cream they said. It will work they said. You think you're in the safe zone until all of a sudden you will wake up one morning and find purple, reddish horror in the shape of Charlotte's web all over you. Oh and stretch marks are so kind as to not be biased too. They appear on your sides, stomach, boobies--it doesn't matter where you hide--they WILL find you. 

(Stretch marks: WE GON' FIND YOU, WE GON' FIND YOU)

25.) Even a whiff of a margarita makes your mind explode-- You will not only find yourself living through others, but asking to sniff their drinks in an attempt to get nose schwasted. Even if you weren't that into the whole drinking scene, now that it's been the forbidden fruit for months, you WANT that lemon drop, damn it. 

26.) Your husband's clothes don't belong to him anymore--After your few designated outfits have run out or don't fit you anymore towards the end, you WILL raid the bae's closet like a last chance sale in Kmart. Being comfortable is now top priority and his baggy t-shirts and sweatpants are suddenly sexier to you than that apple pie you're about to eat. 

27.) Braxton Hicks are a false hope--You'll think you are having contractions for real this time and get your hopes up. But JK HAHAH...no. You'll feel like you're on a particularly frustrating episode of Punk'd but with a way more annoying Ashton Kutcher (a.k.a your baby who apparently NEVER wants to come out).

28.) Every phone call starts with, "HAVE YOU HAD THE BABY YET?!?" or "IS IT HAPPENING?!?"-- CLEARLY NOT PEOPLE OR I WOULDN'T BE PICKING UP THE PHONE. I would be panting and pushing out my miracle nugget. 

29.) You want to unzip your own skin like a tight pair of pants--As you become more and more pregnant, you will experience tightness with the force of a thousand suns. Especially after you eat. You will want to unstrap your belly off you like an unfashionable fanny pack or literally shed it like a snake. 

30.) Sumo squatting is the only way to bend over--If you drop something, you are never getting it back. Like, ever. Since you can't bend over the massive obstruction that is your belly, you find yourself doing these awkward moves that resemble a professional sumo wrestler or a really strange yoga teacher. 

31.) You say "back when I was skinny" like an old woman reminiscing on the good old days--The pictures you thought you looked fat? Yeah...dime piece.

32.) No bathroom is close enough—Beware my preggo friends. Laugh too hard, cry too hard, sit too hard...and it's all over. You are a leaky faucet now and that is your new reality. You start questioning if you should have bought those new born diapers in your own size. Whenever you need to go you waddle for your life to the nearest facility. 

"Ma'am, this bathroom is for employees only"

33.) You both fear labor yet welcome it like the Jehovah's Witnesses at your door--The mixture of horror stories and stories of the bounteous beauty of labor has you confused and scared. Some women you've talked to describe labor like a scene from Silence of the Lambs and others describe it like the magical world of Harry Potter. Either way, you feel like you are stepping inside a sketchy wardrobe to unknown Narnia. By the time you are 9 months though, you have definitely had enough and count down the days regardless. 

34.) Your nose bleeds enough to feed Edward Cullen's whole family-  For some pregnant women, this isn't a problem but if you do or have had this problem, you definitely feel like you should be watching your back for vampires. 

35.) Your doctor has been telling you to have sexy time and you're like LOL--Your doctor will tell you this will help the baby come out sooner but it's literally mission impossible. You would rather cuddle the pillow children surrounding you. Plus, you and your significant other both believe you have turned into some sort of rolly, polly troll monster. 

(Sexy time? Smashing.)

 

| SEE PART ONE OF THIS POST HERE

Which of these points can you relate to? 

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Things No One Tells You About Being Pregnant

Things No One Tells You About Being Pregnant | www.annemariemitchell.com

Yesterday was my due date. Guess what? Baby decided the date of her grand entrance will be a surprise. In honor of her lack of punctuality I comprised a huge list of things that no one told me about being pregnant. I had so much to say that I split my list into two parts (that will be in two separate posts).

Sarcastic as I may be, these are the things that I have learned along the glorious path of pregnancy. Arm yourselves with knowledge, my lady friends. 

T H I N G S   N O   O N E   T E L L S   Y O U   A B O U T   B E I N G   P R E G N A N T   (PART 1): 

1.) "Are you EXCITED?!?" is the most asked-and dumbest question of your life--Seriously people? It's like asking the everyday question, "how are you?" and replying, "Awful, my life is a literal explosion of sadness and pain." What do people THINK you are going to reply when they ask you this??? Of course you are excited! Granted, you might occasionally feel scared or overwhelmed but that is totally normal when you're expecting. 

2.) People judge your coffee choices--Your Starbucks experience will never be the same. God forbid you utter "decaf" as the last word of your order and not as the first word. I swear up until you say that magical word your barista (and everyone who overhears you in line) will look at you as if you just slaughtered a baby seal. 

(pink shirt=you. Everyone else=barista & people in line)

 

3.) Morning sickness isn't just for the morning--The name is a lie. A dirty, dirty lie. "Morning" sickness can hit you like a ton of bricks any time of the day or night--and all the crackers in the world won't heal you. Also, the myth that morning sickness is restricted to the lovely art of vomiting is not true. It can range from slight nausea to a feeling of constant car-sickness to a bad, bad hangover. 

4.) You question the existence of your baby--until one day you wake up--and you're Free Willy--For the first few months your belly either wont change at all or you will just look bloated. Then one day you wake up and it's just there. 

5.) You'll make unspeakable noises you never knew could come out of you--Between the farts and the burps, I don't know what's worse. Your husband/significant other will never look at you as the same, polite and sexy woman you once were. Obviously the baby did it. Yeah...let's go with that one.

6.) You will suddenly have a million pillow children-- You will find yourself buried alive by thousands of fluffy friends. You will start off with one under your stomach and then you will slowly amass your minions like your life depends on it. Your sleep depends on it really but when you're preggo, sleep=life.

7.) Your cravings are CRAY--My own cravings started out innocently enough. First I wanted grapefruit--then peaches and mangoes--and then all of a sudden I was salivating at every carton of icecream in the frozen aisle. And it's not just like, "oh, I want that today"--it's more like "I NEED YOU OR I WILL LITERALLY DIE ON THE SPOT I AM STANDING." Congratulations, you are now the strangest type of drug addict there is. 

8.) You find your IQ has dropped substantially-- It starts out as forgetting your cell phone or your best friends' birthday. Then your friend has to walk you through starting a car step by step (true story). You will probably question your sanity and smarts on a daily basis...wait...what am I talking about again?

9.) Your unborn child has a bigger wardrobe than you do--People will rain down gifts upon you. Lots of them. One of these main gifts will probably be clothes. Clothes that you will envy and want to try on...your big toe. Meanwhile, you're just getting bigger by the minute and you slowly start to realize that none of your own clothes fit you. That crop top you wore a few months ago now looks like a loin cloth.  

10.) Every pregnant woman is not-so-secretly judging you-- I don't know what it is but pregnant women are secretly like mini Simon Cowells--but with more waddling and less British accent. Whenever I meet a fellow pregnant woman we always ask each other, "how far along are you?" If you are anywhere remotely close in months then you will no doubt compare eachothers' belly sizes, symptoms and overall awesomeness as a creator of life. God-forbid you have had less morning sickness or are skinnier in any way and you can feel her laser dart eyes searing your soul. 

11.) You find that other women take sick pleasure in horrifying you-- You will hear stories. Horrifying stories that will forever change you as a pregnant lady. From epidurals paralyzing you to ripping lady parts--you will walk away scarred from some of the things women (and the internet) will tell you. 

12.) Your gyno is unmoved by any question, emotion or pain you experience--Don't get me wrong. Your gyno is there to help you and answer your questions throughout your pregnancy. But sometimes those answers are way more straight forward than you meant for them to be. You will wonder how she doesn't even flinch from investigating the depths of hoo-ha's all day, analyzing urine and taking out her go-go gatchet papsmear!

13.) Your hormones stampede like the wildabeasts of Africa--You'll find that your baby has the power of mind control. One minute you can be crying over the smallest thing and the next your laughing maniacally at the cereal you just poured. Being bi-polar is your new reality. 

(Simba= your husband. Wildabeasts=your hormones)

 

14.) You've gone from person to vessel-- People will ask you more about the baby then about yourself. You are now the carrier of a glorious nugget of joy and that is your sole mission in life. 

15.) Nothing is TMI anymore--You become so comfortable with your newly acquired bodily functions that nothing phases you anymore. You find yourself talking openly about things that just shouldn't be shared with the general public. You're perfectly ok with it but your friends are traumatized after conversations with you. 

16.) People literally believe you are crippled--and you believe it too at the end-- If you mention that you actually did something that day remotely physically active people act like you have just walked on water. You'll find people wanting to help you with groceries and congratulating you for walking across the house or doing the dishes. You think this is ridiculous until you are close to the end of your pregnancy. Then you just wish you had a team of elves to help you with every day projects. 

 

17.) Your due date is just a guesstimate-- Since yesterday was my due date I can say this with confidence. Don't get all worked up about the due date your doctor gives you. The baby comes when baby wants. You can walk one thousand miles with Vanessa Carlton all you want--that baby ain't coming.

18.) If you live somewhere hot, you may never buy any stretchy pants or preggo leggings--Coming from experience, I did not buy a single pair of these. I lived in maxi dresses to get all the ventilation humanly possible. Why you ask? I live in Florida. The sweaty armpit of Satan. 

19.) You look at puppies with a new perspective-- Before I was pregnant, I wanted a puppy but never got one because of the responsibilities involved. Now I look at puppies and laugh. Babies are like tetris level 2000 compared to a puppy. (I still want a puppy though).

20.) Some of the baby things you buy have horrifying names and descriptions--Just look at the description and usage for nipple cream. Enough said.

 

 | SEE PART 2 OF THIS POST BY CLICKING HERE |

What things did you learn during your pregnancy?

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What to Pack in Your Diaper Bag for Delivery Day

What to Pack in your Diaper Bag for Delivery Day | www.annemariemitchell.com

I have 11 more days until my due date. ELEVEN. What in the holy baby is my life. Now don't get me wrong-it's definitely seemed like 9 long months-I'm not one of those "oh em gee, where did the time go?!" types. All the same, it's insanity that my due date is actually dawning upon me in the next week and a half-ish. While I haven't reached the level of crazed nesting syndrome that drives pregnant women's eyes to bulge in a ferocious cleaning binge, I have been doing some much-needed baby prep. Like...step one...put together the all important diaper bag for delivery day.

I've tried to be as reasonable as possible in putting the bag together. I know every first-time mom freaks out and tends to overpack...and trust me, I'm freaking out. I've told myself that I'm just going to the hospital...not on a voyage to Narnia. I packed the things I thought I would need and not every bit and bob in between.

I'm packing a separate hospital overnight bag just for my husband and I-clothes, toiletries, etc.-to keep things organized. I want to be able to find things when I need them because I know I'll be an awesome cocktail of tired and frazzled after pushing out a mini-miracle. It helps that I LOVE the Pottery Barn diaper bag I got on my baby registry-it's the perfect size, has tons of pockets and looks chic too.

I strategized my diaper bag by separating all the items into categories to place in all the wonderful pockets and sections in my bag. I sorted the bag into the categories of feeding, changing and sleeping. Basically, the three baby needs.

WHAT TO PACK IN YOUR HOSPITAL DIAPER BAG:

FEEDING:

Burping cloths- for burping the baby after she has feasted.

Nursing Butter- there is no non-awkward way of explaining this. Apparently sore nipples is a thing for some ladies after multiple feedings. This helps.

Nursing Pads- for leaks in the plumping after feeding the gremlin.

New-Born Bottle- I'm planning on breast-feeding, but this is just in case we have problems.

CHANGING:

New Born Diapers- I heard most hospitals give you tons of these but I'm bringing some just in case. I got the ones with a magical strip on the front that changes colors to let you know when the baby has done her business. This might be obvious but since I'm a first-time clueless mom, it's much appreciated.

Baby Wipes- for wiping the cute baby booty after diaper changes and for cleaning random icky things in the hospital in my general area.

Butt Paste- to prevent diaper rash

Changing Pad- this came with my awesome Pottery Barn diaper bag. Probably won't need it for the hospital-since they are bound to have changing tables- but who knows.

2 baby outfits- Babies are pretty susceptible to the cold so I packed a cute outfit with long sleeves, footies and a little hat. I'm also packing a second outfit just in case the first gets dirty or if she gets too hot in the first outfit. Florida doesn't really cool off until winter...or have any season other than summer and spring so overheating may be a possibility.

Aveeno Lotion- just in case my little nugget has dry skin like me. Mommy can also use it as hand lotion. :)

SLEEPING:

Swaddling Cloths- to keep her all snuggly and comfortable while sleeping (and so she doesn't Jackie Chan herself in the face). Babies like to be wrapped up tight because they are so used to the confined area of the womb.

Baby Blanket- to put over baby in her carseat on the ride back home!

CUTE EXTRAS:

Aveeno Positively Radiant Facial Moisturizerone thing for mommy in baby's bag to whip out whenever needed for a pick-me-up for tired, dehydrated skin. Hospitals are dry places.

Baby's first doll/stuffed animal- my grandma knitted my baby her first doll so of course I have to bring it to the hospital to bestow upon her for the first time.

What to Pack in your Diaper Bag for Delivery Day | www.annemariemitchell.com

What to Pack in your Diaper Bag for Delivery Day | www.annemariemitchell.com

What did you pack in your diaper bag for the hospital that was really useful?

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Preparing for Baby | Tips, Ideas & DIYS (with the help of Pinterest!)

Now that I'm in my final month of pregnancy (CRAZY!!) the realization that I'm actually going to be responsible for a living, breathing mini-me has finally hit me over the head like a ton of bricks. Needless to say, I've been trying to get my hands on any baby related items I still need. I'm also attempting to sear an astronomical amount of tips and advice into my tiny human brain.
Pinterest is a God-send that has made organizing the oodles of information I need to soak up fun and simple. I know I can breathe easy since I can always look back and refer to certain pins. I've found some amazing DIY's, ideas and organizational tips ranging from how to know if you're actually going into labor all the way to how to swaddle and feed your baby.
(Pictures match numbers listed from left to right)

Some Great Tips, Ideas & DIYS:

1. This Last Month of Pregnancy Checklist has some great reminders and tips before you go into the delivery room. It covers everything from the importance of pampering yourself pre-baby to errands and helpful things to sign up for.
2. I have already started to prepare for my hospital visit, but this Hospital Bag Checklist has some great and important additions that I never even thought about!
3. Since this is my first child, I pretty much have zero idea of what to expect going into labor. I read this article about How to Tell if it's Labor and Other Tips to keep myself in-the-know and prepare myself so I don't freak out.
4. Same as above, I have no clue what to expect from my body after giving birth so this article is definitely an eye opener.
5. These 8 Must-Haves to Survive Your Newborn's First Month will definitely come in handy very soon. I love the idea for white noise to mimic the sounds of the womb and soothe the baby. I also have my eye on the book she talks about--everyone says it's genius!
6.  Ever since becoming a wife and mommy-to-be, I have become especially fond of anything to do with cute organizing methods. I love these 10 Ways to Quickly Get Organized with Baby. It shows you several different ways to neatly and prettily organize baby's clothes, accessories and gadgets.
7. I have a feeling that planning some pre-frozen dinner recipes before baby gets here will be a VERY good idea. Sleepless nights, adjusting to a new life with a baby, and tons of family shenanigans will probably give me little to no time to prepare and cook meals. Having them pre-planned and easy to cook right away will save me a lot of hassle in the first few weeks!
8. Although this list of 14 Things You Need for Your Postpartum Body bums me out (and scares me a little to be honest!) I know that post-birth, I will appreciate being prepared and having the products and items I need for a healthy healing process and comfortable transition.
9. I love these tips for getting back into a workout schedule and getting back in shape after the baby. Surprisingly, being pregnant has made me less body conscious and more comfortable in my own skin (minus the fact that my skin is stretched to where it's almost painful now). However, I do want to be as healthy and as spritely as possible (even just for the sake of my own baby) and I'm actually excited for once to hit the treadmill again. I can't wait to be the active, cute cliché soccer mom (or whatever sport she ends up playing) :)
10. I've never had the experience of milking myself like a cow so I'm guessing it will be good to know how long frozen breast milk will last in the fridge.11. This Ultimate Guide to Feeding Baby has much-needed information whether you are breast feeding or bottle feeding with formula. It covers everything from latching to best feeding positions and tips to deal with possible challenges.12. When the baby first comes home from the hospital, it will still have a little bit of its umbilical cord hanging on for dear life. I'm glad to have found these Care Tips for Baby's Umbilical Stump so that I know how to prevent infection and make her as comfortable as possible.13. A full-proof diagram for dummies like me who have no clue how to swaddle a baby.14. Oh, I've just been loving helpful mommy apps. I have a sneaking suspicion that I will fall in love with this app that keeps track of feeding, diaper changes and sleep times.

15. I have heard from veteran mommies that getting your baby on a sleep schedule is integral for the sanities of everyone in the household. I have this post on Newborn Sleep Tips bookmarked and ready for action.

16. I absolutely loved to read as a child and I learned a lot from all the wonderful characters I fell in love with. I hope that all of my favorites will be hers as well! I can't wait to start a little library in our home consisting of some of these 100 Children's Books to Read in a Lifetime.

For more great pins I've found concerning all things baby, take a gander at my Pinterest board "Things for Baby." I post updates about all things to do with this blog on my board, "The Beauty Book" and a bunch of other fun things on my overall Pinterest profile.

Check out this blog post of mine for some must-have apps that will save you time and money as a mommy!

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Shop the Post:

11 Must-Have Money & Time-Saving Apps for the Organized Mom

As a mommy-to-be on a budget, I have begun preparing my arsenal of apps to help me save both money and time. Whether it's grocery/clothes shopping, pumping gas, finding kid-friendly restaurants and activities or just plain old staying organized--these apps are helping me on my way to becoming a super mom (or I'll settle for just functional). In addition to these apps, I've been trying to save time and stay organized with other areas of my life such as my daily beauty routine and keeping a more organized vanity.
 
Even if you aren't pregnant, a mommy, or even close to thinking about raising a mini-you, these free apps are pretty much the bomb.com. I think liking to save money and time is a universal trait among us humans. Anyone and everyone can find something useful from this list.
 
 
1. Mommy Nearest- Great for on-the-go moms, Mommy Nearest helps you find kid-friendly restaurants with lists of the amenities they offer (kid's menus, high chairs etc.) and locates the closest bathrooms and changing table areas while you are out and about. You can also search for fun indoor and outdoor activities like the closest parks, gyms, arts & crafts, attractions and classes for your baby or child. Each location shows a map, how close you are, and ratings from other parents. The app also provides fun articles related to children and parenting that I like to read from time to time.
 
2. Wunderlist- If you love making lists, you will love this app. Wunderlist enables you to make separate to-do lists and keep them all in one organized place. You can set dates, notes and reminders for anything you list. I love the cute "ding" noise it makes when you check off a completed item. It's so satisfying. It helps me stay timely, organized and on track for each day.
 
 
3. Retailmenot- Retailmenot lists thousands of stores and the coupons they are offering for that day or week. You can search for specific stores you like and bookmark your favorite ones for quick access each time. I love to scroll through my favorite stores and save coupons I think might come in handy for the week. It will even remind you when the coupons you saved are about to expire!
 
 
 
4. Emeals- An incredible app for moms who never know what to make for dinner. You just choose a meal plan that's right for you and your family (like "classic meals" or "low fat") and the app will create a new meal plan for you every week. The app even takes into account how many family members you have and your preferred grocery store. It includes grocery lists and recipes for each meal and you can simply choose which meals you want to make. For example, I chose the "Simple Gourment" plan for two (soon to be three!) and one of my meal options was a Lemon-Grilled Salmon and Asparagus dish. Yum!
 
 
5. Cartwheel- I feel like almost every mommy (or pretty much women everywhere) has a fascination and love for Target. Cartwheel is an app that lets you search the products you love and save coupons. The coupons save to a barcode on the app. You simply scan the barcode at checkout and all those coupons will apply to your purchase! Better yet, the coupons can be stacked on top of any other coupons you might have and your Target REDcard discount.
 
 
6. Gas Buddy- This app locates the cheapest gas prices near you so that you can save big-time whenever you need to fill up. It also lets you report gas prices so you can help others find the cheapest gas and sends you rewards and points each time you help!
 
 
7. Weekly Ads and Sales- If you're an ultimate couponer and love to peruse catalogues and newspapers to snip out all the latest deals, you will love this app. It keeps a log of thousands of stores and the deals and coupons they are offering that day or week. Instead of wasting tons of paper and time, you can simply show coupons you find at checkout and presto! Money saved.
 
 
8. Flipp- Flipp saves the weekly/monthly flyers from thousands of stores. You can meander through the flyers on your phone and tap on the deals you like to save them to your clipboard. This enables you to quickly access the deals and coupons you found so you can present them at checkout.
 
 
9. Grocery IQ- This app lets you create grocery lists that you can easily view and check off as you shop. You can add your most commonly bought staples to your favorites list to find them easily each time and so that you never forget something when you grocery shop. When you are finished making a list, the app will let you know all the coupons/deals associated with each item or category so that you never miss on saving. There is even a scanning option in the app so you can scan the barcodes of each item you place in your cart. Once scanned, the app will inform you if there is a deal on that item. Better yet, you can send your lists to your boyfriend, husband, mom--whoever via email or text.
 
 
10. Checkout 51- Checkout 51 lists tons of products from different brands, categories and stores. When you go shopping, simply upload a picture of your receipt into the app and it will give you cash back on the items from your purchase that it has in its database! Each time you hit $20 dollars, the app will send you a check in the mail.
 
 
 
11. Ibotta- This app offers exclusive updated rebates from all kinds of stores including retail, grocery and even online shops. You can choose to unlock rebates/cash back options either in-store or when you get home by uploading a picture of your receipt to the app. You can search categories of items (like "ground beef" for example) and then see which stores are offering cash back for those items or you can search by store and see a complete list of all the items they are offering cash back for! You can receive your cash back by linking your Paypal or Venmo account to the app.
 
 
 
What are your favorite apps to stay organized and save time and money?
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The Pregnancy Tag

I reconnected with an old high school friend recently and when his sweet photographer girlfriend, Katie Hurst found out I was preggo, she called me up and arranged a maternity photo shoot! The thought of a maternity shoot honestly had never even crossed my mind so I was so excited! We went over to a cute local park and shopping center and had a great time snapping photos and talking all things baby.
With all the great photos, I thought it would be great timing to do the pregnancy tag I see cropping up from time to time on all the mommy blogs.
How far along? 7 months
Gender? A little girl!Have a name? Kathleen Elizabeth Mitchell

Maternity clothes? Haha....no actually! I still can't bring myself to actually take the plunge and admit I'm fat and need some stretchy pants in my life. I never realized how expensive some maternity brands can be and I would only wear them for 2 more months anyways. So far, I've been compensating my growing belly by buying a size or two bigger in regular people clothes! I currently love maxi dresses because they are so comfortable and airy.
Stretch marks? Not yet but I feel they might be coming to get me sometime soon!
Sleep? I've slowly but surely turned into a grandma. By 9 every night I'm usually ready to drift off into lala land. Might as well get my sleep now while I can!
Best moment this week? My baby shower! It was so wonderful to have so many friends and family together. Opening the presents and seeing the cute tiny clothing made having a baby that much more real.
Miss anything? SUSHI COME BACK TO ME. Also margaritas...I miss you too my dear friend.
Movement? A lot of it! I think the female reincarnation of Jackie Chan is living inside of me...she kicks me like a ninja on a mission every morning and every night with some little nudges throughout the day.
Food cravings? Although I felt pretty sick during my first trimester, I always craved grapefruit. In my second it moved on to peaches and mangos and now I just want all the chocolate and icecream in the world. Haha I know...that escalated quickly.
Symptoms? I have a love affair with food!
Belly button in or out? It's still in so far but I can see it slowly beginning to creep outwards to say hello!
Happy or moody most of the time? First trimester was just not fun so I was pretty moody but now I am mostly happy and I already can't wait to pop her out!
Looking forward to? The day of the birth, all of her "firsts", eating the foods I couldn't before, a glass (or two!) of wine, re-living my childhood, and meeting my soon-to-be new best friend. :)

Pregnant at 22: How Expecting Changed My Life

 
Pregnant at 22: How Expecting Changed My Life | www.annemariemitchell.com

 

I have struggled over how to write this--or whether to write this at all, for quite some time now. 
 
Expressing oneself almost always comes with a natural, deep sense of vulnerability. What will people think of me? What the hell am I going to do? We are taught by life's tribulations at a young age to guard our hearts and the weaknesses that others might exploit. We are taught to succeed in a competitive world and to strive to be admired by those around us.
 
I have wanted to tell this story because I hope that in some way, sharing this will help those who have experienced the same situation or who are currently struggling with a similar one now. Most of all, I want to be honest and share the journey I am on. A journey that I now wholeheartedly embrace. It is truly amazing and beautiful how one's perspective can change in only a few short months.
 
I will always remember that day I stood in the bathroom with trembling hands and hot tears burning down my cheeks. The feeling of two cold hands gripping my stomach and wrenching it into my throat. I was staring at my entire future written on a digital stick. I was staring at a reading of "pregnant". 
 
The cliche saying, "your whole life can change in an instant" was never more true on that day. I felt my  whole future--my whole being--violently rip out from underneath my feet. I could feel myself kissing my 4 years of hard work in college goodbye. All those essays, projects and exams for naught. The 5 internships I had under my belt and hours of resume building and job searching might as well be considered insignificant putty in my hands.  
 
 

Now I had to put my life on hold. I would not start an exciting new career. I would learn to change diapers, stay up long nights through crying and sickness, and somehow figure out how to raise a child and teach him or her the right lessons even though I was still learning life lessons of my own.

 
At the time, I felt I had become the very thing I so desperately tried to avoid. A failure
 
I had been so happy only a few months before--my college sweetheart had proposed to me and we were planning out the exciting details of our life together. We were ready to frolick off into the sunset together and lead a life fit for a Disney movie.
 
 
Despite all the excitement around our upcoming wedding, I had already grown accustomed to feeling somewhat alienated from my peer group. The viral article "23 Things to Do Instead of Getting Engaged at 23" sums up a large portion of my generation's attitude towards early marriage. Adding a baby to that equation was just another "no-no" and would serve only to distance me further. While I was trying to figure out how I would tackle graduation, moving, getting married, somehow securing a job and raising a child, I watched my friends either land incredible jobs with giants like Coca Cola or desperately attempt feigning sobriety in their 8 am class.
 
 I was extremely fortunate to have the wonderful support of both my fiancé, my family and my fiancé's (now husband's) family. They never once doubted our abilities to blossom into strong, loving parents and filled our hearts with words and actions that were truly positive and uplifting. It gave me a new appreciation and respect for the many young mothers in this world who despite adversity and little to no support--still become amazing mothers. After all, I was fortunate to have a fiancé whose affection and unconditional love was a towering strength. 
 
Although we found great solace in our families, there were still trials and tribulations to overcome. When I slowly struck up the courage to tell my friends the news of the pregnancy, it was with little realization of how it would so drastically affect those relationships. 
 
Some people acted as if I was reading the obituary section of the newspaper or relaying news of my death sentence. I watched as pity flooded the faces of some and shock and disgust entered the faces of others. My heart sank as one person told me, "but you're so young, you're not ready for a kid...just get an abortion." Yet another admitted to me, "well we aren't going to invite you out anymore...you know...you can't drink." Others sat there dumbfounded, would tell me all the things I could have done differently, or would exclaim that they hoped they wouldn't get pregnant like me.
 
Looking back, I wish I had not let those negative comments impact me and had instead let the positive ones shine through. I was again blessed to have many other friends who were not only happy for me, but absolutely thrilled. I had some friends screaming and jumping up and down, some sending me flowers and lovely heartfelt notes, and others jokingly threaten to abduct the "nugget" as they fondly began to call the baby growing inside me. They really don't know how much their enthusiasm and support touched me to the core--how their love kept me afloat. 
 
I wish I could reach out to all the young mothers who are or who have felt the roller-coaster of emotions that comes with discovering you are pregnant at a young age. It is truly a tragedy that so many women feel they must flee their high schools and universities for fear of the gossip, rumors and shame their growing bellies might inflict upon them. 
 
I had everything in the world to be happy about yet I still let the comments, expectations and actions of others define me and depress me. I placed too much weight on what people thought. I stressed out about how they would perceive my wedding and birth of the baby being so close to one another. I surrendered the joy of the happiest moment in my life. 
 
It's hard to believe how different I feel today. I'm not the same girl that stood petrified in the bathroom that day. It took a journey to arrive at where I am only a few months later, but the insight and confidence I have gained are irreplaceable. We are expecting a beautiful baby girl in the fall and I can honestly say now that I couldn't be more grateful. She is the reflection of the love of my husband and I.What greater love is there than that of a child? 

 
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