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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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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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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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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