Childbirth is messy, really really messy but at the same time it is the most beautiful experience of your life. I've had so many women tell me how scared they are of labor and delivery and my response is always to remember that it is just one day. Yes it's hard and painful, but it's a good pain. There's a point to it and it's not hurting you. The pain of the contractions are a wonderful thing because with each one you are closer to meeting your baby. There's a lot of intense things that happen before, during, and after labor that so many women just keep to themselves or say to other moms "you know what I mean." While this may not be appropriate dinner table talk, I want you to know it's ok to talk about it. It's ok to say out loud, I tore, I have hemorrhoids, I was a gusher.. I'm always here to be honest with you guys, so here it is, all of that happened to me. I personally wish that I had found other blog posts that were brutally honest about childbirth before I gave birth to Kai. I'm not here to scare you but it does happen but you know what else? You heal! You really really do. The human body is extraordinary, especially women's bodies! Sorry guys, but it's true. Women are far superior in every way. I read a hilarious quote at the very beginning of my pregnancy and it was, "There's a reason God decided women would give birth and not men." We're so strong, stronger than you can ever imagine yourself and I promise you can do it. We are meant to do this and it's all so wonderful.
Belly Itching + Stretch Marks
My bump was itching so bad the last couple weeks of my pregnancy. I remember being so miserable and nothing would help. Our skin gets stretched so far to make room for these little nuggets that it's just bound to happen. I got some pretty gnarly stretch marks at the very end but I've been using the Honest Company Belly Balm and it has worked wonders to lighten them up. You can't even see them anymore! The itching goes away too about a week after giving birth. I still had a little bit of it right after but that's because your skin is snapping back to normal. Seriously, our bodies are amazing.
Losing the Plug
If you're pregnant and getting close to the end, there's going to be a lot of talk about losing your mucus plug. It's gross yes, but it happens when you go to the bathroom. I lost mine all at once when my water broke. You flush it down the toilet and that's that. I've heard that some women can lose it early and some can lose it a little bit here and there. Whatever it may be, you just wash it away and know that pretty soon it's going to be baby time! See? Always a positive outcome even with the gross stuff.
Only about 10% of women's water break before labor starts. I am proud to say I am in that 10%! I was terrified that this would happen to me at work and that I would be a gusher. Well I was a gusher but thankfully it happened in the comfort of my own home. I definitely would have been embarrassed if I was out in public and especially if it was somewhere like work where I would have to see these people again! However, if it does happen, who cares, especially if you're just out and about! You'll never see those people again and you have much more to think about than what people think of you wetting your pants ha! To ease your comfort though, most women really do start to have contractions first and a lot of times your doctor or midwife will have to break your water for you. So either way, know you are not alone. It also may be a slow trickle or you might just start gushing water like I did. For me the beginning sensation started while I was laying in bed. It woke me up in the morning actually. I felt this purging sensation down in my vagina and thought "hm, that feels weird" and got up to go to the bathroom. Then whoosh it all started coming out. Whatever it may be, just carry a towel around with you until you get in to your hospital bed if it breaks before you get to the hospital. Just remember that once in breaks, you're guaranteed to meet your babe in the next 24 hours!
Pain of Contractions
At first, they really don't hurt. They're just weird. Before I went in to labor I remember scouring the internet for what they feel like because I just needed to know and I could never find anything that truly described them. So here it is. For me, they were a strong tightening of my lower abdomen and I felt a lot of pressure pushing down in to my vagina. That's it. None of this intense sharp cramping that you picture or anything like that. The most uncomfortable part and I imagine painful part is that the pressure gets more and more as you dilate. I opted to receive an epidural when I was 5 cm dilated and that is when the pressure was becoming very uncomfortable. After I got the epidural though, they didn't hurt at all!
I had a second degree tear with Kai. I tore externally and internally and had to receive stitches. Thanks to the epidural though I didn't feel the tearing happening or the stitching happening. I heard it though. It was a series of pops and all I could think was yep there it goes...but hey then my baby was born! They put your little bundle on your chest and your doctor takes care of you and you seriously don't even notice. Afterwards, you're sore but I imagine all women are even if you don't tear! You just gave birth to a human after all. Just use the ice packs the hospital gives you and when you get home start using the padsicles you prepared. Here's the recipe for the ones I made. They seriously do wonders and I healed so quickly thanks to them! Also use the peribottle that the hospital gives you after every bathroom visit to keep yourself clean down there. The stitches just dissolve in your body so nothing falls out or anything crazy like that. At your 6 week postpartum appointment with your doctor or midwife, they will check it and make sure you are all good and I promise you will be. Just rest, take ibuprofen, and ice when you can!
Peeing Your Pants
So I haven't ever really experienced this but it definitely does happen to a lot of women so if you're in this bucket, you're seriously not alone! I had a friend tell me one day during her pregnancy she had pee running down her leg and we just laughed about it because who cares, it happens to the best of us! Just wear a pad around if you feel your pelvic floor weakening. Do some kegels when you can it'll get stronger over time. There's so much weight baring down and then during delivery your pushing so hard, your bound to mess it up. But just like everything else, it really does get better over time. I still wear a pad when I workout just in case. No shame mamas!
Pooping on the Table
I have no idea if this happened to me. It might have? I don't know and you know why? Because for 1 you can't see, 2 you can't feel it, and 3 the nurses just clean it up for you or it just drops right in to the bag at the end of the table. Trust me, a lot is coming out of you other than stools so seriously don't concern yourself with any of it. Just concentrate on your pushing your babe out...that's all that matters!
The First Postpartum Bowel Movement + Hemorrhoids
Ok sorry ladies but this one hurts. Like a fricken mother f*****. I'm not trying to scare anyone but oh my goodness this is probably the only thing I'm dreading with future babies. But like I've been stressing over and over again it all gets better over time. To help with all of this do sitz baths with either the contraption they give you at the hospital or just sit in your bath tub. I opted for the bath tub because I had a very bruised tailbone after giving birth. I would fill it with a little bit of water and a few drops of tea tree oil and just sit for about 10 to 15 min. It was a nice break and time to myself actually. Also use baby wipes (I'm sure you have plenty) to wipe yourself after going as toilet paper can be a little rough and really irritate hemorrhoids. Preparation H, those padiscles, and stool softeners will help them heal, too. This was honestly the most uncomfortable part for me and I definitely got frustrated that this part of postpartum took so long to go away and I actually still struggle with this now 5 months postpartum but you just learn to deal. Some days it hurts still but most days it doesn't. Once again...time is your best friend with all this healing.
Post delivery will feel like a very heavy period. You'll need to wear a pad 24/7 and yes I really do recommend just wearing the granny panty mesh underwear from the hospital for the first 2 weeks. I felt like I was wearing a diaper most of the time but it was better than ruining clothes, sheets, or the couch. The bleeding gets better each week and mine was completely gone by 4 weeks.
I didn't get this one too bad either, thank goodness but I know it does happen. At the hospital I was told at the beginning to wipe my nipples with a warm cloth after each feeding and let them air dry. Then apply some nipple cream. I started out using the Lansinoh nipple cream and it did help but it stained my clothes! So be careful ladies, it's like grease so if you wash and dry your clothes you'll never get those stains out. I switched to using the Honest Nipple Balm and it's been amazing. You don't really need it after about week 2 but every once in awhile I'll apply a little because they can get sore from pumping.
Baby Blues, Postpartum Depression, + Postpartum Psychosis
So of all the things us mamas experience after birth, this topic is definitely one of the most serious and important ones. Our emotional and mental health is so important and it is extremely rocked after giving birth...hell it's even messed with during pregnancy...hello crazy pregnancy hormones! It is completely normal to experience baby blues after giving birth. Some moms feel it right away and it sets in later for others. Our hormones are going haywire to get back to normal or to stabilize for breastfeeding. However, if it's been months and you still can't stop crying, have severe anxiety, or if it's more on the extreme side where you are hallucinating, have thoughts of harming yourself or others, and aren't able to complete any of your normal daily tasks then I encourage you with my whole heart to call your doctor. There is no shame in any of this. It happens to all of us, myself included. After I went back to work I found it very hard to cope with my feelings, I struggled to be productive, and my anxiety was through the roof. I couldn't deal with small things or big things and thanks to my sister in law and one of my best friends I went to my doctor. I am proud to say I am doing so much better these days and I'm able to go through life now with a much clearer head. The thing is, it's not our fault that we feel this way. Thanks to all that we went through and are still going through our bodies just can't regulate its hormones without some help. It's all a part of motherhood and if you need the help of talking to someone or medication then please seek it out, it will help you to kick ass at life even more.
That about covers it. If I've forgotten anything or if you mamas have any other questions or advice for me and other moms please leave me a comment below! Hooray for the mess of being moms! It's a beautiful thing ;)
Hello hello, everyone! I hope you're all having a lovely week. We've had quite the week... My dad had surgery to get his gallbladder out on Tuesday and we went to visit with him yesterday, which was a nice way to break up the week. Thankfully he's doing really well! However, on our way home though, Caleb's car broke down. So we've been having lots of discussions over if it's time to replace her or not. His car is the first ever car we bought together and on our own, so whenever we do decide to trade her in, it will be a very bittersweet moment.
ANYWAYS, we're trying not to let the stress from earlier in the week though lower our spirits today. Today is a very special day for us! Not only is Kai 4 months old today, but one year ago today we found out that our family would be growing! I thought it would be fun to look back on the last year and reminisce about all the good times plus see how much has changed in just one year.
I will honestly never forget this day. It is so ingrained in to my memory. It was around Mother's Day last year that I started suspecting that I was pregnant. Caleb and I were very private about growing our family at first, so literally no one knew. Not even our parents. I kept my suspicions to myself mostly with the exception of telling Caleb, of course, and confiding in one dear friend. I look back and I wish I could have surprised Caleb with the news but honestly we are such a team and we share everything with each other. I needed him during that week long wait of seeing if my period would come. I needed him to hold my hand while we waited the two minutes for the test to complete. So...maybe next time I'll surprise him, but looking back at it all, this day was so perfect.
I know I've told this story on here before but if you're new around here, here is how May 24, 2017 went...it was hilarious actually. Since being on birth control for many years I use to get my period like clockwork. The most it was ever late was half a day, so when I didn't get it in the middle of May I really started suspecting something. Prior to that though I had a few weird things happen like craving butterscotch pudding (like seriously, why Kai?) and not being able to tolerate some floor cleaner at Trader Joes (again, so random). So the 24th made it one week past when I should have gotten my period. I decided it was time to go buy a pregnancy test. I went to Walgreens on my lunch break that day. I was in the aisle with the pregnancy tests and all I could think about was how expensive these tests are. I decided to buy the cheaper analog one versus the digital one because it was $5 cheaper. I have no idea why I was obsessed with that $5 but for some reason I had in my head that I didn't want to waste the extra money on the digital test in case I wasn't pregnant? I know...I'm crazy. I walked over to the cashier and I was shaking when I handed her the box to ring up. I half wanted to be pregnant so bad and I was half scared out of my mind that I was pregnant. I went back to work and somehow finished out the day. I took the pregnancy test as soon as I got home and that was seriously the longest two minutes of my life. I was so nervous to look that I made Caleb look first. But we couldn't figure out if it was positive or not, ha! We were literally those two idiots trying to read the box and figure out this pee stick. The problem we were having is that the horizontal line was kind of faint. We finally realized though that the vertical line doesn't show up at all if you aren't pregnant and man was that vertical line clear as day. We started jumping around, hugging each other, crying, and just not knowing what to do.
Becoming a mom has been the greatest honor of my life. I didn't know it a year ago but that is when I became a mom. I know Kai wasn't here for me to hold yet but I was still caring for him in the most beautiful way possible. We grow them, we feel them, we share every moment with our babies for 9 whole months. Then we get to bring them in to this world and continue to love and sustain them now. Children truly are miracles and being a mom is such a beautiful wonder to me. I look at him all the time in utter amazement. It really does change you for the better and I can honestly say I love who I've become since becoming a mother. I have Kai to thank for this incredible gratitude I have not just for him but for myself. Growing our family has only made all of us stronger. We are all so madly in love with each other it's just remarkable. Even though some of the last 365 days were really really hard, I've loved every single one of them more than I can ever explain in words. Here's to many more years of being a mama and this crew of mine!
Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a fun weekend! We spent this weekend getting stuff checked off of our to do list. We have a big weekend coming up this weekend, so we spent the last few days trying to be as productive as possible. Now it's back to the daily grind of the week!
So just because I'm done with the whole pregnancy part with Kai, doesn't mean I want to just stop writing about it and offering advice to you all who might be looking for it. It is such a significant time and I truly loved being pregnant. I actually really really miss it! It's almost been a year since I found out I was pregnant with Kai, and I've been getting nostalgic about it. So today I wanted to list out a few things I personally did to help prepare me for labor that I feel like really helped me prep for what was to come during that intense day! I was going in to the whole thing blind as a bat since I am a first time mom, an only child, and really the first of my close friends who has had a baby. I had no idea what to expect and how to prepare for the most intense day of your life, but after doing some research and reaching out to a couple other new moms, here is what I came up with that helped significantly!
1. Pack Your Hospital Bag at 34 Weeks
Start packing your hospital bag at around 34 weeks. Caleb wanted to pack them sooner (around 30 weeks ha!), and I personally felt that was way too early. I knew that if I started packing it earlier than necessary I would start to get really anxious and stressed. Also the key to this is START, not fully pack. There's some stuff you still need on a daily basis and don't want to be living out of a bag for the next 6 weeks. So put anything in there that you specifically bought for your hospital stay and make a checklist of everything you will need to add once labor begins. It really doesn't take that long to pack the rest! Don't forget to pack a bag for baby, too!
2. Make Padsicles
I put up my Padsicle recipe in this post. Having these made and ready to go for when you come home from the hospital is so nice. They take about a day to freeze and you'll want them right away. So have a bag already done in your freezer waiting for your arrival home!
3. Do Perineal Massages
Use some coconut oil and give yourself a perienal massage. I know it sounds weird and it's not really the most comfortable thing in the world to do but this will hopefully help you to tear less during delivery. I still tore (forceps + big baby head but oh well), but honestly I think it would have been worse if I hadn't kept up with this. I started doing them at 30 weeks about once a week. Then I upped the amount as I got closer to my due date and got more comfortable with them. By 37 weeks I was trying to do it about 3 times per week.
4. Do Prenatal Yoga
Even if you haven't done any prenatal yoga this far, it's never too late to start. The breathing technique and poses are things you may want to do during labor to help manage the pain. I used my yoga breathing technique during all my contractions prior to getting my epidural. I was able to tolerate them so well because of my breathing. Cat cow pose also really helps with back pain! I struggled with a lot of nerve pain early in my 3rd trimester too but noticed whenever I would do yoga I would help Kai move away from areas that were hurting me and I would be so much more comfortable.
5. Take a Birth Class
We wanted to take a birth class at our hospital but because my due date was in January there wasn't much available in December due to the holidays. We ended up doing the online Lamaze class. This ended up working out better for us because we could do it at our own pace in the comfort of our home. We also got access to all their online information via their app, and I was able to reference it while at the hospital by looking at it on my phone. It's not the most informative class in the world but at least it helps you understand the stages of labor more; like the difference between active labor and transition.
6. Write Out Your Birth Plan
If you want to make a birth plan, start writing it around 30 weeks. That way you can get any questions you have answered by your doctor before you go in to labor and have time to do any research that might be necessary. There are so many options when it comes to giving birth, so it is best to figure out what you want and what your most comfortable with early on. For me, my only plan was the to give birth to a healthy baby, so this was an easy one for me!
7. Read at Least One Parenting Book
I've had a lot of new moms come to me and ask what parenting books I read prior to giving birth because they were in a panic about not knowing what to do when the baby is finally born. We get so focused on pregnancy and how to keep the baby safe while they are inside us that sometimes we forget we also need to figure out what to do with them when they are finally here! For me personally, it was nice to having my reading done well before it was time for Kai to be born so that we had a plan from day one. I wanted to try to avoid switching things up too much once he was born because I know consistency is key for setting a good foundation. If you want my recommendations on great books to read before the big day comes they are Babywise, Bringing Up Bebe, and The Danish Way of Parenting. I wrote book reviews on all 3 of these books here, here, and here.
That about covers it aside from all the fun things you've been doing during your nesting phase of actually getting ready for you baby to be here! Is there anything else you've been wondering about with labor? If so, leave me a comment below or shoot me an e-mail! Trust me, there's no secrets or weirdness when it comes to labor once you've been through it so please just ask away! I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead!
Finding products that are good but safe to use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding can be really scary and daunting. I personally really struggle with acne and use to resort to using some pretty powerful skincare products to keep it at bay. However, while you're pregnant, you're suppose to steer clear of products that have retinol in them and my doctor advised me to not use any products that carried more than 2% of salicylic acid. After realizing a lot of the products I were using contained these two things plus some other chemicals that didn't seem all that great for you, I started to hunt for great all natural products to use while I was pregnant, breastfeeding, and even after. After trying and testing a lot of products here is a run down of all my favorites that I personally felt safe using while I was pregnant.
*Please note that you should still check with your doctor to make sure these products are safe for you to use while your pregnant as all pregnancies and women are different.
Osea Blemish Balm
oseamalibu.com - $44
I use this moisturizer morning and night. I use about 3 pumps both times and it's enough to smooth over my whole face and neck. It really goes a long way and the bottle lasts awhile. It also has a nice minty smell to it that is so refreshing. In the spring, summer, and fall when my allergies are really acting up, it also helps to clear up my sinuses a little bit. A perk you never thought your face moisturizer could do!
Up & Up Makeup Remover Wipes
Target - $2.49
I like to take my makeup off right away when I get home for the evening or before I do a work out. I was using the Up & Up Grapefruit Cleansing Wipes for acne before I was pregnant, but since I wanted to cut out salicylic acid as much as possible, I switched to these wipes. They work great at getting my makeup off or just to give my face a nice wipe down if I feel a little oily or dirty.
Osea Ocean Cleansing Mudd
oseamalibu.com - $44
I use this cleanser every night in the shower or just at the sink to wash my face. I use my makeup remover wipes first and then I go in with this cleanser. I wet my face first and then use 3 pumps that I massage in to my face for about 30 seconds. This cleanser also has a minty smell just like the Blemish Balm moisturizer has. So like I said above, very refreshing and great for my allergies!
Aveeno Positively Nourishing Calming Body Wash
Target - $5.99
While I was pregnant I had a real issue with certain scents during my first trimester. Vanilla scented products really made me nauseous and strong floral scents gave me terrible headaches. I had a lot of stuff like this from Bath & Body Works prior to being pregnant and I just had to stop using them because I would really dread showering and feeling even worse coming out of it. I discovered that lavender actually helped ease my nausea, so I tried to find a body wash that was lavender scented and came upon this Aveeno body wash. It smells amazing and feels amazing. My skin is so smooth after using it, too.
Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner
Sephora - $44
I was using this Fresh rose toner long before I got pregnant and was so relieved I could still use it during my pregnancy. It's on the pricier side but it lasts FOREVER! I was actually worried it was going to expire, that's how long I had my first bottle. Even though I have oily skin, hydrating it is still important. If you dry out your oily skin too much then it actually starts to produce extra oil. So this toner was a great way for me to help keep my skin balanced. The roses make it feel extra luxurious, too!
Korres Wild Rose Brightening Eye Treatment
Sephora - $38
Eye cream was so important for me during my skincare regimen while I was pregnant because it really helped with my dark circles. I was zapped of energy like every other pregnant woman out there and my eyes definitely showed it. However, as long as I made sure to use my eye cream I felt like I looked decently awake. This eye cream also really helps with puffiness, too.
Osea Essential Corrective Complex
oseamalibu.com - $32
Thanks to my other Osea products my acne was pretty good during my pregnancy, but if it flared up at all, I could safely use this corrective complex on any pimples. They go away within just a couple of days! It has a little roller for the applicator so it's very easy to evenly spread over any blemishes to get the whole area without having to touch it with your fingers and potentially make it worse.
Lush Mask of Magnaminty
Lush - $14.95
This mask from Lush is my favorite mask, EVER. It smells like peppermint and is so refreshing. It really helps with blemish prone skin and leaves your skin feeling so smooth afterwards. I loved putting this mask on and sitting in a warm bath to help myself relax while I was pregnant.
Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion
Target - $8.99
Like I mentioned before I was very sensitive to smells while I was pregnant, so my solution to that with finding the perfect daily lotion to use was to get a scentless one! I used it every day after showering and it is so moisturizing. It definitely helped keep my skin from drying out this past winter.
Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks
Target - $5.49
I was so scared of getting horrible stretch marks on my belly and breasts, so I started using this cocoa butter as soon as I found out I was pregnant. I've gotta say, too, it did a pretty good job at keeping them at bay! They sprang up pretty bad on my belly my very last week of pregnancy but with how big Kai got towards the end I think it was inevitable. I never got any of my breasts though and it helped the lighten some that I already had on my thighs. Plus it smells like chocolate! Now that was a smell I was 100% ok with while I was pregnant ;)
Make sure you follow me on Snapchat (@dianakaravida). I always feature any new products I get or products I fall in love with in my story!
Our little one will be joining our family so soon and we absolutely can't wait! We took these photos with our dear friend Brandie who is the owner and photographer at Bourbon Oak Tree Photography. They are photographs we will truly cherish forever as we can reflect back on this magical time of growing our family. We can't wait to call you an official member of the Cabrera Crew, Nugget! We'll see you very very soon!
Add me onPinterest for some daily inspiration! Have a great weekend, everyone!
All photos were photographed and edited by Bourbon Oak Tree Photography. Thank you Brandie for these amazing images!
I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find posts on motherhood, home life, travel, & fashion/beauty as well as City Guides for places all around the world. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
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