baby, Opinion, Uncategorized

Don’t Put Your Faith Into Gender Old Wive’s Tales

A few months ago, my husband and I were over the moon delighted to find out we were pregnant! I faithfully used the Flo app on my phone to chart and analyze BBT and CM and all of these other crazy things that you just don’t think about until you’re really trying to conceive. I charted every menstrual symptom you can possibly have for the entire month of May (I really got down to being serious in May after no luck in March and April). Let me pause here. Flo is a free app. I downloaded it when I went off birth control in October and used it to chart my cycles, but this thing has a lot of features, and has some good articles based off of what you input into it. I know they have fancy gadgets with fancy apps now for tracking ovulation and getting pregnant, but before you throw down major bucks that you may not have – give Flo a try.

June 1st was calculated to be the first day of my period. I just so happened to have a digital pregnancy test handy at the house from where we had been trying so as I got ready for work, I took it. I didn’t think anything of it, I was so convinced I was about to start my period anyway (little did I know at the time that those period cramps I thought I was getting was really implantation) and low and behold I picked up that test and it was a BFP (Big Fat Positive!) I freaked out, I cried, my husband was still asleep in the next room. I took a picture of it on my phone because I didn’t believe it. I thought I was seeing things. I went to work, had a normal day, but rushed to Target as soon as I got off and bought another 2 pack of tests (Clear Blue – one with the old school plus sign and one digital). Did I tell anyone? Nope. I wanted more confirmation that I wasn’t crazy before I said anything. I took the old school test first thing the next morning and there wasn’t a lot happening with that plus sign. I ran some errands, got some food with my husband, and took the digital one around noon and as soon as the test got wet it popped back with a “Pregnant”. Again, another photo was needed. So I decided, that was all of the proof I needed – 2.5 positive pregnancy tests. I planned how I was going to tell my husband that evening and did so in the cutest little special way (to us at least). He was a happy shocked, he hugged me, I cried. The next day we told our parents. After my first doctor’s appointment we told my siblings and then after my first trimester, we told the world.

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I wanted a girl. I wanted a girl sooooo bad! My family wanted a girl. There are already 2 grandson’s and a girl was what everyone was waiting on. I wanted someone to do their hair, makeup, buy frilly pink things for, take to dance class, and be my Disney Princess who inherit my entire childhood full of dolls and collector Barbies.

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My husband said he didn’t really care, but I still think he was on team blue. My dad is an OBGYN and will tell you that no matter what you do, there’s a 50/50 shot on gender. Well, technically, there’s a 51% chance you’ll have a girl and 49% chance you’ll have a boy, but you get the picture.

I didn’t want to hear that there was nothing I could do to tip the scales in my favor. I researched and read every article that claimed if you eat this, do this, don’t do that, you’ll have a girl and followed them religiously.

When I got pregnant I started really paying attention to my symptoms and getting in tune with what was happening and here’s where the Old Wive’s Tales on Gender come into play. We’ve all heard them, some may be true for some but in all honesty, they’re just for fun and you can’t put an ounce of faith into them at all, but you can still hope and pray that there’s some truth to them.

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Morning Sickness: If you have it, it’s a girl, if you’re not sick, it’s a boy

 

They say if you have horrible morning sickness it’s a girl and if you’re lucky to escape it, it’s a boy. Well, first of all, let’s clarify “sickness”. You do not have to be throwing up everything but your shoes to have “morning sickness”. Morning sickness can be nausea and no vomiting. This was my case. I was so nauseous all day and night. I didn’t want to eat, the idea of food sometimes just made me more ill. I had a horrible aversion to meat. The thought of meat, look of it, smell of it, would make it worse. My husband grilled his food outside and ate it outside so I didn’t actually throw up. One day I had a burrito bowl from Chipotle and felt ok. I was going to take the leftovers for lunch and as I grabbed them out of the refrigerator the thought of guacamole and hard leftover rice consumed my soul and I thought I was going to throw up right then and there – I still feel this way about Chipotle – I will eat tacos and burritos from anywhere but I won’t touch Chipotle. I sympathize with women who spend a lot of the pregnancy (especially the first trimester) throwing up because that sounds like no one’s idea of a good time, but really, I felt like if I would have just been able to throw up I would have felt sooo much relief. Then I’m reminded of Kate Middleton and how she was stricken with horrible morning sickness in all three of her pregnancies and decided that maybe the nausea isn’t that bad after all.

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I give myself a big fat CHECK in the Morning Sickness Box: Girl

Baby’s Heart Rate: Anything over 140 is a girl, under 140, it’s a boy

At my first doctor’s appointment the heart rate was 170. At my last appointment when they were able to tell the gender, I was at 146. Please understand that your baby’s heart rate will be higher and will drop the more it develops – that’s normal, don’t be alarmed and think something’s wrong with the baby.

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Heart Rate: Girl

Carrying the Baby: High it’s a girl, Low it’s a boy

Alrighty, so I wasn’t a little skinny mini when I got pregnant, I already had a bit of pooch in my belly area (I like to think this is happy newlywed weight, don’t judge). When my baby bump started showing I was surprised that it seemed like I was getting bigger in the top of my belly rather than my lower belly considering that’s where the baby is. My husband touches around and above my belly button all the time saying “gosh, it’s tight! It’s like a drum!” For the record, my husband is allowed to touch the bump. I don’t know how I feel about others randomly coming up to me and wanting to touch my stomach.

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Position of Baby Bump: Girl

Mom’s Cravings: Sweet it’s a girl, Salty it’s a boy

FOOD! Oh it’s a pregnant woman’s DREAM, well, when you get past the feeling sick part.

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When I first got pregnant I wanted SWEET stuff and I wanted it ICE COLD. Think: popsicles, frozen fruit, juices with ice, cereal with ice cold milk. I had to run out and get a Berry Cheesequake Blizzard from DQ because it was the cold, icy, fruit sweetness that I craved and had to have. Then it started to progress into carbs and sweets: potatoes of all kinds, breads with real cream butter, danish, bagels, cookies, brownies, cake, cheesecake, donuts (but only from Donut Connection not those airy lack of substance Krispy Kreme ones). One night all I wanted for dinner was a corndog, cereal, and lime jello… so that’s what I did…

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Here lately the cravings have been for things of my childhood and things I haven’t had a for a long time: Big Macs, potato soup from Shoney’s salad bar, pan pizza crust from Pizza Hut (no other pizza will do and to be real, I just want the crust – that buttery delicious crust), Jello 1-2-3 (which is discontinued and makes my heart hurt), but I still want juices and all the sweets.

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I honestly don’t have a thing for salt. I think being pregnant makes the salt more pronounced so now if I eat anything that does have salt in it, it REALLY stands out like I just licked a block of salt. So gross.

Cravings: Girl

Sleeping On a Certain Side: Right it’s a girl, Left it’s a boy

This one I don’t put anything into because of my personal medical reasons. I HAVE to sleep on my left side. I have a pinched nerve or something in my lower back on my right side. I feel it all of the time, but it’s livable, however, when it flares up I can’t move. The only way that it doesn’t feel inflamed and like I’ve been shot or stabbed is if I sleep on my left side. I slept on my left side before I got pregnant and I still have to. I try when I can to get some right side in, especially now that I have one those glorious pregnancy body pillows. To no avail, it really starts to hurt and I have to switch to my left.

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Sleeping on the Left: Boy

Beauty: Stolen it’s a girl, Glowing it’s a boy

They say that little girls steal their mothers’ beauty. In my first and into my second trimester that could be correct. Or it could just be hormones. I feel like everything is just puffy – face, fingers, feet, belly, boobs… everything… I have that double chin thing going on and even my nose looks wider. I have more breakouts and they don’t just occur on your face either. On top of breaking out more, you can’t use acne treatment that has salicylic acid, BHA, Differin, Retinol, Tazorac, or anything related to these things in it because they’re linked to birth defects. I tried a cream cleanser from Burt’s Bees but I just don’t like it – it smells almost medicinal and doesn’t feel like it washes off clean. Also, you’re advised not to use cream hair removers and your skin is more sensitive so waxing may cause a lot more pain than normal. You get the pleasure of walking around like a zitty, hairy, puffy, monster.

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Beauty Has Been Stolen: Girl

Attitude: Moody it’s a Girl, Happy it’s a Boy

At my first doctor’s appointment, my husband asked the medical assistant when do I get to the point where I’ll become nicer. She said when the baby turns 18. I blame this one on hormones SO HARD. I cry at EVERYTHING. My husband pointed out how big my boobs have gotten and I cried feeling like a freak of nature. I cried at my kitchen not being clean to my standards. I have cried during the beginning of UP, during episodes of SVU, at the World Wildlife Federation commercials (but really, I cried at those before I was pregnant and I still got mad at the thought that some jackass is filming that snow leopard with it’s paw in the trap instead of helping it). I get SO MAD SO QUICKLY. I will go to zero to a hundred in .02 seconds. I will snap and say mean things. My tolerance for stupidity is non-existent. I am so easily annoyed and have no filter. But when no one is pissing me off and I’m fed I’m oh so very happy.

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Attitude Moody AF: Girl

Mayan Calendar: Both Even or Odd it’s a Girl, One Even and One Odd it’s a Boy

Ok, so the Mayan Gender Calendar predicts gender based off of your age at conception and the number of the month in which you conceived. If your age and month are both even or if they’re both odd then they predict you’ll have a girl. If your age is even and the month is odd (or vice versa) then you’re predicted to have a boy. Age of conception for me was 33, month of conception is 5 – both odd numbers.

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Mayan Prediction: Girl

Chinese Calendar

I don’t even know how to explain how the Chinese came up with this chart for predicting gender… and I’m not going to try… so I’ll just post it up here:

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Chinese Prediction: Girl

Key Test: Grab by the Narrow End it’s a girl, Grab by the Wide end it’s a boy

To me, I think this should be reversed, but hey, that’s just me. They say to lay a key on a table and if you go to pick it up and you grab the key by the narrow end (the part that goes into the door) it’s a girl. If you grab it by the wide end (the part you hold to turn) that it’s a boy.

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Key Test: Girl

Ring Test: Circles it’s a girl, Swings Back n Forth it’s a boy

This one fascinates me. I think it’s because the ring can be completely still and then suddenly start to move. Now that could just be the fact that I don’t have steady hands, but that’s ok. I’ve also seen some predictors that say it will circle for a boy and swing back and forth for a girl so who’s to say who’s actually right in this case. So I’m just going to go with the one above. The tale is that if you put your wedding band on a piece of string (some even say a strand of your hair) and place it over your baby bump that it will begin to move and whether it circles or sways that it will predict the gender of your baby.

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Ring Test: Girl

Hands: Soft and Warm it’s a girl, Dry and Cold it’s a Boy

If your hands are soft and warm (especially warmer than usual, bonus if your feet are hot too) then it’s said to be that you’re having a girl. If your hands are cold and dry and you feel yourself running for the hand cream, it’s a boy. My extremities have been warmer and I thank my Cherokee heritage that they’re soft from our naturally oily skin. However, keep in mind that the more pregnant you become and the more frequent your bathroom trips become, your hands are probably going to get a little dry from frequent washing.

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Hands Warm and Pillowy Soft: Girl

Out of 12 of the most famous Old Wive’s Tales for Predicting Gender we have:

11 for a girl       1 for a boy

Good thing I didn’t run out and start buying all pink based on these because we just found out we’re having a BOY!!!

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I think everyone was worried about me being disappointed that it was a boy. Hell, I was worried that I was going to be disappointed that it was a boy because we had all wanted a girl so bad. My husband says he didn’t care as long as it’s healthy, but I secretly think he wanted a boy all along and my FIL in over the moon that it’s a boy and his last name will carry on. But when you feel that little baby move for the first time and you’re sure it was a movement and not just indigestion – a real flutter of movement and you see their little hand on that screen wave at you and their little heart beating, it really doesn’t matter what color you’re painting your nursery. In the end, you’ll have a happy healthy baby – the only person alive who knows what your heart sounds like from the inside and that’s just beautiful.

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Opinion, Story, Uncategorized

Mother’s Day When You’re Trying To Become a Mom

Mother’s Day is suppose to be a time to celebrate the sweet ones who birthed us or raised us. Sometimes though, it’s a painful reminder. If you’ve lost a parent, lost a child, or are trying to have a child, seeing all of these cheerful posts can hurt.

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After my mom lost her mother in 2014, she had us stop celebrating Mother’s Day with her. It was a painful reminder to her that she couldn’t call her mom, send her a card, or tell her Happy Mother’s Day. Almost four years later, it’s safe to say she’s still in the Anger phase of grief, I can’t blame her – but more on that later. My mom tells us that she doesn’t need a special day of the year to feel our love and I fully agree with that statement.

When Motherhood is a sorority that you’re desperately trying to pledge to, rejection can be hard. I read an article this morning that if you’ve only been trying for 8 months that you have no cause to complain, but I’m going to have to disagree.

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Trying to plan a pregnancy is hard, especially when you have so many items that could be going against you. They say look at your mom and her pregnancies to get an idea of your own. My mom took fertility drugs to get pregnant with me because she didn’t ovulate and she desperately wanted to get pregnant. With my brother, she wasn’t planning, didn’t think she could with all of the difficulties she had with me, and of course when she wasn’t trying or thinking about it, she got pregnant.

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I was also on birth control for 21 years. Yeup, that’s correct – 21 years. I was put on it when I was 11 to regulate my cycles because 4 periods a month was more than me or my parents could take as I was a little angsty. I tried several different oral contraceptives, but was on the Nuvaring for like 9-10 years. Naturally, I was naive thinking everything I read about “oral birth control” wrecking havoc on your body couldn’t possibly have anything to do with me because I wasn’t on oral birth control.

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When my husband and I got married, I took out my Nuvaring and never looked back. You hear all of these wonderful things about how you’ll lose weight and your body will go back to normal, you’ll have a sex drive again. Well, some of these things are true. In my case, I gained weight, my hormones have gone crazy, acne, facial hair, emotions are all out of whack. If your sex drive goes up and through the roof then you cry thinking your husband will have nothing to do with you because you’re a fat, hair, pimply, wildebeest.

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I went off in October. I had a normal 28 day cycle in November and December. In January I was late. I was nauseous, my breasts hurt, my back hurt, I could smell everything, I peed all the time, every sign in the world was pointing to “you’re pregnant AF”. I ran out and bought all different kinds of pregnancy tests. All of them came back negative.

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Confused and defeated, I was told “well, maybe you tested too early. You need to wait a week”. I waited a week, tested again – first thing in the morning – negative. I didn’t get my period in February either.

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I began to freak out. What was wrong with my body? I started to research the internet, anything I could get my hands on. I kept seeing articles where if you had been on birth control, it could take a year or more for your body to begin ovulating again. That the periods I could have had in November and December were flukes, they were left overs from where my body had been on autopilot for so long. I finally got my period back in March. In April when I started feeling those same familiar feelings of nausea and fatigue, I took more tests… all negative.. then I got my period.

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Everything still pointed to “it’s going to take a year for your body to go back to normal”. At 33, I didn’t want to hear that it could be a year before I could even really begin trying to have a baby.

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This isn’t how I planned things. Life never goes as planned though right? In my 20’s I thought I’d be married by like 27-28, have my first baby or at least be pregnant by 30. I didn’t like the idea of being an “old mom”. In my 20’s, I finished college, started a long “career” in retail due to an economy collapse which made PR jobs a nightmare to land, especially in a non-urban area like in WV, and completed a master’s degree. I started going to bars and living that life – all of my friends went to bars, I dated here and there until I met someone who I thought was going to be “real”. Turned out he was a real loser – no career goals or ambition, a drug problem he tried to hide, cheating he did an even worse job of hiding, verbally and emotionally abusive, and just made a fool of me for 4 years.

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When I finally found my inner bad bitch and walked away I felt… free… I didn’t have someone blowing up my cell phone accusing me of all the things they themselves were doing. I didn’t have to question every girl who was on his Facebook or the Plenty of Fish profile he told me hadn’t been active in 5 years (coughlifecough) or any female who bumrushed him in public really… most importantly, I was no longer the “crazy ‘ex’ girlfriend who refused to believe it was over” or whatever lie he was telling girls as to why his relationship status hadn’t changed to single. I was FREE for the first time in 4 years and it felt AMAZING. I felt like a crippled bird who learned to fly again.

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I was going to do ME for a change. I started working out and losing weight. I quit smoking. I wasn’t going to bars as much as I was hanging out with friends and re-connecting with people. If a rebound happened in that then oh well. I needed to find ME again and did what I had to do to feel something for myself again. I also started to think about my future. I made appointments to see houses as I was in the market for real estate.

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I showed up to my first ever real estate appointment and when I was expecting an older guy with a potbelly and several grandkid photos in his wallet and ended up meeting a young athletic guy with blonde hair and bright blue eyes and a killer smile. I thought this guy has to have a girlfriend so any romantic thoughts were kicked out of my head. At the end of our appointment, he Facebooked me. I started receiving text from him that I could have sworn were meant for his friends and not me. It really did not dawn on me that this guy was into me at all. Even our first date was not something I was suspecting as a date. Maybe it was because I wasn’t use to being thought of in any real way. Maybe it’s because I never thought a guy would try so hard to get me to come over to make dinner for me.

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Almost five years later we have: bought 2 homes, become landlords, adopted a doggie, made career changes, started businesses, suffered loss and tragedy, gotten engaged, gotten married, and began planning a family. I never thought 5 years ago that I would have someone in my life that I wanted all of this with after everything I had gone through. My husband is truly my best friend, my other half. He’s my person. Words cannot describe how in love I am with my husband. A little of him, a little of me would make one gorgeous creature. We have discussed baby names, nursery themes, we agree 100% on how we want our children to be raised…

And every time a pregnancy test comes back negative it’s a soul crushing ‘oh wait… not your turn”.

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I have loaded up on prenatal vitamins, Vitamin D, and as we’re trying to have a girl, I’ve taken to a gender friendly diet (at least according to 1000 different articles on the internet), I have red raspberry leaf tea on my next grocery list. I have 2 different ovulation trackers on my phone and log BBT, cervical mucus, all activity, and all symptoms.

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Still, I feel bitter. I feel jealous. I feel a sense of unfairness that some figure from above has decided it’s not the right time for me… I feel pissed that medical professionals say “well, you haven’t even been trying for a full year yet so…. you can’t be upset…”.

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I know that we have yet to be labeled “infertile” or “reproductively challenged” so others may be shaking their head telling me I don’t know heartache in this department yet, but maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to judge because you either haven’t been here or worse, you have been here.

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I hope that this is the last babyless Mother’s Day, and my thoughts and heart are out there to all of the hopeful Some Day Mommas.

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Opinion, Romance, Story, Uncategorized

Musical Budget Date Night Idea

Why is it that some of the best “date” nights really just involve basically staying at home?

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My husband and I are not the people who like to go out on date night once a week or twice a month or whatever people do. We work Monday-Friday and because he owns his own business, the work never truly ends. When I get home on Friday I don’t want to go out. I want to put on comfy pants and rescue my boobs from boob jail and have a beer or a glass of wine or a glass of whatever strikes my fancy at the time. Saturday is the busiest night ever to go out and I don’t want to deal with crowds of rude people. We’re not a chain restaurant people anyways. Going out can also be fancy and expensive. Getting all dolled up to spend $100 at dinner or $50 on a movie is just not my idea of a good time.

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As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized what a homebody I really am. I also realized how much I like cheap tasty bad for me food. When I was starting to diet and exercise for our wedding, we started doing a once a week cheat meal on Fridays. I’ve cooked all week, I’ve worked all week, I want a night to relax with some guilty pleasures. This is our night to get pizza, Chinese, Mexican, to go from one of our favorite local restaurants (I *will* but doing reviews on our favorite local spots) or the one fast food staple we’ll actually eat, Taco Bell.

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Random side story on Taco Bell. As I stated before, we are not really a chain food people, we’re not even really fast food people. Our idea of fast food is Panera. I hadn’t had Taco Bell in probably 5 years or something crazy like that. All of a sudden, I started seeing commercials for their $5 Cravings Box. I don’t know why but I wanted one. I wanted one so bad. Little did I know, my husband’s dirty little mind was thinking the same thing. We drive to Taco Bell and order the Cravings Box and this neat little fast food present was full of nacho chips, a burrito supreme, crunchy taco, and a cheesy gordita crunch. All of that plus a drink, it’s SUCH a good deal and SO much food! I however I’m not a big fan that they now replaced the nachos with cinnamon twists and swapped out the burrito supreme for a 5 layer beef burrito. I DEMAND the ORIGINAL! My Taco Bell is also pretty on point with their presentation too. Every item looks like it needs to be photographed for their menu so I can appreciate the additional love they give their food.

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So as corny as this may sound as a “date” night, you could actually make it really fun, special, and meaningful. It’s not about saving money, that’s just an awesome benefit. It’s about hanging out with your chosen person and enjoying their company and cutting loose!

We go and grab our Friday Night Special. No matter where we go, we drive together to pick it up. Our fav Chinese and pizza places allow for online ordering which is very convenient because as soon as you hit “Submit” on your order and jump in the car, it’s ready by the time you get there and you don’t need to worry about additional delivery fees.

We will open our feast and yes, put it on plates. We’re not total cavemen. Grab a glass of wine or a few beers and park our butts on the couch. Then, we grab the remote and turn our Firestick to YouTube (or most recently the internet browser since Google and Amazon can’t play nice with each other). We then will spend hours watching music videos! Crazy right?! Lord knows MTV isn’t going to show these gems. However, we have learned to appreciate and love each other’s favorite artist. My husband is like 4.5 years younger than me and had a different upbringing when it came to music than I did. I was fortunate enough to be born in the mid eighties and get to be fully conscious of the 90’s where I submerged myself in alternative music, but I’m still my parents child and was raised on The Moody Blues, The Eagles, Alice Cooper, etc… I’m a fan of anything I can sing and or dance to.

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My husband has said that some of his favorite times with me has been me educating him on music through the videos on our “date” nights.

So how can you really make this “special”? If you know your significant other’s favorite artist, try creating a playlist in advance of their music videos. Play the videos of  songs that have importance to you: song that was playing when you first met, had your first date, had your first kiss, etc… For example, I have a playlist of our wedding music.  It was special to us and whenever I hear those songs, it brings such happy memories. (I have had people ask about our music choices so I will dedicate a whole new post to going over it.)

This is a night to discover new music, new artists, new songs from your favorite artists, or that the songs Family Guy inserts for comedy effect are real (yes, my husband had to learn through me that “Rock Lobster” by the B-52’s was a real song, not something Seth McFarland made up). Dance in your living room, perform for your date, get as crazy as you want to – er, just don’t get the cops called for a noise complaint…

Here’s a few of my favorites that have become his favorites: