Showing posts with label pregnancy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pregnancy. Show all posts

July 27, 2015

Family Photos

If anything was keeping this babe from showing up, were our family photos. I've been a huge procrastinator this time around, waiting until I was 39+ weeks pregnant to do a belly family shoot. Honestly, I'm glad we finally got that done and she can come any minute. Please say a prayer for this mama who's more than ready to get the show on the road. Have a great Monday and the rest of your week!

July 8, 2015

What To Pack Into Your Hospital Bag {Pregnancy}

From my previous experience at the hospital, I've learned that there are only a few essential things a mother needs when she's going to the hospital to give birth. Here is my new updated (from experience) check list for labor and delivery.

Hospital Bag Checklist:

  • Insurance info, hospital form (if any)
  • 2-3 pairs of warm, nonskid socks that can get ruined (for walking the halls before and after labor
  • A warm robe for after delivery (lots of people come visit and you want to look a little bit like a human being)
  • Lip balm (hospitals are very dry)
  • Toiletries and personal items — hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, contact lens case and solution (remember, travel-sized products are your friends
  • Make up (you will be so glad you have some on hand when friends and family show up to visit
  • Your favorite snacks (you’ll probably be hungry after labor, and the hospital cafeteria could be closed)
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Camera, empty memory card, battery/charger
  • Blanket (even in summer hospital A/C is very strong)

Take it or leave it:

  • Comfortable going-home clothes in six-month maternity size and flat shoes (or, just wear the clothes you came in… sorry, but they’ll probably still fit)
  • Bath towel (the hospital will likely supply a small, very thin one but you can ask for 50 of them)
  • Heavy flow sanitary pads (the hospital supplies these things, but bring your own if you’re picky)
  • A few pairs of soft underwear that can get ruined (the hospital will have disposable pairs, which some women find handy and others find gross)
  • A gym bag packed with a change of clothes and basic hygiene products for your partner (leave it in the car just in case)        

For the Baby:

  • A coming-home outfit (girl or boy
  • Full diaper bag with all the essentials that you can leave in the car for the ride home. Just in case it is long and baby may need a diaper change or change of clothes.

May 18, 2015

5 Tips For Staying in Shape During Pregnancy

tank: Target
cardigan: Target
sneakers: New Balance
sunglasses: Tory Burch

When it comes to pregnancy, our society has given a no-limit, all-excuses fly, don't-tell-her-what-to-eat pass to women. For some reason, when a woman is growing a human being, it's OK for her to give in to every single craving, over indulge and watch her body become a shapeless mess. Yes, I know, trust me! I've been there. I ate way too many chicken sandwiches and crepes during my first pregnancy and gained too much weight (while doctors said nothing). This time around it's very different - I diligently watch what I eat, exercise, don't give into cravings and keep on top of my fluid intake . Here are some of my tips for keeping the weight gain under control.

1. Drink Water. Drinking plenty of water (not juice, not smoothies or lattes, just plain old water) will keep all those extra calories away from you. A few calories here, another there and drinks can add up to a hefty amount of your daily calorie intake. Stick to water. If you can't do plain, infuse it with fruits and citrus, which is a great way to detox your body of all the unhealthy stuff, without causing damage to the baby.

2. Cut Back on Salt. When people think pregnancy cravings, they imagine ice cream and cupcakes. I'll take smoked salmon and clam chowder any day over the cakes and pastries. It's my weakness. Salt retains fluid and makes you thirsty, causes edema and unnecessary weight gain. I have cut back significantly on amount of salt I put into my food (husband always complains that everything is under salted - good for me though). I don't salt my scrambled eggs if I know I'll be putting ketchup over them and avoid overly salty snacks like chips, salted nuts and cheese.

3. Skip One Complex Carb a Day. I love my bread as much as the next girl and can't live without potatoes but I have been trying to go one meal without any kind of complex carbohydrates (fruits don't count). If I know I will be having mashed potatoes for dinner, I won't have toast with my breakfast. If have croissant for lunch, I will skip starch during dinner time and load up on salad and protein.

4. Eat Healthy Snacks. I fall off the wagon plenty of times, but my day to day go-to snack is plain yogurt loaded with fruits, or simple granola (not the one drenched in chocolate or peanut butter). Also, I'm a big lover of fruits so I load up on those whenever I feel hungry. The key here is not to treat fruits as free pass, they still have calories and sugar. Have just a little bit to satisfy your craving and make sure to drink plenty again.

5. Do Some Kind of Moderate Exercise. When I say moderate, I mean, get up and walk, park further away from the store and take stairs instead of elevator. Every time an opportunity to move arrives, take it and welcome it instead of complaining about having to get off the couch. Either it's palates or simply taking a walk around the neighborhood, move that booty more rather than less. You will thank me later. 

I don't deprive myself of any certain food group but eat everything in moderation. If I have a pistachio cupcake, I have just one and don't add sugar/honey to my tea. If I buy smoked salmon, I don't salt the eggs and have only 1/2 of the toast. It's all about portion control. Every day, every time you sit down to eat or open your cupboard think how is it going to benefit your body and what exactly are you putting inside. Trust me, it's a lot easier to keep the weight off than try to loose it when the baby arrives and you have absolutely no time for yourself. I learned it the hard way so take it from me, instead

Link Up: DC in Style

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March 25, 2015

The Hunt for the Perfect Easter Dress

How many people have had trouble with finding dresses? I know, I have. Easter and spring seems to be the perfect time to start wearing dresses but it's not always that easy. Especially if you are looking for classy but not too frumpy, girly but not over the top. Here is my selection of favorite dresses right now. Hope you find something pretty for yourself!

Neutrals and Pastels

Easter Pastels
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 

March 24, 2015

March 11, 2015

My Route to a Healthy Pregnancy

Once you are pregnant, every fiber of your being starts releasing mother-hen hormones and you want to do everything possible to protect that child. Having a healthy pregnancy is very important, regardless of age or any other factors, so I piled up a list of things I'm doing (or at least trying to do) to keep on top of the game. 

1. Drink Plenty of Fluids. I aim for 8-10 glasses of water a day, with no more than 2 glasses of juice. If I want something sweet and bubbly, I mix one can of seltzer with half a glass of cranberry juice. I'm also a very heavy tea drinker so I do  herbal and regular teas and may have up to 3 cups a day. If I want more tea hot but already had too many cups that day, I add 1 tablespoon of honey with a slice of lemon to hot water. Sometimes I forget to drink first thing in the morning and can tell how that negatively affects the rest of my day. Fluid intake is something very important and I do everything possible to make sure I'm always well hydrated. 

2. Exercise Regularly. We have been stricken with a bad cold for the last week so I haven't done much. But I'm planning to pick it back up as soon as I can breath without cough choking my chest. My exercise routine consists of 2 miles walk/jog  2 to 3 times a week on the treadmill. I have been keeping very constant with exercise but hoping that the good weather will let me go and enjoy the outdoors more. I hate being stuck in the garage looking at my husbands tools and wishing for the time to pass by faster. I know that once it warms up we will be taking walks and going to the park all the time. Also, I ordered the exercise ball which is supposed to be very good for pregnant women but have never tried it. We shall see how it works.

3. Get Some Rest. My first trimester fatigue was so bad that I had to take multiple naps during the day. Once second trimester hit, I felt much better but still like to lie down for a quick (or a long) nap every day (if I have time that is). I have never had any morning sickness so I guess fatigue and extreme tiredness will have to be my thing. I know that I can't complete the same tasks in the same amount of time so I have to schedule things and allow more time to getting ready and lounging in the morning. 

5. Take Prenatal Vitamins. I have been slacking on this end (I have to admit) and got sick. I know that when I don't give my body extra support it needs, I get weak and get sick. I don't take anything fancy or expensive vitamin support is very important to my health. Baby will take whatever he/she needs to thrive but I may be left with less than enough for myself. Taking prenatal vitamins is definitely important and something that shouldn't be taken lightly. 

6. Watch What You Eat. I have to say that this time around, I'm not giving myself any slack. My first pregnancy I would constantly make excuses why I wanted to (and could) eat anything and everything I wanted. This time around, I'm not allowing any extra and unneeded calories enter my body. Also, I do one carb-free, protein-rich meal a day. If I start a day with egg omelet with veggies and avocado, I will skip the bread. That way I can have the mash potatoes in the evening, or vice versa. Grains like quinoa,  buckwheat, rice and lentils are great for nutrition-packed meal yet they don't carry a heavy load of carbohydrates and sugar. I also limit my sugar intake to that only in the protein rich (like yogurt) or healthy (almonds and cranberries) snacks, and fruits. Don't get me wrong, I like a piece of pizza as much as the next gal, but I know that it's a treat and not an everyday occurrence. 

What are your tips to a healthy pregnancy? Have you tried the exercise ball? Do share! 

My Healthy Pregnancy Must Haves

Thank you for stopping by!
xo, Anna

January 15, 2015

My Pregnancy Essentials

For comfort: I loved sleeping on my body nest pillow the last trimester. It's a MUST for all expecting mothers but there is no room for cuddling with hubs. It allowed me to get some sleep (between going to tinkle and trying to get comfortable there goes the night)

For skin care: I cannot live without this oil. I slather it on after every shower and even during the day when my hand feel dry. It goes on smoothly, doesn't have any smell that would get annoying after a while and is very thin in consistency. I also bought coconut oil but didn't use it as much as this. I go through 3 bottles during my pregnancy and swear it helps with getting rid of stretchmarks afterwards.

For health: it's so important to keep up on vitamins to have a healthy pregnancy. These vitamins are natural, food-based with no additives or colors. My husband did quite a bit of research before buying them for me. They are gentle on stomach and awesome for the baby.

For clothes: I bought myself maternity jeans/ that fit me like a glove. I love the new J.Crew line and bought myself a pair of shorts on sale for summer. We shall see how they work out but the Pea In The Pod maternity jeans worked great for me.  I know they might seem expensive at first but if it's your only pair you will wear them all the time. 

For shape: Whenever I start feeling like everything is just out of proportion and too big, SPANX are there to save my butt. Honestly, they support the belly, shape your body and allow you wear those pretty dresses and such. It's the dirty little secret no one talks about. 

For snack: When craving chocolate or something sweet, I eat a handful of these snacks. They are delicious, nutty and healthy, plus not too sweet. I love them and could eat the whole bag in one sitting but carry in  my purse for desperate times. 

Thank you for stopping by!
xo, Anna

January 13, 2015

Pinspiration: Maternity Style

pink peonies

along abbey road

the daybook

ivory lane

cara loren

one little momma

hello fashion

barefoot blonde

Maternity style is a tricky thing. You want to look stylish but effortless, while accentuating your bump. When everything hurts and it's hot outside, or you're stuck inside during winter months, heels and pretty dresses are not an option. But dressing pretty and maintaining your sexy during pregnancy is so important to your self esteem. Here's some preggo inspiration for the upcoming months. I'm looking forward to the easy breezy dressing during summer but I'm not looking forward to the heat. Jeans and shorts with a tee along with dresses is going to be my go-to. Although I like to dress up, being comfortable is my priority especially since I will be toting a toddler around. 
What's your favorite pregnancy style? 
Thank you for stopping by.

xo, Anna

January 8, 2015

Pregnancy Tips - What I Learned Last Time

This is the nicest picture from my last pregnancy, the rest, I must say are quite horrible. My style has evolved in last two years and I hope this pregnancy is going to be different from the last. I've learned a few things and gained a few wisdom pounds. I want to share with you some hard learned lessons and things people don't want to talk about. Maybe you have read them somewhere or never heard of such things, but these are the things I've learned. Every woman's pregnancy is different and if you are to experience anything which gives you worry, seek medical advice. Otherwise, learn from my mistakes and enjoy your preggo time.

1. Watch Your Weight. 
Paying attention to your weight should not be just a thing you do before you get pregnant but during pregnancy also. First, it's easier on your entire body to not carry extra pounds, and second you will have much easier time getting back in shape once you deliver. The American culture promotes 'eat for two' mantra for pregnant women and even supports unhealthy weight gain (up to 35lb). Whereas, in most European country the top number is 25 pounds after which the doctor will warn you that you are gaining too much weight. I've been there. I know how easy it is to let yourself go and just give the 'i'm pregnant' excuse. In the end no one will suffer but you. So do yourself a favor - eat a healthy, balanced diet full of protein, leafy greens and fruit. It's OK to treat yourself once in a while but don't make it a regular part of your diet.

2. Keep Hydrated. 
During pregnancy it's very important to keep well hydrated with water, not with sugar drinks or soda. The baby is swimming in amniotic fluid the entire time which can be up to 1000ml and you will need more water than usual to keep up with the demands of your changing body. Drinking about 10-12 glasses of water a day plus adding 2 glasses for every hour of light exercise. Juices can count as part of fluid intake but remember they have lots of extra calories and sugar which can make you more thirsty. Dehydration can cause edema, dizziness, nausea, headache and cramps.

3. Exercise Regularly
Being active during pregnancy helps with a lot of things. Not only will it help you stay active and keep your weight gain to a minimum, it will help with backaches, fatigue and even constipation. After the baby is born you will find it easier to spring back into exercise routine if you kept it up during pregnancy, Also it's a good way to relax, relieve stress and get out of the house. Staying active doesn't mean a grueling work out at the gym. Walking, hiking, and swimming are all great options to keep active. 

4. Invest in Shape Wear
Dressing like a woman is very important during pregnancy. Wearing the right shape wear can make or break an outfit. It really is a life-saver especially during the last trimester. Don't be fooled - all the celebrities, bloggers and other ladies who seem to have the perfect bump wear it. It's the little secret no one talks about. The right shape wear can help support your growing belly, hide the extra pounds and help you feel and look your best. Find what works for you and because you will be wearing it day in and day out, go for the best. 

5. Have (more) Sex. 
During the last trimester it becomes increasingly difficult to have intimacy because of the bulging belly in the way. While you may be puking your guts out the first trimester, take advantage of the time you have together. After the baby arrives it will be several weeks or even months before you body goes back to normal and you will actually care for anything except sleep. Having a baby is a life-changing experience so enjoy the pleasures of life while you still can. Your hubby will love the new found enthusiasm and you will ease the aches of pregnancy with a little bit of pleasure. 

6. Be Aware of Emotions. 
It's a well know fact that pregnant women are a little bit more emotional than usual. They get upset easily, cry at the sight of a cute kitten and get angry at the dishwasher (personal experience). Being aware that changes are happening in your body and staying in tune with your emotions can help you spare other people's feelings. Again, only because you are pregnant it doesn't mean you can run over other people and say whatever you want. Also, it will help you with recognizing emotional eating and fatigue. It's a stressful time so taking extra care of yourself, resting whenever possible. Sharing how you feel will help you avoid unnecessary confrontations and hurt feelings. 

7. Trust Your Gut. 
A lot of times pregnant women are accused of overreacting and panicking for no reason. Other times that gut feeling saves lives. My first pregnancy I had a gut feeling to switch hospitals and go to a more holistic place with natural birth in mind. I didn't listen to myself and paid for it with a c-section. Of course, there were other factors which contributed to my c-section but over all I think it could have been avoided. If you are feeling restless, it's better be safe than sorry. We are talking about another human being here so trust your motherly instinct!

I hope these things help you in some way!
xo, Anna

February 26, 2013

The Birth Story

This picture was taken right before we headed out to the hospital. 
I mean, how much bigger can you get when he kid is getting over-baked?
Not much more. 
I have been laying sleepless through couple nights thinking if I wanted to share this part of my life. I am a private person (with a personal life style blog, I know), and want to keep some of the very intimate and private details of this to myself  But I do want to share the incredible experience that brought my son into this world. (I still can't believe I'm saying the words 'my son')
As you may know I was overdue. I mean seven days isn't that long but it felt like an eternity to me. 
My last sonogram showed that he was 8lb and 13oz which isn't always accurate and usually +/- a pound. It's the plus side I was afraid off. There are many risks to waiting up to two weeks past due date but we know that babies don't go by our time. They just have a mind of their own. 
I was struggling between waiting him out couple more days and taking all those risks, or going for induction and taking more risks. Either way, it wasn't going to be an easy decision. 
Hubby was leaving the decision in my hands but after talking it through and praying, we decided to get the show on the road. 
On the way to the hospital my heart was racing and I had butterflies in my stomach.
So there was checking in and settling in, getting all the important info down and checked by the doctor. My cervix wasn't ripe enough, so that was the first step at 4pm. The medication was supposed to take about 12 hours to work and the next morning I would be ready for Pitocin ( I was not ready for it).
But my body decided otherwise. By 9pm my water broke and contractions were 2-3min apart by 11 pm. I was dilating very fast, so there was no time like the present to ask for epidural. 
Yes, I'm a big chicken. Hubby says I yelled pretty loud when contractions hit. The pain of the needle in your back is nothing compared to those awful contractions. 
So I got the epidural just in time because by 3am I was fully dilated and effaced, ready to push. 
That's when the trouble came.
Our baby didn't want to come out. He was fighting me with all his might, because his heart rate dropped half of what it was supposed to be only after three pushes. Doctor thought maybe it would jump up once I wasn't pushing but it was taking him long time to recover. 
          More of the same and she said that I will have to push for a while and he isn't tolerating the labor. 
But he had to come out. 
I cried. We cried. I begged to let me wait him out a little and maybe he will decide to show up. She did.
Forty five minutes later, the same story. 
So basically, there was no choice - push and risk him having brain damage or C-Section. 
I cried more, while they were rolling me into OR.
By 4:43 am he was born - healthy, happy and very alert. 
By 5-ish I was holding him in my arms and nursing my little man. Still in shock of what has happened, exhausted but happy.
More tears, more joy, more happiness.
Still happening to this day.

February 12, 2013

Finding Motherhood Along Abbey Road {Guest Post}

Once the pregnancy is over and you have done all those things to make sure your baby is healthy, and actually gone through all the trials and tribulations of labor, you get to hold your bundle of joy. It's an emotional, confusing, exciting, scary and joyous time.
Here is Abbey from Along Abbey Road blog and her first motherhood experience. 

Hello, there! I am Abbey from Along Abbey Road. I am so happy to be here while Anna is loving on that precious little babe of hers!

Babies are miraculous, complex beings. Babies are also tiring and testing beings. I remember that first moment I sat on the couch with Luke, just the two of us. Both Matt's mom and my own had made their rounds teaching us their best-practiced mothering skills and Matt reluctantly went back to work, tired, worn, and learning to adjust to this new world (bless that ole' chap's heart).

There sat this helpless, wrinkly, perfect human in my arms. I was terrified and thrilled all in the same moment. I already knew him from the kicks, flutters, and rolls we shared those last 10 months, but now he was really there. Tears flooded my eyes that we had been blessed to rear and direct this amazing soul.

I will never forget the feel of Luke's silky almost translucent skin. The smell of his tiny body curled up under my chin. The softly pleading and adorable cry. The way he reached up his tiny, 1-inch hand to mine while he fed, reassuring me that I was his favorite and most-needed person in the world.

Those are the moments that we mothers live for.
Congratulations, Anna! So excited for you to create your own loving memories with your beautiful baby boy!