We. Are. Pregnant.

Wow.

The photo says it all. Our excitement is uncontainable. I’m thrilled to be sharing the news publicly now. I’m excited to be able to talk about what these last three months of our lives have been like. It’s been a ride, that’s for sure.

It’s hard to talk about this pregnancy without talking about our two previous pregnancies. I’ve openly talked with people in my life about the two babies we lost, but when I’m ready I’ll be able to truly share and put words to what that was like, because I really do believe in openly talking about how difficult pregnancy can truly be for some of us and how common miscarriage is. The topic will continue to be tabooed if we shy away from sharing our experiences. I don’t need to say much more than state that it happened, and it is because of this history that many of my experiences as a pregnant woman now may differ from that of a first timer’s. There are many ways in which these losses coat my current experiences, and many ways in which they have allowed for very different and positive outlooks on many of the things that have happened so far.

There are so many moments over the past three months where I did not feel like myself. It’s easy for me to sum up the three months in a blur of overjoyed excitement mixed with overwhelming fear and anxiety. From the moment I saw the second line appear on that home pregnancy test I fell to the floor in an incredibly powerful realization of how blessed I was to get another chance. The joy hit me like a truck and filled my very being. The tears flowed like never before. Almost just as quickly, I felt my expression change into worry. What did this mean? How could I keep this one safe, was there anything I could do? The realization again of how frail life was and how removed I was from the position of control was terrifying.

Fear marked many of my first experiences, the first trip to the bathroom was terrifying, the first ultrasound visit that wasn’t related to a miscarriage was also terrifying, pretty soon I realized this was not fair. It wasn’t fair for the little human being that was taking shape inside of me nor was it fair to Christian or me. We made a very conscious decision to remove fear from our minds, and it’s not as easy as it sounds. Lots of personal work had to happen for this to eventually be replaced by the goal which was the feeling of overwhelming gratitude. Meditation, prayer, visualization and daily mantras have kept fear at bay. It’s not like it’s impossible for it to come back, it has and will continue to, but I have a process in place for changing the thinking patterns now, and gratefulness is always the counter to fear for me.

“I am grateful to be pregnant in this moment, I am grateful for the life inside of me and I know they are happy, healthy and comfortable.”

Over and over until nothing else can occupy my mind, let the fear pass.

Right around the time I hit six weeks, the nausea paid me a visit, and made itself very comfortable in my life. It was soon found out that I had something called “Severe Morning Sickness” and this is why I spent weeks on end vomiting about 8 times a day, at all times of the day.

Some days I barely remember being awake, visions of waking up and being half carried to the bathroom by Christian. Vomiting until the blood vessels in my face burst and I left the bathroom only to fall back into his arms. Faint attempts to eat a soda cracker or two.

Days when I would start a timer after eating to push myself to hold in what I ate for at least half an hour before the breathing exercises wouldn’t work anymore and I had to run to throw up. I think the longest I made it was 27 minutes, and I was proud of that.

Without fault though, after every trip to throw up, I gave thanks. Something was happening inside me, and this was my constant reminder, my constant alert that all was well, and I was still pregnant. The gratefulness I felt, and continue to feel has kept my spirits high.

After three weeks of barely surviving on vitamin water and soda crackers, I had lost nine pounds, I looked faint and weak, I could barely keep myself upright and even water was difficult to contain. I was trying to just handle it. And I felt like I couldn’t complain, I didn’t want to either. I’d wanted this for long enough, and it was here and now, I just had to roll with whatever came. I am very much aware of those families that are still in their journey to have their positive pregnancy test and I felt like complaining was the same thing as being ungrateful. Which is very much untrue, but I share in case someone else has ever felt this way. Christian urged me to phone my doctor who quickly prescribed medication due to the severity of what I was experiencing. “All pregnant women with nausea take this,” I got the pills and after some online research on them decided I would give it a try.

It’s crazy but my immediate thought was that I was cheating at this pregnancy thing. Taking medicine to make this ‘easier’? It felt like I wasn’t going to get to experience everything as it should be, like I was choosing the easy way out. Silly, in hindsight, but I remember even then being immediately shocked at how quickly the guilt came over me. I shook my head as I took the medicine and went to bed. Guilt is not something I want to be a part of my life, again, I’m not saying you should block feelings out but I can make the conscious choice to change them.

The next morning, I woke up and went to brush my teeth, it was mid-brush that I realized I didn’t wake up with the immediate need to vomit. Relief seems like the appropriate feeling at this point, but I felt none of it. Instead I froze, toothbrush in mouth, my eyes going wide and looking at my stomach’s reflection. Why wasn’t I feeling sick, why wasn’t I throwing up, did something happen to the baby? Had something gone terribly wrong? The next hour was brutal as I worked really hard to rid myself of these thoughts. It’s the medicine, it’s working, that’s all. But I immediately thought, there’s no way I can take this medicine again, the anxiety it gave me was not worth the relief from the vomiting, throwing up had become my cue that all was well, taking it away was not going to work for me. But I couldn’t even make it to work, I still had to function. The debate was strong and didn’t last long because soon enough I was overcome with nausea and had to rush to throw up. My eyes stayed closed at the end as I gave thanks again and my heart starting beating at a normal pace.

I’ve come far since then, I now take four of those pills a day and still throw up regularly though my average has gone down to threeish times a day, thanks to the medication. It’s still been insane and some days are worse than others in terms of how little food I’m able to hold in but I’m just past the three month mark (14 weeks today!), we now wait and see if this gets a little less pronounced and allows me to focus on eating regular meals, eating vegetables and good stuff more often.

Today we live in gratitude and happiness. Sure, there are moments when we falter, but for the most part we have found balance. For now, we are grateful for each day we get. It’s a new day, baby is still here with us and there’s so much joy in just that simple thought. Christian has always been the biggest love of my life but the love I feel for him has expanded to new levels as I’ve seen him care for me day in and day out. His constant support in rubbing my back when I’m throwing up, always getting my pills, encouraging me to drink or eat throughout the day, just hugging me when I’ve been unable to keep anything in for days and making sure I never need to ask for anything. I’m grateful for him in my life, for all that he is. There is so much love in the small actions you do every day that they are so much more powerful than any grand gesture once a year ever could outdo.

Thank you for reading this far. Now we’re caught up.

Love, Mariangelica

 

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word of the year intro image

Last year, I made some New Year Resolutions, it’s what I’ve done every year. I also do this countless times throughout said year. I make lists of goals and I set out to achieve them. I achieve some, I fail at others. Often I’m brutal to myself when I fail, and it brings me down for a while, makes it hard to see the things I have accomplished. A long time ago I heard about the idea of removing the resolutions from the equation and rather, choosing a word to embody your upcoming year. The idea sounded wonderful but for a goal oriented person like me, it seemed too flimsy, too vague.

How could I track something like that?

This year, something has shifted in me and I feel drawn to this idea of one word. I decided to read up about it and how one goes around deciding on that magical word. Already for a few days a word had been presenting itself to me in different ways. Just randomly throughout the day this word would come into my mind and I’d almost cock my head to one side trying to immediately decipher, why? I would let it pass only for days later for this word to come back at me, a request from the Universe for me to listen to it.

I listened but I didn’t understand.

I read about this step by step process for choosing the word and thought, what the heck, I’ll give this a try. Feel free to give it a go yourself! The steps were rather simple. First I had to visualize myself at the end of the year and describe what I saw. The step talked about things I would accomplish but again, I was trying to get away from that type of thinking so I just described what I saw in my mind. Almost with a laugh my pen began to move and it didn’t stop. What I saw, was beautiful, and the scene calmed me, it made me smile. It was a lovely moment where I could see through this magical window and observe this wonderful woman and all that she was and had become.

Step two asked me to  “Delve into the qualities and characteristics that she embodies” so I did just that, I described this person and without much thought wrote the word that had been making itself known to me for some time now. I almost gasped when I saw it, because that was it, all along. The exercise helped me understand why this had to be my word of the year, but the Universe already knew, it had known for a long time and I believe throughout this year gave me many moments to show me the importance of this word and what it could do for my life and for me.

So my word of the year, is balance.

balance

bal·ance . ˈbaləns/

  1. An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.
  2. A condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.
  3. Keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall.

This year, I will embrace this word, and allow it to shine through all areas of my life.

I will end with this excerpt from my journal and the last phrase I wrote regarding this exercise:

She lives in harmony with all that is around her and adapts quickly to restore the joy and balance in her life, no matter the circumstance.

Until next time,

Mariangelica


Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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NEW MOM MONDAYS CHASING LITTLES
This post is part of the New Mom Monday series! A series about moms and their advice to new moms! Books and videos can only teach us so much, but there’s something special about hearing from real life moms. Honest, true, and always beautifully inspiring!!
♥ What’s your Name?

Britney Mills

♥ Tell us a little about yourself!
I am the mom to 4 children, wife to Max. I love to write and chocolate chip cookies are my jam. Laundry is the most neglected thing in my home until we’re out of things and then it’s an all-day marathon. I love to travel and can’t wait to do more again. I love to play volleyball and softball and try out new things. I love to try new foods and places and I love spending time with my family, whether we’re curled up watching a movie or outside running around.
♥ How many kids do you have? What are their names and ages?
We have 4 kiddos: C is 3, G & D (boys) & M (girl) are 8-month old triplets.
♥ How do you find your “me time”?
Nap time and bed time for sure. Max helps out a lot when he gets home and I can run a quick errand but 5-8 pm is chaos so I usually try to get out after they’re asleep.
♥ What is the best baby related book you’ve ever read?
I haven’t really read books for babies, mostly websites and advice I get in Mommy Facebook groups.
♥ What’s the most useful baby product you have? Why do you love it?

The Nose Frida. I was a little weirded out by it when I first saw my SIL use one because it’s a long tube that helps you suck out the boogers but with triplets, it’s a must have! I gets things out so much better than the blue bulb suckers and it’s pretty inexpensive.

♥ If you could say something to yourself when you first brought home your first baby, what would you say?
With our first I was like, “I’ve got this!” and there were only a few bumps along the way. Bringing home the triplets was a little overwhelming and I would probably tell myself that each phase only lasts a little while. It’s not forever, thank goodness because this girl needs sleep. They are sleeping through the night for the most part now which helps me avoid zombieland.
♥ How much planning did you do before your baby was born, and how do you think that it helped or didn’t help?
I didn’t do a lot with my first, just had baby showers. That probably sounds bad because I didn’t know any better, I guess. With the three, I checked out what all the moms of multiples recommended and it made a huge difference to be prepared for when they came home, since it takes more time to load them all up and go to the store.
♥ What do you believe are the top three pieces of advice a new mom or someone trying to conceive should know?
Don’t put your life on hold because you don’t know when you’ll get pregnant. I struggle with infertility and it’s better to make plans, go on trips and push yourself to reach goals than to mope about not being pregnant. It will happen one way or another and you can use that time to better yourself and be closer to your spouse.
♥ What is your best memory so far of being a mom?

C playing with the babies. He’s so good at talking to them and helping them when I can’t get to them right off (usually when the others are in my arms). I was worried he would have trouble adjusting from all the attention but we make sure to take him out and do stuff with him alone.

♥ Give us the short form version of your birth story.
With C, I went 41 weeks and had to have an emergency c-section because he was 9 lbs! With the triplets, we had to go to a hospital a bit farther away from our home because of the NICU to take care of the babies. I was sent there five days before the triplets were born because my water ruptured. I had to go through steroid shots to help their lungs and on Friday I finally started contracting on my own. They wheeled me into the operating room, gave me a spinal block and then the doctor started. I couldn’t see the babies and they were taken directly to the NICU nurses to assess but Max would tell me they were okay as I waited. He took pictures of them so I could see them because I was taken back to the room to wait an hour or two until they wheeled me into the NICU. They had all three in their own little isolettes, or enclosed cribs, and we had to wait a month before they could come home.
♥ Lastly, for fun, define motherhood!

The craziest, most exhausting and funny rollercoaster I’ve ever been on. You’re tugged in so many directions but somehow you make it through and I love it!

To hear more from Britney be sure to visit her blog Marriage & Family Strong and follow her on Facebook.

If you would like to participate in New Mom Mondays please feel free to message me by using my contact form! I would love to not only feature you on my blog but learn from your answers, as I’m sure many readers would too! 
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NEW MOM MONDAYS CHASING LITTLES
This post is part of the New Mom Monday series! A series about moms and their advice to new moms! Books and videos can only teach us so much, but there’s something special about hearing from real life moms. Honest, true, and always beautifully inspiring!!
♥ What’s your Name?

Pragati Siddhanti

♥ Tell us a little about yourself!
I am Pragati—am the co-founder and partner at Be For Beauty. Earlier in 2016, I relocated to the picturesque city of Basel, Switzerland with my 6-year-old daughter and a workaholic husband. After giving up my 6 figure salary and role as an IT manager in India, I decided it was time to take a leap of faith and dedicate this time to grow and hone both our babies, Niyati and Be For Beauty.
♥ How many kids do you have? What are their names and ages?
I have one daughter who is 6 years old. Her name is Niyati
♥ How do you find your “me time”?
While this is something I really struggle with especially after I moved from India to Switzerland but I still manage to squeeze in a lot of “me” time as I always plan my days, weeks and months in advance. I use a calendar to track all my appointments, I make sure I have laundry days marked and I have all the different bags (gym, ballet, school etc.) ready and packed in advance. I seriously plan my meals along with my outings. Even if it’s an hour in the gym, my “me-time” is extremely important to me, and frankly, that’s what keeps me sane.
♥ What is the best baby related book you’ve ever read?
I have read a lot of story books to my child even when she hadn’t started speaking, however, I am not a big fan of parenting books. I do read up blogs, and advice by fellow mamma’s through a number of FB groups I subscribe to.
♥ What’s the most useful baby product you have? Why do you love it?

When she was a little baby, I swore by the bottle steriliser that I had bought from mother care and the swaddle that I used to carry her in while putting her to sleep. It really worked like a charm for us. But now, nothing really, I would really like alternates to netflix and the tablet.

♥ If you could say something to yourself when you first brought home your first baby, what would you say?
I was really unprepared when I brought her home from the hospital. If I could say something to myself, I would say, “Wish you’d have read up more about how to raise a baby vs how your pregnancy is going to be.” In other words, I would have really loved if I had been more prepared for this sea change that happened to me. I was overwhelmed and I went through serious postpartum depression.
♥ How much planning did you do before your baby was born, and how do you think that it helped or didn’t help?
Like I said in my previous answer, I wasn’t prepared and that hurt me quite a bit. I had to rush to the baby stores time and again as the things I had were never enough and I had a very reactive approach to a new born child. I would have loved being more confident and proactive with her. This is when I had learned the importance of planning ahead. (Not at my corporate job, after all this was the most important project I was ever going to manage ;))
♥ What do you believe are the top three pieces of advice a new mom or someone trying to conceive should know?
1. Plan a child, be ready – emotionally, mentally and physically. It’s not easy dealing with unplanned and accidental pregnancies.
2. Whether you go to those fancy birthing classes or not, make sure you have a lactation specialist by your side. That is more important. Giving birth is an organic and natural process, a woman is sub-consciously trained to do a good job at it – I didn’t practice any of the breathing techniques I learned and I sincerely believe that these classes are over rated.
3. Be prepared to welcome a new member in the house – nothing is ever going to be the same. You will never have the luxury of time so use those 9 months of pregnancy very wisely.
♥ What is your best memory so far of being a mom?

I really say this from my heart, every day with a child in your life is a blessing. Every year gets more fascinating than the one that went by. I don’t know how to pick one, every time she tells me that I am the best mom in the whole wide world, I am overjoyed. Not cuz of the oscar that she keeps giving me, cuz I know that all mothers are the best mothers but that she appreciates all the little things that I do and that she reciprocates the love.

♥ Give us the short form version of your birth story.
Giving birth to Niyati has and will be one of the toughest things I have ever done in my life. I still feel that I almost died but then I came back to life because I was a mother and the journey called life was just about to begin. I was past my due date so I was induced, I was obviously anxious as I was late and I was trying all home remedies to go into labour – however nothing was working. The contractions started but the dilation didn’t – hence I was in labour for a good 28 hours. The pain became excruciating during the last hours, the epidural didn’t work as it was put in quite late and I pushed for really long before she arrived. My husband and my sister were right by my side, I really had no love for anyone at this point as I was delirious with pain by the end of it. But when I saw her, she completely took my breath away, I was still being sewed down there when they wrapped her up and got her to me. She was perfect and an absolute miracle!
♥ Lastly, for fun, define motherhood!

Motherhood is not for everyone, motherhood is extremely exhausting and rewarding at the same time. Like a wise woman once said, “Having a child is like having a tattoo on your forehead”.

To hear more from Pragati be sure to visit her blog Be For Beauty and follow her on Instagram.

If you would like to participate in New Mom Mondays please feel free to message me by using my contact form! I would love to not only feature you on my blog but learn from your answers, as I’m sure many readers would too! 
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