Dealing With Negative Nancy During Your Pregnancy

There’s always one. In every situation, pregnant or not there is always one negative person who has nothing positive to say on the matter. In pregnancy, the same applies. Whether it’s strangers patting your belly or unsolicited ‘advice’, there’s plenty of negativity to fill your nine months and beyond.

Dealing With A Negative Nancy During Pregnancy

I was home in Ireland briefly and sadly, I kind of regret going. Not because I received negativity but because I received support. I am aware that seems incredibly cynical and negative. I was finally able to share the pregnancy journey with those who seemed concerned, interested and happy for me. I cannot describe the feeling of going through such a special time and being the only one invested in it. So I won’t even try but it was very hard to leave a loving, familiar environment and return to one void of such happiness.

I have come to discover here that when I am in the company of others, all I hear regarding my pregnancy is what will or will potentially go wrong. I spoke in my last post about struggling with my mental health throughout this pregnancy. The last thing any expectant first-time mother wishes to hear is what they are doing wrong or what will go wrong. It baffles me that at such a special time in life, the only sentiments offered are negative. With all due respect – if you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing.

I understand that some people don’t worry. I am a sensitive, intuitive person and worry comes with the territory. Don’t get me wrong, I am confident in this pregnancy. If it weren’t for the external factors I would say I am loving it. But I have the normal apprehension that is to be expected when facing delivering your first baby. Fortunately, in my battalion I also have my intelligence, a strong maternal instinct and a drive to succeed. Maybe I internalize too much but I cannot bear someone treating me like I know absolutely nothing. Condescending comments that almost infer I haven’t held, cared for or ever even seen an infant in my life. Negativity about the way I eat, drink or choose to care for myself during the gestation. Telling me with a loud cackle how my house will never be the palace it is now, again. UGH.

Like snowflakes, fingerprints and pregnancies – we are all unique.

Why is it so hard to live and let live? In my rant I have digressed. I have taken too long to realize that the health and well-being of myself and my child trumps literally everything else in my life. Giving these people power over your emotions is the worst way to manage. You must continue on boldly and bravely in your pregnancy. You are the mother. That intuition is strong for a reason. You know what is best for you and for baby. Embrace the positivity you receive. Be thankful for those people and their kind words, generosity and support. Give them the space in your head and heart.

Dealing With Negative Nancy During Your Pregnancy

  • Bite your tongue
  • Smile and nod
  • Say thank you
  • Firmly but nicely state that you do not wish to discuss certain topics if they are too personal or invasive
  • Don’t focus on the fact that your boundaries are being disrespected and allow it to become bitterness. Some people just truly believe they know everything
  • Try to remember that to them the ‘advice’ is coming from a good place and not one of malice
  • Don’t internalize it as condescension, often empty vessels simply make the most noise
  • Don’t go over the conversation in your head later on
  • Let others’ negativity go. Their know-it-all attitude is not your weight to carry
  • Use your time educating yourself on what’s to come – it’s the best way to minimize fear
  • Speak to your doctor about any concerns and worries potentially caused by what others say to you. He or she will be happy to clarify and reassure
  • Give supportive people your mental energy
  • Keep a pregnancy/gratitude journal
  • Embrace the journey, don’t let negative comments/people steal the joy that is now

If you’re struggling to fend off negativity or just feel overwhelmed in your pregnancy check out my recent post The Importance of Self Care During Pregnancy for some simple ideas to take a positive time out!

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The Importance Of Self Care During Pregnancy

The topic of self care is trendy right now but there is much more to it than a bandwagon. Finally, an idea with more substance than ‘adulting’ or the apparently vital role Target plays in our lives. The new year brings high hopes, willingness to embrace change and goals, goals, goals! This year, after an extremely emotionally demanding 2016, my main goal is self improvement. This resolution was borne out of necessity. With my first baby arriving soon there is simply no choice to continue in the mental state I was in. Stress is not good for your growing baby so it is incredibly important to ensure you have a safe, stress-free and happy pregnancy. Taking time for yourself is easier said than done but if I could prevent even one person from feeling the strain I have felt then I would be content.

Self Care During Pregnancy

Whether your stress is a direct result of work, relationship issues, financial problems etc. it does not matter. The physical affects of stress on your developing baby can be detrimental to their mental health in years to come. Even at this point I feel a large amount of guilt for inflicting my sadness and worries onto my baby. Clawing your way out of a rut isn’t easy and casting aside fears is less so. With every kick and hiccup from inside I am reminded and determined to be the best version of myself. Both for the baby and for my own happiness. Sometimes you will come to realize that your expectations of support are nothing more than expectation and in that situation you must be everything you need by yourself.

“So what can I do to minimize stress?”

First of all, like any issue, recognize that you need help and be able to admit it. Even if only to yourself. Fortunately with self care, YOU can help you. All it takes is remembering be to intentional.

Self care practices range from the tiniest trivial activity to life altering decisions and you get to choose what is best for you. Nobody knows you better than yourself! Simply put, do more of the things you love, the things that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. If that means taking a vacation or just putting on freshly laundered pjs then do it and do it solely for you.

As a highly sensitive and introverted person, time outs are a necessity for me. Unfortunately time away from the chaos doesn’t simply equate to positive, revitalizing me-time. I can often spend it in turmoil with a very messy, over analytical mindset. This serves me no purpose and adds to my woes. For self care to be legitimate and genuinely help you, you must be intentionally selfish and make it entirely about you.

Self Care Activities For A Happy Healthy Pregnancy

These activities are so easy but we often ignore them. Sometimes we just need a little nudge! What are some of your favorite self care practices?

 

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No-Sew Novelty Cloud Pillow

This blog has given me a serious case of craft-itis! I get so much inspiration and motivation from reading hundreds of other blogs every month that I now have a massive craft bug and I am thoroughly enjoying it. This week I tried my hand at a simple cloud pillow for Baby’s nursery. I cannot sew. At all. Even a button, it WILL fall off again. I despise sewing. What I can do however, is handle a small, low-temperature hot glue gun!

DIY No Sew Cloud Pillow

People often ask me if I’ve chosen a theme for Baby’s nursery and honestly I had not, nor had I ever considered one. Unless you can call ‘gender neutral’ a theme. Although I love to decorate and sit back to admire my handiwork, I get bored and over analytical. For me, something overly specific was an absolute no-no.

Let me tell you, choosing gender neutral decor is easier said than done. It seems these days that a lot of grey and rustic/outdoorsy decor is considered gender neutral. I personally think that stuff, although beautiful, is far more boyish than girly. After I had decided on a white crib and re-purposed my old TV cabinet into a white changing unit (check it out here!), I found the cutest cloud door handles on Etsy. What’s both baby appropriate and gender neutral? The sky! So I settled on clouds, stars, the moon etc. as my central ‘theme that isn’t a theme’.

This easy peasy no-sew cutie will be complete in 30 minutes and costs less than $10-20 depending on where you buy your supplies and the quality you desire!

You will need:
  • White fabric (cotton, felt, fleece, velour …it’s up to you!)
  • Poly-fil Stuffing 12oz (o r see amount requirements for different projects on the package!)
  • Low-temp hot glue gun + extra glue sticks
  • Sharp scissors or ideally a fabric shears
  • A sharpie to draw your cloud shape

There is no distinct pattern for this project. I completely winged it and you can too!

Method:

On a clean, flat surface fold your fabric in half and freehand draw a simple cloud shape on your fabric. If drawing is not your forte then find a shape to copy or trace with a quick google search

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Once you’re happy with the shape, cut it out (both sides)

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Since the sides you have cut may have sharpie marks showing then make sure you glue this side up! Make sure both pieces line up and apply a thin, clean line of glue around the edge. Carefully glue edge to edge in small stages 4/5ths of the way around

Don’t forget to stop, you have to leave a hole for filling!

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When the glue is dry and you’re happy there’s no missed spots ie, holes, then turn it inside out. The reason for a thin, evenly glued edge is to avoid puckering. It may still appear puckered in spots but you can iron those out!

Start stuffing the pillow carefully, ensuring it’s totally filled! It may take a lot depending on how large you made it. Work out the bumps as you go.

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The trickiest part is sealing the last gap since the fabric is now the right way around. Take your time and slowly glue it as neatly as possibly. Rushing will result in hot glue all over your hands and the outside of the pillow!

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DIY Baby Changing Station Transformation

I don’t need to tell you that babies are expensive little beings. It is rather overwhelming looking around your home and realizing just how much you need to buy for baby. I think the worst kind of baby gear is the stuff that lasts five minutes and is then no longer of any use. Like a bassinet or a changing table.

DIY Changing Table Transformation

I was lucky to have an old TV cabinet sitting in my garage that had the perfect potential for a changing unit. This was achieved by simply changing the color! I was able to create a beautiful piece of furniture for the nursery that can be used as both a changing table and later, a storage unit. What I love about re-purposing a small cabinet is the versatility of the end result. You could remove the doors and add decorative storage boxes to make it more gender/theme specific or you can also choose to  keep the doors and hide boring necessities behind them.

DIY Changing Station Transformation

DIY Changing Station Transformation

I am doing the latter. I have decided to turn this into the ultimate baby changing station! The upper shelf which is usually for DVD players, game consoles and the like will be a place to store basics like onesies/bibs/burp cloths and the inevitable spare outfits we will need with some changes! Behind the doors there is one shelf which will be home to endless diapers, wipes and also health and bath products. All I am really adding to this piece is a standard changing pad.

For such a huge transformation and total re-purpose, this project is the easiest I have ever done. It had two steps.

I have two words people. CHALK. PAINT.

DIY Changing Station Transformation

Paint that magic potion directly onto your dust-free, un-sanded wood and watch it transform! Granted, it took four or five coats but if you are not in a rush and have patience then you can get away without prepping. I underestimated how many coats it would need and I went through two tubs before I gave in and bought a bigger one to finish it. If in doubt, buy the bigger tin! To save time and effort you can sand and fully prep the furniture from the start. The reason I didn’t was because I began during Summer and therefore in the height of my allergy season. It just wasn’t worth the agony in my eyes and the sneezing fits! Once you are happy with the coverage you can use a clear wax to seal and protect it.

I’m SO happy with the way this unit turned out and even happier that I have a piece of nursery furniture that cost me $25! All I purchased was the paint, wax and door knobs 🙂

DIY Changing Station Transformation

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Maternity Essentials for the Stylish Mama To Be

Initially, the thoughts of a maternity wardrobe horrified me which is strange because I love fashion, shopping and everything related. It wasn’t the fact that I would need bigger clothes. Or the effort of shopping for them but simply the fact that if you stick the word ‘maternity’ in front of any item of clothing it seems to triple in price. The sting in that is the amount of time you will actually spend wearing these pieces. It is so short! So in my pregnancy ignorance I assumed I would get away with leggings and my loose tunic style tops for the next few months. Yeah, I quickly learned that isn’t going to happen. My bump is still teeny tiny but I am rocking the maternity jeans a good few weeks now. Undershirts have become weird belly tops and button down tops no longer button.

Maternity Essentials For The Stylish Mama To Be

With that, I have started to pick up a few key pieces that are versatile enough to build different outfits around. Think essential basics like leggings, tanks, long tees, tunics, casual jersey dresses and layering items like shirts, cardigans and blanket scarves.

Luckily I will be spending my pregnancy sporting Winter gear. I cannot imagine being pregnant in the height of a Georgia Summer, ick. However, Winter really only arrives here in January so there is no need for heavy coats and huge sweaters. With upcoming trips to Ireland and Huntsville, I will need some cold weather attire occasionally but I hope to pull this off by layering basics with chunky cardigans already in my wardrobe!

Comfort is the winner for me with style taking a close second. Here are some of my suggested essentials to get you through your Fall/Winter pregnancy in total comfort and the height of style 😉

BASIC TOPS

Maternity Essentials

I would suggest buying these in white, grey and black or multiples of whichever your favorite color is! These are perfect for layering. Wear under sweaters, kimonos, cardigans, blazer etc. I love the longer length to cover the waistband of my jeans/leggings. If you are still doing the hair-tie trick with your pants, they are perfect for hiding that too!

SWEATERS & LAYERING

Maternity Essentials

None of these are maternity pieces which I love because you’ll wear them long after baby arrives. Kimonos are light and airy and look great over leggings for a relaxed but dressed up look. I LOVE this plaid kimono, get your Autumn plaid shirt fix without battling buttons. Chunky knitwear is a no brainer when it comes to layers so it needs no explanation. How cute is this layered sweater? It’s also peplum which means you can wear it without the bump stretching it out! Win!

BOTTOMS

Maternity Essentials

Maternity jeans and a pair of comfy leggings (or 5!) will be absolutely lived in throughout your entire pregnancy. I was lucky enough to get a 40% off any single item code for H&M which allowed me to pick up these jeans for a steal. Overalls/dungarees are a love or hate maternity piece but I adore this skinny legged pair!

DRESSES

Maternity Essentials

If dresses are your style then they will be your splurge item. However if you find a casual dress that can take you from day to night then it will be an worthwhile investment! Add a wide brim hat and chunky statement jewelry to dress these basic dresses up! I personally would pair dress #4 with denim leggings and over the knee boots as I don’t like bare legs with knit dresses but to each their own.

Check out my ‘Bump Style’ Pinterest board for ways to wear similar styles

 

 

What were your holy grail maternity items?

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Baby Weight Gain Woes

Today’s post is a bit of a rant I suppose. I want to talk about gaining weight during pregnancy.

Baby Weight Woes

I am 6 ft tall and my pre-pregnancy weight was 119lbs. My height, extremely long legs and physical build make me look very thin. This is something that has been a massive insecurity of mine for many years, mostly because of years of bullying, people suggesting I have eating disorders and telling me to go “eat a burger”. Not to mention the media and opposite sex constantly reminding me that I am not in fact a ‘real’ woman without the presence of curves.  I eat. I eat like a little piggy. Those close to me will vouch for the fact that not only do I eat but I eat my fair share of junk food. I have never had an unhealthy link to my body with food and I find it an awful shame to constantly battle those so quick to judge.

That attitude, in my opinion is more unhealthy than my appearance.

“A woman of a normal weight, like yourself, should expect to gain between 25 and 30 lbs throughout pregnancy” – my OB/GYN.

This kind of floored me. Not because I’m going to gain weight. Nope. Because she described me using the words “normal weight”. My own GP in Ireland would look at me sideways and warn me off “losing any more weight”. I’ve been the same weight at all my doctor visits for 8 years?! I was never actively trying to lose weight. It was refreshing to not feel like someone was trying to talk me off a ledge. I can’t wait to gain the weight, it is necessary for my growing baby. In fact, I bought my first ever scales to ensure month to month that I am gaining enough.

Body shaming works both ways. ‘Skinny’ shaming is as real as ‘fat’ shaming and they are all equally as vile as one another. The last thing pregnant women need is to compromise the health of themselves and their developing baby due to the cruel words of others.

Be sure to check out Morning Sickness Musts for tips on battling first trimester nausea!

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Morning Sickness Musts!

If you follow the blog’s social media accounts and saw my previous post, Little Pumpkin then you will already know that we are expecting! Baby Scott arrives next Spring and we are so flippin’ excited! I’ve been very sick in my first trimester and I strive to do all that I can to help other women deal with morning sickness misery! “Not another post about morning sickness!”, I hear you cry. There are endless morning sickness remedies out there. How do I know how many there are? Because I searched for them ALL. I read them all and I tried them all. Some worked wonders, other made me worse so I’ve compiled a list of what kept me at my best during my worst! Hopefully they can help you too.

Morning Sickness Musts

Intuitively, I knew I would experience morning sickness. It’s me. Everything turns my stomach, even at full health. I have a high pain tolerance but the weakest stomach and I was anxious in the early weeks of my pregnancy awaiting the dreaded nausea. I was 7 weeks 3 days at my initial prenatal exam and first ultrasound. The nurse asked me how I was feeling and I was on top of the world. She mused that I might be one of the lucky ones and I went home wondering if I was.

The very next day I woke up to the room spinning, stomach growling and vomit rising in my throat. T.M.I? Get used to it. Pregnancy and dignity don’t go hand in hand I’ve found.

I was floored and it was a vicious cycle. I was feeling deathly sick but starving at the same time. Let’s face it the last thing you want when you are sitting on bathroom floor waiting to vomit is a big meal. I learned my lesson quickly though. The reason I was feeling so sick was because I needed food. I needed to eat something the second I woke up and last thing at night. As well as this, I needed to eat frequently to avoid any sensation of hunger which in turn equated to nausea.

My Top 6 Morning Sickness Musts

  1. Eat immediately upon waking and right before bedtime. In the morning I found a dry, crunchy granola bar would give me enough energy and tide me over while I was getting myself up and dressed. I would go downstairs and have breakfast right afterwards. At night time I would eat the same but maybe add a banana. This was enough to fill me in case I woke in the middle of the night.
  2. Eat every 2 to 3 hours. This sounds excessive but for me it was the only way I got through my morning-noon-night sickness. I would eat at 9am, 12pm, 2/3pm, 5pm, 7pm and 9/10pm. Some of these were meals (whatever I could keep down) and the rest were light, dry and downright boring snacks. Meals consisted of A LOT of carbohydrates and other plain but filling foods. Bread, rice, pasta, cereals etc. Snacks were crackers, granola bars, oatmeal and fruits that I could stomach like bananas, blueberries and strawberries.
  3. Don’t skip on water. I know, I know, it’s impossible to drink liters of water while feeling so awful. I added a teaspoon of the juice of a fresh lemon to every bottle of water I drank to add some flavor. The tartness made it easier to swallow. The days where I slacked on my water intake were hell. My head spun and the nausea was undoubtedly stronger. Not to mention the most important factor – all those fluids are necessary for babies development!
  4. Brew your own ginger tea. I both won and lost here. Who knew you could overdose on ginger? Not this girl. It’s rough. Trust me. I was so sick one day that I boiled the kettle, grated some fresh ginger and made my own tea. Grate your ginger into a bowl and pour hot water on top. Let it steep for a few minutes. Strain this water into a cup over a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of lemon then add more warm water. The key here is to not use too much ginger, a bare half teaspoon of grated ginger is enough. I used too much! The tea settled my stomach and I felt really good but the next two days were not pleasant. I had sent my body into a full digestive detox/cleanse and I don’t need to describe that to anyone.
  5. Put your go-to snacks EVERYWHERE. In the glove box of the car, in every handbag you own, in every pocket of your clothing, on your nightstand, on your coffee table, etc. Sometimes just walking to the pantry to get my food made the world spin. I liked to have things on hand at all times.
  6. Something I struggled with during the worst weeks of sickness was the gross metallic taste in my excessively dry mouth. I tried sucking on glassy, fruity candy but was overwhelmed by sweetness. I recommend ginger candies just for the purpose of settling the stomach but the taste can become overpowering. What worked best for me in the end was peppermints and occasionally chewing gum. Chewing gum helps to produce more saliva and I find it takes my mind off the ill feeling.

As I said my sickness began at week 7. It peaked at week 10 and by the very end of week 11 it became far more manageable. By the time week 12 rolled around I was waking up with more energy and barely any inkling of illness, which is typical of nearing the second trimester. The only time I feel sick now is if I allow myself to go far too long without eating. I really hope some of these tips work for someone else out there because it can feel downright hopeless and miserable.

Let me know in the comments what weird or wacky remedy eased your morning sickness!

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Little Pumpkin

Autumn is finally, officially here and while everyone’s talking about all pumpkin everything, I’ve been keeping a tiny pumpkin of my own a big secret!

Little Pumpkin Cover

WE’RE HAVING A BABY!

Scott Pregnancy Announcement

Did I get to the point quick enough? I feel like I could burst with relief from keeping it quiet for so long! I agonized for weeks  about whether or not I would announce this on the blog but I figured I would end up posting related articles. It would seem a little strange to suddenly become a ‘mom’ blogger without ever mentioning becoming a mother…

Baby Scott will be making an appearance next Spring. Baby’s photos probably won’t feature on the blog but our adventures undoubtedly will. He or she will be our greatest one of all!

Little Pumpkin

Everything coming our way is very exciting. I have loved everyone’s blog posts that have helped me through this pregnancy so far and given me great advice for the future. I’m pretty excited to become a part of the mom club!

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