We are officially in the second trimester.
My face is breaking out.
I don't fit in my jeans.
I get super sleepy throughout the day.
And I wouldn't change one bit of this!
Me + J spontaneously scheduled a 3D ultrasound appointment and went in that same day. We didn't really plan for them to be available that soon, but we jumped at the chance to see little Baby Stratton!
Seeing the baby for the second time, was such a beautiful moment. We held hands as we gazed at the giant screen that showed our little moving baby, I am still in awe that I am going to be a mother.
We heard our little one's heartbeat (154) and watched as it moved its arms behind its head, and squirm its legs.
We also got a gender prediction and were told an educated guess on what our baby is.
Being told that, just made everything that much more real and the love I have for our baby already is unconditional!
We will be announcing later and in a cute way J actually came up with. Seeing him get so excited about this pregnancy makes me so happy to have a partner equally excited for this baby and our journey to parenthood.
Seeing our baby from other angles, and not just from the one at 8 weeks, was so amazing! I am in love with the baby's profile and little nose! The baby seems super comfortable in there even if it does look so squished! haha
I definitely need to get bigger to give this little one some room, because it has some long arms and legs.
Here is a jump back to last week and how my 13 week went! I definitely feel like my bump has become more defined this week so I'm glad I've been taking weekly bump shots.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MoreMomentsWithExcedrin #CollectiveBias
I think most college students can relate: classes, tests and finals all bring so much stress as you strive to do your best. I was in the heat of college classes and finals and I started getting the worst migraines I've ever experienced. I was studying for my math final and was suddenly hit with the worst migraine. Now, math is my worst subject and it is just so hard for me to comprehend- please tell me I'm not alone! I knew that if I failed this exam, I would fail the whole class and that alone stressed me out even more! On account of being mostly feeling stressed and overwhelmed, I knew I needed a remedy and when I spotted the Excedrin® Migraine in the Walmart pain reliever aisle, it was just what I needed!
I found that taking the Excedrin® in the morning was a great migraine relief so I could face my classes head on with a clear head. In 30 minutes, my migraine was gone and I could focus on studying and doing well! I wanted something that could help remedy my migraines more, which is when my husband told me about his mom making rice packs for herself when she suffered from migraines. I thought that was genius, did some research and made my own!
I ended up passing my math final, doing a lot better than I thought I would, and it was all thanks to my power duo of a team: my rice pack and Excedrin® Migraine! This was a major moment for me, because all semester I experienced terrible migraines and finally I had a remedy that worked for me. Excedrin® Migraine starts to relieve migraine pain in 30 minutes. It is even #1 Neurologist Recommended*!
*Among OTC medicine for migraines. Symphony Health Solutions, 2016
I wanted to share this quick and easy DIY with you all, because if you suffer from migraines, muscle pains, or even cramps, this will be a great solution in addition to using Excedrin® as directed!
Consult your doctor if you think you are suffering from migraines, that way you can ensure you are taking the right medicine for you.
You will need…
string: if you want to do no sew
essential oils optional
I begin by filling my sock with the rice. I decided to use a Christmas sock just because it was fun, colorful, and it is a bit longer so I could use it on my neck if I wanted to.
I stopped at this point, because as you can see the toe part is very full. I wanted to leave extra room at the top so when it was closed off it would be more evenly distributed. Also, this is the step you can add in essential oils by dropping in about 3 drops. Great migraine relievers are lavender, peppermint, and rosemary.
If you are wanting to do no sew, start tying it off at about santas hat. I have a few that are just tied with string, or just knotted off, and it works great! For the sake of this tutorial, I wanted to sew it off so it would look better. I am new expert at sewing, but I just did a simple line and went back over it to make sure it was secure.
How to Use…
Now that you've made your super handy rice pack, how do you use it?
Place your rice pack in the microwave and heat it for 30 second intervals. Do not go over that time, because the rice will start to burn and it will smell awful (yes I know from experience!)
For best migraine or headache relief, lay down in a dark room and place the rice pack on your forehead. I like using this extra long sock, because it fits perfectly around my neck which is great for when I'm stressed! But if you are just wanting to use it for headaches, a normal sock will perfectly lay across your forehead. Store your rice pack on your night stand or in your medicine cabinet, just make sure it is in a cool, dry place.
If you suffer from migraines too, having your DIY rice pack + Excedrin® Migraine will help you combat those pesky migraines. Ultimately, allowing you to focus more on being productive and acing your next test!
Excedrin® products deliver fast relief for different types of headaches. And, your headache demands a headache solution so here is where you can find Excedrin® products at Walmart!
Are you going to make your own rice pack?
I would love to know if you do down below! Thanks for reading!
I’ll admit my guilty pleasure Facebook group is Dear Dependa II. It’s so crude, but yet so funny. But let’s face it. In all technicality, I am a dependa too! I depend on my husband to be the main bread winner and of our household. I depend on him for strength and confidence. And, I depend on him for his love and sacrifice. So yeah, I guess I’m just the biggest dependa of them all!
Okay, I’m totally joking. I know the term “dependa” means a wife who depends on their husband for everything and has no life goals other than bank on military benefits and sling their husband’s rank around like a proud boy scout and his new badge. I personally don't mind the 'milso' title because that is what I am. We often joke about me being a dependa and I think making light of a bad name is the kind of attitude + outlook you need in this life anyways!
I know it may come off as harsh, but I’m not quite sure where the expectation that military life is easy comes from. And I really don’t know who told them that you will be making bank and living this luxurious life of new cars every promotion, more money per kid you have, and Coach purses galore! The real military life is a bit of a rude awakening if you have that expectation.
I have picked up and left my family and friends, moving to places we would plant our roots, even if temporarily. I’ve learned to pack my life away in boxes, and be okay with leaving it in a storage container. Life as a ‘dependa’ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and I think no amount of mental preparation will prepare you for this life. This isn't a woe is me, it's just how life is.
I don’t think any amount of advice, tips, and personal experiences can prepare you for that first night alone when he leaves for deployment. No amount of creativity or money you put in a care package, will make sending things overseas feel absolutely normal. You may have a little one and realize that time that is being missed, your spouse will never get back.
It is hard and remains difficult for a long time. Some wives can transition easier than others and that’s okay. This life can make you feel so lonely, and other times you will feel completely surrounded by an amazing community of others going through the same experiences.
Here is the thing about life as a dependa: we chose our life partners on factors completely separate from what they do as a career (most of us). We would love our husbands and wives and support them in whatever job they were in. But, let’s not forget being in the military isn’t really your typical job.
I have no shame in showing pride in my husband, because what he in particular does for our country and other people, is something to truly thank him for. Their jobs are dangerous, they go to the other side of the earth to defend our Homefront, and they do it all without the expectation of being thanked: it’s just their job. I don't mind putting my experiences and stories out there, because I know how many other spouses relate to them. It doesn't bother me one bit to be labeled dependa, as I know what I am truly and feel only pride and love for my husband; not his rank.
Living the military life has taught me valuable life lessons and personal growth. Being married to someone in the military takes a lot of patience, courage, and strength and while it is definitely not the "toughest job in the military to be a ___ wife", it isn't for the weak.
It is like any relationship, but you have added strains that most normal relationships hopefully don't endure. Extended separation, having to be responsible for your spouse when they have little connection/communication, and learning how to be alone while you are technically not alone are all hardships faced. But, you can do it. Don't let negativity trouble you and focus on what is most important in your life, and you'll survive and thrive in this military life just fine.
What is the most distinctive "life as a dependa" moment for you?
Those of us who struggled to get pregnant, know the overwhelming disappointment of a negative test. You over evaluate every little potential “symptom” and think: this is it. This will be the month I get pregnant.
Then it doesn’t happen. Your monthly cycle shows up, or even worse you test and you know the answer before it comes and the three minutes are up. (This happened twice to me, not kidding) Seeing only one line on a test seems like the silliest thing to cry over, but in that moment it feels like you lost something. Like this was supposed to be the month, and that chance is gone now.
After trying for about 10 months, I decided I was no longer going to test, track my days, or put any excess energy into it. I was trying to feel content with life being just me and my husband and focusing on buying a home. We had also finally planned our belated honeymoon for our 2 year anniversary, and were getting so excited for it! It was the week before Christmas and I started getting my usual period symptoms, so I prepared for it to come in the next few days as usual. When it never came, and I had a week of those symptoms, I tried to push any glimmer of hope out of my mind. I didn’t want to have that feeling again, especially with Christmas coming up so soon.
We enjoyed our Christmas weekend and that following Monday my family came up to celebrate with us. That Monday morning, something in me just had the urge to take the dang test. I slipped out of the bed quietly, unwrapped a test as quietly as I could as to not wake up J, and took it.
I set it down on the counter and before it even left my hand, I saw a line immediately as the dye ran across. My first thought was it was the test line, but the test key shows the test line as the second. I just stood there in utter shock as tears filled my eyes.
J and I had always planned to test together, I wasn’t in to the whole idea of doing it alone and surprising him after, but honestly I was just expecting the usual negative result. I finished up in the bathroom and walked to the bed and said his name and woke him up. I was standing there shaking, test in one hand, and he probably thought I was a crazy woman! I showed him and started tearing up even more and you know what his response was? “About time”.
That’s exactly how I felt too, but of course decorated with more gushy, emotional words per usual. I got back in bed and cuddled up with him, just beaming that it had finally happened: our prayers had been answered, this was the day we prayed for. I am still in shock that we are having a baby, and I don’t think it really sunk in until I saw our baby on the ultrasound screen. The nurse put the wand on my belly and immediately on the screen, we saw our baby for the first time. She played its little heartbeat (a fast 175), and I could not believe my ears. I am finally carrying another life, something that seemed like such a distant hopeful dream at one point, was now a reality. I was pretty composed seeing the baby, just in utter awe that we made that. Then, the baby started moving around and moving all of its limbs and that’s when I snapped back to reality and teared up.
For those still waiting for that day, my heart goes out to you. While we tried for a year, J pointed out that we shouldn’t look at it that way. It happened exactly when it was supposed to. The day we prayed for couldn’t have been as perfect if it happened any other day. I feel like I have appreciated this pregnancy so much more than I would if we got pregnant as soon as we started trying. It made me appreciate my time with J, focus on improving myself, and getting the most out of life.
I hope to change the direction of our blog a little bit, because as you know, this is The Strattons. I created this blog to document our lives together, and now our family is growing by one more! I will actively be sharing this pregnancy journey, doing week updates when major things are changing, and I just sharing the overall joy of motherhood that I so heavily prayed for.
After a long and eventful year, I can finally say that I'M PREGNANT. I'm 12 weeks along and I still can't fully believe it. As most of you know, my husband and I have been patiently praying and trying for the past year, to no avail. The day after Christmas I got the surprise of a lifetime and realized God had finally answered our many prayers.
I still get daily traffic, emails, and messages from other women on the fertility journey. Some tell me about their miracle babies and how they were once in my shoes, and some tell me how they are still walking down that long and difficult path. What I've learned in this past year, is as woman we are not alone. I know when I first started trying and saw announcement after announcement, it broke me. Little did I know, there is a whole community of woman just like me praying for the day they can be mothers.
In a weird way I am grateful we had to wait so long to have a baby. Personally, I think it helped me appreciate every little thing more. It helped me value my time with my husband and grow closer together, it helped me focus on other areas of my life that I had put on the back burner because of this one golden dream, and it also helped me appreciate what a true, raw blessing a baby really is.
I have been lucky enough to not have any morning sickness, and have really only been feeling drained + the effects of a small bladder. All little things that I couldn't be happier to feel, because it means God finally chose me to be a mother. I have a favorite quote and it is what I refer back to often.
While I don't want to dwell so much on the journey it took to get here, I want to just express that for those still on it, I am praying for you. It's not easy and I know the feeling of seeing pregnancy announcements popping up all around you. But like I said in my last post, "any new life coming onto this earth is a joyous occasion".
I cannot wait to share more of this pregnancy journey with you all! I am due late August and just announced the big news publicly yesterday. I wanted to keep the announcement simple, because I have seen one too many posts that are a little over the top. Below is how we announced! Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us and reached out to me. It truly means so much and I'm grateful to be surrounded by such wonderful people. J + I are overjoyed to be parents and I am looking forward to documenting it all on our blog.
We went to our first appointment at 9 weeks and I was so nervous! The nurse was so nice and made me feel comfortable! I was afraid they would have to do the internal ultrasound and that I wouldn't be able to tell what our baby was... Wrong and wrong! She talked to us for a little bit on our backgrounds and genetics, gave me a quick exam, and then it was time for the ultrasound. She put the ultrasound wand on my belly and instantly on the screen our little baby was there: head, body, little arms and legs. I couldn't believe how human it looked, because I've heard woman say it looks alien-like. We then heard the heartbeat, which is the sweetest sound I've ever heard, and I just laid there in awe looking at the screen showing me our baby. We were both pretty quiet and more so just in amazement as the whole thing played out. We go for our next appointment at 13 weeks which is next Monday so I can't wait to share more then!
For now, here is the first bump update that I filmed at 8 weeks.
Thank you for stopping by The Strattons Blog! Here are snippets of my life, motherhood, and the military!