I am 10 days away from my due date, and I am a whole ball of emotions. I am excited, scared, ready, nervous, overjoyed all in one. Creating and carrying life these past 9 months has been the biggest blessing I could have ever been able to experience. I have loved pregnancy, but I know I am going to love motherhood even more.
I have dreamed of becoming a mother for years now. If you read my first post about us trying to conceive, you'll know that we prayed for this journey for a bit now. We put off trying for a year until we were stable financially, then it took us an entire year to earn the title of parents. Now that the time has come, I couldn't have imagined a more perfect time for this calling. I feel like that waiting time taught me so much patience, but also gratitude for every little ache and pain I experience.
This pregnancy I've been extremely blessed. Not just because of the little pregnancy symptoms, but because of the blessings that accompanied. My husband and I are closer than ever and seeing his excitement over our little girl fills my heart like no other. I can't wait to see him develop in his role as a father and I know for certain S is in for a lifetime of love and being cherished.
But, I'll be the first to admit I am absolutely terrified. I feel so under qualified to be a mom and I am sure a lot of moms felt the same way with their first. I want to make sure she always feels loved, important, and safe. Parenting doesn't just stop at taking care of their basic needs, but for when she goes off to school and faces her first bully, will I be able to guide her correctly? For when she falls and hurts herself, will I be able to be strong enough for the both of us and help her? For when she experiences her first heartbreak, will she come to me and seek comfort and guidance?
As a mother, I already feel so protective of her and just want to protect her from the world and all the negative things in it. But, also as her mother I hope that I can raise her to be able to protect herself and steer away from the apostate.
These last 10 days before her due date are going to be a true test of patience, but also allow me to prepare some more. I have had a feeling she will come early, but at this point I am fully assuming she is just going to stay in here forever. I've experienced more intense contractions, but nothing consistent or strong enough that made me feel like this was it. I am scared for labor but just thinking about the aftermath eases my nerves and I am just so ready to hold our baby girl.
Thank you all for joining me on my journey to motherhood. I know many blessings are to come and I can't wait to share the next chapter with you all! I have nested, rested, and I am ready to bring this new life into the world. I am ready to take on motherhood because I know I have an amazing community of both family & friends who I can turn to for guidance.
The nursery is done! This has been a long time coming, especially with us having to hold off until we moved into our new home. Let me tell you, putting together a nursery at 8 months pregnant is not recommended. My husband, mom, and in laws are given full credit for putting this nursery together.
When J and I first found out we were having a girl, we had no idea what to make her nursery theme. I had a plan for a boy, but was completely lost on a girl. We stopped by Buy Buy Baby as we often did in the early pregnancy, and J stopped in front of the nautical/whale themed nursery items and said this is it. I stopped with him and it just clicked. It was so perfect! It's not 'traditional' for a girl to a lot of people, but as a huge lover of blue and green, it seemed so fitting.
I am so happy with how everything turned out. She actually has a really big room, which makes me excited for her to grow into and probably eventually share with a younger sibling. My goal for the nursery was to not have it too themed, where the items could grow with her onto toddlerhood and beyond.
Caddy: ikea / whale hamper: gift
This caddy is stocked with diapers on top, the second rack holds extra pacifiers, car seat strap covers, and some small items, and the bottom is full of blankets. This is going to be super handy because I can just grab the diapers out of the open top! Also, this whale hamper is super adorable and a baby shower gift from my aunt and uncle, and it's right outside of her closet that is full to the brim.
Crib: Wayfair / Sheets: Babies R Us / Pillow: Amazon / Wallpaper: Lowe's / Blanket: gift / Curtains: Walmart
This may be my favorite corner ever! This sweet bassinet is from my mother in law and is so precious. I may end up moving it downstairs so she has something to lay in when I am in my office or in the tv area. This mermaid wall art was decoration from my baby shower my mom threw, and is so darling (and my favorite colors!).
All of these books are a hodpodge of gift from our baby shower, hand me downs from when I was a baby, and some my husband thrifted years ago for his future children. I can't wait for her book collection to grow even more throughout the years. I have a few trinkets from my childhood, one being a unicorn I got from my grandpa that is super special! I then have a cake tray that holds a soothing whale, our baby monitor (review coming very soon!), and her initial. The top shelf are stuffed animals and dolls and a sweet canvas of our gender announcement I got from our baby shower.
Bench: flea market / pillowcases: Amazon / toy bin: Target
This bench was a purchase I made in high school and has probably had a home in every single room of our house at one time or another! It is absolutely perfect for her nursery and matches the colors perfectly. Underneath I have stored all of her toys. I am going to do my best not to have a crazy abundance of toys, but I'm sure all parents say that!
Beach Wallart: Lowe's / Changing table: inlaws / Changing pad: Wayfair / Cover: Target / Mirror: thrifted
This changing table was actually supposed to be my inlaw's bathroom sink but things thankfully didn't work out! lol I picked it out with my mother in law, and when she didn't have a use for it they brought it over because I knew it would make the perfect changing table!
Above I have diaper wipes, bows, and a vase full of pacifiers. This mirror I've had in my room since high school and the color went perfect with the beachy vibe. This bucket was used for our baby shower, and it makes the perfect holder for rolled up diapers! I will eventually have my slider in the corner for when I'm feeding.
Now all we are missing is baby girl!! I am so ready for her to arrive. I am currently 36 weeks, so to think I only have 4 more weeks at the most before she is here... Just blows my mind. Thank you everyone for being patient as there was a bit of a gap between my blog posts lately.
I would LOVE to hear what nursery themes you have done, or what you plan to do!
I feel like nowadays, getting pregnant young is becoming less and less of the norm. I was wanted to be a mom early on in life, and was finally blessed with getting pregnant at 20 (now 21). I mention my age because the younger you are, the more common you are associated with being naive. BUT, I don't think any age would properly prepare you for the unknown world of pregnancy!
I have been super blessed with an "easy" pregnancy. I'm not at high risk, I never experienced morning sickness, and so far me and baby have been very healthy. I put easy in quotations, because even without those complications, these 8 months haven't gone without a hitch! I have learned A LOT about being pregnant and how much your body truly changes for 9 months. Here is what they don't tell you about pregnancy, so hopefully you don't go in as blind as I did!
You can smell everything.
This can be a good and bad thing. I can sniff out if someone has chocolate (my newest craving thanks to pregnancy), but you can also smell if someone left rotten eggs in their trash or if something is a day expired. Your sense of smell is so heightened, and this can be a major downfall if you experience morning sickness!
I only ever experienced heartburn eating hot cheetos. But now, I experience it 25/7. No, that's not a typo. Be prepared and carry Tums in your purse at all times, I learned that the hard way.
You won't be able to sit, stand, or lay down.
Everything will now be super uncomfortable. Standing will make your feet swell, sitting down will make you feel super uncomfortable and like you can't breathe, and laying down will never be the same. Invest in an exercise ball as soon as you can and don't put off buying a body pillow of some sorts. Laying on your left side is your best bet, but even then it will sometimes fail you and you'll wonder why you weren't more thankful for your nights of solid sleep before pregnancy. It's totally normal to struggle getting up from your chair and having your husband push you out of bed.
Discomfort Down There.
Going along with getting up from a laying position, what they won't tell you is you might feel a sharp pain that feels like your lower half is going to just separate. Seriously, you may feel like your just going to split in half. But it's totally cool it's just your body getting ready to deliver a baby.
Remember those maternity clothes you invested in to last you your entire pregnancy? Yeah, those will stop fitting you at one point too. You will just get to the point of wearing your husband's shirts or being okay with showing some belly. I don't know who invented the maternity pants with the built in band, but I wish they would've taken into consideration that you already feel like a whale and don't need a spandex band constricting you even more. I highly recommend living in flowy dresses if weather permits.
Your Boobs Will Hurt.
Think the soreness starts when baby has been delivered? Oh, we are so wrong! You will feel sore, heavy, and sometimes leak way before your little bundle of joy arrives. Don't be under the impression it only happens when you begin breastfeeding, your body enjoys practicing your pain tolerance early on.
Before getting pregnant, I had never heard of "braxton hicks". Is he some country singer?! If only. It depends on how early you will start feeling this, but your belly will randomly become rock hard and sometimes it can be very uncomfortable and even painful. It can happen for a variety of reasons too, which makes this whole pregnancy/labor game more fun. It can come and go whenever it pleases, last however long, and will eventually lead into real contractions that involve heavier cramping and back pain.
Shaving is an Olympic Sport.
No one warned me that the days of shaving my legs would no longer be the same. You better trust your balance and feel confident in just feeling around, be comfortable with using a mirror, or get the courage to ask your husband for help. Or you can get smart and have someone wax it for you, since your hair will grow at rapid speed.
Everything Makes you Tired.
Walking from the car to your front door? Panting. Getting up to use the bathroom for the fourth time? Exhausting. Walking up and down your stairs more than once? Forget about it. Everything you took for granted before, will now make you so exhausted and you may or may not get out of breath from normal everyday activities.
Especially if you are blessed with short genes, driving will not be quite the task. Being able to reach the pedals and steering wheel with a huge belly between you? Better to save up for an uber now. You will learn to lean back in your seat and reach as far as you can.
Gassiness is the New Classiness.
You will have more gas than you would ever like to have and also sometimes have no control over it. Start practicing on blaming the dog now, because it will be bad. I was never told this, and found myself burping even after drinking water or eating normal foods.
Strangers Will Want to Touch the Belly.
Not only will they want to touch your belly, but they will ask how far along are you, when you are due, what gender is it, what's the baby's name, and what have your cravings been. They mean well, don't worry, but I definitely wasn't prepared to be bombarded with questions as I waddle around the grocery store.
This is just a short list of what I really didn't know about pregnancy.
What are some things you found out while adventuring into motherhood?
I'd love to hear your real, honest, and probably funny stories! Embrace your pregnancy and every little fun thing you learn along the way. This is such a special time, and sometimes you need to find the humor in the uncomfortable situations!
So, you may or may not have noticed that I have been a little absent from my blog... Well, The Strattons have moved! Last weekend we closed on our forever home and moved in, we wanted to keep it a big surprise until it was all said and done.
We moved for a whole list of reasons: we didn't like our neighborhood and safety was constantly a concern. After moving in and shortly after finding out I was pregnant, we both started panicking about raising our baby in that area and the house quickly felt way too small to grow our family into.
We fell in love with our house the day we saw it. It was kind of a now or never decision with me being pregnant, and not wanting to move after having a baby. So, I moved while 8 months pregnant! haha This home has been such a joy to unpack and decorate, because it finally feels like we can breathe and take everything out of their boxes. It's been a long time coming and I feel so at peace to finally feel like we found the one, and I can begin nesting!
I have been focusing mainly on her nursery and have made a lot of progress! Well, as much as I can being 7 weeks away from delivering and barely able to bend over! Here are some sneak peek photos of her nursery so far, and I also finally did another pregnancy update which was way overdue!
My family came into town this week and my mom was kind enough to take some maternity photos of me! Okay, let's be real: she insisted we take maternity photos haha! I am totally not complaining, because I have been dying to wear my new Pink Blush Maternity dress ever since I ordered it a few weeks ago. I am in love with the bohemian look and my mom and I had a vision for how we wanted everything.
I am so excited about how these turned out, and can't believe how big my belly is getting! We are in the homestretch, with me turning 33 weeks tomorrow. I really can't see myself making it full term, but I'm sure baby S will prove me wrong. We had an HD ultrasound this week and I didn't think it was possible to love her even more. Seeing her face so clearly was just amazing, but it is so hard to tell who she will look like! From some angles she would look like me, and others she looked so much like J. Guess we'll just see when she gets here!
Now how can you get the perfect bohemian maternity photoshoot? Read below!
Step 1: Find an earthy location
We went to a nearby spot that not only has a pond, but also an array of different trees. The background sets the stage for the mood of the photoshoot, so we went with a location that had a lot of earth tones and greenery.
Step Two: Wear a flowy dress
This dress has been on my wishlist for awhile, and I knew it would be so perfect for my photoshoot in mind! I didn't want a completely flowy dress that would hide my curves and bump, so this dress was a happy medium! It is tight in all the right places and the trim is very flowy and moves great for a photoshoot! You can purchase yours here.
Step Three: Add a headpiece
A flower crown, stone headpiece, or feathers are a great touch for a bohemian look! What's great about adding a headpiece is it can be personalized to your individual style and be the perfect accessory that won't take away from your dress. I got mine at Walmart, so you definitely don't have to go all out!
Step Four: Have loose curls or braids
To achieve a bohemian look, when styling your hair think loose. Do loose, flowy curls or a braid that is pulled apart. This will look effortless and add a softness to your ensemble. If you have your hair too perfect and styled it will take away from the overall look you are trying to achieve.
Step Five: Plan poses
My mom had a lot of screenshots of poses she wanted me to do just taken from Pinterest (like the one below!) and these are a great way for having a direction you want the photoshoot to go in. Having some standard poses and ideas will help you keep the overall boho & maternity look. And if you are anything like me, you may experience pregnancy brain too often to remember what you are wanting!
We are so overjoyed for this little girl to join our family next month! I can't wait for her to be here finally, but I have really enjoyed this pregnancy more than I ever thought I would. It has been a breeze and I have loved becoming a mom. When did you do your maternity photos? I would love to hear what you wore!
If you are still looking for the perfect dress for your maternity shoot, or any time in your pregnancy, I highly recommend this one from Pink Blush Maternity! They have other colors available too.
Have an amazing weekend everyone, we have an exciting announcement coming very soon!
Thank you for stopping by The Strattons Blog! Here are snippets of my life, motherhood, and the military!