Celebrating Summer (and other occasions) with a Coke

​Man, lemme tell you..it doesn’t even feel like summer JUST started. Remember, I’m in Florida. We are summer. We complain when it gets lower than 70 degrees outside and we complain when it’s hotter than 90 degrees outside. Yet we chose this life.Summer means spending more time outside soaking up Vitamin D (safely, of course) and spending time with friends and family. For the record, I did very little working out to prepare for this summer but whatever. You will still find me in a pool or beach somewhere; pudgy tummy and all. 
 
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Summer also means celebrating Esposo’s birthday! 
 
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Vacationing and Baby Baking

Mannnnn, you guys. 

I am soooo here for a stress-free life. I want to live it daily. I yearn for it. I crave it. But truthfully, I only get it when I’m on an exotic island, staying in a hotel and breathing beach air daily. So yeah. Our family vacation was in Puerto Rico this year and we had a blast.

Beach at Puerto Rico

Elle didn’t want to leave the water or the pool and Esposo and I loved having so many helping hands assist with toddler duties. We were so excited to get away on a date but uh, we took a nap instead. Which was probably better than a date. Just sayin’. Good sleep is a GOOD thing. I would have also loved to take a ton of pictures of the property to come back and do a thorough post on it but geez, guys…I was a true bum in Puerto Rico. And I’m soooo okay with that! But I did take soooooome pictures.

20 Weeks Pregnant - Baby #2

I know, right? From the woman that was all like Isn’t 1 kid enough? and from the mother who never once in her life had baby fever comes a baking fetus. Isn’t life hilarious? I have to find the humor and joy in it all. Here I am still shocked that I’m a parent of 1 and I’m about to be parent of 2. Someone hold me.

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The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia

Do you know anything about the devastating disorder that is preeclampsia? Affecting pregnant women, preeclampsia is defined as “a rapidly progressive condition characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine”. (source)

Simply put, it is a terrifying disorder that requires proper prenatal care. I have such a passion for supporting and bringing awareness to issues that affect pregnant women and their families. I was thrilled to hear about The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia happening in Miami. While I won’t be able to attend, I’ll be donating to the cause in hopes that the funds that are raised support the families that are affected by preeclampsia . 

2015 Promise Walk for Preeclampsia

If you are in or around the Miami area, consider registering for this walk! For more information visit The Promise Walk.

Elle’s Birth Story

[NOTE: I omitted a lot of the squeamish parts of labor and delivery but if you have any particular questions, I am so okay with answering them in the comments. Like, did I really encapsulate my placenta? Sure did!]

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I feared a lot throughout my pregnancy. It was ridiculous, really. I am naturally a very anxious person and pregnancy only heightened that for me. My decision to go with a midwife instead of an OB/GYN didn’t help the situation either. The midwifery philosophy means trusting the woman’s body to do what it needs to do to nurture baby in-utero without much intervention. While some women may get ultrasounds at every prenatal appointment, I had one at 20 weeks. I was in the dark throughout most of my pregnancy. Instead of trusting my body, I questioned if everything was okay. If she didn’t move, I’d freak out. If she moved too much, I’d freak out. I was in panic mode 24/7. The crazy thing is, the only time I really trusted my body was when I was going through labor.

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My water broke when I was polishing my nails. But of course, right? I flew out of the beauty room to Esposo. My pants were to my ankles and I was running back and forth like some maniac. We decided to call the midwife and they recommended that I come in ASAP so they could test me to see if I was leaking amniotic fluid. I just knew I was wasting my time. Because obviouslyyyyy, my water didn’t break. I just peed on myself. That’s it.

But we hopped in the car and drove the midwife and within 20 minutes I had my legs spread all open for the world to see.

“You’re having a baby today.” said the midwife.

I tossed myself in Denial River again.

“Wait, wha?…no. No. Like..not today. How do you know? Is this real life?”

We were told to go back home so that I could labor there and to come back in 4 hours. I tested positive for Group B Strep and had to have an antibiotic. Which also ruled me out of that glorified water birth that I wanted. Womp. We got home and I threw myself in the nook of the sofa and then labored on my labor ball. Esposo kept glancing at me and was steadily asking me if I needed anything. He was so calm. So so calm. I was fine. I couldn’t understand why people said labor was sooo hard. If these were contractions (mind you, that hadn’t started yet), I was doing amaziiiing.

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10 minutes later I was on the floor on all fours moaning and groaning. I’d go from the floor to rolling on my yoga ball. The contractions were in, ladies and gentlemen. And those mofos hurt. The only respite I got was the few minutes between contractions. Those minutes were glorious. I timed my contractions. 3-4 minutes apart. I got so uncomfortable that I crawled up to the bed. The contractions got worse. And worse. And worse. I hummed throughout them. I focused on my breathing. I got that from reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. That book spoke to my hippie soul. It is chock full of birth stories where the women were having babies in cabins and in the woods and all of that craziness. That’s so me. I’d have a baby in a cabin. Yep.

Esposo began packing up the car. He told me I should try to eat something before we left. Good idea. Each step I took killed me. I winced in pain. I continued to hum. Being upright was the worst. I somehow made it to the car and we took the 15 minute trek to the birthing center. Each bump made me want to hurl. I kept timing my contractions. 2 minutes apart and there weren’t many breaks in between.

We made it to the birthing center and they got us settled in the room. The midwife checked me and I was already 5 centimeters dilated. This baby was coming. And I was dying. My Mom was nowhere to be found because earlier that day she told me that she had gotten dreadfully ill and that I simply couldn’t have the baby today. How could my Mom not be there through this? My doula was on her way but I just knew she wouldn’t make it either.

In my head I was cursing up a storm. Out of my mouth, all I could do was hum and say, “Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouuuuuuch.” Over and over again. The sweet nurse brought me ice cold water.

“I’m going to throw up.” I told her.

She brought me a pan and I threw up. I knew I was probably going through transition and that shortly after barfing, the pain would only intensify. I tried to stay calm. I asked Esposo to rub my back.

“Get off of me.” I tell him seconds later.

I was loosing it. The pain was out of control. Now that I look back at it, the contractions were painful but manageable. I suffered from painful menstrual cramps my entire life and so my pain tolerance is pretty up there. The real pain came from the perineal massage that my midwife gave me during those contractions. I wanted to kick her in her chin each time she told me to relax as she tried to massage the nether regions. I knew that she was only doing this to help prevent me from tearing but I was an animal at that point. I just wanted that baby out and I didn’t want anyone touching me.

If you’re not familiar with childbirth, when a baby is ready to come out, you push as if you have to take a poop. It’s the weirdest feeling because not only are you dealing with the pressure from baby bearing down, but you’ve also got those contractions kicking. It’s hard to focus and stay calm but I pushed and pushed and pushed and Baby Elle was born into the world at 5: 27pm. I was in active labor for 5 hours and I pushed for 17 minutes. My labor went so quickly that I didn’t even have a chance to rip my shirt and bra off.

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My labor and delivery is considered speedy for a first time mom and quite frankly, after everything was said and done, I felt like I deserved an effing award. Soooo many people told me I was crazy for having a baby in a birthing center without the option of an epidural and pain meds. If I had to do it all over again, I would not have changed anything. Because Elle was considered small at 5 lbs, the birthing center recommended that we go to the hospital (uggghhhh) to have her fully examined. We were hesitant to do this because her Apgar scores were already high at a 9 and 10 and we just knew the hospital would give us a bunch of run around. And we were right. We spent hoursssss at the hospital. Just for them to tell us what we already knew. Our baby was healthy. Just small with a touch of jaundice. This detour to the hospital prevented Elle and I from really practicing her latch when it came to breastfeeding. It also resulted in two overwhelmed and fatigued first time parents who wanted nothing more than to just take their baby home.

So yes, while my labor and delivery was “perfect”, the events that followed were not. But it doesn’t matter. Baby Elle is here and she’s happy and healthy.

I always considered myself to be a strong woman, both physically and mentally. Giving birth to my daughter gave me a new badge of honor. I left that birthing center so so soooo proud of myself. Yes, I was terrified that my baby decided to come 3 weeks early and I was soooo sad that family members and friends couldn’t make it but the pride I had in myself trumped the sadness and fear that enveloped me during labor.

And not to sound like some superwoman, but pregnancy, labor and delivery are all easy compared to the struggle that came with breastfeeding and dealing with those postpartum hormones. THAT’S the part that people don’t tell you about. Stay tuned for more posts on life with baby. I know Clumps is a beauty blog but I think it’s important to normalize conversations like breastfeeding and the not so bubbly parts about being a first time mom. And if you could care less about that kind of stuff and would rather read about cosmetics, then hey, it’s all good too. I promise not to overload the blog with baby stuff. Maybe once a week or so. 😉

Baby Clumps has a cosmetics case!

Yes y’all. My child already has a cosmetic bag. And don’t go judging me. It’s not like I  will have her wearing lipgloss just yet. In fact, I’m  pretty old fashioned so even though her mommy is big into cosmetics, Baby Clumps probably won’t be allowed to wear anything until she’s in middle school. Maybe high school.

Except a lil’ nail polish here or there. 😎

I’m in the process of packing my labor bag and Bean’s birthing center bag and just wanted to show off a bit of the goodies in her bag.

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As much as I don’t like the color, I’ve learned that I just can’t avoid pink when it comes to baby girl stuff. I’m dealing with it though because everything is so much cuter when it’s itty bitty. Since I’ll be giving birth at a birthing center, we have to bring all of the comforts of home. For baby skincare products, I’m obsessed with Shea Moisture Baby and Earth Mama Angel Baby. These will likely be the first two items that hit Bean’s skin shortly after her birth.

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Her little comb and brush…

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…although she may be a baldy. Which is adorable. And I’m not sure how soon I can go around brushing her tender scalp so we may not even use these.

Her nail clippers and filer…

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Because I hear that some newborns have super long nails. I don’t want Bean to accidentally scratching herself so we’re going to make sure those nails are cut low.

And that’s it! I’ll show off her coming home outfit soon. It’s getting soooo close, y’all. Eeeek!

Baby Clumps: 34 Weeks

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Yep. I’m still pregnant. I feel like I’ve been pregnant forever and yet people keep telling me I still have such a looooong way to go. Which just annoys me. Basically I’m cranky pretty much ALL the time.

But I try not to look it. In fact, I try to leave the house looking as fly and gorgeous as I can. Just because I feel like crap doesn’t mean I should look like it, darling. Mama Clumps taught me this and it’s a rule that I think everyone should follow. Unless you’ve got a migraine. It’s okay to look like hell if you have a migraine. Yep.

Here’s what Bean is up to,

“Your amazing baby is on the move! Until now, your wee womb-squatter’s been living fairly high up in your poor stretched-out womb – blithely compressing your poor lungs and internal organs. This week your baby’s going to pack their tiny bags and make the epic shifting move to your pelvis – commonly referred to as the time when baby “drops”. If you haven’t noticed it already, you’ll be feeling the weight shift indicating your baby is most likely out of breech position with their head now resting on your pubic bone. In developing internal-organ news: although not quite fully formed, your little poop-factory’s liver is now capable of processing a certain amount of waste.” (source)

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I’m pretty sure she has dropped. I can’t tell by looking at my belly but I am peeing a lot more and I just feel “heavy” down there. Fatigue is constant yet my workload continues to pile up so I can’t get much sleep. I’ve become incredibly lazy after work and have a hard time doing chores. I’ve had a few bouts of sadness and yeah, I’m putting it out there because pregnancy isn’t all sprinkles and longer hair and nails. I’m not even in the Christmas spirit (soooo unlike me) mainly because I’m too tired and lazy to decorate. Esposo’s work schedule has been crazy so we’re both always coming and going.

I’ve finally realized that I kinda sorta look pregnant (took long enough) and can’t do everything but then I feel bad when I can’t. Ah well.

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Health-wise, my blood pressure is down! Woo hoooo. I’m still drinking my 90oz of water. I’m not eating super healthy but whatev. My fitness is practically non-existent because walking for too long hurts. I suppose I could be doing some prenatal yoga and stretching though. I had all of these plans for what I wanted to do while pregnant and at this point, just getting up and going to work each day seems like a challenge so I’m doing the best that I can.

The nursery/beauty room is still a hot mess…

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And I’m all like…

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…because I literally have no idea where to start. And you know it’s sad when your own mom has to send you a To Do List of things to do before baby arrives. I know. I’m a mess. A stressed mess in a dress. Eeek!

 

Total Weight Gain: 8 lbs

Symptoms: Morning sickness, fatigue, irritability, stuffy nose, nightly leg cramps, insomnia, back pain.

Bean’s Activity: She’s crazy active. Some days she moves for hourssssss at a time.

Food Cravings: None. But don’t ask me to go to the grocery store. I’ll only come back with cookies, candy and ice cream. 😎

Last Day of Work: Don’t have one. I plan to work up until I go into labor. Crazy but hey, maternity leave in the U.S. sucks. Gotta get what you can while you can.

Christmas shopping?: I haven’t done any. None. At all. Like…none.

Baby Name?: Yep! Bean officially has a first and middle name. It won’t be revealed until after she’s born though. Only close friends and family members know.

 

Is it crazy that I don’t have much done and this baby could arrive in the next month? Got any tips for me? Oh…and as far as that cloth diapering thing – yeah, no. I’m going to go with disposables for now. Maybe I’ll do some part-time cloth diapering but as a working mom, I don’t know how I’ll be able to handle that.

Preggo Products: Clarins Beauty Beginnings Pregnancy Kit

Ooooh, the joys of pregnancy. You know, the one or two. I’ve had a fairly easy pregnancy (compared to what most women go through) but after 8.5 months of carrying Bean, I’m just anxious and ready to see her little face. I’m all achey and bloat-y, sleepy and everything in between. But life must move on and I love how beauty brands are showing mommies love. Check out this Beautiful Beginnings Pregnancy Kit from Clarins.

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My friends that are already mommies tell me I’m crazy but I intend to continue to pamper myself throughout motherhood. I know life is gonna be crazy with a newborn but does that mean I’m going to let my skin, hair and nails go to hell? Um no. I’ve been makin’ it my business to pamper myself throughout this pregnancy and this kit has been niiiiice. You unzip the cute lil’ tote and the first thing you’ll see is a Preggo Chick book.

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This was totally up my alley and all beauty lovin’ mamas would love the little tips and tricks this booklet provides. I read it in one sitting. Which is easy to do because it isn’t THAT long. My skin has been going through crazy changes and the guide gave some insight as to what’s going on and how to help. There were also some helpful breathing techniques and exercise suggestions. Good stuff. As far the products inside…

There’s the Huile Tonic Body Oil Treatment (3.4 oz)

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I adore how this smells. It smells like a bunch of woodsy essential oils (rosewood and rosemary. Mmmm….) and it’s definitely up my alley. You know, since I’m all sensitive to fragrances and all. It contains plant extracts and regular use of it is supposed to help the skin’s firmness. And it isn’t super oily which is also a good thing.

Smoothing Body Scrub for a New Skin (1oz)

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If you’ve met one body scrub, you’ve met them all. This one has a nice consistency and the floral scent seems to dissipate after use.

Stretch Mark Control (1oz)

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I still don’t think you can fight stretch marks (I believe they are genetic) but I’m a sucker and don’t mind using products that say that’ll help them fade or diminish over time. This fragrance-free moisturizer isn’t greasy and moisturizes nicely.

Beauty Flash Balm (0.5oz)

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This was the one product where I found the scent to be a tad bit overpowering. The balm is super powder-y and floral but it feels niiiice on the skin. It seems to be just as hydrating as the Stretch Mark Control cream. This facial balm is supposed to help brighten and tighten over time.

Also in the tote is a soft baby blanket.

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Such a nice little kit, uh? As a first time pregnant gal, I’m lovin’ it. Sure I likely won’t use all of the products but the trial sizes are nice sized enough to make me happy. The Tonic Body Oil Treatment is the true star here. It normally retails for $54 so the $60 price tag on this kit seems about right. Especially for a higher-end skincare brand like Clarins.

If you know a pregnant beauty gal, consider scooping this up for her. You can get it from Clarins counters and at ClarinsUSA.com.

 

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Baby Clumps: 32 Weeks + Leave Kate Middleton alone!

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I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve done an update. The goal was to update weekly but yeah, that’s impossible  because guess who has returned? FATIGUE!!

Girl yes. It is back and it doesn’t give a darn what plans I have or how long my to do list is either. Fatigue is a thug. At 32 weeks pregnant I can honestly say that well, I FEEL pregnant. I am moving slower, my heart races more and I’m just…sluggish. Here’s what Bean is up to,

“Thanks to their recently matured lungs and a strengthening immune system, over 90% of babies born in their 32nd week survive! So – go ahead and throw a mini-party right now because it’s pretty much a done deal – you’ve got a human-bean that’s going to make it! That’s not to say you actually want your wee womb-squatter to pack their bags and move out now, because they’d still end up in the ICU for a good while, rather than in your arms at home. Babies are best when fully baked!” (source)

She’s becoming such a big girl! I can tell because I can now see my belly shake when she hiccups. And her kicks…OMG, her kicks are so intense and jolting. And when I rub my side and tell her to calm down, she kicks me back. I love this kid.

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Health-wise, I’ll admit it – I’ve been sucking with fresh fruits and veggies. I’m not a junk food eater either but I certainly order what I want when I go out to eat. I eat french fries and carbs. Truthfully, if could be worse but I could be doing better too. I’ll be incorporating green smoothies in my diet again next week.

Oh! And in bad news, my blood pressure is going up a bit. It has been consistent and low throughout my entire pregnancy but my last checkup revealed that it was high. Not good at all. High blood pressure at this point could rule me out of birthing at a birth center or maybe even a natural childbirth. The thought of this made me anxious and terrified and shot my BP through the roof even more. I am working on staying more calm. Walking slower, taking alfalfa, eating better food and just not being so anxious all the time. Easier said than done but please cross your fingers for me, y’all. I don’t have to have the “perfect” labor and delivery but I’ll be in a bit of a depressive funk if I have to go to the hospital. Just bein’ honest…

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And in random celebrity news – The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middelton is expecting and it was reported that she was hospitalized for morning sickness. Soooo many people got on her case about because, you know…WHO gets hospitalized for morning sickness? I mean, it’s just nausea, right? She’s clearly being a royal brat, isn’t she?

Whatever.

I sympathize with you, dear Kate. Granted I wasn’t hospitalized for my morning sickness but do I understand what it’s like to be nauseous and barf over smells EVERYDAY for months? Absolutely. Do I know what’s it like to lose close to 15 lbs because I can’t keep anything down? Yep. People who have never been there don’t get it. Morning sickness doesn’t just affect pregnant women. I’ve also heard that those with chronic conditions or those on serious medications can suffer debilitating morning sickness too. It’s the pits, y’all and it bugged me to see people giving Kate so much heat for something she had no control over. It’s a tough thing to deal with and I so want to send the Duchess a bouquet of flowers and some beauty goodies because I know her pain.

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Baby Stats:

Last Baby Thing Purchased: I still haven’t purchased anything other than a onesie. Thanks to family and friends, Bean officially has EVERYTHING she needs.

Milestones: We chose an amazing pediatrician, Esposo went to Daddy Boot Camp and we’re planning maternity photos.

Total Weight Gain: 7 lbs…

Annoying symptoms: Mild morning sickness, inability to get comfortable, back pain, breathlessness, random heartburn.

Things To Do: Organize the beauty room/nursery, finalize maternity leave dates, get a prenatal massage and pedicure, hang out with as many gal pals as I can and learn how to relax.

Tis all!