22.5 MY BABY GIRL

This morning I woke up with the image of my daughter on the ultrasound screen. I still can't believe that God has blessed me with this gift. I can't help but to wonder what kind of child she will be and all the things we're going to do together. After the appointment yesterday, my husband is even more obsessed with my belly than usual. Once we got home from the hospital he was continuously talking to the baby and rubbing my belly - Baby seemed to enjoy it because she was moving continuously. Her movements are getting stronger and it's easier for him to feel her now. Lil Sis is here visiting and she also got to feel her niece move as well. From the beginning she kept insisting that I was going to have a girl, so she's uber excited about having a 3rd niece at the bold age of 11 years old - lol. She brags a lot about that! Now that I know I'm having a girl, I hope I can control my impulse to buy every cute thing I see. The next big project is to work on the baby shower with Big Sis - time is flying - this upcoming week is my last week of my 5th month. Trimester number 3 is staring me in the face and Baby's due date is creeping up on me - so much to do!



22.4: My Mini/Daddys Little Girl


Dear Baby,
Today I saw your heart beating in your chest - I saw you yawning - moving your little arms around and doing flips. Although I feel you moving all the time, my heart melted as I could actually see you moving for the first time. A miracle. It finally hit me today that I'm carrying a life inside of me.


You refused to stay in one spot during the sonogram, lol. You were turning and flipping - you're one active little baby. We almost gave up trying to find out what sex you were because you would not cooperate. Finally the ultrasound technician was able to get some good shots of you and called in your Dad - she then announced that you are a perfect LITTLE GIRL!!!! What a shocker - I was so convinced that I was having a boy, lol.

We were cracking up at the fact that it seemed as if you were staring right at us and trying to say something. Most sonograms I see is usually just the profile, but you were hamming it up for the camera and making sure that we saw your little face. Your dad is already calling you "Daddys Little Princess"...oh my goodnesss he's going to spoil you.

We initially didn't want to know if you were a girl or boy - but once we saw you we couldn't help it.


We love you so much Baby Girl.

19.5 & 19.6 weekend recap



heat. food. babys'r'us. church

21.1 Is Baby Making My Hair Thicker?

Between the bronchitis and the heat this weekend, there was no way I could keep that weave in my hair! I was so over it and ripped that thing out my head faster than a speeding bullet. It was nice not to have to deal with my hair for a little bit, but I really missed my hair. After it was all said and done, my hair appeared thicker than normal, and I was so excited! While I've been able to achieve a decent amount of length since really learning how to take care of my hair - I've never been able to gain anything thickness - and everybody knows I llloooovvveeee big hair! It finally dawned on me that it may be a result of my pregnancy - thank you prenatal vitamins!

Although I was thinking of making a trip to Carols Daughter, while I was in Target I checked out the natural hair section (isn't it amazing that they have that) and decided to check out Shea Moisture. I've been hearing about it in the natural community and it also helped that the products were only around $9.99 each - I purchased a curly enhancing shampoo and a moisturizer. In addition, I finally picked up a bottle of Jane Carter, because I think it's a sin to have never tried any of her products before. I haven't been able to use everything as yet - but what I have used has been magical to say the least. I'm finally starting to get the look and feel that I want from my hair. I'm definitely learning that they key to this whole thing are the products we choose to use.


I'm not gonna lie, I had to brush up on my natural hair knowledge over the weekend. It's been quite a while since I've given my hair the attention that it needs.

As far as products go, I'm trying to keep it as organic and/natural as possible so that I don't treat one problem and create another. Since dryness is one of my issues I'm making sure to stay away from products with sulfates and such. Learning ingredients has been made it easier for me to choose products, although it's more time consuming because I will read the back of every product before making a decision, lol.

In any event, once I test out everything and have used the products a couple times, I'll be back with a full review. In the meantime, I'm super happy with my expanding fro!

Happy first day of summer!

(21.4) SEEING RED: a dramatic friday

Please skip the post if you don't want to hear about vomit and/or blood

About a month ago I ended up missing work due to a fever. Since then, the fever broke, the cold went away, but my dry cough stayed. For weeks now, I've had a violent dry cough that sometimes keeps up both my husband and I at night

Besides my cough I was feeling pretty good at work today. I was on the phone with a customer and felt a bad coughing spell coming on, so I put her on hold on drank some water. As soon as I started speaking again, I felt a cough coming and then I felt as though I was going to vomit. Holding my hands over my mouth I quickly ran out of the office and ended up in the bathroom where I ended up vomiting for what seemed like forever - I could not stop. One of my best friends/childhood friends happens to be one of my managers, and stayed in the bathroom with me until I could finally get a hold of myself. Through the tears I realized that there was blood in the toilet which sent me in a panic. With Addi's safety to worry about, I told my friend I was leaving immediately to go to the doctor.

Of course my hormones got a hold of me once again and I started worrying about the baby and the fact that I had no insurance to cover this visit.

On the way out the parking lot I called my husband, who changed out of his uniform and left work by the time I got off the phone with him - which was like 2 minutes lol. At the doctors office I explained my situation to the woman at the front desk and she said she would find a way to squeeze me in. Half an hour to 45 minutes later, another girl asked me what type of insurance I had - I told her that last I heard I had been denied for the last program I applied for, but that I wasn't sure. I sat down praying to God that this visit wouldn't cost too much. About another half an hour later I went to check on the progress and the girl told me that I had been approved and didn't have to pay for anything. I wanted to drop to my knees and thank Jesus!!!! For a moment I was mad at the other woman who told me that I didn't qualify last week - but i quickly got over that.

Another while later I was finally called in and seen by the doctor. Turns out I have bronchitis! The reason I ended up throwing up was because gag reflexes are more sensitive when you're pregnant and because I was coughing so much - I couldn't hold it down. This is the 3rd time this happened to me, but this was the first time I've seen blood. The blood came from my throat being extremely irritated from coughing so much for the past few weeks.

On my way out my husband and Dad walked in...my poor husband came all the way from Brooklyn to Long Island as soon as he could and was able to drive me home. Of course, I had a doctors note written that I dropped off to the Human Resources at work before heading home. I didn't want anyone thinking I left work in the middle of the day for no reason.

Anyhoo, since I can't take anything from over the counter, I am to try lemon tea, Halls, Ricola and I have to keep a scarf around my neck at work since it's air conditioned and we have no windows in there.

Needless to say, I've been miserable for weeks now and I'm over it.

I'm just thanking God that Addi is fine and that I don't have to pay out of pocket for my medical expenses.

...and that was my Friday!

How was yours?


Missing My Curls :(

I'm starting to miss my curls...a lot! Since moving back to New York, my hair has been refusing to cooperate with me - it was not a fan of the cold weather during the winter. It had a mind of it's own all of a sudden. I'd hide it under wigs, and then a few weeks ago I decided to get this weave. But now it's hot - I'm over this thing on my head - and I need my curls asap!

I've yet to use any amazing products for my hair that gave me EVERYTHING I need, so I'm going to be trying out the much celebrated Carols Daughter! For some reason the typical products I've gotten from the beauty supplies don't make my hair feel or look as amazing as it should, and though some of them (barely any) cater specifically to natural hair - there are still tons of garbage/no quality ingredients in them.

After sifting through the website, I'm stuck between these two collections:



This set contains:



•Hair Milk Shampoo, 2 oz.

•Hair Milk Conditioner, 2 oz.

•Hair Milk Original, 2 oz.

•Hair Milk Lite, 2 oz.

•Healthy Hair Butter, 4 oz.



I've heard lots of naturals raving about "the curl collection". I do need something that's going to keep my hair soften and define my curls while locking in moisture.

This set contains:



•Monoi Repairing Shampoo, 8.5 fl oz.


•Monoi Repairing Conditioner, 8.5 fl oz.


•Monoi Repairing Hair Mask ,7.0 oz


PLUS, it has NO Parabens, Petroleum, Mineral Oil, or Artificial Color


 
 

This collection is brand new and is for all hair types - but it seems to focus to on protecting hair from breakage (which is crucial to naturals) and reinforcing the structure of hair. Although non relaxed hair seems tough, it's very fragile and susceptible to breakage and dryness.
Once I decided which one to get and start using it, I'll definitely be back with a full review!
 
Has anyone else used Carols Daughter? What has been your experience?
 

DEAR READERS...a little baby shower help please?

From what I hear, it's good to have your baby shower at about 7 months - while you're still comfortable, and it gives you an ample amount of time to take inventory and plan for baby. With this 5th month quickly running out, I know I'll be 7 months in the blink of an eye. Now that I've decided not to find out the sex, coming up with a theme is proving a little more difficult for me. Would you happen to know any good blogs or sites to find some inspiration? I'm addicted to The Hostess Blog, but I haven't found anything that I'm absolutely in love with as yet.

I did really appreciate the photos below. I really love yellow and gray together:

Can you share any other inspirational blogs or suggest any themes or color combinations for a unisex baby shower?

21.1 The First Kick!


21.1 on stress and crying.

There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has
any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever.
This is a quote that my co-worker shared with me this morning. I usually stop by her cubicle since she tends to leave presents in my chair for when I get to work - maternity clothes that she no longer needs and has been passing on to me as she finds them (that I'm so appreciative of). We somehow got on the topic of hormones and I shared with her the fact that mine are out of control and that I find something to cry about almost everyday. While I'm so happy to be entering this next stage in my life (motherhood), there are so many external factors going on that I stress about and make it hard for me to soak in this experience. I spend a lot of time worrying about the future because so many things are so up in the air at the moment. I know there is no perfect time to have a baby - but anyone who knows me personally knows that I was doing everything in my power to be at a certain place in life before even considering becomming a parent - but as we all know, God has his own plans. I do have faith that everything will work out in the end, but since everything is in limbo at present time, I can't help but to be overwhelmed at times. But as my co-worker told me, being pregnant is not something that everyone get's to experience so I need to enjoy this time and live in the moment as much as possible - she's definitely right! Especially after last weeks episode where my stress level started resulting in pain in my lower abdomen, I'm trying my best to learn how to control my anxiety.  

An attitude change and prayer will get me through this.

(21.0) WEEK 21



Dear Addi,

We've made it to week 21! You were moving all over the place this morning but of course when Daddy tried to feel you after work today, nothing - lol! This week you're the size of a banana - I can't believe how fast you're growing!




20.4 stressed out

imagine via the sartorialist
I would love to be one of those blissful pregnant women...I really would...but I'm not. I'm known for being an upbeat person and while I am 90% of the time, durirng my pregnancy, the other 10% is really bad. It's hard for me to eliminate all my stress just because I'm pregnant - and although I'm so excited about my child - being pregnant makes me stress even more because I'm so worried about the baby.

I had a wake up call today.

There I was at work carrying all my stress on my shoulders and I started feeling pain in my lower abdomen - I knew it was the stress. Then I started feeling as like a bad mother because my stress was now physically affecting myself and the baby. Of course I started crying...by myself in the bathroom...over dramatic. I tried some breathing exercises to calm down and it seemed to help, but I was trapped in the stall for a good 10-15 minutes in fear that one of my co-workers would see me.

I need to learn how to better manage my stress, especially while I'm carrying this child.

Lord help me.

20.3 No Insurance? No Gender Reveal? No Job?

mother and daughter via JAK AND JIL

Today I tried calling the hospital to make an appointment for my Level 2 ultrasound to check on the baby and of course learn the gender. I actually tried to book the appointment yesterday but I didn't have all the information with me so I called back today. The woman asked me to tell her about my insurance, I told her I didn't have any but that I was pending for some other program. Of course I didn't have all that info so she called over to the Family Center to get my info. About an hour later she called back and basically told me that I didn't qualify for anything and would have to pay for everything 100% out of pocket. For some reason I decided to ask what that fee would be for this ultrasound on Saturday, only to realize it was over $600...

My job doesn't offer insurance until after 6 months, so I still have a little while to go because I get it. Allegedly my husbands will be kicking in soon - but we'll see...

But as of now I have nothing to cover my past appointments or the upcoming ones.

Since I wasn't initially as eager to find out the sex of the Baby, this may be a sign for me to stick it out and be surprised when I give birth - I believe I can do it. I know some friends and family are going to be disappointed, but I'm carrying this Baby - this is our child and whatever we decide is what its gonna be.

Yesterday I decided to talk to HR about maternity leave since I'm half way through my pregnancy. I basically found out that because I haven't been at my job for a year as yet, I don't quality for FMLA or any kind of maternity leave. I would have to leave and hope that they kept my spot, as they are not required to do so and can fill my position at any time.

I'm doing my best to stay positive and not have those panic attacks that I'd frequently have upon finding out I was pregnant.
In the end, my life is in the hands of God and I'm positive that he'll guide me through.

20.2: hormones and weird dreams

I had the weirdest dream(s) this morning.

My husband and I were sitting up in bed staring at my belly (like we always do) but we could see the baby despite it still being in my belly. Meaning, the baby was so close to the surface of my skin, that we could see it's imprint. We could make out it's head, legs, arms, everything - it was gross and scary, yet so fasinating at the same time.

In the next minutes ( I don't know if this was the same dream or not ), I gave birth to a chunky and oh so cute baby boy. He was my complexion and had tons of curly, jet black hair. Granted, this entire time I've been pregnant, I've been convinced that I'm going to have a son - so maybe this is a preview to the ultrasound test on Saturday. Unlike my husband, it wasn't important for me to find out what sex the baby is, but now that we've agreed to find out, I'm counting down the days - I just know I'm going to cry, whether it's a boy or girl - I'm just so happy to be blessed with the gift of motherhood.

Speaking of crying, my hormones have been out of this world since I've been pregnant. Earlier this year (prior to the surprise of finding out I was expecting), I would cry just about everyday for no reason, there was always something wrong. The sky was too gray, there was too much snow outside, I missed living in Florida, I was too broke, I was too fat - everything was wrong. Once I found out I was pregnant it all made sense,lol.

Even now just hitting the 5 month mark, it's still pretty mad. I get emotional about EVERYTHING and despite trying to change my attitude, it's hard to get out that space once I'm there. My poor husband can never do anything to calm me down and tries to be understanding as possible - but sometimes he gets frustrated because I stress myself out which isn't good for me or Baby. I'm trying my hardest to do better.

I feel incredibly lazy today. So lazy that I opted to sit in my cubicle and eat lunch as opposed to walking to the lunch room. In my defense, the lunch room is far - everyone thinks so, it takes like half an hour to get there. I'm fine, right in my cubicle - it takes no time to get there.

20.1 . . . The 20 Week Checkup!

Dear Baby,

This morning before work I headed over to the doctors for my 20 week check up. It seems as if they were overcrowded or overbooked today because I was there much longer than usual. Daddy didn't come to this checkup because from now on they'll be pretty routine - weighing me, taking my blood pressure, checking your heartbeat, etc.

Your movements have become more frequent now and as much as Daddy tried to feel, he couldn't. Sometimes you would move right where his hand was, but it's so subtle that he couldn't tell. Eventually you'll be big enough where he can feel you move and kick.

The doctor told me that your head is down, so according to where I feel you move, it's your arms that I feel. I guess you like to punch or push agaisn't me.

Everything is normal - you're growing - I'm growing - and your heartbeat is perfect. We did get the prescription to go ahead and do the Level 2 ultrasound this weekend to find out what you are - so exciting!

When I got to work I was greeted by a bag of clothes in my cubicle. Yesterday my co-worker told me that she had a bunch of maternity clothes that didn't need anymore so she brought them in for me. Of course I almost started crying (these hormones) - that was so nice of her!

20.0 HALF WAY THERE!

Dear Baby,

Today officially marks the half way mark of my pregnancy. 20 weeks down and 20 weeks to go before we meet you. I feel as though I've tripled in size in the past week and I feel like I'm carrying a bowling ball in my stomach.


19.4 - 19.6 in SOUTH FLORIDA


Dear Baby,
I've been anticipating this trip to South Florida for so long. This is the first time we've returned since moving back to New York in November - and it couldn't come fast enough. As much as I love New York, I can't see myself here too much longer, and I definitely don't see myself raising you here. While this place is filled with diversity and culture, I cannot imagine having you couped up in the house for most of the year because it's too cold outside. As a kid who was raised in the islands, I'd love for you to be able to play outside whether it's August or December - I'd love to be able to take you to the beach year round and do lots of outdoor activities. But of course, there's no place like New York in the summer.

Moving to back to New York has taught me a huge lesson - the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

In any event, we arrived in SoFL around 12:30am on Friday morning only to wake up around 7am. I couldn't believe how gorgeous it was outside. Before we knew it, it was time for your Auntie Jay's graduation from the 5th grade. I secretly got a little emotional, I feel as though she was just born and now she's heading to middle school. Then I started thinking about the fact that in the blink of an eye you'll be graduating from elementary school. I know it's way too early to think about that, but I couldn't help it, lol.


I hope to send you to the same school that Auntie Jay goes to - God willing!

Besides the graduation, we had another family event that was amazing.


In all, our trip was short but very sweet. It further solidified the fact that I want to move back to South Florida as soon as I can.

Daddy and I kept talking about the fact that the next time we travel on a plane, it will be completly different. We'll have you, a stroller, baby bag, etc - it'll be a new experience.

 I also spoke to my moms pastor and told him that I would like him to baptize you and that he is the only person I want to do it. Luckily for me, he agreed and said that he'll do it the first Sunday when you are 3 months old to represent the Father, the Son and The Holy Spirit. Nana (because she says you're not allowed to call her Grandm, lol) is already brainstorming for the party she wants to celebrate your Baptism. I can't wait, and everyone is so excited for me to bring you back to Florida with me :)

19.3 coughing...coughing and more coughing

Dear Addy,
I slept better last night, but I would randomly jump out my sleep because I was coughing so hard that I couldn't breathe. Thank goodness for Daddy to help me get through these restless nights - both of us have hardly gotten any sleep this week because of this cough.

We're going to Florida tonight after work...I cannot wait!

19.2: Is That You?

Dear Addy,
I've been waiting for the day to feel you moving around in my belly and I think it's finally here! I started feeling some weird sensations in my stomach yesterday which made me think back to our baby book. It said that when we start feeling your movements around this time, that it would feel like little bubbles in the tummy. I felt it yesterday, a few times last night and now all day today - I think it's you moving around. Feeling you move definitely makes this experience seem so real...it's really starting to hit me that I'm carrying around a person in there. If those really are your little kicks and punches - you're one active baby!

I barely got any sleep last night due to this cough! There's nothing more I'd rather do than curl up in bed after work, but Daddy and I are going to a business meeting. This business is the only way I see that would make it possible for me to give you the life that you deserve and allow me to be attentive to you.

We're doing it all for you Addy!

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