baby fiesta.

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My beautiful friend, Christyn, threw me the most gorgeous baby shower back in April. It was beautiful and delicious, and I really can't remember the last time I felt so incredibly special. I feel so grateful to have such supportive and loving friends. Two of my ex-Berkeley friends even surprised me and flew in from Salt Lake for the shower, and a girls' weekend of shopping, exploring, and eating our way across the Bay. I really can't imagine living here, so far from family, without the support of my friends. I see these girls sometimes daily, and I know I can count on them for anything.

Christyn is a party planning expert with an eye for beautiful things. She is one of the best friends I have made since living here in Berkeley. She's thoughtful, so giving, and we are always on the same note- whether it's a good joke, or sugar-filled sleep-deprived nights. This girl knows me. And, it was her impeccable style that shaped this beautiful "fiesta" themed shower. She went all out. I mean we are talking hand-made, hand-delivered mini piƱatas with a pull string that revealed confetti and the invitation. The real deal. After some last-minute scheduling conflicts, we actually ended up having the good fortune of holding the party in my friend, Koseli's, beautiful backyard lined with bistro lights and ivy arches. Many of my friends helped out, making the fun decorations and bringing food. We had street tacos and Jarritos, and Christyn made an amazing three-layered Mexican chocolate cake. My friend, Amanda, screen printed the cutest cactus tea towels as favors (you should check out her shop- Mochi Kids!) And, I was showered with the most beautiful gifts for baby sister, surrounded by the best women. Love you, ladies!

Speaking of pregnancy, I've been thinking a lot about how this pregnancy has differed from Eliza's. I feel I can safely say that this run around has been easier than the last. Oh, there can be so many, many reasons for that- the biggest being that I have an idea of what to expect, and my mind isn't racing with every new little change in my body. But, I've been trying to narrow it all down to a few useful tips to remember for next time (yikes!). So, if you're interested, here goes:

The top three reasons why I am surviving this second pregnancy, 
with an overall feeling of OK-ness:

1) My Pillow- If you have been around me at all in the last few months, you have probably heard me gush about my pillow. You may have even seen it in person, laying in our bed and taking up 3/4 of the sleep space. Or, perhaps you saw me shoving it in our car for overnight road trips, or lugging it the length of 10 campsites at China Camp, while eight months pregnant and sweating like a pig. Yes, this pillow has saved my life. It has saved my back, my sanity, my relationship with my family, and my overall willingness to continue this thing we call child-bearing. Let me tell you something- I am a short woman. I have absolutely no room in my torso for this child. I'm not one of those cute moms whose baby becomes absorbed into her long, slender torso, whom you wouldn't even be able to tell is pregnant until she turns to the side to reveal her adorable basketball shaped bump. No, my baby is crammed into that shortened space, and then expands out over the months until my ribs are splayed and my back suffers the torturous consequences. So, when I was pregnant with Eliza, I had really, really horrible back problems starting as early as month 5 or 6. I couldn't sleep well because I would wake up with sharp pains in my back, even after using five pillows to support me at night. The last few months of my pregnancy I was so sleep-deprived I could hardly function. It also took months, following the birth, before my back started to correct itself as I regained my strength. I couldn't sit in the car for longer than 10 minutes, I couldn't sit on the coach. My back was jacked up, people. 

So, this time I went pillow hunting- and I bought the. most. ridiculous. pillow you have ever seen. I will forever stand by this pillow and recommend it to any expecting mama- go big or go home (or be in pain!) It is "u-shaped" so it supports your entire body while you are sleeping. I am due in nine days, and I never wake up in the night (except once to go the bathroom, duh). I can move back and forth, and I don't have to drag a body pillow, or multiple pillows, around the bed with me. It feels like the most beautiful and comfortable nest of double-spooning happiness. 

So, ladies- just get it. I promise it will be worth it. The only possible downside is that I literally can't sleep without it, no matter how many pillows I build up around me. So, traveling was a bummer. But, that's pretty much how I felt last pregnancy every single night. Also, your husband might hate it. Well, he will hate it. It literally takes up 3/4 of our queen-sized bed. But, hey, I'm incubating his child... And, he can't pretend I don't notice him spooning the other side of the pillow. 
Here it is, ladies: Leachco Back N' Belly Contoured Body Pillow.

2) My Daily Burn- These guys have some pretty cheesy commercials. So, you may or may not have heard of them, and completely ignored them. Or, maybe you are a super motivated person who makes plenty of time to hit the gym- who doesn't live in an urban area with crazy, expensive gym memberships and no (affordable) in-gym childcare options. This pregnancy I was teaching six dance classes and caring for a toddler full-time, and I am happy to say I found my answer to fitness. I feel like it's one of those magical things that is so different for everyone, and when you find it you have to stick with it and enjoy it. 

Daily Burn is a subscription that offers tons of fitness videos online, including a daily class that is live-streamed (and available all day). I love the daily class because it is different every day, because I can get tired of doing the same videos. I'm not going to say much more except that this works for me. I can do it in my living room, while Eliza plays, without having to factor in extra fees, parking, childcare, etc. Eliza had a tough time at first, wanting attention while I was working out. But, after awhile it became part of our routine and she's totally used to it. I also got her a kid-sized, pink yoga mat to make her feel special. I'm including Daily Burn on my list, because I feel like this pregnancy has been way easier due to the fact that I have been way more active than the first. I know that's a given, but it was hard the first time. We moved to Berkeley half-way through my first pregnancy. So, I was without a job and sitting around my house, while my body was going through some crazy stuff. I was so exhausted all the time, and basically just slept all day long. Which leads me to my final note:

3) My Child (or "something to keep you busy")- Like I said, I wasn't doing anything the first time around. I slept all day, or set up house. But, mostly I had plenty of down time to think about how hard it all was. Every single side-effect was noticed, and every single emotion was felt. I would sleep way too much, and find myself in some deep funks. It was too much time to dwell on the fact that being pregnant was really hard and that I was about to do something that is supposedly and famously REALLY hard-- give birth.

This time, I had Eliza. She saved me. I always thought being pregnant with a toddler was bound to be even harder. But, it wasn't. Sure I was probably more exhausted from having to keep up with that girl. But, I was busy and time flew. She kept me active, and she kept me from dwelling on my self. She definitely made me worried about adding a second, while simultaneously reminding me why I was doing it. She showed so much love and affection for the baby that it made my heart melt on the daily. And, she honestly, really took care of me. She would let me rest, and brought me things when I couldn't get up. Once, when we were camping, Eliza and I were climbing logs while Sam was a little ways away with my dad. I was walking across this log when it rolled, and I fell really hard on my back (thankfully). My little, barely-three-year-old came running over, with the most sincere worried look on her face, clutching me and saying, "Sorry, Mama! Sorry, Mama!" And, immediately, without me even asking her to, she ran over to find Sam yelling, "Papa, Mama fell down!" I had the wind knocked out of me, it all happened so fast. I still tear up thinking about how I just witnessed my baby girl grow up in a split second- becoming so responsible all on her own. I love her so much. Caring for Eliza, and allowing her to care for me, kept me busy and filled my days with happy times so that the months really did fly by.

My advice, if you don't have a child already, is just to stay busy. I know that every pregnancy is different, and some women are not able to. But, if you are able, stay busy. I wish I would have found a temporary job or something last pregnancy to fill those last four months. It would have saved my mental and physical health. I found that my body and my mind can do amazing things. 

So, there you go. My top three, take them or leave them. And, good luck, mamas!

1 comment:

  1. Very good tips and you are indeed energetic this time. Good thing you're sleeping with that pillow in Northern California instead of South Texas. Ha ha!