“A New Baby Is Like The Beginning Of All Things – Wonder, Hope, A Dream Of Possibilities.”
Let’s Blog Over My Pregnancy Journey…
From A to Z my pregnancy journey. IT was filled with beauty, madness, and plenty of magic. In the end it resulted in an absolutely beautiful baby boy.
Today I’ll be sharing the raw reality of my journey and if you’re going through the process maybe it’ll be something you’re familiar with too!
Ohhhhh baby. I suffered a really bad miscarriage in January, and on February 21st I found out I was pregnant. I was shocked. My husband held me, hugged me, kissed me, and smiled. I knew we planned on starting a family this year, I just didn’t think it would happen the way it did or as quickly as it did.
B: BABY SHOWER
I hired a party planner and was going to have the most lavish baby shower ever! However, due to it being the peak of COVID I made the decision to cancel it. Instead we’re shooting to plan for his baptism celebration.
I am not big on drinking caffeine or coffee. I get really jittery. However, towards the end of my pregnancy I always wanted a white chocolate mocha from Starbucks. Something I’d never drink if I wasn’t pregnant at all. I found myself really wanting strawberry sodas as well. Caffeine isn’t good when you’re pregnant so if I indulged it’d be very seldom.
My diet was very healthy during my pregnancy. Tons of organic and fresh fruits, and veggies. Fresh pressed juice. Tons of water and salads. I barely ate any meat so I made sure that all of my food was super flavorful, nutritious, and most importantly delicious! Of course sometimes I absolutely gave into cravings which happened to be ice cream and other things I don’t usually eat, but I was always aware and mindful of what I put into my body was not only for my benefit, but for my baby’s.
E: ESSENTIAL OILS
Warm vanilla and lavender were the scents that kept my most calm and relaxed during my pregnancy. It was just very soothing.
F: FOOD CRAVINGS
I didn’t have have food cravings until I got towards the end of my pregnancy. They included:
- Ice Cream Cones
- Sweet Potato Pie
- Cheese. OMG cheese, cheese, and more cheese.
- Orange Strawberry Banana juice topped with Topo Chico
G: GOOD MASSAGE THERAPY
Pregnancy massages are probably what saved me in my second and third trimester. My husband is 6’11 and I’m 5’5. What does that mean? Well my baby took after his dad and is pretty big. The size of him was a lot on my body… and my back! Lol! The female body goes through a lot during pregnancy and although delicate due to growing baby, can also handle a lot — so my masseuse wasn’t afraid to twist and stretch me; knead through the knots to help alleviate my discomfort for a short while.
H: HYPEREMESIS GRAVIDARUM
HG is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I lost 45 lbs in a month due to severe nausea and vomiting. Smells, the look of food, literally anything would trigger the nausea and vomiting. At one point I vomited 27 times in one day. I was in and out of the hospital, and my body went into extreme ketosis. I almost died and lost my baby due to this. It almost came to a point of my doctors inserting a pump in my body just to make sure I was able to receive nutrients. Luckily for me my symptoms stopped before it got to that point, but having this is what had me scared to eat or drink anything throughout my pregnancy if it wasn’t fruit, salad, veggies or water.
I: IN MY HOSPITAL BAG
I pushed off packing my hospital bag for a little while until I realized I absolutely had to. You can find my list for me and baby here.
Journaling was so therapeutic for me during my pregnancy. I bought the cutest notebook called, “bump” with a week by week blank entry space that I tried my best to document each week — and will have to share a weekly more deeply personal journey experience noted for our son.
I did these all day. I wanted to make sure my pelvic muscles were strong. I didn’t know what to expect with labor and delivery and the thought of what happens and the aftermath of a vaginal delivery really didn’t excite me. 15 sets. 3 x’s a day plus is what I’d recommend.
L: LABOR & DELIVERY
I was super terrified about labor and delivery. I only had two options – Being induced or a C-section. The thought of giving birth is scary and caused me a lot of anxiety, but the options I had caused me extreme anxiety. I also wanted to make sure our son was born into a peaceful and calm environment so a birthing plan was so important to me. This is such a special moment and it’s so important for you to set the tone for how you want to bring your baby into the world. You and your partner.
IV definitely took after his dad with his taste in music. He loves Smooth Jazz. If he was up kicking or just now allowing me to sleep, I’d turn on Ralph’s playlist and it’d soothe him. He’s calm down and that allowed me to get some rest.
This kicked in for me at full speed ahead about 2-3 weeks before IV decided to enter our world. I found myself obsessively Bree Van de Kamp-ing it with the deep cleaning, hand washing every single piece of baby clothing, sanitizing every bit in his to-be nursery, organizing, and trying to find the right place for everything for this little angel. I wanted everything to be perfectly in place (even more-so than the regular ol’ usual ocd me) — which wasn’t going to happen — but we did well enough in time for his debut.
I was surrounded by pregnant women throughout my pregnancy. Near and Far. My cousin… she swelled up. Her feet, her ankles, her legs. I am super grateful that I did not get this! (swelling of the ankles) — it’s a myth that every pregnant woman’s ankles become cankles and I was lucky enough to bypass this one!
There were days where productivity was just not happening. This was especially in my last trimester. I realized that in pregnancy is the only time you’re still productive when doing nothing. I was baking a baby.
The first time I felt IV’s kicks was in the middle of such a disheartening situation for me, and it turned my entire mood and day around. I felt overcome with love and excitement to feel him moving around and playing. Such a surreal feeling that I teared up.
I think I read What To Expect When You’re Expecting every other month or so. Other than that I did a lot of online reads about pregnancy, what to expect, and so forth.
S: STRETCH MARKS
Thank You JESUS that I got no stretch marks or cellulite during my pregnancy. I made sure to listen to my grandmother and mom about what to use to avoid that. Ralph purchased me products immediately after finding out I was pregnant. I definitely used 6 different moisturizers and was adamant about keeping my skin hydrated. so I lathered on pretty much everything you could think of 3 X’S + PER DAY — DAILY — since day ONE. Is it genetics? Or is it what you’re putting in + on your body? Who really knows. All I know is that in addition to drinking lots of water for baby to swim (!), eating lots of fruit + veg, and taking my prenatal vitamins, I went through lathering all of these on throughout the nine months that my belly grew:
- Mamma Mia Belly Butter
- Hatch Mama Belly Oil
- Vitamin E Oil
- Olive Oil
- Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Cream
- Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter
I’d also use an exfoliator body scrub in the shower.
- ONE: Hyperemesis Gravidarum. I was very sick, nauseous and in and out of the hospital with absolutely no strength.
- TWO: Still sick with HG for half of the trimester, but was also my most energized trimester. I was also emotionally drained, and going through and working through a lot personally.
- THREE: I was so tired my third trimester and was put on bedrest due to the size of our son. It was filled with tons of massages, baby brain, naps, nesting, and just making sure I was relaxed.
U: UNCONTROLLABLE HORMONES
I will say this very honestly, loudly, and clearly: THERE WERE SO MANY MOMENTS I DID NOT RECOGNIZE MYSELF DURING THIS PREGNANCY. My very best and closest friends know the daily ins and outs of these moments I am referring to. Unfortunately probably has a very unclear association of who RALIJAH is whole-heartedly is vs RALIJAH on insane pregnancy hormones that was going through 6 severe traumas at one time crying everyday unpredictable and even more so of that and everything else. YIKES!
I think most couples can relate. But forgive me I really must say, I believe these circumstances were out of this fucking world. I don’t think anyone truly knows or understands the wave of hormones that enter a woman’s body during pregnancy that are not only overwhelming but factually uncontrollable. Nothing here in the vein of philosophy; all physics – science – anatomy – insanity. I commend any and every woman who goes through the unrecognizable moments and comes out better. And I commend any and every man who sticks by her side and reminds her of WHO SHE IS and that SHE IS LOVED, REGARDLESS.
- I used Ritual Prenatal Vitamins until the taste of it just didn’t agree with my anymore.
- I also used Vitafusion Prenatal and Multivitamin in Lemon & Raspberry Lemonade.
W: WATER + WALKING
I drank sooooooo much water during my pregnancy. I was also dedicated to keeping my body active and fit. I didn’t exhaust or strain myself, so my workouts included a lot of walking. It is probably why I remained so tiny throughout my pregnancy and was literally all belly.
I Love Ya Like Xo! Love and support is so important through your pregnancy and I am so blessed to have the circle and village that I have. There were times I’d have little breakdowns just because I couldn’t reach something or pick up something, or just needed someone to listen to me. Someone was always there to support me in those times.
I felt a lot of pain in my pelvis and my doctor immediately said get a belly band and do prenatal yoga. Once I did it I felt it was absolutely necessary to do during pregnancy. Especially during the latter months. It feels therapeutic and so good for not only the body, but also the mind, and for baby — they love those stretches and sways! I couldn’t always make it out to a studio that had a class specifically for pregnant women, so from time to time I would make up for it at home (thank you, YouTube!)
“Sleep as much as you can before the baby arrives,” they said. “Sleep with the baby, when he naps — you nap,” they said. THEY WERE RIGHT. DO NOT GIVE UP YOUR ZZZ’S FOR ANY ONE OR ANYTHING. Thank me later if you’re currently pregnant and make getting those zzz’s your absolute number one priority. Everything else can wait. Mama’s sanity and emotional well-being matter. So much. Be restful. HAPPY MAMA = HAPPY BABY!
What a wild ride this pregnancy journey was. There were absolutely days I wanted out. I think most women can admit this; and if they don’t, they’re either lying or not human. AND then there were days where I was just so wrapped up in the thoughts of my little boo growing inside of me that I couldn’t be bothered to do more than daydream of him and stare at his photos. Now he’s here, in the flesh, and I have never been more in love. I have never known a true love like this before in my entire life. Words cannot accurately describe this. I’m pretty sure that’s what most parents say. Now I know it, too — and I wouldn’t trade a day of my pregnancy journey for what it finally gifted me. What God Gifted Me.
Ralph Lee Sampson IV – You Are Loved My Handsome Man.