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Preventing Stretch Marks

29 Weeks

29 Weeks

Anyone else have some crazy pregnancy phobias? Tell me I’m not alone! I had a huge fear with my first pregnancy, and I’m sharing with y’all how I managed to prevent that fear from coming true.

Let me start by saying I’m not a medical professional or a scientist, nor am I being compensated to review the products mentioned (unless you are nice enough to use my affiliate links to order through and help a mama out a bit). I’m just a mom with my own experiences to share in hopes that it will help someone else. I know that they say there is nothing you can do to avoid or treat them. I’m also aware that they say it’s all genetics. Who knows? They may be right. I don’t think that is entirely true, based on my aforementioned experiences, but I’ll get to that. There, now that I have that out of the way, I can share my trick for a smooth mommy tummy… 😉

Something many women seriously dread is stretch marks. With my first pregnancy, I was absolutely horrified at the thought of getting stretch marks. I started out my journey into motherhood with defined abs and zero stretch marks, and wanted to at least keep the latter part of that statement true. While I know many women have them, and are still beautiful, it was just a phobia of mine, and something I’d rather avoid if I could even now. Lucky for me, I had heard from my stretch mark free Mom and Nana about how they helped their tummies appear unscathed!

From the moment each of them found out that they were pregnant, they lathered their bellies down with oil every day. They mentioned coconut oil, vitamin E and olive oil, varied, as well as cocoa butter layered over it. They did this religiously throughout pregnancy, increasing the frequency as their tummies got fuller and their skin grew tighter. Since they both had beautiful skin of completely different types (Nana’s skin is quite dry, while my mom’s was like her dad’s & very oily), I thought there was a good chance of their regimen working for me, since I fall somewhere in between on the skin type scale. My biggest concern was that it might not work for me because they were both in their teens and very early 20s during their pregnancies, while I brought my first child home from the hospital on my 28th birthday. I was concerned that my skin might not have the same resilience theirs did.

I’ve been pregnant four times (once ended in an early miscarriage). Each time, I started immediately oiling my as-yet-unchanged pregnant belly with Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E Skin Therapy Oil — 5.1 fl oz
. This is a little embarassing to admit, but the first pregnancy I neglected to start oiling my breasts until they were swelling and itchy, since noone warned me about that, and got some mild stretch marks on them. This is where I was convinced that the oil works! I still have zero stretch marks on my stomach or sides over six months into this pregnancy, which I ALWAYS oiled. You can see that from the current belly pictures I took to prove it. Excuse the selfies. I don’t have a photographer on staff here. 🙂 (The bruise is because I’m a klutzy pregnant woman and never seem to adjust to having a tummy blown up like a hot air ballooon. LOL) Those mild ones came up on my breasts before I realized I should be oiling them, too. Time and the continued use of the oils throughout pregnancy and the first several months of breastfeeding each time seems to have faded them to nearly undetectable, though. You’ll just have to take my word on that one. Modesty prevents me from sharing proof of that one! 😉

29 Weeks

29 Weeks

I can’t say enough good things about this Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E Skin Therapy Oil — 5.1 fl oz
! I’m not sure if other methods work as well as this has worked for me, since I’m not messing with the tried and true. Before my belly starts to noticeably swell, but starts to itch or feel dry, I layer on some cocoa butter or the Palmer’s Skin Therapy Lotion, 7 fl oz
for extra moisture and protection.

Will this work for you? Honestly, I don’t know. It isn’t likely to hurt, and is sure to relieve the dryness and itchiness that comes along with pregnant skin. I have definitely had positive results. I don’t know if the genetics thing is part of it, since my mom and my nana don’t have stretch marks, or if it’s to be credited to the skin care regimen we’ve all used, or a little bit of both.

If you choose to try the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E Skin Therapy Oil — 5.1 fl oz
and Palmer’s Skin Therapy Lotion, 7 fl oz
, or your alternative product, don’t forget to get ALL of the stretch mark prone areas. Breasts, stomach, sides, hips and upper thighs are especially prone to stretch marks, and you’re safer to not neglect those areas while caring for your pregnant skin.

Does anyone else have any tried and true tricks for preventing or treating stretch marks?
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Safely Flavored Drinks for Pregnant Mommies

Decaf green tea

Decaf green tea

If you’re like me, you need to drink a lot of water even when you aren’t pregnant!

The amount of water I need to prevent dehydration during pregnancy feels like enough to float a boat on! Sometimes when I try just going with plain water all the time, I find myself dehydrated from forgetting to drink. I don’t want to drink a lot of unhealthy and/or fattening sodas, teas, fruit drinks and such, but flavoring my drinks periodically definitely helps me to drink more. I thought I’d share a few of my tricks for tasty sipping drinks for pregnancy while trying to stay safe. 🙂

Strongly flavored juices like cranberry grape juice, regular grape juice or any cranberry mixed real fruit juices make some terrific flavored waters! You can put about just a splash up to about 1/4, then filling your cup with juice, add a few cubes of ice, fill it up with water and you have a very refreshing drink to sip.

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”

Some herbal teas are safe during pregnancy, such as Earth Mama Angel Baby Organic Mama-To-Be Tea Sampler 16 bag, Celebration Herbals Organic Red Raspberry Leaf Tea Caffeine Free — 24 Herbal Tea Bags
and Twinings Pure Peppermint Herbal Tea, 1.41 Ounce Box, but it may be wise to consult your physician before drinking anything out of the ordinary. Personally, I’m on a peppermint tea kick, or sometimes Lipton Green Tea, Decaffeinated, 20 count, (Pack of 6). I like it warm with just a bit of honey, or I make it like iced tea with a little sugar. Either way, it’s very refreshing! The iced tea version is my favorite, because it’s a great alternative to that Southern sweet tea for this Georgia girl, and keeps me from giving in to the temptation to pour a tall glass of the traditional sweet tea I keep in the fridge for my hubby.

I love Barefut Essential Oils and the Kid Friendly line! They  run some amazing specials on top of the usual super affordable prices! https://barefut.com/product-category/kid-friendly/?afmc=Kg

Something I recently discovered is to let the frozen lemonade concentrate thaw and put it in a water bottle in the fridge!

I don’t like to keep a huge pitcher in the fridge, but love the lemony flavor it can add to my water when I start slowing down on my intake of H2O. I just shake the bottle, add it a little at a time to a glass of ice water and stir until it has the desired taste. You can mix it lightly so it tastes more like lemon water or more heavily if you want actual lemonade. I’m sure this would work with other juice concentrates, as well.

 

Blackberry Infused Water

Blackberry Infused Water

Infused waters are a perfect option for upping that water intake in a completely healthy way! I love them, and have tried lots of different fruits and even some veggies. Need some inspiration? Here is a link to a post I did about some of the flavors I’ve experimented with This and That Infused Water!

I have no medical training, obviously, but these are all things I’ve deemed safe for my own pregnancy after checking them out. What are some of your favorite pregnancy friendly drinks to sip?


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Tiebreaking Baby!!!

Our Newest Cutiepie

Our Newest Cutiepie

Finally, time for the long awaited tiebreaker announcement! Who is going to be ahead- boys or girls?? First, let me give you a back story.

Tiebreaker!

Tiebreaker!

Our daughter, long before I was actually pregnant with this child, informed me that if we ever had another baby boy, she was trading him for a sister. She already had a baby brother and didn’t need another one of those. Thankfully, she’d decided we would keep the baby regardless of gender before we went in for the revealing ultrasound, since she does love the brother she has and figured she’ll love another one and want to keep him, too. LOL

That being said…

On the way to pick up the kids after our ultrasound, I bought a couple of very gender obvious outfits and a toy and put them in a gender neutral bag. When we arrived, our daughter came running to ask what the baby is and I told her to open the bag and it would tell her whether they were going to get a baby brother or sister. When she opened it, her jaw dropped. It was a priceless moment! 🙂

No trading necessary. As our oldest daughter put it, “God must have heard all my dreams and prayers, because He gave me exactly what I’ve been wishing for for sooooo long…a BABY SISTER!!!!”. 🙂 As you can see from the happy face in the picture, in which I’d just asked her how she felt about getting a new little sister, she is absolutely over the moon with joy!!! We are all happy, but would’ve been happy with either gender. For her, though, this is literally her greatest dream come true. For a five year old, he cup is overflowing with pure joy and wonder that God heard her prayers and the hopes of her heart. My joy in this coming little girl, my baby daughter, is even greater because her big sister is so very, very thrilled.

Sister smiles

Sister smiles

As for our all-boy Bambam, his reaction was priceless in a completely different way. When he found out we were having a little girl and saw her little profile picture from the ultrasound, he said “Me big brudda!” followed by a period of thoughtful silence, apparently pondering on his new duties as a big brother, after which he strongly exclaimed “Mean guys hurt me baby sista, me KICK BUTT!!”. LOL!!! Yep, he’s all boy, and already a super protective big brother! This didn’t come as a surprise, since he’s already very protective of Mommy and is so gentle with little ones, in spite of earning that nickname of Bambam with his roughness and strength. 🙂

Both of my children reacted in totally different ways that reflect their unique personalities, but they are both happy as can be. 🙂

Y’all had it right! In our Baby Bump Clues poll, your votes tallied in at: Girl- 53.33% Boy- 33.33% Well, it’s a baby, anyway! 13.33%. If you go by pregnancy symptoms and something called “the angle of the dangle” that showed in a previous ultrasound (look it up….fascinating, but not dependable enough to go by alone), I’d already suspected she was a girl, but refused to say it, assume it or tell anyone about it. This is confirmation that apparently girls make me really stinkin’ sick during early pregnancy, since with both girls I had horrible, prolonged morning sickness and my sweet son spared me that particular symptom. Thank God, they’re worth it! 🙂

So, the tiebreaker says… GIRLS WIN!!! 😉


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Baby Bump Clues?

Baby Boy

Baby Boy

Baby Girl

Baby Girl

Baby Bump #3

Baby Bump #3

Okay, I’m going in for my hopeful gender revealing ultrasound soon, and thought I’d see if y’all wanted to play a game of Guess the Gender with me. Check out the baby bump in the current picture and the ones from my previous pregnancies of each sex, and tell me which sex you think this baby will be. 🙂 Both pictures with my older children are from later pregnancy, probably 8 with my daughter and maybe 6-7 with my son, since I believe these were the last pregnancy pictures for either. I’m 4 months along with baby #3.

I don’t think cravings have anything to do with gender, but for the fun of it, I’ll throw those in. Once morning sickness faded with my daughter, I craved tomato and cheese sandwiches (and ate them almost daily for the last few months), bananas and milkshakes. With my son, I craved spinach (which I also ate pretty much daily) and hot fudge sundaes. Not together on any of those, for the record! LOL With this one, now that I can eat more, I seem to be really wanting a lot of avocado, tomato, cheese when I have an appetite.

Feel free to comment with why you guess the way you did, if you’d like. We’ll see who is right before too long, I hope! We are super duper excited, even though it doesn’t particularly matter one way or another.

Soooo….what’s your vote? 😉

<br />
<a href=”http://polldaddy.com/poll/8622198/”>Guess the Gender!</a><br/><br />
<span style=”font:9px;”>(<a href=”http://www.polldaddy.com”>polls</a&gt;)</span><br />

Tiebreaker!

Tiebreaker!


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Morning Sickness Madness

Tiebreaker!

Tiebreaker!

Oh, the fickle nature of morning sickness! One morning I couldn’t stand even the sight or smell of the food I was fixing for my family for breakfast. The next I’d be scarfing down leftover Mexican food first thing in the morning. One day I wake up feeling like I was hit by a mac truck and spun around in circles 50 times. The next I wake up energized and ready to run. One day my morning is miserable. The next I’m fine all morning and feel like death all afternoon. More often, until the past couple weeks, miserably ill all stinkin’ day long!  Btw, does anyone else feeling punching the guy who called it that right in the stomach, because he got it soooooo wrong and you’d love for him to experience a bit of your agony??? LOL JK Really, though, if you only got it in the morning, you are one lucky gal!!

With my first (our daughter), “morning” sickness was an all day, pull-over-on-the-side-of-the-road-to-throw-up, repulsed by all odors regardless of whether they were pleasant or nasty, frustrating kind of business. With my second (our son), I hardly had any at all, just some occasional and very mild nausea. With my third (which I miscarried) it was a mild all day thing. With this one, it’s been completely neurotic and unpredictable, but for several weeks it was an all day misery of sickness and loss of appetite, resulting in losing five pounds while simultaneously developing a noticeable baby bump (not the same one as I’m sharing below).

Some things I found that helped with nausea a bit were:

Anything with real ginger in it. Real ginger ale. Real ginger tea. Real candied ginger. Real ginger drops (bonus points because holding a piece of hard candy in my mouth also helped some). I’m going to post a link to some real ginger candies at the bottom if you want some. Yum for relief!

Crackers, especially sucking on them. I’d even keep them by my bed to suck on occasionally before I got up to lessen that overpowering wave of nausea when I first stood up in the morning.

I have heard those pressure wrist bands are great for morning sickness, although I’ll admit I didn’t actually try it. Dunno why, except maybe the fog of misery prevented it. Link at the bottom to a cute pink one!

Slowly sipping warm drinks or even broths can be soothing at times, especially safe herbal teas. Do your research before you indulge, because some herbal teas are not recommended during pregnancy. Red raspberry is one of the more popular, but I’ve heard good things about the Earth Mama teas, so I’m including a link to their morning sickness tea below.

Lemon drops and lemon water seemed to help me, but I have absolutely no scientific backing for that. It just did, okayyyyy?? LOL

Was/Is your morning sickness on any kind of pattern? If you have multiple children of both sexes, did you notice worse or milder sickness with the different genders? Any remedies to share? I am so glad my sickness is slowly subsiding! There is nothing fun about “morning” sickness, except maybe accidental weight loss, Read on for the promised handy links to helpful products.

Ginger People Gin-Gins Natural Hard Candy – 3 pack – 3oz Bags – Great for morning sickness and nausea!

Sea-band Mama Acupressure Wristband

Earth Mama Angel Baby Organic Morning Wellness Tea, 16 teabags, 2 pack
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National Sanctity of Human Life Day

Sanctity of Human Life and My Right to Choose- Pro life or Pro choice

Ordinarily I steer clear of topics I consider controversial, but this is a celebration I feel strongly about.

I never thought I’d have to think about the sanctity of an unborn life in personal terms, but I wound up having to really think about it at one point.

What choice I would make if it came down to a literal life or death decision? I’m writing this not to judge, but to share my heart about something I’ve not been able to bring myself to really talk about much with anyone at all. First, let me tell you how this particular day came about.

* (Quote) In one of his final actions as president, Bush declared January 18 to be “National Sanctity of Human Life Day.”

“All human life is a gift from our Creator that is sacred, unique, and worthy of protection,” the presidential proclamation read. (End Quote)

*Source of quote: http://www.lifenews.com/2009/01/15/nat-4748/

It is easy to say that you are pro life when you never have to face a situation where you are carrying a baby during a health crisis, will be alienated because of your pregnancy, etc.

It’s all RAH-RAH and warm fuzzies when you are not faced with a life or death decision or when you are terrified of the changes & consequences pregnancy means for you. That is when you truly find out how you feel about it. I have trouble judging anyone in extreme circumstances too harshly for the choices they make, although I am 1,000% for saving life whenever possible. For myself, I always had some empathy for the situations some people find themselves in, but having my own personal brush with possibly having to make an extraordinarily difficult decision has given me an even deeper understanding of the emotions and conflicts people can go through.

When I was pregnant with our second child, they found a grapefruit sized mass in my right ovary.

When they finally informed me about it, they had no idea whether it was cancerous or spreading or anything. They began to rush appointments to diagnose exactly what this mass was, stating that it was “almost too late for a choice if you require treatment”. To be translated, if they didn’t find out if I had cancer and needed immediate treatment pretty much right then, I would lose the window of time of being able to abort our baby.

I was floored and terrified.

I knew that delaying treatment if it were aggressive and cancerous could mean my daughter and unborn child could wind up being robbed of their mother. I lost my mom in a short two months after her diagnosis, so I had no illusions about what could happen to me. In that moment, I understood why women in that very situation sometimes do choose abortion. There was never a moment I was willing to kill my child- who was completely healthy and okay at that point in pregnancy- but I understood the gut wrenching conflict for life threatening situations in a way I never had before.

9 Days Old

9 Days Old

When they brought us in for my testing, they rushed the results. As I sat with my husband waiting for the news, I was shaking like a leaf and praying in silence that it would be good news. When they told us that it was a benign dermoid tumor- with no risk of cancer and the ability to delay surgery until our child’s birth- I bawled. They thought I was upset about the news they’d given, but I was just so relieved that I would not have to choose and that the odds were we would both be okay in the end. I didn’t want to choose to possibly die for my baby, but I’d already made that choice. Because of my experience with my mom, I believed that if it were cancer, my babies would very likely not have a mother to grow up with. I would never have allowed them to kill my baby to save myself, though, and was totally at peace with that decision, as horrifying was it was to me.

First Day Home & Meeting

First Day Home & Meeting

My pregnancy and delivery were far from easy.

The complications were pretty major, but it gave me such an appreciation for the gift of life and the sanctity of all human life, especially those who cannot protect or choose for themselves. The day we brought our son home from the NICU and were able to finally introduce him to his big sister is shown above, and that was an amazing feeling.

All of the above pictures, except the last photo, were taken by my sweet friend Ashley Bell with https://www.facebook.com/aBellPhotography/ and she did a wonderful job capturing the precious gift of our son’s life and homecoming (and managed to get a decent picture of him with his mommy who wasn’t doing or looking very well after all the trauma, which is amazing in itself).

Please join me in celebrating and acknowledging the beauty, joy, wonder and sanctity of all human life, no matter how small.

For the story about the miracle of my son, check out the post I published for his first birthday here: My Miracle Man‘s First Birthday/

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For a statement your baby can wear about being prolife, go here: Inktastic Unisex Baby Pro-Life Pink And Blue Ribbon Infant Creeper


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FREE Breast Pads For Nursing!!

♄♄♄Breast is Best!!!♄♄♄

I just ordered from http://www.breastpads.com, and if I can get at least 5 of my friends to order using promo code C88DD6019 (good for $ 35.00 off!), they are going to refund my shipping & handling charges!

We are trying to do things frugally, as usual for me. I breastfed both of our first two children. The fact that it is frugal is an incidental and wonderful side benefit to something so natural, healthy and sweet, honestly. I used disposable nursing pads mostly with my first two because I didn’t know of any decent cheap alternatives and the homemade ones I rigged up just didn’t work out well, either due to lack of properly keeping comfortable or the material irritating me. I needed really good ones, since I made an overabundance of milk both times when it came in, and it just didn’t stop! LOL This time I’m hoping to be able to use a lot more of the reusable kind, since I ordered 10 pairs of these babies. They come in a variety of cute prints. I got six in basic colors like black, nude and light pink, but four are in more cutesy designs. I’m excited to see how these feel when they come in!! 🙂

Anyone else want to try these out? Total charges for this set of 10 pairs wound up being $14.99 shipping with my free code, which seemed pretty reasonable to me. They currently have a special going right now where you can get additional pairs at $2.00 each, if you’d like to try even more.