A letter to my future self

Pregnancy Status: 39 weeks, 0 days
Currently: Snuggled up in a blanket on a cloudy summer morning, questioning the difference between possible contractions or Braxton Hicks.

Dear Me,

If you’re reading this, you’re feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, or just plain sad. I’ve read the articles, I’ve heard from friends; I know that it’s inevitable.

If you’re feeling exhausted, remember that you are STRONG. And you harness more energy from laughter, taking in precious little moments like sunsets, watching the pup run, a sweet hug from your husband.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath. Remember that everything is temporary and this too shall pass. Be mindful of the moment. Acknowledge it, accept it. Think of what you are learning and how much stronger you’re becoming as a result. Then, take a deep breath and move on. Remember, everything you do is a manifestation of how you ultimately want to feel. You are so much stronger than you think you are in this very moment. You. can. do. this.

If you’re feeling sad, make a list of all the things you’re grateful for. Take a picture. Or a walk down memory lane with the thousands of photos you have stacked in your favor on google photos, the pregnancy photos, the wedding, maybe a video. Tap into your inner “Cody” and remember the words, “I choose to be happy.” Smile. Even if you don’t mean it. Smile anyways, and smile directly face-to-face with at least 2 strangers today. Or your precious baby. Or your pup, or your husband. Ask for a hug and give one in return. Life’s too short.

I write this letter to you, future self, to remind you that the waves will come and go, the sun will always set, and each day will be one less that we have together with the ones we love. I write this letter to you to remind you that you are strong, beautiful, independent, and able. You can be both people, you can handle this. You have solace. Meditation. A beating heart pumping fresh blood, oxygen, and love through your veins. You are as strong as you think you are. Be mindful. Remember how much you are loved, and remember how much you love in return.

Love,

Me

10 Reasons I LOVE Being Pregnant

Pregnancy Status: 38 weeks, 3 days
Currently: Nesting, installing shelves, and taking a break while the AC guy examines our house (#SummerisComing)

Well, it’s official. Our babe is officially the last babe on board. I have had 4 friends who were all pregnant with me, with our babies due within just weeks of each other (if not on the same day). Every single baby is here – including the one my due date twin! – and our little one is officially the last to join the baby bonanza.

In these last few days, hours, minutes, I am starting to feel anxious. Anticipating the inevitable. Eager to meet our baby girl. (Still trying to dial in on her NAME!) But ultimately, we are incredibly excited and counting down each day patiently until we meet our little one.

I’ve seen a few posts out there as to why women love being pregnant and I’ve heard from quite a few people how much they miss being pregnant (or hated it, either way). I figured I may as well make a list of all the things I’ve loved about my pregnancy, especially seeing as I could pop any day now!

  1. An excuse to eat WHATEVER I want. (What’s that “#soccermom drive thru to snag a quick soda fountain beverage from Jack in the Box at 12 in the afternoon”? Hey, I’m pregnant and on maternity leave! YOLO.)
  2. An excuse to watch mindless tv and relax my body when I’m feeling sore. OR when I just don’t want to do anything else. 😉
  3. The ability to be part of the fabric that constitutes our very existence. To carry, create and experience human life on a totally different level that is completely indescribable. I am honored, grateful, humbled that I am a woman and part of this incredible experience.
  4. Little baby kicks and jabs. She is moving around in there! It’s incredible.
  5. Experiencing the love and support that your friends and family bring. The shower, the questions, the genuine care and kindness by so many of those around me has exceeded anything and everything that I thought was possible.
  6. The kindness and care of the physicians who have supported me throughout my journey.
  7. The growing dynamic and strength of my marriage, we see a different side of each other. One that is more compassionate, loving, supportive. I feel like we’re stronger now than we have ever been.
  8. The consciousness that comes with being mindful every time you take a bite of something or take down a green smoothie. Mindfulness has been a wonderful component to my pregnancy.
  9. All of the freaking ridiculously cool apps (technology, you DA BOMB) that allow me to connect with other women across the world who are going through their own experiences. There is nothing cooler than waking up every Wednesday and watching my favorite videos on Ovia and the What to Expect app.
  10. Lastly… knowing our bodies can do this. That we are strong, powerful, incredible, women who literally give up everything to nurture a tiny little human and help them grow into someone who is compassionate, kind, loving and full of joy. I know this is only the first part of this miraculous chapter into motherhood, but I can’t help but recognize how lucky I am to have had the pregnancy I have had to date – despite the few roadblocks along the way. I know without hesitation that I will be a better mother, wife, and human because of the last 9 months and cannot wait to meet our precious girl.

XO

Krysten

Here are a few special moments throughout the past 9 months…

Hello, Maternity Leave!

It’s my first day of maternity leave, and wow – let me tell you, does it feel GREAT. Outside of the few butterflies I’ve felt since last night and the mild shifts towards anxiety in not working or feeling like I should be doing “something else” right now, I’m trying to take in each moment and really enjoy it for what it is.

The friends of mine who have already had babies have talked about how fast time flies. This, more than anything else (labor, breastfeeding, crazy and hormonal mood swings) probably freaks me out the most. How do you avoid time going to by so quickly? Already, I’ve noticed that my pregnancy – despite the incredibly long lulls in between – has quickly come and is now going… I read an article recently in Huff Post on how you can play mental tricks on yourself to slow down time. The premise that this neuroscientist dude, David Eaglemen, cites in the article is, the more detailed the memory, the longer the moment seems to last. My lesson here? Get off my phone. Take notice of the small things, the scents, the sounds, the vivid colors around. Make it feel different so it feels like a world outside of one that is mundane and simple. The monotony and methodical routines that are so easy to fall into can strip away the ‘newness’ feeling that we may get with each new moment or experience we create.

Increasing mindfulness is going to be my goal these next few weeks before the baby comes. I’m probably going to write (read: bore) this blog with more information on it, but as I prep for my first time mom-hood as well as my feeble attempt at hypnobirthing, I’m certainly aware that every thought, every moment, every second adds up to something bigger. This life we live. This life that I so badly want to cherish in every way and hold close to my heart. It feels so weird being home right now, but I am committed to not wasting one second of it while I still have the energy to move around and get things done. And I promise to savor every positive experience, remember it, log it, detail it out somewhere so I’ll have these little moments to look back on.

I know I haven’t been the best blogger / logger / journaler (#distractions) but definitely going to make an effort to improve so I can bend time to my advantage and extend these little life experiences as much as I possibly can.

Today’s Mom docket:

  • Couple house chores
  • Took the dog to this beautiful dog park where the sun perfectly kissed each blade of grass (and my sweet pup wandered aimlessly wondering why the hell he deserved such a treat on a Monday)
  • Lunch by the water with a friend of mine who’s celebrating her first day of Maternity Leave as well
  • Returns at Buy Buy Baby + Grocery Store
  • A little afternoon waterside action for the pup before the hubs comes home
  • Yummy baked potato bar for dinner & prepping my birth plan this evening

A Father’s Day Love Post for My Husband

Pregnancy Status: 37 weeks, 4 days
Currently: Listening to the birds chirp on a quiet, foggy summer morning

It’s Father’s Day today. And I can’t help but feel immense gratitude for my husband and the man that he has evolved to be since we found out we were having a baby. I never realized what the promise and opportunity of new life can bring to people – for my husband and I, being that we’re in our first year of marriage, it’s brought a lot of… hmm how do I put this lightly. Communication. 😉 A lot of not seeing eye to eye, coming at things from different angles, taking our own learned sets of experiences and trying to fuse the two together to make sense of it all. But at the end of the day, in moments where I wince in pain from my ever-expanding pelvis or the times where I wake up in the middle of the night with an unfathomably sharp cramp that burns all too deep, he’s always there. Holding me up on a birthing ball, encouraging me to breathe, massaging my leg or simply and ever-so-gently asking if I’m ok. Pregnancy hormones are no joke. I know I haven’t been easy. And yet, he somehow helps me laugh. Encourages me to sing away the frustration or envelops me with a hug, even though I know I may not (especially in that moment) deserve it.

Our 1 year anniversary is coming up in 2 months, and I feel like in this past year, I have had 3 years with him. The depth of our anxiety and the relief to discover that it will all be ok (did I tell you the previa resolved?!?!?), the immense joy and gratitude we recognize and speak often about around our dog, who we also call our “beautiful son”, the candor and sweet vulnerability we have when we’re talking about our deepest fears of being a parent or that we may not be cutting it as a partner. It’s unfettered, raw, vulnerable, and so honest and true.

As I enter into these last few weeks, my gratitude and recognition for these moments, these experiences, these memories… bring me so much comfort and joy. I feel so lucky to have my husband, someone I know will be the most incredibly kind, loving, authentic, funny, and brilliant father. His love for our family is already unmatched, and I cannot wait for our lives to begin yet again when our baby girls comes into this world.

Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful Dad’s out there! May your day be filled with laughter, little (and big) moments of joy and the tightest hugs you could possibly imagine.

XO