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    Motherhood, Pregnancy

    Transforming a Bronx Bedroom into your dream Nursery

    As I prepare to celebrate Calvin’s 3rd birthday this Wednesday, I can’t help but remember what the days looked like leading up to his birth. Our one-bedroom Bronx apartment was a small and mess, we also had celebrated our baby shower days before giving birth. Everything was everywhere! The crib wasn’t built and whatever vision I had in mind for a nursery quickly faded for two reasons, Calvin was seven weeks early and our apartment was way too small to dream big.

    Photographer: https://www.instagram.com/bee.serene/

    This second time around being blessed with a full-term pregnancy and also spending a lot of time at home, I let my heart guide my creativity. If there’s one thing I’ve been fighting off these last few months, it’s been discouragement of any kind.

    After losing one of our best friends, I entered into a place of mourning and I found myself needing an escape. So I began looking for inspiration on nursery’s and a painted sun caught my attention. It warmed my heart and was a sweet reminder of the ray of sunshine our friend Ada was. I haven’t been able to fully connect with our second son and transforming our bedroom gave me a chance to connect with him. The details of this nursery have brought my heart so much joy and hope. I’m sure my son will display it.

    Room Details: Baby moblie, DockaTOT, Babyletto Crib,

    Here is the reveal of our small section nursery. Although we live in a two-bedroom, we wanted the baby to stay with us. So we got some paint and divided a small space of it so it’s just for the baby. I also want to encourage any mama that is a one-bedroom apartment. Please don’t let your bedroom discourage you from being creative with your space. I hear so many stories of mamas feeling guilty over not having a “perfect nursery” or a spare room for their baby, I want you to know your baby doesn’t care about that. You are their first home and nursery.

    Details: Wood Camera, Hamilton Frame, Acrylic Floating Wall 

    I picked out pieces for the baby that I love. I love taking pictures and Hamilton. My favorite song is ” Dear Theodosia”, I dedicated that song to Calvin before he was born. I had my husband print some of the lyrics on these wooden frames from Society.6, I hope to read them to the boys one day.

    Details: New York Banner, Wall Wooden Rack, Acrylic Shelf

    Room Details: Rocking Chair, Diaper Pail,

    Room Detail: Cube Storage, Fawn Design Bag, Curtain’s

    I love everything about this section. I wanted the colors to go with the ones we’re using for Calvin’s big boy room. We’re reusing the crib we got for Calvin, it’s really cute and it’s held on for three years. This time around we will be using cube storage bins to store the baby’s clothes. We wanted to save money and we honestly don’t need much storage for the baby. The most expensive piece we got was the rocking chair. I would never pay what I did for this chair, but it’s so comfy and eventually, we want it for our living room.

    Details: Family Poster, Wood Hanger

    Room Detail: Gathre Changing Pad, Wipes & Diaper Holder, Letter sign, Wood toy, Ikea Drawer, Wooden Shelves

    This other side is our changing area. I just wanted some selves and a poster. I was looking through the society.6 website and I came across this poster of a family of four and bought it right away. I love line art, I actually have a tattoo of Calvin and I, in this style. I’m ready to get another one that represents the bond that I have with this new baby.

    This is our latest sonogram, baby boy has chubby cheeks and he’s weighing already 6lb and 10oz. I can’t wait to squeeze him and see if he looks anything like his dad.

    These are some shots from our family maternity shoot, I love just how well our photographer captured the room and these moments with Calvin. It’s crazy to think that soon my heart will beat in two little bodies. I’m scared but very excited to live life as a mom of two boys.

    I can’t wait to finally take pictures with the baby in his area and enjoy all of him here in our home.

    Mental Health, Motherhood

    Take a Moment Mama

    Between preparing for labor or getting the kids ready to start remote learning/ school, it can feel like each minute of your time is occupied with something else other than just you. The quiet moments that we desire often seem hard to find and the plan you made to catch a breath outside has become the last thing on your list; since it takes almost forever to leave the house with any child.

    However taking a moment looks like for you, just take time to take it. I know it often seems impossible but it’s so necessary. Taking a moment for you doesn’t mean you have to leave the kids behind, you may just consider your self-care time a time where you just hang with the kids, soaking up all of them. 

    So here are a few tips for taking a moment: 

    – Breathe, before you pick up your phone or check off the first task on your to-do list… time a few mins to be in silence. 

    – Plan a time in the day or week where you focus on one thing that brings you joy. 

    -Remember to slow down, what will get done… will get done. 

    – Ask for help, how can someone else help you this week ? 

    – When the kids are in bed and the house is quiet… stop scrolling. Netflix has tons of great shows. 

    – Take a moment to remember just how beautiful and spectacular you are. You kill it everyday without a break.


    Book Recommendation

    If you’re a new mom… nope if you’re a mom I would recommend you get this book. I got it about a year ago and it always encourages and helps me understand some of my thoughts as a mom. Being a mom can feel overwhelming sometimes and it’s okay to say that out loud. I feel like sometimes we feel so much shame for thinking half of the things we think about. During my postpartum, I struggled a lot with feeling joy in being a mom and I was very anxious all the time about something happening to my son. I often wished I would have voiced half of the things I was thinking without feeling like someone would judge me. In this book, you’ll find all those thoughts you hide from other moms but also the ones you feel scared about saying out loud to yourself. Remember you were you before being a mom, think of who you were, and take care of her.

    Faith, Remembering Truth

    Remembering Joy

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    “So we’re having another baby, wow.”

    I’ve spent the last few months echoing those words to myself. I think I still can’t believe it but it probably will hit me during labor, that’s for sure.  Don’t get me wrong, we wanted another baby, just not sure about the timing. I guess I’ll explain, in the last year Ruben and I have spent a lot of time growing our marriage. We’re pretty honest about where we’ve been these last four and a half years, it’s been hard. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that God has allowed us to bear children in some of the hardest years of our marriage. Our children are symbols of us fighting to love and enjoy one another. They remind us that God thinks of us in seasons when we feel most forgotten.

    At the beginning of this year, Ruben and I made the decision that leaving his job would bring him some joy after stepping away from being a leader in our church. Our marriage wasn’t in a good place and taking on more responsibilities would have probably broken our family even more. My mental health and childhood trauma has played a big role in our struggles, therapy has given us the opportunity to find answers, and perhaps the hope we’ve been wanting to hear. Marriage is no walk in the park, especially when you add two broken people into it. As I’ve spent the year healing and seeking help, Ruben spent the year picking up the responsibilities at home while also grieving his own losses. We will say this, his love for art has been awakened during this time and it’s shown it.

    My husband is the most wonderful man I’ve ever met and as we’ve spent time in conversations and seeking help I have never been more certain that God desired these last few years to be this way.


    So where did baby number two fall in?

    Well, it surely came during some really good months this year. This time around I didn’t cry in the bathroom like I did with Calvin’s pregnancy, I laughed. I share all the time that when I found out I was pregnant with Calvin, God spoke to me through Psalm 30 but the verse that stood with me was “Weeping may stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning”. I wept as I read that Psalm because I felt like I had been crying for years and asking God to bring me joy not only to myself but to my marriage. I hold that Psalm so close to my heart because I believe that God has more for Ruben and I. Surely, He has given us more this year. It’s not that joy would be found in our children but that joy would enter our hearts through God.

    Our second baby brings forth a promise that God has given us but also one that Ruben and I have given to each other. We will spend the rest of our lives fighting for the joy that God delights in giving us. As I birth life from my body, God is doing the same in both of us. He is healing and restoring the broken parts of each other. For me He is stripping me away of pains and scars that I’ve held on too and although we aren’t fully healed here on earth, I await the day I will be mentally, physically, and emotionally healed in eternity.


    We’re excited and head over heels for this new baby. We can’t imagine what life will look like with a fourth member in our family, it is crazy if I get another boy. ha! So where are we now… well, being home during quarantine has drawn all three of us so much closer. Ruben and I have grown in so much more love and surely Calvin feels it. We finished marriage counseling and I restarted my own therapy. I pray to welcome this new baby into a home that overflows with love and grace. I hope that God never stops growing our family however that looks like and I only desire to remember that healing and joy always come.

    I hope God meets you in whatever season you’re in, hope and joy are near. 

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    Pregnancy

    Pregnancy During A Pandemic

          Am I the only one that’s still in disbelief that we’re in a pandemic. How crazy is that? When I found out I was pregnant back in February, I knew about Covid-19 but I didn’t think it would flip the world upside down. This has been one of the weirdest and most uncertain times for all of us. If you live in NYC, your life has probably stopped in so many ways. Being pregnant during this pandemic has been bittersweet for me. Bitter, because I’ve been working from home and that’s been a little hard. Sweet, because I’ve been home with Ruben and Calvin. This is such a perfect time to be with Calvin since it’s the last few months before he becomes a big brother. This is the longest I’ve ever been home with him and I’m grateful for this time. So we’re using it to get him ready and also prepare ourselves for a newborn to enter our home. I’m not ready, but I’ll be soon. Because he’s coming soon. (NERVOUS LAUGH)

    imageParenting

         I’ve had a lot of moms to be’s ask me about how I’ve been coping through my pregnancy during this season and some resources I’ve been using to keep me busy during this time. If you’re a mom to be, I hope you know you’re not alone in your worries and even emotions. I’ve had so many emotions throughout these last few months. I’ve been scared, sad, anxious, angry, and even grieved. So much of what I was planning on doing during this pregnancy has changed. I haven’t been able to spend time with my family and Ruben can’t attend any of my sonograms. I didn’t get to hug my friends and family at our gender reveal, I won’t have a baby shower and labor & birth will feel a bit lonely without having my whole family waiting for the arrival of my son. (They roll deep guys)  It’s okay to feel like you’ve been robbed of so many wonderful things and if it’s your first pregnancy, I’m sorry it’s been this way. But just like I tell myself, find joy in this season. Look at all your blessings despite your losses.


    Tips to get you through your Pregnancy 

    Therapy has been very helpful during this time for me, it’s helped me process things better and also just share some of my thoughts. Having a high-risk pregnancy during this season has been hard because I’m constantly going to the doctors for a check-up and I can’t change my pregnancy plan, a hospital birth it will be. Having someone to talk to about these things has been great for my sanity and emotional health.

    JournalingI love writing and it’s very therapeutic. If you’re having a hard time processing your thoughts, write them down. Make it into a journal for your baby, I’m sure one day they would love to hear your stories during this season. It’s a great way to empty out your thoughts and be honest and real with yourself.

    ReadingFind something you enjoy reading. If you’re into reading pregnancy books, I recommend you finding one on Amazon (these are a few that are great!) or re-reading your favorite book.

    Physical Activity Take a walk, catching some air will do you well. If you like yoga or exercising, keep doing them. Dancing, dance as much as you want. It’s good for you, your body and baby. Pinterest and Youtube have a bunch of videos to keep active.

    Mental Check-insThese are very important, if you’re OB isn’t asking you how you’re doing emotionally and mentally during your pregnancy… they should be. During pregnancy, you can experience a lot of emotions and during a pandemic, they could increase. Make sure you’re checking in with how you’re feeling on a daily. Are you feeling happy? Sad? Anxious? Overwhelmed? Tell someone about them, they’re completely normal. Here is a free resource for seeking help.


    Pregnancy/ Labor Education Classes

    Here are a few websites offering Free Pregnancy classes: Take advantage!

    Motherly Labor & Delivery Videos

    Pamper Child Birth Classes

    EASTERN IDAHO REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER:

    TUCSON MEDICAL CENTER: Birthing Classes


    Free Breast Pump Via Insurance

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        If you weren’t aware, through your insurance you can be provided with a free breast pump. The most common pump that is offered to mothers is the “Medala” brand. The pump works like magic, but it’s loud. However, you are given the option to choose which pump you want. I would say picking a pump that suits your lifestyle. If you’re a stay at home mom, you may be comfortable with a plugin pump but if you’re a working mom, you may be looking for something that allows you to be freer to move around. Before choosing your pump you can speak to a lactation consultant or even do some research of your own. The website I provide you with has customer service reps that can help you choose the pump that suits you.


    img_7788Healthline

         In this season I’ve been so inactive and just feeling really lazy. I want to take walks but I’m afraid of the distance and being around a lot of people. Oh, and my eating habits haven’t been great at all. Despite that, I’ve been trying to find ways to speak positively about my changing body and also embracing it. My belly is growing a lot and my boobs are massive. My armpits are really dark and my nipples don’t look flattering at all, but I’m so beautiful. I hope this season as your body is changing and if you’re like me having a hard time being active, please be kind to yourself. Everyone’s body looks different during pregnancy. Some women get stretch marks and others don’t. Some would say they feel really beautiful and others would say their baby is sucking the life out of them. What you say about yourself in this season of pregnancy and motherhood is so important. Find ways to feel like yourself, do something you enjoy or maybe dress up like you always do. Motherhood doesn’t rob who you already are, you’re still the same just with a plus one or two in my case. As you enter motherhood, it will feel like you’re losing the you that you’ve always been but you’re not, you’re growing and blooming another part of you.

    Rock that belly girl, you are bearing life within you.


    Things you can be doing as you wait for the arrival of your baby…

    1. Create your Baby registry. Don’t be afraid to send it to family & friends. They will want to bless you.
    2. Preparing your home for the arrival of your baby. I call this “nesting”. It might be soothing to you during this time.
    3. Did you create a birth/labor plan? Here’s a guide: Birth Plan Outline
    4. Pack your hospital bag. Here’s a guide: Packing for you & baby
    5. Make sure you’re drinking a lot of water and talking to others.

    I hope you guys found these resources helpful, let me know by commenting on this post!