Monday, March 17, 2014

Second Trimester High

So I recently posted about my troubles with the first trimester when I had just crossed the mark of reaching the second trimester. As soon as my morning sickness ended, I was hit with a massive head cold with no doctor-approved medicines in sight. I struggled with some depression and self pity (not gonna lie, definitely spent several afternoons crying to friends about how I was never going to feel good again).

I had no idea.

I feel like dancing and singing. This is the trimester that tempts women into pregnancy! I feel cute, I'm in real maternity clothes, and I can EAT. Holy cow, can I eat. I can't eat much at one time, but I need food every two hours and I need it RIGHT THEN. Cravings are real and I have spent so long not wanting food that I am praising the Lord for every one of them. No food tastes as good as the food you've been obsessing over for hours. I ate a pint of egg drop soup in 15 minutes in a Kmart parking lot because I couldn't wait to get home but I wanted to drive away from the Chinese restaurant.

I'm attempting to fill up on fruits and veggies primarily, especially now that my veggie aversions are gone, and I feel like I'm doing alright. I lost a few pounds in my first trimester and weigh less now than I have in about a year, so I feel ok doing a little bit of catching up. Small and frequent meals are what my tummy wants, so that's what I'm doing!

Side note: why did no one tell me how incredible maternity clothes are? I feel like Joey with his Thanksgiving pants. These things are literally the greatest. They smooth out lumps instead of creating them (I'm looking at you, Forever 21 skinnies) and are the most comfortable thing I've ever put on my body. I love my new jeans and shirts. I'm wearing horizontal stripes til the end.

Pregnancy Log:
How far along: 16 weeks
Total weight gain: -5
Maternity clothes: Most of my outfits. All of my bottoms excluding yoga pants.
Stretch marks: None
Sleep: Sleeping a lot. Accidentally slept in til 11 today.
Best moment of this week: first flutters/kicks!
Miss anything: Not really
Movement: first ones this week!!
Food cravings: A couple (Chinese, etc.) Mostly just starving all the time.
Holding on to this high for as long as I can!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Secret Life of a Preggo: First Trimester

I have not posted about my pregnancy until now for one reason: It has been really freaking hard. Here's a small sampling of thoughts that I've had in my first trimester since I got used to the idea that I am pregnant:

First Trimester
  1. WHOA where did this chest come from??
  2. Who invented underwires and were they a masochist??
  3. "Exercise will make you feel better." Lies.
  4. I need some cheese RIGHT NOW.
  5. ...and Blow Pops.
  6. Why does my house smell like popcorn? We don't even have a microwave! THE NEIGHBOR.
  7. I can't do the dishes ever again. Food is disgusting. 
  8.  Oh look how cute! My belly is growing!
  9. *crying* Nothing fits and I don't look pregnant, I just look fat!
  10. I want my cat and dog to be right beside me forever.
  11. I wish my cat and dog would leave me ALONE.
  12. Should I eat this or will I regret that choice if it comes back up?
  13. Why do my tailbone and hips hurt so bad?
  14. The mango sorbet just ran out. Famine in our household. Sackcloth and mourning.
  15. (addressing my bed with memory foam pillow and memory foam mattress topper) You're never gonna forget me.
  16. Am I good at red-flagging troublesome names or just getting really good at making fun of children? (I'm extra sensitive to this because our last name is one letter away from ridicule status--the I and O are next to each other on the keyboard)

Of course, I've also thought about the normal (non-crazy person) things like how to stay healthy, whether it'll be a boy or a girl, and what to name them. I'm officially 14 weeks along and OUT of the first trimester (PRAISE THE LORD) and I feel like I've turned a glorious corner. I may go back into the morning sickness but I'm believing in faith that I'm out of it for good.

Here are a few things that helped get me through all the changes:

1. Genie Bra

My ladies got real big, real fast. I actually had to sit in my car for a few minutes after I reached my destination to put my bra back on because I could not stand to drive with it on. This happened on multiple occasions. The underwires started cutting into my growing abdomen and my boobs rebelled against stiff cages. I hate the way sports bras turn everything into one unit, but this bra has no wires, no hooks, and keeps the girls "locked and loaded" as Clinton Kelly would say.

2. Preggie Pops

Candy that helps relieve morning sickness? Sign me up! I kept a couple of these puppies stashed in my purse at all times. They worked great to help distract me from the nausea and boost my blood sugar when I was feeling faint.

3. The Alternative Guide to Baby Names

Ok, I know it's silly. We were having a bookstore date and Everett picked this up for me. Some of the names are hysterically hipster, but some are adorable! We have definitely gotten a few cute ideas from this book, but it's mostly a great way to pass the time when I'm not bowing before the porcelain throne.

4. 42 Fruits and Vegetables
My midwife recommended this for me to start taking since I couldn't get a ton of fruits and veggies down. I had a terrible aversion to raw veggies, and this was a great way to supplement my diet. (Obviously talk with your doctor about any pill you put in your body, but this is a pretty low risk vitamin since it literally is just a bunch of plant foods.)

5. Nutribullet

In addition to the above vitamins, I made a lot of smoothies in our Nutribullet. We bought it together for Valentine's Day rather than going out for a huge date. Since it comes so soon after Christmas and Everett's birthday, we like to spend our money on something that helps us to be healthier rather than on chocolate and little gifts. In the Nutribullet, I put a ton of fruits and veggies and juice, because I figured that if I can get a smoothie down, I'll absorb something quick even if I lose all the contents of my stomach. I added spirulina for a bigger boost (definitely cut it with a lot of sweet fruits) and loved it.

I'm excited to share the next months of my pregnancy here, but I'll go ahead and apologize if you came here looking solely for marriage advice. I can't focus on anything but the baby right now and I haven't been able to really study the stuff I usually address here. I will get back to it at some point but I'm giving you fair warning, baby blasts ahead!

Monday, January 27, 2014

A Quiet Afternoon

So far, my pregnancy has made me so sick and tired that I spend a lot of my day resting alone.  I'm finding beauty in the quiet places and in the still moments. I've enjoyed it so much, I've put together a little list of things to give you your own afternoon of rejuvenation to comfort your heart.

1. Father Gillick on Shame.
I am obsessed with one talk that Father Larry Gillick did that centers on shame. It wrecks me every time I listen to it.  Download it, put your headphones in, and cry your way through washing dishes like I do.

2. The Cageless Birds Live at Home
This is a series of live videos recorded in the Helsers' home here in North Carolina. Each song is written by a member of The Cageless Birds, an art collective focused on creative worship. This song by Molly Skaggs is my personal favorite (I've featured an old video here before), but watch them all! The album is also now on iTunes.

Invitation | Molly Skaggs | Live at Home from A Place for the Heart on Vimeo.

3. Future | Past by John Mark McMillan
Ok, so I'm a little biased on this one. (I'm in this video along with my husband). The song, however, is unbelievable and speaks for itself.

4. Drink some tea!!
My favorite is Earl Grey (Earl Grey Tea 30ct Eco Canister from: Teatulia) but herbal teas are great for relaxation. Wrap up in a nice throw (pick one up here:15% off Select Throw Blankets at Zinc Door (1/15-2/14) or go to Ross and get a $15 blanket) and take a little nap. You deserve it.

BONUS! Free printable guided journal to complete your relaxation! (Click here to download PDF)


Monday, January 20, 2014

The Biggest News

If you follow me on any social media, you probably know the big news by now!

We are so excited. Being a mother is my ultimate dream, and I can't wait to meet my little hobbit.

I am currently ten weeks pregnant, which means that I had my birthday, Thanksgiving, 25 straight days of gigs (including a 16 day cross-country tour) and everything surrounding Christmas all while totally unaware that my body was supporting a new little life. I was exhausted, but brushed it off and figured it was just the hectic schedule I had been keeping. I had a lot of early pregnancy symptoms, but I took a total of SIX home pregnancy tests over the past two months, all which came out negative. I figured I was either having a really long cycle (not unusual for me) or my hormones were going wacko from stress.

I ended up going to the doctor on January 9th for nausea, and got a pregnancy test while I was there. The doctor walked in the room holding it and I started crying. It took me a few days to really process the realness of the situation, but now I'm so overwhelmed with nausea and fatigue I can't deny the obvious!

I am doing a ton of research about what kind of birth I want to have, but right now I'm really leaning towards a natural birthing center. I love learning about all my options, so I'll keep researching until I find what I think is best for me and my baby with my health history. I am going in for my first ultrasound on January 29th, when I will either confirm or debunk Everett's twin hunch. (!!!) I am so excited to see my little one; so far, the only real evidence has been feeling like total crap and wanting to only wear stretchy pants.

During my pregnancy, we are going to be continuing work as musicians both on the road and in the studio, but I will be ramping up my art business over the spring and summer so that I can have something to do with the baby at home when I am not playing out as much. We are trying to save as much money as we can, but are also trying to find a new place to live with a little more room for our little one. If you want to help support us in this crazy time, feel free to shop at my store!

I will be keeping this blog focused on relationships and marriage, but will update it with my baby bump progress and any more big news.

Lots of love,


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New Venture and Free Printable

As a musician, I have learned that there is no magic bullet that is the one thing to fulfill me artistically and pay all our bills. We do so many different jobs that I have considered having business cards printed with "Caroline Hardin: __________", and filling the blank with whatever job we are doing that day.

If you follow me on Instagram (@hardincaroline), you probably have noticed a crazy amount of drawings, quotes, and illustrations. I have had so much fun filling up my new Etsy shop with goodies. I love drawing and collecting quotes, so having a place to share both of those is a true blessing. If you haven't made it over yet, you can use the code MRSDEGREE to get 25% off your order until January 10th.

Here's a little present to encourage you in the new year! The quote is from one of my all time favorite books, Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels. Give it a read, but keep some tissues handy.

Download Here

Happy New Year!