Being a cool mom…

Boy do I like the movie ‘Mean Girls’. I’ve seen it about a dozen times and I love the quotes on there. When I became a mom I wanted to be a cool mom. Maybe not try as hard as Regina George’s mom, but I’d love the confidence!

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All jokes aside, I do want my kids to look up to me and have a youth to remember (in an amazing way). This means spending time with them and having as much fun with them as possible, but also taking me-time so I can be the best mom possible. I do have the advantage that I am still young myself so I can relate more to my children (this isn’t meant in an offensive way towards older moms).

In the end I think every mom wants to be a cool mom. At least to their kids, but also to the world around her. She wants the world around her to see how great she is doing it and how she is extraordinary because she takes her kids on far away holidays or takes a trip to the museum a couple times a week, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s about loving your child and being there for them when they need you. It’s about wanting the best for them. It’s about reading that book for them that they like so much even though you are tired of it and would rather have done something else. It’s about comforting them when they are hurt, whether it is physically or emotionally.

I know that in their teenage years my kids are probably going to hate me and be embarrassed of me from time to time, but as long as they generally love me and know they have someone they can count on, I think I did my job well. And then maybe later, when they’re all grown up, they will say: I have a cool mom.

Love from this cool mom,

Adriana

 

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Museumfun! #1

Sometimes I have no idea what to do with my 2-year-old. She is a very busy girl who loves to explore. I have this picture in my head that I want to be that mom who takes her kids to museums, and that the kids enjoy it just as much as the mom, in that case: me. Now yesterday me, Austin and my sister in law volunteered to babysit my little nephew, and my SIL proposed to go to the Children’s bookmuseum in Den Haag (or The Hague, if you will).

So off we went, babies on our stomachs in the slings and with 3 toddlers in strollers. If you would’ve seen us at the time, you would’ve thought we were the dad’s going for a walk in ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’. We looked like we were in a movie. After looking for a proper door to get our strollers through, we found the exposition on the second floor.

We went and saw ‘I am Frog!’ (Ik ben kikker!) first. Kids could wear Kikker pants (red/white striped swimtrunks) and have loads of fun. When you walked into the room it was designed to look like you were outside in nature. There was a tiny tent, sanddunes, a boat in ”water”, and you could go into a room to read or listen to the Kikker stories.

Next to the ‘I am Frog!’ exposition there was a different exposition called ‘ABC met de dieren mee’ (ABC along with the animals). The exposition had a lot of different books and characters in it (e.g. Nijntje, The very hungry caterpillar, The little polarbear etcetera).

Ava and her cousins had a lot of fun, because next to educational it was fun. You could dress up, go down the slide, draw, go through secret pathways and just run around. We had the advantage that it wasn’t very busy at the time, else the secret pathways might have been a little annoying/helpful towards losing your kid.

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I would definitely go to the museum again with my kids, and I put some more info in the blog if you ever want to go visit.

prices are:

up till the age of 1: free
ages 2 – 6: 6,00
ages 7-18: 7,00
adults: 8,50

visit the site here

Love,

Adriana

P.S. At first I didn’t know if it was the best to write this post in Dutch, but then I decided it wasn’t. I am used to writing in English and I realized that even if people aren’t Dutch-speaking, the exposition would still be a lot of fun for kids.

When other people’s success slows you down

Sometimes I start writing or doing something and I want to become good at it, maybe do something professional with it but I stop. I stop because I will see the ‘competition’ and think; I will never be as good/funny/inspiring as that person. It’s not the right mindset of doing things and I know it’s not, because the reason I started doing something in the first place was because I enjoyed it, and thought it was fun. So I let seeing others being succesful in something I like doing as well bring me down.

I will be very hard on myself, because when I make something public it has to be perfect. I don’t want to write a blog that is not that good or funny, but I know that if I keep blogging, that will happen. It’s a process of allowing myself to fail and not be perfect.

I am not perfect, nor are those people who are succesful in blogland, or the creative field or whatever. I set too high bars for myself. Let me show you what I mean:

  1. I want to be succesful in blogging but I have to have the perfect blog, it has to look good and be easy to read. It has to have a high quality picture in it and the layout has to be perfect
  2. I want to show the world that I am a great mom (despite of getting pregnant at 17, since there seems to be such a big stereotype about teenmothers), have my whole life planned out and know what I am doing 99 % of the time.
  3. I want everyone to like me so I will go out of my own way to make everyone like me.

It is tiring. I am not perfect, nor can I expect everyone to like me. I want to be able to show what my opinion is and not have to think about: oh no, what will the others think of me? Some people are not going to like me, and that is okay, the focus shouldn’t be on them. I need to have my focus on what I have and am able to do. Which is a lot.

I will find my way, don’t you worry about me.

Love,

Adriana

P.s. (notice, no picture? I mean, I had to start somewhere with the selfacceptance)

Why I traded my kidney for a babywrap

She doesn’t want to sleep. Or at least she fights it and she is not someone who gives up easy. At least that shows she has a lot of willpower, but right now, while she is crying her lungs off in my arms, it’s not helping her. I know that she has to learn to fall asleep by herself. Eventually. Right now, I love it that she loves to be so close to me, and you know what, there is nothing wrong with that. And if she keeps screaming I put her in the sling, close to me, and it has not once failed to calm her down.

I am a big fan of bonding with my child (Duh), but I will try to do that in various ways. Like babywearing, breastfeeding and just taking the time to talk to her and see how she responds to me. I want to give her a solid foundation for later on in life. I want her to know that she can come to me no matter what and that I am always there for a hug or a cuddle. That feels natural to me. And if that is spoiling my child, I want my child to be spoiled rotten. Of course, I would love for her to be a strong independent individual later in life, but I am sure that starts with a good foundation. And also, later. Right now, she is a baby, she does not need to be independent yet. She CAN’T be independent yet. She needs people to love her, cuddle her and feed her.

So I wear my baby, kind of like an accessory, with my luxurious wraps that cost me a kidney. Okay no, of course my baby isn’t an accessory, but I might only have one kidney left.

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Yes, she has red hair and I love it.

Love,

Adriana

wrap: Kokoro Falko Sage. It’s the softest cotton I have ever felt and it could carry a toddler easily.
The picture was made by myself

 

Maybe you should cover up.

He threw a swaddle at me. ‘This is just to cover up for when the people start coming, else they might look at you weird’. Too perplex to react I just accepted and kept feeding with the swaddle over my boob and my daughter’s face, but it didn’t feel right.

I know he was trying to be nice and trying to protect me from getting bad reactions (at least I hope so), but it felt like I was doing something obscene. Whipping my boob out to feed my baby. While it is perfectly natural to feed your baby. I wasn’t looking for attention or yelling at people: ‘HEY, LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT MY BOOBS, I AM FEEDING MY BABY.’ No, I have the right to feed my baby uncovered if I want to.

When I was at a restaurant, feeding my baby and my husband told me that I could cover up a little, cause people could see my whole boob (they couldn’t btw), I had the urge to punch him. I didn’t though. I have explained to him so many times that breastfeeding is natural and that breasts aren’t even supposed to be sex-objects in the first place. He is fine with me breastfeeding in public, but to a certain extent. The problem is that people (especially here in the U.S.A.) see breastfeeding as something ‘gross’ or something you just do at home. That’s also the reason why I will try to keep breastfeeding in public. Not to provoke, but to show that it is normal and natural.

And if you are not comfortable with breastfeeding in public, that is fine! But don’t shame me for it

Love,

Adriana

The birth of another princess.

I can’t do this anymore. ‘I really need medicine, I’m gonna ask for that medicine next’ I say to Austin in the middle of a contraction. It already took so long, and I am worried that if these contractions keep getting worse I won’t be able to handle the pain. Breathe, breathe. I try to focus, but it’s difficult. The contraction wears off, and Austin reassures me that I wrote in my birthplan that I didn’t want pain meds and that I will probably be disappointed afterwards if I did give in. He is right.

Every day for the last week I had been waking up disappointed. Why wasn’t I having contractions yet? I was getting frustrated, so whenever I woke up around 2.30 on the 19th of april I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I felt like I was having contractions, but I assumed they were just Braxton-Hix contractions which would go away.

It started around 2.30 a.m. I felt I was having contractions, but I didn’t really want to get my hopes up because it was one contraction every 10 minutes, and they didn’t seem to get worse. So I took a bath, to help speed things up, but it didn’t work. Whenever I told Austin I thought I was having contractions he just gave me a thumbs up and fell asleep again. So I went to sleep again too.

Around 6 I wake up again. ‘I assume you’re not having contractions anymore?’ Austin asks, but I am not sure. Nope, they’re still there. I think we’ll be having the baby today. Austin takes the day off and Ava goes to Springfield with family. I take a walk, another bath, lay down, but nothing really seems to speed up the contractions. It frustrates me. I look in the mirror and I see that my belly really has dropped in comparison to the day before.

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great quality pictures, I know. Left is April 18th, right is April 19th.

Around 3 I finally have the feeling that the contractions are every 5 minutes and around 4 Austin calls the hospital because I also lost blood. We are welcome, and whenever Austin’s dad is there to babysit Ava we go to  the hospital.

‘How long since your last contraction?’ I am not really sure… ’10 minutes maybe?’. Austin looks at me and goes: ‘Oh’. I know what he’s thinking, maybe we will be out of the hospital in an hour because no, labor didn’t really start. When we get to the hospital Austin tells me I look ratchet (thanks honey, I am here to give birth, not for a photoshoot for some fashion magazine) and that I was acting a little different when we got to the hospital for the birth of Ava. Uh yeah, then my water already broke and I was dilated at like 4 cm.

We walk in and a nurse leads us to a room. She explains to me that they’re going to track my contractions for a while and then they will decide if I will get admitted or not. I breathe away another contraction and put on a hospital gown. Once I am attached to the machine that tracks my contractions and baby’s heartrate I ask the nurse if I am still allowed to eat. She brings me some crackers, a popsicle, water and applejuice.

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Don’t I look lovely in a hospital gown? Ava and my father in law come over to check how it’s going. Apparently that is a thing in America, as long as you’re not pushing the baby out yet, people still come to see you. I already made clear that when I get admitted and go to a different room, I don’t want any visitors. They stay for a little while and then they leave again.

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The monitor for my contractions and baby’s heartbeat.

Around 7 p.m. the nurse comes to check to see how much I am dilated. 2.5 cm. Dang… I really wished I was a little further already. The nurse calls the doctor (who is in a different hospital at that moment) and she decides that I get admitted. Yeey, it is really going to happen!

The contractions are getting worse and when the nurse wants to escort us to a different room, we have to wait a littlebit because I am getting another contraction. The next room we are in is a lot bigger. There is a big bath which I would love to plunge in right away. Okay, or try to sit in slowly. I don’t stay in the tub super long because I have a feeling like it’s not helping a lot. I try the birthing ball too but that just gives me more pressure. I almost pop Austin’s back out of place when I lean on him during a contraction. The nurse has been monitoring my contractions and the next time she checks I am at 4 cm’s. I don’t know if I can do this much longer.

I claw my nails in Austin’s hand. He was just about to check on Ava and his dad but I yelled at him to come back. I really need him. Between the contractions I tend to almost fall asleep, but the contractions are getting so bad that I am considering medication. After the contraction Austin tells me that I will just be disappointed after if I do that and he is right. ‘AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUU’ I yell because this contraction is unbearable. I can’t breathe this one away. The nurse comes in with another nurse because they’re quite sure that I am getting close to pushing this baby out. I feel a lot of pressure and I ask the nurse if she really can’t break my water. She checks me and I am 7 cm’s dilated. ‘Sorry hun, I tried but your water is like bulging’ she explains to me. She called the midwife to come because the doctor is still with another patient.

‘I am peeing, HELP, I am peeing!’ ‘No, that’s just your water breaking’ I try to breathe with the contractions but they are too heavy. This isn’t going to end. ‘Is it too late for an epidural?’ I ask the nurse. ‘Yes, it is’ she tells me. I want to cry. ‘You’re doing great!’ another nurse tells me in the middle of a contraction. ‘Shut up!’ I yell at her because I need to focus on my pain. When the contraction wears off I apologize. She tells me she’s heard worse. Finally the midwife comes in and checks how far I am dilated. 9 cm’s. But I feel like I have to push. After what seems like an eternity I finally get to push. ‘Do what your body tells you to do.’ the midwife tells me. I push and push and push. ‘Look down!’ Oh my gosh, I can see the baby’s head! Another push and they lay her on me. She is so precious.

Cara Mae is born and I am so in love with her.

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Love,

Adriana

Planning my birth

You didn’t have to tell me that there is a big difference between giving birth in the Netherlands and in the United States. I always knew that people here were crazy about pain-meds and that there is like no postnatal care, whatsoever. Okay, I might exaggerate a little bit but that is basically what it comes down too. Having had a wonderful, natural birth in the Netherlands I wanted to be my United States birth to be as close as possible, so I made a birth plan.

As you can see I have quite a few wishes, and it was necessary that I wrote those down, because I know that normally people here wear a hospital gown during delivery. I am not sick or anything, my body is about to do an amazing thing so I don’t need that gown. I know that the hospital staff usually offers pain medication, and I was actually happy that they didn’t do that with my first birth. I think  it’s easier to say yes to it if people actually offer it and I would be a little worried that I would feel pressured into an epidural or any pain medications. If I ask for it, it is my own decision and I am making that actively, else I would probably feel like I made that decision passively. When I asked in the hospital to be able to move around they said it was okay, but that I would need to be monitored for at least 20 mins every hour. Which I find total bullshit but I can deal with it (I guess). Also, they want to have an IV already ready in me in case something goes wrong. Where is the trust in the body ladies and gentlemen? Well who knows, maybe I will thank the staff after birth.  The medical staff in the room will be a thing though, because I have been told that there will at least be 4 people in the room except for my husband and I. So different, again, from the Netherlands, where I just had a nurse and the midwife.

I know the c-section rate in the United States is sky-high, so that’s why I wrote down wishes  in case I need one. I have a feeling like the doctors here don’t want to risk getting sued and go over to c-section relatively quick.

The post-birth wishes were already basically granted to me by the nurse who gave me a tour in the hospital. They are big on breastfeeding and even if baby can’t eat with me (that sounds weird) right away, they will hook me up to a pump. Also all the check-ups to see if baby is doing okay will be done when she is laying on me. Because bonding! Unfortunately it is protocol here to stay in the hospital for at least 24 hours after birth, in the Netherlands I was out of the hospital in 4 hours.

Anyway, I am excited for the birth and I think making a birth plan made me a lot calmer, but you can only prepare for so much. We’ll see how it goes.

By the time of posting this, I will have given birth but I will tell more about that in a next blogpost.

Love,

Adriana

What’s in your hospitalbag?

I forgot how I did it with Ava. Did I even pack a bag? Yeah I did, but I didn’t put as much stuff in it as I have now. Right now my hospitalbag is basically 2 bags, and I still need to pack stuff for the hubby, although he thinks it is unnecessary.

I had the bag ready when I was around 37 weeks pregnant. Since the protocol here is that you stay at least 24 hours in the hospital after birth, there are quite a bit of clothes in my bag. Also, last time I forgot to pack extra pants because I thought I could wear the same ones that I also wore on the way to the hospital -yeah right, they were soaked with amniotic fluid-. Luckily, my husband was actually the one who had packed an extra pair of sweatpants which I could wear.

The difference with the Netherlands is also that your insurance basically gives you birth packages with maternity pads, a bellybutton clamp (is that the right word?), mattress protectors, maternity underwear and what not, here I just had to go buy that myself.

So here’s what I packed/will pack, but I didn’t snap a picture of.
– my camera, insurance cards, passport, birthplan, phone, brush, newborn diapers, muisjes (a dutch treat for when a baby is born) and I might forget a couple things. Even if I literally forget stuff at home, there are enough people who can pick it up for me.

So this is the actual hospitalbag. It’s a diaperbag I got from Target. It’s an Oh Joy design and I love it. It’s quite spacious and I will be able to use it for the baby and for Ava! Obviously the lighting was quite bad when I took the picture and I don’t have the proper tools to edit the picture to the right colors.

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Here for even a worse quality picture, the clothes I packed for me. I packed 3 nursing bras, A couple tank tops, a supersoft and comfy bathrobe, a couple pairs of socks (because cold feet -ha ha), a nursing hospital gown, a regular nightgown, harempants and soft pajamapants, a sweater, and some mommy-boxershorts. I am definitely not going for stylish but for comfy.

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Then here we have the stuff for babygirl. BTW, we are completely screwed if she turns out to be a boy, because we don’t have a boyname or boy clothes. I might sew the clinic I went to for my check-ups if that’s the case. JK, that would be way too American of me, and something I wouldn’t do. Anyways, here is what I packed for the bebe (among some baby hats and a burpcloth). A gigantic fox swaddle, 2 rompers with print, a onepiece, 3 longsleeve rompers without print, some socks, 3 pairs of pants, some anti-scratchmittens and a little jacket.

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Then we still have the care-products for me. Obviously maternitypads, maternity underwear and a couple mattress protectors (for on the seat in the car on the way to the hospital, and maybe to keep baby warm the first moments after she’s born. Trust me, those things hold warmth, I feel it every night because it sticks to my legs). Then some washable nursing pads (extremely excited to use those, because sustainabilityyy baby) and some lanolin for sore nipples. careproducts

I am excited for the baby to be born, which could be any moment now. Let me know what went in your hospitalbag or what you think is handy!

Love,

Adriana

Grasping the concept of pregnancy

I can’t sleep. It’s too hot, either my intestines are hurting or I am laboring. Or pre-laboring as I’d like to call it. Braxton-hix contractions. My heartburn is killing me and I can’t breathe properly because the baby is crushing my lungs. Whenever I try to turn my belly gets hard. Then I start to think about how much there still is to do before the baby comes. We still need to buy this and do this. Whenever I talk to my husband about it he says that we can just get that/do that whenever. What he doesn’t understand is the pregnant brain.

It has to happen now because else I can’t rest. It has to happen now because all hell breaks loose if I don’t have it in time. That poor husband of mine. Every now and then I yell at him or I cry at the most random things. ‘You don’t understand me!’ I cry to him, and I really expect him to understand me, even though I don’t even understand myself. I can say I am hormonal, but if he says it I would just like to punch him. Which I don’t do.

Then there is the other side. I babysit now at 37 weeks pregnant, and I told my husband I simply wouldn’t be able to do that in the first few weeks after I’ve given birth. ‘But why not?’ ‘Darling, if you ever push a baby out of your most delicate parts, you’d probably understand why’. ‘But people here go to work after birth all the time!’ ‘ That’s because they have to, to provide for their families.’ Then whenever I start talking about how the postpartum depression rate is probably way higher in the U.S., he looks at me and says: ‘What is postpartum depression?’ He also is convinced that men could probably also give birth if they had to, but if it were up to him to give birth he told me that we’d probably never have kids.

 

My husband is very very sweet, but hubby you will never understand what it is like to be pregnant and give birth. It’s a beautiful, painful, weird, wonderful experience that I wouldn’t want to trade for the world.

The reward is always worth it. I can’t wait to hold the next little babygirl in my arms.

Love,

Adriana

 

A new direction ?

So this may sound like I am talking about GLEE (anyone remember that tv-series? Yes? Because that’s what the glee-club was called), anyways I am not. And yes, I have been binge-watching Glee on Netflix. But (Oh no, I am doing this wrong, I am not supposed to start a sentence with but) I am talking about my blogging. I have had a looooot of time on my hands lately and I have been thinking about what I want to do in life.

Whenever people ask me I will always say: I don’t know. Something creative maybe, but I never know what. And still it isn’t the clearest to me, but a new wave of creativity has come over me. Might be because I am due in 6 weeks and I don’t get nesting, but just the intensive urge to create.

I have had this blog for over a year now and yes, I have written about things I am passionate about, but it was always just a little subject which I would never really go deep into. There wasn’t a main subject on this blog. And there still might not be, but I have a feeling like I am going more in the mommy-direction. Mommy-bloggers, we’ve seen them all. Do I have more to add? I don’t know, maybe. We will see.

And there is another project I am working on, but that is still very secret too. I can’t wait to tell you guys about it.

So much love,

Adriana