A Public Cry Fest & Judgemental People

judging2When you become a mom dealing with parental guilt in inevitable. Sadly as a parent you will also find yourself in a situation where you are being judged for your parenting skills. Two weeks ago I found myself dealing with both while on vacation.

If you follow me on Instagram (@lilyandbliss) I opened up two weeks ago that my milk supply slowly dried up. With Lily I was ready to switch to formula around 7 months due to her every 1 ½ hour feedings. Even though I was ready to give up breastfeeding I held on to some heavy guilt over the switch to formula. So with only a few days until Chloe was 4 months I found myself crying in the baby isle of Giant Eagle while shopping for formula during our vacation. I had no issues with my milk supply with Lily even with her nursing so often.

I tried everything from drinking more water, eating foods that are suppose to help boost milk production and even used my pump to help as well. This sudden and unexpected situation left me feeling pretty depressed. I wasn’t ready to loose that part of mothering my baby.

A day after the public cry fest at Giant Eagle I found a quiet corner to feed Chloe at the Children’s Museum. As I was shaking the last of the formula into the bottle a woman stopped a few feet away from me. She was carrying a small child in a front carrier and reaching behind for her other kid’s hand. She looked down at what I was doing and looked up at my eyes all while her upper lip curled in disgust. Like she was mad and in pain for my child. I was in such shock that I looked away from her judgmental stare to snap Chloe’s bib together. A wave of pain and guilt swept over me and my eyes filled.

judging1As I took deep breaths in attempt to stop another public cry fest my sister in law came to join and I told her what happened. As she rolled her eyes at this woman’s actions and boosted my confidence Chloe stopped feeding and just smiled at me. It was as if she was saying Hey mom…I’m fine…I’m happy and that’s all that matters.

Now anyone who knows me personally knows that I speak my mind and I’m not afraid to call someone out. But this complete stranger was taking a hit when I was down. Looking back I wish I had asked her if she had a problem. When I looked up to find her gone I wanted to scream, “I didn’t have a choice!!!!”…and even if I did I’m not poisoning my baby by giving her formula.

I wish as mothers we could stand up together and be more supportive. Why must there always be people out there that feel the need to voice if breast is best, and make “formula” moms feel that they are somehow lacking? I obviously believe in breastfeeding. BUT I would NEVER point out to another mom that breast is best or make them feel guilty over formula regardless how I personally felt.

It is so very easy to judge people and their parenting by looking through a window…just like that woman did to me at the museum.

Why must there always be some debate pitching working moms against stay at home moms. Those that decide to home school and those who decide on boarding school. Organic foods, giving a pacifier, crying it out, watching tv…I could go on and on about all the things that parents feel so strongly about and are quick to judge over.

We of course are all free to have our beliefs and feelings regarding parenting. We have the right to raise our own children by those beliefs. I just wish that moms (and dads) wouldn’t voice their beliefs towards others in public and risk the chance of truly kicking a mom (or dad) when she is down or making her second guess herself as a parent.  I’m not innocent. I have judged parents before….but most of my judging was before I even became a mom. Even then I never was vocal or gave the stank eye to a parent with an out of control kid. Now as a mom, I might have an opinion about someone’s parenting, but I won’t confront them or give them some kind of disapproving look. Unless a parent is giving their kid a high five for hurting someone, giving beer to a kid or physically hurting their child (you get my point?) then I won’t be one to step in.

judging

Men all have this universal head nod that they give other dudes. Even motorcyclists give a low two-finger hand gesture as they pass another biker in greeting. Not saying us moms need to throw up some secret mom gang sign or bump chests (because that would actually be quite uncomfortable to the boobs). Maybe next time we pass another mom we can give a simple smile. Maybe while checking out at Target or eating out give the mom who is struggling to tame their screaming kid a smile instead of the disapproving stank eye.

I’ve had a few weeks to come to terms that my milk is gone and that special time with Chloe has passed. Am I still sad and depressed about it…of course! But I feel sorry for the next person who tries to publicly give me any kind of eye while formula feeding my child…this mamma bear has since sharpened her claws and I will not let another person belittle or criticize my parenting….{large exhale}….

 
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  1. Katie commented:
    July 23, 2014 Reply

    I totally agree and may never understand why people (especially other moms) are so judgmental towards one another. We can only love them and be kind to those around us. It makes a difference and truthfully it has to start with us. And mommy, keep doing what you are doing. You have a happy baby who loves you. Life is good.

    • Amy Romano commented:
      July 31, 2014 Reply

      Awe thanks Katie!! And AMEN to your thoughts! Plus why be judgmental in front of our kids and set such a horrible example…right?????

  2. Shauna Anderson commented:
    September 11, 2014 Reply

    Love this post, Ames. You are a fantastic mom and a wonderful friend. So thankful to know you.

    • Amy Romano commented:
      September 23, 2014 Reply

      Thanks babe! I’m lucky to have such a fabulous lady like you in my life! Love you too!

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Did You Know About The Fourth Trimester?

Once you pop out that baby you enter the fourth trimester. What you didn’t know you have to go through another trimester??? Yep folks I discussed all about surviving the first, second and third trimesters of pregnancy but let me share the reality of the postpartum stage or what I like to call the fourth trimester. This trimester is a transition period where you’re being physically, mentally and emotionally tested as you figure out your new normal.

Physically recovering from birth is straight up not pretty. Let’s start with the real Victoria’s secret….the granny panty or the fabulous disposable mesh underwear. I highly recommend prior to birth to pick up some non-thong undergarments because there is NO way a string panty will support the humongous pad (or what I like to call the surfboard) that you need while you bleed. OR you can just take a stash of the uber sexy one-size fits all mesh underwear the hospital provides (Fact: I wore these for the first week at home- they’re free, comfy and I could just trash ‘em when blood got on it!). Point is between the granny panty or mesh thingies and the mammoth ‘surfboard’…sexy is the last thing you feel.

4thtribirth

While you’re naked let’s talk about the Jello effect. One of the weirdest feelings after you give birth is touching your stomach. For 9 months your baby grew and stretched your belly and after birth your belly feels like jiggly Jello…another sight that makes you feel like Angelina Jolie. Do yourself a favor and do NOT attempt to put on any of your old clothes the first month after birth. There are some women out there that miraculously shrink back to their pre-baby bodies in an impressive time span…I’m not one of those women. Matter of fact I never fully got my body back from giving birth from Lily. I might have hit the pre-baby number, but my body just never looked the same. So for the majority of women just don’t try to shimmy into those pre-baby jeans or you will just feel super depressed. Elastic pants became my best friend along with maxi dresses after both babies were born.

The crazy hormones have done a number on my skin making me feel like I’m going through puberty all over. All that awesome pregnancy hair starts to fall out…literally in big wads when I’m showering. And stretch marks…ugh it looks like a baby bear grabbed my hips and slid down a few inches (From the major lbs. I gained with Lily).

At night I wake up in pools of sweat or a damp bra from my leaky boobs. Can we talk about the rocks inside my boobs?? I mean that’s what it feels like when your tatas are engorged with milk. With Lily my boobs engorged so much that I couldn’t even lay on my side without waking up in major discomfort. With Chloe I get engorged but not as bad since my body knows how much to produce. After the engorgement comes that major deflation when the baby drains you, leaving my boobs looking like the ones on the women in the Amazon featured on National Geographic…I’m talking my nips now point to the floor people. Don’t get me started on the myth that breastfeeding helps you loose weight because that fable never became a reality for me with either baby. Most days I feel like a starving Zombie.

With Lily I sat on a doughnut cushion to help alleviate the pain from the tears in both holes down there.  With Chloe I had a HUGE issue with my episiotomy healing properly and had to be re-stitched twice (not common but can happen).

4thtricrown

So that was some of the physical aspects of the fourth trimester. The hardest part, for me, is all the mental and emotional hurdles. You are no longer just a woman, wife or girlfriend…you are a mom. You are now responsible for the care of another human being that will depend on you physically, emotionally and financially.

During the fourth trimester you learn how to live your new normal. Before baby you could just pick up and go wherever to do whatever for how ever long you wanted. Just leaving the house to run a mundane errand like groceries can take forever…checking your diaper bag to make sure you have everything, placing baby in the car seat and then taking baby out of car seat when the diaper explodes, then changing baby and washing out car seat. You have to time your errands around feedings and naps. Eventually you get the hang of it and it becomes second nature.

BUT when you add another kid to the mix it is absolute chaos. I broke down in tears the first time I had to leave the house to take lily to school. Lily was having a tantrum while I started putting on her shoes. She wouldn’t help carry out her backpack, so I had to make two trips for that and the diaper bag while I buckled her in. While I was placing Lily in her car seat I heard the baby start to cry and she cried the entire time I placed her in the car seat and drove to and from Lily’s school.

Every mom is different, but most women experience some baby blues with all the hormones. Anything can make you sad and make you start to cry; even packing your kids in a car will frustrate you to the point of tears. Add in sleep deprivation and a simple tv commercial can make you reach for a tissue.

I broke down sobbing the first weekend home with Lily because I couldn’t get her to stop crying. As a first time mom trying to figure out what exactly my baby needed to stop crying was frustrating and made me think I didn’t have it in me to rock this mom thing. With Chloe I have cried for totally different reasons. I’ve cried because I’m tired and I hate my Jello tummy…but most of the tears are because this might be my last baby. Sometimes when I’m rocking Chloe to sleep I will tear up because I think this is the last baby I get to rock until my babies have babies.

4thtri

This fourth trimester is physically, mentally and emotionally draining. BUT this little moment in time will forever be carved in your memory not because of the sleepless nights, Jello belly or emotional meltdowns over breastfeeding woes. No, this brief time in your life will reflect some of your most precious memories of your life. The fourth trimester holds that moment you became a parent. You might have been in pain and doped up, but you will always remember those first few moments you saw your baby or held them in your arms for the first time.

The rocks in your boobs might hurt and your eyes maybe dry and bloodshot, but you will always remember how tiny your baby’s hand was when it secured to your pinky while you fed them.

Yes this period can be testing and you will probably struggle as a first time parent on how to do everything. You will wrestle with parental guilt over the tiniest issues. BUT you will walk away not only as a stronger parent but a stronger person in general. Being a parent is THE hardest job. In this trimester you will discover that you can DO so much more than what you thought you were capable of.

You physically grew a human in your body and gave birth, a feat that I believe the strongest man could not handle (my personal belief!). Somehow your sleep deprived and weepy self can sill get through each day and night. So stand up and shout “GO ME” or give yourself a round of golf claps so you don’t wake up that baby…and be proud of everything you will overcome this trimester.

In this trimester your heart grows ten fold for this little child and the unconditional love you get back will make you almost forget all the crazy pregnancy and horrible birth stories leading you to want to do it all again!

{newborn photos cred: Niki Schmidt Photography}

 
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  1. Katie commented:
    July 10, 2014 Reply

    I am weeks away from being a new mommy and I love this. It is real and raw but so encouraging. Thank you for writing this 🙂

    • Amy Romano commented:
      July 14, 2014 Reply

      Thanks Katie!! I’m glad you found this encouraging! Good luck in the coming weeks with the birth of your baby…you got this!!

  2. evelyn commented:
    October 5, 2014 Reply

    Gosh the 4th trimester was the hardest for me! I can relate to this post completely , thank you for sharing , sending love & light your way Xo!

  3. Susan commented:
    January 18, 2015 Reply

    I love your honesty and rawness after having a baby. It’s totally true!! I came across the ‘fourth trimester’ after the end of my little ones fourth trimester and it explains a heck of a lot, plus he had severe silent reflux – so many days I sat and cried with my baby, and yes I cried at tv commercials ALL THE TIME. The first one has certainly scared us but I’m sure we will want to give our son a sibling one day. You are blessed with a truly beautiful family, thank you for your blog 🙂 much love xx

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Simplicity Series

I’m so thrilled to be a part of the Simplicity Series over at one of my dearest friend’s blog, Miss Emily Ley! Emily has been featuring this wonderful series on her blog for awhile and I was tickled to be a part of it! This series features women in different stages of their lives sharing six products and/or tips that help make their life more simple so they can spend their time on what matters!

So hop on over to Emily’s blog and check out my part in this fabulous series! Click HERE

simplicity

 
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2014 Is All About Living…

Typically people take some time leading up to New Years Eve or in the beginning days of the New Year to reflect and plan. Reflect on life over the past year. Figure out if their life is on track. What goals and milestones they’ve reached and ones they have yet to accomplish.

Then there are the New Year’s resolutions that have people planning. Planning on hitting new or old goals. Looking back last year I entered 2013 with the perspective of focusing on what matters. To me I planned on focusing on my faith, family and my health. I planned on building my relationship with God. I planned to devote more time to my relationship with Mike. I wanted to focus on being a better mom to Lily and concentrate on being more in the moment with her. And of course I had planned on continuing on my road to losing my baby weight (read more in depth HERE).

But life happened and we were graced with a pregnancy in June. And if you follow along with this blog you know that it has been a difficult pregnancy. With 8 weeks left I am still struggling with nausea. After June I gave up on my 2013 goals and focused on just trying to get through each day of the rough sickness.

And just like 2013, 2014 started out with another life moment that is inevitable…death. My grandmother passed away.

grandma

She entered the hospital and five days later she took her last breath. A couple of hours after entering the hospital we found out that she was having some heart issues and I had a gut feeling that if I didn’t get up to Augusta and see her that I would carry so much guilt not being able to say goodbye if she passed. At 8 months pregnant I knew I only had this small window to get up there before it wasn’t safe to travel. Mike stayed home with Lily and I hopped in my car to make the 8+ hour drive (its normally a longer drive but I have a lead foot) to Augusta last Thursday.

Friday I spent all day with my grandmomma. Unfortunately her health took a turn for the worse early Friday morning and by the time I arrived she was struggling. However, I was blessed to have had that day with her. She opened her eyes throughout the day to speak to her loved ones. Her memory had been slipping and I can’t express how happy I was that she recognized me, remembered to ask about Lily and even quized me on prospective baby names for baby #2.

Friday I was able to shower my grandmomma with love and laughter. I helped feed her a few spoonfuls of orange sherbert, rubbed her hand to let her know I was there, and laugh along with our family while she unleashed her famous sassy attitude. Yes while in ICU my grandmomma still had enough of her spunk to blame Obamacare for her dried lips.

We learned Friday that her organs were slowly shutting down and it was only a matter of time before she would meet her maker. I drove home on Saturday to prepare clothes for my mom and dad for the funeral and on Sunday at 7:15 pm the good Lord called her up. On Monday Mike & Lily drove back up with me so I could be with the rest of the family to pay our respects to my fabulous grandmother.

Over the last few days I have done nothing but look back over the memories of my beloved grandmomma.  We went to her house to go through her belongings to see if there is anything we wanted to take…but I couldn’t. After looking though a few things I was overcome with emotion as I sat on her piano bench. The same piano bench that I would sit on as a little girl while tapping on the keys. The same bench that still held music sheets and my Aunt Jane’s paper dolls that I would rifle through as a child believing they were treasures. I left her house with only one physical object….a handwritten recipe card from her pantry for homemade pecan pie (my favorite). I left with tears but with a heart full of love from remembering all the good that came from that house and that woman.

grandma1

My 2014 started off with a huge loss. A loss that can never be physically gained back. Only time will make the grieving easier.  The time leading up to the funeral and the long drive home was my period of reflection and planning. My plans for 2014 are simple…to just live.

My grandmother lived a pretty amazing life. With only a high school education she started working for Southern Bell at entry level and after 42 years she retired as a senior engineer. She continued working on her education (even attended MIT) all while she was employed and raising two kids. She never truly retired. She focused on my grandfather’s cancer diagnosis and though her love and devotion he lived nine years longer than the few months that doctors had given him. My grandmomma had a heart of gold and lived her life devoted to God, her family and the community.

She was involved in countless volunteer projects. In the trunk of her car, living room and spare room she has bags and bags full of lap blankets she was about to deliver to the veterans and nursing hospitals. She had plenty of toiletries waiting to be shipped to the men and women serving our country. She even had bags of hand stitched teddy bears and store bought stuffed animals that needed to still be delivered to law enforcement. That way if a police officer or fireman ever entered a home of a scared child they could offer them a stuffed animal to help them through any kind of trauma.

So I want, plan and hope that I can live my 2014 with the same level of love and passion my grandmomma did. I enter 2014 with the reminder that life is such a precious gift. Sure I can make a resolution to lose the baby weight from this pregnancy in X amount of days/months…but who knows what will happen this year that could throw me off a weight loss goal. So no real resolutions for me….I want to just live 2014 to the fullest.

grandma3

To read more about my amazing grandmomma click HERE.

 
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  1. Emily Ley commented:
    January 11, 2014 Reply

    So sad about your Grandma, Ames. I still miss mine. Love you so much. Please send Bentley back because Brady ACTUALLY cried today looking for him. 🙂

  2. Sarita commented:
    January 11, 2014 Reply

    Amy, I’m so sorry about your grandmomma’s passing. What a character! You have written here a beautiful homage to her wonderful and blessed life. I hope knowing what a long and fulfilled life she had, and peaceful passing with you all near will help assuage your grief.

    2014! The year of LIVING!

    Love,
    Sarita and the boys

  3. shauna anderson commented:
    January 16, 2014 Reply

    So sorry for your loss, Ames. Your Grandma sounds like an amazing person and I know this post would make her proud. I love you!

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Checking in…

Only 16 more weeks until we meet baby number two. I’ve said it more than once, but I can’t thank you all enough for continuing to be supportive readers with my absence.

At 24 weeks preggo I wish I could say I have finally passed the “morning sickness”…but it seems to have swung back through my doors with full force yet again. Around 18-19 weeks I started to get more breaks in the day and it seemed that the nausea was slowly starting to tapper off. It would only hit in the afternoons and the evenings…then only in the evenings. It was horrible, but I was more than grateful that I at least had half of the day to be a loving mom and supportive wife before I made my way back to the couch or bed at night.

Last week the nausea started to seep back into my mornings and by the time the weekend rolled around it seemed I was back to all day nausea. Conveniently this tide swept back in during a small getaway Mike and I had to Arizona for a trip he won at work. On the night of the big dinner for all the reps, I was holed up back in the room, in a fetal position and hoping my Phenergan kicked in soon. Since then I’ve been sick everyday and all day. Glass half full….the nausea is low enough in the mornings that I can at least run errands and get “stuff” done before I’m miserable come lunch time.

I would love for this second trimester energy to kick in. I’m pretty wiped out all day. Sticking to my guns I still go to the gym Monday and Wednesday mornings to work out with my trainer. I’m hell bent on keeping this pregnancy in check. The only kicker is that those workouts take any piece of energy I have and toss it to the wind. I’m pretty much good for nothing the rest of the day.

firstdayofschoolSo besides the obvious continuing battle with morning sickness I made a HUGE leap with Lily a few weeks ago. This stay-at-home-mom signed up her first kid for a “moms morning out” program at a nearby preschool. Yep the woman who feared leaving her kid for the first time only a few months ago has gathered the courage to drop off her kid with practically strangers for a few hours twice a week. And you know what….it was the BEST decision! Yes I get three hours to do whatever I want twice a week. But of course I have spent it catching up on laundry and curling up on the couch with nausea, my crappy side kick.

As much as we get a chance to see Lily’s buddies or meet new friends for brief park outings, I wanted to put Lily in an environment where she could learn to develop even more. No I don’t have flash cards already, and I’m not pushing her to learn a second language…she’s only 2 ½ years old. I only wanted to put Lily in a social setting where she could develop more. Learn to share, get along, take turns…blah blah blah. I had planned to enroll her in the spring semester so I would have those two mornings to spend with the baby come March. When I found out there was an opening at the preschool I really wanted her to go I jumped on it. Having her enrolled in this program gives us first dibs on open spots in the preschool next year.

firstdayI was so nervous the first day of drop off. I had flashbacks of the preschool I attended and my two teachers that I recall not having fuzzy feelings for. I remember having a bit too much energy and feeling like they were exasperated with me, even being scolded once. Crap feelings for a toddler to soak in right? So besides the nerves of actually leaving my child, I was nervous that the kids wouldn’t be friendly, or that my kid might not be the friendly one, that she would be scared, hate it and most importantly not feel cared for by her teachers like I did. When I dropped her off she couldn’t have even cared that her father and I were walking away. Which is exactly what I had hoped for, but it was bittersweet. I almost wanted her to miss me. Three hours later when I arrived to pick her up I was flooded with emotion when Lily rushed to me yelling my name…half happy/ half upset. My eyes watered and I kept it together until I got to the car and called Mike.

For the first week Lily had no problems. The second week blindsided me when Lily sobbed when I dropped her off. Oh my heart broke. I quickly exited so I didn’t draw out the pain. Walking away from your kid when they want you is one of the hardest things to do. I come early for pick up because Lily has a hard time watching all the other moms picking up their kids, and she gets scared. So until she is completely at ease I don’t mind coming early. The other issue she’s had is with allowing her two teachers to change her diapers. We couldn’t figure it out until this weekend when she said “gloves” when I was trying to talk to her about it. We discovered the she was freaked out over the gloves they wear for sanitary reasons. Other than the diaper changes and the tears during drop off/pick up, we are so happy with the school. The teachers are nothing compared to the ones I had. They are sweet and loving towards all the kids and Lily talks about Miss Emma & Miss Dana all day everyday!

Besides tacking this blog during nap time and brief windows in the nausea I have started prepping the nursery and started the transition of Lily’s nursery to a big girl’s room. More on the transformation coming this week!

Again thanks y’all for sticking around while this pregnancy kicks my behind. I have had some sweet calls/emails/texts from family, friends and a few readers to check on me due to the lack of posts! Thanks for making me feel loved and supported! Thank goodness I have the greatest husband ever and a mom with a heart the size of Texas to help me out as well…

 
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  1. Elizabeth commented:
    November 27, 2013 Reply

    I’ve been thinking about you. Geez, I’m so sorry to hear about all your sickness. Maybe that means you’ll have it easy when baby #2 arrives……she’ll smile constantly and sleep all night long 🙂 Hang in there, mama!

    • Amy Romano commented:
      December 3, 2013 Reply

      HA I’m so hoping for that!!!! I’m actually looking forward to the sleep deprivation over this constant sickness!

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BIG News & My M.I.A. Explanation

Hi my name is Amy, nice to meet you!

It has been weeks since my last post because I have been sick as a dog….Because

WE ARE EXPECTING! Yep there’s a bun in oven.

onlychildAt 9 weeks I decided to go ahead and let the news go public for a few reasons. 1) I have felt horrible neglecting the blog and not letting ya’ll know the real reason why. 2) The nausea has been unbearable and maybe going public with tips & stories can help other preggos out there. 3) I recently found out some news that put me on bed rest and scared the beejeezus out of me, and again maybe sharing could help someone out there who might be experiencing it too.

So when did I find out? Really early, just like with Lily. Two days prior to my period I started to cramp really bad and figured that this month just wasn’t the month. The next day I woke up bleeding which only confirmed that mother nature would be paying a visit. The next day however there was no blood. I had one pregnancy test at home and I decided to try. It was the old school plus or minus kind and the result showed a negative, but to me the line was so faint that I wanted a second test. I ran to CVS and picked up the digital kind, so there would be no guessing if the line was a + or -. Of course the result was a picture of the stick, which meant there was an issue.  Using the last digital test, I saw ‘pregnant’.

firstpregnancytestI walked out of our room and Mike just knew from my face (I’m pretty horrible at hiding my emotions from him)…and he just said…”really? No way.”  I had plans that evening to help my dear friend Emily Ley unpack tons of her Simplified Planners. Knowing that my girlfriends would be drinking vino I wanted to confirm that the last test was real due to the others being bunk. Another digital test confirmed that we were pregnant.

preggotestsI was three weeks when I found out and just three days later the fabulous morning sickness appeared. I have been sick everyday since then…that’s FIVE weeks of nausea folks. Looking over my pregnancy posts with Lily I was sick with her, but it didn’t last this long, and it was not this severe.

{and can we just stop for a second and wonder who in the hell labeled this as morning sickness? It is ALL DAY ALL NIGHT sickness. Must have been a man that came up with the term!}

My days have been spent on the couch or in bed in a fetal position. Some days I can’t even nap because I’m so sick, so I just curl in a ball and concentrate on breathing. The best description of morning sickness is just imagine the worst hangover. With this pregnancy, multiply that hangover by ten. The nausea has been so bad that I can’t even concentrate on reading, so no books, magazines, blogs or even typing potential posts for Lily & Bliss. Sometimes just scrolling through Instagram on my phone has been too much. Strange I know, but now you know why I have been MI.A. over the last few weeks.

I am currently on my third nausea prescription and it has wiped me out, which is a good thing because I need the rest. But a side effect is that you get drowsy and can have blurred vision, making operating a car unsafe. Right now I can take it because my mom is actually staying with us to help out (God do I love her).

You see last Friday I had bleeding. Spotting can be normal, but my bleeding was clotting with some cramping. It stopped after an hour and I decided to make my way to playgroup. I needed to get out of the house, Lily needed to get her energy out, and being around my girlfriends was just what I needed. Plus I could show up in my pajamas and zit cream and these ladies would still love me and would never judge. An hour or so into playgroup I went to the bathroom and the clotting appeared again. I called my OB and left a message for the triage nurse and went outside. There was no hiding my fears and my friends knew something was up…and tears started to swell. My girlfriend Elisa encouraged me to call again and get a nurse on the phone. After placed on hold for what seemed to be years, a nurse confirmed that the clotting wasn’t normal and she squeezed me into the ultrasound appointments later that day.

I lost it. I was a crying mess. I was so worried, adrenaline kicked in and my hands started shaking. Having some time before the appointment I decided to stay at playgroup, calm down and let Lily continue to play (aka destroy Rachel’s gorgeous new home). It was the best decision, because my girlfriends were just what I needed. And I have been blessed with the best girlfriends ever. My dear friend Emily Ley followed me home so she could help Lily with lunch and put her down for a nap so Mike and I could go to the appointment. Thank you friend!

The moment I saw the little baby my heart exploded. Then I heard the heartbeat and I lost it. Again. The technician moved over and a distinctive mass was present and she said that was where I was bleeding. There was no reason why this was happening, it just was. I’m high risk for miscarriage now and placed on light bed rest with orders to not lift anything, especially by 29 pound toddler. (read more about pregnancy with a hematoma here)

On Tuesday I went to the doctor and they measured the “hematoma” and thank goodness it has gone down in size! My mom has been an angel. Having her here has meant the world to me, thank God she lives so close! Some other angels are those sweet girlfriends of mine who put together a meal train for us this past week…THANK YOU ladies xoxo.

So the cat is out of the bag. They say that you should wait until 12 or 13 weeks before you share the news. Since the last few weeks have been so tough and with the recent bleeding scare, I thought I would go ahead and share just in case there are other women out there that can relate. Knowing what caused the bleeding has brought some relief, but the not knowing if I will miscarry weighs heavy on my mind. It’s in God’s hands and all I can do is hope and pray.

I hope you all understand why I have been M.I.A. and please excuse me if my posts are scattered here and there, just know that the nausea has probably knocked me out and I’m most likely in a fetal position. Good thing for you readers…this pregnancy will certainly bring some hilarious posts in the future!

Meet Baby #2!

8weeksono

 
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  1. Nancy H commented:
    August 4, 2013 Reply

    I’m so happy for you, Mike and Lily!!! While I have
    no advice, never been pregnant, I do have the time
    to keep you all in my prayers. What a blessing this
    baby is. Hugs from afar.
    Xoxo
    Nancy

  2. kelsey commented:
    August 4, 2013 Reply

    I love you Amy and can certainly appreciate your candor and open honesty. You have so much support from us for anything at all you, Mike and/or Lily may need. (In fact, while I was meal planning -second week in a row, whoop!- Rob asked what we were taking you this week. He was all set to make you something… so keep that in mind friend.)

    And we are sooo far beyond HAPPY HAPPY for this y’all! And that little peanut photo up there… just beautiful. Hugs & Kisses and Resting Wishes to you!!! XOXOXO

  3. Lesly commented:
    August 5, 2013 Reply

    So happy for you! Congratulations!

  4. Lisa commented:
    August 5, 2013 Reply

    Oh Amy – does this hit close to home!! I shouldn’t have read it in line at the burrito place because the nice boy behind the counter didn’t know what to do with a teary eyed woman trying to order!! We are currently recovering from a second miscarriage and I can’t seem to shake it this time around – even with my sweet baby Grace to distract me this time around! My whole, whole heart will be praying for a healthy pregnancy for you. Stay strong lady!!

  5. Elizabeth commented:
    August 5, 2013 Reply

    Congrats, Amy! I was so happy reading your post especially the anticipation of seeing ‘pregnant’ on that stick. I know what that feels like to wait. Your mom sounds wonderful. Take it easy!

  6. Linda Young commented:
    August 5, 2013 Reply

    Congratulations Amy & Mike! I’m so sorry you are so sick with your new little one. Hopefully the sickness will stop after the first trimester. Keep us informed! Love you… Aunt Linda

  7. Sarita commented:
    August 5, 2013 Reply

    Hey! So weird, but I had a feeling a new hot crossed bun was probably what was keeping you away from the blog. I’m so sorry it’s been a very rough first trimester, though. Stay in bed and do whatever the docs say! XOXO from Denmark

  8. August 14, 2013 Reply

    Congratulations, Amy!!! So happy for you. I hope you’re feeling better very very soon… xoxoxo

  9. Kristina commented:
    February 13, 2014 Reply

    Hey you!
    Just reading your past blog posts and this EXACT thing happened when I was pregnant with my son! I thought 100% I had a miscarriage but in reality it was a “subchorionic hemmorage” that I guess is common? Anyway, he arrived five weeks early but in perfect health so he’s living proof that everything will be just fine! I was on bed rest for six weeks though YUCK! Can’t wait to see your baby girl! Xo and congratulations!

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Life’s Crazy Train

I’ve been MIA over the last week. Fact, this is the first time I picked up my computer in four days and 6 days since I logged into and worked on a blog post. Life’s crazy train has rolled into the Romano station and I’m hoping it starts to chug it’s way on out asap.

Beginning of last week I decided to take a evening shopping trip to Target for some “needed” items. Florida had been experiencing some thunder & lightening storms, but that’s typical for summer. About to check out an announcement is made….

“Good evening shoppers, We are under a tornado watch. Please move away from the glass doors and make your way to the middle of the store. Thank you”

Excuse me? With eyes the size of Texas I glanced over to some other shoppers and one woman said, “that is weird”, and another man said, “well this is a first”.  I immediately called Mike and asked him to turn on the news while I moved to a more central location of the store. The news confirmed to Mike that there was a tornado in my area but it was now moving towards Pinellas county (moving away). But as Mike was attempting to calm my nerves we got the same tornado announcement and direction to more to safety in the middle of the store.

tornadoIn Florida we are always given a heads up for bad weather, tropical storms and hurricane warnings. During the summer you are guaranteed to have a late afternoon storm. If I see the dark grey clouds starting to roll in, I no a storm is coming. BUT Target is supposed to be my happy place. Over the last few months some crazy toddler tantrums led me to cut back on Target trips….but getting that kind of announcement with my kid with me….I was a nervous wreck.

When we finally made our way out the tornado had deteriorated and only crazy storm clouds remained. When I got home I saw all of these pictures of what was a water spout that made landfall causing the scary announcement.

Two days later (while Mike is away for work) a toilet started to leak. Awesome.

Then Lily wakes up crying out in pain…found out she got swimmer’s ear. Awesome.

Then our kitchen sink starts leaking and our garbage disposal needed to be re-placed. Awesome.

And I have been in bed since Friday sick as a dog. Awesome.

So it’s about time that the crazy train leave my house….be gone train. Hasta la vista.

 
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  1. Jenn commented:
    August 18, 2013 Reply

    Wow, I remember seeing all those pictures in my newsfeed. I lived in Pasco (Lutz) but we are now in TX. Paul Dellegato had some great pics submitted to him, as well. Though I wonder who would want to snap a pic instead of make sure they are in a safe place? LOL

  2. Teigan lauber commented:
    November 10, 2014 Reply

    Omg that’s really scary because i am not a torando person so that will be really scary so let’s hope that tornado does not happen because my family and me are going to florida for disney land

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Loving Bloglovin’ and Why You Should Too!

blogloovtitleHey folks a little reminder for all you Google Readers…on July first you’re going to say adios to it! Yep as part of Google’s ‘spring cleaning’ they are pouring more time into fewer products. But don’t frete…there are other options for you.

For those of you that are scratching your forehead, Google Reader was a way to save all of your favorite blogs (like Lily & Bliss!) to one location. When a blog has a new post that feeds into the reader. This way you can stay up to date on all your favorite blogs.

Have you ever just stumbled upon a new blog and liked the current post…you thought I want to continue this…then life happens (dog needs to pee or your kid needs a diaper change) and that really cool blog’s name has vanished from your memory…if you’re a mother this happens all the time with blog titles, grocery lists and important to dos! Well using a reader allows you to quickly add the new blog so when “mommy brain” switches in gear the readers will remember for you!

Google reader is gonzo on July first so if you are a user….don’t wait, sign up with other options so you can transfer all your blogs now! Two options are Feedly or Bloglovin’. I personally found Bloglovin’ to be easier to navigate so let me show you what I love (btw Feedly has some of the same attributes but I was drawn to Bloglovin’ visually and for it’s easy use).

It is so easy to add blogs to Bloglovin’. If you have a Google Reader and want to transfer all your favorite blogs to Bloglovin’ click here for the simple steps! You can do a quick search for your blog, or you can hover over “top blogs” and pick a category to view other blogs.

Bloglovin’ works on your computer, iPhone, Android and iPad.

You will receive an email with your daily feeds from Bloglovin’ all in ONE email. So you can cut down emails!

bloglovincategoriesYou can create your own categories and organize your blogs (this made me giddy!). For example you can create the following categories: Foodie, DIY and Baby. You then can add Young House Love to DIY, Skinny Taste to Foodie and on and on. That way if your only feeling the mood to read about kitchen remodels you can read just the DIY blogs.

You have the option to “like” posts and Bloglovin’ will save them under all the other “liked” posts for you to read again whenever you feel like it!bloglovinmain

Bloglovin’ allows you to comment on the blog directly from their feeder.

You can quickly skim over a new post from one blog and if you want to read it later you can mark it as “unread” so it stays in the que with all unread posts.

bloglovinbarWhen you click on a new post from a blog it will appear as if you are going straight to their site. You will notice at the top of the page will be a Bloglovin’ bar that will allow you to post to Facebook, Tweet or Pin whatever you liked about that particular post. There is also a drop down box that lists all the other blogs you follow that you can skip to from that page or just click the “newer” “older” and “liked” posts to continue your blog reading.

Pretty easy ain’t it! So if you’re looking for a new reader for all your favorite blogs or you’re a newbie to the reader realm and just discovered how easier it will make your life than hop on over to Bloglovin’ and get started! You can click on the logo below to add me to your reading list!

Follow on Bloglovin

 
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  1. Lyndsey commented:
    June 18, 2013 Reply

    Thank you for the help with bloglovin’!! It was really helpful.
    Have a great day! 🙂

    • Amy Romano commented:
      June 20, 2013 Reply

      No problem Lyndsey! I’m glad it was helpful!

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Why We Chose ISR

whywechoseISROur family lives in the sunshine state. We have palm trees and beautiful weather a majority of the year (ironically as I type we are having a crazy lightening storm). With the white sand beaches and crystal blue waters comes a super scary statistic for parents. Florida has the highest unintentional drowning rate in the country for 1 to 4 year olds (source). We live in Hillsborough county that sadly has the 4th highest drowning rate in the state (source).

We have a pool in our backyard and my parents have a lake behind their home…so when it came to swim lessons for Lily it was a no brainer. Last summer when she was a year old my girlfriends and I did a group swim class where a lady came to one of our homes to teach. Lily has always loved water and did well with all of the class steps. With the changing of the seasons and because we don’t have a pool heater, we have stayed out our pool until 2 ½ months ago. Lily picked up her love for the pool in a snap, but to my shock she forgot a lot of the tips and steps we learned last summer.

Well duh Amy of course she did…she was only one.

isrswim2Two weeks ago family pool time became sheer torture for Mike and me. We learned that our daughter is a bit of a dare devil and totally carefree. I don’t want to take away that spirit, but when it comes to jumping in the pool and sinking….we’re pulling the reins back. Lily started to jump from the steps and keep flapping her arms and legs until she started to go down…never turning her body back to the steps or wall. Mike and I would immediately grab her and push her back to the steps. At one point she continually forced her head into the water and let her arms and legs float up…the view was absolutely terrifying. She looked like a lifeless child. When we would pull her up she would force her head back down in the water before taking an adequate breath of air.

Even after choking down some water a few times she still wanted to keep going. I tried to take her around the pool singing “motor boat…motor boat…” to get her to kick her legs out, but she continued to keep her legs down in a vertical position which is the absolute worst. I competitively swam half of my life and I knew that the vertical swim position would lead a child to sink. I knew that I needed a stricter form of swim lessons for Lily. That’s why we chose ISR.

Monday was our first ISR swim class. Infant Swimming Resource is a particular kind of swim lesson that teaches self-rescue skills so babies, toddlers, and kids can save themselves. You can start your child as early as 6 months. ISR classes are one on one with a certified instructor. To learn more you can visit our teacher’s website for a little more information here.

After two classes I really don’t know why I kept Lily from taking these earlier. I heard horrible stories of strict teachers that scared children so bad that it scarred them. Most stories I heard were from someone who hadn’t placed their child in an ISR program and/or come to think of it had a child who didn’t know how to swim period. The stories were just scary. But the chance of my child drowning is scarier.

ISRswimblueListen I’m being honest…the classes are difficult to watch. No parent wants to see their child struggle to swim…and cry doing it. But I would rather struggle with this than struggle over the drowning of my child.

I would rather have a strict instructor give one on one lessons to my child on survival skills than another group swim class where we sing songs and really only get our kids comfortable with the pool and going under the water. Being comfortable with the water isn’t going to save my child…if anything it creates a bigger opportunity for my child to drown as they rush to get into the pool that they are so comfortable to be in.

Lily’s lessons are only 10 minutes and we go Monday to Friday so the repetition allows her to retain the information. The first two minutes of the first class were difficult. Lily’s teacher would sit her on the wall and gently place her in the water to get her to turn around and grab the side of the pool. Lily was kicking off the edge of the pool (one of the only things she remembered from the swim class last year) and swimming vertically into the pool, not swimming to the edge for safety. Because Mike and I were always there to grab her we had given her a handicap in a way. Lily thought that the teacher would just grab her like we did to save her. In the first 10 minutes Lily learned how to turn back to the wall and pull up on the side.

Yes she cried. Yes it was hard. BUT look at what she learned in 10 minutes. After I was drying Lily off the next tyke was getting in when I struck up a conversation with his mom. Her words struck me …”It was money well spent the first time I saw him turn over and float to safety”.  She was right. Learning to swim won’t be easy to watch as a crazy mom who still struggles with post partum. But I know that the lessons will get better when Lily learns the self-rescue skills and builds her confidence back up.

Lily is like many kids and freaks out sometimes when I put her in her car seat to run some errands. Now do I just give in and say…”okay Lily stop crying honey, I will only attach the first harness so you can be more comfortable…” or “oh you don’t like the car seat? Okay here we can just put you in a booster…”  HECK NO!!!!! That car seat is for her safety….just like these ISR lessons. Being a parent is hard and it ain’t easy. Sometimes teaching our children valuable life lessons isn’t going to be roses and rainbows. One day the lessons will get easier for Lily. Until then I will continue to take her and after we will get some frozen yogurt as her reward.

If anyone is thinking of ISR lessons and on the fence I don’t mind chatting about it! Feel free to email me at lilyandbliss@gmail.com.

 
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  1. Elizabeth commented:
    June 14, 2013 Reply

    i’ve never heard of these type of lessons. I think I would have a panic attack watching. I felt a bit anxiety just reading. All your points make perfect sense though!

  2. kelsey commented:
    June 18, 2013 Reply

    Love these photos of Lily!!

  3. Amanda commented:
    April 18, 2014 Reply

    I was searching through Pinterest and so happy I found you! I live in tampa fl & have been debating wether or not to put my daughter in ISR! this really helped my decision

    • Amy Romano commented:
      April 21, 2014 Reply

      Hi Amanada! Glad this post helped you, it was the best choice for us!

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  1. […] to the ISR lessons we have been swimming in our pool and feeling more at ease. She is a total fish and can swim from […]

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Simple Summer Moments

simplesummermomentsExperiencing childhood all over again through your child’s eyes is pure simple bliss…

Of course it’s easy to sit back and drum up memories of summertime as a child. I can easily recall the smell of fresh cut grass, the distinct plastic smell from the slip-n-slide and the gum flavored popsicle shaped like a baseball glove. I can still hear the loud buzz of the cicadas that pierce the southern sky and damp red dirt roads after an afternoon shower from our family visits to Georgia & Tennessee. I can recall coming in for dinner and crying at the table because the thick blades of grass in Coral Springs sliced my feet, legs, arms and hands. My mom would pop open a small metal She-Ra tray and I would eat dessert on the edge of the linoleum (I wasn’t allowed to eat on the carpet) as I watched tv….I can still hear the old school ABC World News Tonight theme song…DaDa Da Duuummm (hear it here)…and cheers for President Reagan as the walls with graffiti finally came down. Some of my childhood memories from summer still feel so fresh.

But then I have Lily. To have the chance to relive childhood through her precious hazel eyes is a special gift. Yes life seems to be sprinting by with her and because it is…I’m trying to soak up those simple summer moments.

simplemomentsgrassThose simple summer moments like running through the grass……in a tutu.

divaposeEven soaking up her arms crossed diva pose she started two months ago…

simpleicecream Those simple childhood moments like having your first ice cream sandwich. Found these mini ice cream sandwiches from Fat Boy at Publix. They are perfect size for a toddler. She gave the treat a poke or two to figure out if it was a yucky vegetable….

icecreamsandwich

icecreamsandwhich1Once the sweet chocolate was gone it became a fun game on how to eat the ice cream middle…the no hands approach is my favorite.

icecreamsanwhiches3 Summer is short and enjoy whatever you have planned on your bucket list…just remember to soak up the simple moments.

 

 
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