Guest Blogger: Love Fest Journey

Love Fest Journey


Our beautiful friend Valentina of Love Fest Journey writes a thoughtful blog about her pregnancy experiences that is honest, emotional and full of hope. As she nears the end of her pregnancy, Valentina reflects and savors the experience.


When I first found out I was pregnant I couldn’t wait for the weeks to start passing by. Three weeks to twelve weeks felt like an eternity. A week didn’t go by when I would actively scratch out a date and excitedly look to see that I was one week further along. There is something to say for that initial excitement, that initial anticipation. Each day creeps by and you’re desperately looking for a visual change – a tiny shift in your body that allows you to see the teeniest of bumps starting to show.

At 36 weeks the same feelings started to return for me. Days passing slowly, week milestones feeling like they were month long stretches. Except this time it isn’t to reach a new number, it is to meet the human that I’ve been growing for 9, now almost 10 months. It’s unbelievable to me how much your body changes and grows over the course of this experience. Not only from month to month but especially in these last few weeks. It seems as though every day brings a new physical and mental change.

Instead of wishing these days to fly by like I did at the beginning though, I’m embracing something new. A slower pace of life, noticing the little things and embracing all of the things I can do right now. Not because I’m afraid of what I’ll lose when the baby arrives, but so that I can really slow my own self down. So that I can really breathe and relish in the fact that I actually did this. That because of my efforts, a new tiny person will be entering the world any day now.

It’s so easy to wish for what we don’t have, to wish for things to move faster, to want to move from here to there at lightening speed. It’s rare to recognize in our own minds that sometimes doing things the slow way, the old school way, is actually more nourishing for ourselves than anything else. Sometimes taking the time to walk the long route, to pick up the phone in stead of texting someone, to sit down and eat a meal slowly with friends, is the best way to send a message to your body that you are present and that you are fully aware of all that you’re feeling and thinking. That, in and of itself, is what will nourish us and allow us to get through these moments of wild change and mysterious unknowns.

From what I’ve heard that is what is coming my way. Change. A lot of it. So, instead of pushing my body and mind to rush towards it, I am happily waiting for my body to tell me when it’s ready, for the baby to send it’s own subtle messages telling us that it’s time. For once, I’m allowing nature to take it’s course and I am trying my best to embrace everything that goes with that.

We encourage you to read more from Valentina over at Love Fest Journey.


Due in December

 If you are expecting a little one during this time of year, you may be thinking about how you’re going to juggle it all when your child’s birthday is thrown into the mix. So, we asked the mom of our Marketing Coordinator (and resident December baby) to share a few easy ways to make a December birthday special for your little one.  
Having a baby any time of the year is a gift but having a baby at Christmas time makes that gift a little more special.  My daughter was due December 13 but ended up being born on December 20.  Along with the typical advice that pregnant women and new moms receive, I was getting warnings about having a baby at this time of year.  Most of these stories came from people who were December babies themselves. I know these people felt their birthdays were just glossed over or completely forgotten during the hectic holiday season so I was determined that my daughter would not grow up feeling the same way.  Here are some ideas we used that I would like to pass on to make sure your December baby feels special as they grow up.
1.         The birthday comes first.  Even if the halls are already decked, be sure the emphasis is on the birthday.  We always let our daughter choose her favorite restaurant or home-cooked meal for her special day.  I’d always make sure to wrap her birthday gifts in birthday rather than holiday themed paper. And even though the house was overrun with holiday treats, we also made sure she had an actual birthday cake in whatever flavor and theme she wanted.   
2.         Consider waiting until after their birthday to decorate for Christmas.  This is much easier for those born earlier in December.
            This is what we did:  Since my daughter’s birthday is just five days before, the house would already be decorated.  However, when she was young, the “birthday fairy” would sneak into her bedroom the night before and decorate with birthday streamers and balloons.  We would also festoon her place at the dining room table.  She would get so excited when she’d get up on her birthday to see that there were areas of the house that were decorated specially for her. 
3.         The dreaded 2-in-1 gifts!  This is probably the most common frustration December babies have – the combo birthday/Christmas gift.  I’m sure I don’t need to point out that people born throughout the year get a present on their birthday and a present at Christmas.  December babies should not be penalized because their birth lottery number came up for this time of year.  However, it is hard to point this fact out to people without making you, as a parent, sound greedy. 
            I really don’t have any advice on how to get around this.  As a parent, I always make sure we give our daughter separate gifts for birthday and Christmas.  However, I do know that finances play a huge part, especially this time of year. If the parents are giving a large-ticket item, maybe an accessory or two can be suggested to family members. For example, my daughter loved American Girl dolls.  We got her a doll one year and family members gave her accessories for the doll.
            Your child may still only get a combo gift from people.  It’s hard for younger children to understand, but this can be a teachable moment.  Try to explain that receiving even one gift is a treat and try to assure them that not receiving a second gift isn’t a reflection of something they have done. 
4.         Celebrate early – For older kids born closer to Christmas who may want a party, consider having the party earlier in the month.  I found from experience that it is hard to get other kids to come to a party when they have familial obligations closer to the holidays.
You can be as extravagant or low-key as you want or as is necessary.  I think what’s most important is that your child feels as if they are as celebrated on their December birthday as anyone else during the year.  Above all else – this day is about them.  Ask them what they want to do. And remember to take some time for yourself to reflect upon what a wonderful bonus gift you received having your baby this time of year.  Happy Holidays!   
If you have a December baby, how do you celebrate?

What to Unexpect

Back in October we met a very special Bellaband fan from Australia. We’ve stayed in touch and we’ve asked her to share her pregnancy experience with us and you…
I’m Brigid from Sydney Australia and I’m 32 weeks and 2 days pregnant. When I found out I was pregnant I was super excited, however started to realise that quality and fashionable maternity clothing is hard to come by. I was lucky enough to have a trip planned to see my sister who lives in San Francisco in October so I thought I would load up on good clothing there. I was just over three months pregnant then.  Continue reading What to Unexpect