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Pregnant mamas—our babies are the hope the world needs right now 💜

We're growing our babies during a monumental time in our world's history.

Pregnant mamas—our babies are the hope the world needs right now 💜

I bet none of us expected to add a viral pandemic to our list of pregnancy worries, did we? I know I didn't. Being an already anxious person, this was the last thing I imagined would happen.

To be honest, up until a few days ago I had been handling this pandemic pretty well. I was socially isolating myself, washing my hands constantly and not touching my face. It wasn't until a few days ago that sudden panic started to set it.

I saw an article about mothers having to deliver without ANY support due to the COVID-19 risk. I mean, I understand why hospitals have protocols, and I even understand why so many are enforcing this, but my heart still aches for these mamas.

My anxiety continued to increase when I saw more news reports of babies taken away from mother's infected with COVID-19 for two weeks. (Note: I'm trying to ignore articles like this, because they do not help my anxiety). Again, I understand why they have these rules, but it just doesn't seem fair.

Then my mind started to race. I had thoughts of, "What if it happens to me?"

I'll be the first to admit that originally I didn't understand the severity of this virus and how it can affect not just myself, but mostly the at-risk population around me. Teachers, doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers are exposed to so many viruses daily, so I assumed this was another one I needed to be aware of, but not overly concerned about.

Boy, was I wrong.

But to be completely honest, the biggest stressor during this pandemic hasn't had anything to do with contracting the virus. It's been having to face my anxiety and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) head-on. During my entire pregnancy up until this point, I've feared losing my baby. While my OB-GYN assures me only a small percentage of pregnancies result in stillbirth or other complications, my brain automatically resorts to thinking that will happen to me. A lot of my anxiety has to do with the fact that I've battled anxiety and PTSD for over 10 years.

About 10 years ago, I had a near death experience. As a result, my body developed PTSD and is frequently in fight, flight or freeze mode when I'm faced with any kind of anxiety—even if it seems small. Usually when I'm teaching 16 preschoolers full-time, my mind doesn't have time to wander and stress over worries about my baby's health. Work is good for my busy mind. However, since school has been closed due to the pandemic, I've been alone with my anxious thoughts and sometimes that feels even scarier than the virus itself.

So mamas, if you're anything like me, I'm sorry you're faced with an added stressor during your pregnancy. This should be such a happy time for us.

We should be able to freely wander the baby aisle of Target, picking things out for the nursery.

We shouldn't have to cancel our baby showers.

We shouldn't have to go to doctor appointments without our significant others.


We shouldn't have to isolate from our loved ones that live far away.

We shouldn't have to worry about the possibility of having to deliver alone.

We shouldn't, but we do. Ultimately, my point is that we're facing this uneasy time together. We're now in a special group of our own because we're growing our babies during a monumental time in our world's history. We're strong. We're going to get through this. And our babies are going to come out just as strong, too.

Our babies represent the joy, light and hope that shines so bright during dark times in our world.

I'm here for you, mamas.

I'm here when you need to vent.

I'm here when you need someone to pray for you.

I'm here to help you get through this!

This originally appeared on Rocky Mountain Wifey.

A very important letter for new mamas

Listen, mom-guilt is a dirty liar. Yes, it's your job to fill your little human's needs, but you matter too. Don't forget to take care of yourself. Hang out with friends, take a drive blaring 90's hip hop or shower without interruptions—trust me, you'll be a better person (and mom) because of it.

Dear new mom,

You will shave again someday. Today is not that day.

Set expectations low, my friend, and set your partner's lower—at least where body hair and overall hygiene are concerned.

That conversation could go something like this: “From now on let's not consider shaving a “standard," but more like a gift that happens on birthdays and the first day of summer."

Voila, you are a gift-giving genius. You know what else is a gift? Shaving the inch and a half of skin that is between your skinny jeans and your boots. You're welcome world.

You will not be perfect at parenting.

Boom.

I have yet to meet a perfect mother, but when I do, she's going to be a tiger who is insanely good at making up songs. (Daniel Tiger's mom, we salute you.)

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Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

Thank you for understanding. ❤️

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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