THE UNEXPECTED

It’s been seven days into this story, and it still doesn’t seem any easier to write.

We are home from the hospital. I am still pregnant.

Words, that last Friday night, I didn’t think I would get to write.

We entered spontaneous preterm labor last weekend, and found ourselves in the middle of a story we never imagined. It was a chaotic and traumatic few days, filled with middle of the night monitoring and vitals, strong medicines via IV, and a team of specialists, but they were able to stall labor. We were discharged with strict instructions for bed rest at home.

Now, we wait.

We don’t have many answers. No one can tell us if we will carry till term, or if we will deliver prematurely and have a lengthy NICU stay, or what this all means for our baby and our future family. We are told I could enter labor again at any point. One of the most confusing factors is that I am entering labor, daily - I continue to have contractions every evening, but they eventually fade. Only if they increase or my water breaks do we need to be admitted for true labor. We’ve already been back to the hospital in triage, for five minute apart contractions that lasted over an hour, for them to stop and for us to be discharged, earlier this week.

It is a terrifying place to be, living in the vast unknown and all the what if’s.

For the most part, we are ok. We are ok and we are not ok. Some parts of each day feel doable, and some parts feel so very hard. The contractions cause me to panic, and I enter this mildly-panicked state, daily. Imagine if your body was doing something involuntarily, that could cause you and your baby harm if it continued, and it could result in preterm labor and NICU stays, causing all kinds of aftermath and complications, the least of which you are concerned about is a giant bill. And there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

It’s all so painful, in every sense of the word.

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Trauma, for me, is a little like holding your breath underwater. No sensation of gravity, or time, or the things that used to govern my daily life. Weightless, soundless. A distorted picture of real life walking around on the surface. People going to work, laughing. I covet the set of “problems” I used to worry about: what crib to buy, work stress, toddler tantrums. A sense of normalcy so far removed from my daily life.

Now my worries are: Is my baby going to make it? Will I go into active labor today? How long will our NICU stay be? Will my baby have long term complications? Will I survive this, emotionally? Can I do seven more weeks of bedrest to get us to full term? And for those questions, no one has the answers.

So we just keep going. One day, one hour, at a time. We have been so well supported by our family and friends, who have truly rallied around us with all kinds of support, bringing us decaf iced lattes, dinners, flowers, and especially, giving us just their presence. No one can fix this. But someone can sit with us and remind us that no matter how this goes, it’s all going to be ok.

And that, we’re finding, is exactly what we need right now.

Thanks for being in this with us. We are so grateful.

MAGIC MATERNITY JEANS

I need to talk about these jeans for a moment. I have tried what feels like a million brands, and these are hands down my all-time favorites. They fit like a dream, have the perfect amount of stretch but retain their shape without getting stretched out, hit at that cropped length, and are perfectly dyed a medium go-with-all-seasons shade of blue. Love love. By Madewell, of course. Exact style here. (size down one from your usual Madewell size)

PREGNANCY SAFE 5 MINUTE MAKEUP ROUTINE

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I’ve gradually become more and more aware of the things I put in/on my body in terms of chemical exposure, and exponentially more so when I’m pregnant. (Read about my first launch into more natural products in this post here and with my first pregnancy here.)

I recently discovered a new-to-me line of natural mineral makeup, safe for pregnancy. Since discovering the Think Dirty App, I check the ratings on my most of products there, and these have all received ratings of “clean” (app not sponsored, just like it). They have a luxury feel, while still being natural and affordable. This is what I’m wearing on my face this pregnancy:

I start with the Flawless Finish Cream Foundation with the High Def Buki Brush. I wear the Spice color and it’s a perfect match, warming my skin tone just slightly but still blending evenly into my pale winter skin. I like that the coverage is sheer but buildable, covering what I want but also looking very makeup-free. I’ve also been surprised at how well it wears - staying on all day even while working and chasing a toddler.

I am a big blush person. I like a flushed glow, so I apply the Multi Purpose Powder in Pink Parfait with the Petite Face Brush as a base and I layer Baked Blush Berry Blast over the top. It’s shimmery but not shiny, and I am a big fan. Since we live in Seattle and hardly see sun this time of year, I apply the Pressed Bronzer in Fiji just below the blush and near my temples and I blend it all together with the Chisel and Blend Brush. There is a tutorial for how to shade and contour more in depth here.

There are three Multi Purpose Powders I like: Moonless Night, Brazilian Brown, and White Diamond. They can be used interchangeably, but I use Moonless Night as an eyeliner with the Angle Eye Liner Brush (thanks to a tip from a makeup artist that powder eyeliner is longer-wearing than waxy sticks), and Brazilian Brown as a brow filler with the same brush. I am back to my DIY lash extensions, so I don’t bother with mascara and find that I don’t need the extra definition of eyeshadow, both saving me precious morning minutes. For an all over face highlighter I swipe White Diamond across the apples of my cheeks and down the bridge of my nose for that extra “pregnancy glow.”

I don’t wear lipstick everyday, but for a date or special occasion I like Pur’ Lips Lipstick in Champagne on Ice. It’s a great natural-looking mauve-pink. A safe lipstick formula is especially important, as we accidentally swallow so much of what’s on our lips, not to mention absorb it topically.

When we welcome this next baby, I anticipate hardly doing anything to my face during that time (which is also a reason why I love eyelash extensions for the newborn weeks) but I could see myself just keeping my favorites - the cream foundation and shimmer baked blush - as my two-minute makeup routine. Streamlining everything is the name of the game during that season, while also feeling more like yourself again and looking slightly more well-rested than you actually are.

Love these! Glad to have found them.

Shared in partnership with Rejuva Minerals. Not a sponsored post.