First Trimester of Pregnancy Symptoms

Monday, June 27, 2016


I have never understood how there are women who give birth and never even knew they were pregnant. If that was you I am sorry, but it just doesn't make any sense to me. There are so many symptoms that you experience throughout all of pregnancy that would just be abnormal otherwise.

Over the years I have come to be very in tune with my body.  I usually know right away when I am pregnant.  There are so many little tale tell signs that I just can't ignore. I have had a lot of pregnancies so I do know what to look for.

The first thing that always gives it away is a missed period. I am always right on schedule, so to be a few days or a week late is of course a sure sign. I know that there are many though with sporadic periods that would make it hard to know for sure.

Vivid Dreams

Before I took a test I had a feeling I was pregnant because I was having vivid dreams that  I remembered. I hardly ever remember my dreams normally so this did cause me to wonder if I was pregnant.

Fast growing/ healthy nails and hair

I have a bad habit of picking my nails. I don't bite them but it's just as bad. I don't give them that much time to grow. When I am pregnant I can literally feel them growing. I have been really good at leaving them alone lately. My hair has also been looking a lot more healthy and shiny. So that's a big perk for pregnancy.

Break outs

A not so great 1st trimester side effect is breaking out a lot. I have always been prone to breaking out but even more so in my first trimester and during periods. After the 1st trimester my skin always clears up.

Heightened sense of smell

Not only do I smell more strongly than usual but everyone else smells too. When I am in a crowded place all the smells seem to waft to my nose. Perfumes, B.O, stinky feet all smell even stronger. And don't get me started on food. I almost threw up when my husband was cooking fish the first few weeks of my pregnancy, and I love fish!

Bloated Tummy/ swollen breasts

Some women can hide that baby inside them for what seems like months, not me. My tummy pops out right away. I know of course it's not the baby filling me all up but I sure do get bloated. With every baby I seem to show a little earlier. When I start to lose the baby weight, wouldn't you know the first thing to go is my breasts; during pregnancy though they swell up right away.

Weight gain

Not only does my abdomen start to swell but so does everything else.(mainly my hips, thighs and my backside;) I gain a lot of weight in the first trimester. It's like my body starts storing fat in case of a famine. I also get very hangry if I don't eat when I start to feel hungry. I am very blessed to not get very sick during my pregnancies. As long as I eat throughout the day I am pretty much good to go. It's a price I am willing to pay for carrying a new life inside of me;)

Nausea/all times of day

The first trimester is when most women experience nausea. To many unfortunate women it's all of pregnancy. I am one of the lucky few who only get it slightly. In many of my pregnancies I would feel so sick that I wouldn't want to eat and then would throw up at any time of day. There is no such thing as morning sickness. It should be called all day sickness because it can really hit you at any time. Many times I would have to force myself to eat some cheerios or crackers to help stay the nausea.

Insomnia

I usually get insomnia really bad the last month of pregnancy but this pregnancy I got it right away. I would wake up at 3am and couldn't go back to sleep till around 5:( I would try so hard to stay up as late as I could so I wouldn't wake up in the middle of the night. It's so horrible to want to sleep and not be able to.

Tiredness

Insomnia of course leads to me being really tired during the day. On nights when I don't get much sleep I usually try to get a nap in if I can. When I am not pregnant I can't take a nap to save my life. The kids are too noisy, I have too much on my mind to do and I just can't fall asleep, but when I am pregnant all of that goes out the door. The kids will still be noisy and somehow I will just crash and sleep through it all. I love being able to take naps especially when Luke my 2 year old sleeps with me. It's so nice to sleep soundly and deeply! When I don't have insomnia it's hard for me to stay up past 9pm. Try as I might I pass out.

Foggy brain

I have been getting more forgetful over the years but this first trimester I have been really bad; totally forgetting appointments, get togethers and things I was supposed to do. I space out very easily and have to really pay more attention lately. Of course I have a really good excuse for not being all with it. I am growing a life inside of me!!!

Cravings

One of the first things that changes for me with pregnancy is my food cravings. I immediately start craving greasy burgers, french fries and coke, and pizza. I hardly ever drink coke or crave hamburgers but pregnancy changes everything. It seems like a lot of women try to start eating more healthy when they become pregnant; not me. I also just want anything salty like pickles or chips. I always have a sweet tooth but during pregnancy it abandons me, which is probably a good thing since I am eating more fatty foods.

I do crave healthy foods also. I have really been enjoying lots of salads and smoothies lately. In the mornings I usually want some carbs or proteins.

 I have only started drinking coffee regularly this year and really look forward to my morning indulgence but when pregnancy hit, coffee was dead to me. I had no desire whatsoever to drink it.

Constantly having to go potty

These days I have to go to the bathroom constantly. I will go and then have to go five minutes later. I am trying to drink a lot of water but my bladder just can not hold it for very long at all. I always try to be conscious of the nearest bathroom when I am out so I can make a quick escape. Night time is the worst. I get so thirsty so I keep water near my bed but I am up 2 to 3 times.

Emotionalness

All it takes is one sappy or sad scene on t.v. and I am a goner; the tears start flowing and it's hard to stop. I am already a very emotional person, but I am ten times worse during pregnancy.

Indecisiveness

I already have a super hard time making decisions normally but when I am with child it's 10 times worse.  I pretty much just have to pick something and stay with it or I will feel like a yo yo going back and forth between the options.

Feeling Blah/Unmotivated

All the motivation and ambition I usually have goes straight out the window the first trimester. I have to literally force myself off the couch to get anything done.

Excited and Anxious

It's so exciting to think that we are going to have a new little person as a part of our family soon! I often visualize holding that brand new little baby and dreaming about it's sweet newborn smell and all the wonderful things about babies but I also get a little anxious also. I know all too well that things can go wrong during pregnancy and don't want to take for granted that everything will go perfectly. I have really had to give it to God and just trust him with this little life and know that no matter what he is ultimately in control!

As you can see carrying a little life inside of you changes a lot of things but it's absolutely the best reason to go through all these changes and so so worth it!!

For those of you who have been through this I am sure you can relate to some of my symptoms and to those of you who are still waiting for that day to arrive...look how much you have to look forward to!;)

Every woman and pregnancy is different but it just boggles my mind that God created us to grow another human inside of us! It really is such a miracle.

I haven't always embraced all of my pregnancies.  I have often been selfish with my body and disliked all the changes going on, but this pregnancy especially God has given me so much grace and joy in carrying this new life. I have realized anew how it is such a blessing to be pregnant and have a healthy baby. I never want to take it for granted again. Life is the most precious thing on earth and I am so privileged not to have only carried one but now 9 ( 5 live births, 3 miscarriages) little babies inside of me!

Do enjoy being pregnant or struggle with it?

Are you in your first trimester? 

What are some symptoms you have experienced?

Can you relate to any of mine?

Linking up here!

No longer slaves to fear

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Before I was married I traveled all around the U.S and world with my family and by myself. I never even hesitated once when getting on a car, train, bus or plane. (Well maybe sometimes) I was usually excited and couldn't wait to go on a new adventure. I even lived in Israel for a year and honestly felt so safe there.

After I was married I would ache to go travel somewhere. It was in my blood. I longed to go to new places and meet new people. Over the years I have found contentment in where God has placed me and have become more of a homebody. I would love to travel again someday God willing, but right now I love being with my family in our snug little home.

Recently I had the opportunity to go visit one of my best friends who lives in Georgia. Her sister contacted me and told me she wanted to surprise my friend with a girls weekend and wanted me to come also and surprise her! How fun!

I didn't think I would be able to go because of funds and my husband's work schedule but somehow it all worked out. I knew I needed to take advantage of this open door. Who knew when I would be able to get away like this again?

But once I bought my ticket fear surged through me.

What if something happened to me( or the baby) while traveling? I shouldn't leave my family. We can't afford this right now. I should cancel my flight. I can't do this. I need to stay home with my family where it's safe.

One bad scenario after another kept playing through my mind of what could go wrong. I imagined myself dying in a plane crash or terrorist bombing; leaving my husband with all the kids.

Here I was finally able to go have a relaxing weekend with one of my best friends; something I have always dreamed of doing...and I was scared to death.

I came very close to cancelling my flight, but I knew deep down that I could not give in to fear or else I would always be paralyzed by fear the rest of my life.

There are times when we need to use extreme caution and be aware that of the danger around us; making wise decisions and being sensitive and obedient to God's leading.

 I knew though that in this case I needed to trust the Lord. I needed to face my mortality and know that wherever I am...I am safe in his hands. 

As I got ready to board the plane the song "No longer slaves" by Bethel came to my mind. I quickly downloaded it on to my phone. As we started to take off I played it. As I listened to the powerful lyrics and music tears streamed down my face.

"I'm no longer a slave to fear                      
I am a child of God
I'm no longer a slave to fear 
I am a child of God
I am surrounded by the arms of the Father
I am surrounded by songs of deliverance
We've been liberated from our bondage
We're the sons and the daughters
Let us sing our freedom" Bethel music

 I am a child of God.

 It doesn't matter if I am in the safety of my home or flying thousands of feet in the air...I am not going to die outside God's will and timing. 

I know that I will always remember that moment in my life when I chose to trust the Lord and not give in to fear. I had to admit that I was not in control of everything, but that he was. God revealed himself to me in such a powerful and personal way. I am so thankful how he is gentle with us in our fears and weaknesses.

Though I am a christian it doesn't mean that I don't fear death. I am confident and secure in the hope that I have after death but that doesn't mean that I am not afraid of dying.

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt when my heart stops beating and my soul leaves my body that I will immediately be with the Lord and I will never know fear, death, sickness, pain, sin and tears anymore.  I know it will be glorious beyond what I can hope or imagine. But until then I have to live in my flawed, sinful, mortal body. I have to face the knowledge that I or my loved ones could die any day.

I know my life won't be without fear, but I don't have to live in fear. I can trust that my Savior will not only take me safely to my heavenly home but I can trust that he will keep me safe here on earth until his preordained time for me to leave it.



Are you bound by fear? 

Do you imagine terrible things happening to you and your family?

Do you make decisions based on fear?

 Know that you are not alone, and that you don't have to live in fear. You can trust the perfect one who made you. No matter what situation or circumstances you face; God is ultimately in control.

Whatever the outcome; whether good or bad we can trust his sovereign will. His ways are far above our ways. He sees far beyond what we can and knows what is best for us. Even if it does mean death or sickness.

Of course while I was gone there were the horrific shootings in Orlando at the gay nightclub and of the beautiful and talented Christian singer Christina Grimmie.( Who was killed by someone from my hometown:( SO SAD AND POINTLESS!!!

Despite these terrible and fearful times, I ended up having a great time with my friend. I was so blessed to go to my friend's church and guess what? They played "No longer slaves"!! I just love when God confirms his truth to me! And you know what? I made it safely back to my family. I still was looking around the airport for suspicious characters and tried to avoid crowds but I put one foot in front of the other and didn't let fear overcome me.

We live in an evil and sinful world. There is no way that we are going to be able to hide from it. But we can trust the one who is making all things new.

Whatever fear you are facing I pray that you will not give into those but rather give them to the one who holds our lives in his hands!

I want to leave you with this beautiful and powerful song. I pray it ministers to you as it did to me.





Linking up here!

Exciting News!!!

Monday, June 20, 2016


Yes!

You guessed it...I am pregnant!!

With #6!





We are beyond excited. Though I have to admit I had been very fearful and also afraid to get excited since I miscarried last year.

God is so good and has taught me so much about not living in fear and trusting him with my life, my loves and my tomorrows. More to come about that soon but I just wanted to let you know our news.

Though I haven't met most of you I want you to know that I am so blessed to call you my friends. I love being able to share my heart with you here in this little space.

Get ready to be bombarded with bump updates, pregnancy posts and of course random posts on homeschooling, DIY's and everything in between;)

For those of you still hoping and praying for life in your womb...keep praying, keep hoping and keep trusting the one who opens and closes wombs and brings life out of nothing and beauty out of ashes.

xoxo,
Rebekah


Free and Cheap things to do during the summer with your family

Saturday, June 11, 2016


Summer is almost upon us; which means for many that school is out and schedules and routines will be changing.

There is so much to do with your family in the summer that you might not normally do during the school year. Whether your kids are in public or private school, you homeschool, or homeschool year round, you are going to probably have totally different activities planned because of the weather and resources available.

My family and I live in Florida and it can feel like a perpetual summer sometimes. There usually isn't a day that the sun doesn't make an appearance. My family and I love being outdoors and taking advantage of the beautiful weather.

Because of the heat and humidity here in Florida during the summer, we like to take more time off of school during the cooler months and fit in a little school during the summer. We mostly will be focusing on the three R's. Though we will be still doing some school, there are plenty of summer activities that we are looking forward to taking part of, especially those that include cool water and air conditioning!

Looking for some great ways to spend time with your family this summer, stay cool and not break the bank? 

Check out my post at Creative Home Keeper and dive into summer fun!

15 Great books that both boys and girls will love- ages 9+

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

As summer approaches I have been gathering up as many good books as I can find for my boys(ages 9 and 11) and I to read this summer. I read many of these books when I was their age and even though I really enjoyed them as a girl, I know they will too.

I have been so excited that they have finally taken up a love for reading. My heart skips a beat when I find them reading all on their own.

We do a lot of reading together but I really want them to be able to go off and read on their own also.

I have compiled a list of books that I am sure both boys and girls will not want to put down. I hope you will find some great books here to add to your children's reading list this summer! Go to my post over at  --->My Joy Filled Life to find out what they are!

Why I love to run

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


People are always telling me that I must keep in such good shape running after my kids.(and just so you know I am not in the best shape in the world;)

This is just not true.

Taking care of my kids is a lot of work and I am sure I must burn a few calories constantly picking up after them, but at the end of the day I am zapped of all energy and am not kept in shape by being exhausted by them.

Getting out and running and working out, is what helps me burn calories, keeps me energized and still helps me to fit in my clothes after 5 kids.

I started running when I was around 20. I would run a few laps around my neighborhood and call it a day. Then I started going to a local park that had a mile loop. I started out really slow and slowly but surely made it a whole mile without stopping.

It was hard work.

I didn't love it right away.

I learned a lot about perseverance and keeping my eye on the goal.

Running did not come easy, but over time I have come to absolutely love running.

Here are a few reasons why:

It gets me out of the house

Sometimes I just need a break from my kids, my house and all the noise and chaos. Running forces me to get out of the house, get some fresh air, quiet my soul and helps me to feel more prepared to face whatever the day holds.

It doesn't take that long

I don't have a lot of free time at my disposal. I only have a certain amount of time before my husband leaves for work that I can get out. Depending how fast I am going I can sometimes run out the door and get two miles in around my neighborhood in about 18 minutes or less. If I want to get more miles in I either wake up earlier or go when I know my husband doesn't have to be to work early.

It doesn't require a lot of equipment

All you need to run is some good running shoes and workout clothes. I like to take my ishuffle or phone to track my pace and miles and listen to my favorite music. That is it.

It's free

Though running shoes can be expensive, considering how many miles you can put into them and that you don't have to pay a fee to run outside; I would say running is comparatively free.

It clears my mind, helps me focus and alleviates stress

Running is not the answer to freeing me completely from worry or stress but when I am going through a hard time, it sure helps me get to a better place. As I run I feel my worries dissipate and my mind cleared. Running is proven to release endorphins and leave you feeling happier, more focused and clear headed.(source)

It leaves me feeling energized, motivated and renewed

Instead of feeling tired and drained after running, I feel the opposite. I come home energized to take on the day, motivated to do what lies before me and my mind and soul renewed.

It's my favorite time to spend in worship and prayer with the Lord

Ever since I started running, I pray as I run. I get easily distracted when I try to pray while sitting. My mind wanders and it's hard for me to focus. But when I am out running I somehow am able to tune into the Lord and not get distracted. I also love to listen to my favorite worship songs; worshipping the Lord as my legs run to the beat. I honestly get so pumped up and excited as I move to the music and sing the words in my heart; taking hold of God's promises and claiming them for the prayers and burdens on my heart. Running to music always helps me go faster than I normally would.

It leaves me in awe of God

I know everyone has different times that work best for them to exercise or run. For me it's in the morning before everyone is awake and even before the sun has risen. I am blessed to live in a peninsula within the peninsula of Florida. I can see the sun rising on one side of our city and then go see the sun set on the other side. My favorite place to run is downtown on the water. I try to time it so that I can see the sun rising as I am running.

My breath is always taken away as I see the golden orb rise into the sky, spreading so many beautiful lights and colors through the clouds and sky. I usually have to stop, take a few pictures and take it all in. God always brings scriptures to my mind as I gaze on his glorious handiwork and meditate on his goodness.

I usually take my camera and snap some pics before of after my run. You can check out some of my sunrise pictures on my instagram account. The picture here is one I took.(Though it looks like me running;)

Of course you can stand in awe of God's creation without running, but it really is special when you are out running in it; becoming apart of it.

It can be a great time of solitude or fellowship

I am always around my own people all day, so I personally prefer anytime that I can get alone by myself to just think... or not think. Like I said earlier I also love making running part of my time with the Lord. Just me and him. But I also really enjoy when I can run with a friend. It always goes by so fast and is a great time to catch up while getting some miles in. I am blessed to have some friends that run about the same pace as myself so it's not awkward. Otherwise it can be really uncomfortable to run with someone who is either faster or slower than you.

It's great for accomplishing goals

The great thing about running is that you can do it at your own pace and go as far as you want. Not only is running a great way to lose weight and burn calories but it also builds your stamina and heart rate. I love being able to set goals for myself and go a little bit farther and a little bit faster each time. I have found that setting goals for myself has been a great motivation to helping stay fit.

I have signed for many races over the years and there is nothing like having that goal in front of me to get me going further and faster than I normally would. I have taken part in many 5ks and a few 10ks and also a half marathon. I am still contemplating a full marathon. Someday I would like to do a sprint triathlon. In my season of life I am needed a lot at home, so right now I do what I can and am thankful for how often I am able to get out.

Foremost my main goal is to seek Christ first and as I do that everything else will fall into it's rightful place...even running.

Do you love/hate running? 

Linking up here!




Fitness Goals/ and how I make time to workout with 5 kids!

Monday, May 16, 2016



At the beginning of the year I made some practical goals for myself. I am usually a pretty motivated person(depending on what mood I am in) so I knew these wouldn't be too far out of my reach but would push me a little further then maybe I would go on my own.

I shared with you how I set out to master my goal of meal planning and have been posting my 2 week meal plans and some of our favorite meals. Now that I have that goal under my belt I feel it's high time I share with you my fitness goals.

I honestly have come to love working out. I really like being fit and in shape. I get depressed when I start gaining weight and am not able to fit into my clothes. I also really like to eat. Exercising has not only been a way for me to feel healthy and fit into my clothes, but has been so great for my state of mind and sanity.

I know not everyone feels this way and I want you to know I am not just saying this. I really do thrive on working out. My intention is not to make you feel bad if you don't but to hopefully inspire and encourage you if you have been wanting to start. It is possible!

I really started getting into fitness after I had my first born. My kids have been my greatest motivation! I wanted to lose the baby weight so I started running with him in the baby jogger. Over the years I started running on my own, as you can't fit 5 kids in a jogger and I really just needed a break from them. My husband has been so great to watch them when I go running and has been very supportive.

Though I loved running, I felt like I was missing something and joined a bootcamp. I absolutely loved it! I wished I had started it a lot sooner. I have always been competitive and loved a challenge. It was just what I needed to push me further then I would have pushed myself. The addition of weights and and different exercises brought me to a whole new level.

So I was doing pretty good till last Christmas and that's where I kind of got a little off track. I was still running and working out but not as much as I should. I also started noticing that my metabolism was slowing down. Boo hoo! I couldn't just eat what I wanted anymore and burn it off. I guess that's what happens when you get in your 30's. I was hoping that would never happen but reality set in...in my hips and other places!

So here are my fitness goals that I have been implementing this year:

*Go to Bootcamp regularly and workout at home or run on off days

The bootcamp I attend meets everyday at different times. I have been going to the ones in the early morn at 5:30 am because it gets my day off to a great start, doesn't take away from my family and my husband can always watch the kids;) It meets at those times 3x a week.

On the days it doesn't meet I try to go run on my own or with a friend. I usually do one long run(6 miles) once a week, 4 miles with a friend in the middle and maybe 2- 4 again by myself. We also run usually a mile or 2 every bootcamp.

If I don't make it to boot camp or get to run I usually put in a workout video/ or watch some workouts on the internet. I really like fitnessblender.com They have some great workouts that are either short or long, and they are free! I also have been using the Jillian Michaels 30 day shred and some of her other workout videos. I still have to get up early to do these at home because it is pretty much impossible when my kids wake up, though I do it when I just have to. If I haven't gotten in a workout early in the day I might go outside with the kids and bring my weight and mat out there. Since I have worked out so much I usually can just wing it myself, but it is always nice just to have someone to tell you what to do.

All this to say there are many days when things don't go as planned, I feel unmotivated, I just need to sleep in and the circumstances of life take precedence.

 On those days I give myself grace and try to jump back in and start where I can. The thing about exercising that can be frustrating is that if you don't keep up with it, you will fall behind and sometimes feel like you have to start all over again, which is why I really want to focus on maintaining my weight and being consistent.

* Eating more smaller portioned meals and less sweets

Along with what I am doing with my body I know that what I am putting in it is just as important. As my metabolism has been changing I have been trying to cut back on foods that trigger weight gain for me...like ice cream and sweets. I have such a sweet tooth. I don't deprive myself completely but I have been trying to replace treats with a yummy smoothie or shake instead.

I also have been trying to eat smaller meals throughout the day instead of 3 big meals. I find it's better to eat when I am mildly hungry instead of waiting until I am starving. I also find that eating late is a no no for me. I always feel so bad at night when I eat after 7. My husband and I always have loved noshing after the kids go to bed while we watch our favorite show but I know if I want to stay at a good weight I have to change my bad habits. Thankfully my husband has been trying to eat better also so it has been much easier to kick this habit. If we do want something we usually make a smoothie.

Staying fit can be such a great and hard thing to do. Add to that having children and it can be even harder but also greater. I have found that making time for myself to not only exercise but have an outlet, has been key to giving me strength and sanity to do what I have to do as wife and mom. I never ever regret getting up early and working out, but I always regret when I don't.

I hope to share more in depth soon about my love for running and some things that keep me motivated to keep my fitness goals.

Did you make some fitness goals at the beginning of the year?

How do you find time to workout with kids? 

Do you love or hate working out?


Linking up here!

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