The downplayed side of pregnancy


Pregnancy is amazing. Carrying around a little person is quite an experience. What’s even more amazing is how unique that experience is to each woman. I want to share some insight from my pregnancy that may be helpful or entertaining to others.

Now don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a post to deter anyone from creating a little miracle. I mean a few years from now we will probably be trying again… that may be the sleep deprivation talking though…either way I just wanted to share some things that surprised me about the process.

During pregnancy…

1. Feet swelling/ growing – Yes I had heard about women’s feet swelling but I must admit I totally underestimated that fact. My feet practically inflated. I had to buy a few new pairs of shoes the next size up which was a little disappointing ( I already felt like my feet were big enough pre-pregnancy!). The swelling went down after pregnancy and now at 3 months postpartum I can finally wear some old shoes again but a few of them have had to be retired :/

2. Heartburn – This was another symptom I underestimated. I never had heartburn before so I didn’t think much of it. But when it hit me it was consistent. Regardless of what I ate or did I had heartburn daily! I kept a bottle of tums on my night stand and another in my desk at work. The old wives tale is that heartburn means lots of hair on your little one and in my case it was true but I hear it’s not always the case.

3. Everyone wants to buy clothes – Now don’t get me wrong, I was extremely grateful for any gifts we received for our little guy. I mean anything that was gifted to us was one less thing to buy out of pocket. But EVERYONE wants to buy clothes. Can you blame them? The little outfits are so cute! With that being said, try to resist buying too many outfits on your own until your shower (easier said than done). The money may be better spent on the crib or car seat. Those big ticket items are less likely to be purchased by others.

4. You can do it all and still get a curveball – So I won’t say my prenatal self care was perfect but I did make a good effort. I started eating more veggies, I worked out at least 2x a week, took my vitamins daily, etc. I really made an effort to stay healthy for my little guy. And at 38 weeks I found out I had pre-eclampsia and had to be admitted early and induced! Talk about shocked. But everything ended up working out just fine despite me freaking out!


1. Sweating – the first few nights after giving birth I felt like I soaked the bed in sweat. I would wake up for nursing sessions and feel like I needed to towel my whole body off. It subsides after a few weeks thank goodness.

2. I still can’t fit my rings! – my little guy is 3 months old and I still cannot fit my wedding rings 😦 My hands definitely swelled up during pregnancy because I bought silicon rings to wear about halfway through. But it was nowhere near as bad as my feet and after having my son I just knew things would be back to normal…not! Im keeping hope alive that I wont have to get them resized and hubby bought me a nice ring to wear while we wait it out.

3. Nursing means you are ALWAYS on demand – emphasis on ALWAYS. The first few weeks of nursing is exhausting because there is no type of schedule or method to the madness. You feed on demand to build up your supply and your little one will demand whenever they please. Eventually the number of times baby eats will stabilize to about 8-12 times a day but even then that feels like a huge chunk of your schedule. Especially when the lengths of time they feed can be so varied. So what do you do? Settle in with snacks, water, pillows, the remote and a good binge worthy show. It takes patience but the bond is so worth it. And remember, it won’t always be like this. (Although clusterfeeding will throw you right back into the madness!)

**Dads- Don’t think this means you can’t be helpful in the situation. Grab snacks and water for her. Help keep the house together. Join her on the couch sometimes so she doesn’t feel so lonely. Be there to burp the baby or relieve her for bathroom duties. There’s plenty of ways to support!**

4. If you haven’t already, you’ll find your “parental instincts” – Everyone is going to have some advice/ input/commentary on what you choose to do as you raise your child. Yes, most people mean well but even with the best intentions sometimes that advice is unwanted or just unhelpful. When it comes your way you will learn to accept it with a filter. Hear what they are saying but go with your gut or at least with a well respected person’s opinion. Everyone isn’t going to know what is right for YOUR child. But as time goes on it will be easier for you to know. Keep in mind there is no such thing as the perfect parent. Your parents didn’t have all the answers when they raised you and yet you survived & thrived. Have confidence that your little one will do the same. And remember, prayer works!

How’s parenthood ?

So how is new parent life life you ask?

It’s something new everyday for sure. But it’ awesome. We are constantly amazed at the fact that we have a son and he’s here in front of us instead of wiggling around in my tummy. He’s absolutely adorable.

So what has changed?

Sleep is nonexistent!
Okay so it exists but it in small fragmented portions. The first 2 weeks he took it easy on us and slept pretty well. Week 3 brought about clusterfeeding and that was a BEAST! He was up almost every hour wanting to eat or just kind of fussy. I know things will level out again but at times its hard to remember that.

There is no schedule
This little guy determines the plans for the day. Things are planned around his needs for food, sleep, changing, interaction, etc. When hubby was off too it was a little easier but due to the lack of paternity leave that lasted about a week and a half.

For example it’s taken me a few weeks to write this post…#thestruggle

We have strengthened our relationship as a team
Although there are definitely times when stress is at an all time high and affection is running a little low, we are still a team. Hubby wakes up for the diaper changes throughout the night and asks what I need when I’m being held hostage on the couch by this little milk monster. He takes the little guy off my hands in the evening after work so I can squeeze in a nap or wash my hair. It’s those little things that make me love him even more.

What’s the same?

Nothing is the same! lol just kidding but our life has definitely experienced some major changes.

The adult-ing don’t stop
This might sound like a duh moment. I mean of course we are adults, we’re parents now. But I mean we still have to take care of bills, groceries, car maintenance, etc. all while keeping this lil wiggle worm healthy and entertained.

We are still Erika and Tracy.
We are often referred to as “mom” or “dad” now by family and friends but we are still individuals. That means we still have needs, interests and thoughts that don’t necessarily include our little bundle of joy and that’s okay.

So in summary…

Parenthood is a beautiful new experience. It’s something that you really need to prepare for the best you can; mentally, financially, spiritually. And even with all that preparation you still won’t be fully ready. It’s exciting, tiring, stressful, and amazing all at the same time. But it is totally worth it 🙂


The little things

So what makes a relationship worthwhile? We aren’t experts for sure but we are approaching 5 years of being together and 1 year of marriage. And with that experience I can truly say that what matters in the long run is the little things..

Little things like

*Starting the day – Do you rush to make it out the door on time? We had to make the sacrifice of getting up a little earlier because we love having time to just sit together on the couch, breathe, and pray before we start our day. A set of books that really helped us in this practice is Thirty One Prayers for My Husband & Thirty One Prayers for My Wife. Even if you don’t live together, a sincere good morning text or call makes a difference.


*Coming home – Just like when starting the day, when you come back together take time to be present and appreciate each other’s company. Sit the phones down for a few and catch up or watch a favorite TV show. Or start cooking up dinner together. Just enjoy being together.

*Showing you care – Don’t wait until a holiday to show love to your mate. We leave goofy notes for each other anytime one of us goes outta town or has to be away for extended time. Figure out something small and feasible you can do to show and little love.

*Do your part – A romantic relationship, like any other, requires work & compromise. Make sure you are doing your fair share. For example my husband is the chef of the house so I try to stay on top of the dishes. I’m always begging him to drive but always volunteer my car.

Take time to attend to the little things and it can really make the relationship more meaningful.

Finding a great gift for your partner

gift giving.png

Shopping for a loved one over the holidays is a tough task. So shopping for a spouse just weeks after can be darn near impossible. My lovely hubby has a birthday about 4 weeks after Christmas and although giving gifts is something I thoroughly enjoy, finding something awesome so quickly after Christmas can be a daunting task. So here are a few tips

1. Listen!

Seriously! It may sound simple but often your spouse will directly state things they want. If you hear your sweetie mention something small like a new kitchen gadget or cute sweatshirt try to snag it! It shows you’re being considerate but also that you listen and many people value that.

2. Check their pintrest

So obviously this only works if they have a pintrest but often you can gain some insight by looking into what your partner is frequently posting or liking in social media.

3. Just ask

If you bring up gift ideas in random unrelated conversations your partner may not even catch on. If you know they like video games, randomly ask what new game is popular. Log it in your phone and shop later.

4. Think of their interests

I know my hubby likes good drinks and nice watches. He also loves wood jewelry since his wedding band is wood and rose gold. So when I found a watch made out of wood from a whiskey barrel I knew it would be perfect. It wasn’t a gift he mentioned but he loved it because it combined things he was already a fan of.

Hopefully these tips can help the next time you need to shop for your loved one!

How’s married life?

The second most common question we’ve received since the Big Day has definitely been…

“How’s married life?”

The first most common has been “Where are the babies?” phrased in various formats but we’ll tackle that subject a little later on.

So how is married life you ask?
Hate to break it to you but it’s pretty much the same, and honestly that’s really awesome. We decided to live together before we were married and I really think that helped our relationship and made the transition into married life kind of seamless.
Now lets be clear, living together for about 4 years before getting married was not at all seamless, but it did work out for us and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think we really kind of grew together.

So what has changed?
We get to wear these awesome rings daily. Took some getting used to, especially if you don’t wear rings, but totally worth it.
– We get to call each other husband and wife ALL the time. Seriously any opportunity is seized 🙂
– We are legally bound and share a last name, woohoo!

* I was tempted to add “We know we are down for each other for better or worse until 3005” BUT we’ve been knowing that, ever since we decided to become serious.
**Plus marriage does not guarantee that someone will be committed. That all has to do with who you picked to spend forever with.

What’s the same?
-We have pizza Fridays at least 2x a month
– We still pay bills
– I still fuss when he plays video games
– He still puts “man-ears” on sometimes when I’m talking incessantly about Pintrest
-We still wear our Adventure Time robes around the house on weekends

So in summary, married life is practically the same. And we are perfectly okay with that.


I feel that some background information about us is in order, so here goes. We met in college during my senior year (he’s 2 years older than me). We started officially dating after I graduated and found a job in Chattanooga. Can you believe I almost moved back home?

We were together for 4 years until we got engaged. More on that story another time 🙂


We got married July 16, 2016


And now we enjoy the married life with our puppy-son Sarge


That’s our little family!