The baby has arrived safely and is growing every day! The house is filled with joy, sleepless nights, an almost two-year-old fighting for his attention, and one tired Mama! It's time to put a little bit of effort into caring for YOU, the one who brought this baby here. You deserve it more than anyone else! I previously teamed up with The Spoiled Mama to bring you a few of their breastfeeding and skin care gems after my first born. It was only right to indulge once more with baby Khemaiah.
When it comes to pregnancy, all women are different. Even with the same woman, each baby is different. The same goes for postpartum recovery. Some things I'm experiencing now didn't occur with my first born. With The Spoiled Mama, I'm able to recover and replenish my body with their safe pregnancy skin care products that are toxin-free and vegan. Let's dive in!
Another breastfeeding woe is ensuring your supply is legit! So many mothers worry about the longevity of feeding because they cannot produce enough milk. More Milk Please Breastfeeding Tea is always within arms reach. I try to drink a cup of tea at least twice daily because I'm usually pumping and nursing simultaneously. This is an herbal tea packed with ingredients to help increase milk supply. It features fennel, blessed thistle and alfalfa leaf. Everything is 100% organic. The tea helps stimulate blood flow to your mammary glands, and improve milk production in just hours! Since breast milk is a game of supply and demand, remember to actively feed and pump on a regular schedule.
One of the first things I wanted to do getting home from the hospital is take a hot shower. The Luxe-Mama Say Goodbye to Dry Tired Skin body wash is a dream come true. It's so gentle, infused with aloe vera, coconut, and sugar surfactants leaving your skin smooth and hydrated. Also, it doesn't burn the lady parts, it is sensitive for your face and baby too. It lathers up beautifully and smells like a dream! Because I'm prone to dry skin, my lifesaver is the Indulge Body Polish! Oh my! This stuff is infused with peppermint and vanilla. It's a sugar based exfoliate used to buff away dry and dead skin cells. Typically, Mamas used it during their pregnancy for increased blood flow to their growing bumps. However, it can most definitely be used for postpartum recovery of dry skin.
Mamas, it's time to TREAT YO SELF! You deserve it! I'm glad to share these products with you, along with my discount code "BASPOIL18KA" if you want to indulge in the awesomeness with me and save 20% off your purchase!
To enter into the giveaway for a Bump Bag Bliss simply:
- Follow me and The Spoiled Mama on Instagram
- Like the post
- Tag a friend
- Winner will be announced August 11, 2018
It's been an entire week since the day my Husband and I received the best surprise!
Early Monday morning, on a summer day at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA
Khemaiah Elizabeth Antongiorgi
entered this world and took our breath away!
We waited patiently (maybe not so patient toward the end) for 39 weeks and 1 day! The entire nine hours of labor was excruciating but oh so worth it in the end. I'm so proud of myself for sticking to what I had originally planned. I even pushed myself further and used some lessons learned from my first pregnancy & delivery.
1) I said I wanted to do a surprise birth. As much as I wanted to tell the ultrasound technician to let me know, I stuck to my word with this one! It took much discipline, but the reward at the end is pure bliss!
2) This was my second natural birth. With GiGi I sat in the hospital bed and didn't want to do anything else! I was even tempted by the Dr to get an epidural, but was denied because of my low platelet count. This time, I walked around the hospital for two hours, and chose to sit on the birthing ball for a bit to allow baby to come down more. I was in constant prayer, thanking God in advance for seeing me through that temporary pain. I had the staff continue to ask if I'd like for them to break my water to speed up the process (quite annoying might I add), I denied it and told them I want the baby to come on its own.
3) The anticipation to see this baby was so real, I gave one good push with four breaths and she was OUT! Comment below if you'd enjoy the entire birth story on my YouTube channel!
The moment they yelled, "It's a GIRL!" and put her on my chest, I boo-hoo ugly cried! Both my Husband and I thought it was a boy! The joy that filled the air was just too much for that delivery room! I immediately felt the responsibility to be nothing short of the best woman I could be for her!
My baby girl's name is dedicated to our Mothers. Mom chose Khemaiah after hearing a speaker at her church whose name is Shemaiah, meaning "That hears or obeys the Lord". She just replaced the 'S' with a 'K'. There's a 'K' name trend in my family for the girls. Elizabeth is my Mom-in-Love's first name. Khemaiah is her first granddaughter.
Thank you to my Sunflowers for tagging along this journey with us! From the announcement, to the baby shower, maternity pictures, and birth, you all have been so encouraging, supportive, and uplifting!
Be on the lookout for a few postpartum goodies, featuring WildBird Ring Sling and The Spoiled Mama!
Hello there, Sunflowers! Happy Birthday to me! I'm so grateful for another year of life! I'm 28 years young, and feel great! Today is special for a number of reasons. First, This is the second birthday I've the privilege of sharing with my unborn child, who just so happens to be due on the 29th. Which I wouldn't mind if baby came on or before the 22nd so we can share that Cancer-Love! Second, I also share this day with my Great Grandmother in Heaven. Lastly, photographer Katrina of Kayla Jannika Photography, delivered my gallery just in time for my birthday and I am so happy about it!
A few weekends ago, we drove out to a beautiful part of the Pacific Northwest we've never seen before. Ruby Beach is so breathtakingly beautiful. Being there while capturing these fleeing moments of pregnancy was an amazing feeling. Partially a feeling of relief because I feel like I waited so late to take my maternity pictures, and partially a feeling of awe that I never knew this beautiful place existed.
This is my second maternity shoot, second child, and once again I was blessed with an extremely talented photographer. Looking at these photos makes me think about the excitement of what's to come with embracing and loving another child, but also entering this unknown phase with confidence from the experiences learned with GiGi. That is what these photos say to me, and the fact that Katrina captured my thoughts in portrait form is amazing!
I hope you enjoy these as much as my family did.
Hey there, Sunflowers! Spring is in blossom, and the weather is finally starting to be nice to us. The rain has slowed down, and there's been more sun out in the past two weeks than our entire five months we've been in Washington. Over the weekend, we decided to take a ride down to Seattle, which is only an hour away from our residence.
Pike Place Market has been on my list to visit for a while, and seeing it in person was pretty cool. I'm glad we were able to enjoy ourselves. Take note: If you're going with your family consisting of babies or toddlers that require strollers, it can get tricky. There are lots of stairs, but fortunately there's an elevator. We went on a Saturday and it was extremely crowded. In these environments, it's not recommend to have your toddler out of the stroller and walking through the hustle and bustle of the street market. Parking wasn't bad at all. There's a parking garage one block away inside of Target. Your first two hours are free, it's $17 after.
Once we made our way out of Pike Place Market, we headed to a cool ice cream shop! Salt & Straw has also been on my list of "must-try" for quite sometime! Their flavors are unique and amazing! The line was wrapped inside the shop, but it moves pretty quickly. I'd love to go back and test out different flavors. GiGi enjoyed his ice cream cone. It was his first time really handling his own cone, and he proved himself worthy!
It’s been a while since I’ve connected with all of my Sunflowers! I’ve missed you all, and there’s a lot of catching up to do! Since we last connected, my family and I moved from Texas to Missouri. We were there just a quick six months as I attended the US Army’s Chemical Corps Captains Career Course. We’re now stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington; home to the highest mountain of the Cascade Range of the Pacific Northwest: Mount Rainer. It’s beautiful here! In the midst of all the moving and adjusting to three different states in the past eight months, there’s big news that I’d love to share: my Husband and I are expecting baby number two!
We are so excited about this time, because as the title reads, it was planned. Two to three years apart is an ideal age difference for the close-knit family of five my Husband and I want to build. After our son was born (he will be 11 months when his sibling arrives), I knew what I wanted to do differently with our next pregnancy, and what I did not want to change about our last.
One of the big differences is documenting our pregnancy journey. I believe it seems like forever while you wait the nine months for your baby to arrive. After all is said and done, once you’re sent home from the hospital, you start to think about the times when you were with child. So I will definitely be blogging and vlogging all symptoms, moods, appetites, and sleepless nights as a memory keepsake for this pregnancy.
Another thing my Husband and I agreed on for this pregnancy is to do a surprise birth. I played around at the thought of it at first, but eventually it stuck with me and I convinced myself that I could do it! I’m from a generation where gender reveal parties are more popular than revealing that you’re expecting altogether! Some couples even pay extra to find out the baby’s gender as early as 13 weeks. I probably would’ve done that with my first pregnancy had I known about this option, so I’m not passing judgment; I just wanted to see what it would feel like to not be so caught up in what type of clothes I’d buy, or falling in love with a particular name.
The thought of how a couple of generations prior to mine were only given ultrasounds when there were complications, and even then often times weren’t aware of the gender puts things into perspective of how quickly times have changed. I’d love to be able to relate to that generation, and more importantly for me, have a relatable dialogue with my 87-year-old Grandmother on the feeling of not knowing the gender prior to birth. Sort of like the same feeling of gratitude I had when I told my Grandmother I wanted five children just like her, and I wanted to have them all natural and breastfeed them for a year. Which is exactly what I did with my son.
I’d love to hear from my Sunflowers! What do you think of women who choose to do surprise births? If you have done a surprise birth before; was it voluntary? How did it feel the moment you knew and were physically able to hold your baby? Is it something that you’d try with future pregnancies? Let me know and let’s discuss it!
The pressure I had to breastfeed was so real! I wanted to be able to provide everything my baby needed to grow- with the best combination of vitamins, fat, and protein. Studies show that breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria. Breastfeeding lowers your baby's risk of having asthma or allergies. Plus, babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months, without any formula, have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea (WebMD.com). I thought, "Would he latch on properly, or even at all? Would I produce enough milk?" A bunch of "woulds, what ifs, and maybes" consumed my head with doubt and anxiety. I decided to educate myself by taking a breastfeeding class, joined support groups on Facebook, and milking my Mommy friends for information (PUN-intended)!
The Spoiled Mama sent me a couple of gems that are well worth sharing with my fellow Mommies and Mom-to-bes! They are just on top of things when it comes to pregnancy care. Low milk supply & pain and discomfort of sore nipples are the top two leading reasons why Mothers stop breastfeeding earlier than planned. The first is the More Milk Please breastfeeding tea. Because breastfeeding does not always come naturally for some Mothers, this is an herbal tea packed with ingredients to help increase milk supply. It features proven galactagogues like fennel, blessed thistle and alfalfa leaf. Everything is 100% organic. The tea helps stimulate blood flow to your mammary glands, and improve milk production in just hours! Since breast milk is a game of supply and demand, remember to actively feed and pump on a regular schedule.
Fortunately, my milk came in the day after I left the hospital. I didn't start pumping until about a week after, initially getting about 2.5 oz on each breast. After drinking the tea, it almost doubled by increasing my supply to 3.5-4 oz on each breast. I also eat oatmeal every morning, and drink just under a gallon of water daily. I believe all of these factors play a significant role and have an effect on my supply. There's always the option of finding a lactation smoothie recipe online to just make yourself. Trust me, I'm all about DIY, but it's good to just have this tea on hand that you can whip out and brew in a couple of minutes. At just over a month, I now pump 5.5 oz (after my little has eaten and is breast milk wasted) on each breast!
The next hidden gem is the Fix That Sucker NIPSTICK Butter. I absolutely love that name! It's a sore nipple cream, once again, 100% organic and safe for consumption. It helps relieve sore, cracked nipples. It's made with certified organic oils, infused with healing herbs such as calendula and plantain and in a base of Cocoa & Shea butter. It melts upon contact to skin, is lanolin-free and safe for ingestion- so there's no need to was off prior to nursing. I like to keep it in the fridge so when I apply it, I get an instant cool relief. My nipples have healed up and they're good to go now, but I continue to use this product. It smells wonderful and is soothing after my little one is done from a long, thirty minute feeding.
Of course, the next couple of days after Jr was born were rough. My breasts became engorged, making it harder for my little one to latch on. When we went in for our two day appointment. By this time, my nipples were already sore and cracked. It was not extremely unbearable. In my opinion, I actually thought the feeling of my uterus shrinking back down to it's size was more painful and discomforting. Anywho, the pediatrician had told me to prep my nipple by pinching and perk it out for baby to get a more effective latch. The butter healed my nipples within a couple of days.
The Spoiled Mama is offering my readers an exclusive 20% off using code: "keturah20" until October 16, 2016. Take advantage of their awesome products, you will not be disappointed.
First time Mommy here! When I was carrying Gianni, I was asked the same question at least once during a conversation about my pregnancy, "Do you have any stretch marks yet?" I almost started to feel bad because my answer was always no. I mean, is it genetic? If so, I should have them. Right? I might be lucky enough to earn my stripes on the next go-round... or not.
However, just because I didn't get any doesn't mean I didn't properly care for my growing bump. My postpartum weight was 112 and I gained a whopping thirteen pounds *insert sarcasm here" during my 38 weeks of pregnancy. As my belly became more visible: stretching and growing, it started to itch... A LOT, and I started to worry about my skin care. My Mom told me to lather my belly everyday with coconut oil, and I did that, twice a day to be exact. It absolutely worked for me, then I came across The Spoiled Mama. I looked into this independent family business, and their entire collection is toxin-free and organic!
I faithfully used two of their bestsellers for pregnancy and postpartum skin care: The Bump Gloss Stretch Mark Oil and The Tummy Butter, also known as the pregnancy stretch mark prevention kit. As soon as I received my products, I immediately fell in love with the details of how it was packaged! Ingredients packed with Cocoa Butter, Tamanu oil, organic Sea Buckthorn oil and organic Rosehip oil (my personal favorite), boosts elasticity, protects and evens skin tone while locking in moisture. The smell of these oils combined is UHH-MAY-ZING!
They don't have to be, but the belly butter and pregnancy stretch mark oil work best when used together. I'm always referring back to my natural hair care, but hey, it never fails me. I'm reminded of the "LOC method". Liquid, oil, and conditioner. I totally used this while applying the stretch mark oil and butter. When getting out of the shower, I'd leave my belly wet, apply the oil, and then seal in the moisture with the tummy butter. I'm one month postpartum and have continued to repeat this process today. Don't limit the two to just the tummy, as it can be applied to your breasts, hips, and wherever you have stretch marks.
I truly loved everything about this line. When my Husband and I plan on giving Jr a sibling, I'm heading back to grab more! Spread the word! If you aren't preggo yourself, tell someone who is. Tell someone who knows someone who is expecting. It would make a great baby shower gift or postpartum gift. Mommies, what are some of your most trusted pregnancy skin care routines? Leave me comments below!
The awesome part of it all, The Spoiled Mama is offering my readers an exclusive 20% off using code: "keturah20" until October 16, 2016 .
September 3, 2016 will definitely be a day to cherish! At 3:15pm, God blessed us with a 6lb, 3 oz, 19in long baby boy! My Husband and I have enjoyed our initial moments thus far with Jr. We've been sharing throughout the entire pregnancy, but it's something about when he actually arrived that made us pause and just take everything in as Husband and Wife! We appreciate the respect and privacy we've received on our decision to wait to share him with the world. It's all so surreal and I still can't believe I'm someone's MOTHER!
Baby Gianni is a blessing to have around! I decided early on in the pregnancy that I'd breastfeed. Thankfully, he latched on just fine as soon as he came out. I'm so grateful for my Husband! As we're both slowly adjusting as new parents, certain things have just come so natural to him. I find myself staring in awe at how well my Husband handles our son; it's one of the most sexy things ever!
I will come back later with a blog about the details on Jr's denim nursery inspired by his GLAM-Ma Elizabeth, and the events leading up to Gianni's arrival. For now, feel free to enjoy these beautiful home photos captured by the talented Michelle of Neva Michelle Photography.
I am back with yet another Neva Michelle Photography masterpiece! Yes, I know it's been a minute, but this Mommy-to-be is one month away from meeting her Prince! Can someone say, "ANXIOUS"! This experience was so awesome, I thought it would be kind of cool to share with you all!
Back in January, when I first discovered I was expecting, I immediately thought about what I wanted to do for Mother/Belly shots. Of course, my Husband and I will do a session together, but I wanted something special with just me and my belly. I'm a petite woman and it's been an astonishing eight months watching my body grow, stretch, and go through these physical changes to accommodate this little human inside of me! The intent was to capture the beauty and art of carrying life. I googled "Semi Nude Maternity Pics" and all of those were a little more revealing than what I was going for. However, I saw a few that were in a pool. I then googled "Maternity Pics in Water". I fell in love with the numerous milk bath photos! All of them were beautiful, yet still owned its own sense of uniqueness. Something about the way the milky-white water disguises just enough lured me in.
There was no questioning, I was going to have Michelle do this! She had done Jr's Gender Reveal session, and killed it! When I reached out to her she was on board for it, and had even expressed how she was just thinking about how badly she had been wanting to do a milk bath photo shoot. She is simply UH-MAY-ZING! All I had to do was sit in the tub and look pretty. I didn't ask what kind of flowers she was getting or what kind of material I'd wear. We used my bathroom since I have windows by the tub to bring in the natural light.
Since last week of us sharing a photo from the session, it's made its way around the Internet. I just want to clarify a few common misconceptions:
- No. This is not actually milk. Michelle stirred coffee creamer in the tub as the water ran until she got the opaqueness she was looking for.
- I positioned myself in the tub and Michelle placed the (real, because faux flowers don't float) flowers around me. Her feet from standing above me to get a bird's eye shot was one of the few things photo shopped.
- I am NOT the first person to do a maternity milk bath shoot, and I'm pretty sure I will not be the last. Google it, tons of photos will pop up. Some internet trolls are so close-minded to think that only one person has done it, and it can't be re-done. False.
I am ecstatic with the end result of the photos. You really can expect nothing less from Michelle! She's truly talented and passionate when it comes to her job and it shows in her work. What an awesome experience! My overall goal was met when I was able to capture this moment with my un-born son.
With all the shares on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, BuzzFeed reached out to us to do an article! Read all about it out here.
I remember being a kid on Christmas Eve. I couldn't sleep because of the anticipation of waking up that next morning to open those presents. That is exactly how my Husband and I felt last night! We knew upon our departure from the photo shoot, we'd know exactly what's been baking in this little oven of mine!
On Monday, April 18th we had our second trimester ultrasound. Whether you already know or not, this is the elongated, hour-long appointment where the technician looks at every single detail and progression of the baby. We told her we had planned on doing a gender reveal photo shoot, and that we didn't want to know the sex of Baby Antongiorgi just yet. She was kind enough to print off the sex from the ultrasound and place it in a very thick, white, concealed envelope. I admit, I did try to hold it up to the light! LOL
My home girl-sister-friend (yes, because she's all three in one) emailed the sex to our photographer, and she got started on our little surprise. I'd be doing you a disservice if I didn't stop to brag about our photographer, Michelle. Michelle is the owner of Neva Michelle Photography and Wirebird Studio on Etsy. She went above and beyond with her creativity and professionalism to ensure our gender reveal was truly a surprise! If you're in the Central Texas area, look her up!
With our male Boxer, Caesar and our female feline, Bella, we are 2 for 2 in the Antongiorgi home. I had on pink reppin' for the ladies in the house and my Husband had on blue reppin' for the fellas in the house. Gianni and Caesar took the win! In honor of my Husband, we will be blessed with a baby BOY: Gianni Michael Antongiorgi Jr. come September 2016!
Welcome! And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose. [Romans 8:28] Join me as I share a compilation of all things beautiful in my life & how I live a healthy lifestyle through happiness from within!