The Name Game

The Name Game

The pressure’s on when it comes to naming a child. That’s their name… what they’re going to be referred to for the rest of their life. So we wanted to make sure it was something good for our little guy. Strong, unique, & fitting.

I mentioned the story behind his name on an Instagram post the week he was born but in case you missed it, Wake was a name I had on my list since I was 19. I was working at Outback Steakhouse as a to-go server when my coworker, Amy, was outside running food & I heard her phone ringing. I glanced to see “Wake” was calling. When she came back in, I told her she missed a call from him & she laughed saying “No, that was my alarm going off!” We had a good chuckle about it but I vividly remember thinking to myself “Well, Wake would be a really cool name for a boy.”

So when we found out that our prayers were answered with a little man (we both wanted a boy) John agreed with me that Wake should be his name.

Every once & a while after he was born I would ask myself “Did we do him wrong by giving him such a unique name?” but it is with this article by the awesome people at Taste of Country, that I officially had my first “proud moment mom cry.” Feels like we definitely did something right.

Thank you, Taste of Country! We think Wake is a pretty cool name too ūüėČ

-Jenna

 

Everything’s better when you look on the bright side.

 

Road Trip Vs. Wake

Road Trip Vs. Wake

Wake wins! …Not to spill the beans or anything but he did amazing! (I know, I’m his mom so I have to say that but…) For real.

Last week, we packed the car (& by “we” I mean John) & headed west for a quick little trip to Harrison, Arkansas where John’s parents live. John’s momma wasn’t able to make the trip to Nashville with his dad right when Wake was born due to a bit of bronchitis so we had to bring Wake to her now that’s she’s better which, for me, was a very welcomed get-away.

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I had actually never been to their house in all these years so I was really looking forward to it. But I was a little nervous about a 7-hour road trip with a 7 week old. You never know how they’re going to react or when a meltdown can pop up.

Since my sister, dad & I also took him to Cincinnati in the car when he was 2 weeks old, I’ve learned a thing or two on what to do & what to avoid when road tripping with your babe.

Here are some tips I’ve quickly learned about traveling with a freshy:

*Good news! You’re in charge of the wheel. Pull that whip over whenever you need to to check on/tend to the mini. Padding a little extra time to your trip to allow for the added stops helps to keep baby happy & momma sane. Nothing worse than a crying baby in the back seat that you can’t tend to immediately. Talk about blood pressure¬†rising! My fella mommas know this feeling.

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*Have your hubby/partner/fam/friend sit in the backseat with babes. Especially when they’re this little. The rear view baby mirrors are amazing but there’s only so much you can do as the driver to take care of the nugget. Having someone in the backseat helps loads. Besides, you’re now officially a¬†chauffeur anyway so get used to an empty front seat.

*Pack snacks for the road. Especially if you’re breastfeeding as you know the hunger is real.

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*Drink tons of H2O! Yea, it makes you have to pee but chances are you’ll be pulling over often anyway with the kiddo. Water helps to keep your brain active & is a great energizer for those longer, boring stretches.

Wake's Aunt Terry & Uncle Troy
Wake’s Aunt Terry & Uncle Troy

*Pack more diapers than you think you’ll need. Yes, you can always stop & buy more but I packed what I thought was way too many diapers & I ended up really happy I had all of them. Smelly diapers need to be changed often when you’re in the confines of a small car (the stink factor gets high real fast) so you may be changing diapers a bit more frequently thank normal.

"Hmm. Somethin stanks."
“Somethin stanks.”

*Pack your pump! And if you’re lucky enough to have a plug outlet in your vehicle, pump from the passenger seat! I got Wake taking my breastmilk out of a bottle when he was 2 weeks old. (I’m super lucky in this sense!) He’ll take both now & doesn’t fuss either way. I prefer to breastfeed him because I love that connection & closeness but in situations like this, it’s nice to have a bottle on hand to feed him while he’s strapped into his car seat if he starts to wig out. Nothing works better to calm a crying baby than to put a cork in it! Plus, freshly expressed breastmilk lasts up to 4 hours at room temp so even if you don’t use it right away, chances are you’ll get an opportunity to at some point down the road. Also, make sure to grab the breast pump bandeau that holds the pump bottles to your tatas. It’s literally the most un-sexy, unattractive get-up I have every strapped onto myself but hands-free pumping is all the rage, I’m tellin’ ya. (They sell these bandeaus at Target for less than $20.)

Yep. That's the real deal, people.
Yep. That’s the real deal, people. Sex machine.

*Rent an AirBnB if you can. We skipped the hotel & went straight for a home rental. The in-laws wanted us to stay at their place but with a newborn who gets up every few hours to feed & a husband who snores like whoa! we needed our own space – I NEEDED my own space. It was nice to have options for 2-bedrooms & in our case, we got lucky & found an amazing 2-story villa 9 minutes away from his parents that made us feel like we were on a European¬†vacation, all for less than it would have cost us to stay in one room at a Holiday Inn Express. The villa was clean, perfect, adorable, & felt like a getaway from our getaway. I foresee many future trips to visit the in-laws with us staying at this place. As far as I’m concerned, AirBnB is the way to go.

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*Every stop, take the little dude or girly¬†out of the car seat & let them get the wiggles out.¬†Think about how you feel sitting on an airplane for a few hours… how good does it feel to stand up & stretch out? Babies need this relief too! You’ll have a much happier baby who gets a stretch in every couple hundred miles.

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Now, we are home safe & unpacked. #Thankful¬†Our next travel stop, we are flying to Florida for Thanksgiving which should be a whole new learning experience for us. We rented an AirBnB on the beach so we are so looking forward to this time with my family down south. I’ll def be blogging about our trip down there. John & I will even be vlogging our vacation & posting it on our YouTube channel (link to come soon!) so stay tuned for that ūüôā

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The hands.

If you mommas have any great travel tips, feel free to share it in a comment on this post! I would love to hear your secrets & tricks to happy traveling & thanks in advance! I so appreciate moms supporting other moms. We know that everything that works for you & your child may not work for us & ours, but uplifting tips are always welcome ūüėČ Keepin it positive, as we always do over here on the BrightSide! ūüôā

-Jenna

(PS: Sorry for the poor picture quality! I didn’t use my real camera half as much as I should have. Next time!)

Everything’s better when you look on the bright side.

 

 

Mommy for a Month Now

Mommy for a Month Now

Momming aint easy but it sure is incredible & my favorite title yet!

Moms, isn’t it so crazy how you can be so over exhausted & past the point of tired that when your little babe projectile shits all over you mid diaper change, you don’t even get mad? You get sad: “Aww, get it out, little buddy!” This happened to me the other day & you just surprisingly deal with it & move on. (Let me make it clear, that if ANYONE else ever projectile shit all over my chest, stomach, & bed, I would immediately barf right back at em.)

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It’s been a little over a month with Wake & John & I think we are adjusting pretty well. Mostly, in part, to the sweetest, easy-going baby I have ever met (I’m a little partial but it’s true!) Parenting is just¬†such a learning curve. You’re learning your new baby / they’re learning you – life on this side of your belly, & this big ol’ world.

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I could literally sit in bed all day & stare at him. The smell of his skin is addicting. Every day his eyes become so much more alert & aware & I love creating that close intense visual bond with our little man.

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Raw mom & baby – No makeup. All love.

At his 2 week check up (where we are proud to say he did wonderful! – 95th percentile in length & 50th percentile in weight) I asked our pediatrician when we were able to leave the house. As a busy body, I loved being in our little nest at home recovering for those two weeks but I was also getting the itch to get out & do something… anything. Dinner at a restaurant or just a couple hours outside of the house. He gave us the “okay” to get out & away we went!… and have been going ever since. Breakfast, lunch, dinners, grocery shopping… I don’t let people get all in his face but it is nice to introduce Wake early on to our busy life on the go & it helps to keep momma sane as well. Fresh air is very important!

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My mom, dad, & sister came to visit us from Florida which was the most amazing few weeks. My mom stayed for 11 days after Wake was born & was the perfect helper. I will forever be grateful for her time spent with us. She did the laundry & helped around the house, or just watched Wake while I napped when John was on the road. My own momma is just what this new momma needed. (Thank you, Mom! I love you!)

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Wake has already been on his first road trip! (He LOVES being in the car.) My dad, sister, & I took a 4-hour trip north to Cincinnati to visit my Oma (my dad’s mom.) It was such a nice trip & I’m so glad that Wake got to meet her & vise versa. He’s still so small & sweet & she was thrilled that we made the trip. Wake got to meet his great grandma & she got to meet her first great grand child – that’s pretty stinkin special.

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The car makes him a sleepy boy.

When Jes & I were little, our parents took us every summer on a road trip to visit Oma & Opa & I have the best memories from those visits (so it meant so much to me that Wake got to experience that.) One memory is that my Oma has always enjoyed a nightly cocktail of Jack & Coke. So, it was very nice for Jes & I to be able to join her on this occasion! Such a wonderful memory made.

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I am strictly breastfeeding Wake which has been amazing for us both. I am very lucky that I am a total milk machine & Wake latches on like a pro. With that said, I did pump a bottle for him before I participated in our special night cap ūüėČ Breastfeeding isn’t for everyone but for me, it’s my favorite time with him. We get a chance to slow down, skin to skin, & hang out just the two of us for a while. I plan on doing this as long as the little guy lets me. (And the day he’s done, just throwing it out there that I’m making a Botox appointment immediately. I had one the day we found out we were pregnant that I had to cancel. #Overdue)

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Family ūüôā

Jason’s tour is over so John is officially home a ton more now with only short trips for one-off gigs here & there. Gotta teach daddy how to change a diaper! (I’ve given him a pass until tour was over. Time’s up, buddy!) I’ll be back in a few days with more updates on some exciting stuff we have planned throughout the¬†next few weeks!

-Jenna

PS: To everyone on the east coast – all my love & positivity your way for your safety during Hurricane Matthew! Be careful & look out for one another!

Also! John made Wake his own Instagram! I thought it was super corny but now of course I love it, especially since John manages it for him (so cute!) ūüėČ Follow along! @wake_silver_perdue

Everything’s better when you look on the bright side.

Wake Up! It’s the 1st of the Month!

Wake Up! It’s the 1st of the Month!

As a very pregnant pregger, you wait what seems to be forever (approx 10 months) for your water to break – so when it does, most people don’t just go back to sleep. Apparently, I’m not “most people.”

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Here’s the story:

Our due date was 9/9 but I really wanted our baby to be born on August 28th. My birthday is June 28th so I was a fan of the date not to mention when I was 5 months pregnant, I dreamt the baby was born & I looked at a calendar in my dream & it was 8/28/2016. So on August 27th, I did all of the voodoo I could find on the Internet on “how to induce labor” – I ate the eggplant Parmesan via takeout at a local Italian place, took Evening Primrose capsules, bought an exercise ball & bounced on it while watching Toddlers & Tiaras marathons. Don’t forget the awkward 9 months preg sex or the long walks on the treadmill. I did it all, people, and guess what… August 28th came to pass like a thief in the night, that little bugger. #Nothin

Well, John always thought it would be cool for him to come on Sept 1st since we secretly knew we were having a boy & his name would be Wake. John wanted to sing to him the Bone Thugs song “Wake up, wake up, it’s the first of the month.” (His reasons for a dream birthdate were a little different than mine.)

My girlfriends who are the wives of Locash, Kaitlyn & Kristen, both recently had baby girls, Remi & Love. Kristen took Kaitlyn out to dinner the night before her daughter, Remi, was born. At the dinner table that night, Kristen told Kait: “You’re gonna have that baby tomorrow.” Kait rejected the statement “I’m still 2 weeks away from my due date. Doubtful.” Sure enough, the next day, Remi was born!

So since Wake didn’t come on the 28th, the girls decided we should go to dinner the night of the 31st so that he could come on the 1st. We ate at PF Changs; all of us & my girlfriend Jenny & her hubby & kids. We over ate & had an awesome time. But I wasn’t feeling any changes in my body & figured this voodoo wasn’t gonna work either.

I got home around 9pm & shut it down. I had to pick John up at bus call at 5:30am. He was coming home from a 3-on-3 basketball tourney he played at Wake Forest (intetestingly enough!) the night before & riding Tyler Farr’s bus back.

Around 2:30, I woke up to pee cause that’s like, the only thing you do when you’re a week away from your due date. I laid back down & started to hit that in between sleep & dream stage when I felt a small gush #DownThere. I was so close to being asleep that I remember thinking I probably just peed my pants a little bit (if you’ve been pregnant, you can feel me on this) & just went back to sleep. “I’ll take care of that next time I have to pee” …which was about an hour later.

Like clockwork, about an hour later while peeing, I noticed the gush wasn’t pee. Yes it was watery like pee but also bloody. “This isn’t normal.” I laid back down in bed & Google searched “What does ‘bloody show’ look like” as I thought maybe that was what was happening – which meant labor could still be weeks away.

As I laid there, all I could think was “Let me get to 5:30 so I can pick him up 25 minutes south, turn around to drive back the 30 minutes back north to go to the hospital. I need to know what’s going on here but let me get my husband. Let me make it to 5:30.”

In those few hours I was waiting, I started having Braxton Hicks contractions. At least I thought they are Braxton Hicks because I have been having those for a while & they didn’t hurt. My stomach would just¬†tighten up &¬†that would be it. Only this time, my Braxton Hicks were accompanied by a dull lower back pain. This is nothing like the contractions you see in the movies, with women holding her stomach, writhing in pain. In fact, I didn’t even know I was having contractions because the pain was in my back.

At 5 o’clock a.m. on the dot, John text me saying that they were one hour away from bus call. I responded “Okay, where exactly are you?” He sent me his location which turned out was only about 20 minutes away from our house. The bus, however, doesn’t make house calls & it was going to the bus call which was still 45 minutes out. I said “I’m not trying to scare you but I think we need to go to the hospital. Let me go to the bathroom & check one more time before you ask the driver to stop.” I checked. Lots of blood. We gotta get moving here.

He called right away & since my husband (God love him) is severely directionally challenged, I had him put me on the phone with the driver. “Where are you?”

-“Honey, we are 1.2 miles away from the 65 south exit on 840 West.”

“Okay DON’T get on 65 south! Go straight to the next exit, Lewisburg Pike & drop him off on the exit ramp.” (I’d offer for him to get dumped off at a gas station or something with a little more class but there was nothing at this exit & he just had to get off the bus.)

-“I’ll be there in 3 minutes, babe! You got this!”

I brushed my teeth, put in my contacts, & was out the door. I sped to find, 5 minutes later, the parked tour bus on the exit ramp, right where I told him to be. Pulled up behind the bus & JP ran out with his luggage, threw it in the trunk, & jumped in the passenger seat. “I’ll drive” I said since I’m a little more aggressive behind the wheel & am basically a homing pigeon. We didn’t have time for John to Waze directions to the hospital. (Love ya, buddy but it’s that bad.)

I sped to the hospital with a million things running through my mind. One being that I was so happy that John was home in the nick of time for what could possibly be a birthday although damn, I never imagined it would include picking him up on the side of the interstate. I also thought that maybe they were just going to send me home & this wasn’t labor. Who knows what else I was thinking, I just needed to get there.

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They checked us in & tested to see if what was happening down there was indeed my water breaking. Twenty minutes later, the nurse came in clapping her hands “We’re gonna have a baby today! That was amniotic fluid, girlfriend!”

Holy shit. This is happening. The dinner voodoo worked & John was getting his dream birthday.

There were already 11 women in labor & delivery when I was checked in. It was a new moon solar eclipse & apparently Mercury was in retrograde. I still have no idea what that means but apparently, it means all the babies in the Nashville area were ready to make their debut. They had one birthing suite left & wheeled me to the room I would soon meet my son.

I was technically in labor for 18 hours since it started around 2:30am. The nurses hooked me up to pitocin to regulate my contractions. Slowly but surely, the contractions I was feeling in my back turned into back labor turned into the absolute worst pain I have ever felt in my life (& I have a very high pain tolerance.) I had already decided to get an epidural but by 12 o’clock that afternoon, I was DYING & NEEDED THE DRUGS.

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Getting the epidural didn’t hurt. In fact, I didn’t feel a thing. I would take an epidural shot 400 times over having to experience one more back labor contraction. Once the medicine was free-flowing through my body, I offered to kiss that anesthesiologist on the mouth. She wasn’t into my proposition but I still decided she was my new best friend & I forever owe her my life.

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So from there, feeling no pain, John, Jenny, & I sat in the birthing suite & waited. They ate Chick-fil-A (I wasn’t allowed to eat), we listened to music, cut up, laughed… just waited for me to dilate to 10 centimeters. Jenny & I FaceTimed with my sister who is coming to meet Wake this weekend with my Dad. They’re driving up from Florida. We are so so excited!

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I was at 2 centimeters when I was admitted, progressed to 3cm once I got my pitocin, went from there to 7cm an hour later, 8, 9, 9.5… and stuck there at 9.5cm for almost 4 hours. I had called my parents & sister earlier in the morning once I knew it was indeed labor. Mom got on the last flight out of Tampa before Tropical Storm Hermine was about to hit & made it to the hospital around 5pm.

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It was just before 8pm that I made it to 10 centimeters & it was time to push. This is when the fun started. Pushing doesn’t hurt but holy shit is it a full body workout. I was so happy that I worked out throughout my whole pregnancy because you really use muscles you didn’t even know you had to push that watermelon out.

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Most first time moms push for almost 2 hours. Oh hell no, I felt like my head going to pop off so this had to get done sooner. I put my brain, body & will power into this big job I took on & pushed the absolutely gorgeous Wake Silver Perdue, weighing in at 8.2 pounds & 21.25 inches long, out of my body & into my arms in a whopping 11 minutes. 8:07pm on Sept 1st is the moment I met the absolute true love of my life. The moment I’ve waited for my whole life. He was finally here. I cried more than he did.

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This picture is the PERFECT capture of my happiness. He is finally here!

As he laid on my chest, I just talked to him as he stared into my eyes. “You’re finally here, buddy! I’ve been waiting so long to meet you.” I wanted to let the good cord blood pump into his sweet little body for as long as it could. About 10 minutes later,¬†John was a champ at cutting his umbilical cord & then we began nursing. Wake is just a pro at life so far so everything went smooth, he’s brilliant on the boob¬†& overall just one healthy little nugget.

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John is a very proud daddy. Shortly after he was weighed & cleaned up, I hear John saying: “Everyone is in the waiting room, I’m going to get them!” & just like that, Uncle Jason, Aunt Britt, Uncle Billy, Aunt Kasi & all the girls rushed into the birthing suite before I even wrapped my head around what was going on. I felt like I was having an out of body experience. I could not believe he was finally here. And already surrounded by so much love.

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We spent 48 hours in the hospital & coming home was such an amazing day. This child is perfection & SO SWEET. He is seriously so calm & observant & only cries when he gets his diaper changed because just like his momma, he hates being cold.

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I so look forward to seeing him grow but until then, I’m spending every waking moment *no pun intended* with this little tree frog attached to my chest, skin to skin, reminding him how much he is loved & how lucky we are to have him. I waited so long for him & John & I are very thankful for this beautiful little gift of life.

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Thank you to everyone for all of your kind words, love, & support. The Perdue Party of 3 is totally feeling it over here!

-Jenna

PS: We can’t thank the staff of Franklin Vanderbilt Women’s Center or Williamson Medical Center enough for their amazing support & talent in helping to bring Wake safely to the world! You all quickly became like family & we are forever grateful! In particular, the amazing nurses, Hope, Nancy, Emily… You are our girls!

Also major props to my mom for flying¬†in as fast as she did & staying so long to help around the house. She’s been there for me way more than I ever expected & we are¬†forever grateful to her! And to Jenny for being my calming force in the delivery room. You’re always there for me, momma, & I appreciate you more than you know!

Photography: The brilliant Aspen Luzier @ MINGO Photography

Everything’s better when you look on the bright side.

My 500 Hour Long Days

My 500 Hour Long Days

24 hours – we all have them. Mine, however, seem to be much longer than every one¬†else I know.¬†By like 100 years. This pregnancy has flown¬†by for me up until about a week ago. And then time just seemed to… stop. Don’t let me fool you, this baby hasn’t stopped. Not for one second. There’s a constant heel in my right rib & I swear this child has a death grip on my bladder.

I can officially say: I AM DONE. I went hard this¬†pregnancy & gave it all I had to give. Time’s up as far as I’m concerned. I’m just SO ready to¬†meet the new love of our life.

I asked John the other day if I was going to get bed sores. He laughed at my straight-faced¬†question. “I’m being serious.” Having my scare a few weeks ago, I haven’t been advised to work out. I’m not on “bed rest” per se but was told to “take it easy” – apparently squatting, lunging, & excessive walking isn’t “great” for my lady bits. Which is bad news for me because my daily¬†exercise routine is one of the “tips” on my list to help with baby extraction.

It’s getting pretty restless over here for this typically active momma. Not only am I not working out but I’m also on the “no fly” list so traveling has been cut off. For a gypsy, this is the thing that my nightmares are made of. Speaking of gypsies, I’ve watched all of the television¬†including a¬†“My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding” marathon on TLC. I was glued to it all day until 3 in the morning (this show¬†is absolutely fascinating by the way & I’m throwing it out there that I’m open to receiving an invite to one of these weddings if anyone’s offering.)¬†I have also watched¬†Ghost Hunters, Bachelor in Paradise, & every episode of all the Real Housewives… in every city… twice. Meghan Edmonds from Real Housewives of Orange County’s IVF storyline has been good mommy entertainment for me & texting with her about our pregnancies reminds me that I’m not alone in giving up the “champs” (as they say on the show.) [She’s expecting her first child with husband, Jim Edmonds, a good friend of John’s,¬†in the beginning of December.]

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Staring blankly at the TV all. day.

I am sipping on my raspberry tea as I type this post. One of the many at-home remedies I’ve researched that supposedly helps to get the baby moving. There’s also the excessive sex to be had, fresh pineapples to eat, evening primrose oil capsules to take & foot massages to receive. It’s all goin down. Castor oil, however, is out of the question as there will already be enough action down there during birth that I don’t need to add any additional nastiness to the mix. I’ve heard nothing but bad things. #Sick

I’m still 2 weeks away from my due date but next weekend would be perfect timing as my shoog will be home from tour for the week. I know that one day I’ll look back at this time of basic boredom & wish I had hours alone to just watch bad TV. But life is a game of balance & too much of anything can be taxing on a person. What other tips can you mommas out there give a first-time pregger in order to get this show on the road? My plan is to go into labor before¬†Labor Day (however, that would be very cheeky.) Currently taking any & all advice –¬†let’s hear it! *Leave a comment below or click “comments” at the top of this post to share tips –¬†thank you!

-Jenna

Everything’s better when you look on the bright side.

Pre-Baby Scare

Pre-Baby Scare

*Warning: This post has TMI details about blood & women’s business #DownThere.¬†Proceed with caution.*

SnapChat filters for the win
SnapChat filters to help pass the time for the win.

When I started Blonde on the Bright Side, I said I would share all things pregnancy – the good, the bad, & the ugly. Well, I should have also used the word “scary” because that is definitely a huge portion of growing a child. I’m sure you other mommas can relate. I constantly think about this baby’s well being & love feeling the movements in my belly because it means we are still in this together. Now,¬†I’ve been lucky enough to have an unreal pregnancy with only very small “issues” here & there (i.e. the painful tatas or random peeing of your pants.) So this one blind-sided me a bit.

This Friday, I went into my 35 week check up (my check up’s are weekly at this point) with plans for a quick measurement of my tummy, a listen to the heartbeat & away ya go. I was booked for a maternity shoot after my appointment so I had full hair & makeup on. I was feelin’ good & excited for the day.

While the nurse was taking my blood pressure, she filled me in that this week was my Group B Strep test, which is a culture swab for a certain bacteria that can live in some women’s digestive tract that can be harmful if passed along to the baby during delivery. If you carry this bacteria, it’s a simple penicillin pill you take during labor. “Okay!” I said, thinking what harm can a little Q-tip be.

Laying on the table, in stirrups, the doctor did the culture swab & put it in it’s tube to be sent off for testing. Next, she said she was going to do a physical exam to see if I have started dilating. During the exam, she told me that I am 1 centimeter dilated & she could feel the baby’s head – perfect position for 35 weeks. “Great! Does the baby have hair?” is what I was thinking but felt too silly to ask. “Now you might experience a little bleeding after this exam but don’t worry. It’s normal. Go ahead & get dressed & I’ll be back in to get you in a minute” says the doctor & out she went.

As I was getting dressed, I noticed a decent amount of blood on the table. “Hmm…” I thought to myself “but she did say that is normal…” When the doctor came back in I told her “It was definitely pretty bloody.” She seemed totally okay with what she saw, handed me a pantyliner & sent me on my way.

I walked to my car & as I sat down, I felt a huge gush. This can’t be good.

I went straight back inside to the bathroom, sat down to pee & felt myself pass a huge clot. This definitely can not be good.

I walked back to the doctor & said “Umm… I just passed a huge clot.” I have clearly never had a baby but leading up to this child, I am well aware of the “mucus plug” you pass before you go into labor. All I could think was that this was my mucus plug & the doctor must have sent me into labor.

She put me back on the bed & back in the stirrups to see what was going on. Not only was I bleeding but I was bleeding so excessively that the doctor had to keep her hand on my cootie to stop the blood while she yelled for nurses for back up. I could not only feel the blood flowing out of me but I could hear it spilling all over the floor. The doctor didn’t even pretend like she wasn’t scared by saying “Oh my god, I have never seen anything like this.” Four nurses, on their hands & knees, cleaning up what looked like an official Dexter-style murder scene.

I had so much going against me: The bleeding, laying on my back (the baby sits on a nerve that makes preggers feel nauseas when they lay on their back) & the overall fear of what was happening all combined, sent me into faint mode. “It’s getting really hot in here.”

The doctor rolled me on my side while they began to monitor Baby’s heartbeat. Perfection. But the bleeding wasn’t stopping.

All I remember hearing was what my doctor said next: “We have to get you to labor & delivery, girlfriend.”

WHAT.¬†Today’s the day. I’m having this baby today. And John is as far away as you can get in the continental U.S. – Washington state.

Off to the hospital¬†the doctor & I went. (Luckily, my women’s center is in the same parking lot as the hospital so we didn’t have to go far.)

Upon being admitted, I was hooked up to the monitors for myself & baby & all I could hear was a perfect heartbeat. MY FAVORITE SOUND. The bleeding was finally under control. The doctor came to the conclusion that she hit a blood vessel during my physical exam & with your cervix being so vascular during pregnancy, bleeding is much more possible. The bleeding was coming from my vaginal wall & had nothing to do with baby. What a relief! And now I can call John Perdue.

“Okay don’t freak out but I’m in the hospital.” I could essentially hear his fingers on his phone screen booking the next flight back to Nashville. “DON’T come home. Don’t panic. Today is not our day!” He was ¬†playing the LiveNation festival, Watershed, a 2 hour drive away from the Spokane airport & a 5¬†hour flight home. He was so sweet & so ready to bail on the festival but I talked him out of it & told him to enjoy his weekend. “I promise you’ll be here for the birthday.”

I was monitored for 7 hours while laying in that hospital bed. It’s just so messed up how no matter how much of a positive lifestyle you live & your constant practice of thankful, positive thoughts – how your brain is capable of thinking up the worst possible scenarios in situations like this. But you just have to talk yourself off those cliffs because your negative thoughts can literally be your worst enemy.

That day wasn’t our baby’s birthday. Our baby wants to cook for a little bit longer. And I am SO okay with that.

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I know that this is just the first of a million times this child is going to scare the crap¬†outta me! Playground falls, scrapes, cuts, drivers licenses… Ha! Until then, I’ll just be over here pretending like this baby will stay little forever & never grow out of their newborn onesies ūüėČ

-Jenna

Everything’s better when you look on the bright side.

Perdue Party of 3

Perdue Party of 3

This past weekend was one for all of the history books. It’s Friday & I am still recovering & I’m the only one who didn’t even catch a buzz.

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I have never had a bridal shower or an engagement party & my bachelorette was in Miami with my girlfriends who were down there with me for a work event. So with that said, this baby shower was my first adult party that was geared toward myself & our babe. I was overwhelmed with a.) the uncomfortableness of accepting gifts & b.) the abundance of love shown from so many. It’s hard to express how so many of these girls coming together to celebrate Baby P made me feel. It was unbelievably amazing & I am forever¬†grateful.

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I rented a house downtown that slept 10, overlooking Nashville with gorgeous city views. The house was unreal. It was the perfect place to host 45 guests on the top floor & 8 of my closest girlfriends who flew in from all over the US (one being Heather who surprised me from NYC!) who had rooms on the bottom two floors. I gifted the girls who were staying at the house with care packages full of OPI nail polishes for “10 perfect fingers & 10 perfect toes” – hair clips – wine – Ole’ Smoky Moonshine – Ghirardelli chocolates – & a huge thanks to License to Boot for providing each girl with her own new LTB tank top.

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The girls started making their way to Nashville Wednesday of that week. First to arrive after a small Southwest delay (the weekend from hell for some Southwest travelers!) was my sister who, be-tee-dubs, should start her own party planning business. This girl had every “t” crossed & “i” dotted. She rocked¬†it & I am seriously so thankful for her! She was no doubt, the hostess with the friggin mostest! THANK YOU, Jes! I am so lucky to call her my sister!

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How infectious is that smile?! I just die for her!

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We moved into the house on Friday where I had my Norvell Dancing with the Stars spray tan sponsor, the amazing Rebecca, come over for a spray tan party. One by one, the girls stepped into her spray booth looking like Twilight & coming out looking like the Tropics. The cocktails flowed, we ordered in Pei Wei, & all had a hard time avoiding spray tan tear lines from all of the laughing. It was the perfect girl’s night in.

My sister & my momma :)
My sister & my momma ūüôā

For Saturday, the day of the shower, I made it my mission to avoid all “Baby Shower” type games. I wanted these women to look forward to this party¬†so we made it just that. I didn’t want anyone to dread having to avoid saying the word “baby” in fear that the small plastic baby they are holding onto would be taken away from them at the whisper of the word.

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Instead, Jes & I stocked the bar fully loaded with Tito’s, Crown, Fiesta Winery Wines (based out of Fredericksburg, Texas, whom sponsored the wine bar – Thank you, Fiesta!), Mich Ultra, mimosas & all the mixers girls could dream of. I finished a “thank you” toast with a strong urge for everyone to #GetWasted & the party was an overwhelming success.

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Once everyone left & the house was back to the original crew, we touched up our makeup, changed our clothes, & headed downtown for a little Saturday night in Nashville. I’d like to say, I made it to about 12:30 at the bar before the drunken stares at the big preg belly¬†started getting a little too awkward.

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I think the last crazy-train-Uber of my girls made it’s way back to the house around 4am. My sister & Heather bringin’ up the rear at the¬†very end of the night. The stories & laughs we had back at the house were incredible.

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I’ve had a total of 9 days of visitors in Nashville & it’s been incredible. Everyone has now returned to their rightful home & I will enjoy a little more down time for the next month as we anxiously await the arrival of the littlest Perdue. Things won’t be so relaxing for much longer so I’m getting it in while I can ūüėČ

JP even made an appearance!
JP even made an appearance!

I can’t thank all of these women who went out of their way to shower Baby P & myself with love enough. I truly don’t feel deserving of what happened this past week. This baby is going to be the most loved & lucky little human out there & I surely feel like a lucky momma, too ūüôā

-Jenna

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*All photography by the ridiculously talented Aspen @ Mingo Photography

Outfit details:

Dress – Naked Wardrobe Show Me Some Shoulder Dress – Out of Stock

Shoes – Sam Edelman

Head Piece – Handmade by me ūüôā

Necklace – The Stagecoach by Desert Rose

Bump – (my best accessory) in collab with John Perdue ūüėČ

Everything’s better when you look on the bright side.

Inspirational Bits for Babes

Inspirational Bits for Babes

Hey cuties, I hope you all have been amazing! I took my last trip south before Baby to celebrate my mom’s 60th birthday in Clearwater, Florida & spend time with my family. It was SO nice to spend time with my mom, dad, sister, & friends. I so look forward to visiting lots when we have the little babe – a Florida beach¬†babe who lives in Tennessee – that’ll be one lucky duck ūüôā

So we know I’m all about the positivity & putting the good vibes out there. Sadly, sometimes it’s easy to forget the sweetness of your future posibilities in your life. In order to remember, let’s put them right in front of your face.

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Inspiration boards & quotes are the perfect reminder to keep you going & pushing forward. It’s important to have a constant reminder of what you want in your life & where you want to go – be it small steps or giant leaps – keep your dreams in check. Don’t let the bad moments slow your roll.

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Inspiration boards are a very popular way to put your wishes for the future all together in a vision right in front of you. You can cut out dream vacation destination photos from magazines, download fitness plans to your phone, tape a $100 bill onto your makeup mirror; whatever your desires are, just get them posted to a place you’ll look at every day to remind you of what you’re out there grinding for.

One of the easiest ways to make an inspirational statement that goes straight to your head to remind you of what you want, constantly, is to put it somewhere you look at multiple times, every single day: Your cell phone lock screen. See mine below.

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You can also download the app WordSwag on iTunes which allows you to create quote boards that you can use on your phone or post to your social media sites.

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Another great way to remind yourself of what you want is to grab an inspirational journal from TJMaxx or HomeGoods (I swear I’m not sponsored by them, I friggin wish!) They have the BEST selection & they’re super affordable – about $4.99 – $7.99 a piece. Write down what you want. When you literally write out your dreams, you are putting them into the universe & setting that path in motion.

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Have fun chasing your dreams & remember, they’re YOUR dreams & what YOU want! Don’t let anyone bring your dreams down or dim your light. Lose 10 pounds, visit Rome, open a new small business – whatever your dream is, work hard for it & trust the process! You got this, babes ūüėČ

-Jenna

Everything’s better when you look on the bright side.

Pregnancy Pumps

Pregnancy Pumps

…this is not a post about which breast pump is best for you. Don’t worry, we aren’t going there… yet.

I’ve had many people ask me about my pregnancy workouts & how I’m keeping off the extra pounds so I figured I’d put some answers in a post.

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For starters, I have to put it out there that I’m amongst the rare few women who have basically zero pregnancy problems. I’m 31 weeks pregnant & have gained 9 pounds with a perfect, measuring to size baby. I was extremely tired in my first trimester but other than that, I haven’t been sick once. I don’t have cravings. Nothing food-wise turns me off or repulses me. I’m literally eating what I’ve always eaten, if anything, I’m eating even cleaner & more organic than ever before. (I did crave freshly squeezed organic orange juice in the beginning for about a month & I still crave Tootsie Pops but that is not new for this pregnancy. This has been a life long struggle.)

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I have NEVER used the excuse that I’m “eating for two.” Did you know the average pregnant woman is only supposed to eat 300 more calories a day than they did before they got¬†pregnant? That’s basically an apple with a bit of peanut butter. This does not calculate to you being able to eat a cheesecake “because you’re pregnant.” Remember: The food you give yourself is the food you’re feeding to your baby so choose wisely.

Also, I am pregnant, not handicapped. Yea, I’m not climbing on ladders or doing things that could potentially hurt my child but I’m also perfectly capable of doing *most* things myself & not using my pregnancy as a crutch to be lazy so someone else will do it for me. (This will probably change in my 9th month when I can’t shave my own legs but we’ll cross that bridge…)

So with all of that said, I am still, at least 5 days a week, in the gym. I may not be lifting the heavier weights I used to lift or running the miles I used to run, but I am still in there, staying active, & most importantly, listening to my body. If baby tightens up or I’m feeling beat, I head home. No sense in hurting either one of us¬†just to get in that extra set.

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Getting a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise in a day makes the rest of my 23.5 hours much happier. I always say, no matter how busy we ALL are, you can & should¬†find 30 small minutes to do something for YOU. To my people who claim “they just don’t have time”: did you know that according to a study by Informate Mobile Intelligence, the average American spends 4.7 HOURS a day on their phone, much of which is on social media. Yikes. Now, it’s no secret that I love me some social media but for the love of God, people, make yourself a priority. Put the fork & phone down & pick up a gym membership. It’s honestly that simple. GO TO THE GYM… or at least for a walk.

|| GETTING STARTED/CARDIO ||

I used to to start out my workouts with high intensity training where I would walk on the treadmill for a certain amount of time & then run at high speeds for a minute, walk, run for a minute… for about 30 minutes. Not anymore.

I start out walking at 3.5mph on a 4% incline. Every 10 calories, I move up a percentage until I get to 8%. Then I work backwards until I get back down to 4%. I never raise my speed as I am not personally comfortable running with baby (some people are & that’s okay too! If you were a runner before you got knocked up, you should be able to run now. If you weren’t a runner, don’t start now, sister! Consult your doctor on what’s best for you.)

For my weight & age, I have this perfectly calculated to burn 110 calories in exactly one mile (the last 10 calories I am at a 0% grade & slow my walk down to 3mph for a cool down.)

One mile minimum a day, sometimes I repeat this step once or even twice. Three miles is my max as I don’t want to burn too many calories as baby needs them! (Again, the healthy ones.)

|| LIFTING ||

You guys have no idea how freaking funny it is to throw a 30lb barbell over your head, do a squat set & watch the guys at the gym just squirm. They literally think the baby is going to fall right outta my cooty coo while I’m deep in my press, it’s effing hilarious. I love legs days mostly because of this.

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I’ve always worked on legs, booty, triceps, biceps, shoulders, calves, & abs. Well, after your first trimester, abs exercises are outta the question so that cuts gym time down a bit. I choose 2 body parts & work on them that day. The next day, I choose two more & so on and so forth. I am partial to working on legs but choose what you need to work on most & go with it. Light weights are best for momma’s to be. Remember, anything is better than nothing & baby’s safety comes first.

|| COOL DOWN ||

Always take 5 minutes to decompress from your workout with a nice stretch so you aren’t too tight the next day. Come down off your workout high & congratulate yourself for getting a workout in. Drink PLENTY of water as preggies can easily get dehydrated. Refuel with an apple & a healthy yogurt (I recommend Siggi’s Vanilla as it’s not “fat free” or full of aspartame & complete chemical shit, rather lots of healthy protein & clean ingredients.)

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If you really just don’t have time to get to the gym or if your day was jammed & by the time you have some down time, it’s dark out & you’re not comfortable working out at night, have some gym tools on hand at the house so you can do it yourself: a yoga mat, a 10-15lb kettle bell, resistance bands, or a variety of these things; all of which can be found for super cheap at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, any sporting goods store, or even free-weights from a thrift store.

I am no personal trainer or physician so do what I did when I first found out I was pregnant: Talk to your doctor & if you get the go-ahead to workout, YouTube “prenatal workout” videos. It’s a really good place to start.

Best of luck momma’s & momma’s to be! You’re stronger than you know & sometimes, it just takes proving that to yourself & no one else. You got this ūüėČ

-Jenna

Everything’s better when you look on the bright side.

 

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

Here’s to a wonderful weekend celebrating our great country & freedom! Since I’m off the bottle with babes in the oven, here’s some tips for those of you who aren’t knocked up to make a couple fun holiday-inspired cocktails, snack, & centerpiece ¬†(Drink responsibly but for the love of God, have a couple cocktails for me!)

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In a short rocks glass, add: 1 ounce of Tito’s vodka & then fill with Gatorade’s Frost Glacier Breeze or Fierce Blue Cherry (both blue Gatorade’s – flavor choice depends on your personal taste.) Garnish with fresh strawberries or raspberries for color.

Why I love this: This cocktail is genius! You can hydrate while you derehydrate – it’s a win/win! It’s also USA theme in color so it’s perfect for a day-time cocktail.

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Prep: In an ice tray, add blueberries, raspberries, & cut up strawberries. Add water. Freeze over night.

In a short or tall cocktail glass, add: 1 ounce of your choice clear alcohol (vodka, gin, tequila) & fill the rest with soda water (Tip: Avoid the tonic water. Soda is literally bubbly water – zero calories. Tonic water is sugary & there are 124 calories in a can of tonic water. Don’t get them confused.)

Why I love this cocktail: It takes a little extra prep time to make the ice cubes, but this is a super cute cocktail that is low in calories (approx. 70 calories a cocktail)

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A little snack! & a very easy snack at that, which requires zero cooking. On skewers, add strawberries, bananas, marshmallows, & blueberries to create the American flag on a tray. This healthy & sweet snack is great for grab & go while you’re socializing your way through the party (Tip: Have a friend check your teeth for strawberry seeds ;))

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How cute are these center pieces?! If you’re the host of the party, grab 3 pineapples at the grocery store & 3 cans of spray paint (obviously red, white, & blue.) Over an old newspaper in a well ventilated space, spray paint the whole pineapple in each color. Once they dry, place the pineapples on a tray, stick some sparklers in the top & boom! You’ve got an adorable center piece for your table.

Just a couple quick ideas to help spread American pride over this holiday weekend! Be safe, don’t drink & drive (DUI’s are for morons) & have a wonderful safe weekend with the people you love!

Coming up this week, I’ll be posting about my pregnancy workouts & how I’m keeping my energy up while this little babe tries to suck it all outta me.

Cheers to the land of free because of the brave!

-Jenna

Everything’s better when you look on the bright side.