Gender Swaying

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Gender Swaying – a term I wasn’t privy to until recently. But as Ryan and I began thinking about having our third and final child, the idea of swaying the gender female was appealing since we were already blessed with two rambunctious boys.

I did a little bit of reading about the Shettles method, diets, supplements, etc. I found a lot of the diet and supplement information online to contradict itself– literally opposite advice floating around the Internet. Some women are even inserting lime juice and vinegar up their vaginas! Yikes! No thanks!

I decided to try and time things the way Shettles describes, and that’s about it – I didn’t think too much on it.

Then a blog post was published by a local blogger, Ashlee Gadd, who happens to live down the street from me, who also has two adorable boys and was pregnant with her third baby. She (bravely) shared her Gender Swaying efforts PRIOR to finding out the baby’s gender (read it here); it was raw and from the heart. Her efforts and prayers worked and she’s having her girl – and I’m so very happy for her. The method she used is based off of a book called The Babydust Method: A Guide to Conceiving a Girl or a Boy. My friend called me the morning Ashlee’s post published and told me about it since she knew I was planning on “trying” that month.

So, I read Ashlee’s post, totally related with it 1000 percent. I immediately ordered the book and ovulation prediction kits on amazon. Two days later, I was peeing on LH surge detection sticks twice a day and logging a picture of each stick into an app. The method: track your cycle for three months, determine when you ovulate so that when it’s time to “try,” you can time your intercourse with a 2-3 day cut off, meaning you have sex 2-3 days prior to ovulation. This method supposedly gives female sperm the advantage to fertilize the egg because by the time the egg arrives, the boy sperm will have died off. Seemed simple enough. Oh, but you also have to abstain from any sexual intercourse until you make your one attempt at making a baby, then abstain again until seven days after your ovulation day. Not exactly a fun way to conceive, but we decided to give it a go. Ryan was game.

From the first couple of days tracking, I found myself to have some anxiety about it all –  asking myself if this is all worth it. Won’t God give me what I’m meant to have? I really do desperately in my heart want a daughter, but is this the answer? Despite having some anxiety, I went ahead and tracked my cycle that month – I got my LH surge on cycle day 16, meaning the following day was my predicted ovulation.

I was starting to feel depressed because I was ready to try for a baby right before I found out about this method, and I didn’t want to wait three months to give it a go. I also wanted to hurry up and try because I knew this was causing me a lot of anxiety and I wanted to get it over with. I decided to time our “try” based on my previous month’s ovulation date.

Fast forward to the following month – by that point, I was feeling a lot of anxiety. So many cups being peed in and sticks being tested (not the easiest thing to do with a five and two year old at home). Abstaining from sex was also not fun – TMI I know, but this whole post is TMI. Ryan and I enjoy that aspect of our relationship and I think it’s super important in a marriage to connect in that way. So wouldn’t you think when it was finally time to “try” I would be super into it? Not the case. I had so much anxiety I just wanted it to be over and done with. Anyone heard the expression “dead fish?” TMI should have been the name of this blog post.

Then it was time to keep testing. I needed to get my LH surge on cycle day 16 in order to get my three day cutoff. Cycle 16 came and went, no surge. What I did end up with that night was spotting – mid cycle. Then it continued into cycle day 18. I read online it could be ovulation spotting, but not if I didn’t get my LH surge. I knew something was wrong with my body. I knew in my heart that this process had stressed me out to the point where my hormones were out of whack and I wasn’t ovulating – a pretty devastating realization for someone trying to conceive. This was so foreign to me, since I conceived Porter and Preston both on the first try. My body was physically rejecting what I was attempting to do; to micromanage my baby’s gender.

This wasn’t the first time stress had affected my cycle, however. The month before I got married, I completely skipped my period, which means I didn’t ovulate that month. So that’s how I know this isn’t because I’m going to be 34 in November, since this also happened when I was 26. (Side note, the pre-wedding stress wasn’t actually about marrying Ryan – it was various other aspects surrounding the wedding that caused me to be kind of a wreck. Thankfully I was able to find peace the day-of. ) Clearly this is just what my body does when it’s overly stressed out or anxiety ridden. I physically manifest my stress. I also have a stress induced fainting problem. I literally faint like on an effing soap opera.

After some serious prayer, the idea that this was the wrong thing for me was stuck in my head. I believe God is telling me to stop it – and trust that I will have what I’m meant to have. So this morning I threw away my sticks. I’m going to have sex when I feel like it, with maybe one intentional session close to my fertile window.  I’m giving up control and giving it to God – I have faith that he’ll give me whatever is BEST for me. I’ll have what I’m meant to have and if that is three beautiful boys, I’m game. I already have a girl AND boy name picked out anyway ;).

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

 

 

 

*side note, I want to clarify that I’m in no way trying to shame anyone that chooses to “gender sway.” I’m simply sharing my experience and feelings on it, for me. As I say often, you do you.*

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrapping-up Summer

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I just thought I’d pop on here to share a little bit about what we’ve been up to this summer! I feel like I just haven’t taken the time to write like I used to; partly because of our house remodel hell we were in for a year, partly because being a mom and having any sort of a social life is time consuming and I’ve put my blog on the backburner!

Aloha from Kaanapali

We semi recently spent a week in Maui with my parents and my brother’s family to celebrate my mom turning the big 6-0! Instead of having a big party, she decided the best gift she could have would be to spend a week with us in Maui. My parents paid for our plane tickets and everything and I’m so beyond grateful for the generous gift. I think when I’m 60, all I will want is a week in paradise with my husband, kids and grandkids too! It was honestly such a special time and I didn’t want to leave. The boys slept like little angels (they shared a bed) and everyone had such an amazing time. I think it really helped that we were all in separate condos, enabling us to spend tons of quality time together, but still having that bit of privacy – they’ve had a time share with the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas since 2005 and I finally got to see it haha. The grounds are stunning, the pools are so fun and it’s right on the beach – we will definitely be going back. We are already tentatively planning to have our 10 year wedding anniversary there (sans kids).

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Summer in Sacramento

Back at home, our summer has been consumed with summer camps, back-to-back kid fevers (womp womp), ice cream cones, BBQ’s, swimming and trying to finish our house. The big stuff was done prior to us moving back in, but we ended up taking on a lot of the finishing touches ourselves. Ryan bought a bunch of saws over the past year and they have sure gotten some use! We’ve saved a lot of money thanks to Ryan’s handy work – and since he’s a civil engineer and is super meticulous about everything, I know all the work is being done right. It’s been a long time coming, but we passed our final inspection right before we left for Maui! Hooray!

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Trip to SoCal

After being home from Maui for less than a week, I headed down to Orange County for a sorority friend’s baby shower (Alpha Phis where you at?). I went to a smallish private college called Chapman University in Orange, CA.  To this day, my sorority friends and I are close — even though we’re all sort of scattered across the country (with a clump of them in OC/LA) we always make sure to reunite every year or two. It’s been easy with all of our weddings and now baby showers, but we have plans to always continue our get-togethers as we grow old. I so cherish these friendships that have stood the test of time/distance!

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Update on the Kids

Porter starts Transitional Kindergarten (TK) next week! It’s crazy to me how fast he’s growing up, but I’m excited for this next chapter. His birthday is September 2, so he missed the Kindergarten age cut-off by one stinking day, but I’m grateful for the TK program they have these days for kids with fall birthdays! He’s also starting golf lessons soon, which he’s so excited about.  Porter’s dad, grandfather and great-grandfather are/were very skilled golfers. It’ll be interesting to see if Porter follows in their footsteps — either way, seeing Porter carrying around his cute little junior golf club set is pretty much the cutest thing ever.

Preston (Presto) is still my little tornado and he’s not old enough for preschool – most preschools in our area have an age requirement of two years, nine months. Some of them are two years, seven months, but require potty training (unless you go to a daycare type of school). Preston turned two in March, so I’ve decided to just give it until next year when he’ll be old enough to attend Porter’s old preschool. He’ll get two years of preschool and I think that’ll be fine.

With school starting already, I sort of feel like “summer” is already coming to an end, even though I know it’s technically not. I’m totally ready for pumpkins and fall (can I get an amen?) and for these damn NorCal fires to be put out. I’ve been living in smokey air for like two weeks now — I know it sounds whiney considering all the people who lost their homes, but I’m an asthmatic and this smoke is killing me!

I’m going to end this blog post with two sources of entertainment I recently discovered:

  1. Iliza Shlesinger’s Elder Millennial Netflix Special (so funny, and so relatable since I’m 33 and considered an older millennial) She’s funny on Instagram too: https://www.instagram.com/ilizas/?hl=en
  2. S-Town Podcast (totally sucked me in) 

Life’s Gripes and Grapes | And a Unique Wooden Watch

IMG_2795Anyone who’s married knows marriage isn’t always a cakewalk. I think that’s good though because if it were, there would be no opportunity for growth. Constant cakewalking=stagnant relationship. My goal in my marriage is to always be evolving and growing with Ryan. I have an expectation that I will gradually know him more and more deeply as the days go by and sometimes the fastest way to do that is to experience adversity together — it’s the silver lining to crappy situations.

Everyone goes through tough times in his or her lives and most people choose not to share it publicly (with the exception of those few who post pity party essays as their Facebook status’ for attention). But the majority of us look like we have the most perfect lives when you scroll our feeds – I’m guilty of it too. But I do it because dwelling on what’s negative in my life doesn’t serve me well – what does serve me well is putting a positive spin on things, then posting about it. I basically trick myself into seeing the bright side of obstacles haha.

However, when I started this blog, I told myself I’d always be honest; I want to share my real life. So I’m going to take a moment and list out on here what’s been putting a strain on me and my marriage lately and how I’m working through it.

For context: One of the PR firms I worked at (arguably my favorite one) used to take a moment at staff meetings and for employees to share their “gripes and grapes.” Gripes were things that were bugging you, Grapes were positive shout outs. So here I go with mine…

Gripes:

  • We live at my parent’s house because our house was gutted for a remodel
  • Our oldest son is struggling emotionally from living in limbo
  • We’ve been feeling unsettled for 9 months and counting; it’s wearing on us
  • We don’t know exactly when our house will be done
  • We are making big decisions when it comes to money and it’s stressful
  • We don’t get very much time alone
  • We have tons of design decisions to make together regarding our house; it can feel overwhelming
  • Ryan spends most of his free time working on the house
  • I have a million goals regarding my blog and some other things but I don’t feel like I have the time I need to spend to accomplish those goals and it makes me feel frustrated

There ya go…my little rant. When I read through it, I feel like I’m being a whiny millennial, which is why I don’t like to share things like this on social media. Was that uplifting to any of you? NO! Lol. Not to mention, I know a million plus people have it worse than I do! I know I could be dealing with REAL issues like cancer, death, divorce, hunger, poverty or any other sort of crisis so I feel silly whining about my life. But at the same time, my issues are impacting my sanity. Here’s how I cope…

Grapes:

  • I drink wine if you haven’t already noticed via my insta stories
  • I go on mommy dates fairly frequently and it fuels my soul
  • I pray and talk with my oldest son about how he’s feeling and try to show him unconditional love – I’m also completely redoing his room so that when we move back into our house, he’ll be blown away
  • I think about how lucky we are that my parent’s have a house big enough to accommodate our family so well
  • I remember how supportive my parent’s have been and how gracious they are to let us live here, rent free
  • I remember back before Ryan got his engineering license and I quit my job in PR and we were BROKE with a newborn baby in our starter house – I’m beyond grateful we have the means to buy a house in our dream neighborhood, then gut it to studs and remodel it
  • I think about how lucky I am to be married to a man who trusts my design decisions and genuinely loves and appreciates how I can transform the look of a room
  • I communicate with Ryan about how our lack of alone time together is making me feel disconnected from him – we remedy this by going out on dates
  • I remember that accomplishing big goals requires small, consistent efforts; although I can’t put the time/energy I want into accomplishing those goals right now, I’m still working towards them in small ways and I’ll eventually be able to ramp up my efforts

In addition to all of these things, I also totally surprised Ryan with a unique men’s wooden watch for Valentine’s Day a little early. I’ve gotten a JORD Wood Watch for him before and he LOVED it, but they’re constantly coming out with new designs, so I wanted to add to his little collection. They are also a great Valentine’s Day gift for him PLUS you can enter to win $100 towards the JORD site (enter here). You may not win the $100, but you automatically win $25 just for entering! Contest closes 02/04/2018

Thanks for listening to my rant. Next time you find yourself going to negative town, try and spin each gripe you have into a grape 🙂

Links below to check out more watches!

Ryan’s watch

Men’s watches

Women’s watches

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Luxury Wooden Watch

 

8 Reasons I Love Being a Boy Mom

JRP_3372copy (1)Let me start this off by saying that this post is not a dig at girl moms or to say being a boy mom is better. Nor is this meant to imply that I wouldn’t love a daughter one day, because of course I would. What I’m sharing today is simply all the things I love about having boys.

I can shape them into gentlemen

This is probably the biggest one in light of all the recent news stories on inappropriate male behavior. I didn’t participate in the social media #metoo frenzy for various reasons, but I’ve experienced my fair share of unwanted comments and even some situations where I had to be physically aggressive to keep myself safe.

There are so many wonderful gentlemen out there who are overshadowed by the animalistic predator men who view women as objects for their enjoyment. I have been blessed with the opportunity to shape two young boys to become the former, not only by what I deliberately teach them, but what they observe watching the Ryan’s behavior toward me and other women around him. I feel like God has given me the opportunity to better our society of males by entrusting me with TWO to raise right.

Chivalry won’t be dead and manners will be ingrained

Does your husband know how to properly set a table? Like does he know forks go on the left? Does he pull out your chair? Open your door? As much as I love Ryan, those things aren’t ingrained in him. It’s something you have to be taught and I definitely am already teaching Porter at the age of four about good manners vs. bad manners.

I don’t have to host a wedding

Since we only plan on having one more, at the very most we’ll be responsible for one wedding.

Boys love their moms

Of course they love their Dad’s too, but that mother-son bond is unique and I creepily stare at them with doting eyes on the regular.

I don’t have to clean poop out of a vagina

That’s all I’m gonna say about that.

I don’t have to have a teenage girl

Because I hear teenage girls just love their moms; I know I did.

I save money

Being honest about the fact that I would probably spend way more on clothes if I had two girls vs two boys. And that would likely continue until adulthood.

I’ll have special relationships with my Daughter-in-laws

I’ll have such a pent up need for estrogen in the family that I’ll probably spoil and love my daughter-in-laws like they were my own more than I would if I literally had my own daughter. But only if they’re quality girls. If they aren’t, I’ll just do my MIL duty of intimidation.

So… if whenever we decide to try for a third and I end up with a third boy, don’t give me the “I’m so sorry!” charade. Although I’m sure I’ll 100% get at least a handful of comments like that from random complete strangers.

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Message to the Judgmental Natural Birth Moms

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Note: This is an old blog post I found in my drafts. I edited it a little bit since my writing style has changed, but my feelings on this topic are the same.

Dear random judgmental mom at the grocery store,

On a casual shopping trip to Trader Joes, you successfully ruined my day. I’m sure you didn’t mean to, but you did. My 10-month-old Porter was sitting in the shopping cart eating samples, happy as a clam. Just prior to bumping into you, a kind stranger told me that he looks like Prince George. We’d gotten this before; Porter is fair skinned with chunky cheeks and he’s a big boy, – he’s been in the 90’s on the charts his entire life, with the exception of his 100 percentile head.

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So there I was, drooling over the cheese section as per usual and you pulled up next to me. You had a son in your cart too — the boys began to cutely interact.

Random Mom: “How old is your son?”

Me: “He’s 10 months. How old is yours?” I asked with a smile. (I’m careful not to have my #restingbitchface when talking to strangers)

Random Mom: “He’s 15 months. I know he’s small.” (for reference, he looked substantially smaller than Porter)

Me: “Awww he’s so cute.”

Random Mom: “Your guy is big but I bet you weren’t able to give birth naturally without any drugs like I was!”

Me: “No actually I ended up with an emergency c-section and it was a really horrible experience.”

Random Mom: Shuts up.

I walked away as quickly as possible.

I bet you weren’t able to give birth naturally without any drugs like I was!”

I realize this lady said this because she’s clearly insecure about the size of her child, but this is not an isolated experience. Through social media and even other face-to-face interactions, I’ve encountered numerous mothers who judge c-sections. What’s crazy to me is that if I hadn’t had one, I would have risked Porter’s life. He wouldn’t budge after two hours of pushing (you can read my full birth story here), so when his heart rate dropped and the doctor said they needed to get the baby out, I said OK because obviously I wanted my baby to be born safely and alive and I’m not the one with the MD after my name and neither does your doula.

“I bet you weren’t able to give birth naturally without any drugs like I was!”

Who honestly says that to a complete stranger or any mother for that matter? Do you want to get punched in the face? Or maybe you want me to tell you how amazing you are that you gave birth to your smaller than average baby without any drugs? That’s not how this works. I honor ALL mothers no matter how their babies come out because we all sacrificed ourselves on some level to make a human, and we all have our own stories to tell.

My opinion of anyone who brags about anything, let alone how they had their baby, is that they are immature. A woman of wisdom understands that being humble earns more admiration. If you want me to think you’re awesome, don’t tell me how awesome you are.

“I gave birth naturally” in my head equates to “I made the choice to give birth as though it was the olden days so I could feel like I’m better and judge other mothers who used drugs or had surgery.”

This is less relevant to the point of this rant, but I personally think pretending we live hundreds of years ago is kind of stupid. So although you think it will impress me, I literally think you’re kind of a weirdo. But I would never say that to your face because we are all different, and that’s ok.

I thank God I was born when I was, with modern medicine saving lives on the daily. I plan on embracing modern medicine for the rest of my life.

And to the natural birth moms who judge my c-section: If you ever have to have a limb amputated, I challenge you to do that “naturally” too. Let’s just pretend it’s the olden days for everything. Let them cut off your limb naturally; no anesthetics – maybe just a shot of whiskey and a stick to bite on from a pesticide free tree.

Ok, I’m being snarky now. I know I’m probably pissing a lot of people off and I sound like a hypocrite because this sort of comes across like I’m judging the “natural” moms. I’m really not though; this rant is about all of the judgmental moms out there who try to make other moms feel bad about themselves. I couldn’t care less how everyone’s babies are born because it’s none of my business.

Motherhood is hard enough, so let’s just support each other. You might be thinking something in your head when you see another mom, but don’t say it out loud unless it’s kind/supportive/encouraging.

Rant over.

Xo,

Bethany

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Mitchell Family Holiday Photos 2017

Photo shoots are HARD when you have a four year old and a nineteen month old. With Porter, we were dealing with smile refusals and attitude problems. With Preston, we were dealing with just general crazy behavior that mostly included running away when we put him somewhere to stand or sit or even heaven forbid we hold him and he isn’t diving head first to the ground. I tried bribing with food, but it was ineffective.

Somehow our photographer managed to capture some moments that made it look like we have our *ish* together, so thanks for that Jacki Raney. Hopefully we can fool everyone that’s on our Christmas card list. And thank the Heavens above for Amazon Prime’s free two day shipping for giving me something to wear. My outfit is linked below and I really think every girl should buy these shoes.

Sam Edelman Leopard heels (on sale for $119 from $140 – kind of a splurge for me, but I’ve been obsessed with these forever and plan on wearing the heck out of them)

Plaid Shirt (only $15 with a looser boyfriend-ish fit)

Tulle Skirt (Under $30 and comes in every color you could ever want)

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Hey Diddle Diddle 1st Birthday

First birthdays have always been a big deal, but millennial moms have taken it to a whole new level if you ask our Baby Boomer parents. What can I say? That’s just how we roll…

Preston’s first birthday was definitely not as detail oriented as his big brother’s was because it’s just harder to plan parties with two kids in tow (second child syndrome) and also, Preston had Croup just one week earlier so we were a little distracted.

Still, I wanted Preston to have a special first birthday.

I decided on a Hey Diddle Diddle theme because Preston gets particularly excited whenever he hears that nursery rhyme. It’s pretty adorable :).

I didn’t find a ton of Hey Diddle Diddle party ideas on Pinterest that I liked, so I sort of just threw this together. I picked some colors and ran with it — I threw in some Hey Diddle Diddle references here and there, but it was definitely understated because I just couldn’t spend the kind of time on this that I would have liked. I kept the menu easy by having a sandwich bar. The smash cake and cupcakes were made by my favorite Sacramento bakery, Freeport Bakery. Here are some pics for inspo in case you ever want to use this party theme!

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