January 29, 2011

Baby’s Next Top Model

by Katherine Arcos

In the internet world, there are so many bogus contests you stumble upon. As a proud parent, I wanted to enter Kailyn into a baby model contest. Why not? So I looked online to see what I could find. I came upon many sites that I could tell were not the real deal. Stay far away from the scam contests that just want your information so that they can bombard you with offers and e-mails. I fell for that once. 😦 Luckily, I saw this child model search sponsored by parenting.com. Parenting.com is a website that has plenty of articles on babies. I actually found it to be very helpful while I was pregnant and now more than ever that Kailyn is here. They are currently having a baby and child model search. Just go to the following website to read more about it.

http://modelsearch.parenting.com/modelsearch/

So I’ve decided to go ahead and submit one of Kailyn’s photos to see what happens. Since I am a mom and I think all her pictures are absolutely adorable, I can’t seem to make up my mind. I NEED HELP! Hopefully you can help me choose the best picture to submit. Below I posted 3 of my favorite pictures and I put a letter under each one of them. The deadline is this Monday so please take the survey and I will make my decision by tomorrow. Thank you in advance for your help. Hopefully Kailyn wins this contest and if she does I will keep you all updated. 🙂

 

A

B

C

Make your choice!

January 20, 2011

Let’s Sing the Blues

by Katherine Arcos

Many warned me that having a c-section would mean that I would be in a lot pain during the recovery. Luckily for me, I recovered rather quickly. The day of the c-section I was in bed the rest of the day. I did feel sore and drowsy due to the anesthesia wearing off and the medications I was taking. The next day, the nurses strongly recommended to start walking so that I wouldn’t get gases. I got up and right away I got very dizzy. I sat down for a little bit and got up and tried again. I walked out to the hallway and roamed around. Mike was right by my side making sure I was okay. The cut still felt very sore but it wasn’t as bad as people told me it was going to be. There were times where I couldn’t laugh so much because of the pain.

On my second day I felt so much better. I asked the nurses if they thought I could go home the next day for Thanksgiving. I didn’t want to be in the hospital for Thanksgiving. The nurses didn’t confirm anything. They informed me that c-section patients usually stay in the hospital for 3-4 days. I felt good to go home and be with my family. I kept insisting and the nurses said that they will check with the doctor. The morning of Thanksgiving the doctor came into my room to check how I was doing. He asked me a few questions and said he was impressed on how fast I was recovering. I told him that I felt good. He gave me the best news ever- I could go home as soon as I’m ready. I was the happiest person on the earth. I was so thankful that I would take Kailyn home on Thanksgiving day and be with my family. I left the hospital that afternoon with the biggest smile on my face holding Kailyn in my arms. Below are a few pictures of that afternoon and Kailyn with her going home outfit.

I arrived to my apartment filled with excitement. I couldn’t believe that I was finally home with my baby girl. My mom cooked a delicious Thanksgiving dinner at the last minute since she didn’t know for sure if  the hospital was going to dispatch me. I was so glad to be home. I was in pain and I always needed help getting off the bed. This is where the baby blues started kicking in. That same night I couldn’t sleep. I kept getting up and walking to Kailyn’s bassinet to make sure she was okay. For some reason, I kept thinking something bad would happen. It was really bad. That continued for a couple more nights. Thankfully, my mother took a few days off to stay with me at home while Mike went back to work. I was so lucky to have my mom helping me with the baby. I don’t know what I would have done without her there. I remember crying at the fact that I couldn’t do as much as I wanted to. I wanted to be able to get up when ever Kailyn needed me, but I physically couldn’t do it. I told Mike that I was just so frustrated. I felt very dependent on others and that’s not the person I am.

The whole first week at home was a lot to handle. I would find myself crying by just looking at Kailyn. It was just a whole bunch of different emotions. I felt super happy that she was finally here, but then I would feel overwhelmed with the changes that I was dealing with. I also think that my sleepless nights were catching up to me. One night, I was laying on my bed and I just started crying uncontrollably. Mike asked me what was wrong and I couldn’t even explain what I was going through. The thought of being responsible of my daughter’s life scared the crap out of me. I was paranoid that I would do something wrong or hurt her in some way. Every time I heard my daughter cry, I would want to cry. The last thing I wanted to do was harm my daughter. I was the opposite, I wanted to make nothing ever hurt her. I went online and I talked to women who were in the same place I was not too long ago to find out if this was normal. I heard of postpartum depression, but I never thought about physically hurting Kailyn in any way. I think I was just in shock that I was a mother now and how quickly my life changed from one moment to another. I guess I didn’t mentally prepare myself for this, but then again you really can’t until you actually go through it yourself.

I talked to my doctor and he said I had the case of baby blues. This website explains all there needs to know about baby blues. http://www.babycenter.com/0_the-baby-blues_11704.bc. It felt so relieve after reading this. After a week or so, I was back to normal. Physically, I felt a lot better and recovering very quickly and mentally I was getting the hang of things. Now I can somewhat differentiate her cries. The only time she cries is when she’s either hungry, sleepy, needs her diaper changed, wants to be held or loved, and especially when I’m giving her a bath. I feel so blessed to have had the support of my family and close friends. The people who really helped me get over my baby blues were women who actually went through the same thing. I feel content knowing that I wasn’t the only one that ever felt this way. My best advice would be to vent out to someone who has been through the same experience. Trust me, you will feel a whole lot better knowing that you are not alone. I’m glad that I was able to communicate my feelings. The baby blues are gone and I’m as happy as can be to have my daughter by my side.

Kailyn 3 weeks old.

 

January 14, 2011

A New Chapter in my Life

by Katherine Arcos

I’m back and feeling better than ever! Many might be wondering what has happened to me since my last blog post. I’m here to tell it all! I have so much to tell and don’t know where to start. Well, it’s has been 7 weeks and 3 days since I received the biggest blessing of my life. On November 23rd, 2010, I gave birth to my daughter, Kailyn Brielle Murcia. Since then, my life has completely changed. She was due on December 5th, but couldn’t wait that long. At my last scheduled ultrasound, the nurse noticed that my amniotic fluid was low. They monitored me to make sure that the baby’s heartbeat was okay. After half an hour, they called my doctor and informed him of my situation. The nurse informed him that the baby’s heartbeat was okay and that I was already contracting. He scheduled an appointment with me a few days later and conducted another ultrasound. My fluid was still low, so he strongly suggested that we schedule a c-section right away. According to my doctor, if the fluid remained low, Kailyn could suffocate at the time of the originally scheduled labor date. I discussed this with Mike and we both had no doubt in our minds that the c-section was the way to go. We would do anything to keep our daughter safe.

At 8:17am, on November 23rd, Kailyn Brielle entered this world weighing 7 lbs 12 oz and measuring 20 inches long. This may sound a little cliché, but the day my daughter was born was the best day of my life. The feeling I had was so surreal. I couldn’t believe that after 9 months she was here in my arms. The love I had for this little girl is one that can’t be described. I have to admit that I was very scared going into the operation room. I cried my eyes out because I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve never had a surgery in my life, so I couldn’t stop shaking from nerves. The nurses really tried to make me feel better, but that didn’t help too much. I prayed to God to for the strength I needed to go through this and to bring my daughter into this world safe and healthy. That’s all I wanted and exactly what I got. There I was wide awake with partial anesthesia waiting for my baby to arrive. I didn’t feel any pain but definitely felt a lot of touching. 15 mins later, my doctor shouted, “This is a big baby!” He started grunting and pulling away! A few seconds later, I heard my daughter’s first cry. My eyes filled up with tears of joy. I was the happiest person in the world. Below is a picture of the first time I got to hold Kailyn and the other is the first family picture. We were the proudest and happiest parents!

After the c-section, they took me into the recovery room for about an hour. I felt so drowsy. I still couldn’t believe that Kailyn was finally here. The nurse brought her to me so that she could have her first meal. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to breastfeed Kailyn since that was the healthiest way to go. I actually decided to do both– breast milk and formula. There I was giving my daughter her first meal. She laid next to me and automatically went for my breast. It was such a bonding experience that I’d never forget.

After the recovery room, I was transferred to the room that I would be staying in for the next few days. I was very sore and exhausted from the surgery. Many of my family members and close friends came to visit me. I felt so blessed to see my room filled with the people who truly cared. The first day was so overwhelming because I wanted to rest, but I didn’t want to miss a single moment. Everyone was so happy that Kailyn arrived in great health. My afternoon was filled with visitors and my nights were with Mike and Kailyn. Both Mike and I were very emotional the first couple of days. Mike would cry when the nurse had to take her to the nursery. We were so attached to Kailyn that taking her away from us for an hour was miserable! I would give Kailyn formula throughout the day, and at night I would breastfeed. She liked both, but breastfeeding was very painful for me. The second night I breastfed for an hour straight. My nipples were on fire! They warned me that it was going to hurt…I didn’t know what I had in store for me. Kailyn just wanted to eat and eat and I felt as if I wasn’t producing enough milk for her. She would suck and still stay hungry. I didn’t stop breastfeeding no matter how painful it was. I knew that Kailyn would receive everything she needed with the milk I was producing. As much as my breasts were in pain, I knew that it would get easier as the days went by. I was right! The nipples got tough and it wasn’t as painful anymore. The pumping helped a lot. Unfortunately, I still wasn’t producing enough milk for Kailyn so I supplemented with formula. Until now, I still breastfeed her here and there but she takes more formula. I’m proud to say that Kailyn was breastfed for at least a month 🙂

My life is complete with Kailyn in it. Being a mother is one of my proudest achievements in life. Kailyn has become my new motivation in life. All I do from now on is for her. She is my everything. Even though I don’t sleep the way I used to, I can honestly say it’s all worth it. Now you can join me on this new chapter in my life. The life of a first time mom now balancing school, work, and anything else life throws at her. Ready or not!

Kailyn Brielle, you are my world.

November 11, 2010

“Showered” with Gifts, Love, and Support

by Katherine Arcos

On Saturday, November 6, my family and friends came together for my baby shower. As you may know from one of my previous blog posts, I was really caught between a lot of different customs and opinions. I have to admit that I was pretty nervous since I wanted everything to be perfect. It turned out to be one of the most beautiful and unforgettable nights of my life.

Since I was so busy with school, work, and planning events, it totally slipped my mind that I needed to buy my outfit for the baby shower. Week after week, I would think about going shopping but something always popped up. The day before the baby shower came and it dawned on me that I still didn’t have anything to wear. I panicked and headed to the mall as soon as possible. I was in the mall for hours and didn’t find anything good to wear. I was left with no other choice but to shop for my dress on the day of my baby shower. I was praying to God that I would find the right dress.

I knew I wanted to wear a dress, so that made it even harder to find. I headed to Jersey Gardens Mall in Elizabeth, NJ, and went from store to store. I felt hopeless after a couple of hours, but that didn’t stop me. I was determined to find that one dress that I would love and, thankfully, I did. I saw a sign that read “Dress Sale” so I headed straight towards it. It turned out to be a BeBe outlet, which was known to be quite the expensive store if you ask me. I immediately found a gorgeous white dress that had a tag marking it at $90. A bit expensive, but I was desperate! Lucky for me, I found out at the register that the dress was on sale and was only $30. Always confirm with the store, guys!

My baby shower was only a couple of hours away and I couldn’t wait. I did my hair and makeup and got ready to head to the venue. I arrived and couldn’t believe my eyes. The place was decorated with pink and purple tablecloths and balloons. The walls were decorated with signs that read, “It’s a girl!” and “Baby Shower”. There was a table with a beautiful 3 tier cake, favors, and gifts surrounding the table. I couldn’t believe how many gifts there were for my little princess. I felt so blessed.

My family, Mike’s family, and my close friends were all around me. I felt so much love in that room that I would even just start tearing up here and there. I couldn’t believe how everything looked and how many people were in attendance. One of my highlights of the baby shower was a surprise that Mike made for me. It was a photo montage that started with pictures of me as a baby, followed by pictures of me growing up and with my family, my first day in elementary school, pictures from my childhood birthday parties, pictures of me as a teenager, up until pictures of me with my friends in high school and at SPC. Mike then put our first picture we took together, followed by memorable photos of us throughout our 2 years together. It ended with my daughter’s ultrasound shots and out maternity photos, with a close up of the ribbon tied around me saying, “It’s a girl!”. Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are” was playing in the background through my photos, and Creed’s “With Arms Wide Open” played along with the pictures of Mike, the baby, and I. It was absolutely perfect and made me cry so much!

The pictures that made me cry the most were the ones with me and my father. My father has always done a lot for me, but the pregnancy news hit him the hardest. My parents separated when I was in first grade, which was really hard for me since I was very attached to my father. I wanted to spend all my time with him when I couldn’t. I accepted the reality of things and stayed strong with my mother and 2 sisters. I wish things would have been different, but sometimes there’s nothing you can do. I admire my mother so much for raising my sisters and I all by herself. She worked hard to give us all that we needed and that’s why I consider her my inspiration in life. My dad was always there when we needed him as well. I love my dad and he worked hard to give us all a good education. From kindergarden to my senior year in high school, he paid my Catholic school tuition because he believed it was the best education I could have. I agreed 100%. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for my dad. The pictures made me cry because I don’t think he knows how much I appreciate him even if he has made mistakes in the past. He’s my father and nothing can ever change that. Now, more than ever, I appreciate all he has done and I look forward to seeing him create a great and loving relationship with his granddaughter.

I truly felt blessed with all the gifts we received from everyone. My daughter has everything she needs and more. This evening was truly memorable. It was beautiful to see all the people who have supported me throughout this special time. I had my family, Mike’s family, and my close friends there, I couldn’t ask for anything else. I loved every minute of it and I wouldn’t change a single thing. I’m so grateful for the people who made it all happen– Mike, my mother, Mike’s mom, my sisters, and my cousin and a huge thank you to all that were present. I couldn’t have asked for a more special, beautiful, and amazing baby shower.

You can view more of the baby shower pictures by clicking on the Facebook link below.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=240857&id=597538868

 

November 4, 2010

The Pregnancy Roller Coaster

by Katherine Arcos

I am finally in my 8th and last month of my pregnancy. I know… time just flew by! Right now, I would say that I’m feeling very anxious. Another thing that I’ve noticed is that my mind is more at peace (even though I still get those moody and emotional attacks here and there.) It’s definitely not like the first 3 months when my mind was all over the place and I was defensive about everything. The months between the 3rd and 6th month just felt like a transition from feeling very lost and sad to being happy and realizing the huge blessing that is on the way.

Now more than ever, there’s a feeling of complete happiness and positivity surrounding me. There are a certain few who will throw a negative comment here and there, but that doesn’t bring me down one bit. Every time I think about finally holding my little baby girl in my arms, I can’t help but smile, even on a rainy day like today.

Today, I was sitting in my car by myself and started to look back on the ups and downs of my pregnancy. I did cry when I thought about the friends that I lost along the way. You would think that at a time like this, your friends would be right there with you each step of the way. Unfortunately, it wasn’t like that for me. Don’t get me wrong, I do have a couple of friends that have stood by me through the thick and thin and are still there for me now. I love them to death.

During the first few months of my pregnancy, I lost some of my closest friends. When I found out I was pregnant, I was juggling 6 classes, an internship with Showtime, work, and being the president of my class and also the Latin American Service Organization. I was so stressed out, that when the pregnancy news hit, it just topped everything off. When I decided to tell some of my close friends the news, I received good and bad reactions. A lot of them did not believe it and the fact that I told them on April Fools’ Day made it even worse. In the end, they were all there for support.

A few weeks passed by and I felt very lonely. I had Mike, but there are just days when you want to hang out with a girlfriend. With all the changes going on in my body and my life, I got in touch with my sensitive and defensive side. Some friends that I considered my sisters became non-existent. Some were lost due to petty arguments that got way out of hand, others for the lack of communication, and a couple that just weren’t there anymore. When you’re in a situation like this, you truly realize who your real friends are.

Before my pregnancy, I was an average college girl that just wanted to enjoy every second of her life. I was the adventurous type that would decide to go to Atlantic City just for the heck of it. There was one time that I managed to drive to AC 3 different days in one week. It’s a lot of mileage, but it was worth it. One thing I’ve always loved to do was dance. When I was on a dance floor, I felt so free. My friends considered me the girl that was down to go anywhere at anytime and they loved that about me. Now that I was pregnant, I wouldn’t be able to be that person anymore and I was perfectly fine with that. I was, in a way, getting tired of that lifestyle.

Recently, I decided to open my heart to the friends that I’ve lost for stupid reasons. I have always been the type of person that could not hold grudges against people for a long period of time. I believe that life is too short to not appreciate the people that God has put in your life. Trust me, they are all there for a reason. So now I’ve recovered some of my closest friends and updated them with what I’ve been up to. Life is great now! Communication can get you very far and I’m glad that I have these friends back in my life. I’m better off having friends than having enemies.

One friend that has been with me through the ups and downs is Mike. I am beyond grateful to have him in my life and I honestly don’t know what I would do without him. He keeps me sane, happy, motivated, and determined. He is everything good that I could have asked for. Even though there are times when he can drive me up the wall, the best quality that he has is the ability to make me laugh, especially when I’m feeling down. If you haven’t met Mike, you don’t know what you’re missing. He has to be the funniest guy I’ve ever met and that’s why I love him. I truly feel like I found my soulmate because I can’t picture myself with anyone else. He has been the person that I tell it all to and I know he won’t judge me. My one and only friend, Mikey.

With that being said, it’s on to happy times now and forever. I have Mike, I have my family, I have my friends, I have my education, I have a job, so all I need is my baby and my life will be complete. 4 more weeks until my baby girl is here with us and I just can’t wait!!!

October 28, 2010

The Halloween Spirit is Alive Again!

by Katherine Arcos

Today, I decided to take my nephew, Justin, and my niece, Emmiley to SPC’s Annual Haunted House for kids. This event is hosted by the Tribeta Biology Society where they have a kid friendly haunted house, face painting, cupcakes and candy, cool Halloween scientific experiments for kids, and a trick-or-treat trip to one of the residence halls.

All the Halloween fun started at 5:30PM and took place in Gannon Hall. There were so many kids excited and dressed up in their Halloween costumes. It was so adorable to see all the different costumes that varied from a little pumpkin, cow, giraffe, and many more. Justin was dressed as Mario and Emmiley was Snow White. I couldn’t believe how cute they looked. I just put my costume together at the very last minute. I thought it would be cute to dress up like a kitty cat (get it->cat…my name is Katt. Ha ha.) Back to the kids, I was able to take a quick snapshot of them together actually looking at the camera, which by the way was a huge shocker!

 

Snow White & Mario

Katt, the kitty cat

When I saw how much fun they were having I felt this overwhelming and indescribable feeling. It was like I couldn’t stop smiling. All I wanted to do is please them in any way possible. If one of them wanted a cupcake, I would run and get it for them. I made it my goal to get them as much candy as possible because I know that’s what they believe that Halloween is all about.

Mike and I were having an amazing time. At one point, Mike just looked at me and said “I can’t wait until we do this with our daughter.” I almost started crying. Sorry, I am very emotional these days.  I’ve never been a big fan of Halloween, except when I was younger, but tonight Justin and Emmiley brought that Halloween spirit to life again. Now with my daughter on the way I feel like I’m going to enjoy Halloween all over again and the best part is that I’ll have my own family to share it with. I feel so blessed and happy right now.

Children are just such a joy to be around. Even though I feel super exhausted right now, I know it was all worth it! I love my family so much, especially Justin and Emmiley. They definitely made this year’s Halloween meaningful and unforgettable.

Happy Halloween everyone!!!

October 21, 2010

The Name Game

by Katherine Arcos

Every time I bump into someone I prepare for the same question over and over again. That question is…”Have you picked out a name yet?” At first I would say I don’t know and people would understand.  Now that the arrival of the baby is just around the corner, people expect me to have a name picked out already.

It’s not like I haven’t looked through the baby name books at all. Trust me, as soon as I found out that I was going to have a girl I made an alphabetical list of baby names that I liked. I felt confident that Mike and I would agree with a name immediately. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. For some reason, we both could not reach an agreement. It was just so frustrating, that I would rather avoid talking about it. We are really working hard to come up with some names that we can both agree on.

Another thing that makes this a little more complicated is that we also want our families to like the name. We’ve thrown some names out there to see how the family would react, but that was just a bad idea. I feel that family members and close friends are really comfortable to voice their opinions. Strangers are the best because you can say a name and even if they don’t like, they’ll just go ahead and pretend that it’s the best name ever. With family and friends, you will get the real deal. We would get some positive and negative reactions. The negative ones would just make us very uncomfortable.

Recently, we’ve decided that we will not let anyone know the name until the day the baby arrives. It’s much better because it will a surprise for everyone and it will also relieve a lot stress from our part. We feel like once we see our baby girl that we will automatically know what her name is. It will naturally come to us.

Don’t get me wrong -we do have a few names in our secret box. Lucky for you I have decided to make a poll with the names that are on our “maybe” list. But again, NOTHING IS SET IN STONE! Let me know what you think. Who knows that might just be my baby girl’s name. 🙂

October 14, 2010

When Chaos Hits!

by Katherine Arcos

This week has been, and continues to be, a bit overwhelming for me. I feel as if everything is happening all at the same time! I’m in the middle of midterm week, my job continues to get busier with not enough employees working to have a consistent schedule, searching for an affordable lamaze class, scheduling more frequent prenatal visits, and preparing for my maternity portraits. These are just to name a few.

Yesterday, I was practically freaking out! This weekend, my supervisor asked me if I could work an extra day since one of my co-workers was going on vacation and we didn’t have enough people to complete the schedule. I agreed to work on Wednesday night since I didn’t have any plans or events that would conflict. I figured that it wouldn’t be such a bad thing since I would be making a little extra money for me to save, and I would be helping them out. Unfortunately, with my luck, I overlooked the fact that I had a midterm today at 9:00 AM for my organizational behavior class. The shift that I was given to work last night was from 3:00 PM to 11:00 PM; A WHOLE 8 HOUR SHIFT! I kept worrying that I wouldn’t have time to study at work, and that I would be too tired after work to even function.

Luckily, I spoke with the night supervisor and asked if there was any way that I could leave an hour earlier. I explained that I had a huge midterm to study for. Thankfully, it wasn’t too busy and I made sure that I completed all my tasks for the rest of the night. She said I was free to leave and wished me luck on my exam. 🙂 As soon as I arrived home, I studied my booty off. I reviewed all 6 chapters that the midterm would be on, and fell asleep at a reasonable time. This morning, I woke up with the determination I needed to do well on this midterm. After taking the midterm, I felt confident that I passed and I look forward to seeing what I got.

On top of having to work yesterday and take a midterm today, I realized that I had scheduled a prenatal doctor appointment yesterday at 4:00 PM. Clearly, I wasn’t going to be able to make it since I agreed to work. Fortunately, my doctor was able to reschedule the appointment for tomorrow.

This whole experience just taught me to be more alert of my schedules. I do have an agenda that I carry with me all the time, but there are times when you forget to write something down. Come on, I’m human… and pregnant! I’m just glad that everything worked out fine. My classes are getting more intense as the weeks go by, and my job is depending on me to work more hours. I really hope that I can manage my time well so that I can make everyone happy. The first thing I need to focus on is my health, and everything else will follow. As long as I’m not causing too much stress on myself, then I will be just fine.

I CAN’T AND WON’T STOP NOW! I’m practically halfway through the fall semester, and more than halfway through my pregnancy. The only light that keeps me going is the thought of seeing my daughter soon. She is my motivation in everything that I am doing now. This is for you, baby girl! 🙂

October 7, 2010

To Dye or Not to Dye

by Katherine Arcos

It’s been very challenging to be pregnant and keep up with today’s fashion and trends. There are just so many rules and restrictions that I have to follow because it’s not all about me anymore. There’s a baby inside of me that I have to take into consideration right now. Last night, I made the choice to dye my hair to my natural color– black. I really enjoy switching things up once in a while. I’ve always felt the need to do something different with my hair depending on what season it is.

In the beginning of the summer, when I was 3 months pregnant, I decided to get highlights. I felt with this huge change in my life, I might as well stick along with making other changes. There was so much going through my mind and all I wanted to do was pamper myself. I wanted to lighten my hair since it was the summer time. Many people, such as some family members and close friends, were so against it. They told me that the chemicals through my scalp could harm the baby. Being the research nerd I am, I read so many articles online that could help me make this decision. I wanted to see what the professionals and other moms had to say about the topic. I didn’t want anything to happen to my baby.

http://www.babycenter.com/404_is-it-safe-to-color-my-hair-during-pregnancy_3273.bc

This article gave me the idea to highlight my hair because it clearly stated that the chemicals would have little or no contact to my scalp. I went ahead and added highlights to my hair and I absolutely loved the end results. I felt like a new person and I received very positive feedback from everyone, especially Mike. =) I changed the hair color while he was on a service trip in Ecuador and surprised him at the airport the day he returned. It was as if he fell in love with me, all over again.

PICTURE WITH THE NEW HIGHLIGHTS


During the past 4 months, my hair has grown about 4 inches. During pregnancy, many bodily features grow ten times faster. With the change in hormones and the intake of prenatal vitamins, it just turns out that way. My hair just keeps growing and growing, along with my nails and eyebrows. Every time I looked at my hair, it would frustrate me to see my dark black roots growing in. The highlights were growing out so bad! I knew I needed to take care of my hair, especially since I have my maternity photo shoot coming up soon.

Again, I did my research on dyeing my hair and how it would affect my baby. I would tell people that I wanted to color my hair and, once again, they would advise me not to. I was a little hesitant because now it wouldn’t be just highlights, I would have to color my whole head.

http://www.pregnancy.org/article/dying-change-hair-color-and-your-pregnancy

This article gave me my final motivational push to go ahead with the dyeing of my hair. It stated that pregnant women shouldn’t be afraid to “color their world”. I actually took the suggestion to color my hair at home. I trusted my mother more than anything, and I must admit she did a great job. Now I feel so much better to have my natural hair color back. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t need to visit the hair salon anytime soon, especially since the baby is on its way and I probably won’t have time to constantly get my hair done.

I continue to realize that there are people who will always have their own opinion on certain things. That’s just the way it is. In the end, it all falls down to what you want to do. People will try to sway you in different directions, but as long as you have done your own research and feel confident about it, then go for it! Some would think that it’s very superficial and inconsiderate of me to care about the way I look, but they aren’t in my shoes. Regardless, I can say that my baby is very healthy and her mommy looks and feels great! As they say, a mother knows best! 😉

 

AFTER


September 30, 2010

Let’s Talk Baby Shower

by Katherine Arcos

Traditionally, baby showers should be a surprise for the mommy to be. My case is different. Since I’m such an event planner at heart, I had to be involved with the planning for my baby shower. There are many “traditional” views that are associated with a baby shower. My biggest task was being able to have my family and Mike’s family see eye to eye on what type of shower I should have. It’s pretty difficult to have two hispanic families come to an agreement about certain things that are considered “traditional.”

My family sees a baby shower as a call for a celebration. We are big dancers in our family and ever since I was a little girl, my family reunions always had music (salsa, merengue, and some bachata), gifts, delicious food, and cake.  This is exactly how they expect a baby shower to be. On the other hand, there’s Mike’s family that is more into having an all women type of baby shower, where no men are allowed, besides the father of the child and the grandfathers. The baby shower would consist of opening the gifts and having lunch or dinner, depending on what time the shower is being held. At the end, it was up to me to make the final decision on the type of baby shower I wanted. I didn’t know making this decision would be so stressful.

I wasn’t aware of how many different types of baby showers there are to choose from. This website gave me some descriptions on each type and gave me a clearer picture on what I wanted. http://www.best-baby-shower-planning-guide.com/baby-shower-types.html

Thankfully, I was able to discuss my ideas and opinions with Mike so that he can be the mediator of the situation. My goal was to have both families happy with the outcome of the baby shower. Our decision was to have a coed baby shower or what is called a “couples baby shower”, so that our aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends would be there to celebrate this special day with us.

Once we made that decision, there came an even harder decision to make. Where are we going to possibly fit TWO hispanic families, plus the close friends we have, under one roof?! The location was key to us! One important factor that we kept in mind was our budget. Both Mike and I come from a single mother home and we admire all the sacrifices and hard work that our mothers have done, and are still doing for us. We can agree with each other that we must spend our money wisely.

After weeks of looking for a place that was close, big enough and affordable, we found a place that is PERFECT! Mike, being a Saint Peter’s Prep alumnus, had the opportunity to serve as an adult leader for a retreat with Prep last weekend. Along with all the great relationships he built and experiences, he come with a pretty good idea and decided to talk to the administration about renting their cafeteria for the baby shower. They agreed to rent us a venue for the baby shower at a super affordable price. This is a great example of maintaining great connections! Below is a picture of the venue. It fits close to 150 people, has free parking, and most of all, the school itself  holds a special place in Mike’s heart. We couldn’t be more blessed!

At the end, everything works out for the best and I’m so thankful to have the support from both families. This baby shower may be the talk of the town, and we are so anxious to get the invitations out to our family and close friends as soon as possible. Take a look at the invitations. They are so cute! 🙂