Ok, I’ll go ahead and say it – it’s just easier this time. I haven’t been shy expressing the struggles I had as a first time mom to Garrett. Anxiety, guilt, shame, control (or lack there of) – you name it, I felt it. But with Charlotte, it’s as if those heavy clouds that hung over my head the first year of Garrett’s life, were never even in the forecast. I’m not sure if it’s due to my hormones not being as imbalanced – I keep saying that maybe my body rejected the boy hormones, and that’s why it’s easier having a girl. Or maybe it’s just that there really is such a thing as (and I cringe as I say this, cuz I really do hate the label), a “good baby.”
Our sweet baby girl (who we can now call by her actual name, Charlotte Madeleine Murray), was born Friday July 21st at 3:47 am, at 7 lbs 14 oz and 20 in long. Garrett dubbed her with one last nickname – “Twinkle Toes” – when he met her in the hospital, and not gonna lie – it kinda stuck. He also couldn’t help but notice the “Italian trademark” of dark hair covering her ears, to which he inquired, “Why does baby sister have so much fur?” LOL. It’s hard to believe that just this past Tuesday was my original due date, but this little lady had other plans. She shocked us with what we’re now calling our “trial run” the Wednesday night before, which sent us to the hospital and then back with irregular contractions 3-6 min apart. So come Thursday night, I told the hubs that I was just going to ignore any weird contractions I was feeling. Easy enough, that is, until 1 am rolled around and I got up to go to the bathroom, after tossing and turning for lord knows how long, only to realize my contractions were 2 min apart and had me buckled over in pain. Yep, it was the real deal. So we called our sweet neighbor again to come stay at our house with Garrett until my MIL could make it over, and Grant literally flew down the freeway to the hospital 40 min away – with me white-knuckling the passenger door handle the whole time.
Remember those TV ads from the ‘80s with the close-up of a greasy fried egg sizzling on the skillet, followed by the ominous “This is your brain on drugs?” Well, consider this my updated millennial PSA for all you mamas and mamas-to-be out there. But instead, imagine a close-up shot of your feet with a flip-flop on one and a work flat on the other (which one of my fellow colleagues totally did), followed by the words “This is your brain on baby.”
“Three’s a charm,” “Good things come in threes,” and “The Holy Trinity” all symbolize something I am starting to put a lot of stock in. The number three may just be my lucky number. I mean, if last “leap year” alone isn’t proof, I don’t know what is. Grant started a new job, we closed on our first house, and found out we were expecting our second child – all literally within three weeks of each other. Then, in the just the past three months, my blog baby went from my little fledgling project to being inundated with brand collab opportunities that has me in a position I never thought would come. A place where I can finally turn something I’ve been so utterly passionate about into a real business where I’m in control of my own success or failure.
Fresh off a glorious babymoon, I thought it would be fitting to do a bump update since it’s been a couple months, and I haven’t whined at you in a while 😉 J/K, this pregnancy has been fairly uneventful, other than the horrible sinus infection and lovely acne that seems to be way worse with this one – thanks girl. So here goes –
Last week I had started a draft for this blog post with a working title of “Happy Place.” Except a lot’s happened between now and then. As I laid awake after a much needed cry fest last night, the only thing I could think of was that it was time for me to “get real.” Too often we feel the pressures of putting on that happy face, even though we know well and good we are holding back tears or anxieties that eventually come to a head when we’re least expecting it. Last night was one of those times. I was preparing to give my son a bath just like any other night, but this night he insisted on having a “boo boo” that was going to hurt if he put his foot in the water. Oh dear. So for a solid five minutes (felt like 30) I tried every bribe in the book, until tears ensued and dad walked in asking buddy what’s wrong. To which I went off on a lightening speed explanation on why I’m so frustrated after trying to negotiate with a toddler for ten minutes, which results in said dad backing out of the bathroom slowly, very slowly.
I have a lot of mixed feelings on maternity wear. Not because there aren’t a ton of cool brands out there – see Fashion Mamas founder Natalie’s crowdsourced list in LAmag (I may or may not have contributed to the H&M & TopShop picks). I just have a hard time spending money on clothes that will be worn for maybe six months and then disappear in a box somewhere in the back of your closet/no-woman’s land. But on the other hand, shopping for your new-found bump is one of the short-lived perks to being pregnant. So, I made a compromise with myself: I will allow myself to shop for maternity clothes, if and only if they are affordable and fit in a way that makes me feel great about myself (cuz let’s face it – come 32 weeks in, we all need a little pick me up). Plus, there’s nothing like your best friend from college getting married to kick you into hyper-shopping mode.
So I admittedly have always had a hankering to make it to Coachella, and yet in the 7 years we lived in LA I never made the trek. To add even more salt to my wound, this year my awesome Fashion Mamas tribe is hosting their first “Mama Mirage” Coachella event, sponsored by Havaianas (cue sad face). Because I never like to wallow in my own sorrow, I figured what better way than to pay it forward to all my lovely followers. I’ve partnered with SheIn to send 2 lucky persons to Coachella – including airfare and hotel! The winners will also receive makeovers by some of hottest influencers for the entire weekend – seriously how cool is that??
In honor of The Second Shift’s #WomInspired campaign, I thought I would share my own story of empowerment and the very special professional role model I had that led me to a happier place as a woman, a mother, and a professional. The importance of women lifting each other up and serving as positive role models and mentors to those around us cannot be overstated. I was fortunate enough to work alongside Tracy Seng in my nearly five years at Los Angeles Magazine – someone who inspired my career, and has always supported those around her to follow their own path.
So it’s been a few weeks since we broke the news that we’re expecting a girl, and I thought it would be fun to share what first went through my mind when I found out. I still can’t believe that nowadays they can do a simple blood test as early as 10 weeks to reveal the gender, and a friend of mine told me that they literally just call you up and tell you what it is. Well she wasn’t lying, and when the nurse asked if I was ready to know all I kept thinking was “oh I already know it’s a boy.” Well, not so much. When I heard her say “girl” my first reaction was, “Really??” Then, I had to ask how accurate it was because I knew Grant would want to know, and she reassured me everything is pointing to a girl. So of course I got all teary-eyed as I called my mom to tell her, failing miserably at trying to keep cool swinging my 3 year old at the park. I then got so excited because I’d been devising a plan to surprise Grant with balloons and girly looking desserts when he got home from work. When he walked through the door it was that classic look all those dads on the Youtube videos have when their sneaky wives film their reactions – at first it’s shock, and then just the sweetest look of contentment. I sent a pic to Grant’s family and they all said it looked as if he were blushing 🙂