pregnancy cravings

8:39:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I have had an abundance of pregnancy cravings since the early days after those two, beautiful pink lines appeared before my eyes. I have craved everything from grape soda to chai tea, peanut butter & jelly to fancy fondue, and a little of everything in between. The moment I fulfill one craving, I already have a list of new ones adding up in my head.

None of this is surprising, of course. But what I have found interesting is my newest craving... everything fall/winter. The first time I saw a commercial for Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte (always a favorite of mine), I found myself drifting off to heaven. I'm craving pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin butter (which conveniently stays stocked in my refrigerator year-round thanks to the farmer's market), and even carving a pumpkin. Today I would have done anything to be able to put a Christmas tree in my house. I'm craving the smell like you could never believe, and I'm dying to be engulfed with the feelings that can only be found around the holidays.

Maybe because I've been holed up in my house all summer long with this ridiculous heat intolerance... or maybe because by the time the holidays are here this sweet, precious baby of mine will be a few short weeks away from entering the world. Whatever the reason, fall cannot come fast enough. I'm dreaming of boots, sweaters, scarves, and snow on the ground. Thank Zeus tomorrow is the first day of September.


drumroll, please...

12:05:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I'm a little behind in posting the news, but...     it's a BOY!

We could not be more thrilled. I know I would have been thrilled either way, but just knowing the gender of our little one makes it that much more real. Not to mention calling my dad to share the news may just be one of the proudest moments of my life.  After raising two girls, then two more girls, he will finally have a man on his side (other than Nick, of course).

Since finding out the news we have done quite a bit of shopping.  Most of my money has found it's way on Ebay (why do they make it so easy???), and will also hit up the summer clearance racks at Babies R Us. I never realized how cute little boys' clothes can be. We also found an amazing deal on the stroller and car seat we wanted on Amazon (the Britax B-Agile and B-Safe) and they arrived yesterday.  I feel so much relief and feel like everything is going to come together just perfectly.  For a while I thought we may never be ready for this baby (and yes, I know I still have 5 months to go, but I'm a planner!).

Nick also got a much-deserved and awaited promotion at work last week.  I am so so proud of him.

Life. Is. Good.


Savoring the moment

4:47:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Days like today, when I'm off work and the Husband is gone all day working a double, and the dogs are far away in NC, I try hard to get over my boredom and embrace time to myself without distractions.  Moments like these are becoming more numbered as the countdown continues to days filled with chaos, noise, and living my life for someone else.  I often find myself wishing for time to pass more quickly so that I can hold and cuddle my little one tight in my arms, but I must remember to cherish the time that I have now.  The only time that this little one is safe inside me, and I have so much control over keeping us safe.  The time to embrace the reflection of my thoughts, my hopes, and my dreams for the journey this family is about to embark on.  The time to plan, and organize and prepare for all that is to come.  The time that I will look back on fondly and wish for when life is pulling me in every direction.

I will continue to countdown the days until January and daydream about the memories that will be created during the challenge of a life-changing experience, but for now I will try to slow down and savor every moment of this pregnancy.  I will appreciate knowing this baby is strong and healthy inside of me, and for now I have our little one all to myself.  Life could definitely be a lot worse.


The Business of Being Born

3:38:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Since my first days of L&D classes in nursing school, I have vowed to steer clear of Pitocin and have the most natural childbirth I was capable of.  I had heard nothing but great reviews of Ricki Lake’s documentary, The Business of Being Born, and fully planned on watching it before the birth of this child. 

The other night I began discussing with my husband that I was thinking of switching from our awesome OB whom we love to a midwife to ensure my wishes were met during labor, and he responded by jokingly referring to midwives and their “voodoo”.  I couldn’t move fast enough to find the documentary on Amazon, hook up the laptop to the tv, and begin an educational experience for myself and my husband.  It was obviously time.  

The documentary was AMAZING.  I was familiar with most of the medical reasoning and facts in the film thanks to nursing school only a few short years ago, but it was still reassuring to know that I was making the right decisions for the right reasons.  The film also managed to ease some of my fears about childbirth.  

Birth plans are personal, and I strongly believe that every woman should make the decisions that are best for them.  Having said that I also find it hard to believe that any woman could watch this film with an open mind and not walk away convinced to at least try for a natural birth.  I’m not saying that natural childbirth is for everyone or the only way birth should ever be done, I just believe that this documentary is that convincing.  I highly recommend it to all pregnant women, and all women that desire to have children one day.  You will learn SO. MUCH.  I even recommended it to my mom to watch so that she could better understand why I feel the way I do.  In fact, I wish everyone would watch this movie so that I don’t get the looks I do when the subject gets brought up and I mention that I’m hoping for a natural childbirth.

I could go on for hours, but please just watch this movie!  I promise you won’t regret it.  I support any decision a mother makes for her own child, I just strongly believe that every pregnant women should at least make the effort to be informed and educated before making any decisions.  Let me know what you think!


4:04:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

so adorable!


Another lazy Saturday...

4:59:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I finally got my energy back, but I’m still waiting on my motivation to kick in!  I really wish this nesting happened a little sooner, and it doesn’t help that Nick is gone for drill all weekend.  Just me and the baby… (I love the way that sounds :)


Silly dreams

1:48:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I had the most amazing dream last night (and yes, it has me wide awake at 5:30 in the morning).  In my dream I was only 2 days away from the due date of our beautiful baby girl (once again, always a girl in the dreams!).  I was freaking out a little in the dream about labor and what was to come, but I was so excited and ready.  Our nursery was complete (in the most amazing house) and everything was in place for our little one to come home.

Imagine my disappointment to wake up and find out that not only am I not 2 days away from my due date…. I still have 6 MONTHS to go!!!  Sometimes it seems like 6 months isn’t nearly long enough to buy everything we need and get everything ready, but when I picture holding our little one and how our lives will change, 6 months feels like an eternity.  For all of you mommas-to-be out there, I’m sure you know exactly how I feel.  

I don’t want to wish this pregnancy away because I really love being pregnant, I just wish I could have the best of both worlds.  Here’s to hoping the next 6 months fly by!


things happen when you least expect them...

7:05:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

(Just found this in my drafts…. feels like it was just yesterday!)

The past 24 hours have been a roller coaster of emotions.  It all began Sunday evening when for a brief second I wondered when my period was due this month, and I guess also had the first intuition that I was pregnant.  The thought only crossed my mind for a moment… long enough to use the handy menstrual cycle app on my phone and learn that my period was due tomorrow (Monday).  Nick and I had stopped “trying” for months, and I had accepted that children were not in the plan for our immediate future.  I had accepted this, and I was happy with it.

I guess my intuition remained somewhere subconsciously, because when I woke up Monday morning I decided to use one of my left-over pregnancy tests from our years of trying and failing.  While I watched the test come to life, I began to rub my eyes frantically while I watched two lines appear.  Was I half asleep?  Were my eyes playing tricks on me?  I had taken dozens of pregnancy tests in my time (okay, maybe hundreds), and I knew what a negative HPT looked like.  And this was not one.

I dipped another test, and another, and before I knew it I was faced with three positive tests in a row.  I don’t know how long I stood there speechless, before beginning to pace around my house chanting “oh my god… oh my god… oh my god…” (with a little profanity mixed in).  My heart was racing, my palms were sweaty, and I spent the next 3 hours in a state of complete shock.  

Nick was working until midnight that day, and I knew there was absolutely no way I could wait that long before telling him.  I jumped in the car and called him on my way, only to find out that he wouldn’t be back at the office for another hour.  Great.  So I took a detour to Target and walked around in a daze trying to let it all sink in.  Just before leaving I started having second thoughts about telling Nick.  What if I imagined it all?  What if I didn’t look at the tests long enough?  I didn’t want to tell him unless I was 100% sure.  So I bought two digital tests, stopped at a gas station before I got on the highway, and almost immediately I had the word “pregnant” staring me in the face.  Hard to argue with such a definitive sign.  

Once I got to Nick’s work (to meet for lunch, or so he thought) it took about 30 seconds of him in the car with me before I blurted out the big news.  The look on his face was priceless.  I would have loved to video tape his reaction, but unfortunately didn’t think of that until 2 days later.  He continued to ask me the usual How?  Are you sure?  with a HUGE smile on his face.  It was the most genuine happiness and excitement I’ve ever seen on my husband’s face.  

This marked the beginning of our journey, the beginning of our miracle, and the moment that changed our lives forever.  There will be plenty more to come!


Carolina on my mind

6:59:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I’ve written about this so much on my life blog (, but with our little one on the way it has become more relevant than ever.

Despite the years we spend in TN, the friendships and relationships that we cherish, and no matter how deep our roots here spread, my heart and soul will always be in North Carolina.  I crave the closeness of our families, and I long to create our own family’s memories surrounded by the comfort and love of home.  My heart aches at the thought of our little one being raised hours from grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles.  I grew up hours away from my own extended family, and to this day I lack the bond and closeness most people share with those they love.  I can’t imagine our child growing up feeling like an outsider, or feeling as though their own flesh and blood are nothing more than strangers.

I also want to move home for selfish reasons.  There is no time in my life I will ever need my mother like those first few weeks at home with a newborn.  Of course I know she will travel and stay with us if I asked her to, but I’d much rather be try to do things on my own knowing she is only a phone call and short drive away.  It would be wonderful to never worry about the financial and emotional burden of sending our child to daycare, or leaving our little one with a stranger so we can enjoy a rare date night alone.

Nick is more than supportive of moving back to NC, and for years has longed to move back home just as I have.  Unfortunately we have responsibilities, and with the economy as it has been moving anywhere is a lot easier said than done.  We’ve considered packing our bags and crossing our fingers that everything works out, but reality sets in and we just can’t afford the risks.  We own 2 houses here in TN, and although we could temporarily move in with family it has been incredibly tough to find any reasonable job for Nick to make the move possible.

I wish life was simpler.  For now I will cross my fingers (good vibes are welcome!) and continue hoping and wishing that everything works out for us.  I know we’re meant to be in NC, I’ve just yet to discover when and where in NC life will take us.


Product rave: Sonoline B Doppler

4:13:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself lying awake late at night browsing online.  As usual this led to an impulse buy.  I had just visited my OB for my 12 week appt and heard the sweetest sound of our little one’s heartbeat.  Unfortunately Nick was away for training in Mississippi, and I couldn’t help but think of how much he was missing out on during those few moments listening to the heartbeat… our heartbeat.  So I began researching fetal dopplers online, and quickly stumbled upon the Sonoline B Fetal Heart Doppler on Ebay.

Fetal dopplers can be outrageously priced.  I could never imagine spending hundreds of dollars on one, but when I found the Sonoline B for a reasonable $53 brand new I was sold.  Having found such a good deal, I was a little nervous about the quality of the doppler.  I knew from browsing in stores that many dopplers are only recommended late during the 2nd trimester and beyond, and I was barely 12 weeks.  When it arrived just a few days later, I was nothing but pleasantly surprised.

The Sonoline B worked fantastic.  I instantly found our little one’s heartbeat in the comfort and privacy of our bedroom, and I had no trouble distinguishing between my own and the baby’s heartbeats.  The doppler also has a digital screen to display the heartrate and average heartrate every 8 beats heard.  

As soon as The Husband returned home I shared my surprise with him… that moment was magical.  Nothing compares to sitting together in the peace and serenity of our home with nothing more that a faint swoosh bringing us together.  Now when I find myself feeling down or frustrated with our situation, I take myself upstairs to remind me that this will all be so worth it.  Our little miracle baby is growing strong and healthy inside of me, and nothing in life could be better than that.

***I should mention that I was in no way sponsored or compensated by Sonoline B or Clinical Guard.  I simply loved the doppler that much that I felt it deserved a post of its own!  I also want to praise the ebay seller clinicalguardga for offering such a great product and having it at my door 2 days later!