How to Make a Birth Playlist

Birth can be nerve-racking, and what better way to relax while giving birth than to have a birth playlist of special songs playing in the background?

Why a birth playlist?

I’m having a home birth, so it’ll be no problem to play music. But if you’re not, I highly suggest checking to see if your birth center or hospital allows it. As a first time mom, the thought of giving birth kind of scares me, so I’ve really enjoyed putting together a birth playlist of songs that are relaxing, make me feel powerful or have a special meaning to them. I’ve been listening to the playlist already — when I’m driving, working, or trying to fall asleep. Listening to it makes me feel grounded when it comes to thinking about birth, and it makes me so excited to bring my little lady into the world.

how to make a birth playlist
I was SO SMALL here! I think I was around 22-23 weeks in this shot.

I’ve been obsessed with Spotify for a looooong time. I pay for Spotify premium ($9.99 a month), and it’s so worth it. I actually prefer it over Apple Music. But any music streaming service that allows you to make playlists will do for making your birth playlist — whatever you use most often/prefer. Amazon Music Unlimited is another great one.


Which songs should I add to my birth playlist?

Something I really love about my birth playlist is that many of the songs on it are very special to me. I have a mix of relaxing hymns and songs that hold memories. For instance, I included a few from my wedding and a few others that have special meaning to me and Cristian — “Yours” by Russell Dickerson (our song…we danced to it for our first dance), and “I Get to Love You” by Ruelle (we walked down the aisle during our ring ceremony to this one).

There’s some lyrics in “I Get to Love You” that I especially love:

“One look at you; my whole life falls in line.
I prayed for you; before I called you mine.
I can’t believe it’s true, sometimes.
I can’t believe it’s true.”

If you keep listening, it’s definitely more of a wedding song, but I think it fits birth and becoming a mother/parents for the first time as well.

Take a listen to my birth playlist:

A few more songs that I love on my birth playlist:

  • “Daughter” by Sleeping At Last — I actually have a few Sleeping At Last songs on my birth playlist. They’re just so relaxing! But I love this song for its message, especially since I’m having a girl. “This is your kingdom, This is your crown, This is your story. This is your moment, Don’t look down.. You’re ready, born ready. And all you gotta do Is put one foot in front of you. Our ceiling is your floor, And all you gotta do Is put one foot in front of you, If only you knew. If only you knew The forests grew a little greener, The roots reach in little deeper, The birds all sing a little sweeter, All to welcome you.” The song talks about being royalty, which I truly believe in — that all daughters of God are royalty. I love that the song speaks to both me and my daughter — that I CAN give birth, and that she too, will be born ready.
  • “Everything Changes” by Sara Bareilles, from the musical Waitress — this is probably my favorite song on my birth playlist. It’s all about how everything has changed for this woman because she gave birth to her daughter. “Today’s a day like any other But I am changed I am a mother Oh in an instantI was lost for you to find And now I’m yours and you are mine…And I swear I’ll remember to say we were both born today.” THE FEELS.
  • “Keep Breathing” by Ingrid Michaelson — this song has pulled me through some really hard times. I feel like putting it on my birth playlist was a no brainer…”All we can do is keep breathing.” It’ll be my reminder to BREATHE while giving birth.

What do I use to listen to my birth playlist?

For giving birth, I will have my desktop computer ready since I will be giving birth at home and I can control it from my phone, but I will also have my little Bluetooth speaker in case I want to use it. I have one I got for Christmas a few years ago from Urban Outfitters that I love. They don’t make it anymore, but I found a similar one on Amazon:


Who knows, I might not even want to listen to music when I’m in the thick of giving birth (I feel like I can’t PLAN for anything specific) but it’s been nice to have to prep with, and it’ll be there if I want it. I know that you can have a birth plan, but to expect to maybe throw some of it out the window. We’ll see what happens! 😉

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3 Ways to Style a Stretchy Maternity Dress

3 Ways to Style a Stretchy Maternity Dress

stretchy maternity dress Target

Being pregnant, it can be so hard to find good maternity clothes. You want to find items that will work for you for the majority of your pregnancy, especially for when you reach your third trimester and NOTHING fits. I found this stretchy maternity dress from Target and it is my favorite maternity clothes item I’ve bought or tried! Not only because it’s so comfortable and will still fit my belly as I near the end, but because it’s so easy to dress up or down.

Here’s 3 ways I styled this Ingrid & Isabel for Target stretchy maternity dress.

1. Dressed Up

stretchy maternity dress Target

This particular dress, with it’s black and white bold horizontal stripes, is perfect to dress up for date night or church. I just added a statement necklace and some black pumps.

stretchy maternity dress Target Ingrid & Isabel

This combo made me feel so sexy! Which is a big deal for being pregnant, especially in your third trimester!

bodycon maternity dress

Shop this look:

2. Casual

stretchy maternity dress black and white striped Target Ingrid & Isabel

This stretchy maternity dress is also easy to dress down! I paired it with a jean jacket and open-toe booties.

stretchy black and white striped Target maternity dress

This look is casual enough for every day, but also still put together enough for a night out. I actually wore this combination for a date with my husband at a comedy club.

stretchy black and white striped Target maternity dress

stretchy black and white striped Target maternity dress

Shop this look:

3. Comfy

stretchy black and white striped Target maternity dress

I’m so comfortable in this dress that I will just wear it around the house.

black and white striped Target maternity dress

stretchy black and white striped Target maternity dress

But since it’s short-sleeved, I’ll throw on this thin, longer cardigan (that I thrifted years ago) if I’m chilly. A pair of ridding boots complete the look and I’m ready for errands!

black and white striped Target maternity dress

Shop this look:

I love this stretchy maternity dress so much that I’m tempted to buy it in the other colors it comes in! Having a go-to maternity item makes getting dressed during pregnancy THAT much easier — it’s crazy the difference it can make when you don’t have to squeeze into clothes that just don’t fit anymore.

What’s your go-to maternity clothes item? Let me know in the comments — I’m always on the hunt!

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The Ultimate First Trimester Survival Guide

The Ultimate First Trimester Survival Guide

first tri survival guide
The 1st trimester of pregnancy can be such a doozy, complete with morning sickness and tons of hormone changes. So here are some first trimester essentials and must-haves that helped me through mine!

My morning sickness was ROUGH…I only threw up about once a week, but my nausea was CONSTANT.  So a lot of these items help with morning sickness/overall nausea.

Ginger Ale
If you’re experiencing morning sickness or any kind of nausea, Ginger ale will be your best friend. This was my drink of choice while going out to eat, and I always had some on hand at home. The individual mini bottles are great because it’s easy to just stash one in your purse while going out, and if you’re not drinking A TON (I really just needed little sips throughout the day) they will take way longer to go flat after being opened compared to a full 2-liter bottle.

Sea Bands
These magical little things will save your life. Sea Bands are wrist bands that have a little plastic stud attached to the inside center that exerts pressure and stimulates the P6 (or Nei-Kuan) acupressure point, and are a great drug-free way to relieve nausea.

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Keep in mind that they won’t work for everyone but seriously, they’re worth a try. I was a little skeptical myself at first, especially since I tried actual acupuncture with needles when I was 16 and it freaked me out. Sea Bands are a low-key way to try acupuncture. I really love these ones because they are fabric so they’re extra comfortable, and if they get dirty you can toss them in the wash.

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You need to wear both at the same time for them to work, and if you ever feel especially nauseous, you can push on the outside of the stud to activate more pressure. I wore them all the time during my first trimester, sometimes for 24 hours at a time, even at night. I got mine from Target, but you can also get Sea Bands on Amazon.

Prenatal vitamins
I actually started taking prenatal vitamins when we were trying to get pregnant. However, I started taking them consistently once I found out I was pregnant. I started with a pill and HATED it. It was so hard for me to remember to take, and I did not love having to swallow a pill with such bad nausea. Horrible as it is, I took them on a daily basis once I got some prenatal gummy vitamins. These Vitafusion prenatal gummy vitamins are what I take, and I love that they taste like lemonade. They are a DHA, folic acid and multivitamin. Prenatals are important to take because during pregnancy, your daily intake requirements for certain nutrients, such as folic acid (folate), calcium, and iron increase, according to the American Pregnancy Association. It’s especially important at the start of pregnancy when you may be too sick to eat a well-balanced diet.

Comfy sweats
I felt very bloated my first trimester, and adding that to the nausea? Being comfortable was so important. I bought these Gilligan & O’Malley pajama pants from Target and pretty much lived in them. The great thing is that they still fit me and will continue to into my third trimester!

Snacks — Sharp cheddar cheese and club crackers
This is pretty much all I ate for a little while (kidding, but not…). I tried saltine crackers at first, but for some reason they gave me tummy troubles. I really liked eating club crackers because they had a little bit more flavor and substance to them. I’d usually eat them with some sharp cheddar cheese, and I LOVED Tillamook Tillamoos in the Sharp White Cheddar flavor. Another item that was super easy to take with me on the go. And good protein, too! You can get them from most grocery stores. However, if you can’t find them, you can order Tillamoos from the Tillamook store.

Water bottle
I try to drink half my body weight in ounces in water when pregnant. Since I became stricter with this, I’ve found I just generally feel better, and I don’t get nearly as many headaches or migraines. Plus, it’s super important to stay hydrated during pregnancy so the baby doesn’t get dehydrated, which can cause pregnancy complications such as neural tube defects, low amniotic fluid, and preterm labor. I’ve found that having a water bottle that’s easy to use gets me to drink water more. I am so in love with my Contigo autoseal water bottle. It’s stainless steel, drinks can stay cold (or hot!) for up to 28 hours, and it’s leak and spill proof! Even if I leave it open, it autoseals so it won’t spill. I take it with me wherever I go, and even leave it right next to my bed so I can just reach over and get a drink during the night without spilling.

Pregnancy app
My favorite pregnancy app is Ovia. It shows you how big your baby is getting based off of your due date and provides weekly updates. It also has a symptoms lookup, AND food/medication safety lookup.Having Ovia at the start of my pregnancy meant I never had to question whether a medication I was taking or food I was eating was good for my baby. And for later in pregnancy, it has a kick counter and contraction timer. You can download Ovia pregnancy on the Apple iTunes app store or Google Play.

Preggie pops
Another quick way to relieve nausea and morning sickness is Preggie Pops by Three Lollies! They’re natural, which is always a plus for me, especially when pregnant. I particularly liked the Preggie Pop Drops lozenges, which are individually wrapped and can be stashed anywhere. The ones I like come in a variety pack of sour raspberry, green apple, sour tangerine and sour lemon. There’s also Preggie Pop Drops Plus, which have nausea-fighting B6 added.

Lemons are one of the best anti-nausea foods, in my opinion! Whenever my husband and I went out to eat when I was in my first trimester, I always asked the waiter for some lemons. I would literally just suck on a wedge and it would make me feel so much better. You can squirt some of the juice into your water or cut up some wedges and toss them in there. Sometimes even just sniffing a cut up lemon can help with morning sickness.

There we have it! Those are my first trimester survival tips and must-haves. I hope they help you! Was there anything that helped you that I didn’t mention? Tell me in the comments!


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The perfect during + after modest maternity dress & how pregnancy is changing me

The perfect during + after modest maternity dress & how pregnancy is changing me


Pregnancy is changing me.

Not just my body — but my mind and spirit, too.



I’ve had a few moments recently where I’ve realized “Wow, mine and Cristian’s lives are really going to change in a few months.” Then I start thinking about how much we have to prepare and it makes me so anxious!

But then I think about how again, this baby is changing me.

And when she comes, I know I’ll be ready to be a mama.


In the meantime, I can do all I can to physically and mentally prepare. Something that helps is having comfortable AND cute clothes! I feel like my belly is getting bigger and bigger every day and SO TIGHT. So I was so happy when I found this darling dress from Cleo Madison.

It’s not maternity, which I LOVE, because it means I can wear if after baby is born, too. It hits in the perfect spot right under my bust/above my tummy, and it’s long enough that I’ll most likely be able to wear it through my 3rd trimester.




Plus, the fabric is so soft and smooth — buttery, even. And the long sleeves make it perfect for this time of year.



I paired it with a deep lip color, some H&M gold tassel earrings (on sale!) and booties.


I feel like this dress would even make the perfect Valentine’s Day dress.


Dress: c/o Cleo Madison // Booties: Ross Dress for Less (old) // Earrings: H&M  (on sale!) // Lip color: LipSense Plum and Bella layered

One of the BEST things about this dress? It’s modest! Something very important to me, pregnant or not. It’s a win-win-win-win….etc. 🙂 This one is sold out, but they have tons of very similar ones available. You can also click on “email me when available” to receive an update when/if it comes back in stock.

Here are some similar ones that I have my eye on:
Kimberly Plaid Dress
Lindy Floral Dress in Mauve
Nora Houndstooth Dress
Tokyo Floral Dress (this is the most similar! Especially in color)

Pretty sure this one is my new favorite dress, and it’s definitely made me feel confident while being pregnant.


I was sent this dress to review, however all opinions are my own.

Our Christmas present gender reveal: We’re having a GIRL!

Our Christmas present gender reveal: We’re having a GIRL!


We got the best Christmas of our lives on Christmas Eve during our gender reveal — our baby is a GIRL!

Entrusting my sister Brynn, we had our ultrasound tech email her the results at our anatomy scan the Thursday before Christmas Eve, without telling us if the baby is a boy or girl.

We had planned (for months!) to wait until I was more around 20 weeks, since it would be near Christmas, and do a special gender reveal with my family in Utah, since that’s where we were celebrating Christmas.

My sister’s plan was to get a teddy bear (since we’re the Joub-BEARS) from Build-A-Bear, dress it in either a girl or boy outfit, put it in the box it comes in and wrap it as a Christmas present.

The anticipation was crazy! Watch the reveal (recorded on Facebook Live) below.

Brynn tricked us and put a raincoat (that had both pink AND blue on it) over the outfit! She had told me she was maybe planning on doing that, as a “Portland joke,” but I forgot. So all we saw when we started to pull the bear out of the box was the blue hood. We totally thought it was a boy. Then I remembered, and asked if we were supposed to unzip the jacket. Then, we had some trouble unzipping it. I WAS DYING.

Then, finding out it’s a girl, brought me so much peace and relief. I even started to cry.

We were so focused on opening the box and finding out that we didn’t notice my aunt Asuka had snuck out somewhere and pulled out this cake she made for us with pink hearts all over the front. Brynn had told her when she found out so she could make it ahead of time. It was so sweet (and delicious! 😉 ) of her!

Crazy as it is, I’ve always felt a connection to this little girl. I’ve prayed about her, had dreams about her, and have felt little spiritual “nudges” from her throughout my young adult life, even long before I got married. I knew without a doubt that I would love a little boy just the same, but couldn’t get over how strongly I felt about having a girl — this girl — first.

And Cristian is just as happy. He wanted a girl too, especially in the last few weeks as the reveal got closer and closer. Of course he wanted a boy, but mostly to oppose me and to “carry on his name.” But the more he thought about it, the more he knew a girl was just right. And that little girl is going to be SUCH a daddy’s girl, I just know it.


And funny story: at our anatomy scan, the tech sent all the pics and videos he took EXCEPT the one showing the gender to my phone. We were sent back out to the lobby to wait for my midwife, and I decided to take a look at the pics. Cristian went to the bathroom, and as he was coming out, I gasped, put my hand over my mouth and told him I had just accidentally found out what the baby was. “Don’t you DARE tell me!” Cristian said. I explained to him that I had been looking at the screen of stats the tech sent, and saw the sex written there. (Because it said SEX: FEMALE.) He grabbed my phone and instantly deleted the photo without looking at it so he wouldn’t find out too, since he didn’t want the reveal ruined for him. I sat there in shock. A couple minutes passed, and I realized something. He had sent us the same screen of stats during our 9 week ultrasound. I went through my phone and found the pic, looked at it, and it said the same thing, SEX: FEMALE right next to 10/20/91……my birthday. You guessed it — I had been looking at my own stats. 😂 When I thought I had found out, SEX: FEMALE was of course the very first thing I saw (Cristian says I was looking through the photos digging for something…he might be right ☺) and I was sure that wasn’t my own sex because duh I’m female….I’m having a baby.

Cristian asked me after we realized I hadn’t actually found out if I was disappointed that I ruined the reveal for myself that we’d been planning for months. I told him “well yeah, I was bummed. But not really — I had a few really happy minutes there.” Since I so badly wanted it to be a girl.

We’ll laugh about it for the rest of our lives.

We are so, SO excited! We’ve even started our registry since I’m measuring at 23 weeks. We were at Target last night and as we were going though the aisles and I was oooing and ahhhing at all the cute girl stuff, Cristian said that while he’s so happy we’re having a girl, he’s not excited about all the girly shopping 😉

Merry Christmas you filthy animal

Merry Christmas you filthy animal


Merry Christmas, you filthy animals!

I love this Merry Christmas ya filthy animal sweater/sweatshirt because watching Home Alone is one of my family’s ultimate Christmas traditions. I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen those movies.



We always watch the first one on Thanksgiving night, and then Home Alone 2 on Christmas Eve or Christmas.

And this sweater is great because it’s so comfy! It’s more like a sweatshirt, but totally works as a “sweater” for ugly Christmas sweater parties 😉

Lip color: Blu-Red LipSense + Gold Glitter LipSense Gloss

Sweater: (similar) Amazon // Pants: Isabel Maternity™ by Ingrid & Isabel® for Target // Shoes: Target (old)

It also hides my bump a bit…at least from the front! Not that I’m trying to hide it these days! But it’s funny because it totally depends on what I’m wearing. Some don’t even realize I’m pregnant when they first see me. But I am 22 weeks now, and I feel like I’ve totally popped. These pictures were taken two weeks ago, so I definitely look more pregnant now.


We had our anatomy scan on Thursday and baby is looking good! Our gender reveal is TOMORROW (Christmas Eve) and we cannot contain our excitement! WE don’t even know if the baby is a girl or boy yet…we wanted to be surprised too. It’ll be the best Christmas present ever.

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3 tips for dressing your growing baby bump

3 tips for dressing your growing baby bump


It’s a question I’ve definitely asked myself multiple times: When to start buying maternity clothes? Well, now that well into my 2nd trimester, my belly is really starting to grow, my clothes are fitting less and less. But I’m still not big enough to go crazy and buy a ton of maternity clothes. So I’ve really had to make the most of the clothes I already have. I thought I’d share 3 tips on how to dress your growing bump!


1. Wear your looser-fitting tops.

This sounds like a no-brainer, right? It is! Don’t spend your money on maternity tops until you REALLY need them. I’m lucky the loose, baggier fit shirts (like the boyfriend fit!) are so in right now, because it means my closet still fits my belly and I’m still comfy. The top I’m wearing here is a bit longer in the back, so it also still covers a bit of my growing bum 😉



2. Dresses!

Wear ALL the dresses! I already had a couple that hit right above my bump, so they work perfectly for my 2nd trimester, and will still work in my 3rd. Plus, you don’t have to worry about pants! It’s a win-win.

3. Get a pair of maternity pants/leggings.

This is the one thing I had to get when my clothes started not to fit, and what I think is a necessary item if you’ve reached your 2nd trimester. It’s best to get a stretchy pair, so they grow with you. Something I didn’t realize is that maternity clothes come in standard sizes too, like whaaat? But duh, of course they do. So you could always size down in leggings or stretchy pants so they fit a little bit better. The one’s I’m wearing are from Target, and aren’t leggings but totally feel like them, and look like actual pants. Amazon also has some great options.


These 3 tips have been my go-to’s lately when it comes to picking out what to wear.

Since I’m getting closer and closer to meeting this little babe, (I’m practically halfway!), things are getting more real, and I’m even more grateful than before that I’ve been chosen to be their mama.

Now, tell me your tips for dressing the bump!

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Trying to conceive is a roller coaster: Our pregnancy journey

Trying to conceive is a roller coaster: Our pregnancy journey

Two. Pink. Lines.

Well, actually, the first test I took that day (at like 5:30 a.m., because I was so anxious) had one blue line and another very faint one. (I think it was Clear Blue?) This wasn’t the first time I googled “faint lines pregnancy test.” But this time, I was 97% sure they were both there, and that I was looking at a positive pregnancy test.

I remember even holding the test up to the light to see if I could see the line better.


I went back to bed smiling like an idiot. Cristian was in Orlando for a business trip and would be coming home that evening.

The night before, he had a meeting with his national consultant and was FINALLY given the OK to expand and start up his own marketing office again. It was the news we had been waiting to get ever since we got married. We talked on the phone right after, both so excited for what was to come next. We weren’t sure where we would be going to open the office, but there was a good chance for Denver. I didn’t tell him that I was planning on taking a pregnancy test in the morning.

I had a plan. I knew I wanted to tell Cristian right away, and his coming home was going to be perfect for it. I wanted to make him a “Welcome home, Dad” sign. So I spent the afternoon shopping for the supplies and another pregnancy test, since I didn’t have any more, and I wanted to be SURE.

I knew that the best time of day to take a pregnancy test was in the morning with your first “pee” of the day, but there was no way I was going to miss out on the perfect opportunity to tell Cristian he was going to be a dad. So my plan was to drink a ton of water and not go to the bathroom until I came home.

The line still wasn’t PINK pink, but it was definitely there. Plus, I was testing like the very earliest I could (at 6-5 days before my period was supposed to come). I knew this was it.


I made the sign and put it on our bed in the studio apartment we were still living in (because I knew that’s where he’d see it right away after coming in) with two mugs I’d been saving/hiding from him that I’d bought from Target soon after we starting trying to get pregnant.

His reaction was priceless.

I kind of wish I had continued filming, but I was SO nervous/excited and also wanted to share the personal moment with him. I mostly wanted to get his initial reaction.

It was August 15th. EXACTLY one year after his baby with his ex-wife would have been born.

As many of you know, Cristian was married before. In Spring 2016, his then wife presented him with divorce papers, just a couple of weeks after they lost their baby at 20 weeks. They had also had a previous miscarriage.

Fast forward a little bit to last Christmas, when Cristian and I had been married for almost two months. We were visiting his family in Nebraska, and woke up one morning and just spent time talking in bed. It was chilly, and we were all snuggled up.

“Crishy, I think we should have a baby.”

“Right now?” he replied.

I then explained that yes, I felt impressed that we should start trying.

He said he needed some time to think about it.

At first I was confused — why wouldn’t he want to try right away? We had talked about having kids before we got married and established that we wanted a big family, and we both knew we didn’t want to wait very long. He’s 32 and I just turned 26.

Then I realized how fresh the grief from losing his other two babies was. He wasn’t the one that had been carrying and growing them, but still. He was their father.

He also explained that he wanted time with me. We had been apart for 6 long years, and had just barely found each other again.

I understood as much as I could, and we agreed that he could have a week to think and pray about it before we had another in-depth conversation.

I had also just started a new birth control pack, so I told him it would be a waste to just not use it (since it was expensive), so he technically had a month to decide.

The days went on, and I struggled with not pestering him about it. He felt a little lost and frustrated, because he wasn’t getting the resounding YES answer that I had. Then, because he wasn’t getting the answer he wanted, I started second-guessing my impression. It was not fun. But, we prayed and prayed. Together and personally.

He finally came to the conclusion that we should go for it. That Heavenly Father was telling him it was a good thing, and that he needed to trust that.

So we started trying in January.

The months passed.

We knew that for most women, it takes three months for the birth control to leave the system. So we kept that in mind but still went ahead with trying.

So, once the three months passed and I still wasn’t getting pregnant, it was so hard for me not to worry. We were doing everything “right,” (I was even using a fertility app and tracking my most fertile days) and I was the healthiest I’ve ever been.

I starting worrying that there was going to be something wrong with me and that I wouldn’t be able to give Cristian the baby he yearned for.

We both felt so sad seeing all the young families at church in sacrament meeting with all their babies.

I got mad seeing so many pregnancy announcements, with quite a few being from couples that had been married for an even shorter time than me and Cristian.

I wondered why/how teenagers get pregnant their first time having sex and I couldn’t get pregnant on a freaking schedule with my loving husband. I wondered how women could get pregnant while on their birth control and/or using condoms. Or how the worst candidate for parenthood (like drug addicts and abusers, etc.) could get pregnant but it wasn’t working for me.

Then, in June, I had what was most likely a chemical pregnancy. I didn’t get a positive pregnancy test, but my period came with the worst cramps of my life. And it only lasted two days. We were driving to Utah from Portland when it started, and I was bleeding. So much. I remember sitting in the passenger seat while Cristian was driving, and we were still in Idaho I think. My cramps were so bad that I had to hold out the waistband of my sweatpants from my stomach — it touching my abdomen was too much.

Some of the couples pictures we took with Sadie Banks Photography during our visit to Utah in June.


Another month came, and I made the scariest yet best decision of my life and went off my antidepressant/fibromyalgia drug, Cymbalta. The side effects of going off of Cymbalta are similar to heavy-duty drug (like meth and heroin) withdrawals. And I had experienced a taste of them the October before, when just a week or so before our wedding I ran out and couldn’t get more for a few days. So going off it indefinitely was so scary. However, I knew that I was going to have to stop taking it as soon as I got pregnant anyways, since it’s dangerous to take while pregnant (doctors don’t know what the risks are for the 1st and 2nd trimesters, but it can cause birth defects in the 3rd).

I was also so afraid because it had taken me some 8 years to find an antidepressant that worked for me, and I was no nervous my depression would come back full force. I was afraid of the intense nerve pain that would surely come back as well. Before Cymbalta, my fibromyalgia was so bad that I had it in my hands and feet.

So I went down to a lower dose, then started taking one every other day, then one every few days, and then one a week.

Within a month of starting that weaning process, and once I hadn’t taken a dose in a few weeks, I got pregnant.

We’re not sure if that had any major affect on me getting pregnant but I felt like it was Heavenly Father telling me that it was what I needed to do to make my body the most ready and safe it could be for that child.

Going off the medication was not easy, and it still isn’t. I still miss it. My depression is still here. My fibromyalgia is still here, and pregnancy causes some pretty bad flare-ups.

But I have our miracle.

Our 9 week ultrasound

My emotions since getting pregnant have been all over the place.

I’ve worried about losing the baby. Especially since that’s happened to Cristian before, I was so paralyzed with fear that it would happen again.

I’ve even felt guilty. Guilty that I have my healthy pregnancy, and so many (including close friends and family members) don’t.

Guilty that my 1st trimester made me so sick I lost 10 pounds, when you would literally do anything to get morning sickness if it meant you had your baby growing safely inside you.

You may read our story and say, seven months? It only took you seven months to get pregnant?! I’ve been trying for a year and a half. Or two years. Or five years.

And for that, I’m truly sorry. I can’t even begin to describe how sorry I am if seeing my pregnancy announcement or reading this story has made you sad, angry, frustrated or hurt. That it only took me seven months to get my baby and you’re still trying.

I love you.

I can only understand so much, and can only relate to a fraction of your pain.

But everyone’s pain and hurt from fertility issues is different. Even if it had taken you and me the same amount of time to get pregnant, I’d only be able to relate to you so much.

Please know that I think about you every time I post about my pregnancy on Instagram or Facebook. Please know that I too, have ripped open a pregnancy test down to just the strip to see if maybe, I could get a better look. That I too, have cried myself to sleep, wishing and hoping for that baby and trying desperately not to be angry with God.

But mine and Cristian’s pregnancy journey has taught me (and will continue to teach me) so much about hope, faith and trust. Listen to your body and listen to the Lord.

We have been truly blessed. Like I said, my pregnancy so far has not been easy, and I’ve cried and cried over feeling so bad for this baby because it’s sometimes hard to love being pregnant when it’s making me so sick. Which then, in my mind, means I somehow don’t love my baby.

But oh my, do I love that baby.


Thank you, from the very bottom of my heart, for all of the support, love and prayers for us. A select few knew we weren’t having the easiest time getting pregnant, and checked in on me once in a while. And the excitement and support since announcing our pregnancy has been overwhelming.

We can’t deny that THIS was when we needed to have this baby… we’ve moved into our first house together AND Cristian got promoted and is now owner of his office — both within my 1st trimester.

And we are so thankful.







A little Joub-BEAR cub is coming!

We knew we were pregnant when I changed the name of the blog, but we were WAY too early to tell anyone.

I’m 14 weeks and the baby is due May 1st! So it could come the end of April or who knows…I was early and my mom’s first baby, so we’ll see!

Today marks my 2nd trimester (FINALLY!) and I’m really hoping I start feeling better soon. My nausea is getting a little better, but I still have plenty of it. And I feel even more exhausted now than ever, but feel so glad to be carrying this little Joub.

Getting pregnant wasn’t easy, and the timing of it has been so crazy we cannot deny the divinity of it all. More on that soon!


And as far as our announcement goes, I wanted to incorporate our last name, since it is pronounced Joe-BEAR. I thought getting a little bear suit and holding that up would be cute, and I picked up this cardboard banner from Michaels to use with it. I just used a sharpie to write our due date on it. The bear suit is from Carters, and is sooooo soft!

We can’t wait to welcome this little miracle into the world!