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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Thoughts on Duggar Baby, Pregnancy, Social Media, Privacy, and other Randoms

I don't watch 19 Kids and Counting, but of course I know who the Duggars are. I've seen a couple of episodes of the show. If there's an article about them in a magazine, I'll read it; and I plan on reading their new book- Growing Up Duggar because it came highly recommended by a fellow blogger and I usually enjoy autobiographies/memoirs.

Over the summer, one of the Duggars got married and a few months later announced she is pregnant. Earlier this week, I came across this article titled She Announced Her Pregnancy Way Before 12 Weeks. Why More Women Should Consider Doing the Same. I had some thoughts about the article, pregnancy, and our plans for our own baby that I'd like to share.

Let me start by saying to each his/her own. I don't believe that there's a "right" way or time to announce that you're pregnant. My issue is with the article being titled "why more women should consider doing the same" and kind of insinuating that if you're pro-life and believe life begins at conception, you should announce you're pregnant earlier than the traditional 12-14 weeks most couples wait. I am VERY thankful that I have never experienced a miscarriage. I have to say that it was definitely a fear of mine and played into our decision on when and with who we shared our news. The minute I saw those 2 lines on the pregnancy test, I believed that I had a living person inside of me. Yes, part of me couldn't wait to tell everyone; but another part of me enjoyed those moments where Lee and I were the only people who knew about this precious new life we'd created. We savored those special moments with each other.

After our pregnancy was confirmed at the doctor's office, we told our parents and siblings. Then, after we had that first big appointment at around 10 weeks, we told our extended family and closest friends. Those are people that we would have wanted to grieve with us if something had happened. I do agree with what the article says about miscarriage not needing to be so taboo. There are several bloggers that I respect a lot who have shared their own stories of miscarriage. The difference is that they shared it months (sometimes years) after. They've had time to grieve and process. I'm glad they shared their story, though, because I believe it can be of help to people who go through the same thing. It can also be good for them to get support from others who've gone through the same thing. To me, there's a difference between sharing about it after the fact versus sharing about it in the moment.

I believe that when you share news of a pregnancy is your personal decision and people make different decisions for different reasons. It's not a reflection of what you believe about when life begins. The problem is that with social media, we now seem to live in a world where people think they're entitled to know people's private business. If you're on social media, you probably have those friends who share their every thought and action.

I've really struggled with the role I want social media to play in my life over the past few years. I see the benefits of it and don't want to get rid of it completely; but sometimes I have to fight the urge to post something on social media. I have to remind myself that a) no one really cares and b) some things need to be kept sacred.

I've had several friends and acquaintances (aka "friends" on Facebook) who've had babies over the past few years. Different people have different approaches. Some people give you a play by play (i.e. I'm at 2 cm. My water just broke. We're heading to the hospital. It's time to push. etc.). Some people let you know they're going to the hospital, then you hear nothing else until after the baby is born. Some people don't say anything about it at all. All this got me thinking about what I want to do when that time comes. I can see the benefit to letting people know you're going to the hospital. It's good to know that people are thinking and praying for you. I also know that people want to know that the baby was born and everything is okay. People also like to see pictures of babies, myself included. I know that as a parent, you must be excited to show off your little bundle of joy.

However, I think back to the days before social media. Every acquaintance didn't know the details of your baby's birth. People could hear through the grapevine that your baby had been born and they'd see it when they saw it. You'd let the people that mattered know. That's the approach I think I want to take. I want to let the people that matter to me know what's going on. I will gladly text or email pictures to family and friends. I think I want to stay off social media for a while after our daughter's birth. I want to savor those first moments as a family of three. I don't want to be distracted with the online world. I don't want to be so focused on posting and updating that I'm missing out on memories.

So, I know this post has been a lot of random thoughts. I just think that sometimes we need to back up and remember that we don't need to know every detail of people's lives as they occur. Similarly, we don't have to share every detail of our lives as they occur. Some things are private and personal and it can be easy to forget that with the overload of information we have coming at us on a daily basis. What and when you share shouldn't be a reflection of anything you believe.

I've shared my random I want to know yours!

What are your thoughts on sharing about a pregnancy really early? What are your thoughts on how much is shared on social media? Do you prefer sharing most details of your life or do you keep some things private?

Monday, September 8, 2014

7 Movies (adapted from books) to See Before the End of the Year

I am a book fan all the way. However, I do enjoy a movie occasionally and when they create a movie based on a beloved book, it often gives you more to look forward to.

A year ago, I did a Page to Screen series here on the blog where I shared why I like books better than movies and this still holds true because very often the movie just doesn't live up to the book. However, there are exceptions and some movie adaptations are pretty good. There are even some books that I would like to see become movies. There seemed to be a lot of movies coming out this year based on books. I didn't see most of them. However, there are 7 movies coming out by the end of the year that I would like to see.

1. Mockingjay- Part 1
I wasn't a huge fan of The Hunger Games as a movie. There was just too much of the story that revolved around Katniss' thoughts and I didn't think that translated well onto film. However, I enjoyed Catching Fire a lot more. I think that Mockingjay will be the best film of the series because this is where most of the action was in the books. 

I read this book before I started reviewing books, so I don't have a review to share with you.

2. The Best of Me
Nicholas Sparks' books turned movies are hit or miss. A couple of them are some of my favorite movies and some of them were pretty terrible, in my opinion. I wasn't crazy about this book, but I do look forward to seeing the movie. It seems interesting how they're going to include both the story of the couple in the past and in the present. Plus I want to see how they ruin the ending because they always ruin the endings of Nicholas Sparks' movies. :)

I also read this book before I started doing book reviews so I don't have one to share.

3. Dark Places
This definitely has the potential to be a very creepy movie because it was a pretty creepy book. So, I'm not 100% sure that I'll like actually seeing the things that happened played out. I couldn't find a trailer for this movie, but you can read my review of the book to learn more on my thoughts and see more of what the story is about.  

4. Gone Girl
I enjoyed this book up until the end. However, I think it has the potential to be a great thriller of a movie. Plus the book was such a huge hit that I feel like they're going to do it justice with the movie. 

I read this book before I started reviewing books so I have no book review to share. 

5. The Giver
This book has been on my to read list since long before I knew it would be a movie. I have many teacher friends who told me it was a must read. I just haven't gotten around to reading it. Now that the movie version is coming out, I want to be sure and read the book before I see the movie. I also look forward to it because this is one of the original dystopian novels.

6. If I Stay
This book has also been on my to read list for a while, but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet. Even though I wanted to read it, the book description didn't fully explain to me what it was about. When I saw the trailer, I became a lot more interested in this story. So, I also want to read this book before I see this movie.

7. Serena
From what I've read, it looks like this movie was made in 2012, but they can't seem to set a release date. So, hopefully this will be released before the end of 2014. I read this book when I saw that it was going to be a movie. I found the book to be pretty disappointing and boring overall. However, I think the movie has a lot of potential especially since it's starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. There is no trailer for this movie yet and I also haven't written out an actual review on the book yet either. 

Are there any movies (based on books or not) that you are looking forward to before the end of the year?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

3rd Trimester is Here: A Pregnancy Update

I am officially 30 weeks as of today. Time is really flying by and I'm trying not to get anxious or nervous about Baby Hall's arrival. A few weeks ago, I shared how I haven't been able to focus a lot of attention on blogging and on how certain things in my life I want to keep private. I still feel that way which is why I haven't blogged too much about pregnancy. But for those who are interested, I thought I'd share my bumpdate pictures along with a little update on how I'm doing.

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This is around 12 weeks. This was after we had our first big doctor's appointment. This was the first time we heard Baby Hall's heartbeat and saw her on the ultrasound. This was when we started sharing our news with friends and extended family (our immediate family and closest friends already knew).

The first trimester is over, so this is around 14 weeks. This is around the time that I shared the news with the blogging world. I had a really easy first trimester. I only got sick once. I occasionally would feel nauseous, but could quickly fix that by eating. I was really tired, but luckily I was tracked out of school for a large portion of my first trimester and did a lot of napping. 

I hit 17 weeks around the time my school year was ending. I was tired and busy as I had a friend coming up to visit and then Lee and I went to the beach with my family. I knew I could expect to start feeling her soon, but didn't know what I was to expect. I also went shopping for some maternity pants around this time.

Near the end of my break from school, we found out that Baby Hall is a girl. My mother's intuition was wrong because I was convinced we were having a boy. It was exciting to see her on the ultrasound again, but this time her little body was bigger and more formed. She was keeping most of her face hidden in the placenta though. No matter how much she was jiggled and poked, she wasn't moving her face. I still wasn't feeling a lot of movement at this point. I would feel things sometimes that I thought might be movement, but I wasn't too sure.

My new school year has started by this point and you can tell I'm exhausted. I wrote it on the chalkboard because it's all I could think of plus I look worn out! We announce Baby Hall's name to our family and friends around this point. Her name is something we're going to be keeping on the private side so you won't see it posted on this blog. Sorry. I'm starting to feel more movement, but it's not consistent at this point. I mainly feel her at night or in the morning when I'm being still and relaxing.

The second trimester is also now over for me. I would catch my reflection in the mirror and would be a little shocked at how big my belly was getting. It seems to grow overnight! I got to see her on the ultrasound again as we tried to get a better picture of her face. She still had it close to the placenta and she also had her hand up in her face. I'm hoping this will mean she likes to cuddle. I could tell that her face has filled out some more. She looks more like a baby than an alien. I'm feeling a lot of movement now and it's all throughout the day. Lee hasn't been able to feel her yet, but we both talk to her.

My only pregnancy cons have been the little bit of nausea in the beginning, some heartburn, being really tired, coughing, gaining weight, and stretch marks. Compared to stories I've heard from other women, I'm feeling very blessed. In the upcoming weeks, we're going to be working on her nursery and I look forward to sharing that with you.

Leslyn's Lovely Life