pregnancy

Hummingbird Heartbeat Poetry Book Complete!

It’s finally done!

When we started trying to conceive and then got pregnant in 2014, I started to write poems about my journey to help make sense of and document all of the momentous changes that were taking place. I even published one of the poems on this website! Since then I have collected, edited, and arranged the poems into my first poetry book titled Hummingbird Heartbeat: Poems of Pregnancy and Beyond.

The poems begin 8 months before conception and end a few months after the birth of my daughter. Here is the description:

“In this new book of poems from author Angelle Conant, she bares her soul and chronicles her first pregnancy full of ups and downs with wit, honesty and joy. It contains insights and stories from the early days of waiting for a little blue plus sign all the way to the birth of her daughter and beyond. But it is more than just personal anecdotes – this book of poems is an essential companion on the journey that is pregnancy. It will comfort and enlighten while simultaneously normalizing all the changes that are taking place within a pregnant woman’s body, heart, and mind. With each poem, an illustration shows the stage of pregnancy at which it was written. As the woman’s body on the page grows with new life, so does our understanding of a pregnant woman’s journey. In her unique and wise voice, the author speaks to the universal themes and experiences of bringing new life into the world. If you or someone you know is pregnant, this is the book for them. BONUS! This book also contains an appendix full of positive affirmations for pregnancy and motherhood that were created and used by the author.”

If you do procure a copy, I would love to hear your thoughts via email or a review on Amazon or Goodreads. If you’d like to be notified of any project updates, please subscribe.

THE LOVE SERIES #3: Uterus Love

This is the third installment of the Love Series and one that I drew back in 2014 when my husband and I were trying to get pregnant.  After we decided we’d like to start a family, I thought things would happen pretty quickly after that – oh how naive I was. Month after month dragged on and still there was no plus sign on my pregnancy test and Aunt Flo was still visiting.

Well, I got mad. Then sad. Then mad again. I was so frustrated and distraught. “Why was this taking so long? Why hadn’t I eaten better? I should have never tried pot that time!”

For months, I tried to somehow fix it. Fix me. This was one of my dreams, to become a mother, and I felt like somehow it was my fault that it was slipping through my fingers. That somehow the choices I had made up until this point in my life were causing all of this. “This is probably happening because of all my stress. I should have worked harder to be less stressed!”

One day, I was feeling so glum and frustrated and realized that I needed to chill out. Let go. Trust the Universe. I decided it was time to send a little love to the area of my body that I had been not so silently seething at for months. Actually, I started to realize, the fury at my uterus had begun 7 years prior when, almost every month, I’d have debilitating cramps during my period. I decided that whether or not I got pregnant, sending a little love to my uterus would be good for the both of us. And it was. 

A few months after I drew this picture, I became pregnant. Months later, during my unmedicated homebirth, I realized that those “debilitating cramps” I’d been having for years were actually very similar to labor! It was all worth it though because we now have a beautiful little girl and I don’t have period cramps anymore. 🙂

#3 in THE LOVE SERIES. Sidenote: Not a drawing of MY uterus. I have no idea what that thing looks like.

#3 in THE LOVE SERIES.                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sidenote: This drawing was based on a medical picture, not MY uterus. I have no idea what that thing looks like.

© 2016. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved.

A Poem for the Sleepy

Happy World Poetry Day! Below is a poem I wrote when I was pregnant with my daughter and sleepy ALL THE TIME. I’m thinking about including it in my upcoming book of pregnancy poems – what do you think? Enjoy!

I WANT YOU

I want you.
I want you now.
I need you.
I need you now.
Why can’t we be together now?

All I think about is you.
All I want is you.
All I want to think about is you.
All I can think about is you.
You are a need, a drug.
I cannot live without you.

Why can’t we be together now?
Duty.
Responsibility.
Common Decency.
These are my obstacles.
They cannot be overcome.
Not until I am at home
And I lay down on my silk pillow
Surrounded by a mountain of fluff
And we can be together again.
We will be together again, soon.
I am coming soon, my Sleep.

© 2016 Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved. 

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Tips for a 3rd Trimester Babymoon

The husband and I recently took a weekend-long babymoon to Galveston, TX while I was 37 weeks pregnant. We learned a lot about the do’s and don’ts of a having a successful trip – our lessons are here for you so that you might get the most out of your vacation, whether it’s a babymoon or not.

  1. Vacation somewhere close to home. This one seems pretty obvious, but I’d thought I’d throw it in anyways. Because I was in my 3rd trimester and only 3 weeks away from my due date, trips to distant lands were out. Galveston is only an hour away from Houston so if something were to happen, we could be home in a very short time.
  2. Think about the kind of vacation you really want and choose your city and hotel accordingly. Do you want it to be more about relaxing or exploring? For us, we wanted a relaxing babymoon so that we could rest and reconnect before our little one’s arrival. If it’s relaxing that you want, then it might be best to choose a smaller town with only minimal attractions and more relaxing activities. If you’re looking for a more exciting and exploratory babymoon where you can share some new experiences, a bigger city might be a better fit. For us, we kind of halfway hit the mark on this one – Galveston is great for sleeping late, relaxing beach walks, sitting in rocking chairs and drinking beer (for the husband), but it has also turned into quite the party town, which we were not in the mood to do.
  3. You don’t need to spend a lot of money for it to be nice or considered ‘pampering’ – value is what matters. We, foolishly, did not follow this one. We ended up spending quite a bit on a historic hotel and, in the end, it wasn’t worth it. The hotel was catered more towards the party goers of Galveston and had jazz music in the lobby until 10pm. After that ended, the bar in the lobby was still open until late and the voices of the inebriated could be heard in our room all night. Not great sleep makes for a cranky, pregnant wife.
  4. When planning your day, take into account your limits and needs. This includes things like: is there a restroom that I can get to within 5 minutes (or less)? Can I get snack and water within 5 minutes? One thing that does help is carrying a large, filled water bottle and snacks everywhere. Also, take into account the level of physical activity that will be required. My little one dropped the day before we were scheduled to leave so walking far distances became something I couldn’t do. Also, the closer it gets to my due date, the more naps and rests I seem to need which is something we had to account for. I’ve also been more sensitive to heat and sun exposure during the pregnancy – another thing to account for.
  5. Plan your food ahead of time if you can. This was one of the best parts of the trip – eating yummy, yummy food so go ahead and get excited about it by planning ahead. And don’t try and drive around to find a good food place when preggo is already hungry – have a place to eat and get there. Be okay with some disappointments – there are always risks in trying new places, even with good online reviews. And if you’re not up for disappointment, it’s okay to go to some chain restaurant that is familiar. Also, try to plan ahead for some healthy food options. During my pregnancy, I’ve become accustomed to eating quite healthfully and was disappointed by the choices at most restaurants. By the end of the weekend, my body was seriously craving some collard greens.
  6. Lastly, ask for what you want. I had a great day on the first day of our trip because we ended up cuddled up in the hotel room watching Sherlock Holmes. I didn’t care if it seemed lame, it was what we wanted to do, so we did it!

This post can also be found on Offbeat Home. 🙂

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Pregnancy Affirmations

This pregnancy, being our first, has been a whirlwind of changes and some fears have crept up in the process. Fear of judgment in my choices about parenting and birth. Fear that I’m not doing enough or not doing it right. Fear that things won’t go ‘perfectly’ or be what I think it should be. Fear that I won’t be strong enough to birth this baby. Fear that my body will betray me. Fear that I will betray myself.

After recognizing that all these fears were present (and bogus), I needed to put something better in their place and so I’ve created a few affirmations to do just that:

  • I am enough. I am strong, wise, and grounded.
  • I did my best and my best is enough.
  • I have done and am doing the best I can physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for my baby and my best is good enough. This baby will be whole and healthy and exactly what this baby is meant to be.
  • I listen to my inner wise voice. I stand strong in my truth and power.maternity photo
  • I love my body. I trust my body. I am grateful for my body. My body is enough.
  • My body is producing the perfect size baby for me to birth naturally and easily.
  • I listen to my inner wise voice and all is well.
  • I am strong and resilient. I persevere.
  • I have faith in my strength.
  • I love and accept myself just the way that I am.
  • I honor my inner wisdom and stand strong in my power and truth.
  • I am a good mother.
  • I love this baby. I honor this baby. I am so grateful for this baby.
  • I honor and embrace my excitement and joy for this baby.

Whether or not you are pregnant, may these affirmations help you to recognize how amazing and strong you are as well. <3

I Made A Dress!

We had our baby shower recently and I’ve been wanting to try and make this Grecian Maternity maxi dress from DIY Maternity (tutorial found here). I bought the fabric for it over a month ago and finally got around to it so I could wear it to our baby shower. I followed the instructions on DIY Maternity (with a few minor hiccups and fixes) and also had to add a few more steps in because I chose striped fabric instead of solid. It was my first major sewing project and I’m pretty darn pleased with myself! 🙂

Grecian Maternity Dress

Sauteed Collard Greens with Beans and Onions

This is a great, complete meal as it has 2 vegetables and a protein – plus it’s delicious, quick and easy which is important for a woman who is very pregnant!

Servings: 1-2

Ingredients

  • bunch of collard greens, washed, dried and ripped up (remove the big stems)
  • about 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 2-3 T olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • liquid smoke to taste
  • 1/2 can black beans (or you can use black eyed peas)

Directions

  1. Pour olive oil in pan and bring to medium heat
  2. Add onions and cook until soft
  3. Add minced garlic and let it cook until its aroma fills your kitchen
  4. Add collard greens, salt and a little pepper – sautee until bright green
  5. Add just a little bit of water (about 1/4 cup) to the pan and let the collard greens soften to your liking
  6. Add the black beans and cook for an additional 3 minutes until the black beans are warmed through
  7. Add salt, pepper, and liquid smoke to taste (about 10 drops of liquid smoke should do it; more or less depending on your preferences)
  8. Enjoy!
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