chronic illness · motherhood · Uncategorized

Why I’m Having A Hysterectomy

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had pelvic pain and horrendous menstrual cycles. Even at young age, the go to was to be on birth control pills to try to lessen the severity of my periods. Newsflash – it didn’t work! It was a band-aid fix, if that. From ruptured ovarian cysts in Afghanistan to laparoscopic surgery to remove free fluid in my belly, it has been an uphill and painful journey.

I’ve been on various forms of birth control over the years in effort to skip or minimize periods. Some of them included the mini pill (postpartum with both kids), implanon (about 10 years ago), nexplanon (currently implanted in my left arm), Mirena, 2 birth control pills at once continuously to all but eliminate my periods.

The reason for my pain – endometriosis. Despite not having a cycle since right before getting pregnant with Colt in 2018, I still experience pain and symptoms associated with endometriosis including pelvic pain, ovarian pain, bloating, low back pain, nausea and constipation. Yes, you read that correctly. Those are just a few symptoms I have despite not having a period. The reason I haven’t is because I was either pregnant or breastfeeding and sometimes when you breastfeed, your period doesn’t return. Hormones, gotta love them πŸ˜’

My surgery is in 16 days. I’m confident in my decision to have the hysterectomy done because it is necessary to improve my quality of life, and we are done having children. I’m eager to just have it get here and move on so I can recover and start feeling better on that front (my other medical issues are another story). In addition to the laparoscopic hysterectomy (that is going to be done by a robot 😳), I have to get a bladder sling and fix a slight bladder prolapse… I guess pushing out 2 kiddos that are decent sizes quickly will do that to you. All normal, all not talked about enough so I’m putting it out there. Child bearing people don’t tend to talk about these issues or feel ashamed or embarrassed but I’m here to tell you that this is real life, and I’m going to be open and raw about it. You’re not alone if you’re going through similar issues. When it’s all said and done, I’ll have only my ovaries left as far as reproductive organs go.

We have a game plan in place for the kiddos with them staying at my parents and my in-laws the first night I’m home. I’m thankful the surgery is considered outpatient even though I will be at the hospital. We won’t find out what time I need to be there until the day prior. So I’m a bit anxious about that just because I am a detail oriented person, so the not knowing is annoying but I need to just go with the flow for this because I can’t change it. I have started getting together some post-op recovery items which I will share in another post.

Have any questions for me? Have you had a laparoscopic hysterectomy? Do you experience endometriosis? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Take care, Stef πŸ’œ

#endometriosis #hysterectomy #laparoscopichysterectomy #thebevinsclan #endowarrior #endosisters #painfree #bladderprolapsesurgery #bladdersling #enjoylife #momswhoblog #lifestyleblogger #momofboys #momoftwo #chronicpain #chronicillness #spoonie

motherhood · reading · streaming · Uncategorized

5 Things To Keep You Busy During Middle of the Night Feedings

Night Feedings can feel long and exhausting. You want to get baby fed and get back to bed and that holds true whether you are nursing or bottle feeding. Here’s a few ideas to keep you busy and keep you awake.

1. Read- I bring either my kindle or phone with me up to Sawyers room and will read while I’m nursing to pass the time.

2. Listen to music, an audiobook or a podcast- Listening to an audiobook, music or podcast is great if you don’t have a free hand because of bottle feeding or just how the baby is positioned on you. Or if you really just don’t have the energy to want to read something l.

3. Research- have you been meaning to research a new bed you want to buy, or look for a new restaurant to check out? Use this time while you have it to get your Google on.

4. Meditation- use this time to meditate or quietly reflect. You could listen to a guided meditation from YouTube or any one of the apps available.

5. Streaming- put some headphones on or ear buds in, prop your phone up and put your favorite show on. It will give you something to do and help time pass until baby is done eating and ready to go back to bed.

Remember that night feedings are just a season that you are currently in. It may seem like it will last forever but eventually baby won’t need to have multiple or perhaps any feeds during the middle of the night.

Until next time, Stef

#thebevinsclan #nightfeeds #keepyourselfbusyatnight #newbaby #middleofthenightfeedings #postpartum #breastfeedingmom #breastfeeding #bottlefed

amazon · streaming · Uncategorized

5 Underrated Television Shows

There’s a lot of hype these days on various television shows whether it be on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+ or another streaming service, or even just regular cable. With the amount of shows released all the time, it’s easy to miss or skip over some hidden gems. I wanted to highlight a few shows that I really enjoyed that I didn’t hear much about and came upon by chance or by word of mouth by someone I know.

  1. The 4400 available on Netflix (not the new one that’s currently on TV – I haven’t seen that one, I’m talking about the one that came out in 2004). Netflix says “This sci-fi series tells the stories of 4,400 people, abducted by aliens over the past half-century, who are suddenly returned to Earth.” If you enjoy sci-fi, I definitely recommend this show! I’ve watched the entire series a few times.
  2. Orphan Black available on Amazon Prime TV – Amazon says “Orphan Black is a Sci-Fi thriller starring Tatiana Maslany in the lead role of Sarah, an outsider and orphan whose life changes dramatically after witnessing the suicide of a woman who looks just like her. Sarah hopes that cleaning out the dead woman’s bank account will solve all of her problems. Instead, her problems multiply – andΒ so does she.” This show will have you thinking what the heck is going on and loving the plot twists at the same time. I definitely recommend!
  3. La Brea available on Hulu – IMDB say, “A massive sinkhole mysteriously opens up in Los Angeles, separating part of a family in an unexplainable primeval world, alongside a desperate group of strangers.” I have a thing for sci-fi shows….can you tell? This is a newer show, just released last year, but the good news is that season 2 is set to come out this fall! Unfortunately this one is not based on a book, I already checked πŸ™‚
  4. Imposters available on Netflix – IMDB says it is about, “A dark comedy that focuses on a female con artist who marries people and then disappears with their money.” It unfortunately only has 2 seasons but it’s rumored Netflix may make a 3rd. I hope so!
  5. Revolution available on tubi tv – NBC says, “Revolution focuses on the struggle to survive 15 years after a global blackout.” This is another show that only lasted 2 seasons but definitely could have gone for more.

What shows would you add to this list? Have you seen any on my list?

Until next time, Stef

#thebevinsclan #netflixsuggestions #hulusuggestions #tubitv #disneyplussuggestions #amazonprimetv #tvshows #showsuggestions #underratedshows #hiddengemtv

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motherhood · product reviews · small business · Uncategorized

My Favorite Loungewear and Undergarment Brands

If you are anything like me, since the beginning of the pandemic, loungewear has becoming my go to. And if I’m being 100% honest, it’s been my go to since beginning a mom and wanting to be comfy 24/7 πŸ˜„

I’ve bought all different brands off Amazon and other various websites and I’ve recently found 2 brands that I really like.

The first brand I found is called Knix. I absolutely love their joggers and lounge sets. Knix is a woman founded business that is striving to create and has created many sustainable products including leakproof underwear for your period.

Use the code THEBEVINSCLAN_10OFF to get 10% off your order.

My other new favorite is Parade. This brand is my go to for bras, underwear and also loungewear! The undergarments are soooo soft and comfortable. They have an awesome recycling program called Second Life that allows you to send in your old underwear. They have partnered with Terracycle to help get underwear turned into new recycled products like furniture, insulation, and bedding. You can use the code Thebevinsclan to get 20% off your first order.

*This blog contains affiliate links. That means, if you make a #purchase I may get a small compensation. I only share products I truly love! Thank you for your support.

#thebevinsclan #sustainableliving #paradefriends #knixpartner #knix #parade #sustainableloungewear #greenfriendlycompanies

motherhood · Uncategorized

30+ Activities to do With Toddlers That Don’t Involve Screentime

Hear me out, screen time can be a life saver at times when you have a toddler and you have other stuff that HAS to be done. I’m a big advocate of screen time for my 3 year old because I also have an 8 month old and I just can’t do everything all at once. So when I’m not busy with the baby and can play, here’s some of my favorite things to do. What activities would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments!

  • Blow bubbles
  • Draw with chalk
  • Go for a walk
  • Ride a tricycle
  • Color
  • Play with play dough
  • Read a book
  • Make up a story
  • Go to the library
  • Visit a relative who doesn’t live with you
  • Have a picnic
  • Practice practical skills (i.e. putting on socks and shoes and getting dressed)
  • Play tag
  • Go to the park
  • Plant veggie seeds
  • Dust/ vacuum
  • Sing
  • Dance
  • Collect rocks/leaves
  • Play tag
  • Make a mud kitchen
  • Have a race
  • Practice counting
  • Practice ABCs
  • Look for birds
  • Switch laundry
  • Play with a sensory table
  • Have a playdate
  • Nap
  • Paint
  • Make a picture frame out of sticks
  • Get a craft kit from Lowes or Home Depot

Have you tried any of these? What is your go to activity to keep your toddler busy?

#thebevinsclan #toddlerlearning #toddleractivities #thingstodowithtoddlers #noscreentime #activitiesforkids #toddlerfun

motherhood · Uncategorized

Toxic Positivity and Parenthood

As parents, we often get a lot of unsolicited advice. We are told that what we’re going through right now isn’t that bad, and oh but wait, it’s going to get worse when your child is such and such age. The thing is though, that is not usually comforting and it usually doesn’t help the situation. We used to hear the phrase “it takes a village” in reference to neighbors, friends and family helping to raise kids and teach them. It is not like that these days unfortunately for many people. People may think they are supporting you when they are actually doing more harm than good.

Toxic positivity is an obsession with positive thinking. It is the belief that people should put a positive spin on all experiences, even those that are profoundly tragic. Now, you might ask yourself, “self, what is wrong with trying to look on the bright side and see the good in any situation?” In theory, nothing, but in reality, there is not going to be good in every situation, and it can make your feelings and emotions feel unseen. You may feel as though you need to pretend to be happy even when you are struggling.

It is frustrating and demeaning to be told in the mist of a toddler tantrum that it will only get worse as they get older, or at least they are having the tantrum at home and not at school. Comments like that are toxic positivity. The comments make you feel like you shouldn’t be feeling what you do, and if you do, what’s wrong with you? In the midst of an experience when you need actual support, hearing comments like that can be so frustrating. It makes you not want to confide in someone any longer because all they do is invalidate you.

Some other examples of toxic positivity might include: telling someone who has suffered a miscarriage that at least she knows she can get pregnant, telling someone to not be sad over a death of a loved one but to instead cherish the time they had with them, telling someone that things could always be worse, just move on, etc. Toxic positivity even includes phrases like “you’re doing a great job”. That doesn’t seem like it would be toxic but if you’re explaining to someone that you feel overwhelmed and like you’re drowning and failing, hearing “you’re doing a great job” is glossing over everything you just said about how you feel and once again invalidating your feelings. It is putting the situation in a box and putting a bow on it and calling it a day. This action shows that it is easier to just tell someone they are doing a good job than actually listen or try to help.

I’m a mom of two. I have a 3 year old and an 8 month old. I also have postpartum depression and anxiety. Toxic positivity I have experienced has included being told that I have two beautiful and healthy sons, why am I depressed? It is comments like that, that make parents feel like what they are feeling isn’t valid, and may even need enough to discourage said parent from seeking help by way of therapy or medication. That’s not the case for me as I tell anyone and everyone I have PPD and PPA. You can read more about my experiences with PPD here.

Positive thinking is not a bad thing, I’m not saying that positive thinking is toxic positivity. It’s not. Positive thinking can go a long way and be very helpful. Having a positive mindset can help you reach goals by giving you motivation and understanding.

A lot of times, people may not even realize they are promoting a toxic positivity environment. They might believe they are just sharing positive thinking. For example, if you’ve heard the phrase, “good vibes only”, it is essentially discounting any other “vibes” and saying there’s no space for them. That isn’t realistic and by promoting that type of mindset, it’s discouraging to both parents and children alike; as well as people in general who are not parents.

The Daily Positive says that toxic positivity interferes with the progress in your life. Healthy Positivity inspires purpose in your life.

If you’ve experienced toxic Positive, which many of us have, did it affect your progress with whatever situation you were in? What type of response did you give when exposed to toxic positivity? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments or feel free to DM me on Instagram.

Much love, Stef

#postpartum #toxicpositivity #postpartumdepression #postpartumanything #anxiety #motherhoodblog #thebevinsclan #parenthood #ittakesavillage #unsolicitedadvice #parentingexperiences