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BLOOMLIFE DIARIES - WEEK 2

Katherine Romrell

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BLOOMLIFE PREGNANCY TRACKER

I SURVIVED WEEK 2

Oh you guys, this week has been INSANE! Probably up to par with having been 34 weeks (now 35)!
I seriously thought this might be the week baby comes because I’ve never been in so much discomfort and pain! …I’ll get to that in a sec!

I don’t know if you’re the kinda crazy that includes God in their private conversations, But I definitely found myself doing that this week a lot! At one point, I was so irritable from pain & discomfort that I decided to stop everything I was doing and hop in a warm shower. (Showers & baths are magical for me).

I was having really mean contractions in the shower (Wasn’t wearing my monitor in the shower though, cause you’re not supposed to) and I just very seriously and matter-of-fact attitude exclaimed to God and said “Okay, either let this baby come out right now safe & sound or you need to make my body chill and make me comfortable like now. “ 😂😬… I was willing to get smitten for my sass too 🙈. Also notice, how I didn’t ask for more patience. Cause that’s a trap!
…. I’m going crazy!

Anyway, things escalated on Friday night. I was having irregular but mean contractions, I was having the WORST sciatica nerve pain I’ve ever felt in life, and I felt like I had been trickling liquid through out the day (very sporadically, but still). So finally I told Chris: “Pack your laptop, and let’s call our friends to watch over Leo cause we’re about to spend Friday night in the ER.

I didn’t think baby was coming, but something was off.

NOT ENOUGH RAP SONGS ABOUT FRIDAY NIGHT IN THE ER

We get to the hospital, got admitted to L&B Triage, and they start running tests!!!
The staff was super amazing and accommodating.
Once they were done poking and prodding me, Chris and I popped out the laptop and started catching up on the newest Bachelorette Season and we just waited for the results to come back.

About an hour later the nurse comes in and asks me
”Have you ever passed a kidney stone?”
I’m like “nah”
and she says “Well it looks like you’re about to experience it !”

So! Kidney Stones!
That’s were all my latest contractions, the sciatica pain, and even the random trickling was coming from!

You guys….. Kidney stones are a Bi***!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I also din’t think the pain could get worse! My latest trips to the bathroom to empty my bladder, have been…. I don’t even have the words!
Scary? Fire? Horrible? Painful? … I’m scared to pee now, thats for sure.
It feels like my body is trying to get rid of something full-force but with no way out and you get mean contractions with it. Very painful & uncomfortable.

Apparently, Its super common to get kidney stones during pregnancy because of calcium build up. And the ironic thing is, Because my morning sickness was so bad the first trimester, I was lacking calcium, so I was put on calcium supplements starting the 2nd trimester….! Well it caught up! Haha!
This pregnancy has been a bag of tricks to say the least.

Anyways, after doing my research on kidney stones while pregnant, I read that the pain can get so bad, that it can cause you to go into labor! 😳 How crazy is that!!! I’m kinda hoping it at least moves the timeline closer cause I’M SO DONE!!!!! I’M DONE I’M DONE I’M DONE!

 
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WEEK 2 - DATA

Here’s my data for this week! I’m thinking I’m gonna start wearing this baby all day long. At least during this Kidney Stone storm, just to be safe.

If you still haven’t gotten on the bandwagon of this awesome Pregnancy Tracker + Contraction Monitor, I’ll be the little push you need. This device has not only been helpful to understand my contractions, but it’s brought me a piece of mind to know the Length, Timing, and Rhythm of my contractions. I’m looking forward to see how this all progresses as I get closer to my due date!

Go to www.bloomlife.com to rent your own device. Be sure to use my code to get 10% off your weekly rental: KAT10.

 
MONDAY.jpg

STARTED: 12:37 AM // ENDED: 9:04 AM // NUMBER OF CONTRACTIONS: 76

WED.jpg

STARTED: 10:54 PM // ENDED: 4:01 AM // NUMBER OF CONTRACTIONS: 38

THURS.jpg

STARTED: 12:18 AM // ENDED: 8:34AM // NUMBER OF CONTRACTIONS: 65

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STARTED: 11:33 PM // ENDED: 1:06 AM // NUMBER OF CONTRACTIONS: 6

SUN.jpg

STARTED: 12:29 PM // ENDED: 2:29 AM // NUMBER OF CONTRACTIONS: 14

 

#Bloomlife #ad
***PRODUCT IS SPONSORED// OPINIONS AND CONTENT ARE AUTHENTIC & MY OWN.

BLOOMLIFE DIARIES - WEEK 1

Katherine Romrell

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Alright friends! Remember how I told you I was playing with and reviewing this little amazing contraction monitor by Bloomlife? Well, I’m posting the data of my first week with it, and some thoughts! And if you need a quick recap of what Bloomlife is and does, click on my last post.

It’s been a fun week sharing my contraction party with you guys on my Instagram Stories and letting you in on my terrible habits of indulging on my sweet tooth late at night before bed too! haha! I blame the pregnancy!

Another quick recap!
-Im currently 33 weeks pregnant.
-Not planning on going into labor anytime soon.
-Most women start feeling contractions during 2nd trimester.
-Blooomlife is best used as pregnancy tracker and contraction monitor starting the 3rd trimester.

 

WEEK 1 / 33 WEEKS PREGNANT

Bloomlife tracks your activity and contractions for you. It Shows when you’re getting a contraction in real time, How long the contraction is hitting you, and how far in between the next contraction. It also gives you a trend estimate of your contraction patterns and the average frequency and average duration. Pretty Awesome! Most nights I wore the monitor for an hour or two right before bed.

^Left monitor on overnight and had 51 contractions!!!! — Don’t worry, I didn’t feel them all and most weren’t that bad!

^Left monitor on overnight and had 76 contractions!!!! — Some I felt, and some I didn’t. Also 99% sure I lost my M-plug last night.

 
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I was super skeptical at first…

So, like I mentioned before in my previous post, I was a bit skeptical about using this device. One, cause the other ones I tried, didn’t even come close to accuracy and advanced technology bloom-life uses. And two, because I don’t think I experienced many contractions during my first pregnancy! I did get lots of cramps, and lots of braxton hicks too, but no real contractions. In fact, I made it all the way to week 39 when my water broke and headed to the hospital, and even then I didn’t feel much. I had to be put on pitocin. So I actually wasn’t even sure I would experience some contractions during this pregnancy. But oh boy, YES I HAVE! And I’m so glad i’ve had this monitor to validate that! Some of my contractions have been down right mean and obvious, and other have been mild and questionable. And luckily that is all up to par with how far along I’m at right now. We still want baby to bake a little longer, right?!

Now I feel validated…

I feel like I can’t emphasize that word enough. During my first pregnancy, I felt like… a newbie. As does everyone else, right?! I was constantly questioning everything and second guessing everything. During this 2nd one, I’ve definitely felt more confident, and with a “This is not my first rodeo” kind of mentality. However, there are still things about pregnancy that are somewhat unclear, and every pregnancy is different, so when I first started feeling contractions, I was like “OUCH! I think that was one” and the fact that this little device can pick up on what your uterus’s activity, is very empowering.

Week two …

Now that we’ve started a new week, I’ll basically be doing the same fun experiment with my monitor. I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’m kind of a night owl and I get started late at night. But you can catch the little snippets in my story for 24 hrs (you know the drill) and I’ll be sure to upload next week’s data too!

If you’re wanting to get your own device, you most certainly can. Be sure to use my code to get 10% off your weekly rental: KAT10.

 

#Bloomlife #ad
***PRODUCT IS SPONSORED// OPINIONS AND CONTENT ARE AUTHENTIC & MY OWN.

BLOOMLIFE PREGNANCY TRACKER

Katherine Romrell

 

Hello Pregnant Mommies!
I’ve taken the liberty of pulling you along with me on this journey I’m about to start for the next two weeks with Bloomlife!

If you’re wondering what BLOOMLIFE is, I’m here to tell you all about it!
Bloomlife is a pregnancy tracker (but not the kind you think) . It’s the first of its own and the world's first clinically validated wearable contraction monitor. YES! A contraction monitor! ….You thought I was talking about one of those phone apps, that all it does is track your baby’s growth week to week and compare your baby’s size to fruits, didn’t you? Haha! It’s okay, I have like 4 of those apps! BUT THIS IS DIFFERENT!

I’ll be honest, I’d seen this product circling around social media for a bit now but I was skeptical about it. During my first pregnancy, I had downloaded several “Contraction Monitor” apps on my phone (Emphasis on those quotation marks) but they were super confusing and you still had to count and time the contractions yourself! They were basically contraction calculators at best—That was very frustrating! How are you supposed to know that what you’re feeling is accurate when it’s your first?! Those apps didn’t even have a physical sensor to go along with and that should’ve been a hot indicator. Palm-to-Face!
Whatever! Hindsight… am I right?!

So along came this opportunity to review the product and here we are!
Another confessions though… I did try a session already…. without you guys! (Cue the guilty face) But I was insanely curious! And am happy to report that this thing definitely seems to work the way we want it to work! Before I dive into a few details of what my first session was like: I’m gonna get some Q&A’s out of the way, that I myself had!

 

Q&A’S

Q: How does it read contractions and how do you know?
A:
“Bloomlife is completely non-invasive and measures uterine activity with electrophysiology (the same technology used when doctors measure your heart rhythm with EKG).”
A: To view and keep track of your contractions, you download the Official BloomLife app. The app syncs to your Bloomlife device.

Q:What comes in the box?
A:
(I was curios about this one myself, so I took a picture of the items inside. Just incase you’re a visual-being like me!) The box contains everything you will need: Bloomlife sensor, patches, sensor charging cord, and a quick guide. Pictured above.

Q: Can Bloomlife tell you the difference between Braxton Hicks and real labor contractions?
A: Yes & No

”Bloomlife detects all uterine muscle activity including Braxton Hicks. It cannot, at the moment, classify Braxton Hicks vs. labor contractions.” [However, this is NOT A DEAL BREAKER because…] “the contraction pattern bar allows women to quickly see regularity of contractions.” [Irregular = Braxton Hicks / Regular = Labor Contractions.]

Q: Do I have to wait till I’m in active labor to use it?
A: Nooooo.
Definitely don’t wait that long because by that time, you will most likely need to use your own hospital’s gear. You can start using BloomLife when you hit your 3rd trimester. “Bloomlife works best as a preparative learning and connecting tool in the weeks leading up to labor.”

Q: Will it tell me when I need to go to the hospital?
A: “Bloomlife does not notify you when it is time to head to the hospital. Rather it helps you decide for yourself whether or not you are in labor based on contraction regularity and timing. Women and their partners use the data to make more confident decisions and/or facilitate the conversation with their care team.”

For more Q&A’s go to https://bloomlife.com/frequently-asked-questions/

 

FIRST SESSION

Alright, so my first session was really cool.
I decided to try it out at night, once Leo was in Bed and Chris and I were getting into our couch & netflix routine. Usually at night is when I feel more activity on my uterus anyway. I think that’s the norm for most women?!

Also, I think that you should treat your first session with a little patience. I used it for two hours and the 2nd hour seemed to have more accurate readings of what was going on. Braxton hicks vs Baby Movement! Yes It can sense your baby moving too! Double cool!

After each session, it gives you a summary of your contraction trend!
I had 7 within those two hours! And I can confidently say they were contractions. Irregular contractions but none the less, they were contractions! It records what time you got a contraction, how long it lasted, and the minutes in between the next one. It does it in real time too, so every time I felt a contraction, I looked at my app and sure enough it was recording one. I feel like Im geeking out right!

So what I’ll be doing for the next two weeks is recording a bit of my session everyday and sharing it with you girls!

If you just can’t wait to get your own: Use my code to get 10% off your weekly rental: KAT10.
If you want to experience it through me first, I’ll see you in my stories!

 

#Bloomlife #ad
***PRODUCT IS SPONSORED// OPINIONS AND CONTENT ARE AUTHENTIC & MY OWN.

POSTPARTUM DIARIES

Katherine Romrell

[5 Weeks Postpartum]

 

Hi!
So i've thought about what to write for this post longggggg and hardddd. To this day this is one of the hardest and most intimate posts I have ever written. Before we get into the deets, I need to give my husband a shout out. I don't know if you can tell, but at the beginning of the photo shoot I'm pretty tense. Then towards the end it, it gets more fun. I was so nervous about photographing my PP body but boy did my hubs cheer me on and made me laugh!


Today I want to open up about two tricky subjects! Weight and PPD!

First, The Weight

I am currently 6 weeks PP. 
Before pregnancy, I weighed somewhere between about 109 lbs. The last week of pregnancy (Week 39) I weighed 156 lbs.  During my postpartum stay at the hospital, I went up to 162 lbs because of a weeks worth of IV fluids.  So I gained a total of 44-51 lbs! I am currently weighing 131 lbs. 


Why am I talking about weight?
After THIS post and THIS post on Instagram, I received lots of sweet compliments and how great I was already looking after having a baby. Ironically this made me feel a little bad. Not because of the compliments --Those are always nice! But because I felt like I wasn't being honest and was scared that anyone going through what I was going through would be just as hard on themselves behind closed doors. I want to clarify that in those pictures, I am wearing a waist trainer underwear and it definitely helps that my Agnes & Dora leggings are form-fitting and tucking my PP bump.

I know what it feels like to feel like a stranger inside your body! I cried everyday during our week-long stay at the hospital when it was shower time! I would just stand naked in front of the mirror and wondered how I was going to get my body back! I would love to take the high road and say how I don't care that I gained weight and that my new found curves make me feel more like a woman. Nope. Weight has been a contributing factor to my PPD and If you feel this way, you are not alone!

Second, PostPartum Depression

Everyone tells you that the beginning of motherhood is hard and it's an adjustment but that you JUST LOVE being a mom either way ! I did not feel like that right away. In fact, no one said just how HARD it was going to be at the beginning of it all.  I wish someone would've talked more about the hard part so that I didn't feel crazy or like a bad person and a bad mom.

I'll cut to the chase. I did not feel like hurting  my baby. However, I did feel like...
...I had zero routine which drove me insane.  Nothing went as planned. 
...I did not feel that magical connection I felt with my baby when we were at the Hospital.
...I felt like I was not cut out to be a mom.
...Leo was better off with a different family.
...I wanted to disappear and hide from the world.
...I was scared of anything and everything.
...I felt like I was a crazy person in a white room with no windows or doors.
...I LOATHED my body!
...I felt like I was not in my own body because of pain, weight, and recovery.
...And though my husband is not just help, but a great dad and super supportive, I felt alone.  

...Lastly, there was times I thought about jumping infront of a moving car because I felt like I wasn't good enough to be a mom or a wife and that I was going crazy.  

Then, I felt guilt because of all of the feelings mentioned above. Isn't this what I wanted? To be a mom? I struggled with infertility for years because of endometriosis. How dare I feel anything but grateful. All of these feelings went on for the first weeks of being home from the hospital. The crying continued everyday (EVERYDAY) for weeks! How did Chris not leave me? 

I know that the way my labor & delivery went down probably put me at a bad start. I labored for almost 30 hours + plus had an unexpected and very unwanted C-Section + plus 2 panic attacks + plus a major cold afterwards (Read about my labor HERE). On top of that, once we got home, I got a UTI and Mastitis TWICE. Add a colic-acid-reflux newborn baby to the mix.....We barely got sleep! 

At times I felt so overwhelmed that I would forget to eat. I used to make fun of moms that would say that! Like..... HOW do you forget to eat? It's true! You do! Serves me right! So naturally because of the lack of eating, I lost 24 pounds in two weeks! Loosing weight this fast affects your hormones. Correction, It attacks your hormones! Those were the worst weeks of my life. 

We are living proof that lack of sleep and lack of eating makes you crazy. I have found my phone in odd places like the laundry hamper, the pantry, and my favorite... the dishwasher! And Chris has come back from work and left our car running for 8+ hours! Now I know how parents accidentally leave their babies in the car! THE STRUGGLE IS REAL BABY! 

Besides my physical hardship, my mental state was not okay. I started experiencing depression, my anxiety was getting worse, and my OCD was out of control! I felt really scared to talk to anyone about this, specially because in my culture, (Venezuela), depression, anxiety, and OCD are all things that aren't in the realm of possibilities unless you're psycho-killer-crazy. 

The worst was getting asked; "Don't you just love being a mom?" "Yes!" But no. How can I explain?! I never not loved Leo. From the minute our little boy came into this world, I have been obsessed with him and have loved and adored him. But no, I did not LOVE being a mom the at first. Cue the guilt. And when I explained my experience, I would get the typical follow up question "But wasn't he so worth it?"..... My son is worth more than you will EVER know but NO I would not want to go through our horrible labor experience and those crazy weeks ever again. Baby Romrell #2 has been postponed for Summer 2026.

Hating my labor and my new mom experience had nothing to do with my love for my son but it seems like a lot of people didn't know how to separate the two.  This just made me resent myself even more. 

Things To Know

  • Postpartum can start as soon as pregnancy!!!! Like before you give birth!
  • Reality of being a mom will most likely not kick in until you leave the hospital and are no longer surrounded by the help of doctors and nurses around the clock.
  • If you feel PPD after 8 weeks, it doesn't necessarily mean that you have chronic depression, it could just mean that you still have a hormone imbalance.
  • PPD is more common than you think!

Conclusion, It DOES get better!

For those of you going through a similar experience to mine and reading this, I want to end this on a good note for you. It does get better!

My husband studied Psychology, so I like to think that he knows a thing or two. It really helped that he was educated on how the body and mind work, and it also helps when you are able to recognize that your emotions are heightened because of your hormones. That DOES NOT mean that what you're feeling is not real, nor that you are crazy, nor that your feelings shouldn't be validated because you're "hormonal". They are very real. Whether or not your feelings and behavior would be different without the extra hormones, what you are feeling now is real to you and that is okay! I know, you normally wouldn't be easily bugged, on edge, or cry-me-a-river super sensitive at all times. It's all because of your hormone imbalance due to giving birth and part of your body regulating itself after stocking up on so many hormones and many different kinds of hormones to help cook a baby. 

Mom life truly is so sweet! You may not feel like it right away and THAT IS 100% OKAY AND UNDERSTANDABLE. Don't let ANYONE tell you differently. I WILL punch them for you. It might take you weeks or even the whole first year! I can't say that my PPD has absolutely gone away but after getting help, I have started to feel a little bit more like my old self again and started to feel like we can all survive this. I feel like that beautiful connection with Leo back when we were the hospital has come back and growing bigger and stronger everyday! And little milestones like leaving the house for the first time on your own and with baby are things to be proud of all the way!

From here on out, we are new women. There is real empowerment to being a mom and you should own it. Don't let ANYONE make you feel inappropriate, inadequate, or wrong about your choices and your parenting style.  So long as your child is healthy and you are sane, that is ALL that matters. 

I am so grateful for such a loving husband who already surpassed my expectations of being a dad! I am thankful he educated himself on PPD before the baby came and has been supportive and understanding of my crazy. I am truly grateful for supportive friends who let me open up and not judge me, because this is vital to help you come out of that PPD cave. And I am eternally grateful  for all the love and help we have received from everyone through this new journey!
 

PS: You might find these three articles very helpful!

 

HOSPITAL BAG MUST-HAVES

Katherine Romrell

Robe C/O Pink Blush Maternity
Photography by @Chris_Romrell

 

Remember when I was freaking out about my hospital bag? Well, ironically it is now the most popular question I have gotten! "What did you end up packing in your hospital bag?!" 

First off, you should know that I took the minimalistic route which is totally not like me! Like, I cant even pack a small weekender bag. I always pack more because "Just in case". But in this case, I decided I wanted to be simple about it and it worked out for the best! 
I broke it down in two lists for you! Mom-Haves and Baby-Haves!

MOM MUST-HAVES

Robe
This was THE BEST thing I packed!  I lived in my robe the whole time. Nurses come in and check on you all the time, and you are constantly trying to nurse so it makes it so much easier to just be in a robe. If your experience is anything like mine and you have to be kept on an IV, they prefer for you to stay in a hospital gown or a robe either way. Plus, you automatically look decent for visitors! My robe is from Pink Blush Maternity.

Loose Sweats
I packed leggings but leggings would have been ideal if I didn't have to have had a C-section. Leggings sat tight on my incision so I ended up wearing no pants. I think it's better to be safe and prepare for both case scenarios. Go for some cute loose sweatpants.

Casual Dress or Tunics
Luckily I packed tunics for tops. This might even be a better option than loose sweat-pants. You will literally want as little  clothing touching you from the waist down.

Sports bras
I packed sports bras and nursing bras but only ended up using my sports bras. I got THIS kind which made it nursing friendly too because the straps are convertible and they were easy to just pull down. They are also wireless so it made it comfy to sleep in.

Adult Diapers/Depends
You read that correctly. The mesh underwear and dog training pads they give you are a joke. You will feel so uncomfortable. So many of my girlfriends suggested Depends. I packed a package, and I wasn't really planning on using them but after trying the mesh underwear+hospital pads, I jumped on the adult diaper wagon. 

Personal Products
Lip balm, Tooth Brush, Tooth Paste, Deodorant, Facewash, Moisterizer, Razor, Lotion, Shampoo + Conditioner, Hair spray, Hair Ties, Hair Brush. All in mini-travel size.  
If you are planning to nurse: Nipple cream and nursing pads

Cozy Blanket
One for you and one for hubby cause the hospital ones suck.

BABY MUST-HAVES

Onesies
Lots of onesies. I didn't like the ones that the hospital provided because they were just shirts, not onesies and they fit weird.

Mittens, Socks & Beanies.
It's true, babies come with nails so those mittens are yours and your baby's friend. And socks and beanies are to help keep them warm.

Baby Lotion and Diaper Cream.
Baby's skin is so dry at first because of the amniotic fluid. Leo had raw cracks the 2nd day! And diaper cream for their little bums.

Going Home Outfit & Blanket
The hospital provides receiving blankets while you are there but you are gonna want your own for when you take baby home. And a Going-home outfit cause, why not?!

EXTRAS

Phone Chargers
Camera + Charger
Play Station or Laptop [For Hubby & Netflix]

Though this list may seem crazy small, the hospital will provide everything else! Diapers, Pillows, socks, Booger bulb, pacifier, baby wipes, baby shampoo, bottle + formula, breast pump, was all provided during our hospital stay. Some stuff we even got to keep and take home. It made it so I could pack light and lots of our stuff was saved for when we got home!

BIRTHING PLAN

We didn't have one. I just asked my nurses to walk me through every step of the way and double check with me about any decision. 
 

 

Hope you like!
I'm totally enjoying your labor & delivery questions so keep them coming!
Xoxo