I love Prime Day! I thought it would be helpful to share a few of my favorite deals that are on Amazon right now. A lot of these sales go fast so run! (Prices will sometimes change, so click on the picture to view more info).
I love Prime Day! I thought it would be helpful to share a few of my favorite deals that are on Amazon right now. A lot of these sales go fast so run! (Prices will sometimes change, so click on the picture to view more info).
Mamas! I’m so so excited to be sharing with you my next project! Each year I’ve tried to figure out a way to give back with this blog and the community behind it.
Last year I hosted an event (see HERE) and we were able to help give back to a charity organization called Share Parents of Utah that offers support to mothers who have lost babies.
This year I am selling THESE shirts to help refugee moms who are pregnant and/or single who are coming over with little to nothing. These moms need feminine hygiene supplies, baby essentials such as diapers, wipes, and other necessary items.
So with every shirt sold, I’m giving a portion of all proceeds to help these moms.
I’m partnering with Refugee Services of Texas to make this happen. To order your shirt, head HERE! I’m excited to see what good we can all do and will be posting updates! I can’t wait to see moms supporting moms! And if you happen to snag a pic of your shirt in the beauty or trenches of your motherhood, I would love to see it! Just tag #themamahoodproject.
***if you share this post, I would love to send you a coupon code for free shipping! After you share just shoot me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send it to ya!***
Love you all so much and excited to have you be apart of it!
My heart feels so full today. Not everywhere do you find such wonderful people who constantly just give love. I had the sweetest baby shower and seriously started crying when I looked up to see how many people came to celebrate this rainbow baby with us. I wish I coulda told myself last year that all the heartache would be worth it. Happy tears today!🍋
I love having the chance to share other mama’s stories. This one is near and dear to my heart both because Ashley and Tom are my sweet cousins and because I’ve felt some of the emotions she opens up about. I love her positive outlook in facing their heartache and fighting to grow their family. I was glued to every word she said. Here is their story:
“Hello, to all you sweet people reading this. Today, I am opening up about my infertility and our decision to pursue adoption. Bear with me, this is a long post very much from the heart and real.I struggle to talk about this topic for a lot of reasons, mostly the fear, judgment, heartache, and tears that it brings. However, I feel that talking about it, in some ways is helpful. In meeting others that have gone through similar experiences it has helped calm my aching heart. I feel at peace knowing we are not alone in our trial and though our stories are unique, on some level I feel we understand each other.
Our journey is a long one. We got pregnant with our first baby in 2010. Although it wasn’t a “planned” pregnancy we were excited and anxious. I didn’t find out I was pregnant until we were into the second trimester due to some medical complications. Not long after we found out we were expecting, we found out there was no heartbeat, they didn’t pay much attention to it and thought the baby was just in a strange position. We were to go back for another ultrasound a few weeks later. It was a Sunday evening and we were at my in-laws when I started to experience heavy bleeding. I was rushed to the hospital as we knew something wasn’t right. There was no heartbeat, the baby had stopped developing at 12 weeks and my body didn’t recognize it until 19 weeks. As we sat in the hospital room that night looking at a screen with a lifeless baby my heart shattered. I was broken. The doctor told us that 1 in 3 women experience a miscarriage and it was nothing to worry about, we could try again when the time was right. I was hopeful and optimistic that he was right. I will never forget all the emotions I along with my husband felt. All the unanswered questions, confusion, sadness, anger, bitterness. I was stubborn and knew we would figure things out and get the answers we were looking for. Not long after our loss, we had an ultrasound done to make sure the baby had passed, at that ultrasound the tech noticed I had a misshaped uterus and possibly a uterine septum. She sent us to a fertility specialist to confirm and it was, in fact, a uterine septum. I had a large piece of dead tissue running down the center of my uterus. This gave me hope and I felt like it was the answer I was looking for. The doctor explained that if the baby implanted on that septum we would miscarry because of the lack of blood flow. They advised that we have the septum removed through surgery. After taking some time off from trying to get pregnant we decided to schedule the septum surgery for February of 2012. Surgery went well and afterward, the doctor said my uterus was in perfect shape and ready for pregnancy. He urged us to try to get pregnant right away as the septum could grow back. Both of us agreed after the surgery that the time wasn’t right to get pregnant, put simply our feelings had changed. We felt like all would be fine with the septum and we would try once we felt ready.
Fast forward to October 2014, we got pregnant with baby #2 very easily. We were so excited. We announced our pregnancy to the family at Christmas and it was a joyous time. We were thrilled and anxious to finally welcome a baby to our family. We were scheduled to have our first ultrasound between 10 and 11 weeks. We went in for our ultrasound and the sad news came, no heartbeat. We felt confused, angry and wanted a second opinion. This is when we found Dr. Terry. He is an amazing doctor and we cannot speak highly enough of him. He confirmed the nightmare we hoped wasn’t true, our baby did not have a heartbeat. I had a D&C (Dilation & Curettage) on January 9th, a day my heart will always break over. Dr. Terry was hopeful that we would get some answers and thought we should try again soon, so we did. As I look back I am not sure why I felt we should try again so soon, as my heart was still very broken, but I longed for a baby more than anything, so we tried again. We got pregnant in June of 2015; we went in for our first ultrasound at 8 weeks and again, the baby had no heartbeat. At this time, with three losses in a row, two back to back I was overcome with emotions and so much anger. I didn’t understand what God was doing, and his reasoning for it. However, I was determined to find answers, all while knowing through my faith that God is in charge and it is His timing, not ours. I had another D&C on the 28th of July, and the testing began. Dr. Terry wanted to figure this out, I appreciated his concern on our behalf. We both had blood tests done, tests were done on the babies tissue, countless ultrasounds, Sono histograms and lab work. I quickly felt like I became a human pincushion. I was frustrated and hoped we would, in fact, get the answers we were longing for. My blood tests came back with something, I have a blood clotting disorder, known as Prothrombin 20210 for which I am homozygous, making it more severe. They felt like this might be a large part as to why I kept miscarrying. The doctors explained it was an easy fix and explained I would be on baby aspirin as well as Lovenox shots daily with our next pregnancy. At the time it seemed easy enough. During all the testing we also had our Sonohysterogram done and found the septum had in fact grown back. Both our OBGYN and the fertility specialist felt we should have the septum taken down again and then get pregnant six weeks after. I went in for my second uterine septum surgery the day before Thanksgiving in November of 2015. Surgery went fabulous and the doctors advised that six weeks after the surgery we start on Clomid (a fertility pill) to help us get pregnant before that septum had a chance to grow back.
Things went as planned and we got pregnant with our fourth baby February of 2016. Deep down I was excited but mostly scared. This time felt different, Tom was giving me Lovenox shots every day, I was having my blood drawn to check HCG 3 times a week, my HCG was rising perfectly, and things were going very well. They scheduled an early ultrasound at 5 weeks; after our last experiences with ultrasounds we were very anxious and scared hoping that it would be different this time and sure enough, it was. For the first time ever we heard our baby’s heart beating. It is a sound that still brings tears to my eyes. It was the best feeling in the world and I felt like the miracle we had been waiting for had finally come. This time was going to be different, and it was. I had severe morning sickness; couldn’t keep much of anything down. I had to have IV’s to help keep me hydrated. I didn’t have energy, and to be honest was miserable, but I was so happy because it meant everything with this baby was going smooth. We had ultrasounds once a week, the baby was active and doing great. I made it to 14 weeks and felt we were in the safe zone, at this point I was finally able to calm down a little.
Three weeks later we were scheduled to find out the gender of the baby. I had always felt it was a girl but our doctor was convinced it was a boy, I was just hoping for a healthy baby, the gender didn’t matter to Tom and I. The day of our appointment I felt something strange happen while I was using the restroom at work, it was a sudden pop. I stood up and realized I was losing a lot of blood as well as what I thought was water. I screamed down the hall for help and a lady at the office came running. I was shaking, in shock and completely scared beyond words. I kept asking if my water broke and they all said no, it doesn’t happen this early. I then worried that I might be hemorrhaging as I was on blood thinners. Every worst case scenario was running through my head. Tom picked me up and rushed me to the doctor. They took me in for an emergency ultrasound and I will never forget the look on doctor face. He didn’t even have to say anything, I knew it wasn’t good. He had to excuse himself because it was too much for him to take in. It was confirmed my bag of waters had ruptured. I went from 22cm of water to 1.2 cm. It was drastic. I lost all control and could not hold it together. It was supposed to be different this time, everything had been perfect, what happened, why? The Dr. gave me the option of being induced and delivering our baby, or to go home be put on flatbed rest, drink lots of water to hopefully restore some of the water, keep an eye out for infection, pray that we could get this baby to at least 24 weeks, and hang on as long as possible. I felt hopeful that bed rest would help and would be the only option if we wanted to give our baby any chance. Unfortunately, the week at which my bag ruptured was a crucial time for the baby to have fluid, as this is what helps the babies lungs develop. I went home, stayed down as much as possible, drank as much water as I could, and prayed harder than I have ever prayed. I had a feeling come over me that this baby just needed a body and that it wasn’t going to survive. I tried my hardest to do everything to get her here but in the end, my body couldn’t do it. The biggest risk for both the baby and I was an infection. At 19 weeks, I started having horrible back pain. I thought this might be labor, then quickly thought I am losing my mind, the back pain is from laying on a couch for two weeks straight. The pain got worse but I decided I could tough it out as we had an ultrasound to check things with our Dr. the next morning. The pain and pressure I felt that morning was almost too much to bear. I remember them taking us back to the ultrasound and as I looked up at the screen, things were different; I panicked because I saw no baby. The tech saw the fear in my eyes and explained the baby was in my birth canal and on its way. She said that I was fully dilated and that the baby was coming. She ran down the hall to grab my nurse, and the next thing I knew we were down in labor and delivery getting ready to have the baby. I wasn’t ready, it wasn’t time. I knew this meant the baby wasn’t going to survive and it tore my heart out. My biggest fear was becoming a reality. I can’t explain how I felt that day, but it was the hardest day of my life. This was something I had been dreaming of and I felt like in an instant it was taken away. I had my husband with me, our moms, and our sisters to help support us and help us through this difficult labor. After a very difficult and painful labor, we welcomed a baby girl to the world. She was beautiful, and perfect in every way. Our precious girl lived for an hour, her little heart was strong and wouldn’t give up. Had her lungs been more developed I am confident she would have been strong enough to survive. We named her Grace Lynn Olsen. I remember the pain of that day being unbearable. I felt like my heart had left me, it was as if a piece of my soul left my body. I was empty, broken and knew from this day my life would never be the same. Not only was I dealing with the great grief from losing our girl, but I felt like a complete failure of a women, wife, and mother. I felt like I had let everyone down. I know many women have felt these same feelings. I knew from this day on it was the start of a journey for Tom and I that I knew would not be easy.
A few days later we had a graveside service for her and it was beautiful. The words both spoken and sung by our loved ones were inspiring, beautiful, comforting and gave me feelings I will always hold near to my heart. The day we buried her was an incredibly hard day but I felt so much peace and love and I know her little spirit was with us. Our Grace is how we got through it. The love we felt when we delivered Grace and the day we buried her were more than words could ever describe. The days following have been full of deep heartache, grief, pain, sadness, confusion and at times anger. I long for answers and have come to a hard realization that we may never have those answers. The doctor will probably never know why my water broke, or why she came early. However, I do have one answer, and that is that our Heavenly Father has a plan, he knows the reasons and I am confident that our baby just needed a body. She was too perfect for this cruel world. I feel blessed to know that I have a little girl waiting for me on the other side. It has helped me to try to be a better person, to live with purpose and to make her proud. I smile knowing that most people dream of Angels, and I had the opportunity to hold one in my arms. I am confident she is where she is supposed to be. I still get angry and sad, but when I do, I remember that it is NOT on my terms, timing or plan, it’s our Heavenly Father’s and I know He is in complete control. I am learning to be less selfish through this process. Heavenly Father needs her at this time. I will see her again and will have the opportunity to raise her. I am choosing to take this trial and learn from it and I pray I am being shaped into the character that our Savior is wanting me to become. Our miracle did happen, we had our baby. It might not have been the way we wanted or hoped but it happened just as it was supposed to. Our miracle has wings.
After all the loss we have experienced, I have taken the last year to reflect and take the time needed to grieve. The pain is still very deep, but I am learning to manage and take things day by day. Grieving is normal, everyone’s timeline of grieving is different. We grieve to remember and to not forget. I will never forget what our baby girl has done for us, and the gift she is to our family. We love her more than words could ever express.
That brings us to our decision to pursue adoption. It may sound silly to some but we have always known we would adopt. We knew that adoption would be part of how we grew our family. We both have a deep love and passion for adoption and always knew that we would want to help another baby and give it the best life we could. As I went through each loss, I would feel at times like I just wanted to prove that my body could do it. I didn’t want my body to fail us anymore. However, it became clear to Tom and I that we were waiting on something that we had wanted all along and that was to grow our family through adoption. I began to set my pride aside and felt the peace that adoption was the direction we needed to go. We have wanted to be parents for a very long time and we know adoption is our next step. My body, our hearts, and our emotions need a break from the loss. We are thrilled to help raise a baby and give it a life that the birthmother wants their baby to have. Adoption will not solve our grief, we will still miss our girl, however, we have chosen to stare heartache in the face and we are fighting to bring some life and joy to our family. It will not be easy, but I know the hardest of things, are often the most rewarding. I love this quote by President, Spencer W. Kimball. I pray that we can meet the needs of our baby and I know they will meet our needs. Adoption is such a beautiful gift.
I am grateful for my trials because through them we have learned of our great commitment to each other, the beautiful miracle that each baby is, the blessing that our Grace is in our lives, and our unwavering love for each other and for our Savior. I know things happen for a reason. No, I don’t know the reason, but I choose to believe there is one. Grace changed our lives forever and touched so many others lives as well in her short time here. She has a special place in my heart and always will. Her siblings will know about her, we visit her often and she is embedded into our lives. We believe God has called us to adoption and we are thrilled to start our journey. We know Grace will be on the other side guiding us through this process. We feel blessed to have so many wonderful family and friends who support us and will be a huge part in helping us raise our baby. I think we have learned that in all of this there is sunshine down the road ahead, and although it might not be easy, it will be worth it. We struggle to ask for help, but we would feel so blessed by any help you can give. We want this baby to know of all those who helped us bring them home. Adoption is a leap of faith, there are so many unknowns, but we know with all of your support, we can do this, and it will be worth every difficult moment. I think we can all agree that this baby has been prayed for and loved by many for a very long time. Thank you for the encouragement and excitement about our adoption. Announcing that this is the next step in our journey has been so exciting. Seeing this come to life is a dream come true.”
I wanted to spotlight my husband’s latest obsession as well as give you all some last minute Father’s Day ideas! Why is it so hard to know what to find your spouse or significant other, but I feel like I could purchase a few gifts for myself in about 2 seconds?? Men just feel harder to shop for, for some reason! A few months ago my husband was trying to tell me all about these wood watches he was loving, so when Jord reached out to me about doing a sponsored post, it was a no-brainer because this is something we’ve already been loving for a long time and I’m truly 100% on board with (not just because this is sponsored!) They just look classy. Simple as that. Also, can we talk about the packaging!? I was super impressed opening this tiny little treasure chest! You can tell that everything is high quality from the get-go. They have a bunch of different styles (for women too!), but I’m all heart eyes over this classic one. You can find it HERE. They are splash proof so it’s perfect for everyday wear. I’m definitely impressed with this cool watch company! And if you’re loving what ya see, head HERE to win $100 towards a watch, and if you fill out the form they’ll automatically send you $25 for any purchase! Kind of awesome if you ask me!!
Baby size: Length of a green onion
Weight gain: 21 pounds
Sleep: It’s gotten better. I’ve learned ways to prop myself up pretty good so my back doesn’t kill.
Cravings: Oh, I could eat sugar all day long. But I feel like I’m like that even when I’m not pregnant.
Feeling: I feel good! Other than the usual aches of pregnancy my body has felt good. Emotional-wise? I think I have a little pre-baby blues, is that possible? I have bad anxiety of having PPD and spiralling fast into dark days like I did with my first. It terrifies me but I’m trying to do everything I can to get myself out of that and be prepared beforehand. This babe is coming in the heat of summer instead of the dead of winter, so it will hopefully be a little different on my emotions. (Crossing fingers!!)
Peak Moment: Going on a date with Shey. That’s always a peak moment in my book. It’s just refreshing to go out!
Body changes: I feel a tiny bit of swelling, not a ton. I also feel like a whale when I try to roll from one side to the other when I’m trying to sleep.
Doctor/Health Update: Everything is looking good! I feel so blessed you guys. Really truly. I was on pins and needles for so many months and now I am just trying to enjoy pregnancy because it’s something I really miss when I’m not pregnant! Next appt will be at 28 weeks for my glucose test. I’ve been nesting like crazy so hope that motivation sticks around for awhile!;)
As I’ve scrolled through the social world today about Mother’s Day, I can’t help but have some deep feelings come to the surface.
I’ve always had a thing for moms. When I was little I would watch other mothers in awe and constantly ask if I could hold their babies so I could pretend to be a mom. There’s just something about motherhood and moms that I have a deep love and passion for.
What I did see today was a lot of heartache on this holiday. Whether it be because of a loss, infertility, or any other reason to not have the opportunity to be a mother, a lot of hearts ache on a day that mothers are celebrated. Articles have been swarming of how hard this holiday is on so many women and it’s hard to see.
As I kept scrolling, a dear friend of mine who has been struggling for about 10 years with infertility posted this definition of motherhood that her husband wrote to her on a post-it note for her to see the moment she woke up:
In addition to the post-it were definitions of mothers. My favorite was the very last one.
A Mother is: Someone who puts the needs of others above their own.
I loved seeing how she turned her biggest trial into a way to celebrate what she does have in being a mother and influence to the kids around her.
With my miscarriages I remember feeling like I could be sad on this day and mourn or I can celebrate those tiny babies. I completely think that there are times where you need to have those moments of grief. And if you’re that mom who is going through something heartbreaking right now, I hope that you would take that time for yourself. But I also hope that you realize how beautiful Mother’s Day is for ALL women no matter which part of the journey you are on.
We are all mothers. And that role is so uniquely yours as a woman whether you have kids or not.
So if today is a hard day for you for whatever reason, my heart goes out to you. But I hope you also realize the beauty in celebrating all circumstances of motherhood and that today can be a day to rejoice even the hard parts of being a mom.
Today is about YOU and a role that is given to you before you even have kids.
It’s about your fight to have kids if you struggle with infertility.
It’s about your magnifying love for the kids you might already have, despite your tired eyes.
It’s about those babies who might be watching over you in heaven as you try to continue to live this life without them.
It’s about celebrating even the heartache.
“Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that. It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits our Father gave us.” – Sheri Dew
Happy Mother’s Day to all women, in every walk of life.
I’ve been loving all these recent new baby companies and products that have come out since I had my last baby!
One of my favorites for sure is the DockAtot! If you haven’t heard about them, it’s like a little raft for your baby to lay in. It helps with safety when co-sleeping and just throughout the day as well. I just remember those first few weeks of having a newborn and it just helps to have another safe place for baby to lay down.
I’ve teamed up with them to give one of my readers a DockAtot! Head over to my instagram to enter! (HERE)
(The picture above is of my cute friend Sarah from thedaintypear.com, using one with her babe!)
If you have a DockAtot I would love to hear your experience with it as well! And if you are eyeing these bad boys… then you should enter to win one!😉
I can’t believe we are already passed our halfway point in this pregnancy! I can’t keep track of how many weeks I am, but I think I’m almost 24 this week! This pregnancy has flown by but also gone by slow too. With this pregnancy I gained weight really fast at the very beginning. The thing with going through a couple miscarriages, surgeries, etc. is you can’t work out constantly because of wait/healing time. And since I wasn’t working out constantly the only thing I can do right now is walk. (Why is it when you can’t work out you really want to and when you can you really don’t?!) I’m just feeling so so grateful to have a healthy baby inside of me. It’s worth every extra pound and double chin! 😉
To be honest, these updates will mostly be for me to keep track of. So if you read on, you’ll be seeing the good and the ugly. ha! Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!
Baby Size: My app says a husk of corn? I’ve been measuring big though from the beginning so not sure if that’s accurate.
Weight gain: 16 pounds
Sleep: Not so good. I have back pain that keeps me tossing and turning all night. The only thing saving me is my pregnancy pillow!
Cravings: pickles + pickle juice will always sounds good to me! I also crave my protein PB and chocolate shakes I make every morning. (milk, cocoa, PB, Chia seed, protein powder (I use pea seed protein), banana, Oats, ice)
Feeling: My first pregnancy with R I felt very level and life was a dream. This pregnancy my hormones are a little all over the place. I’m sure I’m a little more dramatic then usual. My husband cracked an inside joke the other day and I started laughing (harder than anyone knows how to laugh) and then 2 seconds later burst into tears getting offended by the joke! haha! I was a hott mess.
Peak Moment: When Ryd got to feel her kick. He wants nothing else than to make her laugh already. He does dances in front of my belly to make her laugh. I love him so much.
Body changes: Oh the crazy things pregnancy does sometimes! My hands are so dry and itchy again. But I mostly just pee my pants every single day. Without fail. They don’t joke when they say when you have more children you really can’t hold it in!
Doctor/Health Update: Everything looked normal in the 20 week ultrasound. I seriously cry during every healthy heartbeat they can find. Just so grateful. I’m still doing my Lovenox shots + baby aspirin every day. I wasn’t planning on sharing this picture, it’s totally gross, but I want to have it on record for future pregnancies and to remember what I was doing with this pregnancy. The doctors had me on progesterone during ovulation this time around and then I stopped around 14 weeks. One doctor told me that it was probably overkill to be on progesterone. Every other doctor out here in Texas has told me to stay on Lovenox + baby aspirin every day. I’m trying to master these shots so I don’t have as many bruises, but I still have yet to figure it out! But it truly is worth every injection if it means it’ll help keep this babe healthy! I’m so grateful for modern medicine and what they are able to do these days to help with this whole process. These babies are so so worth it. This doctor won’t let me go passed 39 weeks this time around so this baby’s due date keeps getting bumped up!
So blessed to be pregnant with this baby girl!! Can’t wait for her to get here!
Texas is so dreamy sometimes. A few weeks ago we found this beautiful tulip festival nuzzled away on a far away country road. We packed a picnic + a few friends and loved every minute of this adventure!