How to lose your “Mom pouch”-a statement I’m so tired of hearing.

You see it on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter, “HOW TO LOSE YOUR MOM POUCH IN TWO WEEKS” “DO THIS 3 TIMES A DAY TO LOSE THAT EXTRA BABY WEIGHT” and so on.

I don’t know about you but I’m so tired of it, social media has made it so taboo to have extra skin, a little extra pudge, a fupa, snack pack, baby pouch, mom pouch (it goes by many names.) All the names aside, they have drilled it into so many women’s heads that it’s not okay.

FOR NO REASON.

Why am I supposed to be ashamed of an area of my body that expanded way beyond what I thought possible? In order to make room for my growing babies. Sounds a little redundant to me.

When we are pregnant our bodies are so highly celebrated.

People tell us all about the “glow” that surrounds us. (Let’s be real, it’s probably not a glow it’s sweat. Being pregnant is so sweaty. At least from my experiences.) The magic of how our bodies will grow and expand. How our hips will shift, our ribs will expand, your feet can even grow in shoe size.

People go on, and on about how magical and wonderful, even how beautiful this all is. Just to turn around when you’re no longer pregnant, and say it’s no longer okay.

You get those “six weeks of healing” and then people just assume you will snap right back. That our bodies will just somehow transform back into how they looked before pregnancy.

Honestly, it’s like unless you’ve had a baby. And understand how unrealistic this statement is (for most women I can admit there is the outlier who does “snap back” right away)

HOWEVER. This is not the norm for most women.

And yet, we are constantly being fed this narrative that this is what should happen. That if we have this area of our body that’s no longer “tight” or “smooth” it’s something to hide and be ashamed of.

But screw that. Yeah okay, it’s not my favourite part of my body, and there’s days I wish it would just not be there. But, then I remembered my body did something amazing and grew with each one of my children.

There’s a good chance, the people pushing this narrative that it “shouldn’t be there.” Probably have never experienced (again I say probably because I can not speak for all people) what it feels like to grow a baby. Have never watched their wife or partner experience the joy that is GROWING AND CREATING A WHOLE OTHER PERSON.

So how about we take back the “Mom pouch”

Wear it as a label of honour instead of shame.

I’m not saying toss away all your high-rise pants because, well A) they’re cute a heck. And B) who am I to say stop wearing what you want.

But, don’t focus so much on if an outfit “shows it off” if the jeans “cut” into your mom pouch a little. Because honestly, I’ve been there, upping my pant size so that doesn’t happen and just spending the entirety of the time wearing them pulling up my pants.

Who cares if it “sticks out” when you sit down. You had a child and your body changed. It is absolutely normal, our bodies are made to grow and change shape as we mature, grow older, and have babies.

It was your child’s first home.

Show your Mom pouch the same love you’d show any other mom struggling with there’s. You deserve to love and appreciate it, just as much as the mom who is celebrating “snapping back”.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again YOU ARE A BADASS MOMMA no matter what your body looks like after having babies. Be proud of yourself for growing that sweet child and stop listening to what the internet says you’re supposed to look like. Because honestly, I bet you child thinks your perfect.

If you enjoyed today’s post you may also enjoy Learning to love my “Mom bod”or if you are looking for a healthy, and realistic way to lose weight check out Losing weight as a mom.

I hope you have a day as wonderful as you and remember to show yourself some kindness, you’ve done amazing things.

If you enjoyed todays blog post I encourage you to check out my social media for more and shorter post like this! Or sign up for the weekly email list to receive an email monthly about what’s to come for that month on the blog.

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What to get her for Mothers day (and every other day too)

I would love to sit here and tell you what absolutely perfect material object to buy. One you could run down to your closest mall and pick up, or order of good old Amazon. But this is not that, this is something not even for mothers day. It is for every day.

Just a little disclaimer all the things that I will say within this post absolutely can go both ways I am not saying women do not have to do the same as men. A relationship should be equal: respect that is given, an appreciation that is given, and love that is given should be given by both parties. This is not me saying one deserves more than the other.

Listen.

Listen to your wife/partner/girlfriend whatever they go by. Wholeheartedly listen to her when she talks to you. “But I do listen” okay, I believe you, but do you whole heartedly listen?

When she talks you about her day, it’s not because she wants words to leave her mouth. Or because she wants to annoy you, and talk your ear off. She wants you to hear about her day because you are important to her, and she wants to share all the things. Even if you think it’s insignificant and dumb to share. She held onto this until she could talk to you. Because it happened and you were the person she wanted to share it with.

You will see a light in her eyes, if you take the time and truly talk to her. To ask her questions, or have an input on the things she’s saying to you. To actively listen and show you have interest and see value in the things she says to you.

You may also find that just maybe having a whole hearted conversation with your partner. Could possible revive a spark, that was other wise dying from her not feeling heard anymore.

Giving her a “break”

Now, what do I mean by this?

Have you ever watched the episode of Malcolm In The Middle, where the mom get so fed up with everyone not doing anything or appreciating her? That she goes on strike?

This is the perfect example of what happens to a mom who doesn’t have anytime away from all of her “motherly duties” and other life responsibilities. She left feeling not appreciated for the things she does.

Now I’m not saying ship your wife away for an entire week end (although I’m sure most of us moms would adore that.) However, taking the load off oh her once a week and letting her “tap out” for a day, an afternoon, hell even a trip to go get coffee by herself.

Can make a HUGE difference in how she feels about her roll in the home and in life. When you treat her as a partner and equal who also deserves time away from the children and other responsibilities. She will feel like what she does is appreciated and seem not just “expected” because she is the Mom.

This is for all moms. Because just like how many many men say “work isn’t a break” working moms also don’t get to count work as a “break”.

Don’t stop doing the little things.

The little things, make up the big things in life.

In the beginning, you do all the small things for your partner to show them you care. The little tiny things that you just do, why? Because you think oh I should do this they would like this, or I want them to know how much I care.

Don’t stop doing this. Ever. Put the coffee pod in the coffee maker before you go to bed so she just has to push it down in the morning. Leave the little note on the counter before you leave for work. Open the door for her, or complement her even on her worst days.

It doesn’t matter what little thing it is, just don’t stop doing them. Those little things are what keep us smiling all day. That quick, hey I saw this thought it was funny and wanted to show you. Even if she doesn’t think it’s funny, I would almost guarantee she’s just happy you thought to share it with her.

So what do you get her for Mother’s Day?

Well, here’s the thing. If you do all three of these things. You will already know, you will have heard it, seen her looking at it, or simply ask her. Sometimes it’s okay, to ask and tell you don’t know what to get. That you would love some ideas.

If you enjoyed todays blog post I encourage you to check out my social media for extra fun things! Or sign up for the weekly email list to receive an email monthly about what’s to come for that month on the blog.

Don’t forget to check out my Amazon favourites to make day to day life a little easier or just a little more fun.

Confessions of a mom: part 2

A couple months back I wrote Confession of a Mom. Part 1 and a lot of parents resonated with it, so I thought I would share some more. So Iwill pick up where I left off.

Confession 11.

I am not proud of the parent I was when I first became one. I was young, I was clueless, and I thought I knew everything.

By the time my oldest was a year and half old and my second was born I realized quite quickly that was not that case. That parenting meant always evolving. Always learning and accepting that things will constantly change. That you can not decide how things will be before parenting even really begins.

It took a lot of work, and reflection and I’m still not quite the parent I want to be, but I know I’m no longer the parent I was.

Confession 12.

Sometimes I will put my kids to bed earlier than their “designated” bedtime. Why? Because some days are hard. Some days I can pour all of me into a day, and it’s just a hard day.

One that feels like it won’t end, one where the kids are “off” because they are human too and have bad days. One that I can hardly keep my cool, and they are all team temper tantrums. Now I’m not talking hours early but, an hour to a half-hour early, because we all just need to sleep a bad day away and try again tomorrow.

Confession 14.

I will complain about my kids (obviously not to them that would be cruel) but, to my partner, or my mom friend if I need to. Why? Because sometimes kids suck. Sometimes they do thing you just can not for the life of you understand the purpose of why it happened.

For example: When my oldest two where 3 and 4 I had left them in the living room so I could use the bathroom. They were playing nicely together. They got out. Into the kitchen, pulled the deep fryer out of the bottom cupboard (we never used it so it just sat in there unplugged) and poured the oil EVERYWHERE. This took them 5 minutes.

And you best bet after I got all the oil off them, and everything in my kitchen, and the day was over I called my husband to complain while he was on his way home from work. Sometimes you just have to let it out.

Confession 15.

I expect a certain level of behaviour from my kids. Now, I’m not talking like they need to be the best of the best all the time. But, what I do mean is. We have a very specific list of rules for life that are non-negotiable.

  • Don’t lie
  • Don’t steal
  • Keep your hands to yourself

We have other rules, like no jumping on the bed, use your manner, be polite and while mannered when we are out and all those other things. However, at the end of the day, it is my job to raise good people. In my personal opinion, it may not be everyone’s but good people don’t lie, steal, and hit other people.

Now there can be exceptions to the rules. If your keeping a surprise party a secret it’s okay to lie then or circumstantial things like that (see Sometimes I lie to my kids.). If someone is beating you up, it’s okay to hit back to get away. (We recently had to just explain this to my daughter when she had gotten attacked at school and she just stood there and took the beating because she has always been told we keep our hands to ourselves). Stealing I can’t justify ever, if there comes a time I can be, I can’t picture it.

Confession 16.

I don’t want my kids to be “just like me” when I was younger. Not that I was a bad person, or made awful choice. I didn’t party all the time or do drugs. I wasn’t doing bad kid things. I was quite the opposite. Now don’t get the twisted I wasn’t a bad kid but I’m not saying a was great either, yes when I was a teenager I drank with My friends here and there (and no my parents didn’t know, but my friend’s mom always knew and we were always in a safe place). And yes I tried smoking pot in high-school. (it wasn’t for me and I never understood the hype)

What I mean is I was a push over. I wore my heart on my sleeve, and I would let people walk all over me to make them happy. I did this up until a few years ago. I don’t want that for my kids, yes I want them to be loving and kind to others, but I want them to have a backbone and know when and how to use it.

I don’t want to dry the eyes of my child time and time again because they are used a pawn in other people’s games. (Hey mom if you’re reading Thanks for always picking me up and drying my eyes when this was me, I’m smiling because you love me)

Confession 17.

I don’t always want to bring my kids every single place I go.

“You’re so mean your kids are going to read that one day and resent you” – a comment I heard from my last Confession of a Mom. Part 1 and I’m sure will hear again after that statement. But, it’s the truth. I don’t want to bring them every single place I go, and I mean really. Sometimes I need a break, some days I just want to walk through the grocery store in silence.

Some days I want to go to the bathroom without answering 150 questions while I’m in there. Think of it as you want, but sometimes I too need to not be around people. Even if they are the people I made.

Confession 18.

Every birthday makes part of me a little sad. My kids are growing up, and time is inevitable I can’t stop it no one can. Buds is no longer Baby Button, Baby Gracie has grown into the Big Bean, Soapy is now a young lady. And In just a few days Baby Bean is going Is going to be one.

That makes me sad, it feels like only moments ago they were all so fresh and new. Like I blinked and all my babies started to grow at a rate I couldn’t keep up with. I am so incredibly proud of all the people they are growing into, and they will continue to. But, part of me is sad they can’t stay small forever. (Even if I complain about things sometimes.)

The hardest and most amazing part of being a parent is watching your child grow.

Confession 19.

I tell my kids I’m wrong all the time. I don’t see the need in my children to think I know everything and anything. They don’t need a false idea that once you are an adult you know all there is to know.

If I teach them something and it’s wrong, or I don’t know something I’m honest with them. At which point we will either learn the right way together, or I will go out of my way to learn for them so I can teach them. This goes hand and hand with, always evolving as a parent.

It’s okay to be wrong, it’s okay to admit it and change and say “hey I didn’t know but now I do”

Confession 20.

Having kids changed me as a person and I like me now a lot better than any other version there’s ever been of myself.

They’ve made me learn to love life in an entirely new light, they’ve shown me wonder, and what life (for me) truly means. If it wasn’t for my children, I won’t be so strong, I wouldn’t be so patient and understanding. I wouldn’t have the outlook I do.

No without my kids I wouldn’t be half the woman I am, as they grow as people every day so do I. I don’t know if I will ever tell them, just how much I needed them to become who I am. But, I will always make sure I am there to love and support them as they become the people they are meant to be.

So there it is.

10 more confessions of a mom. I hope they help someone not feel so alone in how they feel about parenting. It doesn’t matter if you say them aloud or keep them in we all have some parenting confession at the end of the day. No one is perfect and no parent is. That is life and I’m happy to share if it helps even one parent.

If you enjoyed todays blog post I encourage you to check out my social media for extra fun things! Or sign up for the weekly email list to receive an email monthly about what’s to come for that month in the blog.

Don’t forget to check out my Amazon favourites to make day to day life a little easier or just a little more fun.

Pregnancy is not linear.

Pregnancy. Some people seem to think it just *poof* happens. And for some people (like myself for example) it just does. You decided, you try, and bam there’s a baby. However, this is not always the case.

We are going to look at 6 women and their journey. that was anything but assumed way to motherhood.

Ashley’s journey.

How long have tho been trying to get pregnant?

We have been trying to concieve for 2 years and 7 months.

What was the turning point in which you relazied just getting pregnant might not happen for you?

The turning point for us was when we learned that I am in peri menopause at only 26 (at the time).

Can you talk about how coming to this realization or conclusion made you feel?

Coming to the realization made me very depressed and bitter. I felt like why am I the one that has to suffer, why is this the diagnosis that we have been given.

Did you go for any testing? If so can you talk about what they are and explain what happens?

I have been for many tests. I have been for blood tests that included very basic panels that are done during a physical, hormone testing including; amh which is the hormone that your eggs give off and allows detectection your ovarian reserve. I have also done 3 sonohysterograms which is a catheter into the cervix, and then saline flush is put through to make sure that my uterus, tubes and body is ready for pregnancy.
My husband Aaron has had lots of the same blood tests, a regular semen analysis and 2 DNA fragmentation semen analysis which is a specific test to look at the head of the sperm; to make sure they can penetrate and egg appropriately.

Once you your partner got all this information from the dr, what was the next steps?

For Aaron and I we sat and talked about our next steps as a couple and individuals. We wanted to make sure we were on the same page, and decided how far we would be willing to go to create our own family.

What does/will fertility treatment look like for you? How does it physically make you feel?

So far fertility treatments have included ovulation induction medication that includes letrzole 2.5mg once, letrozole 5mg 14 times, progesterone, ovidrel hcg trigger shots and gonal f hormonal injections. During treatments I am constantly back and forth, to the fertility clinic for blood work, ultrasounds and then waiting by the phone to find out the next steps from my clinic.
I have also tried many of the old wives tales including keeping my feet warm, (because warm feet equate to warm uterus,) pineapple core from 1 day after ovulation until 5 days after ovulation and drinking warm fluids.

Physically the hormones make me have really bad headaches and some abdominal cramping.

I can’t imagine the emotional stress it would have been for you, can you talk about that a little bit?

The emotional Rollercoaster that has come from our fertility journey is enough to make your head spin. We have achieved 2 pregnancies but both ended in a miscarriage. 1 was deemed a “chemical pregnancy” which is a term for early loss before 6 weeks.

My second pregnancy ended in a missed miscarriage at 10weeks. Our sweet baby stopped growing at 6weeks and 2days. From there I had to have a d&c and an operative hysterscopy with polypectomy due to scar tissue from my d&c.

We have had a few moments where it felt like I was so far in the hole, that I could not find my way out but then at the total opposite end of the scale. There has been light at the end of the tunnel and we have been optimistic about how our care team wants to proceed, and the tests that have done/ordered.

Does other women you know in real life getting pregnant without help cause any sort of negative feeling? (Which I personally think is absolutely reasonable if so, it’s hard to not feel things when we can’t control a situation)

Yes! When we first started trying I was so happy for everyone who was pregnant. Or became pregnant so easily, but as our journey continued and they already had their babies and some onto their second or third. I started to become very bitter from it. “Why can they get pregnant/ stay pregnant and I can’t? What is wrong with me? Why can’t I give my husband the one thing that he wants just as much as I do?” These were the questions I always asked myself and constantly cried myself to sleep over. Eventually one day I had a realization that worrying about all the people around me getting pregnant, was just making my depression/anxiety that much worse. I know that’s not good for my body or mental health.

I know that your very open on your YouTube channel about the loss that you’ve experienced. If you don’t mind would you talk a little about that? What was that like and how is healing from something so breaking like that for you?

Our second loss broke Aaron and I. “Why did this happen again?” We were so close but yet so far from what we wanted. I had to stop my progesterone, once we confirmed the baby stopped growing and tried to allow my body to expell the pregnancy on its own. But that was not the case and I had to fight for a d&c 2 months later. Due to the extreme waiting for that my period built up a scar of scar tissue, after the surgery and because the dr did not know if it was retained product or a polyp. She had me take misprostol which is miserable, and did nothing besides cause cramping.

Fast forward 7 months later I was back in for an operative hysterscopy, with polypectomy to remove the polyp and get my uterus ready for a hopeful healthy pregnancy.

It’s not often we hear how husbands deal with all of this, how has the journey been for him?

Aaron has been amazing with everything. He has been there every step of the way, to the best of his ability with covid and not being able to attend in person visits or come to the hospital with me. During either loss or surgeries. He is the one that has been trying to handle everything, while dealing with his own emotions. Our second loss had a huge impact on him as a person. Then him being the only source of income while, I was off work trying to heal and dealing with a severe depressive episode. It made his mental health take a hit.

Any final thoughts or things you want other women going through a similar experience to know?

If anyone is going through infertility struggles or even just starting to try and become pregnant do yourself the biggest favor and get your hormones checked. Along with your amh level. If you are a male or with a male partner have them do a DNA fragmentation test. Some of the test are bit expensive, but it allows you to know where you stand with your fertility, and how aggressive you may need to be if you choose to do so.

If you want to keep up with Ashley and her story check out her social medias linked down below.

Tiktok

Instagram

YouTube channel

If you want to help Ashley and Aaron the place to do that is linked here Donate All proceeds go straight to their ivf cycle that is coming up in April. They have to pay roughly $8000 out of pocket for medications and testing that needs to be done still.

Kelsey’s journey

When did your journey of trying to get pregnant start?

When my husband and I got married in December 2018 you could say we instantly started trying. We weren’t actively TTC, but we also weren’t actively not TTC. In August of 2019 I had officially been off my birth control pills for awhile and really started to track ovulation and officially “try.”

What made you realize that pregnancy may not just “happen” for you?

I was diagnosed with endometriosis, although to this day we don’t know if I officially have it but with my symptoms it sure seems likely. The only way to officially diagnose endometriosis is through a surgery and it just doesn’t seem right for me to go through with that for a diagnosis. During the surgery they can remove any endo they find, although it often comes back. Since mine is suspected to be on my bowels, they wouldn’t remove it since a bowel perforation would be worse than my endo. Due to this, surgery doesn’t make sense for me.

I am also diagnosed with PCOS. Due to both of these diagnoses I was told prior to TTC that it wouldn’t be easy for me and likely wouldn’t come naturally. After TTC naturally for over a year I decided it was time to reach out to my OBGYN to see what help they could offer me.

Can you talk about how coming to this realization or conclusion made you feel?

So many emotions. Yes, they told me this was likely but you always feel that you will be the one to defy the odds and it won’t happen to you. I felt broken – why can’t my body just work normally? I felt upset and angry. I felt stressed – fertility treatment is NOT cheap and not covered by insurance. I felt uneducated – where do I start and what does all of this mean?

Did you go for any testing? If so can you talk about what they are and explain what happens?

I went for TONS of testing. I started with my OBGYN. She sent me for a transvaginal ultrasound to check on my follicles and lining. During this ultrasound my PCOS was again confirmed. I then went for lots of blood work which I honestly don’t even remember what for at this point. I also had an HSG.

For an HSG you basically there, get a catheter inserted, and they insert a dye. They then watch the die flow through your fallopian tubes on an xray to check for blockages. You are completely awake for this procedure and it is less than pleasant. I took the entire day off of work since I had tons of cramping and bleeding after. Mine showed no abnormalities which was a relief.

When I started at my fertility clinic both my husband and I had to go for testing. His was easy a sperm sample and like two tubes of blood. Mine on the other hand was less than easy. I had yet another ultrasound and even more blood work (27 tubes of blood drawn at one time). This blood work inlcuded an STD test, genetic testing, checked my AMH levels, and a whole bunch of other stuff. I also had a Saline Sonogram. This is similar to the HSG in that a catheter gets inserted and they examine the shape of the uterus via ultrasound. Again, mine came back normal. Since my genetic testing showed I was a carrier for a few things, my husband had to go back and have his tested as well to ensure we weren’t both carriers for the same things.

Once your partner got all this information from the dr, what was the next steps? What did fertility treatment look like for you? How did it physically make you feel?

We met with my OBGYN to get more information and she wasn’t as eager to help as we had thought. We decided to seek out the fertility clinic on our own. After all my testing at the clinic, we met with the doctor to review everything. She had a full plan made for us. With our results she felt fairly certain that IUI was the way to go for us and that we would see success, although many do not see success with this procedure.

I felt relieved because it seemed like we were on the right track but I also felt horrified. This was still a very costly, time consuming process that wasn’t guaranteed to work.

Fertility treatment involved frequently visiting my clinic, which was a 40 minute drive one way from my house. Every time I got my period, I had to call and let them know. I would then come in for bloodwork and an ultrasound to see where I was at. Depending on the cycle, that depends on what happened next. For my medicated cycles – I got my instructions on when to start meds and what days I would be back in for bloodwork and ultrasounds. For my IUI – I got instructions on when to start meds and what the process would be like. Medicated timed intercourse cycles and IUI cycles looked similar for me – only difference was we added in the IUI on the day. You get a tentative timeline in the beginning but my follicles always seemed to take longer to grow to the size they wanted so mine often got pushed back mid cycle. Each cycle involved at least five trips to the office.

Physically, it was beyond exhausting. This whole process is a giant roller coaster ride. COVID was still very prominent when we started so my husband wasn’t allowed to enter. He still to this day doesn’t truly understand the magnitude of this whole process solely because they wouldn’t let him in. My veins were shot and my arms were bruised purple constantly. I spent hours in the car and begging my boss to let me come into work late or leave early for appointments. I spent hours on the phone with the dr office talking about finances and how to pay – they won’t let you do any treatment until it is fully covered upfront. I spent hours ordering the medications I needed. The meds made me an emotional disaster and gave me killer headaches.

I can’t imagine the emotional stress it would have been for you, can you talk about that a little bit?

It’s super emotional. I felt so alone. My husband couldn’t come to anything. None of my friends had been through this, at least that they openly talked about. I didn’t give my family members many details because we still had hoped to surprise them with a pregnancy announcement one day. I am so thankful I found an amazing community of infertility warriors on instagram to connect with and be my support system. I learned so much from them and truly wouldn’t have made it through without them!

How long did it take to get pregnant? Did you have to do more than one round of treatment?

I seriously consider myself one of the lucky ones – if you can consider anyone who is infertile lucky. I had one failed medicated timed intercourse cycle. I then got pregnant on my first IUI. That doesn’t sound like too much but with all of the testing, waiting for the results, and doing those two cycles – it was about 6 – 7 months.

Did other women you know in real life getting pregnant without help cause any sort or negative feeling? (Which I personally think is absolutely reasonable if so, it’s hard to not feel things when we can’t control a situation)

Absolutely and honestly, it still does! Baby showers are beyond hard and I skipped two of them for my closest friends during this time. I explained to them that I was happy for them, I just needed to protect myself and couldn’t attend. Pregnancy announcements still sting and I get so jealous that it just comes so easy for some.

How was your pregnancy? Can you share what it was like for you going through pregnancy after doing fertility treatment to get there?

Honestly, horrible. I was soooo sick. I was never officially diagnosed with HG, but I definitely had it. I got sick every multiple times a day from about week 8 till the day I gave birth. I had horrible back pain. I got horrible sleep.

I also was always on edge. I was always waiting to hear there was no longer a heartbeat or that I was miscarrying. Infertility is a horrible thing that really can take away your joy. I always second guessed buying things for the nursery thinking I would jinx something.

Then at my 32 week appointment my dr noticed something off with her heartbeat. I was instantly sent for an NST in the office. The dr never left the room, so you know that isn’t good. He kept saying, “do you feel that?” I was informed I was having “picture perfect contractions for someone they would like to see in labor.” They were every 2 minutes and got pretty intense, but I truly felt nothing. Well I did, but it wasn’t really painful and I wasn’t aware that’s what it was until they told me. I was then very frequently monitored. I was sent to the hospital for further monitoring and found out I was 2 cm dilated. I was given a steroid shot and sent home. The next day I had to come in again for a second shot and another NST. I didn’t dilate further so I was sent home. I then had weekly appointments and NST’s. I also had additional ultrasounds. It was exhausting. The contractions never stopped until she was born and took a huge toll on my body.

My daughter was born prematurely at 35 weeks, 1 day. She had a 6 day NICU stay and I had a traumatic delivery. Both were so hard and I honestly still need to process them. I’m so thankful she is here safely though!

Any final thoughts or things you want other momma in a similar boat as you to know?

You aren’t alone! There is a huge, amazing community of others going through it too! We are so welcoming and would love to have you! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me ever! I am an open book because this stigma about infertility needs to end. 1 in 8 couples deal with infertility and 1 in 4 mamas will experience a miscarriage. That means, someone you know is going through it or went through it!

For those who want to keep up with Kelseys amazing journey you can find her links down below

Instagram

Her blog Blog

Madison’s journey.

When you and your parenter decided it was time to have children, what did you two expect as a game plan?

Being a same sex couple, we already knew that we’d have to go through a sperm bank. (We were never interested in going the known donor route). I also have PCOS. So those two things were our factors/obstacles to overcome. I think we expected we’d go to a fertility clinic for help, they’d tell us what to do and that we’d get pregnant and be on our merry way.

What was the reality of what would happen after seeing a dr?

Our reality turned into dishing out a lot more money than we anticipated, taking more time to get pregnant, enduring failed cycles and heartbreak, and having our world turned upside down. We ended up going to two different clinics. We did 2 IUIs (intrauterine insemination) with the first doctor, both failed. He told us at that point, we’d need to consider IVF if we wanted to have children. My PCOS was found to be more severe than we thought – tons of cysts, hormones way out of whack, hardly ever ovulate, and suspected poor egg quality. We tried ICI (intracervical insemination) at home as a “last chance” try before taking on the beast that is IVF.

We knew it wouldn’t work, and it didn’t, but when you’re desperate, you cling onto even the littlest shreds of hope. We then moved onto our second clinic (CNY), 3 hours away, where we did IVF. We made the switch because they offered payment plans versus shelling $30k+ upfront like my previous doctor required.

What was the decision making process for who would carry the baby like?

This decision was actually made for us because my wife, Jaime, has a bad back, and can’t sustain the physical aspect of carrying a pregnancy. So we always knew it was going to be me who carried. Ironically, she never had that desire to be pregnant – she always wanted to be a mom, but not pregnant. I was the opposite and dreamed of becoming pregnant and giving birth to my children – so in the end it all worked out for us.

What route/treatment did you end up choosing when trying to get pregnant?

IVF / frozen transfer

What was fertility treatment like? How did it make you physically feel?

Fertility treatment felt like a rollercoaster. It’s very draining and takes a lot out of you. I was bloated and sore from injections. I was so exhausted. Early morning appointments, injections, oral meds. Driving back and forth to my clinic was 6 hours out of the day alone, so that was pretty rough too.

How did it make you emotionally feel?


Some days I would be so full of hope while others I was overcome with anxiety and fear. When a monitoring appointment went well, I’d be happy and motivated to keep going. But I’d go through the motions of- why me? What did I do to deserve this? Will we ever have children? Does my wife resent me for all of this? I’d beat myself up a lot. I’d tell myself, if my parents could do it, then so could I. And I’d trek on. (I was an IVF baby myself!)

How was your pregnancy?

It had its rough moments and it’s blissful ones. The first almost half was very hard. I had morning sickness all day, every day. I couldn’t get out of bed for like 2 weeks. My OB put me on medication for that and it eventually got better. Then my blood pressure started to spike horribly, I had headaches, dizziness, blurry vision, and heart palpitations. Again, I got put on a medication for that, was told to log BP readings 3x/day & had to go to the doctor more frequently. Around 33-34 weeks I got pre term contractions & landed myself a triage visit as well. Despite all that, growing and nourishing my daughter for almost 38 weeks was the most rewarding feeling I’d ever had! I loved listening to heart beat on the doppler, seeing her on ultrasound, and most of all, feel her kicks. Even with my complications, I so deeply miss being pregnant.

Any final thoughts or things you want other momma in a similar boat as you to know?

I think it’s really important to go into fertility treatments with little to no expectations of how you’re going to get to your end goal of having a baby. Things change so fast during it all, and anything can happen. A lot of things are out of your control. If you can avoid setting yourself up for more disappointment, you should.

Trusting and being comfortable with your doctor is vital! You have to have a healthy relationship with your medical team.

Advocate for yourself, always. Ask the questions, do your research, use your resources. If something feels off, listen to your gut.

And lastly, you are stronger than you think! You can persevere. You can find a way to get through. You have the mama bear fight within you already. And I promise, not matter how you get to your baby, the second you see their face, it’ll all be worth it. 🤍

If you want to follow Madison’s journey check out her links down below.

IG:Instagram

TikTok:
Tiktok

Danielle’s Journey

When did your journey of trying to get pregnant start?

We casually started trying ( not using protection ) in 2017. In 2018 we were planning our wedding so we decided to stop trying for a few months and then start up again after the wedding which was September 2018 .

What made you realize that pregnancy may not just “happen” for you?

I felt it pretty early on in our trying phase that it just wasn’t going to happen , so finally in January of 2019 I went to see an OB within my practice who would do fertility testing and see if we needed to be Referred out to an RE ( reproductive endocrinologist )

Can you talk about how coming to this realization or conclusion made you feel?

Oh this is a loaded question, so many emotions . The biggest one being failure, wanting something so badly and not knowing why our bodies couldn’t make it happen. You grow up being taught how careful you need to be to NOT get pregnant and then growing up living the life completely opposite of that. Doing everything in your power to become pregnant with no success. Month and month negative tests, it’s emotionally exhausting .

Did you go for any testing? If so can you talk about what they are and explain what happens?

Yes , so the first tests I went for was blood work and an HSG where they checked to make sure my Fallopian tubes were not blocked. And they sent my husband for his first semen analysis. Thankfully my blood work and HSG were normal and no cause for concern. My husband semen analysis results were concerning so they sent him to an urologist for an exam and repeat analysis and set us up with an RE. His second analysis was better but still not good . I went on to have more blood work done and a saline sonogram to check my uterus which was all normal .

Once you your partner got all this information from the dr, what was the next steps?

After we got all of these results we sat down for our consultation with the RE where she explained to us with our tests results our best option was IVF with ICSI. This is where they skim through his sperm and pick out the best looking sperm and inject one sperm directly into each one of my eggs .

What did fertility treatment look like for you? How did it physically make you feel?

I started my cycle with birth control which I know sounds weird but it’s used to suppress the ovaries so that when we start our injections all the follicles start to grow at the same time and hopefully at the same rate . Then I started my stun injections which is basically a mixture of medications I injected into my belly to grow as many eggs as possible before ovulating . In a normal cycle women will produce one mature egg , I was on these medications for 9 days and then I triggered ( a different injection to trigger my body to ovulate so they could retrieve the eggs ) They were able to retrieve 23 eggs from my ovaries . During the process I was put under Anastasia . Honestly they injections weren’t even the hard part is was how the medications made me feel emotionally and towards the end the bloating .

I can’t imagine the emotional stress it would have been for you, can you talk about that a little bit?

The process was hard , there was a lot of waiting and not knowing . The lack of control was extremely hard . 

How long did it take to get pregnant? Did you have to do more than one round of treatment?

We did one round of IVF and 2 transfers to get pregnant . So we started our medications in May 2019 and I got my first positive pregnancy test in Aug 2019 . So it happened pretty fast for us ( on our second transfer ) we started our journey in January of 2019 meaning that’s when we started seeing doctors and trying to figure out why we weren’t getting pregnant .

Did other women you know in real life getting pregnant without help cause any sort or negative feeling? (Which I personally think is absolutely reasonable if so, it’s hard to not feel things when we can’t control a situation)

Yes it was hard , specially because I was at the age where alot of my peers were starting their families and alot of them getting pregnant by mistake or very quickly when trying. I always felt happy for them but also sad for us at the same time .

How was your pregnancy? Can you share what it was like for you going through pregnancy after doing fertility treatment to get there?

So because our embryo split and we were having identical twins we were automatically labeled as a high risk pregnancy so after I graduated my fertility clinic at 9 weeks I went on to my OB and then also an MFM ( maternal fetal medicine ) for extra monitoring . I was sick until k was 16 weeks but everything seemed to be going well , at our 13 week anatomy scan the tech was having trouble seeing some things ( harder to scan twins ) and even though our embryo was genetically tested and normal she wanted the mfm to rescan me and make sure everything was normal . So at 14 weeks I went to the mfm for another anatomy scan which was normal thankfully . So then after that I started seeing the mfm every 2 weeks for ultrasounds to Che k blood flow to the babies and fluid . At 18 weeks everything was still looking great and perfect , at our 20 week scan we were diagnosed with stage 2 ttts ( twin to twin transfusion syndrome ) which is an identical twin complication and we were then sent to ANOTHER mfm at a different hospital to be rescanned , he then confirmed and we were faced with a choice on how to move forward in our pregnancy which could have caused us to loose both boys or potentially save both boys so of course we went with our option that would save both . I had a laser surgery when I was 21 weeks and then at 23 weeks diagnosed with TAPS ( another twin complication ) I was monitored 2/3 times a week with ultrasounds until my water broke at 34+6 and the boys were born .

Any final thoughts or things you want other momma in a similar boat as you to know?

Find comfort in our community and lean on your loved ones . Talk to people who can relate to your situation and not the people who have never been through it , because unintentionally they will end up saying something that will upset you .

If you want to stay up to date on Danielle’s amazing story you can do that with the links down below

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Chelsea’s journey

When did you journey of trying to get pregnant start?

2020

What made you realize that pregnancy may not just “happen” for you?

First, I got a HSG done to “clean” my Fallopian tubes and that is when we found out my tubes were completely closed from scar tissue. Partly from endometriosis and also from a D&C I had when we lost our baby. That is when we realized the only way we would get 

Pregnant Is through IVF. Fast forward to when we were about to start IVF and we did our initial bloodwork and a bunch of tests. 

This showed a problem with my thyroid that was left undiagnosed for a while.I was told IVF had to be on pause until I see an endocrinologist for answers. That is when I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and Graves Disease. Both are what caused complicaitons in my first pregnancy causing the miscarriage. The percentage of it happening again was extremely high. That is when

We realized I may not ever be able to carry a pregnancy. 

Can you talk about how coming to the realization or conclusion made you feel?

At the time, we realized the safest and highest chance of bringing a baby into this world would have to be through another 

Woman; via surrogacy. This broke us. We not only just accepted that fact that IVF would be the only way we could have children, now

We had to accept, I can’t even carry and I will never experience pregnancy. We were so overwhelmed of what to do with these realizations.

Once you and your partner got all this information from the dr, what was the next steps?

We knew we couldn’t afford an agency so we began our independent surrogacy journey in search of a surrogate. The first step was to 

Post on social media platforms our story, in hopes we would get enough shares that it would reach an amazing woman who would

Want to carry for us. In the meantime we got second opinions 

What did fertility treatment look like for you? How did it physically make you feel?

My fertility treatment started with creating embryos for our surrogate to transfer. This was before I knew I would attempt an IVF transfer.

Once I did, physically it was painful, exhausting and overall one of the hardest things I have ever done.

I can’t imagine the emotional stress it would have been for you, can you talk about that a little bit?

Infertility is an emotional rollercoaster. Not only are you dealing with the physical pain with the injections, meds, etc. but also the 

Side effects of all the medications, stress of constant trips to the fertility clinic, financial burden of it all, no guarantees and also

The emotional aspect that you have to pay for all of this when people can get the same thing for free.

From what I know about your journey you had a surrogate and ended up pregnant yourself as well. Could you explain a little what that experience was like?

This experience was wild! Most think I just naturally, randomly found out I was pregnant, which was not the case. I had to go through

IVF myself. I found a doctor out of state who would let me attempt an IVF transfer to myself so I sent three embryos to that clinic and kept three embryos at our current clinic at the time for our surrogate. I was so grateful that our surrogate, Taylor, was 100% on board with me

Attempting a transfer to myself with chance we would be pregnant at the same time. The transfer to me was basically an experiment while we waited for her to have her transfer. We figured not only would my transfer probably not work but if it did, we had to prepare to miscarry at Any point. This was still worth risking if it meant there was a SMALL percentage, it may work and my body may accept this pregnancy. By the grace of God, my first transfer worked and so did my surrogates and I stayed pregnant. I birthed our beautiful baby

Girl in January, Banks. Our baby boy was born in March, Hayes! Being pregnant at the same time as our surrogate was such a crazy experience. I do believe it helped me stay calm and relaxed about my pregnancy. I really just tried to focus on Taylor and our baby she was carrying instead of constantly living in anxiety and fear with my pregnancy. 

How long did it take to get pregnant? Did you have to do more than one round of treatment?

I got extremely lucky, my surrogate and I did one round of IVF and both our transfers took the first time.

Did other women you know in real life getting pregnant help cause any sort of negative feeling?

Of course. I think I can speak for anyone going through infertility, pregnancy announcements in general are so painful to see. 

Especially being around pregnant friends and women. One of the hardest things to ever deal with is seeing women get pregnant

Left and right for free, when they want, and we are over here paying $20k+ just to possibly get a chance at being pregnant. The worst was the people who would say “we weren’t even trying and it happened”. You get to the point of being very angry and thinking “why us” when the one thing that you wish and pray for, people around you have. 

Finally thoughts or things you want other momma in a similar boat to know?

I want them to know to NEVER give up and to always advocate for yourself, even if that means getting multiple opinions and changing 

Clinics and doctors if you aren’t comfortable with the first. And those who are still in the trenches of infertility and the wait, know that I am

Praying for you and a miracle happens, just like it did for me. This is the worst club to be apart of but the absolute best community. I could

Have never went through as much as I did without this community and the amazing women I have met along the way. I am a message away whether its to ask questions regarding IVF/Surrogacy or if you just need someone to vent to because infertility freaking sucks and 

Its not meant to be done alone.

If you want to follow Chelsea’s amazing journey you can find her at the links down below

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Brooke’s journey

How long were you trying to get pregnant?

My husband and I tried to conceive on and off between 2018-2021 and got pregnant three times, but unfortunately struggled with recurrent pregnancy loss. We were pregnant in 2018-2019, 2019-2020 and in 2021.

What was the turning point in which you realized just getting pregnant might not happen for you?

We were able to get pregnant, but we were unable to stay pregnant and lost our sweet babies! We actually got pregnant the 1st or 2nd cycle we would try. So, the turning point in which I realized I may not ever stay pregnant or have a live birth was after I received additional diagnoses from my reproductive immunologist in February of 2021 beyond what I had already known about. My doctor was hopeful for us, but my miscarriages were very traumatic and damaged my body; therefore, I didn’t feel comfortable moving forward with my body once I found out about my additional diagnoses. 

Can you talk about how coming to this realization or conclusion made you feel?

When my husband and I made the decision to stop trying to conceive and pursue domestic adoption, I felt the biggest weight lifted from my shoulders! There was no chance we wanted to ever live a child free life, so we were so thankful to have the opportunity to adopt! My husband was immediately on board with moving forward when we discussed it after my appointment in February of 2021 and we started looking into the adoption process a week later. 

Since we shifted gears so quickly, I don’t know if I ever I really grieved the loss of my genetics; however, adoption runs in my family so it isn’t anything out of the ordinary to me and I think it’s more the the loss of being pregnant and experiencing giving birth that gets me all up in my feelings!! I feel that I have grieved more for the loss of my husband’s genetics, although that’s not something he has ever cared about. Just not being able to do something I was biologically made to do is tough. 

Healing is not linear and these emotions ebb and flow overtime, but ultimately all of our heartbreak led us exactly where we were supposed to be all along, with our incredible son.

Did you go for any testing? If so can you talk about what they are and explain what happens?

I had many blood tests, some tests I had were to assess my karyotype – snapshot of my chromosomes, check for infections (STIs), comprehensive thyroid testing, hormone testing, miscarriage workup, rheumatologic, hematologic and immune testing. I also completed many ultrasounds to check my follicle counts and to assess my ovaries, HSG – use of an X-ray to look at tubes and uterus, SIS – a transvaginal ultrasound with sterile fluid added to look at the endometrial/uterine cavity/shape/contour, Receptiva DX – biopsy for the detection of inflammation of the uterine lining most commonly associated with endometriosis, hysteroscopy – a thin tube and camera is inserted to examine the cervix and uterus and a laparoscopy – checks organs in abdomen and pelvic organs. I also had a few D&Cs – cervix is dilated and then there is removal of contents/tissue in the uterus.

Once you and your partner got all this information from the dr, what was the next steps?

All of the information we obtained was spread out at different times after we experienced our 3 miscarriages! Since we didn’t have all of the information until after the 3 traumatic losses, we didn’t have the ability to make the best decisions, only the best decisions for what we were educated on at each point, but not as a whole. Once we had determined that I had multiple diagnoses and the road ahead could be much longer trying to conceive without a guarantee there would be rainbows after all of the storms, we pursued adoption knowing how much love we had to give and that we just wanted to be parents and nothing else mattered!

Did you try any fertility treatments? If so what where they and can you talk about what that was like?

We did timed intercourse with prednisone, aspirin, Intralipid infusions, Lovenox injections, thyroid medications, estrogen patches, progesterone in oil intramuscular shots and vaginal suppositories, HCG trigger shot and many supplements to conceive our third pregnancy. I may be missing some things but this was the bulk! I also did electroacupuncture, castor oil packs, was on an extremely strict diet, and did other random things I read about online such as seed cycling, eating Brazil nuts and drinking pomegranate juice. 

We had our IVF consults and started the processes, but ultimately did not wish to proceed further with infertility treatments after having our RI workup and due to diagnosed uterine issues, potential risk for cervical issues and due to my low follicle count. It just seemed like we had too many problems that needed to be worked on as opposed to focusing on one treatment for one or two concerns.

Other than the amount of time and effort put in to be monitored and being at the doctor frequently, I had no issue with using any medications, injections or supplements. I wanted to do a whole kitchen sink approach! Some caused bruising, bloating, headaches, etc., but most of all I was just excited to have the opportunity to bring my dreams to reality; I wanted to do everything in my power to help bring a baby earth side. I didn’t do IVF or IUI, so I am unable to speak to what that would be like. 

I can’t imagine the emotional stress it would have been for you, can you talk about that a little bit?

It was emotionally, mentally and physically taxing (the hormones didn’t help and medication side effects)! I don’t cry often but in these instances, I was crying a lot (especially on holidays, my heart felt completely shattered and I felt broken). It was like what people saw on the outside just looking at me was completely different than how I was feeling on the inside. 

Infertility takes an emotional toll on your health (thank god for psychological services, meditation, exercise, the infertility community on Instagram, and support groups)!, tests your marriage like no other and causes you to feel like you’re completely losing yourself. Giving 100% to bringing your dreams to life and having limited to no control of the outcome, is extremely difficult. Trying to expand our family was an all-consuming process and if you name any emotion (good or bad), I have probably felt it on the road to parenthood at one point or another. 

Did other women you know in real life getting pregnant without help cause any sort of negative feeling? (Which I personally think is absolutely reasonable if so, it’s hard to not feel things when we can’t control a situation)

Absolutely!!! My friend and I had due dates for our pregnancies that were about 2 weeks apart and when her pregnancy continued and mine did not, that caused a ton of negative feelings! When she had the baby and sent me pictures of both of her children, I actually asked her to not send photos anymore because it was too difficult for me and we didn’t speak for a while. 

My heart also sank when I received a baby shower invitation in the mail from a relative and another relative announced their pregnancy on social media before I was aware, which totally blindsided me and really upset me. 

I actually went to a different friends baby shower, but I left before cake and gifts because that would’ve been extremely difficult; I was proud of myself for making it there in the first place. I gave my friend a gift card because looking at her registry was too overwhelming for me. 

Just being around others that are pregnant or hearing about their pregnancy symptoms is one of the hardest things! Now that I have my son, it’s been a little easier to be around pregnant women and hear about it, but it still saddens me that I will likely never give birth or carry a pregnancy to term (as I said before, something women are biologically supposed to do – and always grow up thinking they will be able to)! 

There are truly numerous instances where I can go into details about the negative feelings and emotions I have experienced when friends, friends of friends and loved ones have conceived. 

It just totally sucks being “that friend…” the one that your friends call or text to say they are pregnant or a relative tells you another relative is pregnant and they feel so awful having to break this news to you but are trying to do the right thing before sharing with others. I have been that friend more times than I can remember and it’s actually devastating when you’re fighting so hard to conceive and being hit with constant struggles, set backs and unknowns to hear about/see others getting exactly what you have been fighting for, for so long. I always appreciated it as opposed to finding out after the fact on social media, but it was still a gut punch.

What made you choose adoption?

I have a few relatives that were adopted, including my brother, so adoption wasn’t a foreign thought or subject for me. I think my husband I discussed adoption probably pretty casually at some point in 2019 or 2020, but we ultimately chose to move forward after that appointment early on in 2021 that revealed I had many more diagnoses than I was aware of which were impacting my fertility and our ability to grow our family. Four months into the adoption process, I had my laparoscopic procedure which also revealed I had another diagnosis, Endometriosis. 

What is the adoption process like? And how long does that whole process take?

The adoption process whether it’s at the beginning, middle or end, can look completely different for everyone! You can work with consultants, attorneys, agencies, try to self match on social media or a combination of these options! 

My husband and I pursed domestic adoption in Feb of 2021 and became home study approved in March of 2021. Our home study took one month to complete, but in some states it can take many months! We then worked with a consultant to help us learn more about adoption, create a profile book of ourselves to show expectant mothers, help us pick the best agencies and attorneys for us to work with and to have someone as a point of contact for any unexpected advice or questions. Some agencies have consultants included and sometimes you can start with a consultant and then do your home study or you don’t need a consultant at all. It’s complicated!

Once we decided to use a consultant and completed everything with her and signed on with our agencies (end of May/June of 2021), it took us about 5 months from that point to meeting our son. There’s so many avenues and your wait time depends on numerous factors (are you okay with adopting out of state? What type of adoption are you wanting – open, closed, semi-open? How much money can you spend towards the adoption and how much are you okay with losing if it’s a failed adoption? Are you okay with matching as early as the 2nd trimester or are you more comfortable with matching close to the expected birth or hope for a stork drop or safe haven baby? Are you okay with not knowing the gender or interested in a specific gender (specific genders are usually more frowned upon), Who are you working with to help you adopt? Do you care if there was prenatal care? Drug exposures? Genetic issues? Transracial adoption? Ethnicities/Religion? And so much more!!!)!! We did sign on with multiple places to help us bring our baby home. 

We saw many “situations” (expectant mamas looking to match/place for adoption), but only submitted our profile book to the expectant mothers that felt right for us. One agency we only saw one potential situation during our whole time “in the wait,” whereas another agency we probably saw 20. A lot of places will only contact you (usually by email) regarding a situation if the preferences of the expectant mother and adoptive family align, but that’s not always the case. We had a lot of “not yets” and some “close calls” before we matched with our son’s birth mother. 

We were placed with my son, Chase, in November of 2021 just after he was born and flew to meet him. Following that, there was a waiting period for consents to be signed by his birth mother which then made the adoption irrevocable (every state varies regarding this waiting period). Once consent was obtained, we had to wait for our home state of Florida and the state he was born to approve of the adoption placement and allowing him to leave the sending state to our home, which took a week (this process also varies by state and with timeframes). 

After being placed with my son, his birth parents rights were officially terminated and  we had post placement adoption visits to our home by our social worker that competed the initial home study (this was needed once a month until we finalized the adoption in February of 2022)!!! I like to think Chase was made for us, as our adoption journey took 9 months to meet him. The process is truly very complex from start to end and beyond! 

Any final thoughts or things you want other momma in a similar boat as you to know?

Just like the question asks, “we’re all in the same boat” and “wishing on the same stars” as said by the Zac Brown Band. The boats may look a little different (IVF, IUI, embryo adoption, surrogacy, adoption, etc)., but regardless, we all want the same outcome, which is a healthy baby. It’s important to lift each other up and provide support, no matter what path is chosen. Only those struggling to expand their families can fully comprehend the depths and weight of these journeys and decisions.

If I could go back in time I would tell myself that everything is going to be okay.

If you want to keep up with Brooke’s amazing journey you can find her links down below

Instagram

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Thank you.

To all of you amazing women who took the time to share your story, and struggles. The reality for you women is something I couldn’t imagine going through. But I’m so happy you were willing to share. While reading your story’s, I felt a whirlwind of emotions and I can’t explain how deeply grateful I am to have a new outlook on pregnancy. and I hope whom ever reads this feels a little less alone, or can understand the peer strength and love of a mother this is.

If you enjoyed todays blog post I encourage you to check out my social media for extra fun things! Or sign up for the weekly email list to receive an email monthly about what’s to come for that month in the blog.

But you’re a mom.

For some reason in the world we live in as soon and someone finds out a women is pregnant. It’s as if they are all of a sudden looked at as a whole new entity.

People go from looking at you as helpful, and capable to this delicate flower that will crumble From wind. Once you have the baby again your looked at in a new incapable way. It’s time we finally talk about it.

Pregnancy.

Pregnancy right where it all starts. You tell everyone in your life whom would want or needs to know. And all of a sudden people freak out and get upset when you try to do the most basic things. Now there’s certain things you can’t do while pregnant, but people seem to blow this right out of proportion.

Between all the old wives tales, and assumptions. Moms to be are left often times feeling like they’re being looked at as worthless.

People stop you from bringing in your groceries, or standing for more when 10 minutes. Saying they don’t want you to get up, or they will just do it for you. Now I’m not saying sometimes these things aren’t nice, wonderful, and thoughtful.

What I am saying is sometimes, a pregnant women wants to just be left alone to do things the way she wants, for herself, or to simply not be told to not do something.

Right after birth.

“Welcome to motherhood you’ll never sleep again” “good luck finding time for your hobbies now”

These are just two of the examples of things, people feel they have some right to say to a new mother. Just because your a mom now doesn’t mean you’ll never sleep. Yes, for a while you might be sort of sleep, and in the beginning it is very hard to find time for yourself.

But these statements are not facts and need to stop being treated as such.

Baby stage and onward.

Now comes the time when people start to disappear out of your life. It feels like you no longer get invited to things, and it can sometimes feel like your the only one putting effort into a friendship.

The question; “hey we never hangout anymore, want to get together?”

In returned with the sting; “ well I figured since your mom you were to busy” or “well I figured you couldn’t get a baby sitter”

And to this I have to say these people, although it may hurt, they maybe aren’t as important in your life as you once thought. Becoming a mom or a parent in general doesn’t mean you no longer have time to have friendship.

Yes hanging out may look a little different, and there’s a good chance you may not want to or have the ability to do a number of things you once did. However, if those friends can’t adapt and except that life is different now…

Don’t waste you time and attention grasping for change, when they have decided already they aren’t willing to.

The friends and relationships that matter will be happy for you, will want to do things with you and your children. They will except the fact that you can’t do “all the things” you once could and that your responsibilities and priorities are set in different places. That hanging out might look different.

Hobbies, goals, and aspersions.

Just because you are a mother. DOES NOT MEAN you can’t have hobbies, goals, and aspersions. Yes, the road to complete them, and the time line may looks completely different from someone who isn’t a parent. But the belief that once you become a mother you have to give those things up is crap.

If you truly want something, you can find time. You can make time, you can work around the schedule of motherhood and figure it out. I mean hey, the world expects moms to have all the answers anyways.

That all to be said, yes it is absolutely hard to find time for yourself and your things when you have kids. Especially when they are little, I know this first hand. I spend my free minutes of the day working when I can, and stop at the sound of “hey mommy” or a baby cry. Because even though my goals, are important and I will fight tooth and nail to get there, my kids still come first.

But that doesn’t mean I or any other mother can’t work hard and make things happen.

Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t have hobbies, goals, and aspersions because you’re a mom. If anything that makes us more determined.

Being a mom.

It doesn’t by any means make you incapable, it shouldn’t count you out. Make your opinion, goals, or abilities any less than someone’s who’s not.

You’re a bad ass momma,

Don’t let them make you feel any other way.

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Take all the photos.

I hear it all the time.

Why are you always taking pictures” “live in the moment stop trying to take a picture” “really you want to take a photo”

The worst part these comments normally come from those who also tell us; “time goes so quickly you blink and you miss it.”

Well, which is it? Can I capture this moment to hold onto and remember? To show my kids when they’re grown, for them to look back on when their loved ones are gone and all they have is photos? Or should I simply just remember it? And hope when I’m old I can still remember the exact way my sons face was lit while helping is dad fix the car?

My question is, why can’t it be both.

Yes having memories is important and trust me when I say I will hold onto and cherish them. As I grow old and repeat them, to my children . Time and time again.

But I want to be able see those moments, to have a captured moment of that time. A video to hear their giggle, or something to find comfort in and hear the voice of someone who’s now gone.

Maybe these things aren’t talked about when someone comments about taking another photo. Maybe they just don’t see the value, or have yet to experience watching things rapidly change and wanting to hold a moment a little longer.

I’m not saying.

Get professional photos done, and ask everyone to pose everywhere you go. What I am saying is, you know those moments the ones where everything feels exact how it’s supposed to.

The ones that you’ll look back on and be able to feel the emotions, remember the sounds, and the way that moment felt.

Or simply because you wanted too, you want a photo of this place, this experience, with this people, this moment.

So take all the photos.

The good angles, the bad ones. The ones that no one knows your taking of a moment you don’t want to forget.

Be annoying, and forget what they say. You know what you want to hold onto and one can stop you from making sure you have those memories for yourself and children.

One day they will understand, and you’ll thank your past self.

If you enjoyed todays blog post I encourage you to check out my social media for extra fun things! Or sign up for the weekly email list to receive an email every Monday with the weeks coming posts.

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You aren’t a bad mom.

It’s more and more common these days for women to open up about the struggles they are having as a mother. It is absolutely brilliant, and the type of progress that we as women need to know we aren’t alone in our struggles.

However, there seems to be a sad reality to this. And that is as much as women are finally at a point they feel they can talk openly. It is so often followed by “am I a bad mom” or “I feel like such a bad mom”.

It’s these moments that you are stuck questioning your entire self worth and abilities as a parent that can destroy you from the inside.

Being worried your a bad mom, is a pretty good sign you aren’t one.

Sounds a little redundant I know.

But, really. If you are worried you are not a good mother, than there’s a mighty big chance you are constantly trying for your children.

That you are looking for way to make yourself, better, their lives better. That you are aware, and can acknowledge when thing are right, or in need of change. If you were not a good mother?

You wouldn’t care about that.

Not wanting to constantly play with your your children, does not make you a bad mom.

Now I’m by no means saying you shouldn’t play with your kids ever, but there’s nothing wrong with not wanting to ALL THE TIME.

It is okay to not get down on the floor and play with them, it’s okay to watch them play. While you drink your coffee, or get other things done. Yes, playing with your kids is extremely important.

So is letting them play independently, and you being able to enjoy a moment in the day. There’s no shame on not wanting to join in all the activities, games, and things. Sometimes it’s okay just sit on the side and watch.

Just because you don’t make everything from scratch or don’t buy all organic. Doesn’t mean your kids aren’t eating well.

Cooking from scratch is great. I personally make most of our meals and treats this way. But not because it’s “better”, but because I like to cook/bake and have the kids join me.

A balanced meal is a balanced meal.

Wether you season the meat yourself or it comes already seasoned in a package, or you make the dough yourself or buy it ready to cook. It doesn’t matter.

As long as most of the time you are trying to get them to eat all the necessary foods, their little bodies and yours need. Who cares if one night you make hot dog, store bought chicken nuggets, or order a pizza? Constancy makes more of a difference then once and a while.

They get hurt, and sometimes nothing you do is going to stop that.

Now I will be the first to say, I can be a bit of a “helicopter mom”. Especially when it came to my first. The first two years of her life I did everything in my power to make sure she didn’t get a scratch, bump or bruise.

Guess what? This was honestly futile she turned out to be the clumsiest child I’ve ever met. She will be 7 in July, and has had stitches twice now. Why? Because kids are going to do, what kids do.

The first time she fell down our stairs, and the second she tripped out the door on her way to school. Could these things have been prevented? Maybe, I mean we told her 1000 times we don’t be silly on the stairs. And maybe we could have told her to slow down on the way out the door.

However, kids are kids. They’re rough, they’re always on the go, and when they’re little they don’t always pay attention. All we can do is give them to tools, and try and teach them to be careful. (Obviously not put them in dangerous situations) But, we need to except the fact sometimes they might get hurt.

Not wanting to be touched or hold someone 24/7 is okay.

Ever heard of being “touched out”. It’s a real thing a lot of stay at home parents go through. Sometimes we get to a point in the day when we’ve held children non-stop, had someone climbing up us, tugging on our clothing, or just in our lap. (This happens even if you try to go to the bathroom)

Just like how a parent can get burnt out, you get touched out. You just don’t want to be touched or hold anyone anymore that day. It happens it’s okay.

Remember just because you’re having a moment you don’t want to be touched, it doesn’t mean you don’t love your children. It doesn’t mean you don’t love being a parent it simply means you’ve been overstimulated and just need a few moments of time to rest. THAT IS OKAY.

In the end

I can’t stop you from experiencing Mom Guilt or tell you have Cook with your kids. What I can tell you is that you are a good mom for trying your hardest. And you shouldn’t ever let’s Things someone says make you feel any sort of why. After all No one can tell you how to feel.

You got this momma,

Pick your head up, I believe in you and the amazing mother you are.

If you enjoyed todays blog post I encourage you to check out my social media for extra fun things! Or sign up for the weekly email list to receive an email every Monday with the weeks coming posts.

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Having three girls.

Three out of four of my beautiful babies happen to be girls. So to say my house is full of sass is an understatement.

I always pictured having a little girl when I thought about my life. Someone just like me with a twist of her own.. Well I got three and my sweet boy.

Now quick disclaimer I am not just “complaining” or going on about how having so many girls is a “drag” or that I favour one over the others. Just speaking on my experience with having three girls.

Glitter.

So. Much. Glitter.

Every where all the time. We haven’t opened a tube of glitter, glitter glue, or glitter slime in my house in months.

BUT IT’S STILL EVERYWHERE.

Any craft that’s geared towards girls. Glitter. Any project or outside activities if it doesn’t come with glitter it’s made with the stuff embedded into it. But best bet it’s going to rub off on everything and everyone.

I’ve come to except that this is my life. And probably will be for the foreseeable future. Just glitter.

Everything is pink.

Toys, bed spreads, clothes. Everything, and if it’s not pink it’s some shade of purple, and something some where on it will be pink. But if your lucky enough to find not pink. It will have either;

  • Butterflies
  • Unicorns
  • Rainbows
  • Or cats

There’s really no in between and if by luck you do find something not pink or covered in the list above there a good chance there’s some slogan, or phrase written over the front. I mean not to say you can’t find anything else. However, if you have girls you know how hard it is find.

There’s many times I will grab something from the boys section for the girls, because it offers a wider variety of colours. There’s also the point of if my three-year-old tells me she wants a dinosaur shirt damn right I’m getting her a dinosaur shirt even if it come from the boy section.

The gender Assumptions.

One thing I’ve really noticed is the assumptions people seem to have in regards to my children’s gender aligning with the amount we have.

So as I previously stated I four children; Three girls and one boy. The order in which they were born goes girl, boy, girl, girl.

Now seems pretty normal and nothing to make a fuss over right? Apparently not. Because I get “wouldn’t it have been great if the baby was a boy then there would be to of each”. Oh and don’t forget “did you try for another boy and end up with a girl?”

I’m not one to nit pick however, why does it matter the gender of our kids. Why does, how many of each we have matter? What is with this idea that we wanted our youngest to be a boy.

While I’m at it, why is it that people feel the need to say to my husband “It must suck having so many girls in the house.” And “Aren’t you afraid he’ll turn out gay because he has so many sisters.

FULL STOP.

I wouldn’t normally speak in the behalf of my husband. And I won’t. So I asked him these questions myself. (because I hear him get asked it constantly I may as well ask him myself)

Why people ask I will never understand but at the end of the day, our family is OUR family no one else needs to say, or ask anything.

It doesn’t matter how many boys or girls we have, it doesn’t matter who they grow up and love. We love our kids for who they are and always will.

In the end

I feel beyond lucky to have all my children, yes girls are a little extra sassy. I’m a little afraid of the teenage years, and I’m hoping I can set the best example I can as a women for my girls.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what they are or who they choose to be. It wouldn’t matter if I had all boys or all girls. What matters is they are all happy, healthy, and thriving.

If you ask me we do have the perfect mix of both.

If you enjoyed todays blog post I encourage you to check out Things I wish I knew, with the first pregnancy.or Don’t invite us… there’s a good chance we aren’t coming.. Follow my social media for extras. Or sign up for the email list to receive an email monthly about what’s to come for that month on the blog.

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All the little things.

I talk very openly about parenting and life. I try to be be extremely raw and real for those who read so no one feels alone. To let those know who are also feeling this way, that their feelings are valid. I do understand that this to some; who may not have children, or have a completely different situation in life or parenting. May find this to be me “complaining” or “focusing on the negative” when in all reality that is not the case.

Today we are going to focus on the little things. The moments I would not trade for anything. The pieces of time that will forever hold a place in my soul. The ones that shaped me as a mother, wife, and person.

(Just to add a quick disclaimer: I will be referring to each of my children by their nicknames as always)

Way back.

Our very first photo when we reconnected after high school.

I’m talking way, way back when I was in high school. I had a crush on the man, I would one day marry. Our story is not linear, traditional, or a perfect love story by any means.

However there was a very crucial moment, that would pave the way for us to reconnect years later. In which would lead up to the day he would ask me to marry him.

Hubby was a “pretty boy” I’ll say in high school, I was an “alternative kid”. So our friend groups, interest and personal lives didn’t over lap. Just two teenagers passing in the hall. Until he got my BBM number from someone in school. (Anyone remember good old Black Berry messenger)

Well this led to us talking and me telling my friends about him. (who at the time were skeptical about it) But I wanted to prove them wrong so badly, so one day after school while walking home, sending each other flirty messages I just so happened to see him on the other side of the street. It was my chance, to show my friends that he did indeed like me back.

Across the street I ran, and stuttering through my words I said I had to tell him something. I froze, panicked, and decided to just go big. I kissed him, shockingly to myself and my friends across the street he kissed me back. I opened my eyes, said good bye and ran back across to my friends. That small little moment. We still talk about. It’s just one of the little things that happened so perfectly.

Seeing Soapy stare at Baby bubs.

The day I had Bubs, was chaotic. I hardly made it in the the hospital, from water breaking to Bubs in my arms it was a total of 45 minutes. I honestly don’t remember much from that day.

What I do remember what felt like only minutes after Bubs entered the world, Soapy was put in on the bed beside me. And she just stared at her baby brother, nothing to say, no movement or Curiosity, she just stared at him with love in her little eyes.

That was the moment, the moment I knew she would be the best big sister he could ever have. The most protective, and sweet.

I was right from the point forward her whole little toddlerhood revolved around her wanting to be with her brother.

The muffin talk.

Now if you know me personally than you may know what the “Muffin talk” is. When I was pregnant with Soapy, I went with my Dad to do some running around. I expected this ride to be quiet and relaxing (my Dad is not a talker) He instead took this opportunity to teach me about life… By using muffins as the example.

I won’t get fully into the discussion, but to sum it up. Basically all my mine and babies wants and needs has to be filled by “muffins”. (which looking back I’m almost positive he was using muffins as a replacement for money.) And I was going to be left with deciding which things would trump others, and how I would have to figure out how to divide up said muffins.

This might seem silly to you. Using muffins to give a life lesson, but this is how my Dad saw the best way to explain what he wanted me to know. I’ve never looked a muffin the same since.

This talk lives in my head though, and has taken on a whole new meaning. When my husband and I have to make a financial decision, I ask him. Is it worth the muffin? I’m not sure if my Dad knows how much that conversation has stuck with me, or if I actually took away the point he wanted me to learn. What I do know, is it has become a big part of me.

A simple smile.

“Smile because I love you”

My mom.

The words my mom would say to me with love in her voice. Still to this day when I feel like I’m failing as a mother, when I feel like nothing is going right. I will call her and she will say those words. Does it make everything magically better? No… But, it does remind me that when things really suck that I can still smile.

I find myself saying this to my husband, and my children. And even myself when I need to hear it. It might not be much a simple smile can change a whole mood.

My little ones don’t quite understand yet, but telling my older two “smile because I love you” always does the trick, once I get them to smile. I can normally get them talking about what’s really bothering them.

Teeny tiny moments.

My husband is not normally this dirty but, Soapy wanted to see her Dad before she fell asleep and he had come home at the perfect time.

If you’re a parent you know exactly what I mean when I say that. It’s the moments when your child first wakes up and says good morning in their little voice. The hug you get out of no where because they wanted to. The “I love you” for no reason.

All the tiny moments that happen throughout the day that we may not notice at the time, but hold on to so tightly when we think back on our day at the end of the night.

I think those may be may favourite things that shape me, make me a better mom, a better wife, and a better person. Those little moments of love, gratitude, and life.

Yes the big things in life matter, but it’s the little ones that make me who I am.

If you enjoyed todays blog post I encourage you to check out my social media for extra fun things! Or sign up for the weekly email list to receive an email every Monday with the weeks coming posts.

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A few things all parents need to hear.

Last week I talked to you about all the irritating, and unwanted comments and advice we as parents are given. Most of the the time when it wasn’t even asked for. So in the same theme or Unsolicited parenting advice. I thought we would talk about the best parenting advice we have been given. Once again I asked women from different areas and stages in life what their answer was.

“Kids will be the hardest on their moms, when things get rough, because they know , whatever happens, whatever they say, mom will always love them”

Stacey ❤️

Could you hit any closer to home?

Your children are going to get mad at you. They are going to lash out at you. But, at the end of each and everyday. You are still their safe place. They do these things because they know mom (and Dad) will never not be there.

From the moment they came into the world, we were all the knew. A comfort, a never leaving staple in life, and even if we as parents don’t always find this part of parenting fair. It is inevitable.

Children spell love T-I-M-E

Jessica❤️

This one really hits home. For a long time my husband and I (I wouldn’t say argued) but had very different opinions on this. Yes, telling you love your child, or one that is an important part of your life is a way to show them they are loved. Buying them gifts, and surprise toys is also a way. But at the the end of the day, none of that matters what matters is time spent.

The hours and moments, and everything in between. It could be the hours you spend working on a Lego set together, or a thirty second hug in the morning before they go to school. Children care about time. They feel loved when you show them them you can make time for them. That other things in life can stand still when they need you.

Love and time are not interchangeable they are tied together and one is not without the other.

It takes a village to raise a child. Don’t be afraid to reach out to that village for help. You can’t pour from an empty cup.

Cassie ❤️

You’re village does not need to be big, heck it doesn’t nee to be more than one other person. But, what’s important here, is she is right you absolutely can’t pour from an empty cup. I said it in What the hell is even “self-care” ? And I will say it again just because you’re a mom/parent doesn’t mean you’re super human. You need to take care of yourself too.

There’s no shame in needing help the people in your life are there because they care. They are there because they want to help. Sometimes we need to lean on the people we know and trust. At the end of the day as parents we are so used to having everyone lean on us, we often forget we can lean back. We need to start reminding ourselves that, we go can lean when we need to.

What works for one, might not work for all.

Lynsey ❤️

If there’s a sentence that holds more truth than this I’ve yet to hear it.

This day and age has brought to us the wonderful world of social media. Now this has brought us many wonderful things, the ability to learn at new speeds, connect with those we couldn’t have other wise, and be able to share with others. (I mean if it were for social media your lovely self wouldn’t be reading this.)

That all to me said, this has also boughten a wave of people sharing what works for their families. I for one love this, I learn a new parenting skill or tip everyday because of this. However, when information gets shared and stated as “facts that will work for any child” I take issue.

Just like every adult person of different from one another, so is every pregnancy, new born, baby, toddler, child, and teen. Do I think trying new things is good? Absolutely! This is how we grow as people and parents how we learn what works and doesn’t. But, it needs to be known that just because Karen on Instagrams family does it this way, doesn’t mean you have to or that it will work for your family.

Find what works for you and your child. For your family, and home life. Just know that each and every person, household, and family dynamic will be different and that’s okay.

I can’t tell you.

Which piece of advice holds more value than the next. Or even which piece would work best in whatever part of parenting you are in right now. What I can say is that, giving time, showing you care, simply being there. Learning what works best, all of it is what will help you to continue to be the best parent you can be.

If you enjoyed todays blog post I encourage you to check out my social media for extra fun things! Or sign up for the weekly email list to receive an email every Monday with the weeks coming posts.

Don’t forget to check out my Amazon favourites to make day to day life a little easier or just a little more fun.

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