Family Archive

Becoming A Family Of Four


Jeans || Top || Hat (similar here) || Boots || Sunglasses || Addison’s Shirt (similar here) || Addison’s Bow 

 Happy Monday everyone!  I know everyone says they love this time of year because of the weather, or pumpkin spice everything, or because they are just ready for a change of pace and a new routine, and while all of those things are pretty awesome, ever since having kids this time of year has been particularly fun because of all the activities we can do together as a family.  One of my favorites is pumpkin picking and a few weeks ago we headed out to the East End of Long Island to the cutest pumpkin patch called Hank’s Pumpkintown.  We got there around 4pm on a Friday evening and had the place almost all to ourselves, which with a toddler that likes space to run, was pretty awesome. Addison had free reign of all the fun jungle gyms and her pick of any pumpkin she wanted. Since becoming a family of four we have made it a point to do activities that might be more fun for her than her baby sister, because lets face, it babies take up a lot of mom and dad’s time and attention so we want her to know that we have time for special activities that are just for her.

While I wouldn’t trade my little family of four for the world, it definitely has been a big adjustment over here, and honestly, anyone that says adding a new kiddo to the family was a breeze is probably full of it.  Addison has been doing really well, but she definitely has her moments, and those moments tend to come just when I am sitting down to feed Ellie, or put Ellie down for a nap, or really when I am doing anything where my focus is just on baby Ellie.  I get it, for over two years she was the center of our world, and she still is, but now she has to share the spotlight with someone else.  Her favorite phrases are “put Ellie in the swing” or “don’t feed baby Ellie mommy,” and I know it’s just because she wants me to sit and play with her, but each time she says those things it breaks my heart a little.

In the first few weeks we had Ellie home I thought I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t be a mom to two because my focus was constantly being divided, and I didn’t think I could give each of my girls the attention they deserved.  I kept thinking that I would never get the quiet moments with Eleanor that I had with Addison, or that I would never again be able to sit and snuggle with Addison by myself without having to cut it short to feed her sister or change a poop explosion.  And, for the first few weeks that was definitely true, but over time a new “normal” started to develop.  I am able to sneak in an uninterrupted breastfeeding and snuggle session or two in the afternoon while Addison is taking a nap and I have made it a point to keep Eleanor home with our babysitter or drop Eleanor at my moms’ so I can Addison out of the house by herself, just her and I, at least once or twice a week.  We go to a kids gym class with friends, or take a solo trip to the park, or if the weather is bad we snuggle on the couch and read a few books without her baby sister around.

There are also things that Addison does as a big sister that seem so natural.  She has become a master of putting baby Ellie’s “fire” back in her mouth (what she calls the pacifier), and cannot go to bed a night or wake up in the morning without giving her sister a kiss and hug.  I also love that now that Ellie is recognizing our faces and the sound of our voice she literally lights up and smiles when her sister enters the room.  At just three months old it’s like she knows exactly who she is and their bond is so strong already. To all the moms out there who are worried about how they are going to handle going from one kid to two kids or even more, let me first say, “you got this!”, and then let me tell  you it just kind of happens.  I don’t know how to explain it, and for me it wasn’t a walk in the park and I still have a lot to learn, but one day you just wake up and it just all makes sense, and you know you can handle it. Eleanor will be three months tomorrow and I know I have said it before but it’s hard to remember what it was like as a family of three because life is definitely better as a family of four.

xo Ali

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9 Essentials For The Postpartum Mom

 

 1. || 2. || 3. || 4. || 5. || 6. || 7. || 8. || 9.

 

Eleanor is just about three months old, so I thought it was about time I get this post up on the blog and share some of the items that helped during my recovery the first few weeks home.  I know, some of you are thinking none of these items look like necessities, and you are right, they aren’t really, but any new mom can back me up on this when you feel “put together” it makes your day go so much smoother, especially when you are trying to settle in to a new normal.

If you have been following along with me on the blog or on Instagram, you know I am giving breastfeeding a go  this time around.  I was sent this tank top from Bun Maternity along with another sweatshirt and they are both two of my favorite nursing pieces.  I actually packed the sweatshirt in my hospital bag, and have warn the tank top both around the house and out.  I like their products because you really cannot tell they are actual “nursing” items, which is a huge plus for me.

After I got home from the hospital I made a real effort to make sure I got showered “dressed” each day, even if that only meant changing into a pair of comfortable sweats and an oversized cardigan.  It also helped me feel like I was ready for visitors, which I very much embraced in the first few weeks and days after brining Eleanor home.

Once I felt comfortable enough to venture out of the house I was constantly looking for items in my closet that were nursing friendly.  Button front dresses were, and still are, my go to pick.   With the weather getting a bit colder wear these dresses with high boots or booties and layer it with a light jacket or cardigan.

Finally, my two secret weapons, if you will, were a good pair of high waisted jeans, and a baseball cap.  They sound simple enough but seriously, when I didn’t have time to wash my hair, and wanted to hide the post baby belly these were just what I needed.

Now that I am three months post baby I feel like I am starting to feel like my old “new” self again, but let me tell you those first few weeks were literally chaos, so anything that helped me feel more human, even just a little, I was all for it.  Now excuse me, while I go cry a little and snuggle up with Eleanor, because I cannot believe I have a three month old already!

xo Ali

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Baby Eleanor’s Birth Story

(photo by Cadence Kennedy) 

Monday marked seven sweet weeks with baby Eleanor.  In some ways it seems like it went by in a flash and in other ways it seems like the days and nights have been moving at a snail’s pace.  Someone once told me during the baby and toddler stage the days are long but the years are short, and that sums it up perfectly.  I have been wanting to share Ellie’s birth story with you all for a few weeks now, but each time I sat down to write it I would, without fail, get interrupted by a toddler needing to use the potty or wanting me to read her a book, or a newborn crying to be fed or changed.  So, while both kids are down for the night (for now…) it seems like the perfect time type this all up.

Just a little background, from the first doctor’s appointment where we found out we were expecting baby number two Brian and I had it in our heads that I would be induced just like I was with Addison.  I was not allowed to go much past 39 weeks due to being a type I diabetic and so I just assumed that I would not go into labor naturally before then.  With Addison I was in the hospital a full 24 hours before she was born, and I  actively pushed for about four hours.  It was the hardest thing I have ever done.  The first time around my whole body was already exhausted even before I had to start pushing, and at some point a c-section was off the table due to her being too far down, so Addison was pulled out with the help of forceps.  The doctor on call was absolutely amazing and in the end Addison was the most perfect baby I had ever seen.

Flash forward to this pregnancy I was pretty much dreading delivery.  I was dreading a recovery that would be painful and  wouldn’t allow me to sit on anything but pillow for over a month (I had an episiotomy with Addison that was no walk in the park). I tried to stay positive and just hoped my body would have another plan and this baby would decide to arrive on her own without medical intervention.

I started weekly appointments at 30 weeks and each weekly appointment everything stayed pretty status quo.  While she was always measuring two or so weeks ahead nothing else was out of the ordinary. By the time 36 weeks rolled around I was feeling as if every time I stood up the baby was going to fall out.  I’m pretty sure everyone, including my doctor thought I was just being dramatic, but I honestly didn’t ever remember that feeling with Addison.  Things were progressing very slowly and I was even told by my doctor he would feel OK waiting until 40 weeks to discuss induction.  While I was happy for the good report I could not imagine another four weeks feeling like this.

At just over 38 weeks I woke up on a Sunday morning a decided to start timing my contractions for what felt like the hundredth time.  They were erratic, some 5 minutes apart, some 20.  We had a pretty packed Sunday which included an early birthday celebration for my dad so we went on our day as usual.  It wasn’t until I was at my parents and we were in the middle of my dad’s birthday dinner that the pain picked up.  I tried to play it cool with my family but they convinced me I should call the OB’s service line and see what they say.  By the time my  OB called back I had crawled into bed and turned on Netflix ready to wait it out for the night and head into my doctor’s appointment the following afternoon.   However, she said that I should take a ride into labor and delivery because of all the pressure I was feeling.  She told me that if I was any more dilated than I was last Monday (a little more than 3cm) they would keep me, and if not, I could go home and follow-up at my regular weekly appointment.  The pain had lessened  bit but I was still feeling a ton of contractions.  So, we got dressed and I called my mother in law to have her come sit with Addison, but I was pretty positive that I would home in an hour or two.

After arriving at the hospital and getting settled into a triage room I was actually feeling a little silly that I was there.  When the on call resident walked in gave me an exam I was in complete shock that she said I was 5cm along and that our baby girl was on her way!  The rush of emotion at 11:30 at night was pretty crazy.  I was in such shock that it was actually happening and that I was not being induced.  Finally after 9 months of waiting to meet our baby girl it was hard to wrap my head around the fact that she would be here soon.

The rest of the evening and birth was pretty uneventful.  I didn’t have the fastest labor int he world but it only took about five hours from the time they broke my water until she arrived.  I did get an epidural (any mammas who go without pain meds are my heroes!), and I started pushing at around 6am and Eleanor arrived at 6:36am.  What I was not expecting was a 10lbs 4oz baby!  Prior to being admitted my mom and I talked about how big we thought she would be.  Since I was about 10 days early I was guessing high 7’s low 8’s, so boy were we off.  When they took Eleanor over to the scale to get weighed I remember my OB laughing and coming back to the table asking “how big was your first daughter again?”  The next thing I knew I saw the anesthesiologist walk into the room and heard him loudly say, “wow that’s a 10lber!”  Then I heard Brian chuckle and say, “wow, 10lbs 4oz…man.”  I really couldn’t believe it.  I know 10lb babies are born all the time, but I was just convinced she was going to be smaller.  (Also, if any of you are wondering it likely had very little to do with my diabetes.  My A1C, which is a three-month average off your blood glucose levels, was 5.6 which is about  what it would be if you were not a diabetic at all.  So Eleanor was just a big girl and really long).

I was also thrilled because while I knew Eleanor would be taken directly to the NICU for observation purposes, the NICU pediatrician  allowed her to stay with me for a full hour.  With Addison I only had about 10 minutes.  The rest of the hospital stay is kind of blur and while all of the labor and delivery staff as well as the staff on the recovery floor was absolutely amazing it is very hard to be comfortable while in the hospital.   I was really just looking forward to getting home and starting life as a family of four.

While I won’t go into full detail about my recovery process I have to say it was a million times easier the second time around.  Maybe it was because I knew what to expect but it also probably had to do with the length of my labor.  If anyone has particular questions about this feel free to email me or shoot me a Facebook or Instagram message.  I am more than happy to answer anything you want to know.  I really wish I was more prepared for the recovery process the first time around but you live you learn, right?

Just like Brian and I went from having one beautiful daughter to having two beautiful daughters.  As a first time mom it was exciting and nerve wracking all at the same time because I had no idea what to expect.  With every new phase you learn something new about yourself as a parent and about your child as a little human.  The second time around it is just as exciting and nerve wracking, but not because you feel unprepared, but because you wonder if you can parent two at the same time, or love two the same amount.   I’m sure along the way I will learn how to navigate all these emotions, and as far as loving them, your heart seems to grow a million times larger once you bring another child into the world.  Even with all of these what ifs I’m so thankful that I get to figure it all out while watching two of the most beautiful, funny and inspiring baby girls grow up.

xo Ali

Our Maternity + Family Photos

(photos by Cadence Kennedy)

My Dress 

Happy Friday everyone! This week went by so fast but I am happy that the weekend has arrived and we are getting ready to spend the last bit of summer with our family at our beach house on the east end of Long Island.  The weather already has the crispness in the air, but we are going to enjoy the last few days of sun, sand and the pool while we can.  Anyway, I thought it was about time I shared some of my most favorite photos with you, our maternity photos.  When I look at the photos now it’s hard to believe that the baby that was curled up cooking inside my belly has been in our lives for over six weeks now. I also feel incredibly justified in the fact that my belly was the size of an overinflated beach ball, because Eleanor was over 10bs!

When we took these photos I was still wondering how my labor would go, how it would be t bring another sweet girl into our family and how our life would have to adjust and change as we started on our journey as a family of four.  Now that much of that is behind us (although we are still adjusting and learning everyday), I think to myself that all that anxiety and worry was for nothing because now that Eleanor is home it seems like she has been here all along.

The day we were scheduled to take the photos I had been feeling contractions on and off all day and I was hoping I could make it through an hour long photo session on my feet.  As we were getting ready to leave the house to meet the photographer I was feeling so swollen and unattractive that I wasn’t too optimistic about how these would turn out and I was also hoping that Addison would be on her best behavior, which with a toddler is always hit or miss.   Despite a few tantrums on Addison’s end, and the fact that it was like 100 degrees out, the end result were these beautiful photos.  Our photographer Cadence knew just how to capture these special moments for us and I wish I could share the whole gallery with you because it was so hard to pick only a few favorites.

I am so glad that we have this moment in time documented to look back on.  When the girls are too old to want to be held, or too old for me to be calling them my “babies”, I can look back on these photos and remember how this was such an exciting time in our lives and remember how we felt as we watched our family grow.

I didn’t want to end this post without acknowledging the devastating events that have happened in Texas over the past week.  Hurricane Harvey has taken so much from so many and I wanted to leave you with a link to a list of resources where you can help with the recovery efforts.  If you watched my insta stories earlier this week you know the Texas Diaper Bank is accepting donations.  They also have a wish list on Amazon where you can send diapers and other items directly.  You can find a bunch of other places to donate here.  Sending prayers to all the families effected by Harvey as we head into the weekend.

xo Ali

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Newborn Necessities

 

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It’s hard to believe we celebrated one month with our sweet Eleanor last week.  At times it’s hard to remember life without her as if she has been part of the family forever, but at times I look at her and I cannot believe we have another perfect baby girl.

We are definitely still settling into a “routine” as much as we can.  It has only been two years since Addison was born but I feel like every time I go online or talk to another new mom I find a new product that will make life “so much easier” with a newborn.  Sometimes it’s hard to not get sucked into the idea that one product will change the way your baby sleeps or will help save time when it comes to giving a bath or changing a diaper. With so many amazing products out there, I thought I would round up my top 10 baby products that have made this first month a bit easier.

If I had to pick one item that I would recommend over and over again for any new mom it has to be this baby bouncer.  My sister in law recommended it to us when Addison was born, and at first it was hard to swallow the over $100 price tag for something that that have many bells and whistles, but honestly it is worth every penny and more!  It folds flat for storage and travel and is lightweight to carry around the house.  Lately it has been camping out in our upstairs bathroom as we are potty training Addison and I can easily set Eleanor down and lightly bounce her with my foot as we wait for her older sister to finish on the potty.

If you watch my Insta-Stories or follow me on Instagram you may knew we are trying to get Eleanor to take a bottle (she has been breastfed since day one).  I assumed the bottles we used for Addison would just work for Eleanor too.  Well, that wasn’t he case.  After some research I found these Baby Brezza bottles that look very similar to a breast.  Eleanor as been taking to these nicely.  Another nice feature is that the bottle comes in two pieces and if you have used baby bottles before you know there can sometimes be four, five or more pieces the have to be washed and put back together.

Some other items that you maybe wouldn’t consider “essentials” are items like these oh so soft baby swaddles, or this knotted dress that I received as a gift and have since ordered two more.  If you have any questions about any of the items I have featured above feel free to shoot me an email or comment below.  I plan on doing a similar post later this week on Mom Must Haves when it comes to a newborn so if there is anything specific you want me to touch upon let me know as well.

xo Ali

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Blush, Blue + A Pregnancy Update

Maxi Dress (non maternity!) || Hat || Sandals || Jean Jacket (old, similar here)

Here on Long Island the weather has abruptly made the change from somewhat warm to hot, humid and sticky… ugh.  While I am so ready for summer I was not prepared for the toll the warm weather would take on my body while pregnant.  I feel like no matter how much water I drink I am swollen and sweating all the time and all I want to do is sit on the couch in the air conditioning.  But, with some work to finish up before baby girl arrives, and toddler that only sits for about five minutes at a time, we are trying everything we can to stay active and cool at the same time. I really don’t remember feeling this sluggish when I was pregnant with Addison.  I also don’t remember being this big, though I am sure I was! The hardest part of this point in my pregnancy is trying to explain to a toddler that I can’t pick her up.  Instead, we are doing a lot of extra hugs, kisses and hand holding, but I know sometimes she just wants to be in mommy’s arms.

 If I were allowed to go to my 40 week due date I’d have just under six weeks lift, but since I have to be induced I most likely have anywhere from three to five weeks left, and something tells me it’s going to be on the shorter end of that timeline.  I am also saying a little prayer each day that this baby comes on her own so I don’t have to go through the induction process again, but in the end whatever I have to do I will.   When I went in for my last weekly appointment baby C was measuring in the 87th percentile and is already over 6lbs!  While it’s pretty cool to get to track her progress week by week I always get a bit of anxiety when I go in to the doctor’s office.  With Addison, I was sent back and forth to the hospital more than a few times for extra monitoring so I never know if that is going to be the case this time around.  I have  also reached  full on nesting mode and have sterilized all the baby bottles and pump parts, picked up a few new tiny outfits for baby girl and done a bunch baby laundry, as well as packed our hospital bags.

Finally, I am trying to  finish up a few projects around the house including our outdoor deck (I can’t wait to share it!), the nursery, and our master bedroom.  I am really hoping I have these things done before baby arrives so I can enjoy our new life as a family of four without distractions.

Oh, and as for this dress I am wearing it is a non maternity style and around $60.  It’s lined and a great option whether you are pregnant or not.  I am not usually a pink person but I just love the color and paired with a jean jacket it made the perfect outfit for dinner out with the family last week.  If you have any questions about sizing feel free to ask!

xo Ali

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Baby Prep With The Cybex Cloud Q Car Seat


Cybex Cloud Q Car Seat: c/o CYBEX || Jeans: Asos Maternity || Top: Free People || Diaper Bag:Fawn Design || Swaddles: Little Unicorn

Crib: Serena & Lily || Rug: Joss & Main || Rocker: Wayfair

I cannot believe it is June already and in a few short weeks our little baby girl will actually be here!  With a few very busy weeks ahead of us,and jam packed weekends, I feel like her due date is going to sneak up on me before I know it.  And, after my most recent appointment with my OBGYN it looks like my end of July baby will most likely be a beginning of July baby…crazy!  Anyway, lately I have been going through all of Addison’s old baby things and making a list of things we still have left to do before our little girl’s arrival.  So far on my list I have: sterilize bottles, order some new parts for my pump, wash the remaining baby clothes and blankets, pack our hospital bags (I’ll have a whole post on what I’m packing coming soon!), add the final touches on her nursery, and of course install the car seat in our car.  I’m sure there are a ton of things I am forgetting, but that’s all I’ve got for now.

Until I had Addison I just assumed a car seat was a car seat right?  Well, boy was I wrong!  There are so many choices, and you really have to think about ease of use and how it will work for your lifestyle when choosing the right option.  I was so excited to be asked to try out the new CYBEX Cloud Q car seat after reading about the many unique features the car seat had to offer.  The sleek design and extended canopy are probably two of my favorite things about the seat.  I know it’s kind of silly, but I definitely don’t think you have to sacrifice style by any means when it comes to baby gear.  Just like how I dress or how I decorate our home, I like things with cleaner lines, and this car seat is not bulky by any means.  Another thing that I love is that the leg base that comes with the car seat makes it easy to snap in and out of the car and also significantly reduces the risk of a head or neck injury if you were in an accident.  I know whether you are a new mom, or a fifth time around mom, the last thing you want to be worrying about is if your baby is safe in your own car, and this feature definitely helps put my mind at ease.

One of the most unique things about this car seat is that is is the only seat on the market that will actually recline for you when baby is out of the car.  So, if you put it in your travel system you can recline baby to make them more comfortable while you are out and about.  While I’m sure this time around getting two kids out of the house will be harder I am not one to stay put, so any feature that makes it more convenient us to be out with family and friends is a major plus for me.  While it also comes in a variety of fun colors, I opted for black sea option and love it!

If you have any other questions about the seat, feel free to email me or leave a comment below!  Happy Wednesday!

(**Thank you CYBEX for the beautiful seat and sponsoring this post.  All opinions are my own**) 

xo Ali

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The Perfect Carryall

Bag: c/o Birdling Bags || Top: PinkBlush (similar option here) || Cutoff Shorts: H&M || Shoes: Soludos (old, similar option here)

Addi’s Outfit: Jacket: Gap || Top: Genuine Kids || Shoes: Gap

Happy Monday everyone! I’m sorry the past week or so has been a bit silent around here, but I have to say the end of this pregnancy is really kicking my butt!  I honestly don’t remember being this uncomfortable with Addison, but luckily I have only a few more weeks to go (six at the very most…happy dance!) until we meet our new baby girl.

Anyway, we’ve been trying to pass our time by spending as much time outside as possible.  The weather has been a bit unpredictable with all the rain we have been getting, but when we see a break in the clouds Addi and I have been taking full advantage of the close proximity to our town, which means restaurants, coffee shops and frozen yogurt…yum. Lately my little girl has had a mind of her own which means she wants to walk everywhere herself without her stroller, this also means I feel like I need to pack a larger bag than usual, mostly because I can’t throw things like sippy cups, water bottles, sunglasses and jackets in the bottom of her stroller.  At first I was carrying my bag and a smaller backpack for Addi, but I soon realized that left no free hands for anything else.  So, I decided to consolidate it all into this one larger “Day Tripper Bag” by Birdling Bags and it has been the perfect catch all bag for our afternoon outings.  The large inside and canvas exterior will also make it an ideal bag to pack for a picnic or a beach bag for later this summer with more than enough room for towels, sunscreen and beach toys.  It also comes in a smaller version and they have weekender bag that would make a wonderful Father’s Day gift.

Don’t forget, since today is #MommyMonday  head over to see how my other favorite and fashionable mammas are using their Birdling bags.  You can find there posts here:

MIRIELLE, CITY PEACH

KATIE, LIFE WITH A DASH OF WHIMSEY 

NINA, HSS FEED

TIFFANY, TIFFANY STYLE BLOG

Here’s to hoping everyone has a great week, with lots of outdoor time and of course frozen yogurt 😉

xo Ali

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Mother’s Day Celebrations With Janie and Jack

My Dress: ASOS || My Shoes: Madewell

Addison’s Dress, shoes, bow and sunglasses: c/o Janie and Jack 

 

I cannot believe it is almost the middle of May let alone almost Mother’s Day.  What is even more unbelievable is that tomorrow my baby girl will be turning TWO.  At this time two years ago I was already laying in a hospital bed thinking our newest family member would be arriving soon.  Well, she had her own plans decided to make us wait just a bit longer, but knowing how she is now I am no longer surprised by this.

The year Addison was born Mother’s Day was the weekend before she actually arrived, and I remember it still feeling very surreal that I was actually going to be a mom.  We celebrated the day like we had many times before, with both my family and my husbands, but this time I was included in the gift and card exchanges.  It was even more strange because she wasn’t even here yet but everyone kept telling me that you are a mom from the moment you find out you are pregnant not just when the baby arrives and looking back now I cannot agree more.

I’ve always thought it was a little odd to just celebrate moms one day of the year.  I mean, most of us can agree that without your mom life would just not happen as smoothly as it does.  As a kid you never really understand exactly what your mom does, but now that I am older, and a mom myself, I realize a mom is not only “mom” but she’s so much more.  In one day she can accomplish what others might take a week to accomplish and she does it because she loves her family and would do anything for them.  This year I hope you take the time to tell your mom, grandmother, aunt, or special person in your life that has filled the role of mom, exactly how you feel.  You’d be surprised how much a little “thank you” or “I love you” can really mean to someone.

Since this weekend is filled with special celebrations that is as good of an excuse as any to get a little more dressed up than usual…right?  Addison tends to give me a bit of a hard time when it comes to “dressing up”, but when she saw this dress from Janie and Jack she ran over to it and said “Mama pretty!” So, using the excitement to my advantage I changed her into it and to my surprise she even stood still when I was clipping the bow in her hair and I know there are other moms and can relate to a squirmy kid when trying to comb or put up their hair!  Once we put on the shoes I could not believe how grown up she looked.  There is no more baby in her and she is all energetic toddler, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.   I’m pretty sure we will be recreating this look at some point this weekend because it is just so darn cute.

  So, to all the moms out there make sure you get a day of extra kiddo hugs and snuggles and even a little bit of pampering (think breakfast in bed?!).  In my opinion life as a mom is pretty much as good as it gets.  Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s out there!

xo Ali

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Pregnancy Thus Far…

I’ve been on the fence about writing this type of post for a while, but the more I thought about it, I shared my sorrow with you all when I miscarried last year and then shared the joy of finding out we were pregnant again earlier this year, so it only seemed appropriate I share with you my thoughts about not only this pregnancy, but what it has been like for me to get pregnant again after a miscarriage and finally what it’s like being a high risk pregnancy due to being a Type 1 diabetic since I was six. This is probably one of the longest posts you will ever read on here, but my hope is that someone can relate, some mom or mom to be will know that they aren’t alone in all the crazy feelings and emotions that are wrapped up when you are doing one of the most important and nerve-wracking things one can do in their lifetime.

Let me start by talking a little bit about being a diabetic.  I’ve been a diabetic for over 20 years and over the past few years I have found myself talking about it more than I ever have.  Growing up my friends just knew about my diabetes, there was no need to explain what low blood sugar was, or why I couldn’t have that Halloween candy, because they just knew.  As I have gotten older and I have met new people, whether it be in Addison’s mommy and me class, or from working on various projects for work, I feel like I am constantly sharing that I wear an insulin pump, or another device called a continuous glucose monitor that helps me keep track of my blood sugars.  Sometimes people feel a little sorry for me because they cannot imagine what it’s like to constantly carb count, or prick your finger multiple times a day, or worry that unpredicted high blood sugar can send you to the hospital, but I have never felt sorry for myself.  This is a part of who I am and learning about dealing with my illness has made me who I am today and in a weird way it has made me more confident and independent.

Currently I am very controlled when it comes to my diabetes.  My levels rivaling those that doesn’t have diabetes, but it hasn’t always been that way.  It really wasn’t until I was trying to get pregnant the first time around that I realized I needed to get my act together and really start to take care of myself.  All of a sudden it wasn’t just about my health, but it was about the health of someone else and I would never forgive myself if it didn’t do everything in my power to make sure my baby was born happy and healthy.

Being pregnant takes a toll on your body even if you are the healthiest, fittest person there is and the moment you get a positive pregnancy test there is enough uncertainty to make anyone start to worry just a little bit and when you have a chronic disease that adds a whole new level of stress and worry to the equation.  When I was pregnant with Addison I was doing everything right, and preparing by monitoring my blood sugars even more closely than before and heading to my endocrinologist on a more regular basis.  Once I actually became pregnant I had even more doctor’s visits (once a month instead of once every 4-6) and I would test my blood sugar obsessively just to make sure things were going as they should.  In the end it all paid off our baby girl was born happy and healthy with no issues and I knew I did everything I could to keep her safe.

After my miscarriage in June, I couldn’t help but think it had something to do with higher glucose levels or that we weren’t planning that pregnancy and if we were I would have been monitoring things more closely.  In the end I know it was none of those things but just part of God’s greater plan.  So, when about five months later I found out I was pregnant with our rainbow baby you can imagine my mix of emotions.  I was incredibly happy and incredibly scared all at the same time. I know that anyone that has suffered a loss of a child, whether it be at 6 weeks or 40 weeks knows exactly what I am talking about.   After having a miscarriage, as crazy as it might sound, I literally thought that any little thing could make me lose this baby and that wasn’t going to happen.  This time things were going to go smoothly and I was going to make sure I did everything right.  But, as usual, life had a different plan for me because this time around my morning sickness hit an all time high, which is only more dangerous when you are a diabetic.  Keeping any kind of food down was pretty impossible from about week six to week 14, but luckily with the help of amazing doctors I got through it and I’m sure I would do it all again if it meant in the end i would get a baby.  This also taught me that not everything is your fault.  Some things just happen and the only thing you can do is work through them and hope and pray tomorrow is better, because more often than not it usually is.

Ok, now on to how this pregnancy has actually been going.  All in all I really have no huge complaints.  The morning sickness in the first trimester was definitely unpleasant and not without it scary moments, but that seems like a lifetime ago now!  Since about week 14 or 15 I really have felt great. This time around I feel like things are happening sooner than than before.  My belly popped earlier, this baby is hanging out a little lower in my belly, and this little girl better be a gymnast because there is not 15 minutes that go by that I don’t feel a kick, jab or what I can only assume is a  summersault.   Being a high risk pregnancy isn’t all terrible.  Yes, I have to get induced at 39 weeks if not before, and yes I have to get a ton of extra blood draws and have probably 3x if not more doctor’s appointment than the regular person, but that also means I get to check in on my little nugget more often.  I get to hear her heartbeat and see her on sonograms on a pretty regular basis.  Starting next week I’ll go in 1-2 times a week for a sonogram which definitely puts my mind at ease as we head down the home stretch.   At almost 30 weeks pregnant I am now just getting anxious for our little girl to arrive.  I find myself thinking about what life is going to be like in a few short months as we transition from a family of three to a family of four.  Sometimes it makes me sad that Addison won’t be my “baby” anymore, but then my husband kindly reminds me that even at 25 she will still be my baby, and it’s so true.  I’m excited to have these two girls grow up together and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Like I said before I wanted to share all these crazy thoughts because I hope someone can relate.  Every new mom or mom to be has a million crazy, irrational, highly emotional thoughts that run through their brain all day everyday, it’s hard not to.  I also realize that there are many more women out there whose journey has been longer and tougher than mine, and I have to say all of you have helped to give me hope and strength to move forward with my journey.  Being a mom definitely isn’t what I expected and I you asked me 10 years ago what my life would be like today I would have painted you a very different picture, but today, at this moment I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world :).  xoxoxo

xo Ali