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Chambray Off-The-Shoulder

I know y'all are probably tired of seeing this dress by now. I've seen it all over Pinterest and social media ~ seems that everyone out there has a similar version.

Truth be told, in addition to buying Ella's 4th of July outfit, I picked up this comfy casual frock the day I went into labor. 

Funny story actually ~ I walked into Express {with my literally about to burst prego belly} and spotted this dress. The sales associate in store asked me what size I was looking for and I said, "Extra small." She replied, "Are you sure you don't want to try the size small also?" Bless her teenage heart for not being sensitive to a hormonal pregnant woman. No offense taken here, but I did try the extra small, belly and all, and was sure to come out and show her that it fit me even WITH my ginormous belly.

I have worn this dress twice since having Ella and it's just the most comfortable dress out there. Also, perfect for when I was breastfeeding because I could easily pull down the top and latch her right on!

Please ignore my unruly hair as I have not had a cut or color in more than four months. I'm going next week and am sure I'll feel like a new woman.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!


My Fertility Story

Outfit 1 ~ Top:  c/o LuLaRoe, Leggings:  c/o LuLaRoe ~ softest, comfiest leggings I have ever owned, Shoes:  Topshop, Bag:  Mansur Gavriel ~ great as a (fancy) diaper bag with this insert, Stroller:  Uppababy ~ LOVE my stroller here with bassinet attachment
Outfit 2 ~ Top:  Old Navy, Leggings:  c/o LuLaRoe, Shoes:  H&M (old, similar style here), Bag:  C.Wonder (old, similar here)

Happy Tuesday readers! This post took longer than expected to put together, but I've been spending all of my time with my adorable daughter and still adjusting to my new role as a mother.

As promised I wanted to share with you my pregnancy and delivery stories as I feel like they may be comforting to others out there. Whether you have/are experiencing the same things yourself, or know someone who is, I feel that there is comfort in knowing that you are not alone.

My husband and I began trying to have children more than four years ago. After about six months of trying I found out that I was pregnant. We were overjoyed and immediately started planning our future with our little one. Everything seemed to be going great. 

I went to my OB for a checkup at 11.5 weeks and they listened for a heartbeat on the doppler, but heard nothing. This was common they told me, and no cause for alarm because it's not easily detectable until after 13 weeks or so. Just for peace of mind they sent me for an ultrasound. At that ultrasound appointment we found out that the baby's heart was no longer beating, and that I had had a miscarriage. We were devastated. It truly felt like someone had ripped my heart right out of my chest. At this point I was young and naive, and not aware of how common first trimester miscarriages were. I became depressed for a very long time ~ not a lock yourself in your house and stop going to work depression ~ I was able to go about my daily activities, but there was an undeniable emptiness inside of me. My husband was SUPER supportive through this hard time, and we began trying to have children again right away.

Months passed and nothing was happening. I was becoming frustrated, but my OB didn't see any cause for alarm since it had been relatively easy for me to conceive the first time. Months became a year and still nothing. At this point many of my girlfriends were becoming pregnant, and while I was happy for them, it was bittersweet because it made me even more sad for myself. I felt guilty that I couldn't be happier of them during their most special time.

Eventually, my doctor sent me to a fertility specialist. We started going through extensive testing. After many tests for both my husband and myself, they determined my infertility to be unexplained because everything seemed to be in working order. This almost made things more frustrating because there was no 'easy fix' to help me get pregnant. Since I was still young and healthy, my fertility doctor suggested we start at the beginning with fertility treatments that were not very aggressive. We started with clomid pills. When that did not work, moved to clomid + IUI (artificial insemination). After a few unsuccessful rounds of that we moved to injections + IUI ~ during this time we had one positive test, but they determined it to be a chemical pregnancy since my HCG levels were low did not continue to climb after a few days. 

After exhausting all other treatments, we decided to move forward with IVF. This was extremely nerve-wracking to me. As much as I tried to stay positive, there was a little nagging thought in the back of my mind that if this didn't work it was our last option for having our baby. I was also concerned about all of the shots and injections that I would be putting into my body, and the effects that these substances would have on me in the future. But the thought of a positive outcome obviously overcame all of our concerns, and in September of last year we started our first round of IVF. I remember being a bridesmaid in my cousin's wedding, and my husband and I having to sneak into the bridal suite during the reception so that he could give me my injections in my belly ~ not fun, but a necessary part of the process.

On October 1, 2014, we went in for our pregnancy test and we got a positive result. We were (cautiously) overjoyed. My HCG levels were much higher than when I had the chemical pregnancy which was a good sign, but at this point I was only four weeks pregnant and by no means out of the water. 

The first twelve weeks of my pregnancy were both joyous and stressful because we knew that a first trimester miscarriage was always a possibility. At thirteen weeks we went for our nuchal ultrasound, and our baby looked great and was growing perfectly on schedule. I cried my eyes out at the sight of her (who we did not know was a 'her' at this point). Just seeing my healthy baby and hearing the heartbeat was such an overwhelmingly happy feeling.

We did not start telling people we were pregnant until around Christmastime ~ I was about 16 weeks at this point ~ and I didn't tell my co-workers (other than my immediate work team who knew from the beginning) until I could no longer hide it (more than halfway through my pregnancy). 

There was not a day of my pregnancy that went by that I didn't worry about my little one's well being, but I guess that just comes along with being a mother. From my experience thus far I've realized the worry never stops, you just find new things to worry about.

Overall I had a wonderful and easy pregnancy. I gained about 25 lbs total, had minimal nausea during the first 12 weeks, and was able to work right up until giving birth. I never 'waddled' when I walked or thought that I just wanted to 'get the baby out already'.

My hope in documenting my pregnancy journey is that it will give hope to someone who is having a similar experience.

I know it's hard to stay positive and I am so lucky to have my husband who is BEYOND supportive, and always has a positive outlook on life. He truly appreciates everything I went through, and was with me every single step of the way. Although this was stressful on him too he was able to put aside his emotions to be there to support me.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!


The 4th: Family Edition

On me ~ Dress:  Old Navy, Sneakers:  Converse, Sunnies:  Ray-Ban

On Sean ~ Shirt:  Old Navy, Shorts:  Nautica (old, similar here)

On Ella ~ Romper:  Baby Gap, Headband:  Baby Bling

Hope everyone had a wonderful long weekend and a happy Independence Day.

I had picked up this 4th of July inspired outfit for Ella the day I went into labor. Actually I was still at the mall when I started feeling a little 'funny'. 

I wanted to be prepared because I figured it would be a while before I got out to the mall again. Guess that was good thinking on my part.

It feels really good to finally complete a blog post, and while I'm definitely not back to my normal blogging schedule {or my normal physique for that matter} I promise to post as frequently as possible for the next couple of weeks.

Happy Monday everyone!