Pink Paisley

dress // c/o PinkBlush
purse // Kate Spade {similar}

I'm backkkk! I never really went anywhere, but it has been quite some time since my last outfit post. Why? I'm a stay at home mom that really only gets out of the house for appointments, errands, and the occasional leisurely shopping trip. Otherwise, I'm in my maternity leggings, a sweater, and tennis shoes. Not quite blog worthy; however, incredibly functional and comfortable.

A lot has probably changed since you last saw a picture of me. Despite the convincing photographs, I'm not actually wearing white, sheer stockings - I'm just that lilly white right now. Yikes. And although I look as if I am smuggling an over-sized basketball, that's actually a baby that is (thankfully) staying put and growing!

I will say, I am slightly disappointed in myself for not taking advantage of dressing my baby bump this time around. When I went on bed rest so early in my last pregnancy and then delivered at 23 weeks, I felt robbed of being able to shop and wear pieces that look cute with a bump underneath them. However, my priorities throughout this current pregnancy have also been incredibly different now that a one year old occupies all of my being - from the time I wake up until the time she goes to bed. Such is life and I would not change it.

So snapping a picture when I actually look decent has been on the back burner. Until now. Check out this dress!

I've recently had the honor to collaborate with PinkBlush Boutique. Have you heard of them? They are a trendy, online boutique that offer clothes (and a ton of dresses) for women, maternity, plus size, nursing and even baby! They offer such an adorable and wide selection for maternity, but when I saw this particular dress, I had to have it! Yes, it's gorgeous, but even better than that, it's comfortable!

If you're in the market for maternity clothes or any type of pretty clothing, then hop over to ShopPinkBlush and get to browsing. Lightweight, bright-colored dress season is upon us and I'm confident you can find something!


My Baby Could Have Been Aborted On the Day She Was Born

Writing this post has been heavy on my heart for quite some time. In fact, shortly after my daughters were born, I came across this video of a woman going undercover to expose the late-term abortion industry. A real eye-opener if you take the time to watch. The video crushed my heart because the undercover "planned" abortion was at 23 weeks and 2 days - which was the exact gestation that my babies were born.

In the recent year, as my life as travelled in directions I never dreamed, I have found the idea of late-term abortion makes me so uncomfortable and livid that when I really get to thinking about this selfish act, I can feel my blood pressure rise. I can feel myself being taken over by disgust and disappointment in those that choose, support, and complete these violent acts.

Maybe this is your first time to my blog. If so, I have some explaining to do. In 2014 I became pregnant with (fraternal) twins after two years of desperately trying to conceive. Both beautiful girls! At 16 weeks gestation, the lower baby's water broke. Miraculously I did not go into labor and was able to stay on hospital bed rest for seven weeks. At 23 weeks, her sac, which never re-sealed, developed a slight infection and threw my body into labor. My prayer was to only deliver her, but her sister could not stand the idea of being alone and decided to follow her big sister. Due to the lack of fluid for the past seven weeks, our first baby girl's lungs were not ready for this world and she passed shortly after birth. However, our second daughter was born moving and breathing and the NICU team was able to successfully intubate her. She spent 115 days in the NICU and is now 14 months old and perfectly healthy. A true miracle and testament to the power of prayer!

So let's go back to the day my babies were born and focus on my daughter, Sadie Ann, whose sac was intact up until delivery. She had no complications during pregnancy. She was simply born prematurely. Extrememly prematurely. She's called a micro-preemie. She was one-pound and six-ounces. She was 11.5 inches long. Her foot measured an inch. Her hands the size of my fingernail. She was impossibly small. Unimaginable unless you've seen if for yourself.

Still, despite her size, she was still a human. At 23 weeks and 2 days gestation she had a heart, a brain, lungs, stomach, eyes, hair, fingers, toes, nails, and a personality. Sure, she needed medical intervention to be given a chance to live, but her need for lung support, medication, and medical attention doesn't de-value her life.

When an adult is in a horrific car accident or an elderly person has a CVA (stroke) and requires lung support, medication, and medical attention we don't then consider them no-longer a life. No, we provide them what they need to hopefully pull them through their particular medical event. No difference in a stroke patient and a baby born at 23 weeks when it comes to the need for medical attention to hopefully save the life.

The thing that baffles me most about late-term abortion is this. Consider the day my daughter was born. Again, she was 23 weeks and 2 days gestation. That morning, prior to her birth, I had every right to go to a clinic and have her "humanely" aborted - also, although not as popular a term - killed. However, that afternoon, after she was born, if the same abortion process was preformed (you know, a large needle haphazardly injected into her brain, her limbs ripped off, and then her body parts sold or discarded), it would have been considered murder.

The baby didn't change. The only thing that changed was the name of the method used to kill it.

Same day.
Same torturous method.
Abortion if it's in the womb.
Murder if it's outside of the womb.

Our laws and our views have become so blurry and so desensitized that we only see and hear what we want. We overlook, or even ignore, the reality that it's still murder. It's tortuous for the child.

We've stripped babies of their right to life simply because of their location. 

In explaining these truths, I simply want to bring awareness to anyone considering abortion and especially those considering late-term abortion. When the clinic says to you at 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 weeks... "it's not a baby yet" or that "the baby doesn't have all it's parts" they are lying. They are simply providing words to make you feel better about murder so they can remain a business. They are taking advantage of your lack of education.

Sure you might not have planned to become pregnant and may not be able to take care of a child - and that's ok! There are so many options for you and that child without stopping his/her heart and then removing the baby from your body by pulling off an arm and leg one at a time (yeah, it's harsh). Adoption is my favorite option available to you and so many (SO many) couples would love the opportunity to raise and provide for your child if you are unable or are not ready.

Consider your options. There are so many!
Consider that it's not just your life when abortion crosses your mind.

Here is my daughter. This is what a baby born at 23 weeks looks like. 

This is what that baby can look like a year later. Beautiful, healthy, and happy. 


TIME: A Cruel and Beautiful Gift

In the past three years, time has revealed it's multi-layered face within my life.

Two years of trying to conceive felt like a lifetime; seven weeks of hospital bed rest blurred the lines between days and weeks; four months in a NICU felt like an eternity. Then, all of a sudden, I had a one year old; on top of that, I'm almost 25 weeks along in a pregnancy that I've just wrapped my head around.

How does time take forever and slip by simultaneously?

Tonight I sat on the bathroom floor, beside the tub; Sadie Ann was in her inflatable, yellow rubber-ducky tub. She smiled, carried on serious conversations with her toys, splashed, giggled, and listened to me when I had to tell her No (a couple times - she likes to try and climb out). I watched her hold and study her toys. I watched her make decisions and come up with independent thoughts.

I just watched. 

It's been a few weeks coming. I've slowly been realizing the tiny baby that needed me for every nook and cranny of her life is growing up. She, of course, still needs me most of the time, but she can hold her bottle, she can sit on the floor and play by herself, she can move around and get the toy she wants, and she can entertain herself.

I'm no longer her sun.

Her world is getting bigger and my role is getting smaller. Only slightly smaller, but smaller none the less. Still, every aspect of her life is completely dependent on me - and will for many years to come; however, in each of those aspects she is gaining independence. An independence in which I am completely grateful - her prognosis at birth was quite terrifying and becoming an independent child wasn't guaranteed. So I'm overwhelmed with the progress and growth I see in her daily, but it's also a constant reminder that my little five-pound baby that we brought home at four months old, on April 10th, isn't that same tiny, needy baby. A hard and harsh reality to face.

Life doesn't wait for you to catch up - I find myself wanting to revisit the days she took a bottle every three hours. The nights when she was up two or three times. That sweet little face that has already changed so much. It all moves too quickly and I'm scared I'll be going to dance recitals and ball games, then taking her to the DMV and prom dress shopping next time I look up.

I was always warned of the beast of time. My mom and my grandmother have said multiple times, the older you get, the faster time flies! Yeah, I've noticed. But it's not until your baby girl is no longer a baby girl that it brings you to your knees.

My point is - tonight was a punch in the gut. It was a reminder that time doesn't stand still, there's no rewind button, and babies don't keep. And that's the cruel part. Contrastingly, we are given the gift of joy through watching them grow. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. We want them to develop their own independence. We want to see them move forward and create a successful and full life. Here I am realizing the juxtaposition of these emotions will be a never-ending tug-of-war game for the rest of my life.


Making a Mess

It's only recently that Sadie Ann has been interested in touching her food. It's a preemie thing - sensory issues and aversions to different textures through touching and tasting. Her pediatrician encouraged me to just put food on her table every time she ate and she's eventually warm up to it. She was right. SA doesn't mind slimy or mushy textures as much anymore - and she has no problem with them when she can also play with a spoon. 

So a messy photo shoot was produced! 

This happened last week and I quickly learned, much like Sadie Ann, that I also had an aversion; however, mine was to making a mess. I'm definitely not a clean freak or control freak, but it turns out letting my baby make a mess with her food makes me slightly uncomfortable. Fortunately, her adorableness and enjoyment help me to quickly get over it. 

Is it hard for any of you mothers to just let the babies be babies?


Finding Out the Baby's Sex

During my first pregnancy, shortly after finding out we were having twins, Chris voiced that he did not want to find out the sex of the twins. Well, he quickly lost that battle. There was no way I could go an entire pregnancy with TWINS and not know what they were. There were too many possible combinations and with a nursery and registry that needed to be completed, I had to know! 

So when this second pregnancy rolled around Chris, again, voiced that he didn't want to know the sex. I knew this was coming, but since it was a singleton and we already have some of the basic baby things, I decided I could wait. 

As the weeks have passed by, I've warmed up more and more to the idea of not finding out the sex. It's fun to know during the pregnancy (you know, so we can snag cute baby clothes and pick out a name), but to find out in the moment of delivery sounds so thrilling and wonderful. We're in our 30's and there aren't many surprises left in this life. This is not only the ultimate gift, but the ultimate surprise. Just imagining that as the baby cries for the first time, which is such a glorious moment in and of itself, but to also hear the words It's a ___ just adds a whole new depth to the joy of that moment. 

I'm one day away from 23 weeks - a tremendous milestone in this pregnancy and yesterday I had my last cervical length ultrasound. The night prior I was telling Chris that it would probably be the last ultrasound for a while - which makes me really sad. Having a complicated pregnancy is never desired, but if there is a benefit, it's that you get to see your baby A LOT! I've been spoiled when it comes to ultrasounds. When I was pregnant the first time I had weekly ultrasounds up to 12 weeks just because I was going to an infertility doctor. Then when I went on bed rest I had ultrasounds every other day. This pregnancy, because of the cervical length checks, I've had ultrasounds every other week. So the idea of going three, four, five weeks or more without seeing the baby is just weird. 

So in our conversation that night, after talking about it being the last ultrasound for a while, I got an I'm about to say something unexpected look across the room from Chris. Then, out of nowhere he says… 

I think I want to know what the baby is


Complete shock over here. 

The anticipation is getting to him and he's not sure how much longer he can wait. Which I should have seen coming since the boy can't keep secrets. I mean if he buys me a Christmas gift before Christmas, he's going to give it to me the day he buys it. He can't handle the anticipation! He still wants to wait, but it's just getting harder! 

Although, I've completely given into NOT knowing (*cough* Chris's idea) and I've romanticized the delivery and the announcement of the baby's gender immediately after birth, I love how excited he is! This has obviously been on his mind and he's now starting to give in. Either way, whether we find out before or after the birth, it's the most exciting thing ever. It will be thrilling no matter when we find out! 

So at my appointment yesterday I took an envelope and a card that I made above. My ultrasonographer took pictures of the baby's gender, put it in our card, and sealed it up! If it becomes too much for Chris to handle, we will open the card - if he can pull it together and wait it out, we will wait! 

In the meantime, I still have no clue or feeling as to what this baby is. The hardest part about not knowing is trying not to refer to the baby as "it". I try to say "the baby" most times. In my mind I generally refer to the baby as he, but I've also referred to the baby as she. I've only had one dream about the gender and it was a boy. However, when I was pregnant with the girls, I would dream about twin boys or boy/girls twins, but never twin girls. So it's all very confusing. All I know for sure about this baby is that he/she is growing strong and perfectly and is staying put!