Everybody has a Dream®

Disclosure: Leesa® provided a free mattress for me to review. However, all opinions stated are my own. 

We recently returned home from vacation, and when we arrived, I immediately noticed our Leesa® mattress had too! It ships compressed in a box directly to your front door! How convenient is that!? Oh and did I mention it is free shipping to US, UK and Canada!?!

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Is there anything better than being able to sleep in your own bed after being away for awhile?! We got extra lucky to come home, unbox our new mattress and sleep on it that very same night! It really is A better place to sleep® with its three layers of premium foam. The Leesa® feels hard at first, but as soon as you lay down it perfectly forms to your body, giving support and comfort! I don’t like hard, stiff beds, I basically want to sleep on a cloud and this mattress doesn’t disappoint! I think I woke up in the same position I feel asleep in… and I might have thought it was a fluke because of the two full days we spent driving in the car prior to, but the same thing has been happening the last week as well!

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Not only is Leesa® a great mattress; the company also donates 1 mattress for every 10 sold to local homeless shelters, because lets face it, everyone deserves a good night sleep! It really is remarkable the difference a full night of restful zzz’s makes… As a Mama of 3 kiddos 3 and under I need all the rest and energy I can get before I start the day with them!

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I’ve already noticed I have more energy and feel rejuvenated by morning! It also helps that our sweet Leo boy is sleeping through the night now as well! Let’s just say, we are all getting better sleep these days!

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The signature 4 stripe design makes this mattress almost too pretty to cover up! Leesa® mattresses are made with premium products providing the comfort, support and universal feel everybody seeks for a good night sleep! So, it really does feel as good as it looks!

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I was genuinely happy to work with Leesa® not only because of their generosity to the homeless community but because they also plant 1 tree for every mattress sold! I think balancing profit with a purpose like Leesa® does is honorable and a company anyone should be proud to support! It’s a goal of Paul and I to provide our kids with well-rounded morals and values and there are lessons to be learned all around us! It’s so encouraging to see companies such as Leesa® doing just that!

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It’s dangerously comfortable® and with the 100-night sleep trial it’s a no brainer that Leesa® mattresses are a solid choice! I plan to fill all of our bedrooms with a Leesa® mattress because they really are A pathway to a better life®! We are all about that path in the Wise home!

HAVE FAITH MAMA(S)… Everybody has a dream® and Leesa® can help make them come true!

Disclosure: Leesa® provided a free mattress for me to review. However, all opinions stated were my own.

Use this code to receive $125 off your purchase:

Leesa Mattress

 

 

 

Leo’s Birth Story!

Yesterday we celebrated Easter as a Family of FIVE (2018)! Last year on Easter I miscarried our baby (THE BABY I CARRIED BUT NEVER HELD). Last year it was so hard to imagine ever being a family of five… I thought it was something that would never become a reality for us. This year I was overcome with JOY, because our sweet Leo is here with us and without that miscarriage he wouldn’t be! During Easter I am reminded of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us, He truly wants the best for us and continues to provide in ways I never knew were possible! I am forever thankful!

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“Thursday, June 8th 2017: My heart rejoices! I took a pregnancy test around 9:30pm and it read, “PREGNANT!” When getting ice cream tonight with my Mom and Dad, Lazar and Mila saw a rainbow and pointed it out to us with so much joy! I got chills! I just knew God was giving us our rainbow baby and He was already celebrating with that beautiful display in the sky! “I have told you these things, so that you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. BUT take heart; I have overcome the world!” -John 16:33″

Those are the words I journaled that Thursday night after taking the positive pregnancy test! Our God never ceases to amaze me! Leo was on the way!

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Fast forward nine months, it was only two days before my estimated due date and my scheduled c-section. My OBGYN and I came to the conclusion that a c-section was my best option for my delivery, as Leo was most likely going to be a big baby just like Lazar was. After a day of labor with Lazar (LAZAR’S BIRTH STORY), I needed a c-section because he was too big. So that is ultimately why we planned my c-section for Leo. Saturday, February 17th at 3:30am I woke up to a strong contraction. I got up to go to the bathroom and couldn’t fall back asleep, as the contractions remained consistent with ten minutes between each one. I decided to go downstairs around 5:30am and call nurse direct to let them know what was going on, since I didn’t know if my OB would just like me to come in right away knowing I need to have a c-section. The nurse connected me with the OBGYN on call and he advised me to wait until my contractions were five minutes apart (I assumed that would happen within the hour). My contractions ended up staying ten minutes apart for the entire day… It got to 3:30pm and I was getting frustrated and tired of the strong contractions every ten minutes. Paul had brought me lunch and I explained to him how uncomfortable I was, and really couldn’t imagine waiting this out for another (potential) two days until the 19th. He told me to call the OBGYN on call again and see if it was possible to come in even without the contractions being five minutes apart, because of my discomfort and ultimately knowing I need a c-section, so going through labor was basically pointless and unnecessary… The OBGYN agreed and told me he would be happy to do the c-section that night, but I would have to wait six hours since I just ate… I was so excited we were finally going to meet our rainbow baby!!

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I had a scheduled c-section with Mila (MEETING MILA), so I knew exactly what to expect. You go in, get undressed put a hospital gown on and the nurses start to prep you for surgery, lots of questions and a poke or two for the IV to get fluids started. I remember being overly nervous about the spinal I was about to receive. All I could think about was a giant needle going into my spine and getting slightly worried something could go wrong… I remember sitting in the hospital bed, being hooked up to a monitor to hear Leo’s heartbeat, and just asking God to be with me! I was honestly too nervous to string together a well thought-out prayer, all I knew was I needed HIM there with me and I knew He was!

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I knew HE was there because this was honestly the smoothest delivery! I felt so calm and at peace, it was different than the other two births… there was an extremely positive vibe throughout the surgery room and I just knew God was there guiding the whole thing! It was extra special and honestly meant to be that I went into labor on a Saturday, because normally only one person is allowed into the surgery room, but because there were no other c-sections that day (they don’t schedule on Saturday’s) my Mom was able to be in the room along with Paul! This was such a blessing, as she was able to watch the entire surgery. Paul doesn’t want to watch what happens on the other end of the curtain so I loved hearing all about what my Mom was able to see! She also video tapped the Doctor pulling Leo out and I will forever cherish that video!

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The cord was wrapped around his neck twice! Watching the OBGYN unwrap it from Leo’s tiny, fragile, little neck is so emotion for me to watch… that is something that could’ve taken Leo away from us, BUT God was there and He wasn’t going to let anything stand in the way! Our Leo had arrived! Our rainbow baby, the baby I didn’t know if I would ever get… Here and healthy as could be weighing in at 9lbs 10oz 21.5inches long!

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It’s amazing the immediate LOVE you feel the second you hear those first cries! There is always an intense pressure you feel as the OB pulls the baby from your womb, it’s like getting socked in the stomach, taking your breath away, although there isn’t pain associated with it, just pressure… LOTS of pressure… it’s such a strange sensation, but amazing all at the same time! Birth is a gift and miracle from God that I am so thankful I get to experience. I used to get really upset over the fact that I need c-sections, but I’ve come to realize that they are a blessing allowing our babies to arrive safely! I don’t take any of it for granted!

 

I was able to hold Leo right after he was born and it was honestly the most precious gift! After Lazar and Mila were born, I just wasn’t doing well enough to be able to hold them. So getting these first moments with Leo were so special to me! After I was all stitched up and back in my hospital room, the nurses come to check on you and make sure your uterus is starting to shrink back down. They push on your belly and it’s the most awful feeling… but having Leo in my arms is sooooo worth the pain! After the first couple pushes on my belly, the nurses exchanged concerned looks… they explained to me that I was loosing too much blood. They made calls to the OB and he said if it didn’t lighten up, to give me a suppository of medication to slow the bleeding and help my uterus shrink. The medication didn’t help and the nurses couldn’t explain why… they told me I would need a blood transfusion if things didn’t change…and quick. I felt overwhelmingly calm and just asked God to provide, I clearly and precisely asked Him to regulate my bleeding so I wouldn’t need the transfusion, I didn’t want to use blood that might save someone else’s life. He did exactly what I asked, my blood count was PRECISELY at the cut-off point for not needing a transfusion!

 

Leo and I spent the first couple nights together in the hospital alone. Paul stayed home with Lazar and Mila and I didn’t want to ask any family to stay with me in the hospital since it is honestly a restless experience, having nurses constantly checking in on you in the middle of the night, not to mention the couch/bed they offer is the furthest thing from desirable… I thought I would be really lonely , but it happened to be a really sweet time with just Leo and I. I enjoyed our one-on-one time together and it’s something I’m going to cherish for a lifetime! Paul brought Lazar and Mila everyday and I adored their visits along with all the family and friends visits as well!

 

Typically after a c-section they want you to stay in the hospital for four days, but I was able to return home after only two days and I certainly wasn’t complaining! I know some Mama’s with multiple kiddos like to stay in the hospital as long as they can for the extra peace, quite and nurse assistance, but I am most comfortable being at home with Paul and our babies! I couldn’t wait to get home and start our life together as a family of five!

 

I wasnt sure how Lazar and Mila would acclimate having a new baby around, but they did and are doing amazing! I am blessed to be surrounded by the most loving family who helped during my healing process! My sweet Mama came over almost everyday to help with Lazar and Mila, having her cook some of my favorite meals on top of that was such a blessing! It’s as if time moves in slow motion after you bring a baby home and I love that my Mom is able to spend those first couple weeks with me; it’s time we get to have together that we wouldn’t have otherwise and I cherish it… it’s just a happy time all-in-all!

 

Transitioning from two to three kids has had it’s challenges for sure, but it has ultimately been one of the greatest things to happen to us all! Leo is almost two months old and he has been a dream come true! Lazar and Mila wake up every morning asking about him and wanting to hold and kiss him! Nothing makes me happier than to see all three of my babies love on one another!

 

HAVE FAITH MAMA(S)… whether you are in the storm or experiencing the rainbow, aways remember God is right there with you, He wants the very best for you and when you rely on Him, putting all your trust in Him, you will experience dreams unfold before you plus some you never thought possible!

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Post Baby Must-Haves!

A lot goes on after having a baby! A LOT! After all you have an entire new life to take care of! With that giant, new and exciting responsibility, we Mama’s tend to put our own needs by the wayside… Since having our third baby (Leo’s Birth Story coming soon) I have come to realize some of my favorite must-have’s (a couple for me and a couple for baby) post baby. I would love to list ALL of the essentials but honestly, there are so many amazing tools offered to Mom’s that it would be nearly impossible to narrow it down and each Mother is just so different, so I am going to focus on a few unique items that I have found success with for myself and my babies (each product is linked).

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One of the first things you are going to do after having your precious new bundle is nurse/breastfeed him or her. Every Mama’s breastfeeding journey seems to differ but if you do decide to breastfeed, your nipples are most likely going to suffer a bit in the beginning. But it’s just a little short-term pain for long-term gain and these Silverettes will help your nipples from that pain! I was amazed at how well these little silver cups worked! You simply place them over your nipples right after giving birth and when baby is ready to nurse, remove them and put them back on again after baby finishes. No nipple creams just the Silverettes! After a little time passes your nipples and milk production accommodate and you won’t need the Silverettes any longer. So simple and easy this product truly saved me the extra pain and prevented any cracking or discomfort and I will absolutely use these again if we ever have baby number four!

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Along with everything else, a Mama’s delivery is going to vary from woman to woman. I need c-sections and as unfortunate as that may be they provide a safe route for my babies to arrive and for that, I am thankful and at peace with it, knowing God makes no mistakes and has our best interest in mind. With that being said, I am extremely sore after baby arrives and having anything over my incision site is extremely tender, uncomfortable and could cause potential harm. I was overjoyed when I came across these c-section undies by Belly Bandit! Not only are the undies super comfortable they provide extra support with a corset-type structure. This structure alleviates back pain for me, since your abdomen muscles are shot. Having bigger babies has caused my abdominal wall to separate severely (diastasis recti) and these undies have helped with that gap immensely! The undies aren’t just for Mothers who have had c-sections they are also extremely effective for women who have vaginal births as well. If nothing else, these undies help shrink the post-baby belly in a safe and effective way which is a serious perk!

There are so many different options as far as sleepers and rockers go… the list is never-ending! I’ve found that these three are my favorite! I loved using the Mumbelli womb-like bed for Leo when we first brought him home, because like I said, it’s a womb-like transition bed. It’s extra soft material makes it cozy and warm. There is also a wedge insert that gives a slight incline incase baby were to spit up, it prevents choking and acid reflex. Being a bigger baby, Leo grew out of the Mumbelli rather quickly but transitioned into the Snuggle Me Organic seamlessly! The Snuggle Me Organic sleeper hugs your baby in the best most safe way! It’s super soft and prevents baby from rolling. It also fits perfectly in bassinets or easily set it in a crib, pack-n-play or just on you couch!  Now, when Leo isn’t upstairs sleeping, I like having a safe option for him to just relax or sleep and the Charlie Crane Levo Baby Rocker is as ideal as it is beautiful! It gives a hammock feeling with the perfect balance of soft and sturdy material. The incline is just right, keeping the baby upright but still comfortable enough for sleep. I love how this rocker blends perfectly into our home decor but also functions ideally for our sweet baby boy!

Lastly, if you are a Mama of more than one babe, you will most likely have your hands FULL so having a WildBird Ring Sling alleviates that quite literally! The sling goes along with some of the other products I love and have mentioned through this post… it’s soft yet sturdy! I really think that is key maybe…after baby is born all they really want is to feel secure but it has to be soft and cozy for them as well! After all they just came from your warm and cozy womb! The WildBird ring slings come with a few different fabrics and can support your baby until they are well into toddlerhood! I’m even able to nurse Leo while he is in the sling so my hands are free all while I’m taking care of him or if he just wants to be held (which most babies do) I am able to do so while taking care of Lazar and Mila’s needs, it’s a serious win-win and a must-have for all Mama’s I’m convinced of it! It’s easy to pack along with all the other baby essentials taking up little to no room and it’s just an added bonus that it’s beautiful!

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There you have it… that’s my short list of some of my top must-haves! Like I said, all Mama’s are so different with their own unique experiences and needs… but as far as my preferences go, I would absolutely recommend these items! I will also say, although there are plenty of amazing products out there for basically every Mom/baby need, that’s not what it’s all about, we can certainly get by without it, all our babies truly need is our love, affection and attention over everything else!

HAVE FAITH MAMA(S)… and remember with all the must-haves we think we “must-have” it’s so important to realize that’s not what it’s all about… God wants us and designed us to simply be there for our babies! Let all the other stuff just help make it a little more smooth…and comfy!

A Day in Her Life!

I was asked by the lovely Emily Morrice to share a bit about what my life looks like from day-to-day! I was honored but also thought oh boy, what do I possibly have to offer? My day-to-day isn’t all that exciting or glamorous! Most days you will find my kiddos and I at home, but I certainly do not take my ordinary days for granted! I am forever thankful for the life God has blessed me with! So here goes nothing!

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Being a SAHM (stay at home Mom) has always been a dream of mine. Seriously, ever since I was a young girl I would fantasize about the days I would have my own babies to take care of. God has blessed me with the two most amazing children with one on the way! Lazar is 3, Mila is 2 and Leo is due February 19th! Having kiddos so close in age is also something I always thought I would do if possible, probably because that is how I grew up and I loved the closeness my brothers and I shared!

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A typical day for Lazar, Mila and I starts off by smothering Paul (my husband, their Daddy) with lots of hugs and kisses as he leaves for work! Most days (if I’m feeling up for it) I load the kids in the car and drive to get a coffee. Some days we go to a coffee shop to hang out, get breakfast and other days it’s a quick drive-through. I like to get out of the house even if it’s just for a little car ride; it just seems to make all the difference. We live in Wisconsin and when winter hits, being outside isn’t really an option… and feeling cooped up inside gets old, especially for an energetic 2 and 3 year old!

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After we return home from a little coffee trip I like to let Lazar and Mila have some playtime before naps/rest-time. I decided to make our basement into a playroom and the kids love running around and playing down there. We decided not to put a TV down there so the kids won’t just focus on that, instead I play fun music (which is so great because it almost always turns into a dance party)!

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After “playtime” I make the kids some sort of snack. I typically make them a protein shake for breakfast, unless we eat during our coffee outing. I use the meal shake from Shaklee, they love it and ask for it daily! After their snack/shake I like to have some rest-time. Mila still takes a nap so if I put a movie on and cuddle up on the couch with them, Mila will usually fall asleep while Lazar relaxes watching the movie. When the movie finishes and Mila wakes up, it’s usually time for lunch. Lunch typically includes anything from, pb and j’s to shredded chicken usually with some sort of fruit or veggie. But don’t let me fool you, a lot of days are filled with an excess of snacks and lunch turns into an all-day kind of thing! haha

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My husband works very hard to allow me to stay at home with the kids and I will forever appreciate that. I knew I still wanted to contribute if I could while remaining at home. I wanted to start a blog and from my blog I thought up and designed t-shirts. I decided to start an Etsy shop where I sell my shirts. I love that my t-shirts have encouraged ladies all over the world! My goal in creating the t-shirts was simply that, to encourage ladies and make them feel they could do anything with just having faith! I also recently became a Maskcara makeup artist! I’m beyond obsessed with the makeup and knew it was a product I could stand behind and share with other ladies… again helping them feel good about themselves! Being able to run my Etsy shop and sell makeup from home has provided extra money for our family that I am proud of! If it ended up taking time away from my kids I would simply stop, because my first priority is raising my babies. I’m just thankful I am able to juggle both right now.

Each day varies, but our end-of-the day can sometimes be visiting my parents house or finishing the night with a bath and food Daddy brings us home (since he owns a restaurant with his family). Our nighttime routine went from a 7pm bedtime with both kids in their cribs sleeping soundly through the night. However, these days it looks more like Lazar sleeping with Paul and I while Mila sleeps in her bed in her and Lazar’s room. Our kids have always been exceptional sleepers and this new routine has allowed that trend to remain so no complaints here. I honestly never thought my kids would like to co-sleep since they always did so amazing in their own cribs but I do love it and I know how quickly everything can change, so I’m just giving thanks for the season we are in and embracing all that comes with it!

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Every morning I wake up and each night I go to bed, I thank God and praise Him for this life He has provided for me! I know I wouldn’t have any of it without Him and I truly don’t take a second of it for granted. I mean it when I say, I often well-up with tears when I look at my family and wonder how in the world I get the opportunity to have Paul, Lazar, Mila and soon Leo in my life! My day-to-day may not be exciting or glamorous to some, BUT to me, it’s the best days of my life!

HAVE FAITH MAMA(S)… Your days may seem little and unimportant but one day you’ll look back and realize those were the big and best days of your life!

Hospital Bag Essentials.

Yay! It’s finally time to bring your baby home from the hospital! You’ve been waiting for this moment for 40 weeks (possibly more)! But all of a sudden you might feel overwhelmed… like, “what does the baby really need right away?” “What do I need?” “Do I need to bring snacks?” “Or should I bring all my shower gear?!” Ahhhh it’s simple really, in reality ALL you need is to be there for your new little one! He/She want’s nothing more than to be snuggled and fed by His/Her new Mama! BUT, if you are wondering what things might be helpful during your hospital stay after you meet your most precious gift, this is a list I came to perfect after having done this two times before in the last 3 years!

 

O N E:

You most likely bought or received some super, trendy, rad diaper bag that has all the right compartments for all the little things you and your sweet babe will need, not only in the hospital but also well afterwards. Might as well get it nice and ready for all the future adventures you’ll plan to take after you’ve given yourself the proper amount of time to heal/recover that is! I will be bringing my Whirlwind diaper bag along! This bag is as functional as it is beautiful! Here is a link to the Whirlwind bag I own! I highly recommend this bag whether you are a first-time Mom or a seasoned one, this bag is amazing!

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T W O:

Now that you have the perfect bag to carry all the essentials, you have to fill it! The hospital is going to provide you with diapers and wipes for your baby, but I use The Honest Company brand for all my diapering. I like to bring my own (this is completely personal preference) I look at it like, I would like to start my baby off with what I will ultimately be using on him/her right away, rather than having to switch and possibly cause an unnecessary rash or something from the change. The odds of that actually happening are probably zero, but like I said it’s simply my personal preference. You can always ask someone from your hospital what types of diapers and wipes they use and you may decide to use the same ones!

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T H R E E:

Diaper rash cream! Honestly you’re probably not going to need this, but this follows my motto with bringing my own diapers and wipes. I like to be prepared with the products I trust and plan to use on my baby when we are home. Not saying what the hospital is offering isn’t adequate, I’m sure it is more than ok, just going back to my personal preference again. This is also apart of The Honest Company brand that I trust in and love; since it has worked great for Lazar and Mila.

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F O U R:

Receiving blankets! I rely on these blankets for so many things. You can swaddle your baby in them, you can use it as a nursing cover, you can use it as a soft surface to lay your baby on. Ultimately, I like to use it as a spit-up rag. So glamorous, I know! haha But, babies spit-up, drool, etc and you want something silky soft to take care of those inevitable “spills!” My favorite brand is Aden and Anais! These blankets are super soft and just so convenient to have! You won’t regret packing this in your diaper bag ever!

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F I V E:

Swaddle! Your baby was just born and was literally in the most comfortable situation possible… floating around in your womb, nice, cozy and warm. Now they are out in the cold world and want that squishy warmth back! That’s where a swaddle comes in handy! I love seeing my baby perfectly content and swaddled! I mean how adorable is a swaddled baby?! This swaddle is called an Embe swaddle, it has two different options for swaddling your fresh new babe! It can wrap them completely up keeping them cozy or you can give them a cooler feel by letting their little legs hang out, either way it’s essential for your hospital bag!

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S I X:

Zipadeezip! I cannot tell you how many Mama’s I have recommended to this product! It is something so simple, yet truly effective! Typically your baby won’t need this until they outgrow their swaddle but in some cases (like my Mila) babies won’t always like being swaddled. The zippered-zip is literally called a swaddle transition, so when they get stronger and can break out of their swaddle they are ready for the zippered-zip. Like I said, not all babies like to be swaddled so zipping them up into this ensures they will be kept warm without potentially suffocating by having a blanket over their face. I know that sounds dramatic, but I never compromise safety. My 2 and 3 year old still sleep with their “Ni Ni’s” (zipadee-zips)! I’ll be bringing a zippered-zip just incase Leo doesn’t like the swaddle like Mila.

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S E V E N:

Outfit(s)! Ok, again, the hospital is going to put your baby in a fresh, new onesie, but  I like to bring freshly washed zipper sleepers. I bring a few… in case of spit-ups and blowouts. I also like to bring a couple different size options. Lazar never fit into newborn clothing, so I was happy I brought 3 month sleepers as well.  Don’t pack that adorable little sweater vest and suspender outfit your trendy Aunt bought you, stick with the zipper sleepers! You’ll thank me for this one! First of all your baby doesn’t care about fashion, they just want to be comfortable! Second, I specially mentioned zipper sleepers because trying to button 675 buttons when you have a fussy newborn isn’t fun! Zippers are your best friend especially during the middle of the night blow-outs! I should add, I love the sleepers that have the flap on the wrists so you can put it over your babies hands. Not only will this keep your baby extra warm it will also prevent them from scratching their face and they will if their little fingers aren’t covered, you don’t want to see your babe all scratched up, they don’t like it and you won’t either!

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E I G H T:

Hat and mitts! I think you can tell that I really put a lot of thought into keeping my baby warm and comfy! Like I said they just came from the comfort of your warm, squishy womb, now they want the next best thing! Keeping their little head and hands warm is going to greatly help them remain comfy and content! The mitts are also helpful if the clothing you have them in doesn’t have the hand coverage I mentioned in number 7. These little mitts really will save them from scratching you and themselves!

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N I N E:

Now onto items I plan to bring for myself! 1-8 should be all the extra things you need for your baby. Your baby isn’t the only one thats going to be a little less comfortable… I like to be the most comfortable I can be, given the situation. So taking the stiff hospital gown off is always a great first step! I like to bring a thin Pinkblush delivery robe so it’s easy to nurse in and it’s not in the way when the nurses come to check/push on your belly. I’m also going to bring my Dwell and Slumber dress along this year as well! It’s a caftan gown that’s functional for nursing as well!

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T E N:

Nipple and hand cream! If you plan on nursing you will certainly want nipple cream! This is one of those things ya just gotta trust me on! Your nipples are not use to being used constantly, so they are inevitably going to get sore, this is where the Tubby Todd nursing salve will come in handy, its also safe for your baby! The Tubby Todd hand cream is just an added bonus to have along as well!

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I was also sent a product from Italy that is focused on #HAPPYNIPPLES It’s a safe, effective and natural way to soothe and protect your nipples through nursing! I have never had the opportunity to use this product and I am so excited! I was told to put the Silverettes on immediately after giving birth, then take them off while nursing, but as soon as the baby is finished eating, to put them back on again. The silver will sooth and it also has healing properties! Let’s just say, these things sound like a dream! Im excited to let you know how they work!

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E L E V E N:

Boppy Pillow! Hopefully you received this little gem at your baby shower, because if you have decided you are going to nurse your baby this pillow will come in handy greatly (especially is you have a c-section, it keeps the baby off your incision). I like to bring it to the hospital because they don’t offer one and the pillows there just don’t do the trick! There are so many different options for boppy pillow covers but this one from Madly Wish is stunning!

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T W E L V E:

Mama’s going home outfit! Really the last thing you want to think about is what you are going to wear on your car ride home from the hospital but you have to be prepared and you will want it to be comfortable, especially if you are having a c-section, since it is a major surgery and you are going to be a lot more sore from the incision than if you have a natural birth. I’m so excited to wear my Blanqi postpartum + nursing support leggings and tank top!  I’ve been living in my Blanqi maternity support legging and tank top, so I know these won’t disappoint!

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I’ll be wearing my Blanqi maternity belly support leggings and tank top along with my Madewell sweater coat and Ugg slippers to the hospital, so when I leave I plan on just switching out my maternity wear for my postpartum wear!

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T H I R T E E N:

Makeup/shower essentials! I like to bring shampoo and conditioner with a fresh bar of soap/facial wipes and really anthying else in order to feel fresh and clean. Don’t forget your tooth brush and tooth paste! It’s so easy for me to pack my makeup since it’s all-in-one convenient compact! Let me know if you want to know more about my Maskcara makeup routine and how I can easily set you up with it as well!

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L A S T L Y:

There are going to be some personalized things you may want to bring, like a certain camera, essential oils, chapstick or whatever it may be… don’t forget to bring your phone and phone charger. ALSO, if you want to give your baby a pacifier don’t forget to bring at least two, possibly three just to be safe! But really, it’s truly all about you and your baby! Be there for him/her and give them all the snuggles and kisses possible! It goes by way too quickly! I envy the gals who are able to have home births but unfortunately that’s not my reality and it may not be yours either. It’s so important not to focus on what’s missing or what could have been, it’s just ESSENTIAL to focus on that new beautiful life God just blessed you with!

HAVE FAITH MAMA(S): Remember there is nothing more essential than loving that new baby God just blessed you with! Soak it all in and focus on that and let this list just be a helpful reminder of some other things you may want to bring along!

 

 

 

It’s not the house that makes the home!

We were so excited to work with the Atkinson Candy Co. They sent us a big box of goodies that included everything you would ever need to assemble the perfect gingerbread house! I knew Lazar and Mila would love this experience for the obvious reason… candy! Atkinson Candy Co. made it extra special and delicious, providing lots of yummy candy options. I was determined to make the gingerbread house as perfect as possible, but as we got started I realized it isn’t about making it perfect that matters… I quickly realized it’s all about the memories we are sharing and creating through this gingerbread house experience!

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I talk about this often, but it’s something that holds a lot of truth; I think as Moms we feel like we need to get everything perfect… We try and provide the best for our families and sometimes our idea of perfect isn’t what our children and husband actually need or even expect, contrary to what we might think.

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As much as I try to keep the house spotless… having the laundry done, folded and put away nicely, floors vacuumed and moped, and dishes washed, dried and put away, I know thats not what makes a house a home.

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Having a home is a place that is filled with love and laughter with the occasional tears and arguments that inevitably happen, but ultimately make everyone stronger! Grace and patience are qualities that I am constantly reminding myself to give not only to my children and husband, but to myself as well!

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So as we assembled the gingerbread home, I made sure to let-go and let Lazar and Mila have fun with it! I encouraged them to use whatever pieces of Atkinson candy they wanted, even if that meant a half eaten piece! I wanted them to know that just because something isn’t put together perfectly doesn’t mean that it isn’t.

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The kitchen became more and more messy but the memories being created only got more and more amazing! I truly enjoyed watching them get creative and enjoy their time!

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The finished gingerbread house currently sits on our kitchen table and every time Lazar and Mila pass it by they love to look at it and point it out to me! “LOOK Mama! LOOOOOK!” Just hearing the joy and excitement they still have, made the disaster of a kitchen totally worth it and I already look forward to next year, since this will most definitely become a annual tradition in our home… all thanks to Atkinson Candy Co!

HAVE FAITH MAMA(S)… remember it’s not the house that makes the home! It’s all the little, wonderful moments and experiences that do! Lets make sure we don’t miss out on them!

**ALSO** Use code: HAVEFAITHMAMA to receive 20% off your entire purchase at Atkinson’s online Candy Shop!

Head over to: https://atkinsongingerbreadcontest.com/ if you would like to vote for our gingerbread home!

 

 

Mama Time!

Motherhood and time sure do go hand-in-hand. One second we are wishing away certain (hard) stages and the next, we are devastated to see our babies grow up! Time is a tricky thief that seems to steal years away before my very eyes! Yet, in reality, only three years have passed since becoming a Mother. I truly have found joy in every stage my kiddos have went through in the short amount they have been here. Of course there are times I get frustrated and catch myself thinking about what it will be like when they can finally use the bathroom by themselves and express their feelings without grunts and moans… haha But, honestly I am just so thankful for the time I have been blessed with and I look forward to the many days ahead!

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What better way to keep track of time than in the most stylish, practical way possible… I absolutely love my Jord wood watch! It is a light wood tone in Fieldcrest Maple. This watch is the perfect accent to my wardrobe and as a busy Mom of two plus one on the way, sometimes all it takes is a pretty watch to make my outfit feel complete without putting too much time and thought into it!

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I know during this season of Motherhood, I don’t always have the time to shop the isles of the department stores, seeking the perfect gifts. So what better way to prepare for that christmas list than to make it nice and simple. Follow this link to receive 25% off your purchase at Jord and make this Christmas timeless and one to remember! There is an awesome selection of men and women’s watches so everyone is covered!

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With the holidays quickly approaching and the new year in the horizon, I can’t help but feel so thankful for the time God has provided me as a Mommy to Lazar and Mila, with Leo arriving so soon! I plan to cherish the moments I have and not stress over the ones to come. Each moment is an opportunity to help our children grow and learn and that is certainly my goal! I’ll also be able to keep a close eye on that pesky time thief with my Jord watch always close by!

HAVE FAITH MAMA(S)…don’t let time steal your moments or joy! Enjoy it and cherish it!

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A Moment for Mama.

Last weekend some of my favorite ladies and I ventured to Milwaukee for a mini girls trip! To say I was hesitant, would be an understatement… My son is almost 3 and my daughter is almost 2, I have never left them for more than a few hours (most likely getting my hair done), let alone spent the night away from them in a different city! Milwaukee is about an hour and fifteen minutes from where we live so I felt confident if I needed to rush home, it would be a comfortable distance for me. I’m a stay-at-home Mom and I am far from comfortable leaving my kids… Call me overprotective, or crazy or just plain silly! I’m just not used to it and it truly gives me all sorts of feels… and not the happy ones… haha I know my babies were in great hands when I left and I was barely gone for 24 hours, yet I still had a pit in my stomach as I was leaving… My daughter cried in my husbands arms reaching for me saying “MAMA!” as I drove away, talk about swallowing the biggest lump in my throat. I just knew I needed to relax and enjoy this short little time to myself, knowing my sweet Mila would be just fine… without me (for a day at least) hehe!

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The truth is, I was supposed to go on a girls trip shortly after I had my miscarriage. I was extremely sad and down in the dumps, but I had talked with another Mama and friend and thought it would be the perfect time to take a little getaway. It was a plan, until it wasn’t… I really needed to heal through that awful, awful miscarriage and I thought spending a night away to just relax and have some fun girl chats would be perfect! Let’s just say it didn’t work out that way. Sometimes when things are important to you, it doesn’t always mean they are going to be to others, and that’s ok! God designed my healing journey to go a little differently. That girls trip wasn’t meant to be, but This one was for whatever reason… God truly knows what we need when we need it, we just have to trust in that!

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It amazes me that even when we least expect it, God always has a way of making all things new and right! I never expected to get pregnant so soon after having the miscarriage and I never expected to handle a night away from my kiddos as well as I did. I prayed and asked God leading up to my trip to allow me to relax and just enjoy each moment.

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With everything the girls and I decided to do, I found myself envisioning what it would be like or how it would be different with the kids along (since they always are). I was able to realize that it IS OK to enjoy myself even though they weren’t with me. I noticed I didn’t care if there was a line at the check-out, or if there was a long wait to get seated for dinner, or if there were traffic jams or even the latest of bedtimes (although, lets face it, we were all in bed by 11pm)! I was just able to go with the flow! Typically when I take the kids, well, anywhere… I find myself getting worried from time-to-time about some of the things I listed, because I don’t want Lazar and Mila to get restless or impatient… basically trying to avoid any type of tantrum if possible. I never think about how I personally feel, because when it comes down to it, I don’t mind those small inconveniences. They don’t matter, and what I realized is I put my kiddos ahead of my own needs and that is (in my opinion) how it should be! So having a night away to just let things go was refreshing!

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When I became a Mom it was an adjustment; specifically, a mental one… I typically only thought of myself and what I preferred. I cared what others around me wanted or needed but the reality was, I looked out for myself and took care of my needs. Of course I took care of Paul, as my husband but he didn’t and doesn’t rely on me as a child does. Becoming a Mom was the first time I suddenly had to change that mentality and it didn’t seem like a huge sacrifice or burden, it seemed like a privilege and honor… it still is! I love every minute of being a Mommy! I love my sons raspy voice yelling out to me… “Hey Mommy, whaaaa you doin?!” I love when I see my daughter each morning and the first thing she does is give me the tightest squeeze and kiss! I love each and every flutter and kick happening inside my growing belly and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world!

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Lightbulb moment happened when I got home last Sunday afternoon. It’s OK to take a Moment for Mama, healthy even… But it’s also ok to truly enjoy the craziness of everyday Motherhood! It’s not easy, but it really is worth it! If you are a Mom and need a moment for yourself, you are just normal! So many instances can seem overwhelming and crazy, but God created you to be the mother of your children, He created you to take on the responsibility of caring for them and providing for them! He wants you to spread His love and what better way than to put your all into raising your children!?!

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No matter what we go through in life, God always wants us to rely on Him to help us through it… positive or negative. Having that girls trip last weekend was a blast, the hotel and city was beautiful along with the company! I am thankful I was able to experience it! I am thankful for my Mother-in-law that watched the kids while Paul was at work and I’m forever thankful for Paul for allowing me to do basically, anything I ask of him! He is always supportive and cares for myself and our kids in a way I find inspiring! I’ll forever adore him!

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Moral of the story… take a moment for yourselves Mama’s! Whether you need it or not; when we take time to better ourselves we are only going to be better for the ones around us! Pray about it and God will always make it clear! Enjoy being a Mama, especially if you have young babies… they grow waaaaay too fast and we will find ourselves wishing those young years back before we know it (I mean I already do it, how am I going to be in 10 years or 20?!)! Embrace the people around you, the ones that love and care for you really do want to love and care for you, so let them! Before the trip, that was something I struggled with and honestly still do. I always thought I needed to take care of myself and my family but God gives us each other to truly be there for one another, to lean on each other and encourage one another! Just embrace it and give it back whenever you’re able!

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Have Faith Mama(s)… take a moment and realize what you’ve got, what you need and what you want! Accept the love around you and give it back as often as possible! God will always provide when you seek Him!

XO

When you call + God answers

When I was a young kiddo I hated thunder storms. The loud crashes led me straight to my parents bedroom as fast as I was able. I hated the anticipation of the next house-shaking boom! I just wanted it to end. Then came the mornings… mornings filled with a bright shinning sun and even a rainbow, if you were lucky! Who knew something so terrifying could actually end with something so beautiful?

Going through my miscarriage was certainly a storm that I just wanted to end. It was emotionally and physically painful. Sharing about my miscarriage was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Although the response I received was overwhelming to say the least. I received countless emails, text messages, calls, even gifts… Something I did not anticipate, but so beyond thankful for! Most of the messages brought tears to my eyes, bringing me to the sad realization that so many other women have went through a loss of their own. I didn’t know how I would heal from such a difficult situation, but I am thankful for all who reached out and for everyone that was truly there for me; it stills means more than I could ever put into words! The months following my miscarriage were difficult and it was hard to imagine getting pregnant again without the lingering anticipation of something going wrong… I dreaded the next boom!

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But that’s the thing about God, He wants us to trust Him, rely on Him, and only Him! I prayed and asked God that if it was apart of His will for us to have another baby, that He would bless us with one. Joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5) just like the sun, and in our case a rainbow… our rainbow baby would be a reality! “A rainbow baby is a baby that is born following a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss. In the real world, a rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison (kickscount.org).”

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My OBGYN advised me to wait one menstrual cycle after the miscarriage before trying to conceive, so that is exactly what we did. Sure enough on Thursday, June 8th I decided I should take a pregnancy test. My heart was racing and I knew if the test was positive I may just pass-out from fear, knowing that  there was always the possibility of things going wrong… again. I had to remind myself of my many conversations with God asking Him for this very blessing… He answered! Baby Wise #3 will be born in late February!

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There are days I still can’t believe it! My OBGYN has been amazing, in that, he has allowed me to have more frequent visits to give me peace of mind. Seeing our sweet babe and hearing his/her strong heartbeat is like picking up a phone, dialing God and having Him answer, “YES!” I prayed and asked God to rest my mind and give me a sense of calm for this pregnancy. Sometimes we ask for things and don’t always expect what we are then given… let me explain, I have been one sick cookie! Haha My pregnancies with Lazar and Mila were very easy going with minimal nausea, that disappeared quickly! I loved being pregnant! Don’t get me wrong, I still love it and I consider it a miracle, but being this nauseous and fatigued has thrown me for a sure LOOP! However, through it all, I thank God because it gives me the peace of mind I so diligently asked Him to provide. Now that I am in my second trimester, I am starting to regain my energy and the nausea is slowly but surely disappearing!

I must admit, even with every joyful moment, I still feel the sting of not welcoming a baby late October, early November. My mind likes to bring me to the realization of dates that have already come and gone that would have been monumental in that pregnancy… like finding out the gender, feeling the first kicks, going over my birth plan and even packing a hospital bag. I know these same very situations are approaching quickly, it’s just hard ignoring the facts. The good news and ultimately the solution is that God had a different plan… I find confidence in His plan and I am overjoyed with the blessings He has provided! So, although I may have a sad moment from time-to-time, I know that I need to focus on being the best I can be, not only for my own well-being but for my family! God didn’t promise us a perfect, trial free life… but what He DID promise was salvation from a world that will never satisfy and never be good enough.

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HAVE FAITH MAMA(S)… God has a plan and if we trust it, rather than try and understand it, we will be a lot better off. Remember joy truly does come in the morning… and if we’re patient, maybe even a rainbow!

The baby I carried but never held…

“I noticed though, around the first edges of spring, that I was starting to feel different. Not better- forget better; better is besides the point. Different, that’s reasonable. Because you may never feel better. I don’t. That’s the other thing about having a miscarriagea miscarriage may very well start to have you. It robs you physically and emotionally, ransacking your gut and your heart. Then it sets its sights on your head. It will rummage through all of your drawers. Having taken much of your dignity, some of your dreams, and more tears than you can count, it looks for what else it can steal.” -April Hoss, The Magic of Motherhood. 

Saturday, March 4th 2017- I took a pregnancy test at about 9:30am just before getting into the shower. I assumed it was negative (since it was only the second month we had stopped preventing… like that even matters haha), but I was hopeful for those two pink lines regardless. \\ We are beyond blessed to have two amazing children; Lazar (2) and Mila (1) and we thought it was a good time to try for baby #3. I couldn’t even rinse the shampoo out of my hair, I had to hop out of the shower quick to check the results of the test. TWO LINES! I was over the moon with excitement! I finished showering and ran downstairs with the positive test to show Paul. He was thrilled as well! I proceeded to chug my water bottle and take another test that immediately read, “Pregnant.” I was so grateful to be carrying a baby again and already couldn’t help but start planning things in my head!

I had light spotting around week 4 and 5 but I also had the same spotting with Lazar and Mila so I assumed all was fine. I continued to explain to Paul, that this pregnancy just didn’t seem real, like I just felt as if I wasn’t actually going to have a baby. He would ease my mind and tell me things like, “the positive pregnancy tests say otherwise honey!” I prayed about it and tried to ignore the lingering feelings, that something wasn’t quite right. I swear I just knew deep down I wasn’t going to have a baby come early November. I wanted to with every fiber in me, but I knew something was not right. I had pregnancy symptoms such as: nausea when I wouldn’t have a full stomach, my sense of smell was out of this world; like a dang blood hound, and I was so extremely exhausted! With all the symptoms and positive pregnancy tests I knew there wasn’t much more proof and peace of mind I could have besides my first doctors appointment, which wasn’t until April.

When my appointment date finally came, I was a ball of nerves. I still had the frightening feelings… More and more family and friends had known about my pregnancy and there was apart of me that didn’t want to have to share the awful news of a miscarriage. It’s as if I would be letting everyone down. I knew that wasn’t the truth, its just how I felt. Laying down on that hospital bed as my OBGYN placed the warm jelly on my teeny tiny baby bump to listen to our babies heartbeat was by far one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to experience; and experience alone. Paul had stayed home with Lazar and Mila so I was solo for this unforgettable visit. He placed the sonogram machine on my belly and just before it hit my skin, I asked God to prepare my heart for whatever the outcome was going to be… S I L E N C E… nothing. Ear-piercing, mind-numbing, heart-breaking… S I L E N C E… I could barely make eye contact with my doctor. He was remaining positive and letting me know, he would like me to stay for an internal ultrasound.

If you have never had an internal ultrasound count it as a blessing. It was awful! I had no idea what was going on, I was scared, nervous and all alone. I just wanted a glimmer of hope or some kind words to help ease the pain of the ultrasound prod/pressure and the pain of knowing something is terribly wrong.  So as I held back tears, I asked the ultrasound tech… “What are ya thinkin (as far as my ultrasound goes)?” the response I got was even colder than the prod ramming around inside me, making me feel violated and more uncomfortable than I ever have before… “I don’t think, I just take the pictures.”-she said, with zero expression on her face. “OOOOOK then, thanks so much (I thought)!” I was mortified and let tears stream down my face onto the crinkly paper lining the hospital bed. More silence. I mean what would’ve been the appropriate response to that? I had a few in mind, but I prayed and asked God to make me numb until it was over, it worked, He was there. I knew He was with me, I knew He was crying along side of me, I just didn’t understand why? Why was this happening….

That’s the thing about our time on this earth, we don’t always get the answers we are looking for, we don’t always get the prayers we are asking for and we won’t always understand the why’s we are wondering… God doesn’t intend for us to understand it all, He just wants us to trust Him. Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

After the ultrasound I was sent to an empty room to wait for my doctor to fill me in on everything. I prayed and prayed until he entered the room. I could see it on his face… It’s as if “BAD NEWS” was stamped on his forehead. He sat down close to me and explained the results were confusing… I was supposed to be 10 weeks along and my uterus was basically showing a gestational sac but no baby. At 10 weeks a baby would definitely be visible within the gestational sac. I knew my dates were spot on, this only meant something went wrong and basically a baby never really formed. He explained my body would soon respond to this and expel of the sac and all that follows… He simply told me my body will most-likely go through a miscarriage in the next few days. He sat with me, hugged me and even cried with me. He did his best to assure me everything was going to be ok. It was a Thursday, and my doctor predicted the miscarriage would most likely happen over the weekend. He was right.

The weekend had arrived and I started bleeding bright red blood. I thought, this is it, this is how it’s going to go. I was SO mistaken. I honestly had zero idea what a miscarriage would be like. I assumed it would be like having a heavy period. That is what I had read and that is what my doctor had prepared me for. Sunday morning had come and I had really heavy bleeding accompanied with intense cramping… like a heavy period. I figured this was the end of it. It was actually the start of it! The bleeding increased and the cramping turned into contractions. I was trying to get ready for church and a family gathering we had planned to attend, but I could barley stand when a contraction would come. I called my doctor and he explained I was in the middle of the miscarriage. I was hysterical and didn’t think I would take it as hard as I did. I was on my knees on the bathroom floor sobbing to the doctor… He was kind and talked me through. He told me I could come in for a D&C which would ultimately take the pain away and finish the miscarriage for me. I was in excruiating pain and had Paul drive me to the ER, on the drive Paul did his best to encourage me to stay strong, pray and ask God to get me through it. I thought of this verse and recited it over and over… “Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.” -Psalm 4:1 I told Paul to turn the car around, I know God was with me and helping me through it. I had confidence my body would do everything on its own. With every passing contraction my body would tense up and I would sob, but continue to pray. We pulled in our driveway, I walked inside, used the restroom and begged God to finish it… He did.

Sunday, April 16th 2017- I miscarried. It was over. The contractions had stopped and the bleeding had decreased. I felt empty and inadequate. I felt like a failure and as if my body was broken.

The days and weeks that followed were just as that initial quote stated. I was starting to feel different, not better… just different. A miscarriage really does rob you of a lot, more than imaginable. I wanted that baby… whether there was a baby in me or just the sac the baby grows in. I wanted it… I prayed for it, I yearned to hold it in my arms and kiss it one million times over! I journaled the day I found out I was pregnant, just as I did with L and M. I added this verse along with the exciting news… “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him.” -1 Samuel 1:27 I re-read that verse about 100 times… I asked God, “Why?” Why didn’t You allow me to have the child I had prayed for? The words TRUST ME flashed in my mind. I would close my eyes to cry and see TRUST ME. I have an app on my phone that shows you what you shared on social media on the day just years prior… so I was looking at my phone and it stated about 5 years ago on April 16th I shared a status that read: “God only has 3 answers to prayers: 1. Yes 2. Not yet 3. I have something better in mind. TRUST HIM!” CHILLS ran up my spine! I then swipped to the next thing I shared 3 years ago on that same day, April 16th… “1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So Glorify God in your body.” It’s as if God was preparing me for that awful day. I wanted to know why, and He answered… years ago!

After everything, my doctor stared me in my eyes and said, “I am confident that your next pregnancy will be great!” I just thought how can he possibly say he is “confident?” I saw TRUST ME flash through my mind! God is telling me to trust Him and that is what I whole-heartedly plan to do! I didn’t want to post this until I knew I would for sure have another baby, I even thought I would wait to write about this until after I have a baby, but once again I had this overwhelming feeling to TRUST! I have faith that we will be able to have another baby, but even if we don’t, I still trust the Lord with all my heart! I knew I needed to share my story because this topic is not talked about enough, especially for  how common it truly is! I pray my story gives all you Mama’s comfort and hope, knowing that you are not alone. God has the very best plan for each and every one of us and although all of our prayers, wants and whys won’t always be a clear answer that doesn’t mean that God has abandoned us. He’s there crying with us, feeling our pain, He just wants us to know Him, rely on Him and TRUST Him even during the hardest of times!

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HAVE FAITH MAMA’S… God is there, He always was and He always will be! All we have to do is TRUST HIM!