I’ve started typing this and restarted so many times. I am having the hardest time putting into words how I am feeling right now for so many reasons. As some of you have seen, we are expecting a baby boy in December. It came as a complete shock to us and we are so very thankful to be experiencing this. I thought I’d start from the beginning of our pregnancy story :)
A few months ago, Nate and I started thinking about how we would move forward with expanding our family if we decided to. We still had 6 frozen embryos that we are paying for so that was one option and the other option was adopting again. We knew we didn’t want to really start acting on moving forward until Rhett was around 3, but we wanted to begin thinking of how we’d move forward. We never really decided though. Neither option really stuck out to us. We loved our experience with adopting Rhett. It was smooth sailing and we were blessed with a loving birth mom and the most amazing son but adoption is hardly ever that easy. It still scares me to try it again. Trying to do another embryo transfer scared me as well. My body has gone through a lot over the years and I really didn’t know if I wanted to put it through that again. Plus, I’m still dealing with PTSD over our last miscarriage from our IVF cycle so the thought of going through the injections only to be disappointed again really was not appealing to me.
Fast forward 3-4 weeks after our initial family expanding talk, I realized I was maybe late for my period. Since our last miscarriage 3 years ago I completely stopped tracking everything. I didn’t see the point and I wanted the freedom of not worrying about every single detail of my cycle like I had been for years. I decided to buy a test on my lunch break and take one just to see what the outcome was. I honestly felt like I could be pregnant because a week or so before then I was having a weird pinching pain that I never experienced before. Well the test was positive and I was completely shocked! I sent a picture of the test to Nate and his reply was “what does that mean?” Really, Nate why would I send you a picture of pregnancy test if it was negative?! Men!
We were both elated but so scared at the same time. I was convinced I would miscarry early on like I always have on my natural cycles. I didn’t want to schedule an appointment because I always end up disappointed. I searched for doctors in my area and found one that had really good reviews, so I decided to book with him and he got me in right away. He and the nursing staff of course had to ask for my whole history with as specific of dates I could provide for my miscarriages. 6 losses over 10 years is hard to keep track of and It is never easy to remember. They couldn’t believe my history and immediately started rooting for us and this pregnancy. The doctor did an ultrasound and we could only see the sac and the start of a fetal pole. I was convinced it was another miscarriage. I knew the exact date of conception and I should have been 8 weeks. The doctor told me not to stress too much because it could have been too early to see anything yet, but inside I was preparing for the worst. We did my HCG blood draw that day and another 48 hours later. The levels doubled so we scheduled another appointment for 2 weeks later to check on the growth of the baby. 2 weeks later slowly went by and my appointment day arrived. I was a nervous wreck, holding on to hope, but expecting the worse news. He put the ultrasound wand on my belly and I immediately seen it, the heart flickering! Best site ever! At that appointment he gave me my due date of December 25th, 2019. My Christmas miracle!
We have been going in for appointments every 2 weeks because my anxiety level has been so high and the doctor wants to be extra cautious. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the support of my OB. He has been amazing and so understanding. I am also going to a Maternal Fetal Specialist who does extra ultrasounds to check growth and anatomy at every visit. From the beginning I have told my doctor I would like to check my cervix because I had a feeling that is why I lost our last baby at 14 weeks. He didn’t think I had the signs of Incompentent cervix but he was 100% on board to check it. We initially checked it at 13 weeks, and it was the perfect length. We were happy to hear that, but I was still worried about it. At my next specialist appointment 2 weeks later, they checked it again and it had shortened by 2.5 cm and put me right at the cutoff point for needing a cerclage. They gave me the option of checking again more frequently or going in for a cervical cerclage. I opted for the cerclage and both doctors agreed that they would do the same thing if it was them in my circumstances.
At 16 weeks I received the cerclage to try and help my body hold on the pregnancy as long as possible. The cerclage is basically a thick stitch that they weave through your cervix to sow it shut, keeping it from dilating too soon. I had horrible cramps immediately after the procedure but by the next day I was feeling pretty much normal. Since then, I’ve been told no bed rest but to take it easy and listen to my body. I can tell when I’m on my feet too much, so I sit as much as possible which is not very easy with an extremely active almost 2 year old!
I am now 22 weeks pregnant and my appointments since the cerclage have been good. The stitch looks strong and my doctor see’s no reason not to trust it to help do its job. I am overall feeling pretty good physically. Mentally, I am all over the place. I worry about everything and I’m pretty sure I’m driving Nate crazy. Honestly, I am loving the experience, but I was not expecting it to be so mentally hard on me. It’s made it really hard to enjoy it which makes me feel guilty and sad. I am so happy to have made it this far and am getting more confidence that my body won’t fail me again.
This whole experience has once again taught me that nothing in life goes as planned. We tried and planned for so long and nothing worked out for us in relation to pregnancy. It seems as though Rhett was our piece that fixed everything. He will never understand the importance he has in our lives or how big of an impact he played in starting and completing our family. Since his arrival to our family, we’ve grown so much as individuals, a couple, and a family. I cannot wait to see him as a brother and I know he will be protective, caring, and play the role of big brother in the best way possible. My life is so incredibly full because of the boys that I’ve been blessed with.
I’ve had a few people ask if I’d be willing to share details on our latest announcement that we shared on social media. Of course I’ll share!
First off, we are not adopting again. I am 21 weeks pregnant with a baby boy. A couple months ago, Nate and I were talking about how we wanted to try to add to our family in the future. We discussed trying IVF again with our frozen embryos or adoption. We both decided we wanted to wait until Rhett was 2 ½ or 3 before we tried, but we wanted to get a game plan together. Neither choice really seemed like the right decision, so we held off on any other talks about it. 2 weeks later I found out I was pregnant. Completely unexpected and absolutely a shock to us both!
So far everything has been going great. I’ve had extra ultrasounds because of my past history and because my OB is amazing at letting me come in whenever I want to get checked out. I am seeing a Maternal Fetal Specialist as well, who found out at 15 weeks that my cervix was beginning to shorten too soon. We decided to place a cervical cerclage (a stitch that keeps the cervix closed) that following week to help my body hold the pregnancy. So far it is looking great and seems to be doing the job.
Pregnancy after loss is so hard emotionally. Physically I’ve been doing ok other than the normal pregnancy symptoms, but mentally I’ve been a basket case. I am so thankful for the chance to carry this baby and feel him moving inside me. I literally never thought I’d get the chance and I was finally at a point where I was ok with it. Having Rhett has made me realize that being a mother does not mean you have to carry the child, but I am extremely grateful for this blessing.
We appreciate all the kind words and support since sharing our news. If you are the praying type, we appreciate any prayers for a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery. If anything, pray that I’ll keep my cool for the next 20 weeks 😊
Last night I went to an amazing concert! It was MercyMe, Crowder, and Micah Tyler all of which are Christian singers/bands. It was my first concert of this genre and it was so fun! It really got me thinking of my own spirituality or lack thereof, depending on how you want to view it. For the longest time I was lost and unsure of what I believed in. That was until just over 2 years ago. One moment changed my outlook of life completely.
One day I was having an extremely hard time at work. I was nearing my “would have been, due date” and was very emotional. I felt restless and unable to concentrate at work so I decided to take an early lunch break and went to a quiet park. I needed to be alone with my thoughts and feelings. At this park there is a pathway around a little lake, so I decided to walk a few laps around to release some nervous energy. Nate and I had just started really discussing adoption plans. I had been thinking about it for a while, but at this time it was now starting to be a real plan, and the nerves were getting the best of me. I remember vividly asking myself over and over if I was strong enough. Would I be able to follow through with this plan? Did I have enough love in me to give strangers? Am I capable of asking for help from others to help us? Is my pride too much? I battled these thoughts for a good hour, weighing all my options. As I gathered my strength to head back to work, I took one more lap around the lake before heading back to my car. About ½ way around the lake, I heard a voice say “You are strong enough. Keep in this direction”. I know this sounds crazy, but the voice was so strong I literally stopped in my tracks and looked behind me. That moment changed my life forever.
After that day at the lake, I looked at my life differently. It confirmed that adoption was our right path to parenthood. That path was the hardest and most rewarding journey of my life. Our son has blessed us in so many ways. More than I can still fathom. But it wasn’t just him that changed me. The way I looked at myself changed because I knew that God didn’t care of my sins or my religious standing. That day at the lake was the first time I have ever soul searched for him and he answered… big time!
For a really long time I felt unworthy. I felt because I was not an active church member and didn’t participate in church services regularly, or ever, that I was lost. I felt as if my lifestyle (enjoying a glass of wine every now and then) made me unworthy of a relationship with God. I partly blame that on the strong religious views our state holds, but mostly it was an internal struggle for me. I cared way too much what others thought about me, when in fact the only person I should ever try to please is myself and the big man upstairs.
I know a lot of people go through times where they feel lost. If you are feeling lost because your religion standards aren’t as high as you or your peers believe they should be, start soul searching. Start becoming more spiritual, not religious. I can promise you that you’ll find a piece of yourself that you never knew existed. For me I found myself and my son, both of which I thank God for every single day.
Being a mom is tough, no matter if you are a stay at home mom or a working mom. No matter our employment title, we all have major responsibilities and little lives depending on us. Its hard. Way harder than I thought it would be. It’s 100% worth it, but still a struggle to stay motivated sometimes.
My work schedule is pretty much perfect. I work Monday, Wednesday, Friday in the office. Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’m able to remote in from home. I really lucked at when I got hired with my employer, they are the nicest people. I love my schedule because it allows me home time, but also some time interacting with grownups. As much as I love my schedule there are days where I wish I didn’t have the work load on top of my home life. It’s hard to get it all done to the degree I feel like it should be done. That is where my mindset had to shift when I became a working mom. The idea of perfection is completely different now.
I’ve learned to work in batches, instead of multitasking. I’m already being pulled in too many directions so when I have a project or to-do item on my list, I must do it all at once, instead of trying to do 3 things at the same time. My day is sectioned off—work time/home time. During work time I am solely focused on my projects due at work. No paying bills, making grocery lists, or cleaning for my personal life. This is super hard to do when I’m working at home, but I have to or else my mind shifts from work mode to home mode and my work starts to lack.
List making has always been my organization tactic, but now it is a must! If it’s not on my to-do list I won’t get it done anymore. Mom brain is real! I schedule “me time”, which usually is a bubble bath where I actually shave my legs! I would recommend finding your own way of making lists that work for you. I use the Happy Planner where I can organize it with stickers and make it fun. I look forward to opening it up and seeing what my to-do list has on it for the day.
I follow a cleaning schedule now. It’s helps me tackle a few household cleaning chores daily instead of trying to fit it all in on one day. I work from 8-5, go home, start dinner, and do my cleaning schedule while dinner is cooking. After dinner is ate, we clean up, I give Rhett his bath, we play for a while, and then Rhett goes to bed. After his bed time I should get more done, but I usually watch tv and then go to bed (not gonna lie)
Social Media Schedule
Since starting my online boutique I’ve had to step up the time I spend on social media to market the store. I don’t want to be tied down to my phone or computer any more than needed, so I knew I needed help with it. I searched online and found there are a few social media scheduling apps available but the one I have really liked so far is called buffer.com You can schedule far in advance what days and times you want to post on all your social media apps. This helps me a ton with the business aspect of it because I can look ahead at what item I want to drop that day and schedule a post to advertise it. I usually schedule 2 weeks in advance. I could go further, but 2 weeks is enough to take some stress off my shoulders but not enough that I forget what I had scheduled.
These are just a few of the ways I try to manage working and home life. I know these don’t work for everyone, but hopefully there will be some ideas that you can use to help manage some stress and give you as much down time as possible with your littles.
Body image is always something that will be talked about. Everyone has an opinion on how it should be viewed or what is the norm but the norm is never going to be the same for everybody. My story with body image is going to be so completely different that any one else’s. We may relate with other stories but no body and no story is exactly the same which if you think about it, that’s pretty amazing!
My body image story starts as far back as I can remember. I can look back to my pre-puberty stage and kind of, slightly, remember a time where I didn’t care about my body but for the most part all my memories growing up are hindered by thoughts I had at that time regarding my body. I remember always feeling different because I was taller than all my friends and never as skinny. I remember changing after PE when I was probably in 7th grade and one of my classmates commenting on my stretch marks that happened after I grew 6 inches that summer. I was always self conscience. I maybe did good at masking it, but it effected a lot of my childhood.
After high school and into college, I still battled insecurities but I could finally feel myself gaining some confidence. Then I made the decision to get married young and my physical and mental health took a toll. The marriage was a mistake, but not, because I did learn a lot from it. After my divorce, I went on a journey of self discovery. I found my health and lost a significant amount of weight. I found and married the man of my dreams, but then my body decided to throw more curve balls at me and hit me with infertility.
My battle with infertility has been tough. It has had me hating my body for not doing what it is genetically designed to do. It’s made me hate my stomach even more because the stretch marks are not from growing a human. I’ve hated my butt because it’s still numb from the injections that couldn’t even help me carry my baby full term. My body has been shot up, bruised, and bloody from infertility but still no viable pregnancy to prove it. My body is a failure.
Over the last 2 1/2 years I’ve gained a lot of weight back, call it stress or emotional eating, but I call it life. In those 2 ½ years I’ve hit the lowest of lows and the highest of highs and my body has been with me through it all. I can’t hate it after that. I can’t hate it after it’s fought tooth and nail to become a mother through adoption. I can’t hate it after it’s spent countless nights staying up, bonding, and nurturing a new baby who I’m lucky enough to call my son. I cannot hate it after all the hours we’ve spent playing on the floor, being crawled on like a mountain, or a sleepy head laying on my arm. I cannot hate the vessel that has led me to my greatest calling in life. It didn't happen the way I pictured, but its so much more beautiful than I ever thought possible.
Social media has so many great qualities, but the harm it can do to female body image is scary and my biggest advice is to get away from those people/accounts who make you feel belittled. Some accounts think they are inspirational, but the affect they have is completely opposite. Those words of encouragement saying “no excuses” or “Just make time” can be shattering to someone who is in a completely different situation than the one posting it. Instead of encouraging, it makes others feel “I made an excuse. I guess I’m a failure”. Unfollow those people if they make you feel like a failure, because you are not one. I love social media for all the great things it can do and the awesome connections I've made through it, but I do think we all need to be a bit better about what we let affect us on there. No 2 lives are the same and no 2 social media accounts will be the same. Remember that social media is almost always that person's highlight reel, they don't show the struggle side of things. After welcoming Rhett home I was having the hardest time getting on Instragram because I was following a lot of fitness accounts that made me feel depressed. I took a step back and decided to delete any account that did not make me feel better. I deleted a lot and added even more mom and adoption accounts. Find those accounts that feed you positivity. It will make you love life so much more!
Now that my baby is for the most part sleeping through the night, I should be able to get up and work out before he wakes up. Some days I do. Other days, I don’t. I sleep a bit longer because my body and mind need that more than exercise. I still dislike the weight I’m at, but if I’m making the conscious effort to be better. I’m okay with that. We as women need to remember that we can not like our body, but still love ourselves. Self love and body image are not the same thing. We are much more than our physical form. Have a good heart, be a nice person, and remember you're worthy of so much self love.
I've recently opened an online boutique selling only boys clothing, called JerseyB's. Since Rhett was born I've come to realize that there really isn't a huge selection of boys clothing options. Even stores or boutiques who sale both genders' clothing carry a small amount of boy's items compared to girls. JerseyB's is here to change that.
I want it to be a place where momma's of boys can hop on and find something they are looking for. I also want to keep the customer service level on par, meaning if you see or want something that isn't in our inventory, let me know and I'll try my hardest to find it!
Here's what I'm really excited about though. Every single item sold will have a percentage of the proceeds go to an "adoption fund" where I will grant or gift the proceeds to a family waiting to adopt. Eventually I will update on here and my social media accounts when the application process will start and end. When applications deadlines hits, I will somehow pick the family to aware the money to. This will be so hard, because I know every family is deserving of it.
While waiting to adopt, we were blessed beyond measure. We had family, friends, employers, and complete strangers donate or help in some way to make our adoption dreams come true. I've been so inspired by these amazing acts and I've been rattling my brain with how I can help. I hope this is the answer. I know that it won't be a huge amount, especially at first, but if I could gift enough to lessen the burden I will feel okay with that.
So without further ado, I give you www.jerseyb.com. Enjoy!
I didn't want to take this picture and almost backed out a few times. I slept at my sisters house that weekend and forgot my curling wand so I had to rock the mom bun that day. Also, I'm no where near the weight I want to be at and was having a horrible, fat day. I felt frumpy and gross so of course I didn't want anyone seeing me that way.
I love social media but I hate the way it makes you feel like you have to put a #label on everything. Since becoming a mom I’ve noticed it so much more. #fitmom #hotmessmom #adoptivemom #pinterestmom and the list goes on and on. When did it become a bad thing to just be “mom”? On days where in between my full time job, raising an active infant, and trying to maintain a healthy marriage, I actually find time to work out I feel like the best #fitmom. There are more days than not that I forget essential items in my diaper bag, don’t make dinner, and completely forget something my husband told me. Those are my #hotmessmom days and I have a ton of them. Every single day I’m an #adoptivemom (and proud of it).
Doesn’t every mom wear many different labels on every given day? Why try to fit into one label when It’s guaranteed to change? It’s ok to be plain ol’ mom. That’s what your kids will always remember you by. They won’t remember the workouts you snuck in during nap time or the times you forgot to put diapers in your diaper bag. As you can tell in this picture by the smile on Rhetts face, he loved having me there. The only reason he cared my hair was in a bun was because he couldn't pull it constantly and he could care less that I'm a little extra fluffy these days. Be present. Be loving. Be “mom”. It’s more than enough.
Our life has been a bit of a whirlwind lately. Between our adoption, working full time, settling into our new home, and trying to maintain somewhat of a healthy, fun lifestyle we are always on the go. I realized that I have never formally introduced myself, so here it goes.
My name is Whitney. I grew up in small town in Utah. I loved growing up where I did and wouldn’t trade it for the world. We recently moved to a smaller town because we want to raise our kids in the same environment we did. I love interior design, sports/fitness, camping, hiking, my dogs, husband, and family. I have dealt with infertility for close to 10 years, have gone through numerous procedures including 1 failed IVF before moving on to IVF with donor eggs, and have lost 6 pregnancies which has led us to adoption. I feel at peace knowing that God has led us here and know without a doubt that we are right where we need to be. There you go, that is me in a nutshell!
My husband and I both work full time. I work for a Drywall company managing a fleet of drivers and making the work orders so they know where and what needs to be done. It’s busy but I love it. The company I work for is family owned which makes it family oriented! I couldn’t ask for better coworkers! Nate has been working in sales for a few years and is a new sales coach for a large sales company. He has had to fight hard to get the position he has and I’m so proud of him. He has learned to take constructive criticism and make himself a better employee and person.
Him getting his new position at work couldn’t have come at a better time and I really feel like it fell in line with so many other things in our life at this moment. They say good things come in 3’s… We have our new house, Nate got his promotion, so naturally the third will be a baby right? I just pray that our life continues to keep moving in the positive direction that it has been. Life is good!
As of 4-27-17 we are officially new home homeowners! We are all settled in and loving life. The moment we walked through our front door it immediately felt like home.
We have 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, and a large unfinished basement. As of right now we have our master bedroom/bath, a spare room for visitors, and the additional room will be our nursery.
Our neighborhood has been nothing short of amazing. They have all welcomed us with open arms, offering to help us move in, and inviting us over for for BBQ's. We feel like we fit right in with everyone and it's been so much fun making new friends.
We couldn't be happier with our choice to move. We are more excited than ever for the direction our lives are heading!
Our new home is getting so close to being completed. We are so excited to have our own place again! It's been so much fun being able to experience this adventure together though. I feel like Nate and I both have the same sense of style so it's been an easy process picking out the design options together. That or Nate knows that I'll get my way no matter what so he just goes along with what I say!
We meet the builder on Tuesday to do our 4way inspection walk through and then we insulation and drywall goes in. I work for a drywall company so we are able to use them and save a bit of money which is definitely a plus especially with all the upcoming costs we will be facing.
I have a vision of how I want the house to look when we get moved in and settled. I really am so excited to see it come to life! I think I'm most excited to sleep on our brand new mattress. Our mattress we have now is cheap and super uncomfortable. Life lesson: Spend the extra money on a good mattress. Your hips will thank you!
I'll get some pictures uploaded so you all can see the progress <3
Wife and Mom! I love all things fitness, nature, and design inspired. Infertility warrior and new mom through adoption. Living this busy life the best way possible!