I Had A Baby, Then Wanted To Find My Nose.


After I had My Son, I Wanted to Find My Nose
About one year ago, for my birthday, my wonderful family got me the Ancestry DNA test. Little did I know that it would change my life in a beautiful way that was so unexpected, and also add some humor that will be a constant joke in my life, for well, ever.
Growing up I didn’t know who my dad was. To be honest, with the exception of being a child and getting mad at my mom and threatening to run away to go live with him, while putting on my Big Bird raincoat and grabbing my Mary Poppins umbrella — you know the one with the bird at the end of the handle, wow I miss that, anyways — I would then storm out of the house and “go live” with him. Since I didn’t know where he was, I would come back and make up some reason why I was back. I really didn’t give him much thought. There was no feeling of missing something. Father’s Day would be one of the only times I would “miss” him, because in school everyone would make cards for their dads, so I would be a bit sad, but excited to be able to make something for my Grandpa, who I adored. I was content with my life. As I grew up, I don’t if it was just the fact that I was going through serious things — if you have read my past posts, or have heard me speak, you know that the traumatic experiences were never lacking — but there was never this feeling that something was missing. I could probably chalk it up to survival mode, but that is just how it was. So why am I writing so much about how I didn’t really care to find him? Well, that all changed after I had Boaz, and for reasons that I would consider not normal. I didn’t care to find him to ask why he didn’t find me first, or what health issues he had. I wanted to see if he had my nose, and where my nose came from. It is one of my favorite features after all.
When my daughter was born in 2013, I was so excited to see she had my nose. In 2018, when I had my son, he ended up also having my nose, and that’s when my mind started going, and at all the wrong times. When you have a newborn, you are pretty sleep deprived, that actually might be an understatement. When you are SUPER sleep deprived, you function like a drunk person, and sleep deprived texts can be just as bad, and the things you think are good ideas, often are not. So with this sleep deprivation, when I was up in the middle of the night, my friends would get memes sent to them, and texts of love (at least I am nice when “drunk texting”). I would also start Facebook stalking people with the same name as my dad, which is one of the only things I knew about him. There were a few times I thought I found my nose and almost messaged a few of the guys. Way to ruin someone’s life in the middle of the night, but luckily I never did. I would share my middle of the night adventures with my family and they ended up getting me an Ancestry DNA test for my birthday. I was so excited to finally be on my way to finding my nose.
After I took the test, it connected me with a name here and a name there and I was able to find, through lots of research, an aunt and her husband. I sent her some questions and her husband got back to me and was kind enough to answer those questions for me. He let me know I have two half-brothers, and some other info. I asked if he had a picture of my dad because I have never seen one. He sent me the very first picture I had ever seen of my dad, and what caught me off guard was I started crying. It was something I didn’t expect … he didn’t have my nose, but that was the other half of me, which I had never given much thought. I saw who originally posted the picture, her name is Amy, and I was told that she is my third or fourth cousin.
Full disclosure. I had done some recon on this cousin before I was given her name. After I found my aunt, I looked up her relatives on Facebook and Amy stood out for some reason. She is well aware of my adventures now, but at the time, I was really hoping she was related to me. Just from her posts on social media, I could see she was a kind, funny person. There was something about her that drew me to her. She looked a bit like me, her daughter looked a bit like me, and she was a comedian. When I was looking at her profile — please remember I was a super sleep deprived crazy person — I just kept hoping we were related. If not, it was really weird I kept looking at her stuff, which at this point in my sleep deprivation, wasn’t new. After all, I tried to search out random guys, and would compare our noses. My mission felt a bit like the book, “Are you My Mother?” except it was, “Are you my Father, Do You Have My Nose?” Anyways, I digress. I contacted Amy and of course was met with confusion and questions, as well as a warm, beautiful embrace. I found out that she was indeed related to me and was actually my first cousin. There are not enough words to express the love I felt from her. A total stranger who, at the same time, I felt so close to. She then introduced me to another cousin who I have been bonding with, absolutely adore, and can’t wait to meet. I have gotten in contact with other family, which has also been so nice.
I found out my dad passed away in 2010, and that hit me hard. I was on a run when I found out and I just started crying. Again, catching me off guard. Why was I crying over someone I didn’t know? Probably because deep down inside, I loved having the option of meeting him and that was no longer an option. Amy sent me some pictures and she showed me a picture of my dad, who in his younger years was blonde. Again, I cried. Look, I was super hormonal and sleep deprived… remember what I said about that? Boaz has blonde hair, which I always just assumed was from my mother-in-law’s side, but to see that it was on my side too brought up a whole bunch of stuff. Family is huge for me, especially since I feel I lose it so much … stories for another time. To have my littles who are half me, is something I can never wrap my mind around. Arwen is way more than half of me, but there was something so wonderful about knowing that I contributed to that blonde hair. This all sounds crazy, but at this point in my writing, are we really shocked?
Through a lot of messages, Amy was starting to remember some things about my dad having a baby girl long ago and so many other weird connections. Like being at the same place at the same time, and just realizing how many similarities we had. Our similarities make it feel more like we are sisters than cousins. She had taken the Ancestry test so we could confirm once more we were related. I got a call from her on her birthday, January 10th, that our results were in and for her birthday she got another awesome cousin. What was crazier was the fact that when she called she was one minute from where I happened to be, and we decided that was the time to meet … in a Walmart parking lot. For those who haven’t read my past blogs, big things happen to me at Walmart, like when I took a pregnancy test and found out I was pregnant with Bowie, so why not meet my long lost cousin there? From there, we went to Target and I tried to steal some fenugreek by forgetting I put it in the stroller. This happened after I had been mocking her for trying to “steal” something, so she totally bought it for me, while also mocking me. I loved that during our first meeting, we shopped for toilet paper and household items, and talked like we have grown up together. I was so excited.
We have since gotten our families together and it feels like I just fit. All I wanted was to find my nose, which I’m getting back to that, but I found so much more.
Amy has filled me in on some wonderful things and showed me so many pictures. She showed me a picture of my grandma and, low and behold, she had my nose! Well, I guess I actually have her nose.

I am looking forward to growing closer to Amy and our other cousin who I have also grown so fond of, I can’t wait to make memories with them!

The Day We Met Boaz Daniel

Boaz Daniel.png

After celebrating Bowie’s first birthday, I have been reflecting on when he was born, and trying to wrap my mind around how we have had him for over a year now.  I have also had several people ask me to write about it, and I gladly will! IT was actually good way to process it and being able to remember all the details.  I think I have been trying to hold on to each memory because Bowie is our last baby, and I want to remember everything that happened with both of my littles, but especially our birth stories.  It’s interesting, but I remember his birth so well, but everything else about this year seems like a blur.  That being mostly because I have been pretty sleep deprived. So much so that the one-time bowie slept in until 9:45 (so I did too), I felt more off with more sleep than I had with the lack of sleep, and I have some stories of my super sleep deprived moments (that post will be next).  Anyways, back to the birth of baby Boaz. 

Part of Bowie’s birth story is a bit intertwined with Arwen’s.  I wanted to so desperately deliver Arwen Vaginally, but unfortunately due to some complications I had to have a semi-emergency c-section. I say semi-emergency because my wonderful doctor was sort of prepping me for a c-section without me being aware (like encouraging me to try an epidural to help calm Arwen’s heart, and within about half an hour, I was told we need to get her out).  Because I had the epidural I wasn’t knocked out for her birth.  I realize now I should write about hers as well soon.  

Anyways, because of my previous complications, I talked to my doctor and in his opinionI only had a 50% chance of delivering Bowie as vbac without it ending in a c-section.  This news was hard for me, and I fought back and forth if doing a c-section was the right thing. Only having a 50% chance of me not having another c-section seemed too risky for me and I had peace of going ahead and scheduling it for June 25th at 7am.  I picked 7am because selfishly, I wanted to be able to eat sooner, but the joke was on me, because I wasn’t able to eat until the next day anyways, but I had a wonderful nurse sneaking me in crackers and broth…I’m getting ahead of myself.    

From the moment we knew when we were set to have him, we started talking to Arwen, and preparing her the best could.  We are so blessed to live in what we call our own commune.  At the time only one of Arwen’s uncles lived in the complex behind ours (we can see each others bedroom windows, close family), now we also have her other Uncle and Aunt living in our complex (our kitchen windows see each others), and Arwen’s God parents also live right next to us. So, with that said, we knew if our plans were going to change, she had so many people (a whole lot more who don’t live by us), who would be there to step in. We arranged for Arwen to be with her Uncle Zach for what could be me in the hospital for 4 days.  

When June 25th came, I was shocked that I lasted that long, because Bowie was low, and my hips were killing me for well over a month, but we had reached the day we would become a family of 4. My brother in law and Arwen dropped Chris and off at the hospital, and I had such a mix of emotions.  I was so excited to meet this little boy, but sad to look at Arwen and know her world was about to change.  Not that it would be bad, but change is hard.  at 5am we were at the front of the hospital and I gave Arwen one more hug, and took 1 more picture of my baby bump, and we proceeded to labor and delivery.  I got up that morning and put makeup on, and once we were in I was told to wipe it off, so I would say that was a waste of time, but I couldn’t sleep anyways, so it was a good distraction non the less.  We went through the paperwork, got into my super attractive robe, and Chris looking good in the surgical scrubs, and we proceed to watch the world cup…not my thing, but it was sort of a distraction of me dwelling on the fact that I was about to get a needle in my back….I wasn’t worried about anything else but that.  We waited and waited, and finally they came in and said, “We aren’t going to sugar coat this, but your doctor forgot about the surgery, so he will be in, in about a half an hour.”  Part of why I LOVED my doctor was because he was super awkward, and we just felt like this was fitting, and funny this was going to be a part of our story.  We laughed, and by then was done watching the world cup, and sat listing to Bowie’s heartbeat, and praying over us.  I realized I was about to meet this little stranger, and I prayed for bonding.  Arwen and I struggled, at first.  We bonded of course, but feedings were hard, and I had postpartum depression, so all those thoughts were flooding my mind.  FINALLY, my doctor came in, said he was ready to go (he looked pretty awake and was on point with his wit), so I didn’t feel like he just rolled out of bed and was about to slice me up, so away we went.   

Once we got into the operation room, I was so nervous I was shaking.  I was excited to hear that the needle they were using was a lot smaller than what they used last time, but the whole bend and hold your pillow over you was still a hard task given my belly was huge!  I remember my legs getting heavy and laying there waiting for Chris to come in.  I had opted to keep my nose ring in, but was advised to take it out, so that was a fun event to try to remove while shaking.  Once Chris got in, they moved quickly. I could hear all the tools being used, and all the chatter, and I just keep thinking about Arwen getting to meet him, but first we needed to meet him! Chris had a mission with both of our kids.  Since he would see them first, his task was as soon as they came out, to first confirm they were the gender that was told to us, so making sure they did or didn’t have they parts we expected.  Did they have hair?  and did they have toe thumbs?  I have the same thumbs as Megan Fox, if you aren’t sure what that is, it’s pretty much like having big toes for thumbs.  As Bowie was being ready to be taken out, my doctor told me that I would feel a lot of pressure, honestly, I felt so much relief!  Bowie was being delivered at 39 weeks, and I was in so much pain for so long, so having him out was such a relief…literally physical relief.  Finally, I heard the sweetest cry and I couldn’t stop crying, I am crying now thinking about it!  I just laid there as the different doctors and nurses told me how beautiful he was, and I was so eager to meet him.  Chris came back and reported everything back to me.  He was indeed a he (so I didn’t have to return any clothes), he had a full head of strawberry blonde hair, and he did not have toe thumbs.  Honestly either did Arwen but she is now developing them, so I guess it’s not a trait at birth type of thing. Chris then let me know he was 21’ and weighed 9 pounds 8 oz.  At that moment I was so happy we didn’t wait any longer to have him, I probably wouldn’t have been able to walk!   

With Arwen they quickly let me see her, but they had to take her quickly to be checked up on because they were nervous about her breathing.  I didn’t get to even touch her.  With Bowie the nurse laid him on me, and I got to touch his hair and I couldn’t stop crying, I said, “Hi baby” and he looked right at me.  Chris was so sweet and let me know that he hadn’t opened his eyes until that moment when he heard me (Boaz, not Chris, Chris has been opening his eyes for many years now).  That moment was one of the most special moments for me.   

As they stitched me up and put all my organs back into place Chris went with our little guy to get checked up.  Finally, I got to go in the recovery room and be with them. They let us know Bowies blood sugar was low and they need to give him something to help that and had to keep checking him. As we laid there, I was shaking so bad, but they put this awesome foil blanket on me, that blew hot air under it, and that helped me a lot faster than when I had Arwen. With Arwen I was shivering until the meds wore off and couldn’t even hold her because I felt like I was going to drop her.  We prayed over Bowie, and Chris kept updating our many friends and family who were waiting to hear that Baby De Vesta was here!  We hadn’t revealed his name yet, so Arwen was very excited and couldn’t wait to find that out.  We wanted her to be the first to know the name, and it gave her something else to look forward too.  

We were finally given the ok to go to my room, but they said they would need to keep monitoring Boaz throughout the night, because his blood sugar wasn’t were it should be, and because he was breathing a bit too hard.  Luckily, he was still able to be in our room with us.  

We got to our room, and after the elevator ride, I kept getting sick.  Thank you to my husband and my wonderful sister in law Mia, who held my hair for me 😊 

The first visitor was Arwen, she came in and we introduced her to Boaz Daniel De Vesta.  She giggled, and wanted to hold him, but was over it pretty quickly and was ready to start her adventures with her Uncle Zach.  Chris then walked her out with her sign that we had ready to go for months and let everyone know he had arrived and what his name was.   

I was so blessed by all the love we received.  After everyone left, it was just Chris, Boaz and I. I don’t want to fixate on the upsetting parts, so I am going try to make this part short (odd for me). But our night nurse ended up taking Bowie for over an hour to check him out, and when we called because we were confused as to why it was taking so long, she made comments like “I thought you would wonder where he was.” Fine if she needed him that long, but an update would have been nice.  She then came in with him at 2am and tried to tell us she need to order x-rays and a whole bunch of lab work because she was nervous about his breathing.  I am so thankful that she wanted to make sure our baby was safe, but the way she delivered her message was so confusing, that I thought she was telling me he may have some awful disease.  I flat out asked her if she was telling me he had some disease, and her answer was not clear.  She took him across the hall for x-rays and we let her know we were joining, so I grabbed by hand bag of urine (I had a catheter, and the bag looked like a handbag, so I rocked it) and we followed him. I sat in the room at 3am sobbing watching them prick his foot for about 20th time that day (about 40 times all together from when he came out to when we left), so much so that if anyone touched his feet for the first month of his life he sobbed. I sat there thinking my son was dying, all because of poor wording on our nurses part.  Luckily the doctor came in and just let us know he was taking longer than they wanted him to adjust to breathing, and his blood levels were a tiny bit off, but nothing to really worry about…. where was she that night? We told her all that we were told, and she was shocked as well. I am sure the nurse had great intentions, but it just was not the best night. 

I was recovering really well, I walked the halls multiple times the first day, and the nurse (a new day one), was impressed with me.  I was bragging about how well I was doing when my doctor came in to check on me, and he laughed and told me gave me some strong medicine that would last 36 hours, so by that night I would feel like trash…he was right, that’s what I get for boasting.  After he checked on me, he stayed in the room and watched the world cup with us. 

We then stayed 3 nights, even though I could leave at 2 nights, they still wanted to watch Bowie, and if they weren’t kicking me out, I wasn’t leaving without him.   

I was so excited to leave, which was way different than with Arwen I stayed all 4 nights because I was so scared to be without the nurses.  

The rest of the time after we got home is a blur.  I forgot pictures with people who are very special to us who got to meet Boaz, we had meals for 3 weeks, which was such a blessing, and I got food poisoning (not from a meal that was given to us), besides that I don’t remember much else.  

And now here we are, a year later.  This boy has grown so quickly, he rolled over too soon, walked too fast, teethed to quickly, but I am so thankful for a healthy baby. It wouldn’t even matter when he reached each milestone, it still would feel too fast. When I am sad that time feels like it is at warp speed ahead, I just think of how happy I am, and I am looking forward to the next chapters of our lives and watching him grow.  I am also thankful he was a pro eater, and I have been able to breastfeed him for a full year.  I couldn’t do that with Arwen, and so this was an exciting achievement for me personally.    

 

What a year.  

Why I Started This Blog

When I set out to start this blog, it was to give insight and hope to those who may have had a tough upbringing. Along the way I started to lose track of that, and I think honestly I just wasn’t in a place to share, because I was facing things head on. It wasn’t until I was talking to my friend Maggie (a post about her is to come very soon), that I realized I need to be vocal, and continue what I set out to do. For those of you who may have read previous post, I did not have a “traditional” upbringing, whatever that means, and with the older I get, and I hope wiser, I realize I am hardly alone. I used to disqualify myself from so much because I didn’t have a “normal” childhood. Little did I know, that things I went through were more common than I ever knew. My upbringing was traumatic to say the least, but I wanted to start blogging to be transparent and share my journey, and hopefully give encouragement to anyone struggling, especially struggling to parent when you feel like you are dealing with your own issues from childhood and now congrats you’re in charge of raising tiny humans. I like to bring humor of parenting if I can, but to be really honest I feel like the hard topics should be talked about, and for awhile while I was dealing with becoming healthy, I wasn’t even sure how to share. Now that I am the healthiest I have been (emotionally, physically and spiritually), I am ready. Have I got it all down? NOPE. But I would like to share my journey as things come up.

What I have realized is, as Arwen is reaching ages of when traumatic events happened to me, I start to have more fears and anxiety, and that is when I find in those moments I need my family, community and lots of prayers the most. It can be hard to parent in moments where I am having a flash back or when worry consumes me, but by the grace of God, I can, and I want to encourage anyone struggling with similar issues, you can as well. It is hard. It is really hard. During the rough days or when I feel I am trapped by fear, I feel I am failing. I know in reality that is not true and I want to try my best to keep facing these awful things head on and continue my journey of becoming healthy. If it wasn’t for my kids, I don’t know if I would have ever started this journey of becoming emotionally healthy. More on that in time.

I will start to share some of the obstacles I face when my past traumas meet head on with me as an adult trying to parent. I am still going to share random things, and it’s not always going to be heavy.

If there are any topics you specifically have questions about, I would love to hear them, and I will try my very best to answer them from my personal experience, or through guest bloggers.

As a side note. I wanted to encourage those struggling, to not be scared to share and talk to safe people about what you are feeling.
I never know how to end, so I guess I will just say TADA, and walk away.

I’m a Mess

This post has actually been inspired by one of my friends that I see every Saturday at church and that I adore. Everytime she sees me she says “you always look so put together. ” She has said in passing while joking that it makes her feel bad, or that she doesn’t get how I look so put together with having two kids. I laugh everytime she says this, and I tell her I will send her pictures of what I look like the other 6 days of the week. Her comment got me thinking though, and one goal of mine as I adventure into blogging is to also be real. I love to share how cute and awesome my kids are, but I also want to share about the gritty stuff. So I guess you can say this post is me keeping my word.

If you look in this picture you will notice that I am still in my PJ’s holding a coffee cup, that’s fine and all…this was at 4:45pm. I’m rocking my Harry Potter shirt (I a hufflepuff if you were wondering), with spit up on my shoulder, coffee that I spilled on the front of myself, unwashed hair, my headband is inside out, and the coffee I am holding is cold.

Not pictured is my son just in his diaper, and my daughter who has changed her clothes for the 45th time today, and things thrown about. Thrown about I tell you!

This is usually what I’m rocking, although I do go crazy and change up my PJs, you know to keep things exciting.

I look “put together ” on Saturdays (and honestly I try on Friday’s for date night with my love, but he usually gets the unshowered meesyier version of me being “put together”), but I clean up well because my wonderful husband is home and he watches the kids so I can have some time, and I really just like to do my makeup and my hair (if I have time) because it makes me feel good. I have also had days where I rather take a nap so I go to church in workout clothes.

I am all for keeping it real, and although at times I clean up nicely, that is not a fair representation of my day to day. I love my day to day, spit up, cold coffee covered shirt and all, but I do like to clean up once in awhile as well.

I just want to encourage everyone who feels like they look at someone and they feel they have it all together, more than likely they do NOT. Social media doesn’t do us any favors. I was getting so overwhelmed once by all the happy mom photos, that I had to text a friend and ask if they ever get frustrated with their kids, or am I just awful? She assured me, we all struggle.

One moto, sadly I didn’t know it was a moto until Arwen kept copying me this week and saying it to me, is “I’m a mess.” That’s not even talking about my appearance, that’s about how I dropped food everywhere, stubbed my toe, or whatever other thing occurs.

In it all, I love my messy bun, cold coffee, spit covered life…with mascara 😉

Everyone Needs a Mary!

This lady here. I dont think she even knows how God used her friendship with me all the way back in high school to set my on a path of healing, boldness, and having the confidence to talk about my story without shame, and to hopefully share it to help others.

Once upon a time back in 2001 or so I went to Valley Christian High School. I came in my junior year, and didn’t know anyone. I was extremely shy, so much so that I came off as more of a mean person. Some backstory, I had been in foster care for about 3 years at that time, and I was dealing with a lot of stuff that no one knew. For the most part I tried to hide the fact that I was in foster care, and I tried to hide the fact that I was taken from my mom, and I was dealing with major abandonment issues, anxiety, and some depression. I have become a Christian at age of 15 after being taken from my mom, and despite everything I’ve been through I always felt God was there and had his hand on me. Even with that knowledge I was still dealing with feeling very unloved, and caring shame for things that I didn’t need to carry shame for.

One of my classes I came across Mary. We became friends, and she introduced me to a weekend away called Tec, which stood for Teens Encounter Christ. This weekend away changed my life. I was coming out of my shell a little bit more, but most of all the healing process of all I had been through started. During the next round of tec, Mary let me know that I would be speaking and giving my testimony. In that time I froze up and almost started crying. My people pleasing was at an all-time high, and I felt like I couldn’t fight it, so instead of fighting it I just said okay, but was deathly afraid. I was scared to even give a presentation in class, or even really speak to anyone one-on-one that I didn’t know. When I first started High School I was so scared of people that I would hide in the bathroom and eat my lunch so I wouldn’t have to talk to anyone. For those of you who actually know me now I think it’s a testament of all God has done, and that I am not that person. For the most part you have to get me to stop talking, and I have no problem speaking in public, or to strangers anywhere. I ended up speaking to a room full of people at Tec and it was the first time I had really ever told anyone all that I had gone through. I left some of my story out because I hadn’t dealt with it but that’s for another time. It was one of the most freeing experience I’ve ever had. It was like I was calling everything out of the darkness, and everything was brought to the light and there was no longer this hold on me. People that I didn’t even know, people that I went to high school with now new all of my dirty laundry, but I felt more free than I ever had when I was hiding everything.

Mary not only helped me come out of my shell, but she really has no idea how having me speak at that event changed my life. I have since spoken freely about all that I have gone through, and I don’t have shame over what happened. She taught me how to stand up for myself, and to stand up for any Injustice done to me. She taught me how to have a voice in more ways than one.

After she went off to college, some other stuff started happening to me, and I felt like I needed distance myself from my previous life, with that we lost touch, and would keep up with each other here and there with social media.

In the past few weeks Mary’s younger sister Megan and I got reconnected because our girls are in the same dance class. This past weekend I was driving and I saw Mary’s husband crossing a street, and my heart lit up because I realized if he was down here that Mary must be nearby.

Saturday we got to see each other for five minutes, but those five minutes made my heart so happy. I miss my friend so much, and I’m so glad we reconnected. She was someone that was so instrumental in my life, and I want my kids to know her, and I want to know her kids. I love this lady so much and she will never understand how truly thankful I am for God putting her in my life. Everyone needs a Mary.

Glitter In The Ashes Is On Social Media

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Happy Tuesday!!!

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to see more, you can now follow me on Facebook and Instagram!  I mostly post on silly things Arwen says and does, me not blending in my makeup (not interesting really, but kind of amusing that it looks like my beard is growing in nicely).  Also, feel free to share my blog or social media accounts.

I would also like to hear from you!  Is there a topic you would like covered, or questions you may have? If so let me know what they are and I will try my best to cover them!

Thank you for all of your support.

New Baby, New Outlook

wedding

There are so many amazing outlets out there that promote how being healthy is more important than being “skinny.” There is an Instagram account I follow called “Healthy is the New Skinny,” which actually helped inspire this post. I have been following this account for a few years, and I have always loved what it promoted, and in essence I knew it was true, but even reading all of the encouraging words, and posts about just being healthy it was still hard for me to believe that for myself.  After having my daughter I still was focusing more on the getting skinny part (which I was failing at), and not so much the healthy part.  I would try different fads to lose weight or anything that seemed like a quick fix to losing the pounds, and clearly it wasn’t working. When I got pregnant with my son, I was at the heaviest weight I had ever been, and I was so scared of how much weight I was going to pack on because I had gained over 40 pounds with my daughter.

I was pretty sick during the first trimester with my son, so I didn’t gain much weight at all, but once I felt better I wanted to eat everything in sight. I would eat salads and fruits and veggies, but when I had a craving, which was a lot of french fries and Hot fudge sundaes to dip the fries in, I went with it.  To be totally honest, this wasn’t a pregnancy craving, sundaes to dip my fries in have always been my go to, but being pregnant was my excuses to do it more.  I really wasn’t even focusing on how healthy I could be, especially with this little guy growing in me.

It was when I went in for an ultrasound and the technician asked me if I had gestational diabetes because my fluid was a bit high that my eyes were opened.  I let her know I hadn’t taken the test yet, and she gently encouraged me to push up my test ASAP.  That ultrasound changed my life.  I walked out of there and decided I was going to act as if I had gestational diabetes if I had it or not, which was pretty much just eating what was best for baby and I, mostly baby, and say no more than not when a craving for a whole chocolate cake came up.  I had so many friends encouraging me, and so many friends who told me they had gestational diabetes, and what they ate when they had it.  These were women who ate right and exercised and still had it, so I knew you could get it even if you were my size or a smaller size.  Even with having that knowledge I knew I wasn’t doing my best for myself and I wanted to do my very best.  With that I took the dreaded hour test, where you drink an awful sugary drink and give blood, and I failed.  I was told to come back in a week to take the 3 hour test.  That whole week I ate right and walked, and I felt so good, and I passed the test!  Being on the borderline of having gestational diabetes though scared me into sticking with my plan of eating right and continually walking.  Please don’t get me wrong, I still ate cake, but I actually never gave into my craving for fries and a sundae, I knew that would be a gate way for me.  Just writing that part, I am impressed with myself.  I really hope this isn’t coming off as a judgement to anyone, because that is not with this is intended to be, but for myself, I have struggled with eating right and not being able to say “no” to cake, fries, anything amazing and delicious. So for me, this was my wake up call of starting my journey of being healthy, and I don’t know if I would have taken it as serious if I didn’t have another life growing in me, so I am thankful for that motivation.

Boaz is now 2 months and Arwen is 5 years old. After my c-section I decided I wanted to get back into running which I had been into before my daughter. I made the mistake of texting one of my best friends Janiele saying I found a color run I wanted to do for my 35th birthday.  I was texting her with the idea, thinking we will say we will do it, but as time gets closer I won’t, but I liked the idea of it. My friend Janiele had and has been working so hard on getting healthy.  She was doing spin classes, and yoga, and I was proud of how healthy she was getting (and still is getting), and she truly motivated me to want to do the same, but again, I didn’t think we would actually do the run, I just wanted to look cool and suggest it.  I should have known I wouldn’t get away with that with my her.  She signed us up that day, and I realized I was locked in, and I for sure didn’t want to waste this opportunity, and I for sure didn’t want to look lame in front of my friend, so I knew I had to start training.  So 6 weeks after my c-section I started doing a couch to 5k program.

After my first pregnancy I was saddened by my changed body, even though it gave me the best gift.  This time I look at my body and see the extra skin, and the oddly shaped tummy I have, and I am not sad.  Yes, I have lost weight, mostly due to the fact that Boaz loves to eat (I’m breastfeeding), and the fact that most of the weight I gained while pregnant was him. Yes, it is nice to be losing the weight, since I was at an unhealthy weight, and still am, but it’s not the weight I am the most excited about.  It’s the fact that I feel healthier, and I am proud of myself for finally not taking a shortcut and realizing what is important.  It’s important for me not to fit in the skinny jeans (although not going to lie, it’s up there), but to be healthy for my kids, my husband, and myself. When I look in the mirror at my body, I can see a healthier person and I see the body that gifted me two babies.  This is a huge difference from after my first pregnancy, when I looked in the mirror  and thought horrible things about myself.  I was happy and blessed to have my daughter, but looking back I realize I was sad that I wasn’t taking care of myself on the inside and I knew I just wasn’t healthy.

This is a out of my comfort zone for me, but I am posting an image of me that my 5 year old took while I was in the dressing room in our 5th store trying to find something to fit my different shaped body for my sons dedication.  Going to multiple stores because nothing fit my body used to make me sad.  It would make me sad when I couldn’t find anything to wear, but now even though my body is way different then it ever was before I am not sad, a bit tired from taking two kids out of the car so many times, but not sad.  I’m not sad because I see a healthier person, and I am so proud to learn how to dress my new body.  Although running and working-out will help with losing weight, I am more excited to have the energy now to keep up with my little ones, especially since I am not sleeping much these days, so any tiny amount of energy is a gift.

Taken By Arwen (1)