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Autumndaize.

Where it started.

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This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or 

autumn daize part 1. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

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A little about me-I am the author after all. My name is Allyson, but most call me Ally, and this is my very first blog-go easy on me 😉

I bet your all wondering about the blog name, so I’ll explain-which should help give away my reason for starting this blog. Autumn is my favorite season for numerous reasons.  To name a few, leaf peeping, crisp air, pumpkins, Halloween, apple picking, my birthday, and when I conceived my beautiful son Jayden. Basically it’s the best season ever,  but I’m a bit bias.

The daize part, well daze was taken so I added the I, but otherwise daize (or daze for all you grammar police) is the perfect description of what my life has been the last 3 years. Hence the name of this blog. So much has happened that I figured it best to put words to paper-well internet paper to be exact. Hopefully my story, which is still being written,  will inspire, make you laugh, or just keep you from boredom.

Succumbing to the intense need to settle down and be a real adult, almost three years ago I started house hunting. In total the process took four months. Shortly before signing the paperwork, my boyfriend of eight years proposed. Talk about hectic. The next year was a whirlwind between being my best friend of nine years’ maid of honor, settling in our home, and planning my own wedding. If I took away one thing from this time it was to take time to enjoy your surroundings; the planning, relationships you build, the big day, everything.  It went by too fast.

Almost a year after I tied the knot, Jayden came along. I literally am just starting to breathe. Despite a terrible high risk pregnancy and a traumatic delivery,  in addition to bad PPD, three months have passed and I literally couldn’t be happier. Word of advice to expectant mommies-do not commit to a new job/promotion upon leave ending. Luckily I’m finally settling in but coming back from leave is hard enough, coming back from leave to a new job is almost impossible. I literally felt like I was trying to run up hill with 20 pound weights; I was so physically drained from training and so mentally overtired that I crashed hard.

I finally feel like I’m in a good spot with personal and professional life. My takeaway from my experiences of a new working mom are simple; Jayden won’t love me any less for supporting him. If anything he’ll love me more. I’m a badass supermom, and I’m living with no regrets.

Stay tuned.

To the mom struggling with anxiety today, tomorrow, or everyday-I see you. Others may not understand you or your needs, but I do.

Many who know me know me as an outgoing person. I love to laugh, make jokes, be weird, and care deeply about my  career,  friends and family.

Many also know I struggle, and have struggled, for years with anxiety and depression.

In August of 2018 I finally found an outlet for myself – boxing – that turned my life around.

It quelled my anxiety and turned my depression into motivation and success.

But it was short lived, because by November I would become pregnant, and as of late I have significantly cut back on exercise in general.

These last couple of months I have been more anxious than ever due to the pregnancy and lack of my exercise outlet.

These last couple of months have also shown me how some that I am so close to have absolutely NO idea how to support me.

I am not saying this to be mean. But it is increasingly becoming truer with every day that passes.

I have written many blogs on anxiety, and the right ways to help or respond to someone.

Today I am here to tell all those struggling with anxiety, whether a mom, step mom, single mom, or not even a mom at all, that I see you. Though others we love may not understand us or what you need to help you, I do.

I have seen so many women shelter their feelings because of fear of judgment. I was one of those women. But I see so many struggling. I am here for those women. I am those women.

Anxiety isn’t just a “made up feeling” in our heads.

I have had so many people tell me “well your always anxious” after venting to them how today I am feeling anxiety over XYZ. Fuck yes, I am always anxious. I will always be anxious. I have generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety. Those are not things that just go away.

Recently, I posted to my due date group on Facebook how I was anxious for my scan this week.

See, lately I have felt too judged to share my anxieties with friends or family. So instead, I post to my due date group or anxiety group on FB. This is what I had to resort to. Its pretty sad when you cant even go to friends or family.

And sure, I could go to these friends or family and try to better explain myself and my needs. But its easier said than done. People with anxiety and depression just get it. They validate your feelings. They offer advice. They don’t just tell you, “well your always anxious” and to “be positive”.

Anyway, back to the due date group post. So I posted. And the response I got from one woman made me tear up. SHE got it. Sometimes all it takes is someone 1000 miles a way to ease the anxiety or sadness.

This woman reminded me of what I already knew. Sometimes self talk helps to calm the anxiety we are feeling in the moment. I preach this. 247. But sometimes it takes others to remind you how important it is, for you to actually do it. Below is what she told me, and I have been reciting it daily ever since.

“Oh darling, you’re very anxious today, aren’t you? It’s so hard to be excited when so much can go wrong and you’ve been so disappointed and crushed before, haven’t you? It’s hard to feel alone with your fears, isn’t it? But look how far this baby’s come, and he/she’s been growing and doing well. You’re in good hands and the baby will be in yours in a few months.”

If only our friends and family could tell us this. If only they could validate our feelings and not dismiss them. How much easier would it be for us if we were understood and supported in this way??

My advice, stop chasing the friends and family you currently have. Educate them maybe, but stop expecting them to put the pieces back together when you fall apart. Sometimes they just cant do that. Sometimes they don’t know how. And sometimes they don’t care to learn how.

Instead, make the effort to find those like you to support you. Those that know what to say and how to say it.

So to the mom struggling with anxiety today, tomorrow, or everyday-I am like you. I am you. I am here for you. Stranger or not, sometimes the best advice and support comes from those we don’t even consider close friends. I know for me it does ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

That one time I wished on a shooting star.

I know things have been quiet for a while, several months to be exact. But as you’ll see below, there are reasons!

I had been raving for months about my weight loss journey, staying motivated, and staying positive. Then poof. I saw a shooting star, and my world – quite literally – changed.

Some background.

Rob and I started TTC #2 in 2017, maybe 8 months after Jayden was born. We wanted kids close in age, and figured-hey, it only took 5 months the first time. This will be no big deal!

By March 2018, we found out I was once again dealing with insulin resistance and diabetes. I was put on Metformin and a specialized diet that same month, and literally 2 weeks later-BAM. Pregnant.

From the beginning I did not feel right about the pregnancy. I had this dread, I guess you could call it, and unexplainable anxiety-more than just normal pregnancy worries. As many are aware from my previous blogs, I ended up miscarrying the DAY OF my first OB appointment. I was crushed.

Mentally and physically it took a while for me to heal. It also did not help that my dog and my grandmother- whom I was very close with- passed away in front of me- days apart in June.

I hit rock bottom. I gained weight. I was not motivated. I was negative and wallowing in self pity-which is all ok and normal for some whom experience grief, no matter the cause. But I let it continue for to long.

In July we were accepted into Boston IVF, and scheduled our first appointment for the beginning of August. This spurred some positivity, enough to snap me back to reality and make me realize, for my family AND myself, that I needed to change my life for the better.

The sad cold reality was that I needed to move on. That sounds harsh, I get it. But though I will always remember my MC, obsessing over it and being depressed over it was effecting my life on a daily basis. I needed to change my views. And that I did.

The journey begins.

Our first fertility appointment was pretty uneventful. We discussed my history, Rob’s history, my pregnancy with Jayden, and the testing that we would do. The Dr. was all business. She wasn’t “warm and fuzzy”. This scared me at first, but looking back that was what I needed. A teammate on our side, ready to figure shit out, not hold our hands and tell us it would be OK.

Also around this time, I began boxing-a regimen that literally changed my life. I cannot say enough good things about boxing. It has truly changed my perspective on my body, my goals, and my overall views on life. My trainer has pushed me, driven me up a wall, and lifted me up when I fell down-multiple times. I have shared laughs and tears with him. Even better, I got some friends involved, and being on the same journey as them has kept me motivated to succeed in my goals. Sure, I still have anxiety – but boxing classes and personal training have changed me for the better.

These all seem positive, right?

They are-don’t get me wrong. But good times don’t last forever, and sometimes we need to weather a storm or two to make us understand how much of a miracle life truly is.

Test after test after test.

In September we got even more good news, we would start testing.

Due to my high risk pregnancy with Jayden, we had to see an MFM Dr. and get tested, all 3 of us, with genetics.

Our results came back – not as I had hoped – but manageable.

Rob of course, and Jayden, were genetically and medically sound.

I, on the other hand, came back positive for a blood clotting disorder, which would be #2 (I was already diagnosed with a different one in June), and as a carrier for a sometimes fatal medical condition. The good news on these? Rob wasn’t a carrier for the second, sometimes fatal, condition – meaning our chances of having a baby with it were no longer 1 in 4. This was GREAT news!

In addition, I had PCOS and severe insulin resistance and diabetes. The MFM Dr. told me to start insulin – like yesterday.

Being my stubborn self, I refused. I wanted to make these medical issues better on my own, through the gym and diet. So I tried – harder than I have ever tried. I even gave up fruit for a long time (thanks Japhet!) – my FAVORITE food. I was committed.

In October we decided to do IVF. Our chances of conceiving with this method were much higher. So we began the process.

The good news, and bad.

The good news was, we could start in November. 6th to be exact. I was so excited. I took all the required courses, filled out all the paperwork. I was dreaming of my future with my family of 4.

At the end of October I was starting to get even more excited. It was only a week away-so close to being in reach!

Then I was asked when I was due. You heard that right, due. With a baby. How insensitive can a person be. Not to mention, I have LOST weight, and this was from a woman at the gym, who wasn’t in the best shape. I pushed through the gym class, and cried to my trainer. My gym girls had my back. My trainer had my back. My friends all had my back. I was mad at this woman. How could she dull my shine just a week before I was to start on this amazing journey of giving Jayden a brother or sister? Thinking back, maybe she saw what was about to come. Maybe she was a medium. A psychic? Who the hell knows.

I put my anger aside and tried to focus on the positive-my upcoming journey through IVF.

Then November came, and knocked me flat on my ass.

My shooting star.

In November, I literally saw a shooting star. I called Rob immediately and he told me to make a wish. I had never been serious about these things, but I said what the hell.

My wish? That I could get pregnant before IVF started.

Of course, I was excited to start IVF. But if my body could just work right and I could get pregnant before we started, that would be so amazing. I obviously didn’t think my wish would come true.

Until it did.

A series of unexpected events.

A series of unexpected events seems to always rattle the mind and body. After seeing a shooting star, the following day I had a “hunch” I was pregnant. Maybe it was a spiritual awakening, maybe it was fate. Whatever it was, that star changed my life. That star led me to my second greatest gift I have ever received, and at the time-I didn’t even believe in it (the wishing on a star thing).

Now, I have gotten these before – these hunches – but this was different. I FELT it. I FELT pregnant. In my body, mind, and spirit.

I called Rob and he laughed. Not meanly, but I have said this many times before and my “hunches” are NEVER right.

So I went home, and POAS-something MANY women do, and overdo, when TTC.

I expected nothing. I learned long ago, sometimes expecting something can lead to disappointment. So I peed, and waited.

Within 2 minutes I saw it. The FAINTEST line I had ever seen. I took another, thinking it was faulty. Same result. I was confused, excited, and scared. Was it real? Would I miscarry? I was 6 days before my expected period. I have never – I repeat – never gotten a positive THIS far away. I was scared of having a chemical, which I had had several times, the most recent in September.

Rob came home, and saw the line too. He has a hard time seeing faints, so him seeing it solidified things for me. We were pregnant, 6 days before my period and 6 days before the start of IVF. What in the actual fuck.

Over the weekend I obviously POAS’d like 50 more times. The line was getting darker. But I contained my excitement. I was so fearful of heartbreak again.

“Relaxing” and “staying positive” aren’t things that come easy to someone with anxiety who has had previous losses. Every cramp, sting, feeling in general, made me terrified I was loosing it. In fact, I checked the toilet paper every bathroom break. It was pathetic. I wanted this SO bad, why couldn’t I be happy?

The scare.

Over the weekend I started to bleed. It wasn’t a red, heavy bleed, but brown and more like spotting. Instantly I told my self this was it. I was loosing it. Monday came, and I was to go into Boston IVF for my first number draw. I was still spotting, but went anyway. I expected the worst.

Later that afternoon I got the call. My numbers were good, and the bleeding was more than likely implantation (which I have never had). They wanted me to come back Wednesday for a re-draw to ensure the numbers were rising.

So I went. And my numbers rose. GREAT!

Then I was told to come back by the following Wednesday. A whole week. I was even more anxious. The wait seemed like forever. I already had the spotting scare, which stopped after 3 days thankfully. How could I wait a week to find out if this was really progressing?

Somehow, I made it through that week. Then my world was turned upside down.

Preparing for another miscarriage.

Wednesday came, and there was no good news. The doctor called and instantly I knew something was wrong. “I’m sorry” she said, “your numbers didn’t rise how they should have”. She was kind, but I knew to expect the worst. A numbers rise from 132 to 333 in 7 days isn’t good. I knew that. She told me what to expect, and emphasized the symptoms of ectopic. She scheduled me to come in the following week for another draw-I assumed to ensure I was dropping with my HCG levels.

I spent the week mentally preparing. I threw myself multiple pity party’s. Why me? I asked myself this a dozen times. I even told close friends and family who knew that I was loosing it. I guess, when you have miscarried and this sort of thing happens, you mentally prepare and convince yourself the worst so you don’t get hurt? I felt like if I convinced myself that this was it, that it was over, that I wouldn’t be as heartbroken. Unless you miscarry, you never truly know the heartbreak of it. So maybe this was my coping mechanism. I mean, the numbers weren’t viable, the doctor even said that. So why be positive?

Several people told me to take a step back and just wait for the draw. But in protecting my fragile emotional state, I just couldn’t. I needed to tell myself to expect the worst so I didn’t hit rock bottom again. I couldn’t go there. I just couldn’t. My friends and family were supportive, but they were also frustrated that I was so negative when I didn’t even officially miscarry or get my last draw done yet. Looking back, I understand their mindset-but I needed to cope, and this was how I did it.

Miracles do happen.

I went to my last draw expecting the worst, only to get the best.

My numbers went from 333 to 1960. The doctor couldn’t explain it. She was dumbfounded.

What’s even better? I went in at 5w6d for an early scan. Baby actually had a heartbeat! The doctor was again surprised. No one could explain what happened. I was measuring 2 days behind, but by 8w5d I had caught up and was right on time.

My attitude started to change when I got that third draw. I was still anxious. Still fearful of miscarrying. But I started praying. Daily. I prayed to God that this baby would make it. I stopped saying this was it, I was going to loose it. After all, we had already been through so much in such a short time, and this baby was still holding on strong.

This is my miracle baby, and I am just now finally starting to feel the love and excitement I longed to feel when I first found out I was pregnant.

I wished on that star, and my wish came true. I think back to all the signs; the star, the woman at the gym, the hunch, the numbers not viable – then viable, the baby catching up. It has been a roller coaster, but with a little faith I am getting through. I still have faith, and I still pray. Because miracles do happen.

Its taken me much longer this time (with Jayden I did it end of 1st trimester) to feel comfortable announcing to the world that little Avery Rose will be coming in July, but my faith is strong.

I know we still have a ways to go, and anything can happen. I know this wont be easy, between the issues in the beginning and being high risk. But I want to enjoy this journey through all the ups and downs. I don’t want to be scared anymore.

I am now into 2nd trimester and baby Avery has passed her hardest trimester and all testing done throughout (NT). So I will keep praying and have faith. She will be so worth it. My rainbow baby, my little miracle.

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*Special thanks to all who have helped me in this tumultuous yet wonderful journey, from my gym girls, friends, my best friend LS, my parents and Rob, and those who helped me with my ongoing anxiety struggles (DV, SW, etc). You all have made this so much better for me, even in times of struggle. Thank you for being there, I truly appreciate it.

The power of a motivational mindset; a guide to getting through life’s shit storms.

I don’t have the worst life there is; in fact- my life most of the time is pretty damn good.

Fact is you can have a great life but still experience unfortunate events.

I have had many ups and downs in my life, and I have tried coping many different ways.

I’ve been on medications for depression and anxiety, I’ve been in therapy, I was even in a support group once. The fact of the matter is that you don’t necessarily have to have a crappy life to deal with crap in your life.

When I was very young I experienced what many teenagers do in their young lives. I felt some depression, and of course anxiety came along with it. I was put on medication at a pretty young age, and for a while it definitely helped. I had the normal teenage stressors of course, that may have not necessarily contributed to my depression or anxiety. My hair was too frizzy, I felt ugly compared to some of the popular girls, and my car wasn’t the nicest compared to others- to name a few.

But these all seem so so trivial now having experienced life as an adult and now a mother. Sometimes I sit back and just have to laugh at all of the things as a teenager that I thought were going wrong in my life. They seem so insignificant and small compared to the stressors in my life these days.

After my teen years I went through a party stage. Like most young adults, I didn’t really have a care in the world besides having a good time. I still was able to go through college and get great grades and graduate at the top of my class. But I also made time for my friends and really focused on my happiness. Sometimes I miss those days. Not so much the drinking and having fun with friends, but more so how carefree things were. How I didn’t have to worry as much about bills or groceries or remembering to pick up diapers and wipes on my way home from work. How I didn’t have to search through all of my clothes to find something clean without spit up on it. How I got to go to the bathroom alone.

I had several jobs, not related to my career field now. Just to make enough money to get me by and pay for the things that I wanted. At the time I was living with my parents, and I look back on that experience and feel lucky that I had the type of parents that supported me through young adulthood until I decided to move out of my own.

Eventually Rob and I moved in together in 2013, and we learned very quickly how hard it was to be an adult. We had to pay our own bills, buy groceries, and make sure we had enough money saved so that we could pay rent every month. This wasn’t that hard for us to do once we got the hang of it, but our carefree days of having fun and not worrying about what bill will come out during what week, were over.

Paying our own way and financial stability has been the least of our concerns over the years. Not to say that we didn’t struggle sometimes and live check to check, but for the most part we had it pretty easy and never really struggled paying bills in a timely manner.

Becoming a mother out of all things in my life over the last 20 years has been probably one of the hardest yet most rewarding things that I have ever experienced.

It would seem that becoming a mother and all of my other life stressors as of late seem to fall within the same time frame. So though my life may be great overall, sometimes lately it seems like there are more downs than ups.

After I had Jayden I hit a very low point in my life. I felt ugly, stressed out, scared for the future, and just unmotivated in general to progress in life. I had started a new job around this time and was putting most of my energy into the new job so of course I also felt exhausted being a new mom working full-time with only three months of maternity leave. I also felt extreme guilt for leaving my baby in daycare 5 days a week. I’m not going to lie, while I understand that being a stay-at-home mother can be extremely difficult, sometimes I am jealous of those moms to get to enjoy every milestone and be with their children everyday – all day. I know that being a stay-at-home mother is so very hard, and I give those who stay home major props. But some days while I’m sitting at work even now, over a year postpartum, I still get emotional over the fact that I feel like I’m missing things that happen in my son’s life.

With everything medically, and behaviorally, that’s going on with Jayden that he’s been dealing with since birth, and everything medically that’s been going on with me since his birth, I have essentially let myself go.

I was already overweight when I got pregnant with Jayden, and I really had a goal after I had him to lose the weight. But with everything that’s been going on it’s just been hard to get back into a routine and I have had little to no motivation to actually put my own self care first. That is, until late this summer.

As most know, Rob and I experienced an early miscarriage in April and have been going through Boston IVF for fertility due to infertility issues. We also lost my grandmother and my dog within a week in June.

As most also know, my son is a “medical mystery”, and we are currently going through Boston Children’s Hospital to hopefully get some answers for some of the issues that have been going on.

These issues all seem minimal compared to some of the issues that some go through on a daily basis. But for me, these issues have negatively impacted my life to the point where my own well being is being negatively affected.

In early August I had a wake up call. I realized how much I was letting the negative events that I was experiencing impact me. I was always tired, grumpy, and sad. I lacked energy and motivation. So I changed my mindset. I stopped making excuses, and took action. I started a weight loss journey and it has completely changed me emotionally and physically. I started wearing makeup, doing my hair, and wearing less baggy clothing and sweats and more flattering clothing. I started a self care regimen that taught me that self care is the key to loving yourself, during both good days and bad.

One very important thing that I’ve learned from my journey thus far is that the motivational mindset is such a powerful thing. In some cases, if you change your mindset – you can literally do ANYTHING.

Yesterday for instance, I did an hour boxing class and then right after, a 45 minute boxing class. I was still sore from the day before after doing a 75-minute class. But I wanted to challenge myself, so challenge myself I did. Those last 7 minutes of class during the last class I gave myself a pep talk. I told myself that I could do this and that I would do this. And I did, as I sang the “I will survive” song in my head 😂 I thought I was going to die. I could barely move my arms after the classes. But I got through it and I felt so good after. I felt so good that I’m doing it again today! It was all mental. I got through it because mentally I pushed myself. I motivated myself and held on to that mindset the entire time. As much as my body wanted to quit, my mind would not let it.

I figured that there’s several things that have helped me maintain my motivational mindset over the last 6 or so weeks. No doubt about it that in the beginning sometimes I did want to give up. I know 6 weeks doesn’t seem like a long time, but it is the longest time in a while for me that I’ve actually focused on my own self care. I wrote the below as a way to help others reach their OWN motivational mindset and explore all possibilities of success and coping skills when life seems unbearable.

Hopefully this inspires you to find your motivational mindset and do whatever you need to find the sunshine after a storm 💕

1. Find your motivation for you first – family and friends second.

In my honest opinion, backed of course by my experiences, you cannot love and provide care and support for others until you love and provide care and support for yourself. What motivates you may not motivate others, but you are only doing it for you.

Example: First and foremost, I am losing weight for myself, to feel better physically and emotionally. I am doing it to kick diabetes ass and become HEALTHY. Secondly, I know that if I don’t become healthy and continue on the path that I was on then I will not be able to physically or emotionally be there for my family as I should. I am also dressing up and actively doing a self care regimen for myself, because it puts me in a better mood, allowing me to feel confident and positive- thus helping to create and maintain positive interactions with those around me.

Find what motivates you for only you, because when you are able to find that, you are able to become better, stronger, and happier for your family and friends.

2. Don’t let loss or grief, or anxiety or depression consume you.

Many have dealt with loss and grief in their lives, in addition to anxiety and depression. Letting these feelings consume you can ruin you. After the miscarriage, and maybe even before it honestly, I felt like I was at some of the lowest points in my life. Just to wake up was a struggle for me. I held a lot of my feelings in until a couple of weeks later, which definitely hurt me in the end because by that time I was already so upset. After I started to feel better emotionally about the miscarriage, I was still depressed and anxious. I let these feelings consume me, making excuses for myself as to why I could not do certain things that would at the end of the day probably make me feel better about myself. I told myself I was too busy to exercise, or that I was too tired. I went to work hair undone, nails a mess. Don’t even get me started on shaving my legs or doing my eyebrows. Ever since I was newly postpartum I have dealt with self-care issues, but it really went out the window after the miscarriage. I was holding myself back from achieving optimal success; I didn’t have the motivation I needed because my emotional feelings were consuming me.

When you get to this point in your life, don’t let these feelings consume you- let them drive you into greatness. Use them constructively, to push yourself to be better. To do better. To want better. When I had self care issues prior to the miscarriage I would try to push myself to paint my nails or do my makeup once in awhile but my mindset was still focused on how depressed and anxious I was. After the miscarriage I let those feelings of anxiety and depression push me to where I needed to be and self-care just came along with it. I didn’t have to think as much about doing my nails, hair, or makeup, or maybe going shopping for myself which is something that I haven’t done in months and months and months. I just did these things. I used all of the feelings that I was feeling to push myself into a better mindset and as a result I now do my makeup daily. I do my hair. Such simple things to do, but I feel good again. I feel pretty again. I feel STRONG again. These positive feelings have only increased my motivation. Sure there are some days when I want to be lazy and just lounge around, but it’s no longer because I’m depressed or anxious. It is just because well, sometimes I’m a hot mess mom and I want a day of laziness where I don’t have to do anything. Feelings are just that, feelings. They can be easily influenced and changed by changing your mindset. It’s very hard to do, and I’m not going to lie it has not always worked, but for the last 6 weeks it has worked for me because instead of wallowing in my sorrows and feeling bad for myself about my depression and anxiety, I have used that to fuel my mind and body towards the success that I hope to achieve. Anyone can do that, mind over matter.

3. Let it out and move on.

One of the things that I’ve always wanted to try to change about myself but haven’t been able to is how I can’t let some things go. It’s affected my relationships with friends, family, even my marriage. It’s affected my emotional well-being. A lot of times for instance, if I get into a fight with Rob, I have a hard time letting it go. The last couple of months, though we rarely fight, we have gotten into a couple of arguments where I will say some things that I don’t mean and proceed to hold on to my anger about the fight and take it out on him. I’ll give you a short example of an issue that came up last week. Jayden has had some issues sleeping lately and in the past we’ve been very quick to bring him into bed because we both work full-time and we need our sleep – especially where I drive so far each day. We made an agreement that we would no longer bring him into bed and we would let him cry it out, something that I definitely do not feel comfortable with but I was willing to try because nothing else had worked. Last week, Rob casually said to me that it was going to be my turn to pat his back after he was crying it out for a period of time. Instantly I became defensive. When we lived in our old house in Manchester, Jayden’s pack and play was on my side of the bed so I was often the one that got up with him. I felt like this was very unfair seeing as I had been the one in majority of times in our old house to get up with him, and on this specific night I had to do an overnight inspection at work and wake up at 3 a.m. We started fighting because Rob disagreed with this because the night prior he had woken up many times with Jayden when he was crying. I was so angry with him that I didn’t even want to sleep in the same bed. He kept telling me that it didn’t matter what happened in Manchester; we are in a new house now during a different time. But I couldn’t let it go. I was so angry and I never really want to go to bed angry, but I couldn’t help my opinions on this. As soon as we shut the lights out Jayden started screaming. It was so bad. I’ve never heard him scream like this before; it wasn’t just a cry – it was literally a top of his lungs, hear it outside of our house, scream. I tried patting his back and he eventually calmed down, but when I tried to go back to bed he started up again. Rob told me to just leave him, so I tried to let him self-soothe but the screaming just got worse and worse. I felt like a terrible mom. What Mom leaves their child to scream like that? I started crying next to him and eventually went downstairs and cried on the playroom floor until I could no longer hear him screaming. Fact is, he did calm down by himself. And though I felt like a terrible mom and still do, I know that this is what’s best right now because he needs to learn how to self-soothe. When I got back into bed I was still very upset with Rob, but eventually fell asleep. In the middle of the night I felt him put his arms around me. My first instinct was to push him off. I was still mad at him, why should I let him hold me? But I let it happen and by morning, it was like nothing ever happened.

This experience has taught me more than ever that in order to be happy and have a healthy relationship with others that I need to move on from disagreements and not hold on to them. One cannot be motivated to work on the things that they wish to work on if their mind is stuck holding a grudge.

These three areas above specifically have helped me maintain my motivational mindset. Life can throw whatever it wants at you, but if you’re motivated to stay positive and succeed, you will have such an easier time getting through the bad times. These last 6 weeks have completely changed my mindset. I feel positive for the first time in years about where my life is going. And even though I’m still dealing with issues relating to fertility and medical issues with myself and Jayden, I still feel positive because I am committed to keeping that motivational mindset no matter what.

Once you find your motivational mind-set, it will change your life as it has mine, im sure of it 💕

My weight loss journey; failure is not an option.

Failure is a part of life. You try. You Fail. You try again.

We all have moments where we are unsuccessful.

I have fallen off the wagon, so to speak, many many times during this weight loss journey.

A big reason behind some of my failure has been lack of motivation.

My lack of motivation has been a result of exhaustion and being uncomfortable at gyms in general.

I also became so used to my body the way that it was that I found myself making excuses.

I was too tired. My diastasis would prevent me from optimal success. I was too busy.

These excuses made me consistently fail myself and my body. They made it so that I was convincing myself that there was nothing that could be done. How can a full-time working mother with a medically complex child possibly have the time to focus on weight and health. It seemed impossible to think about progression when all I could think about was what was stopping me from moving forward.

But when it comes to your body failure should never be an option. You’ll definitely struggle, and you may fall off the wagon like I did many times. But your body is your temple, and it needs to be treated as such.

Though I lost weight over the spring and early summer, I still felt like I was stuck in a rut. I felt like I was just maintaining the loss of weight that I had experienced, but I wasn’t getting healthier and I wasn’t losing more.

By midsummer I was down to 215 lb. It felt good to see the numbers on the scale dropping, but I still felt like I wasn’t doing enough.

During this time Rob and I scheduled our first fertility appointment. I was a nervous wreck, thinking that the doctors would tell me that the only thing I could do was lose weight and to come back when I did. It turned out however, that they didn’t even mention it. That made me feel a little bit better but I still had this nagging feeling that losing weight overall would help with our fertility struggles and my diabetes and that I wasn’t doing enough to become healthy.

In July I decided that it was time to start considering pushing myself a little bit harder. I’d had enough of the excuses and wanted a clean slate and my motivation back. I started eating better then I was even though I was eating pretty well, and I noticed that the more consistently I stuck to my diet the less cravings I had. I also noticed that I really wasn’t drinking a lot of water. This is essential for a healthy reproductive system and healthy body in general. I was essentially setting myself up for failure with my bad habits.

In late July I decided that it was time to start exercising. Exercising meaning more than just going for walks, which had been my go-to. I decided that no matter how out of shape I was or how busy I was or how tired I was that I needed to make the effort for myself and my family and friends. I decided that the only way to get my motivation back was to start in a program that I liked and felt comfortable in, and stay consistent with it.

So in early August, I decided to fill out an online questionnaire for Title Boxing Club about my weight loss goals. I had seen the club before in passing and heard about it but I never really thought about joining. Boxing has never really been my thing, although gyms in general have never really been my thing. I almost consider them phases; I’ll go for a while and then I’ll just kind of fall off and lose motivation. But I decided to check it out- it was new and something I had never tried before so what did I have to lose? Besides weight that is 😉

I listed my weight loss goals and my concerns with how uncomfortable I was in gyms in the questionnaire and submitted it. Not even an hour later I got a call from the owner of the franchise.

The owner and employees of this gym were so committed to getting me on board with my goals and making them come to fruition- before I even started going. Over the phone I told them my concerns and how I felt about gyms and they were so kind and understanding. They offered me the opportunity to take a boxing class free of charge, to see how I liked it.

Now, almost 5 weeks later, I’m hooked.

I’m also down in the lbs department.

I am actually excited when thinking about going to a class. And I’m excited after class. These are feelings that I never have felt before, and never even thought I would feel.

It is the first time in my life that I actually feel comfortable going to the gym and working out in front of others. The instructors are so helpful, kind, and there for you for whatever your goals may be.

My personal trainer caters what we do to my needs and is so supportive.

I’m so hooked that getting home at 8 at night isn’t even an issue like it was before; whereas before I felt so overwhelmed getting home any later than 7.

For once in the last year I feel like I am doing something for myself – as opposed to doing something for everyone else around me.

For me, even on my hardest days, failure is no longer an option. I will lose this weight. I will be able to have another little miracle. I will become healthy for my family and friends- but most of all – for myself.

You can do anything you set your mind to. It may take days, weeks, months, or years, but any goal has the ability to be achieved no matter how far away in the distance it seems ❤

My weight loss journey-Day 1; know your self worth.

I am worth it.

For child, my husband, my friends and family, and MYSELF.

I have struggled with weight issues pretty much my whole life. Or at least it feels like it.

I look back on pictures from 2005, 2010, and even 2012, and I LOOKED skinny. But I also remember feeling like I was overweight compared to others.

That was one of the main issues I had, comparing myself to others.

In 2008 I started modeling. I did well at it, and even made some money. But I could never shake the feeling of not being skinny enough.

During this time, I was exercising often since I was training to become a police officer. But I was eating like crap. My workouts maintained my weight, but I was never totally healthy.

I stayed in this routine for years, until in 2012, I made the decision to stop testing for LE.

I did not gain too much weight too fast; I was still considered to be in good shape by others. But I knew I was basically just exercising enough to maintain my weight without gaining from my bad eating habits.

Fast forward to 2014. I got engaged. Best time ever right? Well yea, until I realized I needed to slim down for my wedding.

I was #sweatingforthewedding for what seemed like forever. But my eating habits didn’t change. By this time I was around 170 lbs. Sure, I was large chested – so some of the weight was up top. But I could have stood to loose some weight from all over. So I pushed myself. I joined a boxing type gym. But I didn’t really feel “at home” there. I lasted 3 months.

Looking back on wedding photo’s, sure-I was beautiful. But I was definitely not where I needed to be weight wise.

After getting married, Rob and I decided to start trying to conceive (TTC). Three months later, by August, I met with my midwife, who made me feel really crappy about my weight. She basically told me in order to conceive I needed to loose. Deep down, I knew this. But I didn’t like how she spoke to me about it, and moved on to an OB after being with her for 10 years.

Soon after, we conceived. The pregnancy, as most know, was rough to say the least.

By second trimester, I had developed severe gestational diabetes in addition to some other issues. At my heaviest, I was 250 lbs during pregnancy. I didn’t even eat that badly-but I was going into this already over weight, so I really only had myself to blame.

After being on my diabetes pregnancy diet, I was able to drop to 240 lbs by 3rd trimester.

In November of 2017, 7 months PP, I finally decided to make a difference in my life for ME. Not because I was getting married, or for a job, or for anyone.

I started to see a Dr. who deals with diabetes and weight loss. In March 2018, I began Metformin. But I was still struggling. I was not eating as well as I should, and barely exercising. At this time I was around 230 lbs still.

Month after month I struggled to add exercise into my routine and better my eating habits. It was difficult to not make excuses. I was too tired. There was too many doctors appointments that week. I had to work too late. I found myself coming up with excuses that weren’t even reasonable.

Then April came, along with my first miscarriage. We were devastated.

Right then and there I promised myself that I needed to seriously start trying. Once I was healed physically I started the process of emotionally trying to heal. I promised myself that I would try to become healthier to improve my chances of conceiving again. I promised myself I would try to become healthier for myself, so I can be more present in my families lives instead of so tired all of the time.

And I did. For me. Because I’m worth it.

Today I cried.

Today I cried. It wasn’t an ugly cry. More like a silent cry as I was driving to the pharmacy.

I cried because my son would not stop screaming the entire way there.

I cried because every single doctor’s appointment he is out of control.

I cried because he lost a pound in seven whole days, with no known cause.

I cried because it was the third day in a row that he bit another child at daycare.

I cried because I am so sick of doctors appointments, testing, and lack of answers and results.

I cried because this is my baby, and I cannot bear to see him in pain or distress.

I cried because work sucked.

Today I cried because it was a bad day. It is 7 p.m. and I still have not gotten home to feed myself and my family.

I cried at the thought of how much I actually have to do before I feed myself tonight.

Today I cried because I feel like I can never catch a breath or take a break.

I cried because as usual, I was late for multiple Drs appointments. **Hot mess express is my jam lately**.

Today I cried for all of the mamas out there working their best to provide for their family, but feeling like a failure because they can never get everything done.

I cried for myself, and all the moms out there who just feel like giving up.

Today someone told me while I was venting to them about how overwhelmed I am that it’s all part of being a parent.

Sure I get it, I signed up for this. That doesn’t mean I can’t feel sad, frustrated, or like I want to give up.

That doesn’t mean I dont get to cry it out or vent to someone.

Just because I feel weak doesn’t mean I am weak.

To all my mommas out there that can relate, cry it out. Scream it out if you must. Not every day is going to be easy. Hell, most days will likely be hard. You signed up for this but that means nothing. Your human. Let it out. No matter why you cry or scream or get frustrated, it’s ok. I’m here for you – I get it. I am you, sometimes every day of the week. Please don’t feel alone. Today you feel weak but it’ll make you stronger for tomorrow.

Tomorrow is a new day and we will conquer it. We will kick ass and take names. Because not just anybody deserves the title of mom. But we do, and a bad day, or week, or month, won’t change that ❤

A Mothers Love.

I carried my baby boy for 8 wonderful, scary, stressful, and amazing months.

The hearty kicks to my ribs constantly reminded me how much I loved him, before I even met him.

The beating of his heart on the Sonoline B was a weekly reminder of that love.

The adorable little outfits and his nursery were a reminder of that love.

It was almost too much to handle at times; that growing and unexplainable love for what started as a little ball of cells inside of my body.

Looking back, everything bad that happened during our time as one has brought us so much closer as two.

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July 30th 2018. I went to work, as I normally do.

I sat in some traffic and pondered my day and what needed to get done after work.

I thought about my upcoming appointments this week.

But then I cried. Silly, I know. But for the first time in a long time, I felt like I did when I first went back to work.

I felt sad because I was missing out on Jayden; watching him play and grow.

I felt sad because I missed HIM. I missed his hugs, his giggle, his evil-I am about to do something naughty-look.

I had only been gone from him for 2 hours. 2 hours is all it took.

My heart hurt.

I arrived at work, and tried to push the sadness that I felt from being so far away from him, aside.

Then I got it. A picture of him sleeping at daycare. I just about lost it. Even describing this makes me tear up.

That moment such a powerful wave of love came over me. I wasn’t sad at this point. I just felt so much love looking at that picture that my heart damn near exploded.

I hear so much about the “right” type of parenting at this stage in a toddlers life.

Weaning them off bottles.

No more binkies.

Cutting back on co-sleeping and starting to sleep train.

My husband said something to me the other night that I never thought I would hear him say. He said “We are raising him our own way. We don’t have to do things that others think are supposed to be done.”

This is so true.

There is no right or wrong in this journey of parenthood. As long as we as parents provide love, safety, and opportunities for growth, we are doing everything we should be.

My love is what makes me a good parent.

A mothers love is such a strong phenomenon. It can be so strong sometimes that we are physically affected by it.

As I watch my son go from a bouncing baby boy, to a smart and handsome toddler, I feel that love grow by the day.

I don’t care that last week I was so effected by my love for him that I wanted to co-sleep and cuddle, which could possibly ruin his new sleep routine.

I don’t care whether he drinks from a bottle once in a while.

I don’t care if one, or maybe two or three, nights a week we stay up too late.

I don’t care about any of that.

What I care about is him as a whole. I care about loving him unconditionally and raising him to have the same love for his own kids one day that I have for him now.

As mothers our love also means sacrifice. Sacrificing our needs for our little ones.

Our love can mean, such as in my case, distance. Being away, as hard as it can be, to support our family so we can have the best chance at living a life free of financial strain.

Our love means devotion to our little ones and their wants and needs when we sometimes cannot even take care of our own wants and needs.

It means breaking the “rules” of parenthood, just because we want to cuddle for an extra 10 minutes after bedtime has passed.

It means skipping “cry it out” some days and instead “hugging it out.”

It means taking a sick day to spend the day with them- sharing in their giggles, playtime, and excitement over building blocks.

It brings us warmth on cold, cold days.

It brings us tears, sometimes of sadness, and other times of happiness.

It hurts. A mothers love is so strong it hurts sometimes.

It protects us and guides us to be the best we can be.

It has certainly brightened the darkest of MY days.

A mothers love knows no boundaries.

It has been what has kept me afloat during this unbelievably sad and stressful year.

I have so many moving pieces in my life-but my one constant is my love for my son.

This week alone I have struggled so much with life’s daily curveballs..but thinking about how much my son means to me – how much I love him – and how excited he will be to see me after work, makes every struggle-every tear-every fear-all worth it.

I hope you all can feel this love I feel, and use it to brighten your dark days and allow you to smile once in a while, even if just for a moment-you sure as hell deserve it!