Dakota’s Nursery Reveal- Sponsored by The Mine, A Lowe’s Company

Here it is… The LONG-AWAITED nursery reveal! I promise I wanted to have these photos posted to you months ago, but as you know (if you follow along) things kinda haven’t gone as planned through this pregnancy journey of mine. BUT… we won’t discuss that again. (Search through my old Insta posts if you’re confused what I’m talking about.)

Speaking of not going as planned, this Instagram post was originally sponsored by The Mine, A Lowes Company. The plan was obviously to link all of the items to their site (as they are my FAV one-stop-shop for all things home! And I’m NOT just saying that because I work with them… I LUV’d them long before they were a partner of mine!) Here you can see the original design I created for the nursery. Unfortunately, during the time lapse between when we ordered all of the furniture and now, The Mine is no longer a stand-alone company. Their parent company (Lowe’s) is now transitioning all of their brands to their one Website. Which is GREAT in terms of efficiency of shopping all the brands under one roof. AND Lowe’s is a company we all know and trust, so it’s an extra stamp of trustworthiness for people who already respect this brand. HOWEVER, the brands have not yet all been transitioned to the Lowe’s Website, so these items are not yet shoppable with them as of yet.

Having said all of that, they have been extremely understanding of wanting to get you guys shoppable links, whether with their brand or not, as we all understand you’ve been waiting on this reveal for far too long. So… for now… I’m linking all of these items for you wherever I could find them online. I also tried to find the items wherever they were the best price. If and when Lowe’s picks these items back up, I’ll DEFINITELY update you guys and give you some new links. I’d like to sincerely thank my partners at The Mine AND Lowes.com for working with me on this project and for all they did to help me find these items. (One example: the crib was on backorder FOREVER and they jumped through hoops to find one for me all the way around the world… and I LUV IT, so I’m super, super grateful!)

Lastly, I want to thank Bianca Merrell Photography for these GORGEOUS photos she captured of Dakota’s new room. This was my first time working with Bianca, but I promise you it won’t be my last. I’m OBSESSED with her light, bright photography skills and her style works perfectly with mine. If you’re in the Tampa Bay area, I HIGHLY recommend Bianca. Check out more of her work on her Instagram and Facebook.

So, without further adieu…

Shop Dakota’s Nursery Furniture:

Shop Dakota’s Nursery Decor:

Shop Our Outfits:

Wallpaper: Rebel Walls

Continue Reading

My Maternity Pictures {From the Hospital}

If you’ve followed along, you know I was admitted to the hospital before I was scheduled to shoot my maternity photos. Well, actually, I was sick the week before being admitted into the hospital and was scheduled during that time to shoot the pics. So we had rescheduled for the week after, when I landed myself in for a long-term hospital stay. I’m so thankful to my good friend Kristin LaDriere Family Photography for coming to the hospital and shooting these pictures of me and my kids before it was too late. It was super important to me to have these photos taken with my kids before my surgery. These pictures will always hold a special place in my heart…

Also, thank you to Sew Trendy Accessories for providing these amazing dresses and flower crowns! They were just perfect…

 

Continue Reading

What’s in My Hospital Bag

(Edit: I wrote this post before an emergency that put me in the hospital at 31.5 weeks. I’m SO happy now that I had this bag prepared when my complications put me in the hospital without the ability to go home again. Having all of these comforts from home prepared and ready in a bag have made all the difference.)

Hospital/Weekender Bag: Under $35!

You guys voted on my Instagram stories that you wanted me to share what’s in my hospital bag. While my situation definitely isn’t the norm, because of my placenta percreta, I’m sharing with you what I’M packing this go-round. With other pregnancies, some of the items may have looked a little differently, but here’s the breakdown of what’s in my bag with our third (and last) baby…

  • TOILETRIES: Pack the essentials that you’d want from home, in case you have a longer stay than expected. My first child I thought I’d be in and out, but after 39 hours of a labor to have a c-section, I ended up staying there much longer than I’d originally suspected. I ended up wanting my own shampoo and conditioner and all my fav toiletries from home. This time, I just packed some of the essentials I’d want and found these great, little inexpensive toiletry bags so it’s all in there organized and ready for me.

  • A BATHROBE, SLIPPERS AND COMFY (NURSING-FRIENDLY) SLEEPWEAR:
    • While a typical stay for labor & delivery would be around 1-3 days, I can’t anticipate how long I’ll be in the hospital this go-round. I’d say, with any pregnancy, I’d recommend bringing your own robe, slippers (with sturdy soles) and a nightgown or two of your own. Although some people may be comfortable staying in the hospital’s gowns the duration of their stay, (I did with my first pregnancy), I learned that after I’m able to be mobile again, I just want to be in my own comfy clothes. Especially when visitors are coming in and out. The hospital gowns have exposed backs, so there’s no moving around with guests in your room without your bootie hanging out! So, again, it’s personal preference. But my bag contains my own comfy robe, slippers, a couple nursing nightgowns, and a comfy lounging around outfit. (Make sure that your gowns are nursing friendly, if you plan to try to breastfeed. Meaning… the tops are easily accessible.) Below are some of the items I’ve purchased for my hospital bag and for comfy things to wear when I get home…

  • NURSING BRAS, POSTPARTUM UNDERWEAR, BELLY SHIELD:
    • If this is your first child, you won’t believe how enormous your breasts can become in what feels like “out of nowhere”. When your milk comes in, you’re going to want to make sure you have the right bras. You can either pack some sports bras that feel roomie enough to accommodate the new size or invest in some nursing/sleep bras. I like to have comfortable, soft fabric bras that area easily pulled down for nursing. I don’t like underwire or lots of clasps, so I just like to have comfy bras that can be used for nursing.
    • Something you also learn about when you have a baby are the BEAUTIFUL hospital post-partum underwear. Oh. My Gah! I HATE these things. Yes, they get the job done. And you don’t want to be wearing your own nice underwear bc they are likely to get ruined those first few days. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you soon will.) But this time, I purchased some post-partum underwear of my own on Amazon that were pretty affordable. I also purchased some other ones, that I like a little more, to wear in the weeks after when I get home. If you could have a c-section, or in my case, I’ll be having a c-section/hysterectomy with an incision all the way up my belly, keep in mind to look for underwear that are a soft, breathable material that won’t hurt being on your incision.
    • I also linked (in the carousel below) some post-partum belly bands. I used one after my son and it really helped me get back my shape. I started it as early as leaving the hospital, so you may want to consider either packing it or having it for shortly after you get home, if you’re going to consider using one.
      • If you do have a c-section, I found this great belly shield that is supposed to protect your incision from your clothing. I’ve never actually tried it, but thinking it might come in handy this go-round.

  • NURSING PAD/CREAM: As you’re getting the hang of nursing, there can be a lot of bumps in the road. It’s not often discussed how difficult the journey can be, but there’s lots of help out there to encourage you through the journey. Make sure to reach out to your hospital lactation consultant while you’re there for any questions/support. You can also find local consultants who will travel to your home when you get back after baby. I’ve heard this can be especially helpful, as they can point out the best places in your home to nurse, things to help make you more comfortable, and they’re there AFTER your milk has come in. (Because a lot of times this doesn’t fully happen until after you leave the hospital.) I’ve always used disposable pads, but I won’t lie… I’m not a huge fan. I have some disposable ones in my toiletry bag for the hospital, but I’ve also heard these ones are great, so thinking of giving them a try:

  • GLASSES AND EXTRA CONTACT LENSES/SOLUTION
  • A COUPLE PAIRS OF NON-SLID, COZY SOCKS
  • LIP BALM/CHAPSTICK
  • EXTRA PONYTAIL HOLDERS/BRUSH: I like my hair up and out of the way when I’m in the hospital.
  • PHONE CHARGER: I also recommend bringing an extra long phone cord, so that it reaches you from your hospital bed. Since I could be there a while, I ordered this one, in case I’m not very mobile (no pun intended).

  • PACIFIERS FOR BABY
  • BABY CLOTHES/SOCKS/SWADDLE BLANKETS/GOING HOME OUTFIT: Normally I would only pack a couple things, but again, because I don’t know how long I’ll be there or how long my baby will have to be there (she’s scheduled to be born at 34 weeks and 5 days), I have a little more than usual packed. I have several preemie sized onesies and footed jammies, several swaddle blankets, a “going-home” outfit and a couple things I might want to use to photograph her in while we’re at the hospital. I have this in preemie size for her to wear home. I also packed a couple cute headbands for her to wear with this and other items (for photos, of course). It’s super soft and comfy and comes in several colors. It also comes in a footed onesie version. Here are some of the items I have in my bag and some other thing I LUV:

  • COMFORTABLE GOING HOME OUTFIT: Again, think comfort. I plan to wear a loose-fitting top and comfy pants (with a comfortable waistband) home from the hospital. You could also consider a maxi dress or loose dress. Whatever you choose, I’d choose something loose and comfortable.) See the carousel I posted above (for robes/slippers/sleepwear). I posted a pair of comfy pants and a couple t-shirts. I’ve packed the blouse in the first photo below with these comfy lounge pants and easy slide-on sandals.

  • DON’T FORGET TO BRING BABY’S CAR SEAT: Finally, don’t forget to have baby’s car seat ready for going home. Hospitals will make sure they check the baby in the seat and make sure it covers all safety standards before they let you go home. We always have the car seat base setup and ready in the car when we know we’re close to baby’s due date. You’ll bring the actual seat in the hospital with you the day you’re ready to take baby home. Our car seat/stroller:

Everyone’s idea of what they consider necessary for a hospital stay can be different. I’ve just learned I like to have the comforts of home, and being prepared makes the experience much less stressful. This is simply what I’ve decided to pack, and I hope it helps give you a little direction when packing your own bag. Whatever you pack, my heart is with you as you prepare for the most exciting journey of your life… All my LUV…

Tell me in the comments below what else you pack and anything else you’ve learned with your hospital experiences. Feel free to ask questions, too!

For more on baby gear I have ready when me and baby come home, see this post:

Must-Haves for Baby List: Gear & Favorite Items

*Affiliate links were used in this post. Which means I receive a commission when you purchase items at my recommendation. Thanks, as always, for your support.

Continue Reading

Must-Haves for Baby List: Gear & Favorite Items

So, as a third-time Mom, I’ve learned through experience to sort through the items you actually need and those that you don’t. And then I’ve been able to decide what luxuries are MY must-haves. (Cute baby accessories, obviously.) I’ve learned what I like in a carseat and stroller, and what is unbearable. I’ve learned what are luxuries and what are necessities. Having said all that, things on one’s list will definitely vary from family to family, based on your lifestyle, budget and your baby’s personal needs. Here I’m breaking down for you the items I’ve purchased (or received, from the companies I’ve collaborated with) for our baby #3, what I think you NEED and the fun stuff I just LUV to have. I’ve broken down for you what I think about these items and why:

  1. CAR SEAT & STROLLER: This is obviously the most important purchase and should be at the top of your list. Unless you never plan to get in a car, it’s something that you have to have, so obviously it’s at the top of my list. With our first child, we purchased the car seat based solely on safety ratings. It was ranked the #1 car seat on the market in safety ratings, but we quickly learned it was extremely heavy! Having had a c-section, I had a really hard time getting from place to place holding the baby in the seat (which you do pretty much everywhere you go in the beginning). This time around, I took several things into consideration…

I actually went to the store to check out/test out some car seats and strollers, and went with a specific brand in mind that I had researched extensively and thought I would get this go-round. I even was offered a collaboration with the brand, so I would have been able to have this stroller and car seat at no cost. However, when I got to the store, I discovered the stroller and car seat we ultimately ended up purchasing. Yes, we gave up a free $1,000+ set to purchase one, because I liked these ones I found SO much!

I remembered how hard it was to carry the heavy car seat I had with my daughter. (We even ended up buying a cheaper car seat for my son just so we didn’t have to lug that heavy one around again.) So THIS ONE I recently found appealed to me majorly, because one of it’s greatest highlights is that it’s the lightest weight rear-facing car seat on the market at just over 5 lbs. I’m telling y’all… it’s LIGHT! Knowing I’m going to be having extensive surgery this delivery, I was pretty much sold at that, but the amazing safety ratings were enough to sell me site on scene. Bonus, it’s not chemically-treated and it comes with certified organic cotton inserts.

THE STROLLER glides like an ice skate. The all-terrain wheels and all-wheel suspension make it a super smooth ride, in comparison to all of the other strollers on the market I’ve pushed. But one thing that has proved to be SUPER important to me in a stroller is storage space! I like to shop! (I know, shocker.) So it has to be able to hold a significant amount of shopping bags and my diaper bag. And it needs to be able to hold extra bags and souveniers, etc. for when our family of 5 is at Disney World, Busch Gardens or the other parks we frequent. Because the honest truth is, a stroller isn’t always just for pushing a baby… it’s for holding all of our stuff too! So I LUV how accessible and open the storage compartment is. The adjustable-height vegan leather handle makes it feel like the Cadillac of strollers, as far as quality is concerned, and it’s helpful for my husband, who is the one to push the stroller a lot.

On top of all of that, it’s like-flat reclinable. (If you’re a new mom, this is A MUST!). The UPF50+ canopy folds SO far over the seat that it makes for perfect dark napping and great sun protection when outside for long periods of time. (I live in Florida, so this is crucial.) There’s also a large, mesh peekaboo window on the top of the canopy so the air circulation is great, and you can see in to check on baby. OH!!! I also LUV that it has the cool little pocket on the back for your keys/phone, etc. so those things are easily accessible. There are even more features, but the last I’ll say is this… above and beyond all of this, it’s sleek and stylish. Total function with stylish appeal. Want to know more about it…? Read the reviews from users themselves… they’re all awesome…

2. HALO BASSINET SWIVEL SLEEPER: So, with our other 2 kids, we had a traditional cradle by our bed that we’d use the first few months after bringing them home. Again, having had c-sections, it wasn’t very convenient. I always wanted the baby right by me in the beginning, so I could easily look over and check on them… (You know that constant “are you breathing?” check we do over and over, in the beginning?!) So, I’d put the cradle right by me where I could see them easily. But because of my c-section incision, it was really hard in the beginning to get up and down and to bend over to get the baby in and out. It was also hard to get in and out of the bed with the cradle right up against the side of my bed. So, when I had to get up in the night to get baby supplies, go to the bathroom, etc., I had to do the awkward scooch all the way down the bed to get out of the way of the cradle without waking baby, WITH the abdominal pain from my surgery. It was just never convenient.

One of the main selling features of the Halo is that it can be right up against the side of your bed, but the bassinet can swivel a full 360 degrees so you can get in and out of your bed easily, without having to move anything, or scooch to the end of the bed. The other main selling point for me is the retractable sidewall that lowers. So, with major surgery, I can pull the baby right up next to me, pull down the sidewall, and easily get her out to feed in the night, without even having to get up. THAT, FOR ME, was 100% the selling point. I’ve never wanted to fully cosleep. But I do LUV that this has the benefits of cosleeping, having baby right next to you, without actually having to share the bed.

One con people have mentioned in reviews is that the base of the Halo is heavy, so it’s not easy to move it room to room. However, they’ve added a new option, where you can remove the bassinet from the base and get an extra, easily mobile base to attach the bassinet to, so you can use the Halo in any area. This feature makes it easy for travel and being on-the-go, too. I know, with this delivery, I’m going to require help from loved ones after baby comes. I LUV that this new feature makes her sleeping quarters easily movable. It also has a nice little storage caddy you can put on the side for diapers, etc. Another convenient feature that lets you stay put in bed more often. (Believe me, in the beginning, this is clutch.)

3. DOCKATOT: One item that didn’t exist when I had my other babies, but I’ve been told is the holy grail of baby gear these days, is the portable sleeping station called the Dockatot. OK… so when we brought home BOTH of our babies, we had issues with them not wanting to sleep in a big, open sleeper. If you think about it, babies are used to being fit snug inside your tiny womb and wrapped into their own little ball. Enter world… their arms and legs are out in the open and they’re supposed to sleep in this (to them) big, huge bed. So with our other babies, we’d either put them in the car seat to sleep and put that right in the cradle, or their portable swing chair, or anything that made them feel more nestled and not so wide open.

The Dockatot is created to feel like a comfy little nest, that keeps baby feeling snug all night long. Added bonus, I’ve been told it fits perfectly inside the Halo Sleeper. So, I’m hoping I can use it right in there. Say baby falls asleep on the sofa next to you, in the Dockatot. You can easily bring her in the Dockatot to the Halo/crib/etc. and put her down for sleep where you want her located for bedtime. It’s also ultra-portable and great for travel. AND… best part… when you’re ready to transition baby from sleeper to crib, you can use the Dockatot in the crib too, so they still feel equally as snug in the now even bigger bed.

Dockatot has also added an awesome bonus feature where you can add a toy arch with removable toys to the top of the station for baby play. So, if you’re trying to narrow down how many items you have to purchase, this serves as a playmat too. Kills two birds with one stone, so to speak.

4. DIAPER BAG: Obviously you’ll need a bag to bring around with all of baby’s necessities. One option I ABSOLUTELY LUV is using this diaper bag organizer. It comes in 2 sizes and can be used in your favorite tote that you already own, and keeps everything organized and compartmentalized perfectly. I plan to use the large version in my LV Neverfull and also ordered the smaller version for other bags I may use day to day. Some other options for diaper bags I think are super cute:

5. ROCKER: I’ve heard mixed reviews from different moms on whether or not their kids liked to swing. I, for one, can say BOTH of my kids LUV’d to swing! The swing was a Godsend when I needed to get things done or just needed to be hands free a little. (Note: Babies LUV to be held!). The Fisher Price Rock N’ Play didn’t exist when I had my other kids but I will say other moms have RAVED about this item! It can function as a sleeper (kind of like the Halo I spoke of above) AND has a soothing rocking/vibrating feature, so can be used for this as well. I am still unsure if I’ll use this, however, because of having the Halo for sleeping and also having received the 4Moms Rockaroo Infant Swing off my registry (also heard good things), but I’ll keep you updated on this.

I will say… since it’s been a while since we had our last child, I asked publicly on my Facebook what baby items my friends thought were the must-haves of today… and the 2 top products mentioned were the Dockatot and the FP Rock N’ Play.

OTHER ITEMS TO CONSIDER:

Swaddles: I’ve been told that Ollie Swaddles and Halo Sleeper Swaddles are the best, so I’ve ordered both. The Ollie Swaddles make great gifts because they come in the most adorable little boxes. They’re SUPER soft and have great reviews. Don’t believe me? Google them.

I also have an assortment of muslin fabric swaddle blankets. I say you can’t have enough of these because you use them all day for wrapping baby, burping baby, covering baby, etc. So… swaddles… necessity.

Cart Hammock: Ok, so this isn’t a NECESSITY! lol But if you follow my Instagram stories, you heard me talk about the Binxie Baby Hammock. One day (when we were TTC) I saw a baby in Target chilling in her little baby hammock, while her mom sipped her Starbucks and perused the aisles of every mom’s favorite store. Let me tell you… this baby was HAP-PY! So, bottom line.. I knew if/when we were to get pregnant, I was getting a baby hammock.

Nursery Decor: I’ll do a separate post of the nursery reveal, so stay tuned for that with all details of what’s in Dakota’s nursery. (You can also see the nursery design in this earlier post.) But I did want to share a brand I was introduced to this pregnancy: Lorena Canals. She has the most adorable, soft, quality-made decor and organizational items for any nursery. I mentioned these completely machine-washable rugs in a recent Instagram post, which would be great for any child’s room. I’m also using this adorable tassel basket in the nursery for her toys and this comfy floor cushion I envision her eventually sitting on during playtime. She’s got tons of great options available at Nordstrom.

Some of My Nursery Decor & Organization:

Clothes, Accessories, Blankets: The most fun part… wearables. There are tons of adorable onesies, gowns, accessories, shoes, etc. that I could speak of for far too long. But for now I’ll just link some of my favs below and will continue to post them on my Instagram as I get to dress my little doll. So stay tuned…

Some of the Fav Wearables, Blankets, Accessories:

To summarize, below are clickable photos (will take you directly to shoppable links) of my baby gear favorites and must-haves:

I’ll continue to update you after baby, as I’ve actually been able to use each of these items. So stay tuned to my Insta and other social channels! If you have any questions or opinions on any of the items I’ve mentioned, I’d LUV it if you’d comment on this post! Thanks for sharing this journey with me. I can’t wait to get to the other side of this difficult journey I’ve been on and just be able to enjoy the fun stuff and snuggle my little angel. Can’t wait to introduce you…

*Some items in this post have been sponsored or gifted, and affiliate links have been used with most of the items I have linked. This means I receive a commission if you purchase items at my recommendation. This did not influence my decision to pick the items I’ve mentioned, as I hand-selected what I wanted to use and endorse. Thanks, as always, for your support.

Continue Reading

Project Nursery: The Design

The items for the nursery are starting to arrive, but I’ve been so excited to share with all of you! I wanted to give you an idea of the design I’ve put together, so when it’s complete, you can see the concept come to life. Click on the photos in the carousel below to shop any of the items! Wall mural is Rebel Walls.

Can’t wait to show you what it looks like when it all comes together! Please tell me in the comments… what do you think?! 🙂

*Thanks to my partners at The Mine and Rebel Walls for working with me on this space. Some items linked are affiliate links, which means I get a commission if you purchase the items at my recommendation. Thanks, as always, for your support.

Continue Reading

Pregnancy Update (Almost 22 Weeks) & a Memorial to a Courageous Woman

So, I’ve mentioned in several of my Instagram posts and stories that I’ve been diagnosed with some pregnancy complications and how that has led to me being on a modified version of bed rest. Until I had a better idea or “confirmation” of my diagnosis, I didn’t want to formalize anything. But this morning, my MFM (Maternal-Fetal Medicine or “high risk” doctor) called me with the results of the MRI I had yesterday and confirmed what I can now share with you. Here’s my story so far…

Because I was to turn 35 right before my original due date, they considered me “Advanced Maternal Age”. (Way to make me feel even older.) What that originally meant to me is more testing than usual, and light-heartedly, I was just excited that I would have blood work done at 10 weeks to find out the gender much earlier. Of course, when you’re pregnant, you feel the joy of all of the blessings that babies bring and don’t focus really on potential negative outcomes that could come from these testings. Well, at least I didn’t.

The genetic testing came back perfect and we were ecstatic to find out we were having another little girl. Honestly, I didn’t care much if it was a boy or a girl, as I already have one of each. After the journey we have been on to be able to have this baby (see original blog post for more on that), I would take ANY baby God would give me! Skip forward to my 18th week of pregnancy, and it was ordered that I have a “Level 2 Ultrasound”. I guess this is typical when you are considered AMA. I was excited to just get a good look at the baby from a 3-D perspective and didn’t even consider the fact that I might find anything alarming when I walked in that day.

I remember the US technician being very quiet. And me, being the chatty Kathy that I am, talking her ear off and asking her if she could give me as much of a play-by-play as possible. She remained politely quiet, but I was starting to get the feeling that something was off. She said she was finished and that the doctor would be in shortly. The MFM that I saw that day was one of the most gentle physicians I’ve ever encountered. He came in and communicated the findings to me as softly as possible, but I remember the majority of it sounding like a foreign language.

He first told me that I have Complete Placenta Previa, which I’d heard of before but really knew nothing about. He showed me the US images on the screen and did another in-depth US on me while he was telling me about it. It was obvious to me that things looked very differently than what I was used to seeing in my previous pregnancies. But he also told me that many women have placenta previa and that things can change and move when you’re pregnant (though I later learned that probably wouldn’t be the case with me) and I just tried second by second to digest what he was saying. I remembered hearing about Kim Kardashian having PP and also remembered my best friend talking about another blogger who had shared her story with PP, when it was told to me very early in my pregnancy that I could have PP. But again, I didn’t really know much.

The photo below helped me to visualize what Placenta Previa looks like:

What I understood of PP was that it could cause early bleeding and preterm labor, but also understood that each case is very different. It wasn’t until later that I realized what exactly this could mean for my current situation, but the bottom line is that every single case is different and there’s no way of knowing your outcome until you just live it.

More on placenta previa here:

Baby Center- Placenta Previa.

His next finding was the one that really set off my fearful antennas…

He told me that, in addition to the CPP, he was pretty certain that he could see a Placenta Accreta. I had NEVER even heard of this before, but I could tell from the change in his tone that this was serious, and so my tone changed immediately as well. He honestly didn’t tell me all too much about accreta that day, or what it really meant for ME or my baby, but he basically  said that it was a result of my prior c-sections and described it that my placenta had grown into my uterus and that he could see a good deal of blood flow down south that wasn’t supposed to be there. He showed me what that looked like on the screen and it definitely explained (to me) a lot of the “pressure” I had been feeling down there that I’d never experienced with my other pregnancies. He also explained what that meant for my PP as the baby can tend to gravitate to where the richest blood supply is, and mine is showing richly south of my uterus where the accreta was invading my uterus (and could potentially invade other areas with time). I know this sounds confusing… it’s still confusing to me, but basically the bottom line is that lots of blood flow= higher risk of mom hemorrhaging. So we just don’t want to see that.

For a few moments, both the doctor and the US technician had to leave the room, and I immediately picked up my phone to Google “placenta accreta” and find out what I was really looking at. I learned there are three levels of accreta: accreta, increta and percreta.

Source: Info on Accreta

Yesterday I had an MRI to determine if my accreta was 100%, in fact, actually an accreta. And if so, to what extent has it penetrated the uterus. This morning, my doctor called me with the news I was praying not to receive. Not only had my placenta invaded the uterus (accreta) and gone past the uterine wall (increta), it most likely has started to invade other organs (percreta). Right now, we’re seeing it looks to have started to infiltrate the bladder. So, of all the outcomes, mine is the rarest and can be the most complicated.

At this point, I can’t tell you exactly what it means for me specifically. The doctors have told me to keep my feet up as much as possible, not to lift anything and to take this seriously as I’ll 100% be having a hysterectomy with this delivery. If you’ve read about what we’ve been through to have this child, I’m sure you can imagine how earth-shattering this news is for me. But if it means I can have this baby, healthy in my arms. And I can live to experience it… well, it’s the least of my concerns. I’ve also been prepared to have my bags packed as early as 24 weeks and that the potential for hospital bedrest isn’t highly unlikely. If I were to have any severe bleeds, my situation is extremely critical and could require constant watch. But again, all of these are uncertainties, and I will continue to pray every second of every single day for the best possible outcome that God could deliver and will hope for a miracle. I, for one, believe in miracles and know anything is possible with the power of prayer.

My support system is one that I can’t even explain. I don’t say this to be boisterous. I say this to honor and cherish the people that I have in my life. My husband is literally my angel. From the second we got this news, he’s stepped up to the plate 100%. From spending every second of his time with the kids, to grocery shopping and cleaning and helping to plan the holidays… he’s my rock. Even more than that, he’s constantly optimistic and supportive and genuinely the most caring and loving person I could ever have wished for in my wildest dreams. We’re surely not perfect. We can bicker like an old married couple. But then God shows us how life can test our vows, and EVERY SINGLE TIME… this guy steps up to the plate and reminds me why I chose the possible possible partner I could have asked for. Basically what I’m saying is this.. Jason Thomas Pfeiffer, there’s no soul on this planet who means more to me than you. I hope you never think I take a second of your love for granted and I hope that you know that NO MATTER what happens, you are my person and I thank God for you every single day.

I can’t let this post end without honoring a very special woman…

Last night when I went to bed, I was shaken with some devastating news. You see, when I got this diagnosis 3-4 weeks ago, I immediately found and joined a support group on Facebook for women who currently have a previa/accreta diagnosis or those who are survivors of accreta. This group has been everything for me over the last few weeks, as this has been such a rare diagnosis that it has felt a little isolating and lonely at times. We lean on each other with questions, fears, success stories, and even yes… sometimes we’re faced with our greatest fear… those who do not make it through this scary beast. Last night as I was going to bed, I was shaken with the news that a beautiful woman in our support group passed away yesterday during labor from complications with percreta (the diagnosis that I was to wake up today to receive). As we all seem to fear from this diagnosis, she just lost too much blood and after delivering her (third) BEAUTIFUL little girl successfully, lost her battle with accreta  and went to the Other Side to meet our maker.

It’s impossible to understand how or why these things happen, but it’s definitely not the common outcome. (Though statistics say maternal mortality has been reported as high as 6-7% in women with this diagnosis, I’d like to believe in all the stories I’ve heard personally shared in our group that I don’t believe it to be that common.) But it does happen. And it happened last night to a courageous women who left behind a loving husband and 3 beautiful girls. I can only imagine what this family is currently going through, but I do know she has a whole community of women who have her constantly in our prayers and thoughts and we’re sending all of our love to her family during this extremely difficult time.

I can only imagine the financial burdens we will encounter from these difficult complications, and now Maribel’s husband is left to sort them out a single father of 3 girls. I ask of you… if it moves any of you to donate, her family has set up a GoFundMe account to help them through this difficult time. Every dollar counts, and I know they would appreciate any size donation.

Simple click on this link: https://www.gofundme.com/maribel-sanchez-memorial-fund and donate any amount you can.

Maribel Sanchez, I send you love and light and will pray over your family every single day.

*To learn more about Placenta Accreta, you can follow along at Hope for Accreta on Facebook.

Continue Reading

My Cozy-Time Necessity and How I Plan to Get Organized in the New Year– with Yankee Candle from Walmart

This time of year I almost ALWAYS have a candle lit when I am home. Something about having the tree lights on and having a candle burning just makes everything feel that much cozier. Whether I want the scent of something sweet (like I have a tray of cookies in the oven) or something crisp (because I absolutely LUV to have a clean house with a clean-scented candle lit), it just creates a sense of calm that makes me feel cozy and warm. Yankee Candles are pretty much the superior ranking when it comes to  all candles. And you probably don’t have to just take my word on that, as almost everyone in America has either owned or been around the scent of a Yankee candle at some point, so you probably know what I’m talking about.

Not all candles can disperse a scent throughout a large space, and I’ve always found that Yankee candles just have that power. I can light a candle in the kitchen and still smell it in the living room. I just LUV the power of their scents. Since you know I’m all about finding a deal, I’ve rounded out for you some of my favorite Yankee scents at one of the most affordable places to order them… the place where you can always find a deal… Walmart, of course! The everyday prices are already lower than many other retailers AND they have FREE shipping options right now!

Shop some of my favorite Yankee Candle scents at Walmart:

As the holidays quickly come and go, I really LUV to stock up on scents that I can use year-round. As soon as the holidays end, I can’t wait to get my decorations down, so that I can organize and rethink my decorations for the new year. I typically like to purge this time of year and really clean out things that aren’t serving a purpose or bringing me happiness. Lighting a crisp scent while I clean and organize really seems to get me inspired. Can anyone else relate?! My very favorite scent to use year round, especially when the holidays end and I’m doing my New Year/Spring cleaning, is Yankee Clean Cotton Scent.

You won’t believe the everyday deals they offer on Yankee scents at Walmart! And right now, they’re offering FREE 2-DAY SHIPPING* on tons of your favorite scents, so it’s the perfect gift to order your friend, mom, sister, mother-in-law or as a hostess gift because it will arrive quickly, AND this makes it super affordable! Whether you order my favorite scent, Clean Cotton, or any other scent… your gift is sure to be a hit! I can’t imagine a person on the planet who wouldn’t LUV to receive a Yankee Candle.

Also… some of my favorite holiday scents at Walmart:


*Order by December 19 and get FREE SHIPPING on select items before Christmas. Order online by December 23 at 4 pm and pick up in-store as late as 12/24.

**This post is sponsored by Walmart and Yankee Candle, but all opinions and thoughts are entirely my own. Affiliate links are used in this post, which means I get a commission if you purchase items with the links I’ve provided. Thanks, as always, for your support.

Continue Reading

Gift Guide for Kids

I’ve scoured the stores and the Internet, and I’m breaking down for you some of my top picks for gifts for kids! Many of these I’ve either purchased in past years for my kids or have purchased as gifts for them this year! Others are gifts I think are fitting for kids with all interests! Just click on the photos of the items in the carousels below and it will take you straight to the links to review and/or purchase! Happy shopping!

For the Tiny Homemaker:

For the Science-Lover:

For the Make-Believer:

For the Creator:

For the Music Lover:

For the Adventurer:

Hope this proved helpful for those of you shopping for the kiddos in your lives! Don’t forget to check out my Gift Guide for Her and stay tuned for future holiday-related posts!

*Several hours were spent shopping for and researching the items I’ve linked above. This blog post contains affiliate links, which means I get a commission if you purchase items at my recommendation. Thanks, as always, for your support! It’s what keeps this blog of mine alive! 🙂

Continue Reading

My Holiday Cards with Tiny Prints & Our Family Photos 2017

It’s that time of year again! I absolutely LUV Christmas cards, and this is about 6 years in a row that I’ve ordered my cards from Tiny Prints. I thought I’d give y’all a little slideshow of our pictures this year, in celebration of our card announcement! Kind of like a virtual card to each and every one of you! Today is actually the last day to get the cyber week deal of 40% off your cards, so hurry and order now! Just CLICK HERE and use code: CYBERCARDS at checkout…

Thank you Kristin LaDriere Family Photography for another year of awesome photos! You always capture our family perfectly! xxoo

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Shop our outfits:


*Some affiliate links were used in this blog post. Which means I get a commission if you purchase any items at my recommendation. Thanks, as always, for your support! xoxo

 

Continue Reading

Gift Guide for Her- Gifts for All Interests & All Budgets

I’ve scoured my favorite shopping destinations and broken down for you my best gift ideas for the special ladies in your life (or yourself). Just click the photos in the carousels below and head straight the items to shop! Got any questions? Just ask! 🙂

My Shirt / My Rug

Gifts for the Beauty Junkie:

I ordered this beauty kit about a month ago, and I use each product regularly now! My favorite is the High Brow Pencil. I use it in the corners of my eyes and right under my brows and it brightens my entire face! The bronzer is great for contouring and the highlighter is another great way to brighten your face. It also includes a full-size macara! This is a great gift to give to almost anyone! Even yourself… 🙂

Gifts for the Skincare Guru:

Gifts for the Jewelry-Lover:

Gifts for the Techy Girl:

Splurge-Worthy Gifts for the Designer Gal:

Gifts for the Home:

Cozy Gifts for the Homebody:

Gifts under $50 and Stocking Stuffers:

My Shirt// My Watch// My Bangles// My Gold Cuff Bracelets// My David Yurman Bracelet

(All of the items I’m wearing and linked above are also great holiday gifts!)

Hope this helps you put a nice dent into your shopping lists! I know I’ve been busy shopping tons of these items already! Comment in the comment section what other gift guides you’d like to see or any other questions/comments you may have! Thanks for using my shopping guides and links this holiday season… it’s because of you guys I get to continue to do what I LUV! Which is share all the things I LUV with all of you! xxoo

*Affiliate links were used in this post. Which means I get a commission if you purchase any of the items you click on. A TON of work goes into making these selections, so I SO appreciate you guys using my links and supporting my blog! As always, all opinions are my own.

Continue Reading