Pre-Father's Day: Making Time to be Present

New Mom, New Fears

Happy new year! If you follow me on instagram you know I welcomed my son, Avery, on November 5, 2018. Avery is truly the light of my life but the first three weeks of his life felt like some of my darkest days. Motherhood was nothing like I thought it was going to be at first, it was miserable and downright difficult. My first struggle was breastfeeding. Avery had a hard time latching on and whenever he did latch on, I felt excruciating pain. I put him on the breast as much as possible in the hospital but he usually had to be supplemented with formula. Breastfeeding was frustrating for both of us; he cried often because he had a hard time latching on and was hungry. I cried because I felt like I was struggling to give him what he needed. Sometimes he did latch on and would stay on for 30-60 minutes while I cringed from the pain.

Eventually I kept Avery on the breast less and gave him more formula because I couldn't bear the pain, which made me cry even more. I pumped everyday (and still do) but my milk supply was and still is too low to feed him breastmilk only which often made me cry in the first few weeks. I felt like a bad mom because breastfeeding wasn't going well and breast were created to nourish babies. I saw a lactation consultant twice within Avery's first two weeks and thing never got much better. However, I still put him on the breast everyday and keep him on until I can't withstand the pain.

As if breastfeeding wasn't enough of a struggle my baby became super fussy by 5 days old and cried ALOT.  Every time he cried for prolonged periods of time, so did I because it was so hard to calm him. I'll never forgot that one Thursday where he cried for 3 hours straight and my mom was consoling both the baby and I as my head laid on her shoulder while she held him in her arms.

I was so scared of everything those first few weeks and developed anxiety. I was scared to be alone with my baby because it was so hard to console him, scared he would choke (because he choked for the first time at two weeks and it was the scariest moment of my life), scared he would stop breathing in his sleep so I checked his breathing several times throughout the night and missed out on a lot of sleep. My husband, Avery and I spent the first three week's of Avery's life at my mom's house and she helped us so much! When it was time for us to go back to our apartment, I cried. I didn't know how I would manage by myself all day with the baby and I cried as my mom held me in her arms assuring me I would be okay. Those first few days at our home were tough. Avery cried most of the day and there was no help until my husband came home. I called my mom almost every day crying. I felt sad often, but every time I was able to calm my son and watch him lay sweetly in my arms I felt like a winner.

My son is 3.5 months now and he is a healthy, happy and curious baby boy. I'm confident in my abilities as a mother and I'm enjoying motherhood very much. I took these photos during the last few days of my maternity leave when my biggest fear was retuning to work and leaving my baby at daycare. I was dealing with a lot of anxiety around this time, but I took these photos on a day when I felt good. I've been back to work for over a month now and it hasn't been easy, but I know I will be okay. To all the new moms dealing with fear and anxiety, take it one day at a time. Remember that you're doing to best you can!

Dress-Zara | Coat- Zara | Shoes-Target

Making Time for What Matters Most

As children we believe that time is moving slowly and we can't wait to become grown ups. As adults we realize how fleeting time is and we never seem to have enough of it no matter how hard we try to schedule everything. Our time is one of our most valuable and precious resources because it can never be regained once it is used. As I grew into adulthood, I learned to maximize and prioritize my time by doing what I have to do so I can do what I want to do. These days my time is consumed by preparing for my baby and spending time with my loved ones.
Speaking of loved ones, I wore this outfit during a family weekend in Maryland. It felt so nice to get away for a couple days and spend time with family I haven't seen in months. I must admit, making time for family gatherings outside of my immediate family has not been at the top of my list of priorities in past years. However, now that I am becoming a mother, I cherish it so much more as I want my son to be close with family. My time may become harder to manage as I enter the early stages of motherhood, but I'll always make time for the people who matter most. This watch was gifted to me by JORD and it's extra special to me because it has my son's initials engraved in it. One day I'll pass this watch on to my son so he'll always remember to make time for what matters most to him. 
If you're a watch lover and making time for what matters is important to you, you've come to the right blog because I've partnered with JORD to host a wood watch contest! You can use this link to enter the contest for a chance to win $100 to shop JORD's collection: My watch is the Zebrawood & Navy and can be found here
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25 and Full of Life!

I turned 25 (or shall I say twenty-fine as my hubby says) on August 20th. If you had asked me what my plans were for my twenty fifth birthday at the beginning of this year, I would have told you something epic. My dream was to spend my birthday abroad, exploring an island and maybe living my best life on a beach with clear water. The fact of the matter was that my birthday was lackluster this year. I spent the day between my bed and the couch resting, watching TV/movies and reading. There was no big celebration and I couldn't travel abroad even if I wanted to because of my pregnancy flight restrictions. 

Despite my unrealized birthday dreams, my birthday was monumental not only because I turned a quarter of a century, but because my son was in my womb. Yes, I'm carrying a boy! Feeling his movements (which have become more powerful and frequent) was the best birthday gift I could ask for. Getting pregnant was not on my list of goals for this year, but it has been such a blessing! My child has already taught me so much about myself! 

I've evolved this year and I'm proud of my growth. God is using this child to mold me into the person I need to be, the person I wasn't sure I was ready to be. My core values are strong. I've adopted some new ideas and learned to let other ones go. I'm closer to God and we have an unbreakable bond. 

Pregnancy has made me more confident. I'm no longer interested in sparing other peoples' feelings at the expense of my own. I'm not scared of confrontation like I used to be. If someone says something to me that I disagree with, I tell them why instead of simply smiling and pretending everything is okay. I don't tolerate foolishness from myself or others. I'm more focused. I've been accomplishing my short-term goals. 

I've accepted that I don't need to have everything in life figured out. The hardest part about finding out I was pregnant was thinking that it was messing up my plan for my life. I had to get out of my own way and realized that my pregnancy was part of a bigger plan for my life, God's plan. 

I'm less materialistic. I'm more interested in having experiences and spending quality time with people than acquiring things. 

I measure my success by my level of happiness, not the bottom line of my bank account.

My life has changed drastically in a year and I'm grateful for every moment of the journey. It took me nearly 25 years to become the woman I am today and I'm proud of her. I'm excited to continue my journey through life, not only as an individual but as a wife and mother. 

Photographer-Kofi James
Dress-Anthropologie | Sneakers- Adidas

I took a long break from blogging this year because pregnancy symptoms are real! I often felt exhausted and didn't have the energy to post as much as I would like. I'm glad to say I'm back to blogging and I hope to start posting more frequently when my body allows. I have evolved and I have new stories to share. Stay tuned for more life updates, reflections, and fashion talk. Thank you for sticking with me!