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Loyal Hana Ariel Nursing Dress

22 June 2017

It's officially summer which means there's no chance in hell that I'm not skipping the layer load in favor of something light, breezy and easy to just throw on in an instant. But, since I'll be nursing for a good long while I have to focus on options that are going to make mine and Indy's life easier. Ah, the practical life. Though I've already shown you that nursing doesn't limit your options I figured you might need a little more proof in the form of an ACTUAL dress made for nursing moms. Meet Loyal Hana. Guys, there's invisible zippers on all of their pieces for super easy access. Aside from being perfect for the expecting and nursing moms, I kind of dig their pieces - I mean, a white off the shoulder dress for summer? Yes please, I'll take 2. Also, it comes in black too and they have pockets. 

I'll admit I was a little cautious about wearing the "Ariel" dress out because the light-weight cotton seemed like it was see through but after pairing it with a black bra I quickly found that it was not. Win! Bright colored undergarments here I come. Just kidding. Maybe. 

All summer dresses need summer accessories so a lace up pair of espadrilles and a straw bag are the perfect pairings for kicking off the summer in style, nursing or not. 


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Indiana's Birth Story

21 June 2017

If you've had a baby, whether it was an amazing experience or a complete nightmare, you have a story to tell. I've had both. My first experience first was amazing. Even after 23 hours of labor and dehydration, it was a great experience. My midwife was incredible and I couldn't have asked for a better birthing experience. The second, well not so much. We opted for a birthing home again because our first was so great but since we had moved to a different area, we ended up with a midwife that we later found was completely incompetent and negligent and it almost cost us our son's life. Sure, It started off fine but towards the end of the term, we later found that she ignored some important warning signs. And then when I finally went into labor two weeks late, maybe eight hours later, I knew something was wrong. However, she ignored everything I said, told me I was being hysterical and basically said I should shut up. What a gem. The long and the short of it, after 17 hours of hard labor, my little boy was stuck with his head barely out for 23 minutes and no air to the brain, and the midwife apparently too clueless on how to deliver him the rest of the way, Thank goodness he was rescuitated in the ambulance by some amazing paramedics. We had a tough few weeks in the NICU followed by a year of neurologist appointments; but by some miracle, he made it out unscathed. After that trauma it took us awhile to even consider having another baby. 

Indiana's birth, you could say, healed us of the trauma 6 years ago, but it wasn't 100% easy every step of the way. The past always lingered in the back of my head that history could repeat itself and Indiana could suffer from the same fate that Evan did, and maybe not so lucky in the end. After all, we do produce big babies that like to cook for longer than 40 weeks. But, I was reassured that it honestly wasn't a big deal and while a repeat of the past was possible, like most things, it was a small chance. So I left my ob/gyn in hopes of having another birthing center birth with a midwifery practice in Brooklyn. I was upfront about my experience at orientation and was reassured that it shouldn't be a problem. 

I transferred to their practice in the beginning of my third trimester. Since it was a practice of several midwives I had to make my way through each one as my due date neared. I told them each about the experience and they all seemed unphased until my appointment at about 37 weeks with a woman I was seeing for the first time. I was already having a rough day and she wasn't very nice to begin with, so I got a little more emotional about my experience than I usually do. That's when everything took a downhill turn. She was clearly alarmed by my story. Although, it seemed that the explanation that the issue with Evan's birth was clearly the result of the former midwives negligence, so I thought the issue was settled.  That is, until I got a phone call days later asking for my previous records from the birth in Florida. I flipped. After Evan's birth we completely cut off the midwife and blocked her from having any information about us or him so giving her the knowledge that I was expecting or anything else about us put me in panic mode. I explained that I would give them access to the records but I didn't want them speaking to her because she was an established liar. Well, they talked to her anyways while the head midwife from the practice was on vacation. Naturally, she made it out that it was my fault and that she was the hero of the situation and strongly felt that I was not a candidate to have a birthing center birth. So, they broke the news to me and told me that I was no longer eligible to be with them. They told me that their OB would take me only if I agreed to a c-section. At this point I was 38 weeks and sent into a panic. While the chances of a shoulder dystocia are higher after having one I never expected that I would be forced into having a c-section. My options seemed to be that or go to the hospital as a walk-in to give birth. Great options, right? 

So, I called my first midwife and basically cried to her for hours. She offered to have me fly down and deliver there, which was amazing, impractical, but amazing. She put me at ease and I made an appointment with the head midwife at the practice to talk about the situation. We sat down, she heard us out and basically everything was put back to together and I was slightly at ease. At this point though, the emotional damage was done and I was completely second guessing my ability to give birth naturally at this point. So we agreed on me not going past 41 weeks, with weekly ultrasounds to make sure he wasn't a big baby, and moved forward, seemingly back on track. 

Like the other two boys, Indiana was late. I think it's from the stress from the whole last minute debacle, but I can't be sure. I went into labor at exactly 41 weeks. I called my midwife and shockingly they told me that I couldn't birth with them and had to go to the hospital. Apparently the last midwife I had an appointment with at 40 weeks (who was one not keen on the idea of the risk of birthing with them) forgot to mention I had to go into labor at 40 weeks and 6 days. So, I was completely blindsided because 1. I had no idea how to deliver in the hospital and 2. was completely on my own. After all of the back and forth for the last few weeks I ended up feeling completely abandoned. (Thankfully David and my friends were there for my endless text messages, panic attacks and hours of sobbing over the course of that disaster. )

Luckily, we had done a little homework on potential hospitals beforehand and decided on a hospital right away. The midwife sent over my records explaining the situation and previous birth story. We went in when my contractions were 3 minutes apart and I checked into triage. Finally after a couple of hours of waiting, explaining the story to residents and getting their reassurance, I was checked in and found that my cervix was only 1.5cm dilated. WHAT. THE. HELL. 
Thankfully, instead of sending me home they encouraged me to induce. At this point I had been up for almost 24 hours and was exhausted, but agreed, even though I was terrified. 

Before moving to my room we talked more about what had happened before, and every resident felt that the story seemed odd because real cases of shoulder dystocia end with them breaking the baby's clavicles. So they couldn't figure out why, if that was really the case, how the Florida midwife got Evan out without doing so. They agreed that it had to be incompetence and told us that it still was a slight risk but they generally unconcerned. I felt reassured and ready to take on my labor. 

They set me up in a room with amazing nurses and induced at around midnight on the 12th. They gave me the option of an epidural but I told them I would wait it out because I wanted to try and do it as naturally as possible, like the first two. I figured after giving birth to a stuck, 10lb. baby, I would be fine. Yeah, I was for about 4 hours, and finally the exhaustion, and no for sleep for 24 hours and the non-stop contractions (that's the difference between medical induction, the contractions don't have breaks)  broke me down and got an epidural. It.was.life.changing. David says that he walked back in two minutes after they finished to find that I was super chatty and chipper (i.e. high as a kite). Life was great, the pain from the contractions was instantly gone and I was left with just the feeling of pressure. I got a good 6 hours of sleep in and was good to go. 

After about 6 hours, I was at 6cm dilated and a new resident came in talking about my previous  experience and offered me a c-section to make things easier but I declined and agreed to further induction with pitocin. This just meant they needed more doctors in the room for delivery just in case we ran into any problems. They set up the room for delivery and left me. My nurse gave me pitocin and we waited. For about an hour and a half I kept mentioning to David and our nurse that I felt a lot of pressure and couldn't figure out what it was. 15 minutes later I felt a strange sensation and my nurse noticed my catheter had come out. The doctor came in to check me and lo-behold Indiana's head was making it's way out on it's own. Everyone came in and prepared for delivery. 

After one small push his head was born. David and I held our breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop. After another half of a push, Indiana made his way out flawlessly and David and I honestly couldn't stop the tears. That 8lb. 9oz baby healed us and gave us the amazing birth we had hoped for with Evan. Even after all of the emotional drama from the last few weeks it turned out to be the best birth experience to date. Between the nurses taking complete care of me, the doctors supporting me, and David being there every step of the way, it was by far the best experience. 

Everyone cleared the room, Indiana immediately nursed (and has been nursing like a champ since) while I inhaled two huge plates of food. My epidural took awhile to wear off on one side, leaving me with a wobbly leg for a couple of hours but it was well worth it after that experience. Shortly after the boys arrived with my mom and met their little brother for the first time, they didn't have much to say except that they were both alarmed that my belly was still there and were convinced there was ANOTHER baby in there waiting to come out. So, that was fun to hear and have to explain. The brilliant minds of a child. 

My stay at the hospital was pretty great, considering it was my first time staying overnight. David camped out on the pull out couch and my mom brought the boys the next day before she flew out. By Monday we were ready to go and start life as a family of 5.

Embroidered Off The Shoulder Top Under $50

19 June 2017

While I would definitely say that I live in dresses most of the year there's a few instances where I swap my ladylike lengths for something a little more casual. After spotting this embroidered top I immediately added it to my cart and sent it my way - I love the scalloping detail and pop of color. I kept with the general red and blue color scheme, adding navy espadrilles (obsessed with this pair!) and cropped denim pants. Perfect for grabbing an iced coffee and strolling the farmer's market and doing a little shopping.  

Top c/o Chicwish (Also in Black), Jeans (Similar), Shoes Vince Camuto Leddy, Bag Vintage (similar)
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Floral Wrap Maxi Dress

14 June 2017

These days getting dressed it all about accessibility. If I'm going anywhere, I have to ask myself first and foremost, am I going to be able to easily nurse at a moments notice in this get-up. If the answer is no, it's going back on the hanger and back into my closet. I actually just rotated one of my wardrobes to be exclusively nursing-friendly styles and it's making life a whole lot easier. I personally have been leaning towards off the shoulder and wrap styles, including this floral wrap dress. Tip: I tend to wear (heavily) printed dresses and tops to conceal any 'spillage' or spit up. Works like a charm...

Now the dress, It's a little revealing because I'm a little bustier than usual but I can't help but still love it, busty or not. As for my wedges, you need them in your life! Must-have summer sandal addition. They're so comfortable and the suede is ridiculously soft. Plus, the nude/tan goes with everything. 

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5 Mom Boss Baby Essential Brands

13 June 2017

After baby is born chances are you're going to be doing A LOT of shopping in the coming months (and years). Whether you're heading out for diapers, new clothes or baby gear that you're just realizing you're missing. In our house, it's never ending between three boys. Thankfully hand me downs are an option for the first two but given the 6 year gap between the youngest and the middle we had to start completely from scratch and truth be told I had completely forgotten what I needed aside from somewhere for him to sleep and his 'transportation'. So, I went on the hunt for baby essentials and found a handful of brands run by awesome mom bosses that were amazing. Even if you're not having a baby these are great gift options for baby showers! Not only are they super stylish they're actually super budget friendly as well...

Check them out! 


These stylish onesies are a awesome! We brought Indy home in his and I love the peek-a-boo hand and foot option which is necessary when it comes to new borns easily getting cold or scratching their razor like nails on their face. Just fold over and voila! covered. The double zipper makes diaper changing a breeze. They have a ton of prints and sizes range from NB - 24 months.  Indy is wearing Ocean Waves in NB.

A stylish diaper bag is key. For me, I really wanted a bag that held all of my baby changing essentials but didn't look like a typical diaper bag. While there are a lot of options these days not very many met my needs until I found Mina Kay. I LOVE this bag. It's high-quality vegan leather, has tons of room, transitions from satchel (with a shoulder strap) to backpack with the simple change of the strap. I can't even tell you how game changing the backpack option is. Also, it clips right onto my stroller. I love the pink hue and am likely going back for the black as well. They have a handful of different styles and colors, check them out! I have the Downtown Satchel in Burgundy

An on-the-go changing mat is also key. This NursElet® Vegan Faux Leather mat is stylish, practical and compact. It folds right up into your diaper bag or even clutch for 'light days' and is easily wiped down for cleaning. It looks super luxe, making it the most stylish changing mat wherever you go.  Don't need a mat? They also have clutches, hats, nursing scarves and the NursElet® hands-free nursing bracelet. I have the Gold NursElet® Mat, $20

Fact: You can never have too many swaddle blankets. We use them for just about everything from swaddling, a floor barrier for baby, and even receiving. But, these swaddle blankets from Oh, Susannah® are almost too cute to use for their intended swaddling. I mean, they make the best backgrounds for shooting baby. I personally love the frame version but they also have a dinosaur, astronaut, batting eyelashes, a mermaid tail and more. They adorable and I'll be giving these as baby shower gifts in the future. Not in need of a blanket, Oh, Susannah® also has tons of adorable pillowcases for all ages, stationary, coffee mugs and coloring books. So, something for everyone. Indy has the Picture Frame Swaddle Blanket, $26.95

One of my favorite things about babies is dressing them. Clothes today are wayyyy more stylish than what my mom put on me in the late 80's - and even better, boys clothes have completely evolved over the last decade. My options in 2009 for baby no.1 was Winnie the Pooh overalls. I still cringe over the thought of those plaid linen overalls. Now, denim would be another story but I digress. Little Gypsy Finery has my back when it comes to stylish duds for the little man, I mean can you even with these Bowie pants and graphic tee? I can't. Best part, a lot of their sizes run from NB-Youth meaning tons of opportunties for matching the three amigos. Indy is wearing the Bowie Leggings and Tee.

DONNA MORGAN OFF SHOULDER CHIFFON MAXI

12 June 2017

It's no secret that I am in LOVE with this silhouette, so much so that I had to have the same exact dress in THREE different prints. No shame. Which is probably why I'm so excited that I can finally share a version of this Donna Morgan maxi that is fully stocked at a few different stores, whew! I personally think this particular print and color is my favorite, because you know, purple and blue. It's good right? Donna Morgan does not disappoint. I can almost guarantee that this isn't the last time you'll see me in this dress because summer is just kicking off and I'm going to be wearing this to just about every outing as the next couple of months pass by.

Now, a new dress calls for a new pair of sandals to match. I personally have been on the hunt for a nude or tan pair of espadrilles so, I HAD to buy these (by Splendid) when I spotted them on Zappos a couple of weeks back. I love the suede tie-straps and the low wedge, making them perfect for toting kids and a baby around the city this summer. It doesn't hurt that they're also under $100.

Dress Donna Morgan, Shoes Splendid via Zappos, Bag TJMAXX

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