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    5 Things To Help Cope with A Miscarriage – Our Miscarriage Story

    Hey friends,

    Hope y’all are having a great week! Today I am getting personal with ya’ll and sharing an update on our pregnancy. A month ago we announced early knowing there was a possibility it wasn’t a viable pregnancy. After weeks of many doctor visits, waiting it out, and trying all options we ended up having to get a D&C last week to end the pregnancy. I ended up having a last minute surgery the day before me and my mom’s trip to New York with Bio Oil. It was a whirlwind, and honestly I feel like I haven’t had a chance to finally stop and really process everything until these past couple of days since my husband has been home. Today am finally sharing our miscarriage story plus five things that have helped me cope with my first miscarriage. October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month, and hopefully sharing my story can help someone out there who is going through the same thing or has gone through the same thing feel like they are not alone, and also help them in the process.

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    Family

    We Are Pregnant! – Why We Announced Early During Times of Uncertainty

    Hey friends,

    Surprise! We are pregnant! We have been keeping a secret from ya’ll for over a month now and it has been one of the hardest secrets to keep. Some of ya’ll might have noticed do to my longer than usual absence on my blog, or my less frequent post on social media. These past couple weeks have been a blur. We’ve been so overjoyed by the news I wanted to shout it out from the rooftops. But it wasn’t till recently when we went for our first midwife appointment a week ago, and receiving some uncertain news that we decided we would share the news now even though we are not past our first trimester. Today on the blog I am sharing these beautiful photos our photographer took, more details of our pregnancy, and why we are choosing faith over fear. Read more below.

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    Fitness

    How I lost All My Pregnancy Weight

    Lately I have had some of my friends ask me about my secret to loosing all my pregnancy weight. So how did I do it? How did I loose all 35lbs of my pregnancy weight? Well first let me give you a little background of myself before I got pregnant.

    Three years ago I moved to Florida to pursue my career. I was unhealthy, I drank, I ate whatever I want, partied till the light of day, and was in the worse shape of my life. Moving to Florida gave me a wake up call, and I decided to pursue a healthier lifestyle. I gave up drinking, eating out, and even entered myself in a bodybuilding competition. I was probably the fittest I had ever been in my life.

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    Fitness

    30 Day Challenge – May Resolutions

     

    Hey guys, so my first 30 days are done! Goodbye April, hello May! So how did I do? Well I didn’t get to accomplish all my resolutions but I was still very please with how much I did get done.

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    My Diet

    I was very good about not eating out unless it was to celebrate an occasion, but I did on occasion, when I was at work, eat at Chic Filay more than once in a week; however, I always had the healthy grill chicken pieces and fruit option so that was a plus. I will continue to get better at my April resolutions in addition to my new resolutions for this month. Here are this month’s diet resolutions.

    1. Before I start breaking down my macros and creating a meal plan, I will be tracking my calories  on My Fitness Pal. This will allow me to see what is working and not working for me when I start making adjustments to my diet next month.

    2. I will cook something new once a week. I will be honest with you, I am spoiled by my family and husband. But I know I need to improve my cooking skills and plus soon my son will be old enough to start eating solid food. I can’t shy from my responsibilities any longer so be on the look out for future food posts!

    My workout

    I was very pleased with my results, even though I only strength trained once a week,  the other times I did cardio or plyometric workouts with my son at home or at the park. I still noticed such a big difference in my strength. I was noticeably stronger by the end of the month. I only took one group class this month, and my goal was two. I will continue to try to make it to two group classes a month. For my gym routine I will continue following Jamie Eason’s 30 Day Total Body workout plan from my previous post. Here are my May workout resolutions:

    1. Increase my strength – Increase my squats by adding 20 lbs

    2. Increase my endurance – run 5 miles

    3. Take 2 group classes

    My spirit resolutions

      I was able to go to church once and have date night with my husband. It felt really great to have a personal life balance and to make time for what matters to me most. I’m definitely a happier mother, wife, friend, business entrepreneur, and overall just a happier person when I get to spend the time I have doing what I love with the people I love. I know I don’t get to go out as often as I did before, but when I do go I make most of the time I have. Plus it’s the quality of how you spend your time not the quantity of time you have. We all have twenty four hours in a day, and that will never change. It’s what we decide to do in those twenty four hours that we can change.

    My results

     I lost 3 lbs from 121 to 118. I’m 3 lbs from my pre pregnancy weight. You can see my mid section tighten up. My hormone line down my belly is still visible but slowly fading away. I still have work to do, but I am very proud of my results and all the hard work put into it. Progression not perfection.

     

    Thanks for following me on my journey!

    <3 Dawn

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    Family

    40 weeks and 2 days later….

    As I walked to the checkout line, waiting to make my purchase, I stared enviously at the lady ahead of me with her cute baby boy in tow. I was 40 weeks past due and walking and shopping was one of my favorite things to do to pass the time. I was ready for my baby to come into this world, and as a first time mom, patience was not on my side. I never felt so envious like this before. At first I was excited and appreciative of all the new moms out there with their babies, knowing I would soon be one of them. But now wherever I looked, in the grocery store, at the mall, on Facebook, Instagram, all I saw was what I was missing out on. I know statistically 40% of first time mothers deliver after their expected due date. But like most first time moms, we all secretly hope to be in the other 60% who have their babies earlier or on time.

    Earlier this week I had embarked on an experiment of 10 days and 10 ways of naturally inducing labor. I tried everything:
    1. squating
    2. eating pineapples
    3. drinking raspberry tea
    4. walking
    5. Eating spicy foods
    6. Dancing
    7. Bouncing on an exercise ball
    8. Massage
    9. Stairs
    10. Sex
    I was hopeful I would be one of those success stories you read on pregnancy websites where it worked for them, but yet no baby for me.

    It’s hard not to compare yourself to others, even though you know no two pregnancies are alike. I had to accept that the most natural thing in the world, and one of the biggest gifts God could give you has no due date. He will come when he is ready, not when you are ready. It’s a lesson that not only you will have to learn and accept now but in the future in all stage of your child’s life. We can only do our best and give our best as parents, but ultimately he will be who he wants to be in his on time and in his own ways. It’s funny how even at the earliest stages of conception, God has already given us lessons and insights on the future of the gift that we shall receive.

    So as I sit here patiently waiting, tired, anxious, with mix feelings, I am one thing above all and that is grateful. Because if there’s one thing I can 100% bet on is that we can’t be pregnant forever! And whether it be a day or a week from now, I will wait for this blessing to arrive, because in the end I know he will be worth every minute.

    <3 Dawn P. Darnell

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    Family

    Working Mom V.S. Stay at Home Mom

    When my husband and I first found out we were pregnant this was one of the first issue that came up for us. Our pregnancy was not planned, and at that time we had other personal and relationship goals we were going after.

    At first our plans were for me to either work part time or not at all due to the time restraints my husband had with his job. His schedule required him to work nights two weeks straight and one week off. At that time I was in the first trimester of my pregnancy and honestly I did not feel like working at all.

    But as time passed and my pregnancy progressed, opportunities came presented to us that opened the option of me being able to work full time or part time. Josh, my husband, had received a promotion at work, and I had also become really successful in my career, and both of our mothers were more than willing to babysit whenever we needed it. We agreed daycare would not be an option for us, and my mom was willing to take care of our baby if I decided to work full time. We were lucky we were only 15 minutes away from both sides of our family.

    But even then with all the options before us, I was still hesitant about going to work full time. I felt some what guilty and selfish for pursuing my career. I wanted more than anything
    to be the best mother and wife that I could. My family meant everything to me. It was easier when I didn’t have as many choices. I understood the sacrifices both working mothers and non working mothers make especially when there is no option but to be one or the other.

    It’s not easy being a mom in general. There’s pros and cons in every situation. Being on maternity leave, and not working has given me more appreciation for stay at home moms and all they do. I don’t know if I would be very successful being a full time mommy. I’ve never even changed a diaper in my life! The closest thing to a baby I’ve taken care of is my cat, and she’s pretty darn easy to take care of.

    On the other hand, working full time has its pros and cons too. It’s a sacrifice of time you will miss with your little one. But I have seen a lot of mothers do it and be very successful at what they do including my own mom. And as crazy as it seems I miss work already and I haven’t even been gone for two weeks. I guess for me my work has always given me something to feel accomplished about, daily affirmation that I am good at something. I guess what worries me is if I will feel the same way about motherhood.

    So though I am only a couple days from my due date, and while I’ve given so much thought in my decision, I have yet to make up my mind. But I do know this, there is no right or wrong, no all around better choice. Working or not working, I know all mothers make a sacrifice, and whatever decision they make is a decision they make for the best of their family. As mothers we cannot judge others on their personal choice to work or not work, rather offer support for the decision they do make. I am thankful for having a supportive husband that works hard to be able to give our family that choice, and for our families for being there for us and offering their help with the baby. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I’m very blessed for our village our child will grow up in, because no matter what decision I make he will be loved unconditionally.

    ? Dawn P. Darnell ?✌️

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    Fitness

    4 things to do to prevent stretch marks when you’re pregnant

    When I found out I was pregnant I feared what everyone else feared and that was getting stretch marks. You read all of these things about what causes them and what you can do to prevent them and wonder what works and what doesn’t. I was worried because I had read genetics played a part in it, and my mother had stretch marks from her pregnancies. I already had stretch marks on my thighs and waist from my younger days when I went through a growth spurt, and even though they weren’t noticeable it still worried me because I didn’t want them to spread to my stomach. But here are somethings I swear helped me from getting stretch marks through my pregnancy. I’m not a doctor, but I hope my personal experience can help others out there.

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    1. Drink lots of water – stay as hydrated as possible! Flavored water and tea was my drink of choice. When your skin stays hydrated it allows for better elasticity.

    2. Take your vitamins – Prenatals everyday helps you get the vitamins you need for you and your baby. Sometimes it can be hard to eat healthy when your pregnant, especially when your hormones are out of whack and all you want to do is eat sweets like I did. Vitamins are good for your skin.

    3. Stretch and exercise – I do believe keeping your body active and flexible through your pregnancy helps with circulation and blood flow through your skin.

    4. Body butter – I am a big believer in Palmer’s cocoa tummy butter. My sister gave me a tub like this and it lasted me through my whole pregnancy. I lathered it on twice a day religiously, when I woke up and before I went to bed. I was not stingy with my application at all.

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    I truly believe in incorporating these simple steps throughout your pregnancy to help prevent stretch marks. It may not work for everybody but it’s worth a try. Hopefully it works for you as it’s worked for me.

    ?- Dawn ?✌️

    Family

    Nautical Bohemian Themed Maternity Shoot

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    I finally got my maternity photos back and I wanted share them with you. I was really pleased how they turned out. I wanted to do a Bohemian theme but also add a nautical touch to tie in our Nautical themed nursery and baby shower. The Life Preserver is a DIY project I wrote about in my previous article Jayden’s Nautical Nursery and DIY Life Preserver. I love how these turned out. My brother did a great job in capturing these precious moments.

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    Family

    We’re having a boy!

    This last Wednesday we found out we are having a boy. Both Josh and I guessed it, and I had an inclination from the beginning it would would be a boy. We are so excited! I wasn’t ready to share my crown yet with a little girl, because I knew she would come out just as spoiled as me.

    For our gender reveal we decided to do balloons, and for our party we did little monster cupcakes. Here are some photos of our gender reveal.

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