I know this post is so long overdue – but I’ve been so busy! I wanted to share some of the pretty pictures with you all and take the time to deliver some huge Thank yous to everyone for such a perfect event. I had no part in the planning and so I was thrilled with every new discovery I made – from the flowers and color scheme, to the cake and gifts, I thought it was all so well put together and very “me”. Thank you to my incredibly talented and selfless sister in-law for designing and hosting the entire baby shower, and to my mother in-law and mother for their endless support and love. Thank you to everyone who attended, and to those who were unable to attend but made their love known from afar. I am so fortunate and thankful for my family, friends, coworkers (and even some students!) who blessed me with gorgeous gifts, well wishes, sage advice, and hilarious stories.
In honor of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, I wanted to tell a happy tale – an unofficial “Part Four” to my series about my Partial Molar Pregnancy last year. After the utter nightmare of that experience, I wanted to say thank you to the women over the past year who have been brave enough to reach out to me for advice or comfort. Pregnancy loss is not so uncommon as people think – it happens every day. It is crucial to refrain from stigmatizing miscarriage (of all kinds) and we have come to a point where a change is needed. Women and families need support, and it is just not readily available.
(If you have not yet read about my Partial Molar journey, you can find the 3-part series here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3) After this experience, I have been moved to create a Free Mini e-Course addressing Pregnancy Loss Recovery and the steps involved in navigating positive personal growth. If you’d be interested in this enriching workshop, please enter your info below and I will notify you when it launches!
In February, after 6 months of letting my body clear itself of the toxic Methotrexate treatments, we were finally given the green light by both of my doctors to try and conceive again. In that waiting time, it was necessary for me to NOT get pregnant at all costs due to the high risk of birth defects and deformities in infants when the mother’s eggs suffer exposure to Methotrexate. So, instead of having any additional hormones in my body, I opted for a non-hormonal IUD to serve as my birth control to ensure I did not get pregnant. After all of the heartbreak, turmoil, and struggle we had been through, my husband and I decided that we wanted to try again as soon as we could. In our minds, we had suffered long enough, and wanted to bring joy back into our lives by getting back to our original hope: to start a family.
Once my IUD was removed in February, we found ourselves pregnant shortly after in my first cycle. That right there should have been a good omen for what was to come. After the hell that we had been through, we had gotten pregnant right away; no stress, no pressure, no doubts, no pain or longing. I actually new I was pregnant long before any test could tell me. I noticed the small signs and changes in my body, and I “just knew”. I told Max one night as we got ready for bed that I knew I was pregnant. I told him about the symptoms, and he asked me one more time “Are you sure?” “Yes, I’m pregnant.” He looked at me deeply, nodded, and believed me. We held hands, and we knew.
Even the early detection tests from the store would take too long to tell me what I already knew – they required a higher hcg level, and it would take time for that to rise – I was too excited to wait that amount of time. So, I hopped on Amazon and ordered low level hcg pregnancy strips, and waited until the next day. Sure enough, I was right. I was pregnant, and I wasn’t surprised. I was, however, absolutely thrilled.
Max was, too. Every day I would do more tests and watch the lines get darker and darker. We even told our parents at that point, just days after I knew. I couldn’t keep it from my mom because we are too close, and I couldn’t lie when she asked me (she knew we were trying that month and had done the math in her head as to when we would be finding out). My in-laws we told the next weekend, and my mother in law cried. Of anyone, she had felt the pain of our previous loss the most. She texted me every day during my treatment, asking me how I felt, and giving me moral support. And now, through this pregnancy, she has still texted me every day, with extra emojis on Fridays when I progress to the next week of pregnancy development. I am so grateful for this small gesture every day.
As soon as I could schedule one, I made an appointment with my OBGYN. Because of the partial molar pregnancy, I was so scared that something – anything – could happen again to prevent us from having this baby be healthy and viable. I at least wanted to make sure that my hcg levels were at a normal level (high hcg is an early sign of molar/partial molar pregnancies) and that I was actually pregnant, and not somehow suffering from tumor development leftover from my previous pregnancy. They drew my blood, but it was too early to do an ultrasound still. Once they saw my actual hcg levels, which were normal for how early I was, they were shocked that I even knew I was pregnant. Drug store pregnancy tests would still not detect my pregnancy at this point, and I was going off my symptoms. I would just have to wait for more confirmation.
Waiting. I hated waiting. Each day that passed filled me with doubt. I had spent half a year waiting already, and before that, more than a year of uncertainty, treatment, and recovery. I tried to stay positive knowing that what happened to me was such an anomaly (though, not entirely uncommon) that the chances of it happening to me again were slim. But that didn’t stop the rare from happening to me the first time – chance doesn’t mean a thing. I could still be that .01% in the blink of an eye. I worried that this would be another disappointment, another heartbreak, followed by more treatment or a more severe diagnosis. I needed the confirmation that this was a “normal” pregnancy.
I was finally able to get an ultrasound at 6 weeks, and to my relief, all the necessary parts were there. Next, I just had to wait for the heartbeat. They scheduled my appointment for two weeks later (8 weeks) to see if there was a heartbeat. But, a week later at seven weeks, I started spotting. I was in a panic – and it didn’t help that it happened at my sister in-law’s Bridal Shower that I was throwing. I was still hiding my pregnancy from everyone at this point and it was a Sunday, which meant no calls to the doctor. I googled all afternoon long, reading that it was normal to spot this early on – but then I also read that it was an early sign of miscarriage. Conflicting information meant only that I would just have to wait until Monday afternoon to see a doctor and receive my own diagnosis. That whole evening I was lost in my own negative thoughts, and stressed beyond belief. The next day at work was also unbearable – I didn’t think of anything else except for the fact that I wanted to get out of there and speed to the doctor.
The ultrasound tech saw me right away, since they knew of my history, and wanted to check things out. It was a surreal experience that I partly don’t remember. What I do remember is the tech saying, “Well, I’m not allowed to say because I’m not the doctor, but that’s not your heartbeat.” She smiled, and handed me a printout of what looked like the lines you see on an EKG. My baby was fine. My baby had a heartbeat.
After meeting with my doctor and having her confirm that everything was alright, it turns out that the culprit of my spotting was three cysts on my left ovary. Basically, normal and nothing to worry about. For only being pregnant for a few weeks, I sure had done a lot of worrying! My doctor insisted that now that we had heard a heartbeat, and my hcg levels were perfectly normal, that I treat this as a normal pregnancy. She wanted me to enjoy every moment, and wipe away the bad memories of my last experience with new experiences; to fill a void with excitement and joy.
I told myself I would do just that, and Max agreed. We knew we couldn’t live each day dreading the “what if”s or else we would miss all of the good stuff, the happy things. Like the fact that I had almost no bothersome symptoms of pregnancy. No morning sickness, no pain, and no exhaustion. At about 12 weeks, we opted to do the fetal cell free (cf) DNA test using my blood – combined with an ultrasound, it would tell us whether or not our baby had trisomies 21 (Down’s syndrome), 18, or 13. It would also reveal the baby’s gender, which we still hadn’t decided if we wanted to find out or not. On a trip to New York City for the Tribeca Film Festival a couple of weeks before, we were able to discuss the pros and cons of finding out the gender. Ultimately, I left it up to Max. I was fine either way – but he thought it might help him feel more connected to the pregnancy and the baby knowing what he or she would be like. So, when the results came in via phone call, I was doing something absolutely stereotypical of a pregnant woman: I was in line at Taco Bell.
Don’t judge me, I was getting an afternoon snack. And when I say “snack”, I mean 2 chalupas and 1 burrito. And a slushie. And cinnamon cream cheese bites. I was hungry.
Not only was our bundle free from any trisomies, it was a she; we were having a girl. I grinned from ear to ear as I hung up the phone, but then immediately thought to Max: how would he feel? I know that his dream was, in an ideal world, to have a boy, then a girl, and then be done. But how would he feel about having a girl as his firstborn? That’s another tale, for another day perhaps. When I let him know about the results, we felt like we had passed yet one more test on our pregnancy journey. The baby was healthy, which was all we were wishing for.
Weeks turned into months, and on Mother’s Day I officially announced my pregnancy to the world on social media. Appointments came and went, ultrasounds showed a cute nose and little kicks, and my belly started to grow and move. I loved being pregnant – every minute of it. I’m sure I had my moments, but for the most part Max got it pretty easy. I felt amazing, and I even told him that I could be pregnant for the rest of my life and I wouldn’t mind. Yet, here we are days away from her arrival, and I will no longer be pregnant, I will be a mother. Even after all the emotional anguish of my first pregnancy experience, it is completely overshadowed by the utter bliss that this experience has brought us. Believe, hope, and know that good can come from pain, and that loss does not always mean forever.
In total, we have been waiting for our baby for two years and ten months; 10 months trying, 2 months pregnant with a partial molar pregnancy, 3 months of waiting for my hcg to come down, 4 months of methotrexate treatment, 6 months of waiting to conceive, and now 9 months pregnant with our little girl. Thirty-four months we have waited to start a family, and now it is finally here.
Photos by PrimeRaw Photography. Click here for information on booking your session and receiving FREE Holiday Cards from PrimeRaw featuring your favorite shot.
Well, even though this has to be the comfiest tee in my wardrobe, I won’t be able to get away with wearing it much longer! I probably wear it wayyyy too much (I think people can guess I’m pregnant by now, so the message is tres obvious) but it is just so soft that I can’t resist. I paired it with some key – and equally comfortable – Fall pieces that I love to bring out when the Miami weather goes below 86. A long sweater, flats, and adorable hat are the perfect items for transitioning to “Miami Fall” without putting on too many layers.
I’m also experimenting a bit with my Fall lip color – a two-tone lip! I have Sephora Collection Matte Rouge lipstick in No Games all over, and then on the upper lip I layered Kat Von D Studded Kiss lipstick in Vampira. I actually really love it, and am always up for trying something new and creative. Happy Friday everyone!
Two39 Boutique provided The Miami Rose with complimentary products for this post. I aspire to not only create beautiful and meaningful content, but to remain authentic in everything I share with my viewership.
Maternity photos were definitely something that I have looked forward to this entire pregnancy. As each month passed, I waited for my belly to grow and grow so that I could finally schedule my session – but the closer to my due date that I got, the more impatient I grew for my stomach to expand. I would see other maternity photos through Instagram or Pinterest and compare myself to other women, which was a huge mistake. There were even other women in my workplace who were less pregnant than I was, but who were showing much rounder, fuller bellies. I felt insecure, and wondered if I was doing something wrong, or if my baby was too small. I even let others’ opinions get to me – small comments about my petite size, or how I didn’t look pregnant at all weren’t said in malice, but each one made me feel less sure about myself.
But, each time I went to the doctor, she measured me and assured me that all was just fine, “perfect”, and right on track for my body. Although there are so many women in the opposite position as I, who wish they were a bit smaller, we are all in a vulnerable place during pregnancy. We have to remember that little comments shouldn’t mean anything, and that we cannot compare our bodies (pregnant or not) even in harmless conversation. If I have learned anything in this time that I have spent growing a little human is that every woman’s body is so different, not just on the outside! The way our organs are shaped, tilted, and sized completely effect the way we carry a child, and no woman should compare themselves to others. I do have a short torso, but my rib cage is wide; this has allowed me to go most of my pregnancy with my little one tucked up inside me. Up until recently, she was nestled comfortably in there! Now that she is running out of room and we are quickly approaching the time when she will be here, she is poking and prodding me to remind me she is still there; I know she will be a strong little one.
I believe that any insecurities women have during pregnancy should be squashed by the support of people around them, and we all need to do a better job of following this rule. Even when things are said casually, in passing, or meant as a compliment, we can unknowingly create a glimmer of doubt, a pocket of insecurity, or crush someone’s feelings with the slightest word. Stress the importance of individuality, promote our differences, and make women feel confident in their unique circumstances. In the end, the only thing that matters is the health and happiness of a growing family, not the size or shape of a new mommy.
With full confidence gained, I happily scheduled my maternity photos with PrimeRaw Photography, an incredible team based in Miami, FL who specialize in family portraits, lifestyle and love photoshoots, newborn and child photography, and birth stories. I met with Liz for our initial consultation to discuss what I was looking for, and she had so many amazing ideas. With her experience, there were so many choices for location depending on what kind of shoot I was looking for. We had a great time collaborating, and the end result was exactly what I wanted. Liz was absolutely amazing during the session, and we has so much fun driving around on a golf cart to get our favorite shots! We ended up doing two looks, but I’m only teasing you with one of them here. It’s far from a typical maternity look, which is usually soft and floral – here, I decided to do the opposite, and go for bold!
These are just a couple of the amazing shots that Liz captured – there were so many to choose from! About one and a half to two weeks after our session, she visited me at my home to show me the best of the best so I could choose my favorites. Not only does PrimeRaw take amazing photos, they offer professional printing services in a variety of formats and sizes.
In addition, every year PrimeRaw designs a special Holiday Card collection, perfect for family portraits. As a special offer, mention The Miami Rose when you schedule your consultation and you will receive a set of 25 custom-designed 2016 Holiday cards for FREE to feature your family photo session with PrimeRaw Photography! Click here to book your shoot now for amazing Holiday photos and portraits. You know how I absolutely treasure the art of stationery and fine paper – I myself will be getting some of their gorgeous foil-pressed designs for this year’s card, and I can’t wait to share those with you, too!
PrimeRaw Photography provided The Miami Rose with complimentary services for this post. I aspire to not only create beautiful and meaningful content, but to remain authentic in everything I share with my viewership.
For my birthday, I had the blessing of being surrounded by friends and family for my 30th Birthday celebrations. From an intimate dinner at home to an amazing experience at my first pro football game, it was definitely a birthday to remember. I always knew that my 30th birthday would be one that I would always remember, but not for the reason you would expect.
As a young lady, I never viewed the big 3-0 as a treasured milestone – I dreaded it. How could I ever imagine myself at such an in-between age? Not old, but not young; a sort of unpredictable stage in life. Would I be married by then? With children? I would definitely have a job by then, so I would need to be mature; but how would I act? How would I look? Would I feel fulfilled? All these things seemed impossibly far away at the time anyways, but as I entered my teens, then early and mid-twenties, thirty didn’t seem so bad after all. As I got closer and closer to thirty, I realized that I was dreading the wrong thing: age. I wasn’t afraid of getting older like I had originally thought, superficially – upon deeper examination, I was afraid of the unsure nature and unpredictability of my 30th year on this Earth.
I am a planner. Not in a way where I need to know exactly the precise steps of a process down to the minute, but at least a general outline of what to expect for my future. Once I got beyond the plan of college and obtaining a job/career, the rest was up in the air. After that, what was left but partnership, marriage, children, and family to complete my well-rounded life? Of course there was career growth and new opportunities, but that was fairly unpredictable as well; the latter half of my twenties and finally turning 30 really all hinged on meeting the love of my life, which, suffice to say, was something I – like countless others – had dreamed about my whole life.
This fear of the unknown began to slip away as I got closer and closer to 30, and the things in my life that were previously TBD surely fell into place – though, never according to “plan”. But surely, isn’t that truly the art of living: to watch your path reveal itself, in its own unique way?
I finished up college; although not according to plan, it was a life-changing experience nonetheless.
I found a career. It happened to be one that I swore I would never pursue, but in the end I couldn’t deny my love for the craft and, frankly, how natural it was for me.
I lost friends, made friends, and lost some again. But this in itself has shown me what true friendship and love really is.
I tried new things (not all of them good) and had a full array of life experiences in a short amount of time, when I was old enough to do them and while I was still young enough to be foolish.
I searched for the love of my life, kissing more than a few frogs along the way (and even a monster); but I finally found my soulmate.
I decided to grow by getting a master’s degree; one that would give me the option of expanding my career in the future if the opportunity should present itself.
I’m having a child. My [stupid] “goal” when I was younger was to have my first child before I was 30, but thinking back I know that idea was completely ridiculous, and I am just absolutely thrilled, thankful, and excited beyond words to meet her. I already love her so much.
I have felt things. This seems pretty generic, but it is the only phrase that could encapsulate such a broad meaning and array of feelings and experiences. I have felt things: I have felt loss when I suffered through my partial molar pregnancy; I have felt the pain of a broken heart; I have felt anger and self loathing when I have made huge mistakes; depression, doubt, self pity, arrogance, indifference, hate, and hope when going through chemo. I have also felt overwhelming joy, incredible love, great pride, immense gratitude, overwhelming happiness, and utter bliss.
Although it is [still] hard for me to accept sometimes, you can’t plan out your entire life – the big things, at least. It is a gentle balance of both planning, and unplanned opportunities and experiences.
So, here is my 30th birthday revelation…
“The art of living is to watch your path reveal itself to you.” – Jessie Undorfer, The Miami Rose
Miami Flower Market
I have always loved flowers – growing up as a little girl, my mother loved to garden and we always had fresh flowers in the house. She has taught me everything I know about plant life and floral arrangements. I didn’t inherit her green thumb, but I think I do pretty well with my floral design! So, as a perfect activity for my Birthday weekend, I was invited to attend the grand opening event of the Miami Flower Market! My mother and I went and we had so much fun looking at the variety of flowers and greenery available. It was the perfect start to my day, and I was able to take home a huge haul of flowers to create my table arrangement for my Birthday dinner that night. Be sure to check out their events calendar soon for the awesome classes that they will be offering at their location – all of the professionals who work at Miami Flower Market are so knowledgeable and helpful that I can’t wait to go back (very) soon!
At-Home Birthday Dinner
I was so grateful to be surrounded by my family on my 30th Birthday for an intimate (and fun!) dinner catered by a private chef. I love to cook with my husband, but it was nice to be served at home for once and not even have to clean up! I used my gorgeous flowers from Miami Flower Market to make a tropical and bright arrangement, and, believe it or not, everyone wore their party hats for the whole dinner! We had a great time and it was exactly the kind of thing I wanted to do on my 30th birthday – food, family, and fun.
Today on The MIAMI Rose I wanted to share a few of my favorite things for the Fall season – fashion, food, and fun! For more great ideas and fun projects, follow me on Pinterest!
I can never have enough comfy and stylish flats for work (or play) and love going beyond the basic colors to delve into a diverse seasonal color palette. Go for prints, rich jewel tones, or earthy colors this season. I myself have this pointed-toe style in several different colors.
Nothing changes a look up quite like the addition of a skinny belt. It adds a flair of sophistication, shows off your figure, and can completely transform a look for multiple wears! Plus, with a couple of basic colors in your closet like black and brown, or gold and white, you can rule the world. See a great selection here.
Tasseled Crossbody Bags
I have been lusting after this bag (in pink) since this Summer, but love it as a Fall staple as well. The black leather and camel leather Gucci Soho Crossbody bags with a tassel is a perfect go-to for the season, and it begs to be worn with almost every outfit. Its versatility allows you to wear it with a casual look or out in the evening!
Already this season I have seen some gorgeous pieces of fine jewelry feature the ever-luscious ruby, like this brooch from Tiffany & Co. The deep scarlet hue has always been a classic, and its Fall debut is something that I have been waiting for. Baublebar has an incredible selection here featuring crimson and fuchsia tones, as well as a deep red collection from Henri Bendel, and this floral collection from Kate Spade.Image via Kate Spade.
I have been seeing some amazing projects on Pinterest lately featuring this gorgeous, deep blue hue. The coll yet intense color catches my eye, and as one of my fave colors of all time, I’m so happy to see it so often! I’d love to try any of these DIY projects and add them to my multicolored home!
I always love statement earrings because they frame the face so well! For Fall, wear your favorite pair of loud earrings to death to change any look. They are perfect for dressing up a simple sweater or finishing off a sleek bun or ponytail hairdo. And the best part is, the color doesn’t even need to necessarily match! Just have fun and go with it. I love all of these from Baublebar…
No, not the delicious beer combo – the color palette of black and tan for the Fall season. It’s as effortless and easy as finishing off a tub of mocha chocolate chip ice cream.
I may or may not be ready to admit that Fall is here (in Miami, it isn’t about the weather – that always stays the same) but I know I need to change up my routine a bit to let go of summer for a little while and embrace the dark-er side. This weekend I wore this lightweight, bow-sleeved dress from MakeMeChic. They have trendy and affordable clothing, and right now they are having 30% OFF orders over $80 (code DARE30), offer FREE shipping on orders over $29, and even 20% OFF your first order!
I know that as we get closer and closer to “Fall” and the month of October, we come one step closer to meeting my baby girl! So, maybe I am ready to embrace pumpkin flavored things and a cinnamon broom or two…and I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am to actually use my Burberry diaper bag, which was the most amazing mommy gift ever. Since it will be my official go-to handbag for a few years, I should get used to styling it!
Scroll to the bottom to shop this look and visit MakeMeChic, and shop my other accessories!
MakeMeChic provided The Miami Rose with complimentary products for this post. I aspire to not only create beautiful and meaningful content, but to remain authentic in everything I share with my viewership.
Say hello to dirty hair days (or too-hot-to-have-your-hair-down days) with your best ponytail yet! My hair is so heavy that I always end up with a droopy ponytail, but this product worked so flawlessly. With the heat here in Miami I’m always dying to put my hair in a ponytail, but hate how sad it always looks. Today you can see how I amp up my pony with Perky Pony and 3 simple steps – here’s the BEFORE pic.
Step 1. Style your hair into a ponytail and separate it into two equal parts, top and bottom. Add a quick spray of dry shampoo for a little texture.
Step 2. Clip the Perky Pony into the bottom half of your ponytail.
Step 3. Spread out the top portion of your hair over the Perky Pony comb to give full coverage. Voila! Up next, the AFTER pic.
Take a look at my AFTER photo featuring Perky Pony!!! Even with heavy hair, I still get great volume and a full pony. It is perfect for my dirty hair days, and I can’t wait to try a high ponytail next!
Perky Pony provided The Miami Rose with complimentary products for this post. I aspire to not only create beautiful and meaningful content, but to remain authentic in everything I share with my viewership.
Today’s look is one of the most comfortable – yet chic – looks I think I have ever worn. I am completely in love with every piece from MBerry Dress, a European brand that specializes in handmade maternity and nursing apparel. The quality is impeccable, and the fabrics are incredibly soft and 100% natural. This midi dress and duster jacket pair perfectly together, or separately with other items. I love the length and comfort of the dress, and the detailed stripes in the soft stretch fabric. The thickness of the fabric is also amazing: tick to keep me warm in my freezing cold classroom, but didn’t make me sweat when stepping outside into the Miami weather. Styling this look with a hat and sunnies was the ultimate cherry on top! I received so many compliments and feel like everyone should own this look (in different colors, of course) in their closet.
Speaking of different colors, every style is available in an array of lovely, sweet shades. Although it takes 2-3 weeks to hand-make each item, every piece is worth the short wait. Every item is between $80-100 and are absolute wardrobe staples for maternity or postpartum. I cannot wait to see their Fall collection soon, and be one of the first to visit their new website! For now, you can always find Olga (MBerry’s owner and creative director) on Instagram for custom orders and pre-orders.
MBerry Dress provided The Miami Rose with complimentary products for this post. I aspire to not only create beautiful and meaningful content, but to remain authentic in everything I share with my viewership.
Hello everyone! Sorry it has been a little while since my last post – with the start of the new school year, and only two grad school classes left to complete for my Master’s degree, plus my fast-approaching due date, I took a little break to get settled into a new routine.
As my body and baby continue to grow day by day, I can’t remember a time that I was ever happier with my image. Especially in the summer, when most women in Miami (and across the world) over-analyze every inch of themselves for bikini season, I’m surprisingly more comfortable than ever. Now that summer is [basically] over, that doesn’t mean that we have to let go of that feeling, or put away our swimsuits! With the hot, hot, hot Miami weather year-round we have every reason to enjoy our fun in the sun for as long as possible. A site that I love getting my swimwear from is SwimsuitsForAll because it offers a full range of plus-size bathing suits in all kinds of styles, from adorable to sexy. I personally need their larger sized tops, since a standard “L” or “XL” bikini top just doesn’t cut it for me – ever. You can order your tops and bottoms in different sizes up to an H cup, which is my favorite thing about this site! Visit my Facebook page or Twitter to earn 40% OFF at SwimsuitsForAll.
This suit is actually not a maternity suit – isn’t that great? I especially love the cutouts on the side, and there are also some in the front. You can see the exact suit here. The flamingo print is to die for, and the style is so flattering and comfortable. At 31 weeks pregnant, the suit still isn’t pinching or leaving any marks.
Right now, their Labor Day SALE is still happening! For the next 14 hours, you can get 35-60% OFF the entire site, plus FREE 3-day shipping.