What a year 2018 has been!
I took the month of January off from blogging. I wrote about what the experience of taking the month off did for me. I explained that I was going through some rough times and needed a break (I finally shared what those rough times were just a few weeks ago, writing the hardest post to date sharing my struggles with infertility and multiple miscarriages.)
Truth is, 2017 sucked. There really weren’t any high parts. I struggled with losing two pregnancies and started infertility treatment (which starts with about 3 months of procedures and treatments that are anything but enjoyable.) I needed some time off, and so January was that break.
In February I traveled to Arizona and California. I visited the Grand Canyon, which was a huge bucket list item for me! It was weird visiting in February because it was cold and snowy! I never pictured the Grand Canyon in the snow! But, I love traveling off-season because of all the other perks like less crowds and better prices.
From there we drove west through the Mojave Desert and to Palm Springs where I was speaking at the Alt Summit about using video content as a blogger and entrepreneur. It was a really neat experience for sure! We also visited San Diego while in Cali.
I also learned I was pregnant in February! Honestly, this is usually a very exciting time but since I’d lost two pregnancies prior I spent most of February anxiously awaiting our first ultrasound and over-analyzing every little symptom.
March & April
In March I turned 30. I spent my birthday on the sofa due to morning sickness (and a little bit of napping recovery because we returned home from Cali the day before my birthday.) It was NOT the 30th birthday I ever imagined but I think it’s really indicative of life — mainly that life is NOT something you can plan.
The rest of March (and April) was A LOT of morning sickness and A LOT of first-trimester fatigue. I was also put on bedrest due to a small complication so I wasn’t allowed to do much: no heavy lifting, no walking the dogs, etc. But, the highlight of the month HANDS DOWN was having our first ultrasound for Baby Miles and hearing his little heartbeat for the first time. I still get emotional just thinking about that moment.
At the end of May, I FINALLY announced that I was pregnant and it felt so good to share the news with the world. It was really hard to create content and stay connected with you all when I was keeping such a big secret! I wanted to tell you all about my funny first trimester symptoms and laugh about my morning sickness together — like about how I ate saltines and ginger ale for lunch every day for a month and I’m pretty sure my co-workers assumed I had taken up a drinking problem and was hungover every day.
In June we announced that Baby Branciforte was a boy! We actually found out he was a little man early. At week 13 our ultrasound tech told us she was “pretty sure” he was a little boy. But, we waited for the blood test to confirm.
In June I finally shared a post/video I’d been wanting to share for a long time which was the healthy eating habits I adopted that CHANGED MY LIFE. Right after college, I lost about 30 lbs and I did it without dieting or weird restriction. I just learned and adopted some healthy eating habits that allowed me to lose the weight and keep it off. I don’t consider myself a health-nut by any means, but these things worked for me and I wanted to be able to share them with you because they are super simple and easy to adopt in everyday life.
July & August
July and August were all about finances. I shared how we paid off $70k in debt in a year in a post that received a TON of feedback from you all. Many of you wanted to know more about how I cut back on spending in order to save and pay off debt. So, I also shared a post on how we learned to stop overspending (and you can too!)
As I was well into my third trimester at this point, I started to share some requested pregnancy content. I wrote a post all about the most unexpected things about pregnancy.
I also worked on a post sharing how I styled my baby bump in all trimesters. Learning to dress the baby bump was a challenge some days, so I shared the best tips and tricks I learned along the way!
The highlight of October was obviously the arrival of our sweet boy, Miles. I wrote an entire post on Miles’ Birth Story. The experience of labor and delivery isn’t something you can ever really prepare for. Your body is designed to do it and you have to trust your instincts. It hurts (a lot) and parts of it are scary, but it’s honestly all so worth it when you finally hold that little person in your arms. I know that’s what everyone says but it’s just true. While nothing can prepare you for labor, nothing can prepare you for the emotions of holding your baby for the first time either.
I also wrote a highly requested post on what we packed in our hospital bag and what we actually used and what we wished we had packed.
The first month home with Miles was a total whirlwind. A newborn is no joke, especially as new parents. Miles was on a strict feeding schedule and I was trying to learn how the heck to have a life with this new little guy. The truth is, you just have to accept that the first 8 weeks (or longer) with your newborn life is upside down. When we’re ready for baby number two, I am going to be more prepared by going into it with a more prepared mindset.
Towards the end of November, as Miles reached one month, his little personality started to show. Month 2 with Miles was a total treat. While we still had A LOT of hard afternoons and days where I felt like I had NO idea what I was doing, his sweet smiles that started to poke through melted my heart. I fell more and more in love with him every minute.
Certainly, I learned a lot in the first month and shared some of my must-have products for baby’s first month that made it a little easier.
I think December was my favorite month of 2018. First, we had Michael’s family visit to meet Miles! I have to be honest, I was really worried about having 4 extra people in our tiny house with a newborn. The first week Miles was home I remember telling Michael that I didn’t know if we could do it! But, it was amazing. Having family visit certainly is a little work because your routine isn’t exactly the same, but it also means more hands! More hands to hold Miles, to help with dinner, to do the dishes. It was a really amazing visit and super special introducing Miles to everyone!
We also hosted Christmas at our house. On Christmas Eve we had some close friends to visit and on Christmas Day my mom, dad, stepmom, uncle, and aunt all came for presents and Christmas dinner. The two days were made extra special getting to introduce Miles to family and friends who hadn’t met him. It melts your heart seeing people you love holding your baby.
Lastly, Michael, Miles, and I spent tons of time as a family of three including our first trip to a restaurant (which gave us the confidence to do that more and more) taking Miles Christmas shopping at the outlets, family walks, and then going window shopping at the mall, etc.