The Vintage Honey Shop

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My girl scratches and grabs at everything while nursing, and that may or may not have resulted in scratch marks on my face and chest and hair ripped from my head a few times. She also loves to put absolutely everything in her mouth. This necklace from The Vintage Honey Shop is perfect for us! There are many teething necklaces on the market, but I love the design of these. All of their necklaces are made of organic cotton and organic wood beads and rings. They have so many beautiful fabrics to choose from! I love the convenience of having something to keep her entertained always right around my neck and Charlie appreciates it too! The packaging it comes in is so beautiful and makes them perfect to give as a gift. Use the code alyssapetersonn(make sure you have two n’s like my Instagram handle) for 15% off of your order.

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Learning to Love My New Body

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I have always dealt with self esteem issues, but growing up, I also had a problem with body image. In middle school, there were a few girls that loved to bully me and spread rumors that I was anorexic. I don’t understand why they said those things, as I wasn’t underweight and I loved to eat. However, it was hurtful and left me feeling very confused about how others perceived me. If only I could tell my 13-year-old self not to listen to those mean girls, I certainly would!

Before I got pregnant, I had a bit of an obsession with fitness. I would spend many hours every day at the gym working out and pushing myself to my fullest capacity every time. I was in the best shape of my life and was proud of the results that had come from all of my hard work; but as my baby and my belly grew, it was a little strange for me to watch my body transform so drastically in such a short period of time. I told myself repeatedly that once she was born, I would be right back at the gym again. Everyone was always so quick to tell me that the weight would melt right off and that I would be back to myself in no time. Let me just tell you that that is not the case. It didn’t help that I ended up needing to have a cesarean, either. That delayed my ability to start working out shortly after and also makes it more difficult to ‘bounce back’.

I felt that this needed to be shared because it’s not discussed enough. It’s upsetting when others are constantly telling you how you’ll fit back into your size 0 jeans just a couple of months after you give birth. In rare occasions, yes, that can happen. Just know that if it doesn’t, you’re not alone. There is nothing wrong with you. I understand that people have good intentions when telling you how good you look after just having a baby. Who doesn’t love a compliment, right? However, hearing people mention it many times or every time they see you can be a bit excessive. Perhaps it’s just me, but I almost feel more self conscious when someone keeps asking me if I’m down to my pre pregnancy weight yet or even just telling me I look good ‘for just having a baby’. Most women don’t feel amazing about themselves after giving birth and to continuously put emphasis on their physical appearance can be hurtful.

Is it possible to have a flat stomach and six pack again after giving birth? Absolutely! Does it happen as quickly and easily as some make it seem? Definitely not. It requires a lot of work and dedication. Honestly, the comments people would make while I was pregnant still puts so much pressure on me. It’s easy to be too hard on ourselves sometimes and all too easy to forget what amazing miracle our bodies just produced. I am still having a hard time adjusting, but each day it becomes a little bit easier. I may not ever have the same body that I did before my daughter was born and that’s okay. My new body has created life, grown and birthed another human being. My new body has fed and sustained this being for 5 months of her life so far. It is truly amazing what our bodies are capable of and I would never take it back for anything. I am beyond thankful that I was physically able to experience these things.

I am back to working out again and it’s not as easy as it used to be. Not only am I dealing with having no core strength and an incision that is still tender, but I have a shoulder and neck injury from a car accident years ago that has also flared up. I’m trying to find balance between getting back into shape without comparing my pre baby body to my post baby body. I am not only working out and trying to eat better for myself, but also for my daughter. I don’t want her to grow up obsessing over her figure or feeling like she needs to look a certain way, but I want to inspire her to live an altogether healthy lifestyle. It goes beyond fitness and the number on the scale. The things that we put into our bodies internally as well as externally have a huge impact on our health. We only get one body and it deserves to be treated well and with respect.

This body has given me a beautiful gift and I want to thank it in return. After everything it has gone through between pregnancy and a traumatic delivery, my body deserved to rest and recuperate. There is no shame in taking time to care for that sweet baby of yours and allow yourself to get back into the swing of things before starting a crazy diet or work out routine (and there is no shame in starting right away either- if you’re physically able). But don’t allow others’ words or opinions to consume you and put pressure on you. Mothers already have enough of that to put up with. Apparently the ‘Dad Bod’ is a thing, so let’s proudly and unashamedly rock our ‘Mom Bods’, mamas! After all, they deserve to be celebrated.

Finding My Mom Tribe 


Becoming a parent changes you and inevitably, it changes your relationships. As a stay at home mom, I can honestly say that it gets difficult and lonely at times. I love my daughter, but there are times that I long for conversation with another adult and though I am not alone, it feels as though I am. I still keep in touch with my single and childless friends, but things are different now. I can’t take spontaneous trips or hang out with a friend all day at the mall because I have nowhere else to be. Leaving the house takes a lot longer than it did before and requires more planning. My schedule now revolves around my baby’s schedule. And that’s okay, but not everyone understands. 

I am learning the importance of finding my ‘mom tribe’ if you will. I think a lot of mothers are in the same boat and have experienced similar feelings. Being a mom isn’t the easiest thing in the world and I think we underestimate ourselves sometimes. We need to surround ourselves with other moms and be there to support one another. Finding these friends isn’t as simple as going to a Mommy and Me class, either. As if we aren’t already under enough pressure, mothers seem to be quick to pass judgement on one another. Mom shaming is real, y’all, and it drives me absolutely insane. 

Breastfeeding, formula feeding, working moms, stay at home moms, vaccinating, anti-vaccination, co-sleeping, anti co-sleeping, natural birth, medicated birth; if people can compare one another and argue about it, they will. Someone I hardly even know said something that really hurt me a few weeks back. She asked how my delivery was and I briefly told her that it ended in an emergency C section. She decided an appropriate response was, “well maybe if you were at a birthing center instead of a hospital, that wouldn’t have happened.” Now if you know my story or have read my previous blog post, I’m sure you can imagine how hurtful that was to me. Thank God we were at a hospital or things could’ve ended horribly. 

Every child and every family is different so we don’t all parent the same way and there’s nothing wrong with that. As long as you aren’t abusing or endangering your child, I’m not going to judge you or make you feel like you’re doing everything wrong. Being a parent is something that you just learn to roll with. You can read all of the books and do all of the research, but when it comes down to it, making religion of parenthood is useless.

I’ve been fortunate to have my aunt who has a one year old and a three year old to hang out with. She has been my rescue a few times when Charlie would start getting fussy in public and my anxiety would spike. She has helped me realize that it’s normal and okay when she cries in public when she’s hungry, despite the dirty looks other people may pass me. It’s okay to not have it all together all the time. It’s okay to look like a hot mess when your kid has been spitting up or drooling all over you and you haven’t showered in days. It’s healthy for us to understand these things are absolutely normal despite what we see on social media, and having our mom tribe there to walk through it with us is what will help us remember that. 

I’m still searching for my tribe. But before we can come together and support one another, we must stop the comparison and the judgment and learn to accept that none of us really know what we are doing and we are just taking each day as it comes. Don’t be so hard on yourself, mama. You’re doing a great job. 

Searching for Peace in the Unexpected

  I was debating on whether or not I should share a little bit about my birth story for a while. After much thought, I decided I would appreciate being able to look back on this post someday and typing all of this out would help me with emotional postpartum healing. My prayer is also that this post can encourage any woman who needs it. That she will realize that she is not alone. 

I have been struggling. Struggling with all of these ‘what ifs’ that flood my mind at night. As I lay my precious girl to rest, I try to grab whatever amount of sleep I possibly can get. Despite being so utterly exhausted and sleep deprived, I can’t help but think back to the birth of this child. I had everything figured out. I had my mind made up for a long time that my labor would be natural and unmedicated and I would do anything in my power to avoid any sort of medical intervention.

At my 39 week appointment, I was diagnosed with preeclampsia. My blood pressure and my baby’s heart rate were dangerously high and my doctor said that I needed to be induced immediately. We began the induction process and they had me on magnesium to prevent seizures due to the elevated blood pressure. I labored unmedicated for 15 hours. My contractions began immediately and were 2-3 minutes apart, lasting 1-1.5 minutes. The magnesium only made things more intense, as it made me incredibly nauseous and I was bed ridden and unable to move during labor. After 15 hours and no progression, the doctor decided to begin pitocin and mentioned an epidural. She knew I was not wanting to receive medication, so she explained that it would help to lower my blood pressure and possibly help me dilate quicker. I agreed to it because I realized the dangers of my blood pressure being high for so long. 

The epidural made me feel so dizzy and it knocked me out. However, my blood pressure dropped immediately and I knew I had made the best decision for me and the baby. After only three hours, I was fully dilated and ready to go. I was so ready to push my baby out when it came time. I was incredibly exhausted and just wanted her out and in my arms. 

I pushed for 4 hours. I was so terrified and knew that I needed to get her out soon or things would not go the way I wanted. After already needing medical interventions, I was determined to deliver my daughter vaginally and have the most important part go as planned. But that was not the case. She was not in a position to come out and my pushing was only wedging her head even more. I ended up needing a c section and this tore me apart.

As they wheeled me away and prepped me for surgery, I was a wreck. I knew this meant I would not get to deliver my baby myself the way I had imagined and to be honest, I was also absolutely afraid of the idea of surgery. When my husband was finally allowed in the room, I could hardly see him. My vision was so blurred and I couldn’t comprehend much. I had hoped to hold his hand, but my arms were strapped to the table. I focused on his calming voice as I felt my body being tugged and jerked around. 

After just a few minutes, we heard our baby cry for the first time. I was overwhelmed with emotion. We were so thankful to hear her cry and know she was okay, but I was still crushed that I didn’t get to see her face and hold her right away. They called my husband over as they weighed her and to cut the umbilical cord, and there I was; still strapped to this cold, hard table, as organs and layers of muscle and skin were being stitched back up. Unable to move. Unable to see my little girl. Unable to touch her. It was the most exciting and disappointing moment of my life. Part of me felt like I wasn’t even there. The most difficult thing was not even remembering the first time I held her. 

To be transparent, I am still dealing with a sense of mourning. Mourning the loss of the birth I wish I had. Mourning the loss of those precious moments that I will never get to experience with my little girl. I felt like a failure as a woman and a mother because I was not able to deliver her myself. I tried everything I possibly could to have her naturally, but I wondered where I went wrong. I never expected any of this to happen and therefore was not prepared for the lengthy recovery process. The first time I was able to change my daughter’s diaper, she was already a week old. She will be one month old tomorrow and there are still many things I am unable to do with her that I wish I could. I am still dealing with not only recovering physically, but emotionally as well. 

Before I went to my doctors appointment and all of this happened, I was at lunch with my parents. My mom said that she needed to tell me something and to not be offended by it. She told me that another woman said to her earlier that day that I needed to not be afraid of a c section. Of course I rolled my eyes because I had this grandeur plan of how my labor would be and a cesarean was out of the question for me. When the doctors came in and told me my baby was likely not going to be delivered vaginally, my mom leaned over and reminded me of this woman’s words. As I laid on that table in the OR, I kept thinking to myself that God knew what was going to happen. He had a plan all along and He knew I would need to hear those words, ‘to not be afraid’.

This whole experience has made me a stronger woman and has taught me so much. Although I still wish things would have gone differently, I must remind myself that I am no less of a woman or a mother. My body did not fail, nor did I fail. My baby entered the world in a way that was not what I had planned and that is okay. I became a mother the moment I had decided to put her needs above my desires and get her here safely. She is perfect and healthy and there is nothing more that I could ask for.

To all of the women who may have experienced something similar to my situation, it’s okay to mourn. Childbirth is supposed to be a beautiful and memorable experience and having unexpected complications can be traumatic and disappointing. Just remember that ultimately, it doesn’t matter how your baby enters the world. As long as you are able to hold them, at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. You are not a failure. Trust your body and trust that God has a plan. He gives me strength on the days that I am haunched over in pain feeling like my insides are going to fall out, trying to care for a newborn and running on no sleep. God gives mothers a love strong enough to conquer anything that may come up in their journey. I am so thankful for all of the things I am learning as I love and care for this precious little girl He has entrusted to me. 

Awaiting Change 

  
I am almost through with my first pregnancy and already wishing there were things I would have done. I honestly thought I would have been better at documenting my pregnancy than I was. I didn’t take weekly or even monthly photos of my growing belly or write down memories and symptoms I have experienced. Between all of the holidays and events that have come and gone, I allowed time to get away from me. So here I sit, due any day, sipping my tea and reflecting on the last several months and years to come. 

From the moment I discovered I was pregnant, I felt a rush of different emotions. I was excited, nervous and in complete shock. These feelings haven’t gone away during the last nine months, either. It is all still so surreal to me that our lives are going to change forever in just a few short days. I am so excited to meet this little girl I’ve been carrying for so long and to be honest, fitting back into my normal clothes won’t be such a bad thing either. I do get sad thinking that when she makes her appearance, I am going to have to share her with the world. Despite being jabbed and kicked constantly, I’m going to miss feeling her movements inside of me. It’s also a bit intimidating- the unknown of what is to come. Things are going to change and I will have a tiny human fully relying on me to keep them alive and well. 

Little one, I wish you knew just how treasured and loved you already are. You have a family who will do anything to protect you and make sure you are always taken care of. I hope that I can be as good of a mother to you as my mother is to me and pray that we will grow to be best friends throughout the years. I hope that you never forget that I am on your team. I won’t discipline you to hurt you or make you miserable but because I love you and care for you. I pray that you will always follow your dreams and never let anyone tell you they are too big or impossible to achieve. I will support you and always be your cheerleader. You have an amazing father who will set a beautiful example for you of how a man should treat a woman. He loves me very much and I adore how much he loves you already too. You are worth far more than rubies and your value is in who Christ says you are, not what boys or other girls might say about you. I am looking forward to watching you grow and become the incredible little girl I know you will be. We are so thankful that God chose us to be your parents. We can’t wait to begin the next chapter of this adventure with you. 

Finding Balance

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It’s been a bit of a struggle for me lately trying to figure things out. My life is going to change completely next month when I become a mother and have a sweet little girl to care for. I am not working currently, mostly just freelance here and there. A year ago I was working a job that was great, but it just wasn’t right for me. Shortly after, I started a repurposing business and freelance photography and that kept me occupied until I became pregnant 5 months later.

I’ve been ‘stuck’ in a place of uncertainty and wondering what I was going to do over the last few months. I thought that maybe having a baby meant putting my other dreams on hold. Maybe this was God’s way of telling me it was not His timing for me to pursue the things I felt so deeply He was calling me to. It was about a month ago that He had shown me otherwise and He still continues to do so.

The last book I read suggested another book, Freefall to Fly by Rebekah Lyons. Without reading much about it, I added the book to my Christmas list along with a few others. I began reading it a couple of weeks ago and little did I know that this woman’s story would be used to speak directly to my heart. In her book, Rebekah takes you through her journey from vulnerability and uncertainty to a life of meaning and balance between motherhood and following her dreams.

“Some women uncover their talents before having kids and then shelve them while raising their children. They’ve experienced a sense of fulfillment in living out their purpose but believe they must set aside their pursuits for the sake of motherhood. They’ve bought into the belief that their gifts and child rearing are disparate parts, unable to coexist. Instead of fighting to figure out the balance, they stuff their dreams in a box marked ‘motherhood.’ ”

This very paragraph hit me like a ton of bricks. I realized that becoming a mother did not mean that I had to put my life on hold. I am just simply growing my family and have the privilege to raise my daughter while I follow my dreams. What an honor it is to be able to teach my little girl to pursue her calling and be an example to her! I believe that 2016 is going to be a year of not only birthing a child, but also the birth of new gifts and new vision. I am so looking forward to all that God has in store for me and my family this year.

If you are feeling stuck or are unsure of how to find balance in being a wife and mother, as well as pursing your life purpose, I highly suggest this book. It will definitely give you some encouragement and make you feel empowered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Bit of Lace

I ended up being absent from blogging a little longer than I had hoped, but I definitely needed the time to recuperate. Between weddings, showers, conferences, and getting sick here and there, the rest was much needed! If you haven’t seen on Instagram, we found out last week that we are having a GIRL! Her name is going to be Charlie Marie and she is very healthy and active. We couldn’t be more excited to meet her in a few months! I am now officially halfway through my pregnancy and can’t believe how quickly it has flown by so far. Be sure to follow me 0n Instagram if you aren’t already to watch for updates.

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I bought this pretty lace dress from a friend’s country boutique. It is the softest and most feminine dress that can be worn for both nice occasions or just running errands like I did here. I originally purchased it to wear for my baby shower, but decided I will probably end up wearing a long dress instead since the shower is in January.

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Dress Outlaw Western | Hat Pacsun | Shoes Marshalls