Life Lately + Some Family Photos

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

It's been soooo long since I posted... I know. And I keep saying "I'm going to start blogging again!", but you have seen how that's been going. LOL! Until I am finally able to really start posting again, I wanted to give a quick update about our lives because I truly intend to get back to consistently posting soon!!

If you don't follow me on Instagram or know me personally, here's a very condensed version of the past two years. Obviously you all know that I have always wanted lots of kids... and the quicker the better, but God's plan was different for us. After all we went through to have Kate we figured we'd just start trying for another baby basically as soon as she was born. Kate was a huge fan of breastfeeding to the point that it ended up being it's own natural birth control. Once she finally started eating solids, I had a couple sporadic cycles and to our surprise (given everything we did to conceive Katie) we found out we were expecting in April of 2016. We were so excited that it happened all on it's own without endless doctor visits, ultrasounds, medications, etc. Then I started spotting two days before I hit the 12 week mark. We were scheduled for our first ultrasound that week and I was spotting so lightly that we weren't really concerned about it. Darren and I were giddy with excitement as they started the ultrasound, but quickly turned solemn as we watched the tech struggle to find a heartbeat. She told us she saw not just one, but two babies, but that there were no heartbeats. We were shocked. Our first two miscarriages were at 6 weeks so we weren't expecting it to happen this late. It hit us hard, but despite how devastated we were, that maternal desire for more children drove me to want to keep trying despite the extreme emotional and physical pain it might cause.

So we tried again. And a few months later, somehow my body said "OK!" and I got pregnant. No medication - just lots of love. The way it's supposed to be. We were wary at first, but as the weeks went on we started to hope. Then, just like the last pregnancy, we lost our fifth angel baby right at 12 weeks. We started to think there was an underlying issue and our doctors agreed. So ensued loads of blood work for me, genetic testing for both of us, etc. Everything came back normal until an ultrasound showed a large uterine polyp. My doctor couldn't say for sure if that had caused our last two miscarriages, but I needed surgery to remove it regardless. I had the surgery in January of 2017. 

In February, a month after my surgery, I got a positive pregnancy test. We held our breath for every milestone. We passed the 6 week mark, when we lost our first two pregnancies. At 8 weeks we got to see our miracle for the first time. My doctors completely understood how fearful we were and offered to let me come in for weekly doppler checks at that point. It helped keep the worry *somewhat* at bay. Weeks 11-13 were the scariest for me. At one point around 12 weeks, I had myself convinced that something was wrong and rushed into the doctor's office. They brought in the handheld ultrasound and there he was (yes, HE!) kicking and flipping all over the place! 

Fast forward to today. I'm currently 27 1/2 weeks pregnant! Things have been going great. Other than combating loads of worry during the first trimester, it's really been a wonderful pregnancy so far. You guys have no idea how thankful and blessed we feel. We know we are some of "the lucky ones" on this journey of infertility and miscarriage. Never for a second do we take our two miracle babies for granted!!

These are some of the photos that we had taken last month by Tyler White Photography, who is a friend I have known since Jr. High, but also happens to be a phenomenal photographer. If you are anywhere near the Bloomington or Indianapolis, IN area, I highly recommend you use Tyler and his wife, Casey, for your photography needs! They are the sweetest and so incredibly good at what they do. 

If you're still following along with the blog, I would love to hear from you! Let me know what kind of things you'd like to see here in the future. I appreciate any and all feedback from my readers. Thanks for hanging with me through this lengthy post! I'm really hoping that this will be the restart of a wonderful new blogging journey for me. xoxo, Hannah

Etsy Shop Closing

Monday, January 16, 2017

In 2010 I opened up Katie Darling Paper Co. (known then as Bahana Splits Boutique) as a venue to sell cards that I made in my free time. I had no idea that within 3 years my "hobby" shop would sell over $65,000 worth of my very own handmade goods and craft supplies and that I would be shipping orders all over the globe. I had zero business education, no marketing or SEO skills, and no idea how to be a small business owner. What I did have was "want to" and Google. :) I read books about starting a business and product photography. I read every single help article Etsy published for sellers... I mean it!! Every single one. I say all this to say, anyone can do this if they want it bad enough. Don't ever doubt yourself.

Circumstances in my life have changed A LOT since my business took off. I became a mama in 2014. That changed everything. I've discovered many things about myself too... one of those being that I'm not the kind of parent that can pull myself away from my kid when we're home together to focus on my business. I wish I were better at that, but I'm not. Given the choice, I always choose Kate and as a result, my business has taken the back seat in my life. But that's ok. I'm ok with it. I've decided to close my shop so that I can wholeheartedly enjoy my time at home with my family without the guilt knowing that my business is suffering because I'd rather not pull myself away from them when we're together.

I'm so grateful for the past 6 1/2 years. I've learned so much and have been able to meet and interact with so many amazing people. Some of my best memories are of my husband staying up late with me to help package orders, my shop being featured on Etsy's home page, participating in craft shows, surpassing 10,000 orders, and getting a call from Real Simple magazine to send them samples. My stuff didn't make the final cut for the spread, but it was still such an honor to be chosen as an option!! It's been a wonderful experience and I'm so thankful to every one of my customers. You are the ones who made it happen.

Lastly, I want to thank my husband for supporting me and sticking with me through the ups and downs of running a creative home business. Only you and I know the scale of all you've done.

Changing gears now!! Everything that is left in the shop has been discounted and is ready to ship. In addition to the already reduced prices, you can use the coupon code GOODBYE for an extra 25% off. Link to shop HERE.

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart. 

- Hannah -

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