Our Journey Through Wellness: A Story of Our Struggles and Accomplishments

Love this sweet pumpkin patch photo shoot with The Vintage Modern Wife! See more pictures and read about their journey through wellness. It's great!

There are many things we took for granted before we became Addie’s parents. We took for granted the ability to breathe, the ability to hold up a head, the ability to speak or hear, the ability to run and do a fast errand as a family- lots of things. For a long time, Addie was in a season of illness. She spent the first 10 months of her life in a hospital, and we’ve worked really hard to keep her out of the hospital except for small, planned procedures. It’s been a year and almost 4 months since our family was in that season of life, and I’m truly amazed at how the Lord has blessed us with a journey through wellness instead of more illness.

 

Love this sweet pumpkin patch photo shoot with The Vintage Modern Wife! See more pictures and read about their journey through wellness. It's great!

What we Wore

Addie: shirt / pants (similar) / vest (similar) / bow

Stephanie: shirt / scarf (similar) / pants

Mathew: shirt / jeans

Photography by Lauren Gilbert Photography

Whenever I sat in the NICU for 8-12 hours at a time, only leaving to get lunch or exclusively pump, I had a lot of time to think and a lot of time to pray. We had many talks with doctors who thought Addie wouldn’t “make it” out of the hospital. That she’d be a forever patient. As a parent, it was excruciating to watch. There were always so many tubes, cords, and probes. Nurses and Respiratory Therapists that would have to help me get her out of her little bed because she was so medically fragile. Even as she was older in the PICU and sedated in order to help her breathe easier, I never quite knew what our outcome would be. I would pray and pray for our sweet girl, and would put my best foot forward to stay happy because I knew my mood effected hers.

Love this sweet pumpkin patch photo shoot with The Vintage Modern Wife! See more pictures and read about their journey through wellness. It's great!

Being in that season of illness for such a prolonged time takes a toll on you, and to be honest, we were ready for a change. When Addie came home after those 10 months, our lives changed for the better in so many ways, and we strived to begin our journey through wellness. We worked hard to eat healthy meals and enjoyed finally eating as a family- in our own home. We took Addie out for walks at the zoo to get the fresh air we so longingly wanted during the past 10 months. We joined Young Living and started replacing toxic chemical-laden cleaners and household items with ones that were natural. Still, with all of the fun, we were extremely cautious. We had a friend dress up as Santa with a never-before-used costume, and kept Addie indoors as much as possible. I used Thieves spray like crazy whenever I went out to the grocery store by myself so I wouldn’t bring any germs home), and we made sure that any visitors that came over had not been sick or around anyone that was sick.

Love this sweet pumpkin patch photo shoot with The Vintage Modern Wife! See more pictures and read about their journey through wellness. It's great!

Our diligence paid off. We spent our entire respiratory season last year without any sickness from Mathew or me, and Addie never went to the hospital because of illness. It was amazing. I honestly wasn’t sure if we could do it, but I figured if we made sure to wash our hands frequently, use our essential oils, drink our daily Ningxia Red, and keep Addie away from public places, then we’d be ok- and we were. In fact, the Lord has blessed our family with so much wellness since respiratory season started last year.

Love this sweet pumpkin patch photo shoot with The Vintage Modern Wife! See more pictures and read about their journey through wellness. It's great!

Because of our ability to keep Addie healthy, we had a blast this summer. We took Addie to the state capitol, the zoo, a friend’s birthday party, my 30th birthday fiesta (yet another thing I need to blog about!), holiday get-togethers, a few restaurants, and even random trips out of town to Austin and San Antonio just because. Addie had her birthday party with tons of friends and she actually was able to be passed around to people unlike the year before. It was seriously a summer to remember.

Now, Fall is here and we’re getting back into the swing of being a bit more cautious due to respiratory season. We recently got to take Addie to a sweet little pumpkin patch near town and my friend Lauren Gilbert got some great shots of us. She has a little business, Lauren Gilbert Photography, and is always so kind enough to offer to take pictures of us. After our photo shoot, we took Addie out to Cracker Barrel for brunch, headed home for a little family time, and then went over to Lauren’s house for dinner and so Addie could play with her friend, Ollie. If you would have seen Mathew and me, you would’ve seen how big the smiles on our faces were. It was a PERFECT day. Perfect. I went to bed that night thanking God for such a glorious day and for our abundance during this journey through wellness. I think we also realized that night that it’s time to start winding the getaways down, which is what made the day even more special because it went so well. We have plans for a fun Halloween as a family (so stick around!), but not quite sure yet if we’ll hit up a church fall festival or just stay home all dressed up. I’d love to take Addie out, but it just depends on the wellness of others, to be honest. Either way, it’ll be a blast! We also are in talks of what we’ll do for Thanksgiving this year (it’s insane how fast time is flying.)

Love this sweet pumpkin patch photo shoot with The Vintage Modern Wife! See more pictures and read about their journey through wellness. It's great!

Our journey through wellness is always evolving as we research more about toxin-laden products (Have you tried the Think Dirty app?!), use essential oils, eat a more “clean” diet, and have a strong wellness plan with Addie’s specialists. With the tools and resources we used last year, we are praying that we continue to have an abundance of wellness! It’s not an easy task, but we’re up for the challenge!

What are your favorite ways to stay healthy in your journey through wellness?

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links and/or product(s) sent from companies or their PR team for editorial consideration. For more information, please view my disclosure policy.


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Comments

  1. Praise God!!! I remember my daughter being in the NICU for 50 days then in and out of the Hospital her first year of life I look back and thank God for keeping us through it all. I don’t always comment but I pray for you all and Addy and just like we look back on this time with our daughter and say wow look how far we’ve come I know you all will be able to do the same thing!!! God BLESS you all!!

  2. You are such a wonderful mama to Addie! She is a lucky girl! <3
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  3. You’ve definitely been blessed with happy times and a happy family. Your story is amazing and I hope you continue to have wellness and happiness!
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  4. Addie is just such a wonderful, sweet, gorgeous girl. I LOVE that first pic with her big smile! You and Mathew are wonderful parents!

  5. Thank you for sharing your journey! You guys are so adorable together.
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  6. I love you guys – and those photos are so gorgeous! I commend you for always being open and sharing your story – I’m sure it helps others just as much as it helps you. Hugs!