Being able to carry a baby is not something I take for granted. I am so, so incredibly grateful for my two daughters and am in awe that our bodies are able to create and grow human life. I am not one who loves being pregnant, but I pray that we’ll be able to go through that journey again at least one more time (calm down, Sasha!). Like everyone else, I try to embrace my growing curves during pregnancy, as that’s a part of the process. After giving birth to both girls, I was on a postpartum high for awhile – especially with Emi. We went on a long walk to the neighborhood park with her only 31 hours after she was born! I was able to workout until the very last day with both girls, so while I was not in peak shape (ha), I felt in shape going into labor. And then baby… and there goes your time (and ability to exercise for awhile!). With both girls, I distinctly remember seeing photos about 5 or 6 weeks postpartum and thinking, “Is that really how I look?!?” Pregnancy had left me with terrible melasma (discoloration on my face, which is very typical for pregnant women to get) and varicose veins, breastfeeding had put stretch marks on my boobs, middle of the night feeds had created deep bags under my eyes, lack of exercise had soften any remaining muscle, and overall exhaustion had seemed to suck the life out my skin (hello, wrinkles!). Things that once never bothered me now did, and I realized that my confidence had taken a big hit. Again, all of this was so worth it! I realize that!

Emi was about three months old when I first read about SmileDirectClub, and I thought to myself, “My crooked bottom teeth and uneven top teeth (see below) make me so self-conscious, why don’t I do something about it?!” And y’all, I am so glad that I did. Three months after starting, my teeth are straight again (hello 2001 post-braces-teeth!). I am so proud of my smile. I am not one to post many selfies, but if you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen a few lately because I am confident about my smile – which is the best feeling!Β 

I’ve learned to embrace my stretch marks (or more lovingly “tiger stripes”), managed to catch up on some sleep now that Emi is sleeping through the night and try to sneak in workouts everyday if possible. I will deal with the skin issues once I stop breastfeeding in three months and the veins once I am done having babies. Some things I am self-conscious about are out of my control at the moment, but my smile wasn’t. I made the decision to have a smile one that I could be proud of – one that makes me feel confident. As a mom, and equally important, as a wife, it’s so important to love yourself!

It feels amazing to be proud of my smile again. Are you proud of yours? If not, then you should book an appointment withΒ SmileDirectClub. Using AILEESMILES as a discount code, you can get 50% off an at-home impression kit or a free scan at a Smile Shop.

Thank you, MeredithΒ and Monica, for practicing your new photo skills on me at the new Sugar & Cloth Color Wall!

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