Get ready, because you are about to hear from the sweetest and most stylish momma around, Amy Ann Arnold of Straight A Style. This fashion blogger and fellow Okie has a truly inspiring story of faith through infertility and IVF. She’s sharing with us today, along with some effortless outfits for the cute + casual moms out there! We know you’ll be encouraged by her story.
-The Women of The Well
Hello everyone! I’m Amy Ann Arnold, blogger behind Straight A Style (see what I did there?). I am so excited to be guest posting today. A former math teacher, turned part-time admission and enrollment coordinator, full-time mom, and part-time blogger, I love getting to connect with other women and talk everything from the serious struggles like infertility, to the mundane daily issues of getting spit up on for the fifth time (seriously?!), to the fun of what’s trending now. We wear a lot of hats and no one does it better. I blog primarily about fashion though I share our journey along the way too.
I started a personal blog seven years ago, just a year after my husband and I got married. He’s from Alabama. My family had moved there from Oklahoma when I was in grade school and these two crazy kids started dating in high school, dated long distance through college, and then I somehow talked him into moving back here for me. Fast forward some terrible blog posts later, one house renovation, some really fun trips, a lot of growing up and figuring out who we were while graciously getting to know much about our God in the process, my blog evolved into the fashion blog it is now. Much to my surprise and delight I might had. If only you’d seen my perm in middle school….
Russ and I also decided we were as ready as two people can ever be to have a child. We just never imagined we’d have trouble. Though I guess people really never do see that coming. These things hit you hard. I’ll spare you all the messy details because messy it was, but we welcomed our beautiful daughter Ivy Jean Arnold into the world this past November through IVF after almost three years of waiting for her beautiful face.
Of course she came via emergency c-section at 34 weeks and scared us half to death. We spent the first 18 days of her life in the NICU marveling over ever inch of our 4 lb 9 oz miracle. She’s been a wild ride since she was but a thought in our minds all those many years ago. Who knows what she’ll be like as a teenager.
Isn’t it funny how often the most beautiful things in life have the messiest paths? And by beautiful, I mean the ones where you feel like you fight your way kicking and screaming through them, but in the end you look back and see grace and growth and beauty. I think God must know something about our hearts and the road we need to take. I guess I’ll have to ask him one day.
If you want to read more about our infertility journey, I’ve posted about it here. There are more details about IVF with our birth announcement here. Ivy Jean’s birth story is here. If infertility or a related struggle is part of your story too, I’m sorry sister. As a fellow weary traveler, I can simply say you are not alone. I hope there is an Ivy Jean at the end of your path, and I hope you can find Him along the way. I found Him to be so good in the weeds and so worthy of my hope even when I didn’t know the outcome.
If I haven’t lost you yet, let’s do the smoothest transition in the history of transitions (not) and talk about mom style. One of the things I wasn’t prepared for was a sense of loss of identity in who I was style-wise after Ivy was born. I know that may sound strange and superficial but cut a girl some slack. As a lifelong lover of fashion and a person who always feels her best when well put together, the days on end covered in spit up (Ivy has acid reflux) didn’t translate well to the wardrobe I always knew. Plus, I went part-time at work and date nights have gotten fewer. The end result has been that I needed to find a more casual wardrobe that functions well for mom life but also doesn’t make me feel frumpy or not like myself.
I’ve started looking for cute, easily washable tops and comfortable shoes. Whether it’s a t-shirt with a fun detail, a bow slide, or a walkable wedge, my wardrobe has adapted with me in a way that works for all of us. Below are a few examples with links to the full post on my blog.