Leopard + Bows (plus why I’m not having more kids)

leopard top pleated bow skirt black over the knee boots pom beanie

I have no idea why I felt compelled to share what I did on Instagram tonight.  I was having one of those moments where I wanted to be open and honest about what I was thinking at that exact moment.  I didn’t plan to share it but I figured maybe it might help someone going through the same thing feel like they weren’t alone.  I try to keep things pretty light, happy and positive on social media but we all know that is NOT real life.  I don’t share too many personal things online but every now and then I open up and it feels good.

leopard top pleated bow skirt black over the knee boots pom beanie

I didn’t even plan on blogging about this topic either but now my fingers won’t stop typing so I’m just going to go with it.  I come from a big family, youngest of 7 kids.  We are a loud, crazy Asian family and completely dysfunctional (lol).  I’ve always wanted at least two kids and I know I’ve briefly joked on social media about trying to convince my husband to have a sibling for Milan.  Well it’s not happening and I struggled with it for a long time.  It’s not that I can’t have another baby (although I’m not getting any younger)…it’s because he simply doesn’t want any more kids.

leopard top pleated bow skirt black over the knee boots pom beanie

After going through an awful miscarriage and then Milan’s surgery and infection at six weeks old (read more about it HERE) on top of being new parents put a major strain on our marriage.  I think becoming parents in general changes everyone.  Some for the better and some for the worse.  No one ever talks about it but everyone I know with kids has admitted that it most definitely changes the dynamic of your marriage.

leopard top pleated bow skirt black over the knee boots pom beanie

The plan was always to have at least two kids.  I know how amazing it is to have siblings because my sisters and I are very close.  The bond I share with them is unlike any other friendship or relationship.  I want that type of bond for Milan.  I want her to have someone to lean on when I’m gone.  I never want her to be lonely.  EVER.

We focused on our real estate business for many many years and waited for the “right” time.  Well guess what, there is never going to be a RIGHT time.  EVER.  When I finally decided to leave my 7 figure income (read why HERE) to pursue my blog full time, we got pregnant shortly after.  Then the miscarriage happened and drove me into a very dark place for a very long time.  I buried myself in my blog and hid it from social media until a year after when I felt brave enough to share my story.  You can read abut it HERE.

leopard top pleated bow skirt black over the knee boots pom beanie

Luckily and by the grace of God, I got pregnant with Milan just a month after my miscarriage.  I honestly think that it shocked my husband and neither of us thought it would happen that fast IF ever again.  It scared both of us and he began down a road of being “over protective.”  Understandable given what I went through the first time around.  I don’t really want to go into details but there is a difference between being protective and taking it too far.  Needless to say it wasn’t the pregnancy journey I had hoped for.

leopard top pleated bow skirt black over the knee boots pom beanie

I have no idea where I’m going with all of this…just writing from my heart.  Scrolling through my Instagram feed has been so difficult lately.  Everyone seems to be getting pregnant with their first, second or third baby.  Don’t get me wrong, I am SO HAPPY for anyone who is able to get pregnant.  It’s truly a gift and I would never NOT be happy for someone who is carrying a life inside them.  I started feeling sad and sorry for myself about Milan not having a sibling but I stopped myself.  I gave myself a check up from the neck up.  I cannot focus on what I don’t have or can’t have.  It’s toxic and self-destructive.  I want to focus on Miss Milan who is the best gift and blessing ever.  If I’m only going to have one baby, how freaking lucky am I to have her?!!

leopard top pleated bow skirt black over the knee boots pom beanie

The past four years have been life changing and I’ve learned a LOT about myself.  The biggest lesson I’ve learned is never say never.  People change, things happen, life changes and your world can flip upside down in a blink of an eye.  I used to trust my instincts but for some reason my judgement has been clouded the past few years.  Now I feel like I can see clearly.  I’ve accepted the fact that Milan will be an only child and that’s ok.  Everything happens for a reason and I will love her forever.  I feel selfish for even talking about this because there are so many women that would love to have even one child.  I’m just simply sharing my story and reminding myself to be grateful for what I do have.  If you’re going through something similar, know that you are not alone. XO

leopard top pleated bow skirt black over the knee boots pom beanie

Top: c/o Ann Taylor spotted turtleneck top (size XXS) | Skirt: c/o Bow front box pleated skirt (size XS, 3 colors) | Boots: c/o Vince Camuto (similar HERE or cheaper option HERE) | Hat: Abercrombie chunky knit pom beanie | Bag: Tory Burch (similar HERE)

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  1. my parents struggled with the fact; they weren’t able to have babies on their own and therefore went through adoption {twice}.

    I know how much that teared on their health, relationship and mostly, the friendships they had. all the friends got pregnant on and on again and my mother couldn’t deal with more strollers, talk about babies, you name it.

    I really feel your pain and I know that babies aren’t something you can take for granted.

    thank you for being so open about this very important matter.

    sending my love to you!

    • Hi Sophia, Thank you so much for sharing your parents story. It’s always so scary sharing personal stories online because everyone always has an opinion and I’m sure there will be backlash about it but oh well. Were your parents successful in adopting?

      • ignore the backlashes, I think it’s amazing of you to share this with the readers.

        my parents adopted me from south korea and 6 years later we all went to vietnam to adopt my little brother, who I am best friend with. he was also with me when I returned to seoul and met my biological family.

  2. Good for getting it out there. Can’t bottle these things up. I personally don’t believe it’s fair for one partner to ban the other from things like this. We have a friend whose wife told him after they got married that she isn’t doing kids no way now how knowing he always wanted them. Because he doesn’t believe in divorce, he’s staying in a marriage that will never fulfill him. She revealed a lot of negatives after the wedding, actually. It’s horribly sad and we keep hoping he’ll get a chance to be happy one day.

    Not saying you’re facing anything that extreme at all.

    If you’ve reached a point of “let go and let God” and found peace in what you’re accepting right now, then that’s great. But if you’re compromising and he’s not? And he’s maybe saying no out of fear? Then maybe he needs a kick in the butt to get over that and let go of attempting to direct how life goes.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • Hi Carla, Thank you for this. I agree 100% about the fairness. I struggled with it for a long time and it hurt knowing I can have more children but can’t due to the circumstances. I also think staying in an unhappy marriage is more harmful than getting a D. My heart aches for your friend. 🙁

  3. Wow! Annie I truly appreciate your honest post. It can’t have been easy to write that but sometimes writing it down is therapeutic! When I married my husband (28 years ago) he promised me that we would move back to Europe where I’m from and where all my family live. In fact I told him I would only marry him if we could move back there! 28 years later and here we still are. It really wasn’t a reality for him business wise and for many years I held on to that dream until one day I realized it was never going to happen and also that I had to let go and start to truly enjoy and appreciate the life we have here. Sometimes we have this “idea” of how our ideal life should be but it’s really not healthy to live like that because then you lose sight of how lucky you are to have what you have. Life is funny and sometimes throws us a curveball but I feel things happen for a reason and at least in my life I wouldn’t change anything. Stay strong and thanks again for being so open. It’s so unusual nowadays especially on social media.

    • Hi Kathy, Aw thank you for reading and for sharing your story. I so agree with you that everything happens for a reason. I have no idea what possessed me to write this post out of the blue but just thought I would be open and if it helps one person feel better, than it was worth it. XO

  4. Annie, thank you for sharing your story and your awesome perspective now on being thankful for what (who) you do have – sweet little Milan! I suffered multiple miscarriages and I remember the same sadness of seeing other pregnant women, I was happy for them yet couldn’t help but feel sad at the same time. It definitely does affect the pregnancy following the loss – I was crazy overprotective too and still am and shes 2! You are not alone either, Annie! And your outfit is adorable! 😘

    • Hi Mia, Thanks so much. I’m so sorry to hear you went through multiple miscarriages. 🙁 It makes my heart hurt but so happy you have a LO now. This age is so much fun and exhausting isn’t it? LOL

  5. Thanks for sharing, sometimes life is so scary. I always wanted to have 4 children but when my oldest of 2 was diagnosed with a brain tumor, I changed my mind right there and then. I couldn’t handle the constant worry, not to mention the strain on my marriage. I totally feel your pain. I often felt guilty thinking that if my oldest child didn’t survive his brother would be left with no siblings.Luckily he did survive and is thriving so I’ve since come to terms with the fact that I have 2 and leave the rest up to God. Blessings to you and your little family. You are so lucky to have Milan she is the cutest!!

    • Hi Lind, Thanks for sharing your story and I’m so happy to hear your son is thriving. OMG that must have been beyond difficult to go through. Wishing your family the best. XO

  6. The timing of your post has been exactly what is on my mind. Everyone around me are expecting and this brings a flood of feelings and longing for me, feelings I thought I had made peace with. The more I work through them I come to the realization I have moved to a different stage of my life. The longing and envy is not as great, definitely still there for sure , as five years ago for me. I look at what is ahead and not having children in them is not devastating for me as before. I try not to live a shoulda-woulda-life anymore… it stunts growth and enjoyment. So many things to be greatful for! Thanks for sharing something so personal.

    • Thanks for sharing Sam. I’ve come to terms with it but it took me many years. A lot of resentment, anger, and hurt but I’m in a good place mentally now. I’m very blessed to have Milan. 🙂

  7. I think it was so courageous and brave to open up and speak from your heart. There are so many women who feel it have gone through situations & have had thoughts just like this. Thank you for sharing and opening up. Everything DOES happen for a reason. Wishing you and the family many holiday blessings.

    • Thanks Jessica. I appreciate it. I don’t know what came over me but I just started writing and couldn’t stop. Everything definitely happens for a reason. Hope you have a wonderful holiday. XO

  8. I understand your feelings. I have my one and only daughter. While it was not an issue of getting pregnant, my husband also did not want another child. He didn’t want to mess with a good thing as he would say. Plus he is an only child as well. I always wanted two and so I did have to mourn the idea of not having a second baby. My daughter would have been a great big sister but it is not in the cards for our family. She is amazing and has so many friends who are like sisters to her so I am not worried about her future. I’ve learned to cherish and enjoy what I do have. Thanks for your openness, sometimes it can feel like I’m not an adequate mother because I only have one, but that is not true. We ultimately make the best decision for our own families, it is not always easy but it is what is best. My only girl is the kindest and sweetest person, so I am blessed that she is my child. I really could not ask for anything more.

  9. This is my first time commenting, even though I’ve been a long time follower! I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story. It’s SO true that bringing a kid into your marriage really changes the dynamics btwn you and your spouse. My husband and I have a 3-year old girl and our marriage has not been the same ever since she was born to say the least. We both love our little girl, but the time and energy we dedicated towards her took a toll on our marriage. In fact, we just went through marital counseling and things are finally starting to look up. We both realized things about ourselves and each other through the sessions, and accepted the fact that our relationship will never go back to how it was pre-kid. And that’s totally normal because our needs and priorities changed so we have to change as well. While I did have a scary birthing experience (emergency c-section), what’s almost equally as traumatic was how our marriage nearly fell apart as a result of starting our family. It really shook both of us and made us think twice about having another child (we had previously agreed on two). We’re now focused on rebuilding our marriage foundation before starting the baby #2 talk again. I grew up with two siblings and am very close to my older sister, and wanted my daughter to have a sibling too. I’ve been silently stressing myself out as my friends, too, are getting pregnant left and right, and my daughter is getting older (as am I). But I know it’s not a good idea to expand our family without a strong foundation so I’m starting to accept the fact that I may have an only child and be ok with that. Glad to see that I’m not alone. Much love to you and yours – Milan is absolutely adorable!

    • Hi Cathy, thank you for sharing your story with me. I’m so happy to hear that you guys loved each other enough to go to marital counseling. That is a huge step and sounds like you are getting back on track. We are definitely not alone. Praying all goes well and you get your 2nd :)XO

  10. Thank you for sharing your story. I only have one child as well, it’s becsuse my husband doe snot want another child because I had such a hard time having our one son. I became overwhelmed because I wanted a sibling for our son. I have to accept the fact that he will the only one. I will love and adore him forever.

  11. Thank you for sharing this part of your life with everyone. Me and my husband have one daughter and are going thru almost the exact same thing except we both want more kids. I had an ectopic pregnancy over a year ago and lost one of my tubes. We haven’t been able to get pregnant since then and I have been miserable every month seeing everyone else get pregnant but me until one day it hit me I have one daughter already and many people can’t have even one. And if she’s the only one I have I am so blessed and thankful for her.
    So thank you for sharing and letting me know I’m not the only one on this journey.

  12. Hi Annie!
    I know EXACTLY how you feel. I always wanted 2 kids. And it took me awhile to accept the fact that we were only going to have the 1. I was 36 and my husband was 38. By the time we wanted to even think about it he was 40. And we were tired. LOL
    And we also got reminded that even though they might not be “alone” it doesn’t mean that as adults they will have a relationship. My parents are perfect examples. They both have a sibling and they don’t speak. It’s sad and it hurts (my mom, especially. She misses her selfish sister! LOL)
    I’m lucky and have an amazing brother and my hubby has an amazing brother.
    Also, I am so blessed that my daughter is a healthy and happy little girl. She has asked for a sibling and we ask her if she wants to share all of her toys. And she says no and that ends the whole discussion. 😂

  13. Thank you SO much for sharing this! I don’t have kids yet, but I’m at the point where people are asking when I will and I’m just not ready. Recently I feel like so many influencers have shared pregnancy announcements and while I’m happy for them, it’s making me feel pressure. Anyway, everyone’s journey is different and I really appreciate your honesty about yours.

  14. Thank you for sharing. A very similar situation has happened for me. My one and only daughter is now 9 and I’ve finally come to terms that there will never be another sibling for her. I had no trouble getting pregnant the first and only time. Over that last 9 years almost all of my friends and family have asked why we didn’t have another assuming that I was unable to conceive. People I meet with only children (far and few between at my daughter’s school) that have had fertility issues automatically start sharing their stories with me. She is literally the only single child on her sports teams and of all of her friends. My daughter has consistently asked for a sibling since she was 3. It’s hard to talk about honestly, because my husband doesn’t like me putting it back on him. He thinks people thinks less of him then since larger families are “in”. But he also doesn’t like to talk about my side and having to field questions about my fertility with other women. I think your post is honestly, the only post I’ve ever seen where someone is in the same position as me. It has been wonderful reading comments and realizing that though I am alone in my day to day there are other women that have and will go through the same awkward and sad days of baby announcements along with me. Thank you!

    • Thanks for sharing! I believe in God and His will for each of our lives. If it’s in his will, you will have another child! God is in control of every BIG & small thing!

  15. Wow, thank you for sharing…my husband out of the blue told me he doesn’t want a second after we struggled for our first. We’ve always talked about having 2 because we didn’t want an only child and there is a chance for us to have number 2. I feel it’s so unfair to have that choice taken away from me and the decision made without considering how I feel and what life will be like for our daughter. It’s so hard and it’s created resentment in my marriage I’m trying to get over but it’s a struggle. Thank you for sharing…I feel like so many people just have families and it’s not an issues…you feel so alone because you don’t think anyone gets it and you don’t know who to talk too without judgment on your marriage or spouse. I feel what your going through, much love.