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You may remember Deanna (Pappas) Stagliano as ‘The Bachelorette’ on Season 4, but she has since moved on from handing out roses and is now a wife and mother to a beautiful 1 year old daughter named Addison. We are privileged to have Deanna on the blog today as she shares some insights and must haves for pregnancy and raising a 1 year old with her husband, Stephen.

You first appeared on ‘The Bachelor’ on Season 11 before becoming ‘The Bachelorette’.  How has life been since the show and now as a new mom?

Life after The Bachelor and The Bachelorette seemed like such a long road at times! So many ups and downs and it was definitely hard at times and such a good learning experience. I am so unbelievably happy now and so grateful for Stephen and Addison. Stephen has changed me and made me a better woman and we are both so blessed to have Addison. She is such a happy little girl! Always smiling and such a joy to be around! We are truly blessed. I love being a mother and I love sharing every day with Addison. She has filled my heart beyond belief. I never knew a love this great!!

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Did your experience on the show teach you anything about life or yourself that you would now use as a mother?

The show taught me so much. I don’t think I realized how much at the time. Even my breakup and my experiences after filming was done. My breakup was so public and Jesse was so forthcoming with details that I felt so betrayed. More so than I have by any man. Even Brad Womack. HA! In the end, it all taught me what was important in my life. My priorities were so out of whack and I didn’t even realize it. It was a tough lesson to learn but one I think The Lord was trying to teach me. Had I met Stephen earlier in my life, I would not have been a good wife for him because I wasn’t ready. Let alone a mother to Addison. With these tough lessons and all I have experienced, it has taught me patience and to be grateful…even for the little things as well as trials in my life. Things seem to be simpler. Which I appreciate.

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Your beautiful daughter Addison just turned 1 years old! How was the first year for you and your husband Stephen, any advice you would give to new mothers?

Honestly, Addison’s first year was so wonderful. Our pictures are not a lie. She really is the happiest baby! Full of smiles and such joy. She is such a good sleeper. Seriously, 12 hours a night since she was 6 weeks old. She still naps flawlessly twice a day for a couple hours… which I am thankful for! She is a good eater and tries everything. She especially loves avocados! This girl can eat a whole avocado in one sitting! Stephen and I are so happy with our little girl. We never knew life could be this great.

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3 items you couldn’t live without during pregnancy?

My pregnancy was rather enjoyable as well. The three things I couldn’t live without were Poptarts, pre-natal massages… and my Bump Nest pregnancy pillow. It changed my life! I seriously suggest every expecting mother invests in a good one because sleeping is hard enough as it is when you are pregnant!

3 items you can’t live without now having a toddler in the house?

Addison is on the move now! She started walking a couple weeks ago. We love a good sippy cup! She loves to throw them around so I need a good one that doesn’t leak. We love our Munchkin and Zoli Sippy cups! Not only do they not leak, they are easy for Addison to drink out of! We also cannot live without teething rings! Addison still has not cut a single tooth. We are thankful for the cold rings she can chew on and the mesh one we can stuff with frozen fruit. It is definitely helping to soothe those sore gums. Lastly, good shoes! Since Addison is now walking, good shoes are a must! The soles are helping her to keep her balance as she tears down our hardwood floors! We love Stride Rite shoes!!

1979700_10152293161433524_257468997_nWere there any surprises with parenthood that you weren’t expecting at first? How did you prepare for Addison’s birth? 

I was very surprised at how easy it was to transition to motherhood. I think it is something that one cannot understand until they have a child of their own. It is definitely hard at times and I am thankful for my dear friends who answer my texts at all hours of the night, but it is a learning experience. I do not do everything right. I am still figuring out what works for me, Addison, and our family. She is changing every day so I am learning to adapt to all the new things. I did read a few books before Addison was born. I wish I had more time to read now. Google will have to do for the time being. 

Are there any fun play day activities or places you like to take Addison that may give new mother’s some fresh ideas.

Stephen and I just bought our first home together. It is so nice not to be cramped in an apartment anymore! I love to switch things up with Addison! Instead of having lunch inside, I love to put a blanket in the backyard and have a picnic with her! She seems to be s happy playing in our backyard in the sunshine and I love nothing more than to watch her doing so.

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How do you find alone time with Stephen and keep your relationship strong? 

We actually live about 15 minutes from Stephen’s mom and dad. They are very generous grandparents and love to come visit Addison during the week. Which allows me time to go to the gym, grocery shopping, or even have lunch with my girlfriends!! My father also comes to visit very often! Uncle Mike and Aunt Emily are really good babysitters as well!

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We just adore all of your photos of Addison on Instagram. Are you planning on having any more kids to add to the mix?

We definitely want more children… andsoon! I would love for Addison to have siblings very close in age. I would love to have 3 kids so we will see what happens!

Thank you Deanna for all of your fun answers and taking the time to share more about Addison and motherhood! You can follow Deanna on Instagram @DeannaStag

  • Lizzie Stoddard

    Love the mommy posts that have been popping up here each month! I’m 34 weeks pregnant with my first and it’s SO nice/encouraging to hear from others who have made the leap into motherhood. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • desireehartsock

      We are so glad!! There will be more to come so stay tuned. 😉

  • Loved watching her on the bachelorette! Her baby is beautiful!