Let’s Keep It Real About Our Bodies After Birth

Post childbirth bodies.. What in the world? I was beyond unprepared for what was to come after my first baby was born. All I knew to anticipate was some soreness down there and a brand new baby. Well, what surprises were in store for me! I was overwhelmed from the rawness of it all and wished somebody had been there to warn me. It’s always nice being prepared when babies are involved, so I want to pass on my knowledge to you all. This is what having babies was like for me:

  •  Expect hidden stretch marks to appear. I knew throughout my pregnancy I was getting them. What I didn’t know was that they were hiding from me. What a pleasant surprise that was! Once that belly is gone, you will definitely be able to see them better. Don’t fret when you do. They will get better. Just keep using your cream and give it time. 
  • Your first poop. Pooping isn’t something people tend to bring up in casual conversation, but that first poop is going to happen and it’s going to suck. Some women have even said it was worse than birth itself! Be prepared by taking a stool softener ahead of time. Just trust me.
  • Contractions. Did you know you will continue to have contractions afterward? Neither did I. It makes sense, though. Your uterus will immediately begin to “repair” itself, so to speak. In order to go back down to its original size, it will contract. For me, it did this for a full week. Not fun. 
  • Hair loss. You know that long, luscious hair you got during your pregnancy? Well, kiss it goodbye. Once that baby arrives and your hormones drop, they’re taking your hair with them. I lost quite a bit of hair after my son was born. There’s no bald spots or anything, but it definitely thinned out in some areas. 
  • You may develop new problems. Before my first was born, I had few health issues. Suddenly, though, I developed PCOS. Apparently this is a natural phenomenon. 
  • Breastmilk. Nobody told me about the day when your milk comes in. That was like my own personal hell. I woke up in excruciating pain, and covered in dry, stinky milk. It was gross and painful. It’s weird waking up with your boobs two sizes bigger than when you went to sleep. It does get better after a couple of days, however. 

There you have it. For me, these were the most prominent surprises. I want you to be more prepared than I was. Ask around, maybe some other moms will have more advice for you! It will make your first few days with your baby go much smoother if you know what’s in store for you. Of course, everyone is different. That goes without saying. Don’t let me scare you, though. Although everything mentioned is definitely annoying, that little bundle of joy makes it all worth it. You will hardly mind these things even you’re looking at your brand new sweet baby. 

The Rainbow After A Storm


For some of you the term rainbow baby is not unheard of. For those of you who don’t know, though, a rainbow baby is a baby that comes after baby loss. To lose a child is unlike any pain you could ever even dream of. It is very much akin to losing a part of yourself. When it really comes down to it, that is what it is, for every loving parent would agree that our children are a part of us. They are derived from us, after all. When that reality is shattered-when something so precious and loved is ripped away from you no matter how much you cherish it, no matter how much you pray, no matter how much you beg- a part of you will follow it into the dark. 

When I had just turned eighteen my husband and I had first started dating. Being two young teenagers we, of course, were screwing like rabbits. When you put two idiots together who are completely immature, do you want to know what happens? Teenage pregnancy. God, I was so scared. I remember telling my momma at my granny’s house because I was beyond scared and needed support in case things got wild. My dad simply cried. He’s never been a man of many words. At that time, I was grateful for that quality of his. My husband and I were frightened beyond belief. We had only just begun to get to know each other. I never liked kids. Why would mine be any different? 

Well, as it always does, time went on. All my doctor appointments went well, and eventually I found out I was having a beautiful baby girl. When I found out her gender it became all too real for me. I could choose a name, choose the nursery colors, and start buying those first outfits. Instead of an “unknown” she became a definite. 

At four months pregnant my family planned their yearly vacation. While we waited for our flight, my cousin and I browsed Hobby Lobby to pass the time. I was looking for things for her nursery. Up until that point, I had not bought anything. I decided on cute Noah’s Ark animal stickers and two little wooden owl figurines. I remember checking out next to my cousin and stating that I was probably going to jinx myself. It was definitely an odd thing to say, but ultimately I wonder if maybe I did.

After returning home I went in for my usual checkup. I was lying back getting an ultrasound when the technician made a worried face and told me to wait a second. Before I could say anything, she was out of the room. She came back with my obstetrician and they both studied my baby while speaking to each other quietly. The technician left the room, and at that moment, I knew. 

Turner’s Syndrome. That’s what my baby girl had. She listed off all the problems my baby girl had, and told me she most likely wouldn’t make it as the amniotic sac was too small and that meant she was probably actively dying. She scheduled a follow-up exam with a specialty ultrasound clinic for a couple of days after. 

Although I prayed, screamed, cried, begged, there was no happy ending. They told me it would only be a few days. It was getting worse, but thankfully, she was not suffering. In a way I was relieved. I knew if she did survive her life would be nothing but pain and misery. So, while my daughter still barely hung on inside of me, I mourned for her. 

I spent three days and two nights in the hospital. Because I was five months pregnant I had to be induced and deliver. I got to hold her little body. I got to say goodbye. I got to have a funeral. 

Years later, my husband and I get pregnant once more. I was so, so happy. Another chance! However, in the back of my head, I wondered if this one would be different. Thankfully he was and my little boy came from that pregnancy, alive and well. Everyday I am so grateful for him. He’s my rainbow after a storm. 

If you’ve lost a baby, please don’t give up. There is hope. If there’s a will, there’s a way. I’ll hurt with you if you ask me to. Do whatever you need to ease that pain, but don’t ever stop trying. You are a momma. You are worthy. I know at times you want to shout, “My baby was real!” I know you feel alone and angry. What happened was not fair, nor right, but momma, it would not be right to give up without a fight if your heart still yearns for a child. There is hope. 

The Truth About The Birds And The Bees After Kids

Do you remember that time before kids when you and your significant other could jump each other’s bones whenever, wherever, and however you wanted? You didn’t have to wait on anyone to fall asleep. You didn’t have to watch how loud you were being. You weren’t completely exhausted from spending your day catering to a tiny human. Ah, those were the days. You wouldn’t trade your children for your old sex life (hopefully), but you do miss it sometimes. That’s completely normal, because the truth about the birds and the bees after kids is this: it’s just not the same.

Now, to be fair, I don’t know how it is for parents with older kids. Both of mine are under three years right now, so of course I am speaking from my own personal experience. I’m going to be real, though. I didn’t get the D at all. I was always too tired, or he was. On the rare occasion it did happen, it was rushed and all the romance was gone because I was always on mom alert. If anyone knows a cure for this, hit me up please. Even worse, I could never fully relax because I was scared from having stitches after childbirth.

It’s not that I’m not attracted to my husband any more. In fact, I would say it’s quite the opposite. Since kids I feel that my attraction has grown tenfold. Watching him be such a loving, hardworking father is sexy as can be to me. Yet, when we do get alone time what follows is anything but sexy. All those stretch marks you get from pregnancy? Oh, and your now extremely large, dark pepperoni nipples? Let’s not forget how saggy your boobs have become. Goodbye, self-esteem. My husband used to get beyond frustrated with me because he doesn’t get to see me naked any more. I was ashamed, embarrassed, and scared. What if he didn’t want to be with me anymore?

Things were really, really bad. And dry. And awkward. I had to remind myself that I was still a wife, and not just a mother. I missed that close intimacy my husband and I had. Things had to change. Here’s what worked for us.
First and foremost, we needed time alone. It just was not going to happen if the kids were around. You all know how consuming of your time, energy, and patience your little angels are. So, we found a babysitter. By spending time alone with my husband I was able to focus only on him, and that made everything so much more enjoyable. It was almost like when we were kids again.

Secondly, I had to work on my body image issues. My husband was nothing short of sweet and loving toward me. It was not fair to him to deprive him of something that was a special bond between us simply because of my own insecurities. Before you get your pitchforks, I want to say I know it’s your body and your decision what you do with it ultimately. I am in no way saying you need to regress to the fifties and be a good little wife that does whatever her husband demands. I’m just asking you to imagine it from his perspective. Your beautiful wife who you share everything with suddenly won’t let you see her naked. You made a commitment to her. You share kids with her. She’s the most beautiful thing in the world to you. That’s how your partners feel, ladies. They love you, cherish you, adore you, and desire you. You are beautiful, sexy, and everything they could ever need. Once you realize that, you will be so much happier. Confidence is such an important factor in your sex life. If you’re unsure of yourself, you will be tense. Sex is supposed to be fun! Enjoy yourself. You have more than earned a good time.

Last but not least, LUBE. Use it. Seriously. I cannot describe the magical wonder that is lube. I prefer water based, as I’m kind of sensitive. It made things go much smoother, and in turn, last longer. We still have a lot of room for progress in that area, but things have improved drastically. I promise you things can go back to the way they were. It will just take dedication and work. Hang in there. It will get easier. It may take multiple tries, but don’t get discouraged! As the saying goes, all good things in due time. The closeness my husband and I have gained back has made life so much more enjoyable. I want the same for you.

Why You Should Take More Pictures

 

  I know how cliché it sounds, but it’s true. Your child’s life zooms by waaaay too fast. It’s bittersweet watching your baby grow and prosper in the blink of an eye. You love watching them learn and advance, but miss when things were as simple as cuddling your baby to sleep after a warm bottle or a night on the breast. Every adorable face, every goofy smile, it all warrants a picture. You show all your friends and family. They ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’. What will you show your child, though? How many pictures are you in? Honestly, go and take a look. You might be surprised.  

   It honestly amazed me when I looked back at my toddler’s pictures over time. There was tons of him with other people I took, but hardly any of us. I felt disappointed. My reasoning for saying no to pictures was always the same. I was embarrassed of how I looked. Now, in retrospect, I’m embarrassed of my silly reason. I wanted him to be able to look back at his adolescence and remember me as I was, too. I wanted him to remember the time momma dyed her hair green because she was feeling like a boring momma and wanted to do something a little wild with her looks. I wanted him to remember the face I made when he took his first steps. I was so beyond proud. I wanted him to see me smile along with him on the day he began to make his first smile. He is so cute. The pictures are all there taken by me, but not of me. 

   I want to urge to you the importance of taking pictures of both you and your baby. If not for you, for your child. They will want to remember those happy moments, too, and you’re a part of them. It doesn’t matter if you’re not wearing any make-up or are in your pajamas. Your child doesn’t care. You’re their mommy, for goodness sake! Our babies are our biggest fans, and I hope when mine grow up I will have done well enough in their lives to make them be able to overlook how horrid I looked in some pictures. Happiness is best when shared, after all. 

An Ode to the Mom Who is Losing Her Mind

     I see you, pretty momma. I know you’re forcing that smile on your face. I’ve been there. Motherhood is not always love and roses. Why, just the other night, I laid in bed at six in the morning crying next to my aggravated, sleepy toddler because my one-month-old doesn’t sleep at night. I was begging a baby to go to sleep. Obviously that does not work, but you have to try, right? I am embarrassed to say that I was getting way too pissed. When my husband came into the room (we’re both night owls) I pleaded with him to please take the baby “for once”. He is a stay home dad. He has the baby frequently. That, plus both of our exhausted states, led to an argument. It was not a good night. But I’m sure you know how it is. Although our situations may vary, we’ve probably survived a lot of the same things. I want you to now how amazing you are doing. This is my ode to you; the mother, the warrior, the legend. 

     That spit up on your shoulder looks great. Oh, wow! Can I borrow your baby? I want to look just like you. And that messy bun? Fabulous! You look like a cross between a Greek goddess and an Abercrombie model. Do not feel embarrassed. You look beautiful. 

     Oh, I see that your toddler is throwing himself on the floor in a tantrum. You are not a bad mother for walking away from him. You have to let him know who is boss. Walk away. Just walk away. 

     Your pre-pregnancy pants don’t fit? Neither do mine. I’m currently hiding my unbuttoned pants underneath a long sweater. I honestly do not care at all. My new mom butt looks great, and so does yours. So in the end, who really won? We did. 
     You haven’t showered in three days? Been there, done that. We’re just nineties grunge. People simply don’t get us. We’re too edgy. 

     Oh, no.. You haven’t cleaned jack all day. You know why? You’re too busy being the most excellent mom in the world. There’s nothing wrong with putting your kids and yourself first above chores. They will get done when they get done. 

      Listen, the list could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. All the working moms, stay home moms, crunchy moms, whatever moms- you all got this in the bag. Your husbands may be no-good, lazy jerks, or they may be the sweetest, but at the end of the day they’re lost without you. Don’t argue with it. Single moms? I don’t even know what to say. Are you even human? Broke moms, I hope for you a hefty raise. Rich moms.. What’s up? Get at me. Though we are all fundamentally different, we are all moms and I salute you all. You are doing such a heartless thing, such a noble cause raising and loving your babies. Don’t ever forget that. 
     Remember, kids don’t come with instruction manuals. Things will not always be perfect. That is not a reflection of you in any way. You are doing your best and that is good enough. 💕

Why Falling in Love Young is Torture, But Sometimes Worth It

When my husband and I first got together at 17/18 in 2012.

It’s fairly common knowledge that “love” in high school begins as lust, then transforms into infatuation, and then finally, it becomes love. You spend the first few months of the budding relationship being young and free. It’s fun and easy. There are no kids to argue about, no bills to worry over. The sad reality of it is that at such a young age we are still growing. Still discovering who we really are. Who I was at seventeen is vastly different than who I am now at twenty-three. The thought of being with someone who was like me at that age depresses me. I was very immature, very virgin to the harsh realities of the world. So it goes without saying that falling in love young is like playing a game where you have a 50/50 chance of winning. Sadly, losing means great heartbreak. Heartbreak is never easy, no matter your age is. 
 You will have to grow with each other and with growth there is always change. It’s devastating to watch your best friend change before your eyes into someone you don’t know. When you feel like you are losing your grip on someone you have begun to rely on, you feel like you are losing your grip on your own self. Maybe in a sense you are since they hold a piece of you that is so very cherished: your heart. 

My husband at my graduation.

You will have to decide for yourself if the new person in front if you is someone you can spend forever with. It’s an awfully big decision to make at such a young age. When I married my husband at twenty-two I was taking a huge gamble at my own happiness. I will not lie to you. It has been hard. We fight often and feverishly, but at the end of the day my husband is my best friend, my partner in crime. We have so much fun together on the good days. The bad days, though.. They are relentless. Yet I find myself thinking that as long as he is willing to try for me, I will gladly try for him. That’s what a strong marriage takes. Truth be told?

I wouldn’t trade him for the world, but sometimes I wonder if I made the right decision marrying him just because of the stigma of marriage around our ages, and fear that he will continue to develop his life in a completely different direction than mine. 

If we end up going our separate ways it will be on his accord. He is my better half and I cannot imagine a life without him. I know I could live without him, but I really don’t want to. I fall in love with him every time I watch him take care of our kids. Whenever he smiles I still get butterflies. Whenever he kisses me I still feel weak in my knees. As long as that innocent infatuation stays I know we are doing all right. I know he is my biggest fan. It melts my heart when I hear the words “I love you” leave his mouth knowing they are just for me. 

Two kids in love.

Do not let anyone tell you it is impossible to find your soul mate young. It is possible, but it is hard. So very, very hard. If there’s a will, though, there’s a way. Just remember that love is patient, kind, loyal, and forgiving. And never, ever give up. You got this. 

Ramblings of a Broken Mom


     I’ll be the first to admit that I am not the picture perfect mother. Far from. There are days where I want to do nothing more than pack my bags and hide out in a hotel with a hot tub for a day or two. I am tired. I am overwhelmed . I am under appreciated. Most of all, I am human. When your days are spent completely focusing on another person it is to be expected that you might start to feel a bit like less of yourself and more of a robot, so to speak. I know I’m not the only one that feels this way. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids. LOVE them. They are the light of my life. With that being said, let’s get one thing straight, world. Moms are people, too, and we are allowed to need a break.
     There are days where my two year old will sit in front of the TV watching Spongebob for far too long while I sit on the couch staring at the wall. That’s OK. He’s building his vocabulary. There are days on days on days where absolutely zero laundry will get done. Hey, as long as everyone is wearing clean clothes, then there is no problem. One might even wear dirty clothes sometimes.. Sometimes I will go days without taking a shower. Well, maybe that’s not OK, but fight me. I don’t see anyone rushing in to watch the kids so I can. Anyway..
     We need to stop apologizing for being moms. With motherhood comes greasy hair, untidy houses, piles of laundry, and so much more. Yet, at the end of the day, are our babies not fed and loved immensely? Exactly. Non issue. It will get done eventually. You can find such ridiculous Mom-Shaming everywhere. “If you’re a stay home mom, you have no reason to have a dirty house. You must be sitting on your butt all day.” MYTH. Imagine that there is a tiny human being who needs you to feed him, watch him, change him, talk to him, hug him all day. While you’re making dinner he decides to rip off his diaper and knock over your drink you forgot you’re not supposed to leave on the coffee table. Clean that up and serve dinner. Oh, now he’s dirty. You have to bathe him. He hates getting out of the shower. Cue tantrum. Calm the baby. It’s already been two hours. See what I mean? Time flies. Obviously everyone’s situation is different, but the message is clear. 
     Then there’s, “How can moms work all day while someone else raises their kids?” Newsflash! Life is expensive. Oh, but I don’t want to let your judgmental ass down so I’ll just quit my job to stay home with my kids. What do you know, now I can’t afford to feed or house them. Superb. All this leads to…
     “Well, if you can’t afford kids, then you shouldn’t have had them.” Now this line is an absolute favorite of mine. Let’s get one thing clear. Children are not only for rich people. As long as someone’s kids are healthy, loved, and taken care of, then what the absolute hell do you have to complain about? I’ll be the first to admit I’m broke as all get out. My babies never go without, though. And to those mom as who are struggling to provide the bare minimum for their kids, this is not an insult to you, either. I get it. I’ve been there. If you’re trying you’re cool in my book. 
     Us moms should be building each other up, not putting up walls and breaking down self-esteems. We’re all working the same job with the same end goal in mind: to have successful, happy kids. Is that not enough? Instead of arguing, we should be creating friendships. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in motherhood, it’s this: talking to a toddler can be unfulfilling at times. I’m so thankful for the few fellow mom friends I do have. Trust me when I say there’s just no point in being catty. 
Sometimes a broken mom just needs help putting the pieces back together. 

Interstitial Cystitis & Your Sex Life


          There is an unspoken horror out there not many people know about, but for those of us affected, words could not even begin to describe it, anyway. It goes by the name of Interstitial Cystitis, or IC for short. IC is, well, still somewhat of a mystery to the medical field. It’s characterized by frequent pain in the bladder, a constant urge to pee although you’ve already tried to eight million times, and just general miserableness. There is no set cure, just various things we all try to try and ease the pain. My journey with IC began in my teenage years around the age of fifteen. It started with frequent bladder infections. Azo was my best friend. I found myself in a local urologist’s office where I was advised to drink more water. For about a year or two it went into recession, and boy, did I take that time for granted. 

               At age eighteen it came back with a vengeance. However, I tested negative for UTIs every time. I didn’t understand what was happening to me, and neither did my doctors. They pushed antibiotic infection on me, despite the fact that there was no infection. So naturally the pain didn’t stop. Then, my urologist tells me I have an overactive bladder. This leads to me trying about three to five different OA bladder medicines, but once again, no success. Finally my urologist decides to run a cyscopy to attempt to get a better understanding of just what in the world is going on. He attempted to do it in office, but once the nurse tried to numb my urethra by sticking a q-tip in it I knew I could not endure that pain any further and ended up leaving that office in tears with a new appointment at the hospital under anesthesia. I had a full blown panic attack the pain was so bad. 
He tells me that he can’t find anything wrong except for the fact that my urethra is too small so he filled it with water and let it sit so that it would stretch. This left me in exscruciating pain for a week, then magically everything was normal and dandy the following week. By the third week I was back in bladder purgatory. He left out the part where it was only a temporary fix. By this point I’m tired of him and so I decide to find a new urologist. 
           Well, three doctors later I finally find my dream urologist (no, it’s not overactive bladder!) he tells me I have IC. With his help I’ve been lucky enough to get it under control, though the pain is never fully gone. From this pain comes suffering between not only me, but both my husband and I. Our sex life is nonexistent. During one year of our marriage we had sex a total of three times. You read that right. Truth be told, it hasn’t got much better, but any improvement is welcome. 
          It’s unbearable watching your husband cry and ask you what’s wrong with him. I felt so defeated. Of course he felt unwanted. I wasn’t able to show him just how much I truly adored him. He is the sexiest man alive to me, but without being able to show him, he felt like I was lying. I felt worthless. Why couldn’t I have a working body? What if he left me for someone better? I would be lying if I said that to this day that fear isn’t still there. For those of you out there like me, you are not alone. I know it feels like an uphill battle, but there are drugs out there that work. Some people swear by therapy, others by acupuncture. It just depends on the person, but everything is worth trying.

 
           And to the husbands and wives out there of those with IC, please don’t give up. I know it’s hard. We aren’t the only ones suffering. I know you are too. It’s not that you’re not enough. You are exceptional. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your understanding. Thank you for just being you, the people we fell in love with. You make those painful moments a little less insufferable. Thank you for loving us for who we are, flaws and all. 

Intrusive Thoughts and Your Kids: WTF?

     Let’s talk about intrusive thoughts and our children, or otherwise known as hell on earth. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, well, you probably do. If you truly don’t, though, I’m jealous. Intrusive thoughts are those disgustingly disturbing thoughts that creep into the back of your mind about hypothetical situations that are always heartbreaking and gut wrenching. They serve no good purpose other than ruining your entire day and making you wonder what is wrong with you because normal people don’t have those thoughts. I have some good news for you. Yes, they do. The bad news? They can be difficult to get rid of. 
     I will never speak out loud some of the thoughts I had when my son was first born. I was beyond bewildered. Why was I thinking these things? I would imagine in my head that people would come into my home and kill me and my son would be all alone and I would seriously sit there and fret about what he would do if that happened. And that’s the thing, it was all in my head. I didn’t get why what was supposed to be such a happy time of my life was being clouded by strange thoughts about horrible things happening to me and my baby. I would seriously cry at times over some of the things I was thinking. I lived in fear of things happening that were so unlikely and crazy, but there I was losing sleep over it. It was crippling. 
     I was way past embarrassed because who wants to be that mom that is thinking of bad things happening to their baby? It’s not like I was wishing ill will on him, but I was afraid that other people might see it that way, so I kept it to myself and struggled internally. It might sound like a minor inconvenience, but this was a huge problem for me. I just wanted to be happy like everyone else seemed to be. I didn’t want to live in this anxious fear every day. 
Finally I realized something had to change and it started with me. 
     First, I went and visited my gynecologist. Intrusive thoughts usually go hand in hand with PPD, or post-partum depression. To my surprise, she did not seem to care at all. She prescribed me an antidepressant and that was that. I left her office that day feeling hopeful. Luckily for me, that worked. It took some time, but eventually the thoughts went away. I was finally able to fall asleep easily at night. Every mom would agree sleep is important, I’m sure, so if you are also one of the women who struggled with this, please don’t be ashamed and see your doctor. You do not have to suffer through it. 

Fashion of the Week That I Can’t Afford👠💋

I have a shopping addiction. It’s a serious problem. So, to help combat my unhealthy desire to buy all the things, I only let myself awe at designer brands that I could never afford. 

Here’s my pick of the week!

Oh, Chanel. How I adore you. Now, you have to admit that Chanel’s handbags are pure class, elegance, and everything in between. Pink is my absolute favorite color and this hue of it is just beautiful. I want it so bad it hurts. 

You can own this bad boy for $3,300. I hate being broke.