Love your Swim Suit

So, yesterday morning my sister sent me a instagram post that an editor at Sports Illustrated posted.. She was in her bikini talking about what she modeled. I instantly fell in love with her post. It takes balls to put a bikini on and post it on your public instagram page when you aren’t comfortable with yourself, especially when you have 120,000+ followers! She was encouraging women of all shapes, sizes, and colors to put their bikinis on and tell us what they model.. absolutely brilliant. So kudos to her!

Right after I watched her inspirational video, I instantly went to my closet and pulled my bikini drawer out.. Mind you, this drawer is in a little dresser I have facing the wall so I can’t even get into it without pulling it away from the wall. I keep all my old bathing suits in there… This draw is my dark place.. It houses all my brazilian bikinis that I used to put my pretty pre baby body into! So, needless to say, I kind of HATE this drawer.

I so badly wanted to just throw a bathing suit on, set my computer up and just record a quick video.. little did I know, it was not going to be that simple.

I closed my eyes, shoved my hand into my drawer and picked a bikini top.. I grabbed the matching bottoms and put it on. I was already feeling nervous, even though I was alone in my closet with my two children, my heart was racing. I didn’t even really love myself in a bikini before I had my children. I tied my hair up into a clip, and turned all my lights on and stood in front of the mirror… I was expecting to see a seriously terrible sight, I was preparing myself to hate what was staring back at me. But, I was surprisingly okay with the way I looked (rare feeling). I felt good in that bathing suit(also a rare feeling).. It was a little snug, but I felt decent. Which was extremely surprising, because I was expecting a full force breakdown.

I got my computer out, and set it up in my bedroom on my bed. I pulled the camera up to record my little testimony. As soon as I saw myself on my computer camera I was like oh hell no! I cannot post this on social media, this is a mess..

Then, I thought to myself lets just record one video and see how it sounds, and see how it looks! So, one video turned into probably 35 videos! I knew what I wanted to say, but I couldn’t get it out.. I knew I didn’t look great but that was the whole point of doing this. I waited until my husband got home to show him what I recorded and he thought it was amazing.. he’s easy to please! I thought they were all terrible.. so I deleted them all and started again.. after maybe 20 more videos I just picked one..

My untouched up mom bod in all its glory in my white bikini posted on my public instagram page. with 7,000+ views and  67 loving comments on my personal page, and 17,000+ views on Health magazines’ instagram page, I am so happy that I got the courage to post the video! I am beyond happy that so many women could relate to it, and find a little love for themselves through me and my experiences.

So to all my readers! check out the #loveyourswinsuit campaign, share what you model for, even if you feel like crying when your getting your bathing suit on! your experience will help other women, your experience will let others know that they are not alone.. and that is one of the best things in the world ❤

Thanks for taking the time to read

Alex ❤

 

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A Mothers Guilt

 

You know when you’re pregnant, and everyone wants to share their advice or their stories with you?  When other moms start telling you what the worst part for them was and what the best part was? The ongoing conversations about what to definitely expect? Well one thing that I hadn’t ever had a conversation about was mom guilt. Now that I have two babies I feel it double, all the time!

My mom guilt started as soon as I laid eyes on my first son Bryan. I felt guilty about every decision I made, as a first time mom at the time, I was unsure if I was even making the right decisions for him. In the beginning I felt pressured to listen to mothers with experience. So, to all the mamma’s who are doubting themselves, whether it be you are approaching your due date or just getting settled in with your little one, just know that just because another mother has an opinion does not mean you should feel obligated to follow their lead. You see, what it boils down to is I am a passive person. I couldn’t help but to feel a little guilty for not following every suggestion I received. With time, I settled in and realized, there is no one way to be a mother. I was constantly second guessing myself, I was torn between what I had been told to do and what my heart was nudging me to do. In hindsight, I would tell my first time mother self to always follow her heart. Now that I have two little ones I like to think I know a little bit about momming. Besides following your heart is just much less stressful.

The most mom guilt I have ever felt in my life was the day I went into labor with my second son. My first son was just 13 months old. I went into labor around ten in the morning, I remember my contractions starting and thinking to myself ‘oh my god, these are going to be my last few hours alone with Bryan’. So, I took him outside to play, then we played in the bath tub, then I rocked him to sleep on our rocking chair for nap time like I had done for his whole life. I remember crying and feeling so sad while I was rocking him, I knew that would be the last time I would put him to sleep just him and I. My contractions were about eight minutes apart at that point. I carried him back to bed, notified everyone that I was in labor and was getting ready to go to the hospital. My son woke up right before we left for the hospital, I remember kneeling down and giving him the biggest hug, and kiss. I just didn’t want to let him go I wanted to just stay in that moment. I couldn’t think about how painful or how close my contractions were.. all I could concentrate on was how guilty I felt for having another baby so soon. I felt so guilty because I could no longer give all of my attention to Bryan. I remember bringing Anthony home to meet baby Bryan for the first time, I was flooded with so many emotions. I felt an enormous amount of guilt because Bryan wanted all my lovins, and I couldn’t give them to him. I felt guilty because baby Bry only knew me to be his, I just felt guilty because I didn’t think I was capable of loving them both equally.

Fast forward, almost six months later! My mom guilt is completely different now. Today, I feel guilty for not getting baby Bry to the park.. I feel guilty for feeding him mac and cheese three days in a row for lunch.. I feel guilty for nursing my son Anthony almost all day and night. I feel guilty for raising my voice at Bryan for every little thing he does somedays..

I feel guilty for letting Anthony cry for five or ten minutes straight, just so I can love on Bry for a few minutes. I feel guilty because I don’t get Anthony on his tummy for tummy time as often as I should. I feel guilty because I’m two weeks late on his five month check up !

I’m telling you, I could sit here and list probably hundreds of things that I have mom guilt over.. I tell my mom all the time how I am feeling.. she tells me, still to this day she feels the mom guilt, about things she wishes she would have done with my siblings and I, and about things she wishes she didn’t do.. What I am really trying to say here is, I think the mom guilt is normal.. that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you think you could be doing better, it’s normal. When you just feel like crying because you feel like you have no idea what your even doing at all, that’s normal too! This mom guilt is okay to feel, it’s a feeling I will probably never get used to.. It’s one of my least favorite parts about motherhood.. But I know that I feel this guilt so deeply because I love my children so much, and I want to give them the best of me every single day.. I want them to have the best of everything.. I’m a work in progress, I am not perfect, I am learning how to be the best mom for my children every single day. I feel mom guilt multiple times a day, every day… and I bet you I’ll never stop feeling it. I am preparing myself for that ❤

I’m the Type of mom that…

I am the type of mom that is always a mess. I am the type of mom who’s hair never leaves a sloppy bun. I am the type of mom who gets to take two showers a week.. if I’m lucky! I am the mom that you see in the grocery store with twenty items stacked in her hands, standing in the ten items or less check out lane. I am the mom running through the grocery store like a mad woman dressed in her husbands T-shirt and sweatpants, covered in breastmilk, with a screaming toddler trying to escape the shopping cart and a cranky baby. I am the type of mom who has at least five loads of laundry stashed away in the laundry room. I am the mom who knows all the songs to her kids favorite movie, because it plays on repeat all..day..long !!  I am the mom who lets her kids play in the bath tub sometimes three times a day because we don’t make it outside as much as we could… or should. I am the type of mom who chooses cuddling at bedtime, instead of doing the dishes from dinner. I am the mom who has to rush through the house to clean up before any company comes over because there are toys, blankets, pillows, and sippy cups EVERYWHERE. I am the type of mom who hides in the bathroom to eat a granola bar and maybe two handfuls of goldfish because I missed breakfast and lunch. I am the type of mom who tries to feed her children homemade organic foods, but ends up ordering pizza and pasta sometimes twice a week! I am the type of mom who has to stay up until midnight just to get a decent meal in, and time to have a short conversation with my husband. I am the type mom who makes it through her days by having thirty second dance parties to the Chainsmokers, and Alanis Morissette with my toddler.. or even by myself. I am the type of mom who wants to have endless amounts of patience but sometimes loses her composure, and yells. I am the type of mom who feels guilty every time she loses her temper and lashes out. I am the mom who can’t wait for bedtime, so I can finally get one second to sit down.. and just think for a minute, or not think at all! I am the type of mom who might look like she has everything together, but who actually has nothing together at all.  I am the type of mom who loves her children more than anything or anyone else in this whole universe. I am the type of mom who puts her children before herself, no matter what. I am the type mom who is always a mess. A beautiful mess.IMG_2277.jpg

To the Negative Nancy’s

Hey Everyone,

So, I have been sharing pictures of my stretch mark covered belly on my public instagram page, one of them happened to go viral. Well, I just want to have an all in one response to all of the mean and negative comments I have received and am still receiving. Now, don’t get me wrong, I obviously expect comments like these before I even post any picture on my social media. That is the ONLY reason I contemplate whether to even post pictures of my mummy tummy..

First off, I want to say my skin is not as thick as I would like it to be. And I do read almost every comment left on my pictures. I love the ongoing messages I’m getting from other mamas (which was what I wanted from these posts). But, surprisingly there is a lot of hate left on these pictures. Pictures aimed to help other moms suffering with postpartum depression, aimed to help normalize an average postpartum body, aimed to help other mamas love themselves as I am learning to love myself. I receive comments from men, women, boys and even younger girls stating that my stretch marks are “gross” they should be “covered up” I should be “embarrassed to show my stomach” The worst part about these comments are not that they are mean.. The worst part is that I am not shocked that people are saying these things to me.. I am not shocked that people think my stretch marks are ugly.. I am not shocked that some people are really turned off and disgusted by the marks that are left from carrying my children.

I am sorry that some of you feel so strongly about the marks left on my stomach. I feel bad that you feel the need to click on my photo and take the time to type a nasty comment about how ugly my skin is. Ultimately I feel sad that this is the society I am raising my two sons in. I feel sad that our children are being taught that things as common and normal as stretch marks are viewed as flaws. I feel sad that most of us mamas sporting stretch marks feel like we have to hide our skin because society tells us that we are not pretty anymore. Well I have news for you guys.. we are still beautiful.. we are still funny.. we are still strong.. we are still smart..we are still loving.. we are still nurturing.. we are not as good as we were before we were given our beauty marks, we are better!! We are even more strong.. we are even more fierce.. we are even more loving!!  And If your mama didn’t teach you that if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it at all.. then I will. Take your ignorance elsewhere. You’re one of the problems in this world.. Don’t go our of your way to tell someone they are ugly.. get a life, learn how to love yourself, so that you can love and accept other people too.

Stretch marks are beautiful guys, and we are rocking them !!! Thank you to all my mamas for showing their beautifully marked bellies on social media, and spreading the love and support on my instagram page ❤  Cheers to normalizing postpartum bodies.

Until next time,

Alex ❤

 

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Lets Talk Boobies

Hey Everyone,

I was thinking we could start a series of breastfeeding stories, like our Mothers By Nature, Warriors By Choice thread! I am receiving SO much positive feedback about the postpartum journeys that I am posting from other mamas around the world! So, I thought we could do the same with breastfeeding! I am going to go ahead and kick start our thread with my own personal breastfeeding story with both of my boys. If you are currently reading this and would like to share your own breastfeeding journey, please email it to me at a_ciervo@aol.com ❤ feel free to include a few of your favorite nursing pictures, your first name, and where you live. All of the breastfeeding journeys will be posted under the title ‘ Lets Talk Boobies’

 

Erin A- Connecticut

Hey mamas! Get ready, this is a long one 😉

So, my breastfeeding/postpartum journey was not exactly what I had expected. Honestly, that’s because I didn’t exactly know what to expect! My husband and I were the first of most of our friends and family to have a baby, so neither of us had spent much time around small children, or people who had them. Like any other expectant mom, I read tons of books and articles online doing everything and anything to prepare for the journey ahead. But at the end of the day, we all know, nothing can prepare you for the crazy/incredible experience of childbirth, breastfeeding, and being a parent. At each of my prenatal doctor visits, the nurses on shift would ask if I was planning to breastfeed, to which I would reply, “Yes! I plan to give it a shot!” At that time, I genuinely had NO idea what breastfeeding actually entailed. How complex and elaborate the act of breastfeeding is. I didn’t realize how physically and mentally demanding it would be. Or how much strength and commitment it requires. I didn’t understand how many things could go wrong, and that not every mother/baby would succeed. I just assumed that every mom would “give it a shot” and that we’d all nourish our babies that way, as if it was all so simple and easy…

Well, come March 29, 2016, we welcomed our son, Landon James, into the world! I delivered him at about 6pm. An hour or so later, once I was moved into my recovery room, a nurse came in and told me it was time to breastfeed. She clearly saw the fear in my eyes and the clueless hesitation on my face. She smiled and sat by my side and helped me show Landon how to latch on. It took a few minutes, but eventually he did, and it was the sweetest thing I’d ever seen. Soon after, Landon fell asleep. My husband and I were so exhausted from the crazy day that we had had, and the nurse could see that. She offered to take Landon to the nursery while he slept to keep an eye on him, so that we could close our eyes too. Everything inside of me wanted nothing more than to just hold him in my arms and never let go, but I knew that it was important that we got some rest too. We agreed to let her take him, and she said that as soon as he woke she would bring him in to breastfeed. A few hours later, around 9pm, she did just that. I fed him, he slept, and back to the nursery he went. He returned at midnight, and again at 3am. Then all of a sudden, an unfamiliar voice woke me… I looked at the clock and it read 7am. The woman before us introduced herself. She said she was the pediatric doctor in charge of the NICU. I completely blocked out everything she said next. I feverishly looked around the room, and behind her into the hallway, searching for my boy. Why wasn’t he here? Wouldn’t he need to breastfeed? Where was he? What was wrong??? I looked at my husband who was intently listening to the doctor. I tuned back in as she finished explaining that they had no choice but to immediately take Landon downstairs to the NICU once they discovered that his white blood cell count had spiked. That he was ok for the time being, but that we would need to get dressed and go see him as soon as possible. She gave us instructions as to how to get there and where to find him, and said that she’d meet us down there as she turned to exit the room. The most horrible silence filled the room as my husband and I sat and stared blankly at each other. Without exchanging a word, we got ourselves up and proceeded to go straight downstairs to find our boy.

I felt so scared and helpless. My epidural still hadn’t worn off completely, so I wasn’t able to walk unassisted. I don’t have to tell you ladies how painful and humiliating recovery can be. So my husband asked for a wheel chair, and together we hurried downstairs. Several nurses/doctors directed us where to go, until finally I was wheeled into a room where my worst nightmare began. I was so distraught, riding a rollercoaster of emotions. Having just given birth to the boy of my dreams I initially felt so ecstatic, like I was walking on water. Then, just barely 12 hours later, I felt like the ground had been ripped out from underneath me. Like my heart had been ripped from my chest. There, lying so helpless and innocent, was my little man in an incubator, hooked up to an IV as well as several monitors. I could go on and on about the details, the absolute horror we experienced that day. We quickly learned that Landon’s body was likely reacting to the fever that I had developed through the stress of delivering him, and was likely preparing to fight off a potential infection…

I can still easily recall the depressing feeling that filled that room each day. It was so challenging, physically and emotionally, recovering from the birth in this tiny, scary room with no privacy at all. All I wanted was to be with my boys in the comfort of our own home. I wasn’t allowed to hold my baby when I wanted to. And when I was instructed to, I had to be careful not to tangle any of the wires connected to his monitors. It was stressful, trying to learn to breastfeed, when I wasn’t allowed to do that at my own free will either. I had to wait for a nurse to be in attendance so she could monitor us and keep track of how much he was eating, as if that were even possible with breastfeeding. I felt intruded upon. Many of the nurses we worked with would give their unasked for and unwanted two cents on how I should breastfeed my baby. I knew it was their job to help my son remain healthy, but I just wanted them to leave us alone so I could bond with my baby!!! They demanded that I pump after each nursing session so that I would keep my supply coming in. My breasts were so engorged, my nipples so raw and sore. Turned out I shouldn’t have been pumping as often as I was, because my body was over producing, but I was just listening to the nurses, thinking I had to do as they instructed me. For five days straight I cycled through the same routine every 3 hours. Once Landon would wake from sleeping, we had to find a nurse. Once they were present we either were lucky enough to change his diaper ourselves if they allowed, or had to watch the nurse change him. Each and every diaper was weighed and it’s contents recorded. And if each day he didn’t meet the minimum waste requirements, they would tack on another cause of concern to the list and be more weary of sending us home. I felt so pressured each time I fed him to make sure he was getting enough. One nurse suggested supplementing with my pumped milk after each breastfeeding attempt, so I began to do so. Luckily Landon took well to the bottles and pumped milk. After I fed him I made sure he burped, and got to hold him briefly. I’d rock him to sleep, and be told to place him back in his incubator. Afterwards I’d pump, have a bite to eat, take a short nap myself, and begin again by finding a nurse to check his diaper. His diapers were constantly wet, my supply eventually evened out, and after waiting 48 hours for the results of his spinal tap and blood work, all was approved and we FINALLY got to go home!!! After 5 long days and long nights spent in the NICU, not leaving Landon’s side, not even once, we were so thrilled to leave. It turned out that he was perfectly ok, but thankfully the doctors were determined to make certain of that, before letting us go. He endured a spinal tap, along with a handful of other tests to assure that he was healthy and developing properly, and to confirm that his high white blood cell count was in fact just his body preparing for a fight, and not due to an actual infection in his body.

Looking back, I realize that other families in that NICU may have been much worse off than us. I wonder if maybe I had been selfish or too emotional. But at the time, we didn’t know what was wrong, or if/when our little boy would be ok at all. We felt deprived of the opportunity to get to bond with our baby in the early, first, most crucial days of his life. Family and friends were not allowed to visit us. It was an extremely emotional time, and to this day it makes me sad to think back to it…

Fast forward 3 months, and my baby boy was healthy as could be! Our breastfeeding journey had developed into a beautiful one, and he was growing big and strong. This mama, however, came down with a bad infection, landing me in the ER for a night. Luckily I had some milk pumped for Landon to have while I was away. I ended up being ok, but was prescribed anti-biotics that are not safe to take while breastfeeding. I was crushed. I didn’t have nearly enough milk saved to get us through the two weeks of anti-biotics. I knew I had no choice but to give Landon formula. Which there is absolutely nothing wrong with, but over those three months I had become such a dedicated breastfeeding mother, and was heartbroken to know I would lose out on that bond for a short while. I had to pump each and every time Landon ate in order to keep up my supply. Any mama that has pumped knows how miserable that can be! I was also nervous to know if Landon would even take the formula cooperatively! Luckily… he did. And I survived the two weeks of pumping. But not without many distraught moments and several break downs involving many tears shed 😔…

Fast forward again, 7 more months, and here we are, happy and healthy 10 month old baby, and baby #2 is 14 weeks in the making!!! Landon and my breastfeeding journey has been truly wonderful since, and I feel so lucky. I look back and tell myself that those experiences were just bumps along the road, and only made us stronger. I have to admit, that I would not have been able to get through those times as easily had it not been for my wonderful husband. I am so fortunate to have even been able to breastfeed my son at all, and especially to be able to continue to 10 months later and through my second pregnancy on top of that! It is, without a doubt, exhausting and overwhelming at times, which is why at the end of each day, when my boy is sleeping in my arms and my babe is growing in my tummy, I remember how rewarding, empowering, and worth it parenthood is. Like I said, I have had endless support from my husband along the way, and am forever grateful for him, his selflessness and commitment to our family.

The moral of my story, and the message that I would like to send out to you mamas out there… is that whatever you are going through, stay strong. Remember that you are stronger than you think. Remember to always give yourself the credit you deserve. We are all working so hard because we love our babies! And that is something that should never be discredited. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Always know that someone out there can relate and that we are all bonded together as moms. Maybe nobody has gone through exactly what you did, but they’ve felt that helpless, confused, scared feeling that most of us moms have felt at one point or another. Breastfeeding is no easy task, and no matter how long you did it or even if you never did it at all, as long as us and our babies are healthy and happy, that is what truly matters!

Xo

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If any of you ladies would like to submit your journeys, please don’t hesitate !!

Until next time

Alex ❤

Mothers By Nature, Warriors By Choice

Hey Everyone,

I have been getting lots of Postpartum submissions that I am so excited to share with you, from women all over the world! The purpose of this is to have a plethora of stories that we can all read through and relate with ❤ If anyone wants to share their story on this blog, please feel free to email it to me ❤ All submissions will be posted under ‘Mothers By Nature, Warriors By Choice’

so here we go!

 

Irene-30 years old-India

Hi I’m Irene 30 years old just moved to India with my Husband last year September 2016 while I’m 32 weeks pregnant. I’m from Philippines and my Husband is from India.

I gave birth last year November 2016 to a baby boy we named Ashton Cayle. He just turned 2 months today. My story is not as complicated as it is from the rest but having a newborn is very challenging especially when you’re also adopting in a new place, another country with a very different culture, conservative with a lot of beliefs, we’re they brought up their children in a different way. I don’t have any member of my family to be there with me. Just can’t afford the expenses to bring anyone to India. I have my sister in Law but she can’t help that much because she’s with her 2 kids as well, One 8 yrs old boy and a 14 months old girl.
My Postpartum depression started right after I gave birth to my son via C – Section, like every other new mother the first few weeks were sleepless nights. I felt so depressed about everything that was happening in my life, I was in pain due to the stitches, I could barely move. There was a time that I had to force myself to sit on my bed just to help my son burp after feeding because my husband was still scared to hold him on his first day, and he didn’t know how to help him burp, so I did. On the second day my breast were too full that I really felt the pain, they had lumps in them, even though I was feeding my son so much they were still full. Irritated with all the nurses that asked me how my breast were, most of them helped me empty them by teaching me how to massage, they advised me to put cold compresses and so on. And I did all of it. I spent a lot of time manually pumping because I was scared the lumps would get worse, I was scared that I would have to go get medication. Aside from that I had a serious headache because I didn’t get enough rest; I wasn’t able to sleep at all from the second day on because my son kept on crying at night, I had to call the nurses to change his diaper if he cried even after feed.

On the 3rd day me and my Husband just couldn’t wait to go home, all the nurses, head nurse, lactation consultant and pediatrician were very attentive, they made sure that every 20 to 30 minutes someone came to our room to check up on me, my baby, give my medicine, my food etc. They were doing a great job but it was just too much of asking the same thing over and over again too many people were visiting our room, while all we wanted was just to have a proper sleep. Unfortunately, we had to stay for one more day because my son had jaundice. I didn’t have any clue at all what jaundice was. So I was devastated after learning about it  While they told me that there was nothing to worry about. That it’s not something so serious. I asked my Sister in law to help me bring my electric pump so it would be much easier for me. I did pump, first was with a lactation consultant beside me teaching me how to pump correctly, milk was slowly coming out but after a while my right breast was pumping with blood, I was terrified thinking why is there blood coming out of my breast. My breast had a cracked so couldn’t feed my son on my right breast until it healed.
My son stayed in the nursery room, he had to stay in a fluorescent light which they Photo therapy. This helped decrease the jaundice. So for the 3rd day I didn’t see my son much, not until he was hungry, then they brough him over to my room to feed. That night I was not able to sleep even though he was in the nursery room, I was so worried for my son, I started crying, I felt so emotional. I needed someone to talk to, I needed my mom’s care at that time, to tell me that everything is going to be fine. But I couldn’t even call them back home because the signal from my home was so bad that I couldn’t reach them.

On the 4th day everything was rushed, my husband had to go back to work and the results for my son’s jaundice was still not out 2 hours after taking a blood sample from him. After reaching home I thought everything would be better. All I needed was quiet time, a proper rest but that didn’t happen. My SIL (Sister in law) was just so excited that she wanted to spend time with me, see my son and as well as the two of her kids. The next following days felt like a hell for me. I still didn’t get enough sleep even during the day, my SIL children were just too annoying, the younger one is always fussy, always crying, screams and wants to go to my room just to play with the door, I don’t allow them to go inside my room because I always try to let my son sleep but it didn’t help even when my door was closed. I can hear everything from the outside. The 8 yr old boy doesn’t even bother at all he just takes his time watching cartoons, while the mother is busy in whatever it is.

One day I came out from my room and all I see is mess everywhere in my house, wherever I look the floor is wet and dirty, you can find wet clothes too, and the house has a stink smell, and I noticed where the smell came from, it was from all my 3 floor mats, whenever my SIL daughter pee she used the floor mats to wipe it up and I think they weren’t washed for a very long time. It got me more pissed, when I was about to slip and fall because it was not dried up properly and I was carrying my son.
They go out in the evening to play at the playground that was full of sand, they wash their feet the moment they reach home, but their feet were all wet coming out of the washroom and they didn’t bother to clean up the floor, they just let it dry by itself. And my bed was full of sand because sometimes they would go to my bed just to see Ashton. I was irritated and I didn’t know how to react at all. I didn’t know how to tell my SIL because she is family to me. I couldn’t blame the kids, because they are just kids. And I couldn’t blame her either because she was just trying her best to control both of her kids.

I tried my best to understand why all of it was happening, we are staying in a 1 Bedroom flat condominium, my SIL and her kids were sleeping in the living room using our sofa bed, so I couldn’t blame if every noise in the house, like the washing of dishes and cooking and the kids screaming could be heard in my bedroom. And why the house is so messy even if you clean them in the morning? It’s because there are 2 kids in the house, they play, they do whatever they want, they make a mess everywhere spill food or drinks on the floor the younger one pee whenever wherever she wants. What the hell do they care if the house is dirty you can’t blame them because they are just kids. And the reason my SIL came over if it comes to worst I give birth and my husband is at work.

I always share to my husband all my issues everyday but he can’t do anything much too. After all what I told him it seems like he doesn’t care at all, a few times that he comes home early than usual that instead of spending time with me or taking care of our child and sleeping early all he did was to spend more time in the living room chatting with my SIL in their language that I don’t understand, taking all of his time to eat his dinner while I try to put our son to sleep so I can rest too. I would actually appreciate if he offered a help in putting our son to sleep after dinner rather than enjoying all his time and can’t even ask me how my day was.

I felt so alone, no one understands my point of view, I’m the one who has to do all the consideration, how about what I feel? Who was there with me to listen and make me feel better, after all I was the one who needed more caring, I needed more rest knowing that I deliver via C – Section. I was in pain, I spend sleepless nights. It didn’t make me feel good at all staying in my own place, I felt like I was a visitor in my house locked down in my room, can’t go to my own kitchen and living room because I can’t handle the mess. Until one afternoon I broke down when I saw for the 3rd time the toilet bowl was not flashed and you can see poop floating, it was just disgusting. I got mad went back to my room locked the door, they tried to open it and I pretend to be sleeping even though I was not. I cried, a lot. That was it I was tired of everything, I easily get irritated, so sensitive even in small things. Sometimes I hated the kids. I send a message to my Husband telling him I want to go back to my hometown to my Family. Spend time with them. I might feel better about myself. But because it was Festive Season which is Christmas I can’t. Tickets are way too expensive and my son does not have a passport yet to travel so I have to wait for it, I just have to be patient with it and wait until they leave

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If any of you ladies would like to submit your journeys, please don’t hesitate !!

Until next time

Alex ❤

Lets Talk Boobies

Hey Everyone,

I was thinking we could start a series of breastfeeding stories, like our Mothers By Nature, Warriors By Choice thread! I am receiving SO much positive feedback about the postpartum journeys that I am posting from other mamas around the world! So, I thought we could do the same with breastfeeding! I am going to go ahead and kick start our thread with my own personal breastfeeding story with both of my boys. If you are currently reading this and would like to share your own breastfeeding journey, please email it to me at a_ciervo@aol.com ❤ feel free to include a few of your favorite nursing pictures, your first name, and where you live. All of the breastfeeding journeys will be posted under the title ‘ Lets Talk Boobies’

So, here we go!

When I found out I was pregnant with my first son Bryan, I felt an extreme need to nurse him! I knew from early on in my pregnancy that I wanted to nurse him long term. I expressed my feelings to my midwife, and she was very encouraging! she started to educate me on all sorts of things. She prepared me with a few of her favorite remedies for sore nipples, she gave me some insight on what was to come, she told me right off the bat that it was NOT going to be easy, and that for most women breastfeeding does not come naturally!

Well fast forward to the day baby Bry was born, I gave birth to him in a womens pavilion with my midwife, it was a medicated birth ( I tried unmedicated, we’ll get into that another time!) I pulled him out of my body, and brought him straight to my breasts to feed and do as much skin to skin as possible! I distinctively remember having the hardest time trying to figure out how to hold him and get him to latch at the same time. It seemed impossible to me. It took us about two full hours of persistently trying, to finally get him to latch! It was not a great latch, but he was on. We spent four days in the hospital nursing on demand, meeting with the lactation consultant and the nurse for every feed to try to get him to latch properly. I was not the only one working really hard to get him to latch nicely! My nurses, midwife and lactation consultant were with me almost every feeding around the clock trying to figure out what was going on.

Fast forward again to finally bringing Bry home, we were still nursing on demand. Both of my nipples were completely raw, bleeding and cracked. I cried every single time he was ready to feed. I dreaded latching him onto my breast. I remember at night time while my husband was asleep, I would sit up next to him in bed and just hold Bryan while he cried because my nipples were so sore I couldn’t bare to latch him. After about a week of nursing on demand, my nipples healed and all was good. It was still very stressful because my baby would not stop crying.. I mean screaming!! We were in the doctors office almost daily trying to figure out why he would not stop crying! We went through weeks of this constant crying, our pediatrician dismissed it, he told us our baby was ‘colic’. After about a month of this constant crying.. by constant I mean crying for 8 hours straight, before he would finally fall asleep for an hour then start again, I followed my sisters and moms advice and spoke with a different doctor. We found out that baby Bry had a pretty severe milk protein and soy allergy, so my breastmilk was actually making his belly sick. That doctor gave us Similac Alimentum formula to try and see if it made a difference. At that point, I was desperate for some sleep and peace. It was crucial for my own well being that my baby stop crying just a little! Needless to say, I gave him the formula.. and it was almost instant. After one day and one night of being on the baby formula he was completely content. I then decided to stop nursing him and continue formula feeding, instead of modifying my diet. I feel guilty for that decision still to this day. But it is okay!

I could not successfully nurse my first son, and that is okay! baby Bry is extremely healthy! He is amazing. I am currently nursing my second son Anthony, who had the same allergies. I chose to modify my diet this time and commit to breastfeeding 100% . He still has not gotten a bottle, he is strictly boobie!! Some days are very hard for me, some days I just want to quit, most days I get touched out, and some days I just hate breastfeeding! But I chose to commit to this when I fell pregnant for the second time, and here I am five months strong with no end in sight ❤

I just think its important for me to say, I support all mamas’ decisions, I support formula feeding, pumping, bottle feeding, and breastfeeding. Ive been there, I have tried them all with my first son! But I do encourage all mamas to breastfeed ❤

Thanks for reading! please don’t hesitate to share your stories, comments and advice on breastfeeding,

Until next time ❤ ❤

Alex

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