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

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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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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!

Kaleigh – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Hey! So my story , it’s a long one .. I have a four year old daughter , paysleigh and my 10 month old daughter Charleigh , they are amazing ! After I had paysleigh I was diagnosed with pulsatile tinnitus, it sounds like a Doppler in your ear, that was four years ago and I never heard anymore about it the specialists just let it go. I’ve always had headaches and I get weird pressure in my head but they told me I’d just have to live with it , then I had my daughter Charleigh, nothing Out of the ordinary , had an okay labour , placenta abruption at 27 weeks but it healed itself and she was delivered at 39 weeks 4 days weighing in at a whopping 10 pounds 7 ounces , via c section ! Then, After I had Charleigh the headaches progressively got worse and the pressure in my head also , then suddenly my vision went. My doctor was concerned and booked me an mri but I was pregnant and couldn’t get the mri so she said to just watch it. Finally, I backed into my neighbours car and I Literally didn’t even see it , I just smoked it. I went to the hospital in my little town and they rushed me to a bigger city hospital an hour away telling me I have a blood clot in my brain. I was terrified , scared beyond belief . After I had an mri and other testing done they sent me home and told me it was just a headache, just to drink coffee and sleep lots … I know , ridiculous right? So I went home and the next morning I had to be back to the bigger city hospital for 8:30 am to see the Ophthalmologist . I went through 8 hours of testing. As we were leaving they called me and told me I was being admitted , my heart literally shattered because my little babies were at home without their momma and I missed them so much I was sick. I had already been away from them for two days at that point. So, I went got admitted and they told me that I have idiopathic intercrainial hypertension … To much fluid surrounding and suppressing my brain. They did a lumbar puncture (was more painful Than child birth) kept me over night, and sent me home the next day at 5pm. They drained 40 cc of fluid , and said my opening pressure was 37. Normal pressure is supposed to be between 0-5 , they told me that I’d have to go back every two weeks for the LP , I was shattered because they are so painful and being pregnant  I was terrified something would hurt my baby. The LP did nothing to help me I am seeing a high risk ob at this point and he said the LP is fine to have, it wont hurt my baby so I just went with the flow… I had a doctors appointment on the Thursday before New Years and I was concerned because my vision was getting a lot worse. I could hardly see anything ( my lisence was taken away a month and a half before this appointment 😢) so she called my neurologist and he said to get there as soon as possible. So off we went , we sat in the emergancy room for 29 hours before finally getting a bed (we’re admitted before we arrived ) and then they decided to not do the LP, that they were going to put a ventricular paratonie L shunt in me instead because I was practically blind . He said if we waited any longer Id be permanently blind. They warned me the surgery was risky, but the risks out weighed waiting .. So we went for it! New Year’s Eve at 9:50 pm I went into the operating room, baby was amazing before we went in, they did an ultra sound. Then after the surgery was over baby was great also. They put a cathedar directly into my left ventricle of my brain and he was scared for the risk of stroke, so I have two incisions one on my belly and two incisions on my head. The recovery has been hell. I am in so much pain still. I was in the hospital for a week after this and didn’t get to see my kids which literally killed me… I’m just praying this gets better so I can get back to normal but my baby is 100% healthy which makes me so happy because this is my last baby. I see the high risk ob every two weeks until baby is born, they will be delivering as soon as it is safe as the bigger my belly gets the more pressure in my head and it compromises my shunt … So the plan is 37 weeks to deliver right now, but he said really as soon as it’s safe, baby is coming out .. So many scary things to come , I think it’s the fear of the unknown and the pain that is making me fall into depression, I’m also terrified of losing my baby after all of this , it terrifies me… Sorry this was so long ! But thanks for listening

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Beth- Rockhampton, Australia

 My Postpartum story

My postpartum journey didn’t show anything I hadn’t read about; lots of pain, lots of breastfeeding and very little mobility. It was after the initial “after-6-weeks-you-can-do-everything-you-did-before-just-ease-into-it” that my body wasn’t cooperating the way I assumed it would.

Having a newborn was always going to be a challenge, it seems I braced myself for the worst as all the advice I got was “it’s hard, hang in there,sleep when the baby sleeps blah blah pleh! And they were right to an extent. It was a juggling act of trying to find a breastfeeding position that didn’t make me wince, make meals, cleaning without the need to bend over and prepare for a (MY) wedding and moving houses. This went on for three months and my internal compass starting working overtime. All the questions? Why can’t I breastfeed wherever I want? Why can’t I clean the house in 20 mins before E wakes up? Why can’t I jog for more than a minute and want to cry in pain? Why didn’t I look like my other mummy friends yet? Why can’t I lie on the ground with my baby and admire her learning to explore the world? It’s been three months!

On top of this I was getting married in a month and moving. Optimistic-pre pregnancy-Beth was so sure that four months would be enough time to quickly get into respectable shape for her self esteem and walk down the isle quick smart, marry a gorgeous man and be done with it…but the weight was not going anywhere, the list of wedding things to do and pay for was daunting and the pain was here to stay (for now).

A week before our wedding, we moved house and that was completely horrendous – the summer heat, the newborn, the truck full of our whole life, the heat!!! Thankfully my daughter managed to sleep anywhere and she somehow kept me going through all the postpartum madness that was not slowing down.

So off we went to get Married, it was beautiful and crazy and perfect. The day couldn’t have come at a better time and made the life changing experience of having a child and starting a new life more exciting than daunting.

Through all this, I thought my hormones were still adjusting and I was just completely overwhelmed by how much my life had changed. Much to my (sad) surprise I was soooo wrong!

After a long 9 months of back and forth appointments, doctors had come to a conclusion that there was a cyst still growing in my ovary that was proving to be a pain in the butt (well front butt, ha)! Safe to say I was pretty devastated. After my first gynecologist appointment she suggested I wait 6 months until my next check up as most cysts usually disappear or stop growing. I could have balled my eyes out. “I can’t wait 6 more months” was all I managed to say and it was settled. I had one final ultrasound and visit with the gynecologist before my surgery date to get the cyst removed was scheduled.

I was so excited to get this bloody cyst OUT! Two days after my surgery the stitches came loose and I had to go in again </3. This time they stayed, but but my recovery was longer and slower. I couldn’t think of anything worse when E was hitting so many milestones. The words she understood, the interaction she was making with her books, toys and people…and I was a corpse lying in bed.

Our not so little girl turned one, just three months after my surgery and I’d just begun to feel myself again. Yes, I was married to an incredible man and yes we had started an awesome new adventure together and yes the weight and stretch marks and scars were there also, but so was my daughter. My bubbly, innocent, smiling, social daughter who had a crazy year -more crazy than her mummy- growing to be a beautiful resilient toddler.
She never let me down and reminds me everyday how important my journey as a mother and a human is to her. More than any flaws I will ever have I’ve learn that she needs me. But, I will always need her more.

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Thank you Ladies for sharing your stories ❤ and Thank you to the ladies that stopped by to read and relate ❤

If you would like to share your postpartum story with us, 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!

My name is Devon, I’m 24 years old, from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

I have a son (Carson – March 4, 2015) and a daughter (Maisyn – March 7, 2016) – yes, they’re one year and three days apart !! 😂
I had Postpartum depression and anxiety after Carson was born, and it got worse after Maisyn was born. When Maisyn was 3 months old, I admitted myself into the hospital because I was having uncontrollable panic attacks, and that lead me into a state of depression. I stayed for a night and they sent me home. I was on a medication, and started to feel better around the 5 month mark, so against the advice of my doctor, I weaned off them.

It took two months to finally start feeling like myself again, and I was happy. Unfortunately, the PPD/PPA came back, in full force, just over three weeks later. I was having panic attacks, intrusive thoughts, and I felt like I couldn’t care for my children anymore. I re admitted myself into the hospital because I thought my intrusive thoughts meant I was going into psychosis. Again, I was sent home and assured hat I was fine and that they were OCD thoughts. I still didn’t trust myself. My husband took time off to help me get back on my feet, and my mom moved in to help when he goes back to work.

I went back on medication, but it was a different brand, and my body had a bad reaction to it. The first few days I was so depressed, that I wished my life would end. I was told these feelings were normal, and I would feel better in time. Well, I didn’t get better, I got worse. I lost 10Lbs in 10 days, I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t sleeping, and I felt like I had no where to turn to help me.

My therapist looked at me like I was from Mars, and my doctor kept assuring me that the medication would work. Every clinic that specialized in PPD was booking 2-3 months in advance, and it would be weeks until I could get in with a psychiatrist. I felt like I had no where to go, and my hope started to fade. I thought my life would always be this way, and that was a hard pill to swallow.

I had joined a PPD support group, and that was my saving grace. My 2nd visit there, I met a nurse named Judy, who ran the group each week. I walked into the circle of moms, and started to have a melt down. Judy told me that I was in a state of crisis, and that I should leave the group and go to the UofA psychiatry walk in clinic, because they specialize in PPD and will be able to get me some relief.

I left right away, and drove there. I was met by an intake therapist who told me that they couldn’t help me, and that I would have to call the Women’s Reproductive Health clinic and wait for an appointment. I called, and they booked me in for January… 2 months away. I left the UofA feeling just as stuck as I had felt before. I called Judy, and left her a voicemail telling her that unfortunately they couldn’t help me, and I thanked her anyway.

I went for a walk to my therapists office that day, and again, she looked at me like she had no idea what to do or say. She validated how I was feeling, but couldn’t send me home with anything I could do to help myself. I walked home after that expensive hour with her, and started to talk out loud. I was crying, and I said “Please, help me. Give me a sign. Please”

And then my phone rang.

It was Judy. She called to apologize for sending me to a place that couldn’t help me. She felt terrible. I told her it was ok, and it wasn’t her fault. She ended up telling me that she took matters into her own hands, and booked me an appointment with a psychiatrist who specializes in PPD the very next day. I felt a glimmer of hope in my soul again, and I felt like I was going to get better and make it through this.

The next day I sat down in the psychiatrists office, and told her everything. Every intrusive thought, every worry, every panic attack, everything. She smiled at me, told me everything I had told her was completely normal and nothing to worry about, and that she could help me. She said she wanted to see me weekly, and she set me up with a therapist who specializes in PPD.

I stopped that awful medication that was making me sick, and tried a new one. I started to get better. My days became brighter, and I felt like my old self was coming back again.

I’m still have my bad days, but I now know I have Postpartum anxiety, depression and OCD. I am pushing forward and making leaps and bounds. It’s crazy to look back to two months ago and see where I was. I am on the right medication, I know how to manage my intrusive thoughts and how to talk myself through a panic attack. Each day that passes, I feel better and better. I’m climbing this mountain, one step at a time

With the help of healthcare professionals who specialize in what I’m going through, my PPD support group, my husband, my Mom, my friends and family, I am getting through this.

If you are reading my story, and can relate in any way, please know, you’re not alone. Don’t give up, don’t take no for an answer, and keep pushing forward.

There is a light at the end of this tunnel.

💕
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Anonymous submission:

Heyyy I hope you’re well! I followed your page the other day after seeing the post with your stomach and baby and thought it was so beautiful of you to share with everyone! I wanted to share a bit of my story with you, I just had a baby 11 months ago, but unlike the loving stories that many women have to share, mine has been so hard. I fled from my ex partner only 3 weeks after giving birth due to domestic violence and was something which had worsened during my pregnancy. It was a really hard decision but the best I ever made. Upon leaving I had to deal with the aftermath of this abusive man who was threatening to kill me and abduct my child, and then finding out that he was also having an affair the whole time while I was pregnant and before we had our wedding day. God! It was the worst year of my life, I couldn’t breastfeed for very long at all due to the stress I was dealing with and I tried so hard because it was something I had always wanted to do. I found it hard to focus on my son because I was always breaking down and worried for myself and my sons life. I didn’t know how good of a mum I could have been to him and would hate myself for bringing him into this world and not being able to give him the best. I know I had suffered from a lot of post natal depression however despite the trauma and heartache I was surrounded by my family who I loved back and had provided both myself and my son with all the love and affection we needed to get me back on track. At one stage last year I was at my lowest and I truly used to try and stay in bed for as long as I could because I wanted each and every day to pass as quick as possible. I never thought I could smile or be happy or feel safe or proud of Myself for all I have achieved and the mother that I am. But with time I realised that the steps I made were for the best for my child and his protection. I came to learn that it wasn’t my fault what I was going through and that time was the biggest healer. I learned that my son was my world and my biggest priority and through all the hardship I had all the happiness in the world laying in my arms every single day. Yes it has been difficult but I salute myself for pulling through. I love being a mother, every day is a learning process and a day to be proud of all our hard work we have achieved. My advice to all women is that there isn’t one way to be a mother and no life is perfect. We may see or know people who deem to have a perfect family or look so happy but our perfect stories are built with what we make of it. I feared the stigma which came of being a single mum and thought people will look down on Me or how I would ever move on and whether I’d be able to find love again. But the world is so big and peoples minds aren’t so small, such issues will be dealt with and get easier with time as did dealing with being a mother for the first time ! X

 

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

Until next time

Alex ❤