Mom Talk #4

This mom talk might be a little sensitive to some mommas. Because I’m talking about co-parenting this month. I never thought I would identify as a single mom. Sage’s father was there my whole pregnancy and after for 9 months we did live together and try to make things work. There of course was a limbo period where we didn’t know what we were doing but I think we’re almost (knock on wood) in an okay place. I don’t have set rules or regulations for co-parenting I don’t like confrontation and have a hard time asserting myself. I’m learning to ask for what I want. Whether is a night off to hang out with my friends or just a night off for self-care. At first it was hard for me to ask for help with buying things Sage needed or ask for a break but co-parenting does get easier. I know society has conditioned women to believe their place is at home with their kids and sacrifice sacrifice sacrifice but that doesn’t have to be your reality. You can be happy with your child or children and happy alone having a night off (and this is whether you co-parent or have a husband). Never be afraid to ask for what it is you need as a mother to feel your best mentally and emotionally.

Sage is not yet on a set schedule when it comes to co-parenting but I would like her to be (if any of you co-parenting moms or dads have tips on scheduling let me know). I have had issues with accountability sometimes Sage’s father doesn’t do as much as he should and the responsibility usually falls on me to provide financially. As well as being her primary caretaker (which is why identify as a single mom). But he is there for her he’s her dad and really her best friend they have a bond and when he is around it’s like I don’t exist – so I make things work for her.

However, co-parenting is not about the parents and all about the child. Well, it’s a little about the parents because things need to be worked out and parents need to be on the same understanding when it comes to their child’s needs. But other than that it’s about doing what’s best for the child and not taking things personally when things come up (cause they will). Parenting isn’t a perfect system and co-parenting isn’t either. There is a lot of growth that has to happen with both parents for things to work. Separating your personal relationship from your co-parenting relationship with your child’s other parent is key to making this relationship work.

Co-parenting should be consistent similar rules, discipline, and rewards so your child knows what to expect with both parents this also won’t lead to confusion. Never vent to your child about the parent in a co-parenting situation. Stay focused on your child and less worried about what the other parent is or isn’t doing – however if problems do arise setting a meeting time without children present to talk through issues and resolve them will be beneficial to all involved.

Co-parenting is team work. Approach the relationship in a business like manner and keep conversations focused on your child as to not get past feelings mixed up. Always be respectful in dealing with the other parent and communicate effectively. Request for things instead of demanding and making comments about things that you want to happen but aren’t. And realize that with any relationship a co-parenting one requires work and communication to work effectively. If you and the other parent can stay focused on your child things should run smoothly. Also make big decisions together don’t make them in the spur of the moment then later talk to the other parent about it. Being mindful will go along way in keeping the relationship healthy and unstrained.

Your child’s emotional and mental well-being is more important than any petty thing that can come up in a co-parenting relationship just remember this and keep this in mind and co-parenting might at least feel better when things do come up.

Personally, I do my best to only focus on Sage when it comes to co-parenting as long as she is okay and happy I try not to let a lot of things bother me. If you co-parent and you feel overly stressed in an area whether it’s financially, mentally, emotionally or even in your physical body it may be time to communicate this with your co-parenting partner and come up with a plan to get things more relaxed. I know moms feel the need to do a be all things but we don’t have to anymore it’s okay to help and expect help from the person who helped bring your child into this world. Do not be afraid. And co-parenting gets easier and if it doesn’t take legal measures to get what you need for your child and for you.

Advertisements

3 Ways I Manage Stress with a 2 year old

Not going to lie my patience sometimes is at 0 with my daughter. As a single working mom I’m stressed more than I’d like to be. This of course causes me to be less patient with my high strung toddler and tense. Here’s 3 Ways I destress and find a lil selfcare for myself throughout the day.

1. Yoga

And I’m not talking about yoga as an exercise. I’ve learned quite a few poses over the years (when it was an exercise for me) and in the morning I sometimes put on nature or meditation music and just allow myself to sit and flow from pose to pose for however long I feel. Being aware of my breaths. And getting out of my head a little.

2. Showers

I’ve always had this weird gravitational pull to water (I’m not a water sign so this is why I say weird). Water calms me all the way down. And if my daughters particularly intense one day I will either make her take a midday bath or I’ll take one myself for some me time or we’ll take one together if we both need to chill out. For some extra relaxation I sometimes add epsom salt and oils to the bath too.

3. Listening to Music

When my daughter was a newborn I had a record player and one of the ways I’d get her out of a crying fit was to play records. I even had made a playlist called Sage’s Morning on my SoundCloud. Music chills me out cause it again gets me out of my head space. And for Sage she likes to dance so it keeps her occupied even if only for 5 minutes.

What are your tips for keeping cool and calm through the day with your toddlers? (or kids) let me know in the comments!

Sage’s Halloween

Wanted to do a small recap on here of Sage’s Halloween because it seems like her favorite holiday as much as mine. And talk about some problems that came up for us concerning trick or treating.

When we woke up Sage first asked me for candy as soon as we got up and I said its Halloween so later and its like she knew cause she was like Elsa so I told her to go get her dress and she wore it all day long. Even got syrup on it from her pancakes in the morning. We of course went about our day normally went grocery shopping, went by the tag office. Then we went to Chipotle for $4 burritos (which mine was wrapped so badly it fell apart and yes I’m being a brat about it cause I literally talked about this burrito all day long). One of the girls who worked there was so nice though and gave Sage candy because she brought her bucket inside with her and put it up to the counter.

After we were trying to figure out what to do because my older sister had invited us to go trick or treating with her in her friends neighborhood. We tried trick or treating in our own neighborhood last year but because we live in a apartment its a little different plus we don’t really know our neighbors its not a tight community. We were at Chipotle waiting for my sister to respond back and she was taking so long – she had tried to share her location but it wasn’t working. So, we (myself and Sage’s father) decided to drive around and see if we could find a neighborhood and or just see if anyone in the apartment complex was giving out candy. But we began to argue about it cause he was saying we should have went earlier before it got dark and it was creepy (obvs never trick or treated as a kid) it was only creepy because I never trick or treated in neighborhoods I didn’t know and we didn’t see anyone out trick or treating because where we went weren’t large typical neighborhoods but just like clusters of houses.

As we were debating on what to do be said he would just go to the store and buy her some candy. I wanted her to have the experience. It was 7:30 and I turn around to look at Sage in the backseat and she’s asleep.

So, next year I will definitely have to plan more for trick or treating (we’ll also more than likely be in a different apartment complex and hopefully it’ll be a more community friendly one).

Do any of you have tips on trick or treating? Or wanna share what you and your little ones did for the holiday. Let me know in the comments!

Also the Novemeber playlist will be posted Friday.

halloween 2018 2

halloween 2018 3

halloween 2018 4

 

Mom Talk #3

Hey everyone!

Today’s mom talk is all about the creative mom struggles. One of the biggest/hardest things about becoming a mom for me was that my time wasn’t as free as it used to be. I have always been very selfish with my time. And I guess I took it for granted. One thing that being a parent teaches you is that your time isn’t necessarily yours anymore. Without having a partner who lives with you or shares the same amount of time with the child in a co-parenting situation – being a single fulltime parent can be very overwhelming. As a painter and writer I found myself very lost – not being able to create when I wanted to because my daughter needed my time and attention. Feeling too tired to create and unmotivated because of stress. There were and are a lot of factors that contributed to my inner struggles of being a parent and a creative. I tried working during her nap times when she was a newborn (and still do this) as its the only time I really “get time to myself” besides being at work which I don’t think counts. But I quickly began to feel burnt out from using her nap times trying to get things done. There’s that saying when you first become a parent to “sleep when the baby sleeps” but its like so when do I get the million things I need to do done. It was like I racing against the clock trying to hurry and get as much done during her hour and half naps and anyone who is a creative knows you cannot rush art especially not watercolor. And rushing myself to get as much done with my paintings in such a short amount a time led me to making lots of mistakes and feeling like a failure as both a parent and an artist.

This also led to me resenting my daughter only cause I couldn’t create when I wanted to and couldn’t give myself the time to fully immerse into my work. I still struggle now with this and Sage is 2 I don’t resent her now though I’ve come to the realization that life has changed and I just needed to get on board with it. I am going to enroll her in school next year and I know this will free up some hours during the week (when I’m not working) to devote to creating. It doesn’t help that most of the people I know are creatives and don’t have kids so I started to begin to compare myself to where I was and where they are in developing creative careers, recognition and how many shows they were doing. This ultimately made me feel worse and insecure like I wasn’t doing enough. Comparison is I think the worst thing that can happen to a creative it creates doubt and fear and I had a lot of that when it came to my work.

There is this big myth that artists of any kind make terrible partners and husbands/wives. That we are selfish and only care about ourselves our work that our relationships come second and I guess in away this serves both people in relationships (the artist and the partner) when things don’t work out. There are even more myths about working mothers that we cant have it both. Be successful and be a good mother. Add that to a “job” or whether “jobs” that never stop – there is no clock out for a parent or a creative and it seems impossible. How to be a successful creative and be a successful parent. A woman looses a lot of her identity becoming a mother much more than a man does in becoming a father- even now in the 21st century there is so much weighted on the mother. I read in the article that I linked below that the reason that parenthood is in conflict with being an artist is because ” Because the point of art is to unsettle, to question, to disturb what is comfortable and safe. And that shouldn’t be anyone’s goal as a parent.”  And it made me stop and think that there might actually be a real reason to why I myself have struggled with making art and being a mom for the last 2 years. “Oscar Wilde said it is the most intense mode of individualism the world has ever known.” I had my daughter at 24 I got pregnant at 23 and immediately I could see in class and in my friends faces that I was not the same I of course did not feel the same but it was mirrored back to me in countless ways – I had a ceramic teacher the first full semester I was back in school who everytime I brought up my daughter I knew it made her uncomfortable what I didn’t know then was with what. She is young – maybe a year older than me and I think she knew and felt through my own struggle what a struggle being a mother and a creative can be. To devote time and space to parenting or creating? That’s where the struggle is. Do I give my daughter the phone for a couple hours to work on a poem? Do I zone out? Do I neglect her? Do I plop her in front of the TV? Or do I stop do I mother and work to pay the bills and find away to be satisfied with that. Or do I try and find some balance? Do I wait till she’s older? Do I step back for a couple years. But the question should be why do I have to choose. I know that there will be days I give more to motherhood and days I give more to creating and I also know I never want creating to mean I neglect my daughter.

On days when Sage goes to her father’s I always make these long lists of things to get done. I go to work and I have the night to work creatively whether that’s paint or work on my book of poems and not get my toddler ready for bed. But rarely do I use the whole time to work before I feel anxious and I cook or I take a bath then I tell myself I deserve a night off cause I do. Its rare. So, I watch Netflix and then feel guilty for being happy that I have time alone but I’m not creating. I’m unsure what the answer is here. Maybe a little bit of me has given up on creating and said mothering is a lot (cause it is) and I’m no longer driven or motivated. Or I decided to believe in society and thought I cant have it all. I think writing this will (hopefully)get me back to creating consistently. Motherhood isn’t just one thing. And it doesn’t have to look like it either. That’s what I want these mom talks to be about. Go out and resist and prove people wrong. Motherhood is powerful and badass and I’m over feeling inadequate as a creative because of it- when in fact I’ve created the ultimate creation.

I still haven’t been able to find this balance between parenting/working to pay bills/ and creating. I would love to get to the point where my creations pay my bills but until then I’ll be trying to find some sort of normalcy with it all. Create when I can and be thankful and present in the creation.

There’s this story that I think is in Woman Who Run With Wolves (but I can’t find it and believe me I’ve looked but also this book is amazing and I highly recommend it to all women but especially to mothers) about a woman who loves to dance but doesn’t anymore cause she’s a mother and wife. She takes care of her kids her home and I can’t remember if this happens once her kids are grown and gone or not – but she would sneak into the city and dance on the weekends until one day she stops. She cleans the kitchen and she takes out a gun and kills herself. The story was about the death of the woman because she becomes other things. Mother. Wife. Nurturer. Home maker. Maid. And she has little tome for herself for the things she loves. She is drained. And tired. A shell of a woman until she can no longer take it. So, if you feel this way tired and drained and not yourself. Let the woman in you come out. You do not always have to be all things to your kids to your husband to the life you’ve chosen. Make time for the things you love for the creative you. For the you who likes to go dancing with friends. Whatever it may be that makes you feel alive do it.

How do you other creatives who are parents balance being a parent and being a creative?

Also check out this article if parenthood and being a creative is something you struggle with: https://www.thecut.com/2016/04/portrait-motherhood-creativity-c-v-r.html

Mom Talk #2

Let’s talk about screen-time. This is such a huge topic but I wanted to address it cause its a problem that I have recently began to struggle with my two year old about. She always wants the phone. I know this will change once she starts school but I’m having a hard time keeping her busy now so the phone situation doesn’t come up. At the same time I am trying to brand my blog – and that requires me to be on the phone or on my laptop (like I am now typing this at 12:48pm) she sees all of this. She sees me using my phone and using the laptop and she imitates my behavior. I know I could switch my “work” hours to times she’s not awake, when she takes a nap or when she’s down for the night or get up early before her and knock out everything I think I need to do online. I hate that she sees me using technology so much I’ve tried to implement technology free days on Sunday’s but that didn’t really workout the best as sometimes I’m not with her on Sunday’s because of work. I try to do activities with her to get her away from wanting to watch peppa pig or poppy but as many of you parents know a toddlers mind is always looking for the next shiny new thing – they don’t stay concentrated on one thing for long. And as sad as it is sometimes it just keeps the peace to just give her the phone so I too can take a breather from dealing with meltdowns and demands of a two year old (no judgment here). Sometimes my selfcare is giving her the phone for 25 minutes so I can stretch or read a chapter of a book or anything.
I also know that too much screen-time can have negative effects like with anything too much of something can have repercussions. Lets look at some scientific data of how screen-time effects kids and toddlers. Scientific research – doctors say that kids younger than 18 months shouldn’t have screen- time at all I know this can be impossible with TV’s in homes, tablets and technology becoming increasingly part of our normal day to day function. But its said that since brains are developing the most in the first 2 years and children learn the most from interacting that they need to be interacting and not sitting in front of a screen. Interacting like being in nature, going to parks, being around other kids, being out in the world and learning seeing, hearing, touching things. However, there is “good” and “bad” screen-time. Good screen-time could be facetiming family members, doing games on a tablet with someone so the interaction is still there, watching educational shows. But these studies still say screen-time from 2-3 years of age should be limited to an hour a day which isn’t very long. One thing it specifically warns against is screen-time at bedtime and during meals I myself have a bad habit of eating and watching TV which I have passed on to my daughter already but there’s always time to implement changes this week I am going to make sure I myself and my daughter don’t eat our meals in front of a screen. I challenge any of you to do the same if this is an issue for you or to just be more present and aware of your kids screen-time this week.
I do feel guilty when I give my daughter the phone or sit her down in front of the TV just so I can get things done. In short its hard being a parent and having dreams, other responsibilities, and caring for yourself too. Its hard but its not impossible. I know my daughter likes to paint so I make a point to try and make it an activity we do daily or every other day, she likes doing crafts and going on walks, she’s a texture person – helping me cook or bake or measure out things. Puzzles and playdough things she can get her hands on is good for her. So, there are some activity ideas you can implement with your own kids and if anyone has any other activities they do with their kids that their kids enjoy leave a comment about it. Leave a comment with your own stories and or struggle about children screen-time. I wanna hear! As technology becomes more integrated into our lives I want to know of things we can do to stay in touch with ourselves and our children.
When Sage was a baby baby (what I call pre 2 years lol) I didn’t let her watch much TV or use the phone. To be honest before she was 2 TV didn’t hold her attention for long because she was so curious about the world and her surroundings. I wish that kids youtube had never been introduced to her. I’m not sure how it was. Its not a huge issue she’s getting older and isn’t as interested in her normal day to day surroundings. On outings she’s fine without the phone doesn’t think about it once. If I could backtrack I would. It has definitely been a struggle with her telling her no when she asks for the phone first thing in the morning. I also just want her to use her imagination and have free playtime more and not be distracted by moving things on a screen. I think technology in a way can really make someone anxious – overthink – distracted – the brain isn’t supposed to move a mile a minute there needs to be a balance – relaxation a calmness I think being on the phone for long periods of time can mess this up. I’ve noticed this even with myself. Based on what I’m watching and how much TV or how long I scroll on insta I feel drained and anxious more so than usual. I don’t allow myself time to sit and be still. And I think kids really need that time to get to know themselves and process things naturally.

Much of parenting that I’ve learned is just doing what you feel is best, taking it day by day and trying not to feel doubts or guilt about things you have to do. So, I encourage you if you think your kids use too much technology whether 2 or 7 take it day by day and start limiting your kids usage. I also encourage you (parents) to be more present with your kids to not use your phone while they’re talking to you or while eating dinner but give your kid(s) your undivided attention. It’ll be helpful in the long run.

What are your thoughts on toddler screen-time? Do you think its a hard necessity? Are you strict or loose about how much screen-time you allow you kid(s)? How much technology do you (the parent)use and how does this affect your relationship with your kids?

More information on screen-time:

https://www.babycenter.com/screen-time-babies-toddlers

https://childmind.org/article/value-screen-time-toddlers-preschoolers/

mom talk 2

 

 

How I Breastfed for 2 Years and Tips

This is my breastfeeding 101 post. I have nursed my two year old Sage for 2 years. I didn’t go into breastfeeding knowing much of anything. I didn’t do any research on it or take a breastfeeding class prior to giving birth so I kind of just went with it. I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right at first but I had almost no issues besides cracked nipples in the beginning. I did have trouble getting Sage into a position that was comfortable for the both of us (since I had a c-section birth) and was given a pamphlet on the different holding positions like the “football”. We eventually got the hang of it. I say this to say you can get the hang of it too if breastfeeding your baby is what you really want to do. Yes, it requires time and effort and waking up in the middle of the night to nurse and sometimes your baby might cluster-feed for hours and you’ll get irritated and want to quit from cracked (sometimes even bleeding) nipples but its worth it for you and your baby.

There are so many resources on breastfeeding and ill link a few of my favs down below. Because I know it can get easy to get lost in the sea of information just from googling a topic as vast as this.

I still breastfeed my daughter and despite curious glances and people (family included) saying I’m crazy and giving me weird looks I think she still benefits from it. My daughter is vegetarian like I’ve stated in previous posts however she’s a picky eater and I do worry if she’s getting enough nutrients. She hardly eats any fruits, veggies, or beans which means she’s mainly eating starches like pasta and bread. Also I have noticed the change in her nursing is only about twice a day now so my supply is really low and I think soon my milk is just going to stop. Until then ill continue to breastfeed her
while I can.

Also let me just say that my experience with breastfeeding isn’t the norm. I know that a lot of women struggle with breastfeeding even if they are dedicated and want to breastfeed. Its hard doing it consistently feeling like some sort of milk machine or dealing with Post Partum Stress and nursing. Whatever your situation may be. I feel for you. Breast is defiantly not best. A fed baby is what is best. Saying things like this is so inclusive of mother’s who can’t breastfeed, don’t have the support, or who just don’t want to do it. If you do want to breastfeed your baby but can’t there are milk donors out there who would love to help mom’s in need and ill link some options below.

If you want to breastfeed though don’t let anyone talk you out of it not your doctor not your spouse not your friends. No one. If you’re determined to breastfeed your child and you’re able – DO IT.
Breastfeeding Benefits:

For your babe:

  • Bonding – this one actually benefits you both. I know some people have babies and instantly feel connected and in love. But I also know some don’t feel that connection instantly breastfeeding (if its an option for you) will help create and solidify a bond.
    There are many sources and ill link one or two that say that breastfeeding babes get sick less than formula fed babes and are less likely to die. Which very well may be true (I’m sure it is) but I’m not trying to scare anyone into breastfeeding like I said a fed baby is best and its inclusive to assume that every mother can, wants or should breastfeed. But there are plenty of health benefits for your baby if you choose to breastfeed.
  • Normal weight gain
  • Healthy digestion less constipation diarrhea or upset stomach
  • Can protect against allergies and asthma

For you:

  • If you eat right because breastfeeding burns extra calories than the body normally does you can shed those pregnancy pounds quicker if that’s what you want.
  • Breastmilk is essentially free (minus buying or renting a pump) but the cost doesn’t add up to the cost that formula is which will keep your pockets full.
  • Reduces the risk of Postpartum Stress Disorder
  • Can help protect against breast and ovarian cancers
    There are other benefits these are just the ones I highlighted.

Helpful Tips to Keep Up Milk Supply:

  1. Don’t supplement with formula unless you absolutely have to – even then try to find a place where they are giving breastmilk from another mother away. Breastfeeding is all about supply and demand so the more you nurse the more milk your body will produce.
  2. Eat Oats: whole oats not those instant Quaker oats. Whole oats are great for helping you keep up your milk supply.
  3. Drink Plenty of Water: if you don’t like water switch it up by adding fruit but staying properly hydrated while nursing is both good for you and your baby.
  4. If you have the money and are struggling but want to breastfeed and don’t have support. Hire a professional. A lactation will coach you through breastfeeding till both you and your baby are comfortable and will give you tips, advice and the support you need to continue.
  5. Don’t Stress: stress will have your body in a tense mode which will lead to not having a good milk supply. I know this is easier said than done especially right after having a baby and all the demands that come with new parenthood. But stress will mess with the flow of your milk coming out through the nipple. When the body is tense everything is tense so the let down of milk that’s needed can’t happen as freely.
  6. Eat Whole Foods like fruits and veggies. You burn more calories than average during the day when you breastfeed. Eating healthy foods filled with nutrients and not empty calories will keep you satisfied and healthy so your body can produce adequate milk.
  7. Lactation Cookies! These saved my life when my supply got a little wonky from work and school. I got mine from Babies R US but you can also order them offline or make your own their are recipes online and ill link one below
    Pumping:
    If you have to return to work or school or just need a few hours away for your own sanity, then pumping will become your best friend. Now with pumping get a pump that best suits you there are double pumps, single pumps, hands free pumps you name it. Invest in one I know they’re costly. Some hospitals will let you rent one or you can see if your insurance covers some of the cost. With pumping you need a established schedule because a pump is different than breastfeeding the first couple of times can be difficult and you might not get a lot of milk. Keep at it everyday at the same time. Then you can freeze your milk for whenever your away from your baby.

Links:

Mother’s Milk Tea: which I have tried and it worked well:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0009F3POY/ref=mp_s_a_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1526183885&sr=8-1&keywords=mothers+milks+tea&dpPl=1&dpID=51r0C9y71QL&ref=plSrch

Vegan Lactation Cookie Recipe:
https://www.tasteslovely.com/dairy-free-lactation-cookies/

Milk Makers Lemon Lactation Cookies: these are the cookies I used in the beginning and during rough patches:
https://www.amazon.com/Milkmakers-Lactation-Cookies-Bag-Lemon/dp/B00L5LHPEM

These are Milk Makers Lactation Bars which I never tried but thought a bar would be cool so mother’s could eat it with breakfast in the morning: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0792PD9H9/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1526182953&sr=8-1-spons&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=lactation+cookies&psc=1

Milk Makers also has a lactation tea if you want to stay in one brand. I just searched on amazon.com for these links and in no way am sponsored by either of these companies. I just shared what worked for me.
Also try fenugreek the herb too if you hit rough patches established supply and none of these other options work for you.

More Info on health Benefits and other Benefits of Breastfeeding:
http://www.oregon.gov/oha/ph/HealthyPeopleFamilies/Babies/Breastfeeding/Pages/benefits.aspx

Milk Bank to Donate Milk:
https://www.hmbana.org/

Where you can donate and receive milk:
https://milkbankne.org/receive/

Also there are many support Facebook groups.

5D059005-D831-431A-8C0C-10166D44D7EC.JPG

Sage’s Birth Story

Sage’s birth story is something I always wanted to write about mainly because of all the things that happened that I didn’t want to happen. But let’s backtrack a little bit. I got pregnant at 23 I was still in college which was already not the most ideal environment to be pregnant especially with my body changing, hormones, and being “young” and pregnant and the first one of my friends all at once. Let’s just say pregnancy was extremely isolating for me living on a college campus when so much of my existence before was about how I looked and what the next move was. I was not in the mental space to have a kid. Or the financial or the emotional. I was a mess.  I was a lonely mess.

Okay, so that added to the lack of knowledge around pregnancy and what I was going through – the lack of being to connect to and with mothers my age already led to me not feeling the most confident or sure of myself.

Many times at the hospital I was nervous I was scared. I cried more than once at an appointment. The one that sticks out the most though is when I had to get seen because Sage wasn’t turning the closer I got to my due date and it was decided that I would get a C-section. Prior to this I had cried at an appointment because the ultrasound technician had stated pretty bluntly that there might be something wrong with my baby because their was a white spot on her heart. More tests no clear conclusions. At the time I 1. didn’t realize I should’ve asked for a more apathetic nurse and that 2. I should’ve gotten another opinion about having a C-section. But at 23 with limited funds and no health insurance (pregnancy Medicaid came through) I didn’t have many options. But I won’t say my whole experience sucked. Even though the first 3 months I had horrible nausea couldn’t keep anything down – I wasn’t a vegetarian or vegan at this time but I would eat meat and immediately throw up. I remember the only thing I could keep down was packaged ramen (which is pretty damn unhealthy).

I was also put in some pretty uncomfortable situations like squatting at my baby daddy’s sisters boyfriends (yeah) apartment cause there was an empty room and we had nowhere to go as we saved money to get our own apartment. I pushed through. But I think a lot of times I did cause I wasn’t thinking about what was going on I had completely disassociated from what I was going through – I should’ve taken my ass home to my parents house and pregnancy probably would’ve ran a lot smoother I should’ve taken the semester off school and thought about what I really wanted in life and what I wanted to do. But instead I ignored and did what I thought I should do which was basically grow up over night and struggle. Cause when a woman gets pregnant and her life isn’t mapped out to a T it is always seen as a the biggest mistake in her life on TV. And being on a college campus I of course felt and saw all of this when people looked at my stomach and then looked at me then quickly looked away. I wasn’t relatable to the people I knew anymore so I stopped hanging out and I isolated myself more than I already felt.

But like I said it wasn’t all bad. I had an 8 am printmaking class and I would stop at Starbucks on campus everyday and it got to the point where the baristas knew me and would give me my sandwich and juice for free (probably cause of my protruding belly). And if I was late to class my professors never said anything to me cause its like everyone knew I was doing my best.

Having a surgery to give birth freaked me out. I blamed my body for not remembering what it was made to do. I was angry I was upset I was disappointed in myself. Honestly, I was fucking scared. Signing papers to give birth. Laying on a surgery table to give birth. Being cut open and having a catheter stuck up me. I don’t remember much from the actual birth as I was under heavy meds. I remember shaking when they pulled her out and looking at my boyfriend and saying I was cold. I remember the doctor who was their for backup or support or both coming over reassuring my boyfriend everything was okay and laying a blanket over me. I also remembering this feelin of something pulling as they pulled Sage out  – much like when a tooth is pulled and you kinda feel it somewhere deep.

That’s all I remember really except the pain the next day. The soreness. Not being able to walk to the bathroom or wash myself in the shower without help. In the hospital I didn’t instantly feel connected to Sage cause good ole disassociation had been with me for months – but I cared. I stayed up at night just looking at her I didn’t get any sleep. I watched the sun rise every morning. I was so jacked up I got a cold sore. But Sage was beautiful she was angelic (cause lets face it every mother wonders if her baby will be ugly) and she was so chill she didn’t have crazy newborn fits or cry a lot probably cause I cuddled her all day and barley let her be in that plastic bassinet thing. She slept a lot.

And when we left the hospital it felt like a little bubble had been burst. It was like okay now go do everything on your own – go cook, go take care of your newborn and yourself and be in a constant state of happiness doing it. And oh make sure you look presentable too cause everyone loves a hot mom. I didn’t know what to feel. And I wish that society wasn’t so backwards about motherhood and was more about community (even though I was stubborn and didn’t want anyone to bond with Sage cause I felt insecure about being a mother and pushed away all outside help from other women) and how its needed and crucial to getting through the first year and keeping your sanity and not just going through the motions and patting yourself on the back cause hey at least your getting shit done and killing this motherhood thing.

I didn’t know how to be a mom or even me or 24 anymore. I mean I don’t suck at being a mom. I know Sage loves me. I sacrifice everyday for her and I think about the future more than I should cause I want to be able to give her things she needs and wants but I wish there was like I don’t know a crash course to all the FEELINGS of motherhood and how as a woman you have to change. There’s a lot of change. There are even more deaths I feel like in womanhood when you become a mother with all the expectations that come with it. I mean there’s already so many expectations of being a woman and add motherhood to that and its like you gotta be on your shit 24/7 and its just not realistic. And don’t get me started on the guilt. It took me months to go out without Sage or hang out with friends and then even more months to go out and not feel guilty for being out. There also seems to be this big separation between women who have kids and woman who don’t. It’s like you somehow have gone down a path of no return or something like their are two separate clubs. I don’t get it.

I know this probably wasn’t the typical birth story but that’s cause motherhood isn’t seen through rose colored glasses over here its the best thing I’ve ever done it has pushed me and pulled me and made me step out of my comfort and therefore grow and get off my ass and go for the things I want. It has humbled me. And for that I will forever be grateful Sage chose me and continues to do so everyday (I mean not like she has a choice lol the real test is when your kids are older and still love you).

Processed with VSCO with ke1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c2 preset