1. How many children do you have?
One Baby Girl
2. Would you like to have more children? How many or why not?
I would consider having one more child once Kylee is a little older. If I could have a boy the second time then that would be great!
3. What do you wish you would have known before becoming a mom?
I wish I would have known that even if I sat and listened to everyone else's pregnancy, labor and delivery, and post pregnancy stories, my experience would ultimately be MY EXPERIENCE. My pregnancy, labor and delivery, and post pregnancy stories were by far different than many other people's stories that I had heard. So now when people ask me for advice or ask me about my labor and delivery experience, I tell them about it but I also tell them that theirs will be a totally different ball game. We are all different!
I also wish someone would have told me that it was alright to not know something. In the beginning, I would just cry, because I felt clueless about certain things, even after reading three books while pregnant. My biggest challenge in the beginning was breastfeeding. It was hard because I didn’t have all the answers, no one in my family breastfed and I just felt flat out clueless. On top of all that I felt like if I didn’t breastfeed my baby, then I would have let her down. That pressure alone (on top of the baby blues) was enough for me. Now I know that it is okay to not know everything.
Lastly, I wish that someone would have told me that every day brings a new challenge when you are a new mother. You just have to roll with the punches!
4. What are the tasks that you wish someone else would regularly do for you?
I wish somebody would finish filling out my graduate school application and write my letter of intent for grad school for me. I also wish someone would apply for jobs for me and fix my resume to appropriately go with each job. I try to complete all this stuff at work on top of doing my actually work because I know once I pick up my daughter, my agenda is thrown out the window.
5. How did you take care of your health and wellness during pregnancy?
I walked a whole lot when I was pregnant. I would walk a lot at work just because of the type of job I had at the time, but I would also walk when I got home. I was definitely a walker. I also watched what I ate. I was afraid to eat ANYTHING that I thought would potentially harm my baby. I was a worry wart at times. Always thinking about what would help or harm my baby. I would also read pregnancy books, one of my favorites being Dr. Oz's book and I would pray a lot. I can honestly say that prayer carried me through my entire pregnancy. It was not easy in the beginning...
6. Did you have the labor and delivery experience that you desired? If not, what would have improved your experience?
I would have to say that my labor and delivery story turned out to be awesome. Nothing went as planned but I think that is what made it so great. My baby girl was two weeks early. I went to the hospital only expecting them to send me back home and say I was having Braxton Hicks contractions. Well, when I got there, to my surprise I was already 7.5-8 centimeters dilated. The pain wasn't at all what I expected. I always said that I would get an epidural, but I didn’t even end up getting one. I was still able to get an epidural at the time even being so far dilated but I felt like if I had went so far without one that I could make it the rest of the way. I went all natural! No meds whatsoever.
My nurses were amazing too!! They really helped my overall experience.
7. How have you taken care of your health and wellness since becoming a mother?
Since becoming a mother, I try to eat right for many reasons, but the main reason being because I breastfeed my baby and I want her to get all the proper nutrition that she needs. I will admit that I don’t workout and walk as much as I should because honestly I am still juggling all the changes within my life. I’m a single mom, so I do many things on my own and finding time to actually go and workout is tedious. Once the weather breaks, I do plan on going to the park often and walking with my baby. That will get me back in the swing of things.
8. Are you involved in any mommy groups (in-person or online)?
No, I am not officially a member of any mommy groups. I would really like to be, I just haven't ran into any.
9. What do you do to relax?
I love to cuddle, so my relaxation is cuddling up with my baby girl and just laying there with her or even watching a little tv with her. Some other forms of relaxation for me are cooking and shopping. They are stress relievers and they calm me... I can be really stressed out and go to the mall and just look around and that will relax me. Now it may hurt my pockets a little bit but at least I feel better!
10. What advice do you have for new and expecting moms?
For expecting moms: Enjoy every bit of your pregnancy as much as possible. The 9 months go by so fast, even though it doesn't seem like it sometimes. Also, know that just because you are getting bigger and bigger by the day, you are indeed beautiful. Someone told me that being pregnant was the most beautiful a women can be and I carried that throughout my pregnancy.
For new moms: Make sure you have a strong support system. Being a new mom can be overwhelming as well as stressful at times. Having a strong support system can be such a humongous reliever. Knowing that you have someone that will be there is the best feeling ever. Also, I would say enjoy every second, every minute, and every hour that you get with your baby. The time goes by so fast and they grow up so quick.
11. What is the best thing about being a mommy?
Honestly for me it is having that unconditional love. I know my daughter loves me just as much as I love her. She has learned how to kiss, so randomly she will give me a big juicy/slobbery kiss and it just makes my heart smile. Motherhood can be hard sometimes, but it is one of the greatest blessings God can give a woman. I feel privileged.
12. What is the most challenging part about being a mom?
The most challenging part for me is when my baby is crying and I either don't know what's wrong or make the situation better. It hurts me. I never want her to be sad, cry, or anything of that such in my perfect world, but I know that is not realistic. I also find it hard to have a little bit of time for just myself. I feel like my baby is with me 24/7 and people tell me that is solely my fault. I never really ask anyone to watch her, for one because I am very over protective of her and I feel like no one will do for her or treat her like I do. Another reason is because I just feel like she is my responsibility and she is my world and even when I am at my last straw, she is still there. I know this can be a terrible way to be sometimes and I work daily on opening up my mouth and asking, "Hey can you watch her...?" but it all takes time and someday I will be there.
13. Please share any additional story or detail related to your pregnancy or motherhood.
There have been so many lessons I have learned on this journey of a first time mom. One of my biggest hurdles was postpartum depression a.k.a "baby blues". For the first two to three months of my daughter’s life, I suffered terribly. I would cry and cry and cry and cry and I couldn't form into words the full reason of why I was crying. I knew some of it but the rest was a blur. I just CRIED. It was horrible. I began to think my baby was feeling what I was feeling because she in turn would cry too. I had to do something. I had to get things under control and get myself together. My mother offered me, many of times, the opportunity to go and see someone about it. I turned the idea down because I felt like I could handle it on my own and no one could tell me what was wrong with me if I couldn't tell myself. One particular day though, I decided that that just may be the best idea for me. Things had got out of hand, I needed someone (outside of my family and friends) to listen to me. I went and seen a nurse for a few weeks, along with talking to my spiritual mentor and I tell you I made a total 360 turn around. I would have to tell women to not be afraid to talk to someone if they are suffering with postpartum depression. Sometimes issues can't be solved alone. It is a very common illness and it can be hard to tackle. Talk to someone, pick up your face, and keep it moving. It's such a RELEASE.