My Labor and Delivery Experience

My husband and I walked into the hospital at 7pm on October 6 with the expectation of a successful induction, and a quick and easy delivery.

Little did we know, God had other plans. My labor/delivery experience was not pretty. There was no makeup, no cameras, no beautiful glow that you normally see on these social media posts. It was stressful and scary and one of the hardest things I’ve done so far in my young life.

Being diagnosed with gestational diabetes, my doctors wanted to induce me around 39 weeks and they gave me different options; with me deciding to go with Pitocin and then a foley catheter being inserted in my cervix. This process started close to 10pm sunday night. The Pitocin kickstarted my contractions and that balloon thingy slowly started to help with dilation. To past the time, my husband and I binge watched Marvel movies all night while playing on our iPads, when I wasn’t distracted by the pain. Listening to baby’s strong heartbeat also gave us relief as well. As we moved on into the late nights, the contractions became more intense, and around 2am, my doctor woke up me to break my water because I was already at 3cm. They were hoping by breaking my water, it would speed up the dilation and that I would be ready to have a baby around 6am!

Sounds great right? Just a few more hours.

Wrong.

It was until around 4am that I could not deal with the pain any longer. It was a different kind of pain. Worse than the cramps you would get on your period. My husband and nurse had to talk me into getting the epidural and also tell me that I am not wrong for getting it. I had this image in my head that I wanted to do this process as naturally and quickly as possible and that I would be stronger for it and no one can tell me anything. So, here I am around 4am, with my husband sitting in front of me, while I sat on the edge of my bed while the anesthesiologist preps me for the heavy meds. I felt him create a maze on my back, taping everything in to place. Then I saw my husband’s eyes get bigger. I remember there is a huge needle involved in this process; and then I felt a sharp pain in my spine, which definitely hurt folks. But it wasn’t the big one. My nurse told me I wouldn’t feel that one and I should relax. Then I felt cool liquid flowing through the maze he created on my back. Few minutes later, I went numb and got some shut eye.

Close to 7am, I was still at 3cm dilated and now we’re all having a different conversation: We may have to prepare for a C-section. Excuse me? Come again? I don’t want that. Jesus please help. We can still come out of this. “We still have some time to see how things turn out by noon,” doctors say. Great, because I wasn’t prepared to accept this. We didn’t plan on this alternative. After hours of being probed, stabbed and the nurses having to rotate me every hour, I developed an infection, a fever, and preeclampsia. It didn’t register that on Monday afternoon, I was freezing, shivering, with a headache out of this world. They had to take me off the Pitocin because it was harming the baby. Every time I had a contraction, her heartbeat would spike high to a number we knew wasn’t healthy and when the contraction subsided, her heartbeat dropped even worse. Around 5pm, my doctor informed me with what was going on with the baby but I was so out of it, I had them talk to my husband and my parents but all I heard was, “we’re going to prep you for surgery because your health and baby’s health is first priority.” I had about an hour to get my head in the game because this was going to happen.

Not 10 minutes later, about 5 nurses barged in, along with a few doctors saying, “we’re doing this now.” Of course, I silently sobbed to myself because this is not what I had in mind. But maybe this is what God wants. While they prep me, my husband was asked to “scrub up.” My dad had to give me a few words of encouragement and of course everyone prayed for a successful procedure…Tv shows and movies lie people. I mean we all know that, but let me emphasize how they lie. The procedure room was bright and cold and there wasn’t a spectator’s view either. The operating table was small and I was wondering how my body was going to fit. There was about 15 people in there (ALL WOMEN!!) plus my anesthesiologist from the night before. The big blue sheet is real though, only allowing me to see as far as my chest goes. I felt so exposed. I was strapped down, taped up, with these little compression leg thingy’s on. I felt like Jesus on the cross about to be crucified.

I cried the entire time.

After I was prepped, my husband came and sat on a stool on my left, and a different anesthesiologist on my right. Everyone got quiet and my doctor started talking and before you know it, it was time. Now I was told before that I may feel pinching and pressure throughout the entire procedure, so don’t forget. Boy. Pinching and Pressure? Is that what you call it? I cried the entire time. I was so scared. I felt the pinch of her cutting me open and I felt the pressure of her moving my organs around trying to get to my baby. It hurt. So. Bad. I was so hysterical that my anesthesiologist increased my epidural while rubbing my forehead, and my husband holding my hand. When the extra epidural wasn’t enough, she added morphine and increased that. After the baby came out, I was nowhere near calm and my morphine drip was increased again. When I thought the worse was over, my doctor started putting everything back, my organs, my uterus, and that pressure may have been worse than everything else. Here my husband was beside me, with baby in tow and I couldn’t look at her. I didn’t want to. I was in to much pain. And then…I passed out. 

I am here to tell those that a cesarean is not an alternative to avoid delivery pain. There’s this idea floating on the internet that a c-section is the easy way out. It is major surgery. Doctors do not recommend this unless they absolutely have to. You are literally being cut open, organs are being shifted, baby is being moved and tugged to safety. The aftermath is just as intense. The “belly massages” they give you to massage the uterus is the absolute worse. The first one they did, I yelled and gave my newborn baby a bear hug ( I was holding her). You can’t lift anything or do much of anything for the first 6 weeks at least. Laughing and coughing was so painful, I never realized how many muscles you use to laugh or cough. 

Here I am over a month later, still trying to grasp and understand the experience. People expect you to just be happy and accept that “but they’re so worth it,” that you forget to think about you. Would I do this again? Are babies really worth the pain and worry? More of this will be discussed in my postpartum post that will be coming soon, but I can tell you that my husband and I are truly excited to introduce and welcome baby Harper Celeste to the world!

Before you ask, nope, no heartburn.

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Embracing the physical changes during pregnancy

One of the few things I thought about when I learned I was pregnant was the physical changes I would endure on this journey and I must say, I was looking forward to it! I was ready for whatever God was going to send my way. I still am even though I’m 23 weeks in. You’re probably wondering, “she’s crazy. Why would anyone look forward to that?”

My sister and I had a really interesting conversation about having children later on in life as opposed to be in our early 20’s. This isn’t something that she and I knew we couldn’t do. I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate every step if I were to have a child around that time. I also learned the older I am when I experience new things, I have a newfound appreciation for it, something I didn’t have when I was younger.

Here I am, in my early 30’s in a much more appreciative mindset. I cherish each growing day, including the body pains I endure. I tell my husband all the time, that going through different phases and experiencing new things allows me to reflect on how real God really is. To be able to create life (even though I’m a baby incubator lol) and watch that life grow is such a blessing. It pains me to see women who want to experience this, can’t.

So far in my experience levels, I noticed my nose getting wider and my lips getting more plump! As if it needs to get any plumper. My breasts has grown, and again, like it needs to get bigger, all pointed out by my sweet husband. My skin in certain areas are dryer than normal, but I have that “glow” that all mothers get. I always tell my husband to be honest about my appearance and let me know if he sees anything different. I’ve been blessed to still be able to wear my dresses. Of course all of my jeans and pants are folded away.

Comparison pic: 2018 vs. June 2019

I experience a lot “growing pains” which is basically my body adjusting and expanding for little one. I will say, sometimes the pain is very intense to where I am laying flat on my butt because the more I move, my body will lock up and cramp. This can annoy me because I love to move around and walk. I try to get some exercise in as much as I can. So far I haven’t gained any weight, seems like baby girl is eating everything I put in, but I definitely understand that I may gain all my weight closer to giving birth which I’m okay with.

Testing out new lip products that day, but no makeup. I don’t think I’ve ever looked this great without makeup.

It baffles me when people send me private messages telling me things are going to get worse as if its something to loathe. “yeah your feet will get swollen and you won’t be able to wear any of your shoes.” then there are comments such as, “just because you don’t have morning sickness now, you will get it later. You won’t look this put together in the next few weeks.”

“Get ready for a rude awakening.”

It was as if, pregnancy was something to hate. Don’t get me wrong, every journey is different and my journey can get very intense as the weeks pass by, but my goal is to embrace the journey and appreciate every step. I’ve read stories and talked to some moms about their journey and how difficult everything was but one thing I noticed about all of them, was the joy and appreciation they had and how they would do it all over if they can see the beautiful blessing at the end. So, if you’re a new mother to be like me, embrace the journey, the swollen lips, feet, body pain, etc. God chose us to be mothers for a reason. If you’ve yet to experience it, don’t worry, when its your time, God will look out.

My baby’s movements are everything. My husband and I love it.

Great Expectations: We’re Pregnant!

“Shit.”

I’m going to be honest, I was bombarded with several feelings when that pregnancy test came back positive. Like, who gave the authority for “me” to be a mother? Does it look like I have the “mother gene?” How I look with a little mini human running after me, calling me “mommy?” In 10 years, I’ll be that 43 year old with a 10 year old! And then…

I told my husband. His response was better than mine, I’ll tell you. We suspected it a week early because my cycle is never late. He was too giddy and excited. He thought I was lying at first, calling the test a prank test. Like, who has the time and energy to prank that? He was so happy and at that moment I think he wanted to tell the whole world, but I said…no. I didn’t know how to feel just yet. So we video chat my best friend and her reaction, too, was better than mine! She cried! See? Where’s that mother gene, Marisa? My sister was super excited which was extra special because I’ve kept her in the loop from the time my cycle didn’t show up, to weird symptoms, and the test. She is forever my best friend and I love her.

When we told our parents, not only were they excited, but they wanted to tell all their friends and the rest of the family. Of course, I said no and I’ll come after you if you do. We were very strategic in who we told, we decided to keep it close quarters. Well, mostly me because I still could not wrap my head around this whole, “you’re gonna be a mommy!” I wasn’t ready for the whole world to know like everyone else was.

However, I’m excited that my brother’s daughter will have a cousin to play with and my mother-in-law gets to experience being a first time grandmommy, and my husband being a big kid…with our kid.

So why am I not on board like everyone else? Well, for one, I am responsible for another person’s life, at least for the next…ever. What they take with them in this cold world is determined by what I teach them. And husband of course. I won’t lie, my confidence went out the window when that test came back positive. I’m literally going to have to walk by faith and not by sight on this one, which of course is going to be exciting for God because he knows this is something I cannot control. I can plan til the crows sing and I still won’t be prepared for motherhood. I’ve been told its a “learn as you go” process and many mistakes will be made. Motherhood scares me.

As the weeks go by and the baby grows, God assures me that He will continue to walk with us through this thing called Parenthood and to get ready for a beautiful, happy and healthy baby. I just need to believe it.

But in all honesty…I’m super excited for the mere reason that there is someone that I will have to guide in their life, provide them tools to be an exceptional human being and I get to do it with my amazing husband!

A Newlywed’s View on Marriage

If I could tell my younger self that I would be happily married at 32, I’m sure my younger self would roundhouse kick me like this:

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I would never believe it. Not only that, but being married to someone younger than me? Who would have thought? So where do I start? How’s married life, Marisa? What are the pros and cons? What’s the tea? Well, what’s your tea about marriage? Let’s start off by me saying that my husband is an angel on earth. He is unlike any man I’ve ever encountered and is the most kindhearted person I’ve ever met. I say that a lot, but its true. 😎

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The sum of our marriage 😄

So…

Marriage is a lifelong journey, that’s not for the faint or weak hearted. Although I’ve embarked on 6 months, I’ve learned the true meaning of patience and grace, lol. Trust me, I’m still learning. And I’m ready to go another 6 months and so on! Talk to any married couple. They’ll say its hard work, but rewarding. Our favorite married couples happens to be my Bishop Barry Mitchell and his wife First Lady Janice, my uncle Bill and aunt Joan, our friends Pastor Theo and First Lady Patrice, my sister-in-law Kaycie and my big brother Jonathan and a plethora of other couples. We love taking advice from couples who give sound wisdom who doesn’t take sides. With that being said, there are sacrifices that we make for each other, a whole set of other feelings to consider, and someone who we can take on the world with, with God by our side. Yes, we’re a couple who believes and loves on JESUS and He is REQUIRED not only in our marriage but in our daily lives.

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You know, I left home at 18, became completely domesticated and independent that I spend the next few years with this attitude that I didn’t need anyone, not even God. That’s how arrogant I was. I went though life and it completely changed me. I had to take care of myself, fend for myself because no one else would. I became tough and I looked at people like, “get over your feelings and keep moving.” I had no sympathy or empathy. Throughout that I learned quite a bit about finances, how to survive, how to live on my own, pay bills, etc. I was the epitome of self-sufficient. Sometimes, that can be a flaw too. If you’re like me, and you meet your future husband, its not his job to break that wall you build up. Its God’s job. And yours. “Well, that’s how I am and whoever marry me will have to put up with me.” LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING! If you think like that, you will NEVER be married. Throw that arrogance away. Throw that mentality that you don’t need anyone. Get rid of the anti-sympathy. When you’re married, you’re no longer alone. I’m learning that.

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I would not let Benjamin do anything. Take out the trash? I was doing that way before I met him. Putting the groceries in the house? I use to carry 20 bags of groceries up 6 flight of stairs. Pump gas? Move boxes? ANYTHING! I can do and therefore I didn’t need him. That puts a dent in your man’s confidence. To feel like you’re not needed? Then why get married? I had to learn to step back and let Benjamin take the lead. I didn’t have to do these things by myself! But as an independent woman, yes it can be difficult to relinquish control a little bit and give it to your husband. But the amount of weight that is lifted is like no other.

What about this whole wives submit to your husband?

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. Ephesians 5:25 (KJV)

Guys, read that scripture. Our husbands should love US like Christ loved the church so much that he died for the church. Which means, Benjamin has to be good and ready to take a bullet for me. That’s a lot of love first of all. Submission, if you don’t understand, is yielding your will to your husband’s will. For example,  I may want seafood for dinner but hubby wants steak, so we’re gonna go to Longhorn. But because my husband LOVES me so much, he’s gonna say, “babe, let’s get seafood!”

Benjamin is the head of the household. He is the leader and provider and I am his helpmate. For me, this is very challenging for someone who is use to complete control and makes the decisions. But I will tell you, it is refreshing for someone who you trust to make decisions that’s best for the both of you. Now that’s not to say that Benjamin doesn’t ask me my opinion because he does but I enjoy letting him take over.

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Control your tongue

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21 (KJV)

We women, especially us black women , we are very sharp-tongue, vocal women. We say what we mean and mean what we say and sometimes the tone can go left-field. Our tone can be callous and harsh if we’re not careful. When we get upset, we say any and everything to our man, no matter hurtful it is. We may bring up the past, or break his confidence or just make him feel the lowest of the low. Men are very sensitive creatures. They may not act like it, but they are and we know how to hurt them. Therefore, we must be careful to their feelings. So when I’m angry, I stay quiet to refrain from saying something I may regret. I learn to speak life into my husband, speak positivity into our marriage.

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31: 11-12 (KJV)

I’m just gonna leave that right there guys. I learned to be a peacemaker in our home and marriage. I bring out his strengths, I pray to God to learn how I can help Benjamin where he’s weak, I don’t bring up his insecurities in his face and if I see a need, I fill it. After all, Benjamin is my #1 after my relationship with God. God is my super #1 because without him, I can’t be the wife I’m supposed to be.

I may have mentioned this in my wedding day post, but when I met Benjamin, I knew he was younger than me. We’re six years apart. There are some areas when I’m more experienced than he is and vice verse but one thing about my husband, is he’s willing to learn. Everything. And sometimes that can be challenging because the things he is trying to learn, I already know and sometimes in my mind I’m like…..”why can’t you get it.” But patience goes a long way and being with my husband has taught me to be more patient, kind and graceful. I learned to give him the benefit of the doubt and I make sure to acknowledge him for his great work.

We tend to judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions.

You ever got in an argument and someone did something to you and the first thing they say is “I didn’t mean it?” And then you say, “but you did it!” Yeah, that. “Honey, I was trying to get to the laundry but I couldn’t get to it.” For me, I had to take a step back and not judge Benjamin one-sided because if I intended to do something and I didn’t, would it be fair for him to be angry at me? Satan is always looking for ways to convince you that your spouse is terrible. But guess what? There’s this thing called grace that you have to give and to learn to let it go. After all, God gives us grace everyday, even when we don’t deserve it. Who am I that I don’t extend the same to my husband?

So…are they any cons?

Nope! There are no cons…just changes and challenges. Marriage is what you make it. If you want a peaceful and happy marriage, then you work towards it. Marriage is 100/100. You put your all into it. We stood before God, family, friends and a couple of people we don’t like and made promises to each other. Know that your spouse isn’t perfect, neither are you. And that’s okay! Some days they will disappoint you, upset you, do something you don’t like, but you make sure you know that communication is key. Talk about everything in a respectful manner. Have you seen the Red Table Talk with Will Smith? He and Jada mentions how important it is to be respectful and loving with your spouse and if you can’t at that moment, take a minute alone to get your act together. Your spouse doesn’t deserve your “wrath”.

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I look like a creeper, lol

Please understand that marriage is not perfect. Don’t marry a person thinking it’s going to be lollipops and candy canes and that it’s going to be sunny everyday. You’re going to struggle. Life will throw some stinking curve balls at you. You may be broke, your lights might cut off, your car may break down, you may have to live off ramen noodles for a couple of weeks. Guys, I knew Benjamin was really the one for me when we spent one evening on our honeymoon eating ramen noodles and hot dogs at the dinner table and we just talked nonstop. 😅😅

A wise human being told us, and I think it was our bishop, that it’s us versus the problem. You guys versus the devil. You and him versus them. Your spouse is above all, EXCEPT your relationship with God, okay? Know that your spouse comes before your mommy, ya daddy, ya siblings, ya friends, etc. If you have kids, even your kids. We learned that in counseling from a couple who has kids. Think of marriage as one of those big promises that you made to God that you can’t take back, until you die. Keep your marriage tight-knit, seek WISE counsel, and never invite strangers into your marriage, and that includes family. Never display your issues for the world and keep God smack dab in the middle!

After all, what do I know? I’m just a newlywed.🤭

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If You’re Into Horror/Slasher movies…..Check These Out!

I think I’m going to make this one of my lifestyle must haves on the blog because I ABSOLUTELY LOVE horror/slasher movies. I grew up watching them starting as a little girl (thanks Dad!) Its my brother Anthony and my favorite past time. We’ll watch anything scary, or not so scary that should be and have a great time. We always turn our noses to people who don’t like them (not really, but we giggle), and become excited when we do meet another human being that ,loves them too! So if you’re into these types of movies, check these out!

In theaters now…

I’m an AMC member and I’ve seen these movies and loved them. Hellfest is a complete slasher movie, so not much of a story line, but we love a good slasher. If you’ve been following The Conjuring or Annabelle, you would appreciate The Nun. Lots of jumpy scenes and there’s a little surprise at the end! Now I’ve been a Michael Myers fan since I was a little girl, and I wasn’t a huge fan of the Rob Zombie remakes, but this remake!! It is EVERYTHING guys!! Can we just acknowledge that this movie made over $70mil their first weekend, its the biggest horror movie opening with a female lead AND the female lead is over 55! And who doesn’t love Jamie Lee Curtis?? If you’ve seen the older Halloween movies especially the first one, you will be just as excited as I was!

oldies, but goodies...

These will have to be my main favs. I watch these all the time, including Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street. These are old school horror movies and they never get old.

If you have time to watch the entire collection...

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Netflix fav…

The Haunting of Hill House

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I’m sure you’ve heard, that The Haunting of Hill House is the “scariest Netflix series” out right now, but I’m still trying to find the “scariest” parts. It is indeed a good show. They are some moments that will make you jump and I love the flashbacks. The idea around it can be very scary. You have these kids that lives in this super haunted house that took their mother away from them, not to mention the things they’ve seen while they live there.

Happy watching!