Tips to Slay 2020 as a New Mom

Happy 2020 new moms! Congratulations on your bundle or bundles of joy! Being a mom is very new to me and something I will be adding to my platform as well. Even though we’re new to this, we already know being a mom is very challenging and sometimes we may lose our way. I also understand that we’re so caught up in caring for our little one that we may forget that we have a life. A couple weeks after Harper was born, I  too, forgot I had my own life.

Now that we’re here, I wanted to share a few things you can do to get back on track and slay 2020 as a new mom. Please understand that all our time lines are different and we all have different, demanding little humans. Even if we adjust these tips to our lifestyle, I still believe we can prosper as new mothers!

Address your Postpartum Blues

Listen, postpartum is not a joke and should be addressed immediately. Sometimes you may not notice it, but those really close to you will and they may tell you. Don’t be quick to defend, but listen. I wrote about my time dealing with it so feel free to get some inspiration if you need here.

De-Clutter and Re-Organize

When I was pregnant, I threw so many things out, either donation or trash. I treated motherhood as a new chapter and I couldn’t be bogged down with “old things.” I gave away 85% of my wardrobe, got rid of things I haven’t used in at least 6 months and sought other things to the trash. My biggest reasoning behind this is because adding a new human in the home will yield extra human things, so it felt so good to get rid of old clutter. The air is clean and fresh, and your mind will be at ease.

Keep God first

Of course this is for my believers. God wants to be in everything you do. Take a load off and give him the heavy stuff. Actually, give Hi all the stuff. One of my biggest lessons in 2019 is giving up control. I only trusted myself to several things and it was severely exhausting. When I started to give up my control bits and pieces, I didn’t feel like I had to carry the weight of the world on my own shoulders. And you will need to do this as a new mommy.

Make Time for “You”

You are no good to other people, if you aren’t good to yourself. Although my husband and daughter are a priority in my life, I can’t give them my all without taking care of myself. So, slowly I started back doing the things I love to do; blogging, getting mani/pedis, going shopping, journaling, creating content for my blog, reading, watching my favorite movies/tv shows and anything else that peaked my interest. Whatever interests you that makes you feel good, continue to do. Sometimes, your day may not allow you to with a demanding little human and that’s okay. I love to read, so what I would do is read to Harper.

It’s okay to ask for Help

This was a hard pill to swallow for me. I never wanted help. I felt like I was Wonder Woman and that I can do everything by myself. After my c-section, I could not do anything but rest. There was no laundry, no cleaning, no cooking, nothing that took a lot of my energy. I was on bed rest and the only thing I could do, is feed my baby. I felt stupid asking my husband for a glass of water when I can just do it myself, limping and all. So understand, that it is okay to ask for help. If you’re having visitors, put them to work. If they love you, they will do it. Help can be in several different forms for each of us. I needed my husband dearly and a little ‘pick me up’ from my doctor so she prescribed me a low dosage of “help.” DO not be ashamed to ask for help.

Write down all your goals…even the crazy ones.

Make a vision board! Something bright and attractive! Write down ALL of your goals! How do you see yourself as a new mom? What ambitions do you have for your child/children? If you’re married, what goals do you have for your family? Write it all down. There’s nothing too hard for God. Make then attainable and start at a comfortable pace. I started this on my birthday and realized how excited I was that it is something to look forward to.

Good Luck Moms!

 

E69E440C-13F3-40CD-B1D3-6AB8C9229084
Dress: Eloquii (old) Shoes: JustFab
16644136-51A5-4257-BB1B-D444A0B517A3_1_201_a
Earrings: Walmart, Bracelet: KateSpade

8D33AE04-4AA6-40DC-AD51-DF151BCDCDF8

Depression & Postpartum Blues As a New Mom…

I thought I was crazy. I thought something was wrong with me. These were exciting times. I’m married to the love of my life, a man who treats me like a Queen and honors God for all his blessings and we were planning to bring a baby girl into the world in the fall. So why was I upset, sad, angry, tired, and motivation-less this year?

Although I had a great pregnancy physically (except body pains), I was struggling mentally. I feared bringing a baby into this cold world. These people crazy. Wrong was becoming right, and right was becoming wrong. How could I bring a precious innocent into this? What did I do that God trusts me to mother a baby girl, who will later turn into a young woman? Who said I was good enough? I dealt with this my entire pregnancy, not to mention being tired and hungry all the time. My goal for 2019 was to increase my social media presence and take my blog to the next level. There were events I wanted to go to, networking I wanted to do, content I wanted to make. I also wanted to work on getting a newer and better position for my 9-5. All of my applications were getting rejected and I was physically too tired to create content.

IMG_0401
Here, I felt my lowest. Harper is so tiny 🙂

For some reason, “pushing” wasn’t something I was interested in doing. Maybe I should just relax and focus on bringing in a healthy baby. I’ve worked my butt off since I was 15. I barely worked this year and somehow still managed to keep my job. My social media presence wasn’t up to par but I always got DM’s from blogger friends who told me to take care of myself and I can put my all into it after baby comes. Then doctors said I had gestational diabetes, and I was so upset. No matter what they say, dietitians and doctors have you on a diet. I was angry because I could possibly pass this to my child, so there was lots of guilt, and I was hungry. The things I couldn’t eat were the things I was craving. More importantly, I had to poke my finger 3-4 times a day and take insulin. In my leg. With a syringe. That even brought my spirits even lower, but, things will get better.

Then…she came. Such a beautiful, tiny, human. Resembles both of her parents, more me though (LOL). I braved a scary c-section and both my baby and I went home healthy. I was so thankful that my husband had 4 weeks off to be with us and my mother in law stayed our first week home. I couldn’t do anything because I was supposed to be healing. If you know me,  you know I can’t sit still and I have to be doing something. I literally felt like a failure and that I wasn’t healing faster. I would cry every day and didn’t know why.  My husband told me he was surprised I wasn’t crying or feeling sad until I told him I would hide from him. Then he made sure that we took a few minutes out, just us, to talk. If I took too long in the shower, he’s knocking and coming in. And I would tell him. We would talk about how scary it was to be on this new journey, how I wanted a new job, how I wanted to brand CurlsWithStyle, remove the keloid from my jaw, etc. The more I talked about it, I started to feel better. I think.

Then my mother in law suggested that I might need a little “help.” It is normal to need a little medication. I was opposed to it. I frowned upon it and turned my face up at her.

“There is no way I’m taking any drugs for feeling sad. That’s not a good reason to ask my doctor for medication. I can get over this. I’m just complaining and it will pass.”

Only, it wasn’t going away. Then my husband added his thoughts and told me, I didn’t look like myself. I wasn’t me and that its okay to ask for help. After weeks of being convinced and telling Jesus all about my troubles, I asked my doctor and she prescribed a low dosage of Zoloft. Only 30 days.

Then I decided to do what I never do in church: participate. Yeah, I sing on the choir, but that’s it. So I decided to talk to Jesus more. Stop looking at other people. Praise him. Worship. Yell if I needed to yell. Speak LIFE into my situations. PRAY MORE. I told a great friend of ours, whose a minister all about struggling with postpartum. My mother in law told her mom, and they all prayed for me, husband included. They didn’t judge me. They just hugged me and took their concerns to Jesus. For that, I appreciated them.

I took those pills once a day for about 9 days. I didn’t need them anymore. I felt like a new person. I was back to my normal self, but better. I started job hunting, making content for my blog and social media, reading to my baby, indulging in intimate times with my hubby, hung with my brother, went shopping, just…..did things that made me happy. I realized when I was happy, I can pour into my daughter and husband. I even let my daughter spend time with her grandparents for about 4 days! I’m also spending more time with God, and journaling. I’ve never felt better. For me, this journey took about two months but for someone else, it could take longer or shorter. I’m sure the next challenge is when I go back to work, but it is a challenge I’m ready for.

6122A66B-E53F-44DB-B508-4E27D2B523DA_1_201_a
This photoshoot made me realize…I still go it. 🙂

It is okay to have feelings like this as a new mom. The key is to get help. Don’t stay in it too long. Understand that you’re no good to people, if you can’t be good to yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup. I’m here to tell you, that you can live the life you want and go for what you want. With God, It’s only up from here. 🙂

 

Stay tuned on Tips to Slay 2020 as a New Mom.

 

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.

8

 

57

20191017_151540

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!