It’s Okay to Admit You’re Not “Okay”

*Please note: This is a sensitive and real thing that I went through. It was not easy to write and some parts may make you think I am a horrible person…but if you continue reading, I hope that you will understand. Thank you. <3

Did you know that today is World Maternal Mental Health Day?

It is! It has been declared the first Wednesday in May and I’ve been given signs for a long time now, to share my story. Even more signs popped up in the past few days. It’s something I have never really shared with people and if I did it wasn’t in depth, but I wanted to share this in hopes of someone reading it will know that they’re not alone.

18280802_10208845007314754_1932360827_n It's Okay to Admit You're Not "Okay"
Photo: Amanda Glenn Photography

This here is a photo of a mother who absolutely loves and adores her child.

This is also a photo of a mother who had/has a hard time with this adorable, little babe.

And I don’t just mean, had a hard time adjusting to motherhood. That, alone, was a battle. But I went through stages of anger, fits, rage, crying, sadness, and hopelessness…and I didn’t know or understand why.

This tiny baby would cry because he was hungry or wanted to be close to me. I had fed him, changed him, burped him, took clothes off, put more clothes back on, rocked him, swayed him, swaddled him, hugged him, wore him…and nothing was working. I feel like this is something quite common. And when you can’t figure out what’s going on with your baby, it’s perfectly normal to cry! Instead, I got angry. I was filled with rage when I couldn’t get him to stop. Following the feelings of anger and rage, I began to really cry. Not only cry but completely sob until it hurt.

I hated the mother I was.

Why would I get so upset at this sweet, baby boy? I grew him in my belly, birthed him, and nourished him with my body through breastfeeding. He was MY baby. My love. Everything I lived for.

So, why did I get so angry all the time? Why was I filled with so much anger when it came to the simple cries of a child needing his mother?

Postnatal Depression is real.

From someone who already struggles with depression (that’s a whole other story), I felt that the post partum part hit me hard. It was always difficult for me to understand what was going on within me and I thought that it was going to destroy the bond with my child and I. As much as it pains me to say this…I was almost afraid. I would get so angry and upset that I was afraid that I was going to be one of those mothers that would actually hurt their child. Yes, it was that bad.

Did I want to hurt my baby? Absolutely not. Never in a million years would I ever want 18280802_10208845007314754_1932360827_n It's Okay to Admit You're Not "Okay"to do such a thing. It is my job to protect my child and to keep them safe. And I will do that until my last dying breath. But was that a real fear of mine? Yes. It’s scary.

But I didn’t know that it wasn’t just me.

Over 75% of women do not get diagnosed or receive treatment or support. And 2 in 10 women have a mental health problem during pregnancy and in the first year, following birth. Think of all of the women around you, having babies. That’s a lot! I’m willing to bet that many of them are hiding it from you and are hiding it well. The problem is, we need to speak up about it.

I had no idea what was going on with me. I thought it was just my regular old depression, short fuse, and bad temper coming in. I didn’t think I actually needed any help with anything. When I was about 6 months post partum with my son, a friend of mine (whom I finally admitted a few things to) said,

“That sounds like post partum depression. I went back to talk to someone and got some help with it.”

I had no clue that she was going through it too! She actually experienced a lot of what I was going through. The anger and the sobbing. She went almost immediately having her child. I went back to get some help and I was given the runaround. Because I was 6 months post baby, I was no longer considered having post partum depression and they thought it was something completely different. So,  I looked forward to meeting with the doc and talking about what was going on – to finally get some answers.

Not long after being in that room with the doctor, I left feeling worse about myself. I felt as though I was an unfit mother. The doctor ridiculed me for the things that I was saying and for how I was feeling. He threatened to find a way to take my baby away. Now, that was one of the scariest things for me. That was why I didn’t want to get help or tell anyone about it. Because, how do you explain to someone the anger you feel inside and what’s happening in there…but that you’re not actually going to do ANYTHING like what you’re feeling? Some people can’t comprehend that until they are in the same situation. And if you’ve never had depression or post partum depression – you’re not going to get it.

18280802_10208845007314754_1932360827_n It's Okay to Admit You're Not "Okay"
Amanda Glenn Photography

Needless to say, I never went back again. I never went back for help. I just continued with feeling the way I did. I talked to my husband and a couple friends here and there. I tried my best to be the best mother I could for my son. I loved him with everything in me. I wanted the feelings that I would feel every now and then to just go away. I did, however, feel a strong bond with him through breastfeeding. I missed him so much when I had to go to work. I snuggled with him and played with him and had all of the marvelous moments that one would have with their baby. My love never changed.

But I did realize that as he got older and we started trying for our next baby, my feelings weren’t as bad as they once were. Mind you, I was on the Mirena and although it is localized in just the uterus – hormones are hormones. And I learned a long time ago that I cannot do a lot of birth control because of the hormones. The Mirena still affected me. When I got it taken out, it took some time to get pregnant again and those “crazy” feelings weren’t as strong anymore.

Not until I ended up in the ER. Not many know about that situation. It’s hard to talk about but I will say that, depression caused by pregnancy and birth DOES happen. I had my kids close together. My hormones had gone up and down over the past 3 years. It’s not easy. It’s not easy to talk about or admit. And it’s not easy to know that you’ve had this happen to you.

Throughout my pregnancy with my daughter, I had been attacked from others about “mental issues” and being “mentally unstable.” And let me tell you,

It was a time where I was the strongest I had ever been.

Did it hurt when people talked about it as if it was nothing? Hell yes. Did I want to go off on those people? You betcha. But what was that going to solve? Absolutely nothing. It just made me realize that it really is something I needed to talk about. And the sad part was, it was in reference to the night I ended up in the ER. So, over the past year, I realized I needed to talk about this. So, here I am writing this super long post. 18280802_10208845007314754_1932360827_n It's Okay to Admit You're Not "Okay"

Anyway –
As much as I had bonded with my son, I did notice a disconnect. And I still do to this day. My pregnancies, their births, post partum side – everything is like night and day between my children. I didn’t feel the same feelings I had with my daughter after birth like I did with my son. My pregnancy was fitter and healthier the second time around. Hormones are weird like that, where they really can mess with the body in a very negative or even a positive way. But because of this disconnect with my son, I have felt the pang of guilt on more than one occasion. It hurts me to know that I get angry at him easier.

 

That disconnect actually worried me while I was pregnant with my daughter.

What if I love my daughter more than I love my son? What kind of thought is that?! A real one. And it sucked feeling that way. To be honest with you, I don’t love either of them more or less than the other. BUT – I can totally see a difference in how I am as a mother BECAUSE of my daughter. Because my pregnancy and the BIRTH was so different, I felt more of a connection immediately. When my son was born, he was rushed away from me completely. I am not blaming our disconnect on that whatsoever but I can see the differences throughout pregnancy and birth with each of them. I did post about my birth story with my daughter and I described it as a “healing birth.” And that’s exactly what it was. No, I don’t love my daughter more than my son. But we all connect differently to each other. And that’s okay.18280802_10208845007314754_1932360827_n It's Okay to Admit You're Not "Okay"

Honestly, there’s a chance that most of me getting angry easier is just due to him being a toddler and those “terrible-twos” are quite difficult. He is a lot like me. Go figure. But I can’t dwell on the fact that I used to be a certain way towards him. I can only move forward and learn from my mistakes.

I wish I could end this post where I tell you that I got the help I needed and I am fixed. But unfortunately, that is not the case. Somehow, in some way, my body healed itself. Not completely, but I noticed that I am no longer as angry or hopeless as I used to be. I don’t cry nearly as much as I did and my heart is more open.

I do, however, urge you to get help if you need it. If you feel ANYTHING like how I have described it in this post, please talk to someone. A doctor, a therapist, a friend (who will then refer you to a doctor or a therapist) but don’t let yourself think you’re helpless. Don’t think that you’re the only one.

You are NOT crazy. This happens. You are not alone.

18280802_10208845007314754_1932360827_n It's Okay to Admit You're Not "Okay"

18280802_10208845007314754_1932360827_n It's Okay to Admit You're Not "Okay"

Starbucks “Unicorn” Drink: Love It or Hate It?

2 Starbucks "Unicorn" Drink: Love It or Hate It?
@heart.of.a.mermaid

Let’s get one thing straight.

I love many and almost all things unicorn AND Lisa Frank-like! I’m a 90’s kid and Lisa Frank was all the rage when I was a kid. Trapper keepers and stickers were (and still are) my jam. I think the crazy unicorn phase we’re all going through is the same thing now.

Starbucks came out with this super cool Unicorn Frappucino, guys! And let me tell you – I was incredibly excited about it. Why? Because it’s purple-y and unicorn-y. Yeah, I’m making up words now.

But I’ve been at work the entire first day of it’s release and I was like,

“Darn. I’m missing out.”

As I’m sure all of us have noticed (Facebook and Instagram tell us EVERYTHING), people have been posting the nutritional facts about these beautiful beverages. I will not lie to you. I was incredibly disappointed with what I saw BUT I really wasn’t surprised! I mean, look:

2 Starbucks "Unicorn" Drink: Love It or Hate It?
In reality, if you’re getting any sort is specialty drink at Starbucks, you’re probably getting a pretty decent amount of sugar and sodium from that too. Obviously, it would vary by size. But did you really think that Starbucks was going to make this pretty drink WITHOUT sugar? Is it possible? Maybe. I wouldn’t know. I’m not that creative.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you I’m the epitome of a healthy eater. Actually, I’d like to say I’m a good example of a #fitmom but hey, I’m still human. I enjoy a few oreos and a caramel Frappucino (extra caramel, please). But I really don’t suggest filling your body with two to three times of the recommended amount of sugar. Let’s go with #FitMomButImHuman.

2 Starbucks "Unicorn" Drink: Love It or Hate It?

Also, you know how many people said it didn’t even taste that great? Some people say it tastes like birthday cake. There’s “sour stuff” in it from what I read in one of my local groups I’m a part of. Sour is cool…but I don’t know how that would taste with coffee.

Oh wait. THERE ISN’T ANY COFFEE IN IT! 

2 Starbucks "Unicorn" Drink: Love It or Hate It?
Nationwide Nurse-In Events and Breastfeeding Laws

Listen here, I’m all for caffeine free beverages. I’ll drink them at the end of the day for the sole reason of needing to sleep at night or because I’m still breastfeeding. I’d rather not be kept up by my 6 month because she’s bouncing off the walls.

BUT, I AM a mom of two. Two children who happen to be 2 and under. If I’m going to have a drink from Starbucks, I want to be kept awake throughout the day to prevent “mombie” mode with CAFFEINE, not a sugar high!

And like I said, from the sounds of it, it doesn’t taste that great. From what I got (from the thousands of people’s posts) is that it basically tastes like birthday cake filled with disappointment. Hey, that’s just what it sounds like.

I will say this though (and to those of you STILL reading, thank you), if you compare some of the popular soda beverages out there to this drink then you will likely see that the sugar content really isn’t as horrible as you thought. ALSO, if you decide you want to get the Unicorn Frappucino with soy milk and no whip cream, then the sugar drops quite a bit. There are people who are freaking out about the nutrition in these drinks and there are people who are freaking out about the people who are freaking out about the nutrition. That sentence made sense, right?

Yes, I added the nutrition in this post.
Yes, I talked about it.
Yes, I said I wouldn’t drink it because of how much sugar there is in it.
BUT – if I alter the drink to the way I would like to drink it (soy milk and no whip cream) and I get a smaller size (a tall)…guess what? The sugar is LESS than ONE can of Coca-cola.

2 Starbucks "Unicorn" Drink: Love It or Hate It?

How many of  you drink one soda per day? Something to think about, hey?

Either way – will I try it? Maybe. I have a few days left to do so.
Will I be mad if I don’t? Eh, maybe not.
If I am going to spend $4 (or more) on a beverage at Starbucks…
– it needs caffeine/coffee
– it needs to be delicious
– it needs to be worth packing up the 2 children, driving to Starbucks, waiting in line, spending the money, and making me feel like a supermom

Hey, if I try it, at least it’ll be a good photo op for my Instagram. 😉

@kaileymiljus @themama_x3 @itskayteebitch

@daniellebrooke

2 Starbucks "Unicorn" Drink: Love It or Hate It?

A Letter To My Daughter – A Rainbow Baby 

img_1316 A Letter To My Daughter - A Rainbow Baby ✨the stillness after the storm✨

When you were 4 weeks old, I took a photo similar to this one in appreciation of my post partum tummy. The tummy that housed you and grew you into the tiny human that lays upon me today. 

But as I had shared in a previous post this last week, this month hasn’t always been so good to me. I’ve experienced loss. And this tummy had the privilege to be home to a little one, even if only for a few weeks. This was a year ago. Although I experience great joy that I have you here with me, I do not forget the little one that came before. The little angel that looks over you now, that is a piece of you and of me. My temple is not damaged, no good, not worthy, or less womanly. It’s a shame that women have felt that it’s too “taboo” to speak about miscarriage, as I have before, but it’s not something to be ashamed of. And it doesn’t make you less of a woman or a mother. My little girl, someday you will become a woman and a mother. I pray you never experience the sadness that I have, but if you do, know that you are strong and you will survive. 💕

img_1316 A Letter To My Daughter - A Rainbow Baby 

The Truth About 28

img_8604 The Truth About 28
I posted a photo the other day on my Instagram, about how it felt to be TWENTY EIGHT. I mean, not much has really changed overnight from 27 to 28. I’m still me but at the same time, I’m different. 

✨the truth about 28 – as I see it✨ ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• I'm still in my twenties. I'm still young. Long ago, I used to think 28 (or anything above 25) was old. 12 years ago, I experienced horrible heartache. And last year I experienced loss. This day doesn't always bring amazing memories but it's not always a sad day either. It's a day I get to celebrate each year, the woman I have become. The woman I am going to be. And the woman I once was. Every year, I sit and reflect on these days and today I sit here, so peaceful. Loving every moment of my life that I've been blessed with. I am a wife, a mother to two beautiful babies, I am healthy, I am strong, I am loved, and I am happy. Happy is not a word I used to describe myself in the years past but I can confidently say it now. 28 isn't a year of change or discovery for me. It's a year of passion. There ARE a lot of changes happening in my life this year, but I get to express and explore my passions. And I'm so excited. Bring it on, 28. ____ 👆🏽 Read more in the blog on Friday. Link will be in the bio. 💕 . . . . . #birthday#happybirthday#28thbirthday#lovemylife#embracewomanhood#embracemotherhood#thehappynow#motherhood#motherhoodthroughinstagram#momsofinstagram#momsofinsta#momsoftwo#strongmama#blog#blogger#momblog#momblogger#ageisjustanumber#lifestyleblogger#lblogger#lifesgood#womanhood#empoweredmama#empoweredwoman#empoweringwomen#selflove#fitmom#fitmama#fitmomsinspire#momswholift

A post shared by @ lifewithabbyd on

I’m currently stuck in this stage of not quite mid twenties but not yet thirty. What does that even entail these days? As I wrote in my Instagram post, a few years ago, I thought 30 was such a dirty word! It meant I was old! But the thing is, I still have so much life left ahead of me. And the best part about it is: I spent almost 28 years of my life trying to figure out who the heck I was, trying to find the confidence to be ME, and now I get to spend the rest of my life being me! Unapologetically! 

My birthday isn’t something I ever look forward to. It’s another year I’ve been on this earth and another year I’ve gotten to enjoy the blessings in my life. But it wasn’t always like that. It seems that around my birthday, I’ve always dealt with some sort of pain or tragedy – a bad memory in my life. 

  1. Death of a family member
  2. Loss of a pregnancy
  3. Losing another pregnancy
  4. Breakups

One of those things really isn’t that big of a deal now, but it took a long time for me to get past a few of the others. And although I won’t get into the details on this post, I will say that I’ve come out stronger than I was before. 

And 28 as I see it…is a year of a fabulous me. The mommy of two beautiful children, the wife of a handsome and intelligent man, the active duty service member becoming a stay at home mom. It’s a year of experience, a year of learning, and a year of adventure. Adventures in motherhood, stay at home mom life, not earning my own income anymore, and adventures with my family! 

So, no. I am not in my mid twenties or in my thirties. I am not old. I am not young and naive…

But I am everything and everywhere I am supposed to be. That’s the truth about 28, as I see it.

img_8604 The Truth About 28

What’s in My Hospital Bag 

img_6942 What's in My Hospital Bag 
Well, now that I have actually had my baby and am incredibly behind on posting this…I figured it’s a good time to finally get this post written out and published!!

I literally started typing out this blog post the week I had my daughter. Not only that, I had finally finished packing my darn hospital bag! Can we say, procrastination? 😂 Hey, it’s how I work and at least I still was able to get the photos taken for this post.

With my first pregnancy, I packed A LOT of things that I didn’t need. I packed a lot less this time but even then…I didn’t use a lot of what we brought. I give birth rather quickly, so I don’t really have time to use everything. 😂 I will go over what I packed and what I didn’t need.

1. Nursing tanks and bras – I was not smart enough to bring these with me when I gave birth the first time. Why? I have no idea. But I didn’t bring them and it would’ve been smart too. The second time around, I didn’t even use them because I wore a different kind of gown and just walked around without a bra ok underneath. As for the tank tops, the best ones are the ones you find at target that are camis with the built in bra. Those worked the best for me…I don’t mess with those nursing tanks that have clips and what not. Also pictured are some socks with the little grippers at the bottom. Kind of like slipper socks. Brought those in case my feet got cold while in bed and if I was too lazy to look for my slippers (they always got kicked under the bed by nurses) I could still get up and move around.

img_6942 What's in My Hospital Bag 
2. Gown/Robe – for my first birth, I just used the gowns they gave me in the hospital. They’re not horrible but it felt nice being able to use something of my own to hang out in and sleep in. A gown and robe was perfect. Use the gown they give you to give birth in and once you’re all clean, you can get comfy in your own clothes. That was very nice! I also brought some slippers with me because I want to be comfy. There aren’t any carpets/rugs are the hospital (obviously) so avoiding that cold, hard floor is good.

img_6942 What's in My Hospital Bag 

3. Tennis balls –
I didn’t plan to have a natural birth the first time so I didn’t even need these. As for my second birth, I planned to go all natural. I read many blogs and heard that using tennis balls to massage the lower back will really help and alleviate the pain of the contractions. Same with using a birthing ball (not pictured). But of course, I didn’t use either of these things because…I labored mostly at home and was at the hospital for a total of 19 minutes before my daughter was born. 😳

img_6942 What's in My Hospital Bag 

4. Hygiene products & makeup –
I really didn’t think I’d need too much makeup but I wanted it…just in case. The first time, I brought makeup and didn’t even touch it. The second time, I brought makeup but I used very minimal the day we left the hospital. As for hygiene products like deodorant and toothbrushes/toothpaste…the hospital gives you a lot of things. They actually give you ALL of that stuff including shampoo, body wash, and conditioner. But, if you’re like me, you can find comfort in using your own things from home. Plus, by not using the toothbrush they gave me, my hubby had one to use! For some reason, we were smart enough to pack my bag and my daughter’s bag but didn’t think to pack the daddy bag! Definitely pack one! The most important makeup product would have to be CHAPSTICK. I need chapstick all the time and being in the hospital…you’ll just want it even more. I even brought some extras…lanolin and tucks pads. Trust me, both are great. I also had coconut oil with me (not pictured) which I ended up using over the lanolin. More natural was the way I chose to go with what I was putting on my nipples and into baby’s mouth. Also, a note with the makeup. If I were to use it, I didn’t bring my most expensive items. My high end makeup stayed home for the most part or I grabbed things that were small in size. More like…travel sized items. They were perfect.

img_6942 What's in My Hospital Bag img_6942 What's in My Hospital Bag 

5. Hair ties & bobby pins –
something so simple…but important! Okay, maybe not super important but my first time, I had short hair. Bobby pins were a must to get my hair out of my face. This time, I have long hair so hair ties were going to be my go-to during labor. Well, never used them again because I just went into the hospital and delivered fairly quickly. Hair was down, in my face, and I was a sweaty mess. Oh well. 😂

img_6942 What's in My Hospital Bag 

6. Post partum girdle –
I had heard many great things about wearing a post partum girdle from a few bloggers/vloggers and I figured, “why not?” Well, after my first birth, I got a band from Amazon. Problem is, I got it a couple weeks after my son was born and I didn’t even order the correct size. It was way too tight on me and well, I was a bit “fluffier” after my first so it wasn’t comfortable to wear when I felt like my fat was spilling out over the top. I did, however, manage to plan ahead. I ordered the B.F.F. band from Belly Bandit and it was highly recommended by many bloggers and on Instagram accounts including Diary of a Fit Mommy. The funny thing is, I used it for literally…2 days and it was too big on me. Either I got the wrong size or I snapped back rather quickly. Make sure you measure your belly when you’re supposed to!! The site will help you out with that.

img_6942 What's in My Hospital Bag 
7. Snacks – we packed a few snacks for us (mainly for me) to keep me going during labor. Some hospitals don’t let you eat because in the off chance you have an emergency c-section, there’s a chance of asphyxiation while in surgery. Well…I’m not about to go through hours upon hours of labor and not be properly fueled. That’s just dumb. At least it is in my opinion! So we had a few items with us and I had looked up some recommendations on what to bring. Granola bars are perfect and rice cakes. Honey to help with the glucose levels and food that is NOT heavy or colored red…just in case you throw up. You don’t want it to look like there’s blood in your vomit. Again…I didn’t use these either time. At least…not during labor. They were great for snacks while in recovery!!

img_6942 What's in My Hospital Bag 
8. Clothes – make sure you bring clothes to leave the hospital in! And make sure you bring clothes that are going to be comfortable to leave in. I mean, unless you’re superwoman, don’t assume you’re going to be back to the same size you were before you got pregnant. You’re going to be a bit swollen still and your uterus is still working it’s way back down. I was actually pleasantly surprised this time around how I bounced back a lot better than my first. The first time I pretty much looked like I was still 6 months….maybe 7 months pregnant. I had also gained an awful amount of weight. Anyway, this time, with a due date of November I knew that it could be pretty warm or it could be chilly when I gave birth. So, I planned accordingly. A maxi dress, a cardigan, leggings, and a long sleeve button up. All can be interchanged to make an outfit. I ended up giving birth in October this time and walked out in the maxi dress. It was quite comfortable!

9. Depends – unfortunately, I don’t have this pictured. But you all know what they are. In the hospital, you’re going to be given HUGE and I do mean huge pads. Among those you will receive the wonderful mesh underwear. You may or may not fit into the underwear you wore before but I didn’t. Especially not the first birth. I wore that mesh underwear like it was going out of style! Whatever, I just had a baby and my lady bits needed some healing. Second time, I had depends. I forgot who gave me the idea but it was a friend of mine and it was a GREAT idea. Seriously, get them and try them out. You’ll thank me later. 😜

10. Diffuser & Essential Oils – I was so excited about this one. I knew I wanted to use a diffuser and essential oils to help set the mood in the delivery room. I was going to labor through my contractions, have some oils diffusing to help keep me calm, and to use some oils to help with the pain. You guessed it – I didn’t use them. With my insta-births there was no way I was going to be able to use them! Although, I do use a diffuser most nights anyway so it was nice to have a little lavender at night while I stayed the night at the hospital.

img_6942 What's in My Hospital Bag 
 What not to bring: a lot of people made lists of what to bring and I thought about it but…I didn’t need a lot of what was on people’s lists. Obviously, it’s up to you what you bring and what you feel you might need. Consider this blog post just a helpful list of things to get you started. But here’s a few things that I either read or was told to bring that I just didn’t feel were necessary.

  1. Blanket – ask the hospital staff for more if you really need more
  2. Pillow – see above
  3. Valuables – if you’re anything like me, you’ll lose them
  4. A lot of cash – literally just bring a few bucks if you feel like you need it (I left the house without my wallet and I didn’t feel like I really needed it)

Honestly, the list is pretty short. But you’ll figure out what you need and don’t need. Also, don’t forget cameras, phones, and chargers. Those are going to be pretty important!

I hope this helps some of you get started as you’re trying to figure out what to bring to the hospital. I’ll be posting again with things in the diaper bag! Be sure to be on the look out for that! 👀 Thanks for coming by and checking out my blog!!

Much love,

img_6942 What's in My Hospital Bag 

img_6942 What's in My Hospital Bag 

Morning snuggles, nursing sessions, and baby feet

img_7271 Morning snuggles, nursing sessions, and baby feet
4 weeks ago, I woke up looking down at my belly and wondered when I was going to meet my daughter. Little did I know, I was going to be in early stages of labor at the gym that evening and would deliver the next day. I look down today and see a tummy that has been home to two beautiful babies. Stretch marks from the first pregnancy that “ruined” my first ever tattoo that I got when I was 18 and the same ones that stretched between the holes of my navel piercing that I took out when I joined the military. My belly isn’t completely flat but it’s crazy to see the differences and changes my body has made over the past 2 years. And today, I look down and I am proud. I am proud of what my body has done and what it’s going to do. The #postpartumbody is a body (as are all bodies) to be celebrated. I never realized the joy and beauty there is in this body the first time. But I’m so glad I found all of that this time. 

**this post was originally posted on my Instagram account and had a lot of responses. I decided that I would post it to my blog as well. ❤️️ 

img_7271 Morning snuggles, nursing sessions, and baby feet

3 Weeks Post Baby

img_6843 3 Weeks Post BabyWhile I was pregnant, I kept up with my fitness lifestyle. At least, during my second pregnancy. During my first, I didn’t work out much due to the doctor telling me to take 8 weeks off because I almost lost my son. It was scary and I listened! But it was very difficult to pick up the fitness routine after those 8 weeks and I just gave up. I fought hard for that year before we got pregnant again and I was barely even close to where I had been before. 

The cool thing is, I gained a lot of muscle and was in better shape during this pregnancy than in between my pregnancies. I want to get back into the gym but at the same time…I’m trying my best to be patient through the healing. Plus…I have two babies at home to take care of now. So, it’ll be interesting to see how I fit in my workouts! 

BUT I’ve been itching to do some exercising. I’m not in a HUGE hurry to get back into the gym but I’m noticing that some of the gains I worked so hard for during my pregnancy…are slowly going away. That’s not fun. You know what else isn’t fun? Being super antsy to just get outside or to move a little more. 

I have yet to buy my double jogging stroller to take the kids out together but on the weekends my hubby and I can take both the kids and go for super nice walks together. Little man goes on the swings at the park and plays on the playground, little miss takes naps in the stroller, and my husband and I do exercises at the park. He does a lot of pull-ups and other calisthenics and I just to body weight exercises. For now, I’m not doing too much but just being able to get my heart rate up is good. It definitely helps my mood as well. Keeps me sane. 😂 Movement is good for the body and the soul! 🙌🏽❤️️

img_6843 3 Weeks Post Baby

To The Mommy of a 1-Year Old

13151501_10206151479938253_4589970671008760466_n To The Mommy of a 1-Year Old

Dear Mommy of a 1-Year Old,

You did it.

Didn’t think you’d make it this far with all of your hair still, huh? Well, you did and you are fantastic.

The first year of anything you do in life isn’t easy. And the first year is definitely a rough one. Then again, we have the rest of our lives with our children and I am sure there are many more years to go that could be just as trying as the first!

But hey, you did it. You ROCKED being a mommy.

You made it through those sleepless nights.
You learned not to wake a sleeping baby.
You figured out the difference between a hungry cry and a sleepy cry.
You have a new outlook on life.
You figured out that being a mom is hard work…
and it’s the best thing you’ve ever done with your life.
You realized that you don’t care about what others think about you…
– your clothes
– your hair
– your parenting style
You figured out that there are more things to think about and none of them are for you.
You figured out that you are much stronger than you know.

Many people told you what it was going to be like having a baby. They told you the pros and the cons and well, a lot of times they left out the really juicy stuff that you wish you had known. But you, you learned that every child is different and you did everything you could to make sure you kept your sanity and kept your bundle of joy safe and happy.

Moms talked to you about topics like (some more controversial than others):
Breastfeeding vs formula feeding
Circumcised or not
Cloth diapers vs disposable
Binky (paci/nook) vs not using one
Babywearing or stroller usage
vax, delayed, or nonvax
and so much more.

It’s all a mess sometimes but everyone parents differently. Everyone makes their own decisions based off of what they believe is right and what works for the family. And you did exactly that.

Good for you, mama! Keep doing what you’re doing.

And now your baby is 1 and it’s a huge step. Don’t worry about where they are.

If they’re walking now, great. If not, that’s great too. Some people want fast movers and some enjoy the immobility for as long as possible.
So, they’re not talking yet, it’s okay. They will, when they are ready.
That first birthday party? It doesn’t have to be extravagant. You don’t have to stress about the theme, the decorations, or who is coming. You can if you want, but your child will not remember it. It’s all for you guys anyway. And a little thing I must add: Really, don’t worry about who is invited.

We had a huge issue with people getting upset with us for not inviting them to our son’s first birthday party. Grown adults whining about not coming to a 1 year old’s party. The thing is, last minute, we decided to have the party at home. Our home is tiny and there wasn’t tons of room for children and tons of adults and we didn’t have the funds to buy enough for so many people! And believe it or not, these were people that hadn’t talked to us in MONTHS. So, we decided to go with the people who our son would recognize and know the most and feel comfortable with. That was that. Don’t stress about it and don’t let people treat you terribly because of the decision you made.

You have now experienced what everyone told you when they said, “Enjoy it now. They grow up so fast.”
That year really did go by fast, didn’t it?

Don’t be sad. Believe me, I was. But I didn’t need to be. My child is growing and it’s what we, as mothers, do. We get sad but we are happy for them. And we get ready for the next stage in their life. Be prepared for the obstacles that may come:

First year molars
First words and steps
Tempter tantrums
Terrible Twos

I haven’t experienced much yet, but that’s just what we’ve gotten so far.

Just remember: You are one amazing mom. You’re a rockstar. You are the best mom for your little baby. And as they grow and change, so do you.

Love,
The Mommy of a 1-Year Old

13151501_10206151479938253_4589970671008760466_n To The Mommy of a 1-Year Old

Toxic Relationships: A Few Reasons To Get Rid of Them

toxic Toxic Relationships: A Few Reasons To Get Rid of Them

Let’s face it. Unless you are living in a world where every single person around you is the most positive person on the planet, you have toxic people in your life.

I, for one, have dealt with one too many toxic people in my life and it’s taken me a long time to either realize it or realize it and then get them out. It’s really a harsh reality that you have to face every now and then.

That friend that you grew up with and have talked to for the past two decades could be your “best friend” but if you really think about it, they turn out to be this burden as opposed to being a light in your life. OR maybe you have a “friend” you became friends with just because you have things in common. Hey, that’s how a lot of us develop friendships but if all you ever do is talk about those couple things and your friend pretty much bashes all the things you believe in or think about…you’re probably better off without them.

Recently, over the past year or so, I have gone through some changes. No, nothing huge. But changes that involve getting rid of the toxic people from my life. And I figured, it would be a great idea to share it with people! You may find yourself reading this and a name pops into your head. Yeah…that relationship probably isn’t good for you.

  1. They’re usually full of negativity.

It’s true. They drown themselves in their own pity parties and as you try to comfort them and leave them with something to look forward to, they shoot you down with their negativity. Basically saying, “Buzz off, you have no idea what I am going through, so don’t bother trying to make me feel better.” Well, alrighty then. No arguments here, you’re on your own. Just get rid of them. The negativity does nothing good for you and your life. You should be surrounded by people that are going to be a positive outlook. Don’t get me wrong, people have bad days and that’s totally fine. And you may even feel negativity sometimes. But when each conversation is filled with the constant complaints about people or their life…it gets old.

2. They don’t support you.

Usually, those toxic people in your life don’t care very much about what is going on in your life. If you accomplish something or have some great news for you, they usually follow up with something better so something so negative that it makes you feel bad for sharing the news. You probably know them as “one-uppers.” Bet another name just popped into your head, didn’t it? They don’t just “one-up” you, they just downright don’t support anything you do or say. Not every friendship or relationship has to share the exact same views and opinions on things but hey, you don’t need to straight up bash somebody because of their point of view. I have kept myself at peace with a lot of the things people say and do and unless it is harming myself, my family, or others…it’s not going to bother me. Believe what you want, do what you want, if it truly makes you happy then that works for me!

3. They’re never really there for you.

This is probably one of the hardest things to come to terms with. Are you normally there for your friends? The one who comes to the rescue when they are feeling down and out and try to do whatever you can to lift them up? No one is perfect and as adults, we tend to not spend as much time on our friends as we used to. So, it’s okay to not ALWAYS be there at their doorstep with pizza and a bottle of wine when your friend has had a bad day. But if you’re going to text someone and ask them how they are doing, you better be there when you get back a response with, “I am just having a hard time right now.” I don’t know, I have a hard time remembering to text people back or I read a text and totally forget that I even read it. It happens. But when someone needs help, I do my best to be there. I guess it’s hard for some people who don’t value things the same way you do. We have families to take care of and businesses to run, it’s life. I get it. But there’s always that ONE friend that just…sucks at being there, period. And always expects you to be there for them. Ugh!

toxic Toxic Relationships: A Few Reasons To Get Rid of Them

4. They’re not as forgiving.

There have been numerous times where I have messed up in a friendship or gotten upset about something that happened or was said. If you’re a female reading this, you totally get it. Sometimes we are just a little sensitive…sometimes we’re a little mean. We can’t always control how we are feeling but we can choose how to carry on from the situation. Long story short, I had a friend who I told great news to and didn’t do #2. They didn’t support me. Mainly, they got jealous that I was going through something they weren’t…yet. Then they got mad. This whole time, I had no idea about it. Then something bad happened and they didn’t do #3. So, when that something bad happened, I was stuck without a friend to talk to because she was one of the only people to know about what was going on. Come to find out, she was jealous, didn’t want to talk to me, randomly talked to me again, found out about the bad news, felt extremely guilty, didn’t talk to me for longer, and then finally told me the truth. They apologized for not being there. And guess what? I forgave her. In an instant. Because, I understand that things happen and I wouldn’t want me friend to feel the way she was feeling. Fast forward to a few weeks later…you’re having a really rough time and that same friend tells you they are there for you if you need anything. Later on in the conversation, starts acting rude and you tell them….you’re sounding rude. Your comments are rude. I just don’t understand why you’re being rude. And then the comments from your friend turn out mean and just disrespectful (which will be #5) and well, you being the person going through the tough time, you get upset. You let your friend know you’re upset. And, you’re not going to let them walk all over you – like always (#6) and you tell them! But get this, later on you message them and apologize for your own actions. And your friend has the audacity to act like they did absolutely nothing wrong and was still being extremely rude to you.

Take the two scenarios here…your friend couldn’t forgive an ARGUMENT but you forgave them for being a plain, HORRIBLE FRIEND. End the friendship there.

5. They don’t respect you.

It kind of goes along the same lines of them not supporting you. They don’t really care what you think and don’t care all too much about what you have to say when they’re whining about their life. Clearly, if they’re not there for you when you do the same thing, that’s just not fair. And if they belittle you for the things that you do or say, that’s not respect at all. You two may have the same interests in life, but you are NOT the same person. But respect should always be there. It doesn’t matter if your friend makes more money than you or goes on vacations and buys a ton of fancy clothes…she shouldn’t rub that in your face or make you feel bad because you just don’t. Or you spend your money on other things that you see as more important to you. Not only that, if they are giving you condescending remarks about the things that you do or say, please know that they don’t have any respect for you. They may say, “I was only joking,” but there’s a good chance they were just being rude anyway.

6. They walk all over you.

Now this….I have been guilty of in the past. I had a friend that used to be the nicest person in the world and let people walk all over her ALL THE TIME. So, it wasn’t just me, but I took advantage of the fact that she never said “no.” Granted, I wasn’t the worst but if it came down to asking her for help, I knew she would be the one to do. Fast forward to a few years later and the mean friend she hung out with all the time (me) finally taught her not to let people do that and she doesn’t anymore. If she ever reads this, I am proud of you girl! haha. Anyway, I realized how much of a bad friend I was being, I stopped acting like that and I grew up! I mean, I was in high school so we all have some growing up to do in those years.

toxic Toxic Relationships: A Few Reasons To Get Rid of Them

 

With all that being said, someone is walking all over you and mistaking your kindness for weakness, drop them like a bad habit. I sure deserved it back in the day but I am thankful that my friend kept me around and we have been friends for over 10 years now. 🙂

Well, I think that’s about all I can think of at the moment. Spending time just going over these six reasons has helped me realize who I needed in my life and who I didn’t. Now, it’s your turn. Maybe a few names came up while you were reading….maybe you’re one of the lucky ones and you couldn’t think of anyone. That’s great! But for those of us with toxic people in our lives…don’t let them weigh you down. Assess the relationship and see if it’s going to make your life better or make it more stressful. I definitely like the less stress option. Good riddance!

 

toxic Toxic Relationships: A Few Reasons To Get Rid of Them

“Meternity Leave?” This is Maternity Leave

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

Alright, there is a popular article that has pretty much gone viral all over Facebook and Twitter. I have seen it pop up on my feed quite a few times and I finally caved to read it.

The article on the New York Post titled, “I want all the perks of maternity leave — without having any kids ” by Anna Davies has stirred up quite a few blog posts and Facebook posts from moms all over, giving Miss Meghann Foye a piece of their mind. And well, being a mother myself and having finally read the darn thing, I decided to write about my feelings on this subject as well.

No, Meghann. I haven’t read your book. And there’s a very good chance that I won’t, mostly because I barely have time to read books as it is. Don’t get me wrong, I am not going to sit here and say that I have never been in your shoes before. I have. I was once one of those women that focused solely on career and friendships as opposed to thoughts of having a husband or kids in my future. Well, I thought about it but after numerous breakups and heartache, my life became more about me than about having a “we.”

I joined the military with every intent to put in my 20 years, retire, and live a fabulous life of being single and never having any other responsibilities besides the ones that are needed to take care of myself. And hey, that’s totally fine. More power to anyone who takes pride in what they do with their life. Countless jobs before, I thought it was unfair that mothers got to take time off of work. I mean, what did I know? I just saw these moms getting paid to take time away from work or even what you said in the article in the NYP, people got to leave work early to pick up the kids and having a friend who just suffered a breakup wasn’t a valid excuse. Been there. I was like, ‘Why the heck can’t I get out early because I live 30 minutes away and I want to go out with my friends…but I have to drive all the way back home then all the way back HERE just to do so.” We all worked together, downtown…it just made sense.

Then being in the military, I thought the same thing, at first. People got to get out of working a 13-14 shift because the daycares on base shut down after a certain time and you HAVE to pick up your children. People got time off and got away from the job that we were all sleepily working at on a Friday evening…still here…

But that’s the thing. You never know anything about anything unless you have been through it. This whole concept of “Meternity Leave” just makes no sense to me. That’s what vacations are for. If you work in the corporate world, you get paid time off and well, many people who don’t get paid time off for vacation, still get time off to themselves to do whatever they please.

Maternity leave is not a vacation. Maternity leave is a time of bonding with your child and having those precious moments with them. Because those first few months are some of the most important times that baby needs to be with their mother. And 3 months off? Not many people get that luxury. When I first had my child, I was given 6 weeks paid and I took an additional 2 weeks of my own time that I had saved up. And that’s in the military. Granted, we have recently changed things a bit and we now get those 12 weeks – paid, but that wasn’t the case before. And think about many people outside of the military who are ALLOWED to take those 12 weeks or more off…but many moms can’t afford to take it off because that time off isn’t even paid for! So, the entire time that the mother is supposed to be spending time with their child and learning how to be a mother, they are spending time stressing about the bills that need to be paid and how they are going to make up for the time lost at work.

Ask your friend who decided to leave her corporate job and start a new business after she had her baby. What is it exactly that made you want to do that? I am willing to bet that it wasn’t…”I had an awesome vacation from work and I wanted to continue it.” It is very likely the fact that she pushed a melon sized child out of her vagina and realized what was important in her life and what her focus needs to be on. And let me tell you…I highly doubt she had a “break.” Do you really think stay-at-home-moms ever get a day off? Wait, don’t even answer that. I am willing to bet I know which side of the spectrum you’re on when it comes to THAT conversation.

But here’s the main deal with this post. THIS is what maternity leave looks like. And if you’ve never had a child, you wouldn’t know.

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

This beautiful moment after I had my first son is nothing short of amazing. Everything I felt was worth it. But what you don’t see here is that, I was terrified. Nurses and doctors didn’t speak to me. They acted like I wasn’t even there and they just had to get a melon out of me. What you don’t see is them pushing on my stomach and passing my placenta out and stitching me up. What you don’t see is the pain that I endured or the fact that because doctors wouldn’t talk to me, I had no idea what was going on.

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

You may see me smiling here but what you don’t see is that I am cuddling with my child in the early morning, after hours of fighting him to nurse. I had to battle with him to try and eat for the first 6 days of his life. He had jaundice and wasn’t nursing at all and I didn’t understand why. So, laying down with him in bed was one of the only ways to get him to calm down.

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

What you see here is a mom who stayed up all night with their crying baby. Trying to put him back to sleep after hours of trying. Many nights I fell asleep sitting up in my bed because my baby only wanted to sleep in that position.

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

No, I am not squishing my child, but this is a great example of what you DON’T see moms go through during maternity leave. Finally, a satisfied baby. Fed and ready to pass out. But mama? Covered in milk from leaky boobs, stained shirts, nipples that are sore and completely cracked from learning how to nurse her baby for the first time, and breast pads to help from a milk waterfall from streaming down your clothes. As you can see, it doesn’t always help.

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

There is always poop. I bet your “Meternity” never has a bunch of poop…or pee all over you. Or vomit for that matter, unless you’re covered in your own vomit from those margaritas with your girlfriends at the bar because you’re celebrating her newfound singleness.

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

An exhausted mother. Sleeping with an ice pack in between her legs, wearing very large mesh underwear from the hospital, and feminine pads that resemble diapers. It’s the healing process. You don’t see that, do you? That’s because most women don’t post that all over their Facebook pages. You don’t see the heartache some moms go through when they look in the mirror and see their bloated stomach STILL looking like they are 6 months pregnant because not all moms lose weight while nursing. You don’t know the feeling of having a stitch stuck in your lady parts because it didn’t dissolve like it was supposed to. And you don’t know what it’s like to not be able to be intimate with your husband, 1. because you can’t and 2. because you have no energy.

There is no such thing as a “break” when it comes to maternity leave.

So, go ahead and suggest to everyone that you deserve your “ME” time. Because honestly, us moms never really get that “Meternity Leave.” Once you have a child, there is no such thing as ME time. It’s about your kids. It’s about family. And yes, that’s a choice that we, as parents made for our lives. But don’t you dare say you need paid time off to have time to yourself just because women have a baby and get their time off.

Also, I found an article that I found completely hilarious after I started writing this post. And for those of you that want “MEternity leave,” I say, go for it. As long as you abide by the rules of this post. And I absolutely love it.

So you want maternity leave without the kids? OK. Here’s how that should go.” by Elizabeth Bromstein

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave