She is strong, but she is tired

Yesterday, I had a meltdown. It is a meltdown that has been brewing….it’s been bubbling, almost erupting to the surface but then suppressed back down. Sometimes, life has a way of feeling completely overwhelming. I feel as if I have literally felt a weight on my back – continually growing and continually weighing me down. It’s the weight of motherhood, of trying to settle into a new home, of trying to find the balance in something that just isn’t meant to be balanced. Yesterday, it finally all came to a head. I am strong, but I am tired.

I sobbed, I sobbed real hard….and I buried my head in my fiances chest. His words? “You are an amazing mother, you truly are. But you need to do more for you. You need to be “you”. Wow… I continued to sob but then was able to choke back my tears. Stunned, I just looked at him. He was so right.

Now, let me say this now. I am happy. I am so damn happy. I am the happiest I have ever been. I feel more fulfilled that I have ever have. Being a mother is everything I have ever dreamed of, and more. It’s little tiny hands wrapped around my neck holding me tight, it’s hearing “mama”, it’s the smile she gives me when I walk into the room – it is everything and more. However, I’m not sure if I am just exhausted with the new responsibilities of motherhood, which are constant, or if I have truly begun to neglect myself along the way.

I’ll be the first to admit it, I have always struggled with taking care of myself. Rather it be physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually. I will practice self-care for a little while, but then the responsibilities weigh heavy on me and I become a last priority. Not on purpose, but just by default. There are so many things that always need to be done. This list is truly endless. At the end of the day, it’s hard to find time for me.

But today I had an epiphany – if I want to be the best mother to my daughter, I have to be the best version of myself. If anything, she should be my motivation. And she is.

Things I would like to change:

  • Prioritizing: I don’t get much time to myself, but the time I do get I want to make sure I prioritize. I swear, it’s like a constant battle for me to decide if I should rest while Amelia’s napping or get housework done (dishes, laundry, tidying up). I guess depending on the day, I’ll decide what is more important. If it’s a short nap to revitalize? I’ll take it. If it’s getting things done around the house because the clutter is driving me insane? I’ll do that. Putting first what my body and mind is saying it needs most is what I will do
  • Read: I really enjoy reading, that is if I can find a good book that I can’t put down. Instead of watching TV at night before bed, I want to incorporate reading into my nightly routine. It’s a good way to unwind after a long day and quite honestly? Do I need to get stressed out by the drama on The Real Housewives of OC right before bed? No, I don’t. No one really cares that Vicki and Kelly are feuding again over god knows what… (okay, maybe I do… just not right before bed) 😉
  • My diet: I don’t always fuel my body properly. I just eat whatever…whatever is easy or whatever is convenient. I’d like to think I eat somewhat healthy, but….I have never followed any sort of meal plan. So I’d certainly like to clean my diet up, so I feel better overall!
  • My workout routine: HA, workout routine? What’s that? I certainly don’t have one now… I like to take walks or go for runs when I get spare time (very seldom). I also enjoy taking yoga classes, but I no longer can do that with the difference in mine and my fiances schedules. So, truly, I’ve never followed any real routine (besides when I was training for my half marathons). I don’t want to take on a complex workout routine but want to make it a goal to at least get 10,000-12,000 steps per day. I will track this with the help of my Fitbit! I also want to incorporate some strength training activities (using Amelia as my very own 22 lb weight) and some yoga at home
  • My mind: This is most important. I lately am very easily getting bogged down by the “noise” – all the thoughts about all that I have to do. As I mentioned earlier, it’s truly overwhelming. At the beginning and end of each day, I just want to reflect. Self-improvement can’t happen unless there is reflection. No one is perfect. I certainly am learning that I am no where close to being perfect. Not the perfect fiance, not the perfect mother, and not even the best version of myself. I AM HUMAN. There will be good days and bad days. However, there is always room to better yourself, better your life, and in return, better the lives of those around you. I want to start to better my life NOW….I’m tired of waiting. It’s time I start doing somethings for myself again. After all, if I want to be the best mother to my daughter? I have to be the best version of myself

My birth story

September, the month of my due date. Oh how happy I was to see September. Don’t get me wrong, I had a wonderful, easy pregnancy and for that I’m truly thankful but any momma can relate that at the end of your pregnancy, you’re just done. Done getting up to use the bathroom multiple times a night, done having little feet jab your ribs, done feeling like you could exhale and flames would come out of your mouth due to the heartburn.

My due date came, and it went. And as fast as September came, September went. When you go 9 months thinking you’re going to have a September baby and then the month of October approaches, you get a little impatient. At my weekly doctor appointments, the doctor told me that there was no progress yet and that baby was comfy in there. At our 39 week doctor appointment, the doctor scheduled an induction. I was panicked…as the last thing I wanted was to be induced. Christian reassured me that everything would be okay. However, I wasn’t convinced. I had only heard negative stories about being induced from the people I knew…prolonged labors, that typically resulted in a csection. To me, induction didn’t seem natural…it seemed like it was forcing the woman’s body to begin something it wasn’t ready to do. It seemed like it was forcing the baby to come out when he or she wasn’t ready. I had a lot of faith that my baby and my body would go into labor naturally…that my baby and my body would just “know” when it was time, and when that wasn’t happening for me and indication began to be talked about, I was really unhappy.

I began doing everything I could to go into labor…walking a ton, eating pineapple, eating spicy foods, bouncing on a ball, etc. and nothing. It was difficult to come to terms with but finally I said to myself, “this baby is going to come when this baby wants to come…nothing you do is going to change that”. Well, baby didn’t come….& my induction date was approaching.

So on October 1st, my fiancé and I made sure we had everything packed in our hospital bags, that the car seat base was installed correctly and the car seat was in the car. With our nerves running high, we walked into that hospital knowing that the next time we left we would be parents.

Around 8 pm, they started the induction process. I was given the induction medication cervidil, which is a medication that dilates your cervix. Around 10 pm, the two women in the rooms next to me were giving birth and screaming and crying and shouting “I can’t do this!” Here I am…laying in the bed getting induced, listening to these two women cry out in such agony. Tears filled my eyes and I grabbed Christian’s hand and squeezed tight. “You’re going to do great”, he said. “I’ll be right by your side through the whole thing.” Little did I know not even 24 hours later I’d be holding our sweet baby in my arms after shouting the very same thing.

I tried to get as much sleep as I could, which was difficult given the circumstances. 12 hours later I was checked and told that no progress was made. I was frustrated, ready to come to terms with the fact that it would be a long, long process. Then my water broke, on it’s own. Now in the movies it’s always a gush of fluid, a very monumental moment…but for me it was just a trickle, in fact I thought I was just peeing (there’s so much pressure down there towards the end who knows what goes on). I rang the bell and the nurse came in and said, “nope, that’s actually your amniotic fluid!” Suddenly, things became real.

Around 11:30, I began to have slight contractions. I had every intention of being active during most of my labor. I wanted to walk the halls, I wanted to spend time in the tub, I wanted to bounce on the ball. I only bounced on the ball and walked the halls for about an hour or two. I was in the zone while bouncing on the ball…I listed to Dave Matthews Band and envisioned my baby settling down into the birth canal, getting ready to make its entrance into the world. The pain was there, but bearable. I spent some of my time standing with my arms around Christians neck, swaying or slow dancing. This also helped. All was well until about 2:30 when the pain became intense.

Now, I never ruled out having an epidural but I never said “yes, without a doubt I am having one”. I wanted to feel it out and I wanted to see what my body could do without the help of medicine. However, I made it clear to my labor and delivery team to not let me get to that point where I was too late to get one. I told them to tell me when the last possible chance was to get an epidural, and then I would make my decision. The decision was made for me when it was far too painful for them to even check how dilated I was. This decision was of course okayed by me because at this point my contractions were so intense and I was looking for any relief from the pain.

Let me just state, that I believe every mom is a superhero…no matter HOW you give birth to your baby. You still gave birth, you still gave this child life, and your body is still amazing and incredible. Epidural or no epidural, you are a powerhouse. Moms that have had a csection, you had your body cut open for God’s sake and your organs shifted around to get your baby out into the world safely. Again, all mothers are superhero’s no matter how you give birth to your baby.

I feel as if some moms receive a lot of guilt and grief when they share with others that they used modern medicine to help them through the process. I received an epidural because it was what I needed to do for the betterment of my baby and for myself. Once I had the epidural, I got solid rest. And that solid rest was what I needed to push my baby out. To me, the epidural was a godsend. I believe in my laboring stupor I told the anesthesiologist that if I could kiss him I would. I also thanked him the next day when he came in to check on me because he truly was the calm I needed in that storm. My anesthesiologist even had a soft, calming voice. Truly, he was great!

I was in active labor for about 6 hours and pushed for an hour. At 6:35pm, my sweet baby girl was placed on my chest and I heard the sweet words “it’s a girl!” I waited my whole life to be a mom, and then the moment was here. This is the moment I dreamt of my whole life – meeting my baby for the very first time. I remember sobbing, saying “hi my sweet girl” & telling her that I loved her so much. I looked at Christian and told him repeatedly how much I loved him. WE created this miracle, it’s something I’m truly still not over. It’s such an amazing thing. So….October 2, 2017 at 6:35pm was the moment my life changed, 110% for the better 💕

This is before we left the house to go to the hospital. It was so crazy to leave knowing the next time that we would be back home we would be a family of three!

Carrying our hospital bags in! Ps. How handsome is my man? 🙂 This is right after we got checked in and situated. Look at my big belly!

She was finally here! 6 pounds 9 ounces of pure perfection!

She was more perfect than I could have ever imagined!

I was exhausted – but SO happy and SO in love!

She was so beautiful. I remember just looking at her in awe that she was mine!

Warm up with this PSL

Today in Upstate New York it is a chilly morning, with a high of 28 degrees. To warm up this morning I had my own cheaper version of a pumpkin spice latte. Coffee, pumpkin spice creamer, whipped cream and cinnamon. Now, I know that creamer isn’t the healthiest thing in the world & because I have coffee every morning, I’ve tried many creamers to try to find a healthier alternative that I actually like. I’ve had no success. Does anyone have any healthy alternatives to creamer? I need sweetness and I need flavor. Until then, I’ll stick with my unhealthy creamer because coffee that tastes good is life and is an essential. I hope everyone has a good day, happy Friday! Ps. What is it about cute mugs that make your coffee taste that much better? Haha! #momlifeAD367860-3347-4233-868C-69E65C9D5BF6.jpeg

Mommas

Moms are downright amazing. Why? We grow our little babes and go through immense amounts of pain to give them life. We provide food to grow our children into stronger individuals. We nurture and love. We wake up at 12, 2, and 4am and then work all day. We choose our kids over our careers to better serve our families.

We carry babies on our back while pushing another in a stroller. We drive our mini vans or our cars to our kids practices, only to open the car door and see their smiling faces pile out. We record dances that our kids create and listen to the songs they sing. We listen to them squeak as they learn to play their instruments. We help them create mud pies and look at the fireflies they catch. We kiss skinned knees and put band aids on their boo boo’s. We scare monsters out from under beds and sew up their favorite stuffed animals.

We help mend broken hearts and help pick out prom dresses. We drive you and your friends to the movies and to school dances. We make team dinners and take group photos. We’re front row at concerts just for you. We move our kids to college and cry for days. But when you call to ask me how I am I tell you “I’m great honey, I’m great”. Although that statement couldn’t be farther from the truth.

We help you pick out wedding dresses and help you create centerpieces. We cry our eyes out when you walk down the aisle, all with a smile on our face. We are by your side as you push out your first baby, your second and then your third. We rock your babies to sleep, so that our own baby can get a moment to herself.

We watch you smile at your babies. We watch you coach your kids in T-ball and jump up and down when they make it to first base. We watch you mourn the day your daughter asks for a training bra, as you know this means she is growing up. We watch you cheer for your son as he scores the winning goal.

We watch you protect your children and guide them through life. We are happy to see you go through all that we went through with you. This goes on until we no longer can physically see or until we no longer have a sound mind. This goes on until our bodies no longer can keep up. Although our bodies and minds may not last forever, our love goes on forever, even when our lives no longer do. Why? Because that’s what mothers do.