You are not alone. Whatever you are going through, you are not alone. Whatever you are worried about, you are not alone. If you are feeling down, discouraged or scared, you are not alone. You may not know it but you have our support. Tonight’s post is going to be not just from me but from all the moms around you. Mom shaming is such a big thing in today’s age and I just can’t STAND IT. Moms do not get the support they deserve. No matter what they do, they are criticized and that needs to end. So over the past few days, I have asked moms all over the world (many are apart of the Air Force community) to add in some words of support. I’m going to briefly start with mine. I know for a fact I’m not the only one struggling with this because I have another mom who has written for us that will explain the same thing. I’ve mentioned it many times before and I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about it but it got pretty bad over the past week. So as you know, Jace and I have trouble breastfeeding which is not uncommon. Many many many other mothers have this issue. Anyways… I started off with a great supply of milk when Jace was born. Like so much milk that I have close to 100oz. Froze AFTER donating to another family. We’ve always done well and it was something I thought I would never have to worry about. Well one day Jace decided he didn’t want the shield anymore and he was nursing like a normal baby! Everything was great until I noticed he was fussing while eating and wanting to nurse more often. My milk was gone. I sat on my couch for hours and just cried because I knew my baby was hungry. I was so scared to give him a bottle because I knew if I did, he would not want to nurse anymore and once I ran out of milk, he would have to go to formula. Now, I understand that formula is 100% perfectly fine but Jace and I have been working for almost 3 months on nursing. I felt like all of our work went to waste. Cooper, my husband held me as I cried and reassured me that if I had to give him a bottle, everything would be okay. He would still be my son. He would still love me. I felt like a failure because I couldn’t provide my son my milk. I gave him what I could and held in there until my Lactation appointment the next morning. Once we got to the appointment, we weighed him as usual and he dropped down to 9.13lbs. I was devastated. I sat down to feed him and he cried. He screamed and screamed. For the few days leading up to that I was trying everything I could to get my milk back. Literally EVERYTHING… Mother’s milk tea, Fenugreek pills, oats, brewers yeast, Gatorade, pumping…. I tried it all. Still nothing. At my appointment Jace got what he could from me but it still wasn’t enough. It resulted in me feeding him through an SNS tube. Essentially I would fill a big syringe with my pumped milk that had a tube connected to the bottom. I would latch Jace on and feed the tube into the corner of him mouth and pump milk into the tube. This strategy made him think he was getting milk from me. I was told I had to do this for a few days until my milk hopefully came back. As I was sitting in the room crying, feeding Jace through a tube, I had amazing support next to me. Both my Lactation consultant and my best friend. We filled his little belly with milk and he was set for the next few hours. As I left there, I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to do the tube on my own. I just wanted to give up. But with all the support I had, we figured it out. My milk came back that next feed and he was back to eating full meals again. Two days later at his weigh in, he was 10.1lbs!!!! It took him about 1.5 months to gain about 10-12oz. It’s so hard to hear that your baby needs to gain more weight when you know they’re getting food and they’re healthy. Some people, like myself, just have tiny babies. The moral of my story is, don’t give up. Find the support you need!! Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. Don’t be embarrassed to cry. At the end of the day, do what is best for you and your baby and you WILL be happy.
Now I’m going to share a few words from wise mamas all around us. Hope you enjoy and find the love and comfort we are trying to share with you!
1. Okay, so I wish someone told me how hard it would be mentally from the very beginning.
So basically I got ridiculously sick where I couldn’t eat anything or keep things down. Shane would have to help me up and down the stairs. I couldn’t cook, clean, and could barely shower without asking for help from how weak I was. Once I started feeling better I had absolutely no energy to do anything. I went weeks without cleaning and Shane would come home to help with laundry. I felt guilty and felt lazy. I wish people told me before I got pregnant that it’s okay to nap before worrying about things around the house. That it’s not lazy considering how much your body is changing. Another thing for those moms who are pregnant with their rainbow baby’s. I am extremely excited for Isaiah but sometimes I can’t help but feel sad for the baby I lost. Even through the exciting moments, I won’t stop thinking about our Angel. Like when we first heard Isaiah’s heartbeat, I was angry that we couldn’t experience this the first time. September is when our angel baby should be turning one and it’s still going to be hard for me. I wish I knew I’d feel this way & it’s true when people Say that the pain of losing any baby will always be with you but I didn’t know it would make me angry at the same time. And, on a funnier note. I didn’t know how bad cravings would get. Shane and I got into an argument once because I legit cried like a child after he said “it was too late to go to chilis” when at the beginning of the day we discussed going there because I wanted their mashed potatoes. The best way I could describe it to Shane was that it’s like you’re a bratty 5 year old child who wants it their way. And even though you know you shouldn’t react like that, you can’t help it lol.
– Brisa Garcia
2. Everyone has head of morning sickness, but before you get pregnant and experience it, you never really understand what it feels like. Everyone says it feels like motion sickness. What exactly does that really mean? Can you make it stop? Is it only in the morning? When does it end? These are all questions that expecting moms are asking! The answer is….. it’s different for everyone. For me and my first pregnancy it was awful. I found out that I was pregnant when I was about 6 weeks along. I had missed my period by 5+ days before taking a test and had been feeling kinda crappy and under the weather, but not sick sick. Basically the next day I woke up I said to myself “yup, this is morning sickness.” For a couple days I was still able to do and eat basically anything I wanted. I just felt really tired, another symptom of early pregnancy.
As time went by, it continued to get worse and worse. I began every morning waking up and running to the bathroom to throw up. Although I could still eat, I always felt awful.
Eventually it got to the point where I was unable to move off of the bathroom floor. My husband would come in and sit behind me just rubbing my back, not knowing how to help. By this time I was unable to keep most food down, and even had a hard time keeping liquids down.
Eventually I felt so awful that my husband and I decided to go to the ER. If for no other reason, to at least get IV fluids. While in the hospital I was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum. Which basically means severe morning sickness. There is not a way to necessarily “treat”’morning sickness, but there are things that can help make it a little more bearable. In my case, I was given zofran. Some other options are; preggie pops, psi bands, sucking on mints, or just dealing with it. I am sure there are more, but those are the main ways to make you feel better.
There is a huge debate whether zofran is safe during pregnancy or not. If you look online, you will see many different articles. Some saying it’s perfectly fine and some saying it will cause major birth defects. I was worried about it, but after having my doctor explain it I felt pretty good about taking the dose he recommended. The research that was done on the drug, zofran, was done when it first came out. To summarize, basically women who were given this drug in “testing” were given the highest possible dose, multiple times a day for an extended period of time. By taking that much of the drug that frequently it would cause birth defects or even miscarriage. The dose that I was taking was 1/200 the dose that those women were taking. The same dose, 1 pill every 6-8 hours, has no proven research showing those defects.
After I started taking zofran, my morning sickness got “better.” By better I mean that I still got sick at least once a day, but after getting sick I usually was okay to go out and do things or whatever I needed to get done. Even though it seemed better, I still preferred to hang out at or near home just in case. I had gotten sick in too many restaurants at that point! My morning sickness lasted until I was in my third trimester. It finally just went away. I feel fortunate that it went away and didn’t last my entire pregnancy like some women. It was really hard to continue to feel that love for my baby when I would sit on the bathroom floor miserable and bawling because I was so sick. Zofran was my saving grace, without it I would have been more miserable. I am so thankful that there was a dr who took the time to explain the risks versus the benefits and helped me make that decision.
1. Dear mamas who had a c-section
I feel your guilt and I understand the guilt you may feel for not physically birthing your child; and I think it is important that you know you are NOT alone.
The daunting question of “why wasn’t my body strong enough” still haunts me to this day (5 months pp) and I constantly compare my birth stories to that of women who were able to deliver their child. The guilt is easily compared to a mother who wanted to breastfeed, but wasn’t able to do so for a multitude of reasons.
Some women arrive at the hospital knowing their c section is scheduled and has had weeks maybe months to prepare their mind and heart for what it’s going to endure-and then there are the moms like me.. where we push for hours on end just to end up being taken to an operating room.
I remember after hour 3 of pushing I was given 2 options. 1: keep pushing while they use forceps, 2: c-section. After discussing the harms forceps COULD do(nothing against moms who used them♥️) we decided on a c-section and immediately the thoughts of what I’d miss out on flowed through my head faster than a raging river. I wouldn’t get the ‘normal’ skin to skin right after he was born, I wouldn’t get to spend those first precious moments with him just staring at his glory because I’d be to busy getting put back together and stitched up, I’d miss Tyler cutting the umbilical cord and ect. All of those thoughts added up to a gut wrenching- already failing as a mother feeling that I wouldn’t get that initial ‘important’ bond with my baby boy..
I am here writing this and to tell you that although my thoughts were logical in the time being, they were WRONG- oh so wrong ladies. I got to bond with my baby and you will too! They kept him naked as I’m sure they will for you and as soon as I was stitched up and taken to my room he was brought to me, laid on my chest (just a little cleaner 😉) and was immediately able to latch on me for comfort. Everything happens so fast from the time in between your baby being taken out of you, the initial (quick) cheek to cheek meet before he/she is taken away to be cleaned, cord clamped, foot stamped, ect, and the first time they place your baby in your arms on your chest once you’re stitched up and able.
There is no reason us C-section mamas should feel bad about the way we brought our baby into this world. I have learned that it doesent mean my body wasn’t capable, there are so many factors that play into the decision of getting the surgery.
We still carried that bundle of joy for months and months, and we will still have to deal with the hardships of having a child for 18+ years just like any other mama who had a natural birth! I know that you will feel the guilt I’ve felt, but above anything, recognize that it doesent make you any less of a woman! Some of you (like me) may of even went through labor and still had the surgery, so I would count yourselves as a double super mom! (Go you!)
I promise you that we are still great mamas and if makes you feel ANY better, know that you’re still gonna have some crazy stuff go on down there even though you delivered through surgery; if you know what I mean- so still get the big pads and the ice packs and the wipes ready because we still get ALL of that wonderful glory.
Love yourselves mamas because every birth story is unique and perfect.
2. My two pregnancies were completely different. With my first, though the pregnancy itself was pretty standard and uneventful, delivery and the weeks and months afterwards left me dealing with severe postpartum depression and anxiety. My son was sunnyside position, and I pushed for hours for him to get stuck… and then break my tailbone when he finally made it out. I was so worried that if I didn’t do everything by the book with my son, something awful would happen to him. I couldn’t sit or stand for long periods of time without discomfort, and even holding my son became a difficult chore when I should have held him with joy. It was awful when my husband left for basic. I didn’t see a professional until nearly two years later. I learned to come to terms with the fact that my firstborn was unplanned, and derailed all of the plans I laid out for my life.
With my second, he was planned, but we had a few issues throughout the pregnancy. In the beginning, I had to go back weekly because they couldn’t find him on the sonograms. Then they found the hole in his heart, which was later resolved. And then when I hit third trimester, the trauma from my first pregnancy reared its ugly head when the weight of the baby put pressure on my tailbone. I had to walk with a cane until the baby came out. My doctor and I decided together to induce early to relieve me of the pain and pressure. That was the best decision I think I made for myself. Delivery was super easy, I think I pushed for less than an hour with no complications. My mood was even better; I really, truly think that having some control over when and how my son came, and having a smooth delivery is the biggest thing that’s helped me heal. I don’t beat myself up if my second son falls asleep in his swing instead of his crib, or if my house and I aren’t presentable when people come over. It’s all what I make of it.
1. It’s okay.
It’s okay to be tired.
It’s okay to want to have 5 minutes to yourself.
And most importantly it is okay to ask for help.
You are no less of a mother if you ask for help.
That’s one big thing I had a problem with after having my son. He was born 6 weeks early so he was pretty small and very very colic when we got out the hospital. I was full mommy mode. I bathed him, nursed him, changed him, made sure he had all the cuddles. But I forgot to take care of myself. I didn’t want to have my husband, who just worked 24 hours at the fire station, hold my son while he screamed and cried but I just needed 5 minutes to wash my hair or eat. I just needed 5 minutes to myself. After my husband noticed I was not myself and looking more sickly he finally told me to give him the baby and just go take a two hour bath and sleep. Which I took him up on that offer but I couldn’t relax. I was constantly wondering if my son was okay. Even though he’s with his father, I was scared that my son would think less of me. Even though he was a newborn at the time, but it was constantly on my mind. It took me a while to realize and to tell myself it’s okay to take those 5 minutes so I can regroup so I can be that awesome super mom my son needs me to be. My son is now 5 months old and we finally have a routine that works for us both. My health is getting better everyday and I’m asking for help when I need it. So it’s okay to ask for it. You’re a super mom already; but you have to remember you are also a person, you’re only human and everyone always needs 5 minutes for themselves. It’s okay.
REFLUX & WEIGHT GAIN
1. The fear of having to be induced three weeks before your due date is that your baby won’t be fully developed. My fear was her lungs, when in reality it was her sphincter for her reflux. Because Mya’s wasn’t fully developed she was constantly spitting up and struggling to lay flat on her back while sleeping. We tried to make it better for her by laying her at an incline and burping her longer. That mixed with her tongue tie kept her from gaining weight at a normal speed. Mya was 7 lbs 7 oz when she was born and at her 2 month appointment she was only 8 lbs 2 oz. She hadn’t even gained a pound since birth! At this appointment they decided to cut her tongue tie. Since they did that 10 days ago, she now weighs 8 lbs 8 oz! Only 6 oz more but it’s the fastest weight gain she has had! Through this time I have had to remind myself when I get anxious about her weight, is that 1) she is happy, 2) she is healthy, and 3) she is eating. I completely know what it feels like to go to doctors appointments and to be saying a little prayer that your little one has gained enough weight to please the doctor and put your mind at ease. It’s not easy being a mom and all the stress that comes along with it, but when you get to hold that precious babe in your arms, all the heart ache and tears are worth it!
– Meghan Schvaneveldt
1. Having a c-section doesn’t make you any less of a mother. Neither does having a natural birth, getting an epidural, giving birth in a hospital, giving birth in your home, adopting, surrogacy, being induced, whether or not you breastfeed, and whatever else you choose to disagree with. Please stop shaming moms for doing things their way. Raising a baby is hard enough without your unwanted judgment. Sincerely, you bet your ass I got them epidural.
1. Since becoming a mom, It seems every conversation I have with people in public eventually leads to the question “Is he sleeping through the night yet?”
I am so tired of all the judgement that follows that question. As an adult, I typically don’t “sleep through the night”; some nights I do but sometimes I’m uncomfortable, or hungrier than usual, or the room is too hot or too cold, or I just don’t seem to be tired. But for some reason, we hold infants to a higher standard and don’t expect them to be affected by these things. My pediatrician literally wagged her index finger while scolding me “You need to just buy earplugs and pretend you’re asleep”. That just doesn’t work for me, sorrynotsorry. So, even though according to everyone else he’s “not supposed” to need night feedings by 6 months, we still were. Not that I need to have an explanation, but there wasn’t anything else that would soothe him and mama needed sleep too so after nursing for a couple minutes, we both got some rest. At 9 months we were still at it, not as often but nonetheless. Now at 12 months, we’ve gotten a lot better and sleeping longer periods of time but we’re still occasionally waking up doing the same thing. And guess what? It’s okay! He’s only little for such a little while, so why should I rush it? If he needs mama just a little longer, I’m here, just like I’ll always be.
1. Hi Everyone!
My name is Haley, and I am sure you are here to read a blog post about Breana and her cute little family! But thankfully, she is letting me speak on my behalf of being a single mother! So I guess here we go.. So I may not have a bunch of inspiration for you all on this topic, as this has happened to me about 3 months ago but I am wanting to talk about my experience as I am growing and learning through it!
So, I am a single mother in the Air Force as an MP. That right there should just tell you about how tough already my life has been! Throughout my whole pregnancy I never felt as if I was a mother, it wasn’t surreal. I was doing all this planning, buying clothes, wondering who this little human was going to be. About a month or so before I gave birth my husband at the time got orders to deploy. But luckily, when I joined I got stationed back in my hometown so all my family is here in Tucson! And I am truly thankful! On November 17, 2017 I had given birth to my daughter Treyley Kay with my family by my side. The first night in the hospital was tough, she had jaundice and had to be under the light for 24 hours. Only being able to get out every 3 hours to eat or a diaper change. My mom had been with me the second we left for the hospital because I got induced, so that night she went home to my sisters and I was by myself. I cant express how scary it is being a first time mother, let alone being by alone with your child that you have no idea what to do with. She was crying all night, I barely got any sleep. So from the very beginning, I was alone. Alone raising this tiny baby, trying to be the best mother I thought I could.
Treyley’s dad came back in February, so I finally was able to have a little bit of rest here and there getting some help from him. But since I was alone for those 3 months by myself with her, I knew every little hint about her. So I was always stepping in, helping out when I was told to rest. Come around to April and I became a single mother. My whole life I thought had fallen apart. I had support from family, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. I was struggling within, I had to find a balance with cleaning, taking care of a teething child, work, and just life in general. Little did I know that I just needed to back up and overall look at the bigger picture. My Daughter. As I once had made a post about on my personal Facebook page this is what I had once said.
“As I lay Treyley down for bed tonight, I can’t help but reminisce.
Today, or should I say the past week or so has been rough. My baby girl is 6 months old and I believe she is finally teething. I can truly say, and I’m not being biased. She is the best baby, she isn’t one of those children who just cry whenever just because, she has her moments and let the lord be with me when she gets into her toddler stages and gives attitude🙌🏼 But I remember the day’s when I was in the hospital after I had just had her, those were raw and very real emotions I’ve never felt. I remember just sitting on my bed crying when I was supposed to be sleeping, but because I was afraid of what I was going to do with this little baby. I was 19, and still very much a “child” myself. I was freaking out about how the house was going to get cleaned, when I would be able to do the laundry, the dishes, sleep, eat, etc. I remember my mom telling me that it was going to be okay, and Treyley was a new part of my life and that it’s okay if the laundry builds up for a little, or the house gets a little dusty. I had to get into a routine, and with my OCD she knew I would get into that quickly and it wasn’t going to be an issue at all! Very true that it worked out that way. I came home and that first night home I had friends come visit me and I felt so much support, people asking if I needed anything.
But the reason I am making this post is because I had a very needy baby today. I would lay her down to play with her toys and she would cry literal tears after about 2 minutes. I would pick her up and try to console her and then try again with the toys. After about 3 times of the crying, I stopped my cleaning around the house and just cuddled with her, and let me tell you. She just sat there and watched tv with me. I had plans of doing stuff around the house and errands I needed to run, but then I remembered everything before I came home from the hospital. I always have said that I want to be an active parent. People will say “Oh, well she is too young. So you can go do things and she won’t remember”. But it doesn’t work that way. She is my first child, she was the one who made me a mother and I enjoy spending every moment I can with her, even if it’s just in our pajamas lounging around all day. These are the memories I live for. I feel guilty when I have a day off and I have to drop her off to go do thing’s without her. This was a picture I just took today after I laid her down to play with her toys, I got on the floor with her, and she was so happy to just see me playing with her. So, for those Mother’s and Father’s out there who are stressing over the laundry piling over, the dusty dresser. It’s okay to take the time to be a parent and put aside your other priorities, you will get to it at one point and soak in all of those baby cuddles because one day they won’t fit in your lap comfortably anymore.”
^^ that is what I had been wanting all along. I just needed to put my daughter first in it all. I hope this helps at least one single mother, or even father out there. You are doing the most and even more than you think to talk care of those precious babies of yours! And again, Breana thank you so much for letting me speak on my half!
LOVE AND SUPPORT
1. My name is Taylor Williams. I was born and raised in Wasington, where I met and fell in love with my husband Jake. On May 6th, 2018 I gave birth to my first child and son Kingsley. Bre asked me if I would be interested in writing a little snidbit for her blog coming out, of course I was thrilled. So here I am, and thought I would share a few things I wish I knew before I gave birth. On May 6th I thought I was prepared as could be, being I’ve watched hours of YouTube, read several books, asked anyone and everyone about their experiences. Truth is, in my opinion, there isn’t really anything that can prepare you for that day. It was the happiest, scariest, best day of my life. It was a personal goal and preference of mine to have an all natural labor, (I am not apposed to pain management), it was the path my mother went and I wanted to fully experience what I was about to go through. I was mentally ready to go in and conquer the day, until about 9 cm I wanted the epidural. I didn’t take it, and I am so happy I was able to push through it. After almost 3 hours of pushing I was feeling very let down, and disappointed. If I had to explain the way it felt in just one word, torture comes to mind. My step mother told me beforehand to imagine the worst pain possible and then some. Now this is my experience- I’ve heard some women have no problem and hardly feel pain, for me that wasn’t the case. There were two moments the three of us shared within the first 24 hours that made all that trauma seem forgettable. The first one was when he finally came out and was laid on my chest. All I could do was just stare at him euphorically, in disbelief that he was here…forever. The second moment was later that night (early morning) after realizing I’ve been awake for more that 24 hours, after all that, and I couldn’t sleep because i’m afraid my baby will stop breathing. Which in a strange way was comforting, I wouldn’t wish it any other way. I look at the sleepless nights as more time I get to spend with my beautiful baby. (Now I’m just ranting!) The next thing I wish I knew before labor was how hard the recovery was going to be, I won’t get into that too much. But I want other postpartum mothers, soon to be mothers, and even the spouses to know how hard it is to love and embrace your body after this experience. I hope you view your body as a beautiful, life-giving temple. That’s exactly what we are. Everything can be fixed, and most things do go back to normal! If you can find the confidence, and have a wonderful spouse or supporter, you will feel just as beautiful, if not more beautiful than before. Be proud, and let every little stretch mark tell your story. And girl, if you think the mama next to you didn’t endure a little change- you’re nuts! Stand tall, the love and pride you have for your baby is something you can’t get from anything or anyone else. Don’t get me wrong, if you have a good spouse who is a loving father to your baby, “dad” has never looked so hot! I wish you all the best!
Truly yours, Taylor
See, you are not alone. We all struggle with something. We all need support. We all need LOVE. Moms far and wide… we LOVE YOU!