Self Care: Make it happen

“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are”
— Marilyn Monroe

As some of you may know and for those of you that don’t, I am a new single mama. This 8 month old requires so much more attention, energy and time than I could have ever expected. While I am completely willing and obligated to give that to her, it can be easy to forget about your own needs in the process. There is a saying that goes “You can’t pour into someone else’s cup if yours is empty.” And it’s true. There is no way that I can take care of her at full capacity if I’m running around on fumes. As difficult as it has been, I have created a self-care routine to make sure I can physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally give my all towards her and everything that I am doing.

How you take care of your body MATTERS.

I do my best to practice good, clean whole food eating while also making sure I am using products that are safe for my child, me and the environment. Where I run into the problem is WHEN I can actually eat. I have my mothers help but most times it is just us at home. I’m making sure she isn’t getting into the dog food bowl (that’s her thing now 🤦🏾‍♀️), nursing her to sleep, washing clothes, cleaning, getting work done…half the day will have gone by and I haven’t eaten. Your food needs the proper nourishment and nutrients to function and being a breastfeeding mama, I need double. Making sure I get that has become a top priority in my daily self care duties. Without food you lack energy, you’re cranky and it just doesn’t feel good to be hungry. It is a daily struggle but I am still doing my best to map out times to eat and get snacks during the day.

Not only is your food and nutrient intake important, but your skincare routine matters just the same. There are a mirage of products that you can use for daily and weekly skincare. I will share a few below that have given me major improvement that I highly recommend. You’re welcome 😊

https://garnersgarden.com/products/eczema-relief-soap
https://urbanskinrx.com/collections/cleansers-exfoliators/products/clear-complexion-cleansing-bar
https://myminimo.com/collections/acne-regimen/products/honeydew-day-night-moisture-cream

Now, for my spiritual and mental health I lean on quite a few things. My walk with God has been a constant and while I may fall to the wayside, as we all do, I hold tightly to my faith thru any circumstance. This didn’t happen overnight and it can be difficult to hold on to when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. At one point, I was seeing a therapist for a couple of years but it’s been a while since I’ve been to him. Please, please if you have or experience feelings of hopelessness or things start to feel overwhelming..there is so much help out there for you. Especially during this Covid Era. You can even reach out to me and I’ll help in whatever I can. I listen to Oprah’s Soul Sessions via Spotify for encouragement and I also have a daily devotional, pictured below.

Available on Amazon for $11.39

These are just a few things I have done my best to incorporate into my daily and weekly self care routines. Being a mother whether single or married, is tough work. We can so easily forget our needs because we have so many other things that need to be taken care of. Don’t forget about yourself. You still matter, mama ❤️

Until next time, smile your way thru it all.

Life during quarantine

It is 11:34pm. My daughter went to sleep around 9-9:30pm. You would think that this would mean I would dive at the chance to finally get some rest. Her day started at 7am. My day has no clear cut lines as to when it started or even ended. I stay up a few hours past when she falls asleep simply because it’s the one part of the day where I have some time to myself. When I do finally go to sleep, I randomly wake up for no reason. Some times it’s to make sure she’s breathing (yes, I still do that) but most times, its just because I’m having a hard time staying asleep. My sleep pattern hasn’t been the same since the uncomfortable portion of pregnancy and ya know..this quarantine hasn’t helped it. There has been a ton of talk about being thankful you get to spend this extra time with family and using this time to enhance your relationship with yourself etc. All of these are valid points. BUT what about the individual who has an infant and is single? What about the woman who just had a baby and had already spent the first few months of her newborns life indoors? What about sis that had one way of dealing with her issues and it was being around those that she loved but now she can’t due to the pandemic? Sis is me. I am sis.


I know I am not the only single mother on the planet. Hell, I actually have some help from my mom and friends. But I still carry 95% of the load when it comes to my Princess. This pandemic has basically made it impossible for my friends to come over and help like they normally would so it has literally just been me and my baby. I thought that being a single mom was tough when she was a newborn. Tuh. Now she’s getting older, more mobile and it’s actually not as easy as when she just used to lay there and sleep. Or cry. Either way, she wasn’t moving. I come in the room the other day to check on her during a nap and she was literally about to crawl right off the edge. Just making my nerves all types of bad. All of that to say, being a single mother during this pandemic has been smiles mixed with some tears. Some days, I feel like I’m killin’ it. Some days, I feel like I’m not sure where the energy is going to come from to tackle the day. It’s a lot. And to not have help that I feel like I could use, it gets tough.


My mom works overnight shifts so when she isn’t here, getting certain things done can be quite eventful. Something so simple as washing the dishes easily turns into a main event. She will sit in her bouncer and be content for maaaybe 5 minutes or so but after that it is like the end of the world. You think I let her sit in there and cry while trying to finish the dishes? Nope. Can’t do it. Just gotta say fxck the dishes. Showers every night? That’s a luxury at this point. Eating? Ahh who needs to eat so much food. You see where I’m going with this. I have yet to find this magical “balance” everyone talks so much about. Yes, balance is in quotations. Only because I feel like people are just afraid sometimes to say they didn’t know wtf they were doing in the beginning of being a mother so they claim a balance just falls upon you. Whatever. I’m not doing that and I’m not saying that either. The balance hasn’t fallen on me yet. At least not in managing the above things.


I love my daughter and I knew raising her on my own wouldn’t be an easy thing. I also wasn’t prepared for the solitude that this pandemic would bring. I went from being in the house often during my pregnancy to not being able to leave the house for the first 3 months of her life to being stuck in the house AGAIN. The extrovert in me is crying real tears. I’m too fearful to even leave the house with Leilani when outside opens back up because I don’t want to put her at any type of risk whatsoever. If it seems as though I had a really huge cup of black coffee next time you see me, don’t be alarmed. It’s just my body’s way of reacting to actual adult human contact.

Being a single mother is tough. Don’t let me sharing that get you confused on the absolute joy and warmth my heart feels every time I stare in this little girls eyes. She is a freaking masterpiece. And if I could quarantine with anyone in the world, it would be her. I also can’t wait to tell her about this nonsense. Stay safe everyone and please, wash your hands. Until next time, sending everyone lots of love and virtual hugs 🥰

— Loren Marie

let’s try this again

It has been a while since I’ve posted a blog. Not that I have many to begin with BUT I told myself that I would do my best to be consistent with this and well…I did the complete opposite. Not because I didn’t know what to say but because I was scared to say what I actually wanted to.

I had a friend share something on Facebook about being transparent versus being vulnerable. When I googled the difference myself, I found this: Transparency merely refers to the quality of being upfront and forthright. Vulnerability refers to something much more sacred and significant, as it involves exposing the tender places of one’s soul. When we say someone is being transparent, we mean they’re not attempting to hide anything. This struck a chord throughout my whole entire soul. I created this blog with the mere intent of being transparent with all of you. I was selective in what I was being upfront and forthright about. I have shared some vulnerable moments but even within those I managed to still filter out what I felt would be too exposing or make me look bad. It wasn’t dishonest but it sure as hell wasn’t 100% honest either. I have shared some extremely vulnerable situations with the world, but recently I just didn’t have the courage to do it anymore. You can say it was for fear of being judged or fear of having people look at me differently. I’m going to tell you that I was ashamed, embarrassed and disappointed in myself and there was no way that I could let you all see and know what that looked like from me. My apologies for not being 100% of who I said I would be when this all started.

With that being said, allow me to reintroduce myself. I am Loren and I am a single mom, entrepreneur, dancing artist/instructor and a human being who has made and learned from many of her colorful mistakes. I have a 7 month old daughter, Leilani, who has become the light of my world. I have 0 ties with her father, so it is me, her granny and her beautiful group of aunties/uncles who are holding this little flower child down. I experienced the toughest heartbreak/separation from someone and it haunts me daily. I know that with God, therapy and time, healing is possible. I have allowed myself the grace to know that I won’t heal from that overnight. I have done many things in the past that I am far from proud of but good or bad, it has molded me into who I am today.

The other thing is that I felt like no one was really coming to read my posts and I had to remind myself, AGAIN, that I didn’t initially create this blog longing for people to come to it. That is a good thing but this was just a way for me to share and that is what it should remain. It doesn’t matter how many people, if any, see this. If anyone is reading this and you feel like you need to do some reintroducing in your own life, go ahead. You are always free to start over and begin anew. If you have any questions for me or want to know anything, feel free to ask. I am open to any and all questions. I pray each and everyone you is being safe and healthy during this pandemic. Love, peace and happiness to all of you. Until next time…

S%*^ Happens

I hate change. I understand that it is a necessary part of life. I accept it BUT I still hate it. Whether it’s major or minor, any type of change exasperates my soul. What I am about to share with you has completely changed the trajectory of my whole world. You may have to fill in the blanks (or not) but I will be as transparent as I can be with the situation. After all, I know on one of these blogs I said I would be that way for my readers. However, there are some things I will choose to leave out of this one.

I made a terrible mistake.

Yup. Me and all of my human flesh made a pretty terrible mistake. An awful mistake. I have never tried to make myself seem like I was perfect or even close to it. That being said, I legit f**ked up. Now that I know I was wrong, in so many ways and on so many different levels, I have to somehow fix what I messed up. We have all encountered an issue in life that just felt like it was far beyond repair. This is that one for me. So…what do you do when you don’t know what to do?

Admitting when you were wrong can be a grueling task. You have been faced with finding out you were wrong, then you have to sit with that and THEN admit it? Yeah, that’s a lot. Kudos to anyone who has been strong enough to get to that stage in the mistake process. This has been the toughest part. A full admittance of guilt. I have had to come to the realization that not only have made my own life tough, but others also. Everyone involved deserves a full explanation, those directly affected anyways. That is what I have done. After doing that, you don’t get to regulate how someone deals with the information. You just have to move forward. Which, honestly, is always easier said than done. It has been some weeks since I had to step forward and face the ugly fact that I was wrong. Honestly, it has taken me weeks to be able to come back to finish this post because I had grown fearful of sharing this with you all. I am constantly having to remind myself that my sole purpose for creating this blog was to share my stories in hopes that someone is pushed, motivated or inspired in some sort of way by me sharing my truth. Good people make mistakes. In order to move forward you have to admit you were wrong, apologize, make the correction and just don’t make the same mistake again. And if you do..repeat the above steps until you get it right.

Life has been pretty hectic and I am so excited to share more of what’s been happening! In order to find out though, you’ll just have to wait and seeeeee. Until next time lovelies! Thank you for your continued support and I hope you’ll subscribe and share me with a friend!

Sometimes this is just how I feel.

We don’t have control over everything. We can only control what we can control. Same thing goes for people. It’s like when you raise a child. You raise them with love, values, morals and wisdom in hopes that they don’t stray from all of your life lessons. Do we really have control in the long term? Absolutely not. You are allowed to feel angry, hurt, and upset. What you shouldn’t do is hold on to that anger for too long. Take it from a person who has held on to her own for way too long…

If you’re new to this blog, I’ll fill you in. I wasn’t pregnant for 29 years of my life. The last 5 of those I spent going back and forth with someone I shouldn’t have. I end up getting pregnant by this person and *cues anger* fast forward to now, I have an immense amount of anger I need to let go of. The emotion itself isn’t what is bad. It’s how you let it affect and how you choose to deal with it. I had forgiven this person for what they did during my pregnancy. Even after my child was born I told myself I would extend some grace. Now, new things have surfaced that have caused me to revert to many of the same feelings I previously had. It is not ok. Anger is at the top of the list. That anger is for my baby girl. Things haven’t been fair for her, on his part, and I am quite sick of it.

If you ask him he might say he is doing his best. Well ya know, sometimes a person’s best ain’t at their best. And it isn’t enough. Not when you see them doing exceedingly above and beyond in other situations. So…your best is a mediocre version of your actual best? Nah. That’s why I’m angry.

I know I have more healing to do. I am doing everything in my power to be completely healed. To take my power back. To be sitting at the top of a mountain and being able to scream I’M FREE at the top of my lungs. I am going to take my time, but I won’t take forever. I got some freedom to indulge in.

As always, thank you for coming to read my thoughts. I can only hope that which each post someone is inspired to share or is motivated to make a change of their own. Feel free to comment, like or share. Sending love and light your way.

Oh, what a year.

These last 3 months have been something like a dream. Or one of those movies that you watch and think “that would never happen to me” but real life is where movies actually get their inspiration, not the other way around. I am writing this today because I recently spent time around someone I hadn’t spent time with in a while and it. was. draining. Emotionally. You ever be around a person and it feels like their energy is literally pulling from yours. The worst part is..I’m not speaking of it in a bad context. This person honestly makes you feel good to be around but once they are away you feel like you have to go plug yourself into a wall somewhere and recharge. It shows me that I have come far but still have a long way to go.
When I started this blog, I was pregnant and experiencing so much in my life. I had to take a break my from my career as a dancer, the anticipation of being a single mom was knocking at the door of my anxiety and I was going thru the biggest spiritual shift of my life. I wanted a platform, no matter the size, to get my story told for someone who may be afraid to share theirs. So many individuals could be experiencing what you are and need to hear your story and just how you got thru it or how you are getting thru it now. It’s ok to share what the center of the storm is like while you are walking thru it. I love that I am able to be fully transparent with my readers with no judgement (some of you might be judging but *shoulder shrug* oh well).
As we near the end of a decade and make our way into a new one, I never would’ve imagined the growth, the love and the child that I am bringing into it with me. Leilani has caused me to do some serious self-reflecting because I want her existence to be one that is full of pure joy. I never thought it would make sense for me to have her without doing some excavating of all of the things that I considered made me look less than. Our society can be so consumed with looking good on the outside. What about your heart? Your relationship with God? (or whoever you believe in) The relationships you have with your family or friends turned family?
2019 was a year of so many things. A year of unlearning, aligning myself with what I would like my new core values to be, forgiveness and allowing myself to feel whatever emotions I experienced instead of tossing them to the side. I also spent the majority of the year pregnant and man…it was such a complete shift in my lifestyle. There were times where I cried because I felt like I was missing out on everything. Not just fun things but dance related things. Gigs, shows..you name it, I missed it. That time did give me the chance to be in the audience and support my loved ones who were still doing great things.
There was so much that I felt I had to unlearn and not because my mother did a horrible job raising me. I am most definite that she did the absolute best with everything she had. There was just a lot that I’ve noticed and learned as an adult that I would like to change for my own child as she grows and learns about the world around her. Some of it is not necessarily a “generational curse” breaking type of thing. I am just choosing to no longer do or be involved in behavior that I feel isn’t helpful towards myself or my daughter becoming a better human being.

FORGIVENESS (whew)

This one here. This took so much out of me but replaced that energy with something even greater. We have to learn to forgive. It is not only helpful to us here on Earth as we navigate thru life but it is also helpful for your soul. God commands that we do so or He will not extend that grace to us. I literally had to buy a whole book on forgiveness and when I tell you I have never felt more free in my life. I knew that forgiving those that have harmed me, forgiving myself and asking God for forgiveness would set me free from all the pain that I was experiencing. Now, don’t get it twisted. Forgiveness is a constant behavior that we must practice DAILY. Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. You are only hurting yourself and the other person is walking around living their best life while you are sitting bitter and upset. It is not worth it. I thank God that I was finally able to truly forgive those that I needed to.

2019 definitely taught me more about myself. While I still have so much more to learn as I also learn about Baby Lei, I am forever open to the endless possibilities that God will place into my world. I feel like I fell behind in tons of my work, especially with Hearts in Motion, but I will be coming back in the new year to continue on with my dream. Leilani has changed the trajectory of so much, 2020 and on has to be it.
I hope that whatever changes you had to make in 2019 carry on to 2020 and beyond. Remember, you are beautifully and wonderfully made because God created you extra special with a dash of awesomeness. May your new decade of life be one filled with love, light, happiness and success. See you next year! And as always, feel free to like/share/comment this or any of my blog posts.

May your world always be filled with light as you travel throughout life.

Things NO ONE tells you

Hey ya’ll! ok…so I feel that I need to comprise a list of things that nobody decides to tell you about once your baby arrives. After having these things happen to me, I really want to share them with you guys, whether you plan on having a child, already have one or just need a good laugh. And this is shit that happens almost everyday. I’m always alone when it happens so no one else gets to get in on this stuff. Some of it has been serious “WTF, why would no one share that” moments. Here is what people are afraid to share…not me though.

No matter how hard you try you will hit your baby’s head on the roof of the car putting them in the car seat. And obviously not knock them out hard but a baby ain’t always perfectly still when you’re putting them in there so there have been a few “Oops, my bad baby” apologies happen. Now, I go ahead and already have her in the car seat so I don’t have to worry about that transfer. Don’t look at me like that…you know that happened to you at least once.

Baby acne. This one really had me gone. You bring home this beautiful baby that possesses skin many of us are paying money to have then BOOM. One morning you wake up and notice small bumps on the face of your little one. I do my best NOT to run to Google for stuff (the internet will have you thinking the worst) however, I had to go online to see what this was about. Sure enough, it’s a thing. Apparently, it has to do with hormones from mom (insert some science, genetic stuff) and it goes away at some point. I was terrified that I did something wrong. Whew.

Scheduling. I read some articles that talked about how to schedule a baby’s sleep time. What those articles didn’t say was that what they were saying is BS. You are on the schedule of the newborn until further notice. At first, I was driving myself crazy with trying to stay on a schedule with her feedings and sleeping. Finally, I gave in to the schedule she created and things have been going a whole lot smoother than before. Not only that, we are on a schedule without ACTUALLY having to create one. It works for now and if it needs to be tweeked, I should be able to. I say should but who knows. I’m not forcing anything anymore.

Sleep when the baby sleeps. This is the most nonsense I’ve heard since having her. So…you’re telling me that after being up with her feeding, changing diapers, tummy time, feeding again and putting her down for a nap I am supposed to then sleep? When do I get to eat, go pee, brush my teeth, shower….you see where I’m going with this. That shit is unrealistic for me and if it has worked for any other moms out there, please, share your story so I can know how you did it. I have instead decided to use my village privilege and schedule naps/chores. It’s the only way I can truly get stuff done. Sleep when the baby sle….puh-lease.

These are just a few things. If you are a mom or close with one, you know this list is way more extensive in real life. We ain’t out here being Instagram worthy 24/7. I am not afraid to admit it. I wish everyone could just go ahead and keep it real about stuff like this. Go ahead, comment and share with me something YOU found out that no one told you.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and read my blog. Check out some of my other blogs posts while you’re here. Always sending much love, light + happiness to you and yours.

Believe me when I say…

this will be my first and ONLY child. I know what some of you might be thinking. “Oh, Loren. You’re just saying that. You may meet a man that you will fall so in love with” blazay blazay blah.

Since before I gave birth I knew that Leilani would be my first and last child. Pregnancy was just too much for me. I feel damn near traumatized from labor/giving birth. Now, figuring out life with a newborn (I assume I’m doing well since she smiles and is still breathing) but MAN this phase is tough.
There is literally nothing about any of those phases that makes me want to do this again. I know, I haven’t experienced the other bigillion things that make being a mother so awesome. But I know that after what has already taken place..DIS IT. I’m not sure why people think a change your mind fairy is going to wave his wand and change how I feel.
That isn’t even half of why I know this is my only child. Keep reading, you’ll hopefully understand why or at least feel where I’m coming from. That whole man changing my mind thing, that I hear far too often, is crazy. Any man that I date from this point forward is going to have to 1. have his own kids or 2. be fine with adopting. But a child from this body?!?! Nope. Now, let me dig deeper into this for those of you that think I’m just talking out of the side of my neck.

MONEY

I haven’t had to shell out thousands by this point. I’m thankful to have had so many people decide to shower my princess with everything that she needs. I haven’t had to buy diapers but I have had to purchase formula for when I supplement. That shit ain’t cheap. I couldn’t imagine having to buy that all the time. Then, I start thinking about all of the expenses as she gets older. Food, extra-curricular activities, babysitters, fun..it’s a no for me in doubling that expense. Which leads me to telling you why I FOR SURE am not having another child.

My Career

I am a dancing artist. When I was pregnant and weeks after delivery, I had to give my career a break. My income took a major hit during these months. Not only that, there were so many opportunities that I was unable to be part of. So many. I know that I wouldn’t be able to take another big break like that. No dancing means a portion of my income is gone. I would be lying if I said the transition was easy. I am just really getting back into working after being off for so long. Le’ struggle has been real.

My Lih Body

I have previously mentioned all that the body goes thru when creating a human. With that description in mind (check my previous post,) getting back into dancing has been difficult. My body doesn’t move like it once did and figuring out how to now move with my current body has been a challenge. I know that my body may never move like it once did and I have to adjust to how it is now. Experiencing another drastic, physical change would not benefit me in any way.

Age

I am 30 years old. I’m not old, don’t get it twisted. But I ain’t exactly no spring chicken. Having a child at this age isn’t uncommon for the times that we are living in. In fact, women are having children much later in their lives. I didn’t plan on having my child but now that I have had one at my age, I know this is it. I’ll be 50 when my daughter is 20. I’m good.

I could go on and on but you get where I’m coming from. There are people in life who want to have more than one child and there are people like me who are completely fine with the one they have. Please, believe me when I say I am not having another child. I was an only child. Leilani will do just fine.

Feel free to comment or share! I love your feedback and opinions on the topics I choose to blog. Your support is always appreciated.

I am NOT a monster

I have been having an extremely difficult time getting to this laptop to create. Then, I struggled with what to even share with all of you so that kept me away even longer. It wasn’t until last night when I ran into someone and they told me that they thought me sharing my journey thru pregnancy and motherhood was beautiful. Also, that I’ve probably helped more people than I may realize or even intended to. Being open with things helps me deal with them. As open as I have been wanting to be about my current place in life…finding the words to share has been a challenge. Being a mom has been the most challenging thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. If you would’ve told me a year ago that I would have a daughter today, my exact response minus the facial expression, “You play too much. Hush.” So today, I am choosing to share some of my struggles with being a mom. It has many rewards but I think that society can make us feel like monsters for feeling certain things and I am here to tell you, THOSE FEELINGS ARE VALID AND WE ARE NOT MONSTERS. We are human beings with normal emotions like anyone else.

Missing My Life Pre-baby.

This one definitely sits at the top of my list. You are allowed to miss what life was BEFORE baby arrived. I literally went from being able to randomly go out of town to having to schedule when I’m going to take a shower. THAT is a complete culture shock. I am one of the most spontaneous people I know in life and with a baby things just can’t be that way. There would be days where I would I just go and get a drink at a bar, go to the park to create, hit the gym, go out to eat…I have always been able to do things alone and now I have a little one that will scream like a banshee if I walk away for more than 10 minutes. You are not selfish for missing those things. You can be thankful for your child and also miss what life used to be before they arrived.

Dis Body.

Maaaaaannnn….I honestly feel like I could write a book on the pain I’ve been experiencing since giving birth. Yes, I know. It took 9 months to create this human. In that time, the trauma that both my insides and outsides took was extensive. Then BOOM. You got a baby in your arms and your insides feel like a hurricane just ripped right thru you. I imagine inside it looks like a pot of gumbo. Organs just all misplaced, floating around. And what’s even worse? People expect you to be brand new after 6 weeks. 6 weeks?!?!? You expect me to feel normal and better in 6 weeks? THEN to top that, I’ve had a family get a whole attitude with me when I told her I was still in pain. She literal tried to justify this by saying I had a vaginal birth, so I’m alright. Ya’ll…the look on my face. I’m not sure who conditioned women to have these thoughts about what your body would be like after childbirth or what’s expected of you but know this: It took 9 months for this to happen. It sure as hell will take that amount of time and maybe longer to get back to even a remotely normal physical place. Inside and out. You can miss your pre-baby body, girl. I sure as hell miss mine.

Dancin Mama.

Before Lei was conceived, I was a dancing machine. Literally. Dance had been my whole entire world prior to pregnancy. I performed right up to my 5-6 month of pregnancy and taught up until my last trimester. Fast forward, baby arrives and 2 weeks later I am at some auditions. Was this wise for my body? Nope. Not at all. Do I feel 100% physically, now? Also no. I got to see another dancin mama last night and she says “Don’t worry, your core will return eventually.” BRUH. My pelvic floor, core, knees, back…errthang is SHOT. This mama just wants to be able to move again like she once did. Long gone are the days were I could try something without fear of what I would feel like the next morning. There is that and then finding someone I trust to watch baby girl while I rehearse or have a performance. Needless to say, she has been to some rehearsals with me and that will more than likely be her life for quite some time. Mama gotta do what she gotta do. I want my daughter to see and know that she doesn’t have to give up on her path just because her circumstances have changed. My life went from being a solo to a forever duet. It will take some more adjusting but trust me, the show ain’t over.

Emotions.

If I thought my psychological state was sensitive during pregnancy, I surely wasn’t prepared for how it would be during the postpartum stage. I have moments where I get so overwhelmed about things I probably shouldn’t be allowing to get to me. That on top of what is already causing me to be anxious are not helpful: Crying baby, juggling when I will shower, taking time to eat actual food, walking the dog so she doesn’t do her business in the house…WHEW. I got sweaty just thinking about how each day goes while I’m at home. At times I think “what on earth did I get myself into,” this can weigh heavily on a person sometimes. Support for moms of newborns is so necessary because you can feel like you are losing it at moments. I have God, my beautiful circle of sisters and therapy to keep my sanity in check. And of course, my baby girl is the top reason I know I have to keep my emotions in line. However, it doesn’t mean to ignore them completely. Taking care of yourself is important to be able to take care of your little one.

Motherhood changes everything.

WE are not monsters for feeling how we may feel after giving birth. Your life does a complete 180 degrees. Especially if you are a first time mom. Out of all of the books I’ve read, great advice I’ve been given…one thing that has stuck with me be kind to yourself during this time. Your baby will love you unconditionally no matter what. Give your child the love and care they will need to grow into an amazing human being. And when it gets rough, take some time to yourself even if only 10 minutes out of the day. It’s ok. You are NOT a monster for doing so.

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Birthing Leilani

“There is power that comes to women when they give birth. They don’t ask for it, it simply invades them. Accumulates like clouds on the horizon and passes through, carrying the child with it.”
-Sheryl Feldman

My baby girl is here! And let me tell you..it has taken weeks to get to this laptop and create this blog post to share my birthing experience with all of you. On September 13, 2019, not only was Leilani born, a newer version of myself was born also..

I’ll start from early labor

My 39 week appointment was scheduled for September 11, 2019. The nurse asked if I would like to have cervix checked for dilation. My midwife, Kathleen, told me that checking may or may not encourage labor. My response? “Hell to the yes! After checking, she tells me I am slightly effaced (cervix is thin) and probably about a couple of centimeters dilated. In all honesty, I was hoping this check got things going and SOON. I had been doing things on my own at home and none of it seemed to be working. I was over being pregnant you guys. So tired. Anyways, my appointment was at noon. I came home and proceeded to go on about my normal business.

I was at home watching tv when…

around 5pm I began having contractions. They were happening at irregular intervals and weren’t painful so I decided to hold off on calling my support and midwife. It was between 11pm and midnight when things started to get more intense. The contractions were happening at more regular intervals, 10 minutes apart. I decided to give the heads up to my support and a few of my girlfriends. (Mind you, these things feel like I’m dying and coming back to life every 10 minutes and I was alone.) Contractions were about 7-9 minutes apart after midnight, so I decided to go ahead and call Kathleen. She instructed that I just do what I can to make myself comfortable and give her a call in the morning. She also told me that if anything drastic took place to go ahead and call back right away. (She called it y’all. This baby was coming after that appointment lol) I went to the bathroom and noticed I lost some of my mucus plug and all I was thinking was, “Oh shit. I’m really going to have this baby soon.”

My mom was off at 7am and got to the house around 8am. Tasha got to the house around 9am and Mrs. Ann got here a little after her. That morning I got zero sleep. From midnight to when they got here..whew, it was tough. The exercise ball and being on all 4s really helped me most during the contractions. That, along with focusing on my breath (Thanks Joana). Experiencing the beginning of it alone wasn’t ideal, but with God and my friends checking on me, I made it to the morning. We called Kathleen when my contractions were about 5 minutes apart. She told me to go ahead and come in at noon. By noon, I was ready to go. We get to the birth center and now the only thing left to do is wait.

“My dream is that every woman, everywhere, will know the joy of a truly safe, comfortable, and satisfying birthing for herself and her baby.”

Oh, what a wait it was. Baby Lei decided she was going to take 40 hours to get here. I was hitting 5cm and sitting, 7cm and sitting…just crawling up to 10cm slowly. I was expecting to deliver her in the tub but that didn’t happen. My cervix never fully effaced so it had to be moved out of the way to deliver her. She was adamant about sitting inside of me lol. The physical pain of labor was like nothing I’ve ever experienced and will ever experience again. At some point, I know the energy was coming from nobody but God because I just didn’t have it in me to keep going. I almost wanted to give up and go to the hospital multiple times. But I remembered, I gave myself the task of delivering this baby naturally and that’s what was going to happen. It was tough, extremely tough. My support was so helpful. Right up until the minute she left, Mrs. Ann was making sure that I was good and had everything I needed. My mom, was there for the whole duration. And Tasha, my sister, she was such a help to me. She is a whole school teacher (she missed work for me and Lei ya’ll) but never left my side. Towards the end when I wanted to give UP, she didn’t let me. I am forever thankful for the love and care from all 3 of them during my labor and birth.

Overall, my experience at North Houston Birth Center with Kathleen and her amazing team of women was priceless. Each visit was in-depth and we discussed just about everything you can think of when it comes to pregnancy and birth. Kathleen was always very honest with me and I appreciate that so much. Joana, who was the on site doula, is so sweet and I still keep in contact with her. Her classes were amazing and extremely helpful. Was giving birth the most difficult thing I’ve ever done physically AND mentally? Yes. Would I trade the experience? Absolutely not.

“A miracle is really the only way to describe motherhood and giving birth. It’s unbelievable how God has made us women and babies to endure and be able to do so much. A miracle, indeed. Such an incredible blessing.”
– Jennie Finch