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 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

When someone shows you they are…

I recently was listening to Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations, a podcast available on Spotify, and it was her Best Lifesaving Lessons episode. It began with her reflecting on one of the many life lessons she learned with her mentor, Maya Angelou.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the FIRST time.

Far too many times have we been on the side where we allowed someone to show us who they were but chose to stay and not believe them. We stayed with hopes that ONE DAY they would be different. ONE DAY they would see how much you love them and change for you. Next moment, you look up and realize you’ve been waiting years for one day that never came. And who do we blame? The other person. “She knew she didn’t want me, why would she waste my time,” “If he knew he couldn’t be faithful, why would he commit to me?” It’s easier to place the blame on others when we’ve been hurt by them but the truth of the matter is, YOU had every opportunity to prevent this heartache from happening but you didn’t believe who they told you they were.

Take a look at my story with this very topic. (Real names are being left out because I am choosing to be kind.)

I met a guy a little over 5 years ago who completely sweeped me off of my feet. Not in a love way, but in a “Oh My Gosh this man is so hot and I want his body” type of way. We exchanged information and it was honestly a roller coaster after that. I had never, in my adult years, been with a man who made me feel like I was the only woman in the room. It was the most exhilarating, spontaneous, titillating and enchanting romance. Behind all of that spellbinding energy, was a person who kept many secrets, told lies and was selfish without even realizing how selfish he was. I knew this because he told me in more ways than one. I, however, made the choice to continue forward with the thought that if I continue to love on him that it would change those negative characteristics. I went into this not even wanting anything other than a physical relationship but after the time spent, the intimacy…it was everything that said he wanted me to be his woman. See…I am an action person. And all of his actions pointed to what I wanted to see but at the same time they pointed to what I needed to see but didn’t want to. Confusing right?

Time passes and I slowly begin to learn the truth about many things. He had a relationship that I was unaware of, well…I had no proof. He had a relationship with the mother of his child and that…chile, that was the strangest co-parenting relationship I’ve ever witnessed. What did this crash dummy do even in the midst of all these revelations? I stayed. I really thought that even with all his baggage that he would have room for me, even after being told he didn’t. He didn’t even have room to make room. (I’ll spare more you more of the story because this is a blog, not a novel.) Fast forward to August 2019 and I am pregnant with (yup, you guessed it) his child.

Did I learn my lesson? You bet your lucky bottom I did…just not soon enough. The only thing I regret from that lesson is that I didn’t learn it immediately. Believing him the first time, would have saved me a lot of heartache. I was so attached to my own idea of what he could be that I didn’t take the time to see who he was, even AFTER he told me a trillion times. I am thankful, super thankful for my bundle of blessing and the lessons I learned from him. I don’t need to be hit in the head repetitively anymore FOR A WHILE.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the FIRST time.

Maya Angelou

The Truth of My Life

If you’re reading this…

Stop wasting time because you have a limited amount of time to do what you have to do. Make the DECISION to step into the truth of your life.

— Oprah.

In my life, I’ve learned that people will appreciate you more for simply being who you are. There are way too many of us trying to duplicate things that have already been done. The world will love you more for who you ALREADY ARE. It took me years to realize that. Honesty begins within. The moment you are able to be honest with yourself, it will make your connections with other human beings more genuine and allow for more true connections to take place.

Becoming pregnant is initially what sparked my interest in creating a blog. I had been receiving so many comments on my level of transparency during this time, that I decided to go ahead and create a platform where I can continue to share my truth with a broader audience. This blog will cover my experiences as a pregnant professional dancer, a first time mom, a single mom and so much more. You will learn my story and become part of my world and I am so excited to allow you in. I may not be the conventional blogger and that is completely fine with me.

I won’t hold back! I can only hope that me sharing my story will inspire someone out there to know that being true to your story is what will help you grow, no matter how many flaws your story has.

Welcome to Life with Loren Marie!

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Loren Marie.

When I moved to Houston about 12 years ago, I came here with 0 intention. I know, you probably weren’t expecting me to say that. But it’s true. I did not have any idea of what I wanted to do or who I wanted to become. I was really unsure of my true purpose in life.

I grew up dancing but didn’t pursue it as a career until a little over 5 years ago. I also began teaching around that time. I originally went to Texas Southern University but soon realized that was not what I was passionate about. Dance was my true passion. It was always dance and out of fear, I chose not to do what I was destined to do. In 2012, I attended Houston Community College where my life would soon be changed forever. I received my Associates degree and have had such an amazing career in dance from being a company member travelling and performing to working with youth everywhere to give them everything that I’ve acquired over the years in the professional dance world.

In 2019, my career and life took a major shift. I FOUND OUT I WAS PREGNANT. As a dancer who did not have a baby in future plans, this hit me pretty hard. It is also the same reason I decided to create this blog. There are so many women who need to know that there are others in the world that understand what they are going thru.

I am women. She is me. This blog will cover topics like pregnancy along with:

  • Being a first time mommy
  • The transition of a dancer into pregnancy and motherhood
  • Relationships (family, friends and everything in between)
  • Product reviews
  • …and more

If you are interested in a collaboration, do not hesitate to contact me via email. You can also find me on Instagram and Facebook. I will be creating a Twitter account soon and will let you all know when it is posted and ready to tweet!