The TMI Tag

I saw this on another page and I think it’s a cute tag. I think everything’s cute though and that’s not a problem. Anyway, here’s my answers to the questions.

1. What are you wearing? Fuzzy leopard pajama pants and a baggy black sweater. My hair is in a bun and I look like the ideal image of a lazy mom.

2. Ever been in love? Why yes I have.

3. Ever had a terrible breakup? Not really. Only because I’ve never been in many serious relationships.

4. How tall are you? 5’3″

5. How much do you weigh? I weigh enough. ๐Ÿ˜› Honestly, I wouldn’t mind answering this if I carried weight normally. I look way lighter than the number on the scale if that makes sense at all. So, I tend to keep my weight to myself and not worry too much about numbers.

6. Any tattoos? Yep. I have a half sleeve on my left arm, an anchor on my wrist, another smaller tattoo on my right arm and a small tattoo on my left shoulder. I plan on getting more, potentially this year. The plan is to have 2 arms sleeves and start on my thigh pieces soon.

7. Any piercings? Yes. I have both my nostrils pierced and my septum, and 2 holes in both my ears. Debating on adding either a medusa piercing or re-piercing my lip sometime in the near future.

8. OTP? Okay, I had to look up what this means. I’m not into fandoms.

9. Favorite show? House, True Blood, Dexter, and currently Vikings

10. Favorite bands? Pink Floyd, The Black Dahlia Murder, Slayer, and I will forever be a Misfits fan.

11. Something you miss? My old apartment. We’re currently living in a tiny ass house to save money to pay off debt and have a clean slate for our dream home and it gets cramped some days. I’m a cuddly and affectionate person, but I wish I had my own room to craft and create and get away from everyone sometimes.

12. Favorite song? Well, I can’t really think of any right now. My favorite album for the past few weeks has been “Pain is Beauty” by Chelsea Wolfe though.

13. How old are you? 25.

14. Zodiac sign? Scorpio

15. Quality you look for in a partner? Kindness, the ability to listen and hold a conversation with me. Being open minded and willing to accept the world is a huge place filled with many different kinds of people. I like humor in partners, but I don’t like people that find humor in sexism and racism and that tends to disqualify a lot of people.

16. Favorite quote? Shit, this one is hard for me because I love so many quotes. Here’s one of my favorites though:
โ€œI can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.โ€ -Sylvia Plath

17. Favorite actor? I don’t really know…?

18. Favorite color? Black. Okay, that’s not a color technically. I guess it would have to be purple. I actually adore all shades of purple.

19. Loud or soft music? If you saw my answer for favorite bands you can probably guess I love loud music ๐Ÿ™‚

20. Where do you go when youโ€™re sad? I tend to knit or paint alone when I’m sad. It distracts me enough to not really feel much of anything.

21. How long does it take you to shower? 5-7 minutes. I’ve perfected the art of quick, yet efficient showers after having 2 kids.

22. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? It depends on what I’m doing, but anywhere between 30 mins-1 hour.

23. Ever been in a physical fight? No. I tend to stay away from people in general.

24. Turn on? Long conversations about anything and everything and listening to music with me.

25. Turn off? arrogance, racism, sexism, the use of the word “sapiosexual” and condescending individuals in general.

26. The reason I joined [WordPress]? I think I originally created my blog to post about my pregnancy and birth experiences and people started asking for beauty advice. I evolved.

27. Fears? Burning alive and being in a situation where I can’t save one or both of my kids.

28. Last thing that made you cry? Feeling overwhelmed because me and both kids are very sick.

29. Last time you said you loved someone? Just a few hours ago I told Jeremy I loved him before we went to bed.

30. Meaning behind your username? After my kids.
Piper Luna Marie
Harmony Elaine Faye
So, I’m technically “Moon Fairy Beauty”

31. Last book you read? Finally finished the second book of the Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children series. Very very good, by the way.

32. The book youโ€™re currently reading? A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

33. Last show you watched? Jeremy has been on a Friends kick which by default means I’m watching it too…

34. Last person you talked to? I suppose that would be my boyfriend.

35. The relationship between you and the last person you texted? She’s my momma.

36. Favorite food? Cheesecake and burritos. I am now great at not indulging in cheesecake often, but I am a sucker for a great burrito.

37. Place you want to visit? Scotland, and I eventually want to go back to France and Hungary to explore a bit more.

38. Last place you were? I went to my parents house on Sunday and that’s been about it since I’m sick.

39. Do you have a crush? I’m not in middle school anymore?

40. Last time you kissed someone? Today

41. Last time you were insulted? It’s nearly impossible to insult me. I’ve been called “fat,” I’ve been slut shamed etc and none of it really hurts me personally. I end up feeling sorry for the people throwing the insults.

42. Favorite flavor of sweet? Watermelon and blueberry. I went through a phase where I was eating sour patch watermelons every time I went to Target.

43. What instruments do you play? I play some guitar. Still learning.

44. Favorite piece of jewelery? My engagement ring. It used to be my granny’s (she’s passed) and it means so much to me. Way more than what a ring from a store could ever mean for me.

45. Last sport you played? I played soccer in high school. I still like to play tennis here and there when there’s time.

46. Last song you sang? Probably a song from some kids show.

47. Favorite chat up line? …wut?

48. Have you ever used it? ….wut?

49. Last time you hung out with anyone? I hang out with my kids everyday ๐Ÿ™‚ no but seriously I make sure to “hang out” with Jeremy at least once a week, even if it’s for just a few hours.

50. Who should answer these questions next? Everyone!

My Lessons as a First Time Mom

As many currently know, I am pregnant with my second child. I wanted to take a few minutes to express some of my own personal experiences from my first daughter to possibly pass on to someone that may need it.

1. Even if your baby is born in the middle of summer, buy long sleeves

Oh man, I wish I had listened to my mom on that one. I know how tempting it is to buy little sleeveless dresses and such, and that’s fine, but make sure to have some long sleeved onesies and blankets as well. Even though adults get hot in the summer, tiny newborn babies still get cold unless they are right up against your skin. I learned this the hard way the first time I tried to put Harmony in a cute sleeveless dress and she turned purple 5 minutes later. When my best friend had her daughter almost a year after mine I made sure to bring her a blanket and some long sleeved shirts to the hospital. She thanked me a few days later because she had also fell for all those cute sleeveless dresses and outfits.

2. Breastfeeding is worth it, but it’s not always easy

We’ve all read it in some book while pregnant. They make us think that breastfeeding is a magical event where a baby is born and immediately latches on perfectly. Then the heavens open up and light shines down on this beautiful act and milk flows from the mother’s breast like a waterfall. Wrong. Totally wrong. Breastfeeding is easy to some people, but it’s not easy for everyone. I was unlucky enough to be in a not so baby friendly hospital and Harmony was taken away from me for 4 hours after I delivered her. After that we battled latch problems, jaundice, weight loss, and a tongue tie. If I hadn’t been a part of a local breastfeeding support group or had Jeremy there to coach me (he was truly a wonderful and supportive partner) I probably would’ve given up. It’s hard enough to deal with the weird hormone fluctuations after birth, and if you add nursing problems on top of it it can all make you feel pretty worthless and emotionally exhausted. However, if you’re able to team up with other iron breasted mommas and a good lactation consultant and make it work out, please do so. I promise you won’t regret it at all. Breastfeeding is such a wonderful and loving experience, and not to mention there are so many benefits to both momma and baby.

3. The weight will come off eventually

I hate that our media has let us think that all women are capable of looking normal again 6 weeks or less after giving birth. Some women drop weight so quickly, and that’s fine, but it’s not a standard we should all hold ourselves up to. I dropped weight quickly with Harmony, but I still didn’t look “normal.” I looked squishy, and well, like a new mom. I ate healthy and made sure to breastfeed on demand, and that’s what helped me out to look and feel normal again. Please don’t try to work out for 4 hours a couple of weeks after you give birth. I promise it’s not healthy. It took your body almost a year to create a life, give it some time to readjust on its own. That’s not to say that you should still eat ice cream every other night and load up on carbs at 1 am…

Give yourself some time. Being healthy emotionally is just as important as physically after having a baby.

4. Don’t be afraid to say something if you’re feeling down

I made that mistake. I’m someone that has always bottled up every feeling ever until I emotionally implode. It’s not something I’m proud of. Baby Blues are common after birth. I remember the day after Harmony was born my mom said something and I just cried and cried. She didn’t even say anything bad. Crying randomly is normal, and most will claim that feeling blue for 6 weeks or so after birth is normal, but if it goes on after that…talk to someone. Please. Talk to a doctor or a family member. The crying stopped for me, but then I started to feel very down most of the time. I blamed it on life, but looking back I know that I should have sought help. I was alone often at work and I caught myself putting myself down and calling myself a worthless mother. I thought I was a burden on everyone, including my daughter. It got to a point where I started to convince myself that everyone would be better off without me.ย  It’s still hard for me to talk about, but I hope that if anyone reads this and is feeling the same way they will talk to someone.

5. It’s okay to follow your own instincts

This is probably one of the hardest and most important lessons I have ever learned in motherhood. I’m the type of mother that listens to their instincts 98% of the time with newborns. This still confuses many people in the older generations because they were raised to believe babies cry to manipulate and should learn who’s boss as soon as their out of the womb. I’m not one of those parents. If Harmony cried, I picked her up. I breastfed on demand, even if that meant every hour, and we coslept with her. Those were my instincts. Harmony is almost 2 now, and despite what others tried to tell me, she is ridiculously independent and a great kid in general. She learned to walk despite all the baby wearing I did, and she’s not a tyrant that throws tantrums since I never allowed her to cry it out over anything. Does she act like a normal, emotional toddler at times? Yes. Listen to what your gut and heart tells you when it comes to your kid. I can’t emphasize that enough. If you don’t want to give your kid mashed potatoes at 3 months old, don’t. You don’t have to give into Aunt Betty that swears all of her kids were fine because they were gumming hard candy by 6 months old. Some of the information that still floats around is wrong (look up WHO facts about breastfeeding and baby led solids), and you have every right to not listen to it. You have every right to pick up your baby and cuddle them a million times a day. Don’t let people scare you into doing anything less than what you want. Chances are if something feels wrong, it is wrong. Our instincts as mothers are almost flawless, and that’s something I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit for.

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I end this post on the note that these are my personal experiences and lessons. I have friends of all types that have many different parenting styles. I don’t want anyone to read this and think that I am saying I am a parenting guru. I’m still learning and growing as a mother everyday. My instincts as a mother are probably different than other mothers, and that’s fine. I will say that every mother should always research things as much as possible, and give yourself room to say, “I’ll know better next time.”

My Decision to Switch to a Midwife

“Why are you going to a midwife this pregnancy?”

It’s a question I hear often at the moment, so I thought I should type out a post to clarify exactly why I have made the personal decision to pursue a completely natural and med free birth.

I was in a hospital during my labor and birth with Harmony. I had an emergency induction due to pre-eclampsia at 37 weeks. It was not what I had wanted since I did not want to be induced whatsoever, but I knew I had to. I began my grueling 27 hour labor that night and everything seemed to be fine, until the next morning. My normally amazing ob/gyn came in and man handled my lady bits and claimed that because I was squirming when he checked my cervix that I NEEDED an epidural. Having your cervix checked is no pleasant task to begin with, and I had no problem with the nurses. He man handled me and then insulted me. I was so pissed, but I was so tired already that I just went with it. I just wanted it to be over and done with.

I was 9 cm dilated and my epidural wore off. My blood pressure was through the roof because I was in so much pain because my body had so much pitocin in it, and then it stressed me out because I knew Harmony was not having fun either. After they gave me more medicine, I started to feel pressure. My body was telling me to push. I can’t really describe it, but I knew it was time. I told my mom to let the doctors know, but it took a nurse 20 freakin’ minutes to get into my room, all while they kept telling me not to push yet (now I wish I had just said “fuck it” and pushed anyway). She told me I was only at 9.5 cm, but I insisted that I truly needed to push. She let me do a test push, and my cervix expanded the rest of the way.

Finally, it was over. I was looking into the eyes of the child that I had only known from inside me for 9 months.

It was a short lived visit. I didn’t get to nurse Harmony right away like I wanted. They wrapped her up and took her away from me and Jeremy for 4 HOURS. At one point I was alone in a room still numb from the waist down…everyone was seeing my baby, the one I yearned to breastfeed and cuddle, except for me. At 11 pm I was moved into postpartum room (apparently they were backed up) and given Harmony. I had never nursed a baby. I had no idea at the time Harmony was tongue tied, and we were struggling to get her to latch. It was so late that there wasn’t really anyone there qualified to help me, and I was too scared to ask too much in fear that they would force formula down her throat. Jeremy allowed me to sleep for a bit and he watched Harmony. To this day, I am still grateful for that. Jeremy was the best part of that entire blasted hospital experience. Dad of the year, in my books.

I have other horrible non baby friendly tales to tell, but I will not do that in this post. This post is to focus on why I am not going to a hospital this time. At least, I am hoping to not be in one considering I am high risk this time.

I am now at Lisa Ross. I have a few friends that have given birth there and loved it. I wanted a med free birth to begin with for personal reasons. I hated the epidural. I hated not being able to walk and control myself. I’m someone that would rather be in immense pain than to take anything that will make me lose control of any part of myself. That’s just who I am.

I went to an orientation at Lisa Ross one night to see their actual birthing center. It’s gorgeous. There were actual beds and chairs. There is ample room for water birthing tubs and whatever else you may need. We were told that moms are free to eat and drink while they labor and even shower (whaaaaat?). To me, the idea of being in temporary pain and having freedom sounded way better than being in no pain and feeling like a damn prisoner strapped to a bed and hooked to machines.

It was just those factors that made me switch, though. It’s cheaper. They dim the lights because the florescent lights in hospitals actually increase the risk of jaundice in newborns (this blew my mind, and explained a lot). They give you your baby directly after and they wait until the umbilical cord has stopped pulsating to cut it. They will even allow yourself or your partner to catch the baby and be the first one to hold it.

Sista say what?

I didn’t really need to be told anything else after that point. My heart was set on Lisa Ross.

Since then, they have been so caring and helpful this pregnancy. They check my protein and blood pressure often. They gave me diet advice to help reduce my chances in getting pre eclampsia again. They haven’t treated me like I have an illness.

I want this so bad. Every day I day dream about having the birth experience that I long for so bad. Pain and all. Am I happy that Harmony is healthy despite my last experience? Yes. I truly am. If I had to go back and do it all again I would, but I don’t have to. I have the power to do what I want this time, and I am fully abusing the power.

I am keeping positive. My motto for this year is “strength and support.” I will be supporting Jeremy as he pursues a job that he just got, and he will be supporting me fully in 6 months to welcome our new baby no matter what happens. He is totally on board with the decision to be at Lisa Ross…I did promise him he could catch the baby if he wants ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hope that the pre eclampsia was a one time thing. I hope that every effort I am making to be healthy will pay off.

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My First Trimester (the second time around)

I am approaching the end of my first trimester with our second baby.

I have to say that things have been sooo much different this time around than with Harmony.

So, I wanted to make an official post about the differences I’ve noticed so far.

When I was pregnant with Harmony, I was sick CONSTANTLY. Seriously, I could think about food and it send me into a nausea frenzy. This time around I have not experienced morning sickness once. It’s been so grand and I am hoping it stays that way.

I’ve started to show sooner despite how I have gained no weight. I actually started this pregnancy 10 lbs below what I started out with Harmony, and I had already gained 5 lbs by the end of my first trimester with Harmony. I just looked bloated and like I had eaten a ton of tacos. This time around I’ve started showing a bit sooner (it’s normal) but I have yet to gain any weight. It’s weird to me because I am constantly hungry. I’m talking super hungry. I can eat all day long and not even feel full.

The only thing that has remained constant with both pregnancies is the heartburn. It could be because I have a love for spicy food. I know that’s probably it, but who can give up hot wings? I can’t.

Other than that, everything seems to be going well. I’m changing a few things this pregnancy like my diet and who I see for prenatal care.

I’ve been seeing a midwife instead of a ob/gyn for several reasons. I hated my experience in the hospital with Harmony. It was necessary because I had pre-ecampsia, but it was still awful. I vowed after Harmony that if I was healthy enough to bring a baby into the world naturally and not in a hospital, I would. I meant it. So far, I love the midwife experience so much more than the ob experience. I feel more at home at the birth center. I feel like they know me so well already and that they actually care and want to get to know me.

I’ve also changed my diet. I have taken myself off the sodas completely (it was rough) and I am eating a VERY high protein diet. One of the midwives suggested it due to the pre-eclampsia last pregnancy. There isn’t a high chance I will experience it again, but I don’t want to take my chances. Luckily, one of my major cravings is anything with tons of protein. Eggs, avocados, meat, almonds, black beans…all of it. I could eat all of those foods all day long everyday and not get tired of them right now. My daughter is probably getting tired of eating scrambled eggs for breakfast.

I got to hear the baby’s heartbeat for a few seconds a few weeks back. The midwife found it and then the little stinker moved and we couldn’t find it again. Only a child of mine can play hide and seek at the tender age of 9 weeks gestation (this was a few weeks back).

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I’m so ready to find out the sex of the baby though. My nana has these weird Cherokee super powers (seriously) and she can guess the sex of any baby before any of us know we’re pregnant. It’s so weird and awesome. She’s saying it’s a boy though, and are my parents and they guessed right with Harmony as well.

Your Tiny Hands

My daughter is over a year old now, and the love I have for her still overwhelms me every single day.

Those who say love at first sight doesn’t exist have never had a child. I wrote my daughter a letter when she turned one, and I feel like I should post it.

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My Dearest Harmony,

It’s been a year since I first laid eyes on you. It doesn’t feel that way. It feels like I’m dreaming, and I’ll wake up in the morning and you’ll be the sleepy newborn you were a year ago. I’ll carry you around on my chest and sing to you and kiss your bald head as you slumber away for most of the day. I remember the sleepless nights, the tears I cried because we struggled so hard at at nursing. How did I not see myself in you every time you tried and tried again? You were so persistent. You were determined not to let a small obstacle get in the way of anything, and because of that you helped me push forward as well.

I remember awing over your tiny little hands and feet. I remember holding them in my own hands and just counting them over and over. Those tiny hands of yours have had a tight grip around my heart since the first time I heard your heartbeat. I’ve fallen in love with you all over again so many times. Sometimes I would catch myself watching you sleep and watching the morning rays hit your innocently chubby cheeks. I would think about how a new day for me meant something completely different to you. You were still seeing much of the world for the very first time, and I had the honor of showing it to you. I look forward to showing you more and more of the world as the years pass.

I used to interact with you so much when your home was still in my womb. I remember sitting at work in the wee hours of the night and listening to whatever came across my iPod at the time. You loved music. You would kick and move around as if you were dancing in your own little way. You still love music, and even a year later I know when you recognize a song because you stand so still as if you’re trying to remember something, but just can’t put your finger on it. I’ll always remember it clearly for you, even when your infant memories begin to pass into the shadows. Your infant days are coming to an end, and even though you will not remember them in a few years, they will still be vividly branded in my own mind and heart.

Now the little girl that stands before me is a wandering little toddler. Your baby chunk is starting to slim down, you’re walking more and more as each day passes. You’re slowly starting to trust people. You used to cry when someone tried to talk to you, but now you’re starting to see that they’re just trying to make you smile. I’ve never met a person who doesn’t love you. I know that every time I see the little dimples in your cheeks my heart stops, so I can only imagine what effect it has on total strangers.

You have a smile that could make the darkest human being feel a little love. That smile has brought me out of some of my own darkest moments. That smile is going to change the world one day.

Sometimes I try to imagine what my life would be like if you weren’t here, and I can’t. I can’t imagine a life without you. My life would mean nothing without you. You are my life, and my life began at the very moment I saw you.

You’ve changed me as a whole, and for that I can never show my gratitude. The only thing I can do is dedicate my life to you.

I know I may not always be the best mother. I know that sometimes I may seem distant, and that’s an ongoing battle that I am continuously working on. Please know that I love you. Please know that I love you more than my own life. I value you over myself, tiny hands and all. You’re my best friend, and sometimes I can’t understand how someone as perfect as you can love someone as flawed as myself. Your love and sweet cuddles flatter me in the best way possible. I love every single bit of you unconditionally, from your little giggle to your tiny hands.

This has been the best year of my entire life, and I know that it will only get better from here.

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Love,

Your Mother

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