Our baby girl is now 1 month old and I just can’t believe how time has flown by. All I can think about is damn, we really made a little baby, we’re really parents… forever. It’s an incredible, crazy, awesome feeling. Naima [pronounced Nye-ee-ma] was born 7 lbs 7 oz, 21 inches long on September 5th, 2016 [on actual Labor Day which I think is amazing] with a full head of hair. She was born exactly one week after my due date and boy was I ready to pop. Although the journey to get here was an up and down rollercoaster ride of emotions, I am so in love with motherhood. It has not only given me a newfound respect for all the mamas out there, but especially my mom. Even though it took me to become a parent myself to truly realize how amazing of a mother she’s been and still is, I am so grateful I now understand and I can’t thank her enough.
Now let me tell you something you probably already know… every pregnancy is completely different, just like every woman and every baby is completely different. So with that being said, this is my journey to motherhood, how I dealt with all the changes, and what worked for me.
First of all, when I found out I was pregnant I was in Las Vegas with my sister for New Years. It definitely came as a surprise because my husband and I had a “three year plan” for starting a family. But seeing as though the only thing I was doing to prevent it from happening was following the period app, Period Tracker Lite, [which actually worked for about a year! But let’s be real, paying attention to an app on your phone goes out the window when cocktails get involved] I should’ve known that plan wasn’t happening. So I brought in 2016 with a little bean in the belly and even though I had some mixed feelings at first, I was extremely excited for this next chapter in our lives.
Soon after came the sickness. It hit me like a brick wall and stayed around for what felt like forever. Suddenly that excited feeling left me. My body was preparing for the baby and tormenting me at the same time. I was exhausted constantly, my sense of smell was so intense which made being nauseous all the time even more of a struggle, and I was just all around uncomfortable. All I could think of is why do women go through this more than once?! I literally tried every advice I was given to curb the awful “morning sickness” which for me lasted all day. What I found to work the best was to eat something bland before even getting out of bed in the morning. Thankfully I had my awesome hubby to my rescue and he would leave me something to eat on the bedside table before leaving for work. Then throughout the day I would suck on the Preggie Pop Drops. Every time I started to feel nauseous I would suck on one of the drops and seriously would feel better almost instantly. I would not have survived without those little angels. I also downloaded a pregnancy app called BabyCenter that helped so much throughout my pregnancy as well. It tracks your pregnancy with you week by week, tells you what to expect [generally], different articles on so many issues you’ll have, and great tools to track your belly bump and so much more! But even though these remedies seemed to help I could not wait to feel normal again and thought I would feel this way throughout my whole pregnancy. Great.
Then second trimester came and it was a game changer. Almost at once I felt great. I didn’t feel nauseous at all, had energy again, and actually felt quite amazing. I couldn’t believe it! Now I understood what women mean when they say pregnancy is beautiful. I found out we were having a girl, I could now feel her move around, and I seriously felt that “glow” that you always hear about. I felt genuinely happy all the time, no matter what. I remember feeling her move around inside of me and wondering how she would look and what her personality would be like. During this time I stayed very active and I really believe it helped me have a wonderful rest of my pregnancy and birthing experience. I traveled, went to shows, and yes I did enjoy a glass of red wine every now and then. Mainly I tried to relax and have fun as much as possible because stress is the worst possible thing for your fetus. The only thing that never went away was the crazy heartburn and acid reflux. I mean I can’t even tell you how many boxes of Tums I went through. But now that Naima is here and I see that beautiful head of hair, it was well worth it.
At last my due date approached and it all hit me. I was about to be a mother. Now say what you want but even though I think pregnancy is an incredible journey that a woman’s body takes, I was ready for it to be over. I wanted my body back and I wanted my baby girl in my arms. But then comes birth and that’s even more of an amazing phenomenon a woman’s body endures. Honestly, I was scared shitless. You hear all the horror stories about giving birth and see all the movies with the women screaming bloody murder and it made me nervous that I wouldn’t be able to do it. But as a woman your body is made for this and it makes you realize how strong and truly amazing women are. I mean we grow humans inside of us! It has seriously made me appreciate my body on a whole other level.
So my due date came and went and I literally tried every trick in the book to start labor. I mean I ate a whole pineapple, drank raspberry leaf tea, took bumpy car rides, ate spicy foods, and walked a whole lot even though my feet looked like the nutty professor. Then it happened. Thankfully I went into labor without being induced even though my water hadn’t broke yet. When I got to Rex Hospital I was dilated 5cm so they admitted me and set me up in a room. I’m not a fan of hospitals, so I turned the room into the most relaxing place that I could. I turned off all the lights in the room and opened all the blinds to let the natural light in and played music the whole day. The music was KEY. I was literally laughing during labor because the wonderful staff at the hospital kept cracking jokes, singing, and dancing to the music. The whole experience was wonderful and so stress free! Not to mention I got an epidural which definitely made me a calmer and happier person. Hats off to all the mamas that do an all natural birth because I can’t imagine not having that epidural, it was a lifesaver for me. I was even able to take a nap before pushing! When the time came to push I had my husband, mom, and sister in the room and I’m so glad I did. Everyone gives you all this advice on not having too many people in the room but honestly when you start pushing you don’t care about anything or anyone around you except getting that baby out, and it was so great to have my family all there to share the experience with.
After an hour of pushing Naima graced us with her presence and my whole life instantly revolved around her. My heart is so full of love and nothing else matters but her. And now as I remember the 9 months of carrying her and looking back at all the pictures of how my belly grew, I have to admit, I actually miss that pregnant belly. But being her mother is definitely the coolest thing that I have ever done [and I like to think that I’ve done some pretty cool things] and I’m still so amazed that she’s mine. I didn’t have any experience with babies before her but it really does just click when you have your own. My husband and I didn’t take any classes or read any books to prepare ourselves because we didn’t want to expect certain things or feel like there was one way to raise our kid. We just wanted to follow our instincts and go with whatever curve balls she threw us. And now being 1 month in, there have definitely been many learning experiences but it really has brought my husband and I closer than ever because we’re learning together and some of the things that happen [like projectile spit up or being peed on] you just have to laugh at. I used to think I wasn’t ready to be a mom but now I can’t imagine my life without my little Naima. I can’t wait to watch her grow up into a strong, intelligent lady and I can’t wait to show her this crazy, wild world.