The leaves are falling and the weather is becoming more cold and crisp as we embark on these holiday months. As our schedules begin to pile up and the busyness of the holidays start to arise I always begin to think of what’s truly important. As the seasons change I hope to make some changes too.
It has been placed heavy on my heart lately the pressure of having social media and the constant upkeep it entails. We see on social media what so and so is doing in their life and we want that to. The comparison trap starts to creep in and then we are ensnared. We want all the things or to do all the things and with good intentions but we sometimes get lost in just that the things.
I don’t know about you but around the holidays life seems to get even more busy than before. I want to make sure I dedicate my energy to the things that matter the most. I have found for me personally my phone and social media is not serving me well during this time. I will be taking time away from it all so that I can spend these precious moments with my family and friends.
But I DO NOT want that to hinder me from forming other friendships or relationships! That being said please reach out to me in the next few days before I remove my apps and such. Shoot me an email or phone number whatever! I want to be more intentional with everyone and social media for me is hindering that. This is in no way a judgement of thinking social media is the devil lol I just don’t want our connection to only be through a app. I may be back or I may not but in the meantime I wish you all the most wonderful time with your family and friends this holiday season. xoxo
I know I know all of you have been just sitting on the edge of your seats thinking of me and what I’m up to right?!
In my previous blog I shared how the last 9 months have been a whirlwind. My sweet Jackson was born August 16th of last year. Two months into being a mother of two I was diagnosed with postpartum anxiety and depression. My life was flipped upset down as I tried to navigate taking care of two little ones and healing myself from birth physically and mentally. My story and my journey with ppd/a is the fuel for my next journey and it’s just the start of something truly amazing.
One day when everything was going right I found myself sitting on my bathroom floor while Jackson slept and Annaleigh stood beside me. I sobbed and sobbed as her 2 1/2 year old self stood there and told me “Mama its ok.” I got the courage to call my husband and he immediately called everyone that was close to come help me. My sweet friend kk came and stayed with me the rest of the day. I just couldn’t seem to get my emotions under control and that comes with the hormonal changes after birth. After that I decided what I was experiencing and feeling was not normal. I set up an appointment with my doctor and got put on antidepressants.
When you have a baby it is such a beautiful thing! Of course its wild those first few days in the hospital but at least you have help just outside the door. On day 2 or 3 they wheel you out to your car in your granny panties and say adios! In a way you are just dropped off in this land we call motherhood and it can be scary and at times lonely. We all need people to lean on and go to during that time. This is where I want to come in.
My dream is to start a non-profit aimed to help the postpartum woman in several different capacities. I have so many ideas swirling in my brain but this is where it all starts.
This is a Postpartum basket to help assist in healing those first few weeks. It comes with Epsom salts, water bottle, flushable wipes, dry shampoo, witch hazel pads, nipple butter, perineal spray, pads, and breast pads. This will be the foot in the door to helping many women and be able to minister to them in the process. It will be filled with all kinds of information on healing after birth (natural and C-section) breastfeeding, lists of symptoms and signs of ppd/a and much more.
My mission is to help the postpartum woman feel seen and heard. It’s one of the most beautiful but challenging times. Each basket costs about $40 for me to put together. I plan to post ways to donate soon but I couldn’t wait to share any longer as I already have my first basket going to a pregnant mama that showed up on my doorstep!! Yes I said it my doorstep! God is amazing and more on that story later but for now I love you all and thanks for reading.
You guys life is amazing. When we think we can’t stretch anymore God proves to us that we can! He gives us the strength to get through every situation. Now that situation may not be easy. We may shed a few tears, scream, yell, cry, and laugh but we will get through it.
The last 8 months of my life have honestly been a blur. Motherhood is hard guys but I freaking love it. It has stretched me to limits I never knew I had. The things I have gone through have shaped me into the woman I am today and I am thankful.
I’m up to something. It’s scary, exciting, and quite terrifying but I am ready for the challenge. Boldlylove is going to be changing. It is going to be shaped and molded into something freaking amazing but I’m not quite ready to share just yet. You will just have to wait patiently.
Please Stay tuned for blogs and more info on what is to come. In the meantime please join me in praying over all of what God has in store for Boldlylove. Pray that I will continue to look to Him for guidance through this process as I can’t do it without him.
The Home Stretch
It’s officially only 3 more weeks until our precious baby Webb will be born and I no longer will be a mama of one. As the day quickly approaches you will find me bustling around the house preparing for babies arrival and dancing the day away with my very exuberant toddler. I don’t remember nesting this much last time. Maybe it was the fact that I worked up until the week I had Annaleigh or that I finished everything by 4 months pregnant. There have been so many differences between this pregnancy and my previous with AL. The physical stuff not so much as just being able to enjoy every minute of this pregnancy with my toddler and my husband. There have definitely still been hard days (this last week being one of them) but we always come out learning more about each other and growing closer as a family.
Mama of Two
The adjustment of going from taking care of one child to two is starting to really frighten me. I love AL so very much and I know she is going to adore having a sibling but I also know the first few weeks will be hard. Not being able to have mama’s full attention at all times is just not something I believe you can fully teach them without going through it themselves. We do try to do independent play a lot but to be honest AL is just like me as a child. I was always very social and wanted to be with someone at all times. She wants to brush her teeth with mama instead of play with toys while I get ready or help me cook in the kitchen instead of even watch a movie. She loves being around me and I love being around her. I pray that as this transition into sisterhood begins that she will love helping mama with baby. That she will feel ever so needed and loved by mama, daddy, and baby.
Labor and Birth
I didn’t fear my labor and birth last time. I was too preoccupied with chasing around 4 little ones that I nannied for and didn’t have time to fret. I also wasn’t as educated on all things birth as I am now. This go round I am able to sit down and relax but my mind does sometimes wander. AL’s birth wasn’t traumatic or anything there were just some things that happened that I rather not happen that way again. I have been to my new doctors office twice now and I am so confident having them support me but of course that fear sometimes still slips in. The what ifs of birth can be quite terrifying but I know in my heart that everything will work out just as God has planned it. I have seen several woman in my life go through some very traumatic births and their faith that has just overflowed through the whole thing encourages me that I’ve got this and God’s got this.
Bear with Me
These last few weeks I may be quite absent on social media and such. I love keeping in touch with everyone but it also can be quite overwhelming and right now I need to focus on my little family. I know that may sound selfish but I just know when I need to take a step back and become unbusy. That being said I know a lot of people that don’t understand this concept. I have had and seen many friendships break apart because someone couldn’t quite grasp what a woman goes through towards the end and after birth or they did grasp it but couldn’t understand why the person couldn’t just bounce back like them. Please don’t be that friend. I encourage you if you have a pregnant friend or a new mom friend please don’t give up on her. No matter how many children she has those last few months and once baby is here are rough. They still need your support and know that you are there waiting for them. Some woman are ready to go right after they pop baby out but some women it takes time so please be patient. I love you all and I can’t wait to share baby webb with you!
In the past week I have learned there is something about a baby that brings women together of all different cultures and beliefs. Pregnancy and birth are such beautiful experiences. The fact that a baby is formed in its mothers womb and that same womb protects it for 9 whole months! The baby is then birthed from its mother and from that moment on a woman is changed.
2 Cultures but the Same Love…Babies
This week I got to experience learning about two different cultures and how they celebrate pregnancy and birth. It was eye opening to see these women talk and share what they do in their countries of Vietnam and India.
My nail technician is from Vietnam. They do not do baby showers before the baby arrives. It is seen as bad luck. She did think getting baby supplies beforehand is very nice but not to do too soon. They also are very big about unmedicated births. She has had 4 children and her shortest labor was 2hrs! Personally I want to learn more from her.
The next woman I spoke with is from India. They do things similarly in that no gifts are to be brought until the baby is here. Their families are very involved and a part of the birthing experience. They celebrate pregnancy in many different ways, one in which I got to participate in. I celebrated my pregnancy by getting a beautiful piece of art to celebrate the life growing within me.
Here we tend to complain and compare. We only give the negative sides of pregnancy and social media doesn’t help at all. We set ourselves up with all of these expectations due to seeing how others handle it instead of connecting as women. Do not compare your pregnancy! It is beautiful in its own way and no two pregnancies are alike. You may gain 50lbs (yep I sure did with Annaleigh) or 30lbs. You may get stretch marks or not but who cares! Yes, pregnancy is hard and there will be many rough days but the good days outweigh the bad for sure. Pregnancy is a blessing and I am going to celebrate every minute of it.
Get a Henna!
Getting my henna was one of my absolute favorite parts of this pregnancy. The experience of it all was just wonderful. Watching Noureen create this piece of art with all the intricate details was fascinating.
Sometimes during pregnancy women start to feel down and upset about their quickly changing body…the stretch marks, weight gain, enlarged everything! This piece of artwork captured beautifully the life growing within me. I️t set the tone and focus for the next 4 weeks as we patiently await Baby Webbs arrival.
Pregnancy is a journey for sure.
A rollercoaster ride of emotions that you can never fully prepare for. Thank goodness the good Lord has blessed me with very easy pregnancies but it seems the outside forces don’t want me to get off that easy. I want you to know that I am not writing this for pity but for all of you to understand that my life that may always seem perfect is far from perfect. I deal with things daily but I just choose to look on the bright side which has not always been an easy task for me. Through these challenges and trials I have been able to learn and grow stronger. God has given me freedom and I rest in Him.
My first pregnancy was easy peasy. I worked the entire time and felt great up until I went into labor. I believe God blessed me with this because at the time my whole world was caving in. My family was going through extreme brokenness. My marriage was quite rocky. I was in search of a new job at 7 months pregnant that would allow me to bring Annaleigh with me once she arrived. It all seemed impossible to handle but God showed up. He found me the perfect job immediately that would allow me to bring my sweet one with me and still be able to support my family. As for my family and marriage well that took a little longer but He certainly restored and healed as time went on. Today we have been married for 7yrs and I couldn’t be more proud of the obstacles we have faced and overcome.
Baby Webb #2 pregnancy I thought surely nothing can go wrong. Everything went wrong last time so this time should be perfect… I was so wrong. I was sick for the first 12 weeks but that wasn’t what got me. Since my first birth was a beautiful 8lb 13oz baby girl I have been treated as if I had the plague by my doctors the entire time. I know the risks and am perfectly aware of gestational diabetes and all of that jazz. Again I had a wonderful pregnancy with Annaleigh no problems, a great labor and delivery but bc I had a big baby I feel as if I have been punished. I have eaten significantly better this pregnancy which has show in my weight gain. I have drank my water daily but every time I go in I get raked over the coals. Why you ask I don’t know. I have tried my hardest to do everything right but every appointment I leave feeling defeated and helpless. I have taken the glucose test twice and passed both times but they still hound me. And to top it off, I have been told from 20wks on that they will probably induce me early because my baby is big?!?! I know I have done it before and am perfectly capable of doing it with the right team to stand along side me and do this thing.
Planning is Baloney
And this is coming from an extreme planner! You can plan your whole pregnancy out. You can get the nursery just perfect. You can have a perfect vision of what your labor and delivery will look like but life happens. I don’t say this to be doom and gloom. I say this coming from a fellow planner that its ok if it doesn’t go to plan! God will take you through those challenges and will bring you out of them restored and full of more knowledge about Him and His loving character. I was becoming so obsessed over my diet and overall health bc of these doctors. When I got that second glucose test (that I passed with flying colors) it was like Gods way of saying I’ve got this! You need to chill I’ve got it! Needless to say at 30wks pregnant I have switched to a totally different hospital and doctor group. As scary as that sounds I am confident I am now in the right place to bring baby Webb into this world. Follow your gut mamas because most likely that’s God pushing you.
Becoming a Mom
When I became a mom I honestly expected to be an anxious parent. From as far as I can remember I have struggled with anxiety and I’m not talking anxious about a certain situation but crippling anxiety. Anxiety you don’t know where it came from but it’s definitely there and roaring its ugly head. As you can imagine that mixed with the early days of motherhood was tough but that is where God and I met face to face to tackle this demon so that I could break free and be who He intended me to be as a mother.
The Hard Choice
Despite the many years I have worked with children the baby stage didn’t come easy for me. The first few months I was obsessed with making sure I was doing everything “right”. I would question everything I did. I finally came to a point where I had to make a choice. I had a choice to let this anxiety rule over me or to break free. This was no easy task but I believed that with God all things are possible.
Starting the Day Afresh
The first step I took in releasing my anxiety and control (I thought I had on everything) was starting yoga. I would get up in the morning before Annaleigh, light a candle, crack open my Bible on my mat in the floor and start to read. After my morning devotion I would start my yoga flows. Some mornings I would get maybe one flow in but some mornings many if time allowed. Now if yoga is not your thing no worries but I encourage you to get up before your home gets up and do what lights your soul on fire. Drink your cup of coffee in the stillness of your home, read a book, prepare your home for the day, whatever it is that will help jump start your day do it. You won’t regret it.
Getting to the Root
Starting my day afresh was great but something was still disarray even in the last few weeks. I had to get to the root of my anxiety. I quickly realized a lot of that resided in my control of situations with Annaleigh. Now the thought of being able to control a baby better yet a toddler is quite absurd. I mean we can’t even control our own selves as adults sometimes and I’m expecting a toddler to just get it all. Again I was so obsessed with doing it right, having control of naps, dinner time, behavior issues, you name it. I was missing out on a lot of special time with my daughter because of worries and fear. I had to give it to God and let go!
Letting go isn’t easy but I feel it is the key to many wonderful fun filled days with your little ones. The baby/toddler doesn’t nap its ok! Go outside, go for a walk, paint, craft, take a bath with bubbles, snuggle in bed and watch a movie, go splash in puddles if it rains, let it all go! When I release control and just go with the flow of the day we end on such a good note. The whole house is at ease and full of peace…plus the satisfaction on a toddlers face that got to play in the rain…priceless.
You’ve Got This
I encourage you all to remember you are dong an amazing job. The devil wanted me and wants you to feel you are doing it all wrong but you aren’t mama. He wants to infiltrate our thoughts and take control of our motherhood but we can’t allow that. We are all learning together. As we fill our hearts and minds with patience and grace we can boldly love and conquer any day that is set before us.
Parenting is one of the most beautiful experiences you will have.
As a parent we get to watch our little ones take in all of the beauty of this world and be a part of that journey with them. Being outside in nature is one of my favorite things to do with Annaleigh. There is just something about it, watching a kid be able to run off energy, explore, and be free.
One day in particular Annaleigh was off exploring and found a rock. As she looked at it with awe and wonder she exclaimed “Oh mommy it’s beautiful!” Now this rock in my mind was no beauty. It was bumpy, rough and covered in red mud but in her eyes it should be in an exhibit in a museum. Now of course I responded with “Wow that’s amazing!” but it got me thinking…
In life we view ourselves as I viewed this rock. We see a rock that could definitely use some reshaping, buffing around the edges and of course maybe some glitter to jazz us up. A rock that dare I say just isn’t enough. The way God sees us is entirely different.
God’s View of Beauty
God looks at us in awe and wonder. He sees a creation that He deeply loves. A creation He made in His own image. He doesn’t care that we are covered in dirt or a little bumpy. He loves us exactly the way we are flaws and all! God is proud to have made you. He sees the beauty in you and that little muddy rock just like Annaleigh did. He sees the beauty in everything and so should we.
Don’t Miss Out!
We get so wrapped up with other things sometimes that we miss out on these little gems that our own children teach us. Thanking God for always learning the art of boldly loving from my sweet little one.