My 4th Trimester

 

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Taken 3 days before I gave birth…172 lbs

Ahhh, the 4th trimester. Why the hell was I not told about the 4th trimester? I blame every one of you powerful Moms out there! You run around with your Starbucks, cute outfits on, just going about your business with your super chill baby! You had me fooled, thinking it was easy to be a Pro Mom on the go. This is a compliment by the way. You amazing Moms do it so well that I had no idea what was coming. I have several friends that are fantastic mothers, but none of them told me that I was about to be on serious lactose lockdown. Please don’t take me wrong, I’m not complaining… Ok, maybe just a little bit.  But I’m telling you, it’s a wonderful thing to be able to complain about! Being a full time breastfeeding mother is NO JOKE. It’s making pregnancy and labor seem like a freaking breeze at this point. Don’t even get me started on the hormones, on top of the lack of sleep. And I mean LACK OF SLEEP! And just hoping to see sunlight once again. What a  crazy ride. Now I know exactly what others meant when they said,”You will never be ready.”  For someone that likes to plan ahead and be in control, this can be very taxing and discouraging, and very stressful. I am so thankful that my husband is 100% on my team and we are finally starting to figure it out. So all you lovely pregos that are just behind me on this journey, my advice to you is team up with your hubby and/or family, and team up hard.

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Daddies are so important and so capable, so let them do their part.

My sweet boy is 3 weeks old today and  I’m having a hard time accepting that it’s already been that long. I guess you lose track when you are a milk producing zombie. I’m learning to adjust and it’s getting better. Actually, I can’t tell if I’m getting better at this mom gig, or if the coffee is getting stronger, or if I’m just getting used to not sleeping like a normal human anymore. Whatever it is, I know now why Moms don’t focus on the struggles of the 4th trimester or motherhood for that matter, and why the challenges are kept secret. It’s because no matter what hell you are going through, this little human you created makes a small sound that sends love throughout your whole body and all of a sudden sleep is no longer a factor. Nothing matters but the well being of your precious baby.  Okay…I get it now.

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This is why humans keep having children.

Can we just talk about how REMARKABLE the female body is? I mean seriously? I carried a human for 9 months, birthed an 8.5 lb baby and now I am producing enough milk to provide my child with all the nutrients he needs to grow? I’m waiting to discover what magical thing I’m capable of performing next! Let’s see, maybe regaining a healthy body? In the photo below you can see that I lost 14 lbs nine days after birth, 8.5 of it being baby Q. I will be honest with you. I have not been eating the way I would prefer, but I am not beating myself up about it because I am going to get back on track, and I was good my whole pregnancy damn it! In just 3 more weeks I should be able to pick up surfing again and I have already started making healthier meals at home. Well ok, 2 meals, I’ve made 2.  But you’ve got to start somewhere. I hope you stick with me and hold me accountable for continuing my healthy lifestyle. This time around as a Mom. My goal is not to reach a specific weight, (I’m actually not even allowed to have a scale in the house and I like this rule) but my goal is to maintain my health, energy level, be strong, and be happy. The scale and it’s numbers won’t give me any of these results

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Taken 9 days postpartum…158 lbs.

I think the most challenging part of the 4th trimester for me is being okay with resting. I love to get things done, love being active, and I’m a multitasking queen. So when I am told that I am to just rest and be on call for this amazing little baby, I feel anxious. It took me a few weeks, but I’m finally getting the hang of it. It’s okay to rest, and it’s actually necessary. I am no good to anyone if I do not recover well and if I am not happy due to lack of self-care. For all you moms-to-be, hang in there. You WILL cry, you WILL get frustrated, but you WILL fall in love so deeply that you WILL do GREAT.  I would love to hear about your experiences, and please leave me some tips!

 

Mama Bird & Co.

MOM BOSS MONDAY 

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I’m no longer your active PREGO, I’m now a Mama Bird, trying to figure it all out. I’m learning that Coffee is the new Sleep, that you can’t have enough nursing bras, and that even as exhausted as I am, I love being a Mom to my baby bird. I’m meeting so many experienced Moms and they are showering me with support as I enter the next part of my adventure. They are Mom Bosses and they inspire me daily. This week’s Mom Boss is Tori Tinnon. She’s a super Mompreneur, has a beautiful tribe of her own, and one of my favorites that I have crossed paths with so far. I’m so pleased to be part of her Mama Tribe! She’s got some simple yet effective tips for other Moms out there and her energy is hard to ignore. Give her story a read and be sure to stop by her shop, there’s something for every mom out there.

This week’s Mom Boss is Tori Tinnon and her business is Mama Bird & Co.

Mama Bird & co. just launched May 1st, 2016. I’m a mama of 3 (ages 13, 9, and 15 months) and a serial entrepreneur. You can take a look at my bio here to see the various companies I’ve started over the last 20 years. I run a PR/social media firm by day (Social Communications) and Mama Bird & Co.is my fun and creative outlet that gets the whole family involved. I’m the “mama bird” and the “Co” = company would be my littles and my hubby. We design tees together and my husband Tom and I screen print at night (by hand) in our studio in Austin, Texas. We like to get the kiddos to bed then we spend time together thinking up new ideas, screen printing and filling orders, etc. I’ve always loved having some type of online shop so Mama Bird & Co. fulfills that passion and I get to get creative all while spending time with my family. I also love all the mamas I have already met along the way via Etsy and Instagram.

A pregnancy struggle Tori experienced: 

I honestly had very smooth pregnancies with all 3 children. I was very blessed with 3 healthy kiddos. My last little bundle (Olive Pearl) was a complete surprise for us. I was also 43 at the time and that was considered to be “high risk”. The pregnancy was wonderful though and after being an all BOY mama for years we finally got our little girl. She’s a real feisty little firecracker too. She already rules all the boys in this house! I loved being pregnant and tried to enjoy every milestone along the way…be nice to your body and it will be nice back to you during and after pregnancy.

Tori’s motherhood tip:

My tip would be let go of perfection and just ENJOY your crazy chaos because it really flies by. Be sure to take 30 minutes to 1 hour a day too (some how some way) for YOU. It might be a long warm bath, a yoga class, coffee on your patio, a hammock or anything that relaxes…but make time for you! You know the old saying “If Mama ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy”…well, it’s true. Be a happy mama so your children always remember that about you. Take the time to really soak it all in…

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Check out Mama Bird & Co.’s Links below:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mamabirdandco/

Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MamaBirdAndCo

Labor of Love, Literally.

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“Daddy” Scrubs from Milk & Baby Boutique ~ Birthing Robe from ModMum Maternity

Wow. I did it. This is how it went down. I got pregnant, I got GD, I got healthier, and I started an Instagram account to track my pregnancy and hopefully inspire other pregnant women to live a fun and healthy lifestyle.  I’d say it went pretty well. I also met a ton of bad ass women along the way. I am sharing with you what it was like for me to give birth vaginally, naturally, and medication free. It was important to me that I deliver this way so I specifically had the pre-game talk with my husband and midwife, letting them know that they were to deny me meds if I reach the point of begging for them. I worked so hard during my pregnancy to get to this point and I did not want to blow it by giving in during labor. I’ll try and keep this short.

Getting hit with the GD really blew me off course in the beginning, mostly because it blocked me from having the home birth that I always dreamed of. But, I got the best I could get considering my condition; a Labor and Delivery Room in the hospital with a midwife. I pass no judgments on other women and how they choose to birth because we are all different, but we all have the same super power; we BIRTH. It was important to me to not be induced unnaturally. In the end, the only induction that I had was a vaginal sweep at my final prenatal visit with my midwife. I was already dilated 3cm when I went in. I read more about it when I got home from the appointment and found that the sweep doesn’t always work. This made me nervous because I was at 40 weeks and 5 days, and my doctor wanted to induce me with Pitocin at 41 weeks due the risks associated with GD. Lucky for me, my contractions started that evening.

The Contractions

I would say they started on Wednesday, June 8th around 6pm. They came in very far apart and were very mild. I was even starting to get cocky, thinking if this is it, then no sweat. A couple of hours of this and I’ll be a mom. OMFG, was I wrong. I asked my husband to hit the sack early in case it was to go down because I needed him to be well rested. Plus, he had a crazy work weekend ahead of him, so this delivery would have wiped him out without proper rest. I decided to clean a little and was feeling kind of anxious, trying to sleep but not able to. I took several baths and still thought, this is no sweat. By 11pm the contractions were getting stronger, but not strong enough nor frequent enough to start timing them. About 1:30 am, we started timing but my husband kept telling me its not time to go because we hadn’t reached the 4:1:1 algorithm.  4 contractions, 1 minute long, in 1 hour. He went to sleep, but soon the contractions were coming in closer together and were just a little harder to handle. I woke him up at 3:30 but the damn contractions slowed down again and the whole thing was a bust. So back to sleep he went. Then 5:30 am, OMG, it’s really happening now and the timing getting really close. He calls the midwife on-call at the hospital while taking the dogs for a walk. He wasn’t more than 10 steps out the door and I call him, IT’S TIME TO GO, NOW!!!

At this point I am unable to communicate, keep my eyes opened or focused, and I feel myself falling into a trance. The only thing I can do is focus on the pain and to redirect it by breathing and sort of letting it do it’s thing. This took a lot of meditation and breathing. I remember wearing my adorable birthing robe in case we were to take some cute pre-birth photos. Ha, YEAH RIGHT.

Checking In

It’s about 6 am if I can remember correctly when we got to the hospital. I was in my mother’s old wheelchair because there was no way I could walk through the contractions. I did not say a word the whole drive there and I remember zero faces while we were checking in. I literally felt intoxicated or high, if you will. I was in this cute birthing robe that I got from Modmum Maternity, thinking that I was going to have the cutest birth experience to share with all of you. I mean, all the other women look so cute when they share their hospital photos. Ha! NOPE. That shit came off with the quickness. My first stop was the shower. I read that warm water was one of the best pain relievers during labor. Well, it was fine, but mostly annoying because I had monitors on me and an IV that I couldn’t get wet, plus the shower head was inconvenient, so never mind that idea. The thought of having any additional things to worry about besides dealing with the pain did not sound pleasant, so I went barbaric. Naked as could be for the next 16 hours. It was a very National Geographic theme with me being completely naked. I requested a doula but quickly questioned if it was necessary to have yet another person in the room. My husband reminded me that it’s what I’ve been wanting since the beginning and I am so glad I did not call her off. She played such a huge role in my labor. She was a volunteer and she is now very special to me. I had never met her until this day and I will never forget her.

 

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Baby Daddy – He brushed his teeth 5 times in 16 hrs to ensure fresh breath while coaching me!

16 Hours

I got these adorable “I’m The Daddy” scrubs from Milk & Baby Boutique for my husband. He geared up and things really started to get going. I needed to breathe. A LOT of breathing and concentrating on letting these contractions come and go. The first few hours were fine. I was getting the hang of it but then I remember glancing at the clock and realizing that I had been going at this for 6, 10, 12 hours. The midwives were checking to see how dilated I was, but not often enough to give me any hope that the end of this pain was in sight anytime soon. Though I was allowed to eat during this time, hell no, I couldn’t. I stayed very well hydrated and carried on in this meditative trance I was in. The pain was stronger with less time in between to give me rest, but whenever I could I would try to sleep, only to be awakened with more pain. I tried every position imaginable: the birthing ball, another shower, a stool, a peanut pillow, a back rub, and standing.  My husband noticed that I handled the pain better when I was standing, so for at least half of the time, we stood together, almost dancing, swaying my hips back and forth. With each contraction, I let all of my weight fall and he held me up each and every time.  In between contractions he would occasionally stop to rest and stretch his legs and back, getting ready for the next round.  It was like we were participating in an Iron Man triathlon together. Okay already, enough is enough! This is where I start whispering to my husband, “I can’t do this, I need help, I can’t do this anymore.” He reminds me that I strongly wished to this without medication and encourages me to keep up the good work and that we are almost there. He kept reminding me that this pain is temporary, but what I’m about to accomplish will last a lifetime; for me and for our son.  He wouldn’t budge reminding me of our pre-game talk. So I desperately tell my Doula, “I can’t do this, make it stop, I can’t do this.” She says, “You are doing it, honey, YOU ARE doing it.” Then after 14 hours of active labor, my water breaks! Let’s start pushing!!! Can you believe that I have gone through all of this so far, I am finally at the pushing stage, and all I can think about is not pooping in front of my husband while I push??? I’ve been with this man for nearly 7 years and I can’t bear the thought of pooping in front of him! Is that weird? I push for 2 hours. I seriously think that it’s not going to end, or end well anyway. Then it happened, I gave it everything I had left and my husband pulled our son out. Baby Q finally made it into this world at 9:20 pm on June 9th, 2016. My world completely changed. Nothing else but his health matters to me, and I have reached another level of love with my husband.

The Aftermath 

Q aspirated meconium in his lungs and he was only allowed to be with me for less than 30 seconds before the pediatric team took him to check him out. He had difficulty breathing and I was torn pretty bad. A 4th-degree tear to be exact. While a team of doctors stitched me up, the pediatric team had my son and suddenly I can see again. I’m no longer in a trance. I just snapped out of it and all I wanted was to hold my son. My husband stayed with Q the whole time and assured me that he was going to be alright. I started thanking everyone that was involved. I looked over at my husband and immediately told him that we are not having any more children, lol. I did it, I gave birth the way I wanted and I have a beautiful healthy boy to show for it. Q was in the NICU for 24 hours because of the aspiration. He was put on oxygen and an IV to give him nutrients and antibiotics to help prevent infection. All I wanted was to be with my son. Though I got to visit and breastfeed him in the NICU, I had to sleep alone the first night without him, and it broke my heart. I sent hubby home to sleep well, as he was up for over 36 hours, running only on coffee and adrenaline and had to work the next day. Baby Q quickly recovered and was able to stay with me the next evening. We were finally set free 2 days later.  Today, I am a full time, 24hr milk bar, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

What’s Next…

If I could share any advice, it would be to do your research. Find out what is important to you and your family and know that you are capable of birthing the way YOU want to. In some cases, obstacles will arise and you may need to compromise, but at the end of the day, Mom and Baby’s health is what’s most important. Having my husband on my team was a life saver. He literally went on this crazy journey with me and never left my side. Birthing was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had and the pain endured is starting to become a faint memory.  My son is totally worth every minute. Now still as a team, hubby and I are facing sleepless nights, an abundance of dirty diapers, and a whole lot of snuggles. I encourage you to leave a comment and ask me anything you would like, I would love to share my story with you.

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For “Daddy Scrubs and more…

Check out : https://www.milkandbaby.com/

For Birthing Robes…

Check out: https://www.etsy.com/shop/modmum

 

Keiki Kine Designs

Mom Boss Monday

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“Hard Head” by Keiki Kine Designs, Baby by Me.

Our family is very diverse. We have Cherokee, Caucasian, Korean, Portuguese, and Chinese all in the mix. We love exploring different cultures and are infatuated with anything Island. Keiki Kine Designs has caught our eye with their humorous prints inspired by the Island slang and the Mother behind this business is just a doll. Meet Naleisha from Hawai’i and show her some love by checking out her links down below. All these Mom Bosses are just blowing me away and are very inspiring. As if being a mother wasn’t challenging enough.

This week’s Mom Boss is Naleisha Lucrisia and her business is Keiki Kine Designs 

The idea for Keiki Kine Designs sprouted from my desire to create fun(ny) designs that reminded me of my childhood growing up in Hawai’i. I wanted to create something that highlighted the unique culture that I grew up in and the language that I grew up hearing. Hawai’i is unique in the fact that it’s a melting pot of various ethnic cultures – Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese, Caucasian, etc. – that have all learned to live together and as a result has created a unique culture and language of their own. I wanted to create a brand that encompassed all of this and celebrated the uniqueness of this place I call home. Thus, Keiki Kine Designs was born.

I actually started designing and printing custom apparel with local Pidgin (Creole English) catchphrases on them for my eldest daughter when she was just an infant. Now she’s seven years old! But it wasn’t until I was on maternity leave with my second daughter, who is now 18 months old, that I really got serious about utilizing my design skills to get down to business. With the help and skill set of various members of my family, I’ve slowly but surely was able to start up Keiki Kine Designs while still being a full-time mom . It hasn’t been easy and it’s a constant work in progress, but I ‘ve found it to be very fulfilling.

I love creating apparel that is not only cute and comfortable, but also reminds people of their own childhood and the unique culture and language that they grew up with. Whether it is being called “one bag rice” because you weighed 20 lbs. at 4 months old or “hard head” because of your stubborn personality, I think anyone can relate to and appreciate one of our fun(ny) catchphrase designs.

A pregnancy struggle Naleisha experienced:

When I was pregnant with my second child, my doctor and I realized late in my pregnancy that she was breeched. I kept feeling what I thought were punches in my lower pelvic area. I even joked with my doctor that she might stick her hand out at any second! But after taking an ultrasound we realized that what I was feeling were actually kicks because she was sitting straight up! The first thing that I asked was “Does that mean I have to have a c-section?” He said, “No if you want to you have the option of having an aversion- basically manually turning the baby into the proper birth position.” There were risks associated with this procedure, but I knew I wanted to have a natural delivery if at all possible. So I went ahead with the procedure. Plus, something in my gut told me that everything would be alright. And it was. The doctors successfully turned her without any complications and I was able to give birth to her naturally. The only side effect is that she’s still as stubborn as she was in the womb. That’s a true “Hard Head” for you!

Naleisha’s Motherhood tip:

Remember to breathe! I’ve found this to apply to all phases of motherhood thus far, from the moment you feel your first contraction, to when your18-month-old gets a hold of your make-up  or your seven yr. old decides that she knows everything and doesn’t need your advice. Remember to breathe! Motherhood will be filled with moments when you feel like you’re gonna lose your mind or at least lose your cool. And it’ll happen every once in a while, but I’ve found that reminding myself to breathe has helped me when I find myself in those type of situations. It’s amazing what taking a deep breath can do for you! Uuuhhhhaaaaaa!

Check out Keiki Kine Designs links below:

http://www.keikikinedesigns.com

http://www.instagram/keikinedesigns

http://www.facebook/keikikinedesigns

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Clover and Birch

MOM BOSS MONDAY

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Handmade, natural, and eco-friendly toys by Clover and Birch.

A huge part of our family life is being kind to our earth that we love and cherish so much. We hope to raise a tribe of our own that will grow up treating the planet the way it should be treated, with love. When we found Clover and Birch it was refreshing to see that we  had the option to provide our child with toys that weren’t soaked in paint or made from plastic. because of businesses like this one, our children can have safe toys without sacrificing their imagination. Of course, there is a Mom Boss behind this awesomeness and her story is inspiring. Thanks for reading!

This week’s Mom Boss is Taylor Melton and her business is Clover and Birch

“Clover and Birch is a labor of love business that grew from my desire to provide our children with beautiful toys made of natural, sustainable materials. My husband, Jason, had just deployed to Afghanistan and I was a new stay at home mom to one darling little six-week-old girl. I loved being in the hospitality industry but I just couldn’t bring myself to go back to work after we welcomed our daughter, Carden.  I started Clover and Birch with a few teethers and plush toys made of organic materials and quickly sold out of them thanks to a supportive tribe of mama friends.  Jason was able to be home on leave for our first family Christmas and we searched high and low for beautiful, natural blocks for Carden’s first gift. We came up short and were thoroughly disappointed that  our only options were painted blocks with bright colors or plain square blocks with no warmth.  With a saw, wood from our local sustainable wood shop and some artistic sanding, Carden got her first set of blocks and I got to work growing our brand.”

A pregnancy struggle that Taylor experienced:

“One of my biggest struggles during pregnancy was finding support and encouragement. We knew that having an out of hospital birth at a free-standing birth center was the healthiest option for our family. When people would learn of our intentions of an unmedicated birth attended by a midwife, we were met exclusively with negativity or fear mongering. At that point in time, I hadn’t found  my wonderfully supportive village of mama friends so, Jason and I were a little bewildered over the lack of encouragement we were facing as new parents.  I believed to my core that my body was strong and capable of delivering this child and in June 2012 I showed myself just how true that belief was by delivering our lively baby girl with nothing more than love and support from my birth team. Two years later, we faced the same challenge when we announced that we’d be welcoming our newest addition and delivering her at home. Our youngest daughter’s birth was peaceful and swift, with our midwife arriving only eight minutes before she was born! Collin was welcomed in a birth pool in the very living room that she now spends her time playing in.

The lack of support from others surrounding our births has made it my heart’s mission to really support the mothers around me. I hope to rally for each new mama to believe in themselves and their choices, no matter what they may be, for their parenting journey.”

Taylor’s motherhood tips:

“I have two parenting tips that I aim to abide by so I can’t choose just one! My first is to always trust your gut. There is absolutely no force in this world that compares to a mother’s intuition. Second, slow down and let them be little. Never again will your child get to experience the wonder that is childhood. Don’t rush them to do and see and learn, all of those things will come in time. Let them just experience their world at their own pace and develop their own innate sense of wonder.”

Check out Clover and Birch links below:

http://www.cloverandbirch.com/

https://www.etsy.com/shop/CloverandBirch

https://www.instagram.com/cloverandbirch/

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Taylor and her husband Jason, owners of Clover and Birch.

 

Why Are You Showing Your Pregnant Belly?

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Before my mother passed away she consistently asked me to give her a grandchild. Of course, I shared with her all the reasons I could not honor this request.  She already had 4 grandchildren, but I was the only girl and she wanted to see me have a child before she left the earth. Well, she got her wish, and though it was not planned she got what she asked for and always did. Unfortunately, she did not get to meet him face to face and passed away a couple of months before his due date.

Although she wanted me to get pregnant very badly, she sure did not want me to show it.  I had been working hard to maintain my health and keep my body in check for a smooth recovery and I was not going to hide it. I was wearing tight tanks and leggings that accentuated my growing belly and the curves that came with it. I wore the same swim wear at the beach as the other ladies who aren’t pregnant. For the first time, I really started to love my body.  I have been wearing dresses that I had in my closet before I was ever pregnant and I was feeling cute and confident with my little bump. I can hear her now, bitching me out for showing too much of my pregnancy that SHE wanted me to have.

Next in line to have something to say was my beautiful, super human grandmother. This woman is in her late 80’s, still driving, living on her own, and the leader of her church. She comes from a small province in South Korea, where she had my mother and her 4 brothers. Just recently, I drove to Los Angeles to see her. I was wearing a beautiful, flowing floral maternity dress because I knew if I came over looking rough she would have been worried. Her only daughter had just passed away a couple of weeks before I came to visit, so she was happy to see me but couldn’t help commenting on my “revealing” attire. She says “Your skirt is too short to wear for a pregnant woman and you shouldn’t be flaunting your pregnancy.” (FYI, this sounds a lot more rude when said in Korean)

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OMG! WTF??? Is she serious? I love you, Grandma. You are my heart, but you are trippin’! You too Mom. I love and miss you all day, every day, but you were trippin’ too. It’s 2016 and I am loving the way I look and feel and I am sorry it doesn’t’ meet your expectations. I get it. You come from a time and place that did not encourage pregnant women to expose such a private time of their life. But do you want me to wear my husband’s t-shirts and helplessly seek assistance for every move I make? Should I close the blinds and not answer the door until I’m done being pregnant?

Hell no. I work out so I can have the energy to keep up with the rest of this moving world and so I can provide my growing baby with plenty of oxygen for his development.  I eat a healthy diet to provide us with the nutrients that are necessary to stay in good shape for the big day. I seek adventure to keep my soul happy because a happy mommy is a happy baby.  I am carrying a little human while juggling jobs outside and inside of the home. I love the looks that I get when I walk into the gym, am on my skateboard, or climb a few flights of stairs. I’m pregnant, not disabled or helpless.

I’m sorry, but I love myself more than I have ever loved myself and I am not afraid to offend someone with my beautiful, growing pregnant belly. What the female body is designed to do is too amazing to hide or disguise. Add a confident mind and some self-love into the mix and we are unstoppable. There is no way I can or want to hide such thing.  I’m sorry that I’m not sorry that my child bearing belly may offend you. I suggest you look away because I am proud of my pregnancy and I have no intention of putting it away.

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