Petit Mod

MOM BOSS MONDAY

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Classic High Tops from Petit Mod

Since I’ve started this IG/Blog thing, I’ve come across a lot of women, a lot of Mom Bosses if you will. There has been a handful that I have become so fond of over the last year and today I share one with you. Her name is Jenny and she makes your littles the cutest shoes ever. When I asked to feature her, she was concerned that her story would be too sad for the readers. While her story is sad, it is also very inspiring and I’m glad she decided to share it with us. Jenny’s story is a great read and reminder to be thankful for what we have each day, what we don’t have, and to always keep a positive light in life. Not only is she a breath of fresh air, she is amazing at what she does. After you meet Jenny and read her story, don’t forget to stop by her shop and check out her beautiful collection of little shoes.

Jenny is this week’s Mom Boss and her biz is Petit Mod

Hi there! My name is Jenny Thompson and I’m the one woman show behind Petit Mod.  I manage, design, hand trace, cut and sew high quality leather baby shoes while I chase around my 3 kiddos. Levi is 6, Everlea is 3 and Finn is 1. I probably would have gone crazy long ago if it weren’t for my amazing husband Graeme who keeps us all in check! Thank you for taking the time to get to know me a little better. I hope I can share something that will be insightful or helpful in some way!

I’ve always loved to create things. I couldn’t stop if I wanted to. I HAVE to make things. I love before and afters and anything DIY. A few of my favourite things to work on are vintage furniture re-finishing, home renovations, and I’ve always loved to sew.

After having kids, my creativity was focused on making things for them. But if I’m honest, it’s not just for them, it’s for me too! I needed a way to feel connected to other moms without having to go for play dates all the time. I’m a bit of a homebody. So it was just a matter of time before I ended up opening an Etsy shop. I’m not entirely sure what made me stop at shoes though. Something about making a tiny pair of baby shoes is just so satisfying…and cute! I can’t get enough of them!  When my daughter was almost 1, I decided I wanted to create a modern version of a soft soled shoe for her with trendy prints but using durable leather. I came up with a design and it wasn’t long before people were commenting on my daughter’s shoes.  I began selling them through Etsy and they seemed to be a hit! Eventually, I decided I wanted to try my hand at leather moccs and shoes. I took a risk and purchased a used industrial sewing machine, had it fixed up (which was a story in its own) and began designing some new patterns. It’s taken me months and months of tinkering with my designs, sourcing the best leather, heck, just learning how to use my beast of a machine! I even took some time off in the summer to take a government run program which included creating a business plan, registering my business and applying for a grant – which I was approved for! All while trying to be a half decent wife and mom to my 3 babies and amazing husband. I was able to re-brand and re-launch in November and I’ve been having the most fun figuring out this business! It’s my release at the end of a long day of mothering! I love this stage of my life, no matter how challenging it is, and I’m enjoying getting to know so many other inspiring mommies along the way.

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My bub just as happy as can be in his shoes from Petit Mod.

Jenny’s pregnancy struggles

A struggle I’ve had to deal with during pregnancy is such a loaded topic for me, as I’m sure it might be for many, many other moms. I don’t even really know where to begin. I’ve had a few significant struggles, but I guess I’ll start by saying that I’m a mom of 3 living children, but I have had 4 babies and consider myself a mother of 4 through and through.

Her name is Thea Rosalie and she was born still at 40 weeks and 4 days into my pregnancy. After a beautiful and uneventful pregnancy, at 3 days past my due date, I, along with my husband and 16 month old son, were getting anxious to meet our sweet new baby girl. As I went about my day, getting acupuncture and doing a little last minute dress shopping for our new arrival, I noticed that I hadn’t felt any movement from her that day. Long (LONG) story short, we ended up in the hospital, with my husband, doula and midwife by my side as I was induced late at night. After a very quick 3 hour labour that was full of a rollercoaster of emotions – fear, hope, longing, sadness, laughter, love, anxiety… you name it – we were blessed to hold our precious angel as she lay still in our arms. The cause of death was evident. A true knot had formed in her umbilical cord which had cut off her supply of blood and oxygen. She was glorious. From her dark down covered head to her cute little toes. 7lbs 14 ounces of perfection. And we had to say goodbye. She wasn’t ours to keep in this life, but since that day the experience of her has changed me forever.

Through this experience, I have learned so much. I have learned to embrace life, rather than fearing the inevitable.  I have learned firsthand the beauty that can accompany death. To some, “beauty” may seem like a far stretch. But I don’t think so. It brings a change of heart, a greater appreciation for what we have, a love so deep that not even death can break the bond, a greater understanding of others pain, and so many more blessings.  Our hearts are at peace with Thea’s passing. I won’t pretend that my next 4 pregnancies after losing her (2 of which ended in miscarriage) were as magical as my first 2, they were very challenging on an emotional level. But with the births of my 3rd and 4th babies came such healing, gratitude and so much love and light.

Jenny’s motherhood tip 

Mamas, WE ARE STRONG! Our love for our babies is fierce and unfailing and pure. This journey of motherhood is the hardest, most devastating, fun, baffling, educational, growth inducing, pride inducing, GUILT inducing, exciting, boring, exhausting, ETC, journey ever!!Embrace life and ride the waves with glory girls! 

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Stunning Mom Boss, Jenny Thompson

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Sacred Legacy Arts

MOM BOSS MONDAY

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My beautiful locket made with Mom’s ashes by Sacred Legacy Arts

My sweet baby Q was a wish that my mother made before she passed away. Although I was not ready to start a family, it happened (unplanned) and I couldn’t be more grateful for this beautiful son of mine.  Every time I look at him, I see her and am reminded of how much she wanted me to have a child. Cancer took her from us in April of this year, only 2 months before Q was born. On many occasions I find myself imagining the joy he would have brought to her during her final days.  During my pregnancy journey, I met a remarkable Mother who creates special DNA keepsake jewelry for loved ones to keep their memories close. The necklace I am wearing is made with some of my mother’s ashes and it brings me so much comfort to be able to keep her so close to me at any given time, in such a beautiful way. If you are looking to have a special piece made I highly suggest reaching out to this mama. There are so many beautiful pieces to choose from and there are even keepsakes for you breastfeeding mamas out there! I’m so thankful that Kelly from  Sacred Legacy Arts has taken the time to share her story with us.

Kelly and the story behind Sacred Legacy Arts

I (Kelly) started Sacred Legacy Arts in December of 2014, right after my second son was born.  I was looking both for a creative outlet to give me something to focus on while wrestling with postpartum depression as well as searching for a way to truly honor and manifest a symbol of my birth and breastfeeding journey with both of my children.  I was in the middle of dealing with low supply while fighting to breastfeed my second child.  We needed to use an SNS feeder because I just was not producing enough and my son was losing too much weight.  I wanted to find a tangible, creative way to honor our struggles and triumphs and my experiences as a mother.  That’s when I began experimenting with jewelry making and creating DNA keepsakes.  To me, it just seemed so natural and perfect to fulfill the longing in my heart of what I was looking to manifest.

Sacred Legacy Arts was originally named Ollie & Jai (after my two sons — Judah and Oliver) and was in the beginning a side hobby for me as a SAHM.  As I practiced my skill, it gathered interest from friends and family and I began creating for others.  I soon learned that this was more than just a hobby for me.  It was a therapeutic outlet for both me and the people I created for.  The DNA keepsakes I created were more than just jewelry.  They were tangible expressions and sensory stimulating tools for honoring memories, struggles, and celebrations.  People expressed such joy and fulfillment in being able to have a part of their story casted into wearable jewelry for them to carry and see.  This is when I began branching out and offering my art to others… when I realized just what a positive impact this art form could have on people’s lives.  As the identity and mission of my work began to unfold, I rebranded into Sacred Legacy Arts — describing my work as “tiny time capsules of wearable art [created] out of the most precious, sacred moments of your life.”

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Memories of my mother that I will always have close to me. The Crystal Point is another piece made with my mother’s ashes. 

SLA has since grown into my full-time job.  I work approximately 35 hours a week and am the sole designer and creator of the jewelry.  In May of 2016, I hired my first part-time assistant, Beth, who is both my personal friend and the best employee I could ask for.  Beth is very much an integral part of Sacred Legacy Arts and she is just as much a face of the brand as I am.  To me, she is much more a partner in SLA than an “employee.”  She handles all of our social media and email communications and is responsible for checking in customer’s inclusions for processing and packaging completed jewelry for shipping.  Beth has had her own profound experiences in motherhood from exclusively pumping for her first baby and being a milk donor (she donated approximately 40 gallons of her breastmilk to babies who needed it!)  to then going on to having a second child who she was able to nurse for over a year and counting. (She is a warrior mama, I tell you!)

Sacred Legacy Arts has grown very quickly into being one of the largest DNA keepsake design companies in the world.  We’re very blessed to have an international reach and to create some of the highest volumes of keepsakes seen worldwide.  Before becoming a full time jewelry designer, I had actually been a social worker previously for six years.  Community development and “doing work that matters,” is critically important to my values.

When Sacred Legacy Arts shifted from being just a “hobby,” to my “vocation,” I vowed that I would found a company committed to making a difference in the world.  We’re involved in multiple projects in an attempt to “give back,” and be mutually supportive to our local and global community.  Ten percent of every sale through SLA goes to a local maternity home for expecting mothers.  This maternity home is an empowerment center who, while giving these women a place to stay, equips them with the education and resources they need to reach self-sufficiency through stable housing, education, and employment.  We’re very proud to be a regular supporter of their mission.  We also strive to partner with as many small businesses as possible for our jewelry supply.  Well over half of our metal jewelry settings come from other small businesses like us versus large wholesale corporations and many of these small business metalsmiths have their own philanthropic endeavors that we are able to help sustain by purchasing from their shops.  For example, many of the copper pieces we’ve featured have come from a women’s empowerment workshop in a Mexican village that teaches vocational skills to the women in the village along with educational and life skill opportunities that help lift these women out of poverty and into self-sufficiency in a dignified, empowering way.  We’re always looking for these kinds of connections to keep the ripple effect going.

Sacred Legacy Arts is also well known for our design collaborations with other artists.  One of the best ways we are able to offer worldwide exclusive, unique designs to our customers is through collaborating and using the artistic vision of other jewelry designers in other material mediums.  Some examples of this include our exclusive tree of life wire wrapped design from Maid in the Woods and our hand casted solid gold ring from Anueva Jewelry or our DNA meditation mala in partnership with Blue Moon Holistics.  Not only does this give us a very unique edge to our design collection, but it helps other small businesses just like us to broaden their reach and influence to our customer base as well as theirs.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned in my life, but especially in motherhood, is to just “let it be,” and to let go of your expectations.  So many times in life, without even realizing it, we gather all of these expectations.  What our children will act like, the kind of support we’ll receive from a partner, how you’ll behave and interact as a mother, what you’ll accomplish, what your relationship with your children will look like…. All of these things are shaped from our life experiences of what our family life was like, what we witnessed within our community, and what we’ve decided we want to repeat or avoid.  But when reality doesn’t line up with our expectations (as it often doesn’t), it can be so hard to face that disappointment.  We get clouded with self-doubt, with comparison, with jealousy or feelings of failure — even resentment.  All of these things hold us back from being able to grow and develop within the actual circumstances that we find ourselves in.  But when we release these expectations from our heart, it frees up the space we need to blossom into who we are within the life that we are living and to see the beauty in what is versus what we thought it would be.  My advice to all of you is to release those expectations, breathe, and just let it be.

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Kelly (on right) and her assistant Beth of Sacred Legacy Arts 

You must check out more of Sacred Legacy Arts:

1 Month Postpartum, 18 Years to Go

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I thought it would be fun to share with you the unexpected reality I am facing as a new mommy. Try not to laugh too hard at some of the things I thought vs. the way things REALLY went down.
  • My labor was going to be under 12 hours and I was still going to be glowing when it was over. Nope.  Labor was almost 24 hours long and I immediately lost the glow, immediately.
  • We would come home from the hospital to maintain a clean and organized home.  Haha! The house screams “I never got the ‘nesting’ bug and we are just trying to survive with a newborn on barely any sleep!” All good though, that’s why we have the cleaning lady on speed dial.
  • I would sleep more that 5 hours total in a day and yes, I would still be glowing. Yeah, right! The glow was gone the minute I gave birth and it’s like striking gold if I can get an additional 30 mins of shut eye! (Which I occasionally do, thanks to my dear husband).
  • I would quickly be back in the gym, surfing, and regain my post pregnancy body in a flash. While I am absolutely happy with my slow but steady progress, none of that has happened yet. I have lost some weight from breastfeeding but no go on the gym or surf action. I am still awaiting approval from my midwife to get back to my fitness routines. I have started very light workout routines while holding my baby  to entertain him or put him to sleep. (Two birds, one stone)
  • I would continue my excellent eating habits that I picked up during my GD phase. Also a NOPE. Since breastfeeding is compared to running a 5k marathon, I am HUNGRY, a lot. So the first couple of weeks I ate like crap. Good news is, I’m slowly making a comeback and making healthier meals at home.  It feels good.
  • I would lose patches of my hair due to fluctuating hormones. So far the hair gods have been on my side. My hair has always had my back and it’s been staying put for now.
  • I would be able to wear my closet full of pre-pregnancy clothes by now.  Although I have not been wearing leggings as often, there is no way in hell I can get into any of my jeans that I miss so much. If I am not at home in panties and a nursing bra, I’m wearing a bathing suit, maybe some shorts, and/or a graphic tee of some sort. There is still a closet full of the old me waiting for the new me.
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    MAMA BIRD Tee from Mama Bird & Co

    Some things I never even thought of that are becoming apparent:I never thought I would be okay with being puked, farted, pooped, or peed on. Somehow it doesn’t bother me one bit. Now I am sure that it would be a completely different story if it weren’t my adorable offspring. LOL. I never imagined that I would cherish and desire sleep the way I do now. I never thought I would try so hard to put my child to sleep only to obsess over when he will wake again.  Last but not least, I NEVER imagined that I could love anything as much as I love my little dude. (Even if he is bossy and sometimes mean as can be).

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SEE? SUPER MEAN!

 

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!

 

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

 

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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I’m a Mom. Not Just Mom.

FullSizeRender (3)I think that it’s really interesting how a large part of society has led us to believe that our lives are pretty much over once we become parents.  To be honest, I fell for that. That’s why I am about to be 35 years old and still had trouble accepting the news of my pregnancy.  It’s too often we see parents throw in the towel and make their dreams take a back seat, leaving them with a lifetime of what ifs.  The first thing my husband and I said, was “Shit, there goes our trip to Korea.” That was then followed by a whole lot of whining about what we weren’t going to be able to do. We realize now that was just bullshit. It’s a natural reaction to automatically think that we are going to be too overwhelmed with parenting that we can no longer pursue our desires. If you are that family that never faced these thoughts or feelings then high five to you! But there is still a large population that needs our inspiration and support, so share your story!

I find myself meeting a lot of mothers that just look so tired, always turning down a good time, and hardly sharing any exciting experiences that would encourage me to start a family.  Of course you can see the love in their eyes as they are aimlessly breastfeeding while looking for a bra, but I mostly see lack of sleep and frustration. I’ve come across many complaints against the baby daddies and their participation as part of the parental unit. I’ve seen distance grow between friends that don’t have parenting in common. I’ve seen identities lost to parenthood where the individual is no longer who they were but only “Mom” or “Dad”. The negative aspects are not the only ones shared, but let’s be honest, how many times do we come across parents RAVING about being parents? This opened my eyes, making me aware that I want to continue to exist as ME even as I become a parent. It is so important to not lose sight of who we are and what we love if we want to be true to ourselves and teach our children individuality.

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As the first trimester ended, Mike and I decided that we were going to stop fearing what we were going to miss out on in life. Instead, we made  a commitment to stay a team, to continue to have fun, to raise our child in an cultured environment, and show other parents that the party can still go on. Yes, it’s going to take a little planning and a lot of team work, but this could turn out to be one damn fun adventure. We often catch ourselves daydreaming about taking surfing trips with our little one and exposing him to all the experiences that our world has to offer. There are many conversations about what we can do to keep our love and marriage alive as parents.

Being great role models and responsible parents will always be a priority to us, but it’s right up there with sustaining our identities during the process. I refuse to give up girls night out, date nights, shaving my legs, and wearing sexy underwear. I want to keep living the life I love so much and do it all while adding a mini-me to the equation. I can hear many of you laughing now as I’m sure it is easier said than done, but we have to try. Who knows, this plan may go to shit and I may forget who I ever was. Or we may have the best time our lives and actually ENJOY being parents!

To all the parents out there, please leave a comment and share how you kept your identity after having children.  Or, do you feel like you have lost the identity you once had?  I would love to hear your stories!