Break the silence.

Pregnancy and childbirth are two major topics that have been explored greatly by different forms of media. Magazines, Newspapers and Television constantly bombard the public with headlines like  ’10 positions to increase your chances of getting pregnant’, ‘ how to get your body back after having a baby?’  These are great for curiosity sake but do not even begin to scrape the surface of the pregnancy and childbirth experience.  With regards to these giants, one size does NOT fit all.

 

Last year around the end of July (or the beginning of August) I found out I was pregnant. I had been feeling strange and decided to take a pregnancy test as a joke. My period was only a day late, and I had already told my husband that I was feeling pregnant. My husband constantly assured me I was paranoid but I decided to take a pregnancy test, to prove him wrong. To my surprise the test was positive and I overtly freaked out! I cried my eyes out that night and my husband was equally nervous. During the night, after multiple meltdowns in the shower, I went to the kitchen and made a cup of tea. I sat down around my dining table and said a prayer to God. I can’t remember what I said but I know after that I felt completely calm and ready. I told myself this is a good thing, even though it might not feel like it at this moment but this is all part of the divine plan.

 

Fast forward to my first trimester. Everything was going well at the beginning; the baby was doing well and growing normally. My body was healthy and my skin was glowing. Then the morning sickness kicked in. I really don’t know why it’s called morning sickness because I felt sick the whole day and not just in the mornings. I puked multiple times a day. It did not matter if I had eaten something or not when it was time to throw up I couldn’t hold it in and I didn’t dare to try. I was weak and losing weight. My husband likes to cook for me and during my pregnancy, he did his best to continue the tradition. He tried his best to find a meal that I would not be repulsed by and could enjoy to the end. I remember one time he boiled sweet potatoes which I normally enjoyed. Things were different that night; I gaged at the smell of bouillon chicken cubes and threw up all over my toilet seat.  I was hungry and I settled for fruits that night because I could not go to sleep on an empty stomach.  Physically things started to look up at the end of my first trimester. By the second trimester, I started eating and enjoying food again, maybe a little too much if I’m being honest.

 

Now let us talk about the parts your favorite celebrity will not tell you about on an Instagram caption. I was extremely happy and extremely depressed at the same time.  I know that does not make sense but it’s the best way I can describe how I felt during my pregnancy and after childbirth.  I was happy because I was carrying the love of my life. I felt a connection I never thought was possible. I call her my ocean because she keeps me calm and literally humbles me. I knew it was no longer only about my husband and me. She became my world before she was even on this earth.  My husband was just as happy. He was by my side the whole time, didn’t miss a single doctor’s visit.  We would drive to the doctor’s office and he would wait outside with the nurse as I was peeing in a cup (did a lot of that) and we would walk together to the room. We would listen to her heartbeat and watch her movements to make sure all was well. My husband would drop me off at home and make his way to work. Not once did I doubt him or his support. I knew he would do everything it takes to make sure I was comfortable and healthy. I knew this intellectually and felt it emotionally but I still struggle.

 

There were moments where I felt completely isolated and alone. I would go outside and stare at the trees for ours with tears down my cheeks. Sometimes I would wake up and leave our bedroom to go to our guest bathroom and cry my eyes out.  I did all of this without my husband’s knowledge. I did not call any of my friends and definitely did not cry out to my mother. I was honestly confused for the most part. How could I be this happy and said at the same time?  I thought if I communicated this to my loving husband I would sound ungrateful and he would think I was asking for too much. There were days where I could not get out of bed and I would just play it off and call myself lazy just so I didn’t have to call myself depressed.  I became sensitive and took everything to heart while making sure not to complain, because well I shouldn’t complain! How could I when I was living a perfect life? I was not working and that made it worse. I felt trapped by my house and felt like I could not breathe, or move around without being a burden to my husband. This continued even after childbirth. Although I was absolutely in love with my newborn and my husband I felt overwhelmed.  I constantly felt guilty that I was not doing enough for my child and for my husband.

 

I am not an expert in pregnancy, nor am I equipped to talk about life after childbirth, but I know my story! I am sharing it to show someone out there that it is not always perfect but it is all worth it. Pregnancy is not all glamorous as it is usually made up to be. I want new moms to know it is okay to struggle; it is okay to feel a little lonely even with the best support system. I want you to know that bringing life is absolutely beautiful and complex.  You can read as much as you would like about what to expect but some things cannot be explained. During this time you will feel delicate and fragile but I want you to remember you were made for this. You are exactly what your child needs. That means you need to take care of yourself to make sure you are sane and healthy for your baby.

 

With all of this, I want to summarize everything by adding a couple of things that helped me during those dark times.  Today I am happily raising my soon to be 5 months baby girl and it took some work on my part but its happening. The first thing I had to do was open up. This is extremely important! Open up to your partner about what you are going through and it will give you the relief that you have been longing for. When I started talking to my husband about my challenges I realized I was not alone, he too was going through some difficulties. I needed him and he needed me and there is nothing more beautiful. The second most important thing to do for yourself is believe that you are in control. I had to tell myself to woman up! For me, that meant dragging myself to doing something enjoyable once in a while, even if it was taking a stroll with an infant. The last thing you need to do is enjoy every moment because it won’t last forever. Meditate on the last part because it is probably the only thing that should be said.

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Weaning Anxiety

It hasn’t even started and I am already losing it. After a conversation with my husband, I am already crying my eyes out. Why you ask? Because I am having a mini anxiety attack at the thought of weaning my daughter from breastfeeding.

It’s 2:27 am in the morning and I am sitting down on the kitchen floor, boiling sweet potatoes and have a laptop on my lap. I am wide awake and too anxious to fall asleep. After counting and coaching myself to breathe, I have decided that documenting this moment, taking charge and planning for the future is the only way I can get through the night without completely falling apart.

I want to make it clear that I do not understand what is going on right now. I never expected to have such a reaction to something so ‘simple’. Many mothers across the globe have gone through the same thing, It’s not even about me!  Why am I being too emotional about something that is not a big deal?. I need to get over myself, I’m just being a crybaby.

Dear mothers who are struggling with this milestone. It is okay not to be okay. Allow yourself to feel every emotion and cry if you have to. I want you to know you are not alone, and that you have a right to be upset, scared and anxious about this decision. I know your child needs to learn to be independent and I want to commend you for your bravery. Giving up breastfeeding is not easy, but I want you to know YOU can do it! You are strong and you always put your baby first in everything that you do. This is not an exception.

A Force

I named you Lwandle- a Zulu word for Ocean because in my eyes you simply are that powerful! You were conceived in spirit during my Spring break trip to Texas, specifically St Padre Island. I stood still and observed the mighty Force. I had a smile on my face as I witnessed my soul being proud of me. I experienced what I now call a spiritual awakening. In front of me was a body of water that is arguably one of the strongest compounds known to men. Compared to her I was small, insignificant and extremely vulnerable. In her full splendor and glory, she can have us all extinct in a matter of minutes if she thought necessary.

I know this is not necessarily a groundbreaking discovery, as we have all in one way or the other witnessed her expressing her rage through Tsunamis and other distasteful events. I realized however that I wanted more than ever to relate to having that much power. Fast forward to the year 2017 when I learned of your existence. When an opportunity to name you came to be, the name Lwandle was a no-brainer. I started meditating on who I envisioned you to be and found myself drifting to the memory of the St Padre Island. Then it all came together in full circle, you are my ocean.

You are my place of rest. In you, I see the peaceful power that only a woman can have. I look at you and I pray for you to become what I know the ocean to be. I want you to grow into your strength. I want you to know that you are more than capable of achieving everything you set your mind to. You are unpredictable, irresistible and healing all at once. You can cleanse souls and destroy establishments with your tongue. With all of this, I want to say I love you! I am proud to have given birth to a powerful woman like you. I am honored to have the opportunity to nurture such a powerful Force. Once you realize who you are I know your world will be transformed.

 

Words my mother never said!

pexels-photo-269583.jpegDear wonderful daughter,

It is perfectly okay not to be okay. You will not always have it together and I certainly do not expect you to! Calm down, all of it will make sense when the time is right. What you are going through is normal and I trust that you are well equipped to handle the challenges that lie ahead. Being interested in sex is completely normal. It does not make you a slut nor does it make you a sinner. Your body is changing and that is okay too. Wear that mini skirt, but only because YOU want to, and not because you want that boy to take a second glance.

THEY MIGHT NOT WANT YOU RIGHT NOW, BUT TRUST ME THAT IS A BLESSING. THIS WILL ONLY GIVE YOU MORE TIME TO LEARN FROM OTHER PEOPLE’S MISTAKES.

ABOUT BOYS:

NEVER settle for less than what you deserve. Trust me, you know what you deserve. Don’t be afraid to share with him what that is. Remember that it is not always about you. You need to treat others with the same respect you demand. You might not enjoy having sex with him and that is okay! TELL HIM NO. Have Sex when you want to, you don’t have to do it for him. Trust me he can deal with rejection, and beside you don’t owe him any explanation. He also has the right to say no.

This heartbreak will not last forever. I know it might feel like the end of the world but know that you will be triumphant.  Accept that he is not for you, and you not for him and that is okay. This does not necessarily mean he is a bad person it just means your time has not come yet. Dust yourself up and rejoice in being single. Truly single and working on your self. Make time for your own growth and your own happiness. Be content in who you are emotionally and physically. Spiritual freedom however will truly set you free. There is nothing like being at peace with who you are.

 

To my heartbeat

I am in tears just thinking about your healthy tiny hands. I glow at the thought of your laughter. You were conceived from pure magic. You are immensely loved and treasured. I can’t wait to lay in an empty room with you and shut the whole world out, and to say a prayer of gratitude. I will praise the Lord in ways unimaginable for allowing your father and I to hear that heartbeat. You are my flesh, my heart in human form, my soul and my love personified, my all, my force, my hope and my joy. You are my pride and a true form of I and your father’s best attributes.

You are great. You are love and thank you for changing my life.

Grow, smile, cry and I will always be by your side in spirit and in flesh.

I vow,

image1.jpegTo pray for you during random nights when I lay awake to obsess over your face.

I vow to love every inch of you with patience, including the parts you are yet to reveal to me. I want to love you to existence. I want to love you to the King I know you are. I promise you this much, as long as I am still breathing you shall have it all.

You are everything and more. You are loved and you are worthy! You are great and You are enough. You are light and you are free. You are joy and a blessing. You are needed and you are PRESENT.