Happy Monday, beautiful people! Whoooo, what a weekend I’ve had. It seems like my energy is being drained more and more by the day. I have to take my time getting up now and doing even the simplest of tasks feels like a chore. I’ve had a few contractions recently but nothing too major. It was scary thinking about delivery and all that goes with it.
We’re 36 weeks, one day pregnant. So, by the numbers, I’m 9 months pregnant. Before this pregnancy journey, my friends and family all told me that pregnancy is actually a 10 month process but I never paid it any mind. My sister, who gave birth in April, warned me that by month 9, I would be ready for the baby to come, and she was absolutely right! After another weekend of nesting and preparation, I’m so excited to meet my baby. But I’ll take three more weeks to enjoy time with The Husband and get more prepared.
Enough about me. Today’s Mommy Story comes from Daphnee. It’s funny how many interesting women I meet in passing. I met Daphnee last fall while at a natural hair demo. We were both hair demo models for Natural Trendsetters’ Miami location on the campus of Florida Memorial University. We spent the entire day talking and laughing and, of course, getting our hair done.
Daphnee has a great spirit and I can tell she LOVES being a mom. She is a native of Queens, NY and a longtime resident of Miami, Florida; where she recently became a nurse. Find out more about Daphnee’s delivery of her daughters Kamaia Yves, born May 8, 2004, and Kamilah Joyce, born June 20, 2009.
Daphnee, how did you find out you were pregnant?
With my first daughter I had all the symptoms nausea, sore breasts and fatigue, with my second I just had inkling and no real symptoms (at first) I took a home pregnancy test and sure enough I was right.
What were your first thoughts when you found out you were expecting?
With my first pregnancy I was scared I was barely 18 and still in high school. With my 2nd I was older and more prepared so I was excited still scared at the thought of 2 children but ready to start this new journey.
Did you have any complications?
I had no complications other than a kidney infection with my first, and my 2nd pregnancy was easy and free of any complications.
What do you remember most about your pregnancy journeys?
I remember feeling the rolls, kicks and hiccups of my baby and how much I enjoyed it, as taboo as it is being a pregnant in high-school I never let anyone make me feel ashamed or take away from the beauty of carrying life,I enjoyed my pregnancies and all that came with it.
What was your most memorable pregnancy mishap?
I remember craving spaghetti so badly, I finally got it and that pregnancy clumsiness kicked in and I dropped my entire bowl on the floor and I started bawling like a baby , I still get made fun of about that 4 years later. Hormones are CRAZY, commercials made me cry , songs literally made me sick to my stomach, but I truly enjoyed being pregnant .
Did you have any misconceptions about being pregnant?
People would warn me about my nose spreading and pretty much getting ugly and feeling unattractive but I felt and looked beautiful all throughout my pregnancies. As crazy as this sounds labor and delivery doesn’t hurt, it is intense but it’s one of those things you have to psyche yourself out about.
How did you feel when it was time for you to give birth?
With my first daughter I was quiet and calm up until the last 15 minutes when I had no control of everything that was going on, my 2nd daughter in the early stages I was up and about and getting prepared but in that middle active phase I was quiet and had more control of the situation I don’t like a lot of fuss and I made sure to keep noise and stress to a minimum, my first daughter Kamaia (5 at the time) had a sense of what was going and she was quietly by my side the whole time and watched her sister be born. With both I was excited and ready to hold my baby and love all over them.
What were your birthing methods; natural, cesarean, pain medication?
I had both of my daughters natural and with no pain medication, my first in a hospital and my 2nd was a water birth at a birthing center.
Did you have an active birth plan?
My birth plan with my first was to labor at home and have an all-natural, epidural free birth and that went as planned. With my 2nd daughter I planned for another drug free water birth and I was thrilled when I was able to do that as well. As strange as it sounds I enjoyed labor and delivery, I guess it gave me a sense of empowerment.
Did everything go as planned?
I was truly blessed in the labor and delivery department as they were both uncomplicated and went how I wanted them to go.
What do you enjoy most about being a mom?
I love how they love me no matter what, even when I’m moody and snap at them they love me, I’m still their hero, when I feel like a failure or when things aren’t going the way I planned they’re just glad that I’m there. I love watching them grow up, although it’s bittersweet, they say the funniest things and do things that you wouldn’t believe.
How has your life changed since becoming a mom?
My life isn’t all about me anymore, I have to do and say things while keeping in mind that they are watching, I’ve learned to not sweat the small stuff but organization keeps stress to a minimum, not saying I’m any good at organizing I just know it makes things run smoothly.
Describe your girls’ individual personalities.
Kamaia is sensitive and goofy, she loves vegetables and hates cake, she loves to watch national geographic and anything about animals and science, she’s smart and sweet but sassy as ever. Kamilah is my firecracker; she’s so curious, smart, and loving. She has 1000 questions for everything, and says the most unexpected things. She’s bold and fearless and loves her sister no matter how much they fight.
What would you like your daughters to experience that you never had a chance to?
I want them to follow their dreams, and never feel limited because of their circumstances whatever they may be.
What’s something you said you wouldn’t do as a parent that you find yourself doing?
I think I am the parent I’ve always wanted to be. Sure, there are a million things I could be doing better but I support them and let them be who they are, while molding them and instilling values that I feel are important.
How do you manage being a mom, having a career, and maintaining a social life?
I have an amazing support system, being a single mom I think it is very important to have people around you that are understanding, willing and capable to give you a break when you need it. My parents and my sisters make it possible for me to still be able to enjoy being young and single career-driven and successful.
Would you like to have more children?
I absolutely plan on having more children, I always saw myself with a big family, and hopefully I’ll able to make that happen.
Any other thoughts you’d like to share?
At 17, I didn’t plan on becoming someone’s mother but I did and I had to trust myself and all of my instincts and do what felt right, 5 years later I was older and wiser and still just as scared but once again I turned to what felt right and natural, I trusted myself so much more. Motherhood is about trusting your instinct, it may not be as clear at first but in time it will be and it’s important to not force anything or go against your gut. Always remember to take time for you, you’re a mom, not a machine, even machines need to be shut down and rebooted.
Last but not least BREAST IS THE BEST, I wasn’t able to breastfeed my first daughter for long but I breast-fed for a full year with my 2nd daughter and I breastfed everywhere( in the grocery store, at forever 21 while shopping, in restaurants) and I mean everywhere and didn’t let anyone discourage me or make me feel like I was strange or out-of-place for feeding my baby.
Thanks, Daphnee for sharing your story with us. Thanks for being a resource to me during a recent meltdown. After watching the documentary “The Business of Being Born” I was dead set on not delivering at a hospital. You have been an invaluable source of comfort and as a young woman, you represent a minority. Your natural take on childbirth and motherhood is refreshing. While natural childbirth is at the top of my birth plan (and I know I can do it!) my options will remain open.
What I learned from Daphnee is that true motherhood is not a planned event. As a product of a single mother household, I understand the love and sacrifice that goes into being a mother. I pray that I am able to take an ounce of that love and apply it to my journey.
Share your thoughts on Daphnee’s Mommy Story. If you or someone you know would like to share your Mommy Story, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (Time is winding down and I would like to compile as many stories as possible before I take a mini break.)
Until next time, Be blessed and Live Well.