Category Archives: Tales of Motherhood

Motherhood Revisited

I can remember the months leading up to the birth of my daughter. I was excited, anxious, and scared. I had no idea what motherhood would bring. As I look forward to celebrating my second Mother’s Day, I see motherhood completely different.

 

Brooklyn (almost 3 months) at Camryn's 1st Bday 04/03/2013

Brooklyn (almost 3 months) at Camryn’s 1st Bday 04/03/2013

Having spent close to 16 months being a mother, I want to take back every piece of advice I’ve ever given another mother. Well, mostly the judgmental stuff. The “you shouldn’t let her talk to you like that” ‘s , the “why are they eating that” ‘s , all  the annoying unsolicited advice, would go out the window.  Why? Because back then, when I was super single, had enough time to shave my legs  more than once a month (judge all you want; mama is ti-RED), I had energy to spare and free time was my reality, I saw motherhood as something you did right or wrong.

 

Muah. BK (12 months) after worship service.

Muah. BK (12 months) after worship service.

Now, over a year into the most important job on the planet, I see my mothering and parenting as a learn by doing sorta thing. Of course there are still the advice givers and overly concerned family members and even strangers who comment on my somewhat free style parenting. I’m sure they’ll always be there. However, what I am learning is that there is no right or wrong way to do things. A co-worker of mine recently had a baby and in the card I gave her, I wrote something like: go into motherhood with an open heart for your baby and closed ears to everyone else.

 

Brooklyn's 1st Birthday!

Brooklyn’s 1st Birthday!

I wanted to impart to her that though people will have things to say (about your baby’s uncombed hair and lack of a sweater in “cold” Florida weather) God gifted you with the blessed responsibility of motherhood. That’s what my daughter has taught me. Especially on nights when I’m tired from work, school, and life and the last thing I want to do is breastfeed. Then I realize she won’t always be this close to me. One day, probably sooner than I can imagine, she’ll want to spend more time with her friends than with her Mama!

 

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In the meantime, while I parent out loud and in public, I’ll do so my way. Day by day, it gets easier and harder all at once. After I’ve conquered one challenge, here comes another. But you know what? Oddly enough, with each challenge, I become stronger and I am more ready than I thought I would be. No longer am I afraid or anxious. I greet each day of being a mother with joy. I relish in the moment that I drive up to the babysitter’s house and see my BK peeking through the blinds, waiting for me to come to the door or on the ride home when she’s singing “Happy” and waving her hands in the air.  It’s moments like those that fill me with gratefulness for the gift of motherhood. On tough days, I’ll revisit my mommy moments and my heart will smile.

 

Until Next Time….

Be Blessed & Live Well.

 

Chanell Nicole

 

Share a Mommy Moment with me 🙂

Tia’s Testimony

May is Pre-Eclampsia Awareness Month. In an effort to bring awareness and draw support from my readers I will share the story of a dear friend and survivor, Tia.

Fathiyyah Doster, a Miami native, world traveler, music enthusiast and awesome Mommy embarked on her journey into motherhood in February 2010.

I remember seeing pictures of her baby shower on Facebook then almost immediately following, there were well-wishes and prayers, but not the usual prayers. Something had gone wrong. Read along and be inspired as Tia shares her story of victory, faith, and survival.

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They say you don’t know how strong you are until you actually have to be strong. And to be honest, the last time I ever felt strong was after my daddy died. It was almost like a forced strength because everyone and everything else around me was crumbling before my eyes. In some strange way, I think I carried that same strength throughout the years, just saving it for the moment that I would need it again. And surely did I need it beginning February 5, 2010.

It’s funny how sometimes it takes tragedy and trials to make a believer out of some people. As much as I’ve tried to deny myself of these feelings, it holds true for me. I’m not sure how much I believed in God before, but I did. I grew up knowing Him, but never took enough time to fully secure my faith (or so I thought). Til this day, I thank God for a praying mother because without her, I wouldn’t know Him.

Time after time, people tell me I have a testimony. I often wonder why God chose me, of all people to give this test and testimony to. I mean, even after so much went on, what do I say? What do I do? How do I testify that God is real and I know it. So these days, my prayer is that God shows me how to do just that. So I guess writing something would be a good start, huh?

For those that don’t know what happened,  I was pregnant with my daughter, due to give birth on or about February 22, 2010. Of course it was designed some other way that God saw fit and I had her through emergency cesarean at 5:07am, on February 5, 2010.

I felt some abnormal pressures in my stomach and back and after calling the midwife around 12am, I went to the hospital, honestly thinking it was a false alarm. Upon being checked in by the nurses, it was found that my blood pressure was a 210/150 (or something like that).  Immediately I knew what that meant. My plans for a natural water birth were shattered. They needed to take the baby ASAP. I panicked.

Literally no more than five minutes after my blood pressure was taken, I began to seize and blacked out. When I woke up, I was not oriented to place or time, and the only thing I knew was that there was no baby in my stomach and I was connected to many tubes and pipes and hoses and machines. I just couldn’t understand. My nurse tried to explain to me what had taken place, but everything was a blur…the only thing I could comprehend was that “your baby girl is okay.”

They diagnosed me with HELLP syndrome. This is basically a very severe case of eclampsia. It means Hemolytic anemia Elevated Liver enzymes and Low Platelet count. This led to two seizures and multi organ failure, shutting down my lungs, kidneys and liver. My blood was clotting, I was retaining all types of fluids and I was swollen. They proceeded to intubate me, put me on a ventilator, dialysis, connect these draining tubes in both sides of my stomach.

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Over the course of what I think were days, I remember bits and pieces of people coming to visit, meeting nurses and doctors. I was intubated and not able to talk at all, making me frustrated and tired. The doctors were all out of ideas. Nobody knew what to do. It was a waiting game. A nightmare! A three and a half month nightmare. I remember telling one of my best friends that I felt like I was on an episode of House. I secretly wished it was an episode of House and at the end, they figured out the mystery and sent me home to be with my baby.

The one thing I do remember is praying non stop. I couldn’t talk, walk, write, eat, drink, sleep and I could barely think. You never know how much you miss those simple pleasures in life until you can’t do them anymore. The only thing I knew how to do was pray. Throughout my stay at the hospital, I had several nightmares, several dreams, and the only thing I could do in the midst of it all was pray. It was just me and God. Or God and I. I was angry and frustrated. I was happy and grateful. I was hungry and thirsty. I was sleepy and anxious. I was depressed and paranoid. I was up and down, here and there. I was lonely and in pain. I didn’t know how to feel. I was a mess! But all I could do was pray.

One dream I remember vividly is my daddy being there telling me to stop being lazy and to get up and do what I have to do. He told me that he would watch Ayah while I handled my business. At the time, I really just enjoyed seeing my daddy in my dreams every night. I didn’t know what it meant, it just felt good. I felt again how I felt when my daddy died. This overwhelming strength came over me. If I wasn’t going to handle this for myself, I had to do it for Ayah.

I remember consoling my mother and praying with my sister. I remember my friends and family coming to see me. I remember my aunt by my bedside constantly until I was comfortable enough to stay by myself. I remember foot massages and half baths from the nurses. I remember multiple procedures and painful procedures. I remember being so reluctant to take any medications out of fear of becoming addicted. I remember being so protective over my trach out of fear that I would suffocate. I remember dialysis and being hot then cold then hot again. I remember my fevers being so high that they had to put that COLD blanket on me. I remember the nurses packing my cesarian cut with what I thought looked like packing foam to help absorb some of the fluids in my abdomen. I remember wearing those leg things that are supposed to help decrease the chances of blood clots in the legs. I remember leaving the television on the nature station and just watching pictures of nature wishing I was well enough to go somewhere, anywhere. I remember trying to text when I thought I was better. I remember listening to Anthony Hamilton non stop on my mp3 feeling a bit soothed from his voice. I remember watching ‘Why Did I Get Married Too’ on bootleg on my portable DVD player. I remember my aunt braiding my hair and trying to cover up my bald spot. I remember my friend coming to paint my nails and my cousin giving me a pedicure. I remember seeing one of my nurses cry because she had never seen anything like my case. I remember being transferred to Tampa General Hospital. I remember my room decorated with balloons, flowers, cards, pictures and the overwhelming love and support. I remember attempting to write when I couldn’t talk. I remember the crazed respiratory therapist that traumatized me several times. I remember the very blunt nephrologist and the very sincere internal medicine doctors.  I remember the transporters and nurses and other staff coming to check on me all the time to see what progress I was making. I remember the Haitian chaplain coming to pray with me almost everyday. I remember the ghetto tech that always made me laugh. I remember the older volunteer nurse that came to give me GOOD baths every Sunday. I remember watching every rerun of every show on every channel, everyday for three and a half months. I remember the first time I sat up, the first time I spoke, the first time I was able to eat.

Most of all, I remember the very first time I saw Ayah (when I was coherent). All I could do was cry. I hated for her to see her mommy that way. I was shaking uncontrollably as I held her. I told my mother that I didn’t want her to come back to that place as long as I was there and that was my motivation to get better as soon as I could.

Love poured in from everywhere. I never knew how much love and support surrounded me and that is one of the greatest feelings a person could ever have. I needed that in order to sustain. God knew exactly who to place in my life. I think this situation not only touched my life, but the lives of so many people who now understand that this thing is real. A person can be here one day and gone the very next. The overwhelming amount of prayers and petitions that God received had to help sway his mind…LOL. So many people believe that God is real and believed that he was able to do more for me than we would ever be able to do.

The aftermath is the hardest. Physical therapy to regain strength in my legs and feet from having foot drop. Having to continue with dialysis; My kidneys were the only organs that didn’t recover fully and although they are functioning, they aren’t functioning fully on their own. Right now, the options are permanent dialysis or kidney transplant. Mentally, I’m burdened everyday with the thought of being here for my daughter. I struggle with confidence and strength everyday. I struggle with accepting the new person I’ve become and the person others expect me to be. Feeling like I have these shoes to fill because of my test. I feel obligated to do more than exist now, I need to live, and live with a purpose.

I know that God has my back. Even through the difficult times. People say He didn’t bring me this far to leave me. I could have been gone. My daughter could have been gone. He didn’t have to give me another chance at life, but He did. There was no way anybody could tell me that I deserved His grace. What have I done to afford this gift?

Tia & Ayah

Tia & Ayah

Gradually I’m understanding that it’s not about what I have done, but what I am going to do. My prayer is also that my testimony speaks volumes through my actions. That I never let a day go by that I don’t appreciate the moments that I have on this earth. You can’t tell me God isn’t real. If I wasn’t a believer before, I’m definitely a believer now. If He does nothing else for me, He has done enough. Love brings change. God brings change. I know that when his glory shows up, bodies are healed and most of all, lives are changed. All you have to do is believe. My life was forever changed on February 5, 2010.

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Today, Fathiyyah has progressed and is no longer on dialysis. She resides in Miami where she raises her beautiful daughter, Ayah. Tia’s resilience is unmatched. While she survived HELLP syndrome, she didn’t rejoice quietly. As part of her testimony, she formed Team Ayah’s Miracle and spearheaded the Promise Walk for Pre-Eclampsia. This year marks the third year that the South Florida community will have a chance to spread awareness and raise funds for Pre-Eclampsia. I was able to participate last year just weeks after finding out I was expecting. The testimonies of the women and men involved were so encouraging. If you would like more information or to donate go to www.promisewalk.org

Thanks Tia for sharing your testimony.

Be sure to donate. Any amount could help.

Until next time, Be Blessed & Live Well.

Chanell Nicole

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Brooklyn’s Mommy

One day, Lord willing, I’ll pick up my baby girl from school or camp or church or somewhere and someone will say, “That’s Brooklyn’s Mommy,” in reference to me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

That's Brooklyn's Mommy. Getting ready on Mother's Day.

That’s Brooklyn’s Mommy. Getting ready on Mother’s Day.

Though my motherhood journey has just started, I’m so grateful and I’ve learned so much. Some of the things I said I’d never do have been crossed off that list; including but not limited to:

  • co-sleeping/bedsharing
  • baby talk
  • baby shopping sprees
  • passing her off to someone else (babysitter, grandma, auntie) when I get a little tired
  • letting her go out in public wearing only a onesie (it’s hot in Florida)
  • posting pictures of her on social media (I tried but I just love her soooo much I have to share)
  • talking about her incessantly

I finally know what it means to have a piece of your heart leave you each day. Like, I really love this little person just because she is! I’m amazed at her growth and in four short months she’s formed a personality and has all these little quirks. Who knew?

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Reflecting back to last year around this time, I was only about two months pregnant and full of questions. I didn’t know what would come of the pregnancy. I didn’t know if she was a she, LOL. I just knew I would try and be the best mom possible.

The smirk.

The smirk.

Even towards the end of my pregnancy it still wasn’t real. Sure, I had a big belly and felt life inside me but I hadn’t experienced the cries, sleepless nights, coos, laughs or smiles yet. I had no idea I would have to learn how to be patient with this little person’s ever-changing demands. I didn’t know this love. At four months, she’s getting into a routine and trying to scoot around. She has teeth trying to break through and she’s gnawing on everything. When she cries, I soothe her. I even laugh at the funny faces she makes when she doesn’t want to wake up or when Daddy’s annoying her.

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I can understand the tears my mom shed, the sacrifices she made, how unselfish she was, how hard she worked for us and why she still works so hard to be an amazing example of what it means to be a mother. I only hope I can be the same for my daughter.

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Sure, there will be days when she disappoints me or makes me upset but I’ll be ready to roll with the punches. For right now, I’m cherishing the moments that she wants to hug me, hold my face in her hands, slobber my nose and have conversations with me.

 

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One day she’ll wipe off my kisses and immerse herself in friendships. But for now…

She’s my silly billy, my Teeta-Peeta, my Mamacita, my baby girl. And I’m over-the-moon happy to be Brooklyn’s Mommy!

Chanell Nicole

 

P.S.  Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all Mommies, mommies-to-be, step moms, grandmoms, aunts and godmothers.

 

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Mother’s Day For Me

Yesterday I celebrated my first Mother’s Day!

I started off the day in prayer, thanking God for making me a mother. That’s such a huge title and I’m learning that so much comes with being a mother.  I spent the early part of the morning with My Mommy! The Baby and I went to my mom’s church for a Mother’s Day breakfast. We had a great time.

Me & My Mommy

Me & My Mommy

Just before we were about to leave, I got a “gift” from my baby girl. She left it all over the front of my dress and on her clothes, too. We smiled off the little mishap and headed home. Though our plans to attend our place of worship were put on hold (due to a cranky, teething baby) I enjoyed spending time in bed; just the two of us.

Me & The Baby.

Me & The Baby.

Later on in the day, we went to my mother-in-law’s house for dinner. The menu was oxtail, jerk pork, coconut rice and peas, steamed cabbage, potato salad, macaroni and cheese, and corn bread. I kept my portion rather manageable so I could later enjoy a slice of red velvet cake! My mother-in-law surprised me with my first Mother’s Day gift: a wonderful card, a pair of earrings and a matching necklace. She also bought me a notebook with a message that really touched me.

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Since becoming a mom, it has been hard for me to find the balance between wife, mom, and creative being. Her message encouraged me to keep creating and being purposeful. I couldn’t ask for a better mother-in-law!

My husband had made me believe that all I was getting for Mother’s Day was a singing card. I can admit, I was astounded! I could not believe that he didn’t see the importance of my very first Mother’s Day! Just before dinner, he asked me to come into the den and place a hot pink gym bag in front of me. “Open it,” he said, smiling.

Inside was most of what I’ll need to continue my journey to a more fit and better me. While some women want flowers and perfume, all I wanted was a spare pare of running shoes and I got so much more! I was cheesing for the rest of the day.

Later in the night, once the baby was asleep he said, “did you actually think I wouldn’t get you a gift?”

“I was hoping you got something but you really had me going,” I told him still cheesing.

“It was fun watching you almost spazz out though.”

I can admit, I get a little impatient at times; especially with my husband. The greatest gift I could have gotten on Mother’s Day was already given to me. I have a healthy baby girl and a husband who loves and supports me.

But who doesn’t want to be celebrated a little? Right?

How was you Mother’s Day?

Until next time Be Blessed & Live Well.

Chanell Nicole

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Random Blog #3

Hey!
I feel amazing. It’s a refreshing feeling. I’m not as tired as I once complained about and the feeling is priceless. BK is 3 months old! I can’t believe how fast the time is flying. She amazes me everyday. Seeing her smiling face (which looks nothing like mine) every morning is a blessing within itself. Some days I just want to stay at home with her and play all day long. Never have I known this kind of love.

I love being a mother. Though it took me a little while to embrace, I can actually say it’s the best feeling in the world. Last year around this time, I had just found out I was expecting. I was afraid and excited all at once. It was then that I began wrapping my mind around what it meant to bring forth life. What I have now is so much more than what I could even think of. (Ephesians 3:20 moment in full effect.)

I can remember being one of those women who bragged about NOT having children. I now chuckle when I read a status update that says something like: I’m glad I don’t have kids to tie me down.
Some women make the choice not to have children and that’s all fine and dandy. But my life didn’t have the same purpose that it does now that I have a child. Everything I do has an effect on her life. That’s so deep and intimidating at times. Even when talking about myself I have to remember that she’s watching and listening. I am her definition of what it means to be a woman. That’s so scary to me. I’ve been given a huge charge to mold and shape and be an example.

I take it day by day and I am confident that God has prepared me for every obstacle I’ll face in motherhood and life in general. Knowing that my strength comes from Him makes it so much easier. One thing I’ve learned in the past three months is that it gets better. When I brought her home from the hospital I had no idea what I was doing. I cried a lot. I spent a lot of time wondering if I would ever get the hang of things. Once my hormones leveled off and I treated her like a baby (instead of expecting her to be able to do everything on her own) I regained my composure.

I still don’t feel like my “old” self and that’s to be expected. I’m a different person with a new title: Fabulous Mommy! I embrace it and I know that being a mom doesn’t mean being perfect, but I’m working on it.

 

Motherhood: A Brand New Me

Motherhood: A Brand New Me

Until next time,
Be blessed & Live Well.

Chanell Nicole

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Mommy & Me Monday

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Happy Monday!

This weekend was quite busy for The Baby and I. My husband’s extended family came from all over to attend The 8th Annual Jazz in the Gardens concert. While neither of us attended, we enjoyed spending time with family, most of who had never met BK.

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I was on kitchen duty on Saturday. I made conch fritters and they were pretty yummy! BK spent most of the day in the arms of family members, being smothered with love and kisses.
Thank God she got her shots…. Mommy moment

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Since it was the weekend, and I had a few extra moments to plan, I decided to dress like The Baby. I had already chosen her clothes for the day and on a whim I searched the drawers for something comfy and complementary.

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So we ended up being twins for the day.

I always vowed not to go overboard with her, but now I see how things can easily get out of hand.
This is just a simple outfit, but it sparked such inspiration for future Mommy and Me collaborations.

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Hope you have an awesome day! Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time, Live Well & Be Blessed.

Chanell Nicole

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Perspective

As a new mommy, I’m always interested in hearing about what other new, first time moms have to say about motherhood. I’m part of an online community of moms that share ideas. I’m not as vocal as some of the know-it-all, cloth diapering, perfect birthing moms but I chime in from time to time. Today, one of the moms posted about her motherhood experience. I shared most of her sentiments. I won’t post her words but she said, “I’m mourning the old me”.

It made me think. While I am in no way the same “me” from a year ago, I miss her from time to time. She was an awesomely single woman who wore high heeled shoes more often than not. She was free. She actually slept in on Saturdays and had brunch on Sundays.

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Do I mourn her existence? Maybe sometimes, but she lacked so much that I have. She may have dressed better than me and had more money to spend on clothes and sushi but there’s a certain joy she didn’t have.

Maybe that came with motherhood?

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it’s all in the perspective. What was once important to me is now insignificant. Don’t get me wrong, being a mom is HARD WORK, and I know it will only get harder. I don’t LOVE waking up early or going to sleep way too late. I don’t LOVE being exhausted or not fitting into my prepregnancy clothes despite weighing the exact same amount I did before I became a mom. (Weight shifted around, I guess?) I don’t LOVE most of what motherhood is right NOW, but I do LOVE my daughter.

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The old me, however fabulous, didn’t have half my responsibilities or even a tenth of the love I have in my life right now.

So, do I miss the old me, sure? But I wouldn’t trade places with her… well, maybe on a Sunday. Boy, do I miss brunch with my BFF.

Until next time,  Live Well & Be BlessedImage.

Chanell Nicole

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Random Blog #2

So, I’ve been a parent for close to 8 weeks now. What a rollercoaster ride it has been. There’s so much to learn, absorb, and apply. I learn a new lesson or two or three every single day. Just last night, while preparing the family to go to evening service for the first time since having the baby, we got a little scare. The baby was inconsolable and would not eat. She just cried, squirmed, and screamed some more.

As new parents, we were puzzled. None of the tried and true techniques worked. My mother in law even tried applying her personal touch but that didn’t work either. After two hours of tears, jerks, and attempted feedings, we decided to go to the E.R.

 

Upon arrival to the E.R., I had to write down her symptoms: woke up screaming, inconsolable, puts hand to mouth, turning head side to side, won’t take breast, temperature. My mother in law had thought she may have had an ear infection and to be sure, we wanted to let the professionals have the final say.

The Patient Care Assistant called us in and began taking her vitals. Daddy had left her pacifier (yay, she’s taking a pacifier now!) in the car, so she began screaming. “Would you like a pacifier for her?” the PCA asked.

“Sure, but that wasn’t working for us earlier,” I replied.

In an instant, Baby BK calmed down.

Her temperature  and blood pressure were fine but we still had to take her to a room to be examined by the doctor. The nurse dressed her in the cutest little hospital gown and  picked her up. Baby BK began cooing and laughing upon examination. “There’s nothing wrong here. She’s just growing,” the nurse said. “But I’m not the doctor so stay  put, he’ll examine her further.

She left and Baby BK laughed and wiggled while we waited for the doctor to arrive.

“I think she just wanted to take a trip to this hospital,” I joked with The Husband.

In the end, we were given a prognosis of Classic First Time Parents. There was nothing wrong with the baby. She just wanted to be in a new environment, I suppose. My motherly instincts were in overdrive and I would rather be safe than sorry.

In hindsight, it was kinda funny; but seeing your baby suffer to no end is the worst feeling. I am so grateful nothing was wrong but I’m sure she enjoyed her first trip to the E.R.

 

Until next time, Be Blessed and Live Well.

 

Chanell Nicole♥

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Hello Brooklyn. My Birth Story

Almost four weeks ago, I gave birth to the most amazing, inquisitive, funny, at times cranky, always loving baby girl. After watching a few birthing videos and hearing so many tales of motherhood gone wrong, right, and unexpected, I knew it would be time for me to actually experience having my very own child.

She made us wait a little longer than normal so I knew she would be special. On January 10, 2013, I was finally able to say, “Hello Brooklyn”:

My due date had come and gone by a long shot.  I had moments of frustration that turned into contentment. God had sent me a wave of patience and I was just waiting on her arrival. In the meantime, I got my hair braided, wrote a blog post or three, and spent the last childless moments being Chanell.

Enjoying fresh coconut water and an arepa at the Farmers' Market (at Memorial Miramar Hospital)

Enjoying fresh coconut water and an arepa at the Farmers’ Market (at Memorial Miramar Hospital)

Every day that week, I received calls, texts, social media messages asking if I had given birth. “Not yet. You’ll know when I do,” I replied.

It stopped getting annoying around day three. I was used to it by that point. My doctor and midwife had given me orders to go to the hospital every other day for a non-stress test and ultrasound to check on the baby’s progress. Since I was overdue, that was common practice. The nurses recognized me by face and the security guard even asked (on my third visit that week) “You haven’t had that baby YET?”

I had gone from feeling tight all over to feeling like my old self with a huge belly. I knew that was the calm before the storm so to speak. On Wednesday, January 9, around 11:30pm, I began contracting. Though I had experienced false labor before, these contractions were a bit stronger. So, I downloaded an app to my phone that tracked the time between each contraction. They were abnormal in length and intensity for about four hours so I decided to wait and go to the hospital in the morning for my scheduled non-stress test and ultrasound.

I barely slept that night. I was uncomfortable but the pain wasn’t too much for me to handle. I eased the pain by stretching on an exercise ball and soaking in the tub for a while. Though I had never taken a child birthing class, I knew the importance of breathing through the pain. So, I breathed.

The next morning, around 6:30 am, I woke up and started getting dressed. My hospital bags had been packed and in the car for two weeks. It was a struggle getting my husband up but a lot of coercion (and a little Pregnant Lady yelling) and we were out the door. We picked up breakfast and headed toward the hospital. On the way there, I could feel every pebble on the freeway. It hurt for me to sit and the ride was about twenty minutes. At that very moment, I wished I had picked the older hospital that was just ten minutes away.

I wobbled into the registration area at the hospital and waited to be called. I had been to the hospital so many times I knew some of the employees by name. I was sent to see the same woman who had checked me in three times before. “It’s time?” she asked.

“Yep,” I managed through contractions.

She hurriedly typed in my information, gave me a hospital wristband and sent me to Labor and Delivery.

The nurse in L&D put me on the monitor to start the non-stress test and track my contractions. At that point, the contractions were still infrequent so we had to wait until they got stronger. In the meantime, I still had to get an ultrasound just to be sure.

It was quite possibly the worst of all the ultrasounds I’d had since being pregnant. I was contracting like crazy and the baby wasn’t moving the way the ultrasound tech thought she should. Again, I was overdue and they were looking for certain movements from the baby. I guess she was tired and didn’t want to cooperate. Well, that meant nothing to the techs. Not only was the lead technologist very impersonal, but he was also training another employee on my belly!  Once that was over, I was wheeled back over to L&D triage where the nurse informed me that she had spoken to my midwife and given orders to check my cervix for dilation (fun stuff) to see if I was ready to be admitted.

I was only one cm dilated (which is the most progress I had shown the entire pregnancy) and my contractions were picking up. So I was admitted.  Yay! Finally!

Party time!

Party time!

The plan was to start the induction process so I could possibly give birth by Friday.

My nurse Anna asked if I wanted to eat something since I wouldn’t be able to eat until after I gave birth. Food? Yes, please!

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I devoured the eggs, toast, and cereal and gulped down the orange juice. While I wasn’t full, it was enough to keep me satisfied. I kept thinking, I can’t possibly survive on this until tomorrow morning.

At 11:55 am, I was done eating, it was time to start the Cervidil, a medicine used to soften the cervix.  I asked Anna tons of questions and she patiently and efficiently answered them with a smile.

“You can’t get up for at least five hours or so, so get comfortable,” she warned.

I got as comfortable as I could on that hard bed. My butt was starting to get numb so I asked my husband (during one of his InstaGram breaks) to get the beach blanket from the trunk of the car so I could have a little extra cushion. I told him to go to work since I wouldn’t be giving birth until the next day. He told me he would wait until someone arrived to sit with me. (He never made it to work that day.)

My contractions kept getting stronger and closer together. But I wasn’t sure if I was dilated. The Cervidil was supposed to help with softening the cervix for possible dilation. Once that part was over, I was supposed to get Pitocin which would force my body into labor. Or, as my sister told me, give me contractions that would start “thundering out of my soul”.

At around 3 o’clock, Anna came in to let me know she had spoken to my doctor. My midwife was busy with another patient and the doctor would be delivering my baby. I was a bit nervous because I knew his track record with Cesarean sections and I didn’t really want to go that route. But if my body wasn’t cooperating (like it had not been for the past two weeks) I would have to deal with it.

My doctor had told Anna that if at 5 o’clock I wasn’t dilated he would come in and do a C-section. I was in so much discomfort at that point that nothing mattered. Another nurse asked if that’s what I really wanted and I didn’t know if I had a choice or not so I said, “I don’t care at this point.”

When Anna checked me, I was at 5 cm! Finally, some progress. By that time, I had a few more visitors. Along with my husband, my friend Roxy, and my minister’s wife (and close friend) were there as well. I could barely talk and asked for some pain medication. Just something to take the edge off. I was given a sedative that knocked me out for what felt like thirty minutes. I could still feel the contractions, I was just sleepy.

Another friend came by (who I completely forgot about until I talked to my husband and read through my text messages) but I was out of it during most of her visit.

By 6:30, my doctor arrived and checked me one last time to see what our next plan of action would be. I was 8 cm dilated and moving fast. “You’re almost ready. You could go natural,” he said.

“Could I still get the epidural?” I asked.

“Yes, but you don’t really need it,” Anna said.

I imagined pushing without it and the pain that I had already felt (which wasn’t that bad) and decided to save my sanity and get the epidural.

By that time, my mother-in-law and one of my sisters had arrived. Once the anesthesiologist got there, everyone had to leave the room. My mom and another one of my friends were on the way to witness the birth of BK. Traffic near the hospital was heavy so I wasn’t sure they would be there. Either way, I had a village of women (and my husband) there to support me.

Once I could feel the effects of the epidural, my legs were placed in the harnesses and I was told to push when I felt pressure.

At 7:10 pm I updated my Facebook status to let everyone know I was at 10 cm and ready to deliver.

“Oh, I’ve been feeling pressure for a while now.”

It all happened so quick.

“Put your chin to your chest and push hard like you’re trying to take a bowel movement.”

I could barely feel my legs but my lower half wasn’t completely numb. I was comfortable. I felt like I was having an outer body experience. In a matter of minutes, I would be holding my baby.

Push! Push! Push!

On my left side stood my husband, my sister, and my mother-in-law. On my right side was my minister’s wife and a nurse. My husband was about to pass out and looked on as the ladies held my legs with me.

“She has a lot of hair,” someone said.

I was still in a daze. I would have a baby, one that I had to take sole responsibility for.

After about 10 pushes she was out.

At 7:25 pm I became a mother.

Tears of joy. Brooklyn reaching up for mommy. Priceless feeling.

Tears of joy. Brooklyn reaching up for mommy. Priceless feeling.

Her eyes were bright and she was looking around like she knew exactly where she was. When her gaze met mine, my life was changed FOREVER!

She was placed on my chest and feeling her heart beat against mine was the best feeling in the world.

“Hi,” was all I could manage. I got choked up and cried silent tears as she was weighed and wrapped up.

Yeah! I'm here! (This is the funniest picture EVER!)

Yeah! I’m here! (This is the funniest picture EVER!)

While I should have been tired and hungry I was exhilarated. My mom arrived shortly after and held her second granddaughter who was busy sucking her fingers.

My husband and I looked one another in the eyes and said, “we did it.”

I gave him a double tap and a salute (we’re corny) and got ready for the ride of my life.

I thank God for every moment, every morning I can wake up and say, “Hello Brooklyn.”

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Wait.

Happy New Year!

It’s officially 2013. Of course, I had to wait and let the year sink in  a few days before I blogged. I’ve been waiting for an arrival of sorts to appear. While I’m typing this blog, I’m still waiting (with an abnormal amount of patience, too).

 

Though I gave The Baby a deadline of sorts last week, I’ve realized that she will come when she’s good and ready. Also, at my last appointment, my midwife let me know that my due date may have been off by a few days. Though I’m still considered overdue, I may not be as past due as I thought.  So, I’ll wait.

 

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I have an appointment today and I have been to the hospital for routine non stress tests and ultrasounds for the past couple days.  I feel regular. Well, as regular as I can feel with this protruding belly 🙂

 

So many people have shown me love over the past few weeks and I appreciate their concern. This experience is teaching me to not only wait but also be more considerate of others’ waiting experiences. While one waits, checking up on their progress can be a source of encouragement or frustration. In my case, it has been mostly the latter. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’d much rather let you know I’m done waiting than to be questioned incessantly about the status of my situation.

 

“You’re STILL pregnant?”

“When’s the baby coming?”

“Are you ready?”

 

^^^ All questions I’ll never ask a pregnant woman, ever!

 

Maybe it’s just me.  I’m okay with that. We all deal with our waiting processes differently. It’s like waiting for a package without a confirmation number. Sure, it’s coming, but you don’t know when. You let your friends know about the purchase months ago and they keep asking if it has arrived yet. Call after call, text after text, post after post. See how that could get to someone?

 

So, what’s the take away here? The next time you know someone is waiting for something, wait a while and let them tell you if their package got there yet. Again, I may be an isolated incident (one who likes to wait in silence) but we all wait differently.

 

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On that note, while I wait, I will watch and pray. I hope The Baby shows up without any needed intervention. If she needs a little nudge, I’ll wait for the right time and pray that all goes well. I know it will because I’ve waited my entire life for this moment.

 

Until next time. Live Well and Be Blessed.

 

Chanell Nicole ♥

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