Tag Archives: Baby

The Latest.

17 Sep

Today I had my scheduled appointment for a NST (non-stress test). Before I get to results and everything, I should mention Saturday.

So, on Saturday, baby wasn’t moving very much at all. Typically she is a VERY active baby. So much so, that I asked the doctor if it was normal for that much movement. So, when she wasn’t moving throughout the day, during kick counting, or even when I nudged her multiple times, I was very worried. Especially since Cholestasis has been in question. I decided to go to the hospital that evening and see if everything was okay. I have to admit I had a mini cry sesh in the bathroom before hand because I was so worried, but I got it together in front of everyone. 

We got to the hospital, and I didn’t want to be a burden or for the nurses to think I was being dramatic, so I just explained things and mentioned I had been tested for the Cholestasis earlier that week. They were all so nice and took me into a room where they hooked me up for a NST. As soon as they put the monitors on my belly, she started going nuts! It was like she was stomping on the monitor. I felt stupid of course, like they would think I was lying or just being dramatic. But I really wouldn’t have went in if I wasn’t genuinely concerned. She said, “It happens all the time. We prefer you come in and everything be fine, than to wait and for things to not be fine.”

She moved around the entire test. The nurse assured me everything looked great. I was having contractions the whole time. Since they were Braxton Hicks level, she said it was totally normal, especially being under stress. It was uncomfortable, but I wasn’t worried about them. They were countless. 

The on-call doctor asked for them to do an ultrasound just to double check everything was A-okay. I was excited because I had been expecting an ultrasound since I had one with Rayne around 31 weeks and my doctor hadn’t even mentioned one this time. During the ultrasound the very sweet and generous technician explained every step to me and my parents, let my mom talk to baby while watching her reaction, and even print me out pictures, even though the ultrasound wasn’t for pictures or my enjoyment, she made it very enjoyable. I even got to see her cute face practicing breathing. Everything looked perfect. I had been worried about her position, but the technician assured me she was “locked in” in head down position. In fact, she took a look at my cervix for measurement, and sure enough, baby’s head was RIGHT there, at the gate, ready to go. HUGE RELIEF.

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After the ultrasound I was taken back to the room for more NST. Contractions proceeded. But I was assured everything looked great. The nurse even told me in her 13 years of nursing in labor and delivery, she hadn’t seen a Cholestasis patient have a bad ending. I was so glad they were all so helpful and understanding. Especially since I will be delivering at that hospital, and wasn’t sure what to expect.

Today during my second NST, the contractions happened as they did the first time. In the matter of 30 minutes I had about 5-6 contractions. But baby did great. I FINALLY got the results of my blood work, and I tested negative for Cholestasis. HOWEVER, my doctor did warn me a week ago (before the test), it sometimes is too early to show up in a blood test. So, she says we will do another blood test next week, as I will be coming in weekly still for the NSTs to keep an eye on baby and my contractions. Things look good from that test, but since my symptoms are a classic fit for Cholestasis, we will be keeping an eye on it, since it does usually just get worse. I’m hoping my levels stay low so I can have the birth experience I dream of. I’m happy that things are looking good right now. And am really trying to stay positive. I’m so happy that I can trust my doctor and the awesome nurses to be proactive in this with me.

I will update again after next weeks appointment! 

Watching My Pregnancy Go From Care-Free To High Risk In One Day.

12 Sep

On Tuesday, September 10th, my “Birth Plan” and any hopes of having a completely natural labor and delivery went out the window. I had been so confident and actually looking forward to an awesome birth experience. Suddenly, In one day, it was taken away and replaced with fear, confusion, and near panic. Not to mention a deep sadness. 

In my last update post, I mentioned some itching I’ve been having on my hands and feet. I told my doctor and she told me there are two kinds of itching in pregnancy: The tummy itch, with or without rash, and itching from Cholestasis. As she was explaining Cholestasis to me, she wasn’t speaking in a way that was “it might be”, she was basically telling me I have it. She ordered blood tests to check my bile acid levels, and ordered to see me every week for NST (non-stress test) for baby. That told me this wasn’t a guessing game, no “maybe”. She didn’t go too into detail, I assume on purpose. I know she wouldn’t want to scare me. She told me it isn’t THAT bad, but it is serious and potentially dangerous. I was calm, because she was calm. I always loved my doctor because she always eased my worried mind. 

I was trying to stay positive while leaving the office, and didn’t really feel too scared. But, I hadn’t really thought about reality yet either. When I got home I started my researching. I didn’t want to read the WebMD sort of thing that is always the worst case scenario. But I quickly found that every site, every article, every testimony, wasn’t far off from each other. No one was playing this down. Everything I read on Cholestasis stated it is a serious condition. 

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What is Cholestasis? In short, the flow of bile (a digestive fluid in the liver), slows or stops, bile builds up and goes about the blood stream, which causes the itching. Blah blah blah. That isn’t the part I’m worried about. Here’s the serious part: The bile salt build up can be VERY dangerous for your unborn baby. My doctor only mentioned it could clog the placenta. But everything I’ve read has scarier things to say. Preterm labor, fetal distress, meconium in the amniotic fluid, and stillbirth. I was fear stricken.

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Treatment for Cholestosis? Consistent fetal monitoring, blood tests to check levels (both at least once a week), perhaps some vitamin K in case of blood clotting issues which can cause severe bleeding after delivery (but is rare), a lot of people are given “Urso” to help the itching and bile flow. Some say it works, others disagree.  But the only cure for Cholestasis is giving birth. Here’s the crazy part: After giving birth, usually, neither you, nor your baby are affected by it. Most women say they felt better very quickly after birth. 

The part that bothers me (ugh..where to start), is that up until now, I thought I was healthy, that my baby was healthy and that my pregnancy was normal and that I would have a great birth experience because I had no complications. But in a day, I went from having a normal, happy pregnancy, to considered high risk. 

In the situation of Cholestasis, induction is usually the answer, unless you go into labor before hand. From what I’ve read, they don’t want you going past 37 weeks because after that point the chance of stillbirth jumps significantly. A lot of women had levels so bad, they’ve been induced at 30, 31 weeks. Obvious induction was very far from my birth plan. But honestly, when I found out the risks of having my baby in there, I couldn’t care less about my birth plan. My main focus is her well being. If that means induction or C-section (God forbid), so be it. The sad part is, after having Cholestasis, you’re at least 70% likely to have it during future pregnancies. Which means, my chances of ever having the natural home birth I dream of, are slim to none.

I haven’t gotten the results back from my blood test yet, so I don’t know how bad it is, or was at that time at least. The thing is, it’s completely unpredictable. Your levels can go from moderate to sky high within an hour. My itching has gotten worse in just a day. My heart aches for what my body is putting my baby through, not to mention this crazy itching! But it also mourns my dream of an all natural home birth. 

There is nothing I could have done to prevent this, and since I’ve never had it before, no way of knowing it was possible. There is nothing I can do now but follow my intuition, take my doctor’s advice, and do whatever is best for my growing baby. 

Have you experienced Cholestasis during pregnancy? I could use some support. 

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My Biggest Fear As Of Now.

21 Aug

It’s no secret that I could be qualified as a worry wort. I have always suffered from anxiety. I have my calm times, when I manage to control any worry I have. But, then I have times when my worries tend to pile up and stress becomes overwhelming. This entire pregnancy I have bounced back and forth between being strangely calm, almost numb, to worrying about every little difference between this pregnancy and my last. For the most part I’ve been able to conquer them all. However, the stress and worry that comes with the third trimester is definitely too big and pressuring to stifle. So much so, that they continue to show themselves in my dreams.

My biggest fear as of now, is that I wont be successful at breastfeeding

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When I had Rayne, breastfeeding was important to me, but I didn’t have the information, resources or the support to succeed. I tried and had a hard time with having no experience, not a good latcher, no one to help me or encourage me, and the first night home, ended up giving her formula. I spent a month pumping and giving her formula. It hurt me because, well, as they say, breast IS best. I couldn’t give my baby the best. What was suppose to come so natural. I failed. I am glad she was able to get as much as she did in the first 6 weeks from my pumping, but I always beat myself up about not succeeding in giving her what she deserved, the best.
With another chance to succeed on the way, I fear I’ll have the same (if not worse) disappointing failure. It’s so important to me to breastfeed, that I refuse to even buy bottles or formula. I don’t even want to give myself the option, because I know there will be a long period of weakness accompanied by exhaustion, stress, etc. And I refuse to give up, again. The difference now, is I have been opened up to the world of mom/breastfeeding blogs, forums, support groups, etc. I may not have breastfeeding support in my daily life, but I do online (which is to not be underestimated). I read about, speak with, and see photos of countless moms succeeding at breastfeeding and making it the big deal it should be. Not in the “Oh my God, she’s really breastfeeding in public?!” Kind of big deal, but “We are woman, hear us roar!” Kind of big deal. And that’s inspiring.
But honestly, I’m pretty much shaking in my boots about the impending and inevitable attempt at my own success. I want to be one of those moms. I want to inspire someone else to have the confidence to succeed at breastfeeding. But what if I fall flat on my ass and wind up being nothing but another breastfeeding horror story, scaring women away from it? And even worse, having to deal with another round of mom guilt…?
The other night I dreamt I had my baby and suddenly had no idea how to even care for a baby, I couldn’t even hold her right, and definitely couldn’t breastfeed. I just stood there, watching her cry, thinking “What do I do!?“. But that wasn’t my first nightmare. I’m constantly dreaming I’m trying to breastfeed and it just isn’t working! She wont latch or I have no milk. It’s horrifying.
I spend hours online reading tips and other mother’s stories. But they give very little hope, as most stories have many scary parts, implying the impossible struggle, stress and pain of breastfeeding.
I’m trying my best to stay positive and gather information that will do me good when the time comes. But to be honest, I’m officially in full on freak out mode.
Help?!

Bad Checkup Turned Great.

25 May

Yesterday was my 16 week check up with my doctor. I got a call that morning that she would not be in and I had a choice whether to reschedule or see another doctor that was in. I didn’t want to wait and I had questions so I agreed to see another doctor. I was a little nervous because I hadn’t seen another doctor before. But I was eager to have my questions answered.

We got to the office and were invited back fairly quickly. The nurse was a woman I had never met before and she seemed shy and uneasy, which didn’t help me feel more comfortable. I was happy to find I had only gained 2 pounds since my last appointment. My weight gain is slowing down, which is good. She took us to the very last room, where we waited….and waited. We had both Rayne and the BD’s son with us. A two year old and a one year old. We must look like we can’t control ourselves. While we waited, little Izaak (BD’s son) had a poopy accident to which I was informed BD forgot diapers. So we all sat in there with the stink, waiting. The kids were getting antsy so he decided to take them out to the play area to keep them busy. I was relieved because the craziness was stressing me out. While they were gone the awkward nurse came back with a basket of tubes. I knew that meant I was getting blood drawn. I wasn’t informed before hand at all, and she just walked in and was going to just get it done. In surprise, I explained that I am really bad at getting my blood drawn. I panic, and nearly faint. After that she left the room. About a minute later BD walks in with the kids and I sighed with relief. I needed their support and distraction if I was getting blood drawn. Then, another nurse walks in to draw my blood (I suppose the quiet one didn’t think she could handle the job with a near fainter). I was glad the new nurse came in because she had done it the time before and it wasn’t bad at all. While I laid back and tried to steady my breathing, Rayne came over to my side and stretched in for a kiss to calm her mommy, while BD held my hand. There was the first pinch, then soon it was over. I was a little light headed, but nowhere near how bad I’ve gotten before. Perhaps I’m getting better at it? The trainee who was shadowing the nurse brought me a water and some stickers for the kids.

After I regained my stability, we continued to wait…and wait. We probably waited an hour after that for the doctor. She finally walked in and was very open and kind. She brought in papers from a previous test and showed me while explaining everything to me. She explained that, basically, our baby looks very healthy and all the tests are coming back perfect, as good as it can be. I was very glad and surprised that she took the time to explain everything to me without me asking. It made me feel a lot better. My doctor, although I love her, probably just would’ve said, “They were all normal”, instead of going into detail. So, I feel like maybe I was meant to see this certain doctor at my height of worrying. She eased my stress and made me feel a lot better. I asked her my questions and she assured me everything is normal. We then got to listen to the baby’s heartbeat. I looked at Rayne and said, “There it is! The heartbeat.”, she smiled and was surprised she could her it so loudly.

After She was finished she advised me to invest in some maternity pants, because my skinny jeans had left a mark on my belly. I agree. I thanked the doctor and we went out to schedule our next appointment along with the ultrasound to learn the gender! I’m very excited for June 14th. Over all the appointment went well and really helped ease my worried mind, even though we had to wait forever. 🙂

Penny Pinching Mommy.

21 May

One of the best things about having another child, is knowing what NOT to waste money on. It’s so much less stress. And it really is amazing how simple it can be, but of course society has planted so many products in our brains we think our babies need every knick-knack and matching set of everything possible, oh, and don’t forget those $30 shoes they’ll wear for a month and they can’t even walk. I’m so glad I have the knowledge now not to get crazy on all the baby junk. I have a very short list (much shorter than my first pregnancy) of needed items and a lot I can get used from friends and family. Let me tell you: It is AWESOME having friends with kids around the same age. You can just pass stuff back and forth. A friend has actually given me a carseat and a swing! Saves me a bunch of cash-money right there.

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I LOVE a good deal and buying used. Is that weird? Maybe, but I think it’s more smart than weird. Craigslist is a must. And never neglect those hidden-in-a-corner baby resale shops. They may not be a big name retail store, but they have great stuff and will save you more than you think.. PLUS, a lot of them will take your used baby stuff for credit or cash! My plan with this baby: Stick to used and stick to the short list. I saved only a small amount of money for the baby budget ($600). People without children might say, “$600 should be more than enough! How expensive can baby stuff be?” Lets just say, when I had Rayne, I had saved $1000 AFTER buying all the baby stuff, and it only lasted 3 months. I learned my leason. And having a lot less money, I’m going to be very careful and smart.

My only problem is not knowing too many used baby and maternity stores/websites. Any suggestions?

Will it get better?

8 May

At 14 and a half weeks pregnant with baby number two, of course I’m carrying quite a bit of fears. I know things are going to get a lot more difficult when the new baby comes. Having a toddler is hard enough, but having a toddler and a baby is going to be exhausting. I don’t like thinking about the stress of the future. But it’s been hitting me harder lately, mostly due to the fact that my first bundle of joy is a little less joyous. My sweet almost 3-year-old has been a fit throwing, screaming, whining, bossy, energizer bunny. Not to mention the pressure of a rocky relationship. Draining me of the very little energy I have left.

I’m not sure how I’m going to handle it all. I’m already so tired and hardly have the patience to deal with everything that’s happening now. The stress keeps building and it’s only getting harder to manage. I’m keeping healthy, and plan on keeping up with staying active and doing yoga. But it hasn’t taken the stress away. I’m really worrying that it’s going to be even harder than I expected in the first place. I can see it now: A new baby in my arms, a screaming toddler at my feet, and the dark circles under my eyes.

How am I going to pull this off?

My secret (now not so secret) fears of having a second baby..

28 Apr

As I enter into my second trimester and my womb cradles a tangerine sized baby (or so they say), I find myself just as anxious as ever. I’ve always been a nervous, anxious person. For instance, I almost go into panic attack mode before every doctor visit. I know what to expect, I know afterward everything will be just fine and we’ll walk out feeling normal. But that doesn’t stop me from getting all worked up and needing to take deep calming not so calming breaths. My palms get sweaty, my heart races, my stomach churns, and I almost die. At least that’s what it feels like. I thought I wouldn’t have this problem since I’ve been through it all before. And I have the support of my boyfriend/the father, unlike my pregnancy with Rayne. That should be enough to calm me. But no. I still dread sitting on that bed, getting poked with needles and worrying about whether or not all the tests will come back normal. I’m hoping the yoga will help with me having a mini heart attack every appointment.

But there are fears I don’t think the yoga will be able to help with. Having a second child opens up a whole new can of worms, at least for me. When I was having Rayne, I don’t remember being very scared. After she was born I struggled with depression and the demands of being a single parent with a new baby. But this time is different. After having my first and being so in love with her, is it really possible to love another just the same? Am I going to unintentionally favor my number one? I hate to feel this way. I always imagined parents loving their children equally. But now that I’m facing having another, it’s hard to imagine being capable of doubling what I already feel for Rayne. I know, I know. “I comes natural”. But what if it doesn’t? I’m terrified that I wont be able to love both children equally.

And on the contrary, what if I get so in love with the new baby, I forget to make time for my number one? I hate to think Rayne will feel left out when the new baby comes. I want her to be a part of everything. She’s my BFF, my number one girl. She has to know how important she is to me and our family. How will I balance it all?

What if I wont be able to handle a baby, a 3 year old and a relationship…and somehow muster up some time for myself?!?! It all sounds so  difficult and impossible. I hardly get to shower alone as it is. What if I get so overwhelmed I completely lose myself and look a hot mess. I can see it now…..pajamas and stretchy pants everyday, dirty/messy hair, tired eyes, dry, bad skin, baby weight hanging on for dear life…..a nightmare. I lost myself for awhile after having Rayne, and I really don’t want to go back to that. Can I handle this?

I don’t know if these fears are normal or not. All I know is, they cross my mind everyday. How can I reassure myself when I really don’t know what to expect with a second baby? At first I felt calm because I know what mistakes not to make this time. But these fears I have no experience with. And I feel like they’re justified. This is going to be very hard. As much as I like to pretend and wish, I’m not super mom. I get tired. I lose patience. I’m always exhausted. Can I really do this?

The Best 30 Seconds Of My Life (Yet) Happened Today.

19 Feb
Newborn Rayne

Newborn Rayne August 24th 2010

 

Today I experienced an awesome moment one of the best moments of my life yet. It wasn’t a wedding day, it wasn’t a sweet 16, it wasn’t an exotic vacation. It was 30 seconds. 30 simple, beautiful seconds.

New Rayne with her Papaw

New Rayne with her Papaw

 

Today Rayne and I were outside, playing tag. It was very cold and the grass was wet. I came up behind her and right when I grabbed her and yelled, “Gotchya!”, I slipped and we both fell onto the wet grass and burst into laughter. The laughing calmed and as a light sprinkle of rain fell on us and the wet grass from beneath started to soak through, I looked over at my daughter who was looking back at me with a huge smile on her face. The happiness inside me struck like lightning to my heart. It was almost overwhelming. It washed over me just how blessed I really am to be her mother.

My Great Grandma Dean holding Rayne. Just a few months before she passed away.

My Great Grandma Dean holding Rayne. Just a few months before she passed away.

I’m always feeling grateful for my daughter and everything I have. But for some reason, in that very moment, my eyes were opened to how wonderful it all really is. Being Rayne’s mom is my entire life. The most important thing in the world.

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Sometimes I look at her and I’m so happy I could cry. I know how lame that sounds, but it’s so true. I never knew how rewarding being a mother could be. But now I know it’s the best thing you can possibly do in your life.

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I can only hope Rayne will know when she’s older how much I love her.

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I know times will come when she hates my guts for actually parenting and doing what’s best for her. And when I’m just so totally lame that I can’t possibly understand her and I’ll have to drop her off 2 blocks away from her friend’s house.

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But that’s okay. Because she’s my world. I’ll never give up on her. I’ll always love her and be there for her.

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I’ll never condemn her for her mistakes. I’ll never make her feel like there’s anything she can do to lose my love or support.

A baby that doesn't like being held like a baby!?

A baby that doesn’t like being held like a baby!?

I’ll never do anything that isn’t for her very best interest. And I’ll never choose anyone or anything over her.

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I’ll always be her mommy. And she’ll always be my baby.

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I’ll make mistakes. She’ll make mistakes. But we’ll see each other through it.

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I’ll always strive to be the best mother I can be for her. And I’ll never lose that 30 second moment that opened my eyes to the happiness she has given me and filled my life with.

 

Not the time to get heated.

18 Feb

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After reading a disturbing blog post written by someone who thinks late term abortions are a “great idea”, I couldn’t stop myself from commenting on how sickening it was. Especially when the reason he had was because “most of these women are unmarried”. I’m an unmarried mother. And I love being a mother. I was immediately offended that he would use the fact of being unmarried as an excuse for murdering an innocent baby.

I know abortion is a real hot trend in the world, but I can’t help but be disgusted by it. First of all, society is constantly shoving it down our throats, making us believe that an unmarried, young mother couldn’t handle raising a child, as if we couldn’t possibly be capable of such a job. Then to make matters worse, they turn it around to make it seem like we’re furthering our rights as women by being pro-abortion. What a load of bullshit. As women we need to own up to responsibilities. If you don’t want a baby, there are thousands of parents willing to welcome that baby AND pay medical costs. It seems everyone has gotten so selfish they have forgotten what abortion really is: MURDER.

Now is not the time for me to get heated on this discussion, so I’m letting myself calm down by reading some of these encouraging quotes.

I really believe this to be true.

I really believe this to be true.

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What I Wish I Had Done Differently in the Beginning.

13 Feb
I think I took a total of 4 photos in my pregnancy. (low quality mirror shots, I might add.)

I think I took a total of 4 photos in my pregnancy. (low quality mirror shots, I might add.)

I know everyone makes mistakes their first go-’round of most things, especially pregnancy. A lot of us don’t know what exactly to expect, or what we’re suppose to do. No one warned me how quickly it would all pass or how much I would miss having her tiny feet nudging me from the inside. With this information withheld from me, I neglected to take the necessary steps to savor the moment and document the once in a lifetime process with my daughter, that are now distant memories, only growing more distant. I’m not the maternity photo shoot type, but I regret not relishing in my pregnancy. I regret not celebrating my growing belly and baby. Or having something to show for it all.

As I sit here, eating my apple fritter, and typing these words, it’s sinking in even deeper than it has been. My little girl will only grow bigger, more independent. I will never see her on an ultrasound. I will never feel her adjusting sleeping positions in my tummy. I will never have that first moment, when I looked at her beautiful face and told her I love her for the very first time, ever again. Now, I can only toss through my mind, back and forth, the things I wish I’d done when I had the chance.

August 24th, 2010. 6lbs 5.9oz.

August 24th, 2010. 6lbs 5.9oz.

 

Throughout my labor I was completely out of it. I didn’t spend time with my family, laughing through the pain. I didn’t have someone photographing every moment, for reminder of what I endured. I only remember bits and pieces, and was totally drugged up. Being 20 years old, and a first time mother, I wasn’t asked my opinion on getting drugged up or was given any information about what they were giving me. It just happened. Although at the time I was grateful to have been taken out of my tearful, scared state, I wish I hadn’t been given whatever they had given to me. I wish I had stayed alert while fighting through contractions. I wish someone had been documenting everything, no matter how terrible I was feeling. I wish I had more information. I wish I knew.

So in love with her.

So in love with her.

 

I wish I had enjoyed my pregnancy for the beautiful, awesome experience it was. I wish I wasn’t impatient about getting her out. I wish I wasn’t in such a hurry to hold her in my arms, and took time to enjoy the sanctity of holding her in my womb.

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I wish I wrote everything down. I wish I forced myself to make the time to document, document, document. Savor, savor, savor. I wish I didn’t spend so much time as a new mother stressing out and griping over no sleep. I wish I had just let it roll how it were to roll, and soaked in the love I felt cradling her warm little body.

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I wish I had spent more time listening to her breathe and feeling her heartbeat right next to mine, and less time wishing for rest. I wish I had the patience I do now. I wish I had the mentality that I do now. I wish I could have been an incredible first time mom. I know that I was always doing my best. Only going by what I knew, and guessed on the rest. I don’t blame myself for the mistakes I made because I had no idea what I could have been doing differently. It’s always going to be difficult to think about the things I wish I had done, but will never get the chance to fix. But I cannot let it simmer inside for too long. Because I know that I am a better mother today than I was before. And I hope to only get better. I know that at the end of the day being a good mother isn’t about how many pictures I took of my belly, how well labor and birth went, or how much time I wasted wishing for sleep. It’s about the love I have for my daughter and the fact that I care enough to write this.

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