Pregnancy and Parenting, Uncategorized

As they say, Pimpin’ ain’t Easy… and neither is Pregnancy!

 

Remember when you were pregnant and would research every, single thing about parenting?

I would become so obsessed that my next google search would be, “pregnant and can’t quit researching, is that normal?” I probably read over 100 blogs, checked my Bump app every day and then some.  On April 1st, 2016 my biggest blessing was placed in to my arms and all that research, it went out the window. Everything I read, while great information; was not “real life”. No one ever mentioned how hard it really is. Of course, you can find schedules for your baby, they layout the basics and you expect being sleep deprived.  The cold hard TRUTH about pregnancy, actually taking your baby home, recovering and raising a human… I never found anything that really explained it. So I figure, why not start a blog.  This is a great outlet for me and maybe some of you can relate to my “real life mommin’.”

Before I start, I want to say that I am extremely grateful for my miracle boy and love him more than I could possibly express.  All of us parents feel that way, but let’s be honest, pregnancy and parenting isn’t all cupcakes and glitter.

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Pregnancy, you know the most beautiful thing in the world. You glow, your hair is thick, luscious and your man thinks you are more attractive than ever before. I call bullshit! Pregnancy was hard on me. I threw up for 16 weeks straight, not just morning or night sickness. I am talking, if I lifted myself up in bed..it was game over for me. I was sick all day, every day.  When I finally felt like somewhat of a human again, food and I.. we had an affair. See, I have maintained a healthy lifestyle for some years now and always stuck to a low carb diet.  When I was able to keep food down  again, it was no mercy. I ate everything in front of me.  I would “joke” to my sister-in-law that I would go to Arby’s and spend $30 on just myself. It wasn’t a joke, I could clear a roast beef n’ cheddar MAX in 5 minutes.  I gained 75 Pounds; or as I call it, an entire 6th Grader.  I felt disgusting and hated looking at myself in the mirror.  I had fat on my knee caps and I didn’t know that was possible.  The veins in my now Discovery Channel boobs looked like a map of the United States and well, I couldn’t even see  my downstairs so shaving was hit or miss… literally. While I was amazed that my body was growing my perfect, miracle child and I was so extremely grateful for that. I was devastated that my body didn’t look like all of the pregnant girls on Google Images, Pinterest, any maternity model and friends.  I didn’t have a perfect round belly, it was more of a D shape, at best.  My love handles were out of this world. The took on a life of their own and I just spread like butter on a warm blueberry muffin, straight out the oven. I almost backed out of my maternity shoot because I couldn’t look at myself and I wasn’t quite sure how anyone else could look at me either.  I am so thankful now, that I followed through.  My friends and family told me how much I glowed and how beautiful I was, but in my best jokingly fashion I would say, ” Thank you, it’s my bronzer.” I will admit, I have good hair. It’s a quality about myself that I will give credit too, however; when I was pregnant, it would fall out.  Color would pull funny colors and it didn’t grow, at all. Now looking back at my pregnancy I see that all of the, what I called “bad” things I went through did not happen without purpose.  I tell my husband and my mother-in-law all the time that my son, Sullivan took my best parts.  He took my immune system, my balance, my memory a little bit of my sense of humor and a whole lot of personality.  If anything, I couldn’t be happier that he took them.  I would give him my best of everything, always. My sweet boy beat the odds.  He beat the statistics and percentages and the doubts.  I was sick for all those weeks, so he could be strong.  He took everything out of me, so he could be as healthy as we so diligently prayed for.

He is my best gift given and received.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to step into my journal.

Loreal Baxley

P.S.  I found a post that I shared when I was pregnant and it’s something I think all women should know. Check it out below.

When you finally accept the BUMP

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Bittersweet on Your 1st Birthday

A letter to my wild child, my blessing, my growler…my everything!

Son,

You are turning one in a few short days, how could that be?  I feel like you were still growing in mommy’s tummy just yesterday. I could have never imagined how perfect you would be. I never knew what true love was until you. I have watched you grow into a mindblowing toddler in what seems like the speed of light. I provided you with all the nutrients your little body needed and then taught you to provide them for yourself. I wrapped you up and embraced you with every once of my love and now I’m lucky to get those cuddles a few times a day. I held you in my lap and showed you all of God’s beautiful gifts and now I follow you to see all the beautiful gifts that you are discovering on your own. I have sang to you since you were just a seed and now you hum along with me and carry your own beautiful tune. I have given you everything that a mommy knows to give but what I didn’t expect is, everything that you would give back. I have molded you into what you will become but, my sweet boy, you have molded mommy into everything she is becoming. You have taught me to have a bigger heart, a bigger appreciation for all the little things and patience…a lot more patience! 

I’m so excited to watch you learn new things. I love the glimmer in your eye when you accomplish something brand new and you look back to make sure I’m watching. I love that your personality is infectious and you smile from ear to ear.  You are already the funniest kid I know and you haven’t even found all the words tucked in a dictionary. I’m so ecstatic about this next chapter in life with you but, I’m not ready to close the one were currently reading. 

As happy as I am to see you learn new things and grow into your own, I’m sad that your dependence on mommy is slowly departing. I picture you playing ball in the yard with mud covered toes and a dirty face, but I’m sure going to miss your sweet baby smell.

I guess I get it now. I get what all the parents told me when I was pregnant with you and even now. “They grow up Fast!”

That statement couldn’t be any truer. You my boy have grown up fast. I’m sad that all the firsts are slowly creeping behind us but I sure do look forward to all of the Big Boy firsts that we face!

It’s bittersweet son, but I wouldn’t trade anything in the entire world to not have even a second with you. My little, big boy..you’re almost 1 year old. I promise to always hold you like your a newborn, kiss your tears away, make you smile (with hopefully evolving funny voices), tell you that I love you and I’m proud of you every single day. I promise to be your very best friend until the end of time and just know that you are loved, you are loved, you are loved. 

Sullivan… You are my wild child, my blessing, my growler…my everything!

Here’s to turning 1 and all the fun we will have!

I love your whole world

❤Momma

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Stay at Home Mom VS Working Mom   …Why is there a verse?

 

As women we experience from a young age “clicks”. All through school, work, even adult friends. We have created little circles that no-one is allowed in unless they are “like you”.

When I became a mother, I felt like motherhood would bring all women together. We have this one thing that we all can relate with, taking care of a tiny human! There are vast amounts of conversation topics that could be covered and play dates should be easy to come by…right???
I’m here to tell you, from my point of view, that’s not the case. I have found that in being a Stay At Home Mother, working moms or even pregnant moms that will have to go back to work, resent me. Maybe not so much ME, but this idea that has been created in their head of what staying home with baby is like.  See, I am very blessed in that I get to stay at home with my lil dude.  I love that I can watch him grow and become independent.  This is what my husband and I planned. We picked this journey and I’ll be the first to tell you, it’s the hardest job I’ve ever had.

I can say, for me personally that earning a paycheck is much easier than raising my child. There is a sense of freedom you have at work. I miss talking to adults everyday, using the restroom alone, eating a meal in peace and at the end of the day, letting any stress from work go, when I clock out. That may seem insignificant to some but for me, that’s a luxury. I have a very hard time “shutting off” while I’m at home.  Sullivan is my every breath, the most important person that I have in my life. I know that I’m a great mother and will do anything in this world for him and because of that I can’t “let it go” or “clock out”.

I have went to sleep thinking, should I have done more with him today? Maybe tomorrow I’ll pick a different activity to do with him. Did we get enough sensory play in? Should I have sang the ABC’s one more time, or practice teaching him, “I love you” because he it’s so close to saying it. When he wakes in the night, I tuck him back in. When he needs something, I am the one to get it. When he falls or is accomplishing something new, I am there to help him get back up and clap my hands in his excitement. I’m emotionally, mentally and physically vested in him 24 hours a day.
Now I’m sure that some of you reading this are thinking, ” She sounds bratty, how hard could it be? OR she’s so lucky, because I will be missing those milestones”. Everyone has a right to their feelings but, don’t knock it till you try it.

I have been asked so many times by working mom’s, “When are you going to go back to work?”

It’s a simple question to most but what I hear is, “So when are you going to bring a paycheck home because raising a baby isn’t enough”.
That one little question, to me, is judgmental.

It most likely isnt meant to be, but to me,it is.  It takes away all of the hard work I do every single day, without receiving a paycheck.  Not only am I raising my child 24-7, I keep the house together, cook dinner, clean it up and start all over again the next day.

I have recently read an article on  Salary.com what a Stay At Home Mothers salary would be. $112,962 … You read that right. As a mom, we wear many hats on a daily bases and some at the same time. Screenshot_2017-03-07-08-40-09-1.png

 

So while I may be judged for staying at home, I have one wish. That I not be put into my own little click, because I don’t punch a clock everyday.  I would never ask why or judge a mother that’s put their child in daycare. I would never question your love for your child or your capacity as a person because you have to work, rather than be at home. That is ridiculous and to be honest rude. It’s not my business, what is best for your family.

See, we as MOTHERS should support each other. Working or staying at home. It’s hard on all of us, because they are our children and we want what is best for them. It’s human nature to want what we can’t have. That goes both ways. You crave to be at home raising a child, I crave to be working and challenged like I was before I had a baby. You want to not have to get up and drive to work, I want to have a reason to get dressed up and put makeup on. Why I love being with my little man every second, I do miss working.  I miss everything that comes with it. I wouldn’t trade being with him for the world but its a give and take in any aspect.

So I ask, “Why does it have to be SAHM vs. Working mom?”

Can’t we just all be moms? Figuring this out together?  We have the same questions, concerns, hopes and aspirations for our kids. Can we relate on that? Can we unite and not allow wishes for ourselves fester within us so we can be grateful for such a blessing?

We are moms! It’s hard on all of us. So can we finally move past the “click” stage in life?

And if we can’t, can we at least agree that we all belong in the “same click”?

Let’s share this journey together, rather than tearing each other apart, because working or staying at home we have the most important thing in common. We Are Mothers!

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To the Mom who Lost it All…When her Baby went to Heaven

I would like to start this very sensitive story off with a side note.

I am not a professional writer and I’m sure everything is not perfect but this is my story, in my words, using my voice!

This is a raw as it gets and while I’m hesitant to jot down every detail, if this helps one person get through their day, then I have done my job.

A friend of mine lost her child a few months ago and as I followed along her journey in motherhood and then grief through social media, I was compelled to message her my story.  In doing this, I was hoping it would give her some peace or somewhat of an understanding that other mothers could relate to her.

What I received in return was a gift that I needed for myself.  Healing took place in my heart.  I had never written down My Story of losing my precious Skyla Paige.  I talked about it occasionally, but never the details.  See, the details made it messy. The details were scary, sad and extreme.  I lived in fear or speaking of writing the details down for so long that I shut them out of my mind, to protect myself.  In turn, I caused more damage within myself, because I held it all in.

When I finally took the leap to use my loss, to help a friend.  I realized that I had finally helped myself too.

So, here it goes.  This is for my Skyla Paige.  This is for the mothers who have lost a piece of their heart.  Why we went crazy and a promise for HOPE.

Hey Mama!

I wanted to tell you, YOU ARE WORTH EVERY SECOND this world gives you. I understand completely the heart ache, loss and sense of “no purpose” you are feeling.

When I was 19 God blessed me with my sweet beautiful baby girl, Skyla. I suffered from severe pre eclampsia at 25 and half weeks and my liver and kidneys were shutting down. The only “cure” was to deliver Skyla, or she and myself would not make it.  My sweet girl weighed 1 pound 8 ounces and was 12 inches long. She was tiniest, sweetest soul I had ever known and loved. She fought hard for 2 weeks and then made her way to heaven.

I was devastated!

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Her father became physically abusive to me 3 days after she was born. He nearly beat me to death 7 days postpartum, while we were lucky enough to stay in the Ronald McDonald house, while Skyla fought for her life. I couldn’t defend myself, he was a man and I was just out of surgery. After she passed, I swallowed my entire bottle of Percocet that was prescribed to me from the surgery and Skyla’s father proceeded to do unimaginable things to me as I was passed out, on a web cam.

I had zero want to live.

I did everything in my power to make my life end and I stayed with a horrible human being because my daughter was his twin and when I looked at him, I felt like I still had a piece of her, here with me on earth. After 8 months of being abused and hating myself and God, I ran away. I came to the mountains and created an entire new life for myself. It was the only way for me to escape, to give myself a chance at life.

It took me a long time to find my faith in God again, about 2 years.  I was left with my new body, my c section scar and no baby. I was terrified of meeting someone new, because how could explain all if this, everything that has happened to me.  How could someone possibly understand?  I was scared to be judged, even more so because she was black, Puerto Rican and white. The men here are unusually racist and would never touch a women that has touched a black man ( pathetic excuse of a person to think that way, in my opinion).

When I finally released some of her ashes and found God again, is when my heart started to heal. I prayed continuously to take the hate out of my heart, to make understand why a precious child would be ripped out of my life but are so freely given to people who abuse and kill their children. I prayed that I could look at a baby, any baby and keep myself together because I couldn’t, not even when I saw them on TV.

I was told that I would have an 85% chance of the same exact thing happening again if I wanted to have another baby.

What devastating news! On top of the percentage, if I did successfully get pregnant and carry and not get the pre E, that I will never carry full term because of the previous C-section being an emergency and my uterus was cut vertically. My stomach could rupture and I would bleed out if I went into natural labor. That’s a lot of news to take in and have to accept.

7 years later, Jordan and I decided to try. I spoke to my doctors, they reviewed my chart from Skyla and basically said, lets just hope you carry to 28 weeks. I told Jordan, I would try one more time. If the same thing happens I don’t know if I could take it. I felt inadequate as a women and a wife. If couldn’t provide him a child, or as many as he would like then why would he want me? He could have somebody else that could give that to him. So we took the chance.

I lived at MAHEC 2 years ago. From the day I found out I was pregnant I went in every Tuesday and Thursday. Myself and the baby were monitored so closely that I had to remind myself, no matter how annoying it seemed to drive to Asheville twice a week that it was for a reason..it was what I wanted and what WE needed. I prayed every single day. Please God, please don’t let my body reject my son, please don’t let my body fail him and myself.

Jordan and I had to have conversations about if I did get pre E again and if there ever had to be a choice to pick. I told him pick our son! Please, please… let me die!  I couldn’t handle losing another child and going through all of this would be for nothing if he couldn’t make his way into this world.

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⇑⇑⇑ Sullivan J. Baxley

God gave me a miracle.

Sullivan beat every odd against him. My body accepted him and grew him. We were both healthy, completely healthy. I delivered him at 36 weeks, terrified! It was a scheduled c-section. The NICU was in the room ready to take him because he was premature and they didn’t know if he would even weigh 5 pounds. I cried, pleaded with them no matter what please, please let me hold him first, as I never got to hold Sklya until the day she passed. The day he was born he was 7 pounds 3 ounces and screaming his head off. Nothing like what I experienced the time before with my daughter. He is my MIRACLE!

I know that this is a lot and I know that the pain you feel runs so deep it lives within your Bones. I know that a lot of people try their best to relate and bring up miscarriages but that can’t compare, not because they aren’t important and not to disregard the hurt but because you have given birth to your child, you have felt what it feels like to love something more than you knew you ever could. You held her, took every second with her in and then had to let her go.

Emotionally, mentally and physically. I just want to tell you that you are going to be ok, one day.

You’ll never forget but one day you will celebrate her life and smile when you think of her. You have become a much stronger person than you realize. You may find it harder than ever to relate to women your same age because you have gone through something most people don’t. You may feel like no-one understands how deep your pain is, but I promise I do. I will continue to pray for you as I have from the second I found out about your devastation. It’s taken me a long time to be able to talk about it. Especially the details. Most people don’t know all of that about me. I can’t let my lose control me though. If anything maybe my situation can help you have some light in your situation.

You are here for a reason, though you may not understand why yet. Please don’t disregard yourself because you never know what God has planned. I think often to myself, if I would have successfully ended my life 8 years ago I would have missed all of this. Sullivan would never be here and I would have never had the chance to experience everything I have ever wanted and prayed for in life. I’m sorry! I’m sorry for the emotional rollercoaster you are being forced to ride on right now. I can promise you one thing, if anything at all. YOU are going to be ok, maybe not right now, maybe not in a year, but one day you will look at your child and thank God for your blessings. You will tell him or her all about their sister in heaven and how she gave them all her hugs and kisses before she sent them down to mommy and daddy. You will have little reminders daily that she is watching over you and is with you every step of they way. Skyla was born 11/11/2008 and every single day when I look up at the clock to check it, it happens to be 11:11. She has never left my side and I know that she gave Sullivan lots of love before he met us.

I know Mama, I know it’s the most heart wrenching thing you will face in this life.  You are not alone, even on your lowest days.

Loreal Baxley

Feel free to leave a comment or if you have any questions, I am an open book… So read up!

 

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