Life, motherhood

Random Thoughts: Making Time

As someone who’s constantly on the go. And I mean this in every sense. Whether it be physically or mentally. It’s hard to make time for yourself and perhaps others. This is your reminder to do so. Self love. Self care. And find balance in your life. Take a few minutes to breathe. Call someone who makes you happy or take a walk. Whatever it takes to bring you back from turmoil. Cry it out if you need to. Life can be hard. It’s okay to not be okay.

I have a lot of moments like this as a mother. Motherhood is a still something I struggle with emotionally every day. I love my babies. They’re my world. It’s easy to forget about myself in the heat of things. When they’re crying and need things. Once they’re in bed after a long and difficult day. The mom guilt comes in and there I am wishing I could of done better and wondering what I could of done better. But I try to remember that the best thing is to take care of myself. If I’m taking care of myself then I’m bringing that positivity into their lives as well. Even to those around me. Although it’s better said than done. Please try to make time for you.


Life, motherhood

Weekend Burn Outs: One Day at a Time

I do admit I’m learning to not be a procrastinator since it’s stressful as the weekends approach. Each week the same dance happens where college term comes and I’m handing things in late and continue to put things in the back burner. Only to stress and rush to focus for hours til I’m burned out and on my wits end. During the week I work part time and have my boys. I worry about every little thing. What to cook, what to clean, where to start, doing the tasks asked of me along with much more. Lately I find myself stopping to take a breath. Worrying about the amount of stress I endure and experience.

Will this be forever? Maybe. But I want to find a way to endure while also finding peace. I’ve learned to take naps when I can. Attempt one to two tasks a day and keep a rhythm. This has so far been helpful. The stress although fairly high doesn’t not put me in a state of shutting down and full on panic anymore. I’ve questioned my mental health and slowly have returned to having moments of self care. These moments I get to love myself and be selfish for 5 minutes. The burn out lasts so long. Monday comes again with the linger of anxiety for the week. Relief of being able to accomplish some tasks. Grateful to have made it through a weekend.

I’m learning.

One day at a time. I’ll make it through. Motherhood isn’t easy but it’s special in its own way. A journey of never ending wonder and surprises. Always learning and permanently tired.

Life

Opening about D-MER: Not Every Breastfeeding Journey is a Happy One

What’s D-MER you ask? Not a lot of people know of it or talk about it. To be honest I hadn’t heard of it either until I had my 2018 baby. For those that don’t know D-MER is Dysphoria Milk Ejection Reflex (let down).

What it does is once breast milk starts to “let down” these feelings begin to stir that are negative. There’s so many ways I could describe it but on most days I feel as though theirs this emptiness in my stomach and a knot in my throat. I dread this feeling every time I pump since so many thoughts arise from it. Back in 2018, I thought I was going through Postpartum depression but odd enough I would only feel this when pumping. Outside of pumping I was mostly okay and felt tired. I was relieved to not be pumping until I had to pump again a few hours later. The cycle was endless and the anxiety would built up the first few minutes of pumping and slowly dissolved towards the end. The relief after was like a breath of fresh air.

I will admit, I have experienced panic attacks in my life and I can say that D-MER can feel similar to the build up of a panic attack. It messes with your mental health. It can make you feel alone and hopeless in that moment. Especially such a vulnerable moment such as breastfeeding or pumping. I was a healing mother with emotional and physical wounds, a newborn baby that needed me and navigating unknown territory. I felt as though I was trapped in my own emotions and no way of getting out. I felt as if I would snap from the pressure of perfect expectations I formed for myself as a mother and wife. There were times I wanted to scream and cry for everything and everyone to leave me alone. To the point I would silence my phone and found myself breathing through it without being aware of what I was going through. One day, I had enough and began to research. I came across this article about D-MER- It all began to make sense. I cried and never felt so relieved that there was a name for what was happening to me.

I hope that if anyone runs across this blog wondering about D-MER or if you’re learning about this for the first time out of curiosity. Well, welcome to my world. If you’re experiencing D-MER as a mother breastfeeding just know you’re not alone and there is hope yet. The symptoms lessen as time carries on, however, if you’re experiencing thoughts of self-harm and feel that your mental health is suffering. Please do what is best for you and your baby. Fed is always best and a happy momma is a happy baby.

Life, motherhood

Exclusively Pumping: Breastfeeding Journey Glimpse

To be honest, things have been hectic. Between little sleep and slowly trying to get back on schedule and keeping a routine with a toddler while feeding a newborn on demand. It’s…well demanding. Along with a part time job at home, school online, my son’s therapy (that’s another blog for another day) I think some days I reach peak of mental exhaustion. I’v been lucky to have my husband for five weeks to help me through this time cause it is not easy getting back to whatever we consider reality at this point.

All things considered I am okay. This time around I know more than I did the first time around with my son. I was new to breastfeeding and pumping. I was new to the experience of motherhood and everything it physically entailed. This time around I am a little less nervous and knew what I wanted which was to pump as much as I could for this baby.

The first time around I remember doing so much research and stressing about my output. I was only making about 20 ounces per day after two to three weeks and it wasn’t enough. I was able to supplement at night with formula but my goal was to strictly breastfeed. Eventually, by an increase of water intake, adding more pumps in my day, lactation supplements and lactation treats was I able to start reaching 30-35 oz a day. I was able to purchase a stand up freezer and store a lot of breast milk for when anytime my supply started to drop towards the end of my journey or started using breast milk in the solids I would give my son. I was proud of the hard work I put into it and couldn’t be happier that I had reached my goal of a year breast feeding. I was relieved once it ended. My mind at peace.

Now here I am once again. I struggle with the thought of doing this all over again for another now…49 weeks or longer depending. This time around I have a oversupply when I prepped for under supply in the beginning. I am proud and yet stressed to say I am at 50-60 oz per day! This time around I did maintain a good water intake, coconut eater from a company I found, lactation brownies, prenatals and pumping at least 6 times a day (its advised to do more like 8-12 so please don’t try this if you’re experiencing an under supply). This all isn’t easy since breast feeding and exclusively pumping has its pros and cons. Every situation is unique and I have my own personal struggles to overcome when it comes to pumping from the wash and sterilizing of bottles and pump part to planning each pump to make sure the kids are comfortable and in a safe place while I sit for 20-30 minutes.

To put this into perspective that’s 20-30 minutes for every pump and at the recommended 8-12 times a day for the first 6 weeks to establish supply. Pumping can actually be a full time job cause this doesn’t include the constant washing of parts and bottles. While taking care of a new baby and everything else of course. This is a glimpse of the struggle but I am proud of myself and those who keep their littles fed. Fed is best and even those who give their little ones formula its still its own struggle to afford formula in the first place. Whether you’re new to this journey or returning. Welcome (Welcome back) you’re not alone!

Life, motherhood

Growing from One to Two Earthside

It’s difficult when you’ve experienced loss of pregnancy. Every pregnancy after you’re stuck in a limbo of what ifs and worry for any news that’ll shake your wold. Every appointment you wonder if the doctors will tell you something a parent never wants to hear. It takes away some but not all of those little joys of being pregnant. The excitement of an ultrasound replaced by anxiety right before. It feels like you’re holding your breath and waiting until they’re in your arms. Even after a successful pregnancy. I still had those nerves being pregnant a fourth time.

Time went by quicker this time. I almost didn’t want the day to come from how unready I felt. Then I remembered that nothing prepares you 100 percent for motherhood. Whether it be the first time you’re becoming a mother or anytime after that. A toddler and a newborn? It was going to be surreal.

Now, that we have our second earth-side son here. I forget how small newborns are. How cuddly they can be all curled up in your chest and you don’t want to move cause you want the moment to last forever. To be their safe place a little while longer before they cry for a feeding or a change. I wasn’t sure how I would feel after having our first earth-side son for over 2 years. I was worried that I would feel too overwhelmed and have mixed emotions. It’s amazing what emotions will do. I honestly felt myself grow. Your heart and soul expands. It’s as if the world around you becomes bigger with love to welcome another child into your life. The pieces fall into place and soon it’s almost as if they were meant to be.

As of now I’m 2 weeks postpartum and to be honest this time around feels a bit easier with the jitters. I know as the weeks go by there will be easy days as there will be difficult days. Especially, once my husband returns to work from family leave. For now I want to soak up these moments while I heal. I’ll share my labor story and raw postpartum with time. I still have days where it feels surreal that I have two kids with me now. Somehow it feels so right and almost impossible based on what we went through. But, I think it was meant to be.

Life, motherhood

Coming to Terms

As a first time parent, life can be full of surprises. It’s a journey of both love and hardships that I am learning alongside with husband. From the moment I was pregnant I would fee this deep connection with each child. Even after the first two losses I found myself still being able to bond although cautiously with my son’s pregnancy. After he was born, our journey as parents began and its been over two years since then.

My son is my firsthand experience with a newborn and child. I was never the type to gravitate towards children. It wasn’t who I was and I kept it that way until I was ready to have kids of my own. The pieces of motherhood fell into place and it was a beautiful struggle to say the least. Exclusively pumping and sleepless nights from worry, anxiety, first time jitters, appointments, and overall motherhood. You get this idea stuck in your head that you need to be perfect always. That you’re this super being that cannot mistakes no matter what. How can you? This little human that relies on you for everything and anything. This needs to be perfect, I needed to be perfect. But, then it hit me one day. It was perhaps the first night he slept through the night that I realized. I didn’t need to be perfect but present. Present for his needs and his growth in this world. There would be mistakes on the way but I had to learn from those mistakes instead of torturing myself. Yes, mom guilt is real. It’s completely normal and happens to even the best of us.

As a mother or even a parent it’s difficult to come to terms with many things. It’s easy to call yourself crazy when you suspect anything. That’s why when we noticed our son wasn’t meeting his milestones in his speech or social skills. My non verbal son who tend to shy away from other kids and wouldn’t give us eye contact to even smile at times. Didn’t listen to his name when called. How could I miss that? I began to wonder. Was this cause of me? Was there any earlier signs I had missed? Am I crazy to suspect there could be a diagnosis in the near future. Soon when he turned 2 years old, he was evaluated and diagnosed with mild-moderate autism.

When receiving the news. There was a stillness. I knew this was coming but to hear it be confirmed gave me both a sense of relief and yet a feeling of loss. Relief that I was not crazy to see these signs and make the call. A feeling of loss since I knew this meant a unique journey, different sets of worries, and learning to provide a better quality of life for my son. Was I doing the right thing? How would the world see him as he grows? Will we ever be able to communicate with him? Will he have friends? Can we provide the emotional support he needs?

These are all the questions and more that still haunt me currently. I try to take it a day at a time. Between all his therapies and steps we have taken. I’m slowly becoming more confident and seeing any progress has been enlightening for us. I will admit I still have those occasional nights of tears. I don’t blame myself anymore. I love my sweet boy, I will walk this path with him. I will always cherish his quirks and that smile he has when he makes eye contact with us. It may only last seconds before he gets distracted again but I see him. I am proud of his progress and what’s to come.

Life

To the Parent Working from Home…I Know.

This hasn’t been the easiest. I don’t know if it will get easier. A new day doesn’t necessarily mean an easier day. There’s so many things going on. Meetings. Schedules. Tension. Low morale. Kid (or kids) crying and fighting. They’re bored or tired of being inside. But, the thought of going outside make your stomach tense with nervousness. How do you keep them entertain them while giving your best to your job? How do you give 100 percent to our kids without our work performance suffering? People telling us we should be grateful and blessed to still work while others are at a loss without a job. We are! I’m truly grateful for both regardless. Being home to earn my income while I get to watch my son. He’s a toddler. His world hasn’t stopped the way it has for me and for my husband. Some of the young kids don’t see it as their life being worse. They see it as time with us.

Even if you’re not working from home. You’ve been thrown for a whirlwind. Struggling to do something as simple as groceries. Lines. Social distancing. Lack of essential items. While hoping you don’t bring this virus home to our loved ones. All the while, figuring out this new way of “home-schooling”. Some of our spouses are essential workers. We are sometimes ALONE all day. Or work is closed and you’re worried about making ends meet. Anxiously, waiting for updates while yelling for everyone to wash their hands.

So many times I’ve taken a deep breath. Held my toddler while he cried whether it be about teething pains or because I told him he cannot climb the coffee table for the 27th time in the past hour. Meanwhile, I can hear one of my cats meowing because I closed the door to my room and didn’t realize they were there…again. Is that my stomach growling? Skipped lunch again since I didn’t realize the time. Once my son is asleep, my eyes are heavy. Energy depleted. I’m emotionally drained and I sink into my chair. There’s work to be done and I’ve neglected chores around the house. The silence although it can be bliss it also leaves me to my thoughts.

So if you’re working from home or not and struggling. I know. I see you. You’re not alone. We can do this. There will be good days. There will be tough days. Tears. Laughter. And some guilt because you’ve yelled more than you’re used to. You got this. I know it!


Hello everyone. It’s been a while. Life took a turn and crashed hasn’t it? I thought transitioning to a working mother was hard enough. Boy, was I wrong! I’m now learning to balance all that and more from home. My only get away being at night once I’m drained with the animal crossing jingle playing. Stay safe and stay home everyone. Things here in NYC are looking more than just rough right now. I feel for all those families who have lost a loved one due to this virus.

Much love and enjoy this succulent photo-Sori

Life

Transitioning from a Stay at Home Mom to a Working Mom

I was nervous for my first day. Wondering how I would be. I was a mother that had been through more than I should have in the almost 4 years I hadn’t worked. Every time I thought I could go back. I couldn’t.

How could I? After everything. I thought I was forever meant to be at home. That I wasn’t fit to work again after all as I walked in with what I was sure the anxiety written all over my face and smile.

Would they like me?

Can I do this?

Will I mess up and they’ll not want me there anymore?

I asked myself all this the whole time I was in training.

But I made it through. I took a deep breath and did my best to absorb everything I was being told. Asked questions when necessary. Time flew by and I eased into the routine. By the 4th day I felt comfortable enough to do the morning routine alone.

My son was with my mother who I trusted 100 percent. I’m so glad that we have her to help us with him considering how much my son loves her. Husband supported my decision to return to work and helps me in the morning preparing our son. I’m amazed at how much love and support I’ve had through this. I miss my son. I miss being home with him, the cats and succulents. But I know work would be good for me. I hope to truly to continue loving where I am and discover who I’m becoming as I start a new chapter in my life.

Life

Countdown to Vacation Time

My husband and I have yet to ever take a vacation together at all. Every year something always came up. The excuses would pile up. Until this year. I said enough and finally booked us a cruise to the Caribbean. As the days close in and we start packing my anxiety builds. This is going to be the first vacation together after 8 years. The first time we will be away from our son for a week. The conflicting emotions made me tear up. However, as parents and spouses we definitely need this. I’m so glad my son has my parents. His grandparents to love and take care of him. I know he will enjoy his stay. He will be comfortable, loved and fed that when I come back. I’m not even sure he will have missed us. Here’s to new things and more adventures!

Life

Being Their Voice

Before ever becoming a mother. The thought brought an anxiety that was so overwhelming I didn’t think I would have any children. How can I take care of this little person that’s my own? Was I capable of being a good mother? Show them that the world is both beautiful yet so cruel. All these thoughts still haunt me. Little less than before they’re replaced with other things now but they’re still there some days.


I also realized throughout life and now having my son. How careful we as parents need to be when we speak to them as they’re growing. It’s easy for them to absorb everything. Children are truly sponges to those around them. We parents are legitimately their first interaction with the world. It comes to no surprise that even to this day I can still hear my parents voices for a lot of the decisions I make in life. It’s something I find humorous most days. When I went to get my first tattoo I could already feel the disappointment of my parents and hear them saying how I probably ruined my body by getting it. Mind you, I was 22 almost 23 and didn’t really mind their disapproval at this point. I’m usually confident in most of my decisions and what I do with my body now that I’m older. Yet, even still I hear them in my head before doing anything. It’s becoming more faint as the years go by and it made me realize that the strongest voices in our children is mostly ours. Their self esteem, confidence, fears and overall sense of self mostly comes from being around us. I hope that I can be better and give my son more positive thoughts than negative ones. That he won’t feel the need to hide things from me. After all, we have free will. Regardless what we tell them. They can choose to rebel against it or listen. They’re always listening. They’re always watching. Strive to be better cause perfection does not exist.


This has always been a fear of mine with having kids. I hope one day if they ever do hear my voice or their dad’s voice. It’s help guide them through life decisions and if it’s small things that they’ll laugh like I did. All in good time I suppose.