Tag Archives: anxiety

Back at it again!

Aww yes! It has been a good almost 11ish years since I held down a regular job that didn’t involve me being an entrepreneur. I was apart of the mommy drain (not returning back to work after having a baby). After establishing several successful businesses and a good chunk of my kiddos are going to school, I often wondered if I would ever return back to the corporate world? especially after I finished my education. We all know being a SAHM ( or SAHD) is it’s own challenge in itself, but add in working from home…the party really gets wild. For a lot of people Covid forced parents who worked outside the home to suddenly become WAH parents. For us, this didn’t apply because I was already a SAHM.

I knew this day would come because originally I never wanted to be as they would say “just” a SAHM. I think I worked harder than I ever have being a SAHM and being self employed. I enjoyed having a career and the adult interaction. Being a stay at home mom can be lonely at times and can impact mental health especially if the person had an abrupt lifestyle change. This is in no way to shit on being a SAHM because trust me it has had a lot of perks. Did I always enjoy it? fxck no! but I am also glad I was able to comfortably enjoy it at the same time. SO after some back and forth, chats with my beau, and trying to really figure out what I wanted to do…One day I just said to hell with it, and I took a leap and revamped my resume and started slanging applications in all directions. However, I was adamant…if I could not work from home I was not interested in returning back to the corporate world. The conditions had to be really RIGHT or close to PERFECT for me to give up my SAHM lifestyle. Now if you have been following me forever, then you may be surprised that I am returning back to work.

I think I put in like a million applications and got discouraged at one point (ok several points). My husbae at first wasn’t really feeling the idea. To my surprise, I landed several job interviews quickly. Some were not a good fit at all and I had to decline. Yes, some companies were not cool with the fact that I have basically been off the grid doing my own thing forever, and some were intimidated by me having an advanced education for some of the more entry level careers that only required a bachelors. It is widely known that companies do not favor people who have taken significant time off to care for their home and families, so you have got to really sell yourself! I was determined to find something that would value my worth, compensate me well for it and respect my wishes to maintain as close to the lifestyle I am used to within reason. Now my first few interviews I totally bombed those because I was def out of touch with the process lol!

10 tips for returning

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  • Utilize social media to connect with other moms who work from home. NETWORK! They may have job leads! Pick their brain, ask questions to get an idea of what to expect and maybe some things to try to make the transition easier. It is always nice to have someone to relate to. I am a member of several SAHM groups, but when I solidified my decision to return back to work I joined a few. They are def different from SAHM groups just a heads up.
  • If you are returning back on your own terms def do not pick something that you know you will dislike. For example sales. Yes sales jobs are very easy to get with no experience for some companies but selling things by cold calling or leads is not for everyone. Try to scout out jobs or positions you feel will be fulfilling and enjoyable. Do not become desperate for a job. Stay focused and try to target jobs that really align with your background and skill level. Be open to trying something new within reason.
  • If you have a baby or smaller children who may be noisy etc, opt for positions that do not require or have limited phone interactions. There are jobs that are remote that are text, chat or e-mail based.
  • There will be disruptions. Hello KIDS (and pets) ! Try to limit the distractions and disruptions by planning ahead. If you are in control of your schedule, opt for working during naptime if you can. Make sure kids are settled, changed, fed etc.
  • CREATE A SCHEDULE AND TRY TRY TRY TO STICK TO IT! Try to start the day the same way on the days you work. You both will need to be on a schedule. Checking emails, meetings, Movie time, snack time, lunch time, nap time etc.
  • If you are uptight about screen time, this is the time to get over it. Screen time isn’t all that bad. It’s the content. This is just my opinion, but your kiddos will def utilize screen time a lot while you are working to stay occupied and quieter.
  • Make a to-do list that is doable and reasonable. Laundry, cleaning, etc. Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to do it all in one day.
  • If you have access to a helping hand, accept the help.
  • When your attention is divided between your laptop and your kiddos, it is easy to lose track of time. Use your time wisely and pay attention to the clock. Try to limit the temptation of social media during productive time. There are apps that can help with this if you need help not accessing them during certain times of the day.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself and set boundaries. Easier said than done. You may think you can do it all and try to prove that you can. Don’t be unrealistic. This is not healthy behavior and will surely ruin your work/life balance. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get everything done. Being a WAHM may have it’s perks and conveniences, but like being a SAHM it is not easy. Accept you will still be a busy and sometimes tired human.

If you are deciding to return back to work as a WAHM after being a stay at home mom, just know the process may be frustrating and take weeks or months; but once you find your right gig, you can make a way! Think about it, you made a way to survive off one income for this long and taking care of tiny humans etc. alone each day. Support being a SAHM is important for success, and support is a big key to success with this new adventure of being a WAHM. We will see how this goes!

Phoenix Series: Snap Out Of It

“I never believed in mental illness until it happened to me.”

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This is something I have heard a few times from different people when they speak about their condition. This doesn’t apply to me, however. I always knew it was a real thing. I always knew there was something going on with me, but I was never really clear on what it was. Diagnosing mental illnesses is very tricky. It is not like diagnosing someone with the flu etc. It takes time and lots of documentation. Before I decided it was time to go back to the doctor last year, everyone had their advice on what I should do. Don’t tell people they need to exercise, use herbal remedies etc. Encourage them to seek help from a mental health professional. Being told it could be worse is very discouraging because you feel like you are being compared to someone else or that you are a weak individual. I am not ashamed of my story because it may inspire others to get the help they truly need and deserve. I used to find myself telling people I was sick when I was having a bad day because it was easier for my friends and associates to understand me having a cold versus me trying to explain depression & anxiety.

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The deepest pain I remember feeling before I started to open up about my condition was denying that I even had something wrong with me to make everyone else feel better and more comfortable around me. I didn’t want to be looked at as a charity case or as a Debbie Downer. I also learned that anxiety really sucks and happens sometimes for no reason. I can’t recover by staying calm or breathing. I actually need the assistance of medication to limit and avoid having panic attacks. I have social and general anxiety according to my doctor. Personally, I think it is more social. Recovering from depression is more than having positive vibes. If it was that simple then no one would suffer from it. People who have mental illnesses are not weak individuals. They are very strong people even if they handle emotions differently than you do. I fight to work, take care of my family, be there for my friends, act normal, etc when I am having an episode. It is dealing with invisible pain. It’s more exhausting acting like you don’t have a mental illness, than dealing with it and treating it. Don’t do that to yourself. Stop hiding.

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Having anxiety and depression comes as a package deal. Some people would consider this as baggage. It takes a very caring and patient person to care for a person who has a mental illness. I learned that when your body is sick you get all types of sympathy…except for when your brain isn’t working properly and you have depression. It was a very frustrating time in our marriage with me trying to explain how I felt and what was going on in my head to my beau. He thought he could fix me. Hell, we both thought we could fix me. I would be okay for a while but then I would get triggered and have a mental meltdown. This happened once a month and then it started to happen more frequently. The panic attacks became my normal whenever I needed to leave the house. I shopped at Target multiple times per week to avoid the busy times and crowds. Whenever lines are long I get anxious and want to bail out. I am impatient.

Whenever we go to a restaurant I must sit where I can clearly see the door. I don’t like my food to touch, I can’t stand hearing people smack and chew their food, I have a bad habit of cutting people off when they talk (I have gotten better about this), if I can’t get ahold of you or it’s been a while since I talked to you I start thinking the worst. I can’t help it. Even if I trust you with my soul I will still get anxious. The meds help with all of that including the little bit of OCD that I have. The meds help me chill out and not be in flight or fight mode 24-7. The meds help me not look at everything and everyone as a threat. I don’t worry so much to the point where it makes my tummy hurt anymore. I don’t get nervous when I have to go to crowded places to the point that I want to puke anymore. I avoided parties and other social gatherings for a while because mentally I just couldn’t handle it during my meltdown periods.

Once my beau educated himself on my condition, he was able to understand things better and how to approach the situation. I love him for wanting to understand and help me. I know my beau loves me very much and wants me to be happy. I am very lucky to have him by my side and have him fighting for me and with me. I am not in this alone. Support goes a long way. My close friends always check on me and ask about my appointments. They ask how am I feeling. They all know the cues of when something is wrong. For a while, everyone suspected something but didn’t want to ask. Once I put it out there I think we all felt more comfortable about it. When you have a mental illness you have to have people rooting for you. You need that village. When I have a panic attack, my heart races, I tremble, I feel like I am going to puke and I feel scared. I want to leave wherever I am at. People saying they were going to have a panic attack as a joke about inconveniences of life makes it harder for those of us who do truly experience them to be taken seriously.

Unfortunately, anxiety and depression are very misunderstood. Sadly, getting help for mental health issues is so inconvenient and hard in America. I have been through several doctors etc before finding a decent one. I am also my own worst enemy because I am very knowledgeable about psychology and medical stuff. When we were looking for me a new doctor so that I could get back on meds, it took a week of calling around to pinpoint the right doctors that fit our insurance coverage. Then the majority of those doctors were not accepting new patients…..hello!? I am being proactive trying to fix me and you won’t even see me!? Sure if it’s an emergency they will just check you into a mental institution. Anyway, after finding two doctors, my first choice staff was very rude and nobody would answer or call back. Finally a week later they called me back and said that I could be seen as a new patient in 3 weeks… 3 fxcking weeks. My second choice called me back within a week and I was able to be seen that following week. I am still under the care of my second choice. With this doctor, I have the option under my insurance coverage to do telehealth. Telehealth is when your doctor can see you remotely. You don’t go in person to your appointments. You are able to call or video chat. You must be deemed stable. This practice requires you to have 3 or 4 in-person visits or be deemed stable to qualify for telehealth.

I have been going in person since November of 2018. I am very close to being deemed stable so that I can do telehealth. The only reason I have not been able to sooner is that we had to figure out the right combination of medications (I will talk about that in another post).

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Here are some stats and faqs about mental illnesses in the United States

  • 1 in every 5 adults will be diagnosed with a mental disorder at some point in their life.
  • 1 in every 24 adults will be diagnosed with a serious mental disorder.
  • 1 in every 12 adults has a substance abuse problem.
  • Most chronic mental disorders appear by the time a person turns 14.
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for all ages and is more common than murders.
  • People who have a mental disorder are not more likely to become violent than those who do not have a mental disorder. People with mental disorders are more likely to be victims of crimes and not the perpetrator.
  • Every 12.8 minutes someone dies by committing suicide in America.
  • 90 percent of those who commit suicide had a mental health issue that could be diagnosed.

Suicidal ideation is usually a common symptom that a lot of people with mental health issues encounter at some point. I have been there personally. I found myself joking about it in a way to lessen the dark times I was experiencing. It was a valid expression of my emotions and felt right and the only option. Making jokes about it created the thoughts about it and the cycle continued. I scared the shxt out of myself at one point in time. I wrote a note and everything. Thought about how I was going to do it etc. I broke down in tears. I am not going into details about that but I was saved…hearing someone’s voice saved me…and I will forever be thankful for that split second that made me snap out of it because it saved my life. I found better ways to express myself. Part of the mental health stigma problem is words. Being more mindful of our language is a small step in erasing the stigma. Words hold a lot of power. Words can create stigma or save a life.

Call 1-800-273-8255
Available 24 hours everyday

Until next time,Breyona

Live For The Moments You Can Not Put In Words

 I really LOATHE when people just assume that being a mom and all things momming are my entire life. I do have a life outside of (7) kids.  Life did not stop when I became a mom. But…at one point it kinda did and guess what? Anxiety, depression and motherhood don’t mesh well together. I can not stress enough to other mamas to take care of your mental health.

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It is a struggle being whole to everyone else when you are not whole for yourself. Recently the panic attacks have been happening a little more often than what I would like (hence the silence on the blog a little), this is partly from my whole experience of my babes being in the NICU and worrying about things. No one tells you that certain things related to the NICU don’t stop once the baby graduates out of it.  Did they burp enough? Are they getting too comfy while they eat? Can I switch from preemie nipples now? Are the bottles sterile enough? the list goes on and on. This time around a lot of things are purely baby led and it’s pretty cool just requires patience.

I have found a few things that seem to work great for managing my anxiety and depression. I have also been sharing these things with people who reach out for advice who have the same condition. I have taken pieces of advice from them as well. I have a set plan for management, but like with any routine such as hair care, skin care, diets, etc you have to switch it up after a while. You get immune to it. I have had to have a few mommy time outs when the kids are being complete turds behavior wise, the house is a mess, I am exhausted because of Twin A’s crazy sleep patterns and My Beau’s work schedule.  A mommy time out is where I remove myself from the parental atmosphere to clear my head and take a breather. I strap the twins in their rockers, put up the baby gates and tell the oldest two I am stepping outside for a sec and keep an eye on things. It is recharging and refocusing.

During one of my moments, I had what I affectionately call my “2007 Britney Spears moment” and I cut off my hair

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I did this last month (August). I wanted a new “identity” I wanted a fresh start so to speak. Okay so it wasn’t that drastic, but still you get the point.

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I usually sit on our back porch (until a spawn of Satan aka a bug) tries to be friends then it’s back in the house I go. If it is at night, I have the oldest watch the babies and I run a nice Epsom salt bath or take a shower. The times where I feel a panic attack coming on, I have to redirect my attention to something else. I grab a snack or play a word game on my phone. My Beau purchased me a Cricut Explore Air 2 for my birthday, so this has really been great for me so far. It gives me something else to do. I have found some of the craft making to be somewhat therapeutic.

I have been transforming my nervous energy into being productive instead of just sulking. However, I am not going to lie… sometimes I get frustrated and want to throw shxt.  I don’t know if you believe in zodiac related shxt, but I do. I am a Virgo. We tend to be perfectionist. It is a blessing and a curse. I really had to learn over time that perfect is not ideal. I like being okay and well. I guess the best way to describe my anxiety and depression is I am predictable in my own unpredictability. I like the direction I am headed and I am excited about all of the great things that are happening and this new journey I am on since I turned 30. If you love life, it will love you back.

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Taking time away from motherhood doesn’t make you a bad mom. Taking charge of your mental health is one of the most selfless selfish things I think a person can do. Growth doesn’t happen without provocations. Never forget that.

 

Until next time,Breyona

NICU Life: Lessons

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It’s been almost 4 weeks and the girls are still in the NICU. I have been trying to stay busy to make the time go by faster and to not be idle. If I become idle, then I will start feeling under the weather. I need to be in a good mood for the other bundles of mayhem. School is finally out for the summer so I can get some relief schedule wise but now I have the demand of entertaining them around the clock and juggling making runs to the NICU to see the girls and drop off milk. These four weeks have taught me a few things and shown me a few things about myself that I never really paid attention to. It has also made me very in tune (more than ever) with my anxiety and I am tired of shaking hands with it. I actually had a panic attack the other day randomly. I haven’t had one of those in a long time, but I was able to handle it and it passed smoothly.

This is a time where I need support more than I ever have. The bond you instantly have with your children during pregnancy and after is indescribable. That bond is threatened when you have to spend time apart. You have to make up for the time lost and do the best you can. Seeing the girls frequently is challenging due to having other children to care for, and the distance of the hospital. Some parents make multiple daily trips to the NICU and some can’t go as often. Some can’t go at all due to different reasons. The hospital has a lot of resources for helping parents cope with the time apart and the guilt. The guilt of not being there. I get daily phone calls, and I can call whenever I want to check in on the girls. There are no visiting hours, but they usually like for you to be cautious about visiting during the times when the shifts change. When we visit, it is full of lots of snuggles and feedings. The girl’s feedings are an hour apart.

The other day when we visited, We saw a man carrying a baby car seat. He had the baby carrier and the base attached. We thought this was odd because most people just take in the carrier when they are getting ready to take their baby home, when the delivery is normal. We got onto different elevators. We joked that he must be a new dad since he had the entire car seat and base toting it around, and maybe he didn’t know that the base is supposed to stay in the car. When we headed back to see the girls, we saw the base dude beaming with excitement and looking nervous at the same time. He was a NICU parent just like us. The baby boy in the first pod, who we passed by on the way to the girl’s twin room each time, was going home. He was always swaddled in the cutest blankets. I heard the male nurse giving them instructions on proper car seat use as they were getting ready to do his car seat test as apart of the discharge process. I teared up a little. I teared up for two reasons: that baby was going home and who knows how long he had been there, and my girls weren’t going home yet.  Seeing and hearing that baby get discharged from the NICU was bittersweet. We will know that feeling one day soon.

Lesson number 1: Appreciating where we are in our NICU journey and how unique it is. Even though it’s not where we thought we would be or want to be, every day spent there serves a purpose.

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When you have a baby in the NICU, certain things are a BIG deal. Such as being in a open crib and finishing a bottle during feeding time. Preemies have to learn how to eat. The girls have feeding tubes until their desire and reflex to naturally suck to either nurse or drink from a bottle using a nipple is developed.

Lesson number 2: Celebrate things other people take for granted. Little milestones are just as important as big ones.

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The device that delivers my breast milk into the girl’s bellies is done via feeding tube using a device they call “the pump”. They basically insert a large syringe that contains my milk into the machine and set a timer. The machine slowly pushes the milk through the baby’s feeding tube to complete the feeding.

Lesson Number 3: Biomedical engineering is such a underappreciated field of engineering. Without it many nurses would be extremely exhausted.

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Speaking of breast-milk, I never thought that I would be able to produce enough for both of my babies. I am a mama who hasn’t always been hip to breast feeding and had a low supply whenever I tried. I exclusively breastfeed my 4th child for 6 months. My 5th, we didn’t have much luck and I had thrown in the towel after repeated latching issues, no desire to pump and a milk supply that dropped so low there was nothing that could be done to bring it back up. Once I was feeling up to it in the hospital, a lactation consultant came to visit with a breast pump and a full on tutorial about exclusively pumping. I had a very good & strong start and I have been doing pretty good so far. Exclusively pumping is very time consuming, frustrating at times, and exhausting. The nurses and my friends have been very supportive and encouraging. This has helped me stay motivated and not throw in the towel.

Lesson number 4: I am more than capable of feeding my babies as long as I continue to trust the process and my body.

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My beau stepped right in when I was not able to bond with the girls after the surgery. He has changed a lot of tiny diapers and even dealt with a big blow out from Remy. Remy’s big blowout during one of our visits was a total life bleachable moment. Breastfed babies tend to projectile poop. He was in the middle of a diaper change when he lifted her up to put the clean diaper on and the shxt (literally) got real. It was EVERYWHERE. the cords, phone on the wall, the crib, her clothes, his hand… you name it!  You would think that out of all the diapers we have changed, we would’ve been quicker. We had to work as a team to tackle the mess.

Lesson number 5: The best way to prepare for tomorrow is doing your very best in the moments of today.

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The million dollar question is when are they coming home? Y’all we truly have no timeline of this. This question actually makes me sad. It is beginning to get a little mundane constantly answering this question. A lot of NICU parents all agree that this is a question a lot of us don’t really like being asked. We aren’t trying to be rude or secretive, we just don’t know. Some people ask in a way that is very insensitive. Actually some people are just insensitive period in a lot of the things they say and ask. Sometimes it is just best to be quiet or say let me know if you need anything. It’s not always what you say but how you say it.

Lesson number 6: Don’t let the way others behave destroy your sense of inner peace.

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We are really hoping that our stay in the NICU is almost done. However, at the same time I would rather them be 100% cleared to come home instead of 80% to rush things along. They are working on their feedings and it is hit or miss…which is expected at this point considering how early they were born. Some days they finish multiple bottles, and some days they don’t finish any at all and are tube fed all day. We are remaining patient because regardless fed is best.

Lesson number 7: Find something positive in each day, even when on some days you have to look a bit harder for it.

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We are so happy and thankful that our girls are progressing very well and have had little to no complications that most 33 weekers experience when they are born prematurely. They are plumping up each day and are super cute! They are well on their way to coming home…when the time is right.

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Dear NICU

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Dear NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit),

 

After having 5 healthy and considered “term” babies, I never would have thought I would ever have to meet you. May 1st, you automatically took piece number 6 and 7 of my heart. Bringing these girls into the world at 33 weeks was unexpected, exciting and scary at the sametime. I still had hope that I would make it to at least 36 weeks and avoid you. My body decided otherwise and here we are. I never imagined that after 4 days in the hospital I would come home empty handed. That was the quietest ride home from the hospital ever. At first I felt like you robbed me of my golden hour and chances to bond with my babies. I only got to see them for a split second before they were whisked away to the second floor to be with you. I laid there on the operating table in tears because I could barely see my babies faces due to the oxygen masks and several layers of blankets. I wanted more time, at least a kiss but was denied because it was your time. The first 24 hours was very hard being stuck in bed, nauseated as hell knowing that I could not see my babies until the next day. There were pics but they did not compare to being able to snuggle my babies and take in that newborn smell immediately after giving birth; as I have done in the past.

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I was angry. Very angry….livid. I wanted my babies. I am supposed to be one of the most important parts of their life. I am their mama. For however long, you are now their mama.

Visiting you felt gloomy because the initial floor is so quiet. You can smell and feel how sterile the atmosphere is as soon as you step off the elevator. The warmth was not cozy but necessary to sustain life. As I was wheeled in, emotions almost got the best of me. I was not able to get up from the wheelchair, but I could see my babies. My babies with all kinds of wires and gadgets hooked up to them protruding from the soft pink and blue swaddle blankets; and me a few hours almost a full day post surgery unable to hold my babies. I felt so empty and like I was cheated out of motherhood. The golden hour I will never get back but by any means necessary we all got the babies here safely. No one told me what to expect or how it feels to have a baby in the NICU. I was not prepared. My anxiety got the best of me a few times, but I had to keep telling myself they are in a safe place and trust the process.

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Even though you will be my babies home for however long; whatever the circumstances, those are MY babies and there are somethings only I can provide for them that you can’t. Being separated from my babies is one of the most difficult things I think I have ever had to deal with outside of Grand Daddy passing away. I don’t know if you understand this or not; IDC but I want you to know this. You have caused a little tension between me and my beau because we are both so damn exhausted.

 

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You are now becoming apart of our normal, but each day gets easier when it comes to leaving after our snuggle time. The first day I fell apart as soon as we got in the car, but the next day I was okay.

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We plan to continue to take an active role in our babies stay with you. We know and trust that you will provide the safest environment and best care possible during this extremely stressful yet exciting time for us. We hope to find some joy in this journey as we watch our babies thrive and exceed expectations and milestones each day; in order to get them home.

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Nothing prepared us for this

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*This is a very lengthy post and covers a lot*

Randomly finding out I was pregnant was already surprising enough. However nothing prepared me for the weeks that followed peeing on that stick. I had some pretty intense symptoms leading up to testing. I had horrible cramping, my back was hurting pretty damn bad, I was beyond exhausted, moody as hell, and my boobs felt like someone was using them as punching bags. Most of it, I chalked it up to being a period from hell about to happen.

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What my uterus felt like

Once I tested and got my final answer, I was a bit on edge because of how bad the symptoms were. In my previous pregnancies in the beginning, I had zero-mild symptoms. This time, I had every symptom in the books times 100. My OB wanted to see me immediately, but I told them I prefered to wait a few weeks because of all of the hoopla that happened with Kali’s pregnancy (The Not So Blighted Ovum). They respected my wishes and the appointment was set for a few weeks out to guarantee we would get a confirmation of a visible pregnancy, and see the baby with a heartbeat instead of a yolk sac for my peace of mind.

It took forever for my appointment date to get here but I felt every single bit of pregnancy each day. We kept talking about how we couldn’t believe it happened so quickly, fantasized about what “he” would look like, picked names (for a boy or girl), started window shopping for baby items ya know all of the fun stuff you do when you find out you’re about to have a dinosaur. The week after I found out I was pregnant, the morning sickness started. It was nothing like I have ever experienced. I am still battling it 22 weeks later. I also noticed I immediately had a baby bump and I was like only 48 hours pregnant.

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I figured I was already sporting a nice round bump because after all this was my 6th pregnancy and you show quicker with each pregnancy. With me being beyond sick and overall just feeling like pure shxt in general, we started to joke about me being pregnant with twins. Now, this wasn’t something random because well, twins run on my side of the family…like deep. I have been lucky enough to dodge it happening the previous 5 times. Well the gods said, “hold my beer”.

We both were excited about the first appointment because we knew we would be able to see our little dinosaur chicken nugget all curled up and ready to grow for the next 9 months. Things started off crappy when we got to the appointment because my OB had to go deliver a baby so we had to wait and wait and wait. Rescheduling is not an option for me because the practice I use and the hospital I deliver at is almost an hour away from where I live. I do not trust any other hospitals to handle my care or deliveries within my control (unless it’s an emergency then the nearest one would be used obviously). Not to mention, I have had 4 out of the 5 babies we have at this hospital.

Finally my DR returned and he made a comment about my appearance that I looked like I didn’t feel well etc. I informed him of the horrible morning sickness. This was a bit surprising to him because usually I don’t have an issue with this kind of stuff. He said he would prescribe me something to see if it helped and if not we would try other options. We headed to the ultrasound room and all was going well. My husband sat on the bench watching him check things out and show us our little nugget hanging out. Now at first, I did notice a little something next to the baby but it appeared to be empty and I thought it was like my bladder or some shxt. After he let us hear the baby’s heartbeat, all I heard him say was, “and over here we have baby number 2″……and the world stopped. The room went mute, I didn’t hear shxt he had to say after that. I laid there in disbelief, mouth wide open. Did this guy just say baby number 2? As in two fetuses? deuce?  deux? dos? zwei?

The sound quickly came back on and as he was still talking, I interrupted him and said, “Man Stop playing with me Dr. Harvey”. I could tell he was trying not to laugh because he had this huge smirk on his face and he was like “I am not playing, I am so serious you are having twins Breyona… there are two babies”. He brightened up the pic and there it was for sure another baby curled up in the sac next to the first one. I began to sweat and was still processing it all. All I could do was repeatedly say “Stop playing with me” “Oh my god” “This isn’t real” “No f——- way” and lots of “WTF”. He let us hear baby number 2’s heartbeat and he said it was nice and strong.

I saw I was legit pregnant with twins.

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My beau was laughing and smiling from ear to ear the entire time. Me not so much. It’s one thing when you laugh and joke about it until it happens for real. He continuously expressed how excited he was but I couldn’t smile about it. I was in shock and didn’t know how to really take this news. We weren’t prepared for twins! We had planned for one baby! I knew I should be super excited and over the moon, but I was immediately worried about a lot of things. Twins put you in the category of high risk from the start. I have never had a c-section and the possibility of having one is 50/50 with this pregnancy. I was informed I had to see a specialist on top of the regular OB which means lots of appointments. This pregnancy was a game changer. The horrible morning sickness etc also made it hard to be excited because of how often I feel bad.

We already knew we were done having kids after this pregnancy but this def confirmed things. Once we hit the second trimester we decided to schedule the vasectomy (All Juice No Seeds. ) We opted to have it done during the pregnancy so that my beau would be nice and sterile way before the babies are born. We don’t have to worry about birth control or us both trying to recover at the same time. It was the best decision for us and we couldn’t be more happier with it. We did keep the twin aspect of the pregnancy a secret up until recently when we had the gender reveal. We wanted to have our anatomy scans completed. Because of how crappy I have been feeling, in short I wanted to be left the hell alone so I could rest. I didn’t want the extra attention or constant questions and such, so we chose to keep that aspect to ourselves until it was the right time to disclose it. The further I get into the second trimester the better I feel. I still have some pretty rough days but more good ones than bad ones at this point. The babies are doing very well so far and that makes me happy. I am getting more and more excited the closer we get to meeting them. When it was revealed that we are expecting girls, the reactions were as expected. I am going to say this and leave it alone: Yes we will have 5 girls, no we are not sad about it. We initially tried for another baby to shoot for a boy, but if you know how making babies works, you don’t get to pick what you want unless you have Beyonce and Jay-Z money.

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The whole us having a preference thing went out the window a long time ago. We both are very excited to meet our new little bundle of girls. I am going to speak for a lot of people here when I say this, but sometimes it’s best to keep your gender bias comments to yourself. In some cultures having girls is like the worst thing ever, but for the Sharpnack family, it just means the higher beings chose to sprinkle a little more glitter in our lives and I am okay with that! Our two boys will be just fine in a house full of girls. They both love their sisters and love doing boy things together and not worrying about sharing their things with all the girls.

Now I did say this post would answer the questions that everyone seems to have. I don’t mean to be rude but people know I HATE constantly repeating myself. So writing this post should answer all if not most of the common questions people have been asking. I ask that you read each one carefully because if I am asked again I will kindly refer you back to this post. I have a lot to cover and catch you guys up on within the next few months before things get crazy.

Sharpnack Twins FAQS

  1. Does this mean that you are getting a mini van/van? No I am not planning on getting a van. Although they may be more convenient as far as getting people in and out of the car, it simply is not for me. Getting a van seems to be a big joke to a lot of people and I honestly don’t see what’s so funny about a family’s mode of transportation as long as they have one. Most people making comments about it drive something that’s falling apart or nothing at all anyway. What works for other moms, may not work for me. It was decided by me and my beau who pays the bills that a van isn’t ideal for our family. Now, to further address this topic once and for all. I have 3 options, ONE is in fact a van but it is our “worst case scenario” option, meaning if it doesn’t make sense financially to obtain the other options then we will go with that. REGARDLESS we are the ones paying for the vehicle, and other’s opinions about it does not mean two red cents to us or will sway our decision.  We are not the type of people who make decisions for the likes and appeasement of others. If anything we are very fortunate to be able to have multiple vehicle options and the ability to afford what we would like. So here are the options: 2018 Yukon XL, 2018 Chevy Suburban (we currently own both a Yukon and a suburban), and the 2018 Nissan NV. For those of you who don’t know the two SUV options can seat up to 9 passengers. Regardless we will do what is best for our family and that is all that matters.
  2. I have always wanted twins, did you do anything special to conceive twins? No I didn’t do anything special to conceive the twins. The only thing I changed in my normal routines, was I started drinking a lot of alkaline water. I am not saying this had anything to do with anything but it was just something I started when we decided we wanted to have another baby. Several factors play a role in having twins and for me it was purely genetics and my body being a jerk and laying two eggs.
  3. Are they identical or fraternal? Our twins are fraternal and are DI/DI (Dichorionic Diamniotic) twins. To explain this in a way that is easy to understand, think of it as a house and sharing rooms. Our twins have separate rooms and separate everything else but share a house. They do not share a placenta or a sac just my uterus. Although they are fraternal and the same sex, they can still look very similar, but for the most part all of our kids look alike. DI/DI twins are the most common form of twin pregnancies and have less complications. 20180207_185048
  4. You guys just built a large new home does that mean you are about to sell it very soon for something bigger? It was already established that this home was our starter home. Yes, we do plan to sell this home and build a bigger house but not anytime soon. This is something that we are not thinking about right now and will likely do 5 or 6 years from now. What we have now more than works perfectly for us.
  5. What was your parent’s reactions? I am declining to comment on how his parents reacted, but my parents were not shocked that we were expecting, but were thrown off by the twins. My mom almost fainted and my dad smiled. My grandmother is over the moon about it. Everyone else all say this was all my granddaddy’s will because he came from a large family that includes twins and because they are due the day after his birthday (R.I.P Granddaddy). My family has been very supportive and are very excited about the twins.
  6. What are you going to do about school? I am actually about to obtain another Masters degree this spring, and then I am taking a break from school for maybe a year or so in order for me to focus on loving on my babies. My adviser is very supportive of my decision and I am looking forward to a much needed break. Dr. Sharpnack will happen in due time, but right now I am all about our family.
  7. What does it feel like being pregnant with twins? It feels like any other pregnancy, except you get bigger faster, have more symptoms, and those symptoms are ten times worse. The bump is slightly heavier. I can feel the babies moving, but they are on their own schedule. Baby A is more active than Baby B, but they haven’t been awake and moving at the same time yet. I am sure this will change.
  8. Will you have a c-section? This is something that is up in the air. There is a 50/50 chance that I may need one. It depends on each baby’s position. Right now both are head down but they still have time to flip flop back and forth. Although I have never had one and have delivered naturally before, I am going to do whatever is best for me and my babies to ensure they are delivered in the safest way possible. We are hoping for the best and crossing our fingers for a stress free vaginal delivery.
  9. Do you have a lot of stretch marks? I always get stretch marks. However they haven’t been that bad this pregnancy. I started using a stretch mark oil (not cream or lotion) the day I found out I was pregnant. So far the oil in combination with drinking plenty of water has faded existing ones and prevented new ones from popping up. There will be a post in the near future about my must have twin pregnancy survival items. vday3.jpg
  10. You should have everything you need since it’s girls, so why do you have a baby registry and are you buying new items? First off, don’t assume anything. When we had Kendall she was supposed to be our last baby. As she outgrew things we got rid of them. Simple as that. We are in a sense starting over and of course we have to buy two of certain things (There will also be a post about must have twin baby items). The baby registry is for our records so we can keep track of what is needed and check it off as we move along. No one is obligated to purchase anything for any of our babies. If they choose to do so that is purely up to them. A lot of people ask what do we need or how they can help and usually the answer is diapers, wipes and toiletries. The way my friends are set up, they prefer to do more than that and I am ok with that and we are very grateful for their love and support.
  11. Will you dress them alike? They do have a few onesies so far that do match but for the most part I don’t plan on dressing them alike. Now if an outfit is just too stinkin cute to pass up then yes I will be buying two of them but switching up certain things such as the accessories. vday2.jpg
  12. This last question is one of the most asked questions next to the whole car thing…Will the babies have K names like the other girls? Absolutely not. The twins will have names that do not start with K’s. We decided not to do this when we found out the genders. However, if they were boys, they would have had C names because we were in love with the C names we had picked. There was slim pickings of K names and we felt that if we would have went with one of them it would be settling. Also since they are twins and will share certain things, we want them to have their own unique identity. Although we appreciate it, we do not need baby name suggestions. Their names are already picked and set in stone and we are in love! The names will not be revealed until we have them and it will be done in some special way so we kindly ask that you respect this, and you do not ask us what the names will be for the time being.

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So that’s it for now! I hope I answered all of your questions! If there is anything else you want to know or are curious about drop me a comment and I will try to answer it in another post at a later time! Seeing my beau and everyone’s reactions and excitement to the news has gotten me more excited about the whole having twins thing and definitely cheered me up. As a mom I am entitled to letting my fears and worries overcome my joy and excitement from time to time because I am human and also keep in mind I do have anxiety. One thing for certain, two things for sure I can’t wait to snuggle these little bundles of mayhem in June!

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To the Mom Who Feels Like Giving Up

how toget moreAnother day has come and gone and you are beyond drained. You spent your day either working or being at home with the kiddos all day. You may have had your coffee piping hot, cold, or reheated in the microwave because you forgot all about the damn thing. You dealt with public tantrums, a million meltdowns at home, life bleachable moments, unwanted silence, meetings, crappy customers or coworkers, missed appointments, tears because you had to return to work, cluster breastfeeding, pumping milk only to spill it, forgetting that you used the last scoop of formula the night before and now you have to make a Target run. Completely forgetting about after school practice and projects, bullying, repeatedly cleaning a never-ending mess of toys, or finding old sippy cups with spoiled milk inside. You may have tried to leave on time to pick your kids up only to sit in horrible traffic and still was late picking them up, or you tried to time leaving the house at the right time to run your errands so you wouldn’t be at the end of the carpool line, or you got there right on time only for someone to cut you off in line.

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Being a mama comes with a lot of things and one of those things is some inevitable guilt at some point. As a mama, you likely end the day by telling yourself that you will do better tomorrow. A lot of times, you admittedly are a little ashamed about some of your mom behaviors such as wearing the same pair of yoga pants or leggings a few days in the row, skipping a shower,  not bothering to style your hair in any way outside of a messy bun or a nice head wrap, yelling at your kiddos, letting your kids eat cereal for dinner, letting laundry pile up, living out of a clothes basket, letting your kids eat off the floor or eat a booger or two because you are tired of saying “hey don’t do that” a million times. Declining yet another birthday party invite because you are just too damn tired and really don’t want to go, and overall just feeling like you want to lose your shxt.  You may sit and wish that you could be perfect for your children like other moms you see on T.V or social media. You are human and humans do sometimes fail at certain things. The biggest thing, is never giving up. Parenting is a learning experience. This is something that I constantly remind myself when I feel like giving up. Parenting is hard and rewarding at the same time.

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I believe that moms have this magical strength that allows them to still be as nurturing as they can all while endearing stress and fighting her own battles. For me those battles are anxiety and depression (End of year reflection:2017). When I am beyond drained, physically and mentally; nothing will stop me from trying to accommodate the needs of my children the best way I can at the time, and get shxt done.  A lot of times I think I am doing the right things all while not even being 100% sure that I am doing the right things because I am still learning. I have learned what works and doesn’t work and most of all I have learned to forgive myself when I make a parenting mistake such as not grabbing a thick enough jacket for them because I misjudged the weather and now they have the sniffles, or saying okay to just one more piece of candy that results in a tummy ache.

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Motherhood will have you at times feeling stuck with who you really are, what you should be, and who you want to be. Some days your routine may seem meaningless, sometimes your children may make you sad, but they are a big part of what makes you feel happy. I am not on a mission to give my children all of the things I never had because I want them to be more than I am. I let my children get bored, and I used to beat myself up about it because the other moms seemed like they were always engaged with their kids, and I immediately tried to think of ways to keep them entertained. Most of the times they turned out to not be really interested in what I came up with. Until one day I sat back and didn’t intervene. Their boredom forced them to be creative. I believe in being a real parent not a perfect parent. Being real takes a lot of frustration out of this whole mommy stuff.

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To the mom who feels like giving up, just know you are entitled to feel that way, but you are not entitled to give up because your children need you and you need them.

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