family

My Birth Story: What I Knew & What I Thought I Knew

I knew from the beginning of my pregnancy that I would be getting a C-Section, due to the extensive fibroid removal surgery I received prior. I tried to research as much as I could leading into this experience but as with anything in life, there is just so much that you can not be prepared for when it comes to how the human body works. Before I got pregnant I always wanted a water birth at home, and after watching “The Business of Birth” my mind was set. But there definitely comes a trade off when you start to intervene with science. One thing that gave me peace with having a C-Section, was listening to a birth specialist that talked about women not being filled with regret and lessening their chances of postpartum depression when they went into their birth experiences making their own decisions and not being pressured to do things outside of that. So I was at peace with knowing how my birthing process would go.  

///A huge, heart-filled thank you to the following people that helped me get through this part of my life:

  • My husband  – Artis Scott. This entire process has been a two man job , even breastfeeding …someone has to hold those little high strung arms down in the beginning.  Thank you for hitting the ground running from day one.
  • My Parents, brothers and In-Laws – so needed….so appreciative
  • My Doula – Mia Peak for answering my 1 Million Questions and being my coach/ support team & the true plug for all things baby and breastfeeding
  • My Best Friend – Creseda Hawk for helping me to transition into motherhood and dealing with all my fears week 1
  • The Snoo Bassinet – best night nurse ever lol

 

Here is how my day & night went….

 

12:00am // Can’t eat anything else to prepare for cesarean section surgery . Nerves and prayer

8am // Arrive at hospital dilated with my husband (I brought my own food since I am vegetarian, I brought my essential oils and diffuser to be at ease & I brought extra pillows – the nurse warned me that the hospital pillows sucked lol)

Doula arrives , Family arrives (ask family to wait in the waiting room for the beginning process)

10am // Gave my birth plan to the nurses, the medical team tried to enforce vaccination shots which I clearly outlined that I did not want in my birth plan but it was ignored. One of the nurses even told me that babies die from not getting vitamin K shots and although I stuck to my guns, this entire process caused me so much stress. My doula had to step in during this part

 

My nerves…

11am // The speed of everything became a blur. I am pushed into the hospital operating theater, which I remember being extremely cold, stark white and filled with extremely bright lights. They wouldn’t let my husband in their at first and I felt so alone in there in the beginning. They proceed with the spinal epidural, which kicked in immediately and I could barely flip my legs up on the bed because the entire lower half of my body had gone numb immediately. At this point they lean me back under a birthing curtain, so I couldn’t see the surgery. I requested a gentle c section curtain in the beginning, but this hospital did not offer that as of yet. At this point, they let my husband in – he was wearing his scrubs and he sat on a rolling chair right next to my head. I started to feel somewhat nauseous but was at peace at this point because now it was go time! I absolutely couldn’t feel a thing, I hear mumbling and my husband had focused his attention on watching every part of the C section and then in only a matter of minutes I heard a cry and they showed me my baby over the curtain. Everything was so surreal, that I started crying. Like wow, the cry that filled this room is MY child’s cry.

My son enters into the world at 9 full pounds! Once they cut the umbilical cord, we do skin to skin and his baby smell is intoxicating. As I start to really come back into focus, they bundle the baby up for me and wheel me out of the operating room back into my room, and that is when real life begins….

 

1:00pm // A lactation specialist comes into my room and I get to witness my son crawl his way right into breast feeding. This was truly an act of God to me, like wow …how did he know what to do so quickly and he had only been on this earth for less an hour

The Rest of the Day //  After this I wanted to sleep. But this starts the cycle of the nurses coming in and out of your room, the doctors coming in and out, the pediatrician coming in and out, family members coming in and out, the baby crying …. Sleep went out the door (the door that never seems to stay closed)

The first night, my son slept for a few hours straight. You should have seen me and my husband rejoicing, like yay we have a baby that sleeps through the night…look at God! Lol, well he never slept through the night again, while we were at the hospital and when we brought him home… EVER lol.

My baby refused to sleep in the baby bed provided by the hospital, so my husband and I took turns hopping up and running on fumes to make sure that our baby enjoyed his first few days on planet earth and also I could not bare to hear his tiny little cry without it breaking my heart.

 

Hello Baby Lungs…..

 

Back At Home //  No one told me how ridiculously hard it is to care for yourself and your baby, when you’re being held together by dissolvable stitches and tape. How you really do need help for at least a week, because it feels like your lower half is on fire due to having to get up hundreds of times throughout the day and night to feed the baby and tend to his needs. I don’t think I understood the severity of having a very serious abdominal surgery and then being thrown right into the game of raising a child IMMEDIATELY. On the second night of being home, it was around 2am – my husband had passed out due to his sleep deprivation and my baby just wouldn’t stop crying (this was before I knew you were suppose to feed on demand). My baby was staring at me crying and I was staring at him crying and we were just standing in the hallway of my home in the dark crying with each other and I was praying to God  to make all of this easier. Then you finish the pain pills and you have to bare the sensation of feeling everything, every little thing (side note, don’t hop out the bed the wrong way to get the baby or you will feel like you tore something internally again). No one mentioned how you will need major rest to heal from such a major surgery and how you will be getting none of that if you are breastfeeding. Holding such a precious miracle in your arms, helps you get through this time as best as possible but I wish I would have known the reality of it a bit more. I did get a stepping stool for my bed after day 3 , that helped a lot with getting in and out of the bed easier.

Now that we are coming to an end of his 4th trimester and I reflect back over the first few weeks of bringing my baby home, black girl magic has taken on an even higher level of meaning for me and my confidence in my ability to mother has reached an all time high.

Can I ask you a favor? If there is a new mother around you, check on her. See how she is doing, stop by and help. Like really help her as she jumps head first into a whole new normal.

XoXo,

Nicole

A Child’s Voice

Fact: validating a child’s voice early on can be life altering. It let’s them know that their voices matter and should always be heard. We can’t understand each other’s words yet, but we are learning each other’s sounds, looks, & love right now.
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The juggle is real … and I’m just praying & paving my way through it!

 

XOXO,

Nicole

Creating our NEW family budget

Creating our NEW family budget 

 

For the first 30 years of my life, I have only had to worry about my finances – mine and mine alone.  Then I got married and had to readjust my money mindset, to being transparent and open financially. 

2018, enter in our baby.

Becoming a parent is the most life-changing event that many will experience. You are suddenly not only responsible for yourself, but also another person who depends on you for everything.

Since his first day on this earth our son, Azai, has been the an indescribable joy in our lives and an unexplainable love in our hearts. But, he has also wracked up a pretty penny as soon as he exited the womb. From hospital bills, to insurance fees, to lactation consultants, and more. No matter how prepared you are, there are always a few surprises that are sure to catch you off guard with a baby. 

I want to share my checklist with you of things we needed to handle when Azai was born. My adulting has reached a whole new level so quickly, lol. I would love to hear your feedback and additions to this list. 

P.S. Also, another tip in the world of money, is to freeze your child’s credit for now. This will keep any identity theft from happening, since you are usually not actively paying attention to a young human’s financial reports. 

Our Gender Reveal

Our Ferris Wheel Gender Reveal

As we crossed into the safety zone of our second trimester, it was time to start thinking about our gender reveal. I knew I wanted it to incorporate the spirit of Atlanta, my city that I truly adored but I was stuck on how to bring it all together and make it make sense. My husband came up with the idea of doing it at the SkyView ferris wheel downtown. When you are pregnant at 35 and up or what the medical field likes to call,  “a mature momma”, you are tested throughout your pregnancy way more frequently. I actually had the test results of my baby’s sex at month two. So I had to sit on this secret for longer than my nerves could bare. Luckily the results were stored in my online patient portal, which I let my brother log in to and he was able to set up the details of the gender reveal with the ferris wheel company. Doing it this way allowed my husband and I the opportunity to surprised right along with your family and friends at the reveal. 

The night was beautiful. One thing to remember is that you have to do the ferris reveal once it gets dark so the light show will shine vibrantly. We had our guests meet at the wheel and had our out of town family log onto our Facebook live so they could get in on the fun. After everyone rode the ferris wheel, we stood below it and watched the pink and blue light show on the wheel until it ended up on the last color which was blue (#TeamBoy). I’ve included some of our pics below.

Theme: Curious George

STYLED BY: F.I.L.A. *wink*

Occasion: Baby Gender Reveal

Location: SkyView Atlanta

 

Photography: Shawn Bell 

Video Of Our Crazy Countdown: https://www.facebook.com/thegarnercircle/videos/a.10160126181835051/10160126182375051/?type=3