The Old My

I thought I had lost myself along the way with having a child and having changed my habits drastically in the last few years.

Somehow I found a new My (me 😝) when Tove was born; A stronger, more confident woman.

Traveling again and people watching has invigorated the old My. Not the bad habits or the mental issues… although let’s be real the mental monsters never go away, you just find a better way to manage them. But I feel like myself again, FUCKING FINALLY. I would apologize for the swear words, but no, that’s exactly how I feel.

I’ve been so torn between being My and being a mother and you know what? You can have your cake and eat it too. I can be the true me and be a great mother to my daughter.

I’ve needed this break so badly and I’m so thankful that I’ve gained the clarity to continue working to achieve my dreams. I cannot wait to show Tove the world and not let go of my own desires along the way.

Everyone warns you about how much your life changes when you have children but nobody ever emphasizes how much better you become as a person. Being a mother has empowered me to feel strongly and stand my ground.

The future is female and I birthed her.

Oklahoma State Capitol Abortion Ban Protest

Today, for my first Mother’s Day with Tove being outside of my womb, we went to an abortion ban protest at the state capitol.

I can’t look into Tove’s eyes and tell her that she doesn’t have the same rights as a boy and that she doesn’t matter, because she does.

There were about 50-60 people at the protest. It was heartwarming hearing the cars honk on the underpass as we cheered them on with our signs.

I loved what one woman had wrote, “a quality man does not fear equality.”

I’m so proud for Tove to have a father that understands she should have bodily autonomy, and that it’s her right as a woman to make whatever medical decisions are necessary to her.

It’s terrifying thinking about how women might be punished under these new laws and it’s so unjust I couldn’t just be a keyboard warrior anymore.

#itsnotrighttimetofight #bansoffourbodies

The Future is Female

Yet here we are living in a man’s world. I cried ugly tears while getting ready and watching the news this morning. Oklahoma passed a total abortion ban.

Was I planning on getting an abortion? No. Should I have that right? 100% yes.

I can no longer raise my daughter in this state because I will not deny her those BASIC rights. Nor will I ever subject her to having to carry the burden if she were to be raped. Fucking ludicrous.

Religion has no place in politics- especially not in the 20th century.

That being said, women in Saudi Arabia actually have more rights than in Texas, Oklahoma and Kentucky.

Abortion in Saudi Arabia is legal; In cases of risk to a woman’s life, fetal impairment, or to protect her physical and mental health. Pregnancy arising from incest or rape also qualify for a legal abortion under the mental health exemption. Oh AND she has four months to get it in these cases.

So we’re actively working on a 5-10 year plan that hopefully gets us out of this state before it’s too late… ✌🏼

Finding Joy

This last week has been increasingly hard to get going in the mornings. Not that I’m tired, I mean I am, but that’s not the kind of struggle I’m feeling. I just feel no joy. Like I don’t want to be awake?

I’m hoping it’s just a phase and that it blows over quickly. The last two days have been excruciating in the mornings. I mentally tell myself to just power through until bedtime, but it’s no fun being a walking cloud of depression. I hate it because I look at Tove on a day like today, and she’s happy and I should be excited to spend the day with her off of work but instead I honestly would much rather turn all the lights off and stay in bed for 72hrs.

Just mentally not seeing the joy in life and that’s okay! Just in a funk right now…

Trying To Keep Up

I really wanted to make this blog a full scale documentary of Tove’s first year with us but honestly I’ve enjoyed being with her too much to set aside time to blog.

I have a sneaking suspicion I will wish I did more during this time the older she gets, but it’s hard to keep up with it all.

I started to feel overwhelmed with a lot, mostly social media.. so I deactivated my fb and Instagram for a while. It’s been refreshing.

I’m hoping I remember to blog about the fun we’ve had recently but I may just have to journal it into my mom’s one line a day and document via Polaroids instead. I love the memories we’ve made this far…

Don’t forget to feed yourself

I have been hungry for three days now. Doesn’t matter how much I eat or how many supplements I drink. Breastfeeding is exhausting me and triggering my eating disorder to a whole different level.

Being a new mom is hard, there are so many changes that happen overnight that are impossible to prepare for. You have no idea what life is going to look like on a minute to minute basis and it’s all about the new life you brought into the world.

I just want to take a moment and say how much it just SUCKS after having a baby. Yes it’s beautiful and magical and you have a being who you created in the world, but it’s okay for women to say that it sucks also.

I’ve struggled with eating disorders for the last 15+ years of my life and it was a struggle during the pregnancy, and it continues to be a struggle postpartum.

I don’t have the same animosity towards my body that I used to have because it never got me anywhere. It only let Ed (eating disorders) walk into my life easier. However, I will say that the changes are hard to swallow. The flappy boobs with big nipples don’t make you feel as sexy as you used to be. The wider hips.. well those can stay 😋 but the loose jiggly belly, naaah. It’s an adjustment phase, I’m learning to live in this new body just as much as Tove is learning to live in hers.

I just get so disheartened when I think of all the moms out there who are affected by the “snap back” culture. Priorities immediately change and it’s ridiculous to think that a new mom needs to be struggling to fit in work outs when she can barely fit in the time to shower.

Another thing I wish people would stop doing is commenting on women’s bodies after birth (before and during as well but that’s beside the point). Whether you are meaning to give a compliment or not doesn’t matter, just keep your thoughts to yourself. “You lost all of the weight so fast!” You don’t know if that mom is struggling to keep weight on and you may have just sent her on a downward spiral because of the unnecessary comment. Just keep it to yourself.

I guess I didn’t realize that after pregnancy I’d still need to consume more calories in order to keep my supply of breast milk ample. In fact, I’m consuming more calories now than I was during my pregnancy and it’s exhausting. Before being pregnant I regularly struggled with finding time to eat. Especially when I worked. I stand a lot at work so sometimes I don’t notice my body’s hunger cues, leading me to go long hours without eating. Which then leads to me being nauseous to the point where I can’t eat. A downward spiral really.

The thing is.. I used to be able to come home and medicate with cannabis to quell the nausea and relax enough to sit down and eat. These days things look a little different. It takes me longer to calm down and be able to eat. I feel like I’m always behind on meals and with breastfeeding I need to eat even more so I am constantly playing catch up.

Plus I feel like every time I’m finally in the mood to eat, something else happens that needs my attention. The majority of the time it’s Tove, but there’s also moments where Tex needs attention or I get caught up in trying to fit in everything else on my to do list. Luckily Ben is helpful and knows to make me oatmeal in the middle of the night and in the morning. I’m getting better at holding my space but it’s a work in progress.

On top of that I’m still wanting to try to eat healthy because what I eat effects what goes into the breast milk I make for Tove. I find that the majority of snack bars, fig bars, and protein bars are laced with sugar. The same goes for ensure and boost drinks. Drop any recommendations you may have for calorie dense low sugar snacks in the comments, please I beg you.

I guess I just needed to vent a little because I’ve been struggling hard recently.

To all the other moms out there feeling some type of way- it’s okay, you ain’t alone! I just think of the safety guide on airplanes, you can’t put an air mask on someone else if you’re passed out from no oxygen. So mamas, put your air mask on first.

Texas Abortion Ban

This one hits close to home, in more ways than one. Not only did we consider having Tove in Dallas, but we also have family/friends still in Texas. Unfortunately rumor has it that Oklahoma is pushing for similar laws to go into effect here as well. This also hits close to home because like this post I shared on Instagram, there are so many reasons behind why a woman would ever choose to have an abortion.

I got pregnant in 2020 around the time Covid hit. Ben and I were SO EXCITED! Especially since all Ben has ever wanted in life is to be a dad. Having never been pregnant before, we immediately told our family the second I had taken multiple pregnancy tests and they all came back “pregnant”. When I saw the results on the pregnancy tests I cried because I was so happy and emotionally unprepared for what that feeling was going to be. We weren’t trying for a baby but I hadn’t gotten my period and well.. maybe the stars had aligned? So I scheduled an appointment with an OB, little did I know that I was about to be “Vanessa”.

I believe I was 6-8 weeks pregnant when I had my first appointment (this is the first time I’m writing about this and/or thinking about it since I pushed these memories into a “forget” folder in my brain.). Ben was at work so I drove to Edmond on my own and met with the OB for my appointment. Everything was normal until they went to listen for the heartbeat. I laid there on my own as they kept trying to search for one without avail. Something didn’t feel quite right. They told me not to worry because it was still early on in my pregnancy, maybe we were too early in fact and it just hadn’t developed yet. So I was sent to get some blood work/labs done next door and come back for my second appointment in 2 weeks. I left feeling very uneasy, but also had to share the “no news” with Ben that evening.

Was I worried? Hell yeah I was. But I had never been pregnant before and wanted to trust the doctors. However, a few days later I miscarried in the middle of the night in our apartment bathroom. It was a traumatic experience, but I am SO LUCKY that I didn’t need medical intervention. Or that I didn’t have to carry a “baby” to term who never even developed a heartbeat because I was past that 6 week mark. I am still grieving the loss from our first pregnancy, so much so that it totally robbed us of any joy our first trimester with Tove. In fact when I took the pregnancy tests and they came back “pregnant” I cried when I told Ben because I was so damn worried we wouldn’t be able to carry to term again. Plus I was so sick following the miscarriage and it continued well into my pregnancy with Tove. I was barely able to eat, I was violently vomiting all the time and had terrible IBS symptoms.. it was a nightmare. I cried so much in the beginning because I was scared to feel any resemblance of joy in case I got robbed again. We waited until the second trimester to tell our parents this time around and my mom told me “we are your family, you could’ve still told us” and it wasn’t that I didn’t want to share with everyone it was that I didn’t want to have to answer those calls or texts if I had another miscarriage. The aftermath was gut wrenching and emotionally draining and I didn’t want to have to share that with anyone again. Now imagine having to share with them that we had to have an abortion mid-pregnancy because our pregnancy was no longer viable. That’s definitely not something you want to share with the world.

Luckily we now have a beautiful HEALTHY baby, whom I was able to carry to full term but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t called planned parenthood out of fear because I didn’t think I could handle being so sick and losing another child. So to take away these rights from girls and women is so fucking ludicrous, and it hurts my heart for the ones who didn’t have as favorable of outcomes as we did. An abortion isn’t a quick fix or an easy decision, and I for one hope that my daughter will have the right to autonomy over her own body.

Donate to help other women HERE if you’d like.

Birthing Pod

What a sense of relief this week has brought us! Not only did we decide on a midwife, but we also chose where we are going to birth our baby girl this summer.

I had my consultation with Brandy Harris from Willow Birth Services at the OKC Birth Center and fell in love instantly. She was open and honest and INFORMATIVE, not just directive. The birth center itself is brand spanking new this year; had their first birth this past week as well 🥰. The interior reminded me of homes in Sweden and that right there is what sold me. If my daughter isn’t going to be born in Sweden then I might as well make it DAMN CLOSE in esthetics. Plus I believe the space in which you birth should be equally as intimate at the space in which you conceived.

After struggling through appointments with FOUR different doctors, we settled on a natural birth. I hate hospitals and the business of being born in the states is overwhelming as a first time mom. I felt like a number, rather than a patient; I wasn’t about to pass that onto my child.

I am still vastly unprepared and uneducated on child birth, which is why we chose to hire some amazing women to help us. We will be working with a midwife, her assistant, as well as a doula. Ben, being a Magic The Gathering player, named our birthing team after a card and I’m here for it 😛 . I think I may have forgone having a doula if my mother was going to be present at the birth, or if this wasn’t our first rodeo, but ask me again after and I might have a different answer.

I will be having an unmedicated birth, which frankly still scares the daylights out of me but I believe mindset is everything. My body was made for this, I am a woman and am meant to bring new life into this world. If I mentally prepare then my body will know how to do the rest. Which is also the precise reason I chose the women I did to work with during our birth. They come with experience, knowledge, and advice that the internet can’t give me. I am also super thrilled to have Ben be an integral part of our birth, rather than an anxious dad in the corner of a hospital room.

For the first time during this pregnancy I can honestly say that I am excited to have birth! Maybe not so excited about all aspects but I feel empowered with the team we’ve chosen. 🤗

It’s Okay To Not Be Okay, OKURR?

Nervous, anxious, and excited all at the same time! 💜🙃✌🏼

This is a cause that I hold dear to my heart. I’ve struggled with binge eating and bulimia since the age of 13, and I’ve yet to win the battle. Mental illness truly has no cure… help me support others who are suffering as well as raising awareness for #nedawalk by making a donation to my team! 

Not only was I held inpatient at Children’s Medical of Dallas who are sponsoring the event, but I also bought and read a book by the event speaker, Jenni Schaefer. Her book “Life Without ED,” helped me help myself, and helped my support network support me. 

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!