Throwback To Pre-Baby

I have photos set up as a tile on my phone and I love days like today when it shows me memories like this…

My parents came to visit before my due date and helped with final baby preparations. They also cleaned our entire house and cooked meals for us to keep in the freezer 😭🥰 honestly my biggest helpers. When they visited we went to Bar Cicchetti for the first time.

Since I was pregnant and not consuming alcohol I ordered the lavender lemonade and it felt like a nice treat!

We started with the crispy cauliflower and patatas bravas. Normally the potatoes would’ve been my favorite but the cauliflower was a hit. The aioli with the hot sauce on the cauliflower was just *chefs kiss*.

We sat upstairs at Cicchetti and luckily it was a slower evening for them so the noise level wasn’t too high either. I enjoyed the lighting and snapped a good photo of Pappa 🙂 I can’t remember what Ben got to eat (below) but it looks delish.

I ordered the Mediterranean salad and although it was flavorful I’m not a HUGE green bean fan so it wasn’t my favorite salad.

Look at that belly! This was back in June, around Father’s Day.

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.

She is blooming

Snapped these photos of Tove wearing some of the gifts she received at the baby shower.

This onesie was gifted by one of my favorite people I’ve met here in Oklahoma, Sierra. It reads “let kindness bloom” and I love the message.

I hope Tove grows up to be a kind and compassionate human.

The socks and matching bow were gifted from Megan, my high school friend in Dallas.

I love the socks because the bows on top as well as the color markings make them look like little shoes!

They may be one of my favorite gifts we received simply because mamma has a shoe obsession and Tove is obviously not walking yet.

Just Thought You Should Know

Last night when Ben got off work we all got ready to head out for dinner. I had texted him social capital…? when he was on his way home.

We ordered our usual chicken nachos, Ben also got a fajita chicken taco but the elotes…. WOW I could eat that all day every day.

I told him when we were sat on the patio enjoying our food that it reminded me of our dates we used to have when we first met.

The thing is though, last night was so much better than the early dates. We had Tove with us, Ben drank a Topo Chico since he was driving and I had one canned wine (which got me tipsy 🤪) and we were so much more content. I didn’t feel the NEED to drink more or stay out later because I had everything that matters to me.

I’m so proud of Ben as a father and thankful he’s my partner in all of this. We’ve been through a lot together that’s tested our relationship but never once has he given me a reason to doubt his commitment to me and now us. I love you so much babe and I’m honored to give you the chance to create the most special daddy-daughter bond. I love my dad more than words can say and I just know in my heart that Tove is going to feel the same way about you. Thank you for making us feel loved and for rolling with the punches… quite literally when Tove gets at ya 😛

The littlest bean

Throwback to when Tove was just 5 days old. I look at this photo and feel ALL THE FEELS. Everything was so new for her, for me, for our little family. We were still struggling with feeding due to tongue tie and I was having a hard time with my breastpump. My hormones were all over the place. Ben would come find me in the room just bawling my eyes out. Exhaustion, fear, and anxiety were pumping through my veins.

Yet here we are..

it’s amazing the amnesia after giving birth. I miss the newborn stage already but I’m trying to also remember how much of a struggle it was. I felt like nobody prepared me for the fourth trimester. I did so much prep for giving birth when in reality I should’ve been preparing for when we brought her home.

The best part of the photo is that it’s edited 😅 below is the real deal- taken at 2:42am with a pillow case covered in after birth mess and newborn poop.

Two as Three

Today Tove “turned” two months old; two months of our family being three instead of just the two of us. The meaning of time changed completely the moment she was born; Ben and I say that time is just a construct now. Doesn’t matter how many hours we’ve slept in a day because her life goes on and she still needs us. Doesn’t matter if it’s 3am and she wants to feed, mamma has to eat as well. So we’re just rolling with the punches and I think we’re managing pretty well all things considered!

We’ve graduated to size 1 diapers from newborn and she’s almost fitting perfectly into 3 month old onesies 😱. Still not getting longer stretches of sleep but we’re also not on a consistent routine since my work schedule is all over the place. The swaddles though- brilliance.

Tove is definitely more alert now. She will follow you with her eyes and she’s almost to the point where she can hold her neck up on her own. An improvement from when she used to headbutt my collarbone. That first week I thought she was going to give herself a concussion 🤕

We have dance parties and Tove seems to be pretty fond of Kasey Musgraves new album 💿 but at night she’s all about the white noise Spotify playlist for babies.

She also eats SO QUICKLY, it’s like she’s chugging on my breast 😅. Pumping at work has been a challenge, and I leaked visibly yesterday. But we’re happy she’s eating well and growing! Some latch issues still so we’ve got an appointment for a lip and tongue tie evaluation towards the end of this month.

Every day is a new struggle but filled with so many AMAZING moments. I can’t describe the feeling I get from seeing her happiness just from the sound of my voice. Pure love 💕 ❤️

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.

The First Month

After a fight with PPD and a nasty struggle with PP anxiety I feel like I’ve finally managed to find a daily balance. I’m sure this is going to be turned upside down the minute I go back to work, but for now I feel like we’re navigating being new parents fairly well.

Tove has been with us a full month now and holy cow time goes by too fast when you have a newborn. They really do grow so fast and you can’t go back and rewind the precious moments. Plus all the hormones. It’s a trip. I feel like I’ve been on a trip since I went into labor.

She’s grown to 9lbs. Last we checked she also had grown to 23inches. Sooner than I want, I’m going to be her Mini-My and not the other way around 😭 she’s definitely becoming more of a chunky monkey.

She likes to stare at Tex and he gave her a kiss for the first time recently. Tove loves taking baths, the warm water really soothes her. We like to get in the bath together cause it helps heal Mamma’s stitches as well. She’s got a favorite pillow to lay on, it’s a down feather pillow and it keeps her warm. When we lay together though our temperatures both soar. She’s hot just like me.

Tove is wearing size 1 diapers now and is almost too big for her newborn onesies! She loves her breast milk and drinks 3oz in a sitting, my growing girl. She’s also started sleeping in longer stretches, I think we even got 5 hrs at one point!

She’s our little bird who peeps when she sleeps She’s definitely got good lungs and she found her voice screaming into both mom and dads ears.

We love her so much.

Father’s Day @ Cafe Cuvée

I got spoiled rotten this past weekend by my parents who came to visit. They cleaned our entire home AND my mom cooked a bunch of meals for our freezer meaning we can eat easily once baby girl arrives. Dad also helped Ben put the bases in both cars for the car seat. I feel like we are ready for her to come into the world any day now. Luckily we reserved Sunday for my Pappa!

We ate brunch at Cafe Cuvée in the Ambassador hotel in Midtown. Luckily they could squeeze us in because my dad had accidentally made the reservation for Monday morning.

Good service. Good atmosphere. I would definitely go back to eat here! Ito and I actually stayed at the Ambassador hotel for my birthday last year but we ordered champagne room service from Cafe Cuvée then instead 😝

Unfortunately my Mamma wasn’t feeling good, like at all, but I love this photo Ben snapped of my Pappa and I outside the Ambassador hotel. 🥰💕

Next year’s Father’s Day we will be celebrating Ben being a father & amy dad being a grandfather!