Where do I start. Throughout my pregnancy I knew my baby was going to arrive early. This had nothing to do with how we named him!! Early Charles was born at 8.05am on June 24th 2015.
Later that day, Sadie my step daughter and Dan came back to see me. Sadie and I took a walk down the halls. Turned the corner and "whooooosh" my waters fully broke and covered both our feet! Minutes after, my contractions started in full force. By then my best friend, soul sister and business partner Adriel had shown up having taken two flights with her baby Rhodes to get to my labor.
I was sat on that bouncy ball gripping on to the bed bar for dear life. Sadie was rubbing my back and reached out for a blanket that she bought from home. She sweetly said "Smell this Mummy it smells like home". I couldn't have been happier that Sadie was witness to some real big girl shit and played such a huge part in the beginning of bringing her new brother in to the world. My contractions started to get far more intense and I requested an epidural. Meanwhile, I was offered nitris oxide, and at this point I would have taken anything.
Once the epidural kicked in I remember not feeling my lower body and it sucked. I was really tired and even managed to sleep a few hours, my dear Adriel was curled up in the corner on the floor (this was her first night away from her baby Rhodes and she was floor surfing). I remember Dan being offered a pillow and all I could picture was smothering him with it! Once I woke from my hazed nap, I pushed for 4hrs, they stopped the epidural which allowed me to start feeling my legs again. My epidural did what it was supposed to but Early was stuck in the canal with his face sideways facing right, we tried every position to no avail. I looked up at Adriel and she was googling different positions to try!! Thank you Adriel and Thank you Google. I swung my legs around so I was on all fours and I pushed 4 times before returning to my back and Early followed after 3 large more pushes!
During labor I swore when I got home I was personally giving Dan a vasectomy, but it's true when they say mother nature floods you full of endorphins, because every day I look at my baby I would go through those 26hrs a million times again.
Pregnancy stinks. Childbirth blows. And postpartum is insane.
Very unfortunately, my pathway of becoming a mother wasn’t a blissful one. Quite the opposite — filled with tears, depression, physical pain and self-doubt. I hate to cast a rather large, negative net of my personal experiences, however, the reason for being real here is one I believe in. I wish someone told me the truth! Couldn’t there be someone, or perhaps our general social society-at-large, who would guide me through this trying trajectory with honesty? Quite the opposite for me, except for a few select girlfriends (and I mean a few here, like one or two) that kindly shared with me some of their detailed — and grotesque — happenings throughout pregnancy, childbirth and post-pregnancy journey. I know not all women have horrible experiences, however after doing a bit of research, many did. They just never really talked about it out loud. I’m a realist to the core, so this “hiding” if you will of personal pain was new to me. Again, the reason for being real here is for women to not be blindsided. Becoming a mother is the most wonderful gift. The love I have for my daughter Violet is overwhelming. However, I just wished I had a bit more truth before stepping into this arena.
Here’s a bit of my story…
Before becoming pregnant, along with the first two months, I was overwhelmed with imagery of the perfect pregnant woman and adorable photos of mommies with their babies. Not to mention the onslaught of social media with an abundance of Instagram feeds filled with photo perfection. From the latest fashion editor or celebrity of the moment who became pregnant and could fit into “Just a size or two larger” versus having to wear maternity clothing, to various moms bouncing back to work after only six weeks, I thought, in my mind… “This pregnancy and mommy ride isn’t going to be too bad, eh?” Was I wrong!
I was shattered once I started to come down with nauseous days and nights, sleepless nights, fatigue, the shocking ride of gaining 55lbs, and, my personal favorite, urinating on myself because, well, your muscles down there don’t really work while you’re prego! Ha! Things I wish people, and more importantly, society-at-large, told me would happen. The childbirth itself was, by far, the most painful experience of my life. (My advice. Get a doula. That’s all I’m gonna say there.) Then, post-pregnancy and the brutal realities of postpartum depression. It’s a battlefield that needs to be spoken about and never hidden. Get help. Talk about it out loud and don’t be ashamed of your thoughts.
If it wasn’t for two specific friends — who were also pregnant alongside me at the same time — I wouldn’t have gotten through the end game of pregnancy. This is the very reason why I love CLARY and the mommies within this incredible community. In my opinion, CLARY moms are real, they are kind, and they don’t hide the truth. Most importantly, they support each other. Being a mother is wonderful, but women from CLARY know the truths behind the mommy-curtain and aren’t afraid to share both the good and bad. At the end of the day, I would do it all over again, I only wished I knew more. I hope my story helps and shines a light at truth. Mommies unite!
Adriel's birthing story
Laura's birthing story
Mandy's birthing story