What happens here at When Baby Naps?

My name is Javaneh (pronounced Java like coffee and nay like the sound a horse makes) and I am a mom.  I am also many other things but I’ve wanted to be a mom for a very long time so I carry that title with honor. So what is this blog going to be about? That’s an excellent question.

I’ve never been one to keep quiet on the things I go through. When I struggled to get pregnant I immediately took to Instagram to detail my journey. When I have a rough day in motherhood because my baby is crying nonstop of sleeping, I go to Facebook and vent. When I feel like a failure at life I open up and tell people how I feel. Amazingly this has opened my life up to some amazing people and helped me overcome a plethora of obstacles.

I decided I wanted to start a blog to chronicle my life from the books I read to the meals I cook. I love makeup and have found that doing little things for myself makes me feel human so I also want to share my novice makeup and beauty tips. Basically, everything that makes me a wife, mom, and woman I want to share with you all.

I am not perfect. Life is not perfect. Motherhood is extremely hard. Being a “good” wife is a constant challenge. I want to normalize what life is like for me and other women in this country. My story has helped normalize infertility and IVF so why not spread that to all aspects of my day? Feel free to let me know things you’re interested in, videos you’d like me to make, stories you’d like me to tell, and any other topic you’d be interested in reading about. I will create posts as often as I can or at least when the baby naps.

 

 

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I am a proud feminist

I was always under the impression that feminism was the real “F” word. It was old and unnecessary. Naturally, I supported women. Naturally, I wanted equality for all. Naturally, we had come so far from the day of Suffragists and their struggles to gain rights. As a woman I could vote, own property, be independent, work, and make my own decisions. Feminism was outdated and didn’t include all people, like men. Those are things I was taught about feminism by people surrounding me. Feminists burn bras, hate men, and abort all the babies.

I didn’t realize how wrong I could be.

On a personal level, feminism scared me. I am a feminine woman. I love dresses and heals. I have a cache of purses and shoes. I love feminine prints and the color pink. I enjoyed being courted and cared for by a man. I can’t possibly be a feminist with those feelings. What I have learned since I got pregnant over 2 years ago was that I am, in fact, a feminist. I learned from other women that feminism does not have this cookie cutter look. They aren’t angry, hairy man haters. They are just women who want equality in the world and rights to their own bodies.

Getting pregnant stirred a flame inside of me that cannot be put out. Finding out I was going to be a mother to a daughter ignited that flame into a raging fire. I became very introspective about what it meant to be a woman and what kind of example I needed to set for my girl. I have always been self loathing and self conscious. I say negative things about myself all the time. Feminism taught me me accept who I am because I am awesome! I grew up with women surrounding me talking  about everything they hated about themselves. I do not want to do that to my daughter. She doesn’t deserve that and neither do I.

As this feminism fire grew within me, my understanding of women’s rights and equality began to take form. I can love myself for who I am because feminism taught me all women are strong and beautiful. I can love pink and flowers and girly things because feminism taught me I still matter. I can take pride in being a woman and also hate what society makes women out to be because of feminism. I have always been a fairly passionate person (ask anyone who even slightly knows me) but I didn’t feel passionate about being a woman until I was carrying one.

Suddenly my heart and brain were ablaze with things I have experienced simply because I am a woman. So why does feminism matter to me? Because nearly every single woman you know has experienced some sort of sexual assault or harassment. Because nearly every single woman you know is hyper aware of her surroundings and has been taught self defense to get away from an attacker or been given tips like carrying keys between her fingers and not being on her phone while walking into and out of a store. Feminism matters to me because I have unknowingly spent my whole life being judged, criticized, and ridiculed simply for what is between my legs.

Being pregnant brought so many memories to the forefront of my mind. I have had male bosses stand behind me and rub my shoulders while calling me “sweetheart” and “honey”. I want a different world than that for my daughter. I have had grown adults call me a girl when I too was a grown adult. I want a different world than that for my daughter. I have had male co-workers get raises before me and bigger ones at that despite doing the same amount of work (including loading and unloading entire trucks of dog and cat food) if not more because “guys need to stick together and do the men’s work”. I want a different world than that for my daughter. I have had adult women tell me not to eat or drink certain foods because I won’t be young forever and eventually those things will make me fat and “men don’t want a fat wife”. I want a different world than that for my daughter.

Feminism can give us all a different world than that. What I often hear about feminism is, “what about men?” History has taught me that men have been at the top for 10,000 some odd years. Quite frankly, what about men? Men have not faced adversity simply because they are men. Men do not fear women simply because they are women. Women get rejected and their feelings are hurt. Men get rejected and they can become dangerous. I have been called fat, whore, slut, and had beer poured over me for gently letting men down and not wanting to waste their time. Women are not innately dangerous to men but men are to women (and before you start on me, I know men do suffer violence at the hands of women but women suffer abuses and violence at the hands of men on a far grander scale). The beauty is, feminism does not discard men. We do not want to be better than men. We are asking to be equal. We are asking for our rights to be determined by us. We are asking to be heard and not talked over or mansplained. We are asking to be the same.

Here is my message for all women now: we are powerful! We give life, we care, we provide, we flourish in some of the worst circumstances, we can be completely torn down and rise from the ashes even stronger. Our bodies frighten men because they do not understand them. It is not our job to force men to understand but we do need to stand together and fight for our rights. For our daughters, for our sons, for us. I am a feminist so I can raise a strong, confident daughter who can be whatever she wants to be. If she wants to be dainty then she can be. If she wants to be brazen and fierce then she can be! If she wants to fall anywhere in between then she can be and she shouldn’t be judged or told what a girl or woman ought to be. If I ever have a son I want him to see how strong his sister and I are. I want him to have female role models and look up to men and women for inspiration in life. I want my children to come up in a world where they are seen as equal and not as boys and girls.

I am feminine. I am strong. I am fierce. I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am caring. I am loving. I am full of strong emotions, especially when there is hurt in the world. I am a woman. I am a feminist and I am not afraid to say so anymore.

You too may be a feminist whether you be male or female:

Do you support equality for all?

Do you believe women should have access to education?

Do you believe men and women are capable of being just as intelligent as one another?

Do you believe men and women should have the same opportunities in life?

If you answered yes to those questions then you are, in fact, a feminist. Congratulations! You may not like the name but you are part of a community that builds each other up. If you are a man reading this then you should know: we don’t just want paid maternity leave, we also feel you, as dads, are EQUALLY as important to the rearing of the children and should have paid leave as well when your child is born. See! We aren’t trying to oppress you! We just want to be equal to you!

My rant is done. Happy International Women’s Day! Women are such amazing beings who are deserving of this day of celebration.

 

IWD

 

Disney World with a 1 year old; Yes, I am crazy.

Back in September, my husband and I joined our friends and their daughters (aged 4 and also 1) for an awesome 3 day trip to Disney World. Amelia is pretty well traveled so we weren’t concerned about the flight but we were concerned about Disney in with a newly minted toddler. I am going to make this post short and simple because I have already shared our fun pics and joy from the trip a few months back. Instead, I will just give you some tips as requested many times by a few friends with upcoming trips to Disney World with 1 year olds.

Flying with a toddler is nuts. They are wiggly. They are easily distracted by things that can hurt them, strangers, small spaces, and phones. My daughter is exceptionally distracted so we didn’t bring too many toys. We brought her favorite blankey, a stuffed animal with rings and crunches on it, and LOTS OF SNACKS. If you want to survive a plane ride with a toddler I want you to sing this song in your head: SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS EVERYBODY!

Seriously, snacks will save your life. Cheerios are a godsend and puffs are low calorie and won’t fill your kiddo up but will distract them. Also, those little food packs are amazing. I rarely give Amelia juice but I found these Honest juices that have low sugar in them so she got a juice on the plane. I let her munch on snacks at take off because she wasn’t breastfeeding much and didn’t care for cold milk. Finger snacks are the best so bring those and a new toy. Why a new toy? Toddlers have serious attention span issues so give them something new to discover. Maybe even new snacks too for good measure!

My last tip for the plane that meshes into Disney is to bring your own strollers, especially if you’re not staying on Disney property (which is ridiculously cheaper and stupid close) and plane to go anywhere outside of Disney. You will also want something that your child is comfortable in, has a tray for SNACKS and drinks, and can recline back for naps. The strollers at Disney are fine for older kids but not so fine for kid that still needs a nap during the day.

Now for Disney. Disney World is incredible! My girl was amazed by everything! Before you go you should know, as much as this trip isn’t really great for a 1 year old, it’s also not for you. Accept that you won’t ride adult rides (there are only a couple of coaster rides babies can’t get on) unless you have several adults with you. Use your fast pass for Disney characters. It is 100% worth it to see your kid meet Mickey and Minnie or any of the princesses. Boys and girls alike love the princesses and they are so wonderful with kids! you get three fast passes a day so use them wisely and use them for your babe. You will always remember them. Also, download the Disney map app. It will show you wait times and where characters are. It will save your life. Nearly every ride is 1 year old friendly. My girl went on the Haunted Mansion Ride twice and even slept through it once. She wasn’t scared and had a blast! Same with the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Unless you see a sign that says there is a height limit then take your kid on it! Its so fun!

Real talk now, your kid is going to have meltdowns. It is a lot to take in. It’s okay to let them fuss about a bit. Go on more calming rides, take in the Carousel of Progress, get lunch, etc. If they are distracted with everything going on they will fall asleep in their stroller fairly easy. It is worth going early in the morning, going back to your hotel for lunch and a nap, and coming back. You have to see the fireworks at night. Amelia was in complete and total awe of the fireworks show. Pick a spot on Main Street where you can see the whole castle. One thing that Disney World does stunningly well (I mean they do everything so perfectly, let’s be honest) is the fireworks show and light show on the castle.

When we went it was unseasonably hot. People native to Orlando were complaining about the heat. Be prepared for heat. Winter tends to be better and gets kind of chilly at night because of the humidity so toss a light zip up hoodie or buy one while you are there because they have some awesome clothes. Bring water with you into the park. We went and bough a case of water. If it is hot out, freeze a couple of the bottles so you have cold water all day long. You can bring in as much food and water as you want so don’t bother paying for water in the park.

Final thoughts:

Be prepared for chaos.

Expect and accept chaos.

Seriously. It’ll save you when things aren’t as bad as you expect it to be.

Ride all the kid rides because you will be so happy watching your baby/toddler be happy.

SNACKS!

Let your toddler cry, it’s okay, I promise. They won’t cry much or long but they will get overwhelmed.

Let your kid run around whenever you can whether it be the airport (they love to stand and watch the planes and wave at people) or Disney or the hotel, let them run.

They aren’t joking about the ponds. There are alligators and snakes in them. Stay away from any area that is a ditch or pond. There are signs in those areas but that is it.

SNACKS!

I can’t really think of much else so shoot me a comment for any questions you may have and I can answer them there. It truly is a lot of fun if you just accept that it’ll be a little uncomfortable. You go to bed each night completely exhausted but its totally worth it (just take some ibuprofen each morning). Have fun! Drink lots of water! Enjoy the world in Epcot and meet Mickey. Love you all! Ibj2ZoBRRPiv+QR92FzppQRY7DTwzzSgO46U+kXs1PIw+RMStmevRkqIP7metZBuKwfullsizeoutput_1f33

I am Dr. Ford

This week I was going to write about my trip to Disney World with my family. I planned on giving tips for taking a kid to Orlando and detailing how special it was to bring our little IVF baby to the spot where we got engaged 7 years earlier. Instead, I feel compelled to tell you about my rape 12 years ago.

I read an open letter to Dr. Ford from Connie Chung where she detailed her sexual assault at the hands of her long time family doctor. She said she didn’t want to tell her story, she HAD to tell her story. I feel like we are at this place, as women, where we have all hidden our secrets and shame for so long but now our voices can be heard thanks to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. She bravely came forward and told her story. Unfortunately, she was called a whore, a liar, and other names. She was threatened. She was told to sit down and shut up. She didn’t sit down and shut up. Instead, she stood up and spoke out. Now I feel like I need to do the same. This is going to be hard to read so please do not continue unless you are willing to offer support and love.

As a disclaimer to my family and friends, who are mostly hearing this story for the first time: I don’t owe you anything and I’m not sorry for not telling my story earlier or in private. I kept it top myself because I was afraid of being shamed and judged. I am nearly 31 years old, I no longer fear shame and judgment. This is MY story. This happened to ME. I did not go to the cops and I don’t want to and I don’t feel like explaining to you why I’m not going to. Please just listen to my story and know that it is not your fault, it is not my fault, it is his fault. This is my way of healing and my way of helping another woman who has gone through this.

12 years ago I went to a party. I do not remember exactly what day this happened. I do not remember exactly what I wore. I do not remember many things from that day. What I do remember is I went to this party with a guy named RC (real name withheld). He was a good friend but there was some flirtation. I drove a couple of my new girlfriends to this guy’s apartment. He was about 21-22 and bought everyone the alcohol. Let’s call the party thrower John because, frankly, I don’t know his name. I thought he was cute but was hanging out with my friends and gave John little notice.

I remember I was wearing a tight white shirt. I think I was wearing tight capris or tight pants, I can’t remember. I do remember I was wearing my baby blue and white DC’s. I had procured a bottle of cherry vodka that night and brought it to the party. I remember I had 2 drinks. I remember standing on the balcony and feeling off. This wasn’t my first party. This wasn’t the first time I had been drinking. This wasn’t a normal feeling I was having. I felty fuzzy but not tipsy or even drunk. The next thing I remember is his face in mine. I remember him over me. I remember looking around and not being able to discern what was going on. I tried to move but he was on top of me. I remember the bed was against a wall and the door was open. I remember I didn’t have any clothes on. I remember looking at the open door and seeing RC stop in front of the door and call me a slut. Then RC left after shutting the door. I remember trying to say no but I couldn’t. I remember the pain. At some point I passed out again and I remember waking up wrapped in a blanket with John trying to put something in my mouth. I opened my mouth to speak and tasted paper or something. John and 3 other guys started laughing and I remember them telling me I am supposed to smoke the joint not eat it.

The next thing I remember is waking up in a strange bed in a strange room with John naked next to me. I was scared and in so much pain all over my body. I grabbed the clothes I could find (which didn’t include my socks and underwear) and ran to the bathroom. When I looked in the mirror I just started crying. My hair was a rat’s nest, my make up smeared, my neck was covered in bruises as was my body. I looked like I had been beat. I quickly threw on my clothes and ran out. As I was leaving John yelled out, “Bye! I had fun last night.” I somehow managed to sneak into my house and shower without anyone noticing me. I covered up my hickeys and bruises and cried then went to work. I never heard from RC again.

I spent the next year just coasting through life. I can’t remember much of my 18th year of life. I can’t remember how I survived that time. I just remember I went to a party, I had some drinks, and I had sex that I don’t remember, except, I didn’t have sex. I was raped. I was drunk or drugged, I don’t know, but I was passed out and raped. I didn’t report it because I was ashamed. I was so ashamed for having put myself in that position. I hid and repressed how disgusted I was with myself. For years I blamed myself.

It was not my fault I was raped.

It is still not my fault for keeping it quiet all these years.

NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO TOUCH YOUR BODY WITHOUT CONSENT.

A person could be totally naked and you do not get to assault them. A person can be completely wasted and you do not get to rape them! A person can keep their assault a secret for years and years and years and you do not get to tell them they are at fault or wrong.

I have struggled with depression since before this incident but it got much worse following. I felt dirty and unworthy. I felt like I had let my parents down. I felt like I had let my friends and myself down. I couldn’t commit to school and could barely concentrate at work. I felt so ashamed but not anymore.

I do not remember John’s name. I am positive it was said to me but I don’t remember it. I remember he was tall, had blond hair, blue eyes, and wore a white shirt two sizes too big fo this muscular build. I remember. being afraid of him because of his muscular build. I avoided the intersection of Wadsworth and Belleview because those apartments is where  I was raped and I was scared I would run into him. I never saw him again. I never saw anyone who went to that party again.

Rape and assault is not textbook. Sometimes people remember things, sometimes they don’t but what often happens is women are afraid to come forward because they aren’t believed. Men are often believed but they are told that they should have more control in such a situation and are shamed into not coming forward. Girls are taught to take self defense classes, carry their keys between their fingers, protect their drinks, and to basically fear any situation where a man isn’t there to help them because a man might hurt them. Boys are taught that they have no control over their urges. This needs to change! We do not owe our bodies to men. Men do not have ownership over our bodies. We, as women and girls, are not possessions of men and, therefor, not an object to be thrown away then called a liar.

I spent many years in a black hole of hate and shame. Today, I am okay. Today, I have a wonderful partner who has listened to me and learned how to help me. Today, I am an angry woman who will not be silenced.

12 years ago, I was raped, so before you go on social media and say, “girls shouldn’t go to parties and drink,” or “she was flirting/acting like a whore/asking for it,” before you defend an accuser, just remember that the things you say are seen by us. Your daughters, your mothers, your sisters, your FRIENDS, we see what you say. Before you choose to question what the girl did wrong, just remember that 12 years ago I was raped.

This was not an easy post for me to make so if you’re reading this and you know me I hope you know that I will talk to you about it but I will not explain myself. If you have been sexually assaulted, I hope you know that I am here to listen and help you in whatever way you need without judgement and without pushing. I got lucky in that I didn’t get pregnant from the rape and I did not end up with an STD, STI, or HIV/AIDS. I got lucky that my assault only left emotional scars and not physical. Because of that, I am okay today. Today, I speak out and tell my story for my daughter and for any other children I have. I want them to know that they can live in a better world. Today, I speak out not because I want to but because I have to. My heart is screaming my story inside and now my fingers will type it out and my throat will shout about it so I can no longer be a secret victim.

How audiobooks saved my life

Sounds a little dramatic right? Well it is and it isn’t. Audiobooks didn’t actually save my life but in a way they did. I was spiraling. Motherhood was something I wanted for so long that I didn’t even begin to prepare myself for the toll it would take on my mental health and relationships. I lost touch with a lot of people and became extremely isolated. I was going days, if not weeks without leaving the house. I have always dealt with depression and anxiety but now I had to deal with mom guilt that is one shitty pill to swallow, let me tell you! I was beginning to feel guilty for the fact that I felt like I was losing myself. I started to harbor an insane amount of resentment towards my husband because I wouldn’t ever dream of resenting my daughter. The worst part is he is an amazing partner who takes on half the responsibilities despite being the breadwinner and me being the SAHM. He tells me it is the least he can do since I don’t bring home a physical paycheck. He is an actual unicorn and no he doesn’t have a brother. He has a sister but lets just call them polar opposites.

Anyway!

I was becoming so hateful towards this life I wanted so desperately and then feeling guilty for it that I just kind of spiraled into a depression fueled anger. I have had an Audible account for a year so I decided it was time to get a few good books, get a library card, and go for more walks. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner. I love audiobooks. I feel like I am reading the story myself and I have an exceptionally easy time being in the story. I suddenly wanted to take my daughter for my outings, I wanted to get my chores done more, I wanted to take baths more often, and I even wanted to read physical books more. I felt more alive when I was starting to wonder if I even deserved the life I was given.

I have loved to read since I was a baby. As I grew older I began to adventure around the world. When I can’t get on a plane and go to far off destinations I just open a book and fly away from the comfort of my own home. I can read from all sorts of genres, eras, authors, and lifestyles. I just love to escape! It is my way of getting out of my head and into another life while not actually needing a new life. I feel so much more satisfied with life because I started to reacquaint myself with one of my first loves. My husband and I share an amazon account so we have listened to some audiobooks together too!

I am currently on a thriller trend (I love stories of fucked up women, I can’t help it) but I am willing to try anything so shoot me some suggestions! I just finished up Something In the Water which was a Reese Witherspoon pick for Audible. It was breathtaking! I found myself not being able to stop listening! I listened on walks and in the shower and did tons of chores just to finish it! If Audible isn’t your thing then try Axis 360 or (thanks to my friend Jenna for introducing me to this) Hoopla. Those two sites use your local library to rent books. IT IS FREE!

Let’s say reading isn’t your thing but you are having a hard time finding time for the thing you love to do. Find an app for it. Nothing could replace the hobby you love but do something for you. Take time for you. I you worry about how that will take time from your family then spend a few minutes during nap time or before bed on you! It really did save my life and my sanity to just enjoy the thing I love most (obviously) outside of my family. I no longer feel isolated but have a hunger to share the books I’ve been reading!

Hey Audible! If you ever read this (hahahahaha right!) feel free to give me credits or test things for you all! 😉

Thanks everyone! See ya next week as I prep for a trip to Disney World!

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Postpartum Anger: When Expectations Don’t Meet Reality

Everybody knows about postpartum depression (PPD) and many now are aware of postpartum anxiety (PPA). They are extremely common and nondiscriminatory when it comes to motherhood. Even fathers are beginning to recognize they can suffer from PPD and/or PPA. Something very few people talk about is postpartum anger. I have found it is especially prominent among women who suffer from infertility, pregnancy loss and/or child loss.

What is postpartum anger and how do you recognizer it to resolve it? I am not a doctor so I can only give you my personal experience with it. Here is what I know:

Before I ever got pregnant I saw motherhood as this beautiful thing I would be amazing at. Everyone told me what a great mom I would be. I have been working with children directly since I was 14 and most recently was a nanny. Who else would be a better mother than me? I was prepared by friends and family for all the negatives of labor and birth so I knew, or felt like I knew, what to expect. I knew it would be hard but I also knew it would be worth it. I thought motherhood would be easy, honestly. I thought I would slide into this new roll with ease, that I would keep a great house, keep up my own appearances, and be an all around perfect stay at home mom.

I was not prepared for how overwhelming and all consuming becoming a mother would be.

The love of your child is utterly overwhelming. Your fear is overwhelming. Your loss of identity, persona, routine, everything, it is all so incredibly overwhelming. As your baby grows, new things become overwhelming. I pictured this idyllic life with the family I had been desiring for so long. I was so mad when that wasn’t the case. It wasn’t easy. I din’t have an easy time. I didn’t feel like I was living up to what everyone thought of me. I was quick to anger and annoyance. I got (and still do get) frustrated fast. I am drained quickly. I feel like I need breaks daily. I am just so tired and I didn’t expect to be this tired and fed up all the time.

I lash out at my husband mostly which makes me feel more guilty and angry (its a vicious cycle). My mind is constantly screaming, “why don’t I feel better about this! Why isn’t this easier! Why don’t I have more help!” It does not help that women who suffer from infertility and undergo treatment to get pregnant are constantly told (especially by other members of the infertility community) to just be happy you are pregnant and/or have a baby, as if you are not allowed to feel bad about pregnancy and motherhood because you struggled. All these things pile up and you are left with a never-ending cycle of guilt and anger because this just wasn’t what you expected. That does not mean you would give it up for anything in the world but it does mean you had expectations that weren’t meant for various reasons.

I had a difficult pregnancy. I was on bedrest for the better part of my first trimester with a subchorionic hemorrhage and I had horrible loss of appetite. If I could smell anything I lost my appetite. I lost over 10 pounds in those first 12 weeks. that was my first bout of “this isn’t what I expected”. My second trimester was significantly better until I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Another blow to my expectations. My third trimester was also extremely rough. I was able to control my diabetes with diet and exercise so that was nice and I wasn’t gaining much weight either, also nice. The problem with that is your baby keeps growing even if you don’t gain much weight. Amelia was one mobile little baby very early on. I was in so much pain and discomfort from about 28 weeks that I was begging for relief. I had terrible headaches, terrible heartburn (I couldn’t drink water!), terrible joint pain, and I couldn’t sleep for longer than a half hour without feeling pain and stiffness or the urge to pee. My expectations were further dashed.

Then I had to be induced due to decreased fetal movement. This resulted in 36 hours pf labor followed by 4 hours of pushing and ultimately ended in a c section. I was relieved beyond words that my daughter was safe in my arms but each passing day I grew angrier and angrier that I had a c section. I was pressured into it by the doctor. I didn’t know what to do and I was so tired from pushing I just went with it. The recovery was a nightmare. Further expectations dashed.

I didn’t always emotionally handle Amelia’s crying easily. I didn’t take criticism and “help” very well. I just wasn’t doing well like I expected, at least that’s what I kept telling myself. no one else was telling me that. Not a soul would tell you that I was or am anything but an exceptional mother and wife (I don’t think so at least) except myself. I have been angry because motherhood isn’t the flowers and rainbows I made up in my own mind.

Why do we women do this to ourselves? Why do we allow these expectations to exist? I don’t even know where I got these expectations either. I think it might be the fact that I wanted to be a mom so freaking bad I didn’t bother to take into consideration that it would be hard. I blew it off like I would JUST be grateful to have a baby. Part of that comes from the infertility community, as I stated earlier.

Now, I am not shitting on that community, they are family, but we all say, “don’t complain at least you’re pregnant/have a baby”. We all have said that in this community and now I realize how awful that is. It is the equivalent of “just relax and you’ll get pregnant!” Just because I struggled for years to get pregnant and cried through many failures does not mean I don’t get to complain about my pregnancy. Because other infertility women refused to complain I felt ungrateful and depressed through much of my pregnancy. I felt unworthy of it. Just because I had to do IVF for my baby and for other future children does not mean I need to appreciate every single second of motherhood. It is hard! It is! My daughter is strong willed, independent, wild, fiery, and everything else in between. She is difficult but I love her. I sometimes need a beer at the end of the day but I do appreciate her. That doesn’t mean I always like motherhood AND THAT IS OKAY!

Like I said, I am no expert on postpartum anger but I do know it is something no one talks about. Being angry that your expectations are not being met is perfectly fine but try not to take it out on those who love you. I know I am a good mom and I know I have the life I have always wanted. The road here wasn’t easy, it was rocky as hell but I would do it again in a heartbeat and will for another baby and another after that. I will hopefully be able to handle my anger a little better though. Don’t forget to to appreciate what you have but also don’t feel any shame over not liking it all all the time. You’re not going to and having that expectation is unrealistic. I also suggest not telling a mother she isn’t allowed to complain about her pregnancy or motherhood. Just because I struggled does not give me the right to tell another woman how she is allowed to feel about a physically and emotionally difficult situation.

If you are dealing with anger after having a baby I highly recommend you seek help or find another mother to talk to. I am open to talking to anyone who needs it and I hope I can ask for the same in return. If you are feeling angry then feel it. Be mad. Sometimes our expectations hurt us, just try to contain your anger to rage crying in the bathroom and not towards others. I hope this helped someone not feel like a terrible mother because you’re not!img_1298

Amelia’s First Trip: Tips for NYC With an Infant

Traveling with a child is stressful whether you are prepared for it or not. There isn’t really a good or bad time to fly. It sucks for us adults and sucks more for a tiny human who can’t figure out what is going on around them. I am going to give you tips for flying with a lap infant to New York. I’ll write another post in June about heading to California solo with a baby. So, without much ado:

Do’s

  • Pack well ahead of time.
    • For Amelia, we packed an entire day’s set of clothes (outfit, socks, pajamas) rolled up into a ziplock bag. I marked what day to wear those clothes as well. This made each day with her so much easier and more organized.
    • In a couple extra ziplock bags, pack extra clothes and bibs. This makes it easier to toss in a diaper bag and get going.
  • Pack extra everything. You won’t use it all but it’s better than not having enough.
    • I packed a bib for everyday but didn’t end up using most of them because we were on the go constantly so Amelia ate on the go.
    • I also packed a few receiving blankets for cleanup and spit up but didn’t even touch those.
  • Bring the sealed packets of baby food and all breastmilk on the plane with you.
    • You don’t have to check baby food or breastmilk, just let them know you have them at security. I didn’t want to check my milk just in case my bag was lost.
    • I brought about 5 food puree packs. Lots of places sell baby food packets but they are stupid expensive.
  • In NYC you can breastfeed anywhere and everywhere covered or not.
    • Do not be afraid to just whip out a breast and let your kid eat. We went to several super busy eateries and no one even looked twice at me while feeding Amelia. I walked around The Met with Amelia dangling off my boob and didn’t feel uncomfortable for even one second. Same goes on the subway. Central Park is even better, women are known to sunbathe topless there.
  • Bring toys attached to those pacifier clips or bring toys that have clips and latches on them.
  • Bring hand sanitizer.
  • Utilize the MTA website for handicap stops and bring a lightweight jogging stroller.
    • You sometimes have to walk a few blocks out of your way but the elevators will make life easier.
    • If you do have to use the stairs don’t fret! If you bring a lightweight stroller just carry it up and down the stairs. New Yorkers are incredibly nice and will often get out of your way or assist you.
    • Use the handicap entrance to the train with a stroller (get the attention of the attendant and they will open the door for you after you slide your metro card) and leave through the emergency exit.
  • Plan where you want to go before you go to New York.
    • The Met is great because it is nice and quiet and you can go 3 days in a row but its not very stroller friendly so plan your visit. The American Museum of Natural History is great for kids and strollers. Download the Explorer App before going and purchase tickets beforehand as well. You can also enter on the side of the building where the Rose Center for Earth and Space is located. That is handicap and stroller entrance. You can also skip the lines there. The Central Park Zoo is also great for kids and includes a Children’s Zoo where you can feed goats before 3 pm.
    • Take your baby to play in Central Park! Amelia learned how to crawl in the park. The grass is nice, the park is beautiful, and there are lots of food trucks within the park.
    • Choose busy places to eat because it will distract your baby.
    • Avoid places like Times Square with the stroller. Use a carrier or just don’t go until you take a baby free trip. The busier tourist areas are difficult with an infant.
    • Take the ferry to Brooklyn! It’s beautiful, and you can cross back on the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • Call your hotel ahead of time and request a crib.
  • Eat allllllll the pizza.
  • Bring a comfort for sleep.
    • the taxis can be loud so bring something to play white noise and bring a favorite blanket.
  • Bring puffs. They’ll save your life.

Don’ts

  • Don’t bother with a car seat. There are services that can bring you to the hotel and back to the airport.
    • If you do bring a car seat, make sure your hotel room has a closet because you won’t use the carseat for the trip. The train is your friend!
  • Don’t stress!
    • Take deep breaths and ask for help. You will get it.
  • DO NOT STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SIDEWALK!
    • Tourists in New York are the worst so don’t be one. New Yorkers do not care if you stop to check out their city. Just step to the side or find somewhere more appropriate to stand.
  • Don’t worry about forgetting anything, there are markets and drug stores on every corner.
  • Don’t forget a boppy
    • We decided not to bring one because we didn’t want to carry it on the plane. Worst mistake ever! We definitely could have used it while she slept on our lap on the plane.
  • DO NOT apologize on the plane.
    • Babies cry. That is just what happens. We were delayed and then sat on the tarmac for another hour to de-ice. Amelia was pissed and uncomfortable. Just do your best to soothe them but do not apologize. It gives people permission to judge you. I just tried to reassure Amelia that I knew she was unhappy and that she didn’t understand what was going on. I tried feeding her often but she just was unhappy. By saying those things out loud it also reiterates to other passengers that you are trying and that your baby is just not understanding of the situation.

Flying and traveling with a baby can be so stressful but it is also so incredibly fun! Amelia did amazing considering. We took her all over New York and she just kind of rolled with it. She would sleep in her stroller which could lay back or sit up, depending on her mood. There is so much to see and it’s all new for little babies. You get to see the world through your baby’s eyes. Amelia got to touch the ocean for the first time in Cooney Island, she ate next to Teddy Roosevelt in the Museum of Natural History (if the Night at the Museum fame), she met some incredibly nice strangers who thought she was just a doll, she tried new foods and had the time of her life! Just take each day as a new day and ask for help. New York is amazing so just do some research on child friendly things to do. There are tons of parks, even the 9/11 memorial is a beautifully peaceful place to take a baby. Don’t follow these tips for going anywhere other than NYC because it is a unique city with unique baby tips. If you have any questions about traveling with an infant I am more than happy to answer! You can email me here: whenbabynaps@gmail.com

 

I Cannot Sleep: An Ode to the Tired Mom

I cannot sleep,
I cannot sleep,
What is this life?
I cannot sleep!

My husband snores,
The baby fusses,
I cannot sleep
While the dog is pacing.

My brain is awake
My body is tired
I cannot sleep
While my mind does cartwheels.

I am getting drowsy,
The sheep are counted,
I think I can sleep now,
Fuck, the baby woke up hungry.

I cannot sleep,
I cannot sleep,
This is the life of a mom,
Who just cannot sleep.

 

 

And sometimes I can’t sleep because I love these two so much it makes my heart hurt. ❤GyqRLZp2QsSQZLstkL1CBw

My child is an a**hole: a post to moms who feel bad for thinking this

My daughter is almost 7 months old. She is brilliant, strong, gorgeous, and learning new things nearly every minute of the day. She is also a gigantic asshole (cue the sanctimommies who judge me for calling my child names). I’m not even kidding. She is at this phase where screaming and screeching is just a form of expressing herself. She is a jerk and that is okay! Her tiny little body is figuring out so much about her surroundings and all the new ways she can interact with it. She sees and does new things every single day. This makes her brain go completely bonkers and turns her into a rabid, feral animal in the sweetest, cutest form.

I struggled with this. I still struggle with this. She is the absolute light of my life but sometimes we need a break from each other. What made me struggle with these feelings of not liking my kid despite loving her more than my words can express is the judgement from other mothers. I have had people tell me, “at least you were lucky enough to have a baby,” and, “it’s not like she means to do that.” Thank you captain obvious. Thank you for adding guilt to my daily life of being a mom to an IVF baby.

The fact of the matter is kids are jerks. I have been slapped, spit on, scratched, kicked, screamed at, had my hair pulled, and had jewelry ripped off by a baby. Of course she doesn’t mean to do it. Of course she is just figuring out her surroundings and her emotions. Of course I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to be a mother. Of course I firmly say no and attempt to help her understand the world she is in. Of course I get over my frustrations. Of course I don’t blame her for being a baby and being a jerk. That doesn’t mean she’s not, in fact, being a jerk.

I love Amelia with a fiery fierceness that could conquer and destroy the most evil of evils but motherhood is hard. Just because I suffer from infertility and underwent fertility treatments including IVF does not mean I have to enjoy every single moment of having a baby. I like to think I am a reasonable person and have never faulted someone for not always loving parenting so why do others have to judge? Can anyone truthfully tell me that they loved being a parent 100% of the time?

If you don’t want to call your kid an asshole that is perfectly okay but rather than tell someone what they should do and say in regards to tough moments maybe just say, “I am so sorry you’re going through this. Do you want to talk about it? How can I help?” Be kind, be sympathetic, and try to understand what other moms are going through before you jump down their throat for being honest. If we can be honest about our struggles to get pregnant then we can be honest about our struggles to keep everyone in our house alive. My only goal is to make sure we are all mostly functioning at the end of the day. One day my sweet girl won’t be this little and I know I won’t remember these frustrating moments but for now, my kid is an asshole.

Morale of the story? It’s okay to be frustrated as a parent. They turn back into sweet little humans just as quickly as they turn into devils. If you are struggling with your kid feel free to talk it out with me. I do not judge and am a really good listener. You can find me on Instagram or email me at whenbabynaps@gmail.com. You are not alone mommies! ❤

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Feed the babies! Free the boobies!

Nipples.

Did that make you uncomfortable? If you said yes, good! If you said no, congratulations on being normal. One thing I have learned in my adult life is that the nipple is the most offensive body part on a woman. A nipple producing milk and nourishing a child is even more offensive. I can’t, for the life of me, understand why this is so. There is an Instagram page where people can submit close up pictures ofd their nipples and followers can guess whether it is male or female. There is never an answer given to prove that a nipple is a nipple no matter what. If it is on a man and not offensive then it should not matter on a woman and vice versa, if it is offensive on a woman then logic states it should be offensive on men too.

I am a huge advocate for breastfeeding without fear or shame. I am an even bigger advocate for feeding your baby however works best for you and your family but more on that later. Let’s talk about breasts first. I have had other women tell me to cover up and have some modesty while breastfeeding. Mind you they say this over social media and never to my face because that would require some bravery. If you think a mother should cover up while breastfeeding or should go somewhere else or should feed int he bathroom then I challenge you to do the same. Eat under a cover. Go to a separate place to eat. Sit in a stall and eat your dinner. If those are comfortable to you then you’re a liar and I will never convince you breastfeeding is normal so you can stop reading now.

If you are still reading this then I am proud of you for being the type of person that wants to understand or actually does understand. Let’s normalize breastfeeding by describing how not sexual my breasts currently are. They are huge, yes, but not in a cute way. They are swollen, have large blue veins all over them, and they constantly leak so I have to wear breast pads and some highly unattractive nursing bras. If you think breastfeeding is a sexual thing or you sexualize it then you have some serious issues. Publicly breastfeeding and not covering up have absolutely NOTHING to do with modesty. Telling a woman that she needs to be modest at all makes me angry, let alone while she is nourishing her child.

Let’s get this clear: breastfeeding is natural, it is normal, and it is an amazing bonding experience for a mother and child. If you choose to cover up then that should be your choice and your choice alone. it should not be influenced or demanded by another person. If you choose not to cover up like me then that too is your choice and yours alone. Let’s also get this clear: it is actually illegal in most states to force a nursing mother to cover up and/or move to another location. Check your local laws to be sure you live in one of those amazing states that allows this and if you are in a state that doesn’t protect a breastfeeding mother then call your representatives and change this! Free those boobies and make nipples a not scary anymore! Equality folks, equality!

Now on to my next “feeding your child” rant. I hear so many women say, “breast is best.” While that is noble and there are numerous reasons why people say this, breast is not always best. FED is best. Feeding your baby in the manner that works for your family is best. Some moms can’t breastfeed for any number of reasons and that is okay! Some women choose not to breastfeed for any number of reasons and that is okay! What is not okay is shaming a woman for making sure her child is fed. If a baby is healthy, growing, and happy then you have zero say in whether that child is breastfed or bottle fed or formula fed. The absolute only thing that matters is the child is fed and everyone is happy.

To finish up this lesson about how to not be a rude, judgmental c u next Tuesday, lets compile a few things to say if someone tells you to cover up, go somewhere else to feed, or tells you how to feed your child:

“If you don’t leave I will spray you with breast milk and this stuff can squirt far.”

“Were you breastfed?” followed up by, “Well good then, I will stop because it obviously made you an idiot” or “Then I will continue because it clearly did you no justice to not be breastfed.”

“Oh you want me to cover up? Wouldn’t it be easier to just avert your eyes or close them so you couldn’t see what offends you so?”

*When they request you cover up place the cover over your own head so you can’t see them and continue feeding.*

*When someone judges you for bottle feeding over breastfeeding* “I’m sorry mom, (or dad if it is a man) I certainly am a terrible mother for giving my child a bottle. You have cured me and I will definitely tell my breasts to start producing milk again. Phew! Thanks for setting me straight!”

My favorite thing to do, though, isa to just stare someone straight in the eyes when they give me dirty looks and slyly flip them off while I feed my baby. What are some ways you tell people to back off from your parenting choices? How do you help and encourage other parents in their parenting decisions even when they don’t follow your own parenting choices? Parenting is hard enough so let’s support each other instead of tearing each other down!

My sweet Amelia Rose eating for the very first time after being born. ❤ She was a natural and took to it immediately!IMG_4033Amelia snuggling her food pillowIMG_4094

 

One Kid, Two Kids, More Kids, IVF Kids

Last night my husband and I were reminiscing about our sweet Amelia being a newborn. She is our first and what a perfect first to have! As we talked about what an amazing little human we have, we began to look into the future. We love Amelia so much and have really taken to being parents. Scott and I have always known we want more than one child and are prepared to do another transfer after Amelia turns 1. As if he could read my mind, he turned to me, smiled and said, “I can’t wait to have another baby!”

The first year of parenting is stressful beyond all measure but we are surviving. When he said those words it was as if my heart could burst through my chest and soar! Becoming parents is what we have wanted for so long but actually becoming parents kind of rocked our world. I honestly wasn’t sure my husband would want another baby so soon so hearing those words when our girl is only 6 months old made me confident we were doing a good job at this and we would be okay.

This overwhelming sense of joy rushed over me but was quickly dampened by the fact that we can’t just get pregnant. If it were up to us, we would have gotten pregnant already. We want a bunch of kids close together. We aren’t getting any younger and we want to show our kids the world. I was sad and hurt for my husband that I can’t give him what we so desperately want without assistance. Not being able to create the family that you want when you want it sucks. Simple as that, it sucks.

Seeing him be so excited for more awesome kids filled me with an immense amount of conflicting happiness and grief. There are so many what ifs that go into doing another transfer but I don’t even want to go there yet. I tried not to get disappointed that I won’t be one of this miracle women who gets pregnant naturally after IVF but it really is hard not to.

My daughter gives me hope for a future full of babies though. The life the emirates from her very being eases my mind and has healed my broken heart. She will be a sister no matter the route we have to take but I am hopeful I will be able to carry another child. No matter what, the words my husband said to me in all his happiness as a father and husband made me feel like I was on top of the world. We will be okay and we are doing a damn good job at this whole parenting thing! We are a team and I am so glad we are on the same exact page when it comes to our family.