How to co-parent during the holidays

Well, it’s the holidays again! I enjoy the holidays, but the holidays are often a reminder of the wrong choices I made that I cannot change. Each year my two older boys are either away for Christmas or Thanksgiving with their dad. Although I am happy that they have a relationship with their father, I always feel guilty because I made the choice to divorce. 

Most years I deal with feeling sad either Christmas or Thanksgiving and I have made a vow to myself “NO MORE”! I am done being sad over making the best decision I could have ever made for my boys and I! Divorce is hard on kids but if I had stayed, they would be seeing two parents arguing, fighting, and there would be no example of love around them. As a mother it is always my priority to prevent the boys from experiencing trauma due to my actions. Since I was raised in trauma, I want to break the cycle for my boys!  So, this Christmas will be joyful because I have accepted my past choices and I stand on them! If I am being truly open and honest, I have had a hard time with clinging to the past. Sometimes I find myself stuck in trauma, replaying certain events and situations over and over in my head. What I am learning through healing and growing is that replaying those memories is a form of self-harm.  It is okay to explore memories, but it is toxic and completely unhealthy to allow myself to stay stuck in the past. Therefore, for the holidays this year I vow to be present and focused on the now!

This year for Christmas I will celebrate with my family that is present! My husband and our two younger kids deserve to be happy and enjoy our holiday together until the boys return. I have decided to look at the holiday visitation as my time to have a small break. It is easier and cheaper to hire a sitter for two kids, than for four kids! (Lol) I have decided to look at the bright side and positives of the situation. I do not want to focus on the negatives anymore because it drains my energy and is not worth my time. On the brighter side the boys need and want a father, and since I have physical custody, it is only fair they spend time with their father throughout the year. When the boys are teenagers and young adults, I want them to have good memories and I want them to know that my mom loved us and only wanted the best for us, so she put us first.

Regardless of how nasty my divorce was, or what was done in the marriage… bottom line is I ended it and the kids should not have to suffer or feel guilty about it! Children are so innocent; they just want to love who they love without any drama or feeling like they must choose. I reassure my boys that they are loved on both sides and there is no need to choose or feel sad when we are not together during the holidays! I remind them we live together and will be back together soon. To make the holiday breaks easier on the kids and us, moving forward we will celebrate our holidays on whatever days we want to celebrate them! There is no particular day or time to enjoy time together as a family! Life is complicated! Things happen, but the best thing you can do is learn to adapt and be resilient, especially when you have little ones watching. No matter how bad your situation gets never allow your children to witness unhealthy behaviors, unhealthy forms of communication, or unhealthy relationships. It is important that children have good examples and role models, so they understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy.

 I know I am not the only parent going through the ups and downs of coparenting during the holidays. Coparenting is one of those things you just must learn to deal with and the quicker you learn to accept your situation, the better it gets! Time apart from anyone you love will be hard but seeing your kids happy should always be priority over your adult feelings. If the separating from your children is too hard and you feel stuck, I would recommend professional help! My therapist, my husband, and mom have all helped me through my difficult co-parenting times. And each of them kind of gave me the same advice: everything does not require a reaction, and silence is golden! Therefore, move with grace and always put the kids first! If the main focus is always the kids nothing can be misconstrued! If you are struggling and want more tips on dealing with coparenting during the holidays, I have posted a slideshow below that give advice coparenting during the holidays.  Also, remember this “Anything or Anyone that does not add value in your life, is not worth your time”! Use your time and attention towards the ones that matter and stay present in the now! We lose so much valuable time with people we love, wasting time on people and things that do not matter. Put what matters to you first (Your Kids)! 

Happy Holidays! 

How to co-parent during the holidays!

No one… (A poem about Postpartum Depression)

Postpartum is not, know that you are not alone in this journey & never give up! Your feelings are valid.

I’ve been in a bad place mentally since like two weeks after Mj was born.

I’ve been through so much since his birth and if I’m being completely honest I’ve had some bad thoughts, some bad feelings, & I’ve felt so alone in this process. It’s like everyone around me is moving on with life and everyday things and I’m stuck in this place of pain, depression, tired, & overwhelmed. I’ve become so numb and don’t even know how I’ve made it these last two months.

I’ve had people around me, but no one seems to understand or continue to say “how strong I am” when that is the last thing I need I want to hear. Poetry, blogging, fitness, mediation, or writing of any sort is how I’ve been releasing lately. I wrote this poem the other night while I cried at 0555 in the morning just wondering how I got to this place. I know this will get better, but right now it’s not and I hope me sharing this helps someone else who’s also struggling with postpartum. Know you’re not crazy, your feelings are valid, and we will get through this! 🙏🏾

-Toni💕

Signs of Postpartum Depression

Childhood Trauma…

Childhood trauma…

The one thing I hate about childhood trauma is the shame, hurt, & memories that never go way. I am thirty two years old and I still battle with trauma that I experienced as a child. My childhood trauma started early and continued into my early teens. What I will never understand and I have tried to figure this out in therapy…. Why wasn’t I protected? I used to think that in African American families trauma was just ignored because of cultural reasons, but then I learned that all races hide childhood trauma. There is a stigma behind childhood trauma and no one wants to speak on it! Well guess what I’m going to ruffle some feathers and I’m going to talk about adverse childhood trauma and all trauma because it is happening and we as a society need to stop “sweeping things under the rug”.

So the big question is “Why do most families prefer to keep trauma a secret?” In my own experience I believe my trauma was kept a secret because the people who knew felt second hand embarrassment and did not want to take responsibility for their carelessness, lack of support, & lack of accountability. No one wants to admit this happened under my watch, or this happened and I had a clue of feeling it was happening, but I ignored it. If you’ve been here at “The Pearl Blog” awhile & you have been following then you’re aware that my first experience with childhood trauma that I did not repress completely was the child molestation I experienced at the hand of a very close family member boyfriend. This man gave me the creeps, and made me feel so uncomfortable in my skin from the moment he laid eyes on me. I tried keeping my distance, but that was impossible because he lived in my home. I used to blame myself, but what I have learned in therapy is “I was a child!” At the age of eleven ba child brain is not even developed enough to understand child molestation. I truly in my heart believe that everything from my childhood led me through all the adult trauma I experienced. 

So, do childhood trauma have a long lasting effect on your mental and physical health? The answer is YES! Believe it or not adverse childhood experiences (also know  as ACEs) — traumatic events bin a child’s life can leave emotional and psychological scars on a child forever. Childhood traumatic events can affect a child’s mental and physical health for years and often lingers into adulthood. Psychologist Kate Eshleman, PsyD, says that often, children can move on from traumatic events and thrive. But they may need a helping hand. “There are things parents and caregivers can do to support a child after trauma.” My childhood trauma lingered into my adult life because it was not spoken on,  I received no support, and I was left to cope alone. I felt abandoned, I felt used, I felt like no one loved me or cared about what was happening to me. Still today I struggle with trust! I rarely trust anyone and I have major PTSD when it comes to strange men. I also deal with separation anxiety when away from my children and my biggest fear is someone violating them and I never know or they never tell. I’ve lived my life in fear since I became a mother. I do not allow anyone to keep my kids that I do not know very well, I don’t allow my children to have sleepovers at other children houses, and I speak to them about good touches and bad touches. Since I was not protected, it is imperative for me to protect my babies no matter what. My goal is to break those generational curses. 

Adverse childhood experiences such as abuse, divorce, witnessing violence, or natural disasters are things that must be addressed early on, so that a child can have a chance to heal and face the trauma head on before it affects their lively hood as an adult. It is adults and parents responsibility to be mindful of the affects trauma can have on a child. What an adult may think of as minute, can be major for a child. If I received therapy in middle school I believe I would have turned out as a completely different adult. Because I’ve researched, been in therapy, and experienced a lot of life I can say research is accurate… my childhood trauma followed me into adulthood and led me into situations that would never have transpired if I was told it wasn’t my fault, I was still beautiful inside and out regardless of what happened, and given the tools I needed to heal and grow properly. Unfortunately for me my teenage and young adult years were traumatizing and although I have healed from a lot I still am suffering on a mental and physical level. 

Adverse childhood trauma can affect how your body moves and react to people, the type of relationships you partake in, and what you allow or don’t allow due to not knowing you are worthy. The body can have stress and emotional reactions that are caused by childhood trauma. “Stress affects the body from head to toe. When something scary happens, stress hormones set your heart racing and make you break into a cold sweat. But if those hormones stay elevated for a long time, they can cause inflammation in the body and lead to lasting health problems. “The stress response can wear on our bodies,” (Dr. Eshleman). Also, significant stress or trauma in childhood can lead to anxiety, depression, increased risk for disease, and addictions. Due to my childhood traumas I do not cope well under high levels of stress, I have been diagnosed with anxiety, PTSD, & depression. Although I haven’t had any addictions to drugs or alcohol I used to be addicted to chaos and toxicity and I fed off of it for years. There were at least 10 years of my life when I did not know my worth, I allowed people to abuse me, mislead me, and treat me as if I was not worthy enough to be loved. I allowed and accepted a lot, I did not know what boundaries were, and I rarely spoke up for myself because I was stuck! I was twenty five years of age, stuck in the mindset of my eleven year old self. Although I was an adult I was still scared, unaware of my worth, not able to walk away from toxic people or situations, and I was lost! 

I didn’t get a voice or start my healing journey until after I divorced my first husband. Divorce from a narcissist is what forced me into therapy, forced me to speak about my childhood, forced me to take responsibility for me, and forced me to finally admit all that I had endured and allowed for years. I was embarrassed to sit in therapy and say I allowed a man to put his hands on me, or I allowed a man to cheat on me for years and still stayed. It took my first husband literally treating me the lowest of the low before I woke up one day and looked at myself and realized I did not know the person in that mirror. I was a shell of a person, but I had no feelings and I did not care about life anymore or self- respect. I don’t know how or why, but one day something in me snapped! One day I woke up and said I’m leaving him! One day I woke up and said NO MORE TRAUMA! One day I woke up & said I’m ready to heal God, please just give me strength to walk way! 

I walked away six years ago and I never looked back. I did not know how traumatized and damaged I was until the Army mandated that I get into therapy and it was a requirement for my medical retirement. The Army and therapy saved my life. I finally had a support system and I had HELP! Therapy has been a gift and a curse. I enjoy the release and sometimes I hate even remembering or discussing what I once allowed or all the trauma I have endured over the years. When you see me or read my blogs on healing and growing please know and understand this has been a long process for me, and I’m still healing everyday. There are days I have flash backs and I am depressed the entire day. There are times when I just feel disgusted because I get the sensation or memory of unwanted touches or I find myself dealing with PTSD because I can not process my trauma even as an adult. Trauma is real! No matter how much you try to repress childhood trauma it will seep through some how. Adverse childhood trauma can not be swept under the rug. I’m not a therapist, but I am an advocate for therapy and putting mental and physical health as a priority! If you or someone you know are dealing with adverse childhood trauma please seek help and start healing now. There is no age gap or cap for healing. It’s never too late to tell your story, and heal from it! It is my hope that someone who has not received help, reads this and take the first step today. I have listed some resources below, 👇🏾 please check them out. I have also listed other helpful Pearl Blogs that discuss trauma so check them out as well! 

Thanks, 

-Toni 💕

Resources for adverse childhood trauma:

https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/aces/resources.html

https://www.ncfr.org/cfle-network/summer-2017-ACEs/aces-resources-family-life-educators

The Pearl Blog, blogs about trauma: 

🎃Happy Halloween

🎃Happy Halloween

I hope you all enjoyed your day! New blog coming Thursday! ✌🏾

📸Halloween Photo Dump! It was Mj’s first Halloween! We enjoyed ourselves! Didn’t even have to leave the neighborhood because everyone did such a good job for the kids! #happyhalloween #photodump #familyiseverything

My beautiful family 💕
-Toni💕

A Birth, and a Rebirth

Before our last baby was born on August 17, 2021, I had already felt like I was completely dead inside. Besides his kicks and punches, I had become this empty shell of a person. Carrying a life is a blessing, but people forget all that comes along with it. I struggled mentally & physically. I dealt with excruciating pelvic pains, nausea, vomiting, & depression worse than ever before. Depression made it hard to get out of bed, smile, or even enjoy life at all. Physical pains made it impossible to see the end because some days I couldn’t even walk due to my pelvic pains. 

When it was finally time to deliver our newest blessing I was ecstatic to get it over with! Although I knew birthing him would be the hardest part, I was just ready to heal and start my postpartum journey! My entire birthing experience started wrong. The hospital gave me the wrong time to be there, my scheduled surgery started late, & I felt rushed & full of anxiety because things were not going as I originally planned and that caused me unwanted stress. 

The doctors and nurses that attended and assisted with my surgery were amazing, but the overall experience was painful. The spinal tap was not too bad, but unfortunately, I am starting to have after-effects. The first day was challenging because I had scar tissue from my three previous cesareans that made it more complicated for the surgeon to reach our son. The whole time I laid on the operating table I kept telling myself this too shall pass, pain doesn’t last forever, & trouble doesn’t last always. I did a lot of positive self-talk during surgery and in my post-recovery room. Although I was in pain, I would look over at my newest blessing and just smile. I naturally loved him and wanted to care for him no matter how I felt, so I breastfed through the pain and enjoyed just watching him breathe!

After getting through the first day I thought the second day would be a breeze & boy was I wrong! On the second day after my surgery, I was close to death. I had not had much sleep & the pain was keeping me up so although I usually decline narcotics, I accepted Percocet for pain instead of Motrin. I dozed off immediately after taking the Percocet, and I woke up to a nightmare. I was having an allergic reaction to the Percocet. My throat was closing, my body welted up, my breathing became labored, I was itching all over my body, and no one knew or understood what was happening until I remembered the last time I experienced this was when I had Anaphylactic shock from

Mushrooms. I told the doctors and nurses who had all piled in my room. The crazy thing about the entire situation is the one thing I needed the hospital did not carry… I needed an epi-pen and they did not have them.

During the entire anaphylactic shock experience, I kept looking at my newborn baby who was only a foot away. All I could think of was losing my life before ever being his mother. Believe it or not, maternal deaths of black women are extremely high right now and I thought I was about to be a part of the statistics. I thank God that I was given another chance to live. A nurse was working that afternoon that recognized what I was experiencing and jumped in to take charge, which saved my life. 

On the third day, I felt a lot better than the second day and I was just ready to go home. I felt my home would be the safest place for me considering my experience at the hospital. I was welcomed home by my mother who has been the biggest blessing in my life during my pregnancy and now. Being home did not bring on some magical healing because I was still experiencing a lot of pain from my incision area. Being home only made me feel safer than being at the hospital.  Our other three children were so excited to meet their baby brother & I felt good knowing that I was the creator of all this greatness 💕

Resting in the comfort of my home has been the best part so far. A cesarean birth is a serious procedure, and no matter where the healing process takes place, it will be a challenge physically & mentally. If I could give myself some advice for day three of healing from a cesearan it would be to walk as much as possible for the swelling, stay hydrated, & go at your own pace. There is no specific timeframe of when you may feel better after a c-section. Everyone’s situation and all bodies are different so it’s not a definite answer to the healing time. Just take any postpartum journey slow & at your own pace. 

I can say from my personal experience that I started to feel some relief by the third week. During the third week, I was able to be more independent and hands-on with my other children as well. It’s now week four of my postpartum journey and I’ve cooked my first meal, vacuumed, drove to Starbucks, & made the bed! Those tasks seem small, but they are hard tasks when you barely have core strength! I feel like I could do more, but my doctor still has me restricted as of now. 

My entire pregnancy and postpartum has been challenging. For me, this postpartum journey will be a rebirth of someone greater than I was before. I’m not focused on weight loss, snapping back, being perfect, or unrealistic expectations. I am focused on the healing of my mind, body, and  spirit so I do not allow postpartum depression, anxiety, and stressors of life to hold me back. I want to heal and grow from this experience! It is my experience that tough situations, build tough people. 

I already feel different inside & I am not the woman I was before I gave birth to our final baby. I see things differently, I’m thinking differently, & even responding differently about certain situations. Having a major surgery, a new baby, & 3 other children has been one of the most challenging times in my life so far. Luckily I have my husband who has supported me through breastfeeding,  physical support, & emotional support. My husband has been so selfless & it feels good to know that the man I chose to marry is the epitome of “for better or worse”! A supportive partner or support person through postpartum is major! 

I have also been blessed during the postpartum process to have my mother here for moral support. If you have been following my blog from the start or for a while then you are aware that our relationship has been like that of a butterfly, we have been through many different phases but we have grown into something so beautiful. My mom has encouraged me, loved me unconditionally, and sacrificed her everyday schedule for me! I’ll forever be appreciative of her.

As the days continue to go by I think about what I could have done differently before the arrival of our son to make this postpartum journey easier and there is no clear-cut answer. I would suggest any mom before birth to prepare meals, have a set schedule for other children, ensure to have a stockpile of everything needed for the baby & yourself, & home in advance. 

One part of the journey that is bitter-sweet is breastfeeding. Breastfeeding has been challenging but worth it for our son! Although I’ve had sore nipples, sleepless nights, & hours of pumping since his birth I know it’s worth it for his health. The pandemic has had me on edge, but having a baby during a pandemic is even more stressful & the antibodies in my breastmilk motivates me to continue my breastfeeding journey. If you are a mom that has decided to breastfeed I would say make sure you have a supportive partner or support person in general because it can be discouraging in the beginning. 

Postpartum journey is just that ….a journey! A journey of ups and downs and highs and lows. A journey of painful days, happy days, sad days, or days you may not even remember! The journey has been worth every second because I am watching myself evolve slowly into a healed woman, with no regrets! Life is about lessons and I have received some clarifying and life-changing lessons since the start of this pandemic and especially during my pregnancy. It has almost been a year since The Pearl Blog was created and it feels good to say the woman I was when I started The Pearl Blog was nowhere near this confident, healed, matured, focused, & motivated to just be better! 

If you are pregnant, a mom or a person just going through life challenges remember “this too shall pass”! Most things in life are temporary, just get your lessons and evolve from whatever challenges you go through. Challenges are meant to make you resilient, and resiliency makes you more equipped to handle future challenges!  So keep healing & keep growing through life! 

-💕Toni 

Introducing my newest Blessing… “Mj”

Introducing Martin Murray Jr “Mj” August 17, 21 7lbs9oz💙

It is bittersweet to say Mj is out final child, but I would not want it any other way! He’s been the perfect addition to our family!

My pregnancy was hard, but birthing him was challenging as well, along with other traumatizing events that took place after his birth.

Through it all I am doing a lot better physically, and I am working hard everyday to build my mental strength as well!

I just wanted to give an update! I will be blogging about my birth experience and all that has transpired so far! I am thankful for my mother & my husband (the dynamic duo) who have given me around the clock care, love, & support.

Besides the minor stuff, life is good! I can not wait to get the okay to lift 💪🏾 & workout again because excersise is how I stay sane! But I’m excited for my postpartum healing & fitness journey! This is just the beginning! 💕 I will be returning soon! 😉

#postpartum #motherhoodunplugged #postpartumjourney #motherhoodjourney #strongmama #postpartumsupport #postpartumfitness #blessedmama #csectionmama #momof4 #healingjourney #innerstrength #trustyourjourney #selfhealingjourney #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthrecovery #familyfirst #ilovemyfamily #familyiseverything #familyfirst❤️ #newbaby #newbabyboy

This too Shall Pass!…

Hello to all,

I guess you could say I have been MIA…I ended my new year with so many prospects, goals, and aspirations but this thing called life stopped me in my tracks. At the beginning of December my mind was set and ready for 2021. I was more excited about 2021 than any other year, because although the pandemic really affected my 2020, I accomplished a lot and I did not allow my creative blocks, or anything to stop me from creating ideas, sharing ideas, and putting an effort into all the things I love!

So what has thrown me off, and why I have I been isolated over the last month….. There is a new member coming into the family this year in 2021 and although we are happy & children are a blessing, no one speaks of the overwhelming and horrible 1st trimester of pregnancy! Social media shows moms posting weekly updates comparing the size of their babies to fruit and smiling as if pregnancy is the most amazing thing ever! (It’s NOT!)

Every Pregnancy is Different:

Although pregnancy is different for every mother and symptoms can be different with every pregnancy 1 in 4 women goes through the pains and symptoms of the 1st trimester. The last few months I have woke up nauseated every morning. There were mornings I woke up, and I wished I did not because I felt so horrible. Pregnancy is hard, but it can become more challenging when you are already parenting children. Being a mother of three other children who all wants and require my attention made the sickness harder for me to cope with. I am an active mom. I enjoy waking up early every morning to get that morning workout, preparing breakfast for my kids, making their lunches, and getting them hyped and prepared for their day; but none of this was possible due to my 1st Trimester symptoms of vomiting, nausea, & extreme fatigue.

Each day I woke up and literally begged and pleaded with God to just help me get out of the bed, help me to get my kids to school in one piece, & me back home before I vomited everywhere. On top of the nausea and vomiting, felling fatigue after a full night of sleep is the worst! I read many of articles online about pregnancy fatigue and what could be done to help, nothing I read helped me. No matter how much rest I had, my body still felt overly exhausted and if I am being completely honest the fatigue is what made me just shut down. I started to isolate myself, and I became angry with myself because I felt like a bad mom, I felt like I should not be so lazy, and I blamed myself for being weak because I scrolled through social media and would see other moms glowing & working out in their first trimester. Other mom enjoying their pregnancy and posting cute pictures, while I lay in bed depressed, stressed, & regretting the blessing that God has blessed me with.

Stop Comparing we were made to be Different!

If I could share one thing about the 1st trimester to help another mom, it would be “DO NOT COMPARE YOUR JOURNEY WITH OTHER EXPECTING MOMS” comparing what I was going through with mothers on social media is what led me into such deep isolation and depression. Pregnancy depression is a real thing, and while I already have struggles with depression, anxiety, and PTSD this was like piling crap on top of crap. I looked in the mirror and did not recognize myself and I even thought of terminating my pregnancy or wishing I would miscarry to end this miserable phase. I know that last statement seems extreme, but until you have experienced (hyperemesis gravidarum) constant nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and depression, while creating a whole human do not judge!

I wrote this to share my experience, and to say that yes pregnancy is a blessing, is a beautiful experience. But I must be completely honest because I hope women can learn something from my experience. I hope someone else can prepare & educate themselves about the 1st Trimester struggles after reading this post. I have been blessed to have an amazing husband, supportive family, and great kids that has helped me get through each day. Having the support of the people I love has really been a fresh breath of air. My husband deserves a trophy because he is the most loving, compassionate, understanding, and supportive man I have ever met in my entire life. My husband goes over and beyond to ensure myself and our children are okay & that helps me to keep pushing forward.

It’s still a blessing!

Do I still wake up some mornings sad, depressed, sick, stressed, or feeling overwhelm? Yes, I wake up like this some days, but I have been praying, and I repeat the same mantra each morning “This too will past” I remind myself this is just another phase of my life, and I know that after these 9 months are complete, we will receive another great blessing from God! Creating life is astounding, but it is not easy, and it is not all peaches & cream. Women are so phenomenal and what our bodies can do is amazing! I am amazed that I am once again creating a human being. Right now, as I am typing this, I am nauseated, but I am not vomiting, and my baby is growing healthy in my womb, & my toddler is beside me with the biggest smile and because of that every single symptom I am experiencing is worth it! I have shared some helpful links within this post about severe morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum), fatigue, and pregnancy in the first trimester. It is my prayer that this article can give another mother courage while going through a tough pregnancy. Do not be so hard on yourself if you are not being who you were before the 1st trimester. Remember you are human, you are creating a human, & you deserve some mercy & grace during this time. Thanks for engaging, please comment any advice you may have or your own experiences below!

Books I suggest:

https://www.amazon.com/First-Time-Pregnancy-Handbook-Week-Week/dp/1641528540/ref=sr_1_10_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=getting+through+1st+trimester&qid=1611682272&s=books&sr=1-10-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFVNUFORUFZSTBLT0cmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTAxMzQ4MjgyMkZFRFhKM1ZKVTYxJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA1MjIxODUzTjVOQVZKQkRUMU5ZJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfbXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

https://www.amazon.com/What-Expect-When-Youre-Expecting/dp/0761187480/ref=sr_1_10?dchild=1&keywords=getting+through+1st+trimester&qid=1611682446&s=books&sr=1-10

 

Is your sex life really over after childbirth?

Is your sex life really over after childbirth?

Sex after childbirth is a topic that women are ashamed or scared to speak on, and something than men avoid because of their lack of education and being oblivious about the effects that birthing a child have on a woman’s sex life.  Most women who have birthed a child will admit that before birthing children their libido was higher.  Libido is one’s sexual desire! Most women will not admit it, but their libido was more than likely higher before they became a mom. Some women have higher libido during pregnancy because the hormones increase their sexual drive, others are complete opposite and do not have sex their entire pregnancy, and then you have the after-childbirth sex which is a whole different story.

I never enjoyed sex really until I learned my own body inside and out, which is why it was shocking to me when I did not want or need sex anymore after the birth of my first child. After I birthed my oldest son, I never craved sex like I did before I ever gave birth. I went months sometimes without any sexual activity at all because I just did not have the urge.  I struggled with postpartum depression badly, but on top of depression no one warned me how much your body changes. First and foremost, the whole sex after 6 weeks is complete bullshit! Sex after six weeks hurts like heal, and it still hurts after 8 weeks!  It takes time for your body to adjust. Some women may have an episiotomy or other laceration after giving birth and those tears can take more than 6-8 weeks to heal. Through all the changes after birthing a child, men still expect a woman to birth a baby and jump back into the swing of things and that is not realistic at all!

Eventually the goal after childbirth should be to enjoy sex again, and not allow it to become the elephant in the room. What worked for me and my husband is communication. I had a cesarean and those can be very painful. We found other ways to be intimate. Sex is basically intimacy that keeps you and your significant other connected. If you are still healing, then think of other forms of intimacy. We would cuddle, have date nights, and if I were not in the mood at times then I would just pleasure him. Getting back into a sexual routine and getting your libido higher will require an open mind and work! I would also suggest quickies (a brief act or instance of having sex), once you have a new baby those quickies become a lifesaver and helps to keep your relationship alive. If you are not completely ready for intercourse yet I want to give you a few pointers to get in the right direction.

Firstly, I am giving advice and am not a MD, or professional in this area. I am only sharing my experiences and my advice! So, let us get to it! If more than 3 months have passed and you have not felt the urge to be intimate after giving birth be sure to make an appointment with your physician because sometimes a lower libido after childbirth can be a medical issue. Your doctor can run an advanced hormone test which will give an extensive e profile of you sex and adrenal hormones and melatonin, along with their metabolites, to identify symptoms if you have any hormonal imbalances. Also, please research and try adding adaptogens into your everyday consumption. Adaptogen herbs helps with stress management and assist the bodies physiological functions response to outside stressors. They do this by lowering the stress levels. When your stress is reduced, your adrenal glands become more balance, and that can significantly boost your sex drive.

In my own personal experience I received pelvic floor therapy because I had a large size baby and it really affected my pelvic structure, and caused me to have pain during sex. Sometimes the lack of wanting sex has a lot to do with your physical body just not being able to. If that is your situation, I suggest you seek medical attention ASAP! Do not be ashamed to seek help from a professional. Another thing that helped me was non-hormonal birth control, and eventually I stopped birth control completely. Birth control can really lower your libido and doctors do not often enough explain this to patients before they start a new birth control. Before you start any birth control please do your research and be sure that you know exactly what you are putting in your body.

After birth it is like your energy is completely depleted and that feeling can last for months at a time. I know for me it lasted awhile. There were times when I had no energy to do anything besides care for my baby. To increase my energy, I started these 20-minute workout sections that I dedicated myself to complete every day. If I could not workout, then I would at least take a walk, or go stand on my balcony at the time for some fresh air and sunlight. The lack of sunlight exposure has been connected to a drop in serotonin levels and lack of serotonin can lead to depression and mood swings. Serotonin is naturally released through working out, and sunlight. The reason I suggest a walk or just standing out for a little sun bath is because you want the happy hormones (serotonin) to improve your mood, which could put you in the mood for some SEX!

Last, but definitely not least to get back to your happy sex place you must first know your own body inside and out. That means self-pleasure is a must. Do not be afraid to embrace your new momBOD! Touch yourself, look in the mirror at yourself, do positive self-talk, and please yourself as often as you may like. You may have to do self-pleasure in the beginning to get back comfortable with having intercourse with your significant other and that is okay. Communicate with you partner always about what you are feeling, what you need, and ask what you can do to make the intimacy between the two of you better? Communication is the most important aspect of a healthy & happy sex life. Sex after childbirth does not have to be non-existence, you are in control of your intimacy, your body, and the outcome of your sex life after childbirth. I have placed a diagram below that gives pointers on rising your libido! I hope this helps! Please comment below or feel free to add your input! You never know who you are helping by sharing your situation or experience!

 

 

 

 

Check out.. Sex is FREEDOM 🌻

Peace & Blessings!

 

 

 

 

 

#Motherhood #TeamNoKids….

Motherhood…. Let’s talk about it! If you log into Instagram right now and type in the hashtag #motherhood, there are over 23.1 million post on or about Motherhood. If you look up the #teamnokids hashtag there are 79.8k post about women/men celebrating their choice to not procreate. I am not against #teamnokids, nor am I someone who goes around throwing my #Motherhood in others faces. I can say I understand and have been in both sets of shoes. I have walked in the single, no kids, party, no stress, no worries, and only concerned with myself shoes. I have also walked in the kids are my life, I could not imagine my life without kids, & kids changed me completely shoes! Both sets of shoes are absolutely amazing if you ask my opinion.

I remember my 18-year-old self, watching my friends become mothers in high school & college and thinking. “That will never be me!” I never seen myself having children simply because I was a wildflower aka Free-Spirited teenager growing into adulthood. I wanted to go into the US Army travel the world, and never look back to where I came from because there was nothing but trauma there. I felt like I had my mind made up. Even in my first marriage I know it was only a forced topic, and I was only going with the flow of what my ex-partner wanted and after awhile I led myself to believe “You have partied, and done a lot of wild things why not have a couple of kids for your spouse?” I was 21 years old when my first child was born.

I tell you one thing, my life as a new mother looked nothing like the mothers on the Instagram hashtag #Motherhood! Lol! The birth of my son in general was the worst and most traumatic birth of all three of my children. I literally felt like I was going to die, and although he survived it was a hard labor for him too. I was not prepared for the 14hours of labor that led to an emergency c-section, that left me sore and left my body forever changed. The first year of motherhood was the hardest because I dealt with post-partum depression and I did not even know what that was until I experienced it. I went into motherhood blind, not prepared, and with the image of mothers happy with their children (like you I had seen on television)!

If I could speak to my younger self now, I would say baby girl wait! I would let my younger self know girl you are not ready mentally, physically, or emotionally, and on top of that…the man who begging you to procreate “is not father material” I would let my younger self know that motherhood is for the right time, and with the right one. When it is the right timing, and the right one motherhood just “hit different”! I can vouch for that! I never really knew what Motherhood entailed or how loving & emotional rewarding it could be until I experienced it with the right partner. If I made a list of things to consider before procreating, the number one item on my list would be #1 Do not procreate until you are for sure you are procreating with the right partner.

Motherhood requires giving all of you, but when you have a partner to do it with motherhood is ten times easier, and more fun. Although having a partner can be fun, I also was once a single mom of two boys with bare minimum assistance before I met my husband. I still enjoyed motherhood as a single mom because I did not allow myself to get burned out. I kept the boys busy, and we did a lot of activities and traveling together. Although activities are fun, having a family member or a paid sitter for “me-time” is especially important for all single mothers. It is important to have time to yourself for moments of quietness, and just time for focusing on you! One of the #1 reasons that most women do not want to become mothers are because they like their time alone and  caring for someone besides yourself can be stressful, depressing, and 9 times out of 10 you will get burnout physically, mentally, emotionally if you do not balance you every day life with your children.

Now that I have my 3 children, I know for sure I would not want a life without children. I enjoy how innocent and loving my children are. My children have drugged me out of depression, helped me to grow as a woman, motivated me when I wanted to quit, and all me to experience the best love I have ever received. Although I enjoyed just jumping in the car without worrying about car seats, or who forgot something. I enjoy the cuddles, the joking and play, and just unconditional love from my children more than anything in this world. I enjoy the family time, and how my husband & I get to bond with them and guide them into greatness!  I wrote this blog to basically say if you are on the line between #TeamNokids & #Motherhood I just want to say dig deep within yourself and think long and hard about your decision. I suggest that you do not go into motherhood blindsided and that you have done all or at least most of what you want to do in life. Children are a permanent life decision & you can not wake up one morning and decide to give them back. I also suggest being as mentally & emotionally prepared as possible because motherhood can be emotionally & mentally draining. If you still decide not to procreate, I say kudos to you because what you decide with your body & your life is your decision. Never let society, or the “when are you having a baby?” people rush you or convince you into something you did not genuinely want. Social media is a place that shows us all these beautiful pictures, happy videos, children behaving perfectly, and mothers in pure bliss, but that is not reality. The reality is no matter what you decide life is not perfect, and regardless of what you decide go into any decision mentally, physically, & emotionally ready to give your all.

-Peace & Blessings

 

 

No more APOLOGIES……

I am a WOMAN, one of the most unappreciated on this planet. The WOMAN should be the most appreciated asset on this planet. Being a WOMAN has been one of my best attributes. I have found strength, courage, and growth in my WOMANHOOD.The hardest part about Womanhood for me is repeatedly being mistreated, misguided, misjudged, and misunderstood. Because you are a woman, you are supposed to be strong…and you are expected to accept mistreatment and forgive. As a woman you are expected to accept the judgement placed on you, or explain why this or that??? As a woman you have to set the standards.

I have decided I am done setting the standards for society, and will only be setting the standards for me. I do not want this post to seem like an anti-man post, because “You do not have to be anti-man to be PRO-WOMAN” _Jane Galvin Lewis. I uplift men, and I know there is a great appreciation for a “good man”! I just want to set the record straight that as a woman.. Yes I am forgiving, but I am tired of forgiving for the same behavior with no change in others who are mistreating me, Yes I am loving, but I am tired of giving unconditional love to those who are not worthy. Yes, I am a lady, but I have the RIGHT to be a BITCH when I am constantly mistreated, misguided, misjudged, and misunderstood.

I have a birthday coming up, and I have decided this will be my unapologetic year. I will UNapologetically be free and will no longer care if my actions are misunderstood. I will go and do as I please and not care about the comments or thoughts of my peers. I have to live for me. Being UNapologetically free includes showing off all my curves and stretch marks, whenever I feel like it. It means looking at and admiring another beautiful woman without being labeled. It means going away alone and enjoying myself. It means getting a sitter, and just disappearing for a day or 2 with no phone calls coming in or going out. It means expressing how I am feeling, and not taking people bullshit anymore, and it also means walking away from all relationships that no longer serves me.

While being a unapologetic woman I will not apologize anymore for who I am. I am a WOMAN that loves other beautiful women, I am a Woman that loves attractive men, I am a woman that is PRO-Green, I am a woman that loves all of ME, I am a sexual being, and will not be SLUT shamed because I get just as horny as a man. I am a WOMAN that is comfortable in ME. I KNOW that I am different and I am nothing like those around me. I enjoy quiet alone time, I do not like long phone conversations, I like being in my natural state with no makeup, no weave, or additives.

I am simply and undeniably a WOMAN!

I want to encourage all WOMEN to be you! Do not allow judgement, or anything to stop you from going with your hearts desires. Some people will not like me much anymore because unlike this picture I took in my living room… I am about to come up out of the SHADOWS, and I am about to be THE UNAPOLOGETIC WOMAN I always wanted to be.

ThePearlBlog