Message to the Judgmental Natural Birth Moms

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Note: This is an old blog post I found in my drafts. I edited it a little bit since my writing style has changed, but my feelings on this topic are the same.

Dear random judgmental mom at the grocery store,

On a casual shopping trip to Trader Joes, you successfully ruined my day. I’m sure you didn’t mean to, but you did. My 10-month-old Porter was sitting in the shopping cart eating samples, happy as a clam. Just prior to bumping into you, a kind stranger told me that he looks like Prince George. We’d gotten this before; Porter is fair skinned with chunky cheeks and he’s a big boy, – he’s been in the 90’s on the charts his entire life, with the exception of his 100 percentile head.

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So there I was, drooling over the cheese section as per usual and you pulled up next to me. You had a son in your cart too — the boys began to cutely interact.

Random Mom: “How old is your son?”

Me: “He’s 10 months. How old is yours?” I asked with a smile. (I’m careful not to have my #restingbitchface when talking to strangers)

Random Mom: “He’s 15 months. I know he’s small.” (for reference, he looked substantially smaller than Porter)

Me: “Awww he’s so cute.”

Random Mom: “Your guy is big but I bet you weren’t able to give birth naturally without any drugs like I was!”

Me: “No actually I ended up with an emergency c-section and it was a really horrible experience.”

Random Mom: Shuts up.

I walked away as quickly as possible.

I bet you weren’t able to give birth naturally without any drugs like I was!”

I realize this lady said this because she’s clearly insecure about the size of her child, but this is not an isolated experience. Through social media and even other face-to-face interactions, I’ve encountered numerous mothers who judge c-sections. What’s crazy to me is that if I hadn’t had one, I would have risked Porter’s life. He wouldn’t budge after two hours of pushing (you can read my full birth story here), so when his heart rate dropped and the doctor said they needed to get the baby out, I said OK because obviously I wanted my baby to be born safely and alive and I’m not the one with the MD after my name and neither does your doula.

“I bet you weren’t able to give birth naturally without any drugs like I was!”

Who honestly says that to a complete stranger or any mother for that matter? Do you want to get punched in the face? Or maybe you want me to tell you how amazing you are that you gave birth to your smaller than average baby without any drugs? That’s not how this works. I honor ALL mothers no matter how their babies come out because we all sacrificed ourselves on some level to make a human, and we all have our own stories to tell.

My opinion of anyone who brags about anything, let alone how they had their baby, is that they are immature. A woman of wisdom understands that being humble earns more admiration. If you want me to think you’re awesome, don’t tell me how awesome you are.

“I gave birth naturally” in my head equates to “I made the choice to give birth as though it was the olden days so I could feel like I’m better and judge other mothers who used drugs or had surgery.”

This is less relevant to the point of this rant, but I personally think pretending we live hundreds of years ago is kind of stupid. So although you think it will impress me, I literally think you’re kind of a weirdo. But I would never say that to your face because we are all different, and that’s ok.

I thank God I was born when I was, with modern medicine saving lives on the daily. I plan on embracing modern medicine for the rest of my life.

And to the natural birth moms who judge my c-section: If you ever have to have a limb amputated, I challenge you to do that “naturally” too. Let’s just pretend it’s the olden days for everything. Let them cut off your limb naturally; no anesthetics – maybe just a shot of whiskey and a stick to bite on from a pesticide free tree.

Ok, I’m being snarky now. I know I’m probably pissing a lot of people off and I sound like a hypocrite because this sort of comes across like I’m judging the “natural” moms. I’m really not though; this rant is about all of the judgmental moms out there who try to make other moms feel bad about themselves. I couldn’t care less how everyone’s babies are born because it’s none of my business.

Motherhood is hard enough, so let’s just support each other. You might be thinking something in your head when you see another mom, but don’t say it out loud unless it’s kind/supportive/encouraging.

Rant over.

Xo,

Bethany

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Dressing for Pregnancy and Beyond

DSC_8948When I was pregnant with my first, I had this weird ambition to not buy any “maternity” clothing. Most of what I saw in the stores were expensive, not THAT cute and I didn’t like the idea of filling my closet with clothes that had an expiration date. I spent the latter half of my pregnancy in maxi skirts and stretchy tank tops (summer pregnancy obvi).

This time around, I went about things a little differently. I recently gave birth to my second sweet boy on March 9, so I spent the majority of my larger days of pregnancy in coldish weather. On an average day, you would most likely catch me wearing maternity leggings/flowy tops, but I’m still a girl and sometimes want to feel pretty — so when I googled “cute maternity dresses” and stumbled upon PinkBlush Maternity, I felt like I hit the jackpot. They have maternity clothing, yes, but the dresses look cute even when you’re not pregnant. They also have cute options for nursing mamas.

Cute/affordable/online (because who wants to shop with a two year old) = music to my ears. I’ve been asked by so many people where I bought my cute maternity maxi dresses, so I decided to share with you all.

IMG_1266.jpgFast forward to the joys of dressing postpartum…

I am not one of those genetically blessed individuals that can have a baby and three weeks later, appear as though I did not in fact have a baby. Pregnancy takes a toll on my body and dressing during this time period is always awkward for me. I’m nursing around the clock and my body still has evidence of growing a human. Not to say I’m ashamed of any of that, but I’m a little self-conscious.

PinkBlush to the rescue once again! I seriously love them and I’m not just saying that because they sent me the coral nursing maxi dress for free (pictured above), full disclosure. I really did discover PinkBlush completely on my own and purchased every other dress featured in this post. Turns out they have a ton of nursing conducive dresses/tops. With the rate my son has been eating, I have a feeling I’ll be continuing my PinkBlush obsession throughout the summer.

Below are some pics of all the cute dresses I’ve worn so far. The coral one was a lifesaver for a toddler free night out with the hubby – I wanted to look date-night worthy, but I knew I would likely be nursing in public and needed easy access.

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If you are feeling the love for PinkBlush, follow me on instagram @houseofmitchells for an upcoming $75 giveaway so you can get some cute stuff for yourself! xo

Photo Credit (maternity pics in navy blue dress): Hilary Blair Photography

*This is not a sponsored post

#SecondPregnancyProblems

“Every pregnancy is different” – a common phrase thrown around by experienced mamas who know how things work. In theory, I knew this to be true. But in reality, I find myself constantly comparing this pregnancy to my first.

I actually thought this pregnancy would be easier because I had done it before…I was wrong.

In hindsight, my first pregnancy was actually a breeze. My first trimester nausea was mild and I didn’t start having back pain until my third trimester. Really, my biggest complaint was extreme fatigue, but since I was childless, I was able to rest more.

So here I am in the middle of my third trimester, reflecting and comparing, as I’ve recently been experiencing acute ligament pain and third trimester nausea (both symptoms I didn’t experience with my first). This pregnancy brought me MAJOR first trimester nausea where I felt sick from early morning to bedtime, splitting headaches lasting multiple days, major acid reflux, and relentless back pain. I’ve also had multiple illnesses this pregnancy – it’s like my immune system just gave up on life. Although I did have an energy boost during my second trimester (something I never felt with my first), it was short lived and feels like a million years ago.

News flash to anyone who is pregnant with your first: pregnancy while also being responsible for another human SUCKS, so cherish the only pregnancy where it really is all about you. Yes, my symptoms are worse this pregnancy – but having to be a mom 24/7 is what makes this monumentally more challenging. Props to the moms out there with a brood of kids.

Feeling like crap while taking care of Porter has made it harder to feel excited about my pregnancy. Sometimes I have to double check my app to see how far along I am. With Porter, I always knew how far along I was to the day.

I really have no right to bitch about my pregnancy, because so many people have it way worse and I want to acknowledge that – but sometimes I still just need to vent. I’m tired of feeling like crap and sometimes being with a two year old all day makes me want to drink a bottle of wine to myself. Six. More. Weeks.

Yesterday was a perfect example of #secondpregnancyproblems. Desperate for rest, I laid down on my bed…but of course I was followed by my 2.5 year old stalker. He proceeded to jump on the bed right next to my aching pregnant body. He lost his footing and fell, landing knee first onto my belly. He’s hit my belly numerous times, but nothing like this – this one really HURT.

Unsure of what level of impact can actually hurt the baby, I called the advice nurse (hoping she would reassure me not to worry). “You need to be evaluated at Labor and Delivery. I can’t guarantee the baby is fine over the phone.” UGGHH! There goes our evening.

I packed Porter up and called Ryan to meet me there. Then, while in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the 80 business loop, Porter started having a coughing fit (his lingering cough strikes again) which triggered his gag reflex and thus, a massive amount of vomit. So. Much. Barf. He started crying, which was a relief at the time because it reassured me his airways were clear.

I pulled off the freeway, into a gas station parking lot. When I lifted his barf covered body out of the car seat, I felt pain in my belly where he had kneed me. I proceeded to clean the vomit using only baby wipes and a dirty workout towel I found in my trunk. Thank goodness we had a change of clothes – my mom instinct told me to grab an extra pair of pants for him when we were running out the door.

We arrived at labor and delivery, my mom took Porter to her house and I was forced to sit in a hospital bed for four hours while they monitored the baby. Ryan grabbed us some dinner, and we sat in the hospital eating cafeteria food, joking that it was the closest thing we’d had to a date in weeks. Everything turned out to be fine and I got home around 11p.m.

After this experience, I sort of already feel like I’m a mom of two, juggling the needs of both kids.

Thankfully, there have been some moments where the thrill of having another baby snuck its way into the forefront of my mind and I want to share some of what I’ve learned with any mamas out there that can relate.

  1. Cut yourself some slack. First baby butterflies cannot be reproduced, just like your first kiss butterflies can’t be. It just is what it is.
  2. Although your toddler won’t treat you any differently during your pregnancy (even as you’re heaving over the toilet), your husband should. Did he rub your back during your first pregnancy? Ask you how you’re feeling often? He should still do those things. If you need to, remind him that you need extra help with household/parental duties when you’re not feeling up to it. Ryan has basically taken over most of the nightly bath/bed routine because by the end of the day, my body just hurts and it’s not easy for me to lift a 35lb man child out of the bath. Between ligament pain, back pain and third trimester nausea, having his help in the evenings is a saving grace. Hats off to moms with hubbies who travel for work.
  3. Get a 3D ultrasound. I went to The Baby Connection with Porter because I was excited and caught up in first baby butterflies. This time around, I sort of forced myself to go because I didn’t want to give Preston a second child complex before he’s even born. I’m sooooo happy I went. I stuck Porter in daycare and had some time to focus on sweet Preston, distraction free (which was key).
  4. Take maternity photos – I almost didn’t do this one either, but I’m so happy I did. Just having a little extra attention and acknowledging my baby bump helped pull me out of my toddler mom haze and remember that I have another sweet little boy on the way.
  5. Get some new baby stuff. I’m having my second boy, so it’s tempting just to reuse everything from Porter – but that’s no fun. Try and get some new stuff for your new babe. I get so excited seeing new little outfits for Preston to wear and seeing his nautical nursery come together.
  6. Take a moment to reflect. One evening (when Porter was being particularly cray and I didn’t feel good) I left Porter with Ryan and went into Preston’s room, closed the door, listened to some Coldplay on my headphones and just rocked in my new nursing chair. I sat there for maybe fifteen minutes just thinking about this next phase of my life. It felt good.
  7. Celebrate! Some crazy people think you shouldn’t celebrate all your babies, but I strongly disagree. Whether you call it a shower or a sprinkle, just do SOMETHING.
  8. Check your pregnancy app and read about your baby’s development. I admittedly struggle with this one and am usually a few days late to read about my new week, but I always feel more emotionally connected to Preston after I do.

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Maternity Photos by Hillary Blair Photography