Give Yourself a Break

I can honestly admit that before I had a baby I was never very active. Going to the gym always seemed like such an ordeal and working out at home was so hard when three dogs were running around tripping me whenever I went into a squat. I struggled to keep myself away from the carbohydrates, sugars, and getting in at least a gallon of water a day seemed to be quite the dilemma of my day to day life. Somehow I would be able to lose weight, but looking back I realized it was in the most unhealthy way possible. Not only was I struggling with supplying my body with the nutrients it needed to function, but I was also dealing with an underlying eating disorder that depleted me of vitamins and nutrients I needed to survive.

So what was stopping me from becoming a healthier person? Excuses, mental anguish from years of being bullied, and of course the satisfaction that I could live this way and still manage to lose weight.

Well then I had a baby.

When you give birth to a baby your hormones like to play sneaky, little tricks on your homeostasis. Homeostasis, you ask? Well the biological definition is all the systems in your body working together to keep equilibrium. However when I think of this term I also like to think of the psychological effects that can deter your equilibrium. Your hormones, though produced by a system in your body, tend to effect you mentally- especially if you’re a girl, hello PMS. When you give birth to a baby there is a large level of progesterone that depletes itself rather quickly once the baby is born. This, in case anyone reading this still believes post partum depression to be a psychological disorder, is what causes Post Partum Depression. Your body is going through a large withdrawal of progesterone, and it really does not know what to do. The withdrawal of progesterone causes your mind to warp right into a state of depression that can sometimes last for the “two week blues” or a few months to years down the line. It’s normal and nothing to ever be ashamed of. You created and gave birth to a human being, you’re allowed to take however long you need to get your body back to a state of “normal”, whatever that may be

Now back to homeostasis. Apart from the mental and hormone aspect of post-baby syndrome, our bodies change in even more ways. Our hips can remain as wide as they were pre-birth, our periods could change in drastic ways, our sleeping patterns change, we become more in tune with another human than we ever thought possible, and it can become much harder to achieve, or maintain, a healthy weight.

When I was pregnant I gained a normal amount of weight, however, before little Luca was conceived I had managed to successfully lose and keep off 206lbs. However, much to my dismay, the scale would go up every few weeks at my pre-natal appointments. I would watch as all my hard work appeared to deteriorate before my eyes. I was gaining back the weight I had worked so hard to lose. It was then that I decided post birth I would workout routinely, eat better, and lose the weight, plus more, to be in the best shape ever. As I am writing this we can all tell that did not go according to plan.

I came home with my newborn elated but exhausted and felt like I was glued to the couch for the following few weeks. Cluster feeding, reflux issues, cows milk allergy/intolerance issues- there just wasn’t time to sleep. There was barely time to shower, brush my teeth, and eat. The pounds quickly melted off and before I knew it I was only 10 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. I was ecstatic. Maybe my body had not betrayed me.

Cue in PostPartum Depression mixed with a baby that cried for six hours a night.

My weight fluctuated. I would lose five then gain back seven. Sugar became my best friend through coffees with syrups that just weren’t necessary, quick snacks to eat so I could naps before he woke. It became a long process of feeding my body what was easy rather than what it needed. And working out? What was that again? There just wasn’t any time.

Through his last ten months I got lectures on his sleeping habits, his eating habits, what I should be doing as his parents because somehow I wasn’t doing a good enough job for anyone. I was losing myself slowly, falling into the daily cycle of trying to get him to sleep, trying to get him to eat enough, trying not to hate this body that seemed to be growing instead of returning to its previous size. My days blended together and I felt as if I was about to lose it, but I had to keep it together because he needed me, and apart from all the opinions and sanctimonious parents- he was a damn good, well taken care of, happy baby. I had spend the last ten months abusing myself because I began to doubt not only my ability to be his mother, but my ability to find myself again.

So, though ten months later, I have found that I can not only be his mother, but I can also be the person I know I need to be. It’s okay for our lives not to revolve around our children 24/7. It is okay to remember that if we are not in the best mindset, we cannot properly care for our children. So take the time to workout, take the time to drink a proper cup of coffee, and if you need to take a nap with them in bed with you (the horror, I know) do what you need to do. They’re only this little for such a small amount of time, and one day this will seem like just another period of life. Soon you’ll blink and they’ll be less than 2 months away from turning a year, or entering their terrible twos, or a day I dread- the day they enter kindergarten. We do what we need to do to survive. We keep them safe, alive, and happy- we deserve to not forget that we are human and sometimes we just need five minutes.

My advice to new moms:

Sleep when they sleep- I hated people telling me this when I was pregnant. How could I sleep when he slept? When would I shower, eat, do anything else that didn’t involve my newborn? It’s okay to not shower for a day or two (trust me you’ll blink and question when you’ve taken one last. Have you seen that episode of Jane the Virgin? When they try to trick her into taking a shower? No? Well go watch it. Season 2, episode 2).

Get a baby carrier- I love my baby carrier. I had an exceptionally clingy baby and when he would get this way I would put him in a carrier or wrap and wear him around the house. He would fall asleep almost instantly (especially as a newborn), or would coo inside and snuggle against my chest.
I had this one:

And this one:

Honestly Moby Wrap makes an AWESOME new half carrier, half wrap. So next baby.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself- I did. I lost myself completely when I had a baby. I rarely went out, rarely did anything. Take some time to workout, drink coffee, talk on the phone. If you don’t have a significant other around see if you can have someone come over for a bit and watch baby even for as little as an hour. A happy and healthy mama is always best for baby. We do what we can, we survive how we need to.

Don’t say “I would never do that…”- Pre- baby I would always say I’d never do what other moms do. I’d silently pass judgement thinking I was much better because I would never do something with my child. Hell, I swore I’d never give my son a pacifier (cue night two of life when he wouldn’t calm unless sucking). You never know what will happen.

Moms, it’s time to give ourselves a break. We brought these beautiful humans into this world, gave them our bodies for long nine months, and went through a ton of pain to give them life. We deserve to give ourselves a break.

ALSO- I found a fantastic workout group that does workouts while wearing babies!


I will protect you.

Lately the news has been flooded with words that could make a grown man fall to his knees and weep. Each night as I turn on the television I am reminded once again of the horrendous and fearful tragedies that are filling our everyday life. Everyday when I log into Facebook, or flip through Instagram, I am flooded with images of heartbreak and pain that have clouded social media for far too long.

Before sitting down to write this post I had to debate whether this would bring about positive or negative attention, and if it was the latter, would I be able to handle it? Would I be able to sit back while flipping through comments of how heinous, incorrect, and downright stupid my views were? Would I be able to read some of the harsh words we so often find in the comment section of anything on social media these days, especially if they were directed at me? Would I be able to handle the negative, even if the words that I wrote and felt so passionately about were what I believed some needed to hear? Is this not what every journalist must ask themselves before they publish an article? I am no journalist, but I do have an issue I believe we need to discuss.

In the news most recently we learned of yet another-in fact the 18th since 2018 has began- school mass shooting. When I read the articles on this occurrence my heart began to break. Why, this time, did my heart weep, anger fill my core, and a part of me sink? Because when I read 18th mass shooting in a school in the less than two months of this year beginning I realized nothing was getting better but in fact getting much worse. There had been no solutions implemented, no ways in which we were to help our children found. I realized then that my precious child, a child I prayed and prayed to one day have, would grow up in a world where mass school shootings were the norm. Where enduring shooter drills, learning to hide, and preparing themselves for their schools demise would become standard practice. I realized that my precious child could-God let it never happen- attend a school where a person would go in and think it satisfactory, neigh necessary- to shoot and kill multiple innocent people. My son could become a victim to losing his life before he reached his prime, before he even realized what good and beautiful work he could give to this Earth in his life. My son could be the fourteen, FOURTEEN, year old child who died as a result of someone thinking it was their right to take his life. My son could be the child whose texts flooded my Facebook- the last words of the victims all laced together through a well put video telling of their ultimate demise or victorious escape with a new chance of life. My son could die before he received his first kiss, his first dance, bluntly he could die before he ever had sex because a person believed he had the God given right to walk into his school and kill him amongst other children and faculty.

So why do we still treat these occurrences like the norm? Why do we still watch the news, offer our thoughts and prayers, and then continue with our daily lives? We march for human rights, we start riots over the unjustified slaughter of young men and woman by our police force, but where is the fight for our children? Where is the fight to end the unjustified mass murder of innocent children who just want to get their education?

I watched a video of a father say he sent his daughter to school. She was supposed to be safe. How heartbreaking is it to know that even when we do the right thing as parents we still have to fear for their lives? How much fear can fill our hearts to know that giving our children an education to better themselves for the future may just take away their future entirely, and then have our politicians, our President say there is nothing we can do. Being a parent is frightening enough, is this what we need to add to it?

When looking at this statistically I needed to look to other countries. I needed to find solace that somewhere else in this world there had to be this large of an issue. This country that we call the land of the free, the home of the brave, could not be the only source of such turmoil. However what did I find? Australia, a country I have loved since I was a young child had 4 mass shootings between 1987-1996 and they passed laws; no mass shooting since. Countries around the world have banned the use of guns, have made their laws so tight that it takes a miracle for the wrong person to get one. Yet in America I read comment after comment of people fighting for them, calling others atrocious names because they want laws to protect those these weapons harm, and people who have legally gotten them threatening the lives of those who disagree. So tell me America, what are we doing wrong? Why in a country so many wish to come to for freedom and protection do we risk that protection so often.

After this most recent mass shooting I also found many people blaming mental illness. I found this particularly entertaining to read because mental illness as a whole has been labeled so taboo by those now saying “He needed help, we need to start talking about this.” When I spoke of mental illness to some I was met with “invisible illness.” “It doesn’t exist.” “Take your medication and shut up.” Mental illness is not something you may take out of the back of your pocket when you need something to explain what makes you uncomfortable. Mental illness is not something you get to one day believe in because it saves your precious second amendment right. This should make you uncomfortable. This should make you angry. This should make you sad. This should make you want to fight. This should not make you try and find excuses so that you can justify keeping something that has been proven time and time again dangerous and fatal.

The videos you see flooding your social media should make you think; they should make you want to take action. The ignorance, the lack of education, the amount of money the people we elect in power take to keep quiet, the lack of action made by those in power is what is wrong with this country. These qualities are what make going to school unsafe for our children. These qualities are what continue to allow our children to be slaughtered in mass quantities. It is not disciplining our children that will fix this. Wake up America.

I am a mother. My job is to protect my son. No longer will I sit quietly and allow the world to become a more dangerous place. One day I will leave him and his future children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren if he should be so lucky. The world I will fight for will be for them. The world I will go down protecting will be so that shooter drills and fear do not corrupt their abilities to grown, learn, and become the people they want to become in the future. Enough is enough America. We refuse to change but if we were the parents receiving those last messages, those fearful texts we would be fighting for a change. If we had to sit still and wait-where minutes felt like hours and hours felt like days- to know if our child was not safe, but alive, we’d be knocking down the doors of the White House and demanding action.

I read a comment on a video on Facebook: “When we learn to love our children more than we love our guns, maybe then we will see change.”

So I ask you, do we love our children enough to look at the real facts, the real statistics. This isn’t only a gun problem, it’s also a people problem. So stop picking sides to blame and start taking action. Let’s put the ignorant excuses to rest and start protecting our children.

Expectations vs. Reality

We all have this idyllic image of how we want our birth to go. Some moms choose an at home setting and some choose a hospital. Some moms want a vaginal birth free of medications and interference, others want a vaginal birth with an epidural and any type of medical intervention that they deem fit. Some moms opt for a C-Section and some moms have no other choice than to have one. No matter what you choose, your birth plan is the way that you truly wish to bring your new bundle of joy into the world, and any way you envision is the right way for you. Period.

As soon as we found out Luca was going to be arriving I decided I wanted nothing more than an epidural or a water birth. Two very contrasting ideas when it came to giving birth. One meant I’d be in a bed until I birthed my child free of pain, and the other meant that I could freely walk around, hop on a ball, and soak in a pool till he was born; except I’d feel everything until he decided to arrive. For me, the deciding factor was the pain. I believe in the grand scheme of things my pain tolerance is not on the lowest of the spectrum, but it definitely was not high enough that I thought I could endure contractions and then pushing without some type of help. And that was okay. It was my birth and I deserved to have what I wanted and not be shamed for it.

Midway through my pregnancy I developed some pretty awful round ligament pain. For those who haven’t had a baby, your body has to stretch in all different types of ways to accommodate for a baby. The ligaments that keep your insides nice and tight need to stretch to accommodate your new houseguest, and for some this can hurt tremendously. Well for me, it definitely did. Pain very often is also a trigger for my MS symptoms because pain=stress & stress=potential flare up. Because of this out flew my birth plan of letting baby come when baby wanted to, and in came the discussion of possible induction at 39 weeks if the pain didn’t ease. Which it didn’t. In fact it got so much worse that I cried pretty much my last few weeks, but we are getting ahead of ourselves.

At 28 weeks I began to have steady cramping pain, which at the time I believed were contractions, but truly I was just dehydrated and my body was rebelling. But I remember when we arrived at L&D to be checked a nurse thought my water had broken, and when you’re sitting there only in the first week of your third trimester having the bed rest & NICU talk your heart kind of sinks, your anxiety begins to escalate to levels you did not know it could reach, and you pray. You pray until you can’t any longer. However, my water did not break and Luca was still snug as a bug in his little water home.

COME 38 WEEKS. As I sit there crying in the doctors office yet again, she decides we are no longer going to induce me because she doesn’t want to run the risk of a C-Section to possibly, if not inevitably, throw my body into a nasty flare. Now, with us being 10 months away from this conversation, I must completely agree with her decision. But then, immersed in pain, I was a very angry, very pregnant little firecracker. And that was that, I had no say. A few days later on April 6th I thought I went into labor. I did not, but She did strip my membranes (Oh My God did that hurt-the internet lied. I know, shocking.) which I think was mainly to help because in part I believe she felt a little bad.

Come April 7, 2017- one day short of 39 weeks- and I’m hopping on my yoga ball praying to the contraction god that this child would exit. I start getting pains again. Braxton Hicks or real contractions- the true question centered around every labor and delivery story. Drink some water and lay on your side, if they go away they’re Braxton Hicks. They did not. At this time I was also in the mindset of giving birth in the town we had lived in a few months prior, roughly 35-40 minutes away, even though there was a wonderful hospital about two minutes away. Again, getting ahead of myself. I time the contractions. 7-6-5 minutes apart. Okay time to call the doctor and see what she wants me to do. I did not, under any circumstances want this child born in my home or my car. I called the doctor in my old town to see what I should do, and low and behold out of the three I favored in the clinic I went to, none were on call. In fact the only doctor on call was the one I refused to go to because she was too nasty, and way too rough. She told me not to move until they were two minutes apart.

So me being the stubborn person that I am decided that if the doctor I did in fact like that was at the hospital near me (I had seen her a few times from my many false alarms) was on call I’d just go to her. Just in case. Lo & behold she was. She told me to come in to get checked. When we arrived they placed the normal band contraptions on my stomach to see what was going on and if I was actually in labor or not.

Side story: Due to my weight loss surgery I had a really soft tummy pre-baby because of excess skin from losing over 200lbs. It always took doctors FOREVER to find Luca because of this and each and every time I had to make a joke of it even though it bothered me tremendously to never have a “proper” pregnancy bump. One nurse told me at 34 weeks that I just don’t have a pregnant belly. I’m sure it was the hormones but I cried for a solid hour- yeah I’m pretty sure it was the hormones.

After twenty minutes of trying to find my typical hiding child they got both monitors in the correct place and found that I was indeed having contractions. Hooray, the hopping had worked! But had I progressed anymore than I was in the office only a few days prior? After the grueling cervical check, no. However, this wonderful doctor did order an ultrasound because of excess fluid coming out, and upon the scan realized little mans fluid was low. So at about 3:30 AM I was moved to a delivery room to be induced on the date I was originally meant to be induced on. Moments later upon being checked we had moved to about a 3/4. I was allowed to have the epidural whenever I wanted but me being the everlasting martyr that I am said I’d wait a bit and see what happened. Moments later my water broke, and I can still remember the nurse saying “Oh now the intense ones are coming.” I laughed. We all laughed. I was so naive. BUT did Luca have the best timing or what?

Five. Minutes. Later.

Have you ever seen an exorcism? Where the people are arched in the bed screaming as if the devil is ripping itself out of their body? That was me in labor. My entire body would go rigid and I’d scream. Profanities. Oh Jesus why me. Why me. I can’t do this. I change my mind. Hate to my fiancé. The works. The poor other women on the floor. Why no one told me to be quiet I do not know. I think it was time for that epidural, if only to save the other mothers who would also be going through this that night. So in comes a nice man with a long needle to put some nice stuff into my back. Anthony comes around and tells me to breathe- ha- and says count with me. Ladies who are pregnant: this is the most magical thing in the world. I managed to sit still through two or three contractions while they did my epidural and I don’t remember feeling the pain as intensely during that time.

My epidural failed. Oh how angry I was.

They tried again. Yes, I let that man stick me in my back twice. But you know what? I felt nothing after that until they switched it off at around 8AM when I had reached a 10.

2 hours of pushing later, out popped little Luca. 6lb 6.62 oz and 19&1/2 inches long.

My birth plan did not turn out the way I had originally envisioned. I didn’t get a magical epidural that worked properly or a beautiful water birth, but I did have a baby that was born healthy & alive. Isn’t that the end goal? To get them here and healthy? Let us try not to put so much stress on ourselves when it comes to the way in which we birth our children. If your plan goes correctly, great, but if not look down at that blessing because we go through the obstacles for them. To get them here.


You came into the world with with your eyes full of wonder and your lungs full of air just waiting to burst out into the room. Your hands uncurled and went searching for the nearest item to grab and your body released warmth that could heat a village against my cold skin. You brought the titles of mother and father to the two people who had spent 3/4th of a year waiting to see what you’d look like, who you’d resemble, and if your hair would be blonde or brown. You brought a light into an ever so bleak world and gave a new ray of hope to those who had felt it had been all but lost. You brought love and joy to replace the feelings of anxiousness, sadness, and fear that had been so present before your arrival. You brought a smile to a face that had just been crying in pain, a hush to a mouth that had just spent hours screaming “I can’t do this” on repeat.

You haven’t let me sleep in months and still when I watch you sleep I feel the aching, longing feeling of wanting to be near you. Hearing you breathe, hearing your sound of content as you drift off to a world of peaceful darkness for the few hours you choose to enter. You had such a rough start, screams that would last for hours long, and yet you still smile all day long and show how strong and resilient you truly are. You reach out for strength and love from a human so broken, a human who never felt whole until your heart touched theirs. You reach for a human, find comfort in their embrace, and cry for their attention even though you have it throughout the entire day. You cry for a human you made a parent, made a beacon of light. You cry for a human that never knew love like this could exist until you entered this world, a human who stared at you for your first few hours of life in complete disbelief that you were actually real. You cry for a human, a human you believe you could not live without, when truly this human could not live without knowing, loving, or caring for you.

You made me know the feeling of needing a shower, forgetting what day of the week it is, and wondering if I can continue to do this. You gave me sleepless nights and constant battles for naps while at the same time giving the best cuddles and mounds of kisses. You bring warmth where there once was cold when your lips curl into a smile. You bring about peace where there once was ruckus and pain. 

You made me strong. You made me confident. You made me feel unbreakable. You made me believe. You made me a mom.

Judge Me Not

“There really is no way we can know the heart, the intentions, or the circumstances of someone who might say or do something we find reason to criticize. Thus, judge not” ~ Thomas S. Monson
I came across this quote at a very important time this past week. Lately, I have been struggling with my life not panning out the way that I believed at this point it should be. I have been struggling with coming to terms that I may not finish my education at the time I was originally supposed to. I have been struggling with coming to terms with a new life plan I may need to inact upon my family. I have been struggling with how to cope with all the change around me, both physically and mentally. 

I feel that in this world it is so much easier to pass judgment on people before we even do our research to understand why they make the decisions that they do. We so quickly judge a person on the decisions they might have needed to make for their lives before knowing their circumstances, their struggles, and their own ideals that led them to their decision. It is quicker to label someone’s choices as wrong when they don’t coincide with what we would have done for ourselves. But do we not remember that someone else’s life is not our own? 
When my fiancé and I announced the pregnancy of our son we of course heard a menagerie of things. You’re too young. This is foolish. Your lives will no longer go the way you want it to be. You’ve ruined your future. This is a mistake. The negative far outweighed the positive. 

What we would have loved to hear was: This is a blessing. Congratulations. You will find a way to make this work. You can do this as long as you go through it knowing it may not be easy, but it will be worth it. All things worth it deserve the struggle. 

Most importantly I would have loved to have heard: You will be okay. This baby will be loved. You will find your way. 

The positives, though their, were shadowed by the negative. No one ever questioned why we chose to keep our baby for our reasons, but instead why we would have dared to keep him. No one ever questioned our intentions, our plans, why now. No one thought to inquire why we thought, at our age now, that this was the time to endure this life journey. No one thought to ask our circumstances that could have played a part. It was much easier to judge. 

Truth: The moment that test gave me two lines I felt relief.

Why? Because I was in a state of panic from receiving a diagnosis that I thought would end my life. I was in a state of panic because my life had just been turned around and it felt like my world was crashing. I was in a state of panic because not only did I feel like my life was being ripped away from me, but also that I’d never get to live through the moments I was about to enter. 

But it’s much quicker to judge and give an unwanted opinion rather than try to understand the situation. 

Lately, I’ve truly been struggling. I have chosen to leave the majority of it to myself in fear that I’ll get the same negative views on my families life choices. I’m fearful of the comments that could be made when I speak up of my troubles. I’m fearful of the judgement that will inevitably be passed when we speak of our choices, our plans, our hopes for our future when no one knows the backstory, the thought, the research we’ve done before making these decisions. I fear my own decisions because the negativity has swallowed me whole in a way I did not think possible. It has brought on a sense of doubt that I have never felt before. A sense of doubt that I am now struggling to break. 

I never thought that planning MY life, and the life that MY family would live would come with so much unwanted opinion. Yes, we had a baby young. But did he struggle? No. Do you know the real reason as to why he is such a blessing to me? Maybe, maybe not. The real question is do you ever stop to think and ask why we are living the way we are living? Do you? 

I might not finish my education on time. I feel guilty and ashamed because those who viewed my son as a mistake will simply use that as the excuse to why I am not fulfilling my potential in a timely manner. That could not be far from the truth. This makes me fearful. Fearful that I will get backlash and shamed judgement because people who we look to for reassurance and acceptance will simply place their own views and opinions on a matter they truly know nothing about. 

Why do we think it is okay to judge someone without even knowing their situation? 

And we ask ourselves, why should we care what people think? And yes, why should we? But a basic human need is acceptance. A basic human need is compassion. 

When we judge people on an issue we know nothing about we take those needs away. When we tell people their decisions have made them failures we strip them of their free-will without even discerning their need to fulfill their wants and goals. We take away their confidence without understanding their reasoning. 

Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. 

We have been told this saying since kindergarten and yet have fallen short on understanding basic human compassion. 

So, in closing. Someone else’s life decisions are not an area meant for judgement with lack of understanding. Of course, guidance and counseling are essential, but thinking you understand someone else’s life before actually understanding are not okay. Just because someone is not following the same path as someone else does not make it wrong. Stop comparing people. Stop comparing situations. Nothing is identical in this life. Everything holds a slight amount of uniqueness. It’s what keeps life such an adventure. 

“You have Multiple Sclerosis.”

It scares me to think that one day I won’t be able to walk without assistance. 

It scares me to think that one day I won’t be able to be the mother I envisioned myself to be for my children. 

It scares me to think I might one day have no control over my body. 

But right now I’m just more angry than afraid. 

I’m angry because my body has betrayed me. 

I’m angry because my body isn’t working the way that it should. 

I’m angry that I feel like a part of my life was taken away. 

And I’m angry that I have to be fearful. 

I look at my baby and I’m afraid that one day I will be someone he will have to take care of. I look at my fiancé and think the same thing. I don’t want to be something someone has to take care of. I want to be completely independent. I want to be self sufficient. I want to go back to normal. 

But what is normal? 

Do I even know the answer? 

Maybe not. But I’d like to go back to a time where I wasn’t so afraid of my future. Where I didn’t feel like I was under a time crunch to experience everything and anything before my body begins to expire. Have a baby. Have more babies. Go to vet school. Finish vet school. Become an amazing vet. Set up life for your family. Buy your first home. Travel the world. Just be happy. 

How can I just be happy when I’m so afraid? 

At 20 years old I found out I was having a baby. I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t angry. I felt blessed.  Blessed because I was still young, still in very early stages, and still felt fine 98% of the time. I knew that somehow I had been given this baby because it was the right time for me to become a mother. It was the right time for me to experience something I’d been dreaming about since I myself was a child. I knew that I could be the mother he needed now, if god forbid it would be taken away from me later in life. For that I am a little less angry and afraid. 

I am also less afraid to venture out and do what I want in life. I’m doing this no longer for myself, but for him. My body might have betrayed me. My body might be “sick”. But my body grew and delivered a baby that has taught me more about love in the last three months than I have learned in my 21 years on this earth. I will fight to the ends of this earth to be the mother this baby deserves, just as I will for any future children we may have. 

I’m choosing not to live in fear. 

I’m choosing not to live in anger. 

I’m choosing to live in peace and hope for the future I know I deserve. 

I’m choosing to live in the love my son basks me in every day. 

I’m choosing to live. 

Hard Decisions. 

Why can we so clearly remember the negatives people have told us in our lives, but find it so hard to remember when people tell us positives? 

Is it because we when seonw doubts our abilities, or the way in which we see ourselves, we find it that much more important to prove them wrong? Or could it be that we fear their negative view may be be the truth? 

For me, I can remember many of the negative things I’ve been told compared to the positive. I recall before I got my license being told I’d never be a defensive driver and so I strived to be a driver that held confidence in an activity I once held so much fear for. I recall being told I was ugly and fat even when I thought myself pretty, and I strived to destroy the body they had told me was unworthy. Lastly, I recall with such clarity when someone told me my son would ruin my life, or that I’d never accomplish the goals I had set forth for myself before he was conceived.  I’ve spent every waking moment since trying to prove them wrong. 

I thought that my son would be just like any other baby. I believed he’d want to either sleep or eat for the majority of his first few weeks. He did not. He wanted to scream in agony for hours, feed until his mommy cried in pain, and sleep when his small body became so exhausted from the entire ordeal. My son was not like the babies I had been exposed to, the ones who had been praised for their sleeping skills, and well temperament. 

Weeks passed by, and though doctors tried to find the underlying cause of my little boys grief, they could not find a long lasting solution. During this time I was also going through trials within my mind of needing to return to school to get to vet school on time, to graduate college on time, to prove that having my miracle did not deter me from reaching my end goal. I worked myself to the bone to be able to be there for my sleep deprived infant while still maintaining my status as a student who had goals to achieve in a timely fashion. I would prove everyone who ever doubted me wrong, and I would come out victorious with my degree and a one year old at my hip on graduation letting the world knew I did it. 

But it wasn’t until I was rocking my little sleep fighter for the fourth time that evening, crying with him in frustration because he wouldn’t sleep from his painful gas, that I realized I was not thinking of him entirely. I was so focused on the negative perspective someone had placed upon me that I was not giving someone I had fought so hard for what he needed. It dawned on me that me stretching myself so thin was not good for neither myself or for my son. So I decided to change. 

I was currently taking my second class since my theee month old baby had been born- the first starting when he was only a mere six weeks old. I had gotten an exam back from a day after a night where I slept for maybe three hours. But wait- I am forgetting a very crucial part of this story. Bear with me. 

When Luca came home from the hospital he had gas that brought him to screams of agony. This of course made it very difficult for him and I to get any sleep. I also was new to breastfeeding, and because of the lack of educating I had done on the actual process (I had done PLENTY of research on milk supply though) it was a very rough start. I had been told he was starving, then he gained rapidly because he wanted to eat: All. The. Time. However we finally fell into a groove. We were then diagnosed with reflux and given Zantac. This worked for roughly a week or two. During this introduction of this medication Luca was also hospitalized for a cold with a fever of 101.7….but that’s a story for another day. When the Zantac became ineffective his dose was raised due to how weight sensitive the medication was. We thought we were on the mend once again, and soon we’d have a happy baby once again. 

We were wrong 

When he turned two months his body took a nose dive into giving my sweet boy constant pain. Either through the gas that threw him around all night long or through his favorite hobby: eating. He’d latch on to the breast, whimper to and scream, latch off while screaming, and finally scream& frantically search for the breast on repeat. We learned finally if we rocked while he ate it aided in the feedings, but did not aid in the spit up. 

We went through two straight weeks of screaming. Two straight weeks of agony, continuous calls to the doctor, and finally plenty and plenty of tears. I was growing increasingly anxious of bed time. Increasingly frustrated with my infant and those around me. I felt so lost. I began to question whether I was making this up in my mind or if he was truly as miserable as he seemed.  On top of it all we found out he had a severe lip & tongue tie. I just wanted my son to feel better. He was such a happy baby, but when it was bad….it was BAD. 

Finally we were referred to a GI specialist and we began trailing allergies. I had stppped dairy in thought that that was what was causing my child’s pain, but this was not the case. On our first try we switched to Nexium, a new probiotic, and kept the same diet. Two weeks later and my child was a miserable, much more pained baby. We went back to Zantac, eliminated beef, soy and dairy, and also were scheduled for an ultrasound. This momma hadn’t slept in a month and her baby was in agony. So when the ultrasound tech said to not feed for four hours she wanted to cry. He also had been running a low grade fever for over a week that the doctors kept saying was viral. But at some point a mother has to trust her intuition, right? 

So on to this afternoon, the day after the last GI appointment. I kissed my sweet boy goodbye after checking him to have a low grade fever AGAIN. The entire ride to school I cried. I cried for leaving my sweet angel again, I cried knowing the road his father and grandmother had this evening in putting him to sleep, I cried because I was trying so hard to prove I was strong enough to handle being a mother and continuing my education on time that I was not with my child. I was not there through this period because I was trying to be someone I needed to kiss goodbye. 

I was no longer just Bianca the college student. I was now Bianca the mother who was still attending college. I decided in that moment that I needed to put my son first. I needed to be there 100% and I needed to be the mother this baby needed. I needed to stop putting such unnecessary stress on myself for needing to finish something in a timely manner when I still had so much time left. I needed to stop adhering to the negative perspective someone had placed upon me. I needed to stop giving this negative notion that having this baby ruined my chances of being a vet power. 

So vet school is now planned for the fall of 2019. I walked out of my second summer class because I could not mentally handle not being there for my baby through this troubling time. I chose to be his mommy before an identity I had been for so long. I chose to embrace my new identity instead of hide behind my old in fear I’d fail the new. He needs me and nonnegative perspective will change this. I went back once and I will be the girl I dream to be. 

I will be going back in August to finish my degree, but as for grad school? That will wait one more year. One more year to better prepare for myself for the exam I must take for entry. One more year to get myself back on track mentally. One more year to enjoy my little human and make sure he isn’t suffering as he is now. I know I’ll never be okay with leaving him, but I know that when he isn’t having such a hard time it won’t absolutely kill me everyday to say goodbye. 

I’ve realized life doesn’t always pan out the way you think it will. Maybe that should have clicked long before with everything I went through, but at least it finally settled into my mind. For now I will make sure to do the best work at this job as his mother. He will always come first, no matter who I think I need to prove wrong. In the end, being called a mother is the best positive perspective I will ever want to remember being called. 


Is it wrong to feel lonely when you’ve just given birth to a tiny little human? 

Is it wrong to look at your sleeping partner while you’re consoling your upset infant that, if not for your nudge, would not have even known the baby was awake at all? 

Is it wrong to resent those around you that can sleep, even when the baby is asleep, because you sit there and worry about him even when he’s fine? 

Is it wrong to feel alone even when those around you are doing all that they can? 

We don’t talk about postpartum depression or anxiety much in the United States. Sure, there are plenty of celebrities now that are advocating it on websites and news articles, but what about mothers who don’t make millions of dollars making movies? What about mothers who live average every day lives that don’t see the spotlight? The mothers who just try to make it day by day. 

When I first brought Luca home I panicked. He didn’t sleep (like the lie I was told that all newborns do), he couldn’t be consoled, and all he wanted was to be latched on to my pained boobs all day long. No one told me that it would be possible to look at my child and ask myself what had I been thinking? Or to lash out at those around me because I was dealing with anger within myself for even thinking that thought. Or that just because I could cry from pure adoration from my new blessing, I could still also cry from pure fear and momentary regret for my new responsibility. We just don’t talk about it. 

Mothering has become this competition that I was unaware I’d signed up. Natural birth vs C-section. Home vs hospital. Breastfed vs formula fed. Cloth diapers vs disposable. And you know what? EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION. Join one mom group and I assure you there will be a mother that thinks she is doing everything 100% perfect and hers is the best method so everyone should follow suit. But mothering isn’t perfect. Raising a baby isn’t perfect. If it was we would have nothing to learn from , and therefore make better. There is a reason they say the first baby is your guinea pig. 

However, I digress. Postpartum depression and anxiety are real and we need to stop treating them like they are a failure on the mother. It is a literal chemical imbalance taking place within her brain due to a lack in progesterone. (I learned that from a lovely college class called Reproductive Physiology. My favorite class at UCONN- so hello Dr.Milvae who I hope never reads my blog…..again digression). Moms it’s okay to be afraid and it’s okay to wonder if you’re doing the right thing. It’s not okay to ignore how you feel.

We need to stop treating postpartum depression like the plague, and we need to stop treating moms like they’re bad parents because they get it. Raising a newborn is hard. They don’t sleep, they want to constantly eat, and though they will bring the greatest joy in the world they will also turn your life upside down in ways you could never imagine. I love my beautiful boy, and i would go through my tough pregnancy all over again in a heartbeat, but I’d be lying if I said I’m okay every day. Some days I want to crawl into a hole. Some days I want to yell at everyone around me because I’m tired and jealous that they can sleep when I cannot. Some days I want to throw my computer out the window if I see one more article on SIDS that gives more anxiety to someone who already has it. AND THATS OKAY. 

It’s okay because these days are minimal compared to the days I watch my baby smile. They’re minimal compared to the days I’m filled to the brim with love and adoration for my small creation. They’re minimal compared to the days where I gush when someone in the supermarket or the park tells me how gorgeous he is and I feel like the proudest woman in the world. And they’re minimal compared to the days where I thank god that he entrusted me with my son, because he’s saved me in more ways than I can count. 

So, again I say, it is okay to feel like you just need a break. It’s okay to feel like you want to crawl out of your skin. It’s okay to want to go back to your old life sometimes. And it’s okay to feel lonely even when you’re not. What’s not okay is ignoring these feelings. 

You’re not a failure. 

You’re not a bad mom. 

You’re human. 

We love these babies so much that sometimes we forget that to be the best moms we must also love ourselves. 

Love yourself today, and every day there after. 


I once stood on a scale in a doctors office when I was seventeen years old and had it read 402lbs. A couple weeks later after exercising and trying to decrease my food intake I watched as the scale read 406lbs. That was the day I refused to step back into a scale. 

I had always been a chubby child that stood out as the largest child in their class. I had always been the child that was consistently teased and made fun of simply because I was heavier than everyone else. It was my life, and though I cried every day from the comments and torture, I learned to deal with it. Because that’s what I had to do to keep myself going. 

When I was fifteen i spent a lot of time in chat rooms meeting strangers on the internet. It was the only place I felt safe to talk to people. They could not see me and I was under no obligation to show them what I looked like. I met a boy online one night that would later become someone I would consider a very good friend. This boy had a secret that he didn’t want to be a boy any longer. He had been born a male that should have been born a female, and like myself, used the internet as a platform to speak to people without having to show himself. He disappeared one day. I had grown so fond of talking to him that i reverse searched him on Facebook. I messaged them, “Thanks for just ignoring me. It was nice talking to you, I guess.” The person messaged back and asked who I was. They had no idea who I, a girl who had been talking to a person with this exact name, was. I’d been catfished. I began to talk to this boy more about the incident at hand, and through this we became friends who could talk freely with one another. We found we have many things in common like our anxiety and some medical issues we had overcome in our short years of living. One day he confided in me the same secret his catfish had. I made it my job to make him feel comfortable in his own skin, a job I could not do for myself. I bought him clothes, took a sixteen hour drive to see him, all to just be the girl that once again did everything for everyone with nothing in return. My emotions had been played with, and I remember one night crying for hours because he was ignoring me. And I felt alone. I had such limited friends and he made me feel so special and important. I was just a pawn. I needed someone to love me, even if it was for personal gain, because I lacked the ability to love myself. 

When I was sixteen I met a boy on the internet. He would call me every day and we would text whenever our voices were apart. He knew what I looked like from my profile pictures but because it’s so easy to fool your image on the internet he did not know what I truly looked like til the night we finally skyped. I had grown quite fond of him but had always been so afraid to speak with him on a webcam where he could see my face. The night we Skyped his image went fuzzy and he disconnected. When I tried to call back he did not answer. I texted him and asked him what happened  and he replied that he just didn’t want to speak at the moment. I knew why, and so I simply wrote “It’s because I’m too fat, isn’t it?” He replied, “Yeah.” And that was the last we ever spoke. 

When I was seventeen I met a boy through a girl from my high school that didn’t really look at my weight, my mental health, or my overall appearance. He looked at the person inside instead of the oversized baggage I was trapped inside. The first day we met we spoke of his love for the career he wished to pursue and he showed me that a pair of scissors that EMT’s work with could cut a quarter. A few days later he bought me dinner at a hibachi place, though I took most of it home because eating in front of people was such a fear that i only took one or two bites. We became an official couple three days later. He showed me how to love myself. He never ignored a chance to stop my self shaming, he never ignored a chance to call me beautiful even when I felt putrid, and he never ignored a chance to remind me that I had to learn to love the person I hated so much. He held my hand at 406lbs and he held my hand when I reached my lowest of 195lbs. He held my hand when I cried in his car about the grandparents I lost, and he held my hand when I gave birth to our son this past April. He also held my hand when I made a decision about the thing I hated most about myself: my weight. 

In December of 2014 I made the decision to have weight loss surgery. I went in on December 17th very early in the morning to have about 75% of my stomach removed, only a pouch the size of a banana remaining. I remembered thinking to myself “this is if, I’m going to finally feel beautiful.” The weight shed off my body and at my year mark I had gone from my large 406lb self to a slim, 195. And yet still when I looked into the mirror i still saw my 400+ lb person. 

I accomplished losing over 200lbs and I still hate my body. 

I’ve kept most of the weight off for almost three years and I still hate my body. 

I’ve given birth to a beautiful baby and I still hate my body. 

I look in the mirror and all I see is excess skin that my major weight loss did. I’m still reminded everyday of torture I had put my body through. I still hate my body. 

I hate my body because I still haven’t learned to love myself. 

Loving myself is the hardest thing I NEED to learn to do. 

I will learn to love myself. 

I will learn to love myself because if I have a daughter I want her to love herself. 

I will learn to love myself because I need to stop hating the image in the mirror. 

I will learn to love myself because that is the only way life will become truly enjoyable. 

And I will learn to love myself because I need to see myself the way others see me. 

I’m loved by so many and need to stop hating a person so many care so deeply for. 

I need to stop hating the person my son loves. 

I need to stop hating the person he smiles and giggles at. 

I need to stop hating the mom he cries for when she’s not there. 

I will stop hating myself, if not for me, for him. 

Anthony started putting my broken pieces back together when we first met, but my son was the glue that was missing to keep the pieces together. 

We need to learn to love ourselves because even if we don’t see it, and even if we don’t believe it, we are perfect just the way we are. We fight so hard to fit a societal standard of appearance, or the appearance of someone else, that we forget we are our own person. I will be the first to admit I get jealous when someone thinner than me looks good in something I would feel horrible in, but I still have to remember that I am perfect just the way I am. 

Believe in yourself and learn to love yourself. 

I will be along on this journey as well. 

Believe In Me

I remember being afraid to go to school every single day. In 8th grade I played sick so many times in the morning that it prompted my mother to ask if I, a thirteen year old girl at the time, had something I needed to tell her. I feigned sick so many times that when I actually was ill I had to go to school because they couldn’t tell the difference between real and fake sickness. I had trained my body so well to be on my side that it would give just the right amount of sick symptoms, so much so that I could no longer tell when I was truly sick and when my anxiety just wished to take over. When I was in seventh grade we went through a family situation that made an anxiety level I could handle on a daily basis (well as well as a 12 year old could) and turned it into a level that made me feel completely out of control. The thoughts that normally trailed through my mind like a freight train had turned into race cars running circles in my head on the Autobahn in Germany. I was being torn from the inside out and I had to find a way to compensate my mental state with the physical. My family felt like it was falling apart, I could no longer control the anxiety that had so long taken over my mind, and I felt that I needed to justify the feelings on the inside in a physical matter. I began to introduce myself to self inflicted pain to try and control the scramble that had taken residence in my mind.

People never understand the impact that their words have on others until that person makes a drastic decision about themselves and their life. Words were thrown in my direction for as long as I could remember. I would hear “You’re so fat” “You’re worthless.” “Please don’t eat me.” “Why are you so fat?” “You’ll never find someone to love you.” It only takes so long before these words begin to embed themselves into the DNA of your own thoughts. The letters taking part of your chromosomes and replicating until they flood your being. The words become so known that when they’re said by someone new it just becomes numb. Many would think numbness it better than feeling, but what they do not understand is once you’ve gone numb you have all but given up. You don’t want to fight anymore, you don’t want to think, feel, or be. These words had made there way into my core and made me believe that I was no longer worth anything more than to be just another body in the ground. I was no longer worthy of feelings, of love from any person in my life, and most of all of living.

Depression and Anxiety as two separate entities can make a person feel alone and ashamed. I remember viewing the commercials for antidepressants and it looked so easy to cure someone of the feelings I felt on an every day basis. It looked so simple to make someone who frowned for 2/3 of the commercial smile for the remaining 15 seconds. I wondered why the years I spent going to a doctor whose job it was to cure the illness in my head was not doing what the commercials showed the medications should have done. I wondered why I was still frowning, contemplating the point of my young life, and not smiling and enjoying the life before my like the people in these commercials. I didn’t feel myself getting better, I didn’t feel myself becoming the person I somehow still believed was harboring deep within. I could no longer be the girl that was constantly made fun of, the girl that was constantly bullied. I could no longer be the girl that was screamed at while walking across the street to “move her fat ass quicker.” So I stopped trying to be the girl I wanted so badly to get rid of.

Being alone, no matter how much you tell yourself is okay, is not a feeling one can live with easily. I craved the understanding of just one person. I had wanted to rid myself so badly of the person I’d become, the person named Bianca that I began to impersonate other personalities to the people whose attention I needed the most. I was trying so hard to no longer be the girl that everyone hated based on outside appearance that I began to push those who had gotten to know me away. I would impersonate other people, add people to my life that truly did not exist, and I made lying look like an art. It did not matter if a person had grown to appreciate me for the person I had been, I needed them to appreciate me for things I did not have, for a person that truly did not exist. Looking back I realized I ruined a lot of friendships through an illness I could not control, not that I truly wanted to admit it was there. For the truth was I was ignoring the illness that had been brewing behind the surface. I was hiding behind the idea that if I ignored it it would go away. And this only made me that much more alone.

When I was sixteen I had crossed the line. A friend I had made while hiding my interior had fallen subject to my cover up. I don’t truly understand why what happened did to this day, but when it all came to the surface I found no point in hiding any longer. I let my illness pour out like a river flowing down a mountainside. I felt like an ice cream cone melting in the heat. I was being swallowed by the immense cloud I had swallowed for so long that I could not cope with it all coming out at once. I no longer had friends, I no longer had anyone to distract myself from the dark cloud inside waiting to come out. I no longer had a barrier that kept the darkness within, and so when it came out there was no longer a point in fighting. I let it drip out, seep out, and then fully drain till the illness I had so long been fighting consumed me. I stopped going to school completely, I locked myself into a dark room, and I convinced myself that I was no longer worth the fight. My life no longer had a point and it was time to let the cloud consume me whole.

My illness caused fights amongst my parents and gave them the fear of one day walking in on their only child no longer living. With my last light I held through the cloud of darkness I told them it was time for me to get serious help, and a week later I emerged from a hospital stay with a feeling of victory for believing I had killed the cloud that had tried to take me. The belief that I had won only lasted roughly three months. It was then that I lost my grandmother and it was then that the cloud began to reemerge. My grandmother had been in the hospital at the same time I had been and had made sure to call me at least once, if not twice, a day when I felt at my lowest. She would make it her goal to make me laugh at least once so I did not feel so alone. When she died I felt as if God was betraying me. I felt like God was trying to punish me for trying to take control of my own mortality by taking someone’s whom I loved. I was alone again and everyone was the enemy.

As I went back to high school and finished my education I learned more and more that my disease was so misunderstood by those who did not have even a morsel of anxiety or depression. As I got older and further understood that my illness also contained bipolar, I began to understand how to deal with the highs and lows of my emotional spectrum. The titles of my illness did not bring any further understanding to those around me though. Teachers, principles, and even family members who did not understand did not think it necessary to try and even grasp a small part of what someone they interacted with on a daily basis was going through. Teachers and staff would say “Oh I have bad days also” and family would find it necessary to remind me that I was just too emotional. They didn’t understand that their lack of understanding, their blatant disregard, and their condescending tones did not aid in achieving their goal of rectifying the situations.

It took many years for me to understand how to cope with the illness I was dealt, and even more time to aid my mind in healing on the proper medication. It took me years for me to unweave the DNA the words I had been beaten with in my youth had given me. I still cannot eat comfortably with people around, I still cannot look at myself in the mirror with a smile, and I still, even after losing over 200lbs, do not see a body worthy of love.

The words that escape our mouths can act like knives on the skin. You never really think a critique of someone’s appearance, weight, etc could be their breaking point. We need to start thinking before we speak.

We need to begin to realize that sticks and stones may in fact break bones, but words do also hurt.

Words could be the simple thing that could bring someone to the point of taking their life.

Who are we to make comments on someone’s life? Who are we to think we are better than anyone? Who are we to call someone fat? Stupid? Ugly? A slut?

Who are we to tell someone that their invisible illness does not exist?

Who are we?

Remember at the end of the day that we are all human. We all have to remember that is is our job to make this cruel world just a bit more bearable. Do not live in hate. Do not live in fear.

Believe you are much more than the illnesses you have. You are much more even when you feel you are completely out of control.

And lastly…

May we all learn to see ourselves as those we love most do.