Delivery thoughts…

I had a hard flashback moment today. It was to the pain I felt during childbirth. I was brought back to the operating table and was feeling it when they made the incision in my lower abdomen. I could feel the pain again but pulled myself out of the thought. I remember screaming ‘Tam, they’re trying to kill me’ and saying ‘OW, it hurts!’. After that I was ‘out’. I would have liked it someone was telling me what they were doing as they went on, but it was a very painful, confusing time. I was ‘put under’ after all my yelling but I don’t remember much else. As I thought about this all today, I thought wow, this is how women die. In my most vulnerable moment, I couldn’t speak to say if anything was happening to me, such as shortness of breath or heart palpitations. I just know it is an experience I never want again. Though bittersweet, as I do want another child. I’m just hoping it can be a VBAC. I tell myself all the time that I’m going to be so much better in my next pregnancy. I’m going to eat well, drink more water, manage my iron and haemoglobin issues better. I’m going to be more prepared. More vocal, more involved in my delivery. I’m going to speak up more. I tell myself all these things but know once reality hits, ‘get the baby out safely’ will be my only focus. No one else will matter. That’s how it was with my son. No form of dilation was happening, and the only peace came with feeling my water break. I think that will be the difference in my next birth. An environment with warm water. A dredge for my tingling veins and disturbed body. It is the least I can do for pushing my body to do what it needs to before it’s ready. Birth is a very natural process, a severely underrated sentiment. The effects on the body is extremely life altering and has continues for years. Yet, that is hardly discussed! There is so much care needed for the mother but no one ever remembers this. My first birth felt somewhat like a plunge. Somewhat procedural, done on rotations or rounds. I don’t want that again. If I do have to be induced, I want to labor in the comfort of my safe, peaceful home. If my health allows, this would make me extremely happier and calmer for delivery. In reality, a hospital birth saved my life, but we weren’t prepared for the process at all. Looking back, we were too ‘limp’. No matter how many birth stories, YouTube videos and TLC’s ‘A Baby story” I watched, it was extremely too new and unlike anything we’ve ever been through. I want to be prepared to deal with it all, especially the doctors and nurse.

I’ve realized too, the older I get, that people are weird. You really must advocate for yourself and your body. There really are people so self-absorbed and miserable in the health field that do no deserve to be there. They give sub-par treatment despite it being YOUR worst moments. I want to be somewhat prepared for it all!

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When eczema attacks….

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I don’t have much experience with eczema and I hate it. I hate it with a passion. I first saw these cluster on bumps on my sons’ side on Jan. 11th when we woke up to go to about our day. I used an oatmeal rub on him the same evening and started making sure his skin was well moisturized. They would not go away, they actually started spreading. Then I felt the same small bumps on his thighs and arms. I was at a loss. I am skin obsessed! It’s the first thing I notice on people and it’s the number 1 thing I work on every day. I decided to give in and took him to a walk-in clinic. The doctor said oh it’s just eczema and gave me a prescription for something a little stronger than the usual. Something with steroids. ‘Just Eczema?!’ I thought. I’ve seen the horrors of eczema. I’ve seen how the skin get leathery and how horrible the itching is. I had horrible itching all over my legs and back while pregnant and wouldn’t want my baby dealing with that. I did not fill that prescription. I actually didn’t do much right away. I had to do some research. I walked into my favorite health store and the clerk suggested Grahams, she used it on her son and had seen results. She also recommended that we change his diet ASAP. So we did, bye homo milk, bye bananas, bye yogurt and later on we said goodbye to peanut butter!! I still can’t put my finger on his trigger but we have only re-introduced yogurt and he’s img_20170203_072927_020been doing well. The Grahams fought hard against the eczema and thank goodness there wasn’t much itching but it wasn’t clearing it away. It did a good at moisturizing the bumps and ‘deflating’ them but I need them gone. We were steadfast, I did more research and the wonders of colloidal silver was being touted from a couple of moms. I bought a bottle and within a week mixed with the Grahams, baby is on his way to wellness! I couldn’t be happier.  I even drank some two days to see if I would feel anything! We had always maintained using my homemade body butter on him, so once our mix dried on him we rubbed over it with the butter. This butter contains shea butter, beeswax, coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil and castor oil. I haven’t had a chance to take an updated picture but I’m happy so far. I can’t wait to stick him in the sun when Summer hits! Sigh…..but for now, Go away eczema!

Please let me know what has worked for you!

Mental Illness faces….

I would like to discuss mental illness. There are two men that I always see around my community that are visibly mentally disabled. One of these men are often confrontational and aggressive to people on the streets. Today I saw him, and I guess it was my turn? I could see that he had raw bruises on his face; cheeks and nose. I also noticed that he had a bandana wrapped around a bloody wrist. I looked at him three times (I guess too many times) and he jumped up off the bench he was sitting on and asked if I had a problem. I shook my head ‘no’ and started running IMG_20160524_144906836away from where he was, without even looking if a bus was coming as I crossed the street. Another man was beside me and we looked at each other and quickened our steps at the same time. I started getting a bit anxious and so I ducked into a consignment store in case he decided to follow me. He didn’t but he was surely giving whoever was in the vicinity an earful. I restarted the podcast I was listening to and went on my merry way. While I feel happy for escaping what could have turned into a nightmare, I can’t help but feel sad. The bruises looked like they possible came from a fight. The other man that is always hanging around the train station is usually sitting on the ground, repetitively touching his shoulder with his chin. All why rocking back and forth. I guess I feel even more discontented because both men are people of colour (POC). Every time I see them I wonder where is their support? Does the city even have something in place for people living with this? And If there family knows where they are. I was in no way shape or form being belligerent to this young man; yet he could have attacked me. I have seen him with ‘gender socialized’ accessories such as false eyelashes, colorful head ties and even lipstick. It is fair to assume that he might be a homosexual man and I know homelessness is a very big issue in their community. I can’t help but shake the fact that these boys need help. It’s not like they are downright homeless and constantly begging, I’ve actually seen one of them beg once; but they are not well.

I spoke to a co-worker today about depression and she blatantly said she cannot fathom it. Wondering even if it is real and that her relative is undergoing treatment for it. She did admit that it was only then she began to take it serious. Sharing that he didn’t realize he hadn’t gone to the washroom all week until someone else told him. I shared with her moments in my family life when we were on the ground! Faced down in dog shit and just wallowing in a sea of dark, hazy moments. I let her know how real it is and that it isn’t recognizable until it is heavy and have consumed your life. I shared that we came out of our spiral with the help of friends. We also had to physically, mentally and spiritually push ourselves out of the grunge. Everyone in our life somehow hIMG_20160312_154903970 elped us to come from underneath the lowest of lows and pushed us to great heights. It was such a refreshing feeling being removed from a torrid life that now when a storm hit we laugh at it and tackle it head first. Knocking down all doors and stomping out all fires until we are back to where we need to be. We never ever want to go back to that place!

I spoke to a good friend this week about what it’s like having a mother with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) traits. How it can drain your life and make you completely on edge and constantly angry! Leading you to carrying around residual hardness for anyone! She, hanging around and toughing things out and me, completely disassociated; share the same frustration. It becomes too much to bare when you cannot get the other party to accept what you’re saying, even though you have witnessed episodes involving MULTIPLE people. They just continue to create toxic environments and relationships, one after the other, without assuming any blame. I shared that she will have to settle herself somewhere and either learn to deal with it and handle the triggers accordingly or continue to ‘rage against the machine’. There is no winning when it comes to mental illness. There is only compassion, care and once accepting their status; treatment. The face of mental illness can be as normal as ever, attack anyone momentarily and also be a visibly troubled individual. I wish we would speak about it more and remove the shame and stigma; especially from men. Till next time; mind your mental health!

Mind your mind, body and soul…

I like to write about the things no one tells you about when you’re about to enter ‘baby world’. Yesterday I had a conversation with my cousin and we spoke about dealing with family issues when you’ve just had a child and how you have to ‘mind’ yourself. It was so refreshing to hear this come from someone I didn’t quite expect.  I always thought my cousin was a bit weird, so to hear her speak about connecting to yourself and seeing about caring for IMG_20160520_152627615yourself and a child in the midst of contention between family; it really pleased me. I am not close to my mother and have not spoken to her in over 5 years. My cousin became the black sheep when she got pregnant out of wedlock because she had an extremely devoted religious mother. I purposely set that precedence because we can all connect with the characteristics of religious people. Now, having a child is a very traumatic experience and in some cases a tragedy. Having no one to lean on when going through this event will harden you for life. You will be scarred and left empty. You will be resentful and dubious about everything you’re doing with your life. I can tell you that all you need to do for the sake of that innocent child is to mind your mental, spiritual, emotional and physical health. Every second of your day should be given to your child and you. You will need to concede and decide that this is your time and nothing or no one deserves to plaster my child’s life with any negativity. I cannot begin to even explain how much help is needed when you become a parent. There are no words to describe the cluster fuck of emotions and moments that you will go through in a very short time and you cannot ever not deal. There are no vacations or days off, this is a 24 hour ongoing job that you must do yourself, completely. Every second that you IMG_20160523_123432321_HDR‘donate’ to dealing with bullshit in your life, is a second your child has lost. This is a very expensive charge and you cannot lose a dime or else you will miss out on so much with your child. You cannot give anyone not being positive and contributing to your life a single second. Entertaining drama, arguments and fights with someone who has nothing but discord in their heart for you is so toxic. Hold on to your mental health, free mind and clarity with a tight grip. I had my own squabbles with other members of my family when my son was born, absolutely no one came around. This was however my decision but it was not hers; we both had the same approach. This just goes to show that there is no other way. We became a solid rock of 3, no one else and we loved how close knit we are all growing to be. Plus, I could afford to never once make a fit about it because we knew our child was worth so much more. We were already so deadbeat, every time we had, had to be his. We became hermits; we became secluded and closed off and cold to some. People looking in never saw anything but a smiling happy baby. We taught our child happiness, joy, laughter and love before he was ever exposed to any kind of sadness. Some aren’t that lucky, and even entertain ideas that they made a mistake keeping and having their child. This is very easy to say and should be banished from all thought. A child is never a mistake, or an unfortunate event. Look at your child and promise them all of you, build a circle of positive ongoing support and eliminate all pressures. Do nothing more than savor, enjoy and revel as much as you can about being the best honest mother you can be. ‘Mind yourself’

Body Shaming…

I saw a comment on a picture posted on a popular Instagram account and it said “You got a body only a baby daddy could love” and it brought me back to my own ordeals. The gag is that this woman wasn’t asking to be loved, she already had that and more. People just always have to project the world as they see it on you; no matter how ignorant. It is as if they believe you need them and THEIR standards.

This is a flashback post written June 22, 2014….

At two weeks after I had my child, someone asked me why do I still look pregnant. Precisely, ‘why do I look like I still have a baby in my belly’. I said wtf and moved on. This was a man, who had limited social graces and was known for being inappropriate. At 8 weeks post-partum, I had a mother tell me I needed to visit the things that made people lose weight. To this I replied that she should back all the way up as I just had a kid and not to comment about my body especially when she isn’t a size 2.  I told her that she is rude and whether or not I want a summer body is my business and I’ll get it on my time when I’m ready, I further said that as a mother she was disgusting and that she should respect my journey. I further stated, that not that I owed her an explanation but that I am not cleared to work out/go to the gym and when I am, I will still be going when I’m ready, not when it’s pleasing to her eyes. So maybe next time she should think twice before making a comment like that.

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Me. Minding my own business….

I kind of feel like my response (this was on Instagram!) was a bit harsh and I maybe should have taken the high road BUT I felt so embarrassed because my husband is the one that brought my attention to the comment (I would have just deleted it if I saw it first but I felt the need to defend myself)! I haven’t even had my pp checkup yet (this week), but I already had my insecurities with my new body! I won’t apologize for having a child and I really really wanted to punch her in the face ;-( She ruined my entire night after an amazing Father’s Day;-( I’m not mentally prepared for these comments which is why i wasn’t posting my body much but today I was in good spirits and was now so upset I had that feeling snatched away from me!! I feel ashamed to discuss it with my hubby as I don’t want the ‘don’t want to make you cry so I’ll just be diplomatic’ answer, especially since I have turned into a major ‘cryer’ for real! However, I felt so drained. I was just getting the hang of having to take care of an infant and wanted just a little credit for just keeping the kid alive.

This is the drawback to sharing your pictures on social media. People think your life is now fair game for them to say whatever is on their mind, not realizing how much they are showing themselves up. All my followers will see your comments and every one that looks at and shares whatever I post. You don’t want to be the ‘nasty’ troll. You don’t want to be left bare, showing just how disgusting a person you are. Filter yourself and if it isn’t constructive; leave it alone.

Personally, I have been having a hard time with how much people have inserted themselves in my life and just how much their words have an effect on me. I would usually be the one to take the high road or laugh an uncomfortable comment off, but I have completely lost it. We have been doing it all on our own, with a minimum amount of visitors and keeping our circle uber small; so things can get trying and judgement is definitely not what we need.  In a time like this where there is so much to do, learn, get used to and accept as things change constantly; thinking about my weight was not very high on the list. It, however, was always in the back of my mind, naturally I watched for strange faces when my husband looked at my body and I ask obscure questions about my ‘new look’ to see where his head space was and if I was still acceptable.  My hands were tied with how much I could do for myself at 2 months post- partum, but I never beat myself up about it, even though it hung in the balance. Yes, I know I did something amazing by bringing a life into this world but being embarrassed for that is not to be tolerated.