Why I Haven’t Written My Birth Story Yet

Nine months. It’s been nine whole months and I still struggle to bring myself to write out Winnie’s birth story, from start to finish.

I have at least half a dozen drafts of her story.

I’ve written it in positive light, in negative light, in every other kind of light and shadow it can be seen in seems.

Some drafts are a few sentences, others a few paragraphs, but they all have one thing in common: none of them have an ending yet.

The beginning is fine. More than fine really. The end is the part I have a problem with. Some days, anyway.

Some days I am fine with how the story ended, proud even with what I went through to bring Winnie here safely.

Other days, I’m angry about it. Upset because her birth did not go the way I had intended it to. 

Telling your story is special because you can tell it exactly the way you feel it. How can you write about an event when your feelings regarding it are so wishy-washy?

If I write one way, I feel like a liar. If a write another way, I feel like a liar. If there is a middle ground I haven’t found it yet.
I don’t want to complain, I really don’t. But I would feel like I was being misleading if I pretended I was 100% okay with how everything happened. Because I’m not.

One day I’ll write it. Completely. Soon I hope.

But for now I’ll just keep trying. I’ll keep trying to come to terms with my daughter’s birth story. I’ll keep reminding myself that no matter my feelings about it, it was worth it because it brought her to us.

 

You Should Throw Your Kid A Birthday Party

I’m a pretty practical person. Before having kids I was one of those people that thought first birthday parties were kind of dumb.

Well I’m also a very sentimental person. So once I had Winnie, all that changed. To be 100% honest, ever since I found out I was pregnant I knew I wanted to throw her a first birthday party. It’s like a light switched and all of a sudden I was one of those first-birthday-party-throwing-parents I thought I’d never be.

Now I’m not saying you’re a bad parent if you don’t throw your baby a birthday party. Not at all! If you don’t have that desire, than absolutely don’t stress yourself out over it.

But if a little part of you is wanting to celebrate, than you absolutely should. And you should feel no guilt about it. You want to know why? Because it’s not all about them. It’s about you too, mama.

You grew a baby inside of you for nine whole months.

You brought this baby into this world.

You have kept this baby alive for a whole year.

All of those things are reasons to party, if you ask me.

Winnie may not remember her first (or even first few!) birthdays. But later she will look at those pictures and hopefully appreciate them. Hopefully she will enjoy looking back on those first bites of cake, the decorations and all of her loved ones that were around.

But even if she doesn’t appreciate the memories I plan to preserve, it doesn’t matter.

Because I’ll remember. I’ll want to look back on those early years. It’s for me too and that is completely acceptable.

Party on, Mama’s!

 

Fun Things To Do This Fall


Fall is finally here!! And with it some of my favorite things- sweater weather and crunchy leaves. Although with Texas still being in the 90’s this week, it might be a bit longer before I can wear a sweater.. But I can dream, right?
I always look forward to this time of year, but 2017 feels extra special because it’s our first fall with a baby! With that in mind, I plan on being intentional with my time and squeezing every pumpkin spiced drop out of this year as possible.

Here’s my autumn do to list!

  • Go to the pumpkin patch
  • Dress up  (of course!)
  • Bake pumpkin bread
  • Decorate pumpkins
  • Play in leaves
  • Go to the park
  • Fall crafts
  • Make caramel apples
  • Go on a picnic
  • Visit a bookstore
  • Buy a fall scented candle
  • Bake and eat a pie
  • Make pumpkin pancakes (is it obvious yet that I love pumpkins?)
  • Go thrifting for sweaters
  • Drink Apple cider
  • Read a new book
  • Make a fire
  • Go on long walks
  • Enjoy a seasonal latte

What are your plans this autumn? Anything I left off the list?

P.S. I have a fall craft day planned with my sisters and I’m fairly certain my little family will all be star wars characters this Halloween. Stay tuned! 😉

To The Mama’s Who Fed My Baby

Dear Mamas.. Some of you I know. Some of you I don’t. You probably don’t know each other. But you all have at least one thing in common: you fed my baby when I couldn’t. 

A few months back I wound up in the emergency room and received the news no new mom wants to hear.. “We need to keep you overnight.” That was the first night my six month old and I spent apart.. Then one night turned into three nights.

As I’m sure you can imagine, it was torture.

What I thought was a great little stash of breast milk? It turned out not to be as impressive as I’d thought. Less than 24 hours into my hospital stay, it was all devoured. Then to make matters worse, I was put on an antibiotic that was not safe while breastfeeding. So the freezer was empty as well as my baby’s little belly. I made the tough decision to send my husband to the store for formula.. And she hated it. As in hunger-strike-for-six-hours hated it.

I felt helpless and beyond stressed. 

But then I reached out to you. My wonderful breastfeeding mama friends, acquaintances and strangers. Without hesitation or questioning you came to the rescue. You all gave of your precious stashes and fed my baby when I couldn’t. Many more who didn’t have milk stored up offered to come and nurse my daughter for me. And for all of you I am so beyond thankful. In the cloudiest few days of my life, you ladies were the sunshine peeking through making the whole situation a little bit easier.

I have a new found respect and gratitude towards mothers who donate milk and breastfeed little ones not their own. You are truly incredible women.
I hope I never have to return the favor- I wouldn’t wish being unable to nurse on any breastfeeding mother. But if and when you need me, I hope I’ll be able to help you like you’ve helped me.

Milk donors, you are amazing. Mama’s, you are amazing.

I wish I had more words, but I don’t. So I’ll sum it up with this, from the bottom of my heart: thank you. A thousand times, thank you.

-Shannon

P.S. My mother in-law (who took care of my daughter during my hospital stay) described every time one of you ladies showed up with milk like it was “an angel walking through the door”. She’s right.

 

What I Have Gained From Motherhood

January 15th 2017 at 7:13 AM. The moment a baby was born and an ordinary girl (spoiler alert: it was ME!) became a mom.

I’ll be real with y’all. Since becoming a mother, I’ve gained a lot. Including, but not limited to: a muffin top, dark circles under my eyes, hairy-legs-I-never-have-time-to-shave, stretch marks on the majority of my body… I’ll spare you the rest of the details.

But all of those things are more than worth it, and really not bad things at all compared to all the blessings that come with being a mom. So here I bring you a few tidbits of what motherhood has given me!

A Sense Of Purpose

Many people are blessed knowing exactly what they want to do with their lives… Not so much in my case. I’ve never really wanted a career and I don’t have cool hobbies. But I have always wanted to be a mom and known I was suppose to be a mom. Being a mother is an incredible experience; and for me personally it has filled me with a sense of purpose. Something I’m great at and called to has finally come into being. While I know parenting isn’t the only thing I’ll accomplish in life, raising little ones is a privilege I’m proud of.

Selflessness

Before the birth of a child, you expect to be needed. But until your child is born, you don’t actually know how true that is. There is a life depending on you for their every need to be met, and it is up to you to make choices that best meet those needs. So for me, on some days that means taking shorter showers (or skipping them altogether), staying in bed for hours at a time being used as a human pacifier and canceling plans. Being a mom has taught me more about what it means to be selfless and put another person’s needs before your own.

A Deeper Sense Of Who God Is

If you are like me, you have grown up knowing just how much God loves you. And if you’re also like me, you realize quite often that you have NO idea the depths He feels for you. It’s just that big. Since having my daughter I have had many more of these deep realizations. If I love my tiny human this much, imagine just how much more our Father feels that way about us. It’s absolutely mind boggling.

Community

While there will always be judgy moms (that’s life) there will also always be moms that are just trying to get through this thing call mom-ing with fellow moms. And those women are your community. As soon as I gave birth I felt like I was welcomed into this giant, universal mom club. It was the greatest feeling! There are millions of women who have gone through what I’ve gone through, felt the feelings that I’m feeling. While there will always be the judgers there will also always be a mom friend to cheer you on.

Compassion

After my previous point, I now have a confession to make.. I’ve been one of those judgers of parents and their children. I think we’re all that person at some point, we’re human. But motherhood gave me an epiphany, and that epiphany was: “holy crap, this parenting thing can be hard”. Now instead of judging the way someone is doing things, I remind myself that all of us are just doing the best we can with what we’ve got. I feel compassionate and sympathetic towards other parents because we are(hopefully) all doing what we feel is best. And sometimes kids are just cray-cray.

 

I’m thankful God gave me my baby and made me a mom. I’m thankful for every little gift that journey has brought along with it- stretch marks and all. I’m thankful for whatever new thing I learn next. What have you gained from motherhood?