Boss Lady, Breastfeeding, Guest Bloggers

Boss Lady: Tassie from Tassie Teaches

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I met Tassie through instagram a little before I became pregnant with Malakhai. She had just an amazing spirit and so much knowledge about the female body, pregnancy, and motherhood. She was of great help throughout my pregnancy and I’m glad to have her in my life. So let’s find out more about this Boss Lady!
Hey Tassie! So glad to feature you. First, tell the readers a little about you.
I am a crystal toting, smudge burning, mystical mom of 9 from Mississippi. I am here, in this life, fulfilling my divine purpose and soul mission of  guiding wombmen into motherhood. I prepare wombmen for unassisted childbirths by educating, enriching, and empowering them to embrace the ways of our ancestors and birth how they want!
 
I know you have 9 kids. Did you always want a large family?
I did not always want a large family. My large family came about when I took heed to a more natural approach regarding my health, and said “No!” to hormonal birth control. I became a holistic, unconventional wombman. I am grateful for the ancestors that chose to come through me, in the form of my children.
How are you able to manage your kids and get me-time?
Managing 9 children  is a lot of work. That’s 9 different personalities, and 9 different ages (with the exception of my twins). We try to stay on a routine: doing the same things everyday. My “me” time is almost nonexistent. I’m up early before they wake up: I’m doing my tarot card readings, talking with my spiritual team, and posting on Instagram. Nights are spent reading and preparing for the next day.
Do you homeschool? If so, is it difficult to manage lessons with children of varying ages?
I do homeschool. Homeschooling is definitely a lifestyle. The older ones get started on their lessons while I work with the younger ones.
I see your posts posts all the time, advocating for unassisted childbirths. Tell us about why and how you got into that.
I became an advocate for unassisted childbirths once others started asking me how did I do it and why. Also, the maternal and infant mortality rate of black mamas and black babies is alarming! I believe we can change that by having healthy moms birth their babies at home.
For those readers who don’t know, you run your own business. Tell us a little about what that entails.
Yes! I do run a business: Tassie Teaches,  in which I offer unassisted childbirth consultations. We go over health and nutrition, prenatal care, birth supplies, birth certificate information, and more! It’s kind of like a virtual birthworker (doula). As the saying goes: when the student is ready, the teacher will appear! The professional doula teacher has appeared for this doula student!
With having an online business, have you thought of doing webinars or master classes?
Yes, I do plan to do master classes, and start up my YouTube channel in the near future!
What do you want women to know about unassisted childbirth?
I want wombmen to know that their body is DESIGNED to birth babies, just as it is DESIGNED to make babies!
Where can people find you?
Find me on Instagram at TassieTeaches, and stay tuned for a website!
Vegan Mommy Things

Group Prenatal: Signs of Labor

If you didn’t know, I had what is considered a home birth, though I didn’t have my son at home. I had him at a birthing center and you can read my birthing story here.

Even though I am not longer pregnant, I still attend group prenatal to give advice to to currently pregnant first time moms. This past Sunday, the topic was signs of labor. Each women shared her signs of labor. For me, my signs were pretty basic: contractions, loss of mucus plug, and water breaking, in that order.

I love going to group prenatal to see the moms that I used to be pregnant with and to see the moms who will soon meet their mini. It’s also a reason for Boo and me to get out the house and interact with other adults. Plus, there’s always vegan food, and as a breastfeeding mama, I needs the food.

Vegan Mommy Things

My Birth Story

Boo is a week old today and I am finally able to get on here while he’s asleep. Getting him adjusted to a breastfeeding schedule has been a little off but he’s adjusting well. He sleeps well through the night, which I could not be happier about.

Breastfeeding has been going well now that my milk has come in. He’s latching and I’m also pumping in order to prepare for when I go back to work in August.

He is the definition of perfection and I’m totally completely in love and obsessed. He has the sweetest face and now smiles at me when he decides to open his eyes and look at me.

But, I know you’re not here for that. I’ll do a post later on the first week post partum. Now on to my birth story.

April 20, 2018

I started having contractions about 9:30 that morning. At first I thought I was just cramping or that they were false contractions. They were about 40 min apart st that point.

I called my midwife at that point and she said to go on about my day. And that’s just what I did. My mom and I went to Hobby Lobby, grocery shopping and to another store I can’t remember.

We then went to happy hour at Los Cucos (clearly I didn’t drink), and my contractions had jumped to 5-8 minutes apart. When we got home, they were pretty intense so I called my midwife again. She had me to come in.

On the way there, the contractions were pretty damn intense but not as intense as they later would get. She examined me and I was only 1 cm dilated, so she sent me home.

Over the next few hours the contractions got closer together and became even more intense. Around 11:30 ish that night, I felt something pop in my lower abdomen. Contractions at this point were unbearable but not yet as unbearable as they soon would get.

I got up and I was leaking. I made it to the bathroom and my mucus plug came out. At that point, I just knew it was time to go see my midwife. I called her and she had me come in. I told my parents (they were the ones taking me and I’m also currently staying with them until I recover). By the time they got to my room, I was on hands and knees in pain. Soon as the contraction let up, I beelined to the car before the next one came.

Let’s pause for a second and talk about these damn contractions. Contractions feel like stomach cramps, but the closer they get, the more painful they become. The pain is on a whole other level.

So we get to the birthing center, and I am only 4 cm dilated. My midwife didn’t want to send me home so she had me and two doulas (along with my mother) walk 3 mi to get boo to move down. Now this 3 mi trek was devastatingly and excruciatingly painful and uncomfortable.

April 21, 2018

Every contraction, they either had me to walk through it or squat. I was beyond tired within the first 10 min.  As the walk went on, the contractions got worse and closer together to the point where every step I took, I had a contraction. I was miserable. About two blocks from the birthing center, I had given up. I ended up sitting on a curb. I was exhausted, in excruciating pain and walking just wasn’t going to happen. My midwife ended up coming to get me in her car.

Once back to the center, I laid down and tried to sleep but those contractions were in full force. I eventually got undressed and got in the birthing pool. The warmth of the water was relaxing and helped ease the pain of the contractions, ever so slightly. I think I was in there for about an hour. I then started experiencing involuntary pushing. I really needed to lay down.

I ended up getting out of the pool and on to the bed. About 20 min later, it was time to push my baby out. They began to see the head during one of my involuntary pushes and told me to push with each contraction.

Pushing him out was honestly the easy part and the least painful. I don’t even think it was painful since I was full of adrenaline. At 5:52 am, I felt his head then the rest of his body. It was an emotional experience.

I remember the first thing I said after he was born was, “I want my baby! Give me my baby!” They laid him on my chest and he immediately stopped crying. It was an experience to remember. I will never forget all I went through to have my Malakhai but I swear it was all worth it. The journey, the labor, everything was worth it to deliver my sweet baby.

At one point during the walk, I wanted to just quit and go to the hospital to make the pain go away, but I couldn’t do that to my baby. I didn’t want any drugs or anything to hinder this experience. I had him in a positive, loving environment and I will forever be grateful for the midwives and doulas that assisted me in my birth (LaMonica, Althea, TiTi).

Afua Hassan is the best midwife and she has made this journey so calming and reassuring. She eased a lot of my fears and made this birthing experience what it was: beautiful, peaceful, and loving. Without her, I don’t think I would’ve gone through with it. Without her being who she is, I think I would’ve ended up having him in the hospital.

I didn’t experience any tearing or anything severe. My pregnancy was healthy, easy, and for the most part enjoyable, but I’m overjoyed that my baby boy is here.

If I could do it over would I change anything? Nope. Not a single thing. It could not have been a more perfect experience.