My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Old Time Christmas Tree Farm

This past Saturday, I took Malakhai to the pumpkin patch and as you can see below, we had a grand ol’ time. He loved touching the pumpkins and pulling up the hay.

It was $5 to get in, and they had numerous activities to do such as a hay ride, vendors to eat or buy things from, as well as thugs for kids to do. Of course, Malakhai is too young for much of the activities, but I did think the hay ride would be fine, however, I brought his stroller I’m not thinking, and there was no way I was going to be able to get it up on the car.

They also grow Christmas trees, so if you need a Christmas tree, you are more than welcome to purchase one, but you do have to cut it down yourself.

The farm is located in Spring, Texas off of Spring Cypress Rd.

All in all, it was a successful and well spent day with my baby love. Do you go to the pumpkin patch during pumpkin season?

confessions, My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Confessions of a Single Mom #1: Be Still, Cherish the Moment

There are times when Malakhai just won’t stop crying. Like today. We went to my apartment and it was his first time there. He cried and cried. I was trying to get things done with my blog, apply for jobs, plan new content, eat, and a cohort of other things. I started to think that he hated being there. Every time he would go to sleep, I’d lay him down and he’d throw an entire fit. He has never cried like that before and I was becoming frustrated. I changed him, I fed him, I rocked him, but what he really needed was my full attention and to cuddle with him. See, being at my moms house, we spend a lot of time cuddling and just us time. I haven’t really been trying to work like I did before I had him. Finally, I got undressed, cuddled him in my arms, got under the covers and laid down. He instantly stopped crying and went to sleep. So did I. In that moment, he taught me a valuable lesson. I have plenty of time to work but moments like that will soon go away, so I need to be in the moment, be still and just cherish it. Turn off YT, Netflix and Hulu. Put my phone down. Before I know it, he won’t want to cuddle anymore. So, I’m learning to take advantage of him wanting to be near me, close to me and just being still with me.

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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.

Vegan Mommy Things

A Letter to My Son

 

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Dear Malakhai,

I remember when I first found out about you. My reaction wasn’t of joy but of pure sadness and disappointment. Not because I was single, but because I didn’t feel like a child fit into my life. As time went on, I realized that you were created for a reason and that alone had changed me. I’m not who I was 9 months ago. I’ve grown and morphed into a completely different woman: a woman that I never knew existed. As it is now time for your arrival, Idk how I feel about my seeing my heart outside my body, and that’s what you are: my heart. You are the greatest blessing that I could’ve ever received and I thank the universe (and I mean I guess your father, lol) for gifting you to me. I also thank you for choosing me to be your mother. You are loved by so many, more than you’ll ever know. A plethora of people are anticipating your arrival, but more importantly, mommy and daddy are. I want you to know that mommy is going to make sure you have the best life, a life that you deserve. You will never want for anything because mommy is a hustler. I say all of this to say that I love you so much and I can’t wait to shower you with my love and show you the world.

Love,

Your Anxiously Awaiting Mother

 

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

I Don’t See How You Do It

I seem to be getting this statement a lot from my coworkers being that I am 9 months pregnant and still working. To many of them it seems abnormal to still be working this long. Thing is, I am a parent who is single, therefore, there is no one at home to help me with the bills, and seeing as how I don’t get paid while I’m on maternity leave (which I find highly absurd), I have to work up until my due date so that I am not missing a lot of money. Luckily for me, I am a teacher, so I still get my summer pay, I just won’t get paid for the month of May. Also, the first 8 days of my maternity leave are paid PTO days, so in essence, I am not really missing that much, but still.

I always wonder why some women, and men, feel that a woman who works up until she goes into labor is something out of the Twilight Zone. I am healthy and active, and so is my baby. I don’t have a high-risk pregnancy and I have been active my entire pregnancy. I honestly believe that has a lot to do with why I am still able to work. Again, I am also a teacher so it’s not like it’s a lot of strain and I am able to sit, take breaks and have snacks. That makes it much easier, however, I still don’t understand why it was so difficult for my coworkers to be able to stay at work until they were ready to deliver. Then again, most of them had that option because they were married.

I think that staying active during pregnancy allows you to be able to work longer if you don’t have a physically demanding job. Along with staying active, drinking lots of water, getting a plethora of rest, and eating a healthy diet (I am going on 5 years of being vegan), can contribute to preventing things like pre eclampsia, swelling and fatigue. Now I won’t lie, I am tired, but that’s mainly because I am so far in my pregnancy that getting in a comfortable position to sleep has become rather difficult.

Something else that has helped me is not letting myself get stressed over things that are out of my hands. I don’t let the stressors of being a teacher weigh on my like some of my fellow coworkers and teacher friends. I am here to do one job and one job only: teach these kids to write to the best of my ability and to assist them in becoming confident and successful in their academic career. Everything else I tend to push to the side. I don’t have the time nor the energy for workplace drama, which comes with any job no matter, where or what it is.

If you are a mama who was able to stay at work until you went into labor, what are some factors taht you think contributed to that? Also, how did you handle people who constantly said, “I don’t see how you do it”?

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Thoughts on being a Single Mother

Never did I ever think that I would be a single mother, nor did I ever think that I would be pregnant, but, here I am. As for being a single mother, I am not depressed or upset by it because I know that there is a man out there who will love me and my baby. Granted getting pregnant under the circumstances wasn’t ideal, I am so glad that I am going to be a mom.

I used to always look at and judge single parents, women mostly, despite the fact that at one point my own mother was a single mom. It wasn’t until I started realizing the situations that makes a woman a single mom and becoming pregnant myself, that I understood.

Reasons a woman becomes a single mom:

Boyfriend/fiancé/husband dies

Divorce

Abuse

Incarceration

Irreconcilable differences

Rape

Man is married

Prostitution

Stripping

One night stand

Incest

And the list goes on and on and on. There are so many reasons and it’s crazy because women get judged for being single mothers, but men don’t get judged for being single fathers. In fact, they get praised (ain’t that some shit?).

For me, being a single mom and my baby isn’t even born yet, I have become such a stronger person. Decision-making has become so cutthroat for me and I don’t even care anymore. If it does not benefit my baby or brings negativity, it’s gone. My only concern nowadays are staying healthy, stress/drama free, birthing a healthy baby and being an amazing mom to a dark-skinned child. If you are not trying to help with any of those things, keep it moving.

I have yet to go to any single parent meetups because I honestly am not comfortable just yet, and that has nothing to do with me being ashamed of being a single parent, because there are millions of single parents. It more so has to do with me being an introvert and also being asked the situation with my child’s father. The situation I know many women have been in (no it’s not rape, abuse or incest, nothing like that), but I am not ready to talk about it more so because of embarrassment because I used to judge women in this situation and now I am one of them.

I have a cousin who is a single mom and despite her situation with the father, she is a damn good mother and has been doing it on her own for a few years, by herself (of course with the help of our family, hey Azia!). I also have a cousin (Azia’s brother) who was a single father for some time. I come from a family of strong individuals, and the amount of support they give, you never feel alone, even though I do feel alone at this point since no one agrees with my decision to have a midwife and have a water birth (that will be for another post).

Being a parent used to mean that my life had to stop and that I couldn’t do any of the things I want to do, which is why I never wanted kids. But having met and watched through social media, some of these amazing, black, single mothers and how they are manifesting on their own with their child(ren), I can’t help but to believe that I can still do everything I want, and still be an awesome mom. Having a child by yourself does not have to be an obstacle or barrier in the way of you are your dreams. Life does not stop when you have a child. It tends to accelerate and you have to go with it.

My time management skills are so on point that, that I know I can continue to be a blogger, YouTuber, writer, and entrepreneur even after my baby is born. Single motherhood does not define who I am. Yes, I am single and a mother, but I am also so much more.