One is the Loneliest Number

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ONE OF THE MANY SELFIES OF H AND I THAT I TOOK WHILE HOME ON MAT LEAVE, JUST THE TWO OF US.

There is a loneliness that comes with motherhood. Predominantly in the beginning, but even as time goes on… Before I had my son, everyone warned me of the pain that comes with C-Section recovery, the challenges of breastfeeding, how tired I would be, and how my hormones would affect my emotional/mental state, but nobody told me about the loneliness.

I recently visited a friend who just gave birth to her first child. The baby was beautiful and healthy, her recovery was better than normal, she looked amazing, and she was a natural in the mom dept., but when I asked her how she was feeling, she responded without hesitation, “I feel so alone.” And without even thinking, I just said, “I know.”

I did know exactly what she meant, precisely how she was feeling. Her sentiment instantly took me back to the second week I was home with my son, H. I was trying to feed him unsuccessfully, and had nobody there anymore to help me. Nobody to converse with; nobody to turn to. (Momsoncall.com became my life line!) There is so much attention on you when you’re pregnant – especially the first time. There’s 10 whole months of being fawned over and coddled and protected and celebrated, and then you have the baby and there are the days that follow when everyone visits, and there is still so much joy and excitement. But then, there is that first day when everyone, including your partner, is back to work, back to their daily lives, caught up in the grind, and there you are sitting alone with this little human who is solely depending on you for his/her survival. In that moment, you miss the commotion and the help and the attention and the company, and realize that not only are you alone, just the two of you, but you are kind of lonely.

For those new moms who might be feeling this way in this very moment, know that you actually are not alone in this feeling. It is so common, so don’t be scared of it. The loneliness sometimes brings on sadness – not to be confused with other signs of postpartum depression – and it passes. Quite frankly, you’re too busy and tired to let it consume you or wallow in it for too long, but it is very real and kind of sucks. All of your friends are at work, nobody can chat on the phone or just meet for coffee, and the only conversation you’re having is in high decibels with someone who doesn’t quite understand.

In time, I came to love the time alone. The loneliness turned into appreciation for the precious time I had to spend with my son. H became my best bud, and as a result of long days together, I was so in tune with what he wanted and needed. I realized that I needed this time – it made for a stronger bond between us. It made me a better mother. It also forced me to get out there and find other mothers with newborns to connect with. Through these connections, I learned that we all have similar experiences. Motherhood can indeed be lonely at times, but it’s a badge of honor that connects us in ways one cannot imagine. There is a mom tribe and a mom code. There is a language only we speak and things only we understand. The truth is, we actually are never alone… (Quite literally.)

 

 

…But I Miss Them

I spent this past holiday with my family in Florida… 5 adults, 5 children for 5 days. On Christmas Day, there were about 17 of us. Needless to say it was mayhem, and when we were in the thick of it, I found myself enjoying it of course, but also really tired. The thought of nap time and bedtime excited me because it meant a break. It never ended, really… there was always a child who needed to eat, nap, be changed, or bathed, and all on different schedules! My sister and I escaped once for a trip to Target at 9pm and it felt like vacation! We were free, contemplating a Thelma and Louise moment of no return… but during the beautifully silent, child-free car ride home, we both looked at each other and knew what the other was thinking. We missed them. Our crazy little lunatics who destroyed the house like category 5 hurricanes and dropped food all over the floor and threw toys and fought with each other and had crazy dance parties and colored the walls/floors and pulled ornaments off the tree and rode scooters around the house and ultimately just made us consume a lot more alcohol than we thought we would were our everything. They make our worlds turn and our hearts melt. As insane as the days were, I realized that the moments are fleeting. They won’t be this age for long. I will miss hearing them yell for me or ask me to help them with everything or need me to pick them up or make them food or give them baths. My son already wants to do things by himself and I find myself saddened when he won’t let me help him get dressed or brush his teeth. I know that as they grow older, they’ll need me less and less. So, during the crazy moments when you want to cry or lose your mind or just walk out, remember that these moments will be gone before you know it, and you’ll likely really miss them. At least I will.

Sleep No More

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Dear Sleep,

I simply cannot put into words how much I miss you. Mostly because sleep deprivation has resulted in the inability to form full sentences. I cannot wait for the day that you come back into my life for the full 8+ hours we used to share back in the day. Remember the days when we would hang out past 10am or even meet up sometimes in the afternoon?! Oh, those were the good ol’ days… Yes, you and I do meet at night for a few hours, but the intimate relationship we once had changed about three years ago, and it hasn’t quite been the same since. While I was pregnant, a full bladder or the discomfort of a huge belly interrupted us many times during the night. Then the baby came and, well, that was the end of our beautiful relationship.

Sleep when the baby sleeps is all anyone ever told me. Anyone without a baby! I mean, who were they kidding?! When the baby slept, that’s when I pumped, washed bottles, did laundry, hand washed dirty bibs and onesies… and if I was really lucky, ate something and showered. Sometimes I had to choose between you and food, or you and washing my hair—very difficult decisions. You often won, but as soon as the tip of a strand of my hair grazed my pillow, the baby cried.

This happened for months, and truth be told, the baby’s relationship with you became my #1 priority. If he could learn to sleep for more than 2-3 hour intervals, the sooner you and I would reunite—or at least I thought. Yes, 3 hours turned into 5, which turned into 8, and eventually 10-12. It wasn’t easy, and even when he did sleep all night, I did not. I had a physical reaction to every breath, cough, sneeze, and coo. I’d be up checking to see if he was breathing, too hot, too cold, still on his back, and a myriad of other things that keeps a mom awake at night. So, even when we could technically rendezvous again, I just couldn’t.

Cut to when H was about 18 months. We started seeing each other again, and life was good. I was early to rise, but it was okay because I was early to bed. We were finding our groove again, and the 8 hours I never thought I’d have the pleasure of getting became, quite literally, my dream come true. The days of feeling jet lagged and dizzy and uber emotional and super irritable and just utterly fucking exhausted were over. H was a great sleeper and our lives were back to normal.

My friends said I would sleep again and they were right. I even took naps when the baby napped! Life was golden, and I realized that you don’t really know what you have until you’ve lost it. I now know that you complete me. I cannot live my life without you. It’s just not possible. You make me a better person, a happier person. And a better mother for sure.

We had a good run. Then baby #2 came. So, it was great while it lasted. I hope that one day soon, we will find each other again and never let go. I can’t bear to even think about any more nights without you. I know we will meet again, in about a year or so. For now, I will just have to accept that I sleep no more…

Yours truly (as in truly exhausted),

Alexis

You Are Not a Bad Mom

Don’t be so hard on yourself. I hear it all the time. I also say it to myself during those moments when I am most likely holding myself up to some ridiculous, unrealistic standard, aka a mom guilt moment. Truth is, all of the mothers I know are hard on themselves. I’m not sure when the motherhood bar was repositioned so high you can barely pole vault over it, but it was, and we hold ourselves to it. Maybe it’s because our parenting is out there for the whole world to see, so we want to appear to be doing the best job possible. Maybe it’s because we live in an uber competitive society. Maybe it’s because there’s so much more literature on parenting that we have access to that applies pressure to how we raise our kids. Maybe it’s because we are doing so much more as mothers now, juggling home life, careers, relationships, social lives, and taking care of ourselves too (ha!) that we feel like we have to overcompensate for not being at home with our kids. Whatever the reason, I often feel like I am killing myself and have decided to live vicariously through Elsa and just LET IT GO.

So, I encourage all of you to do the same. Don’t sweat the small stuff…and remember:

You are not a bad mom if you don’t puree the baby’s food and feed them jarred baby food or pouches instead.

You are not a bad mom if this one time (okay, maybe a handful of times) they don’t eat organic.

You are not a bad mom if you formula feed.

You are not a bad mom if they go a night without a bath.

You are not a bad mom if you leave your baby in the pack n’ play with some toys in the morning so you can get a few extra minutes of sleep.

You are not a bad mom if you plop your toddler in front of the TV so you can get shit done (or sleep).

You are not a bad mom if plopping them in front of the TV turns into two hours.

You are not a bad mom if you just don’t feel like cooking and make them a PB&J sandwich.

You are not a bad mom if the Halloween costume wasn’t hand made.

You are not a bad mom if you work.

You are not a bad mom if you shut the bathroom door for some privacy… and lock it.

You are not a bad mom if you take time for yourself to go get a mani/pedi, work out, meet up with friends, or go sneak in a movie solo (mostly so you can sleep in peace.)

You are not a bad mom if you accidentally curse in front of the kids.

You are not a bad mom if you give them an iPad when you’re out at dinner so they allow you to eat a meal longer than 5 minutes that isn’t their scraps.

You are not a bad mom if you lose your temper every now and then.

You are not a bad mom if you cry in front of them.

You are not a bad mom if you never book a playdate.

You are not a bad mom if you don’t buy your second child any presents for the holidays because they are so young and will never know and have all of their older siblings toys to play with.

You are not a bad mom if you can’t make the school play/party/activity.

You are not a bad mom if you have to choose work sometimes.

You are not a bad mom if you say NO.

You are not a bad mom if sometimes you reminisce about the days before you were a mom.

You are not a bad mom. Full stop. So, don’t be so hard on yourself. Know that there will be moments that you shine, and moments when you suck. In their eyes, as long as we love them, we’re the best moms ever.

 

 

 

 

Rock-a-Your-Marriage

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Kids will rock a marriage. Babies specifically. I once had a friend tell me that she would often wish harm on her husband as he lay next to her sleeping soundly as their newborn wailed not more than 4 feet away from them. And I got it. I mean, I’ve been there. And you can’t say you haven’t wanted to ring your partner’s neck at some point within the 6-8 weeks postpartum. Marriage is hard on its own. Everyone says it takes work, and it does. Add to it a tiny human who relies on you for survival, sleepless nights, no free time, no sexy time, financial stress, and jobs/careers and you’ve got yourself a rocked marriage. Even the happiest of couples can find it hard to get used to the new normal. Funnily enough – or maybe not so funny – you’re not alone. A girlfriend and I were just exchanging war stories, and came to find out that our husbands do the same exact things. We also have to remember that we are the moms, and our children are hardwired to us. We are going to feel like it is all on us because IT IS, biologically. I didn’t know any better the first time around (I have two kids), so my husband and I fought a lot. We were tired, stressed, and scared, quite frankly. We didn’t know if we were doing anything right, and were too tired to really talk it through rationally with each other. We knew better the second time around, so I want to share a few marriage survival tips for parents of newborns that we found helpful:

  • Assign aligned on responsibilities to one another so that it is clear FROM THE BEGINNING who does what. The first time around we fought about who walks the dog and who empties the diaper pail and who handles dinner and on and on. Second time around, we tried to make it clear who handled what so there were no questions or unmet expectations.
  • Take turns. As moms, we do the heavy lifting naturally, and there will be a moment when you resent that. Especially when you’re up at 1AM, 3AM and 5AM, and your partner has gotten a solid 8 hours of sleep without even flinching. So, take turns. Alternate feedings or assign a regular feeding. My husband always took the 11pm or midnight so that I could sleep from 8PM – 1AM when our daughter woke up next. And if your partner works, weeknights will be rough for them, but have them help on weekends a bit more so that you at least get one/two full nights of sleep a week to recharge.
  • Over communicate. You are so fucking tired for like three months, which means you’ll eliminate small talk, details, and for the most part, full sentences. But talking about how you’re feeling, your emotions, any challenges you’re having with the baby, when you think you’ll have sex again (I’m serious—they need to know this), etc. all help your marriage. Your partner doesn’t know what you’re thinking. They sure as hell don’t know how you’re feeling. And if you don’t share, they will assume you’re okay and it’s biz as normal. So, over communicate so that you two are on the same page as much as possible.
  • Think before you speak. You’ll be inclined to bark and snap at one another. Sleep deprivation will turn angels into demons. So, try to catch yourself when you can. Also, remind your partner why you might be a bit more irritable and less patient than usual. And if you are, apologize.
  • Ask for help. It takes a village, so build one around you. If the two of you have help, then you have more “we” time to reconnect.
  • Kiss. It’s that simple. Doesn’t need to be a full on make-out session. You likely won’t want to be touched, but just remind them they are loved. They should do the same for you, too.
  • Say thank you. This goes both ways. What can easily happen is a lot of resentment building up due to a perception of lack of appreciation of the things each person is doing. You feel like your partner should be washing dishes, doing laundry, and walking the dog because you’re keeping a human alive at the expense of your mental health while many wounds are healing and others are forming. They feel like you’re doing your job as mom, so you shouldn’t complain that you’re up all night or feel like an over-milked cow with sore utters. Truth is, each one of you is pulling your weight, and a thank you every now and then can make all the difference and often diffuse an oncoming argument. That is unless your partner is not pulling their weight, in which case, you need to lay down the law!
  • Date nights are everything. I should practice what I preach, as my husband and I have gone on as many date nights as there are fingers on one hand, but when we have, the reconnecting feels so good and so comforting. You’re spending time with the person you love who you made a life (or lives) with. That one-on-one time is really healing and you start to find yourselves again, individually and as a couple.

At the end of the day, there isn’t a “one-size fits all” approach to sustaining your marriage while raising kids. You can only hope that the journey of parenthood will bring you closer—that you’ll work together as a team to score more touch downs despite the amount of times you’d rather just tackle them to the ground.

#MOMLIFE #BEINGAWIFE

The Bitch that is Breastfeeding

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Pictured above: My son, hours old, and how he felt about breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is a bitch. There, I said it. Obviously, not the case for everyone, but for way more women than I had ever heard about before I had kids. While I was pregnant, I heard every horror story in the book about pregnancy and postpartum, but nobody really warned me about the trials and tribs of breastfeeding. Maybe because the people I was speaking to didn’t want to completely horrify me, or maybe because their breastfeeding experiences were not so bad (although they came out and admitted they were worse than they let on after the fact!) Regardless, this is MY breastfeeding story, and I share it with the hope that it will help other moms who may feel alone, defeated, scared, and/or confused like I did as I tried to navigate through what I thought would come so naturally.

Before I had my son – we will call him H – I swore I’d breastfeed. I went to classes specifically dedicated to breastfeeding – how to hold the baby, how to help baby latch, how to time your feedings, how often to feed baby, and on and on. I read countless books about the benefits of breastfeeding and watched video after video. It’s my personality to try to master something from the get go, and I went into it with an I Got This mindset. I was practically brainwashed on the breast is best approach and made a vow to stop at nothing to breastfeed H. Well, I was in for a rude awakening.

H was born via C-section. Hurdle #1, I soon came to find out. He was almost 10 pounds. Hurdle #2. He was also tongue-tied. Hurdle #3. Then I learned that my nipples are not ideal for feeding. Hurdle #4. And I didn’t start pumping in the hospital until late in day two. Hurdle #5. The thing is, I didn’t know all of the above in the beginning. So, here we are moments after he is born trying to latch and it’s just not happening. It’s super painful and I have nothing coming out and he is frustrated. The amazing nurses at NYU worked tirelessly to help me with positioning, latching techniques, hand expression… you name it, they did it. We tried for a day and a half, but nothing. I barely had colostrum, and H was big, so he needed more than what I was producing. I was exhausted – nipples already cracked and sore – but I was determined. In the wee hours of the morning on day 3 – the day I was leaving – a nurse came into my room to check my vitals and asked me how I was. I started crying, telling her how defeated I was – that no matter what I tried, H would not latch and I had nothing to give him. She picked him up and tried to help me, which is when she noticed his tongue-tie. Then she pointed out that I might want to use nipple shields to help him latch, and also start pumping to start milk flow. I didn’t understand why none of this had been pointed out prior. And how the fuck did the pediatrician miss a tongue-tie! I was so frustrated, but also excited by this breakthrough. We tried the shields. No luck. We started pumping. No luck. At this point, H was starting to fuss a lot, but I didn’t know his cues yet and just thought I’d keep trying.

Cut to that evening as H was screaming inconsolably. At that point, I called my sister – a mom herself – and asked her what to do. Two seconds hearing him cry and she said, “Lex, he’s starving. Go get him formula.” And there it was, the dreaded F word! In my mind, it also meant Failure. I couldn’t do right by my baby and give him what he needed from me. If there was anything I should be able to do, it should be feed him. This should have been easy. I was just devastated. But, I sent my husband to CVS regardless for some Similac Sensitive. I cried the whole time he was gone – also because H was screaming – and then pulled it together, got a bottle, and fed him formula. He sucked it down in record time, and I cried again, realizing he’d been starving for three days. As I mentioned, he was a big baby. He needed A LOT of food. I didn’t know that then, but I soon realized it when he just consumed ounces and ounces of formula in a sitting – far more than babies usually ate at his age. I felt terrible for having had him wait so long, and almost selfish for not relenting sooner.

Two days later, I had a lactation consultant come in. Between H’s tongue-tie, my lack of milk production, and my nipple situation, we were set up to fail. She reassured me that there was no way I would have ever been able to breastfeed successfully given all the hurdles we had in our way. Apparently, moms who have C-sections have an even tougher time, as the breast tissue is swollen and makes it hard for milk to pass through. (Or at least that is what my LC said.) So, we had everything working against us.

I brought H home on a Saturday. The LC came over on a Monday, and by Wednesday, we were sitting in Dr. Dahl’s office getting H’s tongue-tie snipped. He latched for two minutes and was over it. That was actually the last time he ever made it to my breast. I went to a lactation group at NYU for some help, and ended up with a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS). It’s a small tube that they tape to your nipple that is attached to a vial of formula that you also tape to your body. Basically an IV of formula. It’s supposed to trick baby to latch on to your nipple and feed, but H wasn’t having it. I remember sitting in that circle of moms just balling, and feeling, again, like such a failure. Boobs were popping out everywhere, milk was flowing, and these moms seemed so happy and carefree. Some were even talking about how they had so much milk that they had to donate it to milk banks. Meanwhile, I’m sitting there with these ridiculous contraptions attached to my body and my child is screaming his head off for a bottle. I fed him in the bathroom at NYU, feeling so embarrassed to bottle feed him formula in front of the other mothers. I now refer to those first few weeks as “the dark days.”

I tried pumping for about 3 weeks or so. I would pump for 45 minutes and get half an ounce of milk. Then I started Fenugreek and drank Mother’s Milk Tea and would only get 1-2 ounces after 45 minutes. H ate 4-6 ounces every three hours! I could not keep up! Nipples were cracked and bleeding and I was in so much pain, but if H wasn’t going to come to me, then I was going to bring me to him. I felt like if I could just give him even a few drops of liquid gold, it was worth it. BUT IT WASN’T. I will never forget the moment I realized I had to stop. I took H to the pediatrician for his 4-week check up. Dr. Horwitz sat me down and said, “H is great. Really healthy and doing amazing. You are not. What’s going on?” Through many tears, I shared with him my breastfeeding challenges, and he told me to stop. He actually said Stop. He said H was thriving, and that formula was at the top of the list of the best things I could ever feed him—that it was only downhill from there with baby food and human food and everything else he will be consuming in his lifetime. (Which I now know to be true!) He reminded me that a happy mom = a happy baby, and that my state of mind was everything. I had to rest and feel good to be able to take great care of my son. So, I went home that day, packed up the pump, stocked up on formula, and called it quits. I was done.

What I learned was that formula was not at all horrible. H has thrived. Anyone who knows him will tell you he is beautiful and healthy and super smart and incredibly verbal. He is fine. I did the right thing by trying, because it is what I needed to do for me, but in the end, I couldn’t have continued to torture myself, and that’s precisely what I was doing. I was miserable in body and mind, and that was no good for anyone around me at the time, especially H.

I just had my daughter 8 months ago – we’ll call her E. I, of course, tried to breastfeed when she was born, too. She didn’t latch, and she was also tongue-tied, so on day two, she went on formula. I knew the road ahead of me, and I was not about to go down that road again. And guess what? She’s just fine…and so am I.

#MOMLIFE

Body After Baby: What Happens & How to Deal

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I shared my thoughts on Beauty After Baby with Yahoo Beauty three months after my son as born, and then again one year later. I learned a lot in that year, so I also wanted to share which products and services helped me heal and find myself again. I felt like if I was a guinea pig, I should at least share my experiences to help other new moms, so I wanted to share that article here to help even more of you figure out how to get your body back after baby…

As featured on Yahoo Beauty on June 4, 2015:

Here are some of the best solutions to handle everything from your c-section scar to hair loss.

Nothing changes you more, both inside and out, than having a baby. In the months leading up to birth, there is so much information about what happens to your body during pregnancy. However, I found that there is a lot less about the dozens of changes that happen in the year after you give birth. With every milestone my son hit this past year, I, too, was keeping track of my own progress, celebrating the healing, or lamenting over yet another beauty/body challenge. I’m lucky enough to work in the beauty industry and had access to many incredible products, tools and professionals to help me tackle every issue that came up. However, despite me being a certified beauty junkie, I’ve never tried and tested so many cosmetics, creams, and gadgets than after I had my son. Head to toe, my body went through so many radical changes, so I took it upon myself to scour the market to find the best products that deliver quick and noticeable results. In the spirit of moms helping other moms, here are the best solutions to handle everything from your c-section scar to hair loss.

LOSING YOUR HAIR

Yes, it is true. Your hair falls out after you have a baby. From what I understand, it is the hair you were supposed to shed during pregnancy that you held onto because you were taking prenatal vitamins.  So, now that your hair is falling out by the handful, what can you do? I went back on prenatals and starting using Aveda invati, which left my hair thick and full. (They have a three-step trial pack that you can sample for only $8 before you splurge on the entire hair care system.) When hair starts to grow back in, note that you will have annoying baby hairs and fly-aways. Since they stick straight up, I tamed them by applying a heat protectant (Bumble & bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer) and then curling them down, followed by a pomade or styling crème. I learned not to flatiron them too much, as that will cause breakage and set you back in growing them out.

SENSITIVE SCALP

As if hair loss wasn’t enough, my scalp became very sensitive as a result of changing hormones, reacting to all shampoos with itching and flaking. I started washing my hair once a week with Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo, and turned to Aveda Scalp Benefits, which helped eliminate my dry, itchy flaky scalp after the first wash.

BREAKOUTS & SCARRING

Hormones flaring caused lots of breakouts, and the acne left scarring because my pigment had changed. My go-to was Clinique Even Better Spot Corrector to treat dark spots (spot treat only), MD Skincare Alpha Beta Peel twice a week to keep skin clear, and Bobbi Brown EXTRA Repair Serum for dry patches. I also swear by the Clarisonic Mia 2 because it erases all bumps and dry skin, clears my pores, and leaves my skin fresh and glowing.

DARK CIRCLES

Sleep deprivation can take a huge toll on a new mom – it made my already dark circles look like bruises. After long, sleepless nights, I would use Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye in the morning, and would layer Bobbi Brown corrector and concealer on top to lighten the under eye area and make it appear as though I got at least 5 hours of shut eye.

ECZEMA

Post-baby, I developed a case of eczema on my hands and fingers. Turns out, my son suffered from it as well, so I had already tested almost 20 eczema creams for his benefit. I found one called Good On Ya’ on Amazon.com, which instantly cured his and my eczema. Our cracked, itchy, red skin disappeared in 3 days.

KERATOSIS PILARIS

While we are on the subject of skin, those damn hormones cause yet another skin condition that covered my arms and upper thighs in little bumps called Keratosis Pilaris. I found relief using DERMAdoctor KP Duty Dermatologist Formulated Body Scrub every other day in the shower followed by KP Duty Dermatologist Moisturizing Therapy on the affected areas.

STRETCH MARKS

I spent my entire pregnancy trying to prevent stretch marks by slathering on lotions and potions by the gallon, but I lost that battle. So far, I have seen the best results after using a combination of coconut oil and Crème de La Mer, which I alternate each day/night. Laser therapy is really effective as well, but is pricey, so I will hold out until I know I am done growing my family.

LINEA NEGRA

The Linea Negra is a stubborn mark as well, which I thought would never go away. It ended up disappearing before the stretch marks after religiously applying Dr. Jaliman Triple Action Cream every night after my shower. It’s essentially a bleaching cream, so I just applied on the line itself and it’s vanished.

C-SECTION SCAR

Talk about a battle wound, c-section scars can be itchy, numb, sensitive, and sometimes even painful long after you have a baby. A year later, mine doesn’t look much different than it did days after I gave birth. The red, raised smiley face reminds me daily that healing takes time and a lot of patience. It also takes work. Coconut oil and Scar Away for C-Section Silicone Scar Sheets can only do so much. To speed up healing, I have recently started scar therapy (think physical therapy focused on and around the scar) coupled with laser light therapy to break up the keloids (scar tissue), which is crucial. As the scar tissue can attach itself to organs and/or limit your movement, it is extremely important to make sure you nurture your scar and fully heal.

DIASTASIS RECTI

During pregnancy I had Diastasis Recti, more commonly referred to as “mummy tummy” or “baby pooch,” which is a separation of the abdominal muscles causing your belly to stick out. When the ab muscles move aside like this, the uterus, bowels, and other organs have only a thin band of connective tissue in front to hold them in place, which becomes dangerous because the tissue may tear, and organs may poke out of the opening, otherwise known as a hernia. Diastasis Recti can also cause lower back pain. It is important to address and takes serious commitment to fix. Regular PT can help at first so you know what exercises to do to protect and strengthen your core. Eventually, I ended up practicing the Tupler Technique and wore a brace daily, taking it off only to shower, in an effort to keep everything in place and protect my organs. I now practice the Dia Method for maintenance and have a few more months left before my abs completely come back together. Until that happens, Spanx are a wardrobe staple.

I realize in reading this, the thought of what having a baby does to your body might be a bit scary. Keep in mind, this is my story. Every woman has a different, personal experience. What we do share is the fact that, no matter what beauty challenges we face, we’d do it again and again (and most of us do) to be able to be mothers.

#MOMLIFE