10 Things No One Told Me About Becoming A New Mom

I remember when I was pregnant, I knew I had it figured out. In my mind I was prepared for motherhood. I was auntie of the year to over a dozen nephews and nieces, and I knew all about babies. There’s literally a new baby born in my family every year so I figured I was covered with experience. It wasn’t until I had Brave, got home from the hospital, and all of my ‘support’ left to go home that I realized, I wasn’t prepared.

While I love my son with every single fiber of my being, there are still times that I doubt myself, question my role as his mom and how I am handling the biggest responsibility of my life –nurturing a whole human being into an amazing man. These are all normal thoughts, might I add. If someone says otherwise they are completely lying. Here are 10 things that no one told me about before I became a new mom.

  1. Your emotions will be all over the place for a while, and it does not necessarily mean you have postpartum depression. It’s crazy how you can go from one extreme to the next in a matter of minutes. Some moments I feel a burst of joy from being someone so incredible who made this perfect little human. And in that same breath I feel like I am drowning with not-so joyous emotions. These feelings come and go, and that’s normal. I’ve learned to give myself grace to have the emotions, acknowledge them, and let them pass. After all, my body has been through a lot in the past year from making, housing, and birthing a human, to nurturing and physically caring for that human. If you ever feel like your feelings could be harmful for you and your baby, please reach out to someone. Postpartum depression is real.
  2. Everything jiggles and you become so soft. I didn’t gain any weight during my pregnancy, this is common for a lot of plus size women. I think I gained about 6 lbs the week I had Brave which my doctor confirmed was mainly water weight. I’m 5 months postpartum and I am just as jiggly as I was the day I delivered Brave. One thing HD can’t stop talking about is how soft my body is now. He loves it haha. I tell him I think it’s because as a new mom you literally become a human couch. Who wants a hard couch? lol!
  3. Sometimes you will feel isolated and alone. Not only is your body physically changing at an astronomical rate, but mentally you’re going through a lot too and not everyone can relate which leaves you feeling lonely. For me, while I had the support and help, no one really knows how you truly feel inside. Your body can be doing the craziest things, from heavy bleeding, healing, or maybe you had a traumatic experience with birth like I did –that alone makes you feel lonely.
  4. Breastfeeding is an ongoing marathon. In my mind I thought I had the concept figured out: a few days later after delivering my milk would magically come in and I would live in the overflowing land of milk and honey. WRONG. The truth is breastfeeding is an ongoing-exhausting journey but it’s totally doable. You will go through all of the milk woes… an oversupply, to low production, to feeling like you may not be able to meet the needs of your baby’s hunger cries. And. it. doesn’t. stop. I find myself going through these mixes of emotions day by day and my son is 5 months old. My best advice is to take it one step at a time if you plan to breastfeed. Every day is a new day. You may have a tough nursing day but don’t take that energy into the next day. You will look up and be surprised at how far you’ve made it feeding your baby from your own body. It’s MAGICAL.
  1. You CAN survive on little to no sleep. I know it sounds insane, but for some reason your body adjusts to the new life you’ve chosen to live. Mentally it’s exhausting and extremely taxing on your nerves but physically you figure out how to run off of sleep in 3 hour increments, if you’re fortunate enough to even get that. Despite the lack of sleep, it’s the cutest thing in the world when your baby wakes and gazes into your eyes. There’s no better feeling.
  2. You will GAIN and LOSE friends. The truth is, having Brave showed me who was really in my corner. While I’ve had my fair share of friends growing up, I never knew I needed people so much until lately. Surprisingly not many of my friends supported my like I thought they would –but the ones that did, really stuck their guns and landed themselves in the friendship hall of fame lol. Those friends that come in town for the weekend just so that you can take a shower, have a nice nap, and check in on your well-being. And the new mom friends that you text at 3am because they are most-likely nursing their little ones back to sleep, too. Forever grateful for the way my life shaped and transitioned my friendships.
  3. You will love to see your husband in his new role as daddy, and your marriage will be tested. When I tell y’all, HD is the GOAT at this dad life. He had no experience with babies before Brave. He’d never changed a diaper, never held a newborn, never fed a baby –but when Brave came into the world, it just clicked! He is the middle of the night feeding, let me sleep in on weekends, daddy-comedian, MVP. I wouldn’t know where I would be without HD. He and Brave have an irresistible bond, it literally makes me ooze with love. But with that being said –having a new baby in the house can and will totally test your marriage. HD and I are absolute best friends, we’ve always respected, valued, and loved each other as equal partners in our marriage. But when a baby comes along, you’re both exhausted and have very little patience –things can get rocky. Frustration builds. Attitudes change. And things can go from zero to one hundred really quick. So pray over your marriage during these testy times and allow yourselves grace to learn this new space your in. Try your best to carve out time for each other. DO NOT leave each other hanging. It’s so easy to get caught up in your new role as a mom and dad, that you forget you were a husband or wife first. The last thing you want to do is look up and realize your an excellent parent, but you forgot how to be an excellent spouse. You have to do the work and be conscious about your marriage or relationship.
  4. Intimacy gets BETTER after baby. I always hear that sex is amazing while pregnant, and it was! But boy … let me tell you, it gets BETTER after baby. Now this may just be me because I had 4th degree tears and practically got a ‘face lift’ down there –so my junk is basically brand spanking new. But it is the absolute best part of sparking my relationship back up with my husband post baby. I’m 100 percent sure he would agree with me.
  5. You will learn to be okay with your never-ending todo list. The reality is there’s no way you can get to everything without hiring an assistant and a housekeeper. So something will lack. You cleaned today, but you may not get to meal prep, and that’s okay. Count your victories and merge what you didn’t finish to tomorrow’s to-do list.
  6. You will never believe you’re actually a mom. I probably say to myself “I can’t believe I have a baby” at least twice a day. It still blows my mind that I made, housed, produced, birthed and am now nurturing this little boy that actually looks like me and has his daddy’s mannerisms. It will never really sink in honestly. I still stare at him all day long out of pure obsession and complete shock that he’s mine.

Bright Sweaters: My Transition To Spring Style

Not gonna lie –getting back in the swing of things after having Brave was much harder than I thought. He’s practically 5 months old and I’m just now getting around to doing my first styled post.

It felt good to be back out-of-the-house creating content, and I must admit, it was a plus that my 5-month hiatus fell right through the break of winter.

Now that Spring has Sprung, I’ve began to transition my wardrobe. What I hate about transitioning seasons is the awkward feeling we get from merging our closet. For example, it’s too cold to wear toes out, but too hot for boots. Or it feels weird to be bare legged, but you no longer feel like layering.

I’ve found the happy medium, and it’s done with color. Adding a pop of color to your wardrobe transcends any temperature. I may be warm and fuzzy in my cable sweater, but the bright mustard color sure shows that I am ready for some sun!

I also do it with pieces that transcend. I may not be ready to wear my toes out, but I can flirt with warmer temps through a cute slingback that has a fun pattern like the leopard ones I am pictured wearing.

How do you flirt with seasons?

Click the links to my sweater and shoes

How Oribel High Chair Saved My Life

If you know Brave you know he’s an extreme arm baby. He loves to feel snuggled, like he’s being held. So for the first 12 weeks of his little life, he only wanted to be in the arms of someone.

While I was pregnant and finding all of the items on my must-have list, I knew I would need a high chair. I was looking for something that was functional enough to come in handy for multiple uses and that’s when I discovered Oribel.

What I love about this Macaroon colored Cocoon High Chair from Oribel is that it has multi-functions. Most high chairs can’t be used until the baby is sitting up right with head support, but Oribel’s high chair was designed to go through all stages of baby’s first year and beyond. You can easily recline the chair to lay back like a lounger, and when baby is being enough with stronger neck support you can increase the incline to an up-right position. It’s totally worth it!

While Brave my not be on solids just yet, we’ve been using his high chair since the first day he came home. I mostly use it when I’m in the kitchen cooking. He loves to watch me waltz around the kitchen, and stare out of the window on to our patio deck.

Click HERE for the link to shop Brave’s super-cool multifunctional high chair! Any new mama ABSOLUTELY needs this!

Brave’s Nursery Reveal

It took me a while to wrap my head around Brave’s nursery. I knew I wanted him to have his own space to dwell, but for some reason I didn’t want him to be too far from us. Of course he doesn’t sleep in the room just yet but he does get dressed, changed and nap in the room quite often.

Finding a theme was tough because I get so bored with ‘themes’ so easily and because his nursery is the first room in the house. We keep all of our doors open so that good energy can flow, and I didn’t want to get bored with seeing the room so much being that it’s in a central location.

One thing HD and I knew was that we wanted a theme that he could grow with. The typical nursery rhyme concept wouldn’t work for us. We wanted something that wasn’t too ‘baby-ish’ that could live with our boy for a long time. HD and I have been working on living a minimal lifestyle, so not too excessive. We really wanted to practice that with Brave’s room.

We decided to go with a ‘paper airplane’ theme. Paper airplanes symbolize following your heart, going where your heart desires, limitless living, and endless possibilities. We knew this was perfect for our boy and really represents everything we plan to instill in him. Again, it wasn’t too ‘baby-ish’ but had just enough touch of innocence to it for our liking.

Here are the links to all of the custom items we used in Brave’s nursery:

His GORGEOUS wood sign: Hickory Hollow Designs (they had EXCELLENT customer service and shipped so fast!)

His crib was gifted by my sister: Pottery Barn Kids

His dresser: Delta Children

His custom crib sheet: Carousel Designs

His paper airplane decals: Amazon

His rug: Amazon

I’d like to think this is our most favorite room in the house! 🙂

Birthing Brave: Labor & Delivery

Since I’ve shared other big moments in my life from proposals, and marriage, so it’s only right that I tell you about Brave’s birth story.

On Monday, October 21st I slept in really late. My family had been encouraging me to get all the rest I could get, so I took full advantage of having them in town and got a couple of extra hours of sleep that day. I woke up around 11am and went to the bathroom, I noticed instantly that early labor had started.

It’s funny because all night long while sleeping I remember waking up every hour or so to cramps and pressure but I was too tired to notice or do anything about it so I slept right through. Once I woke up and noticed early labor started I knew I needed to take full advantage of my day.

Around 12pm HD made us breakfast, and we headed for our afternoon walk. The neighborhood we live in has a lot of hills so I began to feel contractions on each incline and with HD’s help, I pushed my way through.

Later I took a nice hot shower, groomed myself in case I needed to go to the hospital later, washed my hair, gave myself a facial mask to calm my nerves and put on some cute pajamas to make myself feel good.

By this time it was around 3pm and I noticed my contractions were around an hour apart. This is progress because they originally started 3-4 hours apart. I knew if I wanted to stay ahead of pain management I needed to keep in motion and not just sit still, so my plan was to move, then rest, and repeat.

I cleaned the house, finished some laundry, took a break and lounged on the couch, my mom cooked chili and I enjoyed a nice big bowl, shortly after I enjoyed my early dinner –things really picked up.

By now I was in full blown labor at home. Which is exactly what I wanted. I chose to labor my entire time at home because I didn’t want to be admitted in the hospital and put in the bed right away. I knew I wanted to keep in motion and the best way to do that was staying home. My husband was a HUGE help. He stayed by my side through every single contraction, counted the minutes apart, and even helped me with positions to find comfort. He was a real trooper. We labored at home for 17 hours until about 2am when I finally couldn’t take it anymore and insisted that we went to the hospital.

By the time we got to the hospital my contractions were 2 minutes apart and I was 8 cm dilated. It was literally GO time. If I would have stayed home any longer our son would have been either born at home or born in the car. I was quickly admitted and set up for delivery. My doctor arrived an hour later and I was exactly 10 cm dilated, it was time to push.

The time was now 5:30am, so I had been in labor a total of 18 hours and still had a ways to go. Within minutes of pushing I became exhausted. It was literally the hardest thing I had ever done. 10-second intervals, 3 times, during contractions that were coming 2-minutes apart. that’s a total pushing time of 900 seconds. That’s 15 minutes total pushing (literally contracting your muscles for 15 minutes nonstop). THIS WAS A FIGHT lol.

I felt my body going into shock, I was shivering, having cold and hot sweats, slurring my words and there was no head in sight yet. Then our son crowned, it was beautiful, I saw every moment in the mirror and it was just the motivation I needed to keep pushing. My doctor cheered me on, my husband was proud and amazed and kept chanting positive affirmations (seriously, think Khaled vibes haha), my mom and sister were in awe! Everything was perfect but our son got stuck. His shoulders were too broad to push through, and we had very little time to get him out safely. So I pushed, and pushed, harder and harder fighting to squeeze him out. After 30 more minutes of pushing his shoulders finally popped out.

Our son, Brave Zaire Smith was born at 7:40 am on Tuesday, October 22, 2019. He weighed 7 lbs 14 oz (1 oz shy of 8 lbs) and was 20.5 inches long. He was absolutely beautiful and healthy, he lost a little oxygen when he was stuck but recovered very well.

But our fight wasn’t over. After Brave’s delivery my doctor began what was suppose to be a normal procedure, stitching me up. She quickly noticed that I didn’t tear in the usual way, I tore from the inside. My son ripped my cervix and I was losing a lot of blood and had 3rd degree tearing. They thought I would need a blood transfusion. It was too much to handle in the labor room, I had to be rushed to OR for immediate response.

After being separated from Brave and my husband for what felt like an eternity, I rejoined them in the recovery room 9 hours later. It was the most magical reunion of my life. I literally cried the entire procedure because I missed them so much and just wanted to see my baby. I only had 30 secs with him, no ‘golden hour’ like I hoped for. But, I finally had my family, we were finally together at once. It was absolutely beautiful and our life has been beautiful ever since. Brave’s now 1 week old and we are smitten. We’re not getting much rest these days but none of that matters when your heart is full of pure joy. We’re so in love. I can’t wait to share more updates about Brave’s life.

Thank you for your support throughout this pregnancy, you guys are the absolute best!

Xx, Triena

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