Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Dear Fill-in-the-blank (A letter to everyone about my challeges of Motherhood)

Dear friends,

   I know you invited me to your party, hang out, performance weeks ago. The assembling of the best and the bravest to keep my three kids proved to be too daunting of a task, so I didn't go.

Dear Stand-up comedy,

   As much as I thoroughly enjoy making others laugh at my expense, the turnaround time is way too tight. I can't recover from the one beer and contact high in good time to function as a mediocre mom by 5:45am.

Dear Well meaning women in my family,

   Faking the funk and fronting like I have it all together isn't something I have time or energy for. I am quite exhausted. And if I come to you venting, please don't respond with how many kids someone else has. I give zero forks about anyone else. Also, I don't care very much about my wardrobe, as I will at some point in the day be thrown up on.

Dear "Mommy" group on FB,

   Confession: I don't like my post baby body. As a matter of fact, I HATE it. The more I said out loud "My body is amazing! It gave birth to 3 beautiful girls in 4 years. I am a warrior." The more I began to resent myself because I was lying to myself (not about the 3 beautiful girls part). I have lost almost 60 lbs since the baby, but my belly is still there. The stretch marks are patterned all over by back, hips, pelvic area, and hips. And I have enough extra skin to fashion a purse. I used to feel guity that I didn't live my post partum body, but I realized I didn't have the mental capacity for it.

Dear Society,

   You know, most women don't just snap back into shape three weeks after a baby. Hell, three years after most of us are fighting hard to no look pregnant. I think your added pressure contributes to women suffering from post partum depression. Stop it!

Dear My Sweet Babies,

   Mommy is sorry that sometimes I don't seem happy. I'm just tired. And when you ask me if I'm okay and I say yes; I'm lying. I'm more than likely on the verge of tears, which I think you know. But do know this, I love you very much. I just don't get time to rebuild myself in order to better handle your insanity. I don't get a chance to miss you.

Lastly....... Dear former Supervisor,

   I have harbored these thoughrs and feelings for some time. I think my overall feeling of yuckiness is directly related to holding in how I felt. So, here goes....
You sir are a decomposing POS. You are a little man, with little intelligence and you have no clue as to the navigation of life. In other words; you suck at life. You gave me  a tough time just as I had come back to work. You're a gross human being.

In conclusion, I'm absolutely doing my best I can to stay afloat. And to other moms out there, rest before you burnout. Be kind and kindness will find you

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Perfectly Imperfect

 Motherhood, the final frontier. It is the most scrutinize, misunderstood, frightening, and the most beautiful thing in this whole wide world. This particular picture represents what goes on in my mind. I would change the one that says "What my mother thinks I do" to me looking completely disheveled and overwhelmed. I would also change the one that says "What my husband thinks I do" because he knows better; well at least he should! Do you see all of these boxes: little nooks that the world likes to put different moms in? Here's the thing...... you don't have to fit into ANY  of these boxes! Crazy, I know! But, none of these boxes actually fit me; well, except the one with the mom holding the gun. Yeah! Cuz I'm gaaansta! The fact that I wrote "gaaansta"  should further let you know that I'm not really gaaansta. Whether you think you're gansta or not, you're a mother. If you give it your darnedest to be the best mom you can be, then you're perfect. You are perfectly imperfect. And that's okay. Being perfectly imperfect means you spent the whole week teaching your two year old to cover her mouth when she coughs only to get whatever germ your little outbreak monkey was carrying. Now you need some extra help with the other children because you're sick. Perfectly imperfect means letting your newborn cry while you step outside so you can cry because you're sleep deprived, your vajayjay hurts and people still think you're pregnant. Being perfectly imperfect means you mistakenly made your four year old drink spoiled milk because you thought she just wanted to pour it out and waste more food so you had to teach the "waste not want not" philosophy. Then when you ask "what's wrong with the milk?" and she tells you it's making her stomach hurt. You taste it and realize it's bad. Then you feel like a jerk and apologize. What made you a perfect mommy what that you apologized. Being a  good mom doesn't mean you're going to be right all of the time, or your good intentions won't end up bad. It just means you are going to do the best job you can without your kids needing serious therapy as adults. Note, I said serious therapy because my kids have me for a mom; they're going to need therapy by default. Being perfectly imperfect mom is teaching your children to understand others' imperfections, to be good and kind human beings. Because when you're kind, kindness with find you!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Introducing....Frankie Rose

The Introduction to the World of Ms. Frankie Rose

       This was me my last week at work. I was so excited, tired, nervous and whatever other emotion there is. See, this particular pregnancy was not planned. I repeat was not planned! I was on birth control, trying to space my kids out so I could have a small break. But GOD! It was almost like HE was sitting in heaven thinking to himself, "Gee, I'm tired of all of the death and destruction. Let's liven things up." So, after missing my cycle and still taking my pills, my husband suggested that I take a test. GOD, sitting up in heaven, calling over Jesus, Mary and Joseph. They're all laughing and pointing at me. Put the test down to wash my hands.......positive! Immediately I felt a wave of fear, anxiousness, and a strong desire not to have another c-section. 
      I called by ob and started my prenatal care. She was my doctor with my last baby and she worked with me to give me the birth I wanted. I still ended up having a section, but at least she gave me the option. Well, she wasn't so open this time around. At about 28 weeks I changed doctors. It was tedious and very much time consuming. She is in high demand and sometimes my appointments would be 3 hrs long. I had to get all of my medical records and surgery reports from the previous sections. I had to have my blood work done over. There was always the thought that I was doing all of this for nothing. All of the article reading, mommy forums, meeting with my doula Kelly, was all for nothing....... Until August 10, 2016.
       I was watching the news that Monday, August 8th. The weather man said that a low pressure system was coming through our area Wednesday the 10th. I turned to my husband and said I was going to go into labor on Wednesday. That Tuesday was rough. The girls (Ava is 4 and Aubrey is 2) were acting super crazy. I couldn't take them outside because it was raining and Brondae (hubby) was working. He came home that evening, fixed dinner, put the girls in the tub and went back out to work. I was tired and my fuse was short, so I thought it best the girls and I went to bed. At about 4am Wednesday morning I woke to no hubby in the bed. I got up to go to the bathroom and I saw him sitting in the rocking chair watching t.v. I asked him why didn't he go to sleep in the bed. He said I looked too comfortable and he didn't want to bother me. So, we both got back in the bed and watched Steven Universe (awesome cartoon). We both fell asleep. I woke again about 4:30am, laughed about something funny about the cartoon........ my water broke!!!!!!!!!!!! In the bed!!!!!!! Ahhhhhh!!!!! Okay, let me wake hubby up so he doesn't wake up in some random liquid. "Bae....bae.....bae.....BAE!!!! My water broke." It took like 5 seconds for it to process in his brain. "Alright Sunshine. Your water broke?! Okay! Let's go to the hospital." That's my husband's first thought, the hospital. I told him just because my water broke doesn't mean I need to go to the hospital. As a matter of fact, I was trying to go back to sleep. So, we called a couple of family members for the girls to hang out. Hubby got the girls ready and out the door in .5 seconds. At 4:50am I texted Kelly to let her know my water had broken. When Brondae came back home, I decided I need a shower. So, I sat in the shower for about 30 min. As soon as I got out of the shower my contractions picked up. We stayed home and I did some dancing with hubby and birthing ball until 7 am. At this point I decided to go to the hospital. That ride was quite awful. New Orleans streets are not for the faint of heart on a good day, let alone when a human is trying to escape out of your body. Brondae and I got to the hospital about 7:30am. The nurse came to wheel me into a triage room. I immediately said my water had already broken. I mean it didn't make sense to have to clean two rooms. The nurse looks at me like I don't know what I'm talking about. "Are you sure your water has broken?" she asked. "Ma'am I have fluid from the 9th ward to right outside the hospital doors!" At that moment they wheeled me right to labor and delivery. Things were going pretty smoothly. My contractions were kinda consistent and somewhat mild. Then Kelly came around 11:30 am. Thank God for Kelly! The NO FOOD nurses were in full effect and Kelly brought some great snacks. After breathing through and rocking through some intense contractions, the nurses claim that my doctor said to give me pitocin at 1:00pm. Okay, for those who don't know pitocin is the work of the devil! It takes the natural waves of normal contractions and turns them into tsunamis. From 1pm the pitocin started at 2ml, then they would bump it up every 15 minutes until it was 12ml. Oh meee geeeee! When it got to 12ml there was a lot of "Sweet Jesus" being called. The pitocin was to regulate my contractions; and it did! One of the nurses was kind enough to start turning it down until it got to 8ml around 3pm since my contractions were really strong and consistent. After a while the contractions started to get the best of me. I was tired and thought it would be better to go home. I guess it was that fight or flight thing going on. I then swayed standing up for two hours straight! I wouldn't do anything else! When I say everything else hurt, everything! Brondae and Kelly were stern and gentle at the same time. Kelly had me get on the birth ball where I would fall asleep and wake to some serious contractions. Dr. Lap came in to "check" me and said I was doing good at 5cm. I put check in quotations because I assumed she meant to check my cervix, but I think she was aiming for my tonsils. At some point after this Brondae had to leave to tend to the two older girls. I don't know if it was the fear of him not being there, but the pain seemed to intensify. As Kelly held my head I told her I wanted an epidural. She reassured me that I really didn't want to do that. But I did! I actually thought at that moment that it would be easier to get another c-section! After about an hour Brondae came back. Kelly ratted me out! They both reminded me how hard I had worked for a vbac and how the epidural would probably lead to another c-section. But I was tired. Not only was I tired, I was hungry! And anyone who knows me well, knows I'm a really sucky person when I'm hungry. I'm like the Hulk. Instead of getting me angry, it's hunger that grinds my gears. At about 8:15 pm my dad stopped by. Poor guy! He came right before Dr. Lap came in to check me. It felt like she was trying to dig the baby out! She placed some kind of monitor thingy in my vajayjay to track the intensity of the contractions. I wish there was another word for hurt. My poor daddy came in after wards and said "see ya later!" Daddy couldn't see his baby in pain! Lol! Shortly after he left, Kelly had to leave. After about an hour and a half of more hard, pitocin labor, Dr. Lap came in and said I needed an epidural. There was a wave of relief that came over me. I was tired as hell! I was in so much pain. 10:15, the nurse comes in and starts the paper work for the epidural. I sign it. Almost a whole hour later the anesthesiologist finally comes in. He of course kicks Brondae out. The last two times I got an epidural it hurt and burned. This guy was really good. He was quick and didn't poke around in my spine like the other ones did. Yay! I had the epidural so now I can rest...... so you would assume. I was still in a LOT of pain and I felt sick. I had been feeling like I needed to throw up since Brondae left to get the girls. Looking back, Kelly says I was getting close to transition. After the epidural the nurses hooked me up in this weird position with one of my legs in a stirrup on my side so the baby could turn. The nurse came in and gave me oxygen. I fell asleep. 12:15 am the nurse comes in and looks extremely concerned. She picks up her phone and with great urgency calls for medical back up. Within a blink of an eye there were about ten nurses, doctors and midwives around my bed. I was terrified. I looked over at Brondae to read him. His face was stiff and stern. He was terrified. I began to pray. Brondae prayed. Then all of a sudden one of the doctors yells out, "it's about to get weird!". She jumped on my bed and had me turn on all fours. While I was butt up, one of the nurses checked me. "She's only 5cm still." she whispered to another nurse. I felt defeated, tired, worn out, sad, and angry. "Mrs. Branch were going to have to section you. The baby's heart was doing some crazy stuff and we think that a section is in your best interest." NO! NO! After all I've been through. The long labor, the pitocin, the missed veins. All the visits with Kelly and the arduously long waits at Dr. Lap's office, the articles, for nothing! Shortly after the crazy happened Dr, Lap came in. She checked me, then looked around the room of doctors. "Who said she was 5cm?!" I was still concerned. How dilated was I? "You're complete and you need to start pushing." Oh my God! Thank you Lord! After pushing for 30 minutes and throwing up, Ms. Frankie Rose made her entrance into this world.

    9lbs 14ozs, 22 1/2 inches long of beautiful little girl. Now this vba2c didn't come without a price. She was almost ten pounds, so I had some tearing.

   The girls are really excited about their sister, especially Ava. She tried to breastfeed her last week! I think Aubrey thinks she's some kind of toy to be poked and prodded. My husband was set on having a boy, but is overjoyed. As for me, words cannot express the happiness, healing and accomplishment I feel knowing my body really is capable! Now that I know, the baby factory is forever closed! I would like to thank God for being in the midst of everything, my husband for his unwavering support, Dr. Lap, Kelly and her family, Grace, and the Touro staff. We did it! I did it! And to the ladies out there that have been told they don't have a proven pelvis, the baby is too big or once a section always a section; my story proves you can do it too! To all the moms and moms to be; birth however feels best to you. As moms we should have each other's backs. So, until I can do things without Frankie attached to my boob; be kind and kindness will find you!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

A Word to the Not-So-Wise (my co-workers)

   This is addressed to my co-workers. This is not for all of you, but if the shoe fits........
    To the co-worker who is having a hard time with the fact that I am pregnant with my third child, walk into a closed, sliding, glass door please. Why does this bother you so much? Is it the future college tuitions you won't have to pay? How does me having children affect your life at all? If you don't have anything nice or halfway intelligent to say, just don't.
   To the co-worker who made the comment about me needing to keep my legs closed; throw up on yourself. Just because you're sexually frustrated doesn't mean everyone else has to be. Plus I'm married and sex is fun. So, yeah you jerk!
   To the co-worker who feels the need to poke at my belly; it has taken everything within me to not slap the crap out of you! Stop it!
   To the co-worker who keeps asking me when I'm due and when I tell you my due date you give me wild eyes as if I am so huge it couldn't be possible. You should look in the mirror and have that same reaction.
   I know some of you are saying, "why not go to HR? Why not tell someone you're being harassed?" Because it's not necessary. The next person to say something STUPID to me is going to catch every bit of Hell I've been going through dealing with all of this inconsiderate behavior . What is wrong with you people?! Have you not seen a pregnant chick before? And the ones making the dumbest comments are men who have children! You all should think before you speak! Because I can't promise I'll think before I cuss you out next time! Oh, be kind and yada, yada, yada.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Black and White

   Today as I was scrolling Facebook, I came across an article called "Black Privilege". My initial reaction just to the title was, "you can't be serious!" There are people, usually older whites that actually believe this new movement of racial consciousness is black people's privilege. Now, as an educated, product of a two parent household, never went hungry or without basic necessities, I guess one could say I am privileged. But, it goes deeper than that. 
   Take a look at these images. What do you see? This is what comes up when you type in "black teens" in Google images. Do these kids look like they are have a good time in life? Or, does it seem that all of the negative stereotypes of black people are being perpetuated in just a few images? If I didn't know any better I would think that Black Lives really don't matter just based off these pictures. I mean, young men depicted in mug shots, young high school girls all posing showing off their pregnant bellies. "Blacks don't value themselves, why should we care about how they are treated?" And yes, there is SOME truth in stereotypes. Like "black people are lazy and all they do is steal and kill people." I work in news and I have seen black people do all of thee above. I've also seen whites do the same. But white men shooting up movie theaters and churches isn't something that's highlighted because that's who controls mainstream media. Let's highlight the goodness of people of color. What about Pres. Obama and his family? Why aren't any of their pictures up here? Sasha, Malea, my cousins Jazmine and Alana who are honors students in college, you don't see these images.

  Now, look at these pictures. What do you see here? You see smiling, happy, friendly, white kids. Don't they look wholesome? This is what comes up when you type in "white teens" in Google. Even in this Google search there are still negative images of black kids. So, what does this say to America, to the world? Black is wrong. White is right. That within itself is the definition of white privilege. Black people can't even get a fair shake when it comes to Google! And mind you, these pictures have been changed since someone pointed it out on Facebook.
   Pointing out the blatant wrongs that the mainstream media, society and even our educational system perpetuates about black,brown,yellow and red people does not create division. If your house was a total mess and someone pointed it out to you, you wouldn't say that person created that mess. You would own up to it and more than likely ask that person to help you clean the mess. Seems logical doesn't it? Then why is it when people who have been disadvantaged by systemic racism, aka "white privilege" point it out they are either ignored, attacked or ran away from? Racism is as blatant as lynching, slavery or segregation. It's as subliminal as a Google search, mainstream television, the Oscars, a security guard following you around a clothing store, the preschool to prison pipeline, a young black kid being shot in cold blood for a toy gun. I always say at the end of my blogs, "be kind and kindness will find you.". I wonder if anyone really understands what that means anymore, Maybe I should instead say, "be compassionate and understanding of others struggles, maybe one day the discussion of race would be as insignificant as what one had for dinner the night before." Peace, equality, togetherness, a fair shot at life are all things that most people want. It is only when people of color wanting the same thing that brings about divisiveness, fear and exclusion. We (people of color) only want to advance ourselves, not oppress anyone else. Let's be good to one another. Let's love one another and maybe our children may have a better and brighter future ahead.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Roe v. Wade

   January 22nd, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade decision. This is one of the monumental changes that affected women in America. It's a very taboo subject as it crosses the lines of faith and law. ABORTION. It's a scary word. It's wispered from the mouth to the ear in a most shameful tone. A God-fearing, woman of God such as myself would never agree that this Roe v. Wade would be any good. Or would I?
   See, the thing is, I  really don't care much for abortion, especially after the first trimester. I feel as though most people have understanding enough to know that the real purpose of sex is to make children. So, it shouldn't come as a surprise when one gets pregnant from said activities. But there's something I care even less about, and that's government telling me what I can and cannot do with MY lady parts. I am by no means saying that I  think abortion is okay. What I am saying is, not having a say about what goes on with my body is totally not okay.
   My other beef that I  have with this anniversary is that it comes on the heels of many mass shootings and cop/civilian shootings that the two are being compared. Yes, Pres. Obama thinks there should be gun control laws put in place so that another 25,000 people don't get killed for no reason. No, Pres. Obama doesn't think he should touch Roe v. Wade with a ten foot pole. Do you wanna know why? Do ya? Huh, huh? Because he has a PENIS! Yes, if you think he's an elitist now, just wait until he tells Becky when and how she should reproduce. I bet Pres. Obama detest abortion, but running the free world is not about your personal beliefs, it's about democracy and serving the people.
   In conclusion, no one should have say of what a women should do with her body and unborn child. If we lived in a perfect world abortions wouldn't even exist. We don't live in a perfect world. We live in a world riddled with sin, hate for one another, and misunderstanding. So, instead of us focusing our efforts fighting against the rights of someone else, let's let our light shine as brightly as we can in this cruel, dim world. Remember, be kind and kindness will find you.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Full Moon and Family

   Christmas 2015 is gonna be extra crazy! Why? Because there is going to be a full moon. As if the drunk uncle, and slutty cousin wasn't enough; let's add a full moon! It's like putting out a grease fire with gasoline. I have even started to feel the effects of this coming moon. Family members already moody and "hum buggish". People getting mad that they were asked to bring paper products, spouses saying they won't go to their in-laws, and children refusing to perform at the Christmas play. Yes, it's already in full effect. So, how does one make it through the holidays without the cops having to be called?(black people this should be our last resort)
   First, let's remember why it is we celebrate Christmas. The birth of well, Christ. If we remember why He was born and how he died for us, that just may ease some tentions. Secondly, it's family. You already know that one family member that never brings tact with them. They always seem to notice how fat you are or how badly your hair looks. Ignore them! Chances are they are trying to find something good within themselves. Thirdly, keep the peace for the churin. (That's children in New Orleans speak) Unlike you, children find magic and wonder in Christmas. And the last thing they need to further degrade their innocence is for you to wildly resolve your issues that you've had for the past 20 or so years. And lastly, the food! I'm not trying to break up fights or console people whilst I'm face deep in a bowl of gumbo! We are all going by my mama's  house for Christmas. The only thing y'all need to bring is your Chris Cringle gift, some Soul Christmas music, your appetite and kindness. Because as you well know by now, be kind and kindness will find you. Merry Christmas all!