Healthy Baby, Healthy Mama

Healthy Baby, Healthy Mama.jpg

By Kate Kole

I didn’t have a detailed birth plan. Without ever having ever gone through labor and delivery, I was unsure of how I’d feel about pain management or who I’d really want in the room when it was time to push. So, on the hospital form, I kept my preferences short and sweet. Healthy baby, healthy mama. That was it.

At 40 weeks and 6 days pregnant, I went into labor. After 28 hours, I gave birth to our sweet boy. I awaited the moment everyone promises, when all the pain and pushing evaporates and you hold your baby in your arms for the first time. Continue reading

When “Body Neutrality” Is the Best That You Can Do

By De Elizabeth

Trigger Warning: The following contains language about eating disorders.

A few days ago, I pulled out a romper from the back of my closet. The black fabric was slightly wrinkled, a few beads on the neckline coming loose on the thread. I hadn’t worn it since the summer of 2016, almost two years ago at this point, months before I got pregnant. I stumbled upon it on the first hot day of the year, and, out of curiosity, I put it on, hoping it would fit.

I’m not sure if I was surprise or relieved — or maybe both — to find that it did still fit. The cinched waistband slipped up over my hips easily, the buttons closing behind my shoulders without a fight. But when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t feel like the 2016 girl who wore that same romper. Something felt off, out of place, unfamiliar. Continue reading

Some Thoughts On Change

Some Thoughts On Change

By Jillian Stacia

I’ve had a lot of change lately. That’s an understatement, actually. In the last year, I’ve gotten pregnant, been promoted, had a baby, went back to work, quit my job, started freelancing full time, and dyed my hair blue.

Things have changed so much so fast, and I still feel like I am reeling.

Here’s what I know: I am happier than I have ever been, probably because I feel more like myself than I ever have. My life is finally a representation of my values, and that feels amazing and right and whole.

But I also feel like I’m floundering. Each time I start to find a rhythm, I am pummeled by change. The carpet is ripped out from under my feet, and I have to start all over again. Continue reading

The Price You Pay When You’re Always Trying to Live in the Moment

By De Elizabeth

Every summer when growing up, my family would take trips to Cape Cod. My brother and I would spend the days leading up to our trip rifling through our CD collections, deciding which albums to bring with us for the six-hour drive (Blink-182, SR-71, and, later, Motion City Soundtrack were always among the top of the list). We’d print out a list of every state in the country, awarding various values to each, ready to play the License Plate Game in the car (Alaska and Hawaii always had the highest amount of points). We’d joke that every year, our parents would get into their “annual fight” before we left, delaying our departure by at least 45 minutes, but then eventually we’d be on our way. We’d stop around lunchtime — in Mystic, Connecticut, at a Friendly’s restaurant just off of the highway. Then, several hours later, we’d cross the Sagamore Bridge onto the Cape, and every year, at this very moment, my mom would turn around, look at us, and say: “Savor the moment.” Continue reading

Are You Ready?

Are You Ready

By Kate Kole

“Are you ready?”

With my due date now only 2 and a half weeks away, that’s the question I unsurprisingly receive the most.

My answer, almost always, is some version of “as ready as you can be.”

Because, I suppose, we’ve planned and prepared in almost all the ways possible. The nursery is complete, the car seats are installed and inspected, the hospital bag is packed, the breastfeeding and caring-for-a-newborn classes have been attended. I’ve flipped through What To Expect When You’re Expecting weekly for the last 9 months and I now know as much as you can know (or at least as much as I’d like to know) without completely freaking myself out. Continue reading

The Things I Never Knew Before Becoming A Mom

The Things I Never Knew Before Becoming A Mom

By Chelsea O’Neal

I never knew many things before becoming a mother. I had heard “stories” from other parents but like many people, I thought “surely those are myths.” And then I became a mom and boy did things change.

I never knew how scary it was caring for another tiny little human. How delicate I’d think she was. How afraid I’d be to make the wrong decision in even the simplest of situations. I never knew I wouldn’t leave the house on time ever again. Or that when I’d finally leave, I’d be toting around a giant bag of everything in the house.  Continue reading

How Moms Are Simultaneously Pressured to Be “Perfect” and “Real” Online

By De Elizabeth

There’s a lot about motherhood that’s talked about on the internet.

Mom blogs are rampant — and you can find one on almost every topic. If it’s not a mom blog, it’s a mom Instagram account. Or a mom YouTube channel. All of which are gleaming with the superficial: lists of favorite products, the ingredients of recipes for a smash cake, brightly-lit photos marking the passage of time. My own blog contains a lot of these things too, I’ll admit. Continue reading

I Hope I Never Forget

I Hope I Never Forget

By Becky Houdesheldt

This weekend Andrew and I were reminiscing about when our son was a baby. I mean, he is almost 13 months. But 13 months is a lot different than 3 months. I miss the early days with him, when he needed to be held all the time, when it was ok to snuggle him as much as we wanted, when there was no such thing as spoiling the baby. When I would wake up and see my husband in the nursery, asleep with him in his arms in our green glider. Getting up with him in the middle of the night, sharing the responsibility, getting bottles and diapers and swaddles ready.

I have fond memories at our little house with our new little baby. The house I bought on my own at 30, because after I took the trip of a lifetime and recognized I didn’t need anyone or anything to live my life, I finally felt empowered and I took the leap into home-ownership. It was an adorable 2 bedroom home with a 1 car garage, a pretty red door and the cutest bathrooms. It had a kitchen with exposed cabinets and that 60s charm. It had an oven in the wall that was so small hardly any of my dishes fit in it, but man did it cook fast. My girlfriend and I painted half the basement right away – a beautiful shade of light blue, with white trim. It felt beachy and relaxing. I broke my foot the day I moved, and she helped me set up the basement so we could watch Star Wars and eat pizza. As time went on, I made more changes to make it mine. I hung pictures from twine in the hallway. I painted the small wall in the dining room a dark purple, and hung an eclectic mix of artwork around the window. It was so decidedly me. I loved it. Continue reading

Motherhood Is Not a “Before and After”

By De Elizabeth

When I was younger, I believed in the idea of separate selves. Throughout high school and college, I felt myself consistently shifting — not so much changing, but disappearing and then reappearing as someone completely different. I divided portions of my life into chapters, all of which neatly fit within the pages of my journals that I kept as a teenager and early twenty-something. If a friendship ended or I went through a breakup, I felt like “the girl that I used to be” during that time also ceased to exist. I marked endless “before”‘s and “after”‘s with physical alterations: a new haircut, a shopping spree, a dramatic weight loss, the change of a season. Continue reading

My Life Looks Different Than I Thought It Would

My Life Looks Different Than I Thought It Would

By Kate Kole

Sometime during middle school, I picked the house I would live in once I became a grown up. It was a 10-minute walk from my childhood home, quaint and complete with a white picket fence.

I imagined my brother and sister would buy places in the same neighborhood. We’d all get married and have kids. They’d play little league together and we’d barbecue with my parents on Sunday afternoons. Continue reading