Happy Friday, friends! I cannot even believe it is July. This whole year is apparently just going to fly by. I rounded up your questions & answers from the last few months and answered them below for those interested! I get pretty raw & honest in a few of them about motherhood, postpartum and the pressure that mothers endure so, buckle up!
Questions About Me
Q: Favorite thing about living in London vs the States
A: All of this right here. Not to mention, my favorite city is on my doorstep!
Q: What kind of unit were you a nurse in? Days or nights?
A: I worked mostly in neuro and neurosurgery (brain and back surgery, stroke patients, anyone who came in with an initial diagnosis of ‘altered mental status’) but also have a little experience in orthopedic surgery, as well. I worked nights for two and a half year and days for two and a half years.
Q: Why can’t your parents visit?
A: I think they technically can but would have to take multiple Covid tests here in the UK and quarantine for 5 days (my dad doesn’t do staying inside well or doing nothing well lol so just not ideal) but we’re hoping that changes soon.
We are trying to rethink their trip if that doesn’t change though but nothing has been planned so nothing to share at the moment. Stay tuned!
Q: Did you get both ears pierced or just one?
In Feb 2020, I got this ear hold stitched up because it has gotten really long and was no longer a hole, but more of a line. I was afraid it would eventually go all the way through my ear so I had it stitched up with the intention of having it re-pierced once it was completely healed. I was initially going to go to the plastic surgeon who stitched it up BUT I got my Visa, moved over to the UK, and was unable to go back to the States to have it done ( I had had a few trips back planned but you know..covid).
THEN..I went to get it done last Summer but they wouldn’t do it because I was pregnant. So, now that I’m not pregnant or breastfeeding, I finally got it re-pierced.
Q: How old are you?
Honestly some days I really have to think about this question..because I can’t remember lol but I’m 35!
All Things Louie & Motherhood
Q: Have you been caught up in the embassy mess to register Louie’s birth/get passport?
A: No- I figured I could wait a little bit because we don’t have any trips to the States planned just yet & we have a move coming up so figured I could wait until after we get moved and settled to fuss over. I hear you have to be pretty committed to checking the website to get an appointment so, yeah, wish us luck when we finally do get around to it. If I can get his US passport, I’d love to just go visit my parents back in the States instead of them fussing over coming here. Being that he’s so little, I’d be comfortable traveling back with him solo.
Q: Hardest thing about motherhood?
A: When I was a nurse, I realized quickly that I did NOT like when unexpected things got in the way of the next task that needed to get done. Unexpected things come up quite a bit when you’re a mom and I think even more-so as they get older so I think that’ll always be a tough aspect of it for me. #hiimacontrolfreak
Q: Confession: New mom here, both grateful and bitter so much falls to mom instead of dad.
A: YASSS GIRL!
I talked about this in my ‘One Month With Louie’ blog post and I was so nervous to say it out loud because I never want it to seem like John is lazy or doesn’t help (because he does with with so much) but yes, I felt this so deeply when I was struggling with breastfeeding, trying to recover from a C-section, and then again when John went back to work after having Louie. I was like wish it was that easy for me!
I had never really been so aware of gender roles until then & how unfair they can feel.
Random story re: gender roles- I had someone recently applaud John for watching Louie while I went out to something for myself. And I was dumbfounded. In my mind, it’s more praiseworthy for mom’s to ask their spouse to take over, to verbalize something they need, and to go out and do that something for themselves, for their mental health, to make them feel more in tune with themselves outside of motherhood, and to come back feeling rejuvenated and reenergized than it is for the dad to be praised for watching the baby he is a father to. He’s the parent! That’s his responsibility as much as it’s the moms. (Yes, it;s amazing that John is involved don’t get me wrong.. I am grateful to have an amazing partner..but no one applauds me everyday for all I do for Louie. I’m his parent. It’s my responsibility. See what I mean?)
Also, my friend Kathleen Barnes shared a few words about this topic on her stories yesterday and it’s everythingggg.
So anyway, yes I feel that statement on a deep level and, if it bothers you, talk to your partner about it. John has been so receptive to my thoughts on this topic. He wants to be involved. It’s something just a matter of clueing them into how we think and what we’d like them to take off our plate.
Why can’t you take a quick shower while he’s sleeping?
A: Because he fell asleep in his lounger in the living room and I knew he’d wake up if I moved him to our room.
Q: The formula dispenser you use please!
A: The baby breeza is a game changer! Makes a bottle in 15 seconds and is the perfect temperature.
Q: How do you motivate yourself to put makeup on and do your hair staying home?
A: As a new mom, I’ve personally found that I really need to be intentional (when I can) to prioritize small things that make me feel good and spark joy because.. while I LOVE Louie.. being a mom is a very different role and causes a bit of an identity shift and it’s important to tap into the bits of your old self that make you happy and help you be the best mom while you’re navigating your new role and getting to know this new you. So, for me, it’s a little bit of makeup. For you, it might be going to your small group at church each week, or doing a 20-minute workout while they nap each day for a few days a week. You get to decide but yeah, that’s my motivation. The joy it brings me and how it leaves me feeling like I can tackle anything motherhood or work brings me that day.
Labor, Delivery & Postpartum
Q: SIL unexpectedly had a C-section. What’s something I can do to help her?
A: If she’s willing to have you over..
• Bring them groceries or a meal
• Offer to do some laundry
• Help yourself to their cleaning cabinet and help tidy up the kitchen or wherever they need tidying
• Offer to hold baby while she goes and takes a shower or takes a nap or just refuels her in whatever that looks like to her
• Offer to just hang with her during the day and be her right hand gal.. it’s hard to get around those first few weeks so, if your brother needs to go out, offer to fill in
• If she’s rather not have visitors for right now, deliver/drop off food or groceries to their house. Honestly, it’s the sweetest gift you can give a couple with a new baby.
Q: Did you practice hypnobirthing?
A: No..ha! I wanted to and John was being such a trooper really trying to get me to breathe like we were taught in the hypnobirthing class but, man, induction contractions hit me really hard and really fast. I was FAR from prepared for what that was like. The slow breaths in and out like they teach you was tough especially because my contractions typically lasted wayyy longer than a minute. But that was just my experience. I’m not sure if it’s always like that.
Q: Are you close to sharing Louie’s birth story yet?
A: Can I be honest? I’ve just been really unmotivated to sit at the computer these days. I use to love putting my time and energy into blog posts but, if you’ve been a long time follower of the blog, you may have noticed that there aren’t a lot of blog posts going up right now (or Instagram posts or reels or igtv’s for that matter, lol). And that’s because I’m just not feeling passionate about it at the moment. I feel like I’ve spent the last however many years pouring all of myself into all the things that have my name on it (and I LOVE what I’ve built; I’m so proud and so thankful you’ve been here supporting me in all of it) but, right now, I’m finding I’d rather give some of that time (let’s be real..a majority of that time) to pouring into myself, my baby and our little family.
Mentally, some days, I still want to do it all but I am really just trying to ONE. be good to multiple and TWO. honor where I feel led to spend my energy in this season and when I am honest with myself.. I want to spend most of my energy right here, with this little one. Maybe that’ll make me less relevant in the influencer space. Maybe I’ll make less money. Maybe that’s really irresponsible being that this is my livelihood. I don’t know. I guess others can make their own judgements but it feels right for me right now. I’ve just come to accept that, FOR ME, this just isn’t a season where I bend over backwards to do all the work things I used to so I’m just not (I’ve kind of been in this season for awhile, to be honest, thanks to the lockdown, pregnancy, etc.) and, I’m not quitting by any means,. I think I’m just operating with a different mentality.. a healthier mentality, in my opinion. I do what I can each day and each week.. but I’m not going to hold myself to an impossible standard to just keep up, y’know?! The rat race just doesn’t appeal to me like I think it used to.
All that to say, when I do feel excited about sitting down to write it, I will!
Q: What would you say to someone who has a lot of anxiety about being pregnant/birth?!
A: First of all, you are not alone! It;s totally understandable to be afraid/anxious about something you’ve never gone through.
Second, I’ve never experienced anxiety first hand but I’d suggest trying to relieve the anxiety by hand picking your birth team.. pick an OB you’re comfortable with, who will honor your wishes & spend extra time answering questions. Maybe look into hiring a doula who can be an amazing support to you throughout pregnancy and during birth. Education was something that really helped me. I took the positive birthing company hynopbirthing class, which thoroughly explained what your body does during birth and techniques on how to stay calm and work with your body through it.
I’m sure there are other things that would help but that’s what came to my mind first!
Q: Are you still breastfeeding? How is it going?
A: No, I stopped breastfeeding after 3 weeks for a few reasons: latch issues, persistent clogged ducts, strong emotions when pumping that affected my mental status, insufficient supply for Louie’s needs, etc. Because the experience was affecting my mental health and stealing my joy during such a sweet and special season, I chose to formula feed. I am much happier and Louie is getting what he needs and doing so well!
Breastfeeding is amazing! I wish our journey had been different because I was really looking forward to it. But, it’s hard for soooo many women so do not beat yourself up if it doesn’t work out. Of course, I understand it can be an emotional decision but, I promise you, you’re not the only one who struggles/d with BF and there’s no shame in saying ”it’s time to move on”
Q: How did you loose all your pregnancy weight?
A: I definitely haven’t. Baggy clothes are likely making it seem like I have but it’s just what I’ve been the most comfortable in lately. I’m not really trying to lose weight… Eventually, I may work on toning things up but right now just trying to focus on being good to myself and loving my body even if it looks different than it used to.
Be good to yourself. It takes 9 months to grow our babes so we can’t put these crazy expectations on our bodies. What’s normal for my body after pregnancy might not be normal for you but it doesn’t make either one of our normals wrong. Does that make sense?!
Style & Beauty Questions
Q: What is similar to Ulta or Sephora in the UK? Especially for online ordering
Q: Cute Summer hats for days I need to cover up my roots!
A: A few options below for you, ladies!
Q: How are you liking the Solly wrap? Do you use it much?
A: I love it! I love wearing him but it’s definitely a process to put it on and get situated. There is a learning curve. But, I do think the Solly’s are especially great when they’re really little. Also loooove the material. Linking my faves below!
Q: Can you link the dress/top you’re wearing today?
A: Absolutely! It’s a jumpsuit!
Q: What size is your frame tv?!
A: I love our frame tv. It is 65 inches!
Q: You were wearing the cutest yellow dress (with a leather jacket on top) in a recent post.
A: Ugh yes this one! I loooooved this outfit and most everything was from Walmart! I’ll link the blog post here but I am almost positive everything is no longer available. I included this in the Summer Dress Lookbook post as a way of highlighting my love for dresses over the years so apologies for the tease.
Q: The gold heart ring you wore the other day
A: It’s by Chupi– I’m obsessed with their jewelry. And it’s owned by the kindest human.
That’s a wrap for me! I hope you all enjoyed. I would love to hear from you all in the comments below!
Until next time, loves! xo.