Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Most Important Question to Ask Your Kids

When I was 8 or 9, I had a best friend at school. We shall call her Emma. She was funny, loud, and just like me, loved to sing. She had a confidence that I found inspiring, and was mature beyond her years. I looked up to her.

One weekend, I had another friend sleep over at my house, and we went “camping” in the backyard. As we stayed up late talking in the tent, this friend told me that Emma had been saying all kinds of mean things behind my back, the details of which I’ve long forgotten, but I do recall the pain of hearing that my “best friend” was telling people at school that she didn’t like me. I fell asleep crying, and feeling hurt and betrayed.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Unspoken Bond Between Moms

Let's talk about this thing that no one speaks of. Let's talk about the loneliness of motherhood. Do you know what I'm referring to? If you don't, good for you! Motherhood is a unique experience for everyone. Though many of our thoughts and feelings often fall in line with each other as mothers and caregivers, the variables are endless. But for now, let’s talk about what some (including me) find to be the innate lonely nature of mothering.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

What Postpartum Depression Really Looks Like

I recently wrote a post about my experience with ectopic pregnancy and loss. The result was an outpouring of love, sympathy, and other mothers' stories of loss and other parenting-related struggles (we all know, there are many!). When I mentioned that I wanted to write a blog about postpartum depression (PPD), my friend Laura reached out and wanted to share her story. I told her to be as brief or detailed as she liked. I told her it could be anonymous. But she said that she didn't want it to be anonymous; that she wasn't ashamed of having PPD, and that she was proud to have gone through it and made it to the other side. Amen, sista! This is what it's all about. Let's share. Let's talk. My blog is and forever will be a judgement-free zone.

Below is what Laura wrote, in it's beautifully untouched form. I didn't edit or trim it; it is so real and perfect just the way it is. I cried reading it. I hope it touches you too, and inspires you to talk about your own experience with PPD (or anything else, for that matter). Thank you for your honesty, Laura!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

I'm Not Brave

3 out of 4 incision sites from my laparoscopy
Earlier this week I posted a blog about my experience with ectopic pregnancy and the emergency surgery to remove it. I was immediately inundated with messages and calls of well-wishes, and I am deeply humbled by the support and love. Thank you.

I also received something else. Dozens of messages from women telling me about their own experiences with miscarriage and loss. This, I did not expect. This hit me like a ton of bricks and I cried reading most of them. I get choked up just writing the word miscarriage. To all the women who shared their stories with me...thank you. I want you to know that it really meant something to me.

Almost 100% of all of these messages started with, "Oriana, you are so brave for sharing your story." While I am deeply touched and totally in-tune with these wonderful women who said this, I was saddened by the idea that it requires bravery to speak up about loss, grief, or mental illness. I'm not brave. Scratch that - I am brave, just like all mothers are brave (trust me, it takes some balls to be a mom), but I should't have to be brave to talk about loss.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

My Ectopic Pregnancy

Who said "bed rest" can't be on a balcony?
After I gave birth to our second child, we knew we needed a serious break before deciding to have any more kids. Like many families in our situation, we considered the best choices for birth control, and decided on the copper IUD since it is hormone-free (I'm breastfeeding) and lasts up to 5 years.

Just like all birth control options, there's always a laundry list of possible side effects and risks. One of these for the copper IUD is a higher chance for ectopic pregnancy, which is pregnancy outside of the uterus, typically in the Fallopian tube. Of course, I read this and thought, "what are the odds of that happening to me?" and got my IUD in November 2015.

Other than an uncomfortable insertion, I found the copper IUD to be a pretty good option. It was nice not having to worry about taking a pill, and I really wanted a non-hormone option - even though they say breastfeeding is fine on low-dose pills. I found my first couple cycles a bit extra crampy because of the IUD, but for me that was an acceptable price to pay for the low-maintenance peace of mind.

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Dreaded Return to Work

A candid shot of me coming home!

After having two kids 18 months apart, I have returned to my Marketing job after working only 5 months out of 2.5 years.

As I walk the familiar halls of the office, people smile and ask, “How are you?”, “How is it being back?” For the most part, I smile and say I’m good, that it’s an adjustment; I joke that it’s nice to have hot coffee again – well, I suppose it’s not really a joke, since it is actually nice to have hot coffee again (that was not microwaved)!

If there’s one thing motherhood has taught me (though it’s taught me countless things), it’s that it is indeed possible and even totally natural for completely opposing emotions to live inside you. I always thought that having conflicting emotions was some kind of human error; some sign that I didn’t truly understand how I was feeling. But since becoming a mom I realize that it’s possible to be both happy and sad; joyful and mad; fearful but glad (didn’t know I had that Dr. Seuss thing goin’ on, did ya).

Sunday, January 31, 2016

10 Things Your Wife REALLY Wants for Valentine's Day

I get so focused on creating content for my fellow Mamas, I forget that the Papas need some love too! So here's one for you, hubbies. 

Men, I know exactly how you feel. You love your wife and you want to do something special for her to show her how much you and the kids appreciate all she does for the family all year long. But what to get? Flowers? Chocolate? Sparkly stuff? Here's a helpful guide into a Mother's heart, to get an idea of what she REALLY wants this Valentine's Day.
  1. SLEEP
    Why are you looking at me like that? I promise, sleep is THE number one item on every mother's wish list - the younger the kids the more dire the need. "But how can I give the gift of sleep", you might ask? Here's what you do:
    a) Go to your computer (you're probably already at a computer so hey - that was easy)
    b) Google "[your city] hotels"
    c) Book a one night stay at the fanciest hotel you can afford
    d) Bonus: book a massage or mani/pedi at the hotel spa
    e) BOOM! Best husband ever! You're welcome.