Time to Level Up: My Experience With Baby #2 (Part Two)

Pregnancy this time was totally different. Although it wasn’t planned, it felt amazing. I wasn’t in school, I was married, had my own place, had my own car, it wasn’t my first rodeo, and I felt SO beautiful and sexy. Everything that didn’t exist during my first pregnancy.

Because of what I experienced during my first pregnancy and birthing experience, I intentionally took steps needed in order to have different outcome this time. As I stated in part one (click and read if you haven’t), I decided that using a midwife to deliver would work best for the pregnancy experience that my husband and I both desired. This time I yearned to go in labor on my own, to push when and how I wanted to, to have that “golden hour” with my baby, and to ultimately do things more naturally. Although my nursing team and nurse practitioner were amazing during my pregnancy with Taniya, the overall process was nothing compared to Jayla’s.

Unlike my first pregnancy, my midwifery team never based the health of my pregnancy off of my weight. Their goal from start to finish was to eat healthy and to remain active. Of course, they didn’t want me to gain a tremendous amount that could bring on health issues for both me and the baby, but they let my body naturally do it’s thing. This was a huge relief and blessing to me. In the past, I suffered from extreme lack of self-esteem and body dysmorphic issues. I was obsessed with how much I weighed. I would weigh myself multiple times a day, and when the number didn’t look right it changed my entire perception when I looked in the mirror. I’ve bloomed and healed in such a beautiful way since then, but was still sensitive to hearing “you’re overweight,” or “I need you to slow down on your eating because you’re picking up weight fast.” I remember being told that during my first pregnancy and feeling stuck. How do you slow down your eating or cut back when you’re pregnant? Well, had I been more knowledgeable and had more resources I would have known that I could make alterations to my diet in order to be more healthy.

That’s why I sought out educational classes this time around. I remember people inquiring about why I would take prenatal classes like I hadn’t been a parent for six years already. My reply was “Exactly, it’s been six years since I’ve been pregnant and since I’ve dealt with a newborn. A lot has changed in six years with pregnancy and beyond, and I didn’t take the necessary steps the first time around.” If I wanted a different outcome, I had to take a different route.

The midwifery team at GW Hospital provided me with an amazing packet of things to do and not do. It included helpful information for both prenatal and postpartum health. One of the recommendations was to hire a doula, which was already on my to-do list. [Read my post 10 Reasons to Hire a Doula to learn more about why women should hire doulas.] I checked out the list they provided, and in the midst of my research I found Mamatoto Village. It was a nonprofit based in DC not far from my home that offered both doula services and childbirth education courses. I immediately reached out, and this place changed the entire outcome of my pregnancy!

I received such a warm welcome and was paired up with my doula in no time. I also signed up for each and every class they offered. They ranged from newborn care, breastfeeding basics, and an intense childbirth course. Each class enlightened me, and to be honest made me feel guilty about how I handled my first pregnancy. The breastfeeding basics class made me wish that I had done more research and sought out help in order to have the breastfeeding experience I desired for my daughter and I. The childbirth class…OH.EM.GEE! First of all, it was for about 8 hours (could have been 7, 8,9 or 10 hours, but pregnancy brain is real). Second of all, the knowledge that was provided was UNREAL. I couldn’t believe I missed out on all that information. That class alone had me feeling so prepared for our newest addition to arrive. One portion of the class really changed my life. It was based on inductions and interventions. The difference between medically induced pregnancies versus natural inductions, and medical interventions versus natural interventions. When I say life changing, I mean LIFE CHANGING.

If you read my blog posts My First Go At Pregnancy: Part Three and My First Go At Pregnancy: Part Four (if not go read!) you’ll remember that I was induced. I had to labor in bed the entire time, ended up getting an epidural, didn’t get immediate skin-to-skin contact, tore my perineum, Taniya had shoulder dystocia and more. In the childbirth class, I learned that what I experienced was in fact a part of a cycle called “The Cascade of Intervention.” You can look up research or diagrams with more details on Google, but out of the 20 outcomes that I saw on the web, I experienced about 10 of them.

I knew that I could plan the for the ultimate labor and delivery experience, but I was also aware that the circumstances could change at any moment. If needed, intervention would have to take place in order to save me and my baby. However, I left class that day feeling educated, motivated and empowered. I learned ways to cope with labor, birthing positions and more. I realized that in order to have the labor and delivery experience I desired, I had to be intentional about having a positive outlook on the birthing process. It was important for me to not view the birthing process as just pain. Of course there is pain involved, but it’s pain with a purpose.

Out-of-Pocket Expectations

People who are close to me can attest that I am a very random conversationalist, and I can really go left field with my thoughts. Typically my randomness will then lead to a very enlightening conversation. I prefaced with that because…well… I had a random thought (actually, questions). Why do men have the stupid expectation that women do not pass gas or poop? Why do women play into men’s immaturity in order to come off as perfect? Why are we as people so offended when someone does pass gas around us, or “lights the bathroom up”? These are natural processes that our bodies go through in order to release toxins and waste. My mother still tells me to this day, “you better stop holding that gas in because it’ll feel like you’re having a heart attack when it’s trapped.”

The questions crossed my mind because while I was leaving my mother’s job with Jayla, a woman and I shared a smile and a gentle “hello,” but as she walked by a fart slipped out. Of course I chuckled to myself because I knew she didn’t mean for that to happen. I’m confident she was hoping to be down that hall by herself or to be further away from me when it happened. In that moment, I wasn’t upset or offended. I didn’t expect her to hold her gas in. So you know I had to ask my husband about this. He gave the little boy answer that I expected him to give. “Men expect women to poot and men fart. You guys aren’t supposed to have loud or stinky farts.” My response, “That makes no sense. If we eat the same thing, why should my gas be restrained, but you get to be free?” “If I have to poop and it’s our first date, why should I hold that crap (literally) in and let it prairie dog all the way home? (google that term if you don’t know what it means lol) Why isn’t this normal? If men didn’t expect us to fart out fairy dust and to poop pieces of chocolate chips, life would be much easier.

*Warning* I get very transparent in the following paragraphs. 

I then started to think… well why do women make themselves uncomfortable and change everything about them in order to make a man feel comfortable? Why are we censoring our burps? Why are we holding our stomachs in? Ashamed if our feet may not be the prettiest? Meanwhile, your husband is over there burping like he ate 3 bears, on the toilet for 2 whole hours and feet looking like they were beat up by Mohammed Ali! You hear people say “that’s not lady-like” all the time, but never “that’s not gentleman-like.” Expectations on how a woman should operate are out.of.pocket! Plain and simple.

I’m not out here just standing in grocery lines farting in people’s faces, but I’m also not about to walk down the food aisle in pain because I don’t want anyone to smell me. Listen, I have a whole list of food to get and a teething infant… you might just walk into a gas bubble *Kanye Shrug*.

I remember the first time I passed gas in front of my husband. It was the day after prom, and we were comfortable enough to tell each other we had to pass gas, but I wouldn’t do it in front of him. He held me down on his lap (my fast self smh) and said “If you’re going to be my wife, you can’t be running into another room to fart for the rest of your life!” Just know it was the longest fart of my life. We laugh about it now, but I was SO embarrassed! Your boy ain’t know what he got himself into though LOL. Now he wishes he never said it. I couldn’t imagine running into the bathroom every single time I needed to break gas, or sitting in the passenger seat of the car pouting because my stomach hurts from gas. NOPE!

If you can’t be your true self around anyone else, it should always be ok around your spouse. Now I know we don’t live in a world where gas and poop isn’t unattractive or a turn-off, so I don’t expect people to be on their first date in their freakum dress saying “Excuse me, I passed gas.” However, I do believe that once you have declared that you will be in a relationship with someone, it should operate as a real-ationship. If your man buys you some Chipotle, sis you better not hold that morning-after poop in! You are liable to poop on yourself. I remember fasting for a month with no meats. Once it was over, I indulged in a chicken sandwich during my lunch break. As I was on my way home, I was talking to my husband through the bluetooth in the car. While driving, my stomach started to cause me pain. The pain grew, and then I began to feel nauseous. I told my husband, “Love I don’t feel good.” He grew concerned and stayed on the phone with me because I still had to get our daughter from daycare. Out of nowhere, that pain turned into instant diarrhea! I screamed “Oh my God, AJ I’m gonna doo-doo on myself!” He thought I was joking until he heard me moving into tears. I was driving in DC rush hour almost hanging out of the car trying to hold my cheeks together and to not mess up our car seats. There was nowhere to pull over, so he tried to keep me calm while I prayed. I’m sure I looked like a contortionist while driving that day. I finally made it to a McDonald’s, parked crooked as ever and did a baby deer walk/run to the bathroom. By this time, my body said “Tiana we can’t do this anymore!” It was coming out of me as I made it to the toilet seat. If you’ve ever seen the movie Bridesmaids, it was just like that. I didn’t make a huge mess, so I was able to clean up, throw some clothes away and make my way get our daughter. That man laughed at me SO baddddd!!! I couldn’t laugh at the time because I still felt ill, but I crack up now.

Make sure the person you plan on marrying is someone who can crack jokes but also console you during your most embarrassing moments because they are guaranteed to happen during marriage. If my husband stayed true to those expectations of “women don’t poop or pass gas,” he would have never looked at me the same. Instead we were able to joke about it for a couple of days until the next embarrassing thing happened to one of us. In my opinion, expectations can kill a relationship. You have to be honest and super transparent with one another. It allows you to truly know what you’re getting yourself into and who you’re getting involved with. At the end of the day, everyone is different and have different beliefs when it comes to how one should carry themselves throughout a relationship. Understand this… There is a chance that you may catch a stomach virus and poop on yourself while throwing up. Marriage requires for you to help one another during sickness. There’s also a chance that you may poop while delivering your child (if vaginally). Are you going to tell your spouse to turn his head or walk away? And if you are a man reading this, will you be so disgusted with your lady while she’s doing the unthinkable and walk away?

Transparent. YES. Too much information. YES! Nevertheless, I hope you were able to laugh with me while reading. 🙂