not alone: blogs about incompetent cervix

its not something that your doctor talks about when you are pregnant, so i thought having an incompetent cervix was rare.

before i found out i had one, i had stumbled across a youtuber who was sharing her story of not being able to stay pregnant because of an incompetent cervix. this video was supposed to be about haircare; i didn’t need to be anxious about yet another thing i knew nothing about. i was pregnant with isaac at the time and my biggest fear was a miscarriage.

little did i know that i would be relating to this woman in a matter of weeks. for months after we lost isaac, i felt isolated with my experience. and as many of you have followed my journey of being pregnant the second time with this condition, you know that i struggled with the fear that it would happen again.

i searched for others who shared my story and though i didn’t find anyone who had lost their child due to ic, i was able to find a few women who were brave enough to document their experience with ic and a cerclage.

i have been getting so many messages on my instagram from mothers who suffered the way i did and were grateful that i too braved the storm and shared my journey. i wouldn’t have had the courage if i had not seen the hope in these women, so i wanted to share with you their stories so that you don’t have to feel alone during your journey.

anna m. cohen

anna cohen
danny and mara
barnes daily circus
simply may

Parenthood: Chapter 4

If I had it in me to torture my worst enemy, I would probably choose for them to endure the four month sleep regression. It is slow. and it is painful.

As Keith and I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel of sleepless nights, we were smacked in the face with yet another road block: extended wake times and sleep regression.

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I was less frustrated this time (but still a little peeved that this little person seemed to be toying with me and the hope that seemed to be dangling off of a cliff). I think I was more frantic that I was losing the groove I was beginning to establish with his sleeping schedule. Not only that, as soon as I thought he was okay with me leaving him to play by himself, he suddenly grew fussy and clingy for no explicable reason.

But in the midst of the mild stress it brought me, I could not help but watch my son in adoration as he discovered something new about himself. The way he explored his own movement, slowly moving his fingers slowly above him. Insisting on sitting up so that he could reach for something in front of him. Everything was new to him, abilities I take for granted.

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I cheered him on as he tried to roll over without assistance and encouraged him when he grew frustrated at a failed attempt. I knew that feeling. I also knew how hard I am on myself when I fail. I knew I didn't want to pass that on to my son. I scooped him up into my arms and would tell him that his trying was excellent and that we would try again later. Part of me was telling myself those same words.

I believe that the Spirit inside of each of us both young and old is ageless and filled with the knowledge of the universe and so it comes as no surprise that God uses the tiny movements of infants to both humble us, as well as administer his grace through them.

Updates on the blog

Hey everyone!

Wanted to apologise for being MIA for most of post partum. Motherhood has been far more challenging then I would have hoped. In MY ideal world I was thinking that naps would be consistent and long enough to get a few entries done for the week, but as it were, I have a catnapper and a distracted nurser so I have only been able to get out one post a month.

I am also slowly working on a project that I hope to be able to introduce to you all in the new year!  It has taken a year to get going with it and it will be another 6 months before I hopefully have it all done, but the biggest hurdle has been keeping my attention focused on one project at a time.

Anyway, next week I will be posting Parenthood: chapter 4 and am curious to see what you all would be interested in reading more about. Comment below! 

 

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parenthood: chapter 3

last month keith and I were much relieved when my parents came to visit. it had been two months since they had seen their grandson and they did not let their short visit go to waste. Keith and I had been struggling to get any decent sleep and had agreed to take on full night's while the other attempted to get eight hours of sleep. it worked for Keith, but I still had to get up every three hours to pump on my "night off".

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i intently watched my mum as she played, fed, and soothed our son. she wasn't phased by his screams or cries and in fact he seemed more contented the whole time they were there. we tried our best to convince them to just move here, but in the end they left us and our boy, alone.

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nights were good for about a week until suddenly we found ourselves waking up every hour or two feed or burp or change or console. During the day, I was so anxious for  him to get his naps in that I held him while remaining on the couch for hours without food or water. Iwound up with the most splitting migraine that caused me to throw up minutes after nursing. the sleepless nights snd stressful days were taking their toll. Especially with me being all alone in the house with a restless baby. I had to admit I was missing my family.

It takes a village.

I, however, am notorious for not asking for help, mostly because I have been let down by good and bad people. I didn't have the stamina to be let down again and was determined to do everything myself. 

A friend from college (shot out to XA alumni who are the most hospital people I have ever known)mreached out to me a few weeks ago and offered to babysit while i went and did something for myself. I will be honest and say i was skeptical that she would be able to manage my son, who is sometimes a bit extra. Not to mention she lived more than two hours away and still needed to find a babysitter for her son. But two weeks later she was at my doorstep to watch our son for two days while keith and i went on a date the first night and i went and worked on some designs i had been aching to get started on. Her gesture lead me to begin the process of reaching out to safe people, still scared of rejection. Still scared of anyone caring for my son who wasn’t family.

i was pleasantly surprised and blessed. I also think it helps that this boy is especially adorable.

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It was invigorating just being able to talk to adults and take care of myself. I even found myself braving the outside world with baby in hand, not as intimidated by the thought of him throwing a fit in his carseat. No longer am i dreading the long week ahead of me as being one giant day. Instead, i miss my son more when i am away and enjoy him even more when it is just the two of us. I think that is what a  village is meant to do, meant to be. And i am just so grateful that all my boy is being filled with right now is love.

For those of you who live far from immediate family, what does your village consist of?

Parenthood: Chapter 2

I have clocked in so many hours with babies in both my young and adult life, but none of it prepared me for a newborn.

I find myself fumbling in the dark, just looking for a wall to find comfort in. There have already been tears shed in the early hours of twilight due to shear exhaustion. I am not sure how much people stress the fact that a newborn wields the incredible ability to bring out the ugly in you.

Really fast.

From friends and strangers alike, I have heard the tales of sleepless nights and cranky babies. I was schooled on what parenthood would do to me physically, but not emotionally and psychologically. I have been curt on more than one occasion with Keith, felt the agitation rising in my chest whenever he needed my help to care for our son. I could get to that place so fast, I hardly had time to simmer before I said what was on my mind. 

But the scariest part has been the frustration waiting to erupt when I have hit my limit with our son. He's the worst boss we could ever get, Keith often jokes. It's true though. Always demanding, leaving us to guess what he actually wants, long hours, and most times without thanks. Disappearing into the background as he becomes the main priority and sometimes the only priority.

suddenly, i can't remember when i last brushed my teeth or took a shower or saw the sun. the days blur into one continuous loop and the house begins to feel like alcatraz. exhausted. half-starved. depleted. exploited. frustrated. abandoned. trapped. alone.

invisible.

black mother breast feeding

I am finding it easy to lose myself in motherhood, not that I am trying to or want to entirely. One day my son will find his identity apart from mine and the last thing I want to be asking myself is who am I? I am fighting to stay present, to stay connected with myself, to stay in control, but the only things I find surfacing in the two short months that we have been with our son are insecurity, selfishness, and a lack of patience, all wrapped in a warm blanket of guilt and anxiety.

I knew I would have to sacrifice, I just didn't know this much and this soon. Part of me naively wished that God would make it easier for us since it was so hard the first time. I guess he has, although I was hoping for something with training wheels.

baby crying

Losing myself to care for our son is far easier than losing our firstborn. The reminder stings and haunts me, but it is far better for my growth than the sweet honey my own selfishness tempts me with.

So I celebrate the poopy diapers, the spit ups, the moments where he is inconsolable, yet his tiny arms wrap around as much of me as he can manage because he needs me. Most days are rough. Most days I am not the best I can be for him.

But he still gives me a smile. 

 

photoography by Jesse Walsh