new parents

Circumcision Damage

Ever since I was young I knew there was something wrong with my penis. I didn’t understand why I had this dark uneven scar. I didn’t understand why erections were painful. I didn’t understand why I started getting stretch marks. But now I understand. Now I know that I was mutilated when I was only 2 days old. They took me away from my mother & mutilated me. It took me 21 years to find out the truth.When I confronted my mother about this she broke down in tears. She told me that she was so sorry & that she regrets ever letting it happen. The worst part is that I’m not even religious or white. I’M THE ONLY MALE IN MY FAMILY THAT IS CIRCUMCISED. I feel like the universe is fucking with me. I’ve been abused & bullied my whole life & I have to deal with this shit on top of everything. How am I supposed to move on? How am I supposed to find love? No one wants to be with someone who is scarred physically & emotionally. I can’t even look at myself in the mirror. This haunts me everyday. Things would be different if I had a happy life or a sense of purpose but I don’t even know what the fuck I’m doing. I don’t see a future. I’ve lost all motivation. To be happy is to be distracted. How can I forget? How is it that they got away with this? How is circumcision even legal? I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m tired. There is no hope for me. What’s done is done. I just don’t want this to happen to anyone else. Please share this so that maybe a parent can become aware & not bring harm to their child.

Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach
“Nothing has driven home a certain truth about my generation, which is approaching the apex of its childbearing years, quite like this.”
The New Yorker

“A parenting zeitgeist”
Washington Post

“A hilarious take on that age-old problem: getting the beloved child to go to sleep.”
–National Public Radio

“A new Bible for weary parents”
New York Times

“Resonates powerfully with almost everyone”
Boston Globe

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My itty bitty baby 😍😍 one year ago, we finally were leaving the hospital after being readmitted for high billirubin (jaundice). Being a brand spanking new parent, it was sooo difficult during that time but I was immensely lucky to have not just a great hospital staff, but the amazing support of Joey’s mom & her boyfriend who came to visit several times. 💗

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I’m a new dad, I’m a black dad, I’m a tired dad, I love this little girl, and these are my new father chronicles. Feel free to laugh at me and share my stories!

4

I think about this all the time!

I remember seeing a newborn baby, right out of the womb, when I was about 13 and he was purple and swollen; nothing like they make it seem! I wondered, “Why is he like this??” My mom explained to me this is how babies actually look when they are just born.

Leave it to Shakira to tell us the truth! 

Let's Talk About Postpartum:

So that magnificent day has come that you are finally holding your little bundle of joy in your arms. You’ve just gotten through everything you’ve been preparing for for the past 30+ weeks, but what now? Well not many people talk about it but your first few weeks with a new baby is something you should be warned and mentally prepare for. Don’t worry though I’ve got ya covered here’s some little known things that first time moms should know about the first few days/weeks of life after pregnancy. 

  1. Girl you’re about to bleed a whole mess. As one kind nurse told me, “You haven’t had a period for 9 months and your body is about to make up for it.” She was right. Get yourself some big old granny panties and thick pads, or adult diapers. Look, I know that sounds embarrassing, but trust me they are great at soaking all that up. This bleeding could last for 8 weeks, and yes cramps come along with it. 
  2. Giving birth makes you exhausted. Seriously, recovering from giving birth can take around a month to even start getting a full days worth of energy again.Your hormones are going to be going all wonky; even worse than pregnancy! The good news is: the more you rest and nap the quicker you will recover. If you can try to have someone there to help you with the house work for AT LEAST the first 2 weeks. Notice though I said WITH THE HOUSEWORK. You don’t need someone around who just wants to take the baby from you every second. You need someone who is going to clean up after you, do laundry, dishes, the grunt work. You and your new bundle need to bond! ESPECIALLY the first 2 weeks, make sure this is clear to the person beforehand and stick to it. Sleep, feed, diaper change, repeat. This goes for both of you. Don’t feel guilty about hogging the baby either; trust me others will have a life time to try and steal baby cuddles. 
  3. People probably aren’t going to bring you food. Despite what everyone said pre-birth; the only thing people are going to care about is getting their hands on your new baby. Seriously. They probably won’t bring anything to help out, or offer anything while they’re there. They will drop in unannounced or with as little notice as possible; people are honestly disrespectful of privacy during this time. Which you may not think you’ll want, but honestly you yearn for it the moment you hear that first breath of life taken. This is why I would really urge most people to hold off on the visitors for at least 2 weeks. Trust me, you don’t need the germs flying around. You don’t need the stress of people passing your baby around like a human magic 8 ball. MOST IMPORTANTLY you don’t need the extra mess to clean up after these people have taken their facebook evidence of touching your baby, get bored, and leave. Once again I can not stress enough: if you have people come over make sure they know they are there to help, not hold. 
  4. You’re hair might start falling out and your skin might start changing drastically. I had a friend of mine text me freaking out because she found clumps of hair falling out and clogging her drain every-time she showered. She was so worried she would be bald in a week, but just like I’m about to assure you: don’t worry it won’t all fall out. I’ve actually found that continuing to take your pre-natal vitamins for about 6 weeks after delivery and then tapering off helps reduce this drastically. As for the skin…yikes! Time to get to know your dermatoligist on a first name basis. My clarisonic was a life saver! It took my post-pregnancy skin from dry and heavily textured, to youthful, smooth, and healthy again. 
  5. Breastfeeding is natural, kind of. Ya ya ya, no doubt BF (if possible) is the best choice you can make to provide nutrients for your baby. (It’s also great for shrinking your uterus back down to size quickly. Thanks Mother Nature!) However, make no mistake; it’s flipping hard! Even with a baby who has no physical ailments. It’s a relationship. Babies are clumsy as all get out, and dumb they forget things like goldfish. It can take 5+months for your baby to get the swing of things. You may also have nipple problems; in which case you’ll need a nipple shield. Which is basically a nip extender; to help your baby latch. Then of course there’s cracked bleeding nipples, painful blistered ducts, hormone fluxes that can make you feel mentally insane, the insatiable appetite, the possible zapping of energy,ETC! Breastfeeders are hard core! Prepare yourself, and continue to get support from day one if you choose to go that route. It’s a war, and learn early lanolin is your friend. 
  6. Get yourself a girdle. Don’t worry I’m not about to suggest enacting a early 1900’s fashion statement revival. However, during your pregnancy your hips moved outward to make room for baby to glide on out without being crushed, so they’re going to need help moving back. The first few weeks after giving birth you still are producing the hormone that will make it possible to move your hips back into place.That’s where a postpartum girdle comes in. They are pricy, but worth it. They also help to bring your organs back into place faster, support your back, and shrink the uterus down.
  7. You probably won’t automatically fit back into your pre-pregnancy clothes. If you didn’t figure it out from no.6 your body is still expanded after giving birth. It needs time, and training to get back to normal. Don’t worry though; you will be able to get there if you have patience and work for it. 
  8. You might not bond with your baby instantaneously. This is totally normal most people just don’t talk about it. It can take a few days to bond with your child; alone time is what works best. After a week or so if you haven’t bonded (not to worry you) that is usually the first sign of Postpartum Depression or Post Natal Depression, and THAT IS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF!!! I WANT TO SCREAM THAT! POST NATAL DEPRESSION IS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF AND REALLY COMMON. I’m about to admit to something cringe worthy… MY FIRST WORDS ABOUT MY SON IMMEDIATELY AFTER DELIVERY WERE, “I don’t feel like he is mine…” I said it so sheepishly and was so ashamed of how I felt, and then someone just auto-replied to me, “Well he is.” Which made me feel 10X’s worse. Of course I knew he was my baby, but he didn’t feel like it. I felt no connection. WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME?! Did this mean I would end up losing my mind and hurting him? I didn’t wanna hurt this baby. I just… I didn’t know him. My life turned into an auto-pilot haze of caring for a perfect baby boy; while feeling like I was just long term baby sitting waiting for his parents to return and to go back to my normal life. I ended up having post-natal depression, which I will do a-whole-nother post about. For now though just immediately seek help if you find you aren’t bonding with your baby after the first week. The quicker it’s addressed, the better you will be; don’t wait it out to see if it’ll change on it’s own, b/c it likely won’t, and it’s not your fault or anything to be ashamed of. Side-note: with my second baby I felt a bond within a few hours, so really every pregnancy and physical reaction to the after math is different! 
  9. What what is going on with your butt? Those are hemorrhoids bizzzzz, and if you delivered vaginally you’re so likely to get them it’s cray cray. Make your physician, nurse, or mid-wife check for them a few hours after you deliver, get some witch hazel pads, and butt pucker cream. Sexy right? Don’t worry they’ll get better, but they may make dropping a deuce hard/painful. I personally never had that problem, but tons do. Also kegal up starting at 6 weeks, or you’re probably going to pee yourself with every sneeze, cough, or giggle fest. Unless you’re into that sort of thing…
  10. MOST babies actually sleep a lot at first. Despite what people kept annoyingly meandering about during your pregnancy, babies sleep a lot at first! Like so much I actually got freaked out my first was regenerating into the next Doctor and took him to his pediatrician. Newborns just usually don’t for long periods of time That’s because you actually need to wake them up and feed them AT LEAST every 3 hours, or they can get really sick. If you are breastfeeding while your supply is being established (which can take about a month) your baby may need to eat every hour for 15-25 minutes at a time! Like I said; don’t try to be a hero sanctimommy just so you can brag on facebook! Get help for the household stuff, and allow yourself that time to relax and sleep next to your baby. Buy a co-sleeper (if it’ll make you comfortable), learn about proper safe bed-sharing. The closer you are to baby while they are asleep, the more you both are going to sleep. The more you’ll bond. The quicker your milk will come in(if you’re breastfeeding). The faster you’ll recover, and the EASIER you’ll be able to calm your nerves about possible SIDS. The closer y'all are, the easier it will be to react to your babies needs. 

Trust me ^^^ this stuff is mostly the negative stuff no one likes to talk about, or maybe they were just too exhausted during that time to remember. Don’t let it scare you about your impending arrival! You will get through it, and you’ll get to march forward into tons of baby cuddles, happy little gas smiles, the most adorable sounds you’ve ever heard from a creature, and all with your new little blessing by your side!

I wish you all the specialness of these first fleeting moments; because despite the effort, becoming a parent whether for the 1st time or 20th is truly magical! 

love and blessings,

BethAnne.