This interview is with a mommy I’m pleased to say I also personally know. When I taught middle school she had also been teaching at that school from the year prior. She actually found out she was pregnant when she got the job!
Her first year teaching middle school was also during her first pregnancy. I can’t even begin to image that!!! During the time we taught together I got to know this kind and creative soul that is also very close to God. I also saw that she was a new mommy that longed to be with her baby girl during the long hours of the school day.
Ladies and gents. THIS is JACKIE and some of her motherhood pointers.
What is your name?
How old were you when you had your first baby?
How many babies do you have?
1 little girl
How was your labor & delivery experience?
I was 6 days past my due date, the day I thought my water broke (it didn’t). I woke up at 5 am, curled my hair, did my makeup, stopped for coffee, and arrived at the hospital for what I thought would be an easy delivery. My husband and I were giggling with excitement, but soon I had 3 failed epidurals. After countless hours my doctor scheduled me for an emergency c-section- a thought that had never even crossed my mind. My mom tied my hair into a bun, and I got swooped into prep- where I was surprised to find my husband could not enter. As they started prepping me I looked around to see my body flailing and a large team of blurry doctors yelling my name asking me what I needed. I prayed to God that I would make it and that my husband would not have to raise our girl alone- I felt as though I was flickering between life and death. I prayed for God to help metell the doctors what I needed and in that instant – I blurted out “God told me to tell you I need oxygen”, they gave me some and the horrific seizure was over. They brought in my husband and he talked to me about our dog until our little angel was born.
What is your honest experience with your pregnancies?
Pregnancy was rough, I was anemic and teaching middle school kids- so when I got home I would eat any and all comfort food and knockout.- which resulted in 80+ lbs of weight gain! On the plus side, I felt so loved all the time! Once I posted about pomegranates and by the end of the day about 8 had been delivered to me! My stepmom even showed up at my job to drop some off!
Did you work before kids? Are you working now?
Before kids I was a teacher, and I eventually realized the only way I personally would feel like myself again would be by staying home. I just started working with VIPKIDS teaching students online in Beijing!
At the end of the day or during, how do you find time for yourself?
Time for myself? What’s that? I literally have my toddler on my back while I answer these questions.
How do you handle the pressures of ‘being a mom’ in this day and age?Family? Friends? The media?
It’s hard. Everywhere you turn as a mom there are people telling you either you are not doing enough or you are not doing it right. Even when it came to giving birth- people would be like “if you thought a c-section was rough imagine giving actual birth!” There’s judgment out there about everything- its exhausting. The best way I deal isby reminding myself that I am not perfect, my child is not perfect, – I will raise her knowing these truthes- but God is and he will give me all I need for motherhood.
Something you wish you knew before becoming a mom?
I wish I knew more about postpartum depression. I felt very lonely and isolated after giving birth, I am typically a very joyful person and that feeling of being alone even when my house was full was unfamiliar and unexpected. It would have been helpful for myself and my husband to have been more informed about it.
What has been the biggest change since becoming a mom?
Everything changes, but I guess the biggest change for me has been being okay with where I am. I don’t have the travel bug anymore, I don’t have a career I’m building, which many would think sounds crappy- but I’m so happy to just be where I am – full-time momming.
Did you find a need to join any mommy groups, support, classes before/during/after?
I tried, but they were just not for me. I did find it important to connect with other moms- which God sent me two literal angels – a friend from my oldchurch, and my best friend’s sister. They really help me just vent and deal with the challenges of motherhood.
- What are the top 5 items you carry in your diaper bag?
- Cloud Island Wipes
- Die free Benadryl
- Instant Thermometer
- Bag of crackers- or granola bar
- Thermos Water Bottle
Let’s talk breastfeeding.
My daughter latched the second they gave her to me. And after a bloody few weeks of trying to make it happen correctly again, her responding badly to my milk, and spending a lot of time trying to nurse alone in my room when I was dealing with ppd- I quit. So probably about a month total,and I switched to formula for my own mental health. If I could go back, I would have pumped and built a supply in my freezer and calmly explored nursing when my daughter was nicely fed and happy.
So far the hardest thing about being a mom?
The hardest thing about being a mom is the judgment from other moms. As I mentioned earlier, you are constantly being shamed about something- no matter where you are. I tried so hard to nurse, and the day I had to buy formula I cried in the car with my husband for a good hour.When I got out a target to buy it, there was a mom in the formula aisle reminding me that breast is best and I really shouldn’t be giving formula
How did you know when it was the right time for YOU and your partner to have a baby?
My husband and I are very close with our grandparents, we both grew up with them and had the same dream of our kids meeting them and experiencing that part of our lives. When my husband unexpectedly lost his grandfather, we knew we wanted to start our family sooner than later.
Many women wonder when the right time is, in your opinion when do you feel the right time to have a baby is?
The right time is when you and your spouse feel ready, or whenever Godsends you your baby. I know maybe you have ended up pregnant- at “not the right time” but trust me God knows that your little one will bring you great joy even if things seem grim right now.
What are some of the things you advise moms to do for themselves after having baby?
Pray, Sign up at a gym! It’s an hour to yourself burning away stress!
List of things you wish you packed in your hospital bag, and list of things you recommend packing.
- My pump
- A cute outfit for me! I bought these bohemian nursing robes and I feel like I would have felt so much more human in some regular clothes.
- TMI- but boxer short underwear to not have to wear those mesh ones for so long
Resources you recommend to have/read during/after pregnancy?
Call me crazy but reading about pregnancy and everything I should be looking for in my kid gave me anxiety.
Toddlerhood—it’s a thing! How has it been treating you?
I love toddlerhood! My daughter is talking so much and says the most hysterical things. She’s becoming more independent and has her specific interests like horses and marine life. It’s such a fun –tiring- but fun stage. It just started and it feels like it’s slipping away too quickly.
Thank you so much Jackie for bringing your truths and insights to light. We have all heard that motherhood is a joy but it’s not easy and being able to come together with experiences makes motherhood more of a community!
You can find Jackie on her social media handles below and her blog:
Until next time,