The first #MomCrushMonday of the Year!
Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of hosting a playdate with two of my closest friends. One of which is Stephanie Tom, who I have known for almost 10 years now, and is this week’s #MomCrushMonday!
Stephanie is 29 years old from Missouri City, Texas. She is married and just had her first child, Sydnney, in September 2018. I had the pleasure of befriending Stephanie at Lamar University, pre-babies and pre-marriage and preformation of our prefrontal cortex. (Oh, the stories we could tell. It seems like just yesterday). Stephanie graduated Lamar with her Bachelors in 2011 and her Masters in 2017.
We were able to sit down and have a honest conversation about her pregnancy, mother and how background shaped her to become the mother that she is today.
Steph, as I affectionately like to call her, grew up in a 2-parent household where she was the middle child. Steph recalled her Christian upbringing and stated that she felt that her “parents were always a little harder on” than her two other siblings (older sister, younger brother), otherwise known as “middle child syndrome.” She also brought up feeling as though her mother had “unrealistic” expectations of what it was like to be a teenager, which forced her to not be as forthcoming with information as she would have liked to be. Steph stated that now having a daughter of her own, she expresses not wanting Sydnney to feel as though she is not able to talk to her about things that she may be dealing with as she grows up and not wanting her to feel judged if she does decide to open up to her at some point.
As we continued our conversation, we discussed how she came to be with her husband and how having a child shifted the dynamic of their relationship. Steph talked about how her free-spirited life of traveling and “getting up and going” abruptly came to a halt when she found out that she was pregnant just weeks after completing her Masters program.
*Insert Sebastian yelling “mommy” and Sydnney crying from hunger*
After taking a few minutes to get the kids settled, we were able to talk more in-depth about her pregnancy and what her experience was like. When asked to describe her pregnancy in one word, she used “uncomfortable.” Even though majority of her pregnancy was uncomfortable, Steph used it as a “test.” The test that she felt that she was learning through the pregnancy was about adjusting within motherhood. She stated that “motherhood was going to be uncomfortable” and she was going to have to do things that shifted how she maneuvered since now having to put the needs of her daughter before her own.
Steph touched on her delivery and how she went in with the expectation of having to have a C-section due to her baby being breech. She admitted that she wanted to have a natural birth but knew the chances were slim of her baby turning around on her own and did not want to take the risk of using other medical procedures to do so.
She described the recovery process and felt that it was “inconvenient” due to her husband having to return to work immediately and her in-laws working a lot as well. She mentioned how the doctors ordered her to be “off her feet” due to needing to recover from the C-section but not having “a maid wait on me hand-and-foot” as she liked to put it. This left her with taking on majority of the tasks of taking care of a newborn all while attempting to recover from a major surgery. Just two weeks after giving birth, Stephanie was admitted back into the hospital due to having high blood pressure from not allowing the proper healing time to occur and taking on majority of the responsibilities on her own while her husband and in-laws were at work. She was discharged after a few days and was able to get back to the proper health that she needed to be at.
Steph was honest about how she felt that her mental health was “tested” throughout the entire process of finding out that she was pregnant to now, post baby. However, she felt that her support system helped her maintain a positive sense of self. She stated that she also used sleep, talking with family and friends and going on outings to the movies and to eat, as a way to find balance when she was not feeling at her best.
Words of Wisdom: “Being a parent is a wonderful feeling. It’s not easy but anything that is worth having in this world is not going to come easy. That’s it!”