Shyanne Thomas celebrated her 31st birthday on August 14th. She works part time for TSA at LAX airport. She is a first-time mom to a 7 month old baby girl named Moon Stone. They breastfeed and co sleep and for Shyanne, becoming a mother has opened her eyes to the amount of strength women possess. “We are powerful!!” Click the link to follow and find out more about Shyanne!
What was the dynamic surrounding your pregnancy?
My pregnancy was shocking at first. I didn’t believe I was pregnant. I bought 5 different pregnancy tests and 3 were from the dollar store and they all said pregnant. I still didn’t believe it because I’m thinking they’re wrong. They were only a $1 and then I bought a $10 one and I was like “ok its true.” I had an easy pregnancy. I was really tired in the beginning; no morning sickness, I felt nauseous sometimes while brushing my teeth and I threw up a little maybe twice, but after brushing my teeth I was fine. I craved EVERYTHING; sweets, ice cream, donuts, hot chocolate, turkey burgers, Oreo o cereal, just a lot of junk food. I gained 40 lbs. All my appointments were good, she always had a strong heartbeat and she moved around a lot at night. I took some of the best naps while pregnant, pregnancy naps hit different, haha.
How would you describe your post-pregnancy/motherhood experience?
Post pregnancy in the beginning was really hard for me. I felt really overwhelmed at times and just completely exhausted. My daughter was colicky and fussy the first 3 months of her life and that made my newborn experience really rough. The exhaustion intensifies your feelings and hormones, so it was really hard. Breastfeeding was also a challenge because I had oversupply (produced a lot of milk) so I was always engorged and always needing to pump. I started pumping right away and saved up a lot of milk in the freezer for when I returned to work. It was harder on me because I was up with baby or up to pump. It was a cycle of feed, pump, sleep all day and night. Breastfeeding is a job, a tiring, painful job with many rewards and benefits. I knew that I had to stay dedicated no matter how much I wanted to just stop. Now I’m 7 months in, my milk has regulated so I only produce what she needs, and we have a beautiful bond. One of the many lovely sacrifices mothers make for their children. Motherhood has made me appreciate my mother and grandmother even more because it’s hard. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I’m just getting started. I found strength I never knew I had with becoming a mother and now I feel invincible. My daughter is my world. Watching her grow has been the most amazing experience.
Did you ever experience post-partum symptoms or battle with your mental health in any way? If so, how did you cope with it?
I definitely had post-partum symptoms and struggled mentally. I had anxiety when she was sleep and I would just stay awake because I was scared that she would wake up as soon as I went to sleep. I would have thoughts like “why did I have a baby right now?” “Why is this happening to me?” What did I do?” I cried so much because I was just exhausted and sometimes my baby would cry for hours. I had to come up with ways to comfort my baby. I coped by just talking to my friends, getting help from family and just telling myself that it will get better. She’s a baby and she needs me. I’m her source of comfort and it warmed my heart when I told myself that. It helped a lot. Some babies need extra snuggles and love and my daughter is definitely one of those babies so I had to remember that she needs me.
Describe your routine and activities that you do to maintain your mental health on a daily basis.
I take a shower for as long as I want. In the beginning I was lucky to even get a shower or it would be a 2 min shower, but now just being able to enjoy it, wash my hair, style my hair and just have time to groom myself. I also like to play spider solitaire on my tablet. I put it on a harder setting so I can challenge myself and also just zone out. It really calms me. I love talking on the phone to my best friends Ashley and Christin. They make me laugh and just take my mind off of mommy mode for a little bit. And the most important, I drive to work in silence, just to clear my head and enjoy the peace and quiet.
What advice would you give mothers/soon-to-be/potential mothers, based on your personal experience?
Do what is best for you and your baby. In today’s society everyone is opinionated on everything and it can sometimes make you second guess your choices and beliefs. If it works for you, stay strong and don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re failing as a mother. Always have a good support system of family and friends, people you trust for when you need a break, or to just talk to and vent. If you plan on breastfeeding or you are breastfeeding just know it’s hard. But don’t give up, it gets easier and breast milk is so good for your baby, so many nutrients and antibodies to protect them from the world they are now a part of. Be strong and take a break when you need to. Don’t let mom guilt get the best of you. We are all doing the best we can.