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HOW ARE YOU DOING THINGS THE SAME / DIFFERENT THAN YOUR MOTHER?

When I was growing up I was always told that I had to finish what I started, whether it be sports, dinner, crafts etc. This is something that I will be passing along to my daughter. Also, I will be following my mother’s lead by showing my daughter that no matter how many times you fail you will always succeed if you put your best efforts in. I’ve been to college three times and I’ve finally found what I love to do. It then took me four years to find a job in my chosen career, but I never gave up, and I will show my daughter that if you want something, you work for it!

HOW DO YOU DEFINE AND WORK TOWARDS A HEALTHY CO-PARENTING RELATIONSHIP?

A healthy co-parent relationship is 100% about communication. I have a different experience with this, I have been co-parenting with my fiancé for four and a half months. He has been trying to discover a co-parenting relationship with his son’s mother. I have identified what I do not want to happen between me and my fiancé. I do not want my daughter to suffer at the cost of our relationship. We have agreed that we will make all the decisions together and if we can’t agree on something then we will not go down that route and we will find another alternative. We always support one another and we will continue to do so. No matter what, our daughter comes first. I love my fiancé and I’m so thankful he is such a loving and supportive father.

WHAT VALUES ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU THAT YOU HOPE TO PASS ON TO YOUR CHILD?

Growing up you had to work for what you want. You want a cell phone? You need to get a job to pay for it. You want to go on a trip? You need to save your money. You cannot just be given everything in life because life doesn’t work that way. I have been working since I was 14 and never been without a job or some kind of steady income. I have been to college three times and went down three very different career paths. I have had to work and pay for each experience myself. It showed me that I needed to decide where I wanted my life to end up. This is the most important value that I can hand down to my daughter.

WHAT WAS YOUR BIRTH JOURNEY LIKE?

My little one was due on June 7th, on June 13th I went into the hospital in the morning to be induced at 2 cm dilated. I was in my room, my water had been broken and the Pitocin had been started by 8:30 am. By about 10:30 I was only 3 cm dilated. The Pitocin was hurting so much worse than the contractions so I ended up getting my epidural at about noon.  Around three o’clock I had stopped progressing, I used a peanut yoga ball to try and help progress a little more as well as turn babe as she was facing up. When the nurses changed shift at 7:30 pm I was only at 7 cm and again had stopped progressing. We tried using the peanut ball again but it was not working. At this point I was exhausted but could not sleep. Just after midnight I had begun some sort of convulsions that I could not control. My epidural had been upped about four times and I was maxed out. I was only 8 cm at this point and the doctor was concerned about not progressing and the possibility of a C-section. I was so exhausted and wanted to give up so badly. At 3:30/4 the doctor came in to check my progression. I was at 9 cm and the doctor had found that I had a ridge in my cervix and the baby was too big for my tiny frame to push. So I was told I needed a C-section right away. At 4:53 am I was told my baby was here, expecting to hear that our baby BOY was healthy, the nurse told us that our baby GIRL was 8 lbs on the dot and healthy as can be! We had our little Charlotte Elaine. She is perfect in every way and we couldn’t be happier. It took us a while to no longer be in shock that we had a baby girl instead of a baby boy, but it is a journey that I’m so in love with.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK MOST FORWARD TO DOING WITH YOUR KIDS?

Watching them grow. I’ve loved watching my daughter pass all the different milestones- lifting her head, rolling over, noticing her feet and toes, grabbing with her hands etc. I love seeing my step-son grow and learn new things, I have recently been going over the alphabet with him and he has been so excited to learn all the new letters and words. I cannot wait to just watch them grow.

WHAT FRIGHTENS / EXCITES YOU MOST ABOUT MOTHERHOOD?

Failure. I think this is every parent’s biggest fear. I don’t ever want to fail my children and let them down when I am supposed to be their role model.  I’m so excited for all the milestones ahead, watching my daughter crawl, walk, run and everything in between.

WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE MOTHERS FACE?

Criticism - this is everywhere and it hurts me so much. Social media is the best way for people to criticize any mother and get away with it by sitting behind their phones or computers. It’s something that I believe can and needs to be changed.  Women and mothers need to support each other in every way possible.