Badge of Honor

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by Regina George (Jk 🙈). But seriously- raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by yourself. 🙋‍♀️ I’ve got my hand held high. I should really be waving both of them around like a crazy woman.

Personal info coming at ya live in 5…4…3…2…1…

Before I got pregnant with Ezra, I weighed 137 lbs. Birth weight was 174. And weight as of yesterday was 153. Obviously I gained more than I was supposed to and I still have several pounds to lose before I reach my pre-pregnancy weight… 16 lbs. to be exact and boy if I haven’t reminded myself daily. I also had zero stretch marks on my tummy my entire pregnancy. One week postpartum I lost 21 lbs. and gained a tummy full of stretch marks due to rapid weight loss. I was ecstatic about the weight loss but completely devastated by my new stripes.

Will my husband still find me attractive? Will I ever wear another two piece bathing suit? Will people judge me or be disgusted when they see them? Will Ezra one day ask me why I have those funny looking lines on my tummy when other people don’t?

These are questions I have asked myself time and time again. And they’re questions I’ve battled in my head over and over. And they are questions that need answers.

Will my husband still find me attractive? He assures me often that I’m beautiful- now I have to accept his uplifting comments for what they truly are and believe them. Will I ever wear another two piece bathing suit? Eventually. Not today, not tomorrow, and next week isn’t looking so promising either, but I’m working daily to get there. Will people judge me or be disgusted when they see them? Of course. There will always be someone who’s never been there or known someone with stretch marks and I can promise you someone will judge me. How do I know? Because I’ve been that person and I’m disgusted by myself for ever judging someone for being less than “perfect.” Will Ezra one day ask me about the funny lines on my tummy? I am 100% positive that the day will come and I’m honestly excited to tell him about them.

My stripes tell a story. They tell the story of what it took for me to bring life into this world. They tell the story of the heartache I went through to get here. They tell the story of how a woman’s body is able to do miraculous things. They tell the story of how I earned my stripes for my little man cub.

My stripes bring opportunity. The opportunity to overcome my fears. The opportunity for the world to view those with “imperfections” differently. The opportunity for me to teach Ezra that women come in many shapes, sizes, and patterns and that he is to love and respect them regardless of their appearance.

My body isn’t the same and it never will be. My boobs aren’t cute and perky anymore because they’ve sustained life. My tummy isn’t tight and it’s stamped with marks because it carried a life. I officially have a mom bod and I’m in the process of learning to be dang proud of it. My stripes are my badge of honor and I’ve more than earned them.

Birth Story

Many people have asked about our “birth story.”  Well, our baby boy will be 3 weeks tomorrow (excuse me while I go cry), so I guess it’s time to finally share.

new fam

Thursday, April 12 at about 3 pm I was sitting in my mom’s office when suddenly I thought my water broke.  I tried calling my husband only for him to be in a meeting, so I texted one of his coworkers to try to get him out of the meeting and he succeeded.  In the meantime, my mom and dad took me to the L&D triage.  The nurse swabbed me to check for amniotic fluid only to say it came back negative.  The strip was turquoise and she said it needed to be blue- look lady, I don’t know much about baby nursing, but come on!  How blue are we looking for here?!  Anyways, they hooked me up to a monitor and I was having contractions every 4 minutes, but I wasn’t dilated at all.  They sent me home.

I continued leaking the “said fluid” for the rest of the night and my contractions began to pick up.  Sam kept begging me to go to the hospital but I didn’t want to go until I knew I was far enough along that they had to admit me.  The next morning at about 0730 I couldn’t handle the contractions any longer so I told Sam it was time to go.  Wouldn’t you know after begging me to go all night and me finally telling him I was ready that he had to finish doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen first?!  Men

We finally get to the hospital after driving through 0800 traffic.  Y’all, if they tried to send me home they were going to have to call a Manpower because my pregnant butt was NOT leaving.  They take me straight to L&D triage and hook me up to the monitor.  I’m having contractions every 2-3 minutes lasting 1-2 minutes long.  Luckily my OB was already on the floor so he came in to check on me.  He immediately said, “Well you look like someone in labor!” I’m thinking to myself YEH NO KIDDING! ADMIT ME FOOLS! He checks me and I’m 3 cm. HALLELUJAH!  He admitted me.

They take me to my room and within an hour I went from 3-8 cm.  I went in thinking I didn’t want an epidural, but I progressed so quickly that I couldn’t calm myself down.  The nurse told me they may not be able to get me an epidural because of how dilated I was and I had yet to have the required fluid bolus needed prior to getting an epidural.  Pain meds were also questionable at this point because of potentially harming the baby.  My nurse started the fluid bolus and called anesthesia anyways.  They agreed to do it. PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW!!!! By the time they finished the epidural I was complete.  The doctor checked me and told me to get ready to push.  Wait, what?  This epidural hasn’t even kicked in yet?!  45 minutes later the epidural kicked in (and by kicked in I mean I could still feel and completely move my legs but the contractions were bearable) so we started pushing.  Four babies were born that Friday and there were only 3 nurses on the floor.  Know what that means?  The director of the floor and my husband helped me push.  Poor guy. He thought he was going to stand at the top of the bed and hold my hand the whole time. Instead, he got himself a front row seat. Love you, mean it. At one point, there was a baby being born and their heart rate was dropping, so the director had to temporarily leave to help the nurses in the other room.  DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS?!  That means it’s just Sam and me pushing and praying to God Ezra doesn’t decide to come while she’s gone.

Y’all, I pushed for 2.5 hours.  TWO AND A HALF HOURS!!!!!!! Ezra’s head was too big and just wouldn’t come out (thanks, Sam for having a huge head).  They cut me three different times  and I only knew they started cutting me because suddenly Sam’s face completely changed and he just stared at me with the biggest eyes I’ve ever seen.  And then sweet little Ezra Hayes was finally born.  I was exhausted.  Dead.  Pooped.  But as soon as they sat that little 8 lb. 3 oz. baby on my chest, nothing else mattered and our hearts were full.  And apparently so was Ez’s tummy because he immediately crapped on my chest.  Thanks bud.  But I still didn’t care.  My brand spanking new baby couldn’t do anything but just stare at me for an entire hour and I couldn’t do anything but stare back.  I was in love.  I was experiencing a new love.  A new love for my new child, a new love for my amazing husband, and a new love for myself because I’m a freaking champion (and obv. humble).

So here he is world, almost 3 weeks later.  Our perfect baby boy.  Ezra Hayes Pement.

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