Mom-shame to A-game

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In a society where women have been fighting together for equality and justice, sometimes I am discouraged to see that us women are too often the source of each others heartache and grief.

If I ever thought that girls could be mean as kids and teenagers…I entered a whole different ballpark when I became a mom.
The “mom shaming” is real. The successful women shaming is real. I don’t get it.

Strong judgment is passed when a mother doesn’t believe in vaccines or circumcision. How we discipline or don’t discipline. What our kids eat and or what medications they take. Judgment when business women garner attention with their products. As though its a pyramid-like race for who is going to one-up the other and how.

Not one mother is going to parent the exact same as another. Not one woman business pioneer is going to have the same concepts and visions as the one next to her. So why are we so wrapped up in hating on one another instead of congratulating each other and building on our triumphs together. Sometimes a triumph for a mother is getting the kids dressed and into their car seats while their toddler sings the ear piercing song of his people. Sometimes a triumph is finishing that huge pile of laundry that’s been sitting in the dryer for three days. Sometimes a triumph for a business woman is three people sharing her Facebook post, promoting her business!

Whatever or however small our daily victories are, they should act as a reminder that they are victories because we are all fighting a battle that isn’t always so transparent to everyone else. And when we win or when we fail, there is a line of women behind you all trying to make it out still swingin’.

We’ve adapted this hardened exterior that is in a way a shield to protect our sensitivities from the negative reactions of other people. When one of us puts ourselves out there in a way leaving us vulnerable, we are too often judged and spoken about harshly. Because that’s our defense…thinking “wow I wish I had thought about that first.” Instead of giving inspiration credit when it’s deserved. Why don’t women tell each other when someone has done something really freaking cool? Why have we adopted this jealous/envious/mean way of reacting to something we feel inspired by? What the hell happened to cheering each other on? Or do I live in an alternate reality where that is and or never was a REALITY?

Trust me…there is NOTHING wrong with being nice, inspired, taught and empowered by other women. Maybe if we spent more time doing uplifting sh*t for one another we could band together and actually make changes to real world issues that really impact us all.

Maybe next time a girl has the cutest outfit you’ve ever seen, tell her. Maybe next time your local small business owner shares her homemade jewelry, you share that sh*t on Facebook and help a girl out. Maybe when a stay at home mom invites you to like her essential oils Facebook page, you support her and “like” it. How about the self taught makeup artist who worked really hard on a new look…throw her some inspiration credit on your next #MUA post. When a small business owner has a great marketing technique, congratulate her. All of this isn’t so trivial and small when you look at it on a daily basis.

Bottom line: A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water. Let’s stop tea-bagging each other and work together as a unit that can’t be reckoned with in the hot water that is our world today. Ya’dig?

-B

The Dirty Bumbo

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The boys are rounding a year old. We hear parents and family talk about “how fast time flies when you have children”. I feel silly for ever thinking that was a cliche because it 100% isn’t.

As I have been reflecting on this past year feeling proud and accomplished to still have all of my hair and to not live in my sweats (okay maybe I still do that) I was remembering a moment before I became a mother that taught me something very valuable. A simple moment that I’ll never forget.

Backstory: Bumbos. Those little chairs that come in a variety of adorable colors. They can be used as high chairs and even used for bath time. They are expensive right? We were able to afford one brand new but were going to have to save up for another. One morning I was on the local Facebook baby swapping page and a mother was selling a used Bumbo for ten dollars! I obviously and quite hilariously (very pregnant-ly) jumped off of our couch to meet this woman quickly before anyone else got to her first.

I met her at our local Macy’s parking lot. As I waited for her to come out of the store I noticed she was holding the hands of two little blonde twin boys. She opened the back of her suburban and handed me this Bumbo. I gave her the cash and got back into my car. As she drove off, I had a moment to look at the Bumbo. It was definitely used. There were still smashed crackers on it and some food stains. I was a little surprised. I wasn’t disappointed because I knew that I could just wipe it down. Instead I was just kind of like “hmm that’s kind of gross. If I was selling something I would think first to wipe it all down, right?”

Four months later. We were run down tired. Feeding babies every three hours through the day and night. Dealing with baby constipation, colic, doctors appointments and all the while being 8 hours away from friends and family also severely sleep deprived…something hit me as we took out the Bumbo seats for the boys to finally try.

It wasn’t that the woman who sold me the Bumbo just didn’t feel like wiping it down. It’s that she is exhausted. It’s that she’s constantly trying to coral one twin while the other is chewing on a power cord. It’s that one is sleeping soundly while the other is crying in his bed because he had a nightmare. It’s because one twin is sick and despite her best efforts to wipe down every section of the house and their toys…the other gets sick anyway.

It wasn’t that this mother just wanted to make a quick 10$ to get her nails done. It’s that the 10$ was probably going into her gas tank to get her boys to daycare and her to work. Or to buy a gallon of milk and some eggs because she has two extra mouths to feed.

I apologize for the novel, but the point is that I judged the situation before I truly knew what it was like in the life of a mom. Of a twin mom no less. Her Bumbo wasn’t dirty because she was an untidy person. It was dirty because the life of a mother is sometimes and most often messy! If there isn’t food stains from a week old fit in the high chair then there is definitely a booger in your hair or snack puffs stuck to your pillow.

This woman and a million other moms are doing the best they can with what they have. I learned that day to not judge the woman selling a dirty Bumbo. Or the woman running into Walmart in sweats to the baby section for diapers. Or the family paying for baby food in WIC checks.

I gave that Bumbo away now to another family in need, like I was in need.
And guess what?
It was dirty.

-B

Queen B or Queen Me?

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To celebrities having or who have been blessed with twins or multiples in general,

This is what being a mother of multiples really looks like. Even mothers with multiple children. No makeup, no retouching on my belly, booty or my baggy under-eyes. I have yesterday’s spit up on my wrinkled sweats and today’s regurgitated sweet potatoes running down my shoulder. I have this beanie basically glued to my head because what I refer to as “hair” is a mashed down matted mess (say that 5 times fast)
I tell myself that it’s an “earthy” look to feel better. My glasses have the cutest, greasiest little fingerprints on them that are (what seems like) impossible to remove. I’m wearing a sports bra because I don’t even own anymore real bras that fit my weirdly shaped postpartum “boobs” if that’s what I’d call them. Did I mention that I stink? Or that I only managed to shave one leg this week because I was too tried to even bother with the other one? I hear ghost cries when I shower, when I go to the bathroom, even when I sleep. I don’t have a nanny to run to them when I’m doing basic everyday things.

Please…I am not hating on you Beyoncé. Queen B. Your maternity photos were beautiful. They made me wish I hadn’t been on strict bed and pelvic rest when I was pregnant with my identical twin sons. I dreamt of being in that iconic whimsical long gown with my bare belly exposed. In a forest of natural beauty behind me. I would have looked down that camera lens with a stare of longing…longing to be that mother I’d always imagined. Longing to show the real beauty of what it truly is to carry a child within our wombs. The only background I saw for eight months was the blue wall that my 55 inch TV sat in front of. Laying in bed watching Netflix in my two bedroom apartment that felt like a padded cell or what I would assume solitary confinement feels like.

If you’ve made it this far, it sounds like I am complaining. Sounds sad and pitiful doesn’t it? In reality everything I am describing is typically how a twin or multiple pregnancy goes. None of it…not only single minute of that experience mattered once my sons were born prematurely at 34 weeks gestation. I’d have laid in that bed for years longer if it meant that I got to physically hold those two tiny babies in my arms at the end of it all. Because missing out on those gorgeous maternity photos didn’t end up mattering. No one around to see my “pregnant glow” didn’t throw me off of the goal. The goal to make sure those boys made it.

The internet broke when Yoncè announced she was having twins. A week later Madonna adopted twin girls and George Clooney just announced he will be the father of twins this summer as well. The internet is exploding with pictures of these celebs. Yet my worst nightmare is someone taking a picture of me walking into Walmart with my puked on sweats, mismatched slippers and oversized jacket on. People stare at me. They seem apprehensive with me walking behind them….trudging on a mission to get to the baby isle for more formula and back out before I see someone I know. They probably think I am some vagrant or a shoplifter with the way I look and how hastily I try to get in and out of grocery stores. The dark sunglasses probably don’t help this matter much but c’mon I’m trying to hide the planet size half-moon bags under my eyes.

When a celebrity, announces a pregnancy let alone a multiple pregnancy…the world does freak out. Though for every one “like” on E News’s article showcasing B’s beautiful belly…their is a mom out there just trying to make sure everyone is still breathing at the end of the day. There is a sleep deprived, coffee pounding gremlin with stale vomit on her clothing dreaming of “sleeping in” just one more time. For all of the mothers and moms of multiples out there who dream of putting their makeup on everyday and being “Becky with the Good Hair” we welcome you to this weird kind of amazing group you’re about to enter, Beyoncé.

Disclaimer: This is a blog about twin/multiple pregnancy BUT to the mothers who have just one child or two children of different ages or more (Look at me. Feel me) you are nonetheless absolutely amazing! You’re doing this too! You’re breastfeeding a newborn whilst also telling your toddler to take that penny out of his mouth. You’re a goddess too and you are included here.

I don’t know if my butt will ever look like Kim Kardashians again. I don’t know if I’ll ever be confident enough to wear a two piece bikini showing these stretch marks. I don’t know if I’ll ever have the patience to let my hair grow out and be long and whimsical. I don’t know if I’ll ever shower regularly again and “slay”. You know what I do know though? I am slaying…I am doing the absolute best that I can to make sure I’m raising good human beings. I may be “B The Diaper Demon Slayer” but I’m still slaying. WE ARE. All of us little people. All of us who struggle to eat sleep and poop in peace.

So far I’ve found that motherhood isn’t about getting that perfect Instagram photo of your baby. It isn’t about mommy groups and judging each other over parenting styles. It isn’t about who still takes the best selfies and can wing their eyeliner like a pro. It’s about being absolutely overwhelmed and sticky and gross and tried and mentally exhausted, sore, and grumpy…and that little person…those little people that you made, they look up at you before bed every night and you have that moment like nothing bad mattered. They matter.

If unconditional love had a look…that look from your children is it. And you know what? You f*$&@ing slay mama, you’re the women Beyoncé writes about. The women Madonna’s career stands on empowering. You are.

-B

I was Regina George

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img_4201This post is important for many different reasons. It’s important for me to reflect on. To admit to myself and to possibly say what others may have thought. I was Regina George in high school. Wow **feww** feels good to get that off of my chest.

If I go back and really try to remember when the exact moment that I became a “mean girl” I can probably pin down the turning point. But nevertheless the point is: I was a mean girl.

This didn’t really start until 10th grade. Up to that point I really just kept my nose down and stuck to a select group of friends that I had had for so long. Around 2010 I met someone who filled me with the proposition that I was not inferior to anyone and in fact should inflict any sort of verbal abuse on anyone who treated me as though I was such. And I did.

The one thing that egged me on was the people who watched me, laughing at the things I would say to others. Most people probably thought I was being sarcastic and just joking but whatever I said to someone didn’t end with a “haha” from me or an apology. Just a look of superiority and an eyebrow raised, as if I was proud of what I’d just done.

The change didn’t really happen until 2012, when I became a senior in high school. It took a major event in my life to realize that I wasn’t the big bad HBIC that I was giving off to be. I remember a few things vividly from this time. I remember a younger girl who was never anything but nice to everyone, she said something to me in class one day…and for no apparent reason at all I snapped at her, something to the effect of “go away you’re annoying.” She just looked at me with tears in her eyes and said “okay.” When she walked away something snapped in me. An inner voice yelling “what is wrong with you?” Who was I? I found the girl and apologized to her. Yet that clearly didn’t take the pain away. That did make it better, though she forgave me. And she didn’t have to.

Later that day on the way home from school, my car ran out of gas. Totally embarrassed on the side of the road I watched my friends drive by me and not stop to help. One by one by one. I was a bit shocked and humbled. Then an unfamiliar car pulled up behind mine. A kind voice is what I heard. Another student from the school whom I had known of but never really spoken to ask me if I would like a ride home. I said yes. I got into their car and realized these students were all people whom I would have never spoken to in school. Students I would have probability ignored had they ever tried to speak to me. These kind people stopped and gave me a ride all the way to my house and asked for nothing in return. While everyone I thought was cool in school drove by. The REAL cool kids stopped and helped someone in need. And again…they didn’t have to.

That was the day things started to change for me. I remember avidly trying to seek out people whom I would have never associated myself with before. I wanted to apologize to them, I wanted the honor of being their friends. You know what? Out of all the people I was friends with in school, these were the friendships that have lasted all these years beyond. I realize now how easily I flung insults and mean words to people who just wanted love. How could I have lived with myself had something I said been the last straw that made someone end their own life? I couldn’t bare that I could be that person one minute longer.

I don’t speak to almost anyone that I went to school with, only a few people. I want to tell the ones that I don’t know anymore, the ones that I may have hurt. The ones who steered clear of me, that I am sorry. I was wrong and I know now that I was wrong.

One day I am going to have to sit my boys down and explain to them that they may meet someone like me in school. They might meet a Regina George or any bully of some sort. I will know all to well how they should react to these people. I’ll explain to them the all to true old story. This person is acting like this because they are hurting inside. It makes them feel better about themselves to hurt others. I’ll tell my sons to give these people only kindness back. No matter what they say. To show that bully that they can not be broken down by harsh and unkind words. And maybe if they do that, one persons life can be changed by the kindness of others as mine was.

I think I took for granted the heavy blow of the words I said to others could have inflicted. Far to many young people take their own lives over such things. Words hurt us more than any physical blow could sometimes.

I wrote this blog with a few people in mind. But one person sticks out more because he is no longer with us. John Todd, you and I went rounds those four years of school together. You will never know how grateful that I am for that last year that I knew you. You didn’t have to forgive me. But you did. I wish I would have told you one last time that you were my friend and that you mattered to so many people. You taught me the biggest lesson in this life, that it is precious and it is fragile and sometimes we don’t get the opportunity to make it right or remind people that they are loved.

You were my friend. And I am blessed to have been able to be.

Any person who I ever snapped at, belittled, embarrassed or made to feel less than you were. I am sorry. And I am not a Regina George anymore. Now? I plan to live my life making up for years of being that dark person. I plan to raise my boys to be like those people who forgave me and befriended me. When they didn’t have to. They chose to.

To the girl I remember crying in the hallways often, I’m sorry that I walked on by and didn’t offer to help console you. I’m sorry that I didn’t know what was happening in your life that caused you so much pain.

To the boy who marched to the beat of his own drum. Who often said what was on his mind and in return, people laughed at you. I am sorry I laughed. I am sorry that I said you were weird. You weren’t weird, we were the weird ones.

To the students who lost parents at such a young age. I am sorry that I didn’t stop to tell you how sorry for your loss that I truly was. I am sorry that I didn’t make your family a casserole or come to the funerals and wakes they were held in their honor.

And to the people with cuts on their body, I saw them. And I am sorry that I didn’t extent my kindness and offer of friendship. Your life matters and it did matter. You are important.

Thank you to everyone who has forgiven that girl that I was. And thank you to everyone who read this and needed to know that I see the wrong now that I didn’t then.

Sincerely,
No longer Regina

Momming It

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img_3521This blog goes out to mamas of multiples and people just generally curious about how all of this goes (or how I’m still trying to figure out how it goes)

First and foremost, some women have beautiful, healthy pregnancies. And some woman have terrifying and gut wrenching ones.

I have scarcely heard of a pregnancy with multiples that was uneventful. I wish I would have known from the start these few things. One: you may have a small bleed or large one at some point. Two: Almost everything you planned for will not come to fruition, for example, vaginal birth, no bedrest, no shortening of the cervix, no NICU time and few ultrasounds. And three: The risks of identical twins and triples I.E. (TTTS) We had all of these.

Many women who carry one baby have some or all of these things happen as well. It is nevertheless scary for every mother.

When we left the NICU with our boys, they had never been off heart, oxygen and blood pressure monitors for a day in their lives. Needless to say, I was terrified to take them off of all the safeguards and take them home. I wanted the 250$ monitors that would alert me if their oxygen dropped or heart rate elevated or decreased. I wanted them so badly. To the point of extreme anxiety. Now? I thank my lucky stars that we didn’t purchase them. Why? Because I never would have learned to deal with my fears. I never would have overcome the road blocks I was putting in front of myself. The amazing NICU doctors sent us home for a reason. The boys were healthy. Healthy enough to come off the monitors and I had to trust them…and I had to have faith in the strength of my boys. I did, and I am forever thankful.

Now I am not bashing any mother who has ever used those monitors. But I guarantee that one day, they stopped using them too. And they did exactly what I did.

We had a crib all set up for the boys. Did they sleep in it? No because sleeping in their rock and plays was just far more convenient for us and the boys at the time. A lot of people who disagree with this and that’s fine. For us, it worked. They were checked on more than often and always doing fine.

I see a lot…and I mean a lot of posts and articles about women who have had to have c sections. Let me say something that’s been weighing on my heart all this time. Had I been physically able to have my boys vaginally you bet I would have. However that option was not safe for the boys and not safe for me. I’d say 98% of the time that’s why women have to have c sections in the first place. At 32 weeks we found out that my placenta was failing and Sylas was not growing and thriving anymore. He was giving his blood and nutrients to Lucian. We had to wait 2 more agonizing weeks to find that there was no change and that Sy’s heart rate was dropping. I was told that day that we had 2 hours to prepare to get them out and safe. We had to sign papers to give the hospital permission for a blood transfusion because the boys were suspected to be anemic.

My boys were still born. They didn’t get cheated on birth because they had to be pulled out of my uterus via c section and ANY mother who has gone through this knows that all too well as well. Not only do we share tiger stripes from stretch makes but we also bare a horizontal or vertical scar that represents what it took to get our babies here safely.

I applaud every women who has been able to have a vaginal birth. I’m taking nothing away from them. However I am lifting up the women who had to bring life into this world a little differently.

I get asked frequently what I do when the twins cry at the same time. What do I do? I breathe. Sometimes I cry too. But after their tears? Joy. Pure bliss that I even get the opportunity to hear cries of a life that I grew inside of me.

Every new mom is just figuring it out. One baby, two babies, three babies and more. I’ve come to appreciate that if we are all still breathing at the end of the day…that I haven’t failed and that I am blessed. We all are. I hope you know that you’re momming the shit out of it! You’re not failing. With sweats on, makeup unheard of, poop under your fingernails and a permanent messy bun…you are beautiful.

My little Cancers

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I’ve gone to write this update for a while now and feel like I don’t even know where to begin. I went to a scheduled ultrasound check up and never left the hospital that day…that week…even that month. They saw that my little twin, Sylas hadn’t grown in two weeks so, it was time to get them out of my tummy. Better out than in situation. We had three hours to prepair for surgery. I sat in my hospital bed and imagined what was about to happen. I was about to have 34 week preemies in my arms.

The nurses came in one by one to prep me for the c section. Then it was time. They made Troy stay in the hallway before he could come in. I was terrified to go in alone. They gave me the spinal and laid me down. I remember the anesthesiologist rubbing my forehead to calm me down. I remember squeezing Troy’s hand as hard as I could. I remember the doctor singing “eeny miny moe” for which baby to take out first. Then I remember a splash! And a brilliant, primal scream. In that moment I was born. I was living. And so was Sylas. Tears came streaming down my face. Then another splash, Lucian screaming, brimming with life. They pulled down the curtain and put him over so I could see him. He was so beautiful.

Troy left my side to go cut the boys’s umbilical cords. I turned my head to the left and I could see them working on Luke. I could see his chest heaving and gasping for air. Bubbles coming from his mouth and tubes everywhere. I looked back at the anesthesiologist and asked if he was okay. She held my head and said yes. The boys’s cries came in unison. Like a song. Their heart monitors beeped together, their hearts beat at the same time. And my heart was beating, still for them.

I never got to see Sylas in the OR. They sewed me up and took the boys to the nicu. I went to the recovery room for a few hours. All I could think of was seeing my boys. After recovery they wheeled me in a bed to the nicu room…room number three…I’ll never forget. A dimly lit room and monitors beeping, nurses crowed to see them. Then I saw them. I thought, “How did I make something so beautiful? Two somethings!”

I held their tiny hands with my pinky. My life was forever changed. We spend three weeks in the NICU and those were some of the hardest three weeks of my life. To watch your children fight to breathe, fight to eat and be poked everyday. Never seeing their bare faces because tape covers their cheeks to hold in feeding tubes. Picking them up with chords attached everywhere. Leaving them at the end of “care time”. It was tough. But they were tougher.

On July 26th the boys came home. Finally…and also holy crap! Way too many emotions. No more monitors to tell me that they were breathing still. No more temperature checks to make sure they weren’t sick. It’s was all us or nothing.

Everyday is new. Everyday is a challenge. Every night is long. I’ve never experienced this level of tired in my life. Worth it? Absolutely. Every moment.

I’m who I always wanted to be, I’m a mother. I’ll learn something new everyday. I’ll mess up. I’ll cry. I’ll laugh and smile. I’ll relish in these moments because I know they won’t be small forever. I made it though. By the grace of God…we made it.

-B

Mommy-ing For Dummies

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I have completely fooled myself by thinking that the anxiety of this twin pregnancy would get easier the farther along we got. The risks never really go away. As soon as you’re out of the woods on one complication, another one has already started to round the corner. But we are so close and it’s getting so real.

 

Helping my mom wash and fold preemie onesies, I can’t even wrap my head around the fact that these boys are going to be itty-bitty. We are two weeks tops away from their birth and still don’t know how the twins will be delivered…another daunting thought. If I said that I wasn’t afraid of a vaginal delivery or c section then i’d be a total liar. Push two babies out the good ol’ fashioned way? Or opt to be cut open and the occupants of my womb to be literally seized? Maybe I won’t get a choice…and maybe that would be better (haha)

 

If I had thought my life hadn’t changed enough as it were, I now have an inkling of how interesting (to say the very least) that It is about to become. A mom? That’s one thing. Mom of twins? A whole ‘nother ballpark. My entire life, people always looked at me and said that I was born to be a mom. Maybe that is because of my “want to fix everyone” nature? Or maybe it’s just a mommy-complex…the one that I’ve always had. Either way, my point is that it’s one thing to be told that one possesses motherly like traits, again, its another thing to actually step up and be a mother. And I am scared.

 

One thing I can say is thank God for all the beautiful mothers that I have the privilege to call friends. I can not put a price on how invaluable their advice and input has been for me during this pregnancy and even before. To the moms reading this, I know that I can come to you for questions and help. Why? Because you are all amazing at what you do. I can only hope that I come up to par with raising these boys.

 

Moral of this blog: It’s almost time. I’m terrified. I’m ecstatic. I’m thankful. And I am not “lucky” because I prayed for this.

Times Two

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I don’t think that even I could have imagined the series of events that transpired in 2015. I thought that becoming sober would be the last climax to my year in November but alas, December 4th I took a test and saw those lines pop-up. Pregnant. My first reaction? Excitement…which was quickly coupled by fear and uncertainty. I really couldn’t imagine going through the pain of losing another pregnancy. But I really couldn’t let myself get caught up in that fear and let it take over. Flash forward 12 anxious weeks, I’m finally about to see our baby on an ultrasound for the first time. I lay down on the bed, the US tech puts the probe on my tummy quickly, then pulls it away to adjust herself. In the split second that I saw the image on the screen, I could have swore I had just seen two heads. The technician puts the probe back on my tummy and exclaimed “Wow! There are two babies in there, honey!

 

Identical twins. For the people who don’t know, identical twins don’t (run in families) fraternal twins do. If you get identical twins, that is still a scientific anomaly. Means my body produced one egg which was fertilized by one sperm and a few days after fertilization, for some unknown reason the egg split, creating an identical version of itself. It’s relatively rare that a woman my age had an egg that split like that, but nevertheless what a blessing! I thought that the first ultrasound would ease my mind about the baby I had been growing all those weeks and while I saw the immense blessing of having two babies…the risks went up and the anxiety came back.

 

Only less than a week later, I woke up at 2:30AM bleeding. Terrified that we were about to lose these little babes, we rushed to the ER. The babies were happy and swimming like crazy on the ultrasound screen that early morning, but there was blood. I had a bled around the babies shared placenta. Five days later the doctors sent me to a perinatologist two hours away from home. This type of physician specializes in high risk pregnancies (which most twins and multiple pregnancies are). Again, the babies looked healthy and fine, but there was still blood around the placenta that houses them. The doctor told me to expect that blood to work itself out, and that all we can really do at this point is hope and pray that the blood passes and that we don’t have another active bleed. At 14 weeks pregnant, there is just really not much medical intervention that can be done for the babies.

 

I see this specialist again at 18 weeks and I pray by then that the blood will be vastly diminished and or gone completely. At that point, there may be more that we can do for the babies if problems do arise. At this appointment the doctor also informed us that he believes these little babes to be identical boys. I know it is early still to really tell but if this is true then I am happy to introduce these little dudes as Luke Hudson Fryatt and Sylas James Fryatt.

 

Every night i put my hands on my belly, touching either side that the babies rest on and we pray together. I know that every day will be a struggle yet blessing with these babes. I know that week by week and the next few months will be hard, uncomfortable and unnerving. Yet I also know that God has a plan for me, for the babies and that he has his hands on us. I hope to do little updates on the twins as they come. Everything happens for a reason and regardless of what happens, I feel beyond blessed to be these twins mother.

 

-B

First Free

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I’ll start this one be saying that no one starts out in life wanting to be an addict. No child responds to the infamous question of, “what do you want to be when you grow up?’ with the remark “a drug addict”. Eventually I think its safe to assume that we all become addicted to to something at least once in our lifetimes. No I don’t mean only chemicals. Addicted to exercise, books, meditation etc. These things don’t always cause problems but my point is that we can all grasp the basic foundation of how a chemically dependent addict feels because most of us have been or will be addicted to something in our lifetimes, weather its a good thing to be addicted to said thing or not.

 

When I started treatment, the doctor who had been prescribing me the pain medication for my back gave me a 30 day “taper” off of the pills That I had been taking for almost 5 years. The treatment facility I attend is an abstinence based program but agreed to let me starting classes while I tapered off of the medication. Everyday in class we say “clean and sober until we meet again.” This made me uncomfortable because I said it…but I wasn’t sober yet. I felt like that was cheating. Cheating my peers and myself. This just drove my determination.

 

Who is ready to hear the good part? My name is Brittany Tayler Schlotman and I have been 100% clean and sober for the last 7 days. Not one Tramadol. Gone. Done. Over. And i can hardly hold back tears as I type this. I had never made it past 12 hours without the medication before. That is 640,988 heartbeats since being sober. And every one of those heartbeats, beats towards life. Freedom. A second chance.

 

I am not through the woods yet. Not by a long shot. My recovery will stretch a lifetime. I will always have addiction in my blood. But i will not surrender to it again. I have spend hours and hours trying to calculate all the things that surrendering to this disease took from me, what I let it take from me. But then I woke up and you know what I realized? What is more important than what I lost…Is what I have gained. Then, now and beyond. I see a future beyond this. There was always a light at the end of the tunnel…I just didn’t turn around to see it. Now I have.

-B

The Clean Slate

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I am going to be brutally honest. Maybe for the first time ever. My name is B, and for the last four years of my life…iv been addicted to a synthetic opiate called “Tramidol”. I was originally prescribed the medication for my scoliosis but of course as time went on, it became less about my back pain and more about staying numb. And anyone who knows what substance abuse is like…than you know that you have to stay high to avoid the “sickness”. Withdrawal. One word that describes absolute hell to people who have raged that war. For most of us, we have to hit rock bottom before we realize there is a problem. Or that there was one right in front of us the whole time. Growing and manifesting itself into a big monster that will rear its ugly head at some point. My rock bottom started soon after I started taking Tramidol. The worst thing you can do to yourself if you’ve never gotten over your past is to give yourself something presently to numb it and ultimately something that will swallow you in the future. I got swallowed fast. I was in too deep from the start…and I liked it. I liked not feeling the pain. And lucky me, I had an “excuse” to self medicate. I could tell anyone questioning me that the medication was prescribed for my back pain. What a load of (sorry mom) shit! I knew. I knew what i was doing. And guess what? Soon so would everyone.

 

This story is much too long to write in one sitting. It has to be right. It has to be true. I am going to tell my story while I simultaneously start my journey to recovery. Not just recovery from substance abuse. Rather my recovery from everything. This isn’t just for me. Its a beacon of hope for all the young and old people who have walked and are continuing to walk this path with me. Its time to wipe the slate, guys.

-B