What  didn't you know/or wish you knew about motherhood?

Pretty much everything. But most importantly, I wish I had known that my ideal birth plan may not happen, and that’s okay. I wish I had been more prepared for the possibility of an emergency Cesarean, and healing afterwards, as well as facing the fact that I couldn’t deliver my baby the way I had expected to.

What is a parenting hack you use?

I’m not sure if this is a “hack” but I always give my kids a choice between two things, so they feel like they have a say. For instance, I will ask “do you want broccoli or green beans? Blue or pink pajamas?” They always argue less about doing something they don’t want to do if they get SOME say in the matter.

Postpartum self to pregnant self

Ask questions, you deserve to know the answers. My first experience delivering a child felt like things were happening to me. All of my providers were making choices for me that I just went along with. But once I began to ask my providers questions and understand my choices, I felt like an active participant in my labor and delivery. This led to me being able to have a much more positive birthing and postpartum experience.

3 words to describe experience

An emotional rollercoaster. 

Advice to new moms

I wish I could scream this one from the rooftops, DO NOT BE ASHAMED TO REACH OUT FOR HELP. Postpartum mood changes can be normal, but please reach out to your provider if you have any concerning thoughts. I felt so ashamed of the way that I felt and my inability to connect with my child. I didn’t want people to think I was a bad mom even though I truly believed my child would be better off without me. Thankfully, with a lot of readily available help and support, I was able to move past this dark point in my life and grow as a parent and as an individual. None of this would have been possible if I hadn’t finally gathered the courage to ask for help.