Sunday, May 8, 2016

:: Momma's Day Series 2016:: Val's Story

::Momma of Dos Guest Blogger Post:: 
Please note that this post was written by a guest blogger in collaboration with Momma of Dos and as part of a current mini-series. Please feel free to contact each writer individually for further information about their blog.

My name is Val and I am a 35-year old wife, the lucky mom of a princess named Aly, and a native Houstonian. Also, a full-time working mom as well as a blogger at Val Around Town. I am truly grateful for all the blessings in my life especially being able to become a mom. Mother’s Day is right around the corner and I feel extremely fortunate to have my little one. Until it actually happened, I never knew if it was possible and here’s why.

I am a childhood cancer survivor. Not only did I have cancer but it was in the lining of the bladder and uterus (sarcoma botryoides). At only two years old (the age of my daughter now), I went through two years of chemotherapy, surgeries, and radiation to battle this disease. I was very young, but the chance to bear children was considered very slim because you are born with all of your eggs and radiation treatments can affect fertility in many ways.

I always knew I wanted to be a mom (if it was meant to be), though the number of children I wanted to have decreased as I got older (from 10 to 2 to 1, lol). My husband and I had been married a couple of years and we decided to leave it up to destiny. I didn’t even realize I was expecting until my husband begged me to take a pregnancy test because of major fatigue, he said he just knew. I was almost 8 weeks when we found out and given my background was really scared and thankful at the same time.

My pregnancy was not easy and nothing like I had imagined. I thought I would be glowing, eating ice cream with pickles, and loving the feeling of my baby inside of me. That was far from the truth! I was put on partial bed rest at 9 weeks and full at mid-term. I also had complications given my history and one of them was Placenta Previa. Being pregnant for me consisted of swollen feet the size of bricks, heartburn the entire time, and cabin fever. Even though it was rough, it was only 38 weeks of my life and worth every moment even though it didn’t seem like it at the time!

One great benefit about having a C-section is that you have a scheduled date and time to deliver. I went into the hospital, got prepped, and after entering the delivery room had my child in less than 10 minutes. My in-laws had gone downstairs to get coffee and missed my hubby taking Aly to the nursery, it was that quick! The recovery, on the other hand, was quite the contrary.

The first year of motherhood can be challenging. They say the days are long but the years are short and this is SO TRUE! I had a major surgery, had been on bed rest almost 6 months, and gained 41 pounds (Aly was 5lbs when she was born). It was an adjustment for my muscles to be up and walking around again (no joke). Not to mention, trying to live on zero sleep, picking up the baby with the pain of surgery, trying to squeeze in showers, and attempting to produce milk. In the first year, you do what you can to make it through but not to worry, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

If I could give any advice to new moms it would be this:
  • Remember the days will be long but they won’t last forever.
  • Take all the help you can get from relatives and friends.
  • You will never have everything done so enjoy some moments with your baby even if the house is a mess.
  • Meet other new moms- I joined a mom group (this is a great place to ask questions and hear stories and similar situations> it’s like a mini support group and you will need it).
  • Don’t pass judgment on other moms- we are all trying to make it work, what works for you may not for someone else.

Being a mom can be a tiring job but also the most rewarding experience ever. We are in the terrible twos right now so some days are “Mommy I love you to the moon and back” and others are me trying to pick up my screaming toddler from the grocery store floor. Although my pregnancy and the process of giving and birth were not easy, I truly understand Aly was a MIRACLE and I am blessed to have her in my life. My family and life would not be complete without her and there is a “new definition” of love greater than anything I have ever felt! Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

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