Mama-hood surrounds me. It seems new life is on the brains of all my lady friends. I will tell you, it has brought change all around, the best kind of change, and it has been beautiful to watch.
I know the ropes of how pregnancy is from watching girlfriends go through it and having a niece and two nephews now; I find myself saying things like “Oh, that’s normal,” as though I know anything about being pregnant or having babies. What can I say, I’m in the conversation whether I want to be or not. I don’t hate it either; in fact, I enjoy it beyond belief. Girlfriends making babes that I get to love too. How could I not?
Here is one of the newest gal pals to bring new life into this world. Meet Brittany. Brittany Bell to be exact. Could she sound more like a Disney princess? Brittany is my bohemian mama. A lover of individuality, she has always marched to her own beat. Rooted in who she is, she has always done things the way she wants to. She is beyond fun to be around, gorgeous, and has a sense of humor that never stops. She is a devoted friend, and deeply beloved.
She stated two things clearly throughout her pregnancy. One, she wasn’t finding out the sex of her babe until it came out, and two, that she was doing labor au natural (aka no drugs). And, I think at one point, she declared she was going to tribal squat (didn’t end up happening). Brittany is one of those people that once she decides to do something, she’s doing it.
Brittany had a baby boy, Chip, the week before Christmas and endured 36 hours of au natural labor (I mean…!!!). To hear her tell the story makes me realize that all women should never listen to other women’s birthing stories (just kidding, not traumatized!)! I joke, but honestly, it’s such a beautiful story. I am in awe of her strength and determination. I am so happy Chip has her for a mother—he is truly lucky.
I asked Brittany to share a few thoughts on all things pregnancy, being a new mom, and all the feelings and things that come with it. Here she is beautiful and real, a mom.
“I oddly liked being pregnant. Yes, I'm huge. I pee a lot, eat a lot, body parts change and leave you wondering if it will ever go back! I couldn't see my toes, among other things, but [a woman’s] body is truly amazing and constantly evolving.
The whole process makes my head spin…from trying to get pregnant, being pregnant, pushing out a baby, and then nurturing this little being. Our bodies are equipped to do it all, some things more gracefully than others. It's mind blowing to see the process finished and not be amazed at how miraculous our bodies are.
I was empowered by the whole thing. How could you not be? I guess you can look at birth in many ways, but I see it as fulfilling my greatest gift/duty.
I always thought a natural labor was my Everest. I researched everything about pain management, hospitals’ approach to labor, the drugs used, the process your body goes through, etc. After a long, hard, au natural labor I realized, I just got to base camp! The real climbing starts once that baby is born. I hadn't slept or eaten for two days, and then you are thrown right into motherhood! I totally spaced on changing diapers. I took "skin on skin" time a little too seriously and didn't put my baby in clothes the whole stay at the hospital until a nurse suggested we do so before we left. I left wishing I prepped myself more for being a mom of an infant. Regardless, I had to trust my body again and rely on that womanly/motherly instinct and order a few books on Amazon ASAP!
I learned moms of newborns need lots of grace and love. I was blessed to have great friends and family to get me through the first weeks to build up my confidence once again. I'm a woman. Many have done this before me. I can do this.
We really have it all. Happy to be exercising my motherly powers.”
Well said, Mama.
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Kimber, MAC Soft & Gentle, Makeup Forever Aqua Liner in Matte Black, Revlon Illuminance Créme Shadow in Not Just Nudes, Enjoy Creamy Pomade
photos by Mary Claire Roman
makeup, hair, and styling Janelle Walker
edited by Kristen Fogle