My baby girl Freedom is 11 months old today! My baby boy Legend just turned 2 years old 2 months ago back in April. That means for a smooth 9 months I had the experience of having 2 babies under the age of 2! Some days it’s still surreal to me that I had babies back to back like that. Even now there is still a lot of diapers needing to be changed, crying, and screaming going on at the same time. There are still times where one, if not both of them wake up in the middle of the night and stay awake for hours before going back to sleep. Even with my husband being a great father and my oldest son being an awesome big brother helper, some days still have more challenges than others when it comes to parenting little ones and growing in patience. Quite honestly though, I wouldn’t have it any other way. This whole experience has been exactly what I’ve needed it to be up until now. I’ve learned to be more patient with myself and respect my own authentic process more without comparing my journey to others over this past year. Legend and Freedom are both here on their own unique journeys and I strive to honor that. Freedom is standing now independently and trying to walk. I’m proud of her. Legend is pushing up more on his elbows and through his hands for longer periods of time. He’s trying to crawl. I’m proud of him. I don’t compare them to one another, but instead I celebrate each one of them and the milestones that they individually reach. It’s beautiful to watch. I’m grateful for the constant reminders to extend this same grace to myself and celebrate how far I’ve come on my journey with self-love.
Aside from this candid lesson in honoring my process with authenticity, having two children 15 months apart weighed heavily on me physically. I had two vaginal births, one with an epidural and one without. I gained more weight with Freedom, she was my heaviest child at birth. I also went to work three weeks after having Freedom where I would be on my feet every day. Some of those days I was on the floor painting with my students or outside playing basketball with them. I’m physically stronger now and I’m in better shape with new love for my extra “mommy curves”. Aside from having to learn to love myself on a deeper level after back to back births with all of the physical changes, I’ve had to adjust mentally as well. I was still early in the postpartum phase from having Legend when I got pregnant with Freedom. I battled with waves of postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, perinatal depression, perinatal anxiety, and fluctuating hormones through it all. It’s been a harder fight but somehow I am mentally stronger now than I was before all of this. I’m also more in tune with the holistic process of birth. I’ve grown more spiritually and I’m more empowered to help other women on their journey with maternal and postpartum health. I’m more in love with my journey as a whole than I’ve ever been. Once again, something that could have broken me has helped build me. I am eternally grateful that Legend Ezekiel and Freedom Elizabeth both chose me. The timing couldn’t have been more Divine.