The radiant Amanda Reyna, Olivia Maria (4), and Beatrix Luna "Trixie" (19 months).
Amanda didn't begin her journey planning to get married or have children. She met her husband later in life and the proverbial clock started ticking. She'd been on birth control for quite awhile and her OB told her it would time some time for her body to process it out. She was on vacation with her family when she realized she was missing something and that something was her period. When they got home she took four pregnancy tests that were clearly positive. It had only taken her one cycle to conceive Beatrix and it was so shocking things had happened so fast. She felt this shift happening and it was as if the wind had been knocked out of her. In the span of 5 minutes she had an identity crisis, thought she wasn't ready to be a mom, she wanted to be mom so badly, she didn't even know who she was as an adult woman and she was still learning who her husband was as a partner.
She was fortunate to have an easy pregnancy. Her doula told her to keep her body moving so kept running though took full advantage of eating everything she wanted. While Amanda wanted her mom to support her through labor, hiring a doula was important because there was little her mother could tell her about her own birth. Her mom had crossed the border into Mexico to deliver her and was put under and gassed, she thinks her baby was either forceps or vacuum extracted but just woke up and there she was. So, her doula guided them all, Amanda read everything she could and asked everyone she could about their pregnancies and births. She says it was isolating and exciting at the same time.
Olivia's birth wasn't what she thought it would be. Her water broke on Sunday and she went in to the hospital on Monday when nothing had happened. When she got there it was go, go, go. They started induction and she wanted to move but they wouldn't let her. She felt like lightening had struck her from her head to her toe and knowing she was only 6cms and labor could go on much longer chose to get an epidural. She labored for 8 more hours and there was mayhem happening all around her. It was a full moon and babies were dropping in the elevators, hallways, and there were emergencies happening. They stopped her pitocin which was wonderful and when they cranked it back up she felt that movement of needing to go to the bathroom. She told them she needed to push and 4 pushes later Olivia was here. Once she held her daughter there was this release, it was as if the world had stopped around her. There was this new person there who hadn't been there before. This person she had made.
Her second experience with Trixie, she knew she wanted to do things differently. She didn't want to be treated like an illness. She toured a birth center and says she heard angels sing as the midwife spoke to her. The midwifery model of care was exactly what she'd needed. She wanted connection, to connect with her baby right away and felt that if she went through that physical experience on her own terms with nothing else in her way, that connection would happen faster. She went a week post dates and was running errands when she felt like she was going to lose control of her bowels. She thought, if this is going to happen, it's not going to happen in the produce section of Walmart so she went home and called her husband to tell him she'd lost her mucous plug. They labored at home, had dinner, watched television and though the contractions were intense the experience was just so different. Amanda took a shower and talked to her baby, told her she loved her and couldn't wait to meet her. Around midnight they went into the birth center and Trixie was born two hours later with her husband and mother in the room. Her husband fell asleep and she held her baby and just cried. She had made another beautiful little person. Two hours later they were able to go home, stopped for tacos and there they were. All of her pieces felt together. Pieces she never knew she could have.
Amanda is trying to raise her daughters to be fierce and finds herself having this newfound responsibility to do the right thing and to be an example. To catch herself and watch what she says, she has this inner dialogue that tells her to not talk about her weight or the negative things her girls will pick up on, only the positive. You're on from the moment you wake up until you go to sleep, she says. It's amazing and exhausting but she'd do it again. Her daughters are strong willed, independent people and she hopes they learn from their mistakes and their laughter. There's lots of bumps and curse words, vodka and poop - so much poop - but it's a good thing, being a mom is so awesome. She wants to shout that she is brave and is strong and wants her girls to see that what matters most is their happiness. The strength and the happiness, above all else that's what she hopes to leave for them.