Motherhood has made me a stronger woman all around.
Both of my birth experiences were pretty challenging. During my first pregnancy, my husband and I lost our son Junior when I was 5 months along. That experience meant all pregnancies afterward were considered high-risk. Due to similar complications I had to have C-sections with my second and third pregnancy.
My eldest, Payton, did great after the emergency C-section, and so did I. I even nursed him up until a week before his 3rd birthday.
But then there was Zoë. Oh, my little firecracker! I was sick the entire pregnancy… The “morning sickness” finally decided to go away the day after she was born. But her birth experience was something I could write into an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
I went in for an emergency C-section and as I was on the table, they were prepping to cut me, and I was telling the doctor, “I can still feel everything!”
Next thing you know he starts cutting and I yelled. As the anesthesiologists started to panic, I blacked out. I thought that was the end of me… then I saw a light and heard my baby girl crying.
Recovering from this surgery the second time around was no joke. I suffered postpartum depression in silence and sunk into a dark place. Somehow, I went back to work less than two months after, which made it worse. My husband was there for me but I managed to hide what I was going through. Even though he was (and is!) the most involved and loving dad and husband, I felt like I had to be superwoman, and felt like relying on his help and sharing my vulnerability made me weak.
On a daily basis, the postpartum depression made me feel useless and sad out of nowhere. I would think I was not enough or not doing enough. I felt lazy and like I didn’t know how to handle my children. Outside looking in I was happy, working a dream job, nursing successfully, making all the sports practices and games. But the reality was that postpartum depression was a battle that I was fighting alone and trying to ignore. I would just shake my head and roll my eyes at myself, like, “Stop being weak.” I felt like I was going crazy. I would cry for no reason. I would try to do everything myself even though I had help and people who loved me around. Every feeling felt like it was magnified times 10.
I pushed myself to get help after realizing how serious postpartum depression could get.
I remember reading stories about mothers who couldn’t overcome it. So, I started to work through it by doing little meditations on my phone with my earphones, or in the shower.
Besides praying on it daily, Beyoncé’s music helped me get through. It may sound corny but she has some sort of empowerment song for every situation. Her music just makes you feel like you will make it and be okay. It gives you the feeling that you can take on the world with grace (thanks, Beyoncé).
I started talking to other moms and counselors and realizing I wasn’t alone. I surrounded myself with amazing, hard-working moms – even at work. I started asking for help. I stopped trying to do everything by myself and stopped taking my birth control, which I felt intensified my moods.
When I started getting better, I began speaking to other women in mom groups. I taught other new moms the signs of postpartum depression early on and helped them out. Uplifting them helped me to heal.
I just know child birth is a motherFer! And women mostly get no slack.
We’re still expected to show up and deliver in any career like nothing has happened, barely two months later.
The most difficult experience in my journey as a mother has been finding my voice. But I’ve learned that as a parent, my husband and I are the voice for our children.
Motherhood has challenged me, helped me to speak up and open up to protect my family.
Finding my voice has also helped me to teach my children how to exercise speaking their truth and not holding back from who they are or how they feel. Having a daughter especially taught me to open my mouth and live in my truth because I am her example of what a woman should be.
Using our voices to normalize thing like postpartum depression can help moms who are struggling. Having a safe space to open up about such “easy” and “hard” situations is important. Being able to take the labels off mothers who are sleep deprived, hungry, stressed, depressed, or whatever can help. Taking away the pressure of having to have it all together, just because other moms make it look easy, is a start. ️
Know that none of us have to have it all together and if you are feeling crazy, it’s okay!!
For 9 months we created a human being and it will take time to get back to ourselves… or at least some version of ourselves.
Surrounding yourself with other strong mothers will help lift you up and strengthen the community. We are all going through something although it may seem like we have it together. One mom may be a pro at nursing and you’re not, but you can sleep train a baby like a baby whisperer. You both get together and help each other! The cycle will only continue and make you and your mom community even stronger.
When I stopped trying to ignore my postpartum depression and asked for help, I realized that it was the support of other mothers that helped me heal. If you’re struggling, find your voice and speak your truth. It’s your path out of the dark.
Nakia Rachon came from a family of hairstylists and grew up surrounded by hair. Whether she was picking up hair in my great-grandmother’s salon or doing hair on her dolls, she always felt a connection with hair. Nakia dropped out of college to become a hairstylist and began attending Paul Mitchell beauty school in Sacramento. For her journey, that was the best decision she could have ever made. Nakia and her husband decided a few years later to pack up and follow their dreams in Los Angeles, CA. Once in Los Angeles, she began assisting celebrity hair stylist Kimberly Kimble. Nakia is proud to say that through her journey she is now working with some of the most amazing people and iconic stars in the entertainment world today! She says, "I love all things hair. I believe that I can truly change the world through hair! My goal is to allow people’s confidence to shine through my services. I want for you all to follow your dreams because they can come true. My life is a true testament of that."