Listen to moms exchange birthing stories and the most helpful things they’ve learned about being a mom.
Mariel: Hey. And Emrick, mom of three boys.
Emrick: That’s right.
Mariel: Yeah. And Bernie is a mom of a little toddler. Yay.
Mariel: And I, myself, I’m Mariel. I’m a mother of two. So we’re moms who juggle work, marriage, dinner, meanwhile trying our best to live God-centered lives and making sure that our kids do too. So but let’s find out when exactly and how we became tired moms. We’re going to share our birthing stories, our first few years as moms, and we’ll also give you some tips on how we survived it. So, are you guys awake?
Everyone: Kind of, yeah. (Laughing)
Mariel: You know what’s funny? I’m gonna tell you guys something. So the producer of this podcast, actually, when we were talking about the subject, she asked me, “When exactly did you start becoming a tired mom?” and she was like “Was it after you gave birth? Was it when the baby was here? Was it during pregnancy?” I was like “You know what?” As soon as… like even before you realize that you’re having a baby, you know how that first trimester, you’re pretty much dead tired right?”
Mariel: Yeah, and I realized that’s the beginning of the end. (Laughs)
Mariel: You know what I’m saying? That was the beginning of it. Since then, you’re like, you just get more and more tired cause you end up juggling more things. What was your birthing plan and did it actually go as planned? What was it like?
Emrick: Well, on my first couple pregnancies, I just trusted the doctor. She had hoped that I would deliver naturally and I did both.
Jewel: Why are you hard-core?
Bernie: Straight up, girl.
Emrick: But the third one, I drafted a plan. I made everybody sign it. I made my husband sign it, the doctor sign it, and I said “Nobody is deviating from this plan. We are gonna do it my way this time.” So basically I opted the third time to do it without pain drugs, no epidural.
Jewel: I thought you said in the beginning, you did it naturally. You didn’t do it naturally?
Emrick: No, no, naturally, meaning-
Mariel: No C-section.
Jewel: Oh but you still had like an epidural.
Emrick: I did. Both times.
Mariel: Why did you decide on the last one to not have one?
Jewel: Because she was doing cross-fit by that time.
Emrick: So, they kept saying “Are you sure?” “I’m positive.” So as I’m delivering, I think I was like seven centimeters and 45 minutes before David was born. I was like calling the nurse, and I’m like, I change my mind. I’m like rip that piece of paper, and give me the epidural. She’s like, “I’m sorry, it’s too late”. And so I was like, “I need it, I need it”. And she was like “Ok”, she was just messing with me.
Bernie: That was a cruel joke. Just pretend she’s taking a pen, pretending she’s poking it. There it is. Do you feel better?
Emrick: Pretending that I was gonna get an epidural. It was too late and so birth happened. I started pushing and screaming at the top of my lungs and I was so scared and I think they heard me in the parking lot. My grandmother was in the room nearby. I see her face and she was just rolling her eyes like shut up.
Mariel: I did the opposite of you. My first pregnancy, I was 22. I don’t know why but I was like nah “I’m gonna try it without”. And I was so cavalier about it like “Whatever, I’m gonna try it without”. Gosh, that kid was like I was an active active labor. There’s a difference between regular, you’re just going through it, and active labor means you can really feel those contractions right? And I was in active labor for like 16 hours with no pain medication. None. And I obviously regretted it. And they actually told me I was too late when I asked for it. I was like whatever. You know how you can watch your contractions? Like they have that monitor that spikes. My gosh, I swear, every time I could see it building up, I would just start crying.
Bernie: Here it comes!
Jewel: For me, I always tell Jasmine that she was my hardest baby. From day one. But now she’s like my easy.
Mariel: Is she your oldest?
Jewel: Yes. She’s the one I always say she’s my balance. I ended up having a C-section, an emergency C-section. So the funny thing was I pushed for I don’t know how many hours, but I wouldn’t dilate and so-
Mariel: Oh no
Jewel: After awhile, I think her blood pressure or something, her heart rate was going up every time I would push so I got to a point where they just said we have to do an emergency C-section and I looked at them I was like “What do you mean?” And I just started having major panic, anxiety. Literally put myself to sleep. I don’t even remember her… I don’t remember them cutting me up or whatever. All I remember was Harmony trying to wake me up saying “There’s Jasmine”. I open my eyes for a little bit and then I went back to sleep because anytime that I’m like my husband knows that any time that I’m super scared, taking off on airplanes, I have this mental ability to be able to put myself to sleep to avoid-
Bernie: A super power, girl.
Mariel: It is a super power.
Jewel: So that’s exactly what I did when I was so scared of having a C-section.
Mariel: You went to sleep?
Jewel: When I was trying to push Hayden out, I wouldn’t dilate either. So basically, the doctor comes back and says “If you’re not at 10 centimeters within the hour, we’re gonna have to have C-section on you”, because my water had broken already at that time. And so, I was like, so sad and I was crying and then this Asian nurse comes in and she’s like “What’s wrong sweet heart? I’m like “I really don’t wanna have a C-section”. And you know what she does is closes the door, and I was explaining why, I wouldn’t dilate and all of this. So she said, don’t worry. So what she does is closes the door and then she said I guess she did this in China, she was mid wife for thirty years in China.
Bernie: Did she clap her hands together and start rubbing you?
Jewel: I don’t know what she did, she moved my tummy around or whatever it was and then I kid you not ladies, within a few minutes, the doctor did her thing and then I don’t even know what she did and then she left and then when the doctor came back in, I was ten centimeters.
Mariel: Did you tell him about her? Was she real? Was she an angel?
Jewel: It was almost Harmony was saying he was almost kind of scared like “oh my gosh what are you about to do?”
Bernie: She does the Mr. Miyagi. Let me dilate you.
Jewel: That’s what she was. She did her thing.
Mariel: That is awesome. We need to know what that was though.
Bernie: Get her number girl. To all the moms out there that are expecting and all that, pain… it’s gonna be painful no matter what. But once you hear the sound of your baby and then they put the baby on your chest, all that just… I remember the pain of the epidural more than anything else but other than that you forget all the pain.
Jewel: Isn’t that amazing how that literally happens? All the pain literally disappears.
Mariel: It’s like there’s this joy that really clicks in. Yeah so what is the one thing that we’ve learned about raising an infant that we didn’t know at the time?
Emrick: I guess my biggest take away is I have become a much more patient person. Like you just have to let go of all that immaturity, that pride, that impatience and all that stuff and just become a much more chill person. Because you have no other choice.
Bernie: Yeah, because your baby picks up on that energy.
Emrick: And you can’t control everything. And not everything’s gonna be perfect.
Mariel: You can’t control everything, that may be true but you don’t have to do it alone either. It’s hard because it’s your baby, you wanna do everything right? You wanna do it yourself. You, your husband, that’s it. But you know what? It’s not bad when you reach out to your community of people that actually wanna help you and be there for you. One of the other things I learned is it’s ok to walk away, you know? I remember, “Yeah, all they do is cry.” You know those first few months. I would put my baby in a safe place, like make sure they’re safe and then I would walk away or go into a pillow and maybe scream into a pillow or cry in a closet or whatever for a couple seconds because I feel like if I was there any longer, I might be tempted to whatever. You know what I mean?
Bernie: Like even scream at the baby.
Emrick: No, I know what you mean.
Mariel: Right? So it was like I was just like I have to walk away and I had to be ok with that.
Bernie: It’s hard because you feel the guilty. Like ok, “You know, I’m sucking as a mom right now” because I’m about to walk… cause I’ve done that with Jojo. There was a time where he’s crying where I’m like you know what, let me just… before I yell at the baby, like “STOP CRYING!.” Let me just take a moment and sometimes it’s just a few seconds and then I’ll either scream into a pillow, I think one time I punched the wall. You’re juggling through this emotion of I’m trying to do the best I can as a mom. Then you feel bad for even walking away for two seconds from your baby to cry so you can have your moment of two seconds of insanity. But like what Jewel was saying, it’s good that you bring that up ‘cause there can be moms out there that are like “I can’t”.
Mariel: Well you know the reason I also bring that up, and I’m just gonna be honest here. I’ve been through where, I didn’t do anything bad but I did get really frustrated and I was looking at my baby for a minute with resentment and I yelled and I was just like “Omg, just stop!”. And then I was like “You can’t be like this”. You put that baby down. You walk away. Because what’s that gonna lead to?
Jewel: And that’s why it’s good that we bring up this awareness. That it’s completely normal. When I was feeling like that where I had these evil thoughts of doing things to Jasmine, because you’re totally not yourself. I was so happy to hear that it was in the book, that it wasn’t just me. It’s completely normal.
Emrick: I think that goes with what you were saying earlier too about it being ok to get help. My mom… when my first was born, when Russell was born, she was the best grandmother. She was head over heels in love with the new baby so she would come over everyday. We had a deal. She would come over and bring me lunch, I would take a nap, and she would play with the baby, give it a bath and all that stuff, so if you need that kind of help, that kind of community, and like you said there are people willing to come and help you out sometimes. There’s no shame in asking for that kind of help when you break. My aunts used to come over and he had jaundice.
Mariel: I know right, the yellow.
Bernie: Yeah my son had that when he was first born.
Mariel: Yeah both my kids too.
Emrick: So my aunt would come over everyday at 9 in the morning because she’s a nurse and she’s like he needs morning sun. And I could bring him out there in the sun and all that but I don’t know. There’s just people willing to help.
Bernie: Takes a village.
Emrick: They would come and would stand out in the sun with him and I would take a nap. Anytime someone wanted to hold him I said “I’m gonna go take a nap”, and then they’d wake me up to be like “I have to go now”. I’m like “Why? Why do you have to go now?”
Mariel: He has jaundice, he needs more sun.
Bernie: There’s afternoon sun, there’s midmorning sun…
Emrick: Don’t go away
Mariel: Ok so are there any other tips or tricks that you guys found that worked the best at a certain time with your kids’ quirks, you know…?
Jewel: Well for me, what was difficult was when everybody would give advice about co-sleeping, not co-sleeping and all of this and my thing was well now having three kids, you got to listen to your maternal instincts. If you feel that your baby should be next to you and you sleep next to your baby, its fine. What I have learned was both Jasmine and Hudson, my first and last, needed to be cuddled. But Hayden, since the day he was born, so I would cuddle him, and he’s like crying and I’m like rocking him, you know. And I’m like gosh, how come this baby won’t fall asleep? But the second we put him down, he stops. So to this day, he does not like to be held. His future girlfriend, I’m gonna say “Girl, don’t worry, he’s been like that since he was a baby.”
Bernie: He’s not into like PDA so..
Jewel: No but you really got to listen to your maternal instincts.
Mariel: That’s a good one. For me, what I learned the most, I didn’t really have any tips or quirky things, but the most important thing that I learned was to slow down. You have to slow down. Even though you feel like “ugh let’s just feed you, bathe you, go to sleep, let’s do this”. You have to slow down because that baby grows so fast
Emrick: You need to savor it. Before you know it, they’re teenagers. I tell everybody that too. Savor every moment. It may be like it’s so difficult. You keep projecting to the future, you keep telling yourself oh when they’re this age, you keep looking at that like oh it’s gonna be so much easier when it’s that, but when that happens…
Bernie: And then it’s here.
Emrick: You look back-
Mariel: And you weren’t present.
Bernie: Because I work from home and there are times I really get into what I’m doing and my son’s with me. And all of a sudden I hear my son copying what I’m saying. He’ll be like “oh don’t bother me right now, I’m busy”. I’m just like “oh my gosh”. So I had to slow down and it’s like work is work. I have this privilege to be able to work at home. Even my boss told me, I know we ain’t gonna see you in the office until he’s 6. She goes “If I were you, savor every moment”, because her son is getting ready to go to college. Because one day you’re just gonna be this ATM machine… so savor this moment. I started doing that. You know he just wants to play for like five minutes. Whatever this is that I’m doing, let me slow down because what’s more important?
Mariel: No matter what you’re doing, you are not saving the world.
Bernie: Exactly. So now, I’m not like this “I gotta get to work”. There’s a reason why I’m a stay at home mom, working mom, so I can be with my son so we can have quality time. ‘Cause just like what Emrick said, one day they’re gonna grow and I was talking just like Emrick, “when he gets to be this age it’s gonna be so much easier”. Now he just turned four and I look at him and he’s not this little baby anymore. Time flew by so fast. So to the moms out there, yes slow down. Take your time.
Mariel: So what about your prayers as a mom? Have they changed? What do you pray for?
Emrick: I pray for everything. I pray for so many things for them. I pray for their future. I pray for all parts of them, their physical health, their emotional health, their mental health. I pray for their character, but above all things, my prayer, I’m like, “If nothing else, let them always know you”(God). Have their faith in you. That has always been kind of my prayer for them. In my prayers too I acknowledge that they’re not mine. They’re God’s.
Bernie: Oh that’s deep girl.
Emrick: They’re gods. They belong to him but I’ve been entrusted with this task.
Bernie: Oh, you’re gonna make me cry.
Mariel: They’re so many layers to that too.
Bernie: That is some deep stuff right there.
Mariel: There are so many layers to that cause there’s also when you say they’re yours, you’re entrusting them to Him, no matter what happens to these kids, ‘cause let’s face it, we’re in the world, no matter what happens, you’re entrusting them to God so that’s another layer there. But you’re also kind of offering them right? Like they’re yours. Please do what You’d like. Yeah, I agree with that.
Jewel: On that note Emrick, that’s the reason why we had a third child, Hudson. It was how Harmony convinced me to have a third child.
Bernie: Gave her a massage.
Jewel: No, it was funny because he was telling me, we could raise another child to actually serve God. We won’t have the ability to actually mold the child to serve God and it was funny when he was convincing me, the lesson this weekend happened to be about that: That our purpose in life is to serve. And so it’s going in line with what Emrick was saying that our children, we were gifted… for us to raise them so that we could raise them to serve God.
Mariel: On that note, being a mom is tiring, right? But it’s also a great blessing which we all have agreed upon, whether it’s painful, tiring, whatever, it’s a great blessing and we thank God everyday, seriously we do, for giving us the strength to still be a mom and you know what, honestly kudos to all the moms out there. Kudos to my mom, thank you for putting up with me. I cannot appreciate you more than now. Don’t you guys feel that way? It’s crazy. So out there, if you’re a new mom, you can do it.
Bernie: Were thinking of you and when were extending our love out to you. You’re gonna be ok.
Jewel: It’s gonna be ok.
Mariel: I cry cause that one was for me.
Emrick: It’s gonna be better than ok. It’s gonna be awesome.
Mariel: Is it?
Emrick: Stop crying already.
Bernie: Right? I’m wiping my tears. Ten minutes ago.
Jewel: No, I don’t even know what to say because being a mom is really a rollercoaster of emotions. But it is one of the greatest blessings. I can’t even imagine not doing this.
Emrick: It’s the best job in the world.
Jewel: It is one of the craziest, it’s probably the craziest but it is the best job in the world too. And I love how you can go crazy, just scream and be a total monster and they still come running to you and say “I love you mommy”, and it’s like “oh my gosh”, you know. They just love you unconditionally and so-
Mariel: It’s because you love them unconditionally and I think they know that.
Jewel: It’s maternal instincts.
Emrick: It’s worth it. It’s worth the birthing pains.
Mariel: It is, I promise. You look at that little blue or pink face or whatever color they come out and the jellies and the white squigglies on them and that’ll be the most beautiful thing you’ll ever see. It really is right?
Emrick: It truly is.
Mariel: It is right? Thanks for listening to us and to this faith and family podcast. We hope to catch you guys again next time.