After 5 years of sharing parts of our DaNi experience, the time has finally come for us to end this part of our journey. There is a time for everything, and I feel strongly that this blog has ran its course. It has been beyond a joy doing this, but it is time to make room for other new exciting things to come. So for my final post, I would like to share a little about my pregnancy journey, my birth story and my farewell. Please note that it is VERY VERY long and I certainly don’t think everyone would read it in it’s entirety. My sister advised me to split the post up into parts but I just wanted to make it one post for some reason. Enjoy.
DaNi and DaNi’s Loves
There is so much power in speaking into your life. I continue to realize this again and again as we continue to experience life. I always said we would like to try for our 5th year. Lo and behold, we had our boys in our 5th year of marriage. And we are blessed with not one but TWO loves. All my life I wanted twins, I always said it and like I said, God listens and he gives us the desire of our heart according to his riches in glory.
Before I begin, I just want to preface this post by saying. Pregnancy is such a personal journey, and everyone’s journey is unique to them.
I found out on the last day of last year that I was preggo but kept it a secret from everyone including Niyi (I had to tell him in a special way cause I clearly love pomp and circumstance). While we were out celebrating the new year with our friends, I kept thinking to myself, OMG, this ish is really happening. LOL. I really felt so weird knowing I was keeping this big and awesome secret.
Pic of me holding on to my secret on the day I found out I was 4 weeks preggo.
I had a very challenging first trimester with severe Hyperemesis gravidarum. This was in the middle of the worst winter in NY. I kid you not, we had at least 5 million snow storms and everything seemed dark and gloomy all the time. I lost almost 20lbs and I honestly thought pregnancy was a death sentence. I would be on facetime with my sisters and just cry and cry and cry. I was pathetic LOL. Niyi convinced me to start taking walks every morning (I insisted on having hot cheetos as my motivation) and slowly but surely, the season passed.
I had the MOST AMAZING 2nd and 3rd trimester. It was such an amazing time for Niyi and I and our families. It was filled with many many many lifetime memories. My mentality was, you don’t get pregnant with twins everyday, so you gotta live it up. Yes, I did about 6 photo shoots and did a lot of traveling.We tried to document everything. Niyi did lots of videos, and of course we took pictures. I have always journaled so I def wrote a lot about being pregnant, I also got a pregnancy journal, I kept a prayer journal, etc…(you get the picture). Below are some pics of our travels and shoots.
Bumping in Barcelona. Maternity Shoot by Ima Mfon
BUMPING IN BARCELONA
Bumping in NY Shoot with Amy Anaiz Photography
Bumping in New York
This was one of my first doctor’s appointment and I clearly looked like I was barely making it. I didn’t even want to be out of the house, which is why I look like a hot mess.
Bumping in Paris (Babymoon)
Bumping in New Orleans
More than anything I felt and still feel completely loved. I am tempted to list the names of all of the wonderful people in my life that checked on me throughout my pregnancy (and still do) but I know I will forget someone. A special thank you to everyone that planned and attended our two showers. Thank you for the call, text messages, gifts, etc.
Thanks to my former co workers turned close friends Laura and Mia for the perfect shower. Amazing details and lots and lots of LOVE. Also, New Yorkers give the coolest gifts!
Houston Shower. Pictures by Jay Vince Photography
I really wanted to help with the decor and planning of my shower. Glad my sisters let me just do me, while they hosted the shower. Special thanks to all of the ladies that helped with the day. It was perfect.
Fam Bam! I love my AKA!!!
The mini hearts in the fondant booties…oh my heart. Loved all the details My fav part was the onsie decorating station. The boys wear their decorated onsies now. Fresh carnations as the cake backdrop. Love!
She cooked it did an AMAZING job with the pasta and omelet station. She honestly was the best!
I give God the glory because I did not have a lot of discomfort in general past my first trimester. Health wise, my blood pressure was always just right, no swollen ankles, very mild heartburns a couple of times, I felt very normal. The uncomfortable (for lack of a better word cause it wasn’t too bad) part was turning over at night and trying to get up from the bed. I kid you not, every time I turned over, I felt something crack LOL. I also had no appetite, which completely sucked.
TAKEAWAYS ON PREGNANCY
- With pregnancy, came a new dose of reality for me. It is such a magical experience that should never be taken for granted. When I starting reading birth boards and being more aware of others’ experiences, I realized that you don’t go around asking people “when are you going to get pregnant.” So many people are sensitive because so much can go wrong with a pregnancy. I would hear the word miscarriage, but didn’t fully understand what it meant to lose a child that was ALIVE inside of you. After reading and learning, I am now a lot more sensitive to all things pregnancy.
- Every single person says this, but it is so true; It goes by SO UNBELIEVABLY FAST. That is life in general, but it is important to stop and savor the moment when pregnant. That is why I did so much documenting cause I want to be able to look back and have something to remind me of my pregnant days. I am about 5 weeks postpartum and I am having a very hard time remembering what it felt like being pregnant already.
- Don’t succumb to anyone’s pressure. Except “they” are ready to pay tuition and babysit 24hrs a day. Also, they don’t have a say when you should start trying to have kids. Having a kid(s) is a personal decision and should not be influenced by anyone but the person or people that will be responsible for the well being of that child(ren).
- Everyone won’t be happy for you but just do you. People are evil out there. If you can get through this crazy long post then you should check out “the” comment on a previous post when I announced my pregnancy in May. Trust me, you will know which comment when you read it LOL. I keep trying to tell people not to come for me except I send for them.
- Everyone is so nice to the pregnant lady. I felt like royalty everywhere. This is great for obvious reasons, it is such a crucial time. My only wish is that this could continue postpartum when there isn’t such an obvious reminder that people should thread nicely.
- Needless to say, it is a very beautiful thing and I don’t take for granted (AT ALL) that we were blessed with our two loves. I have read about and know of people that are praying and hoping to have a child. I feel beyond blessed that we got pregnant easily and had a smooth pregnancy. Now on to my birth story.
My sister creeping into my jump shot at 37 weeks!
I had the boys at 38weeks and a day and it was a glorious day indeed. 🙂 My doctor and I had a little bit of a tif because I was given the option of a csection (CS) or vaginal delivery and of course I opted for vaginal. Nothing against CS, but I fell strongly that if there is no medical reasoning behind opting for a CS, then just do it the way God intended. Both of our boys were head down and I had a healthy pregnancy so we set my induction date.
Me at 37 weeks
I went in to be induced and was started on pitocin. Well, what can I say, I ended up with a medical reason after all LOL. My body was NOT ready to go into labor. Hours and hours of pitocin later, my body was not responding and I ended up with a CS.
I was completely at peace with the whole thing. I was calm and the surgery (yes, CS is a major surgery that I think is downplayed way too much in America) went perfectly. The issue I had with it all was how FAST everything was. One second I was getting pitocin and the next I was being cut open, then the babies were out . I kid you not, it was only about 30 minutes from us deciding to go with a CS and them cutting me open. I think that is what made the whole transitioning to mommyhood difficult to comprehend. All of a sudden I was responsible for these babies. I felt incredibly responsible and possessive of them but I didn’t feel attached per se. I didn’t feel that overwhelming love that everyone brags about. It took a good week for it all to sink in, and needless to say I now feel so in love with them, I could explode.
Thanks to my big sister BUKOLA for my boudoir and black and white shoots.
I also want to share that God really does know the desire of our hearts and fufills them according to his will. Everything I prayed for he fulfilled beyond my imagination. My doctor wanted the boys out at 37weeks, I wanted them to cook longer and they did, until 38wk and a day. I asked for no NICU and healthy boys and to God be the glory they came out ready for the world, both with a 9 apgar score (I guess this is what I am going to brag about until they start getting grades LOL) and lifting their heads on day 1! I also asked for a healthy and safe mommy (me) and to God be the glory, we are all here.
Looking back, God was definitely preparing me for my NON labor experience. When I was gathering scriptures to meditate on leading up to my induction date, I kept running into Isaiah 66:7-8
Isaiah 66:7-8New International Version (NIV)
7 “Before she goes into labor,
she gives birth;
before the pains come upon her,
she delivers a son.
8 Who has ever heard of such things?
Who has ever seen things like this?
Can a country be born in a day
or a nation be brought forth in a moment?
Yet no sooner is Zion in labor
than she gives birth to her children.
Again, God has got us. Always. He was subtly telling me that he was going to deliver me and my boys safely in the best posibble way. I later found out from my doctor that if I had actually felt the contractions that were taking place (according to the monitor, they were a minute apart), my reality could have been a little bit different. This makes me so emotional becuase God was preparing me and he fufilled his promise to me AND granted me my heart desire. He knew that I needed NOT to go into labor to have my sons. Please when you say a prayer tonight, THANK GOD ON MY BEHALF. I sit here typing (and crying LOL) looking at my little family and I know that I can NEVER thank him enough for the rest of my days.
Hi Nife and Feran (Both names mean “To Love.”) Picture by Christin Shoots People
The sad reality is that many people (more than we could imagine) start off on this pregnancy journey and don’t end up with a healthy crying baby(ies). Speak life into your pregnancy. Pray it, profess it, write it, meditate on it, and watch the Lord bring it to pass according to His will.
LIFE WITH OUR LOVES
A little about life as a mommy :). The fact that is has taken me 3 whole weeks to write this post is a clear indication that life has completely changed for us. People always say, if I knew how awesome being a mom would be, I would have been one sooner…ehhh NOPE! LOL. I think this mommyhood happened at the right time for me. I enjoyed being without kids for the first few years of our marriage and right now feels like the exact right time for this new journey. And don’t get me wrong, it is AWESOME!
One fave moment for me was our first night back home. Niyi and I just got back from our 7 star hotel (Yes, I had the BEST experience at Methodist Hospital, Sugarland) and we felt like the boys were ready to show us who the real boss would be. They were crying up a storm, the room was a hot mess with all the stuff we brought back from hospital, my breast feeding latch was all wrong and painful, and we just started laughing hysterically LOL. We did not get a lick of sleep, and we were looking at each other like ish just got really real!
So how are we now, I would like to say we have gotten a very good handle on our routine and are really making memories and having a good time parenting. We definitely get overwhelmed here and there, but those moments are few and far between. I attribute this to 3 things.
1. I was up and about the day after my surgery and was very hands on with my boys from jump. It wasn’t that I didn’t want help and I certainly accepted and asked for help when I genuinely needed it, but I knew I had to get my hands dirty immediately and not get used to anyone doing things for me. I also selfishly wanted to know everything about my boys and be with them all the time LOL. But then again, there is nothing selfish about that, I clearly had then in my belly for 9 1/2 months 😉
2. A solid 100/100 partnership. Niyi and I are in it to win it TOGETHER and we both “try” to give it our all everyday! There is no “helping” me around here. The boys are equally ours and we both get our hands dirty. Niyi does everything, except breastfeed of course. I don’t even know how to operate the car seat/stroller contraption. He doesn’t help, he is right in the fort with me, parenting his kids and doing the damn thing. (Again, this works for us, we both work from home and can tag team when needed…) Having this partnership has been a life saver. There are times when I go hang out with my sisters or need a break and Niyi is there to take over. As a matter of fact, Niyi is better handling both boys by himself than I am LOL
3. Finally, this is your race to run. Stop looking at all these “psuedo” expert moms on FB, IG, instagram, etc and comparing them to yourself. Focus on getting a handle on your reality and you will be fine. Niyi and I take this parenting thing seriously, but we honestly spend a lot of time laughing at ourselves. We have already made many many mistakes and will make more. I definitely reach out to my mommy friends at all times of the day asking for advice and help, but at the end of the day we realize we are human and we do the best we can and keep it moving.
TAKEAWAYS ON LIFE AS A MOM
- I think people obviously treat pregnant women with extra care, but once the belly is gone there is no “reminder” for people to still be extra caring. Going from being pregnant one second and then a mom the next can be tough (especially in the case of a first time mom). I am not even talking postpartum depression (which is very real), just regular emotions that I am sure most women go through. I was trying to be strong and focus on my boys but still very emotionally fragile to an extent. If someone kept saying “Nife is hungry” while I was trying to pump, it made me feel sad and overwhelmed cause I felt like my effort was not being acknowledged or that I was being a bad mom. I am not even sure how to explain the feeling. My point is there are lots of things happening the first couple of months AFTER the baby comes out, and being sensitive to the mom will be very helpful. Once the baby(ies) are born, most likely all attention shifts to the baby which can leave the mom feeling off. Which brings me to my next point…
- THANK GOD FOR MOTHERS! My mom has been everything I could ever need right now. Even though she is in school and has all of her own things going, she is serious about taking care of me. She knows I want to be as hands on as possible with the boys since I will be back in NY soon and will have to do everything by myself. She does all of the laundry, sterilizing, takes the trash out, etc. Pretty much does whatever is needed for me to be able to tend to the boys (of course she helps with them too). I feel so lucky and blessed. I feel like a mother/parents will always worry about their child no matter what. So regardless of how excited my mom is about her grandkids, she continues to make me her first priority. This makes me think about when I went to the hospital to be induced, my sisters kept saying my dad was mostly asking about me saying he had to worry about his own child because it is my job to worry about mine (not sure if those were his exact words, but you get the gist LOL). Don’t get me wrong, so many people were on hand helping and I am still so grateful for all of the help. Extra special shoutout goes out to my sisters, who have been by my side since the day I told them about my pregnancy. They are the real MVPs. My mother in law also came in from Nigeria to help. I tell you it is a blessing to have people that care about you.
- Help looks different for different people. Be sure to let people know HOW you want to be helped. Don’t forget you are the parent and you have to raise them. Be nice and polite, but be the parent for your child. Everyone just has to respect that. Listen to advice, and if you choose to you can utilize it. Your gut feeling is probably right, and yes, there is such a thing as parental instinct. You will make mistakes, and that is OK. One thing you will learn is there are conflicting reports on how to do everything. I kid you not my Pediatrician, a mom friend, and a labor and delivery nurse told me something different about the same thing. And they refuted the other methods as “the worst thing you can do to a baby,” you get my point. Trust your gut, be a parent and the biggest advocate for your child.
- Thank God for mommy friends that I can text or call at all times of the day asking about what spoilt breast milk smells like (You rock, Leah) and much more. It is important to have people you can call and talk to that know what you are going through or are going through it as well.
I am so behind on returning phone calls. I am so sorry. If you know me, then you know I suck at picking up my phone on a regular day. I now always have my phone on silent (so I miss calls) and it is taking me forever to call back. I also have a serious pet peeve, I don’t like talking on the phone (except I have to) when I am tending to my boys. I feel off when I am on the phone and they start crying or need attention LOL, which is why I do so much better with texting. I can sneak lil moments here and there to respond without getting overwhelmed. This is very temporary, and I promise to get my ish together and return calls in the next month (covers face in shame)
Finally, I leave you all with the letter we wrote to our boys when we went on our babymoon. Both letters are now blown up and will be in #NiFeran’s Nursey. I was beyond emotional writing this and reading Niyi’s had me completely boohooing. Blame the pregnancy hormones.
Before I post the pics, I want to thank each and every single person that has read a post or more on this blog. It is surreal looking at how this started with me planning our wedding and now ending with the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. In the next couple of months, I will print my fav posts and create a book and then take down the blog on the 23rd of December.
We started this blog based on sharing our LOVE story, 5+ years later this love is now manifested in our LOVES (Nife and Feran), so as bitter as it is to say this, it feels like the right time to close this wonderful chapter. Thank you all for an amazing 5 plus years. May the Lord bless you (YES, YOU!!) and keep you. May He make His face shine upon you. May you have many reasons to celebrate. May you have peace. May you have joy. But most of all, may you LOVE genuinely with every ounce of your being.
Dami, written on behalf of DaNi.
And now the letters.