Postpartum Depression is a REAL thing !!

img_2351As most of you know I gave birth to my youngest son a little over three months ago. And as joyous as this experience has been for others it has been a bit of a struggle for me ! I couldn’t really put my finger on what was going on with me emotionally. Of course moms always think that we will bounce back and go right back to our bodies before baby, that we will still feel sexy and that because we are already moms that we have got it all under control.

That is what I thought and I was 100% WRONG ! This pregnancy with my son was very difficult. I was in some of the worst pain in my life, and also my son was diagnosed with having only one kidney. So this along with all of the hormonal stuff , I started to noticed that I wasn’t as engaged as a new mother should be. Of course I did the feeding and diaper changes but my urge to not want to be around my baby or any of my babies for that matter became stronger. I started losing my interest in wanting to be affectionate with them . It just became this overwhelming feeling of ” LEAVE ME ALONE .”

I didn’t want to come out of my room , make dinner , or help them with anything . I honestly just wanted to hide from them. Of course me being the woman that I am as much as I had these feelings I was also feeling terrible about this. Like what sort of mother wouldn’t want to be around their children or hold their new baby. But it was just my reality. So I told my partner that I was not feeling like myself and of course I think he was just assuming I meant because I was being a mom to older children and staying up all hours of the night breastfeeding a new born.

But the feeling was deeper and naturally trying to convince myself nothing was wrong I kept bottling the feeling up and I started to become more irritable and snapping at everyone. On top of the fact that I was crying for EVERY little thing. I forgot my phone upstairs I’d start balling, or my baby would cry, and I was for sure crying louder and harder then he was.

All of this lead me to see my therapist and that’s when I realized what I have been feeling is Postpartum Depression . It was a very REAL thing. The saddest part was I sat and told myself ” this is not a BLACK woman thing” But in reality mental health issues don’t skip you because of your race. The fact of the matter is so many more women of color suffer from this and don’t get the right help or treatments. They live and suffer with this DAILY and yet they have no one. They don’t  have the home support or family support. They cant afford the medications , or  therapy sessions but most of the time they don’t want to have the shame behind saying that something is wrong with them and they need help.

Truth is we all need help and its OK to ask . I am not big on asking others for help and day to day is a struggle with trying to understand what is currently going on with me . I struggle to voice how I feel and allowing myself to be vulnerable in situations that I otherwise wouldn’t be. I had to accept the fact that If I didn’t take the steps forward to handle this situation that I wouldn’t be OK , my babies would suffer and ultimately this ” THING” would consume me.

My son is only three months old and i’m not sure how long this will take to get better. I am unsure how it started but I do know that I am willing to work through this and also let others know that getting help is important. To understand the symptoms.

  1. Sadness
  2. Mood-swings
  3. Feeling overwhelmed
  4. Crying spells
  5. Problems with memory and concentration
  6. Changes in sleep Pattern
  7. Altered eating patterns
  8. Exhaustion
  9. Socially withdrawn
  10. Loss of Libido

If you are feeling any of these things or just feeling Depressed in any way. PLEASE talk to someone and get the help that you need. We all go through things and it is OK for us to seek help and do whats best for ourselves even when we feel afraid to do so. Take the necessary steps for your mental health. You cant take care of anyone else unless you take care of YOU FIRST !

STOP calling people CRAZY!!

Its been an on going pet peeve of mine when someone voices their deepest feelings or their truth to someone and the only response they get is disregard and called crazy! I think its the most disrespectful thing next to being called a bitch ! I’m not saying that it can’t be said in good fun. I know we all have that crazy friend who says the most hilarious things in the worst situations. This is a little bit different than that.

These are the  moments when you go to your spouse and tell him/her that you may be having some sort of feelings or just need a bit of reassurance because we all do sometimes. Then the only response they have for you is , ” your tripping or your crazy.” Even family members that feel you have been such a nice person for so long that they can pick and poke with you until you finally snap on them. And what do you know, you’ve become the ” crazy or bipolar” person in the family. 62143616_1199116486936546_522513055372804096_n

Then trying to sit and explain that maybe they should use better choice words when speaking to you becomes a joke. As if you aren’t entitled to set boundaries on the things that your being called or how you chose to be spoken to. I feel that it’s so saddening that you may not know what people are going through deep down. Maybe  being called crazy is hurtful because someone feels that they are never heard or taken seriously when it comes to their feelings. Maybe they have gone through something traumatic and their perception of things and people are tainted and being called crazy triggers unresolved feelings.

We live in a generation that claims to be about self care and filled with those who want to take strides on mental health. The first step is understanding peoples thoughts and feelings even if they aren’t  your same feelings or you don’t agree with them. It’s all about being mindful and respectful to someones feelings. Listen when someone speaks, try to understand and if you can’t handle the responsibility of being understanding don’t fix your mouth to call ANYONE crazy!

Mamiana

Whew Chile ! After 39 weeks of what has been my most frustrating pregnancy ever; my little bundle of joy is finally here ! Baby TJ came in at 8 pounds, and 20 inches long ! At 8:26pm on March 9, 2019!! And boy am I happier than ever that he’s finally here ! I had sort of a struggle with my pregnancy. But the real Battle begins. us

When I was about 20 weeks pregnant we found out that our son suffers from Renal Agenesis ! This is a condition where one or both of the kidneys do not develop in the uterus. My son happens to have only the right kidney. ! At first the diagnosis threw me for a loop. I couldn’t understand what I had done wrong, and why God would do such a thing to my son. He’s an innocent baby and he deserved to live a full life with no limitations. After his birth I instantly went into panic mode ! Wondering how could I handle his condition and not make him feel disabled. Then I had to sit and have a conversation with God, and realize that he blessed me with this child because he knew that I could handle anything ; in order for him to live his life to the fullest. And I would ensure that he had all he needed to feel just as normal as any other kids. But what is normal any way?! As much as this makes me panic as a mother I know that nothing but good can come of this situation and he is here to teach me something about life. I am thankful for my son and the journey we have ahead of us.

Being a new ..But old mommy definitely has its ups and downs. I went right back into the only thing I know. Taking care of the precious little one but of course I have to be sure not to lose focus on myself. A lot of mommies will forget they need to eat or even shower. My goal is to ensure that I do not fall into a place of forgetting that I too am important in the birth of my newest addition and if I am not OK he wont be OK. mamiana Officially one week after giving birth I have been so worried about getting my figure back and just having that ” normal” feeling. I just have to remind myself that it takes time and not to be so hard on myself. So for all of those moms out there be sure to take the time you need for yourself even if its just a hot cup of coffee in the morning or a warm bubble bath. Take care of YOU !

BUT on a lighter note I have a few things to share ! I will be hosting my book signing event April 13, 2019. At Chaise Lounge !! For those of you wanting to attend, mingle with ME, hear some of my poetry and of course get those books signed be sure to RSVP . I am really excited to be up close and personal with those of you who have purchased my books and who have supported me since day one. pink flyer

Also , I will be attending an ALL WHITE event hosted by my good friend Melaysia ! The event will be June 22nd! It is a free event that will show case local Authors such as myself, artists, performances and so much more. Be sure to RSVP and come show your support ! And for those of you who don’t know she is also an amazing Author of: Butterfly A Collection of Poetry 

41tt+esOiiL        all white flyer

 

Be sure to also Grab your copies of my Books they are all available on Amazon.  For those of you Kindle users you can read them all FREE !!!

“Rose Petals Under a Reaper’s Robe”

“Rose Petals Under a Reaper’s Robe: Unveiled “

” Affirmed Queen: A book of Affirmations for the Woman in Healing”

Happy Birthday : Chapter 31

Happy New Year !

Welcome to 2019; a new slate of 365 new days of opportunities. As we enter a new year there are so many things that I’m happy to say that I’ve left behind. Toxic Friendships, bad personal habits that have taken me years to overcome and most of all the self-doubt I have carried when it comes to my ideas and crafts.

January 10, 2019, HAPPPPYYY BIRTHDAY TO MEEEEE ! Today is my 31st birthday and I’m happy to start this newest chapter in my life. What’s even more exciting is today is the release of my SECOND … yes SECOND book Release. It is Volume 2 of my Collection: “Rose Petals Under a Reaper’s Robe: Unveiled.” I am overjoyed to have so many people’s support on doing what makes me happy. I have shared a bit of myself on each page. Covering areas of my love, heart breaks , betrayal and my overall road to being content in happiness. release19This Collection was a bit more challenging for me to write because I was very personal with my subjects and of course there is always the fear of the judgement from others. My goal with my poetry collection is to encourage and be a voice to someone who hasn’t yet found their way. My collection, Vol I& II are available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble And of course my Publishing outlet ; Black Eden Publications.

In Even Better news I’m Proud to introduce my personal line of merchandise; “Honeyz Drips“. For the woman Dipped in all shades Melanin! I’ve branded a collection geared toward quotes of encouragement. I hope you all check it out; along with my First Line Of Apparel SwampzENT that will relaunch in of Spring 2019. For our amazing supporters who have been patiently waiting ! We definitely have things in store for you. img_8485

I’m very pleased to share ( for those of you who don’t already know) I have Joined an amazing team of writers. All women of color with such amazing back grounds in Blogging, Podcasts, Editing , even a few published Authors. Along with so much more. The platform is called Queen Media Collective.img_8479 You are definitely missing out if you haven’t checked them out ! If have Five Articles Posted currently entitled:

  • ” Why will be support people we don’t know before we support our own friends”
  • ” Scared of my own Potential
  • ” The Secret is out” ( Anonymous interview on sexual Assault
  • ” Dating ans the Single Mother: Is she worthy”
  • ” Single Mothers and Teenage Boys”

It’s just the beginning so pleased stay connected with all the things that we as a team have in store for you.

January 19th I hope that you’ll all Join me and so many other talented local artists               ( Those of you in or close to the Sacramento , CA Area). We have an amazing Event ” The  Sound Of Art”.img_8372 A platform for local artists and vendors to display their art, poetry, music and more. This event wouldn’t be possible without the Talented John’Nay Lasha. So I would personally like to thank her for the opportunity to be in a room filled with such amazing Up and coming talents.

And Last but not least My little Man will be here So SOON! Already being a mother, I felt like I’ve had this under control. But things are so much easier when your baby is still in the womb ( aha ). I am so excited to see his little face. And plan to share much more of his journey with you all when he arrives.

Heres to and amazing start to 2019! It’s going to be an amazing year for not only myself but you all as well. SPEAK IT INTO EXISTENCE.

 

Oh! Those Preggo Emotions !

As 2019 is coming to an end there are so many things I am grateful for. My challenges, my triumphs and closing the year off with my new little muffin in the oven. My newest addition will be Arriving March 2019!!! And I am over the moon excited to see this little guys face.

BUUUUUT being pregnant and at almost 31, I have noticed that my ” sexy” isn’t the same . I don’t feel as beautiful as I should. Of course carrying a little human isn’t as cracked up as it seems to be. Everyone’s pregnancy photos look so beautiful but I don’t think many people realize the struggles that expecting mothers struggle with on a day-to-day.  The constant body changes; from the weight gain, the skin changes , bigger clothes and the emotional roller coaster. ! So many thoughts running through your mind and feeling like you have so much to do with ZERO time to do it in,. Who has the time to think about being sexy!

I sure don’t ! As sad as it sounds I have not had much energy to even to my hair nicely or put on any make up. I don’t want to go outside or put on clothes because I just don’t feel like I look nice. Its bringing out all of the insecurities. Talking to other mothers I have realized I am not alone. Most of the time we are looking to feel and have the same energy as we did prior to pregnancy and the fact  is that’s just not how it works. Being that we are going through so many changes we are often putting Soooo much pressure on our partners for validation. And lets face it not all men understand the personal battles we go through. Then we lash out and they have no idea why.

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In situations where you aren’t feeling like yourself its OK to be vulnerable ( I’ve learned) and letting your partner know. Hey I need a night out where we get dressed up so I can show off my new belly and feel good about it. Or even a night in with some sexy lingerie ( and YES ladies they do have maternity lingerie I have invested in some myself ). It’s all about understanding what your feeling and how to process it in a positive manner.

Taking a moment to look at yourself in the mirror and realize that its possible that your body may not go back to its original state but to love yourself for all your new curves and “stretchies” ( as I like to call them ) And understanding that your baby is going to love you regardless of any of the hard feelings you endure. At the end of the day that is all that matters.

I have 15 more weeks left in my journey with this little guy and my only hope is for a healthy little boy ! To all of you mommies out there worried about your sexy just know being beautiful and SEXY is what got you that bun in oven in the first place 🙂 EMBRACE IT!

More than a Mother!

I never understood the unspoken rule of mothers. That we are to give our all to our children and nothing to ourselves. Its wrong if we want to take a minute to take care of ourselves, Read a book , or go back to school and follow our dreams. But I cant understand why? Why cant we do things that make us happy without looking like bad mothers or being criticized for taking the initiative to be ourselves and mothers at the same time. il_fullxfull.1220692580_5n69I never wanted to be the mother that lived only for the wants and needs of my children and wake up one day and have nothing to look back on. Nothing to say that i’m proud of myself for. Or worse not showing my kids what hard work and dedication to bettering yourself looks like. Its difficult for mothers to hear criticism regarding their choices in life and somehow it has become the norm. That the woman take the fault for doing what it is that makes them happy While the fathers get the leeway to do whatever they like and take the time they need in order to get their careers together for the family. I for one don’t agree with that and never will . I am a woman and mother who feels that I am ME first and then I am a mother, daughter, and friend. I feel that its okay for me to go after my dreams and take time for myself . Quite frankly , how can I be the best mother I can be if I can’t take the time to take care of myself ?

Most people will say ” you had kids you gave up having a life when you had your children.” WRONG! My life just began the moment we become mothers . We look at the world differently , we have an unconditional love , and someone looking to us like super hero’s ! Our jobs are to teach our children that self care is what should be promoted with being a mother . Showing our children that mommy is a business owner , a holder of multiple degrees or a Pillar of the community making a difference . Not just someone who wipes tears and packs lunches . This isn’t to say that stay at home mothers or mothers who dedicate their lives to taking care of their children shouldn’t be celebrated but there aredownload so many things women are capable of . We are the epitome of strength and perseverance so why should we ONLY hold the title of ” Mother.”

I have had so many bad things said about me personally because I chose to go to school and pursue my education which took me away from dinners or sports games of my children. BUT my children understood yes I am making sacrifices for things and moments that are precious that I can’t get back but I’m making a way for bigger memories and moments to come . I think it’s healthy for children to understand the life of a mother , the things we go through and how much of the hard work we put into making ourselves better people. All for us to know they are proud of us ! Proud of us for doing what’s best for them , proud of us for paving a way for them to follow their dreams without conditions and proud of themselves for being understanding of all the things their mothers are capable of . I grew up in a single parent home, my mother worked many jobs to provide for us and we had any and everything we needed and wanted but she didn’t do much for herself. Watching her I was proud. IMG_5436I made it a point to make sure I did things that made me happy, I took time for myself to learn new things , go to school , I wrote a book and I can say I have started to define myself not only as a mother of five beautiful children I get to call my own but I get to be VONTRESS!

I get to show my daughters that the world has so many wonderful things to offer and they can have any and everything they put their minds and hard work into. I get to show my sons that women are more than someone who is going to cook the meals and wash their clothes. They can be anything they want to be and still hold the humble title and most fulfilling title of all ” MOM.”

 

 

 

” How can I be myself if everything I want I can’t be? To succeed, be a better me, or An amazing woman with accomplished goals. Or to be defined for who I AM and what I can do outside of being just a Mother, a Daughter or a Friend? Is it a bad thing that that I want to Be ME. A woman of great strength , intelligence and perseverance. and Then add the other amazing titles to my name? How can I be a better mother if I can’t show my children my ability to fly? How how can I be a friend if I cant offer my best self? and How can I be a daughter if I cant make my parents proud?” –Vontress R. Ortega

TOXIC FRIENDSHIPS

I struggled with this topic and questioned writing it just based on the fact I did not want friends that I currently have feeling a type of way. BUT I had to shoulder shrug it off and say what was needed based on two things 1.) if your MY friend then you know im not sugar-coating the world for you that s your mothers job and  2.) if you’re doing your job as MY friend then nothing I say moving forward should offend you ! Over the past few years accepting the fact that I was getting older and coming to terms with the statement “everyone is NOT your friend” has shed its light on me something so DEEP! I used to feel as though I owed my loyalty to “friends ” that I had encountered over the years for a few reasons. iStock-487114588WEB-1024x512

  • I had maintained these friendships for over 15+ years
  • They knew ALL my dirty secrets (and vice versa)
  • How could you turn your back on someone you have known so long
  • And they were there in my hardest times !!

Then I had to ask myself ” are these really valid reasons to keep friendships im putting most of the effort into”? and the answer was absolutely NOT !! I had kept friendships going that had expired soooo many years ago. People who were there for my struggles and watched as my heart broke over past loves and then turned around as if they were my worst enemies and talk about me like dogs in the street ! All while i kept their secrets and never let a soul speak ill of them in my presence ! Then i looked at what were these friends really bringing to the table besides transferring the negative energy from their lives into mine and it turn it made me toxic as well. We sat around and talked about women who probably were the sweetest women and we had no idea because we were so busy tearing them down. These friends maintained terrible relationships with men who were id say NOT INTERESTED yet they stayed with them ! And i started to notice the men i encountered were no different ! I could literally feel their negativity putting a strain on me and how i felt emotionally and decided to make changes. i had to ask myself: Mean-Girls

  • what are they doing to help me be a better person, woman and friend
  • what is going on in their lives that they are willing to change in order to be the best they cane
  • and do they have the same amount of loyalty I have
  • what direction do I want my life to go in and do they fit into that
  • have I picked up the bad habits they have

When I finally realized these people were doing NOTHING for me on any level but giving me a bad reputation for things i had never in my life done; I had to separate myself. First I tried to change the subject when they began downgrading others, or continuously making excuses for the toxic relationships they chose to engage in. I tried not to engage in comments or postings that promoted negativity on either friends page and even went as far as un friending a few of them because anything they had to say was pure negativity.  Even stopping myself from having conversations or “venting” to friends that only had negative things to say about the choices or things going on in my life when I was looking toward them for support. Sometimes it takes someone else in your life to point out the fact that you are holding on to toxic friends and need to part ways.  I made my exist and realized that the people I called friends for so many years, shared laughs with, cried with , lost family and experienced divorces and loss of children with were all people who were there to watch my down fall.  We have to be mindful in who we choose to associate ourselves with and pay attention to warning signs of toxic friends. A few things I picked up on AFTER the fact but now take the time to is download

  1. Ensuring that my “friends” are not in a competition with me. More encouraging of my accomplishments and working together to help each other succeed.
  2. Giving unwarranted criticism toward things in your life that are important to you
  3. The effort yo put into visiting or phone conversations is imbalanced (not getting in return what you’re giving )  and the biggest one
  4. Your “friend” is always telling you things that you need to change about yourself but never recognizing her own habits of falling short at times.

When I start to feel these things from friends i address them and if there’s no change I reevaluate if they are someone who I need in my life. Then begin to move forward with what is best for ME ! In NO way am I making myself out to be the perfect friend but I see no point in meaningless attachments even if that means i’m the friend that someone else needs to cut off. I have seen so many people’s downfalls because of the company they keep! It’s time people start recognizing that , even those we love the most sometimes need to be loved from a distance.