Krystal is another amazing mom we are excited to introduce you to. She went from surviving a very serious car accident to thriving as a new mom to a beautiful 5 month old baby girl. She talks about how her accident changed her outlook on life, what it’s like to have your baby in the NICU, and how working with children for over 14 years helped (and sometimes hindered) her role as a mom. Please help us welcome her into the Mom of Fame!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
I am a stay at home mom, and my boyfriend Curtis owns his own IT business. We have a 5 month old baby girl named Aria and a Yorkie toy poodle named Charlee. I was in a horrible auto accident last March which resulted in a lot of injuries to my pelvis and ribs, a shattered femur, TBI (traumatic brain injury), and a broken arm. So right around the time I was healing we unexpectedly found out I was pregnant (after being careful). [I was] on many medications still from the pain of the accident and had an upcoming surgery; I was terrified. But fast forward a year later and I still have an upcoming surgery, but we are learning to be parents regardless of my injuries, and I have learned that momming isn’t for the weak! Lol!
What is the best piece of advice you were given about motherhood? Did you take it? Would you give that piece of advice to someone else?
The best advice was in the beginning to give myself some grace. I had an awful pregnancy surrounded with all day sickness for the whole 9 months (I only gained 12 lbs)! Everyone was saying to enjoy being pregnant, but I couldn’t; I was in bed all last year [between being] pregnant and still healing from my accident. My birth went about as smoothly as it could go. I did hypo-birthing, had a doula and a midwife. I also got chiropractic adjustments twice that week which I think all that combined helped, but overall God cut me a break on her birth after 41 weeks of being bed bound and not being able to eat chicken, smell food and living mainly on broth, toast and cheez-its for that whole time.
I was exhausted during pregnancy and people’s advice was to sleep, and boy did I ever! So my biggest advice to any new mom would be sleep as much as you can, go on a baby moon with your spouse, have meals prepped for about the first 2 weeks, give yourself some grace in the beginning and ask and plan for help for at least 2 weeks (hire someone, your mom, sisters, aunts whatever you got to do). You’re gonna wanna shower, sleep and eat in peace and have a moment to yourself and they can help!
How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?
Honestly it’s a wild thought. After a horrible pregnancy, but a great birth I was given this beautiful human. And on no sleep, I was expected to know how to nurse, and/or learn ( learning anything on no sleep is real fun) and know her every need because I am her mom. It was very overwhelming for me. And on day 2 my baby girl was whisked off to the NICU for monitoring because of the medication I was on when pregnant (that I couldn’t stop taking or it risked miscarriage).
The NICU is a whole new beast. Even though she was the biggest and one of the healthiest ones in there, my heart broke leaving her and seeing all of those innocent babies in there. Leaving your new baby and going home without her is a pain I can’t describe; it was really hard. So ultimately she was home after 72 hours and bringing her home was terrifying. People just expect because you gave birth you know how to care for this little person.
It’s a huge adjustment period, and I couldn’t have done it without the help of my mom and Curtis. I was always so jealous of moms, and I thought I would know right away. But the sleep is the hardest one for me. Being expected to heal yourself, sleep when the baby sleeps, (which is awful advice and makes you feel like a living cow whose job is to feed and be a robot for your babies needs ONLY).
What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?
Honestly I am not sure, I just try to take everything day to day. After my accident I really learned tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. So I would say I have a strength in wanting my daughter to experience life; every aspect of it. And to not be afraid but be prepared, smart and fearless.
Describe a time when you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.
A time? It’s not supposed to be all the time? Lol.
Is there anything you feel that you have lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?
I feel like when you become a mother, the old you dies in a way and a new you is born. The struggle begins when you’re trying to learn your baby, your new life, routine, relationship with your partner, and just survive. All while you’re fragile emotionally and physically and all of the same expectations stand as before–such as the home, work, friendships, life. How do you get to know your new self when your baby comes first?
I think I struggled for a while with the old me and new me. Every small task is harder once you’re a mom. The newborn days feel like never ending and it’s overwhelming getting adjusted. But the light at the end of the tunnel is that beautiful baby who thinks you’re the world. She is my miracle baby, and God gave me her for a reason and had me live that awful day, I know now, for her. And that’s all in the world worth gaining.
What do you want your child to learn from you?
I want her to be able to be strong, hardworking and know that life doesn’t give handouts and anything will and can happen. So always be ready for a curve ball but be able to land back on your feet.
You were a nanny and a teacher for a long time before you became a mother. How do you think that changed your approach to motherhood? How would your approach to teaching or nannying change now that you’re a mother?
I totally thought that working with children for 14+ years I would be equipped in every way for motherhood. When, in fact, it made things harder. I had so much experience that I had unrealistic expectations for myself and my child. I knew what she should be doing, what I was “supposed” to be doing and I was harder on myself when things didn’t go as desired. Every child is different. And I had to remember I was taking care of those kids on a full night’s sleep, and I could check out and leave.
However it also, I believe, made things easier then if I didn’t have that experience. I knew what I needed before she was born, and it wasn’t wipe warmers, and frilly clothes it was jammies, Binky’s and baby wearing. It helped me be realistic. I know she’s gonna throw tantrums, not sleep, and get sick eventually. I knew what teething would be like, and I was calm about all of the normal things children go through because I had dealt with it before with other people’s kids.
My biggest advice is to have help ready, and don’t be afraid to ask for it, you are only human. Also, sleep when you can, love your kids, love your relationship and get away for a break when you can for your sanity. Because your sanity makes you an amazing mom. Don’t judge any other moms; we all are just trying to survive and love our kids and learn our new selves while doing it.