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Navigating Birth and Motherhood with 4 children w/Ashley Byrd of @the.byrds.nests

Ashley Byrd, 28, Inglewood Ca

1. How would you say your preparation has changed from Baby #1 to Baby #4. ? For baby number 1 I remember being so worried about if I had everything I needed. Buying a crib, traveling systems, receiving tons of clothes and diapers. My first born was soooo long when he came out he couldn't even fit half of the items we received . That was a big lesson learned because for baby #2&#3 I didn't get super small clothes, I didn't purchase new born diapers, I focused on the necessities, plus i had a lot of clothes from the first child lol. And for baby number 4 with her being the first girl I really just focused on making sure we had some pink in the house. Everything else I felt like a pro. I didn't need to worry about all the things people think you need when you have a baby. My hospital bag was smaller, even my stay was shorter. I was more than prepared and confident in my ability to parent.

2. What were your common emotion triggers during pregnancies 1-4 ? My common emotional trigger when I was pregnant was hunger. Poor husband. Pregnancy hunger feels as if you soul has left you body and don't let someone play about getting food, they better follow through. Another one was feeling crowded within my self, not being able to get comfortable would cause me to be emotional as well. I remember sitting up at night and falling asleep because I was soo uncomfortable and it just felt so unfair but it was all worth it in the end.

3. What were your fears vs what actually stood true in the event of your trimesters and when it was time for you to deliver ? My fear was that my body wasn't going to be the same afterwards. Like I couldn't fathom how such a small place (down there) could stretch to push out a human and some of my babies were BIG! But everything did return back to normal, I followed my postpartum recovery step to the T along with some natural remedies as well. Another fear I had was that I'd be able to feel everything and at first I thought I wouldn't be a real woman if I didn't give birth naturally "with the epidural" and It was a lot on me with me first. I made it to 8cm and the progression slowed down, they had to up my induction medicine and I couldn't take it anymore, I remember my mom encouraging me saying "I know you wanted to do this naturally but it's okay, it doesn't change the type of mom you are if you need the medicine, you want to make sure your comfortable" so BAM  Next thing you know the drug man was in there and I was able to relax. I also feared if my children would be healthy, I think that is something every mother thinks about and until you can see them for yourself your always wondering "what will they look like, is everything okay, can the see, hear....." you know you will still love them no matter what but the greatest relief for me was when they were born, small & perfect in my eyes.

4. How has being a parent of 4 under 8 shaped you as a person ? It has taught me how to stay on my toes. I feel like I can conquer the world since having these 4. Like things that use to shake me can't shake me anymore. Before I couldn't stand when things would interrupt my schedule like I was a stickler for order, but now, shoot I focus on making it through the day successfully with everybody safe and fed lol. There have been so many things from my 2nd child needing surgery but the haunting part was we found out at 3 weeks old and had to wait a year and a half so he could be put to sleep for it (everything is A ok now 🏽), my first child bumped his baby front teeth and they turned colors on us he is a child actor and I thought that would stop him from landing jobs, but it never stopped 🏽, just being able to handle things that are out of my control has taught me patience and has taught me not to worry because God's got it. Simple as that.

5. Dealing with 4 different personalities and love languages within your children. How do you manage time, attention and affection with all of them ? This has been the biggest thing for me. I have to make sure i take the time with them individually and do the things they like. My oldest especially, because that was any baby, but him being the baby was short lived because his brother was born 15months after him and he is the child that is very independent but craves attention and will sometime get in trouble or make you upset just to get some attention. So with him I play outside with him or sit and do music with him because he craves that alone time. My 2nd child is very much like me, very artsy so I spend time drawing and coloring with him and he loves to sing, so we sing together and he is also a cuddled . My last two are like thing one and two even thought there's two year between them they stick together and stick to me together lol so it makes it easier for me to bond with them because they are always by each other's sides. 6. What mindset tips would you give to mothers during and after childbirth ? Relax, focus on your baby, because your baby can feel what you feel. Create a safe and peaceful environment for birth, for me essential oils helped me set the tone and get relax and massages. Also only have who you want to have in your delivery room, it's your body and you are the captain of the ship. You know your body better than anyone, if something doesn't feel right let them know and you know when something feels right 🏽 And the same thing for after birthing having that safe and peaceful place is key, and having people around you that support and will help. It's okay to ask for help, our body have just gone through something amazing but also intense, it may take some time for you to bounce back and build your strength up, and it's ok. 7. We know there are generally over 100 products on the market; What were your go to favorites? For you and baby. These favorites can even be homeopathic self made. HoneyPot (absolutely love them) Aveeno bath products Silky skin cream for stretch marks Natural Hair and Body Care Baby Balm Target for Organic Baby food Up & Up nursing pads and bags Honest Diapers & Wipes Up & Up Diapers

8. Having a child with eczema; how do you handle the condition and keep your child happy and moisturized ?


I use Aveeno bath soaps during bath time, I especially loved the oatmeal treatment they have, but you can also make it at home (more price efficient) once they got out the bath I would apple Natural Hair and Body Care Baby Balm to their bodies (this is especially for eczema relief and baby rash). Breast milk is also a great spot treatment for their dry patches and baby rash



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