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Thursday, 3 May 2018

I AM A MOTHER... NOW WHAT??


What an awesome way to start this new month !
I am so excited to share my reality about motherhood so brace yourself for lots of my juicy truths.The first instants of motherhood was such a weird experience. Let's say my first night at home with my son was overwhelming. Actually I think the word I am looking for is NIGHTMARE! The first week will fly by but expect constant visitors and a forever crying bubba.

I was the anxious type of mother, always thinking i'm doing it all wrong. I must admit the first couple of weeks hit me like someone threw a brick at me. No way on earth would I say I expected anything that happened. Okay! yeah you're warned by other mums about the sleepless nights and the long days but regardless of these warnings, you just don't expect whats coming. You will convince yourself your ready for both the good and bad but the 3am wake ups is when you will question your whole life. My son would wake up every 2-3 hours for a feed and by the time I'd close my eyes, yup! hes awake again.


I would try to get through each day but found my self constantly asking questions, feeling exhausted and confused. Like why wont he stop crying? Did he get enough milk? Does his bum need changing?Something must be wrong! Getting to know what each of his cries meant was tough. This was an intense period because your the sole provider for your baby which needs around the clock care, attention and love.

How I manage to learn what each cry meant and sounded like was by monitoring when exactly he would cry. For example, if I would feed him and 5 minutes later he cried I would assume that its not because he is hungry. Also I would identify the reason behind his crying by the pitch, tone, the length and sometimes the time. This all sounds so technical but this was the most important stage for me because it prevented me from losing my sanity.

On days I felt like giving up (everyday LOL) I would reach out to my support network. Thankfully I had an amazing support network who would always come to save the day! They were so encouraging towards me, comforting me with their words and letting me know that I was doing a fab job.

Surprisingly this actually helped me relax a bit and I would gain the confidence I once had. I slowly began to enjoy each day without feeling the need to rush through the day. Having extra support allowed me to breathe and also helped me let out my emotions and inner feelings. When they offered to help I would solely use this time for "me"; taking a shower, or going for a skate, just doing things I loved. Lots of people disagreed with this but as the saying goes " you can't look after someone else if your all worn out" and so the time to recuperate is essential.

With each day there will be good times and bad times, but through the bad times is when you really have to be intentional about your thoughts. The first couple of weeks you may feel as if you are an emotional wreck and there may be the temptation to compare yourself to other mums. Comparing yourself to others will give you a false reality of motherhood as every parent will struggle with different things, so focusing on your own motherhood journey is vital.

For me concentrating on all the positive and the small things really helped me. I started a journal writing all the positive things that happened in my day with my son. I logged all his first's; his first giggle, the first time he lifted his head, his first roll over and his first tooth. This helped me enjoy each moment and stay away from comparing my self as well as my son.

Time fly's by so quick, your baby will go from sitting up, to crawling on their own, then walking, talking and running. Maybe not in that exact order but something like that. so enjoy each moment and remember it does get better.


Here are six  things I took for granted before motherhood

1. Sleeping. Now i'm a mother even when i'm tired, it is quiet rare I get to sleep when I actually want to and taking midday naps no longer exists.

2. Socialising. Going out, be it with friends or family, even if it's for a walk or trip to the shops. Honestly, now it is mission impossible haha. No! OKAY but forreal  You have to make sure your baby bag is pack, his nappy is changed, he's eaten and the list goes on... this is all before we leave.

3. Having my own space. "personal space" shall I say. Me just being able to sit and read a book or enjoy my silence and get lost in my thoughts. I really miss this now but this is non-existent. No such thing haha. My son will constantly want my attention and yes I love this but we all need our space. Trust me when I say he's all up in my grill! Sometimes I literally can't breath as I'm quite an introvert but I've just had to adjust.

4. Long Baths. As funny as this sounds I miss bathing, now I can barely be in the bath for 5 minutes before he comes running in calling "mumma mumma" or trying to climb into my bath.

5. Organised house. I have come to the realisation that my place will 99.9% of the time be messy. As soon as you put the toys away he instantly pulls them out again. Before my son started walking it wasn't so bad but now there's no stopping him.

6. Memory on my phone.Yes, this one I DEFINITELY miss, whenever I am trying to download a new app or get a new song on my phone and the no storage sign pops up. I literally would cry because I already know its the 2,000 photos I have of my son on my phone.
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Thursday, 26 April 2018

SAY CHEESE...

Hello beautiful people!


I am grateful and pleased with the overall response my blog has been given, it has been so well received. So thank you all for reading, commenting and sharing. Before I end my pregnancy journey blogs and move on to my motherhood blogs, I wanted to share some photos from my pregnancy shoot.

I was around 34 weeks pregnant and I felt heavy and completely uncomfortable. My mood was not always great. I think this was because I was constantly feeling tired from getting up super early for work and doing long days. I really did not want to do a photo shoot as I just was not feeling it and felt quite insecure in my skin and body. But we thank God for one of my best friends Shaniel. She was not taking no for an answer and insisted I do my pregnancy shoot.

Eventually the day of my photo shoot came and I was actually excited but nervous at the same time. I am not photogenic at all and very camera shy, so didn't really know what to expect. I wanted an out door (sort of natural looking style) rather than indoor staged photos. So we went to a park called the Italian water gardens, it was close to Lancaster Station. 

During the week it was raining, however on the day of my photo shoot I was quiet lucky as the sun came out, the sky was clear and it was a truly magical experience. Looking back, I am so glad I did the shoot as I really enjoyed myself. I did not feel ugly and I had an amazing photographer Joshua Roberts who made the whole experience enjoyable. He made me laugh, smile and still managed to capture it all. 

Here is my list of the top 10 locations in London of where you could have your outdoor pregnancy photo shoot. I have also included some features that make these places the perfect location for a pregnancy shoot:

1. Itailian water garden - Lake, swans and outdoor gazebos.
2. Valentines park- Lake, green areas and flower bed.
3. Hyde park- Meadows, boats, princess Diana's memory fountain, flower gardens.
4. St James park -Surround by 3 royal palaces, lake, pelicans birds, green area. 
5. Queen Elizabeth park- Sand, flower garden.
6. Battersea park- Zoo, peace pagoda, lake, boats, flower garden.
7. Victoria park- Historic artifacts, Fragment of the old London bridge and festivals.
8. Regent park- Dazzling rose garden. 
9. Queen Victoria park- Outdoor pool, river themes view.
10. West ham park- Large fields, beautiful trees and flower bed areas.

Below are photos from my shoot.
Thank you for reading see you next Thursday .X


            






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Friday, 13 April 2018

Strength


This week has been quiet challenging for me and so I really did not feel like typing and editing on Thursday. Instead I felt the need to continue to focus on feeding my soul and reflecting on my life.
Something that has really helped me get through the week has been journaling my prayers and music meditation. Here is one of my journaled prayer , Hope this will help someone too.

Dear lord it has been such a hectic week for me but I thank you for getting me through the week. Thank you for your endless love, grace and protection. I thank you for providing food,water and shelter for me, I am truly grateful. 
Your word says; 
 " But those who hope in the lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
Isaiah 40:31 NIV
So I come to you to ask for strength and wisdom to get through life's challenges. Help me to chose my battles carefully. Help me to be the best mother I can be, teach me to discipline not with frustration but with love. Help me to have the patience I need but to also have a joyful heart. Enjoying each day I spend with my son. Create a bond that may never be broken.
I pray that he will grow up to be a respectable, kind, loving and considerate young man.
Thank you again for blessing me with my precious gift.
Amen.

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Thursday, 5 April 2018

Joyous occasion


My Baby Shower
This was such an amazing day for me because not only was I expecting and nearly due, it also provided me with the opportunity to spend time and catch up with my friends and family. My social life was practically non-existent up to this point due to the pattern I adopted; Work, Home, Sleep and repeat.

However, this day, this day guys, I'm telling you, will be remembered FOREVER! The love was real yall! It was a day filled with fun, laughter and my (unborn) little bundle of joy was showered with gifts and there was FOOD (obviously) because of the cravings tho !

Seeing all my primary school and secondary school friends at my shower, most of whom I had not seen in a while made the day extra unforgettable and special. I was so emosh! dam near brought tears to my eyes.Yep it did. Apart from the hormones ( from being preggers),

I was also feeling quiet down about life due to being stressed and tired, and did I say stressed ? the stress mayn! So seeing all my family and friends come together, celebrate and have an amazing time lifted my mood.

The theme of my shower was quite simple as I and everyone else knew I was having a boy, most of my decorations were blue and white (society rules), the decorations and displays were just gorgeous and totally adorable!

We used my sisters back garden and my friends old marquee because the weather was pretty unpredictable (London weather). Praise Jesus! The rain was held back, the wind was bearable and the sun was shining.

We played loads of games, for the majority of the games everyone got into two teams or pairs. Here are a few of the games we played and I would recommend;

*Making a diaper out of tissue- Guests got to get creative... Racing against the timer to create a well made, comfy and strong but unique diaper. The pair or group with the most votes wins.

*Guess the size of mummy's bump- Guests guess how big my bump was using some string which they cut. The string closest to the size of mums bump wins.

*Heads up- Everyone picks a subject e.g baby items...One person places the phone on their forehead they cannot look at whats on the screen. They have to guess whats on the screen whilst your other team mates are shouting out clues. The person holding the phone can then tilt the phone down if guessed right and tilt up to pass...but there is a catch your being timed. Most points wins. (kinder like sharades)

*Drinking out of a baby bottle-  Depending on how many bottles you have the guest had to drink either juice/milk, its your choice! but out of baby bottles and who ever finished their bottle first wins.

*POP- Two people have to work together to pop the balloon in between their stomachs.

My favourite game was pop even though I couldn't participate, watching everyone was so hilarious. The winners were given some great prizes, the food was yummy, it was an all round blessed day and a real reminder that I'm to blessed to be stressed.

My advise to expectant mothers would be to not go over board with baby shopping, especially buying a lot of baby clothes. As this tends to be what most people get you for your shower. You may not have planned one for yourself but you may have a surprise baby shower so still don't go over board. Unknown to me I had two surprise baby showers. One at work and one with a few of my fellow church friends, so three in total. I'm blessed.

A special thank you to everyone that helped organise, plan and surprise me with each baby shower. Thank you to all my amazing friends and family that joined me to celebrate and enjoy the day & for your very generous gifts.

Here is a short video showing my planned baby shower xxx


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Thursday, 29 March 2018

Excess Baggage!


This one’s for the Mummas, Mummas... I’m sorry Ms Jackson... I am for realllllll... Never meant to NOT pack my bag.. ooooooooo !!!
Comment below if you get the reference above LOL


After reflecting on my pregnancy journey you can understand when I say I really left the packing of my maternity bag to the last minute. I remember dashing around Westfield; running around Boots and Primark, well tryingggg to run, just to make sure I had everything I needed. Honestly, packing my hospital bag was very overwhelming, of course me waiting to the last minute to shop was counterproductive. It looked like I was going on vacation lol, my bag was so big, I’m sure it could have passed for a suitcase. If I could press rewind I would definitely avoid packing too much because finding what I needed,  when I needed it, was a mission.

How can you be smart and avoid this mistake?
I suggest packing earlier than you think you should  and with the help of a friend, your partner or even a family member. This will give you more time and as the saying goes “many hands make light work”. It should then, not be as overwhelming and your helper can also assist you to identify when you are going overboard with packing your hospital bag.

Alternatively, you can slowly place a few new items into your bag with each passing day or week. For those who read my special delivery blog post, you already know that I would suggest that your bag be packed by the 7th month of your pregnancy journey. I packed for myself, my baby and my birthing partner. Ensuring I had enough stuff for during labour and after labour.

Packing your hospital bag is all about striking a balance with everything. Keep in mind that you may need to pack a few extras, unless you have someone who can collect a few bits from your home and drop them to you. Me, for example, I struggled with breastfeeding, it was a real challenge getting him to latch on to my nipple and so I had to stay in the hospital for longer than planned. I also was a young mum who they felt needed extra support with my baby (this is never a bad thing, I was glad for the extra support).  

Today's blog is about what I would suggest are the essentials you need in your bag:
15 Items for Mumma bear!
  1. Maternity notes.
  2. Maternity pads x60 (2 packets) keep some at home for your return.
  3. Black underwear x12.
  4. Warm socks I don't know but my feet were freezing after birth x5.
  5. Maternity bras/ nursing bras/ sports bras x3.
  6. Breast pads if your planning to breastfeed x20-30.
  7. Nightie or nursing PJ (breast feeding accessibility if needed).
  8. Towel.
  9. Dressing gown.
  10. Slippers and shower flip flops.
  11. Wash rag/ flannel.
  12. Maternity swimwear ( for water birth)
  13. Toiletries- toothbrush, toothpaste, shower gel, cream, deodorant, hair brush, hair band.
  14. Car seat.
  15. Loose and comfortable clothing to go home in.

10 Items for baby bear!
  1. Baby hat.
  2. 30 nappies. (1 packet)
  3. Baby towel.
  4. Baby socks.
  5. Baby blanket.
  6. Baby vest x7.
  7. Baby grows x5.
  8. Baby bibs/ or muslings x3.
  9. Cotton wool pads/ newborn wipes (unscented).
  10. Baby formula and baby bottle (in case breast feeding does not go to plan).
5 Item for your birthing partner!
  1. PJ.
  2. Toothbrush.
  3. Underwear.
  4. Towel.
  5. Slippers/ flip flops.

10 Entertainment / snacks!
  1. Water.
  2. Crisps.
  3. Energy drinks.
  4. Water based fruits ( watermelon, grapes)
  5. Camera.
  6. Chargers.
  7. Book/ kindle.
  8. Phone/ Tablet.
  9. Music- phone/ tablet/ i-pod and portable speaker.
  10. Cash for car park /bank card

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Thursday, 22 March 2018

Roller Coaster


What a holiday!

I need to keep things real with you guys so lets rewind back to when I was pregnant. The memories of being pregnant are somewhat mixed between joy, fear, happiness, tears and definitely excitement. Ohhhhh I forgot to mention Sickness!

I remember going on a family holiday just after I had found out I was pregnant. I was so excited because I had not been abroad in years and this was my first time visiting Turkey. On my arrival to Turkey I was mesmerised by the views. We stayed in a city called Antalya, every hotel I passed looked like a royal palace. It was beautiful, the people were very warm and friendly, the air was so fresh and clean. Unbeknown to me, my excited bubble would be popped by this “wonderful” thing called morning sickness.

Now please can you help me by telling me who had the bright idea to name it “morning sickness”. Me? I have no idea whatsoever, all I know is that there’s definitely nothing morning about it. I was sick morning, afternoon, evening and night. I was constantly nauseous!

If you know me, I am all for being positive and staying positive but let me be honest and say positivity was not cutting it for me. Picture positivity here...and on the other side of the spectrum far, far, far, away was me at this stage. I was either lying on the floor of my hotel bathroom or puking in my bedside bins.

I had reached a point where I could not eat or drink anything whist on holiday. This negatively affected my holiday experience as a whole because all I could physically do was sunbathe. I felt absolutely terrible but I still had to put on a brave face, smile and pretend to the world that I was 100% okay. Bet you are wondering why I had to pretend... well, this was in the early stages of my pregnancy, let's say a couple of weeks so I was trying my hardest to keep it hush hush. I guess I did a good job even though I probably came across a tad bit grumpy or boring to my family/friends on holiday.

If you are pregnant right now you might be able to relate to my experience. If you know someone that is pregnant you’ve probably experienced the heat of their fiery words and emotional tantrums as well as their weird cravings. So thankfully upon my return to the UK my doctor had a life saving solution. He prescribed me anti-sickness tablets and signed me off from work for a week.

Bet some of you thought “ohhh what great news” but as some of you already know I struggle to swallow tablets. I struggled to keep them down but after day 4 of taking these sickness tablets. I felt better and so I stopped taking them.

5 things I wish I knew whilst on holiday;

1. Avoid strong smells- perfumes, cleaning products, cooking of foods. When you are pregnant your nose becomes your enemy so try to stay away from smells which trigger you to feel nauseous.

2. Find ginger - Raw ginger, ginger sweets, ginger tea...Everything and anything ginger. When back in London a friend suggested I try out these ginger sweets. I did and they were magic. I purchased mine from Holland and Barretts.

3. Eat water based fruits- watermelon, grapes, pineapple. I struggled with drinking water so it was very important for me to eat water based fruits.

4. Ice- chewing on ice chunks, crushed ice and slush puppies. Slush puppies are not the healthiest option but it help me. After work, without fail I would rush to Joe Delucci's in Westfield and order myself a large slush-puppie and I would instantly feel better.

5. Eat little but often- I mean very little even if its a few bites of some dry bread or crackers. It is better than nothing and believe it or not an empty stomach can make it worse because of the acid that builds up in your stomach.

But remember morning sickness is never the same for everyone. I would love to encourage those currently going through "morning sickness" to remember just like labour the pain does go away [Check out my blog post Special Delivery, if you haven’t already]. Before you know it, you will be holding your cutie pie.

To our supporting friends and family please don't judge our weird habits, unique craving and nauseousness.


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Thursday, 8 March 2018

Special Delivery

"Sometimes happiness is a feeling sometimes happiness is a decision" 
-unknown 



My happiness started with a decision! 
I went into labour Saturday night but I was not even sure if I was in labour. I suddenly screamed "ouch" what's that? to my mate, she was like your probably in labour. So I called the hospital they said that I should time my contraction and come in if the pain gets unbearable. So I went into hospital around 4am and the midwife wanted to give me strong painkillers. I told the midwife I could not swallow tablets, but she insisted I tried. So I attempted to swallow the 2 tablets. Oh guess what happened, I instantly vomited everywhere, even on my midwife. So yes I felt sorry for her but I did say. My midwife started gagging and ran out of the room and puked. She said "I can handle blood, but I can't handle puke" LOL (Laugh Out Loud).

Next my cervix was measured and this was soooo painful. My cervix was 1cm dilated and I needed to be 4cm dilated to stay in the hospital's birthing ward, so I was sent home. Sunday at around 12pm I woke up and I literally felt as if I was dying. I called my sons dad but he was at work, I called my aunt who was my other birth partner and she was travelling out of London. I thought to myself "What!!! ooh no this could not be happening". But she told me not to worry, said she'll turn back and come to pick me up.  We got to the hospital at about 4pm my aunt was very fast but at this point I was only 3cm dilated. I was in agony climbing up walls (not literally), the pain was so severe words really can't describe the feeling. The midwife suggested to either go home to rest or go for a long walk. 

OHH MY GOSH !
For real guys,I could barely stand up. But regardless I was told by my midwife and my aunt that I was handling the pain very well. Come to think of it, compared to other mums, I couldn't disagree because there were a few other women in labour and they were screaming and crying, I felt their pain. 

Long story short my aunt and I decided to go home. On the way out of Homerton hospital we bumped into these five ladies (church Aunties I would say). They were dressed in all white from head to toe. The ladies were asking me questions but I was definitely on another planet, so my aunt was replying for me. We did not even know them but they wanted to pray for me. I found this so cute. 
Considering we both believed in God my aunt said "yeah sure". Now they all gathered around me, laying their hands on me. Keep in mind this was right at the hospital exit. 

When I tell you, I jumped out of my skin LOL. The ladies shouted at the top of their lungs "in the name of Jesus this girl will give birth today! Her water will break today! She will have a safe delivery today! She will deliver a healthy baby today!" The other four ladies kept repeating "Amen, Amen, Amen!" in agreement. This was an incredible experience, everyone was just staring at me. I then said thanks and after that the wonderful, loving ladies disappeared. Like all of them gone, not behind me, not in front of me, nowhere to be found

My aunt left me to go bring the car round. I sat in the hospital Costa and waited and  KID YOU NOT! A couple moments later my water broke. A man next to me started busting up laughing. I was sooo embarrassed, another man asked me if he should go get my aunt who just walked out. My aunt came rushing back with a wheelchair she grabbed by the entrance. Best believe I slid out of the chair, it made me feel sick. As I stood up the same guy, started cracking up. He was really annoying but personally looking back, I do not think he was mentally okay.

Moving on, I get back up to the delivery suite and they finally let me stay as I was 4cm now. As soon as my midwife came in I asked for the gas and air, I remember inhaling it deeply till I passed out (this may be in my head but after each inhale I blacked out and was laughing). The gas and air was the best thing ever, it got rid of my pain instantly. About six minutes later I began screaming "I need to push, I need to push" the midwife was like no, no, not yet your only 4cm. She began to set the water as I had planned to have a water birth. 

Then his dad walks in, he walked across to my bed side that was free but he stopped "Oh wow, "I can see his hair" was his first words. The midwife said "WHAT! okay Britney slow down your going to fast". Man she was lovely but right then and there I wanted to slap her LOOOOOOL. With three pushes he came out. They put him on me and I cried get him of me. Honestly I don't remember why but Jeremiah was probably like "why is she sending me away? I'll show her" LOL. Guys he urinated on me. But after he was all cleaned up, I could not put him down.

I can truly say I experienced true happiness.This was my labour story. At the time I definitely didn't see the humour but now I can laugh. 

Three tips I would leave with expectant mothers are:
1. Make sure your hospital bag is packed by at least your 7th month of pregnancy (no harm in being early).
2. Stay local to your hospital area, nearer the end
3. Always go with your instincts, no body knows your body like you do.
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Wednesday, 28 February 2018

I AM PREGNANT… NOW WHAT????



Grab yourself a Cuppa and some Biscuits, lets begin !

I remember feeling super scared because I had missed my period. 3 days later I plucked up the courage to check. My heart skipped a beat, ten thousand beats in fact lol. The day I took my pregnancy test I remember crying as I left the shop. I knew, I just knew I had a very strong feeling. I was at my friends house who was about 8 months pregnant at the time. I confided in her and she listened to all my irrational thinking. She really convinced me to just take the test. One thing that she said that stuck with me was "we are all humans and you can never please everyone so just do you".
A lot of you reading might be wondering why I was so scared but the truth was, I felt like I had let my self down. I knew deep down God was disappointed in me. Another reason for my fear was I wasn't in a relationship with my sons dad. On top of that there was the disappointment of letting my sister (who basically raised me ) down. She had big dreams for me, the usual, go to uni, get married and move out. None of that went to plan.

Even though I knew I would cause great pain and hurt, I decided to tell me sister as she deserved to hear it from me. It was so funny because I sat with her and I said I have something serious to tell you about me. she started guessing and one of the first few things she said was "you're pregnant?".
Now, I don't think this was because she expected this from me but more so, I never really talk about me, not just with her but with anyone. Those that know me would know that I am super reserved.
My sisters reaction was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be, she was upset but made sure that I knew whatever decision I made she would support me.
That night I watched a motivational speech because I began feeling really confused. I told my son's dad that day, hmmmmmm that did not go well haha. The motivational speech said "it's time to be selfish with your life, your time and chose to do things that makes you happy". That night I chose to listen to my heart, ignoring the many voices that were saying this, that and the other. Reality is, I lost a lot of friends and people really got angry with my decision. Nevertheless now I can say that I'm glad I listened to my heart.
I found out I was pregnant early, I had time to " change my mind " as they say.
I prayed a lot for a good couple weeks, asking God to give me a sign. No matter what people said or thought I was going to attend church and give GOD praise regardless, throughout my pregnancy as a church we was studying the book of JEREMIAH.

Over the next couple of weeks the most weirdest things happened to me.
I was walking home from a church service and a man walking next to me said to "smile because you have every reason to be happy. God is going to bless you with a bundle of joy". I was so baffled at the time, so I FORCED a smile and started walking super fast. Couple weeks later, I was queuing up in poundland when an older lady tapped me and said "you are going to be a great mother". This lady then put her item down and walked out of the poundland. I am an emotional person so I laughed then burst into tears .

Now this to me was no coincidence, it was nothing but God talking to me.
I know a lot of you reading this might not believe in God but this is my testimony.
Time began to creep up on me, I had a week left before my holiday to Turkey and I had to make a final decision.  Two friends of mine sent me the same video on the same day, within the same hour (keeping in mind both friends don't know each other or my situation). The video was of a surgeon who specializes in abortions. He explained the process of an abortion and why he quit his job, this was a powerful video. My heart broke, I was really emotional after watching the video but I knew what I had to do now.

I chose to keep my bundle of joy
Jeremiah.J.U
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